Ths dec 17 2015

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volume 54 • no. 3 • dec. 17, 2014 • 4001 summerhill rd • texarkana, tx 75503 •

Daddy is yelling at Mommy again. Daddy always yells at Mommy. Daddy gets really mad. Hopefully Daddy doesn’t come. Daddy leaves bruises whenever he comes. No, Daddy’s coming. Why does Daddy do this? With a knee to her chest and two hands at her throat, Daddy says, “If you tell anyone, I’ll kill her, I swear.” continued on page 14 photo illustration by s. pritchard


news 2-4 • viewpoint 6-9 • feature 10-20 • sports 21-23 • entertainment 24-26



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

Who let the dogs out?

Shelter in need of volunteers to assist with overflow of stray animals


by CAILEY ROBERSON staff writer Upon walking in, The Animal Care and Adoption Center of Texarkana may look as if it is having no problems, but it is in need of volunteers. They are having difficulties with too many stray and brought in dogs. “You can come in and volunteer anytime you want,” former director Jennifer Hubbe-Jones said. “If you’re under 18, right now, [volunteering is] only available in the afternoon and you can do laundry, wash puppies [and] that’s a big part to get fleas off and keep them healthy.” Volunteers are appreciated and welcomed. Students are able to get community service hours


@DatJohnnyBoy626: “#ThatAwkwardMoment when you run over a traffic cone pulling out of school, drag it to your house and then keep it.” @mayshores: “Thankful for you boo 2@Harry_Styles #longdistancerelationship”

by donating their time and even blankets and food to the shelter, benefitting both themselves and the animals. “Call the shelter and you can walk in,” Hubbe-Jones said. “There’s a volunteer form you can fill out, and we’ll sign off hours so you can use it for your college applications.”

THE HOT SPOT sports series In the previous issue of the series “Faces of the Game,” students took an inside look at senior cross country runner Lauren Gibbert. This issue, senior Lexi Watkins shares her experience as captain of the Lady TigerSharks.

what’s happening Last day-Dec. 19 School is out for two weeks; everyone have a good break and stay safe. Happy holidays! Back from Break -Jan. 6 Make sure all the homework and projects are done because school starts back.

Rosebuds Self-Defense Program -Jan 14 The girls of Rosebuds will be learning techniques in how to defend themselves in the cafeteria.

in this issue a different kind of thanks

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Each of them awoke in pain as they tried to remember what exactly happened the night their lives almost came to a complete halt. by Madeline Hunley

SAT Testing January 24 2015 ACT Testing Fabruary 7 2015

losing the turban

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Semester Exam Schedule DEC. 17 A1/B1: B2: B3: 1st Lunch: 2nd Lunch: 3rd Lunch: 4th Lunch: B4: 1: A5/B5:

photo by k. brinkmeyer

tigertimes Texas High School 4001 Summerhill Rd. Texarkana, TX 75503 (903) 794-3891 Fax (903) 792-8971

The Tiger Times is a student-run publication. The contents and view are produced solely by the staff and do not represent the opinions of the faculty, administration or TISD board of directors.

Print Editors in Chief Madeline Hunley and Robert Hoover Online Editor in Chief Caroline Purtle Managing Editor Amanda Hackleman Co-News Editors Tyler Snell & Anna Graves Viewpoint Editor Kristin McCasland

Feature Editor Molly Crouch Sports Editor Jessica Emerson Co-Entertainment Editors Conor Diggs & Brianna O’Shaughnessy Design Editor Caroline May In-Depth/Copy Editor Maggie Coleman

Junior Jaspreet Sohi’s family practices a popular eastern religion known as Sikhism. Shortly after arriving, Sohi decided to get his hair cut. In doing this, he broke a Sikh tradition involving never trimming one’s hair. by Robert Hoover

DEC. 18 8:30-9:50 9:55-11:00 11:05-11:35 11:05-11:35 11:35-12:05 12:05-12:35 12:35-1:05 10-2:20 2:25-3:45

A2: A3: A4:

8:30-9:50 9:55-11:15 11:20-12:40

DEC. 19 B2: B3: B4:

Public Relations Abby Hill Calendar Editor Daniela Correa Advertising Manager Hannah Williams Business Manager Rachel Stuart Photo Editor Savannah Pritchard Staff Writer Anna Cannon

photo by s. rogers

8:30-9:50 9:55-11:15 11:20-12:40

just warming up

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The Tigers have set the bar high this year, looking forward to have their picture join the other teams that surround Tiger Center. by Alex Heo Jillian Cheney Ahja Cherry Leah Crenshaw Katherine Doan Bethany Dowd Matthew Francis Alex Heo Grace Hickey Hannah Higgins Anneliese Hounsel Raga Justin Naveen Malik Lauren Maynard Alex O’Gorman

Karlee Post Lauren Potter Cailey Roberson Ashlyn Sander Luke Smith Photographers Kelsi Brinkmeyer Savannah Pritchard Faith Rhone Sara Rogers Lauren Gibbert Paige Huddleston Alyssa Olade-Glavin

Carli Sharp Ashley Tyson Israel Arias Rachel Lewis Jordan Rowe Michaela Stiger Augusta Welcher Daylan O’Neal Brianna O’Shaughnessy Sara Vaughn Kristin McCasland

Israel Arias Augusta Welcher Daylan O’Neal Sara Vaughn

Videographers Ashley Tyson


Advisers Rebecca Potter & Clint Smith Principal Brad Bailey



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

Somewhere over Summerhill by ASHLYN SANDER staff writer

From an astounding height, it whirls about in a flash of white and the twinkle of Christmas colored LED lights. It is on the move, capturing every emotion with a literal birds-eye view. It moves closer to the field to get that perfect picture of the Tigers scoring a touchdown. It swings around to see the student section erupt into cheers. Now, students will be able to relive the Friday night excitement from a new perspective. The school recently invested in a DJI Phantom 2 drone at the end of the football season, allowing the student media department to take their skills to new heights. “The drone is a quadcopter that has a camera mount to it,” photography adviser Clint Smith said. “Basically what we are able to do with the helicopter and the camera combination is get different angles that we were never able to get before. It allows us to get aerial videos and aerial stills at the same time, or we could just do one or the other.” Smith had many plans for the drone prior to its arrival, but now that he has it, it is being used for much more than anticipated. “Originally I wanted the drone just for projects the commercial photography students were going to be working on,” Smith said. “Mr. Bailey decided we try to make it a multi faceted where we’re using it in conjunction with TigerVision, in conjunction with yearbook and in conjunction with journalism and with the commercial photography projects as well.” Although they only had it for one football game this season, the photography staff still has many opportunities to get used to it before next years football season. “It would’ve been nice to have it

New drone allows media students to capture different perspective

before the last home football game,” senior Ashley Tyson said. “But it was really cool to get the shots of over the field and show how nice our stadium is.” Having the drone means photography students enjoy many advantages when competing in photography contest. “We compete in a contest called the Big 72 Contest; it is a video contest,” Smith said. “I wanted it to augment what we were doing to add motion to our video for that project.” The students from TigerVison have also found many uses for the drone including skills for later on in life. “It’s a new tool for TigerVision to have. It helps add a thing to our repertoire,” junior Connor Williams said. “[With] more experience in the field of different tools, it’s very good and it helps you with any future jobs you may have in the field.” Not only are the advisers excited about the drone, the students are also looking forward to the many opportunities it brings. “It will give us a form of media that most other schools don’t have, so that will set us apart from other things when it comes to awards,” Tyson said. “I think it will be really beneficial for TigerVision, newspaper and the online paper.”

DO YOU KNOW THE DRONE? • Weighs 1000 grams • Flies 25 minutes • Built in Compass • GPS auto-pilot system • Returns home automatically if disconnected • No fly zone feature for safety

HIGH ABOVE GRIM Texas High’s drone captures images above the football field on senior night. photo by c. smith

No, we don’t make keys Key Club participates in community service, gets new mentor by LEAH CRENSHAW staff writer Key Club has nothing to do with keys. The organization, a high school aged branch of Kiwanis, is dedicated to helping the community through hard work and service. Throughout the year, Key Clubbers give their time, efforts and money to various service projects that work to make

the world a better place. As members of the largest service organization in the world, Key Club members get the opportunity to give back to their community, all under the sponsorship of freshman English teacher Holly Mooneyham. “I was asked by Keely Johnson if I’d be interested in the job,” Mooneyham said. “I told her I’d give it a try.” Mooneyham has embraced her first year as sponsor, replacing Jennifer Biggar. The English teacher has been balancing teaching her six classes and coaching the UIL Ready Writing team. With the addition of Key Club sponsorship, Mooneyham has enjoyed a busy first few months.

“For my first year, it’s been a little overwhelming,” Mooneyham said. “It’s a good bunch of kids though.” Despite having only sponsored for a few months, Mooneyham has already been impressed by the charity of Key Club members. “They work hard. They’re unselfish. They are here to give,” Mooneyham said. “They’re here to give their time and their energy and even their money to help.” This willingness to give help is clearly evident this year. Already, the club has done several community service projects with Mooneyham’s guidance. “So far, we helped with the Red Lick Fall Festival, we built Operation Christmas Child boxes and we helped at

Race for the Cure,” senior Olivia Blann said. “We’re doing more this year than we normally do. It’s really exciting.” The benefits of all this community service extend beyond quality of character. Many members earn a hefty number of service hours. “It’s really good getting involved,” Blann said. “And also getting the community service hours for college.” The Key Club members are looking forward to an eventful second semester. At the same time, Mooneyham is looking forward to continuing to work with the club. “I’ve been impressed thus far.” Mooneyham said. “It’s all been very, very rewarding.”



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

On the fast track Students reach advanced math classes at younger age than previous years by RAGA JUSTIN staff writer

Solving for x and graphing y are the bane of high school students everywhere. However, where previous generations groaned about facing an especially tough math course, a new era of accelerated students have emerged ready to take on classes years ahead of schedule. Texas High’s first experience with advanced students came last year, when freshmen who took geometry in eighth grade were able to attend an Algebra II class usually reserved for the sophomores. “I do think it’s great that we got that opportunity,” sophomore Elicia Bilyeu said. “But then at the same time it’s been really hard. We had to get used to the pace because it’s a lot faster.” Some students of the first accelerated group are excited about their place at the head of the new advanced curriculum. “I’m just glad I was a pioneer in this thing,” sophomore Ricky Cooks said. “I stuck with it, and now I’ll be able to take calculus junior year so that when I’m a senior I can just relax.” Others worry about being stretched to

the breaking point. “We’re pushing ourselves a little too far, although I guess we’re also smart enough to handle it,” sophomore Krysten Collins said. “But if you have extracurricular activities, it can add a lot of work. I know I get stressed all the time.” However, Texas Middle School was the only one to offer advanced math. This has led to a few grumbles, primarily from former Red Lick students who view the disparity between math courses to be an unfair advantage. Those select few sophomores are currently one step ahead in precalculus. “I feel like I’m up to it to take PreCal,” said sophomore Chase Watkins, who attended Red Lick. “It’s almost like not being able to take it is discriminating against kids who didn’t go to Texas Middle School. I think it’s unfair that we didn’t get the chance.” The current juniors had mixed feelings about being forced to adapt to sharing their classroom with the advanced students. “It was definitely different not having the same people that you’ve gone to class

AHEAD OF THE CLASS Eighth graders Craig Crawford, Carson McCarver and Kevin Jacobs work on a problem in Algebra II. The middle school students come to the high school to take advanced math classes. photo by a. tyson

with for a long time and gotten used to,” junior Cecilia Goesl said. “The younger people in our class acted differently and maybe were a little more immature. Sometimes they’d yell answers out when we were raising our hands instead.” This year, the fast track has become faster. Three eighth graders from TMS have been coming to the high school to attend an Algebra II class. “They basically come in and sign in as visitors every day,” testing coordinator and math coach Lindsay Skinner said. “I’ve monitored their progress, and they’re doing very well.”

Although being in class with students as much as three years older can be intimidating, the eighth graders have settled in comfortably. “It’s not insanely hard,” eighth grader Carson McCarver said. “I expected it to be a lot harder.” This sentiment was also expressed by the other eighth graders in the class. “It’s definitely a new experience being here with a new environment around,” eighth grader Kevin Jacobs said. “But it’s fun. We’ve become friends with [our classmates]. It’s all about adjusting and adapting.”

tigertimes dec. 17, 2014



A DIFFERENT KIND OF THANKFUL Students survive car accident, support each other through the process of healing by MADELINE HUNLEY print co-editor-in-chief

said. “I was the last one out because of how everything was pushed in different ways. It was just scary because I remember everything.” With Winchell driving, Paige in the front middle seat, Wallace in the passenger seat and Lauren in the back, the truck slid toward a ditch and was over corrected. The correction then made the vehicle spin out of control and into a telephone pole.

