One Of The Hardest Goodbyes

By Sydney Newcomb

The last four years of high school have definitely been some of the best. From the Friday night lights, to winning prom queen, to spirit week, to even the late night study sessions, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I never thought the day would come where I would walk that stage and proudly grab that diploma. May 21st quickly approaching, saying goodbye to the place that built me is right around the corner. Not only is it the school, but the people and the facility that made this place so memorable.

Having meet some of my best friends throughout these hallways is something so special. Knowing that I may not see them for months to years is hard to comprehend, but true friendships will last a lifetime. Not only the friends i’ve met along the way, but the teachers that have shaped and pushed me along the way to prepare me for college, i will forever be grateful for. I may not be so thankful when I had a ten page paper for than class, but looking back, all it was doing was getting me ready for the future.

Growing up I always heard “you’ll miss it when you’re gone” and “don’t wish it away, it’s the best four years of your life.” At times it hard to not wish your in your thirties with a cute little family. I’ve definitely learned as senior year comes to a close that those times I did wish away, I would go back in a heartbeat. I’d much rather be studying for a silly little test rather than worrying about what college I’m going to.

One of the hardest things to comprehend is all the “last” I’m experiencing. Not only my last day year, but my last prom, My last fun day, my last day as a James River Knight. Being part of not only such a great school but community, makes it that much harder to say goodbye. Bittersweet is the only word I know how to describe how it feels. Although I’m definitely excited to move on and continue with my future, James River has made such a strong impact on me in the four short years I’ve been here.

Not everything was exactly “High School Musical” expectations though. Of course I faced challenges along the way, some that stopped me dead in my tracks. I fought through some of the hardest things I ever thought I’d face throughout my junior and senior year, but that didn’t stop me from making the most of every second.

I may not miss the girls bathroom, but the impact you made on me the past four years are unforgettable. The time spent getting ready in the locker rooms for home games, preparing for America night for Friday nights, and watching the teacher talent show will all be greatly missed. So thank you, James River HIgh School for every minute of my high school career. Although I’m going to miss this school, I’m definitely looking forward to what my future holds!

High School Memories

By Sarah Lam

Well folks, the time has finally come. The last month I will ever have to spend here in James River High School has arrived. As my final article in Digital Journalism, I figured I would go over some of my greatest memories that I have experienced here at James River. These are the top moments that made me feel proud to be a Knight.

Volleyball Vs. Marion

The day our Volleyball girls played Marion in the State Quarterfinals was the absolute greatest memory I have of James River. Our whole school rallied together and got a big student section together to travel 2 hours away. Our girls needed our support more than ever for this game. Going into the game, Marion thought they had it in the bag. They beat us last year and they thought this year would go the same way. Boy were they wrong. The stands were packed with marion fans and our little section of fans and parents. We were as loud as all the Marion parents combined. The game was as close as could be and we ended up going to 5 sets. Let me remind you that Marion had not lost a home game since 2014. Game point for River, and Marion gets called for in the net, and River wins. We went absolutely crazy. The student section stormed the court, and tears were flowing everywhere. Our little school from small town Buchanan was heading to the State Semifinals.

Friday Night Lights

Nothing was better in the fall during the school year that a Friday night football game. Getting together with your friends to cheer on your school is always a good time. Being able to go crazy and dress up for whatever student section theme was for the night was probably my favorite part about football season. Oh and you can’t forget about the concession stand. Nothing goes better with Friday night lights than some nachos and a nice cold Dr. Pepper. My best memory from all the football games I went to was probably when we played Radford my junior year. It was a close game that went into overtime, and ended with a touchdown win. Everyone stormed the field after to show our support for our football team.

Art Class

These last two years of high school, I decided to sign up for art classes. It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Because of our schools art program, I found something I love to do. Everyday is that class was a good day, you just feel stress free and at peace. Mrs.Stanley is one of the most caring, genuine teachers at James River High School. She has a passion for art and for helping others. Whenever you’re feeling down or have a problem, she will stop what she’s doing and talk with you and make sure you’re ok. She has taught me so much and her class will go down as something I’ll remember forever.

Senior Prom

I went to prom twice during my years at River, but senior prom was probably the best one. I didn’t have to worry or stress about anything with a group because it was just me and my boyfriend, Aidan. Another reason I loved prom this year was my dress. I wasn’t too sure about it at first, but I freaking loved it on prom night. We danced the night away and had fun knowing this was my last prom ever. To top off the night, we went to after prom and won a combined total of $140 in cash and gift cards.

As we come to a close on this school year, I could spend hours listing off more memories. From the good times to the bad times, I’ve always had a community of students there to support me and hold me together. Even though I always say how ready I am to graduate, James River will always be a piece of me. I’ve made some of the best friends here, had some of the best teachers, and made some of the memories. Thank you for following me on this journey of digital journalism. That’s all from me folks. Sarah Lam, Class of 2019, signing out.

Sleep Good

By Adaline Bisese and Summer Williamson

To many, falling asleep is difficult. Many people experience one form or another of sleeping disorders and their punishing symptoms. A common problem is the restlessness that comes before sleep. They feel like they are trapped on a hamster wheel of a never ending state of awakeness, but with the help of this article, everyone can experience the best night sleep of their lives.

One of the most important steps to falling asleep is eating properly before doing so. A warm and hearty bowl of soup will help the soul find a calm place to relax for hours on end. Chicken noodle, potato, French onion, or any other type of soup will suffice as long as it is heated thoroughly. If soup is not sufficient on its own, try adding some warm, fresh bread to your bowl. Bread adds texture and taste to the already aromatic soup. If bread and soup are not prefered, a steaming cup of tea can be a pleasant substitute.

It is suggested, that when trying to fall asleep, be as comfortable as possible. Comfort is the vital key to sleep. Firstly, a mattress suited to the sleeper’s needs is necessary. Then, the appropriate bedding that is soft and cool against the skin and pleasant to look at. An assortment of pillows is also strongly suggested. In regards to clothing, those who remain cold during the nights, long pants and fleece clothing are advised. If long pants and fleece are too hot, try a cool pair of shorts with a tank top or no shirt at all. This allows the skin to breath even in the hottest of houses or the coldest of cabins. This might not seem like the most important part of falling asleep, but for the best, uninterrupted sleep, it is necessary.

A lesser known factor in falling asleep is the area being slept in. Science says that the body loves sleeping in cool, dark places, like a cave. Some of the best sleeps are achieved in unusual places. Choices for the perfect sleep include beds, desks, floors, cars, couches, tables, yards, boats, hammocks, tents, graves, and anywhere else. In truth, the place someone does the sleeping in does not affect their quality of sleep because the person sleeping is not awake to feel pain. For this reason, those who are tired should find the nearest place that they will not fall from or get mugged to sleep. A real life example would be a girl named Summer. Summer is very good at finding a comfortable spot to fall asleep whether it is at a desk or at another less cozy desk, she manages to sleep. She once slept in a corner of the Virginia Capitol Building’s meeting room while Congress was in session. Those having trouble sleeping can learn a thing or two form Summer’s “can sleep” attitude.

Sleepers looking to accelerate their wake to sleep time should look into drinking herbal teas to ensure they are not consuming caffeine or try melatonin. Melatonin is naturally released by the human body to signal the brain to go sleep mode. When the melatonin levels in the body become offset by factors such as caffeine, age, and level of activity, it becomes more difficult for the person to fall asleep. These natural sleep aids can be found at various localities and online shops. If sleep supplements are not an option then finding a balanced lifestyle will work wonders.

Dreaming is the most essential part of the perfect night’s sleep. It should consist of just enough reality to make the dreamer question its realness. A good dream, for example, would have a place the dreamer knows well, such as their own home, but have something unusual happen their, like a fish eating the dreamer’s lunch meat. Such a dream would encompass the dreamer’s world and imagination simultaneously allowing the dreaming optimum sleep.

Now that the sleepers have had the best sleep of their lives, they should wake up. Ditch the bulky, obnoxious alarm and go for something gentler on the ears. There are countless clocks that use light or vibration to rouse their user. Clocks that don’t use the gentle approach tend to leave sleepers wondering what it was like to have a peaceful night's sleep. So ditch the old approach and try a deaf man’s alarm clock. Another alarm clock alternative is to get a jacked up hospital bed that can eject you from the cozy comfort of the mattress and onto the cold, hard floor.

