December 6, 2012

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CHS Demonstrates Improvement in State Report Card

Each year, the Tennessee releases the state report card, which looks at each individual school
system and the overall academic progress. In 2012, Cookeville High School’s composite ACT
scores ranked at 21.3, while the state’s were a lesser 19.2. The attendance rate at CHS was a
pleasing 96.5%, while out graduation rate was 93.9%, with an increase of almost ten percent
from the previous year.
When interviewed, Mr. Ward said, “We administrators at CHS were so excited by the
information we received; our attendance rate and graduation rate were both incredibly high. Our
school is becoming aware and finding those students who are falling behind. CHS is something
to be proud of and we hope to maintain and improve our school. We can do a better job truly
being college and career ready.”
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Music Review: Mumford & Sons

By Sarah Nisbet
Ever wonder if you’re a hipster? Well for a quick self check ask yourself the question, “Do I like Mumford & Sons?” If your answer is yes, you just might be the embodiment of the increasingly vague definition of a hipster. However, the phrase is not mutually exclusive and not all who like the indie rock gods Mumford & Sons have to be a hipster, so don’t freak out. Whether hipster or not, many people can find at least one song by Mumford & Sons that they enjoy, which is why the band has gained a massive following since their debut.
From their emergence onto the musical stage in 2007, Mumford & Sons quickly became a crowd favorite through their first album Sigh No More. Two years later, the popular band recently released their second album Babel on September 24, 2012. Led by the gritty voice of frontman Marcus Mumford, the band continually perform at iconic venues to sold out crowds. Their new album was mainly recorded during short breaks of their extensive tour. Babel continues the signature Mumford & Sons sound with a slightly more rock and roll feeling. Numerous instruments such as guitar, drums, keyboard, banjo, and mandolins are utilized throughout the album to maintain the band’s grassroots background. The lead single “I Will Wait” heightened the excitement and suspense to the release of the album; although, several tracks were prematurely leaked from the album that was years in the making. Babel did not disappoint for the die hard or newly established fan as the classic Mumford & Sons style progressed in their newest tracks such as “Whispers In The Dark” and “Hopeless Wanderer.” Even more songs are available on the deluxe edition of the album including “The Boxer.”
However, like so many other groups, the style of Mumford & Sons can become heavy and overwhelming since similar beats persist throughout the album. If Babel seemed like your kind of music, you should consider checking out the Avett Brothers. They share Mumford and Son’s alternative style with a bit more bluegrass. The Avett Brothers also recently released on September 11, 2012 titled The Carpenter. Both bands continue to gain popularity, and you should watch out for them in the future.
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Ask Eustice: Holiday Edition

“All I want for Christmas is youuu!” But really, I’m dealing with heartbreak this holiday season. How can I take my mind off it?
Egg nog and candy canes.

What are some creative gift ideas?
Anything homemade. Or a giant stuffed giraffe. Your pick.

Thoughts on No Shave November—Are you glad it’s over?
Over? This face full of fur isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?
Sweaters. Especially turtlenecks, although they have to be altered a little to fit just right.
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A Letter to Santa, From the Seniors

By Abbie King

It’s almost Christmas break. The year is almost halfway over, which means the seniors are that
much closer to graduating. As seniors, I think our Christmas list should be the priority this year…

Dear Santa,

It’s hard to believe this is, technically, our last Christmas as children. We didn’t realize how
quickly this final year was approaching, and we didn’t appreciate the previous Christmases as
we should have. Can we be quite frank, Santa? We’re weary to see this major chapter in our
lives close, and we’re a little hesitant to embrace the change that will soon be here. We know
it’s a lot to ask, and it’s selfish, but we really need everything on our list this year.

First, we need money, and we need it desperately. No matter what path each of us are
choosing to take, we need all of the monetary help we can get. College is expensive. Exploring
the world is expensive. We need cash, but checks are good, too.

Second, we want acceptance letters. We’ve waited long enough for our futures; the least we
deserve is to know whether or not we got into our dream school.

