posted Apr 23, 2015, 10:59 AM by Unknown user

Carlee Schmelzer

    I’m a pretty even tempered person. I don't get mad about much and really just go with the flow most days. But, like everyone else, I have my limits. Those limits are surpassed by privileged idiots that disrespect America, our flag and veterans. It boggles my mind when people complain, saying things like, “America really sucks” or “We are barely even free”. I’m over here like how are we not free? Yes, we have laws and regulations, some of
Image result for repeat after me we are free
which are arguably outdated, but they help to keep us safe. I was infuriated when I saw that picture to the left, and moreover the comments it got on twitter. All the comments were “wow so tru!” or “this is so accurate!”. The post was implying that because we have social norms and a foundation for success that we are somehow not free. WHAT?! I’m sorry that you live in country where you have to work for what you want. What does getting a job have to do with being free. “Get married.” One of the privileges of being a free American is that you can choose to be married to who you want, if you decide to get married at all. Men and women are over seas dying for people that complain about having children. That brings up another sore spot. Our troops leave their family, friends, and everything they know to ensure our freedom and what do they get in return? Mental and physical handicaps, as well as coming home to people who don't respect what they Image result for westboro baptist church funeral protesthave done for us. The congregation at the Westboro Baptist church is the epitome of everything I hate. The
church is based in Topeka Kan. and for many years has picketed military funerals. These people literally take signs, like the ones on the right, to soldiers FUNERALS. That soldier gave his life for our freedom of speech, the right that these protestors are utilizing to shame that same soldier. How do they not see the irony in that? Luckily, there are just as many stories out there about people making human walls to shield the soldier’s families from these hellish protesters and making blockades so they can’t get through. Those type of stories make me happy and show just how great America can be. I could go for pages and pages about this subject and how heated I get over things like the idiots at Westboro but, I don’t want to get too angry so I’ll just leave it at that.      

A Life Without Dairy

posted Apr 23, 2015, 10:49 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 23, 2015, 10:50 AM ]

Alyssa Miller

I recently discovered I was lactose intolerant; this discovery has posed many issues for me. I used to eat a lot of dairy in my diet.  I had milk in my cereal for breakfast, cottage cheese for lunch, a cheese stick for lunch, and something else with dairy for dinner.  With all of this in my diet, I would have bad stomach pains that I couldn’t explain.  Recently my mom decided I was lactose intolerant; therefore, I cut the dairy out of my diet.  I haven’t had any more stomach pains so I think diary must have been the cause of my issues.

Living without dairy is harder than you think.  I can’t eat pizza with the rest of my family.  I should get ice cream when all of my friends are.  I can’t eat the same foods I have been used to.  My mom has to buy me new food to supplement my foods I used to buy for lunch.

Some of the things my mom buy me that are lactose free are almond or soy milk; these milks taste a little different plain but are still good in my cereal.  Spinach, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables have calcium in them.  Canned tuna or canned salmon also contain a lot of calcium without lactose.  Almonds and orange juice also have calcium for strong bones.  Vitamin supplements may also need to be used to get the extra calcium needed in my diet.

Being lactose intolerant is very difficult but it can be done.  I admit that I have forgotten and ate cheese pizza since I decided to cut dairy from my diet but with more practice, I will officially be lactose free.

Student Teacher Feature: Mr. Moyseenko

posted Feb 18, 2015, 10:49 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Feb 19, 2015, 8:41 AM ]

Alyssa Miller

Bowling Green State University senior, Michael Moyseenko, is the new Varsity Choir and Mixed Chorus student teacher for the second semester. One would think following Ms. Edinger (the previous student teacher) would be difficult but Moyseenko has been well received by students. “The kids are really nice,” Moyseenko says.

Teaching at Van Buren is very different from Moyseenko’s high school, Eastlake North near Cleveland, Ohio.  “It’s a little smaller than what I’m used to but the students are great and it’s fun,” he states.

Moyseenko was inspired to teach by his high school music teacher.  He says his favorite part about teaching is being able to give back to his students.  The most difficult part about teaching is to keep boundaries with his students because he wants to be liked.  He also says he has to adjust to the grade levels.  “I can’t treat my sixth graders like I treat my juniors and seniors.  I can’t treat the juniors and seniors like I would treat my college singers,” Moyseenko explains.

