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My Hopes for the Future of KCHS: A Senior's Perspective

Isaah Slowtalker   May 10, 2017

At Kirtland Central High School, graduation draws near. Thinking about my last four years attending this school, I began pondering the possibilities that KCHS might hold for future classes, so I came up with what I hope this school evolves into as well as what I hope it maintains.

One thing this school accomplishes is developing and providing an environment where students aren’t afraid of expanding their horizons.

 

As a Freshman, I’d never ventured into unknown territory like chemistry, choir, and band. I enjoyed singing, cooking, and video production, so what better way to get through high school than by sticking to the things I already excelled at?

 

As a Senior, I’ve taken college courses, learned French, American Sign Language, and gained a new passion for Physics. Not only has this school shaped my own perspectives, it has also provided the necessary tools for me to shape myself as an individual. In high school, I got a sense of who I am and who I may become and I hope that never changes.

 

I found that through my own personal experiences, high school has also changed the way I perceived the teachers and staff members- not only as authority figures, but as people who support me. This support system has carried me and motivated me to strive for the best out of my high school education.

 

Looking to the future of KCHS, I would love to see a more involved and commutative student-body. I hope to see new clubs, more aspiring leaders, and excellent support for everyone. To be a part of a school that is so enthusiastic about each other is something that I think should be experienced by every student in every high school. KCHS is known for its excellent academic integrity from these involved students, and I hope this quality never withers.

 

As I leave my footprint on the world wherever I walk, I will walk with pride because KCHS has helped me put it there. Now that I have looked towards the future of KCHS, I will look towards my own as well, and accomplish any obstacle I face.

Thank you, KCHS, for the knowledge, wisdom, and confidence that you have given me. Remember to keep the Bronco Pride, even after your time spent at Kirtland ends.

KCHS Summer Plans 2017

Tiajhae Nez   May 10, 2017

School will be out in two weeks and there will be no more homework, stress and books. I had the chance to interview staff and students here at KCHS of what they plan to do over the summer, this is what they had to say.

 

“The first two weeks I’m gonna be doing summer school. Then after that I’ll probably spend a week in Las Vegas, and I don't know after that. Or a lot of hiking and fishing.” -Mr.Lee

 

“Spend time with my wife: we’re going on a lot of vacations. Work around my house and most of all exercise my dog. He’s getting fat. Also a lot of riding my bike.” - Mr. Adair

 

“To never see a teenager again and also have as much fun as I possibly can...within the law. I plan to go camping at Navajo for about 20 days and them camp in the high country. Lots of fishing, hiking, and backpacking. All the good stuff.” -Mr. Natonabah

 

“What I plan to do during the summer is to read more books, have a good time with my family and also do a lot of traveling. But I doubt I’ll do all that stuff. Maybe just stay home and watch YouTube videos. Yeah, that’s basically it.” - Zane Smith (Sophomore)

 

“Sports, eat, shopping, travel, college classes, and Netflix. That’s it.” -Haile Gleason (Junior)

 

“I plan to play basketball, travel, go shopping and hopefully go camping.” -Cortney Patterson (Junior)

Writing Tips for the Aspiring Author

Gabrielle Lewis    April 24, 2017

Quite a few students at KCHS are interested in Creative Writing, but it isn’t always easy to put your ideas on paper quickly or coherently. Here are a few tips that could help speed up the process.

 

The Exposition:

● Formulate your idea.

Every good book starts with a thought. For example: What would happen if a squirrel had superpowers? This first thought will lead to more, but it can all come to nothing if you don’t write it down clearly and thoroughly. Outlines often help. You don’t need to know everything on the outline right away, but it’s difficult to write if you don’t at least have a beginning, a theme, and some rising action. Otherwise, you won’t know where you’re going and your story will just be drifting. Direction is necessary. You should also decide on a genre. Obviously, the example above would probably be either science fiction or fantasy.

 

● Set goals.

Goals also provide direction. If you don’t make goals, you will stop writing because you’ll forget. It happens to the best authors. It will take much longer to write a book if you don’t make commitments on daily or weekly progress, both in plot and in word count.

 

● Fascinate the reader.

