My experience at a Trump rally

Story by: Connor Curts, staff writer
Photo by: Mackenie Carpenter, Photo Editor

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When Donald Trump visited Indiana shortly before the Indiana Primary elections at the beginning of May, I was able to attend one of his rallies which was held in Indianapolis at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. I went with two of my friends, and we showed up around 30 minutes ahead of the scheduled start time. When we walked in, the amount of security was crazy. There were secret service agents everywhere.

When we discovered that we had the opportunity to walk down to the floor of the arena, where there was standing room only, we decided to take the chance. Long story short, my spot for the rally was 10 feet away from the stage, and I was lined up exactly with the podium.

We weren’t sure what to expect from the people at the rally, as many of our friends had told us to stay safe, thinking the Trump supporters would be violent. I am pleased to say they were the complete opposite. Instead, what we found was that they were some of the nicest people you will ever meet. I had the pleasure of meeting a man named Gale Roberts from Montana, who runs a website and campaign called “Hillary’s Lies Matter,” with the sole intention of making sure Hillary Clinton is not elected. Roberts goes to every single Trump rally, following him around the country. At the time of this rally, he had logged 7,000 miles on his rental car.

During Trump’s speech, I found that he did not lash out and say anything dumb, silly, or offensive. Instead, he spoke intelligently, while still getting the crowd fired up in the classic Trump way. He would leave the stage to chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and I can honestly say that it was nothing less than an insane experience.

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Sanders rally

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief
Photo by:Mackenzie Carpenter, Photography Editor

Bernie rally

I recently had the pleasure of attending a rally for Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders in Indianapolis. It was a very positive experience, and it only confirmed my furthered support for the candidate. Being my first political rally, it was also an interesting chance to take in the atmosphere and compare it to what I have seen of rallies for Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

The rally started around 7, but I arrived at about 5. Monument circle was already packed with supporters for the candidate, cheering with signs and singing songs. There were a number of performers who kept the atmosphere alive with folk music before Sanders arrived. In addition, the main Sanders organizer for the area, a local IPS English teacher, gave a short speech about her support for Sanders before he arrived.

There was something different about this rally that what I have seen of Trump’s rallies. There was more of a sense of community among the members. Of course most of us were there to see Bernie Sanders, but we were also there to support each other. At Trump rallies it often seems like the members gather in some sort of weird, adulative ceremony for Trump, fuling his ego.

Sanders finally arrived, by way of helicopter, which was the only viable mode of transport considering he was campaigning in Fort Wayne a few hours earlier. In his speech, Sanders focused primarily on his plans to improve America, rather than speaking about other candidates. It is notable that Trump’s speeches are often accusatory. Although Sanders had points in his speech where he accused others for contributing to problems in America, they were not the focus of his speech. He also laid out his plans to cover the cost of his plans, something which candidates have attacked him for not doing.

MV students who attended the rally had positive opinions.

“I thought that Sander’s speech was powerful and really moving,” said Geneva Pleasant, 11.

All in all, the Sanders rally was a success and I am glad to have been able to attend.

Littering at MV

Story by: Allison Yoder, staff writer
Photo by: Caty McGovern, staff photographer

littering

There is no denying that Mt. Vernon is a beautiful school. It stays this way thanks almost entirely to the work of the custodial staff. But what happens when students disrespect the janitors, either verbally or by blatant littering? Unfortunately, nothing. This happens frequently at MV, and we need to put a stop to it. Being rude and tossing trash wherever is unacceptable, especially at an “A” school like Mt. Vernon.

Students and staff are thoughtful on the matter.

“I personally pick up after myself and feel bad if I litter,” said Sammi Henderson, 9. “The custodians are very nice and when my church came here for a volunteer type of thing, the custodians even helped when they didn’t have to and weren’t asked,”

Other students were just angry about the thought of disrespect to a helpful hand at school.

“I think this is really rude. Janitors are one of the reasons our school runs the way it does, and they deserve respect,” stated Cleo Mills, 9.

With similar opinions on the matter, students and staff agree that the janitors help keep our school in beautiful shape.

Art teacher, Mrs. Hurst, has strong feelings on the matter.

“To me, the custodian that cleans up my room is one of the most important people of my day. The fact that they all already work so hard, it actually makes me mad for them when students leave unnecessary messes, especially with what’s been going on in the bathrooms.”

There are simple solutions to this issue. Just clean up after yourself, or if you see someone leave a piece of trash behind, please just pick it up. Whether it be in the classroom or after lunch, it’s not that tough to pick up a few pieces of trash a day.

