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table of contents trojan torch

New Library Who’s Who Women in Combat Pistorius Charges Air Pollution Who’s Who Editorial

3 4 6 8 9 10

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Lowering Drinking Age College Costs Junior Year Tennessee Animals Softball Warm Bodies Movie Review

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Volume 45 Issue 5 Editors Alex Agee Aubrey Andrews Mackenzie Clark Corena Hasselle Sarah Hasselle Katherine Keller Sydney McNeill Emily Taylor Maria Yousuf Business Managers Corena Hasselle Maria Yousuf Circulation Manager Alex Agee Design Editor Elizabeth Butler Assistant Editor Laurie Williams Photography Editor Sarah Hasselle Reporters Johni Armstrong Mary Byars Lindsey Dunn Jed Finley Emily Jackson Kent Kirby Hailey McKee Ravi Patel Sydney Robey Suzanne Schultz Stephen Simpson Eri Sugiyama Shehla Yousuf

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Cover photo: The eastern newt, also known as the red eft, is native to Tennessee. The cover photo was taken by Kent Kirby on a recent trip to the mountains of East Tennessee.

Advisor Suzanne Edwards Trojan Torch Dyersburg High School 125 Hwy. 51 By-Pass Dyersburg, TN 38024


news McIver’s Grant relocates facilities Maria Yousuf Business Manager fter months of anticipation, McIver’s Grant Public Library reopened to the public in January and will hold their Grand Opening at 204 N Mill Avenue on March 29. The new building is significantly larger than the old one, and there is a ramp at the front entrance as well as a notable increase in parking spots. McIver’s Grant now presents a hall past the entrance and larger bathrooms for both sexes, with changing tables in both. They now have a wide space with armchairs and a fireplace for reading with the chance to view the news on a television above the fireplace. The library has acquired 40 new computers and now offers 5 laptops for public use; they also have plans for more books. “We are constantly purchasing new books,” director Dara Gonzalez said. “We generally order books and materials, like books on CD and DVDs, bi-monthly. We also take requests and try very hard to fill them, depending on available funding.”

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“We have a growing young adult section located in the adult section,” library assistant Gloria Carmichael said. “We are planning on getting new books, especially for children.” The library has a designated ‘Kids Zone’ that sports a movie theater theme and holds more tables for work and crafts, more computers and a play area. The play area will lead out into a garden which is currently under construction. There is also a wall dedicated to the display of public art with paintings by Ina B. Ashley on display. “We have a display and exhibit policy that we follow,” Gonzalez said. “However, we welcome student art and would be happy to discuss this further with interested students.” Employees are satisfied with the new facilities. “I especially like the spaciousness and the new fireplace,” library assistant Diane Mallard said. “I like that it’s all on one level and that the children’s area has windows,” children’s director Lara Friedhof said.

Photo by Maria Yousuf

“We now have defined areas and working spaces,” assistant director Sharon Simpson said. “Overall, it’s really nice; it has lots of potential.” The premises are expected to be more student-friendly as well. “I think students will like the coffee bar, the fireplace and all the new computers,” Friedhof said. “The people were really nice and helpful,” senior Shelby Hubbard said. “It’s bigger and more organized. It was needed and well done.” Furthermore, classes are being held for genealogy, knitting and computer skills. They are free, and anyone can attend, provided he or she signs up. The library also has a community room available for public use. “The community room is available to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis. We do not charge for non-profit groups to use the room, and the room can hold 100 people,” Gonzalez said. While the library is not currently hiring, they are open to potential volunteers. “It’s easy to become a volunteer; a person would simply have to fill out a form available at the library, and we would go from there,” Gonzalez said. “Typical volunteer duties include shelving books and light clerical work, like filing and copying.” The new hours are as follows: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. There is also now a suggestion box available for patrons. “We would love any suggestions,” Friedhof said. Those at the library encourage the public to visit the facility and make the most of what it offers. “The library is a place for everyone in the community to feel welcome and free from judgment, and that includes teenagers,” Gonzalez said. “Please remember that this is your facility, and don’t hesitate to come by and ask for information, request materials, and/or suggest programs.”