Sleep is meant to be a serene experience that refreshes the soul after every brutal and lingering day. It is important to get the proper amount of sleep and to be comfortable while doing so. Everyone has sleeping habits unique to their own needs, and must listen to what the body tells them.

Free Speech

By Bunni Smith

Free speech is important because it provides you with much more than just the liberty to speak your mind; it provides you with all your liberties, to an extent.

What can and cannot be said on a public platform is controlled by the government. Some governments have more control than others; the United States is very free in terms of what you can say on TV, in literature, and on the internet. The moment a government decides to censor an opinion that does not align with their own, freedom of the opposition is not only jeopardized, but the freedom of the rest of society is as well. Let’s say that this government bans violence in all forms of media on the grounds it encourages violent behavior? The government defines what “violence” can be defined as. Perhaps the law includes pictures of organs as being “graphic and violent” in nature. Using this loophole, non-violent media sources such as nature documentaries and medical films could be banned.

This is an extreme example, but this is why people need the ability to speak and debate in a public forum; if you agree that it would be wrong to be punished under a censorship law for making a documentary about animals, then you should be a supporter of free speech.

Steps to a Great Beach Week

By Evelyn Melvin

Step 1: Gathering your group

Your group is very important when deciding how much everything is going to be. You need to make sure that you have no problems with any of your group members. If you have problems, your week is going to be bad. Make sure that you get along is what is going to make this beach week amazing for you and your friends. I would make sure you have at least four people to spread out the cost.

Step 2: Picking a beach

After picking your group, you have to work together to find the perfect beach. Everyone in your group might not agree on what beach to pick. Some might have different places they would like to go. You have to find a common medium to make everyone happy. Happy group, happy beach week.

Step 3: Picking a date

You HAVE to make sure that everyone in your group is on the same page on this. If you pick a date that others cannot do, you are going to end up with a whole house to yourself. You have to make sure that everyone agrees on the date. Dates are important on price as well, if you go in May or June it might be less than if you went in July or August.

Step 4:  Choosing a house

A house is the biggest expense your group is going to come across. You have to find a house that is big enough for your whole group. But when looking for a bigger house, you are looking for a bigger price. This is why the size of the group matters, because the price can be lessened when more and more people start splitting costs. You have to make sure that everyone is okay with the house chosen, because in the end that is where you will be spending a lot of time.

Step 5: Making a packing list

Your trip is finally coming up, and you are worrying about what to pack. Packing is a big deal. You no longer have your parents to make sure you have everything. This is why lists are important, because a check list is the easiest way to make sure you do not forget anything. You do not want to forget that favorite bathing suit!

Step 6: Picking the right car

You are going to want to carpool, so that you all get there at the same time. When picking a car you want to factor in the gas mileage. You do not want to pick a car that gets 3 miles to the gallon. You want something that is good on gas and easy to fill up. Your group should be able to split the cost of gas there and back.  Make sure that the car chosen can fit everyone in your group. For larger groups you may have to take more than one car depending on everyone's car sizes.

Step 7: When at the beach, decide whether you are eating out every night or staying in

This is big when it comes to cost. You will need to know soon if you are staying in, because you will need to go get groceries that will last you for the week. If you are eating out every night, you will need to have enough money to pay for yourself every night. Also you will need to make sure that your group has enough money as well, because if one person gets left out the week is doomed.

Step 8: Plan your days

If you want to have a great week, you have to get everyone on board with you. I would sit down at a table and see what everyone want to do that week. If one person wants to go bowling, then see if you can fit that in during the week. If some of your group doesn’t want to go, you can always have an alone night with someone who does. Just make sure you are never alone for safety reasons.

Step 9: Have a great time

After all, you are at the beach with your friends. You should make sure that you are getting along with others. As well as having the best week before everyone goes to college. Try to make this the best trip, because you never know when you will see the others. This is your last trip with your friends, and you miss the times with them. So make this beach trip a good time for everyone.

A Bachelor’s Guide: Scholarships

By Ian DeHaven

With the end of senior year just around the corner and college decisions being made this past Wednesday, 140 or so students of James River are looking towards their exciting yet daunting future.

Many of us have the drive to succeed in these exciting futures, but lack the financial backing. That’s where scholarships come in -- symbolic and monetary support from people who believe in you and your goals so much that they would fund your life’s work.

At this point, we are well into “scholarship season,” which lasts approximately from early January to the last month before your college move-in date. Do not let that discourage any attempt to find money, though: it is still out there if you know where to look. Here are some tips on applying to scholarships that will make it like second nature.

Prepare a resume

A first step is going to be preparing a resume of all of your academics, activities, awards, leadership experience, and community service. Update this regularly as any new awards, and keep copies both digital and physical ready to hand to teachers and adults who need it for your scholarship application or for writing a letter of recommendation.

Get at least 3 letters of recommendation written

A lot of college applications and scholarship applications will ask for written references about your work ethic and character, usually through the avenue of a letter of recommendation. I recommend that you get 3 written, 2 by teachers and 1 by a non-family member of the community such as an activity coordinator for a community event.

Keep an updated copy of your transcript nearby

Many applications will ask for things such as class rank, GPA, and advanced coursework, all of which are conveniently spelled out on even an unofficial high school transcript. The guidance office will gladly print one out if you just request it from Mrs. Alphin.  

Look for career-specific scholarships for your interest

In the game of searching for scholarships, the earlier you know what you want to go to school for, the better it is. There are a plethora of scholarships specifically geared toward any career interest you could imagine - engineering, medical science, teaching, fine arts - and applying to these with a wholehearted interest in the activities they sponsor will give you a competitive edge to receive a scholarship.

Apply for institution scholarships at your top schools

A lot of universities and colleges offer merit based scholarships to students who are willing to commit a little time and fill out slightly more paperwork. For the money and financial aid that you could receive, applying to something as simple as an honors program is an amazing investment of your time that everyone should consider for their schools of choice.

Consider need-based scholarships if that fits your financial picture

There is no shame in receiving a need-based scholarship, and just like the career-interest ones, there are plenty of scholarships to be found that are based on how much money your family has. For this purpose, you will most likely need to have completed FAFSA and have your parent’s tax documents on hand (more important documents you will constantly reference).

Apply to local scholarships

Local scholarships of $500 may be less inviting than the chance to win $20,000 from a large corporation, but in a lot of cases, the local $500 goes entirely unclaimed. Local scholarships provide an opportunity to slowly but surely accumulate money towards your college costs, without the sometimes impossible odds of the larger-paying scholarships.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take

Apply to every scholarship you can, even the larger-paying ones just described. There may be less of a chance to win, but a chance is a chance at the same time. Throw your hat into as many rings as possible, and you will increase your chance of hearing exciting news from a committee or two.

Those are only 8 tips and the way I have gone about applying to scholarships, but I hope that it is valuable to anybody looking to soften the financial burden of paying for college. Thanks for reading A Bachelor’s Guide.

Endangered Animals You Need to Know About

By Brianna Baldwin and Katie Keith

Animals are a vital part of our world, but at the current rate, we won’t have any animals left. From hunters to pollution, there are so many reasons why these animals are dying. Here is a list of the top ten endangered animals internationally.

Top Ten Endangered Animals

  1. Amur Leopard - Less than 70 alive

    1. One of the rarest breeds of cat in the world

    2. Can run up to 37 miles per hour and leap (horizontally) up to 19 feet

    3. Similar markings to those of a cheetah

    4. Most commonly found in the farthest eastern areas of Russia

    5. Only leopard found to be able to survive both extreme cold and extreme heat

  2. Gorillas - Less than 2,000 alive

    1. Share between 95% and 99% of their DNA with humans

    2. Have been known to display a wide range of personalities

    3. Have been found to show compassion for other primates as well as humans

    4. Mostly herbivorous, meaning they eat very little meat

    5. Smart enough to create and use simple tools as well as grasp sign languages and communicate with humans

  3. Sea Turtles (specifically Hawksbill Sea Turtles) - Less than 8,000 alive and less than 1,000 nesting annually

    1. Eat sponges that are toxic and otherwise harmful to most other sea creatures

    2. Can lay up to 200 eggs per season

    3. Have existed for over 100 million years

    4. Shells can be used for jewelry in some countries

    5. Shell products are the most confiscated illegal item reported by Japanese custom officials

  4. Orangutans - Less than 7,000 alive

    1. Like gorillas, they share 96.4% of their DNA with humans

    2. Like gorillas, have shown various personalities

    3. “Orangutans have one of the most prolonged developments of any mammal.”