Blood, bruises and broken bones do not begin to describe the pain felt as the girls were rushed to Christus St. Michael Hospital. The separation of the girls in the hospital Waking up and not knowing where you are, or how only made things worse once they were told what injuries you got there can be a scary thought. A thought that you were present from the wreck. Winchell broke both hips and only wish could be a dream. One moment you’re asleep, pelvis, her right femur, pubic bone and a rib. Wallace came and the next you’re awake without any idea of how you out of the crash with a broken vertebrae in two places and ended up there. On Nov. 21, four girls experienced an event a broken ankle. Paige experienced a collapsed lung, and that will never be forgotten. Each of Lauren broke her neck as well as them awoke in pain as they tried to her wrist. remember what happened the night “They wouldn’t let us see each their lives almost came to a complete other which is what we hated halt. the most,” Wallace said. “I didn’t “I remember waking up and think everybody was going to screaming for help and honestly, I make it.” thought I was dead. It felt like a dream, It has been three weeks since everything slowed down,” junior the accident and each of the Carley Wallace said. “I just remember girls feels more than thankful for seeing the trees and screaming. And the support received from their at the impact, I went out. [The truck] friends, family and classmates. crushed us in there, and we couldn’t “We’ve had a lot of visitors,” move.” Lauren Gibbert said. “They are all That night things took a turn for so nice.” the worse as Wallace, junior Madison Both the Gibberts and Wallace Winchell, and senior Lauren and have been released from the junior Paige Gibbert hydroplaned hospital and are currently trying and crashed into a telephone pole in to re-adjust to their injuries. the Red Lick area. A car accident that Winchell is residing in Christus could only be described as “terrifying,” St. Michael Rehab Center and the girls managed to stay strong as they CAR WRECK Photo taken at seen of wreck involving four girls before Thanksgiving break. photo by was expected to be released last waited for help while trapped inside week. the vehicle. “We were just jamming to music, and I don’t remember “The rehab center has helped me a lot. The people are “I don’t remember it actually happening, but I remember anything else,” Lauren Gibbert said. “We were all upside very nice, and my physical therapist and occupational when they got there. The windshield was all shattered, and down, and I was going in and out of consciousness. I therapist really have helped me progress,” Winchell said. they had to cut the whole windshield out. Carley crawled remember waking up, and there was a seat belt wrapped “They push me until I cry, but I have come a long way since out, but the rest of us were in there for 45 minutes because around my neck. People were hovering over me, and then, I I got here last week.” the truck was messed up,” Paige Gibbert said. “Before don’t remember anything else.” After experiencing one of the worst moments of their they got there, we were screaming and crying. Carley and While awaiting for the ambulance to arrive at the scene, lives, the girls feel thankful for the position they are in now. Madison kept saying that they couldn’t breathe, so I was Paige explains the fear she experienced as her sister, Lauren, “I think the timing was right because it was around trying to calm them down.” did not respond to her screaming. Thanksgiving, and it gave us something to be thankful for,” Just a few short moments before, the girls were making “Lauren was unconscious. I was really just screaming for Paige Gibbert said. “Everyone keeps telling us that when their way to Wallace’s house as the wheels slid underneath her, and she wouldn’t answer me. I thought she was dead, they saw the car, they didn’t think anyone was alive because them on Myrtle Springs Road. and I was really scared,” Paige Gibbert said. “I just felt so it looked that bad. I’m guessing God had a plan, and he did “I was going into shock thinking this actually happened bad and felt like it was my fault she got hurt. She wouldn’t that for a reason; to make us closer and closer to him. Our [to me.] All I could think of was just getting out,” Winchell have been in the car if it wasn’t for me.” friendship is already strong, but now it’s even stronger.”

Library hopes to check out more funding by BETHANY DOWD staff writer The library is a place where there are thousands of different stories to get lost in and millions of new facts to acquire. Endless possibilities. Well, almost endless. The library seems to be underfunded by the school board, an idea shared by some students. “The library just doesn’t get the funds it needs to be as excellent as it could be,” senior Kiarra Bagsby said. After interviewing students, the answer remained the same: the library

would be a lot better if it had more money put into it. This theory was brought up to our librarian Emily Ransom, who then gave her insight on the issue. “I don’t think the school does a poor job of funding us,” Ransom said. “But, of course as a librarian, I always want more books.” In order to get more books and make Ransom’s need for books a reality, one needs money. In order to fulfill this need, Ransom has taken it upon herself to try and make more money for the library. “I apply for all the possible grants that

are offered,” Ransom said. “Most recently I received one from Dollar General.” Not only does she apply for grants, she has also looked into many other ways to fund the library; her most recent attempt was the school book fair. “We got about 600 dollars worth of books from this past book fair,” Ransom said. “I’ve even been thinking about maybe selling cloth book bags with the library logo on it and selling those.” Not only was the book fair a good way of raising money for the library, the students seemed to enjoy it too. “I think the book fair was a really

great idea,” senior Claire Hatchett said. “It really reminded me of my elementary days and how much fun they are.” While the library staff does everything they can to keep the library in the best condition, sometimes the money just doesn’t spread as evenly as it should. When the library was buying chairs and tables, they needed 30 sets, but the budget only allowed for 20 sets. “All in all, I think the library gets okay funding, but a little more could never hurt,” sophomore Madison Sutton said. “The library is great, but it could always improve.”



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014



THE MORNING RUSH Athletes need more time to get ready for class

Student shares thoughts about hardship in AP physics, need for prerequisite

Pushing and shoving. Screaming and shouting. The smells of burnt hair, sweaty feet and off-brand Victoria’s Secret perfume. These characteristics describe the participation in extensive events at ungodly hours known as morning sports. Considering the above, understanding the schedule of a student-athlete is rather obvious. Showing up to school earlier than the accustomed time to work one’s booty off, be rewarded with tardies, getting sweat stains and migraines is not what the majority of students would vouch for as a licit pastime. It’s time that student-athletes be given an adequate amount of time to get ready in the morning. Day in and day out, an abundance of athletes threaten to resign nearly every time a practice is completed; yet, never making the actual decision to do so. Considerably, none of them would have any clue as to what to do with the new allocated freedom. The never ending travails could go on for forever. To start, the lack of revenue dedicated to fixing the poor air conditioning system in the gym, mainly the locker rooms, is a downside when scrambling to get ready after practice each and every morning. Some could argue that there is indeed an air conditioning system, but that does not mean it works properly. It in fact, does not. “Dress for success” they say. “Always look your best” they say. They do not understand what it is like to be released from practice five to eight minutes before the bell is supposed to ring,covered in dirt and dripping with sweat. Coaches say, “Get over it, it comes with the sport,” but it does not have to be like that. Athletes offer to arrive earlier in the morning, but the coaches do not share

*Teacher* “All right, I have this small silver ball, pristine and round. I’m going to throw it directly up into the air, and we will watch the ball until it falls and comes into contact with the ground. Now, give me the ball’s force, displacement, speed, motion, velocity, and acceleration. Oh yeah, here’s some formulas and a book to help you. Good luck and have fun.” *Me* CONOR DIGGS “Huh...” co-entertainment editor This is a normal day for me in AP Physics, a class which I dread going to. I knew this class was going to be hard, especially since it was an AP class, but I can honestly say that I would have never been prepared for what was to come. Physics is the branch of science concerned with nature and properties of matter and energy. “That sounds like an awesome science class for me to take this year and oh, look. There’s two versions of it, regular and AP. Hmm, that’s strange there isn’t a pre-AP version of this class. I might as well sign up for AP because regular may be too easy. There isn’t a prerequisite course, and I’m sure that I will just learn everything that I don’t know about easily.” Those were the words of past Conor before the school year started who didn’t know what he was talking about. He was a fool. The class is incredibly difficult, and it seems that I’m expected to already know everything about physics. Throughout a lecture, I will stare at the board with a blank face as the teacher paints a complex model, for example, a projectile motion diagram, which has letters, numbers and sometimes symbols I’ve never seen before. It baffles me that throughout freshmen and sophomore year I’ve had classes preparing me for AP. That goes for English, history, and math, yet everything flies out the window when it comes to physics. It’s either regular or AP, pick one and suffer well. In AP physics, nothing, just nothing makes sense unless you really have the mind for it. Unfortunately, I don’t, but maybe if I had the prerequisite course, I would know what the heck I’m doing. It’s a constant struggle for me; it’s life or death in that class. I’m sure I can get through the rest of the semester as long as I continue to study and get help from the teacher.

cartoon by alex o’gorman

the same dedication to both sports and looking at least halfway decent. Not only is going to class with sweat stains and dirt caked under your nails a distraction for the remainder of the day, the majority of the time it is a miracle making it to second period without receiving a tardy. Maybe the sweat, dirt and tardies will become new “must haves.” However, that will probably not happen, at least not anytime soon. Rather than leaving the air conditioning problem as is, Texas High should make sure that there’s adequate venting of the air throughout the locker rooms, as well as the gym, to allow everyone to cool off. The dedication and passion that student-athletes give to their sports may never be fully understood, let alone be freed from. They should be given an appropriate amount of time to get ready for the academic part of their day.


Do athletes have enough time to get ready in the morming? “[Basketball gets] out of practice at 9:10, but the bell rings at the end of class at 9:19. We practice from 7:30 to 9:10, and you sweat a lot so you can’t even put makeup on.” Laken Edwards, 12 “I could use more time, but I don’t dress up so it works. We normally have 15 minutes, but I wish we had more time for showers.” Chealsea Slider, 11

“I feel like I have no time because I just put on mascara and eyeliner and a few other things. I never have time to fix my hair.” Marjorie Slimer, 10

“Sometimes we have more than enough time to get ready for school, but occaisonally, we’re almost late.” Grant Jarvis, 10 “No. Last year, we got 30 minutes to get ready, but this year, we only have like five minutes. There’s not time for everyone to take a shower.” Mantas Uvniezius, 12



CHRISTMAS RUSH The race is on: Forty eight hours until Christmas, I start packing my bags. It’s the first dinner with grandparents and my first round of Chinese Christmas. Twenty four hours until Christmas: Dad’s family loads the truck and drives to Kilgore. There we wait as distant family arrives. Then we eat Christmas Eve dinner. Next, we open gifts altogether as a family. Afterward, dessert is served while we watch reruns of football games. Following that, we drive back to Texarkana. Finally, I’m at my mom’s for our annual “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” watching and once that’s over, I’m back at my dad’s, in bed. Christmas Day: I wake up and open gifts at my Dad’s house. Then, Mom picks my brother and me up to attend Christmas at her Mom’s. Once we’re there, we eat brunch and then go to my Mom’s house. After we have Christmas at my Mom’s we have an hour to spare for rest. My brother and I go back with our Dad

Student finds trouble in experiencing a real holiday gathering

ANNIE HOUNSEL/staff writer

and attend Christmas in New Boston with our grandmother. Lastly, we go to Atlanta for Christmas with another set of grandparents. We eat dinner, open gifts and watch Christmas movies. Since the age of 3, my Christmases have been spent following this schedule. That’s been 13 years of seven different Christmases, five different Christmas meals, and five different towns in 24 hours. I’m stressed as I try to please everyone at each agenda not letting my irritation show.

The gifts are great, it’s a privilege to wake up to them, but I still envy their non-tangible burden. It’s my responsibility to make sure that my parents and grandparents on each side don’t accidentally get the same gifts. There’s no focus on the “family time.” It’s a competition on who got us what presents. “Don’t you like that?” “What all did you get at the other house?” Ask me what it’s like to truly know what’s Christmas is like, and I would be at a loss for words. Although there’s a schedule,

not all times are met. Someone may be late dropping us off, someone may drop us off too early or he/she was supposed to drop us off instead of the other parent. The bickering is inevitable. Even though it’s not mine nor my brother’s fault, it still gets directed at us to communicate to the other side. This steals my “holiday” joy, making it hard to even be enlightened by the gifts. Sometimes, I feel guilty wishing I didn’t have to go numerous places, wondering how less stressful it would be if we were all in one place. The more the miles, the more the fatigue. I love seeing my family and the ability to see both parents on this day, but I get irritable every time I buckle my seat belt. The time I spend in the car is more than I get to spend with family. These Christmases are leading me to the one I long for. The one where I’m with my family in one place all together. That’s when I’ll be able to truly experience Christmas.

