For additional stories, please visit the MV Current
News: Know your Constitution or don't graduate
By Kayla Kollmann, Editor in Chief
If Indiana state Sen. Dennis Kruse, Republican, has his way, Indiana high school students would have to pass a citizenship test to graduate. It would be the same test immigrants have to pass to gain citizenship.
This bill would join Indiana with about 14 other states, including Arizona which has already passed the bill, in considering adding the citizenship test to diploma requirements
“The reception of the bill has been positive and well acclaimed nationally. Indiana is one out of about 15 states that have considered this same proposal, signifying the popularity of this idea throughout the nation,” Kruse wrote in an email interview with the MV Current.
According to The Indianapolis Star, between the eighth to 12 grades, public and charter school students would take the test with basic American government questions such as: “Who was the first President?” and “What are the Bill of Rights?” They would have to answer at least 60 of the 100 questions correctly.
“After a few years of requiring the test, we will have a better idea of when most students take the test, but I expect juniors and seniors to be tested most, since they will have time to prepare and are graduating soon,” said Sen. Kruse.
As for the formatting of the U.S. civics test itself, Sen. Kruse expressed that it will have the same requirements as the citizenship test, but schools will be in charge of the administration of it. To this, however, there has been some backlash. Teachers in Indiana and other states considering the bill have criticized it stating that it is simply piling more to teachers’ plates, or that schools will have to mandate a civics course in order to get students to pass.
The students and faculty at Mt. Vernon have some of their own opinions on the bill.
“It’s a good idea, but high school students simply don’t learn that information. Everyone would fail the test,” Lily Erlewein, 11.
Social studies Department chair Fred Granger said he agrees with Kruse.
Granger said, “Our form of government depends on citizens who are informed about how this government works and why it’s so crucial for them to be knowledgeable about issues. American citizens need to participate, beginning with voting. Right now, too few people care to vote because they don't know how important it is. That’s not good.”
“I think it is a really good idea. It is a little ridiculous that so many students fail,” Nicole Casler, 12.
Sen. Kruse responded in his email: “When thinking about the best way to implement this type of test, it’s important to balance the positives and negatives. To me, the positives outweigh the negatives in this particular case. This test takes roughly one hour to complete and students will have five years to prepare between eighth and 12 grade. Teachers can set up schedules for students to take this test. It will encourage schools to commit more in citizenship.”
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services requires immigrant candidates to answer six of 10 of these questions verbally, and on average, 91 percent pass on the first try, as opposed to the studies in Arizona and Oklahoma that show only five percent of high school students can pass the test. However, should students fail the test, Senator Kruse assures they would get a chance at a retake.
“Similar to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ citizenship process, applicants may take the test again. Students may take the test as many times as needed in order to meet graduation requirements,” said Senator Kruse.
"I believe that if we're asking someone from a foreign country to know this information, that our own citizens ought to know it," Kruse told the Lafayette Journal and Courier.
The bill was introduced when the Senate convened Jan. 6, and will be discussed and decided upon with the next session.
Features: Models of all shapes and sizes
By Dakota Fisher, staff writer
People tend to have a gross misconception of what it’s like to be a model: jetting all around the globe, sitting first class with a glass of the finest Chardonnay imaginable; relaxing in a beautiful five-star hotel with people to cater to your every whim; being primped and polished to perfection. Then all they have to do is make a few sexy faces at a camera while wearing nothing but their underwear. They are then handed a check for thousands of dollars and get their face slapped on a huge billboard in Times Square. This may be true for some supermodels, but the life of a plus size model is not so lavish.
Being the low man on the totem pole is not a stroll in the park. Plus size models face countless struggles in their line of work, yet still manage to promote image equality and positive body image.
MSA Modeling is an agency in New York that features plus size models, as well as the average runway model. Andrew Higgins, director at MSA Models, worked with women’s magazine Marie Claire in doing an experiment about men’s views on plus sized women.
"They took a plus sized model and a camera crew to ask men what aspects they liked about a plus sized model. They then asked if the men could tell her size. Not one in one hundred men knew. They didn't see beauty as a dress size," said Higgins.
