Monday, December 20, 2010

Learning Lessons --- Opinion Article

           Do you think kids should be awarded for keeping their grades up? Should parents and teachers just expect it?
            All students are sent to school for a reason: to learn. With as many kids as I saw this semester on reward day, I feel that they’re not as serious as they should be when it comes to their studies. Yes, there are some students at school on Friday who feel like they need the extra time to study on their finals. Others might have been at school because they were ill earlier in the semester. But, it seems like the vast majority of students were at school for either NHI’s -not handed in papers- or because they have low grades.
            I know that not all teens want to go to school. I know from experience that it is really easy to get distracted from schoolwork because of other activities such as sports, church, hanging out with friends, and family obligations. I also know that sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you work, you just can’t stay on top of your grade.
            What I can’t stand is when people are perfectly capable of completing their work and keeping their grades up, but they are too lazy to take the initiative to do it. Why not take advantage of your hardworking brain? There are kids in other countries that would kill to have a chance at an American education and we waste it! I think that our generation is slowly becoming lazier and lazier. If we keep this up, our world will start to deteriorate as younger generations follow our example.
            I applaud all of the kids at Smoky Valley who have a good work ethic. All of you take advantage of the knowledge that our teachers are trying to impart on us and use it. Sure, we’re not all going to be doctors and lawyers, but you never know when a small fact will come in handy.  

    Megan James, sophomore staffer

A charming proposal

The Viking Mirror received this letter from a former student from SVHS.      
       Dear editor and great illustrious students of Smoky Valley: I have a few things to say, so you might be wondering why you should listen at all to me. Well, for starters, I did finish at the top of the SV class of '09, so I must have done something right. I have seen and figured out a few things since I went away to college, the University of Kansas to be exact, so to start off: Mrs. Wentz's class is not hard. Take it and be appreciative that you have such a great English teacher that opens your minds to literature. Second: if you want to keep experiencing high school when you go off to college, then by all means go where your friends go. If you want to truly expand your horizons and meet some people who will blow your mind and be unlike anyone you have met before, people who have some great ideas and care passionately about a variety of issues, go somewhere else.
        Mrs. Denk, your former Queen of the library, elucidated on what college would be like when she stated that you would move from talking about "people, to things, and finally to ideas". That quote has driven me to find and encounter the conversations that have fueled a passion for life that I hope all of you will find one day. It is difficult for you to be inspired by your teachers here at SVHS, I know. I didn't gain much gumption from the riveting prospect of long division or giving speeches, but they all serve great purposes. You will all have to speak to people some day. This may come as a shock to those who thought that texting was an acceptable form of communication 95% of the time, with Facebook filling the other 5% void. I attempted this process, and immediately realized that my life would be a single and lonely one. What I have found is there is an acceptable time and place for everything, and it's the weird and awkward learning experiences that help us figure out those times and places.
        I would also like to applaud those that aren't going to college, and I know that's for a variety of reasons here at SV. I know you all will begin to work harder than I ever have yet in life, and I can appreciate that. I wish you all the best and hope that whatever you do, it's something you love as well.
        Don't worry about the drama that you experience in high school. It really is pointless, no matter how important you think that glare was from you-know-who. Realize that most likely you won't be talking to about 90% of the people you went to school with, unless of course you go to college with them. I hope everyone has a happy break and takes at least some risks as you try and figure out what the heck to do for three weeks! And by risks, I mean finishing Halo on legendary level, duh.

-Cooper "Got it from my mama" Nickel

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Inside Opinion: December Edition

The Viking Mirror is produced approximately once a month by the seventh period Journalism II class at Smoky Valley High School. Bylined opinions stated in the newspaper and blog are not necessarily the opinion of the entire staff, adviser, faculty, or administration. 
Unsigned opinions reflect a staff consensus. Letters/e-mails to the editors are welcomed but may not be printed due to space or content considerations or the potential for libel. Letters/E-mails may be edited for style, grammar, and/or length. Viking Voices will not remain anonymous, but Inside Opinions will.

Life is too short to worry about what other people are doing If it doesn't affect you, then don't worry about it. And if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all. 

I hate people that think smoking pot is cool!

When I draw a manga character or cartoon I have the tendency to make the same faces as my drawings. I don't draw in public anymore.

The boys need to mature. They continue to act like 7th graders. They act all big and bad but they need support to make them act that way. They all need to man up and stop crying over things they think is right.

Would you rather have students grind at a dance or be out drinking and having sex? I think that it's a better idea to loosen up the rules and let people dance how they want than do what the alternative is. 