    4. Have been founding using tools to obtain honey, insects, remove seeds from fruits, etc.

    5. Have been documented to be able to learn over 150 signs in sign language

  5. Sumatran Elephant - Less than 2,000 alive in 2011

    1. Can weigh up to 5 tons

    2. Found only on the island of Sumatra, located in Indonesia

    3. Are herbivores and must eat the equivalence to the weight of two average adult men in plants every day

    4. Habitation loss is thought to be the main reason for population decline

    5. Over 69% of the Sumatran Elephant habitat was lost between 1980 and 2005 due to human development

  6. Saola - no estimates on number living

    1. One of the rarest large mammals to exist

    2. Only discovered in 1992, with only 3 successful photographs taken of them since

    3. Nicknamed “Asian Unicorns” due to rarity and location spotted

    4. Although they share the most DNA with cattle, their appearance most closely resembles that of an antelope

    5. Have been sighted both alone and in small groups and tend to avoid the midday heat

  7. Vaquita - Less than 100 alive

    1. Name means “little cow” in Spanish

    2. Rarest sea mammal in existence

    3. Due to their physical similarities, they are often mistaken for dolphins

    4. Is the smallest cetacean on earth and is a cousin of the blue whale, also known as the largest animal in the world

    5. “The fishing industry, pollution and habitat destruction from the dam built in the Colorado River” are all threats to its survival

  8. Tiger - Less than 500 alive

    1. One third of Tiger species are already extinct

    2. Are able to kill animals up to twice their size

    3. Will hide food in order to eat it later and not waste it

    4. Cubs become fully independent from their mothers by 18 months, or a year and a half of age

    5. They are good swimmers and are one of very few cat species that enjoy using swimming as a method of cooling down their body heat

  9. Rhino (specifically the Black Black Rhinoceros) - Less than 60 Javan Rhinos alive and less than 100 Sumatran Rhinos alive, Overall, less than 3,000 were reported to be alive in 1995

    1. Three different subspecies were declared extinct in 2011

    2. Are vegetarian in nature, including no meat in their diets

    3. Female Black Rhinos typically have their first cub at 7 years old

    4. Have a 15 month gestation period

    5. Male Black Rhinos have been shown to be aggressive and abel to reach 35 miles per hour when charging a threat

  10. Pangolin - Critically endangered, one is taken from the wild every 5 minutes

    1. All eight species are being threatened by extinction

    2. Eat 70 million insects every year

    3. About the size of a small cat

    4. “Like a skunk, pangolins can release a noxious- smelling acid to deter predators.”

    5. Have no teeth and use “stones and keratin spines located inside their stomachs,” to break up the insects they eat

These animals are so important in the natural food chain. Our world is build on the laws of nature, but humans came along and made their own rules. We, as a planet, need to figure out a way to save these animals and save our planet. Nature was here before we were, and it’s time to act like it.

Country Songs For Every Mood

By Sydney Newcomb

Country music has always had this stereotype of being just about falling in love in the back of some guys truck. Although the majority of country songs include love and trucks, it goes much deeper than that. Country Music has changed drastically over the years, but one thing has stayed the same, the way it affects people. Whether you're happy, going through a break up, or ready for a dance party country music has the power to give you all of those options. Music can help you through some of the toughest times in your entire life, but also be there to help you celebrate the happiest times.  

When you’re happy

Windows down,  driving around on a sunny day, all you need now is some country music. What’s better than jamming to some of your favorite tunes when your in the best mood? Sometimes these are good songs to listen to when your trying to get in a better mood or just simply trying to have the time of your life with your bff’s.

  • Sunshine & Whiskey- Frankie Ballard

  • Billions- Russell Dickerson

  • I Feel Good- Thomas Rhett

  • Saturday Night- Sam Hunt

  • When It Rains It Pours- Luke Combs

When you need a pick me up

We all get those days when we’re a little down and sometimes we just need to take a break from the “happy” music. Sometimes it’s okay to listen to some sad tunes while eating a tub of ice cream in your bed, that’s what these songs are for.

  • Castaway- Brett Eldredge

  • Granddaddy's Chair- Kane Brown

  • Diamond Rings And Old Barstools- Tim Mcgraw

  • A Guy Walks Into A Bar- Tyler Farr

When you want to have a dance party

Country music might not be your first go to when your ready to party, but let me tell you what you sure can get down to some good ole country music. Anything from jammin to House Party while having a house party or boot scootin’ and boogin’ to That’s My Kind Of Night. Not all country songs are about falling in love in a truck, make sure to check out some of these country songs that are sure to make you get up and boogie!

  • That’s My Kind Of Night- Luke Bryan

  • Parking Lot Party- Lee Brice

  • House Party- Sam Hunt

  • 5-1-5-0- Dierks Bentley

  • Honky Tonk Highway- Luke Combs

When you’re going through a breakup

Country songs are some of the best songs to listen to when your going through a break up. Whether he cheated, it was the toughest breakup ever, or your just trying to brush it off any of these songs are perfect for getting over your ex.

  • Before He Cheats- Carrie Underwood

  • Break Up In A Small Town- Sam Hunt

  • Mama’s Broken Heart- Miranda Lambert

  • Singles You Up- Jordan Davis

  • Break Up with Him- Old Dominion

When you’re in love

Although you can definitely get up and dance to some country songs, most songs are about love and trucks so it’s not hard to find the perfect songs when you catch those “feels.”  If you're looking for the perfect wedding song ,country love songs, if you're looking for the perfect insta caption, country love songs. These songs can be used for so many things other than getting in your “feels”, so fall in love with some country music.   

  • God Gave Me You- Blake Shelton

  • Yours- Russell Dickerson

  • Speechless- Dan & SHay

  • You Make It Easy- Jason Aldean

  • Beat Of The Music- Brett eldredge

  • Redneck Love Song- Morgan Wallen

When you’re summer ready

With summer approaching the best way to get in the mood is to jam out to some summer country music. Anything that makes you feel happy, stress free, and a little beachy is the perfect summer tune.

  • Beachin’- Jake Owens

  • Fishin’ In The Dark- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

  • Vacation- Thomas Rhett

  • Sunny and 75- Joe Nichols

  • Cruise- Florida Georgia Line

Life Lessons from the Sims

By Summer Williamson and Adaline Bisese

Many of us have partaken in the experience of playing one version or another of Maxis’ “The Sims” game. For those of us who have invested an unreasonable and inexcusable amount of hours engaging as a life-like character in a virtual reality (which is often, yet secretly, accepted as an idealized reflection of our own beings and lives), we have gleaned over certain lesson that can actually be learned by observing the miniature digital humans.

There is a certain simplicity to Sims characters, in that they only do what is necessary and never exceed their means. The humans playing Sims have the chance to learn life lessons that will serve them well in the future from their virtual counterparts. These five life lessons from Sims can change and improve your view on everyday life.

Sims acknowledge that having fun is a need

While your Sim cannot die from a lack of having fun, it is still treated as a means necessary for their productivity. Without having fun for a set period of time, Sims become tense and uncomfortable which limits the activities that they can participate in. Like Sims, us real humans need some down-time for pleasure and enjoyment as well. We do not have a visual “need meter” telling us what we should do to pacify our demanding mortal bodies (although it would be very helpful), it is important that we recognize when we have to take some time away from the grind and have some fun.

A Sim does what a Sim has gotta do

While a Sim is acting passively ‘on their own’ (without human interaction), they attend to their needs and that is about it. As said above, they listen to their bodies and do not exceed their means. A Sim only eats when they are hungry, sleep when they are tired, and bathe when the stinky clouds emanate from their bodies. Often times, we ignore our body’s cues to fulfill our regular physical needs which causes disruptions in our systems. Take for example, skipping breakfast to get to work on time. These disruptions build up and negatively impact our moods in all sorts of ways which is why it is vital to listen to our bodies.

They have a limited amount of decisions

Normally, the Sim is not the one making the decisions, the player is, but there are only so many choices to be made in a finitely coded game. There is no limitless cooking menu when we select to cook on the stove. Their lives are not burdened with the stress and time consuming task of making choices like what to eat, what to wear, and where to go unlike the real world. In this day and age, we are bombarded with the demand to make millions of micro-decisions a day and each carries its own consequences with them (beit positive or negative). To limit our commitments and choices is a beneficial method of simplifying and streamlining human existence towards a happier future.

