What is your favorite part of the holidays? 

Sarah Sexton, freshman 

"My favorite part is getting to enjoy the company of friends and family, but mainly friends, as they’re the family you choose." 

To’Mock Moore, senior 

"Getting together with family and other close relatives because it’s a time of healing after whatever struggles your families have gone through. This is a time to bounce back from whatever happened throughout the year." 

David Fleming, algebra teacher 

"The main reason I like the holidays is because I can get together with family and spend some quality time with them since I usually don’t see them. For Christmas and New Years, I spend time in Florida with my mom." 


       As teenagers, we often feel like we are under a microscope. People are constantly judging our actions on the basis that they think they know who we are and what we have been through. 

      We have to please our parents, our teachers and administrators and our peers. The list of people to please keeps adding up until we feel we are drowning in unattainable goals and standards. 

       Since I am in We LIVE, two show choirs, the musical, Student Council, NHS, and FCA, people’s opinion of me is constantly running through my head. I make a constant effort to take my thinking back to if I am pleasing myself. I constantly pray the prayer, “God change my emotions, change my thoughts,” so that I can focus on what really matters in life. 

      We all get caught up in pleasing others, but what if we worked on pleasing ourselves? What if we lived out our own goals, our own standards for our life? I wonder what would happen if we stopped thinking about what everyone else thought and only worried about if we were happy with the people that we are becoming and are today.

       I have struggled a lot with worrying with what my teachers, parents and my peers thought of me, even if it was all in my head. It wasn't until this year that I have made a constant choice to only care about what I thought about myself.

       Recently, one of my friends said to me “you know you should grow your hair out again, it makes your head look smaller.” If someone had said that to me a year ago, I would have focused on that for the rest of the day and it would have put a damper on my self confidence. But, this time, I thought to myself “why should I care what they think? With the awards that I never won and honors that I have never gotten, I have had to remind myself that those things do not matter unless I am happy with who I am.

       If we all worried only about our own standards, we would be better leaders because our mindsets and attitudes would be focused on leading without the parasite of not feeling “good enough.” So I challenge you today to be yourself and live your life today based on the person you want to be tomorrow and to lead with gusto. 


Thumbs Up To the Warriors who made the children’s Christmas party possible. It’s great that so many people can come together to give a child a great Christmas.

Thumbs Up To Disney and Fox possibly uniting under the same banner. There may finally be an X-Men movie featured in the MCU.

Thumbs Up To Stranger Things for receiving two Golden Globe nominations, one for best supporting actor (David Harbour) and one for best drama TV series.

Thumbs Down To the talk of repealing net neutrality. As if these corporations didn’t have enough money without charging $2.99 per Google search.

Thumbs Down To the holiday rush that is taking over stores. It’s hard to check out when there are fifty people in one line with fifty items each.

Thumbs Down To the wildfires spreading across California. The flames are destroying people's homes and lives. 


       Christmas is a time filled with joyous festivities such as decorating the house with lights, baking cookies and shopping for loved ones.

       For the religious community, Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. For the non-religious community, Christmas still holds a lot of cultural meaning. It’s a time of giving and family, a time to appreciate what you have. Millions of families celebrate it annually to commemorate each other.

       However, the holiday is not what it used to be. For many, Christmas has lost much of its meaning. For years, Christmas was a time of giving, spirit and faith, but today it seems to be more about what you receive than what you give.

       Shoppers around the country say they are planning to spend an average of $983 on gifts this holiday season, up from $929 last year, according to the 33rd annual survey on holiday spending from the American Research Group, Inc. Planned gift spending for 2017 is $54 above spending in 2016.

       Too many people are severely out of touch with the spirit of the Christmas season. This holiday season, something must be done to remind us that gifts are not the only things that matter. Material things are not as important as they may seem.

      While it may be hard to find the time amongst the holiday chaos, take a moment this holiday season to spend time with the ones you love rather than just spending money on them. Give back to the community or do something to help out someone else. The spirit of Christmas does not survive on the number gifts you buy, but on the love you give and receive. 



          This is a recent headline by CNN. Recent as in November 2017. Who would have thought that in the year 2017, news stations would be reporting slavery?

          It is heartbreaking and disgusting to even think about the way the captured migrants are being treated. People from all over Africa who end up in Libya are in terrible danger of being kidnapped and thrown into the slave market. Those unfortunate enough to wind up in the hands of these treacherous slaveholders are tortured. Sometimes they are even beaten to death and murdered.

         Why isn’t this a trending topic? Why isn’t the government doing anything? Why is no government doing anything? It baffles me how, when it comes to all of Africa’s natural resources, the West is the first to step up and claim what is theirs. Where are they now? Where is France? And Germany?

         As many know, my family is from Guinea, Conakry. Because of my African heritage, it angers me even more that other African governments are not interfering. Leaders such as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and the previous leader of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, are examples of the corruption that African countries suffer from. These leaders extorted money from their governments for their own personal gain. I have always known that many of the African governments were corrupt, but I never thought they would allow such inhumane actions.

         This isn't even a matter of race. LIBYANS ARE SELLING LIBYANS INTO SLAVERY. African brothers and sisters are betraying each other. And for what? Temporary material possessions? Africans who pass through Libya for passage to Europe or America are kidnapped and sold to slaveholders in Saudi Arabia.

         This is a reality that our generation will be forced to remember and recount later on in life.

         People need to open their eyes to what is going on around them. This is not anything that should be overlooked, especially by the public. There are videos and stories that display the cruel acts and the horrifying process of the slave trade. GET ANGRY. Speak up. Contact government officials. Contact the United Nations. Do your research and spread awareness. Even just tweeting about the situation will help keep people aware. If anyone has any bit of humanity or light in their life, they can not only see how barbaric and unacceptable this behavior is, but also how the issue is being cast aside.

         There is so much evil in this world that it may seem impossible to get rid of and this adds to that. Human trafficking and slavery are not new concepts to the world, but the fact that they are showing more than ever in modern society is all the more reason to fight against them.


What was your craziest Black Friday? 

Matt Copeland, junior 

“When I was 12, I was in Walmart with my grandma going Black Friday shopping. My grandma wanted this really big mirror for her house and another lady was trying to get it. It was the last one. So my grandma yells “Why would you need it when you look like that?” and put the mirror in the other lady’s face. And then she walked off and my grandma got the mirror.” 

Mr. Doyle, spanish teacher 

“When the store opened their doors, my friend literally got trampled and broke her leg. Then, she walked on it for 8 more hours, shopping, before she went to the hospital.”  

Darby Hyatt, sophomore 

“We went on a small shopping spree in Walmart and we tried to buy this kitchen tool before they sold out. But someone beat us to it. So my mom got into a yelling fight with the lady and finally the lady just sighed and went ‘Take it. I’ve got three anyway.”