Thank god for the menu change! I love me some mini corn dogs!

Girls should stop wearing Uggs boots with shorts. It makes you look stupid and it's not cute either.

I am so excited for life.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

The basketball sweats are awkwardly warm, but still awesome! 

I like it when couples walk slow in the hallway. It makes me happy. 

I wish people would stop staring at my beard when I walk in the hallways. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What really happened to Megan Roberts' eye

        Megan Roberts was wandering around Narnia on a dark and gloomy night when something epic happened. Little Megan was walking around in this unfamiliar place for about a week before she finally realized that she was lost. After a while she started to get scared.
         The later it got, the more scared Megan became. Having only 92% battery left on her phone, Megan decided she was going to save it so she could text her besties. She figured she could get out of Narnia on her own anyway.
         It was the beginning of a new day and Megan was starting to get frustrated. She was walking in a circle and hadn’t eaten since realizing she was lost. Not to mention that Megan had been wandering around Narnia for about a week before it even crossed her mind that she could be lost. Some people call her stubborn but she refuses to believe that.
         On a frantic search for food Megan met some new people. These were weird people. The head of the group was Gari Bringem. She was a rather large girl and looked like an ex-boxer. Megan guessed she was well over 300 pounds. She had only one eyebrow and smelled a little like cheese and disappointment.
Anyway, Gari and another girl in their group, Trachel Bloder, told Megan she could find food in a nearby cave. Trachel gave Megan the creeps. She had a picture of a guy in a boy band taped to her shirt. That wasn’t the weird part, Trachel carried around a picture of this guy in the band and his entire family! She knew every single one of their names even though she had never spoken a word to any of them. And anything that Megan said, Trachel could find some way to relate it back to this guy and his family. Megan began to count how many times she said his name in an hour but got bored after about twenty. What a weirdo.
Megan entered the cave alone while Trachel and Gari sat back and giggled. If you couldn’t tell, Megan is not the sharpest knife in the kitchen. After about ten minutes the girls heard a cry they assumed was from Megan inside the cave. She came running out of the cave with about seven dwarfs running after her. They were all shouting about Megan waking up the sleeping beauty or something like that.
Gari and Trachel pointed and laughed as Megan and the dwarfs ran by. They ran around for about 30 seconds before one of the dwarfs pulled a lasso from his pocket and brought Megan down by the foot. Megan’s fall seemed like it should have been in a movie. It felt like it was in slow motion and everyone was watching. Trachel whispered to Gari about how Megan’s fall was very ungraceful. At that exact moment Megan turned to look at Gari and Trachel and was poked in the eye by one of the dwarfs that was pointing and laughing at her.
Megan was screaming on the ground with her hand over her eye while she was tied up and taken hostage by the dwarfs. Gari and Trachel followed because they had nothing better to do. At the lair that belonged to the dwarfs, Megan was released after several hours of song-filled torture. Nobody knows why the dwarfs captured Megan in the first place but that’s okay because nobody really cares anyway. Megan is still wandering around Narnia, but now she is wandering around Narnia with a bloodshot eye and her companions Gari and Trachel. 

Sam Johnson, junior staffer

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cowboys barely escape the Vikings

           Though the Abilene Cowboys won Friday’s men’s basketball game 50-47, the Smoky Valley Vikings didn’t go down without a fight.         
         According to Smoky Valley Head Coach John Bellah, “The boys kept battling to the very end. The desire and effort was certainly there.”
         The Cowboys maintained a steady lead at the beginning of the game, but the Vikings never lost focus, while making a comeback in the fourth quarter. The game proved to be an intense neck-and-neck battle for both teams as the time slowly vanished from the clock.
         The leading scorers from Smoky Valley were Seth Nelson, senior, with 12 points, and next were juniors Greyson Pihl and Quinn Dippel with eight points each. The Vikings had no answer for the Cowboy’s lead scorer, Andy Wilson, sophomore, who scored 24 of their 50 points.
         Both teams acquired many fouls throughout the game, providing many free throw opportunities especially in the last quarter.
         Head Coach John Bellah believes the Vikings would have won the game if they had a higher shooting average, but thinks the Vikings’ shooting will improve throughout the season.
         “I was disappointed that we didn’t shoot it better and as a result we ended up loosing a close game but we did do some good things that we can certainly build from,” said Bellah.
         The Vikings will face the Concordia Panthers next Friday, and for this upcoming game, Bellah simply said, “We will be ready.”
         Rachel Loder, senior yearbook editor

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cyber Friday and Black Monday

              People are trampled every year. Cars are broken into and items are stolen. People camp outside in the freezing temperatures for days on end. Everyone is cramped into aisles, elbowing his or her own way through the crowds. After enduring these harsh conditions in previous years, shoppers still count down to this day on their calendars: Black Friday.

