Recent Editorials

  • Required Classes Should be Electives

    As students converse between classes, there are often complaints of a class, saying it’s useless to make it required, and that they’ll never need to use it again outside of school. For example, all students at Conway Springs High School are required to have three years of math and science. Students’ complaints are often based off of core classes, such as math and science, which become more advanced as the years go by. Physics, Chemistry, Trigonometry, and Calculus are advanced math and science classes that not every student will use later on in everyday life and in their careers.

     Dr. Bruce Umbaugh, a philosophy professor at Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. is against the idea of making core classes electives. Umbaugh emphasizes the fact that students concentrate so hard on what they’ll select as a major that they often overlook the importance of learning general skills like problem solving, communicating effectively, and analyzing information, which are often gained through general education classes, including upper-level math and science. On the other hand, College professors, such as Paul Hanstedt, an English professor at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, believes these classes “go hand in hand with each other and are very important”.

    However, the advanced classes that we are required to take focus on certain scenarios that deal with that field of science or math. You won’t need to know how to do a complex chemistry or calculus problems to know how to solve a problem that may come up in your art career. This is why I think that advanced classes of the core subjects should be an elective, not a requirement.

    Although I understand that general skills such as Dr. Umbaugh mentioned can be learned through these classes, I think they are so fact-based that teachers don’t have the time to allow students to learn them because they are so busy memorizing facts. These subjects require so much understanding of the basic, multiple choice type knowledge that there is not the opportunity to learn through essays and projects that require broader understanding.

    Posted Oct 12, 2017, 10:04 AM by Stephanie Brozovich
  • Fine Arts' educational importance

    In Kansas and most of the United States, schools’ fine arts programs are receiving  severe budget cuts. However, they are vital to students’ education. There are so many things that people can benefit from fine arts programs like music, art, photography, theater, and graphic design. The arts are what makes us most human.

    According to the KATY Independent School District, there is data that supports the belief that participation in fine arts is a key component in improving students’ learning in all academic subjects. It also says that fine arts programs reduce the amount of student dropouts, raise student attendance, develop better team players and enhance creativity. Fine arts also improve fine motor skills and emotional balance.

    The arts also have other benefits besides those that are academic based, like promoting self-esteem, motivation, cultural exposure and emotional expression, as well as social harmony and appreciation of diversity. In a study by Burton in 1999, after studying more than 2,000 students, researchers found that those in a fine arts program were far superior in creative thinking, self-concept, problem solving, self-expression, risk-taking and cooperation than those who were not.

                We need fine arts programs in our schools to not just help students academically but to help them emotionally. These programs will not only make students’ lives happy and more enjoyable, but they will also help to shape better people in our world.
    Posted May 1, 2017, 6:27 AM by Makenna Beesley
  • Students should avoid taking out student loans

    When you are thinking of college and its expenses, what is the first thing you do? For some, it is to apply for financial aid, scholarships and student loans. All students are required to complete the FAFSA form for the federal government. Those students who qualify are offered grants, and most students and/or their parents are offered loans. While it might be tempting to accept loans, I think they are something to avoid. Did you know that roughly 70 percent of college graduates graduate with student loan debt?

    Student Loan Hero gathered statistics from graduates of the class of 2016, and the average student loan debt was around $37,000. That number rose 6 percent from the year before and is expected to rise again in 2017. As deep in debt as this country already is, I don’t like the idea of adding my name to the list of 44 million people who have student loan debt. I think that it’s okay to try to find aid in the form of scholarships and grants when you don’t have the money on hand, but getting into debt for a degree you might not use right after college seems a little silly.

    Scholarships and grants are your best bet to get free money for college, and they give you a chance to build wealth. Building wealth will give you a chance to save more money for the next year and so on until you graduate. Applying for loans should be avoided as much as you can and if you do get one, make sure it’s small enough that you can pay it off quickly. You might have to work a little harder to get the money, but if you can graduate debt-free then it would be worth it.
    Posted Apr 19, 2017, 11:17 AM by stu.maryberntsen@usd356.org
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Letters to the editor (received through this form) will be posted here as they are received. Letters may be edited for length, spelling and grammar, and receipt of a letter does not guarantee its posting. Letters containing obscenity, libel, hate speech, personal attacks, or letters that are otherwise inappropriate (as deemed by the adviser) will not be posted.