"When they asked women the same question, the women were more critical about what parts needed help, while the men just said what they thought was attractive."
The average woman is a size 14, however in the modelling industry, anything over a size 6 is considered "plus size."
“I love plus size models.” said Lindsey Bonfiglio, 9. “They show that being skinny isn’t the only kind of beautiful and that it’s okay to be who you are.”
Plus sized models depict the body of the average woman, yet don't receive the admiration they deserve. In fact, many argue that plus size models glorify obesity and promote a negative body image.
No one should be encouraged to starve themselves or to hate their bodies because they don't match up to the unrealistic, photoshopped fictions that decorate our ads and tabloids. A five foot nine, 197 pound woman is just as beautiful as a woman who is five foot one and 105. Some women are curvier than others, some are skinnier, some shorter, some taller, but there is beauty in all.
Sports:Race to the Stanley Cup
By Ryan Dockery, Copy/Sports Editor
The National Hockey League was founded in 1917 and has been gaining popularity for the hockey for almost a century. The league includes several teams from all over the United States and Canada.
The main event for hockey is the Stanley Cup, which will be taking place in the summer. However, there are several events to keep hockey fans entertained until then.
The Winter Classic is an annual outdoor match that is always played on January 1. This year, the Chicago Blackhawks faced the Capitals in Washington D.C. and were defeated with 12.9 seconds left in the game.
The league is divided into four divisions and will become more intricately competitive as the Stanley Cup approaches. Currently, there are no teams competing on behalf of Indiana.
Hockey is a unique sport in that it goes on nearly all year, leaving only a couple of months between the end of the Stanley Cup and the beginning of the next regular season. Not only that, hockey is a sport that cheers on fighting and the officials will rarely break up a fight.
The sport is not, however, without rules and consequences, as the Philadelphia Flyers discovered. The team was fined an undisclosed amount of money for traveling over holiday season. This is just one of the many interesting and unique rules of the sport.
Hockey is a beloved sport for many people around the world, including students at Mt. Vernon High School.
“The thing about hockey is that nothing matters other than making the playoffs,” said Sam Cook, 12. “The greatest record in the league doesn’t mean anything. This is what differs from all other sports, the outcome in the end will always surprise you, and leave you wanting more.”
Currently, the divisions are lead by The Tampa Bay Lightning, The Pittsburgh Penguins, The Nashville Predators, and the Anaheim Ducks, but as Cook mentioned, this can all change when it comes playoff time.
Until then, hockey fans anxiously wait as their favorite teams prepare for the most momentous occasion in the year for hockey.
News: Almost Maine
By Dakota Fischer, staff writer
Photo by Maggie Brown, staff writer
One cold, clear Friday night in the middle of winter, while the northern lights hover in the sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in the strangest ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. Love is lost, found, and confounded. And life for the people of Almost, Maine will never be the same.
On February 12-14, the Mt. Vernon High School Drama Department will put on their very own production of the off-Broadway play "Almost, Maine."
“We have a great cast for this show and I'm incredibly excited to welcome so many new faces to the program,” said director, Andrew Okerson.
This will be Okerson’s second show with MVHS following "The Drowsy Chaperone,” which took place this past November.
"Almost, Maine" is a 19-person show consisting of nine short skits in which couples fall in and out of love.
The show features:
Freshmen: Maggie Brown, Shana Stutz, and Skylar Mayes.
Sophomores: Felicity Kratky, Dequan Hamilton, Austin Jones, Sam Jobe
Juniors: Jacob Owens, Lauren Matson, Rylie Gendron, Chelsea Theobald, and Elijah Williams
Seniors: Colin Pool, Cheyenne Michael, Jake McCarty, Zane Roberts, Derek Bond, Danielle Van Winkle, and Stephani McDole
Ten West Center For the Arts in Fortville, Andrew’s non-profit organization will be performing the hit musical, "Grease", in March, and stars many of the faces who will appear in "Almost, Maine".
Tickets are on sale now at mvtheatre.weebly.com .
Features: 2015 predictions: we are the future
By Ashley Offenback, staff writer
“Back to the Future Two” was a huge movie released in 1989. In 1989, characters thought 1980’s would be ancient history, and 2015 was far from the future, but 2015 is already here.