Everything has its place

Once a Sim’s house is built, everything pretty much stays in the same place besides the occasional stray book or dirty dish that you don’t even know how it got onto the roof and says it was cooked by the neighbor you evicted. Sims keep it clean and straight. Due to limited shopping options, they don’t collect clutter and if they do they can easily sell it. It is tricky and probably impossible to achieve a Sim’s sophisticated level of minimalism in real life, but it can serve as a healthy goal to limit the influx of material items in the home.

They spend their spare time learning new skills

Lastly, Sims spend much of their spare time learning new skills like writing, cooking, and gardening. These skills open up many new possible interactions with the Sims and can be quite fun. Almost everyone can benefit from having similar hobbies and learning new things on a regular basis. Actively participating in hobbies can be stress relieving and educational.

While we can’t try to imitate our Sim’s lives exactly (you would probably end up injured), they can still serve as examples of how to better our lives. Learning ‘life lessons’ from the Sims is also no excuse to play the game for a ridiculous amount of time when you could be actually doing, like, productive stuff. However, it is interesting to note the ways in which we can learn from these video game characters.

Best Makeup Products - Ride or Dies

By Bailey Marshall

Buying the right Makeup products is hard. I have found that different brands have strong suits. Unlike the other retail we are used to. For instance, if you find one clothing store that you like you can most likely get your pants, dresses, tops, and skirts all from that same brand. However, when shopping makeup, I have found that you can not get all your products from one brand and have the best results possible. As girls who wear makeup, we have to lean on each other for product recommendations or else we will spend way too many hours in Ulta and way too much money trying different products out.

These are the products from each brand that I have found work best for me.

FULL DISCLOSURE. Makeup products do not work the same for everyone. We all have different skin types. Sometimes this makes a difference in product performance, while sometimes it does not. Regardless, it is important for you to know that my skin is pretty normal, however, when I do have problems, my skin is more on the dry side all over or oily in my T-zone. Throughout this article, I will specify which of these products work well for what skin types.

Let us start from the beginning. Moisturizer. Regardless of the brand, it is important to use a moisturizer. This will help your makeup from getting cakey and will give you a smoother finished product. The moisturizer that I recommend is from First Aid Beauty. It is called the Ultra Repair Cream Moisturizer in the scent grapefruit. (If you prefer fragrentless, they have a generic one) This product is smooth and has very fine consistency. It is great for eliminating dryness but would also work with slightly oily skin types because the dry down is quick in my opinion.

For primer, the options are endless. If you are having a more oily skin day you can just throw on a moisturizer and skip the primer. However, I personally always prime because, like I said, my skin is more on the dry side and primer gives your pores a way to cling to the fondation. One of my favorites is the BareMinerals Prime Time primer. It has a thick and smooth consistency that dissolves into your face for a dewy look. Another good option is the Benefit Pore-fessional primer. It comes in either pearl (for a more moisturizing base) and just a regular pore primer (if you have more oily skin). This formula is very thick and evens out your skin with a slight base tent. This primer is scented, but not overly scented to the point where it bothers me. Lastly, the Becca First Light primer is great for any skin type. It restores skin cells with active radiance ingredients. It has a thin consistency and comes out of the tube purple and drys down for a radiant glow.

Next is foundation. I have a lot of freckles so I prefer a light coverage foundation. I do not like the cakey matte look. My favorite foundation is the BareMinerals BARESKIN Pure Brightening Foundation Serum. It is best applied with a foundation brush because a beauty blender would absorb most of the product. It applies smoothly providing light-medium coverage depending on how many drops you use. It does not dry down quickly on its own, so I suggest pairing it with a good setting powder if you prefer a more matte look. But, by itself it leaves a very luminous finish and moisturized feel.

After foundation, I use a concealer to brighten or cover blemishes. There is no argument on which one takes the cake. The Tarte Shape Tape Concealer gets the job done for anyone who wants a full coverage concealer. It covers EVERYTHING, does not cause your skin to crease, and pairs well with any setting powder.

Speaking of setting powder, I am pro drugstore all the way. The Covergirl Clear Matte Pressed Powder does great as a setting powder and the Maybelline Fit Me Loose Setting powder is my favorite for baking my face. Both products provide a soft look that keeps your face fresh for the day.

Now onto bronzer and contour. The Benefit Hoola Bronzer is great for all shade ranges. It has a more creamy formula that is easily buildable and is very pigmented. For contour, I use the Morphe Lo-Fi 8L palette. It is cheap and gets the job done for me (If you are willing to pay more for contour, I have heard good things about the Kat Von D contour palette as well).

For an eyeshadow base, I recently have been using the Mac Paint Pot and I am obsessed. It provides full eyelid coverage along with a base that goes on creamy but dries down enough so that you can build your shadow onto the lid beautifully.

For eyeshadow I have not yet found a formula that can match Morphe’s. However, creators that partner with Morphe used their own formulas so those are different. I have two custom Morphe collaboration palettes that James Charles and Jaclyn Hill created, however, and the formulas are similar and both very good quality. With Morphe, you get so many shadows in the pans for a cheap price and they are all buildable and creamy, but not too creamy. The shadows are pigmented with very minimal fallout. My favorite palette is the Jaclyn Hill Palette because the shade colors are so functionable. I also use the shades “Beam” and “Enlight” as my highlighter from the Jaclyn palette just because they are so gorgeous.

For mascara, I am a Benefit Lash Roller fan. The formula is lasting, the brush is thin, but not too thin and it gives the lashes a good curl. For brows, I like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyebrow Brow wiz. The pencil is thin allowing for precision and the formula is lasting.

For lips, the BareMinerals Matte Lipsticks are very nice. They are a true matte and they dry down matte. They have a wide range of shades which is just another reason to collect them all. For an everyday glimmer, I suggest the Burts Bees Lip Shimmer. The formula contains plumping agents that leave a peppermint zing on your lips which I love.

Lastly, for setting spray, I use Mac Fix Plus. It is dewy and leaves your skin with a nice shine. If you need your makeup to last longer, I would recommend the Urban Decay All Nighter. It lasts very well. (if you can stand the smell).

From watching beauty influencers and trying products on my own, these are the ones that I enjoy the most. However, I am always on the hunt for more favorites that I have not discovered.

Best Jobs for High School Athletes

By Sydney Newcomb  

High school is a time in all of our lives where we try to save up money as much money as possible for college. For some of us it’s difficult to get a job due to sports, but there are still plenty of ways to get money! One of the most important things to remember when getting a job while being a high school athlete is to make sure it is flexible and fits your schedule.

Social Media:

One of the best ways to still play the sports you love and earn a little cash is social media. There are several social media platforms that allow you to become an ambassador for that company and earn money. One of the most popular is Chose Your Vibe- Arrive Alive. This campaign is to promote healthy choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol. All you have to do is post on social media several times a week with the Hashtag myvibeva, and you’ll receive a check for $200! What’s better than posting on social media and getting paid for it?! Check out if you’re interested!

Weekend Jobs:

Being so caught up with school work during the day and your athletics in the evening sometimes the only time you’ll have to work is on the weekends. Although there are very few jobs that allow you to just work on the weekends, you could do things such as babysitting for local families, tutoring kids from your school, or finding a real flexible job. Some of the most popular jobs for high school students include waiter/waitress, grocery store employee, animal shelter worker, and retail worker. Of course you might not be able to sleep in until noon every saturday now, but you’ll be earning a little extra change!  

Summer Break Jobs:

Of course summer is supposed to be all about fun, but being so close to college saving money is all most of us can think about. There are plenty of fun summer jobs out there where you can still get money while doing them. Whether you’re working in the great outdoors as a camp counselor, getting your tan on being a lifeguard, or sticking to the sports world and working at your local sports complex. All of these jobs allow not only to do some of the thing you love, but they’ll also allow you to have your own time during the summer months while earning some cash.

Local Botetourt County Business Looking for help:

Being a high school athlete myself I know  it can be a struggle finding a job, but the best thing to do is just get out there. Apply for jobs you think you’ll enjoy, don’t pick a job just for the money. There are plenty of local places out there looking for young workers with a smiling face. Several business in Daleville that are looking for help include Kroger, Ballast Point, The Glebe, and Pizza Hut. These are just several places in Botetourt that are looking to recruit some new faces willing to lend some time and a helping hand. If you’re looking for a job more suited to you, is a great place to find a local job!

