Thumbs up Thumbs down

It’s that time of the year again where people get ready to put up Christmas decorations and get out of school for breaks. Here’s a look at my pros and cons of the season. 

Getting out of school 

Thumbs up: Love getting out for Thanksgiving break and Christmas break although, that means exams and hard tests are right around the corner. 

Thumbs down:  I suck at taking serious tests so exams are extremely stressful for me. 

Cold weather 

Thumbs up: I love the cold weather so I can bundle up in warm clothes or cozy blankets. 

Thumbs down: A downside to the cold would be going outside and risking getting sick. Everyone’s nose starts running and eyes start watering.

Outside activities

Thumbs up: My family loves grilling out and watching tv outside. 

Thumbs down: With the cold it’s harder to grill out and hangout outside. Unless you start a bonfire, hanging out outside could be less exciting. 

Tasty Foods

Thumbs up: Around Thanksgiving and Christmas delicious foods are made. Everyone loves eating until they can’t anymore. 

Thumbs down: Although, for me, it is harder to enjoy a bunch of foods that everyone else likes, because I’m the biggest picky eater. 

So when that time of the year comes, take what you can out of it good or bad!  

Staff writer Grace Eldridge

Bringing School Spirit Back!

Some of our teachers have been trying to spread school spirit throughout the halls of Mooreville. Starting with the first pep rally, none of the kids wanted to show spirit,so the teachers made a section just for them. They yelled and tried to encourage the students to join in. 

Then they made  funny and encouraging posters, including students and some coaches, and would stand outside in the mornings yelling and shouting. Mrs. Vanlandingham states, “ Several of the teachers decided that at the next pep rally we would show the kids how they were supposed to act.  This is what ultimately led to us making the signs.” Mrs. Vanlandingham also stated, “the kids would come to us asking for signs to be made about them.  We tried to make things fun and create an atmosphere of excitement for gameday on campus.  All of the teachers made signs, brought pom poms, noisemakers, etc for the pep rally.  As far as the signs were concerned it was usually Mrs. Keith, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Holladay, Mrs. Comer, Mrs. Marcy and I thought of the signs and made them.” They also balred music in the morning as the students arrived at school. 

All of the students are thankful for the teachers taking a leap and trying to spread school spirit! Hopefully the school spirit will stick for the rest of the year!

Staff writer- Grace Eldridge

A must read from Mrs. Ray

It’s been awhile, but I’m back with another book recommendation. We’re taking a step back from our English teachers and taking a look at one of our Science teachers, Mrs. Ray. She recommends The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers by Brian Lane and Wilfred Gregg; which is a non-fiction book that contains a literal A-Z list of infamous serial killers all around the world with pictures and facts that may have not been disclosed in early publications. Like my last two recommendations, I asked her what made this book so great. 

She likes reading books that are based on true crime. She also said that she enjoys reading books that are dramatic but are based on scenarios that are realistically possible. What led her to become more curious about the history of infamous serial killers was a series by Patricia Cornwell in which the main character is a forensic pathologist. She says that the book is intriguing and also thrilling if you enjoy reading books about the history of crime, more specifically serial killers. 

Her favorite quote from the book is, “All of a sudden I realized that I had just done something that separated me from the human race and it was something that could never be undone. “ This quote stuck out to her because she felt like the man really understood what a horrible act he had committed against humanity. Her favorite part of the book was seeing how science has changed the way serial killers have evolved over the years. She added that science, both in crime and in medicine, have solved many of the issues that were questioned about the methods and actions of past serial killers making it less likely to occur than in the past. 

For my last question, I asked her about her thoughts on the ending. She said that she liked the way the book concluded each section about each serial killer. She added that it gave many details to better understand how the killer was punished and/or if they were caught prior to what DNA evidence proves today with modern technology. Give this book a try; I know that I will.

Staff writer, Kalei Cassell

Must See Christmas Movies

The Christmas holidays come with many fun things, but one of my favorite things is to watch Christmas movies. Here are some of my favorites that you should definitely watch this year.