One prediction the movie made was there would be power shoelaces in 2015, and that prediction hasn’t come true. Imagine not having to bend down, and using the push of a button and a shoelace is tied. People still have to bend down and tie or velcro shoes, power shoelaces would tie themselves, so this is far from becoming an invention.
A prediction from the movie that has come true is being able to go to a movie theater and watching 3D movies. Although the first ever 3D movie was released in 1922, they were not common until the 1980’s. When they became common in the 1980’s, many people would go and watch 3D movies, but they were far less advanced than they are today. During a small period of time they were very popular, but then because the technology was so poor, they died off fast. Now they make a movie and not long after they remake it in 3D only.
Another prediction that has come true is something used in almost everyday life: tablet computers. Tablet computers are now used on a regular basis, and are an easier way to store information than a laptop.
Gawker.com wrote in a statement, “The tablet featured in the film is much clunkier than the tablets we have today, but the idea is still the same: something small and wireless that people can do cool things with. Like save clock towers. Or play angry birds.”
A huge part of this movie is when the characters rode in flying cars. This is something that is far from coming true. Most people today could not imagine flying cars being invented for many years.
Emily Frost,10, said, “I think it will happen, but not in 2015, because cars are really advancing right now, but not that rapidly. They already have cars that can drive themselves, so they are one step closer to flying cars.”
Another prediction that has yet to come true in 2015 is autofitting or size-adjusting clothes. When the actors put these clothes on, they will adjust to the correct size and fit them perfectly. Imagine going clothes shopping, trying on clothes, and having them automatically turn into the correct size. That would make clothes shopping a lot easier.
One of the biggest predictions the movie made, and perhaps the most true prediction,is the obsession with electronics. Some families struggle with sitting down to eat and not having a phone out, and others watch TV while they eat. This generation can’t imagine a TV without basic cable, Netflix, or regular cable, tablets, and phones.
Although “Back to the Future Two” made some crazy predictions that haven’t come close to true, some of the predictions were crazily accurate. Even though this movie was released in 1989, the cast and crew had a somewhat well-fitting idea of how we would live today.
Doc Emmett Brown said, “We are descending toward Hill Valley, California,at 4:29pm, on Wednesday, October 21, 2015.”
Time to start the “Back to the Future” countdown. Starting now.
Reviews: Unbroken is broken
By Gavin Craig, staff writer
One of the typical filmmaker’s favorite things to do is to find an inspiring true story and bring it to theaters. Some of these films turn out great, and others just completely miss the mark. Sadly, the latter serves as a better description for the recently-released war drama film “Unbroken.”
The film tells the story of Louis Zamperini, an Italian-American who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, served in World War II and spent time in a Japanese prison camp. This brief synopsis alone makes “Unbroken” sound like a thrilling movie with a great story, but there are a lot of things in between the lines that drag the entire film down.
For starters, Zamperini, played by Jack O’Connell, was not an Olympic champion. He ran in one track event, finished eighth, and set a minorly important speed record. As for his time in World War II, he is only seen eating raw fish and birds from a life raft.The only remotely interesting part of the story comes when Zamperini is captured and sent to a Japanese prison camp. Here, we see the formation and evolution of the struggle between Zamperini and Mutsuhiro Watanabe, the Japanese corporal in charge of the prison camp.
Watanabe, played by Miyavi, is immensely envious of Zamperini’s status as an Olympic athlete, and sets out to punish him in every possible way. He eventually comes to respect Zamperini for both his physical and mental strength, but still seeks to break him, telling Zamperini that they could be friends if they were not on opposite sides of the war.
This forced me to wonder if Watanabe wanted to do what he was doing, or if he was just acting under the “just following orders” mentality, which raised questions in my head about war and what it does to those involved.
The entire ordeal, however, is grossly overshadowed by the endless scenes of Watanabe beating Zamperini with a heavy bamboo stick and torturing him in other ways, probably frustrated that he was unable to break the prisoners under his control.
The lessons that the film teaches about strength and perseverance are noteworthy, and the story between Zamperini and Watanabe is thought-provoking, but in the end, “Unbroken” is merely a disappointment.
