Spring break trip in plans! by wyatt backer @wyattbacker

Wyatt Backer and his father will be going on an epic spring break vacation to tour various civil war battlefields like Gettysburg, Antietam, and possibly Shiloh. They will be taking an almost 13 hour long drive to Pennsylvania.

What a trip it will be! The two will mostly stay at roadside hotels along their route, which will go straight to Pittsburgh and go south. First on their list is Antietam, which is just south of Wheeling, a city south of Pittsburgh. From there, they will head southeast toward the border of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, they will miss the opening of the Revolutionary War Museum by about two weeks. However, in Philadelphia, they will see the Liberty Bell and get really good Philly Cheesesteaks.

After they leave Pennsylvania, they will travel south down the coast, visiting New York, Boston, and then heading back west through Kentucky and Mississippi as well as some parts of Tennessee. They will see the battlefields of Shiloh, The Battle Above the Clouds, and Chickimauga/Chattanooga. Along the way, they will pack a cooler full of drinks and food for picnics. After the whole trip is over, they will head back to Kansas about six days after they left.

This spring break will be a wonderful relief to the usual arduous school year. Hopefully Wyatt and his dad will be able to top the trip they took last year to New Mexico. With the blossoms of spring are first showing through, the ride will be a great one.

The Model United Nations, through the eyes of an "Ambassador"

Over the two days of the Kansas Model United Nations conference, the SEEK students were tested on their parliamentary procedure skills. This is one students eye witness account of the festivities.

It all started with the long bus ride there. We got to the school at 6:15 in the morning and spent a solid hour and a half on the ride to Topeka. When we got there, we had an introduction ceremony and then began to read off our resolutions. It went on like that for two hours until we were released for lunch, which involved another thirty minute bus ride. However, we took a wrong turn and got there late. We only had about twenty minutes to eat. In the meantime, I had displaced my phone, which was troubling enough, but then we didn't have enough time to eat. I spent the rest of the day with my stomach rumbling in the middle of the conference. On the way home, we all played UNO to pass the time. When we got back to Indian Hills, it was 4:15, and we were all very, very tired.

The next day, with no phone to kill time with, I once again resorted to UNO for the long bus ride. When we got there, we got straight to business and began the conference. That went on for four hours and then, once again, we were back at the mall for lunch. Luckily I managed to find my phone and have time to eat thanks to some cooperative efforts by my friends and I. However, a peer of mine, Jackson Mills, got lost in the mall and we were set back about half an hour. By far we were the last group back to the hotel. The rest of the day was a blur, and before I knew it we were back on the bus playing UNO. Over those two days, I missed so much work that I am still working on to this very moment. I did like the trip though, and I learned a lot about the United Nations committee. Out of ten, it is a solid 8.

Arrival Review - Wyatt Backer

by Wyatt Backer wyattbacker@gmail.com

Over the long four-day weekend, I had lots of time on my hands. One way I spent this time was by watching Denis Villeneuve's Arrival, starring some pretty big names like Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker. I've been a fan of Villeneuve's movies since he released Prisoners, a gritty thriller about a horrid abduction. Last year he released Sicario, another gritty thriller with hitmen and the Mexican Cartel, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Being exposed to these dramatic and enticing films, I was very surprised when he announced Arrival at the Venice Film Festival, and so were many others.

The "alien invasion" category brings back memories of action and adventure, which are not exactly the kind of tenacious films that Villeneuve usually makes. However, within the first couple minutes, I could see this was no ordinary alien film. In past performances, I've seen Amy Adams over-act and feel kind of overbearing, but I didn't get that vibe from her this time in her character Louise, a linguist. Jeremy Renner has also had some underwhelming performances in the past, but I really liked his performance as an egotistical but reasonable theoretical physicist named Ian. Together they had a strange chemistry, but it worked well. Forest Whitaker also did very well as a "get to the point" Colonel. His role was kind of cliche, but it was necessary to advance the plot.

The plot was a complex one, with some mysterious flashbacks and lots of different settings, but it stayed anchored with Louise and Ian trying to figure out the alien's language. Through the conflicts it sent a powerful political message. The twelve alien ships all had teams from other countries working on the same issue, the alien language. They needed to figure out what the aliens wanted. When the countries cut communication with each other, things got heated and brash decisions were made. It indicated that sometimes the greatest threats are not unknown, but rather caused by us.

Spring Training and Baseball Practice Begins!

With the first warmth and blooming flowers, it is obvious that spring is coming quick. Flowers and good weather aren't the only thing that come with spring, as America's pastime is set to begin within the end of April.

Away from the big leagues, however, is Wyatt Backer, soon to begin his own season with a new team, the Bulldogs. With few connections to the members of the team, it should be an interesting experience for him. They will play around 23 games this season, not including any tournaments or playoff games at the end of the year. Last year, the team was bumped up a division, which may cause a slight loss in team wins, but that will only make the players better.

After an off-season of lots of training, Wyatt, who plays catcher, is expecting a starting position at catcher, believing that his skills have escalated to the point where he can start and carry on through the bulk of the game. With new gear as well, he feels able to execute on his improved skills and dominate the playing field.

As excitement builds for the next season, the Bulldogs are preparing to take to the diamond and destroy the competition. Wyatt and his new teammates look exceptional heading into the month of March, and we hope to report further positive news on his team.

Why the Kansas Supreme Court's Decision will Fail

Recently, on March 2nd, 2017, the Kansas Supreme court ordered schools to spend more of their money. They have not said how much or when it will be enforced, but one thing is certain: schools are upset.

Without any reinforcement from the government that is telling them to spend more, they really just can't. It is like the government is telling them to spend money they do not have. As a student, I feel that the schools could greatly benefit from spending more, but first they need more funding. The school went as far as to provide each student with a laptop that costs quite a lot of money. This has greatly helped students, but the school internet drops out a lot. That is one spot where we could spend more, as well as in teacher salaries and other programs, but once again - there isn't enough money.

There will probably be some form of retaliation from the schools, but can they do anything to influence the court? Kansas has always seemed resolute with rulings like this, so probably not. Their only hope is that this order is overturned or that they get some sort of extra funding to spend. The irony of the whole situation is that making the schools spend more could make the quality of education worse, as they will have to cut back on other forms of spending while spending more on other things.

Clearly, this order is ridiculous, and the people of Kansas who care for the next generation should fight it. Parents and students alike should be appalled that the court has the audacity to order more spending with no funding.

We're worth more than a small country and we still can't lower prices on our salads or keep the McRib in stock for longer than a month.
It doesn't have to be good if it's fresh.
Quick! Because people don't care about food quality anymore!

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What's the difference between a chicken coup and a Turkey coup?

I have no idea how an entire military fit in a Turkey coup.

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