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Kickapoo High Quarterly

KHQ TODAY

Kickapoo High Quarterly

KHQ TODAY

Kickapoo High Quarterly

KHQ TODAY

Not Your Average Horror

The Blair Witch Project is an interesting take on the idea of film students making a documentary, turned horror.

The+most+commonly+known+Blair+Witch+movie+poster+features+one+of+the+film+students%2C+crying+with+a+knitted+cap+on%2C+this+is+a+recreation+of+that+photo.

Photo by Kat Owsley

The most commonly known Blair Witch movie poster features one of the film students, crying with a knitted cap on, this is a recreation of that photo.

For most people, including myself, being trapped in the woods and not knowing how to get out is one of the most terrifying situations that can be imagined.

Heather, Joshua, and Michale, the protagonists of The Blair Witch Project, have been put into this situation, and it doesn’t end well.

The basic plot of The Blair Witch Project is that three film students go into the woods of a small town to make a documentary of the Blair Witch. A local legend.

Heather was the student who would be on camera and doing voice overs about information on the town, while Josh worked the camera and Mike took over the sound equipment. Josh knew both Mike and Heather, but Heather and Mike didn’t know each other.

In the beginning of the film, the three students are interviewing different people in the town of Burkittsville, where the witch’s legend got its start. The group is also seen messing around in their cabin before taking the hike to their first filming site.

Not much happens until they start finding rock formations and knocking them over. This is most likely what started the supposed hauntings.

Throughout the movie, the three are tormented by the supposed witch and never make it out of the woods, or at least not alive.

While The Blair Witch Project is a very interesting movie, I don’t believe it was all that I expected it to be. It wasn’t a bad movie, it just felt like it was three hours long.

It took a long time to become interesting to me because most of the time the group was yelling at each other. It was like this group had never been in a stressful situation.

I might be a little harsh since I’ve never been in this setting, but I think if everyone had been more calm they’d have been able to make it out.

Heather at least tried to be calm, but the boys kept fighting her and each other, until the end.

Since the film is supposed to be made from found footage, many shots of the adventure are blurry and tilted when the trio isn’t finalizing the actual documentary. (Photo by Kat Owsley)

The movie ends with Josh getting lost, and Mike and Heather having to stick together until Mike hears Josh screaming and runs to an abandoned building. Mike runs up the stairs with Heather close behind, then runs to the basement. It takes a minute for Heather to get caught up with Mike, who can be seen facing the wall. The screen goes black and Heather can be heard screaming.

I love the found footage aspect of this fime. The trio is only seen when one of them is filming, which is the most interesting thing I’ve seen. It’s a very convincing movie and if I didn’t know it was a fictional film, I’d think it was really found footage.

Another thing I enjoyed about The Blair Witch Project is the ending, I love how there are so many interpretations and theories made by the fandom, my favorite being that Josh and Mike actually killed Heather. It really shows the artistic range of the film as well as the creativity from the fandom.

What I didn’t like about the film was how much yeling there was. Even though the group had been lost, scared, and stressed, I’d think that they’d try to stay calm and work together, but it seems like all they do is fight.

Even though it takes The Blair Witch Project a very long time to have action, the good overlooks the bad. I think this movie is very intriguing with scenery that combines the beauty of fall with the horror of the dark forest.

The Poo Student Section is the Best

  Being a part of Kickapoo’s student section is definitely one of the most memorable and best parts of my high school experience. The spirit and energy everyone always brings to the games is something special, and not all schools have. 

  My favorite part of the student section is dressing up for the theme. Everyone always comes with something wild and fun. I always love to see everyone participating. The more the people dress up the better the student section looks.

   A very crucial aspect of being a part of the student section is being loud and constantly cheering. I would say students really do have an impact on the game, even if we are all in the student section. 

   Being able to go on the court or field after we win whatever game we are watching is always exciting. Whether it’s congratulating the players or forming a hype circle, the poos students section will always be the best students section and its always a good time cheering for the chiefs.

Spooky Tasty Candy

Spooky+Tasty+Candy

The spooky season is finally here, and thanks to that, trick or treating on Halloween night is coming up. There are many common candies, and grabbing a random variety bag, here are my opinionated ratings on their tastiness from worst to best out of 10.

This cherry flavored lollipop tasted more like a medicine than a candy.

Cherryhead Lollipop: 2/10

The flavor of this lollipop was incredibly artificial and medicine like tasting. To put it nicely, it was gross. I would not recommend it for giving out or picking for trick or treating. If you like grape flavored candy however, you might enjoy this.

Skittles are fruity and slightly sour.

Original Skittles: 3/10

The grape and orange flavoring in the pack of Skittles were again, incredibly artificial tasting. The strawberry, apple, and lemon were alright however, so just eating the red, green, and yellow ones is a better experience.

Chocolate M&M’s is the original flavor, but slightly outdone by the caramel M&M’s even if it is a favorite to many.

Chocolate M&M’s: 6/10

The original chocolate M&M’s are good, but are slightly too sweet. They taste good, and are popular, but they aren’t the greatest. The other flavors that M&M’s has come out with outdo them. These M&M’s are more in the medium scale of enjoyability.

Caramel M&M’s tasted very similar to a Milky Way.

Caramel M&M’s: 8/10

Kit Kat is a tasty chocolate wafer candy.

Kit Kat: 8/10

Kit Kat and caramel M&M’s were tied for third, and are both quite enjoyable. They both had a good balance between the candy incased in the chocolate, and the chocolate itself. If you are a fan of Milky Way, definitely look for caramel M&M’s, they taste very similar excluding the nougat inside. Kit Kat’s are wafers covered in chocolate, pretty self explanatory. They don’t go overboard on the chocolate, but just enough for it to be noticeable.

Snickers are a close second, it isn’t overwhelmingly sweet but just the right amount of break between the nougat, caramel, nut, and chocolate.

Snickers: 9.5/10

Second in line to the throne is Snickers, a classic chocolate candy. It does include nuts, so for those who have allergies, stand clear, but they are delicious. The break between nougat, caramel, nuts, and chocolate is terrific. This combination allows the candy to not be overwhelming sweet on the palette.

Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups is the winner.

Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups: 10/10

The best Halloween candy is Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. The balance between the peanut butter and the chocolate is top notch, and the pumpkin shaped ones are perfect for any trick or treating basket. These simply but delightful candies are a must have and definitely the winner.

Texas Abortion Bill: From Both sides of the Controversial Debate

Tensions+are+high+in+the+US+Supreme+Court+as+the+executive+branch+pushes+for+a+block+on+Texas+ever+note+worthy+Heartbeat+Law.+Photo+Courtesy+of+MCT+Direct.

Photo by TNS

Tensions are high in the US Supreme Court as the executive branch pushes for a block on Texas ever note worthy Heartbeat Law. Photo Courtesy of MCT Direct.