Transgender teens should find acceptance
By Maggie Brown, staff writer
On December 28, 2014, an Ohio teen took her life by stepping in front of an oncoming semi-truck. She was bullied, outcasted, and ridiculed, and religious views were viciously forced upon her, causing her to doubt herself and everything she was.
Leelah Alcorn went through emotional abuse, neglect, and more, and those who caused her pain did so on the grounds that she had been born Joshua Alcorn, and at the time of death still had the anatomy of a male.
Leelah's death caused enormous controversy when her suicide note was posted to her tumblr on a timer she had set before she died. Many have accused her parents of being abusive and neglectful, using a method called conversion therapy, a method of attempting to “fix” a transgender youth, refusing to use the correct pronouns, and even trying to pass off her death as an accident before the note surfaced on social media.
“The situation with Leelah Alcorn is tragic,” said Betsy McCleery, 9. “It’s disrespectful of her parents to purposefully misgender her and soil her memory.”
"We don't support that, religiously," Carla Alcorn said when questioned about why she did not accept her daughter's gender identity. "But we told him that we loved him unconditionally. We loved him no matter what. I loved my son. People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy."
Activists have become more and more angered as, even in death, Carla Alcorn refuses to acknowledge her daughter's gender. The Alcorns buried her in a suit, with her birth name, Joshua, on the tombstone.
"It's so damaging to do that," said Johanna Olson, Medical Director for the Center of Trans Youth Health and Development at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "Just the process of listening and being open to your child will save their life. It's tragic to hear of such a lack of parental support."
And Leelah is right. The idea of causing your own child emotional distress just because they don’t agree with your religious views baffles me. Just because they’ve decided that they’d rather be your daughter than your son does not mean you have the right to try and erase what they are and replace it with what you want them to be.
The death of Leelah Alcorn is not something that the world can forget. The end of Leelah's suicide note reads, "My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say ‘that’s ****ed up’ and fix it. Fix society. Please."
Gender is not what hides in your underwear, how long your hair is, whether or not you wear makeup or have breasts or think skirts are pretty. Gender is what you feel, how you think, the way you want to live your life. Nobody should be denied the right to their gender because someone else thinks they are wrong.
Sports: Buckeyes win it all
By Blake Slunaker, staff writer
The first ever college football playoff has come to an end. There were two games that College Football fans everywhere watched on January 1.
In the first game, Oregon annihilated Florida State 59-20. The next game that fans saw was the Ohio State Buckeyes pull off an amazing upset over Alabama Crimson Tide.
Coming into this game the Buckeyes were ranked fourth in the nation while Alabama was ranked number one overall. Many so-called college football experts thought that Ohio State had no chance and that Alabama would roll over them with no problem. However, third-string quarterback Cardale Jones proved those experts wrong.
Earlier in the season, Ohio State lost their starting quarterback, Braxton Miller, due to a shoulder injury. J.T. Barrett, the second-string quarterback, came in and lead Ohio State to an 11-1 record before suffering an ankle injury. That’s where Cardale Jones comes in.
The experts thought that Jones’ lack of experience would hurt Ohio State’s chances of winning. Jones actually outplayed Alabama’s starting quarterback and led the Buckeyes to a 42-35 victory over the Crimson Tide. Jones threw for 243 yards, a touchdown, and also ran for 43 yards in the victory.
The game was heavily watched by college football fanatics everywhere and drew in approximately twenty-eight million views. The fans knew they would be getting a good game and they got just that.
“I could not stop watching this game. I was so nervous but I am glad the Buckeyes won,” said Gloria Gonzales, 11.
The Buckeyes continued their winning ways against Oregon on January 12, beating the Ducks 42-20. Cardale Jones continued to shine and lead his team to victory once again. The Buckeyes were not expected to win by many people, but were able to overcome the adversity to beat Oregon.
This season will certainly be one to remember for all Buckeye players and fans.
Features: Perks of being a novelist
By Claire Dorsch, staff writer
Photo by Emily Neuendorff, staff photographer
Novelists have one of the most difficult jobs. Coming up with new and
unique ideas is tough and requires unlimited imagination. They work at all times of the year and don’t have conventional business hours like a doctor or a teacher would.