The college senior is a musical education major with a voice specialization; however, he knows a little bit of everything.  Moyseenko can play the clarinet, piano, trumpet, percussion instruments, and violin.  But he says the tuba is his main instrument aside from his voice.

Outside of school, Moyseenko is involved in an all men collegiate a cappella group, Ten40, which is currently ranked fourth in the world.  The group consists of seventeen men; they sing choral, pop, jazz, and barbershop music.  They went to the International Championship for Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) competition (from  Pitch Perfect) on Jan 31, 2015 in Bowling Green, Ohio and won their quarter finals.

Along with Ten40 and student teaching, Moyseenko is involved in the gaming society, National Society for Collegiate Scholars, Falcon Swing Society, and musical theater at BGSU.  He enjoys swing dancing, cooking, playing video games, and hanging out with his friends.  He also arranges and composes music.

Do you have any hidden talents? I can do impressions and in high school I did some voice acting.  I can beatbox, but that isn’t hidden anymore.  I also design tattoos.

If you could have any celebrity play you in a movie, who would you choose? I would have to pick either Robert Downey, Jr. or Hugh Jackman. Or Emma Stone because she is a fox.

Where is your favorite place to shop for your dress clothes? Express, mostly clearance. You watch the sales, you’ll be alright.

#1 on your bucket list: Be on Broadway or in a major motion picture.

Favorite artist/musician: Right now my favorite band is Down the Line, a four man acoustic rock/country band.

What is your favorite song to sing? “Desperado” by The Eagles

Favorite role you’ve ever played: In a musical, Mr. Mushnik from Little Shop of Horrors. In a straight play, dracula in Brahm Stoker’s “Dracula”.

A Man of Many Talents

posted Nov 20, 2014, 10:38 AM by Unknown user

Morgan Drake

Math isn’t the only thing you should expect to learn when walking into Mr. Rader’s classroom. Stories of javelins, blizzards, and college professors are an essential...and yes, math too. This year marks his 35th and final year of teaching at Van Buren. He teaches pre calculus, senior advanced math, senior college review math, and integrated algebra 1.

His talents don’t end at math though, he has many others as well. Mr. Rader has his auctioneering license and his real estate license. He has also performed appraisals and dowses wells with his wife. While most students are aware of Mr. Rader’s skills in auctioneering and real estate, many aren’t aware of his well dowsing job.

“One of the jobs my wife and I do, we dowse wells, which means we go with a stick in our hand out through their yard and when it pulls down we locate water underneath the ground, and that makes absolutely no mathematical sense. My wife is a math professor,

and it makes no mathematical sense to either one of us.” Despite the lack of mathematical sense, he and his wife have made a part time job out of it,

“We have done probably close to 850 wells where people call us. We’ve been flown by airplane, we’ve been all over the place. We’ve been to Pennsylvania, Indiana, of course Ohio a lot and we’ve had calls to Michigan.”

Another thing students might not know about Mr. Rader is that of his 35 years of teaching, he spent a year and a half as Van Buren’s guidance counselor. He also was extremely active in coaching.

“I’ve coached varsity football, I’ve coached varsity wrestling, I’ve coached varsity track and field, I’ve coached junior high track, and I’ve coached junior high girl’s basketball...and one year of JV volleyball,” he recalls. What makes this man of many traits choose teaching above all of his other talents? When asked what his favorite thing about being a teacher was, he immediately responded,

“Watching you guys grow up and making better decisions as you get older, that’s my favorite thing.”

Mr. Rader has a wide variety of options after retirement, but he has one plan for sure,

“My first plan is to take my family and go to Alaska, and after two weeks, send my kids home and my wife and I stay and cruise the Alaskan panhandle for another week. That’s my first plan.” And his second?

“I don’t know for sure, I’ve got a couple options open.” He’s been asked to be a bookkeeper and a handyman. He also might return to education,

“I have been kicking around the idea of maybe being an adjunct professor somewhere.”

