HHS Journalism Class

Heather Wolford attends Romney Middle School 6th grade.

She recently won first place in the state young writers contest.  YoungWritersHeather Wolford

7 Seconds

Fear. It struck me like the point of a double edge blade. I stood there trembling in utter shock, as my fellow classmates fell to their knees at my feet. Though I could not comprehend the tragedy before me, my first instinct was to run. However, it seemed as though my limbs were not communicating with my brain. As though my mind had shut down.

My ears rang with the sound of a loud pop. Followed by excruciating screams that haunt me everyday. I thought of my mom and my dad. Wondering if I’d ever see them again. Wondering if the man with the gun was going to take my life. I remembered the cool summer days, when we swam in the creek, and ate peanut butter sandwiches on the bank. Would I ever feel that happy again? Or was it just a distant memory?

One thing, one thing I will always remember, is standing there, watching my lab partner, Marcus, bleed out on the cold hallway floor. Not even 15 minutes before, we had been arguing over something on our project. I had said mean things, things I will regret the rest of my life. As I watched him lie there in unbelievable pain, I managed to whisper these words through my sobs: I’m sorry. Those were the last words he heard before he was gone.

I recall feeling both hot and cold at the same time. I was sweating madly, yet my skin was like Braille from goose bumps. My stomach lurched with every pop. I could feel my eyes darting left and right, then left again. At that point, I thought what any young child would think. Is this my fault? Did I cause this tragic event to occur?

Of course, the answer was no, but I didn’t know that then, and it terrified me. As I stood there weeping in absolute disbelief and despair, I came to grasp the world’s one true enemy. Reality. We make ourselves believe that things like this don’t exist. That people couldn’t possibly be capable of causing so much devastation. By doing this, we are only making things worse. And when reality comes knocking at the door, you won’t be prepared for what’s coming.

The memories of this gruesome experience are burned in the back of my mind. I will never forget the heart-rending images I saw that day. Nor will I forget the feelings of helplessness, despair, and fear. It has taken me years to process the entirety of my dilemma. I still do not fully understand why people do the things they do, and I probably never will. All I can say, is that I am finally at peace. But I will always remember those final 7 seconds.

1 23 13 The movies

Rachel. McBride jpg

By Rachel McBride

My favorite season is award season. That is, when the awards are directed to the film industry. It is the one time when the magic of movies is rewarded. The biggest showcasing of the best films of the year is the Academy Awards. The biggest award of the night will be the winner of “Best Picture.” There will be many films in the running for the win; however, only one movie will come out on top at the end of the night.
My prediction for the winner of “Best Picture” at the Academy Awards is the film, Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg. This movie masterpiece follows Abraham Lincoln and his rough journey to get the 13th Amendment passed. There is no doubt that the passing of this amendment changed the way our country moved forward at that time. Life simply would not be the same today if that amendment had not been passed. The acting in this film is phenomenal. Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field make a great team, and awe the audience scene after scene. When finished, the audience is sure to leave the theater with a feeling that is sure to impact their lives for the better. The emotional journey that the audience takes with the characters in this film is a direct result of the brilliant directing and producing that was put forth into this work of art. It is because of these reasons that I predict that Lincoln will win “Best Picture” at the Academy Awards this film award season.

Kristi Veach

By Kristi Veach

For many people, the new year is a time for new beginnings, which explains the tradition of making a New Year’s resolution.
New Year’s resolutions are common for many people, probably because most people can see something that they could change about themselves.  However, resolutions are rarely carried out.
Resolutions are useful for helping you see something that you could improve about yourself, but resolutions do not help anything if they are not carried out.  A few tips may be able to help resolutions have the intended result.
The first mistake people make is starting with an unreasonable expectation.  For example, if your resolution is to get in shape, and you have never run before in your life except to pass gym class, do not expect to be able to compete in a marathon by February.  Set small goals and do not think too far ahead; think of the near future.
Make a resolution that will make you happy.  If you consider yourself to be bitter, and your resolution is to be happier, think of what makes you happy.  Maybe go on a vacation to relax and get away from it all.  If you are unhappy because of a lack of social interactions, socialize.  Form your resolution to fit you.
The final tip I have is to seek support.  It is a big world, and there are plenty of people who would be willing to help you out.  Join a gym with some friends or just have friends by your side for moral support. Do whatever will help you through.
Good luck and happy New Year!

