Overachiever is a word that has both defined and plagued me. In the days leading up to graduation, when I should be contemplating graduation dresses and paying for college, I have instead wondered how I became an “overachiever.” Was overachieving a disease that I picked up from my overly-involved friends? Was my goal in life to be better than my peers? No, I decided being an overachiever was something that stemmed solely from me. It was my desire to achieve my dreams and to be better than who I thought I was.
My entire life, adults have told me that in order to reach my goals I needed to work hard. However, they failed to mention exactly how hard was hard enough. I pushed myself because I was afraid that I was not working hard enough to get into a good college or be an award-winning journalist. I was an overachiever because I was afraid of failure. Not reaching my dreams was a pill I was not ready to swallow.
I traced my desire to be better to a childhood filled with shortcomings. Being overly-involved and taking hard classes was a way of proving to myself that I was good enough.
I am the way I am because I refuse to fail. I have spent my entire life proving to myself that I am worthy of my achieving my dreams. I work for what I want in order to prove to myself that I am good enough. It is a vicious cycle, but it has gotten me to where I am today and that is a place I am proud of.
Early this year I was delighted with changes Wendy’s had made to their cheeseburgers. They promised that the new “Dave” burgers were thicker, juicer and overall more delicious and they delivered. So when I saw the addition of new premium sides to their menu I was delighted. I had high expectations for the macaroni and cheese, baked sweet potato and chili cheese fries.
However, unlike with the new burgers I was sorely disappointed. I ordered the chili cheese fries as an after school snack knowing that I was not going to be eating dinner until much later in the evening. After eating the fries I decided that I should have waited for dinner.
The fries were just the regular sea salt fries, with a pile of normal Wendy’s chili and shredded cheese caked on the top. I like Wendy’s chili by itself, but it should not be mixed with French fries. The traditional chili for chili cheese fries is thick with almost no juice. This chili was so runny that it made the fries damp and soggy. The only thing I really appreciated about the fries was that they did not have nacho cheese on them.
I do not know how the macaroni or sweet potato are, but if they are anything like the chili cheese fries I would recommend just getting a frosty.
Journalism staffs attended the 2012 Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City awards ceremony at Johnson County Community College on Wednesday, April 25.
The awards are as follows:
The JagWire website, second place
The Jag yearbook, second place
Senior Sarah Darby, Opal Heatherly Writing Award for Seniors Scholarship and Michael Dunlap Excellence in Journalism Scholarship
Sophomore Jack Lopez, second place in Newspaper Critical Review
Senior Sarah Fulton, second place in Newspaper Editorial
Senior Jill Applegate, honorable mention in Newspaper Single-Page Design
Applegate and senior Adam Henderson, first place in Newspaper Infographic
Junior Hanna Torline, honorable mention in Newspaper Sports Story
Junior Miranda Snyder, honorable mention in Newspaper Sports Action
Junior Kelsey Floyd, first place in Newspaper News Photography
Snyder and senior Sarah Gonzales, third place in Newspaper Multimedia Online
Junior Ellen Bodine, honorable mention in Yearbook Clubs Design
Senior Allie Love, honorable mention in Yearbook Portrait Copy
Senior Carly Granato, third place in Yearbook Student Life design
Seniors Rachel Mills and Katherine Beck, first place in Yearbook Theme Presentation
Senior Lauren Shurley, honorable mention in Yearbook Overall Coverage in a Single Spread
Bodine, second place in Yearbook Sports Design
Mills, honorable mention in Headline Package Presentation
Granato, second place in Yearbook Activities Photography
Senior Austin Becker, second place in Yearbook Sports Reaction
The JagWire website and newspaper were also named All-Kansas by the Kansas Scholastic Press Association. The newspaper was one of six 5A papers in the state to be recognized and the website was one of two in the state to earn the honor. A total of 48 schools submitted publications and 22 earned the honor.
“We’ve had a strong showing at every competition we’ve been at this year. We have a lot of talented journalists and a lot of students who are passionate about journalism,” Darby said. “I’m so proud all of our hard work has paid off.”