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Seniors recognized with Who’s Who awards

Shehla Yousuf Reporter very year, the Who’s Who awards are given to seniors to recognize their achievements in a specific subject. There are 15 subjects, and up to four students were recognized for each subject this year. The categories students are language arts, exceptional arts, FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences), vocal, foreign language, science, drama, band, math, social studies, agriculture, leadership, marketing, business technology and technology and engineering. The teachers for each subject choose the student or students they believe are most fit to be awarded Who’s Who recognition. Twenty talented, dedicated students were recognized with the Who’s Who award. Some students were awarded in multiple subjects. The award for language arts was given to Madelyn Howe, Emily McKee, Ravi Patel and Maria Yousuf. Science was given to Billy Jenkins, Sydney McNeill, Maria Yousuf and Ravi Patel. “As a department, the science department teachers all got emails asking them to recommend students,” said biology teacher Deborah Gatlin. “Mr. Hook and myself looked for students who had taken four or five science classes and looked for students who had an aptitude for science, not just good test scores.” “I plan to get an M.D. and research prototype medicine,” senior Ravi Patel said. Patel was awarded a Who’s Who in math, English, social studies, and science. Luke Yeager was awarded in Exceptional Education; Justice Mance in Family and Consumer Sciences; vocals was given to Catherine Guthrie and Cody Patton; and foreign language was given to Will Clifft and Melisalyn Hurst. “I’ve only taken one trimester of Spanish in my high school career,” senior Will Clifft said. “I would like to give a shout-out to Mackenzie Clark for studying her foreign language at every available opportunity, and even going so far as to persuade her Chinese teacher to give her private lessons to maintain her advanced mastery of the Chinese language.” Drama was awarded to Ragan Hinson and Lara Beth Cherry, both of whom are seniors on the production team. Sam Webb, a percussionist since middle school, won for band. Sydney McNeill, Ravi Patel, and Maria Yousuf won for math. Social Studies was given to Ravi Patel. “For me, in particular, I was looking for kids with high grades in my class, higher than the others in their class, kids who had scored a 5 on the AP (U.S. History) exam, as well as an overall positive attitude and excitement toward U.S. History,” AP U.S History teacher Jeff Golson said. Agriculture was given to Kaitlyn Crank, Madelyn Howe and Kristen Williams. Emily McKee, student body president, won for leadership. Sara Beth Pike and Yvette Leon were awarded DECA Who’s Who. “I didn’t really expect it,” senior Yvette Leon said. “I’ve been to DECA regional and state competitions and I’ve placed at competitions multiple times.” Business technology and technology and engineering were both given to Kevin Danley. For each Who’s Who they won, the students were given passes for desserts -cupcakes -- to reward them for their perseverance and hard work.

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Photos by Shehla Yousuf

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Women in combat: Branches have until 2016 to argue expectations Sarah Hasselle Photography Editor n the soldier’s creed, there are 4 out of 13 lines that are considerably valuable for a soldier’s conduct: “I will always place the mission first / I will never accept defeat / I will never quit / I will never leave a fallen comrade.” This creed is universal. It applies to all service men and to all sevice women. According to recent reports, women make up roughly 15 percent of the United States military. Before January 24, a 1994 rule prohibited women from serving in combat positions. Since the beginning of the war in both Afghanistan and Iraq, female soldiers have served in a number of combat-supporting roles such as piloting warplanes and serving on ships in combat areas. More than 200,000 women served in these two wars. More than 800 women have been wounded; more than 130 women have been killed. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s decision to allow women into combat makes the roles women take part in officially recognized and gives women the correct training for combat situations. According to Panetta, this decision also “creates a level playing field” for the military’s service members and allows for female advancement. What may have rushed this decision for

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women to be allowed into combat is a could be trained to be a highly-effective suit filed by two female soldiers last May sniper. Females are generally smaller and, against the Pentagon. Major Jane Baldwin as a general rule, have better fine motor and Colonel Ellen Haring of the Army Re- control than males, who tend to have betserve claimed that the military’s prohibi- ter gross motor control,” DHS alumna and tions against women were Second Lieutenant Ashley Lowery of the unconstitutional and violated equal pro- United States Army said. tection. This decision for women in com“There are many people that believe bat is also in-line with President Obama’s that females in combat situations will not reelection campaign promwork because of society’s asises of equalization in the “Logically speaking, sumptions and expectations job market for women. women as well as gender the right female for Before Panetta’s deciroles in our society. I say this sion, the defense policy could be trained to is immaterial. If this were standing prohibited males would not accept be a highly-effective true, women from being asfemales as authority figures signed to any unit smaller in basic training. Believe me, sniper.” than a brigade, typically males hold the same respect three to six battalions whose primary pur- for female drill sergeants as they do pose is direct combat, and women were males,” Lowery said. prohibited from serving in about ten perOpponents to this decision claim that cent of military occupations. This decision women may not meet the requirementsreportedly opened about 14,500 positions -physical and mental--necessary to excel to women, including the SEALS, the in combat situations. Army’s Delta Force and other exclusive “I believe it would be too much of an special forces groups, although these po- emotional strain for a lady to endure. It sitions will probably remain strictly male- is well-known that ladies are much more dominated for some time. emotional than their male counterparts,” Promotion requires experience. In order sophomore Duncan Ing said. to get some jobs in the military, one must “Mental toughness is no different for go through various schools and get vari- men than it is women. We will have had ous certifications. Some jobs require com- the same mental training,” Marine Corps bat experience. poolee Martha Harris said. “Logically speaking, the right female