After 35 years of teaching at Van Buren, a lot of crazy and memorable moments stick out to Mr. Rader. One of his most memorable moments involved the Black Knight football team not only making the playoffs, but winning a playoff game for the first time in school history,

“Well, one is watching these guys play football in week 12. Especially being an old football coach and knowing the history we had getting things rolling. Mr. Masters and I came the same year and I coached with him and I’d have to say getting things rolling is near the top.” He also adds that the track team making it to state is high up on his list, explaining that he loves watching those athletes perform. Track is also involved in his craziest moments, as he laughs telling the story of a pole vaulter that missed the pit entirely, but managed to not get hurt. Another moment he thought was hilarious involved snow angels.

“I had one student that wanted to do snow angels out on the roof, so I waited until he brought his brand new jacket to school and did snow angels so it ruined his jacket...his mom wasn’t too happy about that,” he says with a smile. As fun as it may sound, don’t expect him to let anyone else make the venture out on the roof,

“Just one, I’ve only let one kid go out there...but he had a new jacket on so it seemed like the right thing to do.”

If you ask students who their favorite teacher is, you can expect a lot of their answers to be Mr. Rader. Not only is he a great teacher, but a role model. He teaches in a way that prepares you for college, but he still manages to make it fun. When asked what he’ll miss the most about teaching, Mr. Rader stated,

“What I think I’ll miss the most is you guys...interacting with you guys and just kind of laughing with you guys. I just really enjoy a classroom that’s got personality. I’ll really miss that.”

Where Are They Now? Ryan Parker

posted Nov 20, 2014, 5:29 AM by Unknown user

Alyssa Miller

Grab the 1999-2000 yearbook and you will find it littered with photographs of then senior, Ryan Parker. The 33-year-old musician was voted Most Outgoing by his classmates and was on homecoming court. He was also extremely active in choir, drama club, and theater productions. He was a member of the show choir, All-County choir, and District Honors choir. His senior year he won the choral directors award.

Parker was highly active in Van Buren’s theater productions. His freshman year he played the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz”, sophomore year he played Randolph MacAfee in “Bye Bye Birdie”, and his senior year he played Marcellus in “The Music Man”.

Respectably, Parker’s favorite class was choir and his favorite teacher was the former choir teacher, Mr. Inbody. “The arts was, and still is, my passion,” he says.

Parker reminisces on his goals at the time of graduation, saying “all I wanted to do was perform for a living via acting or music.”

While it is a side job, Parker was able to make his dream come true. He is a member of a two-person band, Violet Vinyl. He and his bandmate, Carrie Lynn, play folk, country rock, and rock music every weekend all over Ohio.  Lynn plays the violin while Parker sings and plays the guitar.

Parker says he first met Lynn years ago when her band opened up for his at a gig. Years later they were both looking for someone to play with and contacted one another via Facebook.

Aside from playing music every weekend, Parker is an assistant director of food services at the Heritage Nursing Home. He has been married to his wife Stacy, a vet-tech at Blanchard Valley Veterinary Clinic, for four years; they have two children: Lane, 3-years-old, and Breezy, 8-months-old. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his children and participating in community theater.

Favorite musician: John Lennon

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring with you? Guitar, iPod, & pizza

What is your favorite song to sing/play? “Stand By Me”

If you could have someone play you in a movie, who would you chose and why? Paul Rudd. He is goofy and light-hearted yet serious.

What is the number #1 thing on your bucket list? To visit Liverpool, England. My great-grandfather is from there, and I love The Beatles.

Travelin' Man

posted Oct 28, 2014, 6:01 PM by Unknown user

As a Van Buren physical education and sports coach for 35 years, Mr. Masters doesn’t just want to teach his students different sports; he wants to help them become better people.  He says one of his favorite things about teaching is helping his students learn how to do something they didn’t know before, and one of the main reasons he teaches is to help students become better people.   

One of the best times of the year for him is Opening Knight because he gets to see everyone after two months, and see how they’ve all changed.

“I love to help someone who can’t chew gum and walk at the same time, and help them do that.  That’s the cool part about teaching.  I don’t care who it is or what it is, but if they can do something when they leave here that they couldn’t do when they walked in, that’s pretty cool,” says Masters.

Thinking back on all of his 43 years of teaching, 35 at Van Buren and eight at a school in New Jersey, Mr. Masters says the thing he will miss most about teaching is the people, and miss helping them.  

“It’s curious to me that people don’t say hi to people as they go by.  I don’t want to regret sometime, someone walking by and that person’s having a bad day, and they really get depressed because I didn’t say hi to them.  It’s the little things that make a difference.”