Just the Facts

The Texas Senate Bill 8 (SB8) also known as the Heartbeat Law, has been underway in Texas since March of this year. On  September 1st it officially went into effect. This law was introduced by Texas senator Bryan Hughes. Just a day after its enactment the Biden Administration requested that the supreme court block this law on behalf of the federal government as it goes against previous supreme court precedents. This request was declined in a 5-4 ruling allowing the law to still be active in the Texas justice system. However, the federal government is still actively working to block this law.   

All abortions after 6 weeks are banned. Anyone who aids in the process of a woman getting an abortion after six weeks can get sued. However, it will not be prosecutors or government agents who bring you to court, rather it will be ordinary citizens. In a rare and unprecedented move, Texas lawmakers have suddenly given each and every person in and out of the state of Texas a new job. They have become the “prosecutors” and “abortion bounty hunters.” Indeed, in a move unlike any other seen in the history of the United States, Texas, has now given ordinary citizens judiciary power, and the power to hunt down women who either get or attempt to get an abortion. While the woman who wants an abortion cannot get sued, anyone who aids or abets in the process can. These “abortion bounty hunters” have the power to then sue all who allegedly aid in this abortion process in violation of the law, for no less than $10,000. The plaintiff also has the right to ask the defendants to pay for his or her legal fees as well. The extent to which one can sue is even more shocking. The bill paves a path for the “abortion bounty hunters” to sue your uber or taxi driver, the person who performed the procedure, and anyone who gave you money to help with this process, even if the money was merely used to pay for the car ride to the hospital. 

Pro-Choice Opinion

Liam Karp

Women from the University of Texas protested the bill at the Texas Capitol on September 1st, 2021. Photo courtesy of MCT Direct. (Photo by TNS)

The Texas Senate Bill 8 (SB8) is a miscarriage of justice. When the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling, upheld Texas’ bill banning all abortions after six weeks, people were right to be mad. Whether or not we really want the federal government dictating what a woman can do with her body is just one of many things we should all be concerned about when it comes to this bill that essentially bans all abortions in the state of Texas, and sets a scary legal precedent for the future. 

First, I would like to make clear that when it comes to abortion, I do believe an all-out ban, no matter the circumstances, is blatantly unconstitutional, and a violation of women’s rights. Abortion is a difficult topic for most, and with the complexity of such a topic, I do not have a definitive set of views I can clearly state. However, I can say that I stand strongly behind the Roe standard and the balancing test. In being a firm believer in the Constitution, I think it is important to speak out after the passing of the unconstitutional SB8 bill. 

To better understand the circumstances surrounding the outrage at the courts for upholding this bill, one has to first understand what this bill actually does. 

In substance, this bill bans all abortions after six weeks, making it extremely difficult for anyone to even take the proper steps to set up a time to have this procedure done; so as to not come in conflict with the six-week time period they have been given. Making this process increasingly more difficult, many providers are hesitant to perform these procedures after the enactment of this bill as they risk being sued should the women be more than six weeks pregnant. This bill also remains rather broad and lacks specificity. To what extent does this new law apply? Does your employer giving you your paycheck, and you then using that money to get an abortion (after 6 weeks) mean that they will end up at risk for getting sued? Has one aided in this process by flagging down a taxi for the woman, or helping her into the car that will take her to the procedure? If a woman performs an at-home abortion and acts as her own doctor, is she now culpable to get sued? Among the many questions that remain unanswered about this bill, it remains clear that the process to get an abortion in Texas is now extremely onerous, and practically impossible, which has only been exacerbated by the extremely broad nature of this bill. Further, because this new law will be enforced by ordinary citizens and not the government, said the person who gets sued, cannot use cases such as Roe v. Wade as a defense. This once again proves the little respect Texas and its lawmakers have for the rule of law, freedom of choice, and the Constitution. 

As Chief Justice Sotomayer noted in her dissent, “No federal appellate court has upheld such a comprehensive prohibition on abortions before viability under current law. The Texas Legislature was well aware of this binding precedent. To circumvent it, the Legislature took the extraordinary step of enlisting private citizens to do what the State could not.”

The Texas abortion bill does not have an exception for instances of rape or incest either. The bill does not allow a woman who got pregnant after being raped to get an abortion if it is after six weeks. The rapist can sue anyone who helps his victim get an abortion, and make them pay for his legal fees too. Ironically this bill is a so-called attempt to protect life, yet it allows shameless monsters to further exploit and add to the already traumatizing experience of being raped. If Texas really cared about protecting life as they claim, then they would have made a bill that protects all women, their liberty, right to privacy, and their subsequent right to choose what they want to do with their bodies without excessive government restrictions. 

It was a sad day for justice and women throughout Texas when the cowardly Supreme Court copped out to the mob in their decision to deem the SB8 bill constitutional. Ignoring the red flags, and prior legal precedent, the Supreme Court, in a mere 12-page ruling sided with the state of Texas and upheld the bill. 

One does not need to look any further into this case to understand what has happened here: So-called fair and impartial judges, in the supposedly unbiased Supreme Court, who are supposed to set aside all outside noise and internal biases; seem to have allowed their own opinions, emotions, and political beliefs dictate their ruling in this matter and run rampant; even if it means ignoring the plain as day facts that anyone with two eyes can clearly see and read. Yet today here we sit, with this unconstitutional bill sustained. The court system is supposed to be “blind”, however, the Supreme Court justices took “blind” to a whole new level. It appears that they obviously acted without looking at the facts of this matter. Quite ironically the “heartbeat bill” presumably led to many heartbeats stopping at the shock of such an egregious and dangerous ruling. In this matter, one thing said can be true, and that is that the courts fell short of their obligation to protect the rights of all people and due justice. I remain confident that if people with no prior legal background can understand how unconstitutional this bill is, then the justices in the Supreme Court, all of whom graduated from top tier schools probably realized this too, but clearly ignored their true intuitions. 

The courts completely ignored prior precedent when making their decision, specifically the landmark cases Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey. One cannot simply say either case was on shaky grounds either, as this bill and the subsequent case that went to the Supreme Court was not a case challenging Roe or Casey. Therefore the Supreme Court had no right to simply sweep those cases under the rug. When taking these two cases into account it would make perfect sense both logically and legally that this bill should have been shot down. 

The Roe standard makes clear that the Constitution of the United States, protects all pregnant women’s liberty to choose to have an abortion “without excessive government restrictions.” Further, a woman’s right to privacy extends to the unborn fetus she is carrying. Under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, women have a right to privacy, which in turn protects a women’s liberty to choose whether or not she wants to have an abortion. In the Roe decision, the courts created a “balancing test”, in which they noted that in “the first trimester, governments could not prohibit abortions at all; during the second trimester, governments could require reasonable health regulations; during the third trimester, abortions could be prohibited entirely so long as the laws contained exceptions for cases when they were necessary to save the life or health of the mother. The Court classified the right to choose to have an abortion as “fundamental”, which required courts to evaluate challenged abortion laws under the “strict scrutiny” standard, the highest level of judicial review in the United States.”