SERVE OTHERS: Use breaks to help those in need The food cooks in the oven, the table is set, family and friends arrive with appetizers and desserts. The television has America’s Game of the Day on along with Macy’s Day Parade in another room. This is the typical American Thanksgiving, but the fact is there are members of the community that do not experience this. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are when many decide to serve members of the community who are less fortunate. Some ring a bell in front of a grocery store, some donate supplies to worthy organizations and others, like myself, choose to spend our time with the less able. For the past two years, I have served Thanksgiving dinner at Salvation Army and the Church Under the Bridge. My family and I show our support for the community while still spending time together but doing so by influencing the lives of others. I’ll admit that a major reason to participate was the opportunity to earn community service hours. I, unfortunately, had the attitude that I would do my time and then go about my merry ways. But after serving those who have less, I realized that I should be thankful by helping those in need.

TYLER SNELL/news editor

During the holiday season we often get caught up with our family and friends and forget about people in need. What makes this experience so enjoyable is that I am still with my family while helping members of the community. Last year, I couldn’t wait for the holiday breaks because I got to spend some time thinking about others instead of all about wanting the newest smartphone or Under Armour hoodie. Thanksgiving 2013 was different than the year before because I served a

Thanksgiving breakfast. My family and I woke up early while others dreamed about turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Underneath the Stateline Bridge, near Seventh Street, the homeless gather every Saturday to hold a church service. But this day was different because members in the community decided to do a “Thanksgiving Breakfast” for the homeless. I remember handing out fried apple pies and every single person said, “Thank you.” But it’s me who should be thanking them because the experience pushed me to get involved with service projects. I have become an appreciative person that thanks God for my blessings and prays for those in need. That is what pushed me to serve Thanksgiving to the homeless at Randy Sam’s. This was by far my favorite time because many the faces were familiar, and we served over 150 people. I learned a valuable lesson from my time serving others during holiday breaks: always get involved because we can never stop helping those in need. And this experience can teach you that we should always be appreciative. This is why I encourage people to participate in projects with members of our town during their time of need.

tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

Homeward Bound

Senior relives terrifying experiences of walking home Wet grass squelched underneath my feet as I walked along the side of the road. Just a few more steps and I would be inside the school, and away from the sweltering heat and wet grass that haunted me for the entirety of the three block trek from my house. I looked at my shoes again. Flecks of grass were now sticking to them. I looked up again. Standing in front of me was a man with bloodshot eyes that sunk into his face, pale, pasty skin stretched across AMANDA HACKLEMAN his cheekbones, managing editor and a wide grin showing off his yellowish, chipped teeth. His clothes were dirty, hair greasy. Alarm bells immediately went off in my head. Run, they said, but I seemed frozen in place. “I’m looking for someone,” he muttered, between ragged breaths. “Well, I can’t help you with that,” I said, my body finally working again. I circled him, trying to get around him without causing a scene. I averted my eyes and didn’t see him reach for me until it was too late. “I need a special friend,” he crooned, pulling me toward him. “Someone just like you...” His other hand rose, stroking my hair. “Well, find somebody else!” I screamed, finally breaking away. I backed away as quickly as possible, glaring all the while. My defiance seemed to dissuade him, and he turned and walked away. Once I felt he was a safe distance away, I turned and ran in the opposite direction, until I reached the school. That was only one of all the terrifying moments I’ve had walking to and from school. This particular instance was in late summer before junior year began. I was walking to the school for the second of a three-day newspaper workshop. The incident shook me up so badly, I couldn’t bring myself to walk the short distance the last day. I’ve experienced countless instances of harassment. In such a short distance, it’s surprising such a thing would be possible. I’ve been followed, grabbed, yelled at and touched without my permission. I can put on a brave face as much as I want, but the incidents still chill me to my bones. The men who think they have a right to harass me can turn any good day into a living nightmare. I’ve learned the world can be a dangerous place. Any of these incidents could have developed into something more sinister, but thank whatever higher power there may be it didn’t. Even so, they were still enough to shake me up and ruin my days. Now, when I walk home, I’m always looking over my shoulder, usually carrying my keys gripped between my middle and ring fingers, expecting the next attack.



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

ching, chang, chong your opinion is wong Raga Justin, 10 Since I make up around one-fifth of the Indian population belly dancing their way around our hallowed halls, I think it’s my duty to set some popular myths/stereotypes straight. As cool as it would be if I were Hindu, I regret to inform you that I am not. My every waking hour is not consumed with thoughts of making a 100. I don’t eat, breathe and sleep math. And my parents don’t whip me for every 99 I get. Sure, my parents came from India (that would be India, Asia, population 1 billion), but really, I am just like the rest of you. I promise. We have the same problems. Teenage angst affects us equally. The only difference between us is my lunch, which is sometimes dubious and sometimes normal, but always interesting (thanks Mom, for keeping me on my toes). Ok, maybe I freak out over my grades more than I should, and maybe I wear glasses as thick as Kim Kardashian. But that is solely a product of my own personal standards and reading under the covers with a flashlight nightly through childhood because Harry Potter did too. It’s not because I circle “Asian” on every standardized test I take. Everyone is different, sure. But nowhere is it easier to feel like a game of “find the object that doesn’t belong” than in a small southern town where Jim and Bob have been grilling burgers together since the Great Depression. Or listening to your friends reminiscing about “Kim Possible”, when you were banned from Disney Channel until age 9 (thanks Mom, for shielding me from the dangerous influence of Miley Cyrus). But who am I to complain when there are so many perks? For one, I am doubly motivated to do my homework- because if I don’t do well in school, I get unmercifully heckled. It’s fun to hear the infinite ways people mess up my name. I have a super secret double life as a Bollywood beauty. I love it when people make fools of themselves by asking which tribe I belong to. I will always have cool stories about exotic animals because, hello, the jungles of India are beyond compare. But please, for my sake as well as yours, always remember the Golden Rule: don’t ask me where my “forehead dot” is. Namaste.

In the upcoming viewpoints, we have arranged a page of Asian humor mixed with just a little bit of frustration, as related by three different students of three different ethnicities.

Asian students share frustrations over stereotypes Alex Heo, 11 Living in Texarkana presents a different lifestyle from the ones my cousins live in Carrollton, Texas, most notably because of the lack of a Korean population in town. Because of the lack of Asians in Texarkana, some people who live here aren’t exposed to the cultures. They have never heard a K-pop song other than Gangnam Style or tasted the superiority of Nongshim Shin Ramyun to the ramen you buy at Walmart. Some don’t even know that Korea is split into two countries. I don’t blame anyone though. After all, if you’re an Asian adult, moving to America in search of more opportunities and a good place to raise a family, why not settle in the Big Apple or the lush coastlines of California? The little-known knowledge among my peers often leads to some surprises. Yes, my dad owns three beauty supply shops. He’s not a doctor, or an owner of a nail salon, or a sushi chef. Its actually a common occupation for Asians. Just ask Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn from the beloved television show, “The Walking Dead”. His dad also had the same job as he grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Koreans also don’t speak with an high pitched accent towards the end of every syllable. People making fun of speaking an asian language are just making themselves look bad. In reality, we don’t have ludicrous accents and speak in broken, one-syllable words. We’re not the Asians you see in movies using taekwondo and yelling at their enemies, and if I watch over your cat, I promise I won’t eat it. Just don’t blindfold me with tooth floss though. I won’t be able to see anything. Not every Asian is the same. We’re just as different from each other as every American is.


: How many Asians does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Naveen Malik, 11 I am often greeted with strange tribal noises comprised of clicks and throat sounds along with Gandhi hand clasps as if they meant something to me. If this was you, and I said something snarky, I am not sorry. I am Pakistani, Pak-KissStanny, not Pakistanian. Just because I have brown skin doesn’t mean I have a red dot on my forehead. There is no shrine to Buddha in my closet, and I don’t break out a cute little mat in the middle of class to pray towards Kaaba. Let’s clarify some things here. My backpack is large, yes, but it is full of books, school supplies, and maybe some gum. I am a simple 16 year old girl; I don’t carry weapons of mass destruction upon my back. My mom doesn’t groom facial hair for a living, and if you meet her, it won’t be while she’s chasing you in Central Mall yelling foreign obscenities and insulting your eyebrows. I drive a truck to school, not a taxi cab I borrowed from my dad. I do watch reruns of Cash Cab in my free time, but that has nothing to do with my ethnicity or my dad. I want to be a business tycoon, and by business tycoon I don’t mean late night 7/11 employee. Airport security checks are more than just a lame stand-up comedy joke. Brown people are actually targeted for those. I have been selected for three “random” security checks, something typically considered to be a once in a lifetime event. In my 16 years, I’ve come to realize that I can’t change everyone’s conception of myself or the other people of my ethnicity; however, I can try to remind people to look beyond what they see on the news or hear from their peers.


: Three. One to screw in the light bulb, one to make the noodles, and one to calculate the noodles’ surface area.



Death with dignity?

Oregon woman brings controversial issue to forefront by RAGA JUSTIN staff writer Depression. Ridicule. Pressure. Fear of failure, fear of abuse, fear of free-falling only to hit rock bottom. Every year in the U.S, more than 34,000 people commit suicide for a variety of reasons. It is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. What drives someone to take their own life? What inner turmoil rages unheard, festering until one day the pot boils over and suddenly- silence in place of a screaming maelstrom? These are questions that, obviously, are hard to answer. Relatives and friends are left to deal with a gaping hole in lives that seemed perfectly normal before. But a new and growing issue is one labelled the right to die movement. The basic theory is that a terminally ill patient of sound mind with 6 months or less to live can be given a drug by a physician. This lethal drug must be taken by the patient without help from a doctor. It is, in the baldest terms, approved suicide.

photo courtesy

RIGHT TO DIE Seen with her dog, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard sparked a controversy when she released a video about choosing to die under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. Earlier this year, Maynard was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She died Nov. 1.

The case that has brought “death with dignity” into the media spotlight is the one of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, who died Nov. 1 by ingesting a fatal, life-ending drug

after being told she had brain cancer and wouldn’t live longer than 6 months. Her defense was moving and heartfelt–she was in pain, she was suffering, she wanted to end her life on her own terms. Her words unleashed a storm of debates over the morality and legality of suicide by state-authorized drugs. Even the Vatican spoke out against the right to die movement, with Pope Francis referring to it as a sin against God. As of now, Oregon, Vermont, Montana, Washington, and New Mexico allow the distribution of drugs to citizens who fit the guidelines. Pennsylvania has introduced, and New Jersey passed, a death with dignity bill. More states have a similar one on the table. This isn’t a black-and-white affair. There is no right or wrong, no clearly defined, illuminated answer. Do you believe human life is precious and should be protected at all costs? Or should an individual, facing their own mortality, be allowed to take their life into their own hands? No black or white. The gray area here is endless and will continue to be.

tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

SOUNDOFF Is suicide ever okay? “I believe that it’s a person’s choice, to an extent. If it’s a child who’s depressed, they need to be saved. But if it’s an adult who is dying, and they don’t want to take the pain anymore, I think they should have a choice.” Samantha Walker, 10 “I wouldn’t want my family to see me hurt, so I think suicide in a medical case is OK.” Julia Nations, 11 “If you’re just speeding death up, I don’t consider it suicide. If you’re dying soon and in pain, you’re just giving yourself justice.” Matthew Wells, 10 “I don’t think it’s OK because I think you should spend time with your family no matter what. I feel like suicide is a bad thing and only hurts the people around you.” Jay Williamson, 9 “Although taking your own life is never something you want to see happen, it is, in certain cases, acceptable. I understand a lot of situations are devastating, so sometimes taking your own life is the only answer.” Hutch Tidwell, 10



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

when parents don’t agree

“God punished me. When we cut our hair, we get in three big troubles. It wasn’t just normal trouble; it was really big. Everyday after, a new trouble came. It is very personal.” -Jaspreet Sohi, 11

Long wavy locks of hair drop to the ground piece by piece until all that remains is a new look, however the man underneath has remained unchanged. Junior Jaspreet Sohi and his family moved to America a little over a month ago from Punjab, India. His family practices a popular eastern religion known as Sikhism. Shortly after arriving, Sohi decided to get his hair cut. In doing this, he broke a Sikh tradition involving never trimming one’s hair. “We are not supposed to cut our hair,” Sohi said. “We let our hair grow and cover it with turbans.” Sohi had become tired with the constant hassle of dealing with long hair. When it started affecting his everyday life, he made a change. “It had to be worn very tightly, and it hurt my head. It gave me daily headaches,” Sohi said. “I used to play basketball, and when I played, it would bother me.” His parents were skeptical about him cutting his hair and breaking one of their religious traditions. “My dad got his hair cut too, and said I could do it. He didn’t want me to, but he said I could,” Sohi said. “My mom didn’t give me permission. She didn’t talk to me for a week afterwards.” Sohi was aware that his deed wouldn’t go unpunished. However, it wasn’t his parents he was waiting on to deliver the blow.

