Tuttles apples

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor
Photo by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor

apple

Tuttles Orchard, located in Greenfield, Indiana is a great spot to indulge on all of your favorite fall sweets. Along with the traditional hot apple cider, Tuttles has several different variations of apple treats including caramel apples, apple muffins, and apple cider slushies.

Though there are many other things to do at Tuttles Orchard, the main attraction is apple picking.

tuttles sculptureCustomers of Tuttles Orchard can venture through 50 acres of apple trees, housing seven different varieties of apples. Those wishing to pick apples simply purchase a bag, either four pound, eight pound, or sixteen pound, and begin picking. Staff members direct customers toward the aisles with the apples that are ripe and may pick as few, or as many as they like.

“My favorite thing about working at Tuttles is the overall positive attitude. I absolutely adore working there,” said Tuttles employee and MVHS senior, Ryan Dockery.

While apples are certainly the draw, Tuttles also has various fall festivities including a pumpkin patch, cut-your-own sunflowers, and a corn maze.

#We Will Speak Out

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor

We Will Speak Out is an international movement that joins world leaders together to encourage action and advocacy to end sexual and gender based violence. Their mission is to raise awareness, care for victims, and encourage law enforcement to help prevent sexual violence.

“I think the We Will Speak Out organization is amazing,” said Amy Devault, 10 “They provide a safe haven for victims of sexual abuse and give a voice to the voiceless.”

According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) more than 1 in 5 women have been raped or sexually assaulted  at some point in their life.

WWSO not only focuses on the sexual abuse of women, they also strive to provide awareness for male and non-binary victims of sexual assault. In fact, research has shown that 1 in 6 men have been involved in an abusive, sexual experience before reaching adulthood.

Sexual assault can happen to anyone, no matter the age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Recently on social media, survivors of sexual abuse have spoken out about their experiences using the hashtag #WeWillSpeakOut.

“We stand together in solidarity with the most vulnerable,” their missions statement says. “We commit to take action together to see all girls, women, boys and men freed from the threat and impact of sexual violence across the world.”

People can pledge on the WWSO website help raise awareness and put an end to sexual violence.  

Mt. Vernon finally goes online

Story by: Dakota Fisher, News Editor
Photos by: Dakota Fisher, News Editor

MV goes online

To kick off the 2015-2016 school year, students have gone through the transition into the brand new 1:1 program.

Students K-5 are using Apple iPads while in school, however, they are not permitted to take them home. Middle and high school students were assigned Google Chromebooks which can be taken home.

According to new superintendent Dr. Shane Robbins,the goal of this new and revolutionary program is to “motivate, engage, and challenge students to learn 21st century skills.” Along with this new program, MVCSC has adopted the Edmentum curriculum. The Edmentum curriculum strives to provide over 8,000 school districts with an adapted 21st century learning style.

Teachers will also learn to adapt to this new learning environment and will be trained on how to effectively implement them into the classroom.

“The Chromebooks will be a great resource to have this year,” said Betsy McCleery, 10.

“I really think that they will help students learn valuable skills and how to live in the modern world.”

Technology is ever growing, so exposing young learners to the wonders of technological education from such a young age can really help aid them in the future. With the new curriculum, students will have a modern learning environment while still meeting all of the basic educational needs. Students will have a “blended” learning environment, meaning there will still be books, paper and pencils in the classroom. MVCSC does, however, intend to get rid of the textbooks entirely in the future and have a completely digital classroom.

“Research shows that students are learning more with the application of new technology that enables a greater amount of collaborative instruction, opens the doors of communication, and takes education beyond the classroom and into the community as a whole, ” said Dr. Shane Robbins

Not only can this new technology help in the traditional classroom, but also it can make the fine arts and foreign language classes more interactive by using applications like Sound Trap, which enable students to compose their own music, digitally.  

With apps like Garageband or Duolingo, students are exposed to a whole new realm of learning, making classes more entertaining, keeping students better engaged and eager to learn. Garageband is an app on the Apple store that turns your device into a  full featured recording studio giving students the ability to make their own music on the go. Duolingo is an application that helps students learn over 20 different languages including French, Spanish, and Ukrainian. Electronic learning has a huge impact on the way this generation, and generations to come, will influence society.

