Written By: Rachel Powell
Imagine this: “Ding-a-ling!” You have one new email. It reads:
“Dear Parents and Students, we are switching to a 4-day school week. Bonneville and Rigby have either already considered or already started this. We are going to start it as well. All students will be expected to come to school Monday through Thursday. Friday will become a “flex day” where students with low grades will come to improve their grades and students with good grades can stay at home. We will continue to provide bus services, breakfast, and lunch to all the students that do need to come on Fridays. Sincerely, your superintendent, Randy Lords.”
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you received that email? Madison School District (MSD) should switch to a 4-day school week because it would help students get better grades and students would be able to spend more time with their families.
One reason why MSD should switch to a 4-day school week is because it would help students get better grades. As indicated in the fake email, students with good grades would not have to go to school on Fridays. Students with a D or below, in any class, are required to go to school that day. If the student with low grades doesn’t come, they will be marked absent. Mr. Carlson did some research and found that more than 29% of MJHS students have a D or below in at least one class. Students with low grades would also be more motivated to get good grades so that they wouldn’t have to go to school on Fridays. There would also not be as many people at school on Fridays because many students would be at home, enjoying their life. Because of this, students with low grades would be more motivated to get good grades so that they wouldn’t have to go to school on Fridays. Students with low grades would also get more one-on-one time with their teachers, which would help the students understand the material better, which would help the students get better grades.
Mr. Allison, an amazing counselor at MJHS, said, “It’s unfair that the students with bad behavior are taking away reward and attention from the students with good behavior.” Having the opportunity to stay home from school on Friday would reward the students who do have good grades by letting them have a break from working their brains so hard.
Another reason why MSD should switch to a four-day school week is because it would give students more family time. According to www.un.org article 16, “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” Students at MJHS need to spend time with their families because families are so important.
An anonymous student from MHS said, “More time should be spent with family because it helps build good relationships. Family time is crucial.” Some families like to spend time together by going skiing every Friday in the winter, but they don’t have much time to do so because the kids have to go to school. If students had Friday off of school, then they would be able to spend more time with their families.
Some people may argue that some families have two parents working all the time. They wouldn’t be able to be home with their kids. If they are working on Friday and they don’t feel comfortable leaving their kids at home because they wouldn’t have anywhere to go, going to school on Fridays would still be an option. So basically, even if a student does have good grades, school on Fridays would be optional. School lunch and bussing would still be offered to all students. Students can come if they want/need, or they can stay home (if they have good grades) and relax after the long week of school, sports, and homework.
Overall, there are so many benefits to having a 4-day school week. Madison School District should switch to this schedule because students would get better grades, be able to spend more time with their families, and much more. It would benefit students, teachers, and families. There is almost no downside to switching to this schedule. If you are interested in this and you want to receive an email like the one in the first paragraph someday, go to madisonrundown.com and tell Mr. Bobcat that you want to switch to a 4-day school week.
Written By: Sawyer Summers
I think that students should be allowed to call their teacher by their first name. It will help the students to better bond with their teacher. Tory Parker, a student from MJH stated, “I feel like we should call our teacher by their first name because it sounds more natural.” Many students call their teacher by first name and get points taken away because of it. They don’t understand why they get in trouble because they feel like it is so awkward to call their teacher by their last name.
People say that calling their teacher by their first name defines the boundaries between the students and teachers. They argue that this is how it should be. Emily Meyer, another student from MJH stated, “I feel like if there was a young teacher, calling her by her first name would make her feel like she’s our age, and then there wouldn’t be a defined line between teacher and student.” But even though we would call them by their first name, they would still be in charge of us and teach us. There would still be defined lines that separate teachers from students. It would develop a mutual respect between teachers and students.
Some leading psychologists say that students are more likely to get good grades if they have a good relationship with their teachers. Neal Brown, principal of a school in Maryland, wrote, “Students (who call a teacher by their first name) begin to develop strong relationships with their teachers and they are less afraid to make mistakes or advocate for themselves.” They would feel more comfortable asking for help. So they would all get better grades and feel less stress about school. That is why students should be allowed to call their teachers by their first names.