Being in high school is stressful enough, but adding sports AND a job on top of that take it to a whole nother level. Remember when looking for a job to not let it stress you out, have fun with it. Although you’re doin it for the money you’ll build relationships with co-workers and customers that will last a lifetime, so don’t take any of it for granted. What you thought was just a silly little summer counseling job your senior year might end up being the best summer of your entire life with the best people you’ve ever met.

What is the Superior Pet?

By Adaline Bisese and Summer Williamson

Animals have evolved over the centuries to become perfect pets, but is there really a superior pet? There are thousands of domesticated animals to choose from as a first-time or long-term pet owner. This list contains ten common pets with their most favorable attributes and worst characteristics giving you the opportunity to learn about your pet before purchase.

  • Dog?

What a classic species of mammal. These stinky, hairy, wet, animals are the go to pet for the general population, and with good reason. Dogs seem to be naturally inclined to dote and love on people, giving their human’s lonely souls the validation they so desperately crave. The innocence and unbreakable bond of loyalty dogs share with their owners makes this pet a strong candidate for the superior pet. However, dogs often succumb to their destructive tendencies and they have no respect for personal space. Too many times I have returned home to discover that my dog has once again gotten into the trash or shattered an urn. We say, they can’t be blamed, they are just a dog, but can trust really be so blindly placed in these creatures?

  • Cat

Cats are a mystery. They disappear and reappear as they please with no clue as to where they have been. Their silence, independence, and fluffiness is part of the draw to these felines. Cats are popular across the globe and are stigmatized in numerous cultures as being supernatural entities with connection to spiritual realms. How does that affect their status as the potentially superior pet? We don’t know. The downside of cats is that they can be cold, uncaring, and even cruel sometimes. They always appear to be creepily watching you with slitted, judging eyes void of emotion. Some cats are also prone to being as destructive as dogs at time -- particularly in the demolition of furniture department. Not to mention the litter box.

  • Goldfish you won at a fair

Goldfish are great pets for those on a budget. The small orange fish can be won at a variety of games at almost any county or state fair. Once you have acquired a fish, don’t be afraid to take it for a walk, swim, ride, or bike. Fish tend to be very versatile. One more fun fact about fish is you don’t have to even look at them! They do not exist if you don’t look at them!

  • Cactus

Ouch. You can’t pet them, but you will never need to take it for a walk or clean its litter box. They filter your air and all you have to do is water them every once in a while, or if you ever even remember to. They are a trendy and attractive step up from plastic plants and a step down from the hassle of a eating, breathing, and pooping pet. If you want to get into gardening scene or try to care of something other than yourself without much commitment, then this is the best pet.

  • Snake

Ah snakes, they have such a bad rap, but it’s time that the tamed and domesticated reptiles are exonerated from their evil stereotype. The desire’s of a pet snake are simple: eat mice and bask in a heat lamp on an artificial rock. They do not require much attention, if any at all. If you want, you can hold it and let it slither around your body as if it was trying to constrict and swallow you, but that’s not for the snake’s pleasure. Holding them is comparable to holding a possessed spaghetti noodle, and we like that. Snakes probably will not be deemed the superior pet.

  • Various assorted rodents

If you are someone who has trouble picking a pet, various assorted rodents are the pet for you. Various assorted rodents look different every time you see them. One of the best parts of owning a various assorted rodent is you don’t even need to buy a cage because once it has been released in to your home, it lives with you! As my father always said, “A pet under your house is a closer pet!”

  • An illegal elephant

So you went on an exotic excursion to Thailand and found a stellar deal on a potentially illegal elephant. Who can’t resist an offer like that? Elephants are wonderful, intelligent, and docile animals, but they tragically take up more space than most people have. Not to mention the amount of water and food they consume per day. If you have the proper arrangements, papers, and veterinarians for these gentle giants, then go for it, otherwise, they are being put in our back pockets for the superior pet nomination.

  • The million dollar horse

So you want something to brag about? You go out, buy a $100,000 arabian horse, maybe two or three even. Maybe you ride the horse, maybe you don’t, but you love it and invest all your money in it. That’s cool. Horses are similar to elephants in nature and don’t take up as much space -- still a lot though -- but then your horse(s) run away because they are wild creatures that yearn to be free. That was a lesson we all learned when we watched the 2002 movie, Spirit. I just realized that movie was released during the year of the horse.

  • A hermit crab

Hermit crabs do not seem like a favorable pet, but they have characteristics that can not be beat. First of all, they don't have claws [actually they do]. There is no pain in owning a hermit crab. They are also a pet that you will love for years until your sister forgets to feed them for a week while you are in florida and they die.

  • Monkey

They rip off your face, do not buy one.

All of these creatures make great pets given the proper circumstances. Some are low-maintenance while others make you want to pull your hair out, but they are all lovable. Our superior pet verdict is that various assorted rodents trumps all the other competition. They are the smallest hassle, most surprising, and potentially most rabid of all the contestants. No question.

Attention Seniors!

By Alyson McCullough

Senior year is full of activities ranging from getting everything ready for graduation itself and trying to remember to plan for everything else. Some things are not required, but they make the experience whole. Graduation is in less than two months, make your sure caps and gowns fit, the outfit you plan to wear is appropriate, and you are working on invitations to send out. The dress code is listed below.

  • INVITATIONS: Invitations should be sent out as soon as possible so the people you are inviting have ample time to ask off for work or arrange for other obstacles it would take to get them here.

  • SENIOR PICTURES: Most seniors take casual senior pictures to put on their invitations and to give to other family members for a sort of keepsake, if this is the case and you have not taken any, find a time when the weather is nice and contact someone to capture you in your prime.

  • CAP DECORATION: Many people decorate their caps to sport the college they will be attending the next fall and as a way to express themselves. This tradition is by no means required, just encouraged so seniors can be themselves and be proud of it.

  • SENIOR SLIDESHOW: Send in pictures in to the Senior Slideshow that will be shown at senior breakfast.

  • GRADUATION DRESS CODE: NO FLIP FLOPS, TENNIS SHOES, JEANS, SHORTS, OR CAMOUFLAGE. Men should be dressed in a button up shirt, tie, dress pants, and dress shoes. Women should be in a skirt or dress and dress shoes, as well.

  • SENIOR BREAKFAST: Make sure to fill out the survey on the Class of 2019 classroom for breakfast foods by April 9th.

  • SENIOR QUOTE: Fill in the form on the Class of 2019 classroom with your desired senior quote and a picture you want to go with it. It can be casual if you choose or if you do not submit a photo, the yearbook staff will find one to put in its place that is suitable.


Here are some dates that need to be placed in your calendar:

  • April 2 is the senior trip, if you are going, great! If you are not, enjoy your day anyway.

  • April 23 is when all senior quotes are due for the yearbook.

  • April 25 there will be senior meetings at 10:50 AM and 1:30 PM, be sure to attend one of these meetings so you do not miss any important information.

  • April 26 is the Student/Faculty volleyball tournament

  • April 27 PROM DAY!!! The senior walk will take place at some point during the night, both the senior and their date (even if the date is not a senior) will take place in this. The prom king and queen will be announced at this time.) Prom starts at 7:00 PM at the Roanoke City Market Building

  • May 3 is for students applying for scholarships, the scholarship form is due to guidance. Do not forget a parent’s signature.

  • May 13 is the spring Day of Service, seniors are being encouraged to take part in this activity to give back to the community that has given you so much over the years.

  • May 14 is the Awards Assembly at 6:30 PM at James River, all seniors should be dressed in their cap and gown and should meet in the old gym at 6:15.

  • May 15 the seniors that attended Greenfield Elementary will take part in their senior walk at 8:00 AM.

  • May 16 the seniors that attended Eagle Rock Elementary will have their senior walk at 8:15 AM.

  • May 17 is fun day and the talent show. Seniors that attended Buchanan Elementary and Breckinridge Elementary will do their walk through at 8:15 AM. The seniors will then have senior breakfast at 9:15 AM and graduation practice will start around 10:15 AM. Wear what you will wear for graduation. This is also the last day for the senior class.

  • May 19 is Baccalaureate at Fincastle Baptist Church at 2:00 PM, seniors should wear cap and gown and meet at the church at 1:30 PM. This is an event sponsored by the James River FCA.