Depending on an estimate of how well their novel will sell, novelists are paid that amount upfront. Any extra profit comes from increased purchase of the novel as well as any other appearances they may make for publicity for the novel.
Being a novelist is strenuous and grueling work, but it does have its perks.
A major advantage is being able to work from anywhere. Instead of having an office or a specific workplace, a novelist can work from home. They may also write when they have time. There are no specific hours they have to work. It is very flexible and adjustable. They have deadlines to meet and it doesn’t matter when, where, or how they work as long as they stay on time.
“When you write, you play by your own rules. No one can restrict you and you can feel truly free,” said Chelsea Roundtree, 9.
Writing a novel is an experience in itself. Novelists create people, societies, and entirely new worlds totally unknown. Their imaginations run wild. Writers are paid to think up some of the craziest places and strangest creatures in the literary world; but like writing an essay, they must do all the right research.
Jane Archer, writer for “The Nest” once wrote, “Being a writer gives you the freedom, flexibility, and unlimited potential to learn.”
Some writers are not as educated about topics in their writing, so they must seek out experts on the subject. Writers are able to learn about unfamiliar cultures and other ways of life, and then mold it into their story.
Novelists may need to travel to find accuracy in their tales. One may travel to Uganda to learn about the supposed origins of a character they created. They must know what they are writing about for it to be entertaining. Although the topic may be fictional, few people might want to read a medical fiction if the terminology is wrong and the circumstances are impossible. They get to see new places and experience new things while doing the job they love.
Being a writer is also a chance to influence. The amount of people who started braiding their hair like Katniss is baffling and impressive.
Books like “Divergent,” “The Da Vinci Code”, and “The Second Sex” are all literary works that have influenced the world. “The Second Sex” influenced women to fight for their rights and “The Da Vinci Code” changed society’s views on Christianity.
This applies not only in the present but also in the future. Many writers do not dare dream of being as famous and remembered as Ernest Hemingway or E.E. Cummings. Such authors are idols and figures of worship and study. They influence people to strive toward such excellency, notoriety, and talent with just their work and the vehemence of their success.
While it is not the most glamorous of high-paying job in the world, being a novelist is something that many people enjoy doing professionally.
“I get to spend my days with my fictional characters!,” said Kaitlyn Hoyt, self-published author and graduate of Mt. Vernon. “I love my characters, and love that I can share their stories with others. If a reader can read between the lines of one of my books and connect with something on a deeper level...well, there's no better feeling. It's hard to describe. Also, I don't actually have to leave my bed to write. That's definitely a perk. I can stay in my pajamas and still feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.”
The job has its perks and advantages, and it has its little quirks and habits that comes with being a writer. They get famous, and they may leave a kind of legacy in their wake, which is what most people search for.
NEWS: Air Asia airplane disaster
By Jacob Owens, News Editor
With the not-so-distant memory of plane disappearances in 2014, such as Malaysian airline in March of last year, yet another airliner had disappeared almost entirely.The Malaysian aircraft has not been located, but the most recent one has.
Air Asia flight QZ8501 was recently spotted via satellite. It was reported as a dark shadow in the water, according to the search team flying over to investigate and search for the wreckage.
According to NBC News, the passengers on Air Asia flight QZ8501 are reported to still be intact in the jet, buckled into their seats, which is a dismal, yet serene gravesite.
CBS News reports the cause of the crash is a result of the plane flying into a cloud, which froze the jet and caused it to plummet into its final resting place in the Java Sea, which is the eastern coast of Indonesia. No survivors were found, and all victims were found buckled into their seats.
All planes have a “black box” located somewhere on board. A black box records what goes on inside the plane at certain times. Flight recorders within the black box are designed to survive the impact of a plane wreck and double as a tracking beacon.
According to BBC News, a black box is able to record voices, alarms, switches being moved, engine noise, bangs, and even the crew moving around. The black boxes within the plane were recording what the plane was actually doing, like the speed it was going, its height, sudden changes in pressure, and even what the controls were doing.
Divers began the search for the jet’s black boxes, which were initially believed to be located in the tail of the airliner and were not found until January 10.