Third, we want to let our parents know we appreciate everything they have done for us.
They’ve put up with us through meltdowns, rebellions, illnesses, nightmares, and middle
school. We’re not good with showing them affection, so we would love it if you could tell us
how to let them know we care.

Our friends come fourth. Not the acquaintances we just talk to when we’re in class with them,
but our real, genuine friends. We want some great, lasting memories with them. We want to be
able to remember all of the good, and all of the bad, situations we’ve been through together.
We want them to know what they mean to us. We don’t want them to forget us. Can you do

Fifth, and finally, is time. We took for granted the time we had as children. We’re not ready to
take care of ourselves quite yet, to be responsible. As much as we say we can’t wait to get out
of here, most of us are a little frightened as to what our futures hold. We want time to think,
time to laugh, time to remember, time to forget, and time to sleep before we enter the world.
We need time to figure out how to make our mark.

So, Santa, we know it’s a lot to ask for, and we understand if you can’t give any of these things
to us, but this is where we are right now. Thanks for everything, big guy.

Love, the Class of 2013
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Boys Basketball Season Faces Tough Competition

By Justin Pearson
The sounds of shoes squeaking, and basketballs being dribbled on the gym floor are back again. The 2012 CHS boys basketball team has begun its season, and are eager for a big year this year. With six seniors returning for the Cavaliers, the boys are loaded with talent and experience. Mat Case, Trey Henderson, Lucas Ledbetter, Phoenix Roberts, Phillip Roper, and Elijah Scott are all ready to begin their final season at CHS and their hoping they can make this one count. The squad has a pretty tough schedule, including games against the dreaded Sparta , Bradley Central, Haywood County, and Wilson Central, all very daunting opponents. In order to make it to the playoffs, we must win our district consisting of: Sparta, Warren Co., Cumberland Co., and Coffee Co. The team is also taking a trip during Christmas break to Destin, Florida, where they’ll play against other talented schools CHS wouldn’t normally have the chance to face. As you can see, it's going to be an exciting season of boys basketball, so come out and see as many games as you can!
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Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade

By Stone Fagan

Along with the new presence of fall weather and Thanksgiving, came the beloved Macy’s Day Parade. This year was the 86th annual parade and occurred on November 22 in New York at 9 a.m. EST. Boasting more than 3.5 million viewers along the parade route this year, and 50 million watching the televised broadcast, the 10,000 participants in the parade had quite an enormous crowd. This year’s event was especially important, due to two of Cookeville High’s own students participating. Bailey Rose and Kaity Harville appeared as dancers in the parade.
In addition to this, three new floats were incorporated into the lineup, which were Hello Kitty, Elf on the Shelf, and Papa Smurf. The featured performance groups were as follows:

Performance Groups
-Spirit of America Dance
-Stagedoor Manor
-Varsity Spirit Cheer

-Gift of Freedom
-Smurf Mushroom Float
-Big Apple
-Bridge to the Future
-Marion Carole Showboat
-Snoopy’s Doghouse
-Home Baked Goodness
-Elves Raise the Roof
-Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure
-On the Roll Again
-International Celebration Clock tower
-Santa’s Sleigh
-Woodland Family Gathering
-Tom Turkey
-1-2-3 Sesame Street
-True Spirit of Thanksgiving
-American Pride
-Fall Frozen Fun
-Christmas in Central Park

-Hello Kitty
-Spongebob Squarepants
-Kermit the Frog
-Diary of a Wimpy Kid
-Kung Fu Panda
-Ronald McDonald
-Pillsbury Doughboy
-Buzz Lightyear
-Sailor Mickey
-Sonic the Hedgehog

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Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive... All Year

