Prom dreams turn to nightmares

Photo Courtesy to: Google Images

Photo Courtesy to: Google Images

The attendance office may see an all time low in attendance for juniors and seniors on Friday April 25th. Prom, one of the most attended school events by seniors and juniors, usually falls on a Saturday, however due to some planning issues Mesquite High School’s prom will fall on a Friday this year.  Girls and guys alike spend hours and lots of money preparing for the big event.  With the date now falling on Friday April 25 at 7:30 p.m. – 11:30 pm, troubling prom goers dreams are turning into nightmares on how to prepare with such a limited time frame.

The date of prom was changed because another event was scheduled across the street from the venue causing parking issues which would place the school into a situation of busing prom goers to and from the event, which is impossible.

“There would have been no parking if we kept with the original date,” committee leader, Crisstie Crim said. “The venue couldn’t even promise us that we’d have access to the street.”

Keeping in mind the safety of everyone involved, the committee and administration came together to decide on a new date.

“This is not our first choice,” Principal Christy Starrett said. “Because of the issue with parking, students would have to walk blocks to get to our venue, passing many possible drunken communities. I have to protect them from that.”

The option to change the venue was present, but there would have been a break of contract fee of $13,000. The cost of breaking the contract on top of the already high cost of prom would have put ticket prices in the $100’s.

“We felt better to offer it now.  The only dates they had were Fridays or late May, which is too close to graduation.” Satrrett said. “Our point was to make the decision best for the kids, however I think it will still be a good night for the kids and they will find ways to work around it.”

Considering that prom will be held on a Friday, students are worried about how they will make time for getting ready. Prom is not only a big event for students, but for businesses around town it is a big money producer.  Hair, nail and makeup appointments are going to be impossible for many business to cram in on a Friday afternoon, without advance appointments. Students are having to pack a day’s worth of preparations into only a few short hours.

Updos, nails and makeup on an average will take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to complete, depending on if the girl gets everything done, which most prom attendees want it all.  “It will be impossible for salons to accommodate the girls on such a short time frame, especially if they want the works.”  Lauren Mccabe said, a stylist from Studio 7, in Mesquite.

While administration is keeping an optimistic attitude, students don’t know how to make up the loss of time.  Many students are already starting to stress over this event.

“Honestly, I feel like it adds so much more pressure to us.” senior Valeria Vazquez said. “Especially girls since we’re the ones expected to look glamorous.”

Time is the major issue that students are concerned about and many feel that administration is responsible to make up the time difference. Students are willing to compromise not missing school by extending the time of the dance. “They should make the dance longer,” senior, Brittani Hall said.

At $60 a ticket, ranging in price getting closer to the date, and the lack of time to prep, students are finding it difficult to find worth in the dance. Students feel that they aren’t going to be able to enjoy the process, instead they will be in a rush, trying to get ready.

Students have been heard, but their requests have not been met. A great majority of those who have early release are advised by administration to use the time wisely and prep for the big night ahead. Students were also told to make preparations throughout the week, and not to wait for the day of the event.

“There won’t be any changes in the school schedule.” Starrett said.  “However, I still think it will be a good night for the kids and they will find ways to work around it.”

Story by: Chandler Claxton

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Finian’s Rainbow: Performance By MHS Theatre Cast Review

On February 1, 2013, I went to see our theater students performance the musical Finian’s RainbowTo say the least, the performance was rather average. The choreography was actually astounding, but voices felt lackluster at times; the characters were well portrayed, but the story felt empty, despite constantly having something going on. After sitting through approximately two and a half hours of dancing and singing, instead of feeling enlightened and emotional over the performance, I felt a sense of emptiness. I do understand that the cast did the performance as the script tells them, I also feel that there was no sense of “wow” in the performance. One of the things that make a performance truly great is being able to make a character your own, and refine it to become you. Unfortunately, I did not see any of this going on in the cast’s performance. Not to mention that at times, when I was attempting to follow dialogue, the mic crew would remind me that they were there and let out a low scratching noise over the voice of the actors. And good lord, the lights! If they weren’t shaking, they were too dim for a good acquisition of facial features.