French teacher, Mr. Freeman, has been working this year with the new mv goes online 21:1 program by having an almost completely online class using a program called Plato. Plato is a part of the Edmentum curriculum and teaches students French using powerpoints and recorded commentary as well as conducting quizzes at the end of each lesson to check the student’s progress.

“The new 1:1 program makes things snappier. Students are far more efficient,” said MVHS Physics teacher, Mr. Everett.

In physics, students utilize this new technology in many different ways, including a flipped classroom, and having access to the online textbook, which eliminates the need for physical textbooks.

While there are many positive advantages to this new program, there have also been several complications. Students have had issues logging onto the wifi. The technology department has been working very hard around the clock to try to get this complication fixed and the new computers working well for students.

Dr. Robbins assured both students and parents that the new program will soon be running seamlessly, “As with anything new we attempt to accomplish, we will learn from our mistakes and use the knowledge to improve our practices.”

This new program not only empowers students, but it also helps prepare them for the workforce, and provides individualized learning. 1:1 helps students learn at their own pace and gives students the opportunity to take control of their education.

“I will end with this,” Dr. Robbins said. “From 1927-1941 Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted Mt. Rushmore.  A 60 foot high representation of four U.S. Presidents.  It was done utilizing tools, hard work, and creativity.  In our 1:1 computing environment, the device is only a tool that will allow for greater levels of creativity relevant in today’s society.”

International Women’s Day

Story by: Dakota Fisher

International Women’s Day is meant to be a day when women are recognized for their achievements without discrimination against nationality, ethnicity, culture, economic standing or political views. Of course it is wonderful to say that as March 4 has crept upon us  the entire population of the world slowly but surely begins to see women as equals, however, I am sure we know that is not true. While having an entire day dedicated to women is fantastic, it should not be necessary.

Although International Women’s Day is supposed to be a time of unity and solidarity, it seems to be exactly the opposite. Women in China face threats to their reproductive rights from the one-child policy, which institutionalizes forced abortion and sterilization. Women in the US are fighting for the opposite.

Although only 36 percent of the population is affected by the policy, and China is working to relax the policy, infanticide, the killing of children after birth, is a more wide-spread problem. The pro-abortion agenda pitts woman against woman and increases hostility within the female population because of misogynistic ideals and lack of knowledge.This ignorance hinders the growth of female empowerment and unity.

I am waiting for people to finally realize that women’s rights are quite simply human rights. Why do we have to have special days or months dedicated to a specific class of the human species? Having a day such as this just leads us to believe that every other day is “International Straight White Male Day.” But why?

“It leads us to believe that because we let it. Just because there is an International Women’s Day doesn’t mean that every other day isn’t. It’s like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day,” said Felicity Kratky, 10.

” Regardless of the day, you should appreciate your parents, just as you should women. It’s just a day chosen to try and appreciate women. Good intentions turned into a bad idea. The day doesn’t mean every other day is ‘International Straight White Man Day’. I believe everyone is equal, but people are turning a day of appreciation into another day of unequal rights.”

Women live in world where, yes, they should be appreciated every day and should get the recognition they deserve, however, they do not. Their achievements and advancements in every field are overlooked because of society’s view of women. One day out of 365 is not nearly enough recognition for women.

The fact that it is necessary for our society to feel the need to designate one day to recognize women for their amazing achievements sickens me. Why must there be a day set aside specifically to honor one group of people?

I am not saying that it is a bad thing that International Women’s Day is celebrated; however, I believe that setting aside an entire day in an attempt to prove that women are in fact equal to men, shows are that they are not.

Animal testing sucks

Story by: Dakota Fisher, staff writer

Over the last 15 years, the use of animal testing has grown over seventy percent according to researchers from Harvard, Yale and John Hopkins Universities.

Animal testing is cruel and inhumane punishment inflicted on poor, undeserving animals. Many well-known companies including CoverGirl, Herbal Essences, Johnson & Johnson and Axe still test their products on animals. A more complete list of all companies who do so is included in the link below.

“I think that testing things on animals is a terrible idea. Scientists wouldn’t think of endangering humans like that so why should they endanger animals that have no say in their participation in the experiment?” said Mary Fleming, 9.