Written By: Bailee Withers
From the ages of five to eighteen, youth all over the world are required to attend school. Every day, typically for 6-8 hours per day, we all go to school and learn all sorts of things in the subjects of math, science, English and more. This makes me wonder if we are using that time effectively. Why should we waste our time on stuff we will never need to know? Shouldn't we learn how to use a bank account, or pay bills, or buy a house?
Let’s look at a few examples. First, there's science class. It's interesting to learn about, but when in our life are we going to need to know how thick each layer of the earth is? Then, there's English class. Of course we need to have good writing skills, but will our job ever depend on if we can properly identify a direct object in a sentence? Unless we are going to become an English teacher, probably not. In math class, we learn many things that we will never use in real life. Do we need basic math facts? Sure! Do we need to know how to graph something in slope-intercept form? I think you see my point.
The website Philadelphia.cbslocal.com states, “A new survey says the average American uses just 37 percent of the information they learn in school.” This shows that there are many classes that we are never going to remember or use.
So how should we fix things? School classes should teach us things we need to know for life. Though the class may still be boring, we will at least know what to do when we have to pay bills. Most students probably don’t know how to set up a bank account until high school or even college. Mrs. Rhodes, an English teacher at MJH told us that when she managed student housing for BYUI, she was shocked at how many college students didn't even know how to pay their own bills. They had to rely on their parents to do it each month.
Imagine if money management was the type of thing we learned in math class instead of how to find the sine, cosine, and tangent of a triangle! Deseret.com says, “Approximately 24 percent of teens incorrectly think that using a debit card is borrowing the bank's money instead of using their own.” So why not change some classes to learning about things we as adults will need to know?
Although we need to learn the basics in math, I feel that by changing up topics we discuss in math and other subjects we all will benefit. Therefore maybe schools should eventually change up their classes, but for now enjoy your algebra class!
Written by: Hank Erickson
Most people don't know or don't care to know about the life of a cowboy. Most people think it's easy, but that is completely wrong coming from a cowpuncher himself *cough**cough* Hank Erickson. You have to worry about your horse acting up when it's cold or rainy or if you gave him too long of a break. But that's the easy stuff. Enough about that. Let's get into the first part of every cowboy job ever.
Saddling a Horse is a simple enough task, but for someone that is new or has never done it before it can be quite challenging. You have to catch, brush, braid (if you are fancy), put the pad on, throw the saddle on, and cinch it up. That's really broad so let’s get in to detail.
Step 1. Catching the horse
Everyone that has horses has a different way of catching their horse. The way I got taught was to walk up and put the halter on and walk him out, tie him up and give in grain so that they get a treat when they get caught.
Step 2. Brushing the horse
This is probably the simplest part. You just brush where the saddle sits if you are going for a ride. If you are going to a show you need to make the horse look fancy.
Step 3. Putting the pad on the horse
This is very important so your saddle doesn’t gald the horse. Putting the pad in the right place is also important the pad goes on the withers. The red circle is the wither. It it right at the base of the horse's neck. (see image below.)
Step 4. Saddling the horse
Perfect saddle placement is key so you don't accidentally hurt your horse. If your saddle is too far back, the back cinch will get in his flank and will cause the horse to buck. If it's too far forward it will gald (cutting your horse) and that's no bueno. The right bit is also a factor when cowboying. If you use a snaffle bit on a horse that has been ridden a lot, is a spade, or even a correction, your horse won’t be as soft-mouthed. A soft-mouthed horse is a really good thing if you are gentle with your hands. If you are hard with your hands it can hurt a soft-mouthed horse. But that is just the basics. You can find out more on Dale Brisby's YouTube channel or talk with Hank Erickson in person if you have questions about the life of a cowboy!
WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS!
by Ainsley Burns
Spider-man: No Way Home is a movie that Marvel fans, Spidey fans and superhero fans have been waiting for since Marvel announced Phase 4. I was able to see the movie and, being the ginormous Marvel fan I am, I’m going to let you in on easter eggs, spoilers and my guesses where the next movies direction are going.
