"New Year Resolutions"
By Elizabeth Foerster
11:59pm, December 31. This day holds some sort of significance for every individual who celebrates the coming of the new year, but sometimes I wonder why? It’s just a change in years, or from a Tuesday to a Wednesday. The thing is though, we as a society have decided that this day holds a symbolic meaning, not just as a regular day but within ourselves. The tick of the clock that goes into the New Year, calls us not only to celebrate but to deeply reflect on ourselves and how we want to better our year, and who we are as people. We reflect overall on how the year went, look deeply inside ourselves, to grow from the year, basically just resolve to do better for the following year.
I sent a poll to Montezuma students about what some of their New Year’s goals were. 30% of the students who responded said that physical wellness was their primary goal for the new year. A few anonymous sources have said theirs was to drink more water and lessen the amount of pop or sugary drinks they consume, so they can stay more hydrated. Some said they wanted to focus on their eating habits, to eat more fruits and veggies, and to cut out unhealthy junk foods because they wanted to be able to feel better about themselves, and to get on the right path. Others said they were going to exercise more and put more time into their physical activity. A couple of responses I have gotten said that they didn’t do them. Some wanted to better their mental health and said they were going to journal more instead of letting all their feelings build up inside of them.
No matter what you decide to do, what’s important is that you do it for yourself. We all want to be the best that we can be and a new year is always a good place to start.
By Kaleah Shoemaker
Phones have become a big part of our society, so much so that they are becoming harder and harder to put down. We now live in an age where you can get any information you want with just a click of a button. With all the different apps and games available, it is hard to get time away from your phone. Looking through the app store there are apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat which were created for people to be able to stay updated on their friends' lives. Tik Tok has become one of the most popular apps for our generation today. The app is a mix of Vine with funny comedy style videos, and Music.ly with lip syncing and dance videos. It makes it easy for people to blow up in popularity and have their seven seconds of fame. Even people from Montezuma, IA have the opportunity to become “Tik Tok Famous.”
After realizing that phones were becoming somewhat of an addiction, I decided to take a poll of the student body to find out just how much students use their phones every day. The first thing I did to get a better understanding of screen time was take a look at my own. I spent a daily average of six hours on my phone, most of that time used on the app Tik Tok followed closely by Snapchat. Looking a little deeper I found the average notifications on a daily average I received around 200 notifications.
After I researched my own screen time, I thought it would be fun to ask the students about their screen time statistics as well. Sophomore Haley Vanderhart said that her daily screen time was on average about four hours and the amount of times she picked up her phone and turned it on was 165. Her average number of notifications was 314 and most of them were from Snapchat. Haley also had an average of 14 hours on her phone a week. Haley Vanderhart said, “I enjoy my phone throughout the whole day and when I’m on Tik Tok time kind of gets away from me, causing the daily total to go up really quickly.”
Senior Makaela Meyer averaged about four hours and 15 minutes a day. That four hours totaled up to around 12 hours a week. She told me that she usually receives about 15 notifications throughout the day, mainly from Snapchat. Makaela said. “I like being able to look at what happens on my phone everyday, I also try to keep in contact with people that I met during cheer and dance.”
I thought there would be more variety in the answers I got from people, but for the most part everyone has a very similar time amount. Also included in the poll was the most preferred app and Snapchat was the winner as it is one of the main ways that people keep in touch and talk with friends.
In the end, there’s a lot of time spent on our phones and some wonder, is it too much?
By Rayna Hamman
Wednesdays have always been my favorite part of the week, not only because it means it is half way through the week, but because I go to Hope for youth. Hope youth is a positive environment where we can have fun eating food, socializing and learning about God. Hope Youth is a warm and cozy environment, I have always felt welcomed. I talked with Hope Youth leader Ryan Lent about the environment of Wednesday nights and his thoughts about it. Ryan shares, “I think we try and foster a safe and loving environment and it starts with our leaders. They simply care about everyone that walks through our doors, no matter their background! Our goal is to help encourage everyone no matter where they are spiritually or mentally. We believe that you should ‘Belong Before You Behave’ meaning we want you to feel like family before we even worry about how you act.”
I have now been going for about four years and the best part is feeling that you can trust everyone there. This is something that is very important to me as well as the leaders, because we want people to feel comfortable attending. “The reason I feel church and specifically Hope YTH is so important is because you get to be a part of something bigger than yourself. There are a lot of cool things you can do by yourself or be a part of, but coming together with friends and other peers to help change the world is just an amazing thing. Being a part of a family of students that are chasing after God and sharing that with others is exhilarating and it’s how God created us to do life!” Ryan says.
We do have a lot of fun at Hope Youth, but it’s also important to remember the most important reason for going. “Yes, obviously the focus is Jesus and a lot of students start coming to YTH because it’s fun and they get to hang out with their friends and honestly I’m ok with that. (For example, let's say I was running a chess class, not everyone loves chess so I’d want to make it fun so more people come and at first a lot of people would come just for that but eventually the goal is for them to fall in love with chess.) Some people are never going to understand that which sucks but at the end of the day the focus is still building relationships and I’m going to care just as much about the student that comes just for fun as the student that has fallen in love with Jesus. Because like I already said we want students to belong before they behave. Church isn’t about rules and laws, it's about Jesus,” says Ryan.
"What does Speech Teach?"
By Beka Teumer
On Saturday, January 25th, Montezuma’s ten high school speech groups participated in the district speech competition. It is often a tough battle to juggle speech along with work, basketball, wrestling, softball, and many other activities, but somehow they managed to find time to practice, which sometimes meant being at the school at 7:00 in the morning. Although it is easy to complain about having to be at the school for practices around the clock, the students were able to prove how important it is to work hard and push through on that wonderful weekend. These students showed our community just how much they can shine and 9/10 speech groups were able to make it onto the next round which is state.
Although the students deserve a lot of credit for all of their efforts, they are not the only ones who managed to come through for the district speech competition. So many community members showed up and helped. Sometimes we take it for granted, but we are so lucky to have all of the support that we do from parents, teachers, friends, family, staff, etc…and we could not have been happier with the crowds of people smiling back at us from the audience. It is a lot of stress to host a competition but in the end, we can always appreciate where we come from a little bit more.
It is crazy to think that although speech just feels like a stepping stone in the school year, for some it is the end of an era. Eight seniors said hello and goodbye to their last ever district large group competition this year, and it will truly be an adventure trying to navigate speech waters next season since we are saying goodbye to so much talent. We are so lucky to have one more chance to perform with these incredible members of the drama department. I asked a few seniors, how it feels to be nearing the end of their speech careers, and what speech and drama has taught them.
“I think it is a relief it is my last one but it has been a fun ride. To me, the best thing about improv is getting to laugh at yourself and improve each time, getting quicker and hopefully a little funnier. As a team, we have worked really well together and Isaiah has been our secret weapon. It honestly feels good that it is almost over, but improv has taught me a lot and I am going to miss it.” - Caymen Dejong
“I’d have to say that I am going to miss all of the crazy adventures and confusing contest moments, however, being a part of speech and drama has taught me a lot about working as a team and time management, making sure I’m practicing my materials on my own as well as in practice to ensure a good outcome at the contest.” - Rachel Teumer
Speech teaches students to take pride in their accomplishments. It is a way to show students that they can present information to them without embarrassment, and finally, speech teaches a sense of community and introduces the idea that working hard always pays off.
Thank you to everyone who has been supportive of the speech crew and has helped them on their path to their next adventure.