Swine Flu Scare (H1N1)

The H1N1 virus has been a source of anxiety for a lot of people in the school lately.

Computer keyboards are an easy place to pick up germs.

Computer keyboards are an easy place to pick up germs.

With so many students and teachers out sick it’s hard to distinguish calmly whether or not the person you shared your Sierra Mist with at lunch had swine flu. To keep you informed here’s a list of symtoms and some more information about swine flu.
-Sore Throat
-Runny or Stuffy Nose
-Body Aches
-Head Ache

Some other symtoms may include vomiting and diarrhea. Due to the age of this video, it is inaccurate about the H1N1 vaccine. The 2009 vaccine is being made to protect against the swine flu. There are two kinds of vaccines, the 2009 flu shot given by needle usually in the arm and the 2009 swine flu nasal flu vaccine, which is a nasal spray.

Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. For more information go to the government website on the H1N1 Flu.

Motivation Restoration

Students sign a poster to support trying to understand others

Students sign a poster to support trying to understand others

The school schedule this year has been crazy so far. There has not been a single week where all five days of school ran on their normal schedule. Next week, the 12th of Oct. through the 17th will be the first week of the school with a entirely regular bell schedule.

This past week has been particularly wild, with early release Wednesday, Mustang Pride Thursday, and an assembly on Friday today. Some students grumbled as they made their way into the auditorium, not liking the thought of sitting through a lecture while others seemed to be anticipating something a little different, based off their last school assembly.

Slide taken from student blog

Slide taken from student blog

The last assembly the school had was when Milton Creigh came to speak to the school about making good decisions, like abstaining from drugs and alcohol that will help you be successful in life. Student blogs talk about their true feelings.

The hour and a half assembly seemed to have a good impact on both the students and faculty in the school. Milt had no trouble capturing the attention of the student body for the entire time, not an easy task when the average person in the audience has the attention span of a squirrel.

The assembly this afternoon was a presentation put on by R5 productions. Ryan Schwaninger spoke to the student body about judging people, drugs, and bullying. Despite the serious topics, Schwaninger spoke casually and irreverently when referring to drug use or stereotyping others. He joked about these topics the way many teenagers themselves do, making for a different sort of ‘Say no to drugs’ talk.

To the some in the administration this made him come across “vulgar” as one faculty member put it. However, it seems the lack of a soapbox was exactly what appealed to the students. I wish I had no secrets

Sydney Heier, a sophomore was one of the students who found the difference refreshing. “I thought it was way better than the usual ‘don’t do drugs’ speech. It had some personality behind it.”

Students stand behind their classmate.

Students stand behind their classmate.

Schwaninger shared his own personal story about his life growing up in a broken home where his parents often got into physical fights and how he turned to drugs to forget his problems. Speaking to students on their level seemed to draw a better response.

“He seemed like he understood what we were going through.” said Raul Monteagude, a senior. Schwaninger also shared stories from other high school students he had met.

Overall, the feedback to both speakers has been very positive. R5 productions has a website just for students called reinventmynormal.com and it has lots more info, video, and chances to share your own story. For more updates on upcoming speakers check in on future posts!

Mike Donahue, owner/director of R5 Productions on drugs.

Are You into the “Go Green” Scene?

With the growing global economy crisis and the mounting concern with global warming, everyone is paying attention to green energy options. Everyone’s heard all of the arguments for renewable energy, it’s better for the environment, it has a low fuel cost, it is an unlimited resource, and there is a lower health risk for people in the vicinity of energy being generated. So why hasn’t the country jumped on this golden opportunity? Maybe there’s more to this subject than meets the eye.

There are several options regarding renewable energy.

There are several options regarding renewable energy.

Lately, we have been swamped by a flood of renewable energy advertisements, programs, appeals, and ideas. Green is now a national watchword. It is hard to imagine that only a few short years ago green power wasn’t even on the map. It’s easy to understand the recent excitement, with rising fuel prices and the nerve racking jump in greenhouse gas emissions.

With green energy we could reduce our pollution by a shocking amount. By one hundred and twenty eight million tons of green house gas to be exact. Chemical emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur and nitrogen dioxides would be cut in half. We would no longer be dependant on foreign fuels to keep the U.S. functioning. That alone would put a large amount of cash back in our hands. Solar power is a perpetual energy source that is not only clean but available all over the world, not only in specific locations. The same can be said for wind energy.

As good as it sounds, there are drawbacks to “going green”. Nuclear power plants, although safer than they have ever been, still pose significant health, environment, and economic risks. It is pricy to run and operate, and there is always a threat of a nuclear leak that could harm both the environment and the local population.
Solar power is an infinite resource that is available anywhere but not anytime. When it’s cloudy, or there is smog in the air or after the sun goes down, solar energy users are out of luck and out of power. Sunlight is not constant and cannot be implemented as an energy source without expensive storage equipment.

Wind energy is unreliable, it depends on local weather patterns, temperature, the season, and location. The generators take up a lot of space and require a lot of funding to construct. Without anyone’s support or attention, many of the new renewable energy programs would never have gotten off the ground.

