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Mason in the Middle published on May 19, 2017.

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Published by The Chronicle, 2017-05-19 11:15:28

Edition 2.4

Mason in the Middle published on May 19, 2017.

May 2017 Mason in the Middle, a partnership with The Chronicle, the Mason High School student produced newspaper.

M In today’s issue M The newest ride at Kings Island just
debuted, see story page 2
Mason in the Middle Summer is almost here.
Some students are M Teachers and students find new way to
powered by The Chronicle spending it thousands learn virtually, see story page 6
of miles from home. See
story, page 5 M Seventh graders make religious initia-
tions in big ways, see story page 7

Mason Lacrosse Club
has middle school girls

Photos by Betsy Areddy

See story page 8



2 M May 2017
Our Policy
Visitors wait in line at the opening of Mystic Timbers at Kings Island. Photos by William Herrmann
Mason in the Middle is an affiliate
of The Chronicle, the official student New ride for thrill seekers debuts at Kings Island
newspaper of William Mason High
School. William Herrmann | Staff Writer at Kings Island is very much like it.” that she thinks that tourism in the county
Evan Ponstingle | Staff Writer House also loves the unique aspects of could increase following the debut of the
Mason in the Middle promises to re- roller coaster.
port the truth and adhere to the jour- A wooden behemoth lurks in the woods Mystic Timbers.
nalistic code of ethics through online of Kings Island. “We were excited for the double camel “When Banshee opened in 2014, our tour-
and print mediums. ism overall that year jumped up 23 percent.
Kings Island’s sixteenth roller coaster, back trick track which is two back to back Normally, it changes between four and five
Mason in the Middle is produced Mystic Timbers, is now twisting through bunny hops that switch directions up and percent,” Fessler said. “What happens is
by high school students enrolled in the woods of Rivertown. over each element,” House said. “There is when a new ride opens, it doesn’t just help
Journalism I, II and III in collabora- also a quadruple S turn going back into the Kings Island...When they come to Kings Is-
tion with middle school writers and Designed to look like an abandoned mid-course tunnel that will catch everyone land and they already have a hotel, they eat
editors. lumber company deep in the woods, it is off guard.” out at restaurants. So when they invest in
a “story-driven” wooden roller coaster that Of course, building Mystic Timbers was staying overnight, they also go to other at-
Editorials reflect the staff ’s opin- interacts with White Water Canyon and the not without its challenges. Rain, logistics, tractions and spend even more money.”
ion but do not necessarily reflect the Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad. At and the mid course bridge were just some When asked what the coaster will bring to
opinions of the school administration 109-feet tall, 53 miles per hour, and 16 air- of the problems that engineers like Adam the park, Roe focused mainly on the wood-
or the Mason City School District. time hills, Mystic Timbers is a thrill-seek- House had to face. en aspect of the ride.
er’s dream. “I think we had 24 days of rain in January, “It will bring definitely more people to the
Mason in the Middle does not yet so you can imagine that there were some park because it’s something more interest-
have a publishing schedule. Call Mystic Timbers was designed by Adam hurdles there,” House said. “Ultimately, ing,” Roe said. “It’s making Kings Island the
398-5025 ext. 33103 for information House, a senior engineer at Great Coasters designing and working out the construc- wooden coaster capital of the world because
regarding advertising in Mason in International (GCI). Growing up in the Cin- tion logistics of the lake/lagoon crossing they have so many amazing ones like Racer
the Middle. Mason in the Middle re- cinnati area, House was a frequent visitor was a challenge. At the end of the day, ev- and Beast, for example. I feel it’s going to
serves the right to refuse advertising to Kings Island. House has been working at erything will be well worth all the blood, bring so much more to the park, especially
it deems inappropriate for a middle GCI since 2007, but Mystic Timbers is his sweat, and tears.” with its amazing theming and how much
school publication. first complete roller coaster. House said it’s just going to impact that whole area of
that adding a new wooden roller coaster to Throughout the construction process, Rivertown; it’s going to bring it back to its
As an open forum for students, let- the park made the lineup complete. Kings Island teased up the ending of the roots of amazing theming and wood them-
ters to the editor are welcome, but are ride, in which the train enters a shed. The ing.”
subject to be edited for length, libel, “It just felt right adding a coaster made ride’s story previews something strange House enjoys the complementary appeal
obscenity, clarity and poor taste. Let- entirely of wood to the astonishing collec- lurking in the shed leading workers of the the ride has to both Rivertown and White
ters to the editor may be dropped off tion of wooden coasters at Kings Island,” Miami River Lumber Company to perma- Water Canyon.
in room 444 and must be signed. House said. “With Mystic Timbers, Kings nently abandon the lumber mill. Kings
Island now has the most wooden roller Island didn’t release exactly what was in “Mystic Timbers adds an entirely new,
The Chronicle is a member of The coaster track at any one park in the world: the shed, however, until Mystic Timbers modern day wooden roller coaster to the
Columbia Scholastic Press Associa- 18,804 ft.” opened to the media on Thursday, April 13. already incredible collection at Kings Is-
tion, The National Scholastic Press House believes that #whatssintheshed is a land,” House said. “We wanted to fill in that
Association, Quill and Scroll Inter- Eighth-grader Ben Roe is a coaster enthu- perfect end to the ride. gap for a modern-day thrill machine, but
national Honorary Society for High siast who won the First Riders Auction. The not take anything away from the already
School Journalists and the Ohio Scho- evening before the ride officially opened “Folks will be talking about #Whatsin- great collection of wooden coasters that
lastic Media Association. to Gold and Platinum Passholders on April theshed while in line, almost forget about Kings Island already has. Additionally, we
14, people who participated in the first rider it because of how incredible the ride is, and wanted to help revitalize both Kings Island
Contact Information auction were allowed to ride Mystic Tim- then pull into the brakes and remember, and Miami Valley railroad and White Water
The Chronicle bers as many times as they wanted. Roe, we still have the Shed,” House said. “Both Canyon by designing the perfect comple-
William Mason High School who has ridden Mystic Timbers 11 times, Kings Island and Holovis did an incredible ment for both rides. At the end of the day,
6100 S. Mason Montgomery Rd. said that he enjoyed the new ride. job putting the shed together and making I believe we captured all of this with Mystic
Mason, Ohio 45040 a super unique experience for park guests.” Timbers.”
(513) 398-5025 “You’re flying up and down out of your Mary Fessler, the director of marketing for
Mason in the Middle Staff seat,” Roe said. “It’s really fast, really low to the Warren County Tourism Bureau, said
High School Editors the ground. It definitely adds to the lineup
Jacob Fulton of Kings Island. And it’s so unique, nothing
Ria Parikh
Alekya Raghavan
Delaney Turner
Staff Editors
Laalitya Acharya
Katie Dorton
Riley Johansen
Grace Prichard
Faham Tak
Staff Writers
Betsy Areddy
Caroline Bishop
Kiera Doran
Maryam Elkady
William Herrmann
Natasha Jha
Mariah Norman
Evan Ponstingle
Scott Reckers
Kaylee Rennekamp
Yamha Sami
Meredith Turner
Braedon Vrooman
Karen Vorobbets
Dale Conner
Rachel Young