First, we have Dr. Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Jim Carrey plays the Grinch that hates all things Christmas, and Cindy Lou Who tries to change his mind. My favorite part is definitely when Cindy Lou Who talks to the people that raised the Grinch, and it shows him as a baby. Baby Grinch is so cute! 

Next, there is The Polar Express that is about a little kid that goes to the North Pole on a train. He makes some freinds and they try to get through the long journey north. This movie kind of scared me as a little kid because the animation is so weird. I love the part where the hot chocolate people come and sing that song. 

Christmas With the Kranks is also a great movie. It is such a great comedy. It has Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen, and they play two parents whose kid has finally gone off to college. They plan to spend their Christmas on a cruise, but those plans are interrupted when their neighbors and daughter are determined to have a festive Christmas. This one’s a movie I didn’t grow up with, but I still love it.

Another great comedy is Deck the Halls. It has Danny Devito and Matthew Broderick in it who are two opposing neighbors trying to compete against each other. This movie is hilarious and is definitely one of my favorites. 

Elf is another great movie I’ve grown up with over the years. Will Ferrell plays Buddy the elf who was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a baby. He finds this out after years of being an elf and decides to venture to New York City to meet his dad.  This is my mom’s favorite movie ever. She had it on Blu-Ray and DVD, and we watch probably five times every year. Sometimes, I act like I’m sick of this movie just because I’ve seen it so much, but it really is a good, funny movie. 

A Christmas Story is another classic that follows a kid named Ralphie who is having some struggles this year. I have so many memories of being little and opening my Santa gifts, and this was playing in the background. There’s some channel that plays it 24/7 on Christmas Eve and day, so I always see this movie during Christmas. 

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is another great Christmas movie to get you in the holiday spirit. Made in 1989, this is about Clark Griswold, who really wants a perfect Christmas with his family, but it doesn’t go so well. Again, we watch this about five times a year but it’s still great. My favorite part is when there’s a squirrel in the tree, and everyone freaks out. 

The Santa Claus movies are a great series if you’re looking for something to binge watch. These movies follow a guy that accidentally becomes Santa and figures out The North Pole and elves are real. He struggles keeping up with normal life and his life as Santa. 

That sums up my list of great Christmas movies. You should check these out if you want some Christmas fun this holiday season. 

Staff Writer, Molly Murray

Must-Do’s For Cold Weather

   Cold weather is an opportunity to start many traditions and do a lot of fun activities. Here’s a few ideas you could do during the holidays! 

  • Rake up all the leaves and jump into them.
  • Go to a pumpkin patch or a corn maze.
  • Throw a Friendsgiving for your favorite people.
  • Have a movie marathon with a fire going. 
  • Start drinking hot chocolate. 
  • Try apple cider.
  • Start taking pictures for Christmas cards.
  • Camp out for black Friday.
  • Have a bonfire.
  • Buy new fall candles.
  • Make sure to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • Go to Starbucks just for their fall drinks. 
  • Start your list to Santa.
  • Ride around to look at Christmas lights.
  • Cook Christmas cookies and decorate them. 
  • Get out the Christmas decorations.
  • Buy new fuzzy Christmas socks.
  • Go to a Christmas tree farm. 
  • Get matching Christmas pajamas. 
  • Play Dirty Santa.

Everyone does different things for fun during cold weather. If you will, comment on some of your favorite activities to give others ideas! 

Staff Writer- Grace Eldridge

Thanksgiving Eats

 It’s that time of year where we eat till our bellies are stuffed and surrounded by the people we love most! Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it’s time to get those Thanksgiving recipes out and try out new ones!

 My grandmother cooks this amazing Pecan Roll every holiday. We all love it and ask her to make it for every gathering. She uses:

1 box of graham crackers (ground real fine)

1 can Eagle Brand milk 

1 bottle of cherries (chopped)

3 cups of chopped pecans 

She mixes all the ingredients well. You may also have to use your hands to mix. It will get thick and sticky. Then you put in two loaf pans. You refrigerate, slice and serve. Everyone always loves it.