When the Marine Corps sought women Another concern is over the argument to go through its infantry course last year, that service men may feel the need to two women tried, but they failed to com- protect service women over the males plete the course. The transition might be they are fighting with. rough, but women who feel like they can “If a woman and a man were captured accomplish it, may be able tortured together, the “Mental toughness and to. man would be much more “Marines are all about is no different for likely to spill all of the sephysical requirements, and crets he could in order to men than it is when compared, males and save her. We are trained to females are on two com- women. We will have be brothers and sisters. pletely different levels when unit is your family. No had the same mental Your they definitely should not big brother wants to see his be,” Navy midshipman Clara little sister get harmed,” training,” Catherine said. Catherine said. Currently, the general semi-annual re“If I were put in such a position, I would quirements for 17 to 26 year-old women tell them that I am here to do the same in the Marine Corps are a flexed-arm hang job as you. You worry of 15 seconds, 50 crunches and a 31- about everyminute 3-mile run, while for men, 3 pull- one else on ups, 50 crunches and a 28-minute 3-mile the same run. Other physical tests reflect these sub- level. We are tle differences, but most reflect a differ- Marines. ence in upper-body strength. Nothing else. Military representatives claim that stan- Leave gender out,” Harris dards would not be lowered. said. “A platoon, squad or fire team is only as strong as its weakest member. If we lower the standards then overall the military efficiency of our combat units will be lowered as well as risking the lives of many soldiers,” said DHS alumnus and Private First Class Hunter Jordan of the National Guard. Some people questioned privacy and tension within close quarters. This decision may create the need for more establishments of separate showers and barracks. “There is no question that having men and women together, for months at a time, away from their families, will cause enormous amounts of tension which will inevitably lead to more problems,” senior Billy Jenkins said. “It complicates things from a hygenic standpoint,” Catherine said. “Women need Service different things when it comes to showers members also quesand feeling reasonably comfortable.” tioned if “From a psychological point of view, women male and female interactions have always had a stress-relieving effect on both gen- would ders. This was shown in studies that com- jump at pared the amount of stress between these new siblings. This being said, I would have to positions. Branches say if anything, it might bring a necessary of the milistress and depression relief to soldiers in tary have the field,” Jordan said. Sarah Hasselle

until January 2016 to argue that some positions should remain closed to women if justifiable reasons are given. The decision to allow women to sign for selective service would be made by Congress if presented by the Pentagon. Out of the classes surveyed, on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the highest, 38% of students supported this decision with a rating of 4 or 5; 43% of students were indifferent of this decision with a rating of 3; 19% did not support this decision with a rating of 1 or 2. “The stress of these jobs is tremendous. To add an unnecessary and, arguably, counter-productive layer to the things these men have to deal with is not only irresponsible and foolish, it is nearly criminal. When an officer is forced or feels obligated to alter his decision-making in combat because of the presence of women, situations arise that could lead to the loss of American life,” Jenkins said. “If a woman is tough enough to endure infantry

Some countries that already allow women in combat: Israel (1973) Denmark (1988) training with no Canada (1989) complications, New Zealand (2000) she is truly worGermany (2001) thy of wearing a uniform in my eyes,” DHSalmuna and Private Second Class Leighann Mills said. “But think about how society will react when they read this title in the newspaper: Mother killed in combat,” DHS alumnus and Private Second Class Sergio Chester said. “I just do not think society is going to accept womens role in combat when bodies start coming back.” “It is completely justifiable for a woman to pursue something she is led. There are many intelligent and strong females who make contributions to society outside of combat, so who is to say they would not make a determined fighter? They have every right to fight for what they love,” senior Matthew Daniels said. “When you work in an environment where you depend on everyone around you for survival, it matters less what gender you are and more how well you do your job,” Lowery said.