“How does all of this make me feel? To sum it up it makes me feel sad,” said MV head custodian Mr. Douglass. “Why has all of this changed and sunk to such a low level? Is it asking too much for a student to automatically pick up their own trash or if gum falls out of their mouth to pick it up and discard it properly? There are many trash containers spread throughout the building. Many students use them and many don’t.”

A good idea would be if you see a custodian in the hall, thank them for helping out at school. They do so much every day, and the fact that they barely get a thanks is upsetting. A simple thank you takes just a second, and can make their day much better.

Yes, it may be their job to clean up the school, but custodians shouldn’t have to clean up after each individual student as well. If you see someone litter, it’s a good idea to pick it up, but saying something to them helps to solve another possible trash issue later on. Looking around and doing a few simple tasks at school can save custodians so much trouble, and that shows that you care.

Trump on abortion

Story by: Emme Longman, staff writer

Donald Trump recently stated that his view on abortion is if it becomes illegal, then the women who have one should “have some sort of punishment.”

What kind of punishment would he inflict on women?

“I think it is wrong; I think it’s absurd that women should be punished for wanting or getting an abortion,” said Cody Smitley, 10.

Politicians should have no say in what and what not a woman choses to do with her life.

Would we want to elect a person that is over controlling and thinks that he knows what is best for everyone?

Trump has clearly stated that he is very pro-life and hates abortion, but has a hard time explaining his stance, which has changed very drastically within the last decade. On October 24, 1999, Trump stated, “I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating about the subject. But you still – I just believe in choice.”

 Is it possible that he changed his stance to get more attention drawn onto him, or did he change it for his supporters? Trump’s seemingly constant change in opinion just furthers the belief that he is undependable and it is nearly impossible to believe anything .

What happened to his past thinking? Changing his stance suggests that he is willing to change his opinion to make his supporters happy, and changing for the people is something that can be seen as a positive quality or a very negative and unreliable quality.

His claim is that he is pro-life with “caveats-life of a mother, incest, or rape.” If the woman who is trying to get an abortion is raped, then she should not be denied the right to have one. But he could then deny the right to a poor high school kid that made a mistake and is not ready or have the funds to mother a child? That is just plain not fair. Picking and choosing who can and cannot have an abortion is the real problem. It is social injustice, and separates people into the worthy and the unworthy.

His opinion can be easily swayed and changed to please the people, but how does he really feel? Maybe one day in the distant future he will be able to make up his mind and tell everyone his true stance, or maybe he will just drop out.

Upcoming Events

Monday, May 9th
-Boys’ Golf vs. Rushville @5:30
-Girls’ Tennis at New Palestine @4:30
-Varsity Baseball vs. Connersville @5:30
-JV/Varsity Softball v. New Palestine @5:30

Tuesday, May 10th
-Varsity Baseball at Brebeuf @6:00
-JV Softball vs. Shenandoah @5:30
-Varsity Softball @Shenandoah @5:30
-Girls’ Track & Field. HHC @5:30

Wednesday, May 11th
-Boys’ Golf at Fishers @4:30
-Girls’ Tennis at New Castle @4:30
-JV Baseball at Frankton @5:30
-JV/Varsity Softball v. Lawrence @5:30

Thursday, May 12th
-Boys’ Track & Field, HHC @5:30

 

AP test stress

Story by: Ashley Offenbach, staff writer
Photos by: Jennifer McGowen, staff photographer

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The AP Tests are coming up in the beginning of May, and they are causing many students to stress out. All of the AP tests are based on a one-to-five scale, but the percentages which equate to a 3, which is the passing score, are different for each test.

Depending on the subject a student is taking and the student themselves, their stress will be different. Some departments have much lower test scores and passing rates, which could cause less stress than another department because even though students will mostly likely study, they may be less stressed if they do not pass.

On the other hand, the departments with lower pass rates could cause more stress because students know it is harder to get a three or higher on the test. This means students know they have to study more and for longer periods of time to get a better passing grade. Students may freak out much easier because they know they have a slim chance of passing the test.

Although the difficulty level off tests may be different, most students can agree that it causes some amount of stress and anxiety preparing for these tedious tests.

Tess Barnett, 11, said, ¨The AP Spanish test is the test I am most stressed about because the thought of having a conversation with a recording is rather daunting.¨

Tess is not the only one stressed about the AP Spanish test. Many AP Spanish students are stressed about this test.

Maddie Bovard, 11, agreed with Tess, saying, ¨The AP Spanish is what I am most stressed about because I don’t feel very comfortable with the language.¨

Some students also do independent study classes and feel like they are ready to take an AP Test for that class, even if MVHS does not offer the class.