Recent Letters to the Editor

Recent Reviews

  • ‘The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving’

    The songs on Camila Cabello's new album “The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving” show great emotion and what things she went through. Included with the album is a dedication that’s a little different than the typical.

    “To the hurting, thank you for teaching me that even if at night you take me into the deepest depths of the ocean, I will still wake in the morning. To the healing, thank you for the tears. When they finally came, they tasted like God. To the loving, you are even more beautiful than I remember,” it reads.

    Cabello’s top songs include “Havana (Ft. Young Thug)” with 367.9 thousand views on the Genius.com website, “OMG (Ft. Quavo)” with 226 thousand, and “I Have Questions” with 281.8 thousand.

    Even though the album has a lot of emotion, most people don’t know the story behind “The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving.”

    “The story behind the album starts with the second song that you'll hear called ‘I Have Questions,’ which I started writing in a hotel bathroom on tour a little over a year ago.I was completely broken during that time, I was in the kind of pain that's uncomfortable to talk about... I was making music about everything BUT what I was going through. One day I just could not run anymore. I pulled up the lyrics from the year before, and ‘I Have Questions’ was written," she told Billboard magazine.“I realized I wasn't making music just to make an album anymore, I was making this music to heal. ... I didn't write it with the intention of delivering a message, but I realized the message was in the hurting, the healing, and the loving.” (See the full story here.)

                I really like these songs because they’re really from the heart, and they just connect with me when I hear them. When I hear “Havana” I can really relate to how she feels during the song. “Havana” is about her falling in love. Her song “I Have Questions” is about a friendship, not a romantic relationship. I feel with a friendship you think it’s going to last forever. You start considering that person like they’re family, and you don't see an end to that, so if they suddenly leave, it’s a shocking or abrupt ending that’s worse than a gradual growing apart. I can relate to this in so many ways, it just hits you in the feels when you hear the song, and when you understand the lyrics, it just means so much more.

    I give Camila Cabello’s new album five cardinal heads.

    Rating 5 cardinals.jpg







    Posted Oct 17, 2017, 9:50 AM by Alivia Lange
  • 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales'

    In the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Captain Jack Sparrow’s luck is running out as his old nemesis, Captain Salazar, hunts him down to break a curse. When Jack decides to help a young lad and lass find the trident of Poseidon to break curses of their own, Salazar finds them and the battle between the pirates begin.

    The animation and CGI in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ was marvelous. If I were a young child watching the movie, I would have thought every bit of it was real. The crew’s makeup and effects fit the movie phenomenally with all of the action that was occurring.

        As a fan of Johnny Depp, I was excited to see him back in action. In this swashbuckling movie, I was kept at the edge of my seat, not knowing what was coming next. Even though I didn’t know what to expect with this drawn out series, I was thoroughly impressed with how it turned out. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ definitely deserves a 5 Cardinal Head rating.
    Posted Oct 13, 2017, 8:05 AM by Cassie Brozovich
  • Disney remakes a ‘tale as old as time’

    Image result for beauty and the beastDisney’s newest remade live action film, “Beauty and the Beast”, was a hit in box offices for a reason. Emma Watson was a perfect Belle, with her partner Dan Stevens as the Beast. This remake of a favorite classic didn’t disappoint, from the witty banter between Lumiere and Cogsworth to the plights of Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou. Even though the producers had to change and add elements to this story, they were so well integrated, it was sometimes difficult to tell if they’d been in the original or not.

    The basic plot is the same, with the opening telling the story of a wicked prince who is cursed for not helping an enchantress, who turns him into a beast and places a spell on the castle and everyone who lived there. Belle is then seen in the village years later, with Gaston trying to woo her and Belle’s father leaving for the market. We then see the beast for the first time, and Belle takes her father’s place as prisoner. The familiar story continues from there, where despite her fears, Belle becomes friends with the enchanted staff at the castle, and learns to look past the beast’s terrifying exterior, which allows her to see the kind heart and soul of the prince that’s hidden on the inside.

    The makeup, costumes and special effects were amazing. It felt so realistic, and the Beast’s whole image was astounding. I found myself re-falling in love with a movie I first watched as a kid. Anyone who loved the original will love this remake as well. I especially loved the Beast’s added song, “Evermore”. I was laughing, singing along, and marveling at the whole universe that was made. For this ‘tale as old as time,’ I give “Beauty and the Beast” five out of five cardinal heads.

    Posted May 8, 2017, 11:33 AM by Makenna Beesley
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