The Madison County Journal's Raider Weekly...

December 13, 2000


A compilation of articles written by Madison County School students.



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Journey to Japan
BY ELIZABETH BLEAKLEY
Ms. Stephanie Harrison, senior English teacher, was awarded the opportunity to travel to the "Land of the Rising Sun" last summer. She was selected, along with 200 other teachers from across the nation, for the highly competitive Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Exchange Program.
This program is funded by the Japanese government to enlighten teachers from other countries on their approach to education. Each applicant has to organize a project to complete for entrance into the program. Ms. Harrison decided to create a website sharing Japanese culture, customs and educational techniques with teachers and students alike.
To further educate young people on Japanese culture, Ms. Harrison has been holding "Japan Day!" for her classes. Each Friday, for six weeks, she has taught them about Japanese drama, language, calligraphy, religions, tea ceremonies, haiku poetry, schools, city life, food and traditional clothing. On the final week, students will have a martial arts overview with a guest speaker.
Ms. Harrison's lesson plans were modeled after suggestions from her students of what they would like to learn about the country. "Japan Day!" is an enlightening experience which her students look forward to each week. At the end of these lessons, the students will complete an evaluation of what they have learned. Ms. Harrison plans to put pictures of her lesson plans and information about Japan on her website: http://personal.lig.bellsouth.ent/lig/s/t/steph221/. Her website is currently under construction.

Christmas traditions recounted
BY VANESSA KIRK
Stockings are hung, school's almost out, letters to Santa have been written. Christmas is rapidly approaching. Shopping is one tradition that plays a major role in Christmas. From Nov. 25 - Dec. 25, shoppers go crazy hunting for the perfect gifts.
I love to go shopping, which is one reason why I love Christmas. I adore going shopping for my friends and family. I have not really started my shopping yet, but it will not be long before I will!
Family is another great tradition that will always exist. Every year my family gets together for Christmas. We eat a great meal, prepared by the whole family, we exchange gifts, and we just have fun. Usually on Christmas Eve, or a couple of days before Christmas Day, my mom's side of the family gets together, and then on Christmas Day my dad's side of the family gets together. We have so much fun with the little kids!
When I watch my little cousins unwrap gifts and see their little faces light up, it makes me smile every time.
What is really great is to hear what they told Santa that they wanted for Christmas.
Friends are great to have at Christmas time, too. Usually a couple of weeks before Christmas, my parent's friends come over to have Christmas. We play pool in our basement, exchange gifts, and eat finger foodS and cakes. I do not do anything really big with my friends during Christmas break. We go shopping together and do everyday things, but we really do not get together for Christmas like I do with my family.
Santa Claus is another Christmas tradition. Little kids all over the world try their best to be good all year long so that Santa will visit them on Christmas Eve night. My parents have always made my brothers and me go to bed early on Christmas Eve so that Santa would not fly over and see us still awake and not visit us. To this day my brothers and I still go to bed early and leave Santa cookies and milk on the table.
On Christmas morning we also have a tradition. Whoever gets up first wakes up everyone else and we get my parents up before we walk into the living room where the gifts are. After everyone is awake, then the camera's are made ready and we head for the living room. My parents watch us open gifts and then we watch my parents open gifts.
After breakfast, my grandparents come over to see what we got from Santa and to wish us a Merry Christmas.
Christmas is a special time of the year for me, as it is for most people. I hope that my family will continue all of our traditions this year and for many years to come.


Michael Allen: Going above and beyond
BY ASHLEY WALLER
Michael Allen is truly an exceptional student. He not only excels on the field but also in the classroom. He strives to be the best he can be in all that he does. Michael is involved in many activities that take up most of his time, but is always willing to do more.
Despite endless practices and countless nights of homework, Michael finds time to spend with his family and friends. He especially enjoys spending time with his dad and beating him in football on Nintendo 64.
"I am proud of him not only for his accomplishments in sports but also the young man he has become," Michael's dad said.
Michael plays football and baseball. He has participated in these sports for many years, starting in recreation ball, then playing for the middle school, and now he is a proud member of our undefeated football team and baseball team. He is quarterback and defensive end for football, and plays outfield in baseball. Michael is truly a team player.
He enjoys school as well. His favorite subject is history. When Michael graduates, he would like to play football in college, preferably the University of Florida or Georgia Tech. He would like to become an EMT and work in a big city. He wants to impact as many lives as possible and help everyone to live life to the fullest. He wants to marry and be successful not only in monetary things, but also in family life.
Michael's personal quote is "Even the greatest things can have improvement." This is a wonderful quote to live by which is why he always tries to do everything with his full potential.


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Students of the Week named
BY WENDY TILLER
Teachers are able to choose students each week that have stood apart from the others. Those named Students of the Week and earning a parking pass or early lunch pass are: Kristi Odom, Leah Hardeman, Jessica Adkins, Erin Frye, Travis Callaway, Lauren Stopczynski, Brandon Hayes, Calvin Shelton, Telvaes Harper, Mandi Clark, and Scott Phillips.

'Tis the season of giving
BY TESSA HOLLIS
While the holidays are often a busy time, many students are spending time trying to make the holidays a little brighter for children in need. Ms. Sabrina Bennett has a variety of programs going on to make this a very merry Christmas for the children.
The first program set up is designed to raise money to fill stockings with educational toys for the children at Head Start. Third period classes are collecting quarters to purchase items such as flash cards or coloring books. By donating a quarter, the student receives a gingerbread ornament on the Christmas tree in the lunch room.
New unwrapped toys are also being taken up for the Helping Hands organization for a Christmas party that they sponsor for local children.
The toys donated are often used, but by giving new unused toys the school can take part in bringing these children a holiday to be remembered.


Whit Smith named DCT 'Student of the Week'
BY DENISE WILLIAMS
DCT's Student of the Week, Whit Smith, is a cook at Sonny's BBQ in Athens.
Holding this position for over a year, Smith has earned pay raises and he hopes to become a manager one day.
"DCT has enabled me to get more on the job training. I have gained experience and responsibility," he said.
"Whit is a responsible, dependable employee who has been an asset to this company. His motivation and punctuality is very much appreciated by the company. He has trained in various positions and has mastered them well," Smith's supervisor said.
Does working until 10 p.m. every night of the week sound familiar to you?
Are there times you wish you could work the afternoon or evening shift and get off at a decent hour?
It is hard to do that and go to school at the same time, but with the DCT program, it might be possible.
DCT is offered at MCHS and directed by Kenneth Carr. It allows students to leave school at 12:15 p.m. and head to their job sites. Students can get in enough hours without having to work late nights.
Students who want to start working in thier field should try to get in the DCT program. It has a lot of positive benefits to offer students that want to get a head start on a career.


VICA to make gift bags
BY WENDY TILLER
Skills USA-VICA will be making gift bags for the men at the Potter's House.
First period classes will collect the items you bring, or you may bring them by Mrs. Rape's room. Toiletries, candy and mens' clothing are the items being requested.
The club will decorate bags and send the gifts to try to give these men a merrier Christmas.
The first period class with the most items collected will win an ice cream party.


Juniors take 3-hour ASVAB
BY JENNI NATION
Juniors recently took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, otherwise known as ASVAB.
This test is to help determine what a student could be good at in the future, in and out of the military.
Junior Leah Hardeman said, "At first, I went to take the test to get out of first and second period, but after I saw that hot marine, I really considered joining up!"
The test took three hours and consisted of sections dealing with math, science and mechanics.
The results will be back sometime during the next semester at which point students will sit down and discuss the results with a counselor. These results are anxiously awaited by all who took the test.


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