May 2017 M 3


Wild geese terrorize Mason parks, induce fear among residents

Scott Reckers | Staff Writer crops, and citizens may do the just for them to walk or run on. It Photo by Scott Reckers
Braedon Vrooman | Staff Writer same thing to scare away geese. can interrupt what would other- An aggressive goose protects its eggs at Pine Hill Park.
Fran Prisco, the marketing manag- wise be a peaceful afternoon walk
Little siblings aren’t the only er at Birds B Gone, a company that around the park. I think these
pests terrorizing Mason. manufactures bird repellents, said geese are also misconceived. They
Geese are a big nuisance in the that geese aren’t just a nuisance, will get out of the way if you just
community. Being aggressive, but can actually be quite danger- don’t show fear. Not to say people
pooping everywhere, and ruining ous to nearby people. shouldn’t watch out for aggressive
lawns are just a few of the annoy- “If you live in an area on a pond or behavior or harass the geese, just
ances the bird can cause. Some lake, they can affect the area with not to be so afraid. They don’t want
citizens of Mason are just about fed their droppings,” Prisco said. “Birds to be with you either.”
up with this migratory menace. can carry up to 60 transmittable due to” too much air in the pipes”.
Eighth grader Leah Herbert is one diseases to humans such as salmo- Seventh grader Kylie Corcoran
of many people who has had a nella which is a food poisoning and said that she thinks the water can-
bad personal experience with the histoplasmosis (a lung infection not be due to air bubbles and that
geese in our community, being the caused by fungal spores). Any type the water fountains are not fully
victim of a goose attack. of bird that leaves its waste behind clean.
“I was walking my dog one day in can be dangerous to other animals
the afternoon and we were near and people.” “I don’t think that water can have
my local pond,” Herbert said. “We Nesting season for geese usually air in the water because that makes
weren’t close to it whatsoever and lasts from March 11 to Aug. 31. Dur- no sense,” Corcoran said. “The
two geese came out of nowhere ing this time when their eggs are lakes and oceans have air in thems ,
and just started honking at me. I waiting to hatch, they are on high but they aren’t white. I also think
started running, and they started alert. In order to protect their gos- the janitors clean the water foun-
to charge at me until I was finally lings (baby geese), they will attack tains just not the spout because it is
able to get rid of it.” anyone or anything that gets too a hard place to reach.”
With a bit of work, there are many close. During this time, it’s best to
different ways to get rid of geese. stay a safe distance away from the In order to ensure safe drinking
People can apply for a permit from woeful waterfowl and leave them water, Mason Middle School anual-
city hall that legally allows them alone. ly tests the water, and tests always
to hunt and kill geese; however, Eighth grader Joel Steinbecker come back safe for consumption.
if someone wants a less violent lives very close to Pine Hill Park, Head custodian Paul Cunningham
way of getting rid of them, there which is the central hub for geese said the water isn’t actually cloudy
are plenty of methods. Sound is to hang out in Mason. Steinbecker but that some minerals do end up
a common way to deter geese. A said that the geese are an inconve- in the pipes.
common sound deterrent is a pro- nience.
pane exploder which is a propane “Geese can be a nuisance to many “A lot of times there is an
tank connected to a PVC pipe to because of their aggressive behav- actuator in there and it’s really
make a sound similar to a gunshot. ior, ” Steinbecker said. “When I am not cloudy water,” Cunningham
Airhorns and even pyrotechnics at the park, I often see people veer said. “It’s all tiny little air bubbles.
are some other legal ways to get off the path because they are afraid (The water is) very good quality,
rid of them. Visual deterrents work of them. I think this is a problem sometimes the city flushes the fire
just as well. Some farmers use because then people aren’t using hydrants which causes the pipes
scarecrows to keep crows off their the paths that were paved there to rattle around and then we get
some sediment in there, but it goes
away within a day.”


June 5th-8th at Mason High School
For more information, please email Delaney Turner at [email protected].

M4 May 2017

Netflix original “13 Reasons Why” causes controversy among students

Kiera Doran | Staff Writer the book. While she understood the positive out- cide a number of years ago,” Carpenter said. “It was