“God punished me,” Sohi said. “When we cut our hair, we get in three big troubles. It wasn’t just normal trouble; it was really big. Everyday after, a new trouble came. It is very personal.” Sikhism has always stressed FAST FACTS not blindly following rituals, • Core beliefs: one God, but making sure everyone is all are equal, meditation, being true to themselves and live honestly, share with helping others. Many of the others. Sikh traditions are becoming • Sikh men and women relaxed, and being seen more cover their heads at all as a choice rather than a times as an expression of requirement. respect to their Gurus. “The old people are the • The Sikh turban ones that don’t like the hair symbolizes discipline, cutting,” Sohi said. “The integrity, humility, and younger people are starting spirituality. The turban is not to care.” a mandatory part of Sikh Even though Sohi has faith, not a social custom, or a hat that can be easily chosen to keep his hair short taken on or off. and not follow all of the rituals expected of him, he • Purpose of life: still wears his steel arm band Overcome the self, align life with will of God, and to show his devotion to God and doesn’t plan for a hairstyle become a “saint soldier,” fighting for good. to get in his way toward enlightenment. “I think it was OK to do,” Sohi said. “After cutting my hair, I still can’t forget my god.”

photo by f. rhone

by ROBERT HOOVER editor-in-chief

Junior takes a risk and cuts hair despite the rules of parents and religion

photo by p. huddleston

losing the turban

photo by k. brinkmeyer

photo by f. rhone

photo by p. huddleston

Students describe times when they’ve made decisions their parents don’t support “I dated a college guy when my parents set an age limit on my dating. My parents were right. It was a bad idea. He turned out to be a jerk, but I would definitely do it again.” Alexis Savage, 12 “I think that children should do what makes them happy, even if it goes against what their parents think. My parents don’t approve of my hair color, or what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be a tattoo artist, and I want to go into the Peace Corps. My parents want me to have a more traditional job.” Elicia Bilyeu, 10 “I’m not very religious, and my mom is all about God. That’s everthing, God is first, and I don’t really believe in any of that. I refuse to go to church, and she tries to make me read the Bible, but I don’t. Basically anything that has to do with that, I refuse to do it. I tell her how I feel about it, and we argue all the time about it.” Morgan Lanier, 9

“I disagree with my parents when they don’t give second chances when people make mistakes. I think everyone deserves a second chance if they honestly regret the mistake. If that’s so, then they at least deserve a second chance.” Marques Hayes, 10



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

Life is like photography, we develop from negatives Sophomore expresses love for images by BETHANY DOWD staff writer Snap. Another photo is taken as a flash goes off, capturing the moment forever. Finally, the sun is setting, and the lighting is perfect for that ideal shot she has been waiting for all day. Hurriedly she directs her model to pose and snaps away with her camera, to get every possible moment on film before the sun dies away on the horizon. After the long day of shooting is over, she begins to pack up her things, anxiously waiting to review the shots. This is a day in the life of sophomore photographer Madison Sutton. “Being able to see something at the moment forever is really exhilarating because that moment will never exist ever again,” Sutton said. “I love taking pictures of humans, because they’re alive. and they won’t be forever.” Photography is an abstract art, and only some people have the special eye to pick

out the things in life that are so beautiful but so rarely appreciated. For Madison, to be the one to capture that moment for people, is almost an honor. Everyone knows that beauty is fleeting. Through photography, Madison captures the beauty she sees and keep it for the rest of her life, carefully preserved on a slick paper. “I actually have a wall in my room dedicated to prints of my favorite shots,” Sutton said.“I just adore looking at them and displaying them for everyone else.” Many people seem to be under the impression a photoshoot may take an hour and involve around 10 pictures, top. That, however, just isn’t the case. These photoshoots can take up to seven to eight hours, and sometimes she has to wait for another day to get that perfect lighting again. Sutton has spent hours setting up a small studio at her house, where she has brought lights, mirrors and interchangeable back drops to prepare for more photo shoots.

BURNED HOUSE I saw the mirror there, and it was broken. The ballet aspect seemed pretty and flawless, until you see their reflection in the mirror. You can see that the tights are torn and not as perfect as they seemed. submitted photo

“Photography is almost like a puzzle to me. Each time I think of another way to see things, my vision for things rarely seen gets broader. It changes me for the better and helps me develop from my own negatives.” Madison Sutton, 10

photo by I. Arias

“I take around 500-600 photos in one shoot,” Sutton said. “I’m usually satisfied with around 100 of the photos.” She can see the beauty in things commonly dismissed by the masses, she uses contrast in her photos to show things the way they should be seen- as three STUDIO SHOT Usually the frame pictures are done with families as a cute funny thing, but [Elicia Bilyeu] looked really dramatic and sullen and it just made more sense to me. submitted photo

Voice of hope Sophomore finds determination to help others despite traumatizing past by RAGA JUSTIN staff writer A little boy with a tear-stained face huddles in a corner of the playground. The schoolyard bully jeers at him, mocking his clothes, his thick, African-like accent. Isolated, helpless and lonely- every child’s nightmare. But for sophomore Meechaiel Criner, that nightmare was the relentless reality. “I’ve been bullied almost my whole life,” Criner said. “In elementary school, I would come home crying almost every day. It was because of my accent, you see. People couldn’t understand me.” As if harassment wasn’t enough, Criner has had to deal with many other tribulations. “I came to live with my grandmother because my mother didn’t want to be responsible for kids,” Criner said. “She did a lot of drinking. CPS had to transfer me and my four siblings. My grandmother offered to take care of me and my sisters.” His grandmother plays a central role in Criner’s life, evident in the affectionate way he speaks of her. “She’s a sweet person. She’s independent,” Criner said.

STANDING STRONG After years of bullying and living in foster care, sophopmore Meechaiel Criner looks to overcome his past. photo by s. rogers

“My grandmother, she takes care of us. I’m always grateful to her.” The festivities of the holiday season serve to bring the family closer. “[My grandmother] loves decorating for the holidays,” Criner said. “She has all this snow on the ground, and we have two Christmas trees. We all help her decorate, and it makes her feel like a kid.” However, times weren’t always this good. In elementary school, Criner was moved out his home and

dimensional, not flat. “Photography is almost like a puzzle to me,” Sutton said. “Each time I think of another way to see things, my vision for things rarely seen gets broader. It changes me for the better and helps me develop from my own negatives.” DOWNTOWN I just like things that are broken. They’ve been through things, and I just want to capture that. submitted photo

into foster care for around six months. “It’s a long story,” Criner said. “Well, when I was in fifth grade, they thought violence was involved, and they took me away. She would never beat us.” While being taken from his family was traumatizing enough, the worst of it was the foster home he was placed with. “They say CPS is supposed to be a good place, but it’s not,” Criner said. “At first, it didn’t seem that bad. But as the days passed on, it turned out that foster care is almost–well, almost a prison.” Criner was a victim of physical violence. On one instance, he was locked in the bathroom. On another, he was thrown to the ground by a foster parent and injured his back. “It was a really harsh time in my life,” Criner said. “People can be mean and hateful.” Both the bullying and his stint in foster care only reinforce his beliefs and his determination to take a different path. So many times, traumatic experiences lead to later violence and intense anger. In Criner’s case, the opposite is true. “I like to stand up for people,” Criner said. “I like to help others.” His future goals are unclear, but there is one thing Criner aims to accomplish. “Every day, I feel people think I’m not capable of much,” Criner said. “What I want to leave behind is my name–I want them to know who Meechaiel Criner is.”



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014


Two years ago, the citizens of Bowie County voted to become part of the Texarkana College district. Because of your support, our talented faculty members have the opportunity to impact students’ lives daily, creating better futures for them and for our community. To celebrate two years of your support, we asked our students to submit selfies with their favorite instructors. Their stories remind us of why we are here and why we couldn’t do it without your help. To see more student selfie submissions and read their stories, go to








TEXARKANA COLLEGE | 903-823-3456 | Texarkana | Atlanta | New Boston



by JESSICA EMERSON sports editor At 4 years old, wide-eyed and tucked in bed, senior Caitlin Walsh cries. It was the first time she saw the shadow of her Dad yelling at her Mom. “My room was right beside theirs down the hallway. I heard my mom crying and I went back there half asleep. Then I saw him. It was terrifying,” Walsh said. “I ran to my bedroom and hid in my huge closet, and I was crying. I didn’t know why he was doing what he did. Then he saw me, so he came in my room. He told me if I ever told my mom that I saw, if I ever told anybody, even my best friend, he’d kill her right in front of me.” She didn’t know why Daddy hit them. He hit brother the most. He was a boy. He needed to be roughened up a bit. She knew this was supposed to happen. There was a reason she was Daddy’s little girl in the back room. “I’m not saying I’m super human or anything, but at 4 years old I still didn’t cry whenever my Dad would come in put his knee on my chest and start choking me telling me I’m worthless, that I should have never been born,” Walsh said. “I would let my eyes draw back to the corner of the room, and think that maybe this is happening for something else. Maybe this was supposed to happen. Maybe there was a reason she was Daddy’s little girl in the back room. “[There was] something down deep inside that was holding me,” Walsh said. “As I got older, once I knew who Christ was, maybe it was his hand holding me the whole time.” She turned 6. Grandma taught her a song about this Jesus man. This Jesus man made Grandma really happy. She wanted to be happy, just like Grandma. Grandma told her this Jesus man loved her too, and one day she’d find out why. “My grandmother, she’s probably one of the biggest Christian’s I’ve met in my entire life,” Walsh said. “It was so beautiful, and I couldn’t understand how she was so happy. She loved Jesus from the bottom of her heart to the top of her head. She teaches me this song. Then I ask her, ‘Why does this Jesus man love me?’ She told me I’d find out one day, just know that he does.” Whenever Daddy came in, she’d sing the song about the Jesus man who loved her. “Ever since then, even when my dad would come in, I would close my eyes, and I would creep him out because I’d start to smile,” Walsh said. “Because I knew this song, ‘Jesus Loves Me.’ I didn’t know why, but once my father saw that I had a different attitude about myself, he never allowed me to go to church again. Because church brought happiness, he refused to let happiness be in our household.”

*** Seventh grade came. While home life was horrid, church made things bearable. Dad didn’t know they snuck out of the house and went to church in Maud. It was a secret between the kids and Mom. She didn’t know anyone, but there isn’t anything wrong with sitting in the back. I mean, at least she didn’t have to deal with the kids at school who made fun of her all the time. She locks eyes with the preacher. “He’s going to condemn me, he’s going to yell ‘you sinner, get out of here’, that’s what I was terrified about,” Walsh said. “But he doesn’t. He preaches the entire sermon to me instead.” She looked around, blinking tears out of her eyes, she was relieved. Through all the abuse, mental and physical, enduring the stinging words from the kids at school, it all built up, and his words released her. “He kept on saying no matter what you’ve been through, no matter what trials and tribulations that the enemy is trying to put on you, you’ve persevered because you are here,” Walsh said. “It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks because you are here, at church.” She was happy. She finally understood. All that she had been through, it didn’t have to define her; it didn’t make her. She wasn’t all those horrible things Daddy said she was. She had a Father that loved her. “I didn’t have a Bible yet. I just knew that this man, Jesus, loved me,” Walsh said. “It became so personal, because I didn’t have a father, but I had a heavenly father. I thought it was beautiful, that a man, a father, could actually love me.” From that point on, she began to feel like she was faking it. All she knew was that she wanted Christ in her life, but she didn’t know what to do with her new found relationship with Him. “I accepted Christ, but I didn’t further anything,” Walsh said. “The thing was, I used my abuse, my past, as a crutch. Basically, that I didn’t know all those little Bible stories. I was representing Christ, but I wasn’t pursuing him. It was like a long period of a moment of silence. It was like I was answered, but I didn’t do anything to have more answers, until it finally clicked.” *** She was starting to find what she was missing. She was working through her kinks, pursuing her answers, whenever sophomore year brought a weekend that changed her outlook forever. “All of this happened within the span of one weekend,” Walsh said. “I was in basketball, it was the first tournament and I got to start varsity. Then I got a concussion, I had to leave, and I’m freaking out because I have Pleasant Grove’s homecoming that