“This might be a cop-out answer, but I don’t know,” Mr. Masters admits about what he’s looking forward to in retirement. Taking some advice from his retired colleagues, Masters looks forward to an open schedule. “I said to my girlfriend, ‘I’m going to go to New Jersey, I’m going to go down to the shore, and I’m going to be on the beach every day doing nothing with my feet up on the little mound of sand I build.  I’m just going to sit there everyday and look around.’”

Masters followed in his parents footsteps: both parents were teachers and his father, a coach.  Although they tried to guide him in the direction of other professions, “I always kept going back to teaching, and then went I to Findlay College, I started to realize there’s more to being a phys. ed teacher, and a coach, than people realize,” says Masters.  Though Mr. Masters loves being a phys. ed teacher and coach, he says he would’ve loved to also be a history teacher, an announcer on the radio or TV, or go on archaeological digs.  In college, he had to learn every part of the body: every bone, every muscle, every vein, every ligament, and also learn which muscles help people do certain things, including  “which muscles help you throw a ball, which muscles help you kick a ball,” he recounts.  “And then you also had to learn first-aid.  ”  

Coaching is similar to teaching in the way that you’re always trying to be better than you were the year before; even though the objective to coaching is to make the students participating in it better people, your ultimate goal is to win.  “The ultimate goal for teachers and coaches is to make these students better people.  My philosophy is these things go hand-in-hand,” he says.  “If you get the kids to act accordingly, they’re going to be successful.”

“I was the head football coach for 30 years, I was the assistant baseball coach in New Jersey, I’m now assistant baseball coach here, I was junior high basketball coach here, and I was the head baseball coach for two years,” he relays all of his coaching years, almost forgetting the last one.  He says coaching football was his favorite, but baseball is a close second.  While Mr. Masters loved coaching baseball he admits he appreciates football more, maybe because he coached football longer, or maybe because of the brotherhood that develops so deeply between the players.

Over the course of his high school years, Mr. Masters played football, baseball and basketball, along with playing baseball and football in college for a few years before having knee surgery his senior year, limiting his ability to play.  After recovering from this surgery, Mr. Masters continued to play baseball for a while, but became the manager of Findlay College’s football team instead of playing.

There were obstacles for Mr. Masters becoming a physical education teacher.  “When I was young, a rookie teacher, I had to learn how to organize the kids.”  When he was still teaching in New Jersey, the gym also doubled as an auditorium, and one day they were setting up a stage for a play at one end, and it made Mr. Masters unable to do anything with his students.  “There were two guys out on the floor throwing a ball back and forth, and I said please give me the ball.  I walked back from one guy to the other several times asking for the ball before figuring out I wasn’t going to get it.”

“I don’t know if it’s an obstacle, but working with people.” Mr. Masters isn’t just talking about working and communicating with the students, but also with the parents.  “It’s just one of the things you have to learn, and you can’t learn it unless you do it.  When I came out here from New Jersey I had to learn the culture of the school.  I had to learn how to work with people, and another obstacle for me was adjusting from teaching and coaching in New Jersey to teaching and coaching here.”

After all of his years teaching and coaching, both here at Van Buren and back in New Jersey, Mr. Masters has always wanted to simply help his students along the right path in life.  He says that as long as they can say “Mr. Masters helped me”, he believes he’s done the right thing.

Hometown Heroes

posted Apr 30, 2014, 6:48 PM by Unknown user

Alli Arthur

As a kid, I’d always dream of being a firefighter or police officer; I’ve even got the dress-up costumes to prove it. I’ve always looked up to the people that kept me safe, and I wanted to be just like them. Too often, I hear stories of firefighters and police officers being seriously injured or even killed by the harsh means of their jobs. These men and women go unappreciated for their work. As a citizen of this community, I figured I’d show my appreciation for these men and women by sharing a small token of my gratitude with them.

Around 6:00 p.m. on Sat., March 21, the first batch of homemade cookies found their way into my 350-degree oven. I chose to make a classic, chocolate chip cookies, to give to some of our local firefighters the next day. I felt nervous as I slid the cookies onto the hot oven racks. I wanted them to be perfect, I wanted to make a good impression. After all, my life may depend on these people someday, and I didn’t want to leave a bad taste in their mouths. Literally.