This is very important to the beginning of any story. You need to interest people, or they won’t want to read your book, no matter how great your idea is. This often happens in the first sentence. Suspense can help you a lot, but don’t overdo it, or you’ll confuse your readers instead of intriguing them. You should also remember your audience. If you are writing a story about a squirrel with superpowers, you’re probably not writing to a 50-year old doctor, so technical language would not be appropriate. Your audience is probably young and you’ll need to use words they can actually understand. There are very few people who read with a dictionary on their lap in order to decode a sentence that just means “The squirrel slid down the tree and landed smoothly in a large pile of leaves.”

 

The Climax:

● Don’t give up.

Writer’s block is a beast. It will stop you if you don’t stop it first. There are a lot of methods you can use to get rid of it, but the best thing you can do is to keep writing. If you quit every time you get distracted, you will never be able to finish anything. Other ideas can cause writer’s block, so ignore them. You can go ahead and write them down if you really want to use them, but after that, forget them. Go on. They aren’t important until you are finished writing the first one.

 

● Practice.

Sometimes it’s good to do some freewriting, especially when you get writer’s block. There are writing prompts all over the internet and you can keep using the same one over and over again. You can seriously write hundreds of stories, all springing from a single idea.

 

● Finish your outline.

By the middle of your book, you should have a pretty good idea of the ending. Remember: direction is necessary. If you know where you’re going and you know how you’re getting there, you can add a little foreshadowing. People really love foreshadowing.

 

The Resolution:

● Leave them guessing.

A story is only complete when there is a resolution. There is an urgent need for the author to resolve some major part of the book, unless it’s a series, in which case the book should have a resolution for a minor quest. You need to resolve, but often it is a good idea to resolve as little as possible without leaving the book uncomplete. The best way to end a book is with a cliffhanger. In a series, cliffhangers work because readers can imagine what will happen in the next book. In a single book, cliffhangers work because the reader can come up with their own ending and will consider reading other books by the same author, either because they just loved the suspenseful ending and want another one, or because they’re hoping to find some odd reference to the ending of the book they’ve just read so they can tie up some loose ends.

 

● Check your work.

When you are finished with the rough draft, you’ll need to go back over it multiple times to check for errors in grammar and spelling, inconsistencies in the plot, and resolve anything you forgot about. It’s a great idea to enlist beta readers to check for mistakes like these. Sometimes it’s easier for them to see than for you.

 

● Keep going.

So you’ve now completed a few drafts and you’re thinking “Wow... I’m done?” You are not done. It usually takes at least ten drafts to complete a really well developed novel and a few rounds of beta reading. Even when you look to publish, there may still be much to fix, as your editors will make sure you know. Just keep going. You’re almost there.

 

● Publishing.

If you want quick and easy publishing, you might want to consider Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. They just started doing paperback as well. This might not be a great idea though if you want to make the New York Times bestseller list.

Getting Lost

S. R. Lewis    April 24, 2017

When I was around the age of seven or eight, my stepfather and I went grocery shopping at Walmart. We walked in through the automotive entrance and made our way through the toy section, electronics, and shoes.

 

As we passed the shoes, for some reason, my eight year-old self thought that a pair of fluffy house slippers were nice enough for me to leave my stepfather and look at. After a few minutes of admiring them, I put the slippers away and turned around to look for my stepdad but there was nothing but shoes and a cage full of $5 DVDs in sight.

 

I roamed around in search of him and with panic in my heart, I didn’t have any luck. My next resort was to find the nearest and least creepy looking employee to tell. The jewelry section is where I eventually ended up. I sat there and listened to someone announcing to my stepfather that I was lost and sitting in the jewelry section. I felt like crying because I left his side and I was nearing those tears before he walked up and got me back.

 

After that moment, I told myself that I wouldn’t walk off from my family ever again. That didn't work out so well.

 

Three years later, my other family and I spent two weeks traveling up the west coast, stopping at the essential theme parks and such. The first stop was at Seaworld in San Diego, California and around this time I had an obsession with sea turtles so while we were there, I had to see them. We get there, walkaround, pet a kangaroo (I know, why is there a kangaroo at Seaworld?), go on a ride or two, and finally, we got to the turtles.

 

I approached the entrance with my stepmom and my older sister in excitement. At entry, there was a small display of fake baby turtles hatching from shells and crawling to the ocean. They weren’t even real yet they were immensely adorable, and by habit, I pulled out my red flip phone and turned on my camera.