night. I call the guy I’m going with, and he tells me he no longer wants to go with me. Immediately lost my homecoming date, and I was really upset; I was so concerned with what I was going to do for the rest of the night. So I get a call from a guy, we were just friends, and he offered to take me mudding and it was with him and his family, so I thought this was Uncle Caswell’s land, I knew nothing.” She was excited. She’d never been mudding before. This was supposed to be fun. No drinking, no drugs, nothing that could harm her. These boys were nice. They liked her. They wouldn’t hurt her. “Everybody leaves to go off and collect wood for a fire,” Walsh said. “This guy comes in, and he didn’t like that I was a Christian. He said, ‘you know, you need to have fun, you’re a teenager, it’s okay to drink,’ I kept saying, ‘no, no thank you,’ but then he grabs my throat. He starts funneling alcohol down my throat. The next day I wake up and I’m on the couch, and three of my best friends are around me and everyone is crying and I don’t know why. I look down and there is blood all over me.” She didn’t know what was going on. She looked around, confused and scared. She couldn’t remember anything from the night before, and her entire body was sore. The next thing she knew, she was rushed to the hospital, groggy and disoriented, to find out that she was drugged and assaulted the night before. “At this point, I kind of doubted my faith,” Walsh said. “Because, if there was this gracious God, why would he allow this to happen to me.” She left the hospital hurting, bad. She was scared. She didn’t know why all these bad things kept happening to her. What would Dad think? He already finds any and every excuse to treat her like she’s invisible, worthless. The whole way home, she was terrified, wondering how many bruises her father would leave this time. “As soon as my mom walks in, he pins her up against the door and tries to choke her,” Walsh said. “I start yelling, ‘Stop! Stop what is wrong with you?’ He just rears back and he punches me and I fall. I crawl back to my room in pain, getting my stuff together for school. Cause Lord forbid anybody think that anything bad happened that weekend.” He won’t hurt her if she hurries. She gathers her things quickly, determined to make it out of the door with her mother. School was safe. She just wanted to make it to school. Daddy stops her. He’s worried about his little girl. His little baby girl has been harmed, he cares. She smiles. With a slam of the door, a hand at her throat, she screams. “All we wanted to do was go to school,” Walsh said. “Not think about my Dad, the hospital, didn’t want to deal with the police, I didn’t care who did it. I just knew that it happened and that was okay for me.”

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Daddy stops her. He’s worried about his little girl. His daughter has been harmed, he cares. She smiles. With a slam of the door, a hand at her throat, she screams. “He starts choking me, calling me a ‘filthy little girl, do you feel better now that you let some boy touch you? You’re filth.’ All of these terrible terrible things, and I started crying,” Walsh said. “I try to wriggle away, but he tells me he’s not done with me yet. He pins me up against the tree in the front yard and repeats the same horrible words.” Tears streamed down her face, and pain beat through her body, she needed to see Grandma. Grandma was a safe place. Grandma loved her. She wanted to know why her God, her savior, the only Father that had truly loved her, let all these awful things happen to her. “She was crying with me,” Walsh said. “She told me, ‘I know this sucks, I know this hurts, but rejoice that this happened to you.’ A lot of people asked, ‘Why did you become a Christian? Why are you happy?’ I’ve been so many different places since then, my faith has exploded because of that. It wasn’t punishment from Him. It was Him telling me I’m strong enough to handle it, and to tell me I’m strong enough to rejoice in it.” *** Wrapping up her senior year, she is safe. She is no longer scared. She is no longer hurt. She is no longer crying. She no longer yearns for a father but rejoices in her faith. “I got a permanent protective order,” Walsh said. “It’s for my mom, my brother, and me. We don’t have to worry about him coming to my games or school. He cannot pick me up or check me out of school to take me or harm me. I have forgiven my father for it all and I will never stop pursuing his heart. God has forgiven me, what would that make me if I didn’t forgive?” In October she shared her testimony at Fields of Faith in front of hundreds of people. She aspires to inspire others to always trust in their faith whenever they face some of their greatest challenges. “I like to think of my life as a canvas because God is the creator, the most creative creator,, and he has created everything,” Walsh said. “Because everything I’m living, I’m being a vessel through what Christ can do. I’m a living representation of what Christ is supposed to look like. So, I think of myself of a canvas and Christ is painting this wonderful life, yeah it has a couple of downs, but I’m still probably the happiest

person that I know. My favorite verse is Psalm 34:1 ‘I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips’ because I know that I am eternally loved and forgiven. It shouldn’t take something as traumatic as abuse or lonliness to come to Christ. All it takes is saying his name with your heart. “I know that I have the honor of trying to show what Christ’s love has been doing and can do for people. All I am here to do is to help people to know Christ, to know his image, and to show people the help he has given me. I love telling my story, even though it is kind of uncomfortable for me, I know that I have to. I was given this life for a reason, and that reason is to be able to further his kingdom.”


Looking at the numbers Today, 185 Texas children will be victims of abuse. In one year, more than 65,000 cases of child abuse were confirmed in Texas. A report of a child abuse is made every

10 seconds in the United States.

Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children).

design by MAGGIE COLEMAN photo by s. pritchard



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

A little dust never killed nobody Sophomore shares passion for dirt biking by LAUREN MAYNARD staff writer He’s had his crashes. He’s got a list of broken bones. His hands are delicately painted with scars of all shapes and sizes. He says a little prayer and puts his helmet on without any hesitation. The fumes from the exhaust have



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

become so familiar it soothes him. The hum of the bike keeps him sane. He waits for the race to start, for the blow of the gun. Then he grips it, rips it and throws it into full throttle. Sophomore Darren Mooney has participated in dirt biking his entire life and doesn’t plan on ever slowing down, let alone stopping.

“I began competitive dirt biking when I was just four years old,” Mooney said. “My dad raced as a boy, and when I became old enough, he introduced the sport to me, and I fell in love.” In Mooney’s mind, dirt biking is no different than any other sport or pastime; it requires a serious amount of skill to do it efficiently as well as safely. “It starts with my diet, I try not to eat too many foods that would dehydrate my body,” Mooney said. “After school everyday, I ride my regular bike anywhere from three and a half to seven miles. Afterwards comes the non-stop training on my dirt bike, depending on the upcoming race depends on which trail I practice on that week before.” Not only does this sport require an abundance of physical and mental preparation, but the endless support of Mooney’s family. “My dad is all for it, considering he rode as a kid. He also enjoys me riding because it is a great way that we bond and spend time together,” Mooney said. “My mom on the other hand doesn’t like the long list of dangers that come with my

sport, but nevertheless, she is still one of my biggest fans.” Along with the sport itself being dangerous, the possible injuries go on endlessly. “There is a high chance of injury when racing dirt bikes,” Mooney said. “But it is just another part of the sport, and it adds to the thrill.” Due to the profusion of dangers and hours of preparations, competitive dirt bike racing requires an ampleness of dedication and desire. “The main force behind the drive of my passion is the thrill of racing and the feeling I get when I pass someone and make it to the top,” Mooney said. “I just fell in love with the feeling, and after my first race, I knew I had found something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

photos by k. brinkmeyer

Playing through the PAIN Athlete battles stomach condition, tries to keep positive attitude by BRIANNA O’SHAUGHNESSY co-entertainment editor The blistering August heat pours over the football team during summer practice. He pushes through the pain. Anything to be able to play, to be under Friday night lights, to be a boy of fall. For freshman Dannell Bethel, everything changed in the summer between his seventh and eighth grade year. “One day I was going to the bathroom and noticed there was blood,” Bethel said. “My step-dad and I went to the hospital, and they did some tests. They came out, and they told me there was nothing they could do.” When he arrived in Texarkana the stomach pains continued, and another hospital visit followed. This time with a diagnosis. “They told me that I had colon cancer, and that they were going to do everything they could do,” Bethel said. “So then I went for the last almost year and a half thinking I had colon cancer.” Doctor visits followed, and for Bethel that meant a flood of news. “After going back to the doctor, they told me it was not colon cancer,” Bethel said. “It was a stomach infection that could lead to Crohns disease.” Fighting through the pain, Bethel did everything he could to play. He gave it everything he had and became

the starting center for A-team. “It makes me sad because I hate being on the sideline,” Bethel said. “That’s why I tried my best in eighth grade to start.” Football wasn’t the only thing impacted by his condition. Bethel battled the stress that came with numerous doctor’s visits. “When they told me I had colon cancer, I was going through depression for a while, and didn’t really talk to any of my friends,” Bethel said. “I talked, but sometimes you could tell I didn’t want to talk.” Bethel struggles to keep a positive view on his daily issues. “[The depression has] become a little bit rarer than normal, but when they do pop up I just don’t focus on it,” Bethel said. “If I’m not eating for days, then I won’t go around food. I’ll just sit in my room and chill basically.” His heart thrives for sports. Bethel’s condition has taken its toll on his love of being active. “I swam in seventh grade, and really liked the competition and the competitiveness of the sport,” Bethel said. “I can’t play sports, so I’m just sitting around not doing anything. I’m not making anything better; gaining weight.” Bethel once stood under the Friday night lights as a football player, but now aspires to a part of the team by helping injured players.

photo by a. tyson

“If I can work in welding for a few years and go through college and become athletic trainer, I can find a job doing what I love,” Bethel said. “Focusing on what I love.”


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tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

Of marching lines and ties that bind

Band members identify more as family than just bandmates by JASMINE FRANKLIN, EDEN PITRE & MEGAN HARRIS guest writers The thrill of the crowd rises as the band marches onto the field. They disperse and reach their position on the yard lines waiting for drum majors, senior Selwin George and junior Alanna Tran, to give them the signals to form the first image of the show.The crowd sees a high school marching band, but what most of them don’t know is that it’s not just a marching band. It’s a family. “People in band are very close family, and the things we go through really bring us together,” senior Austin Ryden said. “Being in the sections of our instruments, those are like smaller families to us. I’m in the trombone section, and we’re like family. It’s really great having friends that will stick close to you.” There are hundreds of hours put into the marching band. As a result of the amount of time that the students put in, they are bound to grow close. “I love putting all of my hours into the band,” senior Tamiah Epps said. “The

band is literally my life.” Within the first two months of practice, everyone is learning the new members’ names and beginning to form friendships. “I’ve grown very close with the majority of the band,” freshman Darren Simington said. “It’s pretty large, so I don’t know everyone on a personal level, but overall. we’re all pretty close.” It’s not only the practice that brings the young men and women together. The time that the band has together during the bus rides gives them opportunities to get to know each other. “Traveling everywhere with these guys really forms an unbreakable bond,” Epps said. “Spending hours trapped together really makes the bonds happen easily.” During the competitions, halftime shows and practices, upperclassmen assist the less experienced students by yelling advice to help everyone out, whether it’s to stay in step or a reminder on an upcoming visual. It relates to how an older sibling corrects the younger sibling on something to help them out in the long run. “I don’t have any problem with

LEADING THE MARCH Band director Arnie Lawson leads the band in a song during a marching competition. photo by s. pritchard

freshman,” Ryden said. “We need younger people to keep band going, and they’re as part of the family as anyone else is.” Epps’ job as a band captain is to keep the band together as one. “Everybody knows that they can come to me when they need something, like if they have a problem with someone, or

they’re not feeling good, or if anything’s wrong, I try my hardest to help everyone so I can see that progress is being made,” Epps said. “My job as the band captain is to keep peace within the band, and when I see everyone working as one, I love it because I feel as though I have done something to make the band whole.”

Stresses and joys of sharing your school Students recount positive, negative experiences of being in school with siblings by MEAGAN HARRIS, LANGLEY LEVERETT, & CLAIRE DOAN guest writers Going to high school can be tough, but having a sibling tagging along can be even more challenging, especially at Texas High School, where students are free to express themselves and diversity is high. The massiveness of the school can pull adolescents in many different directions, anywhere from theater and arts, to sports and robotics. Difference is a huge part of high school and even brothers and sisters can go separate ways. Competitiveness has always been a key component in a sibling relationship. For instance, siblings compete over grades, athletics, and how high they are on the popularity totem pole. Children are continually trying to become the golden child, and it can have its pros and cons. “He ruins my mornings,” senior Mackenzie Nixon said. “I can’t get

Having family in high school can be an advantage. Students have a safety net, a support system throughout the day and someone to depend on and relate to. “I enjoy it because we can share memories and stuff,” senior Nick Richter said. BROTHERLY LOVE Senior Nick Richter is glad to have his younger sister, sophomore “I get to guide her in the right Ali Richter, at the high school while he’s here. file photo directions.” breakfast by myself because I have to wait Richter’s [for my brother]. People associate our younger sister, sophomore Ali Richter, personalities together, even though we’re also enjoys going to school with her the complete opposite.” brother. On the other hand, Nixon’s brother “It’s nice because a lot of people feels their relationship as a positive already know who I am,” Ali Richter said. motivator. “[Nick] watches out for me.” “[Having a sibling relationship] makes Sibling relationships in high school me actually try,” sophomore Tobias Nixon can be fortunate and exciting. Some said. “When she graduates next year, I’m older siblings think the benefits and going to have to try harder to keep myself convenience are worth struggles and in line. It’s probably going to be hard.” doubts.