After a taste test of the first batch, I felt more confident and cranked out three sheets of homemade cookies. Boy, my grandma would have been proud. These babies were top-notch. As I pulled the last cookies out of the oven, I took a deep breath and admired the thirty-five sugar-packed treats. After cleaning up the cookie batter laiden kitchen, I realized it had only taken a little over two hours to finish all thirty-six cookies by myself. I had plenty of time to relax.

I tried my hardest to kick back. It took a lot to not think about the small adventure ahead of me. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I’d say to the firefighters as I, a small teenage girl, rolled up in my tiny Hyundai Elantra, offering tokens of my gratitude. What if they thought I was pranking them? I couldn’t concentrate on the TV, which mostly served as background noise to my thoughts at this point, so I went to bed at the daring hour of 10 p.m. The next day, Sun., March 22, I woke up at a perky 8 a.m.. I wanted to be sure I was at the station in time to be able to hand the firefighters my cookies personally. As I went about my morning routine, I felt a knot in my stomach. All of the thoughts from the night before came flooding back to me in a  rush. I felt nervous, excited, and groggy all at the same time.

Despite the madness that was going on in my mind, I took a deep breath and punched the number of the nearest fire station into my home phone. I called the station ahead of time to make sure it was okay that I intruded on these people’s morning routines. A sweet younger-sounding man answered, which made my job easier. The man was quick to accept the offering of cookies, so I promptly jumped in my car and made the short trip to the fire station.

Cookies in hand, I nervously made the short walk from my car to the main door of the station. Here, I met the man who I assumed I talked with on the phone. The man shown a smile as wide as his face would let him, and greeted me with thanks. I felt comfortable talking with him again, as if meeting up with an old friend. Soon, he slid around a corner and began searching for some of his co-workers.

As I waited, I noticed how warm the station felt. Sure, I was only in the office of the building for the entirety of my trip, but something made me feel at home. I heard the laughter of friendly fire fighters as they came closer to where I was. I took the last moments of my alone time to recite what I was going to say as I presented the cookies.  

There was a grand total of five firefighters standing in front of me as I stood babbling out a thanks. It went something like: “I really appreciate all of the time you invest in uh...our community and I...I think this is just a small token of my appreciation and… I hope you like chocolate chip! So...yeah, I just wanted to...thank you guys.” I never have been a smooth talker.

One of the men standing before me let out a small chuckle. I was almost offended before he went on. He began to say that he really appreciated what I had done. He hadn’t seen anyone do this type of thing before, and he never expected it. He took a second to gather his thoughts, and quietly held out his hand. The other fighters soon followed after him.

The men were all very thankful for my time and baking abilities. I talked with the men for nearly ten minutes about what they loved about their jobs. One tall, dark man told me about his typical day. I learned that some days can be very slow in a small town like ours. Other days can be jam packed with serious fires and other emergencies.

Sitting here, talking with these men made me feel like I was talking to a bunch of old friends. I felt so at home and welcomed that before long, I was listening to their gossip and sharing my own. I was so glad I showed up to the fire station that day. These men and women are just like all of us. They have normal families, and they go about life unnoticed in most cases. I had a warm feeling in my stomach as I sat there, talking to real life heros.

This feeling was more than anything I had wished to come out of this experience. I was hoping to feel a small amount of pride and joy coming out of the station that day, but what I felt was a new and different kind of appreciation for the men and women that worked at that station.

I learned a lesson that day. Even though these men and women had every reason to want more out of their jobs, they didn’t ask for it. They were simply thankful for a few small plates of cookies made by a little teenage girl. To them, that was all they needed to make their job less of a job and more of a passion. I learned to take what I have and turn it into something great.

Next time someone asks you who your favorite superhero is, I can only hope that our hometown firefighters cross your minds. I hope that someday you feel the appreciation and caring that I did from passing on a small  act of kindness.

Down to the Nitty Gritty

posted Apr 30, 2014, 6:46 PM by Unknown user   [ updated May 15, 2014, 8:38 AM by Unknown user ]

Paige Sudlow 

        High school students here at Van Buren do not have the tedious duty of cleaning scuff marks with a tennis ball on a stick through the halls like we did in elementary. We have the privilege of walking through clean hallways every morning. But who does walk around with a tennis ball on a stick? The janitors.

