The Madison County Journal's Raider Weekly...

October 25, 2000

A compilation of articles written by Madison County School students.

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Showdown in Winston-Salem
By Stephen Tippins
Winston-Salem, N.C., played host to the second of three presidential debates between George W. Bush and Al Gore last Wednesday night. The political sparring match served as a forum for the two candidates to clarify their differences, something that many political analysts claim was not accomplished in the first debate.
While the conservative Bush and the liberal Gore did, for the most part, make known the areas where they differ philosophically, they seemed reluctant to do so. The beginning of the debate was all too similar to the beginning of a chess match where only the pawns are being used. The candidates' efforts to convince the undecided made for a lackluster opening for the evening. It was as if the two gentlemen did not want to step on any toes. Thus, they spent the early periods of the debate agreeing with each other on certain issues. Foreign policy is an area where the two differ greatly, but you would not know that from watching the beginning of Wednesday night's contest. Bush cited the military campaigns that were carried out under Clinton-Gore where he supported the administration. And Gore voiced his support for similar endeavors made by the elder Bush's administration.
But as the evening wore on and the topics of conversation changed, the two became more critical of each other. This was partly due to moderator Jim Lehrer, who seemed to go out of his way to clarify the candidates' differences, asking them point blank, "Where do you differ on this issue?" As they began to dispute how America should approach a possible hate crimes bill, Gore attacked his opponent for a lack of support for such a law. Bush responded defensively, almost too defensively, as it took him a minute to make his rebuttal. Next, Gore stated his anti-gun position. Bush took a very firm stance against Gore's position. And later, the topic of conversation drifted once again, this time to certain government programs for the underprivileged. Gore once again attacked his opponent, arguing that Texas has shown a poor record in such areas. Gore made a strong attack against Bush in the field of Medicare.
But Bush held strong during these attacks, never becoming flustered, and never stumbling in his rebuttals. In the end, Gore's attacks seemed spiteful, and Bush came across as a charmingly simple man. In fact, NBC's post-debate poll showed Bush as the winner of the debate.

A year full of stress
Everyone told me, but did I really pay them any attention? NOPE!! "Ashley, be ready, your junior year will be toughest." "Ashley, it is going to be hard." But all these comments and remarks just went in one ear and out the other. And then the first day of school rolled around, the start of my junior year in high school. Gee whiz, if only I would have known!
The testing has already begun. As a junior, you have to take a series of tests to see if you get to graduate. On October 3, the whole junior class took the Georgia High School Graduation Test on writing skills. The topic we had to write on-"You are going to outer space, choose one item to take with you and why"- was so hard. Talk about having to get the creative juices flowing at 8:30 in the morning! Hopefully, all the juniors passed and none of us will have to go through it again.
Another decision to be made by juniors has already been made: Whether to buy a class ring. If I do get a class ring, should it be traditional or non-traditional? What color should I get, gold, white gold or platinum? Then the most important factor is how much do I want my parents to spend on a piece of my high school career to take with me for the rest of my life? So many choices, so many decisions. As a junior, you get to make so many decisions that will affect your life for years to come.
Guess what else is right around the corner? PROM! Juniors host prom for the seniors. We have to decide on theme, DJ, caterer and decorations for the prom. We want prom to be as memorable and great as possible so the seniors will have a night to remember for the rest of their lives.
Oh, and how can I forget that in the spring is the rest of the Graduation Test, which covers math, English, social studies and science. We have to pass every section of the test in order to graduate. Our school is so good about offering pre-test reviews. The staff will have review classes before, after and during school to help prepare us for these tests. Last year, they went above and beyond their duty to make sure every junior had the opportunity to get a review for the test, and I am positive they will do the same for us. Even though this year is full of stress for us, our staff at the school help us out as much as possible.
On top of all this other "stuff" we have to worry about, we have regular school and homework we have to keep up with. Many of the juniors are also including some type of extracurricular activity in their already busy schedules. It seems as though the tests and decisions never end. With those , comes along the stress.
A word to the juniors: Yes, this year is filled with plenty of stress and chaos but we are in the last two years of our high school career - the best years of our lives - live it to the fullest, get involved and, most of all, make memories that will last a lifetime. These days will go by so fast, so enjoy them while they are here.