 

In that moment, I felt like a National Geographic photographer capturing the beauty of new sea life at it’s purest...with a bright red flip phone, of course. Once the photos were taken, I looked at them and smiled, then I turned around to show my sister and she was nowhere to be seen, not one glimpse of my stepmom either. Keep in mind that this is Seaworld in it’s prime during the summer, so there were dozens of strangers all around me.

 

I panicked and my heart raced. I could call my dad and try to meet him but the truth is that I couldn’t go to a less creepy looking employee and have them announce, “We have a lost child at the entrance of the turtle exhibit”, it seemed embarrassing at the time because, apparently, I was too cool of an 11-year-old to be some missing child that you see sitting on a ledge crying for their parents, but I wanted to. I wanted to cry because I was in a different place in a different state. Luck decided to join my side and I saw my older brother walking among the sea of short people and I approached him quickly. We stayed together and I didn’t leave him, even if it was to go take more pictures of some sea turtles. For the remainder of that trip, I didn’t ever want to leave my family’s side again.

  Six years later, as I approach adulthood, I’m lost again. Except this time, I’m not lost in some grocery store or an ocean themed park, I’m lost in my decisions. It’s the time that I have to choose what I want to do with my life, it’s a time that I must decide if I should stay with my family here in our little community or leave this behind and start a new life in a different environment. I’m lost, but I can’t ask a less creepy looking employee to help me find my way out nor can I look around and hope that my older brother pops out of nowhere and helps me. I’m on my own.

 

But like those times, I did find a solution and I did find my way out. It took panic and confusion, but I ended up happy again. So that will happen now, despite the stress from college applications, ACT and AP testing, and figuring out how I’ll pay for college, I will find a solution and find my way out. I can guarantee that this won’t be the last time that I will be lost, it’s going to happen again and that’s okay. It’s perfectly fine to panic because when that part ends, a solution will rise.

Hidden Talents: Mr. Lee

Greg L.   April 19, 2017

As a kid raised in Shiprock, New Mexico, Aaron Lee watched the friends of his father as they played music that seemingly filled the debts of the dirt-poor economy that surrounded him. The tuneful hum of the guitar enchanted his young mind, ultimately inspiring him to begin learning to play at the age of 13.

 

Now a 32-year-old teacher of Honors Geometry and Algebra 2, Mr. Lee has followed a melodious path that led him to Kirtland Central High School.

 

“Math is abstract, it’s really all just theory,” Mr. Lee explains in his classroom, “but I think that learning to play an instrument of any kind- not just guitar is the best thing anyone can do for themselves. It helped me as a student, and it continues to help me as a teacher.”



Mr. Lee wasn’t always inclined to teaching, but found himself as a tutor of science and math at San Juan College, leading to his current position as a math teacher. He began as an average student of mathematics, but Mr. Lee attributes his success in academics to picking up the guitar and learned to relate tablature strongly to math and science. If he never played the guitar, he would most likely find himself in law enforcement as an officer or crime scene reconstruction investigator.

 

The new guitar program that began in Mr. Collard’s room a few years back earned much respect and gratitude from a chuffed Mr. Lee, who said that the program improved student's development in math right in front of his eyes. He relates himself to their situation, and firmly believes that the classes are good for students to learn and develop discipline in their lives.

 

“I’ve seen students who were challenged academically, but after getting into music, they improve their social and emotional development just as much as their grades.” Mr. Lee pointed to a student, sitting in his 6th hour class with his head in an open Algebra 2 textbook. “This one is an example. He has really improved after playing the guitar.”

 

He relates closely to Mr. Wright, another teacher, who also plays the guitar often enough for them to talk about which songs they prefer playing when they have downtime to spend. Mr. Lee says he prefers playing his own music more than others, however he does enjoy playing music from the 1970’s to the early 2000’s.  

 

“When I play acoustic, I play classical or soft music. When I have an electric, I will go for heavy metal, something fast and raunchy in style,” said Mr. Lee, who glowed with enthusiasm. “Even though some of the music is heavier, it’s almost like a sanctuary for me. It’s very therapeutic to be surrounded in a room full of instruments.”