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Oscar Pistorius:

Historic Olympian to potential murderer

Wikipedia

Ravi Patel Reporter n 2012, Oscar Pistorius made history by becoming the first paralympian to compete in the Summer Olympics. Currently, Oscar Pistorius is recognized as the potential murderer of Reeva Steenkamp, his girlfriend of four months. Pistorius claims that during the night of February 14, he was startled by a noise which he assumed was an intruder in his South Africa home. Claiming he felt scared and vulnerable in the dark, Pistorius grabbed his 9mm pistol and moved towards the bathroom, the area where he had heard the noise. After yelling at the intruder to get out, he shot through the bathroom door four times. The fact that Pistorius shot four times is one of the only things that defense and prosecution attorneys agree upon. The prosecution claims that after a heated argument, Reeva Steenkamp locked herself in the bathroom, potentially hoping to alleviate the situation. Allegedly, Pistorius proceeded to put on his prosthetic legs, grab his gun and approach the bathroom door. It is not clear whether the two shared words before Pistorius opened fire, hitting Steenkamp three times.

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“I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked,” senior Tiera Cole said. “To think we were rooting for him just a little while ago. It’s really eye opening,” senior Bailey Austin said. The prosecution is charging Pistorius with premeditated murder, claiming the time it took to put on his prosthetics and walk to the bathroom make it clear he understood the severity of his future actions. Oscar Pistorius was officially charged with the murder of Reeva Steenkamp on February 15. The bail hearing took place on February 19, where it was confirmed by a witness that sounds of domestic fighting were heard before the shooting. At the bail hearing it was also determined by the South African Police Service that Pistorius had aimed directly towards the toilet, where Reeva Steenkamp was allegedly hiding. Additionally, the prosecution brought out Pistorius’ previous arrest in 2009 for slamming a door on a woman at his home. He was not charged or convicted but was still held overnight at a jail for his 2009 incident. On February 22, Pistorius was formally charged with premeditated murder and given a fixed bail of 1 million rand, equal to roughly $113,000. Pistorius is set to reappear in court on June 4, 2013.


Cannot see, cannot breathe Eri Sugiyama Reporter hina has developed incredibly for the past few years with industries, despite environmental cost. As a result, China has become wealthier, and its GDP is the second largest in the world. China has become one of the most powerful countries in the world. However, since this development, China has suffered from serious air pollution. Thick smog covers over 30 cities, including Beijing, the capital of China. The smog can even be seen from space. Citizens are suggested to avoid outdoor activity on “hazard” days. The main reason that people are told to avoid the outdoor is the pollutant PM 2.5. PM, a particulate matter that has a diameter of 2.5 micrometers that is thinner than human hair. PM 2.5 is a secondary pollutant and it is so small it can go deep into human lungs. It has

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a risk of causing lung cancer, asthma, heart attacks and an irregular pulse. PM 2.5 is usually from the auto emissions of diesel engines. The main causes of the pollution are coal burning and too many cars. Since China’s further development, the government has priority over the economy, rather than adjusting with the environment. Their goals are accomplished, but they have to deal with another problem now. “China has industrialized incredibly but they are still using cheap coals, which are poisonous. Low-grade coal may be a factor in acid rain that falls along the northwest coast of North America. China is hesitant to consider the environment because using cheap coal increases profits. Most of the developed countries did not think about the environment when they industrialized, but today there is more concern for the environment

worldwide,” politics teacher Mark Stenberg said. As a result of the pollution, two-thirds of ground water is polluted and two-fifths of rivers are tainted. Because the smog is very thick, people cannot see the tops of high buildings, a few meters ahead. People have to use masks, and the masks frequently go out of stock. In fact, PM 2.5 can easily pass through some masks. This has influenced Chinese society. Several plane flights are cancelled or delayed because of unclear sight, and children are taken to hospitals for pollution-related illness. Some people say that the smog appeared because there is not much wind compared to other years. On the other hand, some people insist that the smog covering the cities without the wind is already a problem. The Chinese government has acknowledged some pollution; however, they use mil-

lionaires and national celebrities to advertise how clean the air is. The government has closed some of highways and ordered no cars on some of the roads. The pollution has even affected neighboring countries. In this season, the wind blows to the east. Each spring, Japan receives yellow sand from the deserts in China by wind. This year, PM 2.5 came as well as yellow sand. The Ministry of Environment in Japan has ordered their citizens to avoid going outside a days the amount of PM 2.5 is over 70 micrograms per one cubic meter. Many non-citizens living in China have moved out of the country to escape from pollution. So far, there is no solution that will solve this problem immediately. Today, the Chinese are still suffering from pollution-related problems.

NASA

Two pictures are taken from space by satellite on two different days. The brighter area shows clouds, fog or pollution. The left picture was taken on January 14, when China was covered with thick smog. The right picture was taken on January 3 on normal day. The smog has covered the east side of China so that it cannot be seen clearly from the sky.