  • May 21st IS THE BIG DAY!! Graduation will begin at 7:30 PM, all seniors should be at James River at 6:00 PM and a group picture will be taken at 6:15 in the new gym. At 6:45, seniors will line up for graduation. Wear honor cords for pictures and graduation. NHS iron your NHS stole before graduation.

Senior year is very hectic and it gets extremely stressful at times, but do not let it pass you by. Everyone has heard this before, but these are some of the best years of your life whether it seems like it now, or not. Enjoy the last few weeks of this year and make the most of it.

A Glimpse at the REAL Senior Year

By Bailey Marshall

“It’ll be fun,” they said.

For your entire academic career it’s always, “oh I wonder what I’ll be like Senior year,” “I wonder where I’ll go to college,” “My classes will be a breeze,” but just like any other situation in the real world, the anticipation can be merrier than the actual experience. Here are ten things that you must know as a Senior in high school.

1. You cannot, and I repeat CANNOT, start your college applications too early.

The great thing about college is that they want your money so most of them open their application process up in July and August. Submit them as early as you can because your second semester will be full of scholarships… but we will cover that in a second. Also, it is important to research the schools you are applying to. Each college does their application process differently. Set up your account with the college and the Coalition of Common Application and check deadlines. Some may be due in October, while others may be due in January. Top notch universities have thousands of people apply to their college every year; they do not care if you get your application in or not, so they are not going to remind you to do it. It is your responsibility to manage all of your college applications and accounts so start early.

2. Learn how to do it yourself.

For goodness sake, you are about to be adults, start packing your own lunch, reading your email, and getting stuff done. As high school students we get caught in the mindset that to get anything done we need a supervisors help, that’s not our fault, we have been taught to function that way. However, if you continue that trend into your senior year and beyond, your future will not be favorable. If you need a transcript, go to guidance and ask for one, if you need to place a cap and gown order, get money from your parents and go online and order it, if you need to mail a scholarship, go to the post office (yes, I said it, the age-old post office) and mail it yourself. If you want to see something happen, take action to make it happen, do not doddle, you do not have much time left. Dependence on other people will lead to your failure.

3. Get help.

Yes, it is time to do it yourself, but it is also okay to learn and receive help from others. High school is one of the last places you will find where there are people with open arms willing to help you. Take advantage of that, learning how to do it for yourself so that you can when you have to. Learn from others so you can do it yourself. (Also, if you have a question about anything college application, acceptance, or scholarship related, each university has phone numbers available online just for that.)

4. Get ready to wait.

It is a waiting game. Colleges will wait months to release their admissions decisions, and scholarship committees do the same. You will learn the art of patience.

5. It is a different kind of excitement.

It is very possible that you will not have a dream school or you will not be thrilled on graduation night, and that is really okay. The anticipation is more fun than the real thing sometimes and that is just life. Relish in the little victories and do not expect great ones all the time. It is going to feel different than you thought it would.

6. Be Present.

The reason that anticipation is often greater than the real thing is because we forget to live in the moment and enjoy what we have. The future may seem beautiful in our minds, but you are at the place where you are at for a reason. Do not jump the gun.

7. There is a difference between diligence and due diligence.

If you are an overachiever (maybe a first born), you may feel the urge to do it all. You owe it to yourself to be thorough, but you also owe yourself grace. Rest is important. Not just physical sleep, but mental and emotional rest. Otherwise, you will cry a lot.

8. Nothing is that important.

Your world is small. Stop putting so much emphasis on the things that will not carry into your next world.

9. Love your parents.

You do not have much more time in their house.

10. Slack, just do not break the rope.

Even if the only thing keeping you motivated in second semester is the academic chord you will get to wear at graduation, take that motivation and harness it. Your motivation will be few and far between. Find the sources of it and trap it. Maximum effort is no longer needed, just helpful.

Think “Ball in the Box” When You Cope with Grief

By Ian DeHaven

One week ago from the time of writing this, I was not happy, to say the least.

I thought I failed a test. I was waitlisted at one of my top schools. I was bickering with some of my friends over things that were ultimately my fault. As far as I was concerned, it was not “my day,” and would not be “my day” for a long time.

I had no way to think about all these stressors that were upsetting me other than that they dominated my focus - all throughout the day, at random times. My brain was the venue for a “Wheel of Mis-Fortune” game, with contestants spinning a wheel to decide what would aggravate me next. I had no apparent control on what bothered me, and sought out some sort of explanation for the things I was feeling.

Enter the “Ball in the Box” metaphor for grief. First posted on Twitter by Lauren Herschel (@LaurenHerschel), the “Ball in the Box” is a way to not only visualize grief, but also to explain why it seems so impossibly random.

The main components of Mrs. Herschel’s metaphor, first explained to her by her doctor, are as follows: there is a box, a ball inside, and a “pain button” that triggers sadness or stress whenever it is pressed by said ball.

Diagram by Ian DeHaven

Diagram by Ian DeHaven

When something negative first happens to somebody, the ball inside their box is enormous, explains Herschel. It is impossible to move the box around without triggering constant button presses and pangs of hurt.

Seem desperate? Don’t worry, the ball gets smaller over time as one works through their sadness and pain, and the button is pressed less accordingly. Stress and hurt are experienced less often, but with the same intensity and strength as the beginning - making it easier to “function day to day” but harder to cope with infrequent, unexpected button presses. The smaller ball and reduced pain frequency also allows those affected by grief to recover for longer of periods of time, wrote Herschel.

Reading this simple yet effective description, I was trapped in thought on my Twitter feed. Explanations and solutions for problems so enveloping were sitting in front of me in the easily digested form of a box and a ball. I let my foolishness wash over me only for a moment, and set to work righting my wrongs.

I first identified what all of the parts of this metaphor meant for me - the box was me, and the pain button was my emotions, of course. The ball was representative of stress triggers that I held all the power to stop: I spoke to my math professor to ease my nerves about the possibly failed test, I began my continued interest statement for my top school that waitlisted me, and I poured myself into and sent apologies to people, planning to make others if anything else came up.

The “Ball in the Box” school of thought helped me picture, identify, and put to explainable words what was bothering me, all based on “the size of the ball.” I was able to focus on specific factors bothering me, helping me in the process of healing and relief. I spoke clearly and intelligently about the problems that faced me, and resolved them faster than if I just “simmered down” as per usual.

Next time your day is iffier than normal, or something is giving you trouble, consider labelling your problems in terms of a box, a ball, and a pain button. It’s certainly an unusual way to think about the things that stress us, but in times so hectic as high school, the “Ball in the Box” can afford all of us much needed moments of tranquility and clarity everytime things fall apart and “our day” seems distant in the horizon.

How to Make a Luther Burger

By Elizabeth Rice

A hamburger made of two donuts as buns is an old creation but still trending. The official name is the Luther Burger.

There are many places where you can get the Luther Burger including ballparks such as the ballpark for The Gateway Grizzlies in Saugut, Illinois, at many restaurants including Gourmet Burgers and Dogs in Naples, Florida, Sugar Shack Donuts in Chesterfield, VA, and at state fairs including Wisconsin State Fair with a booth by The Machine Shed.

The creator of the burger is unknown. The burger is known to be named after Luther Vandross who is a singer songwriter and record producer though.

Paula Deen stated that she was the creator during her interview on Leno. She also had an episode on her show Paula’s Home Cooking back in 2008 where the burger named the “The Lady’s Brunch Burger” appeared. She said “It came by accident, it happened by accident y’all…” on the show.

However, Bobby and Jamie Deen who are her sons stated against her that she was actually not the original creator on their Daily Mail interview. They said “You know what’s funny is that’s it not her recipe. That was a Minor League Baseball thing, and my mom did like a spoof on it. That’s the only thing really bothered me was they gave us credit for that recipe but it wasn’t even our recipe. The Minor League Baseball team did one of those things, you make the craziest things you can think of. So they made a cheeseburger on a donut. And it was on the national news cycle for about five minutes and somebody from our production team put it together. I have never tasted or seen my mom ever made a Krispy Kreme cheeseburger in my life.

The  burger has also appeared in the show The Simpson on the episode called “Bart’s Friend Falls in Love,” the episode called The Burger.