Researchers looked for the black boxes, and could not locate them, but both were finally located amongst heavy remains of wreckage within the cockpit of the plane.
In a statement made by BBC News, as of January 13, 48 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage. Further search teams will be deployed to investigate for further victims.
In an interview with BBC News, William Kai said, “We still have hope. We cannot lose hope.”
Kai is a brother-in-law and relative of three others aboard the plane. Kai awaits in Suribaya for their safe return.
Reviews: Going Into the Woods
By Ian Carson, Managing Editor
Photo by Hallee Evans, staff photographer
Perhaps one of the best stage-to-film musicals I have seen yet, “Into the Woods” was no disappointment. With a cast that worked very well together, along with sheer talent, they put on a musical like none other.
Stage-to-film musicals are hard to accomplish in the first place, but when they are done well, they can really stand out. I would not go so far as to compare this to the film production of “Les Misérables,” which will always hold a special place in my heart, but it is definitely up there rank-wise.
The first thing that struck me about the movie was how talented the actors and actresses were. The acting was on par by all those involved. Lilla Crawford, who played Little Red, did an astounding job of singing. Her voice was always powerful and radiant, which is not exactly what one would expect from a child actress.
I must also give credit to Stephen Sondheim, who composed the music in the film. The orchestra always did a spectacular job of backing up the vocal parts; the music itself contained many melodic motifs throughout the musical.
The acting by all the parts was astounding. Meryl Streep, who played the Witch, did an wonderful job of showing the different sides of her character. Her portrayal was spot-on, and I could really see the depth of her character in her performance.
She was not the only one who stood out, however. James Corden as the Baker did a great job playing his character. I really felt like Corden became his character, and had no trouble at all playing his part.
Although mostly serious, the film did have its entertaining moments.
“My favorite song was ‘Agony’ because it really showed how the movie could have comical moments as well as serious ones,” said Katelyn Schuck, 11.
The set design and camera work was beautiful. Dion Bebe, who managed cinematography, did celestial work on her part of the film. The camera angles were always perfect, and she always knew just what sections to shoot. The set was as vibrant as ever, with a realistic and mysterious forest, along with a cute yet small village. This was a section of the film definitely worth mentioning.
The stage-to-film production of “Into the Woods” was a joy to see,
although it deviated from the original musical in some instances. For example, this version contained a happier ending than the musical. I could not find anything wrong with this wonderful adaptation. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.
By Jenna Jones, Opinions/Reviews Editor
Photo by Baylie Clevenger, Features/Photography Editor
For millennia, humans have exhibited a certain hostility toward things and ideas that are different from what they are used to, and religion is no exception.
Today, the most practiced religion is Christianity, followed by Islam. The tensions between these groups have only gotten worse in the past 20 years, due to numerous wars, conflicts and terrorism. Unfortunately, the latter has caused a type of discrimination and persecution towards Muslims, especially in western nations.
Each terrorist attack by Islamic extremists has had a huge backlash on the Muslim community as a whole, with surges of Islamophobia taking over the populace.
The origins of Islamophobia date back to the times of the Crusades and even further, but the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 are what sparked much of the recent fear of Muslims in many western nations.
After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France on January 7, the “#KillAllMuslims” tag on twitter and other social media has been trending as one of the most popular tags. Contrary to this, the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia in December had an entirely different outcome as the “#IllRideWithYou” tag took off as a way to make Muslims in Australia feel safer while using public transport.
It is disgusting to me that, even today, we as a society often allow the acts of a few to reflect on the character of all. To allow the outrageous and unorthodox actions of people who have no regard for what their religion prohibits to influence and encourage the hatred and fear of all Muslims is ridiculous.
“Just because one person does something wrong does not mean a whole group is bad. We’re just afraid of what we don’t know,” said Mazie Bernard, 10.
The fact of the matter is that there are extremists in every group of people, religious or not. There are Christian extremists who have attacked numerous places of worship for other religions. There are political extremists who censor their opponents to stay in power. There are extremist supremacy groups like the Ku Klux Klan, who terrorize people of other races.