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editorials Who’s Who falls short in recognizing all student strengths

Corena Hasselle Business Manager or many years, high school teachers have been asked to choose the Who’s Who award for various categories. This year, the categories consist of language arts, exceptional education, FACS (Family and Consumer Science), vocal, foreign language, science, drama, band, math, social studies, agriculture, leadership, marketing, business technology, and technology and engineering. The students who received awards have been hard-working participants in these categories throughout the year and in other classes during their high school career. Although these awards are well-deserved by the students who received them, many students have talents that do not fit these categories. Some students do not sing, play instruments, or compete in agriculture or marketing competitions but are talented in other areas such as sports, art, archery, journalism, yearbook, and photography. Every teacher has the opportunity to participate in choosing students within their department. But much of the problem is the scope of the Who’s Who award, which is limited to 10 percent of the class. If one category has several more students chosen in it than other cate-

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gories, then the other categories have to distribute in a way to keep the limit of 10 percent. According to some teachers, a few departments are automatically given a number of students to choose. Like previous years, the organization of the “Who’s Who Award” has been lacking. For example, in the category of Foreign Language, only students who are learning Spanish were recognized, which is unfair to hard-working students learning Chinese. Different departments (English, math, social studies, etc.) meet to determine their best students in each category by bringing up students’ names and looking at their grades in the courses. What classes were considered for each topic though? Social studies could include history classes (AP or regular), AP Human Geography, AP U.S. Government and economics classes. The school should create more options to make Who’s Who available to more students, such as creating a limit of two awards given to one student or possibly allowing for coaches to participate thereby increasing the percent of students who could win awards in Who’s Who. The scope of the award is limited but could have great potential to be expanded to have more students included and recognized for the talents and ambitions they have.


Lowering drinking age to 18 would benefit all Alex Agee Editor t eighteen years old, individuals are considered legal adults. They can vote. They can fight for their country. They can buy cigarettes, serve on juries, go to jail, get married and sign contracts. Because eighteen year-olds have the ability to make decisions in all of these areas, they should also have the ability to decide whether or not to consume alcohol. The minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) in all fifty states is twenty-one, although there are a few exceptions. In twenty-nine states, it is legal for someone under the age of twenty-one to consume alcohol if it is done on private property with parental consent. In twenty-five states, it is allowed for religious purposes. In seven states, it can be done for educational purposes. Each state gets to decide its own MDLA, but the federal government used the National Minimum Drinking Act of 1984 to urge the states to increase it to twenty-one or possibly lose millions of dollars in highway funds. But was raising the legal drinking age from eighteen to twenty-one really beneficial? Raising the MLDA has not stopped teen drinking. Many teenagers drink un-

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derage, regardless of the law. The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse stated that 17.5% of consumer spending for alcohol is by underage drinkers. In a survey conducted in 2006, it was reported that 72.2% of twelfth graders claimed to have drunk alcohol at one point in their lives. If anything, increasing the MLDA has put teenagers at more of a risk by pushing them to binge drink in private, uncontrolled areas. The majority of eighteen-year-olds still live at home. If given the ability to drink at that age, teenagers would have either their parents or guardians to teach them how to drink responsibly, insuring that they would know what to do when they drank on their own. Additionally, many young people drink simply because they are not allowed to. Imagine a student being told by a teacher not to talk during class or a parent telling a kid not to eat his or her dessert before dinner. Like most people, they would probably want to do exactly what they were told not to do. The same principle applies to drinking. Breaking the law gives teenagers a rush. If that could be taken away, drinking alcohol could be changed from a rebellious activity into one that is done in moderation.

Many countries that have an MLDA of eighteen, have better drunk driving statistics than in America. Also, the total traffic fatalities in the U.S. has continually decreased since 1982. That is two years before the drinking age was raised to 21, meaning that increasing the MLDA had little, if anything, to do with the decrease. Increasing the legal age has only shifted the risk of catastrophic accidents from older teens to young adults. Many people believe that suicides and criminal activities by adolescents would increase if the MLDA were lowered to eighteen. However, in a 2002 meta-study of the legal drinking age, seventy-two percent of studies showed that statistically there was no correlation between the minimum legal drinking age of twenty-one and suicide or vandalism. People under twenty-one who are involved in alcohol-related injuries are hesitant to seek medical attention in fear of getting in to trouble. If individuals could feel safe in getting the help they need, the number of people seriously hurt by these injuries would decrease. Part of becoming an adult is finally having the ability to make decisions for oneself, and the consumption of alcohol should not be an exception.