Yet Luther Burger, the restaurant, says,  “Story has it that late one night, Luther Vandross was making smashburger. When he finished cooking the patties, he realized he didn’t have enough buns, but instead a box of donuts. In the moment of panic, hunger and genius, the Luther Burger was born.” This restaurant has the options of beef burgers, turkey burgers, crab burgers, and vegan burgers.

While these burgers aren’t the healthiest and can be as up to 1,500 calories, they’re an interesting choice of meal.

Make a Luther Burger!

Total: 22 minutes

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 12 minutes

Yield: 1 serving


  • 2 slices bacon

  • 1 glazed doughnut (Krispy Kreme is recommended)

  • ⅓ pound ground beef (organic grass-fed prefered)

  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

  • Pinch black pepper

  • 2 slices American Cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients

  2. Begin by frying the bacon in a cast iron skillet. Turn the heat to medium and cook the bacon until crispy.

  3. Remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel, saving the rendered bacon grease in a small container.

  4. Next, slice your donut in half, being careful not to crush or remove any of the exterior glaze.

  5. Drizzle a little of the reserved bacon grease in the skillet and add the sliced doughnut halves, interior side down. Toast the doughnut halves until golden brown. Remove them from heat and set them aside.

  6. Meanwhile, start shaping your beef patty into a ball and sprinkling the outside with salt and pepper.

  7. Heat the cast iron skillet with the rendered bacon fat to medium-high and add the seasoned ball of beef. Let the beef ball cook for 3 to 5 minutes until crispy and golden brown.

  8. Flip the ball and smash slowly so the burger stays together.

  9. Let the burger cook for a few more minutes until the desired doneness is reached, about 5 to 10 minutes.

  10. Flip the burger one more time, add the cheese, and then remove it from the heat.

  11. Cover it for 2 minutes until the cheese has melted.

  12. Add the bacon to the top of the cheese cheeseburger patty then place it into the toasted doughnut.

  13. Serve immediately and enjoy.


The Luther burger is going to be messy, so make sure you have napkins handy and a sink to wash the sugary glaze off your fingers after eating.


  • You can add other condiments to the Luther burger to your taste. For example, lettuce, tomato, thinly sliced onions, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, dill pickle slices, or relish. You can get even more creative with different types of cheese or substitute with vegan bacon, turkey bacon, or even a vegetarian patty.

  • The Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut is just the right size for this burger, but you can substitute the glazed donut of your choice.

Recipe By:

A List of Crazy Laws

By Evelyn Melvin

Laws are something that America needs in order to keep the peace between people. They help protect us and keep us safe. Without laws, there would be mayhem. Yes, laws are important, but some of them are just down right dumb. So here is a list of crazy laws that should not be a thing. Let’s get to it.

Blindfolded Law

  • In Alabama there is a law that makes it illegal to drive blindfolded. Which makes absolutely no sense. What kind of freak drives blindfolded?

The Donkey and the Bathtub Law

  • In Arizona, it is illegal for a donkey, yes I said donkey, to sleep in a bathtub. So many questions are running through your mind right now, and I understand why. I am very confused myself. First of all, why is there a donkey in your house, let alone in your bathtub? What do people do all day to make this a law?

The No Selling Dog Hair Law

  • In Delaware, there is a law that prohibits you to sell dog hair. How much money can you actually get from hair left on your sofa. They must have been selling a ton of dog hair to actually make a profit. Who would actually buy dog hair.

No Parking In Front of a Dunkin’ Donuts

  • There is a law in Maine that does not allow you to park in front of a Dunkin’ Donuts. Where are you supposed to park … ? Oh yeah hi, I just came from 15 blocks away for this coffee because I couldn’t park in front of this place.

No Sleeveless Shirts

  • In Maryland you are not allowed to wear a sleeveless shirt in public. Yeah so get those dang wife beaters out of here, THAT’S ILLEGAL.

No Dirty Tires Here

  • In Minnesota dirty tires are banned. Look at that James River, all you crazy mud boggin’ country boys and girls better never go to Minnesota. You would be considered a public nuisance more than you are here in good ol’ Virginia.  

Don’t You Go Wrestlin’ That Bear Willy!

  • In Missouri it is illegal to wrestle a bear. Everything about this law confuses the crap out of me. Why would you do this? What do you gain?

You’re An Idiot, No Voting for You

  • In New Mexico, you can not vote if you are an “idiot.” Idiots can include felons. You know what, I completely agree. No idiots voting, actually good President. It’s like Christmas every election day!  

Slippers? Who’s she?

  • In New York, slippers are banned after 10 p.m. When do you wear slippers? At night, which includes after 10 p.m. So if you are in New York, and you are wearing your slippers around the hotel room after 10, you are breaking the law. You nasty unlawful human being, I cannot believe you.

Who Dyes Chickens? That’s Right, You Guessed It, Ohio.

  • In Ohio it is illegal to sell dyed chickens. So if you’re looking for a purple chicken, because I don’t know it tickles your tummy, do NOT go looking in Ohio.

No Hunting In Oregon!

  • In Oregon, you are not allowed to hunt in a cemetery. Which should be a law anyway because that some direspectful shist. So all you country boys, if you see a big ol’ buck in the cemetery think again. You are not allowed to hunt in Oregon.

No Horse Racing on Highway

  • It is illegal in Rhode Island to race horses on the highway. Can you just imagine some guy on the highway in Rhode Island trying to get someone to race him. “Hey man come on your car is no match for my horse bro, just race me for pink slips bro. Come on let’s go.” What goes on in these peoples minds.

Bite That Dog!

  • In Ohio, it is legal for a police man to bite a dog to calm it down. First of all, what the actual... Second of all, how would that calm the dog, that would just hurt the dog honestly. So basically that’s animal abuse.

    Dang, You Really Can Not Sing

  • In North Carolina, it is illegal to sing off key. If you think you can sing, but you really can’t, do not go to NC. Bad things are in store for you and your off key singing. Also, can you just imagine sitting in court and about to be punished, all because you were in your shower singing off key and someone reported you. People really be like that sometimes.

No Marrying Your Cousin!

  • In Utah, it is illegal to marry your cousin, unless they and you are over the age of 65. So if it’s your 65th birthday, and you’re 66 year old cousin is looking flyyyyyy it’s your lucky day.

So as you can see, people are actually stupid, the end.

50 Ways to Have the Best Day

By Summer Williamson

I’d say that times have been challenging recently, but they’ve been tough for the complete entirety of history. Nevertheless, with the current tense political climate, potential threat of global warming, and brain infesting parasites killing the deer and moose populations, we all need some help to perk up our days. Below is a compiled list of 50 patented methods I use to brighten my days and I implore you to give them a shot.

  1. Wake up with a splash of warm toilet bowl water to the face

  2. Stub your toe on pillow and shout “why hath my pillow stubbed me”

  3. Before even getting out of bed, the bed decides not to be a bed

  4. Shout at the old man stealing your flower pots in the early morning after feeding your cat

  5. Burn your eggs, all of them, and then smash the frying pan into the wall which gets smashed too

  6. Intentionally spill scalding hot coffee on your lap, or maybe it’s not actually coffee

  7. Drink spoiled milk, just the chunks

  8. Accidentally eat a lizard in your cereal because your cat is evil and put it there hoping that the lizard would eat you before you ate it

  9. Get diagnosed with a mysterious illness; maybe it’s from the milk?

  10. Wear plastic bags as shoes because the sound of squelching plastic fills everyone’s soul with joy

  11. Take a peaceful and calming walk on a beach of broken glass

  12. Cry crocodile tears on your scaly crocodile skin

  13. Attend your dog’s funeral, but don’t worry because all dogs go to heaven

  14. Legally disown yourself from yourself

  15. Break your phone, she isn’t going to call you, so what’s the point

  16. Make an order of a dozen warm donuts just to find that you actually got a box of old, moldy dough

  17. Wear wet laundry because ya’ mom broke your dryer

  18. Find barbeque in your socks; your mom trolled you again

  19. Get trapped in a seaweed face mask seeing as it’s trendy now anyways, so. . .

  20. Watch your uncle to make sure he doesn’t steal your toes; you always had a hunch Uncle Doug would try some day

  21. Have the holy spirit leave your prayers on read

  22. Get attacked by a polar bear in Florida; double points if it’s wearing a bikini

  23. Experience a shark attack in the safety of your own swimming pool

  24. Have a specialized poltergeist possess all your doorknobs so each time you touch one your hand gets burnt

  25. Buy a moldy banana from Kroger because Tyler didn’t get rid of the dirty bananas

  26. Witness the stock market crash all because Zion Williamson’s shoe exploded

  27. Get struck by lightning on a sunny day and speculate at the universe’s ironic sense of humor

  28. The War on Cows finally breaks out and you must join the fight

  29. Let ya long john’s flap falls open in public (the long john’s were the only dry laundry you had)

  30. Cut yourself while cutting a lemon or does the lemon cut you?

  31. Make your tea so hot it burns your tongue off, ow ow ow, I need a doctor

  32. Turn the sky into an ocean so that it rains stinky, stinky fish in your face

  33. Discover that you are actually a closeted caveman and embrace your identity as you grunt “ugha-ogha”

  34. Let a whale consume you while taking a dip in the ocean

  35. Have someone tell you that you smell like french fries and stale trees

  36. Watch earth implode before your very own eyes — I hear it is an enlightening sight

  37. Sneak a horse into a hospital and watch as manic chaos breaks loose

  38. Take your new kayak for a spin, have it break down, then discover that your kayak insurance policy doesn’t cover repairs