 

  Mrs. Emily Comer has a cousin who used to bring this dish to family functions and potlucks. She loves everything about the original recipe except for the onions and bell peppers that it called for. She says, “If it’s hot or it makes you cry, it’s from the devil.” So she leaves those out when she makes her version of this cheesy veggie casserole. 

1 can whole kernel corn (drained)

1 can of French style green beans (drained)

1 can of cream of celery 

8 oz. sour cream 

1 cup of shredded cheese

Dash of salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and put into a 8×8 casserole dish. 

For the topping: Crush one sleeve of Ritz crackers and mix with one stick of melted butter. Spread over the top of the casserole ingredients. Then Bake on 375 for about 30-40 minutes until the top is crunchy and brown and the gooey, cheesy mixture is bubbling around the edges. 

 Ms. Holladay’s mom started making this dish for Christmas and Thanksgiving. She mentions that the dish was so good that everyone would fight over it, so her mom had to limit them to one per person. It is a tradition at almost every get together that her mom makes these sweet potato dumplings.

Contains: 

1 can of crescent rolls

8 oz. pkg. Sweet potato patties

2 cups of water, divided 

2 Tbsp. all purpose flour

2 cups of sugar

2 sticks margarine

1 tsp. Vanilla

Cinnamon

Cut potatoes in half. Wrap with ½ crescent roll. Put in a greased dish. Then put one cup of water and flour (mixed) in a pan and boil. Add remaining water, sugar, and margarine. Cook until thick. Add vanilla, and pour over dumplings and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 for thirty minutes or until brown. 

 Ms. Kathy Collier at the middle school has an aunt who worked in a bakery in Memphis. Ms. Collier describes her as, “ a Godly woman, and a wonderful baker.” She has been making these rolls since the early 80’s. They are enjoyed by the whole family. Ms. Collier has the starter that she got from her aunt’s daughter, and her granddaughter has the same starter. They have split it up in case someone kills the starter they will have a backup. To make Sourdough bread:

6c. Bread flour

1c. Starter

1 Tbsp salt

⅓ c. of sugar

½ c. of vegetable oil

1 ½ c. of warm water

Mix together well. Turn out on a floured board and knead well. Place in an oiled bowl and cover the bowl with wax paper. Let rise overnight. Turn out on a floured board. Knead and divide evenly between desired pans. 

2- twelve muffin pans

2- loaves of bread

Oil baking pans prior to baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. To keep the starter growing you’ll need:

1 c. bread flour

1 c. water 

¾ c. of sugar 

3 tbsp. Instant potato flakes

You must feed every seven days. You must leave the starter out of the fridge at least eight hours after feeding. Discard excess starter (rinse down sink drain) prior to feeding. 

       Thanksgiving is about spending time with the people you care about most. Most people enjoy the glorious foods that are made! Therefore, please try out at least one of these recipes! You and everyone you’re feeding won’t regret it. 

Rating Thanksgiving Foods

Thanksgiving is almost here! One of the celebrations me and my family do is a Thanksgiving dinner made by my grandma and aunt. It’s Thanksgiving tradition to have a big dinner, but it’s okay if you don’t. It’s just what me and my family do. The food my family makes is really good, but some stuff I really don’t like. So, today I’m going to rate all the Thanksgiving dinner foods. 

Firstly, we have the turkey. Turkey and ham are pretty much the same to me when I look at the bigger picture. They’re both not great, but they’re tolerable. That’s why I’m giving turkey an 8/10. It’s not too bad, it’s just not my favorite meat in the world.

Next is the cranberry sauce. I say I don’t like cranberry sauce because I don’t like cranberry juice. I don’t remember ever trying the actual sauce though. It just looks so slimy and gross, so I give it a 2/10. Maybe this year I’ll force myself to try some. 