The systematic targeting and persecution of people of Muslim faith needs to stop. It is in no way justified, and actually causes more harm than good by increasing tensions with a generally peaceful religious group.
NEWS: Gleaners Food Bank comes to MVHS
By: Gavin Craig, staff writer
In 2012, 8,000 people in Hancock County experienced food insecurity. Food insecurity is a financial predicament in which one does not know where his or her next meal is coming from. It has been a fast-growing issue in America for roughly 30 years.
In order to combat this issue, Mount Vernon has partnered with the Gleaners Food Bank to host a school-based pantry. Mr. Campbell and Superintendent Dr. Riggs were adamant in their decision to set up the pantry.
“We met with Gleaners and quickly came to a conclusion that if there is something we could do to help as a school system, to help our own people and our community, then we would do that,” said Mr. Campbell.
Mr. Campbell explained that the decision to work with Gleaners was easy, given the information that he received from Gleaners.
“If we have kids that are going to bed hungry at night, anywhere from grades kindergarten through 12, and we could do something to lend a little bit of support to those families who are struggling, why would a school not do that?” Campbell said.
The pantry was open on November 6 and December 4 from 4pm to 6pm during 2014, and will run on the last Thursday of every month in 2015.
The pantry will allow families to choose the types of food that they would like rather than simply offering pre-boxed foods. Any group within the high school who hosts a food drive of any kind will be able to stock the Mt. Vernon pantry rather than sending goods off to another community.
Anyone who wishes to donate to the pantry or help collect items for distribution should contact Mr. Campbell.
OPINIONS: Cultural Appropriation
By: Jenna Jones, opinions/reviews editor
Most people who have ever had a social studies class know that culture is a mix of the ideas, behaviors, customs, and beliefs of a certain society or ethnic group.
Cultures were, at one point, fairly distinct. Before people began to explore and discover worlds that had previously been unknown to them, there was no such thing as a melting pot; the lack of travel and intermingling prevented extreme cultural mixes.
When technology finally evolved enough to permit such lengthy travel, the intermixing of cultures began.
The beautiful thing about cultures is that they can be completely different, but still manage to evolve together and create an entirely new mix. This happens when two cultures become familiar and blend together, or when groups share the values and norms of their culture.
The not-so-beautiful thing is when cultural appropriation takes over.
Appropriation is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as taking or using something, especially in a way that is illegal or unfair. In the case of cultural appropriation, it would be the unfair use of another group’s culture.
There is a difference between sharing ideas and simply using another’s culture for one’s own benefit.
Many people encourage spreading the knowledge of their culture to others-like wearing a kimono when in Japan-it is often preferred that those who do decide to use a part of their culture learn what about what it means, rather than being ignorant to its purpose.
Cultural appropriation is not sharing ideas; it is the exploitation of a group's beliefs and customs by another group. This flippant act completely disregards the tradition and history of the culture that formed the people today, which is like a double whammy considering most of the exploited groups had, at one point in time, been suppressed by the other.
Cultural appropriation often appears through. iconography. People will often use another culture's symbols, names, or, in extremely offensive cases, the people. One example of using the people is in sports teams, like the Washington Redskins, whose name and logo offend Native Americans.
Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo activist against the Redskins' name, when asked why the name hurt her, stated, "Well, first and foremost. . . the textbook definition of the word is a racial slur, and it’s a disparaging name towards Native American people."
The idea that another’s culture is something others are free to use whenever they see fit without attempting to learn about the history or meaning of the culture is ridiculous and rude. Various cultures were attacked and destroyed in past millennia, and although I think culture should be explored, it is important to be aware of what the things we use really mean.
REVIEWS: Time for Netflix
By: Kayla Kollmann, editor in chief
In my recent plights on Netflix, despite the usual tv show droll, I have stumbled across some small name productions that, despite their less-than-popular names, are extremely well done. Even with A-list actors these movies never got too big on the big screen, but are really good finds.
“Now is Good” is a neat little story about a girl with a bucket list. The items on this list are not the most noble or moral, but that is slightly expected of a teenage girl dying of cancer. “Now is Good” is an early “The Fault in Our Stars” mixed with “If I Stay,” for you hipsters out there. However, it was released before the two movies, but not before their books. The movie stars the talented and adorable duo of Dakota Fanning and Jeremy Irvine, with great performances from the rest of the supporting cast. Although a tad cliche in its live-like-you-are-dyingy-because-I- actually-am, it is a sweet and heartwarming film.