By Bethany Bray
The time of year when our houses smell of pine and cookies is right around the corner. That's right, friends, Christmas is almost here! Soon we will be violently tearing open presents from underneath our tree, and giving out hugs to family members who we are spending the holidays with. We will feel butterflies in the pits of our stomaches when we see our parents walking in the house with hands filled with shopping bags, hoping that the majority of the things in those bags are for us. But, what about the day after Christmas? When the tree comes down, and back in the garage? When there are no more presents or cookies, and that warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling won't be back for another 365 days? How do we keep the Christmas spirit alive all year long? Well, here are some solutions to keep everyone in a Christmas-y mood!
1.) Caroling- You may not be accustomed to seeing groups of brightly clad carolers strolling in your neighborhood in May, but singing is a year-round activity. Bring your group to a nursing home, pediatric hospital, or rehabilitation center to entertain the residents. Maybe, if you're not on the shy side, you could carol around your neighborhood whenever you feel inspired! I'm sure your neighbors would greatly appreciate a happy-go-lucky teenager caroling on their front porch even if the time is greatly overdue.
2.) Coddling- We make a special effort to choose the perfect gifts for our family and friends during the holidays. Are there other ways we can coddle them throughout the year? Taking interest in the activities they enjoy, preparing favored foods, and encouraging and appreciating them daily will make even the grouchiest Scrooge feel treasured.
3.) Music- We all love to hear Christmas classics during the holiday season, but in order to keep the spirit alive in not just the winter months, rejoice by playing Christmas tunes constantly! Music is the best way to someone's heart (besides food), so the soothing sounds of Michael BublĂ©'s “I'll Be Home For Christmas” and hearing Mariah Carey belt “All I Want For Christmas Is You” are bound to put that warm feeling back in anyone's heart.
4.) Cooking- Food takes center stage at many holiday gatherings, but it may become humdrum at other times of the year. Make mealtime spectacular at least once a month by trying new recipes and themes, and getting crafty with table settings. Good luck!
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Ms. Smith Goes to California

By Cody Thompson
One of Cookeville High School’s own, Ms. Julie Smith, recently had a well-deserved vacation to California. Ms. Smith left Nashville on Saturday, November 11th. Accompanying her on this trip was her best friend of 35 years, Kelley Hudgens, who resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Upon her arrival in Los Angeles California, the first place Ms. Smith visited was California’s famous burger stop, In-N-Out Burger. Ms. Smith commented on this burger stop saying that, “It was delicious…I ate there three times, out of the four days I was there.” After her delicious meal, Ms. Smith took a delightful Beverly Hills tour. On the tour, she saw an abundant amount of celebrity homes. These homes include: Michael Jackson’s house, Paris Hilton’s house, Dr. Phil’s house, and many more.
Ms. Smith was also on two TV shows, Jimmy Kimmel Live with guest appearance by Robert Pattinson, and The Price is Right. Ms. Smith got to the Price is Right studio at 5:30 A.M. to be accepted into first 300 people. She stood in line until 8:30 and waited in the studio until the show started at 1:00 P.M. While waiting, Ms. Smith had a 15 second interview with the show’s producer to see if she could be on the stage with Drew Carey! (The host of the Price is Right) Ms. Smith was chosen to be one of the lucky few to be on the stage. I asked Ms. Smith if she won a prize, she stated “Yes, I can confirm that I did win something, and that I got to spin the Big Wheel, but I cannot tell you what I won, because of contract reasons.” If you are interested in what she won, you can watch the Price is Right on January 8th to see Ms. Smith on this popular television show.
I asked Ms. Smith what her favorite thing she did on the trip, and she said it was being on the Price is Right. She said she and her friend Kelley have been wishing to be on that show since they were little girls. I went on to ask her how her vacation was, she said, “ It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had… It exceeded my expectations.” She also said if anyone has the opportunity to visit the west coast, that they should!
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Christmas Isn't Just Music, Cookies, and Sweaters