Animal experimentation is also used to test medications that may or may not be safe for human use. Early scientists such as Aristotle performed experiments on living animals and many people argue that medications or products tested on animals, especially the most commonly used laboratory rat, cannot provide enough evidence to prove it safe for humans due to their inhuman nature and distant relation to humans.

I believe science is used as a sort of shield so scientists don’t feel guilty about what they’re doing.  The main idea of animal testing is common knowledge and no matter how humane companies say their methods are, they are still killing harmless, innocent animals to test their products or medications without the possibility of harming a human.

If animal testing were done humanely and the right precautions and measures were taken that would ensure not only the safety of the people that will buy the product or medicine, but the safety of the animals they use to test them, I would be a supporter. I’m all for scientific advancements and medical achievements, but when it comes to the safety and protection of creatures that cannot protect themselves, I would rather not use those products.


http://www.thevegetariansite.com/ethics_test.html

Academy tragedies

By Dakota Fisher
This story also appears, in part, in the March print edition

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen to the eighty-seventh annual Academy Awards! Tonight, we will spend a total of five minutes talking about actors’ and actresses work and achievements, and another hour and fifty five minutes doing floor-to-ceiling shots of women’s dresses and questioning them about their style as opposed to asking them questions about their craft, or their thoughts and views on issues that are important to society.

The world has gotten so caught up on this year’s trend that we have refused to take the time to appreciate true hard work. Award shows are not fashion shows. The red carpet is not a runway. Of course people dress up in their finest clothes and look marvellous, beautiful, stunning, and any other synonym for pretty the English language has to offer, but why do networks insist on shoving the “Who Wore It Best” segment down the throats of their viewers?

“Do you do this to the guys too?” actress Cate Blanchett asked E! News’ Glam Cam at the Screen Actors Guild award show, as a cameraman scanned her dress and a spokesperson recited details of the designer.

In media, women and their bodies have become entertainment. From slut-shaming women for too little clothing, to calling those who choose to wear more layers than the average woman too reserved, today’s society cannot be pleased.

“Comments ranging from a bit sexist but harmless, to sexually aggressive is thought to be something that ‘just happens,’ this is the casual objectification of women,” said MVHS Alumni Brittany Satterfield. “Being a common thought, people start to think maybe we should suck it up, lie down, and accept defeat? I don’t think so. Objectification, whatever form it is in, is not something anyone should have to ‘just deal with.’ ”

Actresses do not choose to become actresses because they want to be asked a million questions about unimportant things. Why not use their power in media to promote equal rights or to encourage image equality instead of intruding on their home life and interviewing them about the latest scandal?

I hope that as 2015 begins we use actors’ and actresses’ power in the media to make the world a better place and reward them for their hard work, instead of filling the airways with pointless drama and the objectification of women. Why not let it be universally know that yes, women are beautiful, but do not let beauty get in the way of intellect.

 

Four

By Dakota Fisher
Photos by Baylie Clevenger

one direction
Four years and four albums later, One Direction has successfully released their new album, “Four.” The boys of One Direction; Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Zayn Malik,have been on the top of the charts for several weeks after the release of the first single off of the album: “Steal My Girl” followed by “Ready To Run” and finally “Night Changes.”

The album sold over 387,000 copies in the first week of its release, and has been listed on 17 different charts around the world for over 20 weeks. One Direction is the first band in history to have debuted at number one on the “Billboard 200” charts four consecutive times.

“I think One Direction is finally finding their place in the music industry,” said Shana Stutz, 9. “They’re really finding out how to appeal to their target demographic and how to enjoy themselves in what they do, as opposed to performing something they don’t love. It’s really obvious when artists are forced to do something because you can tell when they have no passion for something but I don’t think thats that case with One Direction anymore, I think they’ve found their niche.”

After such a successful album,the question remains: What is next for the internationally known European band?

The dynamic quintet will kick off their fourth headlining tour, “On The Road Again” in 2015 with over seventy shows in 19 countries. Including one show here in Indy at the Lucas Oil Stadium on July 31, and tickets are on sale now.

The OTRA tour kicked off in Sydney, Australia on February 7.