Drew Aclin

By Drew Aclin

    Everyone’s been there:  You’re super excited about Christmas; you wake up pumped and ready to tear a part some wrapping paper and, after all that waiting and carnal anticipation, you unwrap a gift that is possibly the lamest you’ve ever received.  It’s so lame, in fact, that you do a double take to make sure you actually received something that bad.
First things first:  Watch your facial expressions.  Pain, hurt, and sadness are all instinctive reflexes and it’s always obvious when someone is surprisingly disappointed.  Smile throughout the whole gift unwrapping and receiving process, realize that it’s still a gift whether you like it or not, and give the gift-giver a genuine smile and thank you. Accompany it with a sly and maybe untrue excuse as to why you might need the sweatshirt that’s two sizes too large or “1,001 Ways to Watch Birds.”
Now, this is the touchy part. After receiving this god-awful gift you have to figure out what to do with it. There are some creative options, such as turning the gift into your own DIY house decoration, but there are two standard and useful ways to get rid of a gift:  returning and regifting.
The complications of  returning a gift are obvious. You don’t really want to ask your delicate old grandma for a receipt because she bought you clothes that conflict with your gender but realize that she bought that gift for you and was probably just as dumbfounded when it came to choosing the gift as you were upon receiving the gift. Ask them nicely, tell them a little white lie like, “Hey, I already have one of these,” or “It’s so nice, but it’s just slightly too big.” If they really care about making you satisfied with what they got you, they won’t be bothered by this. If they are bothered, consider the chances that you’ve lost the possibility of being on their will and, next year, try regifting it.
Regifting is a combination of saving money, satisfying those you love, and avoiding space being taken up in your house by unwanted gifts. Basically, it’s the best thing ever if you can pull it off right. It can be complicated considering there may only be one group of people that you celebrate Christmas with, but if you’re not in that circumstance, I encourage regifting. Say you go to your mom’s side of your family’s Christmas dinner and you get given a coffee maker. However, knowing the caffeine addict you are, you’re guaranteed to already have a coffee maker. Furthermore, your girlfriend’s older brother loves coffee and his machine just broke. Good situation for you: rewrap it up, put a different name on it, and gain some props with your girlfriend’s family.

Rachel. McBride jpg

By Rachel McBride

     Although most people would have agreed at the time that the Mayan’s prediction for the world ending on Dec. 21, 2012 was a bunch mumbo gumbo, I would bet  that some people were still filled with anxiety once they realized that the predicted disaster day was approaching. I was one of those people. By nature, I am a superstitious person.  Given that, I was anxious on Dec. 21. Thankfully, nothing out of the ordinary happened.
I woke up like any other day. I made some breakfast, drank some tea, and got ready for the day. It wasn’t even until I was finished getting ready to go out that I remembered that today was “Doomsday.” That is when I began feeling a little apprehensive. I admit I turned on the news immediately afterwards, just to see if there was anything extraordinary happening in the world. Nothing out of the blue happened. The news was as depressing as ever. When I realized that the news was going to be as dreary as usual, I turned of the television and headed out the door.

I drove into town, ran some errands, and eventually forgot all about the Mayan myth. My day continued normally, and I admit somewhat boringly. So, that’s how I survived Dec. 21,  a day filled with food, anxiety, and eventually mediocre events. I guess that just goes to show that superstition isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

HHS senior Jennie Cousins

Halloween is also known as All Hallows Eve. On Halloween, people have their own traditions, and some people don’t even celebrate it.

My tradition for Halloween is to dress up in a creative way. In my opinion the point of Halloween is to be something you’re not on a regular basis.

People should come up with creative makeup to go with their outfits. I do not think Halloween is only for children. It can be for any age group.

As a child you dress up in a cute costume and go trick-or-treating around your neighborhood. But as an adult or a teen you wear “grown up” costumes and go to a party or hand out candy to children.

Everyone should come up with some kind of makeup or face paint to go with their outfits. Not many people get unique or creative with the holiday.

I believe everyone has a creative bone in their body. They just need to learn how to use it.

HHS senior Drew Aclin

The upcoming election is surrounded by a lot of hype, a lot of sensationalized and biased news, and a lot of what seems to be two large groups of whiny babies bantering and insulting each other like they’re still in third grade. That being said, it is very important to realize that, to form a truly sound political opinion, it’s important to do your own, independent research and not trust popular media as much as those who choose the information presented would like you to.  In fact, it’s vital to outright ignore the opinions of others in preference of your own, self-formed theories about how the country should be run.

Now, I realize that most of the people reading this may not be old enough to vote, but those of you who haven’t quite reached adulthood should, in the sense of politics, feel lucky.  You’ve got at least four years to pursue a true opinion before you make the mistake of voting for someone based simply on he biased “teachings” of your family, friends, church, or any other organization that sometimes possesses political views based on false information and deception. That’s extremely liberating! It means you have options. Even if your parents have taught you that abortion is wrong, you can go to the internet, find thousands of articles on the subject, and easily form a sound opinion and advocate one way or the other based on facts rather than pseudoscience.

The upcoming generation, in fact, is the first generation to grow up with the option of technology, opinions on alternate energy sources, expanding ideals about the world, new found independence, and many other concepts that are important to the all around progression of our country. This should excite young people, but instead they either seem to have the mentality that politics don’t matter or that their vote itself doesn’t matter. Both of these “theories” couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Politics seem boring to young adults because we don’t truly witness the effects that a new president brings, due to our seclusion from what’s considered the “real world” and, while that might be true, it’s honestly a good thing. Gradual change is the way of the world. Rather than having a temporary shift from one side to another, there needs to be a trend started that leads us to voting a large, likeminded group of people into the White House who can set us up to reach an agreeable finishing point.

Another conflict that young voters seems to have a lot is that their votes don’t truly count. Only 52 percent of 18-29 year olds in the United States voted in 2008 according to CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. That’s absolutely pathetic! Our generation always talks about how government is evil or how oppressed and sad we are because of this “oppression,” yet only five out of ten of us even vote.

Do some research, find a good equilibrium where you feel comfortable falling either on the left or right side of the spectrum, and do your part to make what you feel should happen, happen.

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