I set out to find what all these unacknowledged staff members do for us each night. I wanted to experience exactly what the janitors have to do on a daily basis before, after, and during school hours.

Upon arranging which janitor I would shadow with the head poncho, Jon Kelley, I was introduced to Deb. We decided that I would shadow her after my practice one day.

My excitement grew as the day came and I anticipated what I would be cleaning up, and how I would be cleaning certain places. Would I see something disgusting? What would Deb reveal? How long are janitors actually here?

I left directly from the softball field to meet Deb a 6 p.m. sharp, but when I got there, there was no Deb to be seen. I waited about 10 minutes, and being an impatient person I started walking toward the bathrooms to see if I could find her. It was the right move because I ran into Cindy Colgate, one of the other janitors. She informed me that she was the only woman janitor working so I ended up working with her.

I expected to help in minimal ways, but she wasn’t shy about asking me to do things!

The gym was first on the list. She gave me big broom to sweep up the dust and dirt as she followed behind me with a big machine that buffered the floor.

As I looked around I couldn’t help but notice all the scuff marks from tennis shoes and the gum that was stuck on the gym floor. Yes, I said gum. It was quite repulsive that many pieces of already-chewed gum were globbed on our brand new court, left for the janitors to clean up. Or in this case, left for me to clean up.

At this point I was annoyed at the fact that my peers would just spit their gum out onto the floor, not only for people to step on and make the mess worse, but knowing they’re leaving it for others to clean up.

Cindy explained to me that the gum is what bothers her the most. That’s what bothered me the most as well.

One of the hardest tasks that I had to do was trying to clean the scuff marks off of the gym floor. Some of them were stubborn

and it was very frustrating at times. Some of them were so set in that I would look like a fool trying to scrub them away.

Cindy looked over at one point, laughed and told me to “just leave it, some of them are impossible to get off.”

She shared some personal things about herself with me while we were cleaning up the nasty gum. We engaged in small talk throughout the evening discussing everything from families and school to the Van Buren community.

She continued talking as we went into the fine arts hallway. We swept the dirt off the floors, and it amazed me how much filth collects in only a single day.

We then ventured into the classrooms to clean off the tables and empty the trash cans. I was told that the trash cans are emptied every night along with sweeping the hallway, but the tables don’t get cleaned as often. That surprised me because we use those tables everyday with multiple people touching them. I felt that those should be one of the main things to be clean.

However, since she had an extra set of hands Cindy used me to her advantage. She would empty the trash cans while I wiped off tables. We had a system going, and it was working really well!

I was having a great time, working hard, and experiencing something new all at once.  The two hours flew by!

Although some people feel that our school sometimes isn’t the cleanest it could be, actually performing the work that the janitors have to do on a daily basis made me realize how much we take for granted in even the little things. It was hard work, and there is so much that needs to be done in such little time with only a small amount of people.

The janitors try their hardest to get everything clean, and they pick out the main things that need to be cleaned on a daily basis. The only thing I didn’t agree with was that the tables didn’t get wiped off everyday, but overall, being a janitor for two hours was tough work; I can’t imagine doing it for eight hours a day.

We as students need to respect the daily work that these janitors do, and realize that they are doing their job so we have a clean school everyday.

Where Are They Now?

posted Apr 30, 2014, 6:44 PM by Unknown user   [ updated May 15, 2014, 8:37 AM by Unknown user ]

Brice Lawrence

        Joseph Davidson Baker graduated from Van Buren last year and signed his Air Force contract, sending him on his way to Basic Training in late August of last year. Baker didn’t imagine enlisting in the Air Force until 17, and currently does his schooling and training at the Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas. Baker’s next base is the Hill Air Force Base, south of Ogden, Utah. Currently in the Air Force for Intelligence, he has learned how to “think outside of the box, better than the average people in life, get and present information to our Commanders, and figure out threats that other countries pose to our Air Force.”

Two life-changing things that have Joseph excited about the Air Force are his collegiate enrollment and a lifelong career. The Air Force provides partial to full  tuition reimbursement in a wide variety of private and public schools. Secondly, it will provide him a variety of career options. Baker plans on staying in the Air Force until he can get a government job because it gives him a better advantage of taking the three-letter jobs (CIA, NSA, DIA) among others. These jobs will give him “a lot of money, and I’ll be able to save people’s lives.”