 

He found himself as a follower of his mother’s footsteps, as she was also in the teaching field while Mr. Lee was growing up. Today, she is a Navajo Bilingual teacher and holds a doctoral degree in linguistics.

 

Despite his initial hardships, Mr. Lee continues to move forward in his career. He has been teaching for approximately five years, but wishes to try new things and fulfill new personal aspirations in the near future.


Google Say's "It's Lit" But Is It Legit?

Greg L.   April 17, 2017

Google, the widely used internet search engine, has recently released a report called It’s Lit: A Guide to What Teens Think is Cool, causing a stir among its audience.

 

The report contains multiple studies conducted around one year ago, and was released March of 2017. The intent of the study was “to provide a glimpse into the world of teens in the U.S. through the lens of what they find is cool.” It does just this, though they only have analytical data of 1,100 teens that can easily misrepresent 22-25% of the United States population (of which the same study estimated to be around 60 million people)- or any population, for that matter, since only US teens were used to represent an entire era of people around the globe.

 

Apart from the design that represented the epitome of the stereotypical teenager, the studies are interesting in that they suspiciously result in positive ratings for major companies, including Google, Facebook, and YouTube. The search engine itself is high on the list of cool brands, falling third under Netflix (second) and YouTube, a Google owned company, as first.

 

In the introduction, the members who created the study define cool as, “an indication of what people pay attention to, what gets them excited, and can often act as a manifestation of their hope and dreams.” They then go on to provide helpful graphs about how companies like Oreo and Doritos hold the attention of a teen more than Vice and The Wall Street Journal.

 

It was never made clear if the teens were aware of being polled by Google about Google, most of the data starkly juxtaposes Millennials and Gen-Z. If anything, the study contradicts itself, stating that teens feel like cool is “being kind to others,” even though the writers go on a tangent of flattery, stating that Gen-Z is not like millennials, in that they are “ambitious, engaged, and feel like they can change the world.” Pretty sure that’s not an example of kindness towards others.

 

Though some of the statistics may be an interesting read, the data can be misleading. For example, Google states that 42.2% of Gen-Z uses Google+, placing them above Twitter by 6.8%. Despite the apparent non-satirical popularity that Google+ may possess, less than 1% of Google+’s 2.2 billion multi-generation users are actually active on the social media site, according to a 2015 study by Eric Enge, CEO of Stone Temple Consulting and search engine optimization expert.

 

These results seem more dubious than not, but teens do have the potential funds to keep these company’s economic capacity afloat at an optimal level.

 

According to British newspaper, The Observer, “the final pages of the brochure effectively consist of native advertising for Google.” Which seems to be a tangible claim after reading the quotes Google tactically used in the report to possibly influence the fondness an individual had for the company.

 

Perhaps it’s the unusual graphs, the blatant interest in promoting name-brands and companies, the misunderstanding of memes and phrases, or the political incorrectness of shoving individuals into groups that limits them to another statistic for companies to monopolize, that leaves this report with uncomfortable stares from it’s viewers. In spite of the fact that multiple people on social media platforms pull the study into question, Google remains steadfast with their claims and have not yet publicly commented on the accuracy of the study.

KCHS Aspirations

Lynncia Martinez   Mar. 5, 2017

The students here at Kirtland Central High School have many aspirations since they were young to be the person they are today. As students grew things have changed, what they wanted to be has changed. From wanting to be an astronaut to being a neuroscientist. From being an actor to being a journalist. From being a singer to being a video producer. Everyone has a different story to tell and different imaginations on what they want to be. Here are some things the students had said.

 

Myles Harvey

At the age of 5, freshman, Myles Harvey, wanted to be an astronaut. “I don’t know why exactly, but I have always liked making rocket ships out of paper and I’ve always had the dream of going to the moon.”

At the age of 10, Myles dreamt of being a star football player. “Every Sunday me and my family have always had a cookout and watched the Cowboys. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas we would always do the same, It was fun and I’ve always wanted my parents to see me on Tv.”

At the current age of 14, Myles dreams of being an engineer. “I would like to be an engineer, being first, I get paid the money. I like doing math and I’m doing good in math.”  Saying he’s going to pursue it by finishing school, going to college to take classes for engineering, and getting his degree.