So, the decision lies with us. We can continue to use the resources we have, they’re proven after all, until they are completely consumed. Or we can climb out on a limb and try green power. One thing is for sure, waiting until it is too late to do anything is not an option. The benefits of renewable resources outweigh the risks in my opinion. What do you think? The only thing I know is that if we do not find an alternate way to produce energy soon, then we are all going to be in the dark.
To learn more about renewable energy visit ecomagination.com

Cross Country Can’t Be Beat

The cross country team has been working hard this year! At the September 18th Invitational here in Ft. Morgan, our runners did exceptionally well.
Our own Sean Turner got first place in the boys Varsity 5000 m run. Everyone else ran very well with Isaiah Martinez with 9th place, Josef Gertner 12th, Austin Stephen 12th, Forrest Hough 52nd, Bashash Walio 68th, and Gary Bryant 73rd. 109 runners participated in the boys Varsity 5000 m.
In the girls Varsity 5000 m Liz Godar came in 24th, Vanessa Flores 36th, Adrienne Bohlen 37th, Valerie Retana 56th, and Sarah Keller 58th. 87 girls took part in the Varsity 5000 m.
“Things are going really great. We have a really young team, since we have a bunch of freshmen who came out. The seniors have are really having to step it up and be leaders.” said Liz Godar, senior. Our cross country team this year is really awesome so don’t forget to head out to the meets and support our runners!

The finish line is a welcome sight to the runners after a 5k.

The finish line is a welcome sight to the runners after a 5k.

Spirit Week Madness

For the past week, construction paper has layered the walls, students and faculty alike have roamed the halls in outlandish clothes, and a general competitive buzz has hung in the air. That’s right guys, spirit week has come and gone! This has always been one of my favorite weeks of school, not just for the crazy outfits but for all the energy and excitement. And this week did not disappoint.
Now that the Football team has thrashed Fredrick (40-0), and the Homecoming royalty has been crowned (Chris Dermer and Malorie Winberg) , the school will settle back into its normal agenda and the buzz will die down. Still spirit week is always going to be a fun time to look back on for everyone.

The Ft. Morgan Mustangs really know how to show some spirit! If your interested in seeing more, check out some of the other hoofbeat blogs for more Homecoming coverage! Thanks to everyone who put out effort this week. Here’s hoping everyone had a great time and that this years homecoming was as fun for you as it was for me.

Soccer Super Stars!

The Mustang soccer team has been on a roll recently with only one loss so far this season. The soccer team had a rough game against Broomfield on September 14 here at Ft. Morgan. With a score of Morgan 1- Broomfield 4, there were several disappointed players last Monday.

The players have sound skill and practice hard according to soccer coach Jeff Walters. “the players didn’t have any fire or passion; they just came out and played flat.” The problem is not the players’ skill level, but their attitude about the game according to the coach said “[It’s] their mental game, not their physical game that needs work.” 

However, the soccer team has shown that they have plenty of drive to win in their other games. In the previous games against Sterling, Fossil Ridge, and Skyline the boys had all the fire they needed, with a win against Sterling 7-0, and Fossil Ridge with 2-1. The JV team also had a victory against Sterling 9-1. The game against Skyline on Monday the 21st had a score of 3-2 in our favor. and on Thursday the 24th our boys beat Thomson Valley 4-1. The soccer team has been doing great this year so we should all go out and support them. Go Mustangs! Keep it up boys! Here’s the link to their results page so you can keep up with their games.

Taking the Scenic Route

SherlockI’ve been interested in international travel for a long time and I’ve been lucky enough to travel abroad. In the summer of 2007 I went to England and this past summer I toured Germany. These trips were amazing and eye opening but I can’t help feeling like I missed out on the true culture of both countries. Traveling in a huge group is a hassle and you get a lot of dirty looks sent your way. The best times of both trips were when I was able to go off on my own or with two or three others. It’s then that you get to chat with taxi drivers in broken German, or get hit on by an exuberant college student on the subway. It’s when the stories happen. Getting lost, missing your train, asking for directions, talking to locals personally, that’s what you will remember. It’s what makes the trip yours and not just a travel brochure. And that’s what the experience is supposed to be about.

Beirut (Not just a city in Lebanon)

                  A band with a sound that I love to listen to is a slightly obscure group called Beirut. If you’ve heard of them, go figure and if not you should really give them a listen. A big part of why I love this band is their instrument choice. They use old world instruments like the accordion, tambourine, and the organ. And brass, lots and lots of brass. It gives their music an almost neo-gypsy feel. I also find it appealing that they do not use a single guitar, since it seems to be accepted as a necessity in popular music. The voice quality of the music also draws me. Zack Condon does not have the kind of voice that you would expect from a twenty two year old. All of his vocals have a worn and weary quality but in the good way, like a really broken in pair of jeans. The music never drags or loses its energy. The music of this band isn’t very easily classifiable in one genre or another, rather it seems to draw on multiple inspirations to make a hodgepodge of sound that somehow works wonderfully.

Susana Meza

Susana Meza

               I appreciate the interesting techniques that Zack cordon uses for his effects, like singing into the horn of his trumpet to alter his voice or using his surroundings as an instrument such as drumming on stove tops, trashcans and watermelons. Overall, I guess it is the uniqueness that this group has that really makes me hit the repeat button. The band has over fifty members worldwide and has toured internationally. The band is taking a break from shows right now, but they will be playing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 10th of next year. This is the link to their official website with the member list and show schedual. beirutband.com