reach it gave to kids, one thing that got to her was nothing like what is depicted in the book. It would
Yamha Sami | Staff Writer how unrealistic the suicide was presented. have taken Hannah lots of time to compile the tapes

Thirteen tapes. A map. And the whole student “I read it right after it came out and I thought it she sends out, as well as an ‘I’ll show them’ attitude,
body wondering, what happened to Hannah Baker? was very innovative at the time,” Carpenter said. wanting the 13 individuals to suffer for the harm
“But it also bothered me to see suicide as some kind they had done her. The person who killed himself
The tragic consequences of hurtful words is the of revenge (and it) doesn’t seem realistic to me.” in my family did not want those of us left behind to
theme of 13 Reasons Why, a novel written by Jay
Asher. This book, released in 2007, recently turned Carpenter would know herself, as she has experi- feel bad in any way for his decision.”
into a Netflix original show, and has rapidly become enced a suicide in her family. She said that her step-father felt the same pain Han-
“Someone in my immediate family committed sui- nah was going through in the novel and show.
one of the most watched shows by teenagers. “He felt -- irrationally -- that the pain he was
It’s about high school student Hannah Baker who
commits suicide, and leaves behind nothing but experiencing would never go away and that those
of us who cared for him would be better off without
a map and 13 tapes. In each of the tapes, she talks him,” Carpenter said. “His death was much more
about one reason why she took her life.
The tapes are sent to the 13 people that played a impulsive than the planning over time that
was in the book. I don’t think suicide is used
part in her suicide, and gave main character Clay as revenge in real life.”
Jensen a new perspective on life.
The show, rated TV-MA for adult material such Eighth grade Rahaf Abdelaziez says that
attaching a sensitive topic like suicide to a
as crude language, graphic violence, and sexual TV show was a good idea.
content, has caused controversy over its
handling of sensitive topics such “These topics need to be talked about, suicide
is a topic people don’t like to touch on, but it is
as suicide and teenage rape. As a important,” Abdelaziez said. “I think putting
result, Public Information Officer
Tracey Carson sent an email to it through a TV show series was a pretty good
all the parents in the district about s A common mistake, Chaudhry said, is con-
it. The email contained a warning
about the intensity of the show, how fusing suicide as something you do and can
be cured - it’s not that simple.
it can affect kids, and resources about “Suicide isn’t a thing, it’s a mentality, if
suicide prevention. Despite the
show’s intended adult audiences, it you’re suicidal, you live your life according
to the idea that, everything would be better if
has quickly become popular with I wasn’t here,” Chaudhry said. “It’s something
Eighth grader Ayesha that takes over everything in your life, it isn’t
something that comes and goes, it’s some-
Chaudhry said the positive mes- thing that’s always on the back of your head.”
sages are definitely worth giving
the show a try. Carpenter said that she saw the positive
intent in the story’s publication.
“It really enables people to think “I guess the point of the book was to show
twice about actions they implement
in school and other places with their kids how much of an impact they have on
everyone else,” said Carpenter. “Through their
friends,” said Chaudhry. “Because actions and words, and that would be a
people in middle school, especially
adolescents, tend not to think about positive thing.”
Abdelaziez said the show’s
what they’re saying to other messages were very im-
people before they say it. It’s a
very pre-school fundamental; if pactful.
“Many individu-
you don’t have anything nice to als could be really
say don’t say it all.”
Eighth grader Nick Ander- hurting someone
and damaging their
son said the show is realistic self-esteem and
and explains how it relates
to teen life today. confidence with-
out even being
“I liked the show because aware of it, so you
of how realistic it is and
how many plot twists should really be
careful when treat-
there are,” Anderson said. ing or talking to
“How it captured what
teen life is really like, others in certain
ways, be mind-
and it’s not like a sit- ful,” Abdelaziez
com, (in sitcoms) it’s
just the stereotypes, said. “No one
deserves to
(in 13 Reasons Why, take their
the show is) more de-
tailed, it’s more true own life, no
matter how
to teenager’s lives.” bad things
Eighth grade
language arts teacher seem, people
still need you.”
Roni Carpenter has Graphic by Riley Johansen