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College costs wreak havoc Mackenzie Clark Editor or some high school students, education does not end at the walk across the stage. Many students choose to attend college the fall of their graduating year. But with rising costs of college tuition, is this collegiate dream out of reach for students? First, the facts: the consumer price index, a year-by-year collection of the price of base goods and services, indicates that the price of college education has surged a rampant 1,120 percent since 1978. The final cost for college, or the net price, is different from the “sticker price,” which is what is often published by the college. According to the College Affordability and Transparency Center, the average net price of a four-year public institution is $10,471 a year. That is almost $42,000 for four years. You could buy 12,000 big macs with that or fly around the world 21 times. That is a lot of money for four years of extended public schooling, and it is even more for students wishing to privatize their education. But more often than not, the final cost, or net price, is different from the “sticker price,” which is what is published by the college in their pamphlet or on their website. The difference between the net price and sticker price is the sticker price does not take into consideration the financial aid and scholarships. But what about financial aid? Federal aid for students increased while family income decreased in the last economic downturn, with veterans and low or moderate-income bracket students are receiving more and more aid. Even so, students with lower income are often scared of the big sticker prices because they do not know how much aid is available for them. Only about one-third of students end up paying the full price of college (New York Times). What about that one-third? Many students from high-income brackets find they have little question in where they go to college and how much it is because money might not be a problem for them. But for students who cannot hold this state of mind, loans seems to be the only option to pay for a college education.

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Does federal aid make going to college an easier decision? What about employment after college? In a press release by the Pew Charitable Trusts, only 65% of college graduates with a bachelor’s degree are employed, as opposed to 69% before recession. In comparison, high school graduates only have a 47% employment rate, as opposed to 55% before the recession. This does not mean a traditional college education is something everyone needs. The founders of popular blogging website Tumblr and social networks Twitter and Facebook were college dropouts. Ever heard of Apple? Founded by Reed College dropout Steve Jobs. But do not go dropping out of college to make a million-dollar app for the iPhone. College graduates often have more opportunities to a wider variety of higher paying jobs than those with only high school diplomas, such as any career in the medical, law or science field. But if there is no appeal in the stethoscope or gavel, have no fear. For those who want more wiggle room and a free reign over what they do, entrepreneurship is a good option. Perhaps the most famous entrepreneur is billionaire Peter A. Thiel, who, after co-founding PayPal, began the Thiel Foundation to give $100,000 to college students with a good idea so they could drop out of college and take on a career they have wanted to pursue. Trade and vocational schools are also stellar options for the student who does not find a four year school appealing. These schools offer classes for basic and professional skills with graduation in two years or less by cutting out general education classes. The average price for completing a vocational skill course runs at $4,700, according to the Better Business Bureau. Graduates from these schools are also seeing employment rates of nearly 100 percent. College prices and the problem of student debt is something every high school graduate needs to take into consideration, but there are more options than tying yourself to a college for

four years. There are vocational schools or even entrepreneurship for the daring. All decisions should be made after a careful consideration of a student’s financial needs and career goals. Yet even with all of these options, students might find it hard to get any application process started. For students beginning the lengthy process in the late summer, the only resources they have are Google and an older sibling, if they even have one. What can we do to help educate students about all their post high school options? Perhaps there could be a course offered that could be “taught” by a counselor to educate seniors about the myriad of fouyear institutions, trade or vocational schools or entrepreneurship. The course could also include information about writing scholarship essays and filling out applications. If no course could be offered, perhaps a before or after school informational meeting for students and parents can be arranged to cover the same topics. Whatever the decision, students need to know that there is a way to pay for college, and if there is none, then there are options available to them.

wikipedia


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“Subway...Eat Fresh”

350 Hwy. 51 Bypass P.O. BOX 768 DYERSBURG, TN 287-4700 trojan torch 13


Seniors give college prep advice to Basmiah Homran Reporter unior year can be one of the most difficult years in high school. This year is when students make decisions that affect their future. Junior year is about taking standardized tests, planning for college and researching possible future careers. During junior year, students will be taking standardized tests from the beginning to the end. It is an important year because it’s the last full year of grades, and the grades students receive that year are important because they can determine what college the students will be attending. Another key part of junior year is researching future careers. Students can get advice by talking to their family, friends or teachers, who can help them choose by telling them more about what they are interested in. The third thing that is important about junior year is having a college plan and making a decision. ”I wish I had known how important my email would become senior year; I probably should have made myself a second ‘schoolonly’ Gmail to keep my personal email from getting so cluttered,” senior Sam Webb said. “Narrow down your choices and look into all of your options before you begin your senior year,” senior Melisalyn Hurst said. “Apply to more than one college because there is not always a 100% chance that you will get into your number one pick,” senior Jodi Newsome said. Students have to be organized with everything because they will receive emails and have appointments to visit the college they want to attend. The main thing is not to do too much at once, but just relax and do things step by step which will help them focus more on what they are doing. These are some of the reasons junior year can be hard: having to take many standardized tests, taking many difficult courses, planning on where students want to be for college and having to make plans for the future.