The sudden zeal by the courts and others to uphold such a controversial bill that ignores some of the most important and basic facts and principles is deeply troubling. The courts have heard a multitude of cases challenging Roe and precedent alike, but each and every time the courts have rejected those arguments, as a result of prior rulings like Roe. However, suddenly here, that appears to not be the case. The courts worked to please those who obviously have no real understanding of the Constitution, and the rights given to us in this document; however, in doing so the courts compromised its standards and far exceeded the authority given to it. 

In a challenge to this bill, another court reversed the prior ruling. U.S. Federal District Court Judge Robert L. Pitman, in a 113-page ruling, much better fit for such a complex case like this, found that the court’s prior ruling was unconstitutional and simply wrong. He ended up allowing a two-day extension for women to get abortions. However, in a late-night appeal, the second decision putting a stay on this bill was overturned; making abortions once again illegal if you are more than six weeks pregnant. 

A woman making the decision to have an abortion is one that is not taken lightly. Coupled with the potential backlash one might receive from the public and their own families for deciding to have one, make this decision is very difficult from the start. However, Texas had no right to make the decision for all women themselves, they lacked the grounds and rights to do so. We do not all have to support abortion and agree a hundred percent with everyone’s views, but one thing we should all agree upon is upholding the rule of law. Putting aside whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, one should be able to realize that in this bill and ruling, women’s rights were stripped, the rule of law was ignored, and the Constitution was essentially ripped to shreds by the most powerful and important court in our land. 

Pro-Life Opinion

Gabby Burgess

Nearly 55,000 people being murdered within one year would be considered a mass murder, some may even call it a genocide. However, these lives are not valued under our countries constitution, despite multiple different amendments calling for equal rights and protection, alongside our country’s Declaration of Independence calling for the right to life. Yet our country chooses to undervalue these words on a daily basis. With the countless states that hold laws allowing abortion, to the decision of Roe v. Wade, to the combat the so-called “Heartbeat Bill” in Texas has received, we undervalue millions of lives each and every year.

Before we dive into the injustice of abortion and the necessity of this Bill I would like to clearly state I do think this Bill needs some extreme revisions before it should be fully implemented. I think the aspect of having untrained citizens be “abortion bounty hunters” is absurd, I believe laws should be enforced by government officials, especially in civil cases such as this one. However, the concept of banning any and all abortion after 6 weeks, except in extreme conditions, I full-fledged support.

Once sperm and an egg combine they become an embryo, basic biology. Biology, the study of life. An embryo is living, it is a human life from the moment of conception. Last year in Texas, even under their strict regulations before the Heartbeat Bill, nearly 55,000 babies were murdered through abortion. 55,000 lives, 55,000 future leaders, 55,000 future teachers, 55,000 future children, were legally slaughtered without a way of defense. They had no choice, no way to scream for help, no way to escape, no way to ask someone to speak up for them, all while thousands of our government officials stood in support of their killer’s right to play God. Allowing both the mother and doctor to decide who is and isn’t worthy of life. 

An abortion-rights group protests the bill at the Texas Capitol on September 11th, 2021. Photo courtesy of MCT Direct, (Photo by TNS)

Many have spoken out against this bill saying it contradicts previous court rulings, and in all honesty, it does, but this is not a new precedent and has happened countless times throughout our countries history, especially when it is a necessity in order to protect human rights and equality. This is a legal precedent in which the court disagrees with a previous decision ruling against its precedent in order for a new and necessary decision to be made. Therefore should the supreme court overturn the decision of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, because while every human being has their right to privacy, as proven with these rulings, they also must respect the right to privacy of the unborn, yet they exploit them through one of the most invasive and torturous medical processes there is. 

Many have called this a war against woman’s rights under the premise that it limits their freedom (especially those who became pregnant involuntarily) over their reproductive organs. I understand the reasoning behind this point, if a woman was forcibly impregnated then why should she have to deal with the outcome as the victim of rape. This is true, but in these situations, there are not one but two victims of rape. The woman, and the unborn. That child from its conception is deemed a “rape baby” they were never offered the chance of normalcy that other children receive when they are conceived willingly but are faced with the haunting legacy of their biological father’s disgusting past. Who are we to decide that they are less than any other child, who are their mothers to decide that their life doesn’t matter just because of the way they came about. Countless numbers have heard are mom’s use those ever silencing words “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out,” and thought to ourselves that there was no way this would actually happen. After all, it’s murder, and no one that cares about us would ever let us face that reality, plus it’s illegal unless your unborn life is. At least that’s what our constitution says. 

I also would like to restate that the Heartbeat Bill needs revision, especially in the fact that it allows and almost encourages rapists to sue their victims who have received illegal abortions. If you ask me rapists should lose their rights to freedom and be in jail for the rest of their lives and have no rights or power of their victims whatsoever.

The idea of the bill, banning abortion, I have no problem with. I do however have a problem with how this bill is being used to oppress and exploit those affected by rape and unplanned pregnancy. How the state of Texas, with little restriction, is expecting the citizens to enforce this Bill rather than their own government officials for which the community pays tax dollars to support.

Abortion is murder. Murder is illegal except for these unborn lives in the majority of states throughout the US. The Heartbeat Bill was created as a way to restrict this, in the process it left room for the oppression of millions of rape victims throughout the state. Banning abortion after six weeks is necessary and should be implemented, untrained citizens playing cop and offenders suing their victims should not.

The Heartbeat Bill was not blocked by the US Supreme Court in a 5-4 voting, however, the court’s ruling left many loopholes for which abortion providers could attempt to sue Texas for their actions. All eyes are fixed on the state and their controversial bill as it awaits final approval to be declared a law. Before this happens the state needs to drastically revise this policy, ensuring that the law is enforced only by government officials and leaves no room for the harassment of rape victims by their oppressors. Despite how far we have come woman’s rights is still a work in process in our country, and this law, while it appears to have the intention of protecting human life, needs to rethink who’s rights they are repealing in the process. All lives need to be protected, mother and unborn alike, and for this law to gain my support, it needs to be heavily edited to ensure no one party is suffering because of a poor decision or lack of effort on the state’s behalf.

A Threat Against Freedom

Unnamed+protesters+stand+outside+the+Cox+hospitals+protesting+the+vaccine+mandate+for+employees.

Unnamed protesters stand outside the Cox hospitals protesting the vaccine mandate for employees.

The freedom early Americans fought for in the Revolutionary War is under attack. The Biden Administration is firing upon us; not with physical bullets, but with unconstitutional mandates. 

“Biden announced that he asked the Department of Labor to issue an emergency rule requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any unvaccinated workers to produce a negative COVID test at least once a week,” NBC News reported on September 9, 2021. 

Roughly a month later, Biden stated that the mandate, already in place for hospitals, many airlines, and federal buildings, will apply to all businesses with over 100 employees “soon.” 

“This is not about freedom or personal choice,” President Joe Biden said following the announcement of the mandate. “It’s about protecting yourself and those around you.” 