mixed feelings about Eighth graders Nick Anderson and Ayesha Chaudry recreate and advertisment for 13 Reasons Why.

May 2017 M 5

Students given the opportunity to travel across the world

Katie Dorton | Staff Writer

One thousand miles of coastline, five active volca-

noes, 812 recorded species of birds and counting. Activi-

ties include leaping off a 20 foot cliff, ziplining through

wildlife, and meeting new friends while seeing the

world in a new way. These are just some of the things

students can experience in Costa Rica. Pura Vida.

Mason students, ranging from sixth to eighth grade,

come together each June and have the opportunity to

travel to Costa Rica, a country known for its biodiver-

sity and extreme poverty. Sixth grade science teacher at

Mason Intermediate Dale Moberly oversees the excur-

sion. Moberly wants to provide the chance for students

to help others, as well as have fun.

“We do all kinds of things when we are in Costa Rica,”

Moberly said. “We zip line, whitewater raft, visit a vol-

cano, see lots of animals, go to the beach. We plant trees

in a rainforest and visit a school where we take them

paper, pencils and different school supplies. We then

spend some time with them and just hang out together.”

Over the past four years, the program has grown

from approximately 10 to 40 participants. Moberly

plans his trips through a travel company and said that

information about the trip can be found on his website Photo contributed by Dale Moberly
and at school offices.
Participants of the trip gather to horseback ride on the trails in Costa Rica.

“I am currently planning my fifth trip for 2018,” a lifetime opportunity. “We collected all these items in advance and we
Moberly said. “I have a website (and) papers in the front “I highly encourage anybody to go,” Moberly said. handed them out at an elementary school to all the
(office) at the middle school that has all kinds of in- children who were super nice and cute,” Lamm said.
formation. I go through a company called Explorica, “It’s one of those opportunities that some kids never “We also planted trees and got to name them, so I have
which is a travel company that only does trips for kids.” have the chance to take. The money is very reasonably a tree on a side of a mountain in Costa Rica named Rafa
priced, the food is great, the activities are awesome. The The Tree.”
Students raise money rather than just rely complete- company Explorica is very dynamic. I just really love
ly on their parent’s wallet. Moberly said kids can partici- going and I love taking the kids.” Lamm also said some of the experiences of the trip
pate in group fundraising activities or plan their own. were things not normally seen in Ohio.
Eighth grader Jordan Lamm has traveled with
“We do some group fundraisers and then they can Moberly twice. Lamm said that they collect school sup- “I jumped off a cliff into water: it was about 20 to 30
do fundraising on their own,” Moberly said. “We have plies and take them to schools. They also planted trees feet,” Lamm said. “That same day I also ate pineapple
had dances, car washes, and basically anything you can for The Monteverde Conservation League, a group that from an all-natural pineapple before we went white wa-
think of for fundraisers. holds conservation efforts to help save the rainforest. ter rafting. I also rode a horse, but I don’t like horses so
that was a highlight for me. In addition to that, zip lin-
Moberly said he loves taking students on this once in

ing was really fun, we got to go over the mountain. We

got to milk a cow and drink the milk.”