Another adorable chick flick goes by the name of “The Decoy Bride.” This movie stars an all-Scottish cast so the accents are at least half of the fun. I watched it three times before I was able to catch all of the jokes. Overall, it is super happily ever after, and would be a lot more unique if the movie had ended a few minutes earlier, but sometimes a happy ending is fun, and the way it ends is super cute in its “awww”-worthiness.
And last but not least, “Thelma and Louise.” This is an older movie and a bit of an obscure pop culture icon for being a feminist film. In the film, Thelma and Louise do some pretty bad things- and although the audience knows they are wrong, they still sympathize with them because they know their reasons and understand their motives for doing the things they do. It is a fantastic movie that both questions morals and challenges misogynistic views. Definitely a movie to watch, as all these movies are for your next lazy Netflix day.
FEATURES: The Cost of College
By: Ian Carson, managing editor
College is becoming an increasingly important aspect in today’s society. According to The College Board, having some sort of college degree can vastly increase the number of available jobs for those who are searching. Finances play a large role in the decision of which college to attend.
“I hate the fact that college is deemed a necessity, yet is priced so expensively,” said Leanza Valenti, 11.
A lot of students have trouble with finding the right college to attend. While one should not decide college based solely off cost, it does play an important role in the decision making process. Sometimes things like scholarships, grants, or financial aid can help with the growing cost of college. Although student loans are an option, they are notorious for being extremely difficult to pay off in time, which results in hefty penalties.
Attending a college in-state is probably a better option financially speaking, considering the costs are significantly lower. For example, the total approximated cost for attending college at Ball State is $17,804, however for out of state students the cost rises to $33,070. That comes to be about an 87% increase in the cost for out of state students.
Another option would be whether to attend a private college. Private colleges are generally smaller and cost more, but offer a more personalized and individualized approach when it comes to learning. For example, the University of Notre Dame costs $58,167 to attend. According to CollegeCalc.org, their tuition price is 138% more expensive than the average college price for Indiana.
Overall, college is a big decision that can affect everyone’s future. Depending on the financial situation, one may be able to afford one college, but not another. It is important, above all, to remember that there are always options to help make college more affordable for everyone such as scholarships, grants, and other types of financial aid. Visit https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college to find more information about paying for college.
SPORTS: Cuba's American Dream
By: Logan Jennings, staff writer
Young baseball players in America strive to be in the MLB, Major League Baseball, but is that American dream now a Cuban dream?
Over the past few years, Cuba has been losing several very talented baseball players to America’s premier baseball league. There could be various reasons behind this including: money, political freedom, and a better life.
There are many high-profile athletes in the MLB, since it is the top league of baseball. An athlete who has made a huge splash in the league is Yasiel Puig, who was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba. According to ESPN, he has a .305 batting average and 111 RBI, runs batted in, since coming into the league on June 3, 2013.
One-hundred and five mph, is the speed Aroldis Chapman , a native of Cuba, has pitched. He is currently playing for the Cincinnati Reds. His pitch speed is great increase from the many other pitchers in the MLB, who have a max velocity in the mid-to-upper 90’s. His efforts allowed him to make a salary of two million dollars in 2013. Money like that can compel people to take huge risks for a chance to be in the big leagues.
Cubans take great pride in their baseball. In Havana, Cuba, baseball is one of the premier topics of conversation according to ESPN. Their great care of baseball may be the reason they are able to produce great athletes. Cubans may love their baseball, but many Cuban players do not stay there. In Cuba, the government may keep around eighty percent of a player’s salary. The cost of living may be severely less in Cuba, but Cuban players go to the US and get paid a great deal more and get taxed less, too.
The system in Cuba is flawed. Cubans love their baseball, but players are being paid a discounted rate. Players appear to go where they can make the most money. This happens to be the MLB. Cuba cannot keep its players with its current system.
For additional stories, please visit the MV Current ONLINE edition