Overwhelmed by larger million dollar restaurants, Best Regards Bakery,6759 W 119th Street, is located in a quite unassuming strip mall. Large floor-to-ceiling windows, decorated with decals declaring things like cookies, make up the entire outer wall of the restaurant.
Walking inside, I at first did not know where to look. There were cookies in the corner, a display of cupcakes and a basket of bread behind the counter. After walking back and forth between the displays trying to decide if I wanted a cookie or a cupcake, I decided the only solution was to get one of each.
The cupcake I decided on was called Limoncello with Citrus Frosting. At the time I had no idea what Limoncello meant so I thought I was being adventurous. I later learned that Limoncello is just a fancy way to say that it is a lime cupcake. I sorely disappointed that I was spent $4 on a lime cupcake, which I have had before. Regardless, it was a good cupcake. The citrus frosting had a spritely light flavor that exploded in your mouth. The cake was dense but in a good way. It allowed you to get a full and fulfilling bite every time. All together the cupcake tasted like a key lime pie and a good key lime pie at that.
The cookie I decided on was a Spiced Apple Pie Cookie. Being a big fan of snickerdoodles and cinnamon in general, I was excited. The cookie was large and soft, the obvious result of a large amount of butter. To my disappointment the largest taste in the cookie was nutmeg, which I enjoy but not nearly us much as cinnamon. The cookie also did not taste like pie; it was more spice than pie. It was a decent cookie, but it left me wanting just a simple snickerdoodle.
Overall, Best Regards Bakery was a bakery. It was special in its own little way, but it is not going to be a hole in the wall phenomena.
Hiding in the corner of a strip mall and concealed by a Super Target, Sylas and Maddy’s Ice Cream, 11925 South Strang Line Road, is a Lawrence transport that found a second home in Olathe. My first impression was that the store smelled like sugar and was really clean. The mustard-colored walls highlighted chalkboard menus. A few framed pictures of children and dogs line one of the walls and made me smile. Overall, the store was nicely decorated but lacked the magic that its Lawrence counterpart gets from being in a college town. I hoped the ice cream would measure up.
I chose to order the Five Flavor Sampler with Cake Batter, Birthday Bash, Blueberry Cheesecake, Tiger Tracks and Kansas Twister. They were all scooped into a bowl and immediately started melting all over each other.
I decided to eat the Cake Batter, which had cake batter flavoring with cake chunks, because it was sitting on top of the pile. The ice cream itself had a hint of lemon, but was overall a little bland. The real flavor came from the chunks of cake, they were a blast of sugar and had a flavor that was a nice surprise. The only problem was that in my little scoop there was not enough ice cream to have a large portion of cake.
Directly under the Cake Batter was the Birthday Bash, cake flavor with sprinkles, which was similarly underwhelming. I have no idea where the cake flavor was supposed to be because the ice cream tasted like vanilla. The sprinkles added a nice crunch and some fun color, but they were not enough to make the flavor memorable.
Next was the Blueberry Cheesecake, which I was excited about because of the fun purple color. However, like the Birthday Bash, I was not sure where the cheesecake flavor was. The ice cream tasted like blueberries and was really good, but I wanted cheesecake.
Next was the Tiger Tracks and the Kansas Twister. While they are two separate flavors, once I got done dissecting the first three flavors they had melted just enough to become one blob of ice cream. At first I was a little upset, but then I discovered that the blob was delicious. What I think was the Tiger Tracks had the peanut butter drops, brownies and a fudge swirl. The peanut butter drops, to my surprise, did not freeze and become hard like I expected. They were not Reese’s but they were really good. It was a perfect mix of chocolate and vanilla.
The side I think was Kansas Twister had peanut butter, Oreos, peanuts and fudge swirl. The peanut butter and fudge swirl were barely noticeable but created a nice contrast to the peanuts and Oreos. The Oreos were only chunked and not ground, so I clearly see the outer cookie and filling. I loved just being able to take an entire bite of Oreo. It was delicious.