Lamm said throughout the activities, she was able

to conquer some fears she had. Fears like heights and

horses. Conquering them helped her become more ad-


“I’ve always been adventurous, but the trip helped

me become more adventurous,” Lamm said. “I really

liked the trip since I conquered some fears I had like

riding a horse, and I got over my fear of heights by go-

ing on the hanging bridge over a huge valley and then

jumping off the cliff.”

While in Costa Rica, Lamm said she was able to cre-

ate bonds with many people of different ages.

“It really did make me really close friends with a lot

of good people,” Lamm said. “I’m friends with people in

all different grades like some freshmen, eighth graders,

and seventh graders as well.”

After the days spent in a different setting, Lamm

said that her perspectiwve has changed after participat-

ing in a new culture.

“It has definitely changed my perspective,” Lamm

said. “It really made me realize that people are less for-

tunate than me and it was really hard to see. I realized

Photo contributed by Dale Moberly that sometimes you have to donate to people less fortu-
Eighth grader Jordan Lamm smiles with her newly found friends she met on her trip to Costa Rica. nate than you because they really need it.”

M6 May 2017

Local businesses face difficulties preparing for after school rush

Riley Johansen | Staff Editor comes to a point where they are getting really disre-
spectful and disturbing the other people there,” Moore
Photo by Riley Johansen The large amount of students walking after school said. “You don’t want to hear kids talking about drugs
can sometimes make it hard to run. or screaming the F-bomb in the middle of a restaurant.”
Eighth graders Emma Moore, Isabel Mattern and
That is, for businesses around Mason Middle at Some restaurants, like United Dairy Farmers, may not
Ashley Hurley walk to Culver’s after school. least. experience the type of behavior larger businesses may
get. UDF Manager-in-Training Ashley Golomski said
Walking to local restaraunts after school has been a that they don’t experience much difficulty with walkers
popular activity for many years among Mason’s stu- but do sometimes need to make them aware of their
dents, but sometimes the array of adolescents can be surroundings.
hard to manage when it comes to running a business
full of them. “Most of the time they’re pretty polite. Every now and
then they get a little rowdy, but they listen to us when
Culver’s manager Bret Ledford said that at the start we tell them to settle down and stop being so loud be-
of each school year, store managers must establish cause we have other customers,” Golomski said. “They
firm guidelines to curb disruptive and dangerous just need to remember to be a little more courteous in
behavior. the establishment and make sure that they’re not cut-
ting in line, jumping ahead of people, or just blatantly
“At the beginning of the school year it’s rough be- disregarding them.”
cause we really have to crack down on (the students)
and maintain them because sometimes they’re stand- Ledford says that as long as businesses are prepared
ing on tables or doing other crazy stuff,” Ledford said. for the large amount of students and are ready to
“They’re very fired up, and they talk a lot. There are handle making all the food and managing all the
some that try and run around and we have to tell space, it can be a beneficial thing to have students walk
them to walk because if they fall, it’s on us. They’re to their business.
just pretty rambunctious.”
Mason’s Parks and Recreation Director Chrissy Avery “We plan every Friday or day they don’t have school
said that she thinks the main problems occur when the next day for them,” Ledford said. “It’s honestly
students aren’t aware of how their behavior affects something we prepare for every week and it’s awesome.
other people. It really helps business because walking over helps peo-
“I think for the most part we have a great relations- ple see us as more than just food: it helps their parents
ship with students,” Avery said. “Some of the chal- see that their kids like to be here, so hopefully we get
lenges that we have are because we just have the more business from them in general and it’s just been
facility with a variety of user groups anywhere from a really good thing for us.”
young kids, to teenage kids, to seniors, to middle-aged
adults. Just making sure that teens are aware that As well as students contributing to good business, the
other groups are using the facility and making sure businesses can give right back. Avery said that having
that their behavior is good is important.” the ability for students to walk to close places is a very
Students are aware of some of the disrespectful beneficial thing for the community.
behavior as well. Eighth grader Emma Moore said she
frequently walks with friends to local businesses and “I think it’s great that Mason has a community that’s
has seen behavior that she does not approve of that walkable,” Avery said. “having restaurants, a Rec Cen-
may annoy fellow walkers as much as the managers. ter and Park in places that students can walk to is nice
“It’s one thing to have fun with your friends, but it because there is a safe place for students to go where
they don’t need to drive. It’s much better than having
to stay home and not be able to interact with friends.”