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DCT student of the week: Erin Gaines
Erin Gaines, an outstanding student, is a part of the DCT program. This program is beneficial to students who want to get a jump start on their career.
Gaines has been employed for one year at Colbert Family Medical Center. She holds the position of a medical secretary.
"DCT has been beneficial to me because it has allowed me to spend more time in the office and continue to gain more experience and knowledge in the medical field," says Gaines.
Gaines hopes to earn a nursing or early childhood education degree.
"Gaines is an extremely bright and intelligent girl. She quickly understands new tasks and is diligent in her everyday duties. Erin greets our patients in a friendly professional manner and gets along great with our entire staff," replies Gaines's supervisor, Dawn Pace.
Joining DCT has many advantages for students in the work field. It allows students to gain experience and responsibility to prepare them for the future that lies ahead.

FCCLA sponsors clown training for third year
It's all a bunch of clowning around!
That's the impression you got if you attended clown-trainiing in the past couple of weeks sponsored by FCCLA.
In its third year, clown-training has been an enjoyable and memorable experience for all the "clowns" involved. It was conducted by Amy Bradshaw, who is a stand-out member of the Moon's Grove Baptist Church Clowning Troop. They have made appearances at the Family Fair in past years.
The two training sessions held on Thursday, October 12, and Thursday, October 19, were broken down into two one-and-a-half hour sessions. The first session taught the "clowns" how to behave and make balloon structures. Designing costumes and experimenting with makeup were introduced in the second session. This year, 15 people participated in these sessions.
Freshman Mandi Clark commented, "It was fun making balloons shaped like animals, my favorite being dogs. I loved getting to talk to all the people, too."
Clown-training has been an amazing success in these past three years, and FCCLA hopes to continue their "clown"-making tradition.

School uniforms?
By Vanessa Kirk
Many education reform groups have been debating a topic that most students want to avoid - school uniforms. These groups say that uniforms will cut down on school violence. This would be great if the uniforms really would stop violence in the schools.
Uniforms would be nice to take away distractions. There will always be different social groups, but students would not be made fun of by other students because everyone would be dressed alike if uniforms were required.
Another good point with the uniforms is that parents would not have to pay as much for clothes. Of course, uniforms would cost money, but not nearly as much as the clothes that are bought at the mall.
One problem with the uniforms, however, is that no one would be able to express themselves through their clothing as so many are used to doing. To be for or against school uniforms? Hopefully, reforms will make the healthiest decision for the schools.

A high-spirited individual
By Denise Williams
Stacie Smith always has a high-spirited attitude about what is to come for her senior year. Everyone is amazed at how well Smith balances her social life with her academics.
Everyone admires her - especially her best friend, LeAnne Wagner, who commented, "Stacie is the type of person I can go to about anything. She is always there for me. She will do anything for you; she is great in several ways."
Smith, the daughter of Jeff and Sherry Smith, is one among many that stand out in the senior class. Smith, 17-years-old, is constantly participating in an activity, helping others or spending time with others.
For Smith, weekends are not a time to relax. She makes time to work at Banana Republic. She enjoys getting on the Internet and going out with friends. She is also a member of Colbert Baptist Church. To keep up her grades, she spends much of her time studying.
Smith stays involved in school as well. She is a varsity cheerleader, participates in FCA and student council, is a member of the National Honor Society and has been on the annual staff for the past two years.
Smith excels in all that she does. During her four years at MCHS, Smith has received many awards and recognitions. Among the several, two in particular that stand out are "Most Spirited" (superlative) and Georgia Certificate of National Merit. She ranks 13 out of 222 in her class.
Her favorite class is AP English, which is unusual, considering she has never liked English in previous years. The best part is the class discussions.
"The best part about being a senior is getting ready for the freedom you will receive and finally getting out on your own," replies Stacie.
As always to every new part of your life comes confusion with a downfall.
Stacie says, "The worst part about being a senior is stressing over getting into the perfect college, competing for scholarships and missing the friendships you made with those who have already graduated before you."
Smith is a senior who is admired by many of her classmates. Smith hopes to get in at UGA and possibly major in business. This outgoing girl with a good sense of humor has a smile and words of wisdom that `add much to everyone's life.
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