Freshman, Myles  went from astronaut, to a star football player, to an engineer. Of course he thinks that his mind would change, “but not too much”. In the end, fifteen years from now he sees himself in a two story house with two kids, involved with sports, and a beautiful hard working wife.

 

Raemondo Miles

At the age of 5. Sophomore, Raemondo Miles, wanted to be a star football player. “I wanted to be cool, big, strong and fast.”

At the age of 10, Raemondo still had the dream of being a star football player, this time he was more specific on being in the NFL. Saying “I still wanted to be cool, big, strong, fast and awesome.”

At the current age of 16, Raemondo still holds on to that dream of being in the NFL. Only this time he has added something different, he adds on that he also wants to be a bodybuilder. He would accomplish this by working hard, practicing hard, and never giving up on his goals.

Raemondo had the dream of becoming a star football player, and still has that goal of becoming on.He hopefully thinks that it won’t ever change.  In 15 years from now he says  “[he’d be] handsome, built and strong. I would have a girlfriend, a big house with expensive cars, a lot of money. But at the same time I will have good communication, and be a nice person.”

 

Scyla Elizabeth

At the age of 5, Senior, Scyla Elizabeth had the dream of becoming a mermaid. “I just liked fishes, and the thought of being a mermaid.”

At the age of 10, Scyla wanted to become a veterinarian and help animals. “I like helping animals and I just didn’t like seeing them in pain, but that all changed after a while because I don’t like putting down animals.”

At the age of 15, Scyla wanted to be a psychologist. “I wanted to be a psychologist because I wanted to help with their mental illness, and to just help them get through it.”

At the current age of 18, Scyla wants to be a nurse practitioner. “I’m just very curious about the human body and how it works.” She will get to her goal by going to college after graduating high school. And getting advice from her mom and grandma.

Scyla had the dream at the age of 5 of becoming a mermaid, but soon changed to a veterinarian. Then it became a psychologist, now to a nurse practitioner. In 10 to 15 years from now, she hopes to be living on her own or with a family. Also having her own house and car and working passionately with her dream job.

 

After interviewing with many students, at the age of 5, many said they wanted to be singers, investigators, detectives, mermaids, football player and even a wizard. As the students grew to be older they went to being veterinarians, nurses, architect, psychologist, police officer and even a comedian. And as they aged to the people they are today they have more of an idea they actually want to be. Such as being a nurse practitioner, field journalist, author, English teacher, professor and some…not sure on what they want to be yet. “there’s so many career choices out there, and I’m just a teenager trying to figure out what career to stick with for the rest of my life.” Says Freshman, Chris Martinez.

A Time to Shine for JROTC Students

Monique Harris   Feb. 28, 2017

Military Ball is a night to remember. It’s a night where members of the JROTC get to dress up and have fun with their friends or their date, dancing and laughing the night away.

 

Every year the Military Ball is held at the Elks Lodge in Farmington New Mexico and each year it is decorated beautifully to obtain a sophisticated, elegant environment. This year the venue was decorated with twinkling lights and white drapes that hung above the dancefloor. Students that attended ate a meal and got to drink apple cider.

 

Students got to dance and pose for pictures at a photo booth area. I asked junior Samaira Bluehouse how was her Military Ball experience and here’s what she had to say, “My experience was great, I loved how everything was done. I loved the food, loved the set up and I definitely loved how the Elks Lodge was decorated. So, I guess you could say it was a memorable experience.”

 

I’m sure many of our JROTC students have made many memories which they won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Stars Align at 'A Night in Paris' Dance

Avery Begay   Feb. 28, 2017

A Night in Paris was a decent dance. The decorations were flawless; that supported a bit of the theme. Throughout the night, hardly any students showed up. The dance floor only had a visit from four to five guests, then slowly increased. After minutes passed by, a group of students decided to start a train dance to get everyone comfortable dancing with each other.

 

Sophomore Layland Joe, a delegate of the student council, explained that they used some of the decorations from the previous dance, “Homecoming: Ancient Rome,” to set up the scene. It nearly took them seven hours to get everything ready before the night started.

 

When it comes to dances or special events, you start to learn a thing or two. Mainly all students were socializing with others and some stayed in one spot, but after a bit of adjusting to the awkward environment, students have the courage to show what they can do. As for slow songs, it was a great moment for couples to dance with one another and to finally be close in each other’s arms.