Livestreaming connects teachers and students beyond the classroom

Mariah Norman | Staff Writer Midterm.” “When you post something, it’s structured and you
No filter, no script. Just real rawness in real time. Richardson said live streaming established a real life want it to be a certain way but with a live stream, what-
Today, live streaming has connected a variety of ever happens, happens.”
connection with her students, as if they were sitting
users from all across the world. Hosts will initiate the right in front of her. But live streaming has its dangers. Within the first
stream, and anyone around the world can choose to four months of 2017, four people decided to torture a
watch, while leaving comments that appear on the “I think it makes you feel a part of the experience,” disabled person on Facebook Live, and later someone
host’s screen in real time. Richardson said. “When I was in Spain and I would in Cleveland murdered an elderly man off the street.
livestream, (students) would actually feel like they Chaudhry said people feel fearless about what they say
Seventh grader Rachel Garcia said she enjoys the were there with me, experiencing the surroundings. and comment on a livestream, especially since it disap-
carefree simplicity that livestreaming offers, and the When I was taking their questions, it felt like we were pears when ended.
direct interaction between viewer and host. in class together.”
“(It is) sort of like the Snapchat mentality, unless
“I get to talk to (the viewers) and they can reply back Even celebrities participate in the trend. Eighth someone screenshots it, it’s gonna go away once you
to me,“ Garcia said. “It’s really easy when I just want to grader Ayesha Chaudhry said live streaming offers an end the live,” Chaudhry said.
have fun and show people what I’m doing.” opportunity for internet famous personalities to feel
more relatable to their audience watching. Although live streaming can be dangerous, it’s bring-
Eighth grade Spanish teacher Lauren Richardson said ing different people together from all across the world.
she’s had multiple experiences with live streaming in “If (someone) was a celebrity, then live streaming Richardson said live streaming could be the next step
an educational setting when needing a way to reach all would do something more to interact with the people in connecting people in a way that’s never been done
of her students at once. that follow (them),” Chaudhry said. “It gives a face to before.
face connection and they can see (the celebrity) raw.”
“I’ve livestreamed in a couple of different ways,” Rich- “It is a part of letting somebody into your world and
ardson said. “I’ve livestreamed when I was on a class Live streaming has also broken significant barriers when you do that, there’s a whole different understand-
trip to Spain. I did it via Instagram to show students within social media for everyday people. Frazier said ing,” Richardson said. “It could help society in under-
some of the culture and language we were using. I’ve it’s made the entire experience more real and relaxed standing other cultures and other languages. . I think it
also livestreamed a review session for the Spanish 1B for everyone enjoying it. could break some barriers that need to be broken.”

“It can be whatever you want it to be,” Frazier said.