The mandated vaccine will affect around 80 million Americans who have chosen to forgo receiving the shot. Many of these individuals are wary of how quickly the vaccine came out and the number of people who have suffered debilitating side effects. Many also question the long-term safety of the vaccine. 

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, has reported multiple instances of sickness and death resulting from the COVID-19 shot. 

“VAERS data released Friday by the CDC included a total of 798,636 reports of adverse events from all age groups following COVID vaccines, including 16,766 deaths and 117,399 serious injuries between December 14, 2020, and October 18, 2021,” The Children’s Health Defense stated. 

While these numbers may seem statistically small compared to the overall number of fully vaccinated individuals, a number estimated to be around 189 million, the stats are actually unusually high. 

Dr. Patricia Lee, a physician working out of California, says that the numbers are some of the highest she’s seen in her 20-year career. 

“Lee described observing ‘entirely healthy individuals suffering serious, often fatal, injuries,” the Children’s Health Defense reported. Some of these conditions are organ failure, septic shock, and a severe form of pneumonia. 

“She ‘never witnessed so many vaccine-related injuries until this year,” the Children’s Health Defense went on to say. 

These side effects, as well as concerns of future health issues caused by the vaccine, have kept many people weary of receiving any form of the vaccine. Yet, their choice has been ignored by their Commander in Chief, and for many, their workplace. 

Businesses, such as hospitals, have gone through with the mandate. Many doctors and nurses have already been fired for not complying.

These flags represent the American citizen’s fight against vaccine mandates, and their refusal to comply.

“Hundreds of health care workers across the country are being fired or suspended in droves for not complying with COVID-19 vaccine mandates,” ABC News reported. 

As healthcare workers continue to be fired, the staff force is growing thin. The sick and injured are being left untreated because of the decreased staff. People are suffering, all because hospitals won’t let their employees make a personal decision regarding the vaccine. 

For some groups, exemption from the injection is possible. The most common exemptions are for disability or religious reasons. A religious exemption is difficult to obtain and is very unlikely. 

“So far, no major religion has come out in opposition to the COVID-19 vaccines,” NPR reported. “Religious exemptions ultimately come down to an employee’s personal belief and whether an employer can find a reasonable accommodation.” 

Because of this, an employer has the ability to decide on their own whether or not they want to grant an employee’s request, and the employee has little to no say in the decision. If the employer deems their claim inadequate, then the employee will be forced to either comply or be fired. Because of this, many will have to choose between making money or upholding their beliefs and convictions. There’s no in-between.

Vaccine mandates do not only apply to adults. Working teens are also having to grapple with the decision to become vaccinated in order to keep their job. 

Senior Bekah Eatherly works at a nursing home called Neighborhoods of Quail Creek Skilled Nursing. When Biden came out with the news that he was going to mandate the vaccine, her workplace began to prepare to have to enforce it or fire their already limited employees. 

“We are already so understaffed with COVID so it’s hard because not all of our employees are vaccinated,” Eatherly said. 

If her work did require her to get the vaccine, Eatherly would have a choice to make. 

“It’s not like I’m against the vaccine, I don’t think it’s going to cause me to grow a third leg, but right now I’m taking caution,” she said. 

Pretty soon, however, Eatherly, along with anyone else who has refrained from getting vaccinated, will no longer have the choice to be cautious. When the mandate goes into effect, companies with over 100 employees will have to force them to become vaccinated. This includes fast-food chains, retail giants, and other minimum wage businesses. Instead of writing off the mandate as an “adult problem,” we need to begin to realize that this affects us too.

The issue of vaccine mandates is not medical; it’s constitutional. To mandate vaccines is an infringement on an American’s constitutional right to choose what we want for our bodies and our lives. 

Many victims of the mandates have been vocal in their fight for the freedom of all Americans; even those who supported their firing. 

“I also want people to know who supports these mandates that I fight for you,” former ESPN employee Allison Williams said after her expulsion from the company. “Because if this is the direction we take our country, there will come a time when the government or corporations mandate you to get something that does not align with your values. 

Power given is seldom returned. And when that day comes, I want you to at least know that we fought, and we tried.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haunted House Review

Hotel of Terror in Downtown Springfield, MO. (photo courtesy of Foursquare City Life)

Hotel of Terror 8/10

     Upon entrance of the Hotel of Terror, located in downtown Springfield, I promptly signed my life away. They require you to scan your fingerprint as a virtual signature. The lengthy waiver in summary says the Hotel of Terror is not liable for anything that happens to you or your belongings, and that you will not use your cell phone whatsoever. 

     Once I was in the haunted house the walk took about 20 minutes to complete. I personally had all the excitement I needed after five minutes and was ready for it to be over. 

     If you were hoping to read a detailed description of the events that took place in Hotel of Terror this is not the article for you because I think I blacked out for the majority of the experience.  

Clowns: 6/10 I don’t like clowns

Chainsaw guy: 1/10 this was by far the worst part of the walk, and I was actually convinced this guy was going to cause me physical harm.

People hidden in the walls: 7/10 I liked that they just jump scared us and then went back to minding their business. I took off 3 points though because they scared my date so bad that he sucker punched me in the face.

Pitch black walkway: 2/10 this is just really unsafe. Like I could not see a thing .

People banging on the ceiling: 8/10 I liked that there was glass separating us from the people banging on the glass. I felt moderately safe.

Spinning room: 9/10 there was nothing scary in this part, it was actually really cool, just got a little dizzy from the bright colors and springing walls

Leaving: 10/10 I was so happy to get out of there and you exit by going down a slide so that was a good time.

I would rate the overall experience: pretty good

 

End of Year Busy Work


As the year draws closer towards its end many students now face a new problem. Teachers have reached the end of their required curriculum, and now many have decided to give them work with no purpose other than to keep them busy. This can be incredibly frustrating for students.

Often, the work is not actually helpful for the real world or knowledge we would need to have. In my personal experience, I have done countless essays and presentations at the end of the year and this year it has been especially bad.

This is the first year of my high school career where I have had a job during school, so it hits much harder now. For the past few weeks, I’ve noticed times I am doing homework at 11:00 P.M. instead of sleeping after a shift and start to think “Why am I doing this?”

In my personal opinion as this year draws closer to its end teachers should take more consideration towards their student’s time and the other things they have going on in their lives outside of school such as sports or a part-time job. Upon this consideration, they should work to limit their busy work given. In its replacement, I feel that short assignments that are helpful and relevant to what students need to know In real life would be a much better use of time than a presentation or essay this time of year after the main curriculum has already been taught.

Different Gender, Different Cost

An increased price of female items which males pay a cheaper amount for has affected women lives for years.

Items+such+as+utility+products%2C+care+products%2C+and+more+are+all+more+expensive+than+their+male+counterparts.+

Photo by Emilia Belcolore

Items such as utility products, care products, and more are all more expensive than their male counterparts.