Stories contributed by students in the introductory journalism class

“Sometimes I think [going to high school with my brother] is a privilege that I get to experience his first year and my last year with him,” senior Garrett McDonald said. “Sometimes it gets annoying, but I get over it.” Some younger siblings will find it more difficult to separate when the year comes to an end. “I will miss him because we have gotten closer this past year,” freshman Gage McDonald said. “It will be tough to see him go.” It is said that “blood is thicker than water” and that couldn’t be more true. High school is a way to bond and grow the relationship between siblings. It is not only a way to advance education but also a way to grow socially. It is a way to see people for who they really are. As siblings mature, they figure out who they want to be and where they want to go. “You can get really protective of them, you look out for them and you always look for them in the hallways just to make sure they’re okay,” junior Cecelia Goesl said. “I think your relationship grows a little because you want them to have the best time possible in high school.”


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Method to the madness Teachers juggle hectic schedules, family responsibilities by MARY MILLER, MORGAN BONNER & ZOE LOVETT guest writers With tired eyes caused by worrying about the well-being of students, the teacher stares at the stacks of ungraded papers littering her desk. She lets out a sigh because she still has a family to tend to and mouths to feed. Students don’t take into consideration how much time and effort is put into being a teacher, much less, that they have a life outside of the classroom. Teachers across the campus spend eight to ten hours a day working with students during the school year. In addition, much of their personal time revolves around school related work. “I am a wife and a mother, but I am also a teacher. It’s part of who I am,” STEM chemistry teacher Meagan Martin said. “I know that when I am at home, after dinner and after my son is in bed, I cannot just watch TV or read a book. I always have something school related that I could be working on.” In addition to using time outside of school to grade papers or work on lesson plans, Martin strives to find time to further her teaching materials. “I am constantly looking for ways to improve my lessons,” Martin said. “I need time to reflect and improve on the lessons

and concepts that I am teaching, and I do not always have time to do that during my conference, so I have to make time for it at home.” As if it is not hard enough having a busy schedule, some staff workers balance two jobs just to make ends meet. “Having one job after another forces me to stay on top of things,” English I teacher Tanya Terry said. “I try to make the most out of my conference time by grading papers and calling parents because it’s not like I can just take them home and grade them real quick overnight.” While Terry tries to keep a positive attitude, working a second job as a makeup artist/skin care specialist also has an effect on the relationship that she has with her family. “I have to make a lot of sacrifices,” Terry said. “I am not able to go to a lot of my daughter’s band activities or other things she’s involved in such as church activities.” Although there are many aspects that can drain a teacher, they always seem to have enough strength to put their students first. Whether students recognize it or not, educators have a method to their madness, especially when it comes to homework. “Homework is important for students because they need to realize, just how I had to realize, that life is not always peaches

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS A desk full of papers to grade, English III teacher Monica Washington has plenty to keep her busy. Not only does Washington try to teach her students about writing and literature, she stresses the importance of building relationships with students to form “learning families.” photo by s. pritchard

and cream, and there is always something you have to do,” Terry said. “Homework is just one of those things you have to do in order to learn something new. After all, practice makes perfect.” It is rewarding for teachers to see their students begin to realize schoolwork, as well as homework, is not always a bad thing. After this concept is grasped, it becomes less complicated for them to thoroughly educate their students. Furthermore, having a well planned schedule and a close relationship with their classes makes life a little bit less chaotic. “What makes you a good teacher is not necessarily just the presenting of information to your students, but the relationships that you build with them, to make them want to listen to what you have to say,” English III teacher Monica

Washington said. “By building those relationships between them and having them work together, we become like a little learning family, and once we do that then I can pretty much teach them anything because then we’re all close.” Washington has a fairly easy time with her classes and that may be credited to her relationship building method among students. Meanwhile, teachers that have very stressful, long days balance them with funny encounters involving students outside of the classroom. “I see [students] all over the place-- at the movie theater, store, some from 20 years ago that recognize me but I no longer recognize them,” architectural design teacher George McCasland said. “I even have some students now that are the children of my former students.”

School traditions students hold most dear by ADDISON ROGERS, MADDIE GERRALD & PARKER ELLEN MADLOCK guest writers

middle linebacker KJ Reid led the Lord’s Prayer before every game, and Coach Barry Norton prayed afterward. “Prayer is a good stress reliever for me,” senior Rachel Qualls said. “It provides a quiet time that allows me Traditions are an essential part of what makes up the to prepare for an event, like before I take the field at culture at Texas High School. Traditions, such as the halftime.” Tigershark boys shaving their heads before regionals and Bacon Fry, dress up days and several well known chants the senior girls’ soccer players delegating gear clean up and songs are also important traditions students love. after practice to the underclassmen, have been However, there are some traditions that are TOP TRADITIONS not as well known. passed down for many years. After every game, band assigns a certain “When I first made the team before every 1 Bacon Fry instrument section the job of the “after party,” match, we all gathered around in a circle 2 Dress Up Days around the No. 1 guy, who then was Kyle which isn’t much of a party at all, since it consists 3 Bonfire of cleaning up the band hall and putting away Kennedy, put our hands in the middle and instruments. yelled ‘T-High,’ like pretty much every sports 4 Prayer “As a freshman in band, I think the traditions team does. But before we yelled, Kyle would 5 Chants are cool, even if it means we have to clean up the always say ‘cash flow, money gang’,” junior band hall,” Marqualon Roach said. “It’s important 6 Sadie John Norton said. “I don’t know why he to experience things you do and don’t like because 7 Paint the Pit started doing it or how far back its been going in the end, those are the things you’ll remember.” on, but we said it before every single match.” Prayer is another important tradition for sports teams. Most students like to participate in the school’s various At most athletic events, an optional prayer circle is held traditions. The wide variety of extracurricular activities is before and after the game. In the 2014 football season, one way the students get involved. From student council Stories contributed by students in the introductory journalism class

GAME PRAYER Football players and cheerleaders gather on the field after a football game while Athletic Director Barry Norton leads a prayer. photo by s. pritchard

to athletics, they all have their own special traditions. “They are something fun to keep up with,” freshman Castula Rodriguez said. “I think traditions are really important because they are something that you can keep forever.”

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Rumors spread fast over social media by ALYSSA GILBERT & COURTNEY LOURENS guest writers Confusion and anger float around freshman Kathryn Felty’s mind as she scrolls through a popular social media site and sees images of a nude body claiming to be hers. With technological advancements, gossip and pictures can be easily circulated and shared repeatedly within milliseconds of pressing the share or post button. “We’re connected, and everything goes so fast when it’s posted,” guidance counselor Ann Bishop said. “It is difficult to verify anything before a lot of students are hurt over the rumors.” The rumors being spread can hurt relationships between the rumor initiator and the victim. “When I saw [the pictures], I got mad and upset with the person that started all of it,” Felty said. “It has made me very depressed and slow down on school work because I’ve been thinking about it a lot.”

Students need more time during lunch to eat Some say how others think of you is a practical factor of rumors being spread, as well as your reputation. How you act, what you wear and even what you say can change how others see you. “When rumors are spread, it’s not about the fact that it is a lie,” freshman Xavier Hill said. “It’s about your reputation and how people see you as a person.” Circulating more than likely untruthful stories are formed around the type of person spreading them and who the person is being talked about. “[Rumors] are based on the type of person it is and who is spreading it,” Bishop said. Some think that people spread rumors

about others because they want to build themselves up by making others look bad. “I feel like people spread rumors because they have nothing better to do with their time,” freshman Haylea Potts said. “[It] makes others feel less important.” Rumors being spread about you can affect you in many ways. They make you feel insecure about yourself and can affect you emotionally to the extent of not even wanting to keep on living. “Rumors affect you physically and emotionally. They have effected me by making me feel bad about myself,” freshman Kamryn Hamilton said. “It made me feel less than them and not as good as they are.”

It’s dangerous to go alone Parental support makes difference in how well students do in school by SAVANNAH SMITH & ASHLEY WALLACE guest writers Having a lack of parental support can have negative effects on a student’s education. Likewise, having parental support can be beneficial for a student’s learning process. Many students in high school believe that school can be overwhelming at times because of homework or extra-curricular activities, while trying to maintain a social life. Being stressed out is the norm. “My parents are encouraging and always want me to do the best I can,” freshman Lois LeFores said. “It boosts my self-esteem and makes me feel like I can do anything knowing they’ll always be there to support me.” Many parents want their student to be involved at school and to be in higher weighted classes. With the extra weight, expectations are high for students, especially for those BUGGING OUT Senior Austin Ryden stresses over classwork. photo striving for a top class ranking. by s. pritchard When a parent is not able to be Stories contributed by students in the introductory journalism class

active in their student’s educational life, students are left on their own to complete homework and other school-related activities. “I don’t know about most people, but I know that my one parent has to work,” freshman Morgan Lanier said. “This is hard for me because I don’t have anyone to talk to if I have something wrong.” Some parents are unable to help with homework because of the difficulty of the material. “My parents provide me with all the basic things I need in life,” sophomore E’Bryant Lopez said. “But education wise, I never really asked for help because my mom doesn’t know how to help me.” However, a parent’s ability to assist their student with schoolwork does not affect their ability to encourage their student to work hard in school. “I feel like it is important for parents to be involved in their children’s lives in and out of school,” Kelly Rogers said. “Then the child will more than likely internalize their worth as a person.”

by JADA EASTER & DEMICUA GRIFFIN & MONDRAESHA DAVIS guest writers Students have been choking down their food in a 30-minute time frame, but with the sudden issue of crowds and long lines, students are debating if 30 minutes is actually enough time. Assistant Principal Richard Stahl said that a discussion about the lunch time issue was brought up last year. However, there were no adjustments made to the lunch schedule. “Some students don’t use their lunch time wisely by deciding to get their food five minutes before the bell rings trying to avoid waiting in the lines which takes about seven to nine minutes to go through depending on your lunch,” Stahl said. Recent studies from journalism students show that the walk from the art building to the cafeteria takes about one minute and 30 seconds, without going through crowds of students. “I come from the art building right beside the cafeteria, sit in the back of the cafeteria and still don’t have enough time to eat,” junior Audra Hines said. Although some students think that 30 minutes is not enough time to eat lunch, some students feel that they get more than enough time. “I go to the snack line and get about three chicken sandwiches and a bag of chips, but I’m a pretty fast eater,” senior Garrett McDonald said. “So lunch is perfectly fine for me.” Recent time studies show that the average time to get to the cafeteria from the math and science building where McDonald walks from would be about five minutes and 11 seconds. For an average student it takes about 13 minutes to get to the cafeteria, wait in line to get their lunch and sit down to eat. Leaving about 10 minutes to finish their food and seven minutes to get back to class once the bell rings. “After eating lunch with at least 10 extra minutes, I would sit and talk with my friends and go check on my grades with teachers without having to rush,” sophomore Marjorie Slimer said.


tigertimes dec. 17, 2014


Shooting for a district title

Girls’ basketball prepares for season by ANNA GRAVES news editor

REACHING FOR THE SKY Senior Jalissa Trotter finishing a layup in the Spring Hill game. photo by f. rhone

They are in the gym before the bell rings. With an average of three hours of practice a day, not including individual work, the girls of Lady Tiger Basketball are some of the hardest working students in school. The girls’ basketball team has started its season in full force, practicing in the morning and after school, with about two games a week and frequent weekend tournaments. “We prepare for the season like all the years before,” senior Chanell Hayes said. “We are working our butts off, and the underclassmen are doing a great job of keeping up. I feel that we have potential this year. Indeed we are a very young team, but once we get the chemistry down with one another, everything will be fine.” Girls’ coach and girls’ athletic director Robert Cochran is entering his second year with the Lady Tigers. The girls feel that despite his strict practice routine, Cochran has pushed

them to grow mentally and physically. “Before, we weren’t really mentally tough as a team,” senior Laken Edwards said. “He is tough on us. He isn’t afraid to yell and really tell us how much we don’t do things correctly. But he will always leave us on a positive note. He always says that once he is done yelling that he still loves us just as much as before. He has made me personally a better ball player, and he has gotten the team much stronger.” The Lady Tigers finished their 2014 season with a strong varsity team. But because six of the core players graduated, the girls have had to build a new team. “I feel like we lost some valuable players from last season,” Edwards said. “But I feel like they left and taught us all something, and we can use their techniques and their ways of doing and try to do just as well.” Cochran, however, believes that the loss of seniors is just a minor setback that will not impact the season.