Black Friday brings out the worst in people. One shopper was arrested for cutting in line, then threatening the crowd with her gun. After her arrest, she was only worried about one thing: not getting the toy for her daughter.

In Buffalo, NY, a few shoppers were run over by fellow shoppers when doors opened at Target. One of the people that were trampled got up and continued on shopping after screaming for help.
           National Retail Federation conducted a survey with results saying 212 million people shopped in stores and online over Thanksgiving weekend. The survey also showed the average amount of money spent by a shopper - $365.34. Last year only about 200 million people visited stores and online sites.

Photos from
            Cyber Monday is one of the newest additions to the holiday shopping weekend. A lot of websites turned Cyber Monday into Cyber Weekend by offering deals all weekend instead of just Monday. A popular money saver on Monday was websites offering free shipping.

             Black Friday and Cyber Monday have continued to grow in profits and shopping population each year. Stores offer some good deals, but is it really worth it to fight with others during this "happy season?"

- Megan Roberts, Senior website editor

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The famous digitally die for HIV/AIDS awareness

Singer Alicia Keys rests 'dead' in her digital coffin. 

    On December 1st awareness about the epidemic of AIDS was raised all around the world. The United States, however, was raising awareness in a different and unique way.

    One of the most interesting ways to raise money for this years AIDS awareness day was a website titled, “Keep a Child Alive – Digital Death”. The site is dedicated to saving lives from AIDS by sacrificing celebrities “digital lives” until they have raised a million dollars.

    This means that the selected celebrities (such as pop sensation Lady Gaga, R&B artist Usher, former NSYNC member Justin Timberlake, randomly famous Kim Kardashian, and even the boys from the MTV television show The Buried Life) have given up their access to their facebook and twitter accounts. The website claims, “…(they) are sacrificing their digital lives to help save millions of real lives affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.”

    By visiting the site you can view videos of their ‘last testaments’ and their last posts via twitter or facebook before they ‘pass away’. The sites easy navigation can help the viewer understand who died and for what reason they died.

    In order to bring the celebrities digitally back to life the site encourages visitors to donate to their cause. People can donate via the internet or by texting a celebrities code to 90999.

    Even you can sacrifice your digital life by ‘making the ultimate sacrifice’. It lists how long you’ve been dead and how much money you’ve made while you were dead.

    The awareness project is mainly for those living in India, South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. The donation can go for clinics in Uganda that provides living necessities, medical supplies for children in South Africa, and safe-house projects in India all for those living with HIV/AIDS for an entire year.

    To lean more, or to donate for the cause, go to

- Carleigh Albers, Senior Mirror Editor

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball

          Tension is building and the whistle is about to blow. Ms. Lysell blows the whistle and you take off toward the eight little assorted colored balls in the center of the court. You fear for the first throws of the game. You grab a ball and sprint back to the line at the other end of the court. You can finally throw the ball; you pick out your target, and you launch the ball as hard as you can. It hits the apposing player dead on, one out, five more to go.

            This is what many students at Smoky Valley High School felt on Saturday, November 20th when they competed in the pep club’s annual fall dodge ball tournament. Many teams competed, and each team was given the chance to play in two games at the least, some teams played in up to four or five games.

            The placing teams in the tournament were The Wife Beaters, who consisted of seniors Jake Johnson, Ian Lemen, Connor Chambers, Signe Showalter, Taylor Whittaker, and Bry Wishcop taking third in the tournament. Second place was Vicious and Delicious, with Jake Rogers and Maddie Klotzbach, sophomores, and juniors Alex Wolf, Taylor Base, Taryn Scott, and Sammie Aeschliman. The first place team was Domination Station with juniors Greyson Pihl, Kelly Pihl, Quinn Dippel, Krystin Vidrine, Kimi Lindshield, and Callie Weibert.

            There was also a best-dressed award in the tournament. The best-dressed award went to Fresh Meat with freshman, Blake Mitchell, Brock Savage, Sam Reed, Telea Peterson, Mikaela Johnson, and Jurnee Gregg.

            The pep club will be holding another tournament in a few months during the spring. Some of these teams, and maybe a few more, will be competing in the spring tournament.

      - Kaden Sare, sophomore staffer