Most know the two different arguments to whether or not females should have to pay the price of feminine products and more. As much as that may be a pain, the more apparent issue is the price difference of the same item but one labeled for men and the other for women. Why should females have to pay extra for the same thing just because it’s scented differently, colored in pinks and purples, and potentially lesser quality? If you’re not familiar with what’s called “the pink tax”, it’s the increase of pricing for women’s items when the male counterpart can be significantly cheaper. For years the price of items such as razors, shaving cream, deodorant, soaps, and even children’s toys have seemed to be sexist. Over time, women have slowly but surely been receiving the rights they deserve such equal pay, but the pink tax has not completely disappeared.

Represented by pink dollar bills, this anonymous quote shows the value behind the pink tax. (Photo by: Emilia Belcolore)

If you’re not completely convinced, a study completed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs did confirm that females are more likely to bear the expense compared to males. On average, the DCA found that women’s products cost seven percent more than similar products for men. Not only is the pink tax inconvenient for most, but it can cost up to thousands of dollars in damages.
“The pink tax costs women roughly $2,135 per year,” says goodhousekeeping.com.
According to axthepinktax.com, the pink tax can cost a 30-year-old woman more than $40,000 in fees and nearly $82,000 will be charged to a woman in her late 60’s that men don’t have to pay. Currently no federal law prohibits companies from charging different prices for identical items based on gender. The Listen Money Matter’s website says that women pay more than men 42% of the time. They also suggest women to buy male products. “Surprisingly color has little to do with the hair removing process,” said the article after telling women to save money by purchasing male razors.

Hopefully over time, both males and females will be able to pay the same price for the same item. After all, just because it’s a different gender, doesn’t mean there should be a different cost.

This chart created shows on average how much more females pay for different products compared to males.

Springfield Public School Announces 5 days of In-Person Learning

On Tuesday March 9th, Springfield Public Schools announced that they will be going back to 5 days of In-Person learning, starting after Spring break. This only applies to the students currently enrolled in the Hybrid Learning option. Students that previously had Wednesdays as a virtual learning day will now be back seated in class. This announcement however does not affect SPS students enrolled in the Fully Virtual Learning option.

Monday March 22nd, will mark the start of the first week in over a year where students enrolled in the In-Person learning option will be back in seated classes 5 days a week.

SPS’s announcement comes as transmission rates of COVID-19 still remain at moderate levels in Greene County, Missouri, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a statement to parents SPS noted that the district will continue with the current safety protocols such as requiring face coverings for students and staff and thorough cleaning of SPS buildings.

However, it remains difficult to see how the district will be able to continue with there safety protocols while going back to 5 days of In-Person Learning.

SPS originally made Wednesdays a deep cleaning day. While students learned virtually, SPS facilities would be thoroughly cleaned. But now with students in school 5 days a week, there remains little time for a thorough cleaning of SPS classrooms and facilities.

There also remains the question of whether or not students will be required to wear a mask through the end of the school year. The City of Springfield mask ordinance is set to end April 9th. If the ordinance does not get extended past April 9th, then residents within the city of Springfield limits will no longer be required to wear a face covering. This would also mean that students may not be required to wear a mask unless SPS says otherwise.

Finally, there are still unknowns about when all staff in SPS can get vaccinated. While this process has started, many teachers and staff are still not vaccinated. Going back 5 days a week would mean that there is another day for the the virus to be transmitted, and another day of crowded class rooms, and as the warmer weather comes classrooms will be COVID-19 hot pots.

While SPS did work with the Health Department in making this decision, there still remain many unknowns. At this point it seems as though it would have been better for SPS to stick with the current arrangement, to make sure that we can keep transmission rates down in our schools and keep students safe.

At the end of the day only time will tell if SPS made the right decision in sending thousands of students back to 5 days of In-Person learning during a global pandemic that has no real end in sight.

Foreign Language Credits

Learning a foreign language isn’t for everyone. Some people excel in this department, while others struggle to wrap their minds around something so different. You might’ve heard people in your life say things like, “Without credits of foreign language, you probably won’t get into college,”. Is this statement really true?

“[Having a foreign language] sets students apart to  more employers and the general public,” Spanish teacher Kristen Wyrick said. 

Mrs. Wyrick is a teacher who believes that being fluent in another foreign language is incredibly  important. 

Now, it is not impossible to get into college without 2 credits of a foreign language, but it does set a disadvantage. When looking between someone with two foreign language credits on their application and someone with less, college admissions officers are more likely to choose the first. Foreign language fluency is more appealing to colleges because it opens the door for opportunity and success. People who are fluent in two or more languages are available to more career opportunities and are more culturally developed, after learning about a new culture and its language.  Colleges also like consistency when it comes to foreign languages. 

These classes should be in the same language—colleges would much prefer to see proficiency in one language than a superficial smattering of several languages,” Allen Grove said, in his article for ThoughtCo.com. 

Again, however, it’s not impossible for a high school senior with little to no foreign language credits to get into college. 

“I think a person can get into college but you won’t be very competitive,” Mrs. Wyrick said. 

A student who doesn’t fulfill those requirements must know that their level of competitiveness when trying to get into a college is much lower without being fluent in a foreign language. 

“That said, students who have just the minimum can win admission if their applications demonstrate strengths in other areas,” Grove from ThoughtCo.com said. 

Our 2020-21 school year is coming to an end, and people are moving up a grade, graduating, and going off to college.  It is important that students feel prepared for what is ahead, and understand all of the factors that go into making their education as successful as possible. Foreign language classes look great on applications, but aren’t for everyone. If it is something that peaks your interest, go for it. However, just know, they are not required to get into college. Everyone should pursue their own passions and skills while taking a step into further education and adulthood.

Designer at a Discount!

  Keeping up to date with popular name brands should never come at an extreme cost. Here is a list of trendy items and their fraction of the cost Amazon dupes; 

  LuluLemon has been a commonly purchased brand since the mid 2000s and their prices have steadily increased along with their popularity. LuluLemon align 28” leggings are one of their most popular products, which cost about $98. The most common dupe for these leggings are the Buttery Soft high waisted yoga pants on Amazon, which cost around $22. 

It is no secret Ray Ban sunglasses are a popular sunglass brand for many teens, but is it really worth the cost? The most common Ray Ban glasses I see people wearing are the Round Metal Classic G-15 + Gold, which cost around $154 before tax and shipping. You would be lucky to find these in store and especially on sale, but fortunately Amazon has an almost identical pair for $19.99 and is offered with Amazon Prime.

Hydro Flask water bottles have been around for a couple years now and their popularity has only increased. Hydro Flasks are great water bottles, especially the 32 oz. bottle with the wide mouth straw lid, which tends to be about $49.95. To me $5o for a water bottle is a bit extreme, but once again Amazon is coming to the rescue. Amazon sells a “Simple Modern Insulated Water Bottle with Straw Lid 1 Liter Reusable Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Flask Thermos”, which is also 32 oz and cost about $19.99 and also comes with Amazon Prime! 