Leah Chaves, 12, who is taking independent study Japanese, said, ¨The AP Japanese test is probably the hardest because it requires me to record myself having a conversation and I have not been able to practice speaking in the past half year. I am fine with reading and listen, but you kind of lose the language if you don´t use it.¨

AP Test stressThe AP Tests may cause less stress because since so many people do not pass, students will use ¨Many people did not pass, so it is fine that I did not pass…¨ as an excuse to fall back on.

In other departments, such as AP Spanish, there has been an extremely high pass rate, as Señora Laughlin explains, ¨I think that the passing rate has been 70 percent or better for the past three years, possibly four. ¨

This may can cause students more stress because they know they need to pass to keep the pass rate at a high level.

Taking the AP test may be extremely stressful for the students in advanced placement classes at Mt. Vernon High School, but once all tests are finished, it will be a relief.

Students who were stressed about an upcoming AP Test, were able to attend the AP Cram Session on April 29. Student paid $10 to get in and they received pizza and a t-shirt. They joined their AP class, and the teachers spent time reviewing for the test with their students. The classes that had cram night sessions are: AP Biology, AP European History, AP United States History, AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP Psychology, and AP Spanish.

The truth about AP

Story by: Sydney Shurman, Reviews Editor
Photo by: Jennifer McGowan, staff photographer

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Many students at Mt. Vernon wanting to graduate with an Academic Honors diploma are all too familiar with AP classes. Some classes may be more challenging than others, but all are expected to be more demanding than normal high school classes, or even honors courses.

Since AP classes are considered college-level courses, students who pass the class and the AP exam can receive college credit. In theory, the concept sounds fantastic. Students receive credit before they even get to college, which means they do not have to spend as much money on that class and they have one less class to take in college. This equals more money and more free time. So why not pile on as many AP classes as possible?

The answer: that wonderful concept is not exactly the truth. Each college has its own policy on how many and what kind of credits it gives students, but for the most part, AP classes are not a one-way ticket to a perfect college experience.

Passing the AP exam does not mean that a student gets the exact number of credits required in the class that would be the college equivalent of their AP class. This does not mean that students do not get credit for their work, because they certainly do. However, it is not always in the form expected.

While each college decides what kind of credits a student receives based on their AP test scores, the College Board has a break down on their website. At IU Bloomington for example, getting a passing score of a 3 typically gives only an undecided credit in the area of the class. For some classes though, like Biology and English, it does earn three credit hours in a 100 level class. Most classes require at least a 4 to get a 100 level class or higher. Physics is the most rigorous, requiring a perfect 5 on the AP test to get anything more than an elective credit.

IUPUI is more lenient on giving specific class credits, with a score of 3 earning at the very least enough credits for one full elective course. Ball State is by far the best, offering at least a 100 level class for a 3 on the AP test.

That being said, it is definitely not impossible to earn satisfying college credits by taking AP classes. Certain colleges are always going to have different standards, and that might be a factor for some when choosing a university. However, all state universities do accept AP credits in some form, and they often provide enough credits for at least a full elective course.

By no means am I trying to discourage anyone from taking AP classes. I have taken three myself, and I can wholeheartedly say that they have all greatly benefited me in at least one way. They can provide a solid foundation for knowledge that students will need in college, and they can be a helpful snapshot of the rigor of college courses.

In some cases, AP classes can even do more than that. AP Literature helped shape me as a better writer and opened my eyes to truly amazing pieces of literature. Also, AP Government has made me so much more knowledgeable about politics, on top of the fact that it gives me the chance to express and listen to different opinions.

“AP Language is a lot of work, and it drives me insane, but I feel so much more prepared for college now,” said Ciera McCann, 12.

I think it is an excellent idea to take AP classes, even if they are not required to graduate. They have numerous positive qualities, but they are not easy. There is more work, and they are not a guaranteed “get-out-of-jail-free-card.” I highly encourage all students to take AP classes, but I believe in taking them for the proper reasons, and telling people the truth about what they are getting into.

Band: Sport or nah?

Story by: Carly McWilliams, staff writer
Photos by: Jennifer McGowan, staff photographer

band sport or no

For years, the debate has been raging and has yet to be settled: should band be considered a sport?

To answer this, one must first ask what a sport technically is. Believe it or not, sports do not just consist of passing a ball around to make a goal.

The Oxford dictionary defines a sport as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” From this definition, band meets all of the regulations.