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Adminstration building, University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM)

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C&C Pharmacy 2490 Parr Ave. Dyersburg, TN 285-0844

770 Hwy. 51 Bypass Dyersburg, TN 286-2446

Tucker Tire A Square Deal on a Round Tire 285-8520 P.O. Box 1149 Dyersburg, TN

Village Tailor 575 Mall Blvd. Dyersburg, TN 286-1061

We sell Pandora bracelets here!

Jane B. Bradshaw 642 Hwy. 51 Byp. Dyersburg, TN 285-4546

Dr. Scott J. Self, DDS

EAT MORE CANDY! 174 Community Park Rd. Dyersburg, TN 285-8890

H&S Market

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Igniting a passion for God and His Word

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Safe.

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Strength you can count on.

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P. O . B o x 6 8 7 Dyersburg, TN 285-3671

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Tennessee hosts unnoticed residents Kent Kirby Reporter lligators, scorpions, rattlesnakes, pelicans? These animals sound like they are from out west or even near the coast. Interestingly enough, they reside within our very own state! That is right; the state of Tennessee actually plays host to many animals that most people are not aware of. Some are found throughout the state, such as rattlesnakes and scorpions. Others are only in specific areas, such as alligators, wolves and pelicans. Some of these animals include several species. There are 130 different species of freshwater clams in Tennessee. There are two species of scorpion: the Plain Eastern Stripeless Scorpion (Vaejovis carolinianus) and the Striped Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus). Tennessee also hosts the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) as well as the pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius). “I always thought that scorpions lived somewhere hot, but not in Tennessee,” senior Matt Diaz said. Not all of these animals have always lived here. Many of these animals are expanding their range due to environmental changes. A few years ago, if a person said they had seen an armadillo in Tennessee, they would have been told that they were on the wrong side of the Mississippi River because of their original range being out west. Alligators are capable of surviving in freezing temperatures, which has allowed them to move into Tennessee. However, historical maps show that they had an original distribution that extended even

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Wikipedia

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farther north. Currently, they are found in Shelby County. Ocanicasionally, Tennessee has a m a l s harsh winter that wipes out the have travpopulation, which is later replaced eled to TenPhoto courtesy by more alligators moving in. of www.larvalbug.com nessee. Low water levels To contrast the conspicuousness in recent years have also of an alligator, Tennessee has one made it easier for some creatures to swim animal residing in its waters that very few across. As a highway, the river serves as people have noticed: the freshwater jela guide for birds and a passage for fish to lyfish (Craspedacusta sowerbii). Found in travel through. waters all over Tennessee, this enigma is Because the Mississippi flows to the about the size of a quarter. Although they ocean, there are the occasional animals have stinging cells, there is no evidence that are found far from their original that they can actually penetrate human homes. In 2006, a manatee was found in skin. the Mississippi at the Memphis riverfront. “That’s neat. I didn’t know that,” sophBull sharks are occasionally seen, some omore Alexandria Jones said. traveling as far north as Illinois. They are Some animals only stop through as they capable of breathing freshwater as well migrate to other locations. The American as salt water. white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynThis allows them to penetrate deep into chos) stops at Reelfoot Lake as it makes the freshwater river systems in search of its way up the Mississippi river towards food and reduces the competition they the lakes of the Northern Great Plain have against other apex predators. where it breeds. Some animals that once lived here are The American black bear (Ursus ameroccasionally reported, such as panthers icanus) is occasionally found in West Ten(Puma concolor) sighted along the Missisnessee as it travels from Arkansas and sippi river bottoms and throughout West across the Mississippi river towards the Tennessee. The biology department at eastern end of the state in the ApUnion University maintains a website of palachian Mountains. Here, black bears reports for people to record any sightings. are commonly found along with the enNot all of these animals are dangerous dangered red wolf (Canis lupus rufus). though. Many animals go unnoticed just The Appalachian Mountains also hold because they are nocturnal. For instance, more species of salamander than any the long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata) other temperate region. This includes the is a resident of Tennessee as well as the red eft (Notophthalmus viridescens). southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys The Mississippi river is a huge highway volans). and barrier for many animals. If a creaWith so many animals that people are ture can fly or swim, then a river is not a not aware of living here, perhaps stuproblem; but for some, it marks the end dents will receive the chance to see one of their range. The addition of many of these unique creatures. bridges to the river is one way that new