Let's start with the basics. I’m going to break down the MCU for all you newbies and first timers. The MCU stands for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is the universe that Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, etc. live in, along with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. The MCU is a complicated and intricate movie series, with twenty-six movies, five Disney Plus series and more content on its way. It's one of the biggest and weirdest stories out there. The MCU began back in 2008 with its first movie, Iron Man. Soon the franchise grew into what it is today: a multi-billion dollar franchise with a ginormous fan base. The series movies are all connected beautifully and fit together in a way most film series couldn’t ever accomplish, and fans love it, including me. The MCU is a big deal to a lot of people, but so is Spider-Man, and this movie is one of the best Spider-Man movies out there. This has been a long-awaited film and is arguably one of Marvel’s greatest movies.
I’m going to start with spoilers because, my gosh I gotta get this off my chest! So if you haven’t seen the movie yet, I would strongly recommend you stop reading and go watch the movie. Ok here it goes… TOBEY AND ANDREW!!! I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT!!! This movie was a rollercoaster of emotions, and I can confidently say I screamed the loudest when Andrew showed up. This was a reveal that we were praying for to the Marvel gods and even Mephisto, and boy did Marvel deliver! For months, Andrew Garfield denied photos, accusations, literal evidence that he was going to make an appearance in this film even saying, “I feel like I’m in a game of mafia or werewolf. I am not the werewolf guys, I am not the werewolf.” Seems to me like Andrew was definitely the werewolf, and we all saw it coming. I loved both Tobey and Andrews' entrances; they were funny and nostalgic and just filled audiences with pure joy. It was amazing to see these two back on the screen and see all three Spider-Men share the screen.
While we’re talking about spoilers, the movie had two end credit scenes, something that Marvel is notorious for. The first end credit scene was of our favorite symbiot, Venom and his trusty vessel, Eddie Brock. I love seeing these two together; they’re just so fun. The end credit scene for Venom and Eddie's last movie, Let There Be Carnage, set up a very interesting look at Spider-Man: No Way Home. Let There Be Carnage’s end credit scene showed Venom growling at a tv screen with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man saying, “That guy,” in his creepy-alien-super-voice. Sadly, we didn’t get to see Venom in Spider-Man: No Way Home until the very end during the first end credit scene. Eddie is sitting at a bar that seems to be located in Mexico talking to a bartender. He is very confused and is asking about lots of events from the MCU storyline when, all of the sudden, he disappears just like the others in the film. But on the counter where he was seated, we see a small black goop that we can only assume comes from Venom himself. There are lots of theories I could go into, but this article is already quite long, so I’ll ask the question: What does this small goop of Venom mean? Could it be anti-Venom? Another form of Venom? Or could it have literally nothing to do with anything? That’s the exciting thing about end credit scenes: you just get a tiny taste of something you can’t see.
What about the second end credit scene with Doctor Strange? With The Multiverse of Madness being the next movie coming out in May, we have yet to see a trailer…until now. That’s right, the second end credit scene is the very first look at MoM (Multiverse of Madness). There are so many important details in this trailer that I could write a whole other article about, which I probably will do, but let's just mention the top things. The first thing I want to talk about is the freaking multiverse! What started in Wandavision with Chaos Magic, was made bigger in Loki with the TVA, and was exploited more than anything we’ve seen so far from Marvel in Spider-Man: No Way Home. MoM is a whole staircase into this crazy idea known as the multiverse.
This is an idea that hasn’t really been used before for a movie and definitely not a film series like Marvel. It's a hard idea to top, and to get it right really. There are so many ways this idea could go in a direction that could ruin Marvel, but it can also be something incredible that could change how we see movies, and with Marvel's track record, that's most likely the case. This beautiful idea is filled with ideas inside itself and is something only Marvel could come up with.
So what are some of the key things we need to know about this movie? Let's start with the question most of you are asking: who was the girl in the denim jacket? This my friends is none other than America Chavez, a superhero from the comics we have yet to meet. Why is she significant? One of America's powers is called star portal creation, the rare ability to smash open star shaped portals and travel the Multiverse--yep the multiverse. She is also a friend of Kamala Khan A.K.A Ms. Marvel who has an upcoming Disney Plus show. In the trailer, we see Dr. Strange falling through a star shaped portal that might have been created by America. I think America, though she hasn’t been mentioned much, is going to have a big role to play in MoM.