 

 

AMC Private Theater Rental – Is it worth it?

COVID-19 has affected many aspects of our lives. Things we took for granted being able to do at the drop of a hat are no longer easily accessible if at all. One of the many victims of the COVID-19 shutdown was movie theaters. Movie theaters across the country have been shut down since March of last year, and some of which such as the relatively new arrival Alamo Drafthouse and Cinema have closed their ticket stands for good.

Needless to say, the AMC movie theater has had to get creative to keep moviegoer attendance up especially considering COVID-19 restrictions that regulate the number of attendees at a time, and the fact that there have been far fewer blockbuster releases since COVID-19 struck. But thanks to problem-solving masterminds behind the scenes, they have come up with a solution. People can literally rent out an entire theater room and have up to twenty people attend – for only one hundred to two hundred dollars, depending on the show they choose. Not only that, but there is a variety of movies the renter can choose from, including classics such as Back to the Future and Jurassic World for one hundred dollars and new releases such as Wonder Woman 1984 and Chaos Walking for two hundred.

Now, maybe the two hundred sounds like a ridiculously high price to watch a movie. Maybe even one hundred sounds like a bit much. So let’s do some math. Let’s say you were to go watch an older movie with a group of twenty people, and the overall cost was one hundred dollars. If you divided one hundred by twenty, that’s five bucks a person. The movies available to watch for one hundred dollars are movies no longer playing in most movie theaters, so in my opinion, five dollars to watch a classic movie as if it had just been released sounds pretty good.

Now, how about the two hundred dollar rentals? Are those worth it? Let’s do some more math. If you wanted to go watch a new release and just bought a regular ticket for an evening show, it would cost an adult almost thirteen dollars. If you rented out the theater and got a group of twenty together to hang out and watch it together and split the cost, the cost per ticket would end up being ten dollars a person.

Ok, so the prices sound good. The films sound good. What about the experience? I had the opportunity to be apart of a group that rented out a theater room to watch a movie that left theaters in 2018, Crazy Rich Asians. Although this movie is no longer available as an option to view in a rented-out theater, the experience would still be the same. We literally had the entire room to ourselves. We could sit in any seat we want and move around as we pleased. We could talk to each other or react to the movie out loud if we wanted to and even take a nap without judgment (I took full advantage of this). The theater was selling popcorn and drinks as well as other food so we got to enjoy these moviegoing classics as well. Then once we were done, a team of workers came through and thoroughly sanitized everything so the room was ready for the next group or show.

Overall, I really enjoyed this experience. I loved having the freedom to watch a movie with a large group of friends without worrying about everyone getting tickets in the general vicinity of one another. I enjoyed getting to see a movie I liked a lot but didn’t have the chance to see it when it first released, and getting to verbally react to the movie and laugh and talk with friends was super fun as well. The price is extremely reasonable and the system of renting a room was well set up. So if you and a group of friends want to get out and do something different, consider renting out a theater and enjoy the show!

 

Questionable Quarantine

Students unable to social distance. If one tested positive for COVID-19, the new guidelines would not require the others to quarantine

SPS new guidelines shows they do not care about students, staff, or families.
We need to return to the quarantine guidelines that were enforced at the beginning of the year in interest of everyone’s safety.
Previous guidelines were if a student was seated next to a COVID-19 positive person they would have to quarantine.
On November 12, 2020 SPS changed their quarantine guidelines. Now anyone directly exposed to COVID-19 is no longer required to quarantine, as long as both parties were wearing masks.
Countless times I have seen students improperly wearing their masks, which makes them ineffective. However, SPS will still consider that student as wearing masks. Teachers are busy and do not have a lot of time to tell the students repeatedly to wear the masks properly.
Masks when worn properly still aren’t always 100% effective. This furthermore shows why quarantine should be mandatory for anyone directly exposed to COVID-19 masked or not. According to UCDAVIS wearing a mask only decreases your chance of getting COVID by 65%,
SPS is abiding by these new rules in hopes of keeping students and staff in school.
Are people’s lives really less important than attending school? SPS thinks so.

COVID-19 case numbers are not decreasing. In this time our school has decided to loosen restrictions instead of cracking down on them.
We all have family and elders in our lives that we care for. Our school, a place of work to many, does not care about their staff or students safety and well-being.
The president of the local education union spoke out against these new rules and called them a “dangerous choice.”
The school district changed a system that wasn’t broken for their own greed. I believe, the less teachers that are quarantined, the less money they have to pay for substitutes. The teachers are not paid during COVID-19 sick leave. We have to stand up for what is right. It could literally be life and death.
Our own state governor, Mike Parsons, who first allowed these new quarantine guidelines said, “These kids have got to get back to school. They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it. We’ve got to move on. We can’t just let this thing stop in our tracks.”
Some might agree with Parsons. Those who do are out of touch, and do not understand what it is like for those of us experiencing these new guidelines. If he won’t care about us and our families someone needs to.

Senioritis

   If you are anything like me you didn’t know that this was a real thing, or a thing at all till you finally got to the last year of high school. I truly didn’t know it was a thing but I saw how it can affect you. I haven’t liked school or wasn’t pumped to come in since I was in back in early middle school. Now with the years of our high school years coming to an end I know, we are all ready to be done with all the drama, negativity, stress, and every other thing that you have every piled onto yourself through the years. We have all had our moments when we wish to drop out or give up with no motivation, but that, that is senioritis in its truest form.

   I have been here maybe about two fifths of the time that we are supposed to be here. This isn’t because I think it’s hard, or that I  don’t want to do the work, it’s just that I am simply…… done.

   This might not be true for all seniors and some even have the urge to push harder than ever and take the hardest classes they can but in reality, there are just so many filler classes that DON’T HELP US IN THE FUTURE. Personal finance is one of the only classes I know for a fact I will use in my adult life. 

   This isn’t a rant as it may seem but hopefully an eye opener to teachers and staff so students can find a love for school like teachers have the love to teach. The matter of fact is that school wears on all of us, students or staff, it’s gotten to us many times and in the end, it will get to you. What we need to understand tho is the fact that you have to be the one to power through it or sit back and coast like I have fallen to do.

Stressed For School

   Counselors are constantly reminding us that honors or advanced classes are good. They help us get ahead, they will look good on our resumes, but at what cost?

   The Pew Research Center explains that in 2018, 70% of teens think that depression and anxiety are a problem among their peers and still, they are pushed to constantly do better, be better, and achieve more.

   The pressure to be in all honors and still be in 300 clubs, sports and activities is overwhelming. On top of that, there is an obligation to have a job and a social life and then still find time for ourselves.

  At the end of the day, the time just doesn’t check out and for some people, college is not even an option. 

   Counselors make it seem like it is the only real post-high school plan and do everything to gear our education towards it. 

   Schools need to show us that there are options outside of college; there is the military, there are two-year associate programs for people wanting to go into the workforce.