Mac and cheese is a solid 10/10. My family makes it with pasta noodles and a lot of cheese, and it’s just so good. I eat way too much of this stuff during Thanksgiving, and so does everyone else in the family. It’s that good. 

Next up is sweet potato casserole. I don’t like the taste of sweet potatoes, so I’ve never tried my grandma’s casserole. I’ve tried my mom’s sweet potato casserole she sometimes makes,and it’s just not my favorite thing. It either tastes like gross sweet potato or brown sugar, and that’s why I’m giving it a 3/10. I could eat it if I had to, but I wouldn’t pick it out. 

Next we have dressing. I don’t think I’ve ever had dressing at Thanksgiving. My grandma makes some, but I never eat it. I think just being a kid and not knowing what it was made me not want it, so I’ve never eaten it. Upon looking at the ingredients of dressing, I think I would like it. Maybe I’ll give it a go this year. I’m not going to rate since I’ve never had it. 

Next, we have green beans. I know most people probably eat green bean casserole, but we just eat green beans. Last year, my grandma wrapped them in her famous bacon that everyone (especially me) loves. That was really good. I give her green beans a 9/10. They’re pretty good

Then we have bread, but I’m not going to rate it because it’s just bread. Nothing too special about it. 

Lastly, we have corn. Personally, I only like corn when it’s creamed, and that’s exactly how my grandma makes it. Sometimes she’ll just have regular corn, but she always has the creamed corn. It’s a classic Thanksgiving dish in my family. I give it a 9.5/10 because it is so good and is definitely one of my favorites. 

I was going to do a dessert, but the only dessert I eat on Thanksgiving is some sort of cake. My grandma makes pecan and pumpkin pie, but I’ve never had any.

That’s all the foods we eat during Thanksgiving! I’m super grateful for my family and glad I can eat all this good food! Let us know what your favorite Thanksgiving foods are. 

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Staff Writer, Molly Murray

The survey says…!

Some of you may have heard there are rumours that Mississippi schools are thinking about doing year-round school in the near future. So that got me thinking, what are the pros and cons? How do the students feel about it? What about the teachers? Are there any schools that do year-round school? If so, how many? These were my many questions coming into this article. So let’s start answering some of the questions, shall we?

If some of you do not know, year-round school is when we go to school for about nine weeks then we get a three week break after, and we get 6 weeks off for summer. When researching this topic I found that there are approximately 3,181 schools in the US that do year-round schooling, and forty-six out of  fifty states have at least one year-round school. In Mississippi, I found that Corinth does year round school, and their schedules look like this,

  • First day is July 26th 
  • September 27 – October 15 is their fall break, and they resume classes on the 18th
  • December 20th – January 3rd is their winter break, and on the 4th they resume classes
  • March 14th – 25th is their spring break, and they resume classes on the 28th
  • Their final day is June 3rd 

Next I was wondering how students felt about having year round school at our school! I’ve heard kids talk about it in some of my classes. This led me to think, what do all of them think? So I got a teacher to send a survey out to the entire high school to see what the students thought. After looking at the statistics 67.6% said no they were not in favor of it and 32.4% said they were in favor of it. A lot of students who were in favor of it said that they forgot what they learned the previous year over the summer so they feel like the shorter breaks would be better. Some kids said they liked it because they got to go hunt when they were able to. Families could go on vacation and not have to worry about it being crowded. Others liked the idea of having all the breaks and having time to release stress during the breaks. 