“I’d like to win as many games as possible and hopefully repeat what we did last year,” Cochran said. “We’ve got four seniors I know we can count on. They do a good job at bringing different teams to the table. We’re just trying to get everything from the offense and defense perspective, and continue to work hard everyday.” Every season comes with a new set of seniors trying to leave it all on the court during their last year of playing ball. “It feels unreal,” senior Jalissa Trotter said. “Like I have to show what I am this season because there isn’t anymore left. I have to go greater than I ever have because this is the last time I will get to represent Texas High in women’s basketball.” No matter the game, no matter the team, no matter the setback, everyone’s goal is simple: win. “We are going to have to get a new chemistry going,” Trotter said. “But we all know each other pretty well so it won’t be a problem. Our goal is to win district. Undefeated.”

We’re just warming up Boys’ basketball looks to get photo on wall in gym by ALEX HEO staff writer Alarm clock goes off. Fighting the urge to hit the snooze button. Be on the court at 6:30 with the desire to compete, and be back at 11:03 ready to go back to practice. Since the end of the season last year, the basketball team has looked forward to the next. The players have spent time and worked on their crafts together during the break. “Coach Skinner had us doing drills in offseason,” junior RJ Reid said. “During the summer, we worked out, played basketball for some AAU select teams, but its been going on since last year.” The Tigers have set the bar high this year, looking forward to have their picture join the other teams that surround Tiger Center.

“We have high goals, high expectations for the kids. I obviously want to put their picture of the wall,” Coach Jacob Skinner said. “Every time we win a district championship here at Texas High, we put the big ole’ picture of the team on the wall.” The guys took their first step toward their goal on Nov. 3 with a 75-63 win over Whitehouse. Although they struggled coming out of the gate, the picked it up through teamwork. “As a whole for our first game, we played very well,” senior Damian Willis said. “We [were] down 11-3 and we came back as a team. We came out and gave it our hardest.” With the coach’s trust and practice, the Tigers boast a defensive prowess from its new scheme this year that will help them win more games.

“Well, Coach believes in us,” junior Ja Niro Lane said. “Everyday, day in and day out, we put in a lot of work. We‘ve been working on this new defense, and I believe its going to get us a good way to win.” On the offensive side in the court, the team will play at a faster pace. One of the reasons to the new style of play is the lack of experienced, proven players. “We’re playing faster. Last year, we had Jamal Ray, Darian Kidd, Taylor Jackson, some guys that have been around for a long time. They were first team all district players,” Skinner said. “We’re having to adjust. We got a brand new team, and we’re playing faster to create some easier baskets and opportunities for us to score some off of our defense. It may take us a while to figure it out, but we’re going

PASSING AWAY Sophomore Lavon Brown passing to a teammate in the Whitehouse matchup. photo by m. stiger

to jump in there and see what we could do.” However, the guys this year have a stronger bond with each other than last year’s. Although they can’t overcome a team with height, the players are more familiar with each other and closer.

“Last year’s team, we didn’t that much chemistry. This year, our chemistry is very strong,” senior Damian Willis said. “We’ve been playing together for four years now, and we just kind of got everyone’s strengths and weaknesses down, and we just try to help each other.”



Stunting isn’t their only habit

tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

“We volunteer at almost every community event. By going to these events we represent the true spirit of Texas High.”

CHEERING OTHERS TO VICTORY Cheerleaders volunteer at Race for the Cure. photo by b. o’shaughnessy

-Carlee Phillips, 10

Cheerleaders participate in community work by GRACE HICKEY staff writer Their pom-poms slicing through the air with swift precision. Their bows bouncing as they leap. Their chants roaring across the crowd, livening the mood. However, this is no pep-rally, but rather the cheerleaders volunteering at the Race for the Cure 5K. Many people believe that the cheerleaders participate at only school functions; however, the girls also volunteer with several organizations throughout the community. “With cheer, we do more than just

promoting school spirit and cheering for the sports teams,” senior squad leader Rachel White said. “We pretty much do anything you can think of when it comes to being involved and serving the community.” The cheer teams volunteer at Tunnels of Hope, Race for the Cure 5k and cheer clinics on a regular basis, along with numerous other events. “We volunteer at almost every community event,” said Carlee Phillips, sophomore junior varsity co-captain. “By going to these events we represent the true spirit of Texas High.” Some of the cheerleaders’ views

involving community participation have changed over the course of their experience in the squad. “I used to not volunteer much or enjoy it much when I did,” said Lauren Carter, sophomore junior varsity cocaptain. “Since I joined cheer, I have volunteered at so many things and have countless community service hours. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing that you helped someone who needed it.” One of the main events that cheer volunteers for is Community Cafe, a yearround weekly dinner and pantry program providing food for those in need. It takes

place on Monday nights at Williams Memorial Methodist Church. “My favorite event to volunteer at is Community Cafe because I get to help people get groceries and serve them food, and the smiles on their faces make me happy,” sophomore Marjorie Slimer said. “Since I started volunteering more often, it has made me more humble because I realized that my small problems aren’t as bad as those of some of the people I help.” Cheer has given the girls the opportunity to better the community, better themselves and altogether contribute more with their participation. “Even if you’re not involved in anything else besides cheer, it really helps you get involved in the community and be an overall more-rounded person,” senior varsity captain Maggie Coleman said. “You’re not just sitting at home on the couch and watching TV. You’re making a difference in the community with something that you also love to do.”

Snapping more than the ball Junior fights through potential career ending injury by KATHERINE DOAN staff writer

CRUTCHING THROUGH THE HALLS Junior Trevor Danley continues to go to practice to support his teammates. photo by f. rhone

The lights beat down on the fans and field alike as he ran on to the field with his teammates, and illuminated the players as they set up for the punt. Then the whistle blew. Then it ran off course. Then it all went wrong. Junior Trevor Danley, varsity deep snapper, tore his ACL and partially tore his medial meniscus on Oct. 24 at Maverick Stadium while playing against Marshall. “I was going down field to make a tackle and went to cut, and it just popped,” Danley said. “When it first happened, I didn’t think I hurt it badly at all. I thought I might have twisted it funny and just strained some small ligament. I walked off the field with little pain.” Danley had replacement surgery on Nov. 13 at Texarkana Surgery Center with Dr. Trey Mitchell. His severed ACL was replaced by a hamstring graft, a harvested tendon from his own hamstring, and stitches were inserted into his medial meniscus. “It was successful, and everything went as planned. Whenever we went in for surgery, there were no new surprises,” Danley said. “I honestly cannot remember the whole day of surgery. Apparently people came to see me, but I don’t remember that at all.” Trevor had a strong support system and relied on his friends to help him cope with the injury and better adjust to his new limitations. “Luckily I’ve had a lot of supportive people that have experienced this injury and gone through the process such as Nick Richter, so it gives me confidence that I can look

to them for anything,” Danley said. “I know that once I recover fully from my injury that my ACL will be stronger than it was before, and my life will return to normal.” He has also had to face the possibility of his injury affecting his future in being recruited to play baseball on the collegiate level. “Unfortunately, I do think it will have some effect on my being recruited for college baseball,” Danley said. “I just have to just be ready mentally and physically for when the time comes to get back on the field. My goal is to come back and people not to be able to notice that I was ever out. If I perform well, the colleges will find me, and I could end up playing college baseball.” Having a sports-oriented life, the injury has affected how Trevor will play the game in the future. “This has made a huge impact on the perspective I see sports. I have always viewed sports as a must have for me,” Danley said. “Now I understand it’s an honor to play. Playing catcher, I’m the leader, and I tell everybody what to do. Now that I can’t play, I’m going to be a leader from the dugout or anywhere I am. ” In the midst of his struggle, Trevor has learned from this experience and developed a new appreciation for sports and his capabilities. “I’ve learned that it’s best not to take anything for granted,” Danley said. “I’ve been fortunate enough my whole life to have amazing parents and siblings that support me and have my back no matter what I am doing or what I want to do. Just put your faith in God’s hands and he will take over. He has a plan and this is part of God’s plan for me.”



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

Be a good sport: 5 things fans shouldn’t do by ALEX HEO staff writer Whether you’re in the stands wearing face paint and waving towels, or simply lying on the couch with your favorite drink in hand after a long day, watching sports is an enjoyable activity because you get the feeling that you’re a part of something. However, there are a few sins when it comes to talking about your favorite team to other people. The girl who Googled “what is a neymar” “Neymar is the best player ever in soccer, and I just love him. Go Brazil!“ This isn’t a shot to a woman that actually loves Brazilian soccer player Neymar Santos Junior. It’s about the people who suddenly become in love with a player or team overnight. Being a fan is like reading a book. It starts off slow, but after a while, as time passes, you have something to enjoy when you see your team holding up the gold at the end. The guy who can’t let go of the past “Well, we were good 24 years ago! So don’t even discuss who’s the better team.” Arguing with one another is perfectly

Chants and rallying cries on a team are like a lifeline to some people. Don’t just take one and apply it to your school or team. Show some originality. If you want to copy cheers, I recommend sticking to the chants you heard in elementary school leagues.

FANGIRLING: Junior Tyler Snell and sophomore Lauren Potter cheer on the Tigers at the Texas vs. Arkansas game and Tiger Stadium. photo by k. mccasland

The Bandwagoner

fine when talking about sports. Everyone is always biased toward their team. However, bringing up how your team won their division years ago exposes your inability to put up a decent argument rather than help make a case for your team. Excuse Guy “They just got super lucky. The referees helped them out, and they’re really just not

that good.” The referees do their best to make every game fair as possible. However, we have to remember that they’re humans too, and no one is perfect. If a team wins or a player was dominating that night, tip your hat to them. Respect great performances. The chant stealer “Who ya’ with? A-High!”

“Yay! LeBron is going back to the Cavaliers! Cavs for life!” Out of all the annoying habits that fans could do, bandwagoning is probably the worst. It’s taking a shortcut to cheering for a championship instead of going through the struggles of watching your team piling up the losses. These few practices don’t mean the end of the world, but we should at least know how negative our actions come off to some people. Yes, we have the freedom of speech, and if you enjoy doing these things, by all means, embrace it. Just be aware of the risk of creating some irk among your peers. After all, the world of sports would be happier for less Skip Bayless’s, sports analyst on ESPN who probably gets more hate mail than the amount bizarre claims he makes on air.

Playing at a higher level After four years of high school athletics, many athletes take sports a step further in college by LEAH CRENSHAW staff writer Varsity sports. Stiff competition, hours upon hours of UIL legal practice, “optional” “student-led” practices that are anything but, tears for winning, tears for losing, pieces of every athlete’s soul embedded permanently in their sport. It’s a serious matter that, for many athletes, ends after four years. For those for which it doesn’t, big changes can be expected. The transition from high school to college sports can be a big one. In many ways, the sport becomes rewarding. “With college, there is a higher level of dedication and intensity,” alumni Zach Baker said. Baker spent four years swimming on the Texas High Tiger Sharks, and now he attends Ouachita Baptist as a Division II swimmer. By comparison, for swimmers at Texas High, the sport is much more relaxed. “Swim is not super serious,” junior Luke Calhoun said. “I mean, we just like having fun.” As far as the college level, however, former THS band member Heather Lanier describes the intensity. Lanier is a part of Baylor’s Division I marching band. “We have a lot of fun, but when it’s time to get things done, we get it done,” Lanier said.