   The stress and anxiety of high school shouldn’t be forced on everyone– no matter what counselors say. 

The Taste Of Water

The+Taste+Of+Water

 

  Imagine this, it’s between classes and you only have five minutes to get a drink and get to class. Knowing which fountain to go to can save you a few seconds of those valuable five minutes. Through a set of rigorous tests and an official chart, I’m going to tell you where to get the best water in our school.

     Eighteen fountains make up what most students can easily access in between classes. Fountains next to each other were rated together and their scores then averaged. This means only twelve fountains are up for the true title of the best fountain.

   Let’s start with the categories I went through to figure out the best water fountain. 

    I first started with the coldness of the water. After a long day getting a cold drink can make all the difference. On a scale from one to five, there were many fountains that achieved a perfect score.

 Fountains near the first floor science wing and first floor history wing have some of the coldest water. Another honorable mention would be the fountain near the concessions stand.

   The water there is crisp and cold, but did not reach the top of the ranks due to deficits in other categories.

   The next of the categories I choose to rank the fountains was accessibility. Some fountains were immediately disqualified for being in places an average student cannot get to.

   Depending on what class you’re in or traveling to could change the accessibility for you. For this, I went with fountains that weren’t meant for certain classes or too far from the rest of the school.

 My next category was the presentation. This severely lowered the scores of different fountains. Small chunks of food in the drain or unfortunately placed trashcans can ruin a good hydration experience.

   This caused fountains in the commons, near the gym, and on the second floor near room 244 to lose a majority of their points. 

   Next is taste. Some people might say that water is tasteless, but I would have to disagree. Water can taste metallic, dirty, and even stale. So, when picking the perfect water fountain, the taste was a big concern.

   The second floor science wing and second floor English wing fountains had a crisp, clean taste that left me feeling refreshed.

   Finally, the last of my categories was pressure. When you have to touch the spout the water comes out of to get a drink, it leaves you feeling grossed out. For this, I recommend the first floor science wing or the fountain near the concessions stand.

   There was one fountain that had everything I was looking for in a quick drink. With five in temperature, accessibility, presentation, and taste the second floor math hallway had the best water. With a 4.8 rating, as the water pressure lost a single point, it’s the best fountain in school.

   Next time you’re in need of a quick drink and have time to walk to any fountain, the math hall will be waiting. 

Apex vs Fortnite

Apex+Legends+%28Electronic+Arts%29

Photo by TNS

Apex Legends (Electronic Arts)

As most already know, Fortnite was easily the most popular game of 2018. Just recently a battle royal game by the name Apex Legends that is also free to download and play became available to the public on .Battle royale games are games that you fight till only a winner stands so there is only one winner compared to other shooter games like call of duty or halo that you can play free for all, team deathmatch, and etc. As 2019 started fortnite was still roaring with users but Apexs launch has stolen quite a few Fortnite users. When it comes to Apex, the main question the users have is will it also go cross platform like Fortnite? This means will they make it able for xbox users to play with pc and ps4 friends and vise versa. In an interview with euorogamer, A website focused on video game journalism the lead producer Drew McCoy confirmed that cross play for Apex Legends is in the works and will be coming during the games lifespan. This is great news to its fans and will continue to make this game more popular and compete with Fortnite better. In my opinion Fortnite is the better game because of getting new seasons and new characters to unlock makes the game more exciting for me. I also play with a lot of friends that have xbox and apex is not yet compatible so i will continue to play fortnite till apex goes cross platform. I know what to expect in fortnite considering I have seen playing it for close to a year now.
While apex is a whole new game to learn and get the hang of i am going to continue bettering my fortnite skills. One major difference between the two is in Fortnite you can drop in to the map by yourself, with a partner or in a squad, Meaning when the game starts you are flying in a plane and have to parachute out to start the game, landing wherever you would like. In Apex your only option is to drop in as a team of three. Another huge difference in fortnite you have the ability to build walls, ramps and roofs to protect yourself when someone is shooting at you. At first i did not like this but grew to like it as I learned that it will protect and keep me alive. When landing to load up in fortnite you then search houses for chests, guns, ammo, wood, brick, and metal, you can get these materials by using you sword to chop down the trees, walls, rocks etc. In apex the only way to get your supplies is by opening supply bins and picking stuff up of the ground in houses. I like playing both of the games but at the end of the day i would rather play fortnite because I have more fun and am better at Fortnite than Apex.

thank u, next

thank+u%2C+next
When the weight of the world gets too heavy what do you do? For Ariana Grande, you pick yourself up and run to the studio. To kick off the new year, Grande released her fifth studio album Thank U, Next. Released just six months after her fourth album Sweetener, Thank U, Next sets the tone with pop songs filled with wants, needs, and emotional relief. The albums lead single “Thank U, Next” was the fastest song in history to reach 100 million streams and spent most weeks at No.1 by a female artist (4 weeks). Tracks go from wanting desire without commitment (bloodline), missing someone you’ve lost (ghostin’), making someone out to be better than they really are (In my head),
to interrupting relationships out of pure boredom (break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored). Songs like ghostin’ will have you reminiscing on your past lovers with lyrics like “He just comes to visit me/when I’m dreaming every now and then,”. More upbeat songs like NASA will have you dancing to the thought of needing space. Imagine is track No.1 on the album that illustrates the world revolving around a couple, as if they are the only two around. Overall, this album will have you celebrating your self worth and journey. When I think of this album the word that comes to mind is karma. No specific karma, good nor bad. I would recommend listening to this album on the days you need to pick yourself up and move on.