To start at the beginning, I never really liked the score for Finian’s Rainbowthe pieces seem far too simplistic in nature. Though, that’s only on the part of the actors really, the actual score for the symphony is quite a vexing amalgamation of notes and rhythmic patterns. About the only challenging roll I found to hold a fair amount of tonal quality was in the part of Sharon. Seriously, there were some times in the performance that I was absolutely astounded by the lead actresses ability to hit the high notes that Sharon must hit. Though, I wish the same could be said of the lead actor who portrayed Woody. It’s not that he could not sing, rather, is voice simply did not fit with the rest of the cast. The vocals for Woody simply were too “poppy” in nature and lacked a musical tonality that is needed for musicals. But the cast as a whole had an amazing harmony that I cannot begin to describe. While the actors individually didn’t astonish me, the cast as whole did some things I wish I could see in every high school performance of a musical. Though, you expect good harmonies in any musical, or else I’d just go see an elementary performance of the Christmas Carol. 

Before anyone gets severely personally hurt, (as I know anyone does reading a review) there were some actually good things about the performance. For one, the actors actually managed to stay in character completely, which is a rather rare sight in high school performances as well. By this, I mean that all the actors managed to always hold their characters mannerisms, posture and even accents (which were quite convincing by the way). Also, there was never a moment where I doubted that the actors were immersing me in the story, so I was not too aware of the fact I was watching a play. So good on them for doing their jobs as they should be done.

Finally, I would like to commend the cast for selecting a piece that not only has hilarious underlying tones of crude humor and social commentary, but also in picking a piece that confronts the idea of racism. It seems many people are scared these days to perform plays simply because they are scared of the script, but in truth, the script is simply only words on a page. These words can only be made offensive or vulgar if the entire cast wishes them to be so. Thankfully, the cats did not wish for any of this mishap, and they managed to introduce this comedy and racial slander in a moderate fashion that did not have any malicious intent behind it on the part of the actors. After reviewing the script for a bit, I found I quite enjoyed the dialogue of Finian’s Rainbow because although it at times feels like a child’s story, it is similar to a Disney movie in the way it hints at more “adult” content. I may have said I disliked the musical aspect of the performance, I never said anything of the actual dialogue of the play.

Overall, the play was simply average. On top of already having some prejudice toward the play itself, I simply feel as though the actors did their job, and did not bring anything new to the table for Finian’s Rainbow. Though, I do look forward to future performances by our theater department because they all seemed to have fun when they were on the stage with those oh-so-bright lights upon them, and that is what marks a theater group that can go on to do some fabulous performances.

 

1544458_735403573150098_1926942257_n71441_735406029816519_405452522_n1798242_735403273150128_679963395_nFR Photo Courtesy: Mesquite ISD Facbook page. 

Story by: Izaak Lux

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The Effects of Alcoholic Parents

Alcoholism is common, even when people images 3think it will never happen to them or to someone around them. However the reality is, it’s most likely happening around you if not to you, right now.

One in five children have alcoholic parents, and 15% of Americans are or will suffer from alcoholism.

How does having a alcoholic parent effect children and teens?

•they have a greater risk of emotional problems.

•they are more likely to be an alcoholic as an adult.

•they will experience some form of abuse or neglect.

•they may blame themselves for their parent(s) drinking.

•they fear going home and will attempt to stay out as much as possible.

•they have difficulty trusting people.

•they feel anger towards a parent or both parents.

•they suffer depression.

•they usually fail to exceed in school.

•they lack friends.

•they act out or have delinquent behavior.

•they abuse drugs and alcohol.

These are some of the issues children and teens face when they have alcoholic parents or one parent that is suffering from this disastrous disease.

Future problems that can arise from this dysfunctional family unit is becoming controlling, especially in romantic relationships.

There are many problems that arise from having an alcoholic parent or parents. Many parents that are alcoholics may not even see that their child is suffering. There are signs and triggers that you can look for, such as…

•Neglecting Responsibilities

•Using alcohol in physically dangerous situations.

•Continuing drinking even after it causes problems in your relationships and everyday life.

•Using alcohol as a way to relax and relieve stress.

Children of alcoholic parents have a higher risk of becoming an alcoholic in their future, or turn to alcohol for comfort in bad situations.

If you drink, be responsible, especially as a parent, because little eyes and small ears are watching you, and the effects of alcohol do not stop with the user.