Musicians have to be very talented to play all of their pieces perfectly, and it takes a lot of physical skill to play each instrument while marching down a field. Also, the members of the band compete regularly to achieve first chair in their class, as well as competing against other schools.

band sport or no 2The concert band recently participated in ISSMA and received gold and silver ratings for their solo and ensemble groups. Also, marching band placed 4th at finals earlier this year.

So why is this still not agreed on by everyone? Maybe because the physical abilities needed to be in band are different from those in sports like track and soccer, or maybe because the band does not get as much recognition as other sports for their titles and achievements.

Band member Tara Paarlberg, 10, added, “In marching band the top half of a person must be a musician and the bottom half must be an athlete.  Much like another sport, if someone on the field messes up, the entire group suffers. Everyone matters and contributes.”

Instead of thinking of band as just another class, or the background music at basketball games, recognize it for the sport it is

Creepy baby class

Story by: Caty McGovern, staff writer
Photos by: Caty McGovern, staff photographer

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As the end of the school year approaches, students want to know what classes they should take next year. One class that I say everyone should take is Child Development.

One thing about this class that is very different from other classes is that students take home a baby simulator for a weekend. A student becomes the primary caregiver to an infant. The students have to change the diaper, feed the baby, burp the baby and rock the baby. The baby can also be fussy and will cry for three minutes before stopping. Students will need to treat the baby like a real infant and handle it gently.

creepy baby laterThis simulation will determine whether the student are able to care for a child. It will also make most people rethink ever having children. Do not worry though, that is not the only thing done in this class.

In this class I learned a lot about STI’s and STD’s. I also learned about fetal development and how much having a baby really costs, which is usually thousands of dollars. We also learned about the benefits and risks of vaccinations. I found that analyzing the cost and care of a baby was interesting as few people really think about how they would take care of a baby at high school age.

This is a class that I believe everyone should take due to the things one can learn that will benefit them in the long run, whether it be in a career or as a future parent.

Keeping current on current events

Story by: Sydney Shurman, Reviews Editor

The current state of politics is an interesting one, to say the least. Currently in the running are Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the Democrats, and Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and John Kasich for the Republicans.

On the Democratic side, not many people could have guessed that one of the candidates would be a self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist.” However, Bernie Sanders has actually gained far more support than I would have suspected. He has managed to get many younger Americans on board with his political campaign, especially with his promise of affordable higher education.

As a liberal, I believe that many of his ideas could benefit our country, but the term Socialist tends to be off-putting to quite a few Americans. Unfortunately for supporters like me, this means that Sanders has been unable to garner enough delegates so far, especially with most of the superdelegates pledged to Clinton. Superdelegates have quite a bit of sway, since they are free to vote however they choose, or however their party wants them to.

According to Real Clear Politics, Hillary has a total of 1,712 delegates, with 1,243 coming from the American people and 469 coming from the Democratic Party’s superdelegates. Sanders only has a total of 1,004, with 975 coming from Americans and 29 coming from superdelegates. While he may sadly be losing, there is still a chance that he can win the nomination, and he has still managed to get enough support to cause quite a stir and prove that there are plenty of people who want change. Or perhaps some people are just afraid of the Clintons’ corruption.

The Republicans have no shortage of controversy with their candidates either. In a shocking turn of events, Donald Trump has been consistently leading in the Republican polls. A man who had his own reality television show, talks about building a wall every five minutes, and is a businessman who has gone bankrupt four times is the current leader in the Republican party.

Whatever issues I or anyone else may have with Trump, he has managed to gather a huge following. Out of the 1,237 delegates needed to win, Trump has 739. This is probably for the same reason that Bernie Sanders has gotten support: people want change.

“I think the American political system is corrupt, and I think we need a political revolution,” said Geneva Pleasant, 11. “There should be more than two political parties, because those do not cover what everyone wants.”

The other Republican candidate that promotes change is Ted Cruz, and he is quickly gaining momentum. Coming up in a close second with 465 delegates, he might be the only person able to give Trump a run for his money. The only problem is, he might not be any better than Trump. Cruz’s solution to a problem seems to be to simply shut down the government, which would not really get much done.

Rubio recently announced his shocking departure from the Republican race, leaving Trump, Cruz, and Kasich as the only Republican candidates. Kasich is trailing far behind Trump and Cruz though, leaving me wondering why he is even still in the race.

The 2016 election has no lack of entertainment value, but witty quips and shocking statements are not enough to run a country. It seems that people are more and more disillusioned with how our government is run, and rightfully so. However, change can come in many forms, and not all of them are positive.