By Matt Billings
The sound of easy listening Christmas music, the smell of gingerbread cookies, the feeling of semi-itchy sweaters, all of these are synonymous with Christmas traditions in America, and lest we forget, good ol’ Santa bringing us some well deserved gifts via the fireplace. What else, though, do people do during this beloved holiday season? Every continent and almost every single country has its own way of celebrating Christmas.
Let’s first take a look at the Christmas traditions in Europe to get a better idea of why we Americans do Christmas things the way we do.  One of the many interesting traditions in Europe includes the ever fun Dutch Christmas traditions, when The beloved “Sinterklaas” who comes all the from Spain to bring bags of toys to the children’s doorsteps, after this occurs, bands plays and everyone floods into the streets for more Christmas celebrations such as live music. In Germany, “Christmas Markets” are the thing to visit during the holiday season. Things such as candles, wooden trinkets, and pastries are sold in Markets there, these markets are long standing traditions and differ widely depending on the region visited. Perhaps the busiest of all places to visit during the December holiday season is London. In London there is a wide variety of Christmas themed theatre productions, as well as infinite street decorations and Christmas lights.
South America is home to many age old Christmas traditions that are somewhat similar to what we are used to here in the U.S., but in some ways different. In places like Bolivia and Brazil, The main focus of this holiday is a nativity scene which most people have in their homes. Plays and interpretations of the of Jesus Christ are reenacted through plays throughout the entire continent. La Posadas, the remarkable buildup to Christmas Eve, is a particularly delightful tradition originating in Mexico. Starting on December 16th, it commemorates Mary and Joseph's travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem. After dark on every night of the "Posada," two children lead a procession, carrying a small pine-decorated platform bearing replicas of Joseph and Mary riding a burro, or donkey. Others follow the children, all holding long, slim, lit candles, singing the "Litany of the Virgin" as they approach the door of a household chosen for that night's 'Posada'. Chanting a traditional old song, they awaken the home's head to ask for lodging for Mary. The household occupants traditionally threaten the guests to leave, but they continue their pleads for admittance. When the household realizes who they is speaking with, they eagerly welcome them and invite them in. All the participants then kneel around the "Nacimiento," the manger scene, and offer songs of welcome, Ave Marias, and a prayer.
There are countless traditions acknowledged for this interesting holiday, the favorite of many. In short, the same holiday is celebrated in many different ways throughout the world, and one very important aspect of being a citizen of the world is understanding how peoples of different cultures live and do things, and what better way to start then to learn through the power of holiday cheer?
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Time to Roll Out the Mats

By Scott Proffitt
In the famous words of Michael Buffer, “Let’s get ready to rumble!” It’s time to strap on the head gear and roll out the mats because wrestling season is here again! Now that the football season has reached its conclusion, Coach Cook is geared and ready for the wrestling season. When asked about the transition from football to wrestling, Coach Cook replied, “Being head coach of football and of wrestling both entail much of the same things as far as preparation goes. The only difference is the sport itself.”
His goal for the team this year is for them to improve as the season progresses and to compete well on the state level. But most of all, Coach Cook expects his wrestlers to have a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard. And according to how he runs his practices, working hard is a must. Coach Cook described his practices as extremely intense with hands on drills and live situations. “I want everyone to always be working,” he says. “I don’t like a whole lot of standing around and watching.” Dalton Underwood, a sophomore wrestler, said, “His practices push you to the limit and are incredibly strenuous.” Although the preparation seems daunting, it’s all worthwhile for the wrestlers. All the hard work that’s put into practices finally comes to fruition when a meet rolls around. The team has around fifty meets during the course of the season and although this is a team sport, each wrestler has the task of facing their opponent on their own. “It’s an elevating feeling when you win a match knowing no one else helped you,” says Underwood.
Coach Cook along with the rest of the team is primed and ready for an excellent season of wrestling. Senior wrestlers this year include Glen Shoemake, Tanner Curto, Alex Davidson, Derek Hammons, and Amber Slaughter. Wrestling may seem like a simple sport, but in reality, there’s nothing further from the truth. Wrestling is one of the toughest sports there is and these students have been putting in a great deal of hard work each week. So come out and support your wrestling team and watch them kick some tail!