Springfield Food Leader

Takeout food is a large part of our everyday lives. Being on the move for most of us means either McDonald’s , Wendy’s, or another large fast food chain. With a simple call ahead most restaurants will put together a carry out, or to go order, which could be a much healthier option other than the fast food restaurants on every corner. The Springfield Food Leader reviewed Yum Yum Bowl, Hinode, City Butcher, and Houlihan’s. We ordered two meals from each of the restaurants. The majority of these restaurants prioritize sit down customers, but we ordered all our food for carry out, but made sure to take note of freshness, taste, and customer service. Yum Yum Bowl was the first restaurant we reviewed, they are located at 4808, 706 Battlefield Rd, Springfield, MO 65807, or you can reach them at 417-882-3644. We ordered Yum Yum bowl over the phone and then went to pick it up. When we showed up at the restaurant about 15 minutes later, the food was almost ready for us. The girl who was working at the front counter was very nice and treated us with kindness and professionalisim. The two meals we ordered from Yum Yum Bowl were the orange chicken with fried rice and the bourbon chicken with steamed rice. The so called “bourbon” chicken had good texture and was not dry at all, but the flavor was not there. The bourbon flavor that was supposed to be infused in the meat was basically non existent. Everyone who sampled the chicken said that it was very bland, and the chicken almost tasted like it had the aroma of carrots and other assorted vegetables with it. The steamed rice that came with the bourbon chicken was actually pretty decent, a tad over cooked, but as a side dish it did its job. The orange chicken was cooked similar to the bourbon, very moist and tender. The orange chicken was very flavorful unlike the bourbon, which in our opinion wasn’t a good thing. The chicken was drowned in a processed orange flavored sauce which almost gave a similar flavor of orange fruit snacks. The sauce; very candy tasting, really did not have much of a bite to it, as orange chicken generally does. Fried rice was the side that came with the the orange chicken. The fried rice really lacked the typical fried rice flavor, it tasted more like the steamed rice they serve, but doused in soy sauce. Fried rice traditionally is served with vegetables and egg mixed in which really is what gives it the distinct flavor, the fried rice at Yum Yum bowl on the other hand did not. Hinode The second restaurant we reviewed was Hinode which is located at 4301 S National Ave, Springfield, MO 65810 and can be reached at 417-877-1777. The two meals ordered at Hinode where the Chicken and the Sirloin steak lunch specials. When we showed up at Hinode, we had already called in and we ended up waiting for a while. We walked in and we talked to the hostess who barely smiled at us. We thought she was a little rude, and did not want to take care of us. Once we paid and we were waiting she did not say anything else to us, and then we got our food and left. The chicken in the chicken special was somewhat dry. The sauce that it was in was a very good teriyaki, so it leveled out the score for the dry chicken. The chicken portion was also very small, so there was not as much food given compared to Yum Yum Bowl. The sirloin steak in the other special we ordered was cooked to a perfect medium. Whatever sauce the steak was marinated in was phenomenal, we practically drank the juice to figure out what was in it, we could only detect garlic and teriyaki. The sirloin steak well exceeded expectations. The food at Hinode did come with more sides, both the chicken and the steak came with real fried rice, noodles, and vegetables. The fried rice was delicious and was completely a breath of fresh air compared to Yum Yum Bowl. The noodles were also delicious, they were cooked with butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. They were a great side for this dish. The vegetables were crunchy and were in the same sauce as the chicken which tied the whole meal together. When comparing these two meals which are in the same category of food, Hinode definitely won the prize. The food was great and even though the service did not match the food quality, the food made up for it. We’ve been to Asia with hinode and Yum Yum bowl, now we are headed over to Italy by visiting Bambinos Cafe located at 2810 Battlefield Rd Suite D, Springfield, MO 65804, or reachable at 417-881-4442. Bambinos At Bambinos we ordered two dishes as well, the toasted ravioli (a midwestern delicacy) and “The Bambino”, and every order at Bambinos is served with a side of sliced bread.
Starting off with the Toasted ravioli, and I’ll have to admit I was slightly disappointed with what I had received. The ravioli is one of the meat filled variety. I was slightly disappointed by that fact. The breading on the ravioli was nothing special, for a restaurant that claims to be the best italian in Springfield, they could step up their toasted rav game. To top it off, the ravioli was overcooked and even burnt on the bottom. The marinara sauce served with it was really watery and did not have many different elements of taste. My ravioli experience at Bambinos was sub par to say the least. The second dish was a pasta called “The bambino”, a Cavatelli pasta cooked in a stellar meat and tomato sauce with and endless depth of flavor, the dish was even topped off with melted provel cheese, which added to the flavor. The sauce was seasoned well with hints of garlic and chopped onion. The meat sauce didn’t skimp out on the meat portion of the sauce either, making this meal extremely hearty. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente to add to how amazing this dish was. The addition of the melted cheese and toasted provel cheese on the top really made this the type of food that will stick to your ribs and remind you of grandmas cooking. HEAVY STATEMENT ALERT, this was the best pasta dish I have ever eaten. To finish out my review of Bambinos, I have got to say the toasted rav was below expectations, the pasta was amazing in every sense of the word and the service was decent at best. After being to Asia twice with a journey to Yum Yum bowl and Hinode, then heading over to Italy with a visit to Bambinos Cafe, we are finally taking a trip back to American with some good old fashioned BBQ from City Butcher and Barbeque. They are located at 3650 S Campbell Ave, Springfield, MO 65807 and can be reached at 417-720-1113. City Butcher At City butcher you can only make call in orders before 10:30 AM, so unless you call in before, then hopefully it is your lucky day and they still have meat whenever you come in. We actually ordered three items here because the sandwiches did not come with sides so we got a medium container of coleslaw along with a brisket sandwich and a burnt ends sandwich. Getting things rolling let’s start off with the coleslaw. Just like most coleslaws it was made with cabbage, vinegar, mustard, mayo and some spices. I thought personally that there wasn’t enough flavor and the cabbage really overpowered the sauce and traditional flavor of coleslaw. Even though the coleslaw was not very flavorful, the lettuce was crunchy and wasn’t impossible to eat. The brisket and the burnt ends where very similar, the only difference being that the burnt ends are a typically fatter chunk of meat adding to the flavor, and the charred crust around the meat. On the burnt ends there was also a lot of added seasoning which made for a bolder taste. Both the brisket and burnt ends where smoked to perfection and where as tender as could be, you could even see the smoke ring around the exterior of the meat proving it’s been cooked low and slow for hours. The seasoning is obviously a black pepper base and gave the meat another great spicy flavor. The bun both sandwiches were served on was a buttery flavored bun, I mean its a bun, it did its job, held the meat. Since the meat was so delicious, I think that the bun should have been higher quality. It was just a regular hamburger bun. The flavor all in all was so amazing, barbeque sauce was not even needed, all though the sauce they served had a nice mild spicy to it and was extremely good. The downside to this sauce (besides the fact it was not needed) was it had all most a jelly like consistency. All in all City butcher did not disappoint and holds true to what I’ve been told, the best barbeque in Springfield. Not to mention as soon as I walked into the door I was greeted with a smile. Overall, we were able to eat some very good food and the restaurants overall did a very good job. They all gave us the right food, it had somewhat of a decent flavor, and all of the workers were very kind to us. Even though we did not enjoy some dishes, the overall experience was very pleasant and positive, and I would definitely try all of these restaurants again.

Cry Pretty

Photo Courtesy of Tribune News
A country singer, Carrie Underwood, released her sixth studio album, Cry Pretty, on September 14, 2018. The album consist of 13 songs. They are soulful and full of meaning. The songs show another part of Carrie that most fans are not use to seeing. Not all of the songs have music videos, but you still feel the meaning in each word she sings. The songs Bullet and Love Wins are definitely the most inspirational, and the words convey messages still talked about today. These topics consist of gay rights and gun violence. In today’s climate talking about these issues is important because it helps
open the minds of people in society, and brings light to some major issues. The album has taken some political risk, but nonetheless the songs aren’t just about the country, roads and drinking that most stereotypical country music holds, they’re about love and convey real meaning, but Carrie keeps her country style and full throat voice. I’m not a big fan of country music. I’ve never listen to it, but I decided to try something different. And I was pleasantly surprised. If you’re a fan of country music and songs with what, I believe, are meaningful and full of life, I highly recommend the album Cry Pretty.
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