Now the students who did not like the idea of this were concerned about how sports would work since sports are year round. Even more students said summer is when they work to make money for college, and there was no way to do that with year round school. One student said they would not be able to hang out with their friends in other schools because of the differences in breaks. Another student sent in a lengthy message about her opinion on year round school, which I will not quote entirely, but I will take quotes out of: “school is the MAIN cause of my anxiety and stress, and I’m sure many other kids will agree. Summer is when students can rest and have vacation and detoxify themselves from school. Summer is relief from a year of stress from things we likely won’t use. Summer allows kids to be free. If school is all-year, it will take up too much of our time. School already is labor eight hours a day. No need to add more. At. All.” This person also talked about how hot it is and how many issues would be caused with it. Also that summer is an important part of a child’s life growing up, which wraps up the student part of the survey. Now for the teachers.

The teachers statistics were about half and half with 56.7% saying no and 44.3% saying yes. Teachers who were in favor of it said, “I am VERY in favor for it. I feel students, parents, and students will benefit from it. Studies continue to show how beneficial it is.” This teacher said, “It gives the teachers and students a much needed break, allows for educators to take their families on vacations when it’s not peak season (so not as expensive).” This and a few other teachers mentioned having the three weeks so failing students can have remediation. The same topics were mentioned multiple times: time for remediation, time to go on vacations, having more breaks so students would hopefully not forget as much, etc. However, the teachers who said ”no” had much different opinions. 

This teacher’s response stood out to me the most, “First of all, when the phrase “year round” school is used, many people including teachers and students are against it simply because all they hear is the “year round” part. It, in fact, is just a modified school year. I am for this move and the reason I am for this type of school calendar is that during the 3 weeks in between each 9 weeks, that can be used to do remediation. We have a big gap in student learning and the knowledge that students have or don’t have. We are in a different day and time and it is time to be more innovative… I feel that the modified school year could do this. But, it won’t work if we keep doing the same ole things.” Many teachers also said that summer was their time and that they rather not give that up. Another specific quote from the teachers was this one. “I feel that all schools should have the same calendar. I do not think it is a good idea for schools to operate on different schedules.” That wraps up the teachers. 

So when it comes to the idea of year-round school most of the student body and half of the teachers said they do not like the idea of year round school, and when it comes to my opinion I say “no.” I am not for year-round school, while I like the idea of getting more breaks, but I think why change it now. School has been this way for decades so why change it? So that is the school’s opinion on year-round school.

Throw away your phones! Or should you?

In recent years, technology has come a long way. It’s everywhere: work, the streets, hangout spots, schools, etc. Out of those places, which one do you think always has people debating if it should be allowed? If you guessed schools, you’d be correct. Though for schools, it’s not technology as a whole; it’s just for cell phones. Many people think that they should be allowed while others think they shouldn’t. For me, I agree with both sides. But do you? 

Let’s say you’re in English class, and your teacher says you have to write an essay. Well pretty easy. You’ll  just get your information from the internet. Hate to tell you this, but your teacher says no phones and takes them up. You’re probably freaking out. How are you supposed to start your essay if you don’t have any material to write on, but your teacher points to a bookshelf and tells you that’s where you’ll get your material. You read through all the books, and guess what, all the information is outdated and won’t be accurate. You are in trouble. This is one argument made by people to say that cell phones should be allowed in class. They say you can just get all your information from books, but some books are probably outdated or haven’t been updated in years. So when you write your paper, most, if not all, of your work will be wrong. But, with the use of phones, you can get all of the up-to-date information and get that 100. This is a big reason as to why I agree that phones should be allowed. But…….. 

On the other hand, people say that phones should not be allowed. One argument is that phones are distractions. While I was researching this topic, I came across an article that said, “Research from Asurion found that Americans check their phones every 12 minutes,” ( cited from : https://soeonline.american.edu/blog/cell-phones-in-school ). That is crazy! Classes here are an hour long. How much work is a student getting done if they are constantly on their phones? This reason pulls me to this side of the argument.  And if we think about it, we really don’t need cell phones in the classroom. We already have Chromebooks, so there isn’t really any need to have cell phones. 

Both arguments are right in some areas, so there is no way to say that one is better over the other one. What are some of your thoughts on this topic? Do you think they should be allowed, or do you think they don’t?

Staff writer, Kalei Cassell

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