Baker said that being in the Air Force and completing basic training has made him physically and mentally stronger. Mondays through Saturdays consisted of excessive running and grueling workouts, while Sunday was called Church Day. He explained that the break on Sundays got “a lot of guys through training.” Spending time with guys aiming to graduate basic training gave Baker the chance to form “brotherships with strangers. When you’re in the future, say Afghanistan, and it’s just you and the guy next to you, you know

you would both die for each other.”

Baker’s family  history inspired  him to join the military. Almost every man in his family had gone into the Navy, and Baker chose the Air Force because of the future he imagined. He is trying to be a role model for his little brother, and explained, “I just want him to see that ‘this is what I’m doing. I’m doing something good. If I can do it, he can too.’”

What’s the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in graduating Basic Training?

It would probably be pretty much not losing composure and staying strong through the hard days. I wasn’t really scared, but I was a little nervous and optimistic going in.

How often were you allowed to communicate with people back at home in Basic Training? Now?

We were able to send letters everyday. We could only make 3 phone calls the whole time, and

each were only 15 minutes. We can talk to anyone after school, and we can leave base, too. Curfew during the week is 10 p.m., and on the weekends is 2 a.m.

What sayings/ mottos got you through Basic Training?

1.) Live your life so that the fear of evil may never enter your heart.

2.) I have this one tattooed on my side, it says: For those I love, I will sacrifice.

Do you have any plans of being stationed abroad?

Oh yeah. I would love to be in Germany or Italy, because of the culture and those countries seem awesome to me. But any country would be cool.

Do you have any advice for aspiring enlistees?

Find a reason why you want to sign that contract. Find a reason why you want to give everything you have for your fellow Americans. Find a reason why you want to go above and beyond so your family can sleep peacefully at night.

A Year to Remember: The 2013-14 Wrap-Up

posted Apr 30, 2014, 6:40 PM by Unknown user   [ updated May 1, 2014, 8:44 AM by Unknown user ]

Matthew Bado 

This school year has been an interesting one, and a variety of things have happened over the course of these thirty-six weeks.

Boys’ golf went to state and performed admirably, coming in eleventh out of twelve teams.

“Arlington was the favorite according to everyone, but as we came together as a team we realized that our hard work and dedication would beat raw talent every time,” said Mac Williams, senior. “This showed when we won the BVC and I shot 88 at districts. With these scores, we showed that our team depth would prevail over the raw talent of other teams every time, and that hard work and dedication would carry us to our goal every time. Coach Heitkamp is testament to this because we look to him as a model example of hard work and discipline, and the credit for our victory should go to him.”

Wrestler Chance Sonnenberg also went to state this year, following in the footsteps of his brother Chad Sonnenberg. The boy’s basketball team also had their most successful season this year with an end season score of 14-10.

        The music department put on its biannual musical, and this year’s choice was  the 1960s hit ye Bye Birdie. The musical was supervised by Mrs. Erikson and Mr. Vaughn, and was performed excellently. Something that perhaps helped out the musical was the founding of Van Buren’s drama club by Mrs. Erikson earlier this year.

            Van Buren also got its own chapter of Friends of Rachel, an organization designed to help promote Rachel’s Challenge in schools. Rachel’s Challenge is dedicated to the memory of Rachel Scott, who was killed in the infamous 1999 Columbine Shooting. Her Challenge is designed to help quell school bullying, violence, and teen suicide.

Additionally, the yearly FFA Olympics took place, the NHS blood drive was held, the Power Team held an assembly in the gym, and Quiz Bowl go to Minneapolis to compete this weekend.

Finally, Cabaret was held last weekend. The program contained many acts, both humorous and dramatic, and culminated in the traditional send-off of the Association’s senior members. As usual, some seniors were seen tearing up knowing that this was their last performance with the group ever, and that they were walking in the footsteps of the seniors before them.

“It was the best senior Cabaret I could have ever had and I’m going to miss everyone,” said Joel Schumacker, senior.

For the seniors, high school is nearly over. For everyone else, another summer rapidly approaches, and we look forward to everything that next year will hold!

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