206 East Court St. Dyersburg, TN

445-8398

Hardage Group Executive Search www.hardagegroup.com

P.O. Box 208 Dyersburg, TN 285-3120

INSURANCE 285-5767

First United Methodist Church General Appliance and Furniture Company Open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday 213 Court St. Dyersburg, TN

Dr. Stanley P. Young, DDS

285-5201

100 McGaughey St. Dyersburg, TN 285-6454

Dr. David Russell, Sr. Minister

815 Reelfoot Drive Dyersburg, TN 285-6954

 Flowering Dogwood Ln Dyersburg TN 

R&S Carpets, LLC 630 Hwy. 51 Bypass Dyersburg, TN 285-8871

Dyersburg, TN 416 Court St. 285-4174 205 Main St. 602 Hwy. 51 Bypass Dyersburg, TN 288-2800

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sports

Photos courtesy of Robin Andrews

Above: Senior Aubrey Andrews times her approach to the pitchers speed as she is ondeck to hit after the current batter in a game last season. Below: Junior Hannah Wright strides to a pitch a strike during a competitive game last season.

Softball: Teamwork makes the dream work Katherine Keller Editor ast year, the Lady Trojan softball team won the District Championship and proceeded to the first round of the regional tournament. Unfortunately, their season ended in defeat. This year, the team looks to make it even further. The team’s ultimate goal for this year is to make it to the state tournament in the spring. “I want to make it to state and have a good attitude towards everything this year, no matter what,” freshman Paige Jones said. With a roster full of talent and experience, the Lady Trojans look to give their competitors something to talk about. Because they share a bond on and off the field, they look to challenge every team they face. “We won’t be relying on any few players this year. We have to play as a team to get to where we want to go. Our seniors must step up and be leaders. That will be key!” head coach Steve Wilder said. The team’s biggest rivals this season are Covington, Martin Westview and

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Obion County according to members of the team. The team started conditioning earlier in the year to make sure they were as prepared as possible for the day they step out on the field. Every afternoon, they either gathered at the track to run or Wilder’s room to take part in Insanity workouts. “We spend countless hours of blood, sweat and tears to prepare for the most vigorous sport we love,” senior Ciara Dycus said. Now that they are allowed to practice on the field, the team looks to practice under a more game- like atmosphere. The addition of softball as a fifth hour class has also helped the team spend more time practicing and running drills. It gives each individual player more time to focus on their own strengths and weaknesses rather than the entire team’s. Sophomore Kali Decker said her favorite part of softball is simply, “Winning.” Winning through teamwork is the girls’ focus as the season begins. There is much excitement and anticipation in the hearts of the players looking forward to their season.


912 Phillips Street Dyersburg, TN 285-5666 470 Mall Blvd. Suite C

Reflections Full Service Salon

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322 Church Ave. Dyersburg, TN 285-5074

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285-4900 Fax: 285-3266

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1716 Parr Ave. Suite B Dyersburg, TN 286-0149

400 Hwy. 51 ByPass Dyersburg, TN 286-2744

Ownby’s Music

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Dyersburg, TN 321 Troy Ave. 286-4400

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‘Warm Bodies’ attracts young audience

Emily Jackson Reporter arm Bodies, a PG-13 rated romantic twist on a classic apocalypse scenario, hit theaters in early February of 2013. The movie begins by profiling what is thought to be the last human colony in existence. Among the residents is Julie, an attractive young survivor of the ongoing zombie epidemic. While outside of the protective walls of their community, Julie, her boyfriend Perry and some friends encounter a group of zombies. One of the most troubling goes by R, who is unusually conscious for being undead. The hoard of zombies kills the majority of Julie’s friends and eats her boyfriend’s brain, but R manages to save Julie’s life and takes her back to his “home”: an airplane crowded by miscellaneous clutter he gathers around town. After much hesitation and several attempts at escaping, Julie comes to terms with the fact that R is watching out for her best interests and is not just keeping her hostage until he is ready for his next meal. Julie and R become better acquainted and, with every passing day, the two fall more in love and R becomes more human. As R sheds his zombie characteristics, he sets off a reaction in others like him. The zombie race begins curing itself of its unconscious, emotionless ways and becomes increasingly human thanks to the growing love of Julie and R. Warm Bodies is due to release on DVD in July.

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Issue 5 12-13  

Issue 5 12-13

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