Story by Miranda Burrow

 

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Precious as a Gem

images 1All it takes is a moment, the space between one breath and the next, just a second is all that is required to end a life; such a fragile thing yet as precious as any gem. But more often than not it’s thrown away carelessly like a scrap piece of paper.

Teens today are faced with many challenges. Grades, teacher demands, tests, peer-pressure, in some cases, bullying, which all leads to stress. Teenagers are the most judgmental of all the age groups in today’s culture and it causes grief for their fellow teenagers.

Anger, hurt, hopelessness, sadness, all of this could be bottled up inside and it just grows and grows until finally the bearer of these emotions just can’t take anymore and they snap, like a thin piece of glass. The emotions overwhelm them and they spiral into depression, stuck in a void they can’t escape from. This continues with no end in sight and eventually the person will end it all just to make it stop.

The origin of the word suicide comes from New Latin suīcīdium, from Latin suī of oneself + -cīdium, from caedere to kill.

According to research done by the National Institute of Mental Health Suicide(NIMH) is a major, preventable public health problem. In 2007, it was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 34,598 deaths. The overall rate was 11.3 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. An estimated 11 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death. Research also shows that the risk for suicide is associated with changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, including serotonin. Decreased levels of serotonin have been found in people with depression, impulsive disorders, and a history of suicide attempts, and in the brains of suicide victims.

NIMH also found that in 2007, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. Of every 100,000 young people in each age group, the following number died by suicide:

~Children ages 10 to 14 — 0.9 per 100,000

~Adolescents ages 15 to 19 — 6.9 per 100,000

~Young adults ages 20 to 24 — 12.7 per 100,000

In the general population, young people were much more likely to use firearms, suffocation, and poisoning than other methods of suicide, overall. However, while adolescents and young adults were more likely to use firearms than suffocation, children were dramatically more likely to use suffocation.

Often times teens feel like there is no one to talk to or that will listen to their issues, but there are people out there that want to listen and want to help.

The suicide prevention hotlines have people on the other end willing to make a difference in a suffering persons life. You are not alone, there are people out there that are going through the same thing you are. You don’t have to do this by yourself.

A life is a terrible thing to waste, so don’t waste it.

story by Vanna Watson

 

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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Last Christmas, the long anticipated comedy sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was released in theaters. The movie brought in $26.9

 

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

million during the holiday season, coming in second right behind The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smogg. Movie-goers came back to have more nonsensical fun with the San Diego News Team. Leading with an all star cast, starring Will Ferrel and Steve Carrel, Anchorman 2 is a gut-busting film that the whole family can enjoy.

 

Many critics have given the movie a bad rap because of its inconsistency in plot and poor character development. While none of us are conscious of these accusations while laughing ourselves to kingdom come, looking back at the film, these points can be very easily identified. In truth, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is extremely drawn out and over the top just like its predecessor. While the film has its moments where it has its where the audience is giggling and smiling, that is all there is to the movie- moments.

 

It is often forgotten what makes a quality comedy film (And that is not cheap jokes and songs about Dobi). The film is not horrible, but it’s not great; the film is not hilarious, but it’s not bland either. The main problem faced with The Anchorman 2 is that the film finds no sense of balance in its entirety. McKay and Ferrel should have just abandoned after Anchorman, because it may be true that the sequel was quite funny to the 13 year old audience, for those of us who saw the prequel, it almost feels as though the second is a rendition rather and a sequel.

 

I give it a ** out of *****.

 

Story by Izaak Lux

 

 

 

 

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What is Valentine’s Day

Today Valentine’s Day seems to consist of chocolates, roses and stuffed animals,

Happy Valentine's Day...

Happy Valentine’s Day… (Photo credit: Јerry)

but the idea didn’t start out that way.

In contrast, the Roman legend states that Valentine’s day was originally created after Saint Valentine. Saint Valentine was a priest in Rome during the year 269 A.D. During the same time, Emperor Claudius II, nicknamed “Claudius the Cruel”, believed that unmarried  soldiers fought better than married soldiers because if a soldier is married, they are more cautious and afraid of dying due to fearing what could happen to their families and loved ones if they die.