  39. Steal someone’s socks and live with the guilt of taking their feet gloves

  40. Eat yourself into the grave, but you can only eat expensive and aged cheese

  41. Remember that nobody wished you happy birthday, then remember that it’s not your birthday

  42. Have Jarald put nails in your bed and then exclaim “Jarald, why did you put nails in my bed?”

  43. Go to a really awful and boring book club meeting then burn all the books with words

  44. Look at old men with larger muscles than you and use that as motivation to go to the gym because you need to get moving while you’re still young or else time will steal your legs from you

  45. Get poisoned in the bowling alley since the nacho cheese is worth it

  46. Step on your cat, Murph’s, barf and do the yucky-nasty dance as you flip out

  47. Stop being a total sad-dog all the time, dog.

  48. Drive behind a stinky chicken truck and shout at stinky chicken truck driver that his chickens really stink up his truck

  49. Arrive at the threshold of your home before supper and breath in the sweet scent of Momma’s baked beans

  50. Realize love doesn’t exist

How to Prepare for Prom Day

By Sarah Lam

High school is filled with lots of good times. From field trips, to football games, to college tours, there's always something to look forward to. One of the most important things that high school students look forward to is, you guessed it, PROM! Prom is a huge milestone in a high schooler’s life. You’ve been waiting your whole life to experience prom and all of its glories. You get two years to attend prom then it’s over forever (unless you get invited back by a high school student). You want to make the most of your prom, and there is a lot of preparing you must do. Here’s a guide to help you prepare for the big day.

The Dress:

Picking out the perfect prom dress can be one of the most stressful things ever. There are so many colors, styles, and designers. This can have you feeling really overwhelmed. Start your prom dress shopping 2 to 3 months in advance. This will give you time to make the appropriate alterations and shop for accessories such as shoes and jewelry. When picking out the dress, find a style that is the right fit for you. Don’t pick something because that’s what “everyone else is wearing.” Be yourself and find something that lets you express yourself. Most importantly, make sure to shop around before making your final decision. Don’t pick the first dress you try on. Make sure you explore your options.

The Hair:

Something most people struggle with is deciding how they want to wear their hair to prom. You should start thinking about this after you buy your dress. Start a Pinterest board and search for potential hairstyles you might want to use. Pin all of your favorites to the board for easy access. Before you even decide on a hairstyle, MAKE SURE YOU BOOK A HAIRSTYLIST MONTHS IN ADVANCE! Prom is the busiest season for them, and their availability will go fast. Make sure you secure a spot so you aren’t rushing at the last second searching for someone who has an appointment open.

The Makeup:

Makeup on prom day is another important thing. You can get it professionally done, or just do it yourself. If you decide to get it professionally done, you will also want to book months in advance. This was you have a spot secured. If you are doing your makeup yourself, practice different looks a few weeks before. This will give you time to experiment with which eyeshadow, lipstick, and eyeliner you want to use. This way you won’t do something you don’t like on prom day and have to take it all off and restart. Pinterest will also be your best friend when it comes to makeup. There are millions ideas to match your preferred look. Lastly, make sure you wear setting spray! This will keep all the makeup from smudging and coming off while you are busting moves on the dance floor.

The Pictures:

Pictures have to be one of the best parts about prom. There’s nothing like being able to get all dressed up with your friends or date. EVeryone wants to get that perfect Instagram picture to post on their feed. A few weeks before, you want to decide where you are going to take pictures. You want to make sure there is good lighting and scenery. Having a nice background makes for beautiful prom pictures. Taking pictures closer to sunset, also known as the golden hour, is best. This way you will get that golden look and there won’t be a bright sun on your face in all the pictures. Be sure to plan with your friends to meet up in the same place, that way you can all get a group picture together.

The Dinner:

So you have made it through pictures. The next stop is going to eat that pre-prom dinner. Make reservations at the restaurant you choose a few days before. This will ensure you get a seat and you don’t have to sit and wait. Nobody wants to wait for their food and possibly be late to prom. When choosing what to eat, don’t pick something that’s going to be messy. The last thing you want is barbeque sauce all over your expensive white dress. Stick with something that you can eat with no problem. For extra precautions, gets lots of napkins and keep some on your lap just in case anything were to happen. Lastly, if you have a good waitress, don’t forget to leave them a tip.

The most important word of advice you can get from this article is to have fun. Don’t let the night waste away. Make sure you dance your butt off, take pics, and go to after prom. Make the most of every moment you get. It will be a night you’ll never forget.

Spring Break on a Budget

By: Sydney Newcomb

Spring Break always seems like a fortune, but it doesn't have to be! You and your family are saving up for college, and of course you want to go somewhere this summer for one last hurrah. Whether you’re looking for the clear waters of Forida, the mountains of Tennessee, or even a simple week under the trees at a campground, you can do all of these with a budget in mind.

Of course somewhere like Jensen Beach, Florida won’t be free, but for a week you could stay there for just $700. If you went with another family and split the cost in half you would both only pay $350 for a whole week. Being such a small, quiet town, Jensen beach is a great family-friendly beach. Not only can you soak up the sun and salty air, but you can enjoy the many boutiques and shopping centers. Remember to keep that budget in mind while shopping though!

Townsend, Tennessee is another great location to go on spring break. Just $20 more than Jensen Beach, this location would be about $720 for the whole entire week. Townsend is referred to as “the peaceful side of the Smokies.” You can enjoy the beautiful scenery the mountains have to offer on your relaxing trip in Tennessee. Townsend being only a 51 minute drive from Gatlinburg, you and your family can get into so many more fun adventures. Whether it’s the aquarium, the skylift, or zip lining, you’ll have a blast. The worst part about the trip is definitely going to be remembering to take it easy on that wallet.

If you’re looking for something for a little less, maybe think about taking a weekend trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. For only $55 a night you could stay at the Sea Crest Oceanfront Resort. Being only a 1 minute walk to the beach and only a 10 minute walk to the Family Kingdom Amusement Park, it makes this hotel very family friendly. You’ll still be able to splash in that salty water and get a nice tan, but on a little bit better of a budget!

Looking for something a little closer to home? Maybe Smith Mountain Lake is the place for your spring break destination. Only about an hour away, SML has so much fun to offer with its beautiful mountains, neverending waters, and unforgettable memories waiting to be made. Whether you stay at one of its many campgrounds or even rent a house, either way you’ll have the time of your life soaking up some Virginia rays.

The most budget friendly spring break trip is taking in the great outdoors and going camping. Whether you’re at a campground, or even in your own backyard, make the most of it. Middle Creek, Jellystone, and Shenandoah Acres are some great places besides your backyard to have the best spring break ever. Camping offers so many activites such as going fishing, going for a swim, eating some smores, and just relaxing. There’s just something about sleeping under the stars, next to a fire that you just have to do every once and awhile.

Spring break being right around the corner, it’s time to start planning, if you haven’t already. Remember all throughout the week to keep a budget in mind and don’t even think about going over it. Everything seems so expensive nowadays, so planning a trip on a budget should be a key part of the trip. That doesn’t mean you can’t do what you want while you’re there or mean you can’t take a trip at all, it simply means keep a budget in mind all the time. Save up some money by not eating out as much and not buying that cute new shirt you saw, once you do save up you’ll be able to splurge and your next spring break vacation!