Overall, Sylas and Maddy’s was a good place to stop for ice cream. The variety of flavors offer a variety of tempting choices that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest plates. I just have two recommendations. The first is to go to the original location in Lawrence for the magic feeling that a much loved ice cream store has. The second is to order only one flavor. The tiny little bites available in the five flavor sampler did not give justice to the flavors.
An elderly man greeted me as I walked through the doors of Doughnut Factory, 9408 Johnson Dr in Shawnee Mission. He appeared to be the sole employee of the tiny doughnut shop and the only one that was needed.
The store was small with only enough room for the man, his doughnut trays and about four customers. There was no menu; just two signs giving the cost of regular doughnuts and “fancy doughnuts.” Not knowing what to call the doughnuts that I wanted, I ordered by location. The man chuckled a little bit as I directed him towards the cake doughnut, middle of the top row, and the football-shaped one, left side of the third row. They turned out to be a blueberry cake doughnut and raspberry filled doughnut.
The man bagged the doughnuts carefully and started to ring me up. However, we hit a snag when his debit card machine started to malfunction. He explained that the machine was so slow that it often lost the transaction in the middle. On the second try the machine took my card, but I would still recommend paying in cash.
When I finally got around to eating the doughnuts 20 minutes later, I began with the raspberry filled. It was a light tan color and was covered in a thin layer of icing. I took a bite expecting a mouthful of raspberry filling. However, I got a regular- tasting doughnut with almost no filling. While the doughnut was light, fluffy and delicious, I wanted the filling. Upon further examination I discovered that the doughnut did have filling, it was just all on one side. One side of the doughnut had almost no filling and the other had more filling than doughnut. Despite that, it was a generally good doughnut.
The blueberry cake doughnut was also a generally good doughnut. It had a dense texture and a dense flavor to match. The doughnut packed a large amount of blueberry flavor in every bite. The only thing I can really say is that it was delicious. It was a really good doughnut.
In total, my experience at the Doughnut Factory was good. The old man was nice and patient. The doughnuts were overall really good and gave me a terrific sugar high. The Doughnut Factory is worth a stop.
After swinging a sharp left into the tiny parking lot of Anthony’s Diner, 10 West 9th Street in Eudora, I was underwhelmed by the restaurant’s appearance. I expected it to be small, but it was really small. The front of the restaurant was completely flat and the width of the four parking spaces. The bottom two feet of the wall were brick with the rest a deep blue siding that gave it a quaint appearance.
The menu on the other hand was not quaint. With a name like Anthony’s Diner I expected cheeseburgers, fries and maybe some pot roast. While there were chicken strips, the menu largely consisted of Italian dishes like pasta primavera and mostaccioli with red cream sauce. After debating over ordering the shrimp scampi pasta, I decided on the meatball grinder with a side of French fries.
I ordered and began to take in surroundings. The floor was covered in a black carpet that appeared overall dirty and had a few suspect stains, that I decided were probably blood. I leaned over the back of my booth to look at the rest of the restaurant and discovered that the seat of the booth behind me was largely made of black duck tape.
I was just about to inspect the silver when Anthony himself emerged from the kitchen. He sat down at a table, commented on the weather and than began complaining to the waitress about the air conditioning. He appeared to be genuinely nice, a little eccentric and just my kind of person. After messing with the thermostat for a few seconds, he disappeared back into the kitchen and my grinder appeared a few minutes later.
The grinder was about 10 inches long and filled to the brim with meat. However, I was greatly disappointed because there was no visible cheese. Since cheese makes up about 70 percent of my diet, I believe that no sandwich or meal is complete without cheese. Yet, I decided to eat it anyhow and give the grinder a fair chance.
I first inspected the bread, which was thick and white. It was toasted just a tiny bit, so it was not mushy but also not too crisp. I then poked at the meatballs because they appeared to have fallen apart on the way from the kitchen. After I was done examining the grinder, I finally took a bite and to my surprise, found a mountain of cheese. It was pure white mozzarella that was melted to perfection. The taste of the meatballs was overall really good. The meat seemed to be of a high quality, but it was just too meaty. I realize that is probably impossible for meatballs to be too meaty, but I wanted more seasoning.