Another character we see is a creepier, darker version of Dr.Strange. At first, I thought it was Strange Supreme, a version of Dr. Strange from the What If…? Series on Disney Plus, but I’m not sure anymore. The team of this show has told us there will be multiple Doctor Strange variants throughout the movie, and I just don’t think that the What if..? Series is directly connected to the MCU. It just doesn’t make much sense, especially since this was an animated series, and bringing it into the live action area just doesn't seem like a good idea. There is also a second season of What If..? coming out after MoM will have already been in theaters. It doesn’t make much sense to have these two things connected. Even the comic books didn’t connect to the main story line. The What if…? comic series was written as something for Marvel fans to connect to, it was basically canon fanfic and that's what the tv series did too. It leaves us with questions like Who is this weird creepy version of Strange? Could it be Mephisto? Basically I just don’t think that the evil Doctor Strange we see is Strange Supreme.
Now let's finally get to the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Easter eggs! Where do I even start? This movie is chock full of references from past Spider-Man movies, comic artists and even Stan Lee the Great.
The first big one I'm going to mention is MJ’s full name. In the comics and past movies her name has always been Mary Jane Watson, but in No Way Home, we hear her real name for the first time in the MCU--Michelle Jones Watson. It just shows that the MCU is really diving into that multiverse stuff.
The next one that I am so freaking excited about is Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil. As you may have heard, Marvel Studios has confirmed Charlie Cox’s return as Daredevil, a character he played in a Netflix's show back in 2015. In No Way Home we get daredevils first appearance in the mcu as not daredevil but Matt Murdock. A lawyer who was blinded in an accident as a kid, he uses his heightened senses to fight criminals as the vigilante “daredevil”. In No Way Home, he is Peter’s lawyer and when a brick is thrown through the window with the note “We believe Mysterio,” he catches it right before it hits Peter in the head. Peter asks, “How did you do that?” with Matts response being “I’m a really good lawyer.'' It was a funny, and charming way to introduce him to the universe, and Daredevil fans everywhere can’t wait to see what's going to happen.
We finally get the famous “With great power comes great responsibility” line that Uncle Ben has said in the comics, and in both past Spider-Man series. It was the first time we have heard it in the MCU, and just like in the other Spider-Man films, the line comes with a price. In this film, we never meet Uncle Ben. He might not even exist in this universe, so instead of losing the wise old Uncle Ben, we lose the kind, loving Aunt May. There were sobs in the theater when Aunt May let out her last breaths. This was a very emotional scene, and like most MCU deaths, it hit hard and was acted out amazingly. We were finally given the famous words but in a different way--not changed by much, but changed. Aunt May says the words “With great power, there must also come great responsibility.” It's always a hard scene to watch and this one was harder than most.
Spiderman into the Spiderverse is a beloved movie and has a sequel coming up next year. Many have speculated that Mile Morales will soon join the MCU. In Spider-Man No Way Home, Maxwell Dillon A.K.A. Electro sits down with Andrew Garfeild’s Spider-Man. After he has been cured of his power, he tells Peter he thought Peter would be a black man because of the good work he does. He then says there's got to be a black Spider-Man somewhere in the multiverse. Myself and others think this is a direct mention to Miles Morales, hinting that he might make a cameo or appearance in a future film.
The last easter egg I want to talk about is MJ falling from the statue. In this scene, MJ is running from The Lizard when she’s knocked off by him. She falls, and it looks almost identical to 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Gwen Stacy scene. In the movie, Gwen Stacy, Andrew Garfeild’s love interest dies from falling off a building and hits her head before Peter can catch her. In No Way Home, Tom Holland's Peter jumps after MJ, almost reaching her before he is swept up by the Green Goblin. Andrew Garfeild sees MJ falling and leaps into action, catching her before she falls. When they land he asks “Are you ok?” with tears in his eyes. MJ’s response is “Yeah, are you?” Andrew simply nods. This was the scene that caused me to cry the most, and yes I cried more than once. It’s beautiful and lets Andrew have his redemption.