According to the legend, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements so that the men wouldn’t have a reason to stay. Upon this cancellation, Saint Valentine and his friend, Saint Marius, went against Claudius’ plans and decided to perform marriages in secret. When Claudius heard of this news, he demanded that Saint Valentine be beaten to death and decapitated. Legend has it that during his confinement, he fell in love with a girl said to be the daughter of a man called to judge Valentine based upon the Roman laws. Before the day of his death, on February 14th, a letter was written to the young girl in which he signed “From your Valentine.” This story is one of the most known legends behind Valentine’s day, but Saint Valentine wasn’t the only person Valentine’s Day was based after.

Another is that of the Pagan Festival. This festival was placed in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the celebration of Lupercalia. Lupercalia is a fertility festival devoted to the Roman god of agriculture, Faunus, and the Roman founders, Romulus and Remus.

During Lupercalia, members of the Luperci would gather in a cave where the founders of Rome were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf during their infant years. Priests would sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog to symbolize purity. After this event, the names of the young women in  the city would be placed in a big urn. The bachelors of the city would  then choose a name and the young women they chose would be their pair for a year.

Why is Lupercalia not celebrated today? After the 5th century of the annual Lupercalia event, it was said to be “un-Christian” and was then banned. The holiday was then established as Valentine’s day.

Although Valentine’s act consisted of love, it wasn’t definitely linked to love until  the Middle Ages. This came about because it was commonly believed in England and France that February 14th was the beginning of mating season for birds. But that isn’t it.

Although Valentine’s greetings were popular back in the Middle Ages, it wasn’t until the 1400’s when written Valentine’s started to appear. The oldest recorded valentine still existing to this day is a poem wrote by Charles, Duke of Orleans, in 1415 to his wife while he was in prison.

In Great Britain, valentine became popularly celebrated around the 17th century and by the 18th, the exchanging of tokens of affection and notes became common. By 1900, printed cards began to replace hand written cards due to improvements of printing technology.

The United States adopted the Valentine’s day traditions from Great Britain beginning in the early 1700s. After many years of Valentine’s Day and various changes in the celebration, we come to today’s Valentine’s Day known as the love holiday. With gifts ranging from candies to stuffed animals, greeting cards are still the number one seller. According the the Greeting Card Association, Valentine’s Day is the second largest card-selling holiday of the year, selling about 1 billion cards each year.

Story by Chaznee Wyrick

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Historical Haunted Places in America

English: The Borden's House in Fall River, Mas...

English: The Borden’s House in Fall River, Massachusetts, present day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Do you like to visit places with history, or even places with mystery? Do you believe in the paranormal? Or do you think all supernatural happenings are a hoax? Weather you believe in it or not, historical “haunted” places in America do have quite interesting history, be it murder, accidental death,  or patients in an asylum treated badly, each building has a unique back story to make it creepy without the ghosts.

 

Villisca Axe Murder House- Villisca, Iowa  

 

About 100 years ago, two adults and six children were found brutally murdered with an axe in their beds. Two of the children were just friends of the Moore family and were staying the night. When found the next morning, evidence shows no sign of a break-in. In fact, the murder was never caught. the police had a long list of suspects, but never found who the murder was, or his motive. Even to this day, this is a mysterious murder scene that has yet to be solved. Tourists to the house report hearing children, most activity is in the guest room, the room where the Stillinger Sisters stayed. The room closet door reportedly opens on it’s own, and visitors report seeing a “shadow or a man” in the attic window.

 

Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast –  Fall River, Massachusetts

 

 ” Lizzie Borden had an axe ,he gave her mother 40 whacks, when she saw what she had done,she gave her father 41″ Although the nursery rhyme is wrong in the fact that it was Lizzie Borden’s step-mother and she did not give her parents’ “40 whacks”, it gives the basic outline for what Lizzie Borden had done. On  August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden murdered her father with a hatchet.  Andrew Borden was stuck 10 or 11 times in the face completely removing his eye from his eye socket. She called for her maid, saying “Maggie, come quick! Father’s dead. Somebody came in and killed him.” Before the police arrived, the maid went upstairs to tell Abby Borden, only to find her dead on the floor, with her skull bashed in by 19 blows of an axe. Voices, footsteps, apparitions, objects being moved, and people being touched have been reported by guests and staff.