 

Then came the big event, for all nominees who were chosen from different school clubs: King and Queen. For prince and princess, students have chosen, junior, Avin Jones and, Senior, Cody Frank. Along with the King and Queen, students have selected seniors Amy Naki and Curtis Littletree. After the selection of royalty, “Halo” by Beyoncé, was played for the slow dance. Everyone was asked to join the slow dance to get all of the students out of their comfort zones, one by one, they joined to celebrate the chosen royalty.

 

A “Night In Paris” was a good night, if you spent your night with the right crowd or your partner. Was it a night to remember? In my perspective, for royalty, yes. To look from their point of view, it was an honor to be selected and voted for. For the students, also a yes, because we spent time with the ones we trusted the most.

Seniors Nearing Graduation Day Look to the Future

Gabrielle Lee   Feb. 28, 2017

As the school year draws ever nearer to its end, the seniors look to the future with excitement and nervousness. It has been a slow year, and they are more than ready for graduation and the

various opportunities that come afterwards.

 

“It’s scary to think that you’re going to be on your own pretty soon, but it’s also exciting… I think everyone feels that apprehension,” says Isaah Slowtalker.

 

Most of our seniors plan to go to college and many of them are pursuing jobs in the medical field. Ian Kee wants to become a doctor, so he can serve his community out on the reservation,

where they are struggling to keep up with medical care. Kaylie Deswudt, who plans to study psychology says “I just like to listen to people and help them with their problems.” Mariah

Avalos, who plans to be a midwife, says “I find it interesting and I like babies.”

 

Many others, like Kaylie and Mariah, say that they are also invested in the welfare of their fellow human beings, medically inclined or not. Jordan Begay, working towards the profession of psychiatric nurse, says “I just like helping people.” Geoffrey Kiddie says that he wants to be a teacher because he likes working with people. Though our seniors have doubts about finance and ability, their overall attitude is confident. They are looking forward to making memories, spending time with friends and teachers, doing the best they can, and ultimately graduating.

 

Isaah, Ian, Kaylie, Mariah, and Geoffrey have some words of wisdom for the underclassmen, and they speak from experience, “Be prepared. Don’t struggle to do things last minute. Stress is bad for your health,” says Ian. Isaah says, “Find something that you love to do. It will make the transition from high school to college easier… take any opportunity you can.” Kaylie says, “Do your work and get good grades… it helps in getting accepted to college.” Mariah says, “Avoid trouble as much as possible. Try to redo assignment when you can and do your best on your work and get good grades.” Geoffrey says, “Pay attention in class.”

 

Thank you, Seniors, for the contributions you’ve made to this school and this community, and good luck on all of your future endeavors.

What Is Love to You?

S.R. Lewis   Feb. 13, 2017

 As we all know, it’s almost Valentine’s Day and whatever you find yourself doing, whether it’s going out on a date or staying home and watching Netflix, everyone has an opinion about this day and what it stands for, so I asked some students and faculty members, what is love to you?

 

“Love is an emotion that transcend physical attraction, becoming something on a much grander scale. It is a bond built over a lifetime, to become a willingness, no, a love, to spend an eternity with someone else.” - Isaac Collard

 

“A connection and passion of deep affection; whether it is towards a material or nonmaterial entity, that drives us to seek “for better” or “for worse” in our daily lives.” - Mr. Wojtuniechi

 

“Love is what you do to help other people. It is a feeling that is express through action and complete satisfaction.” - Mr. Badbaden

 

“Love is a state of mind. It could encourage you to do more or bring you down, including a broken heart.” - Siigrid Liibilnaagahi

 

“Love is when someone looks at another person like I look at tacos.” - Moises Camacho

 

“Love is putting the other person first and wanting to spend time with them even when you don’t like anyone. Love is forgiving people for their stupid mistakes and knowing ya’ll be accepted for all your foibles.” - Ms. Barringer

 

“Love is acceptance and compassion when someone is at their best, and their worst.” - Ms. Stevens

 

“To me, love is a feeling and attitude you have for a person. Someone that you are willing to put their needs before yours.” - Victoria Costner