This movie was one of the most amazing movies I have ever seen. It was emotional and funny and different and dark and it was exactly how a Marvel movie should be. I loved it, and I hope you did too. Write in the comments if I missed anything!
By: Jonas Robins
The wish assembly is coming up on Tuesday, December 21st, and it is a very fun tradition we have here at the junior high. The wish assembly is an assembly run by the student council where students at Madison Junior High can go to a booth during lunch time and submit wishes for twenty-five cents each. These wishes can be silly things or serious things, but you never know, they might just grant it! This got me thinking. If I could have any 3 wishes come true (that are school related), what would they be?
One of the wishes I would choose is, of course, to have flex back. I would want it back so we could have help with homework and we could get our grades up as needed during school. Jaden Torres, a student at MJH would also choose to get flex back. “I think we should flex back to help with the school's GPA,” Jaden states.
Another wish I would choose is for school to be shorter. While I don't think they would be able to do this, it would be fun. I think it would be a fun idea because then there is still less work put on the kids and this causes less stress. Some people may not be aware of this, but Rigby has recently decided to make Fridays a "work day" just for students who have low grades. They are taking the daily flex time out of their schedule, but placing it on Fridays. This means that if you have good grades, you don't have to come to school on Friday! How awesome would this be!? It's like they are killing two birds with one stone. They get flex time AND they reward kids who already have good grades by not making them come on Fridays! Let's get this conversation rolling at Madison!
The third wish I would choose is more elective classes. School is supposed to help people get jobs and things in the future, but maybe people struggle with knowing what jobs they would want. If students can have more elective options, they can figure out what things they are interested in. This will help them have not only to have a good paying job, but the job that makes them happy.
Although these wishes may not come true, the wish assembly will still be a blast. The assembly may not actually grant a lot sometimes, but it's still a fun assembly for the students.
Anika Johnson, a student at MJH, really looks forward to the assembly. She says, “I really think that the wish assembly is really fun and gets the students really involved and excited."
I agree! It should be a great assembly to watch and who knows, maybe some great wishes will be granted!
Written by: Hank Erickson and Deven Garner
Why is Idaho so weird? Normally, we get the snow machines out at Thanksgiving! This year, we didn't really get any snow until December 14, 2021. That is crazy. This summer was crazy too. It was very, very hot! In fact, it was, one of the hottest summers Idaho has ever had.
A freshman student at Madison Junior High named Cody Little was happy that it didn’t snow until last week. When asked about the fresh snowfall on Tuesday, he stated, ‘’It’s trash. I freaking hate snow.’’ This shows that some students don’t like the snow and some are happy we haven't had it like we are supposed to.
We (Deven and Hank) personally like the snow and can’t wait for winter time. The trick to loving winter is getting involved in some winter sports like snowboarding or snow machining. When it is summer, all we can think about is getting away from the summer heat and onto a sled (a snowmobile is also called a sled).
A very nice teacher from Madison Junior High, Mrs. Rhodes, stated, “I personally was happy that it didn't snow for a long time because we are trying to frame a house.”
In that sense, I understand that the long pause for winter to start again was a good thing. The summer of 2021 was one of the hottest, and there was almost a 90 degree average in the month of July. This temperature caused a drought all over eastern Idaho. Palisades Reservoir was only at 7% capacity at the end of the summer. The average snowfall for December in Rexburg, Idaho is 11.7 inches. Now, we are in the middle of December with only 4 to 8 inches of snow so far. This means this winter is lacking some snow and Idaho needs lots and lots more snow this winter so that we don’t have a larger drought like the one we had last summer. Even though some people don’t like it, snow can be a great thing and is very needed for the farmers! Long live winter!
Written by: Sam Harper
Recently, in English class, we read a story about following traditions of society. There are many things we do just because of peer pressure. Maybe we need to change up some things and start considering why we even do them in the first place. I feel there are some weird traditions that we practice today. The one tradition that this article will focus on is the tradition of “elf on the shelf.”