May 2017 M 7

Religious initiations

Jewish students celebrate coming of age with bar and bat mitzvahs

Maryam Elkady | Staff Writer the Charter Schools Program State
Natasha Jha | Staff Writer Educational Agencies grants
Meredith Turner | Staff Writer
Photo contributed by Michael Snyder
Sweet sixteen parties, fiestas de quinceañera,
sacraments of confirmation. Teens of all ethnici- Seventh grader Emma Norris reads from the Torah at her bat mitzvah.
ties celebrate coming of age in a variety of ways.
For Jewish students, it’s a bar or bat mitzvah that “I started preparing for my bat mitzvah four out of town people. There’s a Friday night dinner
signals their transition into adulthood. years ago,” Kobalka said.“In fourth grade I started and the service in the morning. Saturday night is
hebrew school which is when you start learning the party (and) my theme is Lauren’s candy shop.
A bar or bat mitzvah is a celebration when a the prayers. (I spent) nine months learning with (There will) be a green screen, a DJ, and candy.
Jewish child turns thirteen and is ready to take the rabbi and learning my haftarah (plus) the All (of) my family is coming. And then Sunday
another step in their religion (becoming a Jewish stuff he needs to teach me and I will know all morning there is a brunch for out of town people
adult). Bar Mitzvahs appeared in the Middle Ages that, come my bat mitzvah.” and after the service there is a kiddush lunch for
for boys, while the first bat mitzvah for girls, was Bar or bat mitzvah planning can start early for everyone.”
held in 1922. By the 13th or 14th century, the cus- a child depending on the size of the celebration. Seventh grader Emma Norris said there is a lot
tom of calling a boy up to the Torah (the Jewish Most planning processes start a year in advance of planning and hard work put into a bar or bat
holy book) was established as the way of recog- so the child can learn Hebrew and memorize Mitzvah with many different factors
nizing entry into manhood. prayers. “For the party you have to find a place, you have
After the service, a bar or bat mitzvah normally to get decorations and, you have to find a D.J (if
Bar or bat mitzvahs are usually celebrated in has a party to celebrate their achievement in turn- you want one),” Norris said. “You also have to find
ways like a party, a lunch, and a religious service. ing into an adult. The party usually has a theme someone who will provide food for the party. (It)
The service involves the bar or bat mitzvah, the that is chosen by the new adult and parents. At usually takes 8 months of training. Once a week,
boy or girl who is celebrating their coming of the party, there are different things done that re- you’ll see someone who helps you with your He-
age, saying their practiced speech with a rabbi, a flects on the bar or bat mitzvahs childhood. Also, brew, and they’ll teach you your Torah section.”
jewish scholar or teacher. Many things come into it shows new things that will come in the later Norris said that the Horah was a very memorable
play when planning a bar or bat mitzvah, includ- years. The prices for the party can range from moment for her.
ing, budget, invitations, and catering. about $2,500 to $30,000. “I will always remember the dance called the
Kobalka compared her upcoming bat mitzvah Horah,” Norris said. “It’s (where) you dance in a
Bar and bat mitzvah means, son and daughter to a wedding weekend complete with planned circle and the person who is getting bar or bat
of the commandment. Kids who celebrate bar events, family meals, and out of town guests. mitzvahed is in the chair and people lift them up
or bat Mitzvahs have a service in the beginning “I’m really excited. (It’s) kind of like a wed- and down. My favorite part was the whole (cel-
where they have to read a section of the Torah ding weekend,” Kobalka said. “We have a lot of ebration).”
that depends on the time of year and the child.

Seventh grade coding and robotics teacher Mar-
tin Fish has planned Bar Mitzvahs for his children.
He said that the Bar or Bat mitzvahs have differ-
ent portions from the torah that the the child has
to read depending on the season and the temple.

“It all depends on your temple or your syna-
gogue and your Rabbi,” Fish said. “In addition,
each individual bar or bat mitzvah, the child be-
ing honored, has a specific reading from the To-
rah, which is the first five books of the bible that
they need to read. Their portion of the Torah is
different depending what time of year it is and
the portion that they read after that called the
haftarah is also different because it changes every

Preparing for a bar or bat mitzvah can take from
months to years. The bar or bat mitzvah needs to
be fully prepared for the time of their lives. They
start off in hebrew school and learn about the ba-
sic prayers. By the time they are 13 or 14, the bar
or bat mitzvah becomes ready to say their speech
and lead on his or her family tree.

Seventh grader Lauren Kobalka said that she
had to practice for a while before actually per-
forming the rituals when having her bat mitzvah.

M8 May 2017

Mason Lacrosse Club gives girls chance to try new sport

Betsy Areddy | Staff Writer grade. in Southwest Ohio that I know
Caroline Bishop | Staff Writer “If girls lacrosse (was) not
Not having a team at school
available, I would highly encour- can also pose difficulties for
some players. For seventh grad-
ReLAX, MMS. You may not age the local school to promote er Elle Cimini, it’s more chal-
lenging to play lacrosse outside
have a lacrosse team, but the and organize the sport,” Davis of school and it tones down the
importance of lacrosse.
Mason Lacrosse Club has you said. “In the case of MMS, youth
“It’s a bit inconvenient that
covered. girls currently have an oppor- lacrosse has to be in a club in-
stead of school because basket-
Lacrosse is a sport growing in tunity to play lacrosse for the ball or any other sport that’s in
the school, you can always just
popularity right now, especially Mason Lacrosse Club. MLC is go after school to practice be-
cause that’s where it is,” Cimini
for girls attending MMS. Many often regarded as one of the top said. “But for lacrosse it’s a totally
separate thing you have to do, so
students want to play lacrosse, lacrosse organizations in South- it makes lacrosse feel less impor-
but the school doesn’t offer a ern Ohio. I would not want to see
There are also plenty of good
team to play on. Options include the sport of lacrosse at the junior aspects that come with playing
on a club team. For eighth grade
club or recreational teams, but high level come under the um- lacrosse player Jenna Harris, it’s
the excitement and teamwork
for students trying lacrosse for brella of the MMS Athletic De- that makes her love lacrosse.