The French fries were the traditional crinkle cut fries from a bag in the freezer, but they were warm and well cooked.
Overall Anthony’s Diner is a place to go and eat. You do not go for the décor or the convenience. You go to eat a lot of food in peace. It is worth the trip for a little rest, relaxation and stress eating.
Rushing to find a hiding spot, freshman Jordan Matlock helps her new three-year-old sister, Ava Achole, hide in the closet, while her new brother, eight-year-old Joshia Nen, attempts to conceal his feet behind a curtain. Games like this started in March when Jordan’s family brough home Ava Achole and Joshia Nen from Ethiopia after a two-year adoption porcess.
Jordan’s family began the foreign adoption process in August 2010. Jordan’s mother Sherri Matlock explained that after three years of consideration, the decision to adopt was not easy.
“I had been thinking about [adoption] for a few years. But we just hadn’t decided where we would adopt from. Would we do it domestically or internationally, are we too old to do it?” Sherri said.
According to Sherri, it was after her husband, Craig, and her son, former student Braxton, came home from a mission trip to South Africa in August of 2010 decided to adopt internationally.
“We decided if our goal was to help children and to have children to love, it did not matter what country they came from and Ethiopia has a very healthy international program,” Sherri said.
The Matocks then began the adoption process at the domestic level by submitting to a series of home studies, financial checks, health checks that allowed them to qualify to adopt internationally. Then on Oct. 15, 2010, they filed paper work with the Ethiopian courts.
“Your life becomes an open book to these agencies,” Sherri said.
After being approved by the courts, the Matlocks should have received a referral that would allow them to be matched to children. However, previous to receiving their referral, the group in charge of Ethiopian adoptions announced that they would be limiting the number of adoptions.
“It was at least a six-month period where things came to a grinding halt,” Craig said. “[I was not afraid that] it was not going to fall through, but that it was going to take years and years. It is a totally helpless feeling.”
“I was upset. I wanted my potential brother or sister…home, quickly,” Jordan said. “It is hard being patient, but that’s what you have to do with adoption, be patient.”
After six months the Matlocks finally received the referral, and found Nen and Achole on their adoption agency’s website.
“As soon as we got the referral…I kind of screamed for joy,” Jordan said. “When we saw their pictures it was a moment of happiness.”
The Matlocks then traveled to Ethiopia in December 2011 to meet the children, who were living in transitional housing, and to be approved by the Ethiopian courts.
“It was kind of funny at first because…there was no one that spoke English. So they kind of just pushed into the court yard. We looked at them and said is that them?” Sherri said.
According to Craig, once they figured out that it was Achole and Nen, they had to show restraint.
“You are struggling between wanting to go and grab these children that you have been loving in your heart and having some restraint,” Craig said.
After approval from the courts Craig and Sherri were legally Nen and Achole’s parents, but could not bring them home until they were also approved by the U. S.
“It was difficult because…we understood that we would be coming but they didn’t,” Sherri said. “That was the worst part, not being able to communicate that we would be back for them.”
The Matlocks pushed for clearance by sending emails to the officials conducting the final interviews. Then on March 10, they gambled and left for Ethiopia before receiving clearance in hopes for returning home with Nen and Acholle. After five days in Ethopia and almost two years total, the Matlocks finally brought them home. However, according to Sherri, she did not know what to expect.
“You do not know exactly what to expect,” Sherri said. “I expected their sleeping to be more difficult and they are awesome sleepers.”
Jordan has changed her sleep schedule.
“We have to get up at 6:15 a.m., because they are up playing hide and seek. They are kind of loud, and they bang,” Jordan said. “It is fun. Sometime I wish I was younger so I could stay home and play.”
According to Craig, communicating has been interesting because Nen and Achole speak almost no English.
“[The hardest part is] the language barrier, definitely. With Achole it is not as hard, she is little. With [Nen] it has been harder because he is shy anyway,” Sherri said.