“In college, the people in band really care about the program, so we get things done a whole lot quicker.” On top of being more serious, college athletes seem to be closer to each other than in high school. “We are a family,” said Steve Crenshaw, a Texas High graduate currently playing football at Hendrix college. “We push each other to go further. We help each other when we fall. To say we have a tight knit group is a bit of an understatement.” Thinking back to his years at Texas High, Crenshaw comments on how different these sort of relationships are. “In high school everyone was an individual,” Crenshaw said. “With seniors graduating every year, it was hard to get close to people.” For smaller sports like swim, the dynamics may have been closer, but still nothing like the college experience. “High school was close, but with college it’s just a higher level,” Baker said. “We do everything together.” In addition to closer relationships within the sports, there is more support for the smaller sports. “The student support is a whole lot better than it was in high school,” Baker said. “We still do have to face the fact that it’s not exactly a ‘southern’ sport, but here all sports are respected a whole lot more than in high school.” Meanwhile, in high school, football reigns supreme, especially over smaller sports like swim. “We don’t really get a lot of turn-out for the team,” Calhoun said. “But I mean, we’re not really the biggest sport, so I understand.” This football domination changes in all sports from

Texas High graduate Zach Baker competes during a high school swim meet. Baker currently swims at Ouachita Baptist. file photo

high school to college, especially in the marching band. “I feel like our student body and faculty really respect our dedication,” Lanier said. “They always tell us how much they loved our performances.” For the Texas High marching band however, the feelings are reversed. “A lot of the times people base their opinions on what other people say,” drum major Alanna Tran said. “So they don’t realize how much effort and dedication we put into band.” All in all, as with academics, in college athletics take on a new intensity in every way. “It’s hard,” Crenshaw said. “You learn to adapt, adjust, improvise and overcome, though.” Neither Baker, Crenshaw or Lanier regret their choice to continue to pursue their sports. “The timing and stuff isn’t always the best,” Baker said. “But at the end of the day, it’s very much worth it.”



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

Chestnuts roasting over a DVD player Watch all the classic holiday movies for festive spirit

Santa Clause: ‘Tis the season for every child at heart’s not-so-guilty pleasure: The Santa Clause. This festive flick has all the ingredients for a warm, gooey feeling in your Santa-loving-soul. With elves (what can be imagined to be), succulent hot chocolate and an actual North Pole, this movie is the epitome of the holly, jolly jubilee that defines the holiday season.

by GRACE HICKEY staff writer As the holiday season arrives, sugar plum fairies and even sweeter thoughts of Christmas break dance in students' minds. While this glorious two-week period of freedom includes many holiday activities, the most merry of these would have to be the simple pleasure of watching Christmas movies with a steaming cup of hot cocoa in hand. Get in the Christmas spirit by watching these festive films. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: While the animated version is a cute classic, the comical live-action adaption excels in humor and jovial jolliness. This rendition of the famous Dr. Seuss story is definitely one to watch with a holiday “bah-humbug-er.” (Everyone knows one.) Set in the tiny town of Whoville, the story focuses on a green, overly hairy Grinch who harbors a hate for Christmas. As the plot unfolds, the Grinch’s change of heart and hilarity

can melt the black coal heart of even the grouchiest Scrooge. Home Alone: In this comical film featuring a little boy who was accidentally left behind by his family for Christmas, every scene is packed to the brim with laughs and Christmas spirit. As young Kevin McCalister singlehandedly defends his home from burglars, the humor and ingenuity of his actions makes this movie a “must watch” for the holidays.

Polar Express: After watching this lovable film, it’s impossible not to want to scream “I BELIEVE” at the top of your lungs and ring every bell in sight (no matter what that obnoxious kid in third grade told you). All aboard the Polar Express-destination: Christmas spirit. Elf: The go-to quotable Christmas movie that will make you laugh until you cry is none other than Elf. This flick not only has an abundance of jokes and awkward yet hilarious situations, but also has a meaningful underlying theme that emphasizes the message that it is ok to be different. Overall, this is definitely a staple when it comes to films for a “Feliz Navidad.”


tigertimes dec. 17, 2014

The language of texting

Phrases you must know to survive in digital era All teens basically do is text, so much that it seems as if the world of adolescents has created their own language. For the parents who are utterly confused when reading through their kids’ phones and those pesky sheltered teens who don’t get the hip lingo that is upon us, here’s a guide of phrases that you must know to survive this era. The classics If you don’t know these by now, you are out of luck. These are the ones that even your grandparents should already know. The original “lol,” meaning laugh out loud, is not used literally. If someone texts you just “lol” know that they aren’t really laughing, and they probably just sent it to fill the awkward “silence” between your cell phones. Chances are they probably don’t want to talk to you. “Idk” is used almost daily, whether you really don’t know what the answer to said question is or, once again, you probably are trying to be short and don’t want to associate with the person who is so desperately trying to communicate with you. The list of classic acronyms for texting goes on, but in reality they are all code for “I am a really boring person” or “You get on my nerves, and I do not want to talk to you.” Okay, Ok and K. Now, to the naked eye all of these have the same meaning, but in reality they are extremely different. “Okay” is a general word and has many variations that can mean so much. Spelling out your “okay” shows you aren’t lazy, nor are you tending to hint at an underlying message. The meaning of “okay” is pretty straight forward. When “okay” starts to get smaller is when you should begin to worry. “Ok” isn’t something to worry about, depending on what the previous conversation entails. If you are in an argument, “ok” is never a good thing to receive, really in any form. But in other cases, this person might just be too lazy to add the “ay”, or it’s your mom. It is generally common knowledge not to “K.” a person. If anyone other than your parents sends you “K.”, you’ve done goofed. “K.” can be code for a variety of things like,

photo by a. tyson

by LAUREN POTTER staff writer

“I’m ready to slit your throat if you don’t start apologizing.” The meaning has become complex, just know you’ve messed up. Now, if you’re in a relationship with this person, especially if it’s your girlfriend/boyfriend, I would start pleading for your soul as soon as possible. This is when the use of “K.” can become traumatizing. Bae I know what you are all thinking, every teenage girl is referring to her significant other as poop. But contrary to bae’s Danish meaning, scandalous teens have developed a meaning of “before anyone/thing else.” The use of “bae” has mainly been directed toward a girl’s best friend, although many middle schoolers have begun to refer to their boyfriend/girlfriend as “bae.” Seriously, it’s usually only socially acceptable if it is used in a joking manner. The amount of words in the texting language are endless, but I must say that these are probably the most popular and most important of them all. So, use them wisely.

Turn down for common sense by NAVEEN MALIK staff writer Solo cups scatter the floor of a smoky room and shaky hands grip glass bottles. A popular song about living on the fast track drowns out the meaningless chatter. Every now and then you might hear a “Bro this party is turnt. When’s the next one?” It is clear to see that throughout generations, young adults have followed trends set by the music they listen to and the makers of it. “If it’s mentioned in their music, or by them, people might want to try it out,” sophomore Gabe Lohse said. “All of the Beatles have publicly stated that they’ve done LSD and that it made

photo by k. brinkmeyer

them more spiritual, or allowed them to be more creative.” Oftentimes, people who have no interest in drugs or alcohol begin referencing these songs. The trends and references are alarming to parents and teachers alike.

“Even within upper level students, I see the negative effects of this party culture and music,” Rosebuds sponsor Kim Downs said.“I’ll hear kids say frightening things, and most of the time, they don’t even know what they mean. It’s even more upsetting when you know that they do.” If students took the time to become more aware of what they were listening to, they might find it easier to resist the things that the music promotes. “It all comes down to being aware and using your common sense,” junior Sara Vaughn said, “There’s nothing wrong with listening to the music, as long as you know better than to become a part of it.”

25 Who runs the world? Senior discusses popular female singers They’re now dominating the charts, taking over their respective genres and holding top records that others can only dream about. Their outfits are on point. Voices on key. Every dance in perfect synchronization. Surpassing all others, they rise above the world, sitting on their AMANDA HACKLEMAN thrones. managing editor Music has generally been a male dominated medium. Then again, what isn’t in a patriarchal world? Even in the early stages, there have always been famous female singers that excelled in their talent. However, as it is in many fields, society has covered their achievements with those of male singers in the same genre. In the modern music world, there are three major genres which hold the biggest number of fans and listeners: rap, pop and country. Pop just stands for popular music, but is generally characterized by boy bands and the use of autotune. This is one of the only genres that has a good variety of male and female artists. It could almost be said there are more female pop artist than male, though that statistic could be a little off. Either way, pop music is the easiest genre for females to break into. Country music, however, is not the same story. Classically, country music has been a male dominated genre. In the last few years, more and more female singers have taken the spotlight. Women such as Hillary Scott, lead vocalist of the band Lady Antebellum, have become synonymous with fame in the country music genre. Her performances enthrall fans. Scott descends from famed country music singer Linda Davis, giving her a proper background in country music. This is apparent in her talent and drive. Rap music is probably the most sexist genre in the modern age. With males in the industry rapping about their sheer domination of women on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that women are not generally taken seriously. While there have been several female rappers throughout the years, Nicki Minaj has become one of the most influential. Generally bashed for her crazy antics, bright pink hair in some videos, strange outfits and several rumored body modifications, Minaj has still managed to raise herself to the top of the charts. Her recent single, Anaconda, became one of the most watched videos on YouTube, and its lyrics have become hugely popular on the Internet. For this woman to spur this amount of excitement with one song is a testament to her great talent. Girls are slowly taking over the music scene. For the last few weeks, iTunes top charts have been mostly female singers, featuring those such as Meghan Trainor, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande and Jessie J. It would seem a new world order is coming in the entertainment industry, with women dominating at the top. Hopefully, we’ll see more and more of these artist’s talents in the future.



Into the Woods



tigertimes dec. 17, 2014 WEAR IT!



Embrace your inner Paul Bunyan this season with the trend that is taking over. Whether oversized or fitted, flannels are a comfy way to keep warm whilst looking like a stylish lumberjack. Don’t worry; growing a beard is optional.


Raising Cane’s

Mexican Spiced Hot Chocolate

This Christmas all your favorite tales are merging into one, larger-than-life film. Into the Woods includes characters like Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Rapaunzel and is sure to be a must-watch this season.




New Year’s Eve is getting closer as December nears to an end. Be prepared for all the flashy festivities this year with sparklers. Not only are they easy to use, but these blazing bursts also provide.

While hot chocolate is a holiday classic, it never hurts to spice up an old favorite. With a pinch of nutmeg to 1/4 tsp. of chipotle powder, Mexican spiced hot chocolate is the perfect drink to warm you up this winter.


With the lines finally going down and the food being as mouth-watering as ever, Raising Cane’s is a hot spot that will not disappoint.

Gingerbread Houses It’s the treat that you can eat or put on display for all to see. Making gingerbread houses is a fantastic way to get in the holiday spirit and chow down while doing so.



You just CAN’T eat ‘em With the Christmas season comes a variety of holiday flavors in many items from candy to drinks. Pringles released several holiday-themed chips, and the newspaper staff taste-tested these four flavors.



0% “Eating perfume?” -Maggie Coleman, 12

“It tastes like Taco Bell’s cinnabon balls made out of potatoes.” -Naveen Malik, 11

“So sweet, it’s like a cinnamon roll with Fritos in the middle. Not good for snacking.” -Abby Hill, 11

“Sweet, chocolate-ish, tastes like spray tans.” -Caroline May, 11

“Taste like a churro. Like “It tasted like expired I’m having Christmas at milk.” -Madeline Hunley, 12 Zapatas.” -Grace Hickey, 10

“Induces vomiting.” -Katherine Doan, 12

12% “If you were to take a penny from a Walmart bathroom and you were to put it with a bunch of stale pecans and then eat it, the chip is worse than that.” -Matthew Francis, 10

Just another book worm Junior reflects on obsession with novels

Two in my backpack, one in my purse and countless others on my dresser at home. I collect them, covet them and most importantly, read them. I have an uncommon habit: I love to read. A lot. While most book lovers enjoy a good book every now and again, I go through AHJA CHERRY several books a week: staff writer averaging 20 books a month. My obsession has gone from a habit to an addiction. My love affair with reading started a long time ago when I had no friends, only a box set of the Harry Potter series. Characters became my friends, and I began to get lost in a magical world that was much kinder to me. I have read the majority of the school library, almost completely finishing off the fiction section and now, I am getting started on the non-fiction. Finding books that I haven’t read yet is the real challenge. An unread book is a rare jewel. Every school day I visit the library, before

school, at lunch and if I can, after school. My frequent visits have built a special relationship with the librarians. Melinda Asher and Emily Ransom, the school librarians, are like family to me. Even when I finish off all the books in the library, I know that I will continue to come see them everyday. Reading is my escape; one of the few consistent things in my life. Books never ignore me, they never act funny and they never get mad at me. Diving into a book and drowning myself in the story helps me avoid the actual realities and stress of daily life. Reading is still my go to escape plan even though it doesn’t always help my situation. My passion for reading sometimes makes me neglect my responsibilities. There have been several nights when my chores went unfinished and countless pieces of homework went undone. Unfortunately, there have been many nights where I don’t read certain AP History pages, knowing I have a quiz the next day because“it’s just getting good.” There are a lot of things you could call me. Obsessed, weird, a bibliophile and a lover of books. But I prefer something classy, a bookworm.

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tigertimes dec. 17, 2014