 

The Winchester Mystery House San Jose, California
Ever heard of the Winchesters? No, not the Winchester brothers from the T.V. series Supernatural, but Sarah Winchester. She was the widow of William Wirt Winchester, a famous gun maker. A medium told Winchester that the deaths of her husband and daughter were caused by the people who died by the Winchester guns. Sarah Winchester was told she had to build a mansion non-stop, with hallways, doors, and stairs leading to nowhere, in order to confuse the spirits that were killed by the Winchester guns.  Winchester held a  séance every night to communicate with the spirits, and received guidance on how to build the house. But spirits aren’t the only ones that get lost – tourists do too! Some of these doors even lead outside – from the second floor, misguiding tourists to almost have a very painful fall. Winchester built the house out fear. She died in 1922 of a heart failure, but the house was still being built even after her death. Ghostly faces, voices, nausea, pressure, and  full body apparitions  are reported by tourists.

 

Bird Cage Theatre – Tombstone, Arizona

 

From 1881 to 1889, the Bird Cage Theatre served as a theatre, brothel, saloon, and gambling parlor. The basement poker room is said to be the site of the longest-running poker game in history. Played continuously twenty-four hours a day for eight years, five months, and three days. It reopened in 1934. A  gambler named Billy Milgreen was entertaining the affections of two  prostitutes, Margarita and Gold Dollar. Gold Dollar was his regular and when she discovered Billy flirting with Margarita, she attacked. With a  stiletto knife, Gold Dollar stabbed Margarita repeatedly in the chest. Visitors report seeing men dressed as cowboys and prostitutes, at night, employees hear yelling, laughing, and music.

 

ʻIolani Palace – Honolulu, Hawaii

 

The ʻIolani Palace structure that exists today is actually the second to sit on the grounds. The original one story wooden building called Hanailoia was built in July 1844, only one-third the floor area of the present palace. The building served as a palace for the monarch of Hawaii, until the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarch. Liliʻuokalani, Kapiʻolani, and other royal retainers were evicted from the palace after the overthrow. The palace was then given to the government of Hawaii. In 1935, the palace was fully restored. Security guards report seeing strange lights and shadows, and the sound of ballroom dancing, footsteps and laughing can be heard inside the palace.

 

So if it’s history or mystery that fascinates you in your travels, next time you are looking for a place to go to raise the hairs on the back of your neck or just to fill some holes in your personal history log of unusual places don’t forget about these unique eerie vacation spots.

 

By Kristin Esparza

 

 

 

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Does Music Affect Human Behavior

 

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum logo

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Can music sooth the savage beast, or does it bring out the inner beast in us all?  Music has been linked to behavior and personality mood swings on more than several occasions.  It has even been noted in court cases that music was the factor that triggered the unacceptable behavior.

Several universities have conducted research into the effects of music and behavior and according to a few of them the results seem to speak volumes.

Rock, an up beat, loud type of music with multiple loud live instruments was used in studies on aggression. UCLA used a combination of genres to conduct a study on music and behavior.  The results have shown that just guitar music alone can cause more fear, paranoia, and aggression. They took a group of 20 people, and played elevator music. They then played distorted electric guitar in the background. People became angrier when just the elevator music was playing.

 

Rap music, while just as loud as rock music, with more bass and usually some colorful language along with multiple mixed messages, has been linked to acts of violence and even drug use. According to a study on 1,200 college students age 15-25, those who listen to rap music DAILY are more prone to violence and drug use. One could perhaps blame lyrics.?

 

Country music, a softer, melodic sound, quite different from both rock and rap music, often times mixed in the genre of pop music, which is often the most listened too genre, has not escaped its bad rap.  In a study from an Auburn University professor, it appears that country music could be the factor in the depletion of white males in America.  The results  showed that, on average, white males who listen to country music daily have a higher rate of suicide than those who don’t. I guess misery does love company.

 

It seems that music, like everything else in the entertainment industry is getting a bad rap for the behaviors of individuals.  Personally I don’t think music has an effect on ones [my] behavior; but according to these studies it seems to be causing a big uproar among some unsuspected fans.

 

No matter, I don’t think the industry will be following the country music theme and leaving town anytime soon, so plug in those amps, dial up your favorite radio station and rock the mood away or sing it to sleep.  Whatever genre you choose to listen to, enjoy it, but like all pleasurable things, take it in moderation and be responsible for your actions, that is the key.

 

Story by Jared Taylor

 

 

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