the first time, finding a team to partment.” “I like the intensity (of la-
crosse) and how physical the
play on can be a challenge. Davis said the MLC is a great game is,” Harris said. “I like be-
ing on a team and how it’s not an
In a club team, there is no as- opportunity for students because individual sport. (You) meet a
lot of new people when you play
sociation with the school and of the invested people working on club teams or summer travel
there are almost always tryouts. to make the club and athletes
Cimini said that it even though
Mason Lacrosse Club (MLC) is outstanding. there isn’t a school team, lacrosse
is still a great way to form strong
a team with tryouts, so inexperi- “Mason Lacrosse Club success- bonds with other players.

enced lacrosse players might not ful because like-minded parents “I just like the (lacrosse) com-
munity,” Cimini said. “They’re
make it in. drive the club and invest their all really supportive, we have a
tDtEhhdaiertuecCcshtahoetariowrtneSoaturellSpAdchghaleoonvnoieeclsiePsrotlgaigmrcarraeon,mstsspeSrtaoanmtdeotpirnogvidthineg really good team and good team-
Athletic sport of mates, and it just makes it really
Hyatt said opportu- fun.”

to see possibilities open up for la- nity for player growth and de-

crosse players, but it isn’t cheap velopment,” Davis said. “MLC is

to add a new sport to the mix. very much aware of the financial

“I’d like to have more opportu- impact that participating in ex-

nities for kids, so I’d love to be tracurricular sports can impose

able to add more sports,” Hyatt on a family. ”

said. “Girl’s lacrosse is a really Hyatt said that the lack of re-

popular growing sport, but the sources and other teams are the

reality of it is that that would main reasons for the absence of

take a lot of money, and we don’t the lacrosse team. She agrees

have the money to add anymore with Davis in saying that there

activities right now.” are better opportunities in MLC.

Mason High School girls var- “We don’t have the money to

sity lacrosse coach Jim Davis pay coaches, or buy uniforms

said that the Mason Lacrosse and equipment, we don’t have

Photo by Betsy Areddy Club is a strong club for middle fields for them to practice on,”

Seventh grader Sydney Minnick looks up field to make a pass in school students and elementary Hyatt said. “Junior high school
a game against Lebanon.
students in third through fifth sponsored lacrosse doesn’t exist

Middle school coaches put emphasis on building team chemistry
teammates to be strong and racial and cultural. The girls, Seventh grade softball player “In softball, communica-
Kaylee Rennekamp | Staff Writer successful. when they’re not getting along, Rachael Ruble said that the tion is a big thing you need. If
it’s over ridiculous stuff like more you get to know your you’re calling a ball that’s in
Karen Vorobbets | Staff Writer “You have to work like a boys or saying mean, inappro- teammates, the more you learn the air and you think you can
unit,” Hyatt said. “It’s almost priate things on social media.” how they can fit in and work get it, you have to talk,” Ruble
Sometimes getting along like anytime you step onto the with the team. said. “If you can tell everyone
with your teammates can be a competitive gym floor or track To ensure her team gets where the play is, it makes you
swing and a miss. or tennis court, you’re going along, softball coach Rachel “Activities where we are a better player.”
into a battle. So you have to be King said she pays attention to working together help us to get
But this year Mason Middle united with your teammates the players’ personalities when to know more about someone,” Eighth grade track and field
School teams are hitting it out like soldiers. ” deciding team members. Ruble said. “If they’re a leader player Nicholas DeGroff said
of the park, thanks to coaches or if they’re someone really qui- that communication strength-
who have increased team bond- Hyatt said that even though “When I’m picking my et that needs to be invited into a ens the bond of the team.
ing activities. Whether it’s on the boys and girls teams fight teams, I try to pick personali- conversation.”
the field or at a pizzeria, teams over different things, their ties that get along together,” “Communication strength-
are doing more bonding activi- team success depends on re- King said. “I also pick team cap- Ruble said that communicat- ens the bond between the
ties to communicate and play spect. tains that I’m confident enough ing helps the team work togeth- players and makes the team
better together. to be good leaders and to set a er so they will be able to know better overall,” DeGroff said.
“It boils down to respect,” Hy- good example for everyone in who’s getting the ball and who “It makes everyone feel better
Athletic Director Stephanie att said. “Sometimes the boys the team.” isn’t in the game. about themselves.”
Hyatt said that players must be team’s problems have been
able to function well with their

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