So first of all, why would you tell your kids that there's a demonic looking ‘stuffed elf’ in your house spying on you to report to Santa? Like sure it might make your kids behave well so they get ‘presents’, but why lie to them? The tradition of Santa Claus is one thing, but making kids think there's a creepy, tiny, human-like creature spying on you and messing up your house at night doesn't seem that smart.
The fact the parents/guardians move the elf every once in a while just seems to add to the fact that it's real. After kids get older, and wiser, I bet that gets really creepy. I bet kids have nightmares and phobias of possessed dolls because of this idiotic tradition.
Ewan Gillion, a sanctioned psychologist, stated: “The elf itself is one which most children usually consider a positive Christmas character; however they may start to feel uneasy knowing that it’s going to come ‘alive’ during the night and they won’t know when, or see it moving around. This unknown can cause real anxiety, especially for, those who may already have a fear of ‘haunted toys’, or toys they have seen come alive in films.”
Adding to that, it's going to pressure and stress out kids, thinking they're being noted on their behavior. According to positiveparentingsolutions.com, “Knowing that Santa’s Elf is constantly watching over them can create discouragement and anxiety for kids—especially for those who struggle with impulse control or who have difficulty making good choices.”
With all this evidence, it's obvious that this particular tradition needs to be thrown out. The physical and mental effects are not worth risking for ‘good behavior’ or ‘something fun to do annually’. This just helps add to the argument which is; some traditions just need to be changed or stopped completely.
Written By: Sawyer Summers
This week in English class we had a discussion about if it would be better to be the smartest person in the school or be the most popular person in the school. I personally think that it would be better to be the smartest person because then you could get good grades and get into a good college. This could mean that you would get a better paying job in life.
Another reason it would be better to be the smartest person in school is that some people believe that popular people are rude. Brinlee Lords, a student at MJH, said, “Smart people are usually nicer than popular people.” She thought that some of the popular people are stuck up and rude. I agree with her.
About half of the people in my English class would choose to be the most popular instead of the smartest. Audrey Sutton, another student at MJH said, “I think it would be super fun to know everybody and party all the time.” Some people say that if you were popular, you could still get a good job because you would know a lot of people. There is definitely some truth to the saying, “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know if life.”
A couple of kids in my class thought that there are two kinds of smartness, street smart and book smart. If you chose to become the smartest, would you also be smart in the ways of the world or would you just be book smart? Mrs. Rhodes, a teacher at MJH stated, “I think smart people are sometimes typically smart in school, but are not always smart in other ways.”
It is good to be smart, but it is also good to be popular. Hopefully, we never have to choose just one.
Written by: Hyrum Edwards
Everyone knows traditions can be as pointless as a dull pencil. In my English class, we recently read a story about the traditions of society. Sometimes traditions can be removed or brought back. A great example of a good tradition that got removed, was flex. Because I am an 8th grader, I never had flex time, but I know that students would do better in school with flex.
Flex was a 45 minute break from your classes when you could do your homework or, if you didn't have to make up any work, you could play in the gym. Most students would love the opportunity to have some free time at school.
Hank Erickson, an 8th grader at MJH, said, “We need flex for more than one reason - for extra time on school work, or to socialize.”
If you are in ninth grade or higher in 2021-2022, you have gotten to experience flex and you probably loved it. It's not fair that the school got rid of flex. Their excuse for getting rid of flex was Covid-19. Well, if that was really their reason, we should have flex back again! We are in classrooms with 30 other people, sitting one foot away all day. We eat lunch in the cafeteria next to tons of people. In between classes, we are crammed next to each other like sardines. Therefore, we are obviously over the Covid restrictions.
Flex could and will help people with good grades. Those that did not have homework could just hung out with their friends. It is a good break for all of us hard-working junior high kids. I'm not saying we need 45 minutes of flex, but we should have at least a 25 minute break.
Devon Gardner, another 8th grader at MJH, said, “I want flex, but I don't think we will get it back.”
What can we do about this? The wish assembly is coming up! I would encourage everyone to put their wishes in for flex time to be reinstated at Madison Junior High! Let’s make it happen!