Craig says that they have learned to look for gestures Achole and Nen make to say things like yes.
“It is these small little gestures, they do this eyebrow flub and head raise but it is so subtle,” Craig said. “We have been playing a lot of charades.”
According to Sherri, communicating with Nen and Achole about their heritage is important.
“[To preserve their culture] we are going to a lot of talking, a lot of reading. One of the things that is important to me is to honor their birthparents,” Sherri said. “We will talk about their birth family with them so they know that we don’t expect them to forget about their birth family and their heritage. It is very important to honor them and remember them.”
However, the Matlocks are still waiting to learn much of Nen and Achole’s story. They know that before they were moved to the care center they were living with an aunt and that their parents are deceased.
“We do not really know much of their story,” Craig said. “We hope to learn more as they grow up. It is up to them to tell it.”
Every issue deadline, the Newspaper has two “worknights” designed to help our staff complete the issue. The first worknight of the month lasts from 3-5 p.m. and then the following week on a Monday after the short worknight, we always have a “long” worknight which lasts from 3-9 p.m. Being in a room full of crazy journalists for that long inevitably leads to some funny memories.
Most of my memories involving worknights involve jokes about taking clothes off. The journalism room has 30 computers, all generating heat, and when the air conditioning turns off through out the school after 4 p.m., the room only gets hotter. Many staff members bring their worknight clothes, often bringing shorts and a tank top to change into even in the middle of winter. Even with staff dressed as appropriately as possible, the number of times I have heard people say they’re going to take their pants off or start singing “It’s getting so hot in here, I’m gonna take my clothes off,” are hard to count.
Another favorite memory of mine involves something we have called the quote pumpkin. The quote pumpkin is a plastic Halloween candy bucket that gets filed every year with funny quotes from our staff. The quote pumpkin is entertaining every day but on worknights, tons of quotes are added to the pumpkin. Here are a few of my (appropriate) favorites in the pumpkin right now:
“Children love me,” newspaper a&e editor Austin Gillespie
“AP style gold digger,” Gillespie
“The man cave is filthy,” newspaper reporter Sydney Wilson
“KRounds [Kaitlin Rounds], you sound like my diabetic cat when we don’t give it its meds,” newspaper managing editor Sarah Fulton
“Why are you wearing my jacket?” newspaper photographer Alec Santaularia
“Because I wanted to smell like a man,” newspaper ads manager Austin Gude
“I don’t hate this song, that would be like hating butterflies,” yearbook editor-in-chief Katherine Beck
“It would be funny if we threw out some random candy, like dental floss,” adviser Kathy Habiger on things to hand out off the newspaper Homecoming float
“Does anyone here have a phone charger?” Mama Flinn [newspaper reporter Alana Flinn’s mom]
Worknight is always a time when tensions run high, which consequentially makes everyone’s jokes that much funnier. Some of my favorite worknight memories involve Gillespie and I making fun of Sarah. He and I enjoy photoshopping funny pictures of Sarah and hanging them on the back wall. I, like Sarah, also enjoy the many jokes about people taking their clothing off. We have even talked about making shirts that say “Newspaper worknight: I took my pants off for this,” an idea that has, unfortunately, never come to fruition. Lastly, one of my favorite worknight memories in specific comes from not this year, but last year. Our adviser Kathy Habiger came running out of her office with photographer Taylor Young’s caption rough draft in her hand, screaming about how Taylor had decided to abbreviate March to Mar. Upon hearing this, then editor-in-chief Kaitlyn Butko began to promptly run around the room, changing every page’s folio from Mar. to March. What made if even better was the the song “We No Speak Americano” by Yolanda Be Cool was playing at the time, which provided the perfect setting for Kaitlyn to be scurrying around the room to fix her mistake.
Lesson of the week:
1. High stress situations can lead to some funny experiences.
Lesson 29 of being an editor-in-chief: Check.
Current StuCo president Rachel Mills and secretary Sarah Fulton give tips on how to vote in the upcoming StuCo elections for the 2012-13 school year.