Category Archives: Student Life

The Creature… Fiction by Daniel McLaufe

Part 1:

I grew up in South Pittsburgh on a little street called Redding Street. The year was 1984, and I had just gotten out of High School for summer break the day previously. I woke up to the fan going back and forth like a serpent blowing the breeze into my hair and on my bed. I got up turned on the radio on the shelf behind my bed. It began playing some unfamiliar Rock music. I walked downstairs and to my surprise both my parents had left for work–after all it was a Thursday. I poured some orange juice into one of the glasses and grabbed some bacon my dad must have cooked before he left. As I chewed on the dry and cold bacon I walked to the phone and called my friend James’ house.

“Oh Hello” James’ Mom said.

“Hi, is James there? It’s me Nick,” I replied.

“One moment, Nick honey…JAMES! Nick’s on the phone for you!” James’ Mom yelled.

I heard him say that he would be over in a few minutes and James’ Mom told me the same thing and hung up. James and I live a few streets down from each other, so I knew he wouldn’t be long. About ten minutes later, James got to my house and walked in.

“Hey Nick, what’s up?” he asked.

I asked him if he wanted to go for a bike ride, and he agreed. We got on our bikes and started riding down the street before getting to our hang-out usual spot–a tree fort in the forest a few miles out of town. James and I usually hung out there whenever it was nice outside as it was a nice fort we had had built and put carpet and windows in. It was pretty deep in the forest so no one ever messed with it. The fort even included a battery powered radio mounted to the wall. We spent a few hours there until about 5 or 6 PM when James had to go home for dinner.

“You sure you don’t want to stay over? My mom’s making spaghetti,” asked James.

“No, I’m fine. I think I’ll hang out here for a while.”

I got bored and decided to turn on the radio to my favorite station. I heard the song Panama by Van Halen come on until the radio cut short. It came back on with a man saying,

“Attention listeners: there has been strange sightings of a human like creature roaming around the Axel Swamp. Be on the lookout and call the police if you see this creature.”

I grew an eerie feeling in my stomach because I wasn’t too far from Axel Swamp as well as being out of town. All I had with me was a dimly lit flashlight—insufficient for the pitch black night. The radio’s message continued to echo through my head over and over. All of sudden I heard knocking at the hatch to the treehouse. I froze as I got this tingly hairs on end feeling up my spine.

“H- H- Hello?” I stuttered.

“Let me in…” the voice replied in a deep voice. I instantly turned off the radio and my flashlight and got to the corner wall.

“Open up!” the voice boomed. I remained quiet as a church mouse with my back pushed against the wall trembling.

“If you aren’t opening up, then I am coming in!” the voice yelled. The latch suddenly thudded and thudded until it opened. A pair of bright green eyes with blue pupils peered slightly above the trap door almost looking like two flashlights. This creature was obviously searching for me–I slowly began to crawl my way to the other side of the fort, barely making a sound until I sat on a leaf.

The creature stood up and walked towards me in the treehouse. I began kicking and twisting but to no hope. It grabbed me by the leg and turned me around and I saw the creature…

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Artistic impression of the creature. Of course, it’s true appearance will never be known…

 

Part 2:

Its eyes seemed to bulge from its sockets, green ooze dripped from its jack- o – lantern like mouth. Its warm, moist breath breathed down on my forehead. I desperately grabbed a pair of scissors and jabbed them into the beast’s eye. It roared in pain and ran down the ladder in a very quick motion.

I quickly ran to the hatch and locked it. The screams of the monster continued as it ran away distantly disappearing as time went. I grabbed my flashlight and went to run to my bike. I had never run so fast in my life; I grabbed the bike and began peddling. I peddled so fast and so hard that I ran out of energy. All of sudden I heard a snap! It was my bike chain. “Great what’s better than having a broken bike and a maniac monster after me,” I thought.

I was quite far from my home, however, I was close to James house , so I began pushing my bike as I continued onward. Suddenly I heard a noise behind my left shoulder. I turned just to see a dog cross the street. “I’m really scaring myself,” I thought.

I finally made it to James house after 10 or 15 minutes or so. I knocked on his door. “James are you up?” I yelled.

The door suddenly burst open. “Nick is that you?” James asked very frantically. “It ran up to my house and began screeching!” he yelled.

“It found me at the tree house, “I replied.

It suddenly dawned on us, what if the creature was targeting us? We began to ponder why the creature might be after us. We thought maybe it was because of how close our tree fort was to the swamp We weren’t a hundred percent sure as the creature methods and motives confused us. What did it want we continued to brainstorm until we heard a thumping noise at the door.

“It might be the monster,” I whispered to James. We opened the door slowly to find a tall man in a black suit and fedora standing there.

“Excuse me boys. Have you seen anything strange recently.” he asked in a serious tone.

“Yes there was a creature running through the neighborhood it’s been after me and my friend James. Wait who are you?” I asked.

“My names Agent Thompson, but you boys can call me Tom.” He replied.

“What’s with the suit; are you a detective” James asked curiously.

“I can’t disclose that information. All you need to know is that I keep boys like you safe from things that howl in the night” he replied.

“Boys, why don’t you take a ride with me and help me track this creature?” Tom asked. We agreed and got into Tom’s all black Sedan. We drove down the street for some time until Tom stopped an turned around.

“Boys do you understand what it takes to keep Americans safe from foreign invaders?” Tom asked.

“Like the Commies, Sir?” I replied.

“No, something a lot more foreign, something foreign to this earth?” He replied with a serious tone.

“Like ET?” James asked.

“I guess you could say that, but a lot more troublesome.” Tom replied.

“It takes a lot boys it takes sacrifice, and tonight you boys are going to pay that sacrifice, I’m afraid you’ve seen too much”

“Wha… what are you going to do to us?” I stuttered.

“I’m going to have to kill you boys, erase you do you understand?” Tom said.

“Please don’t do this, we have families!” I replied.

“Im sorry boys, it’s for the safety of all of us”. He reached into his pocket of his coat revealing a large suppressed handgun. I began to look around the back seat for something to throw at him, then I spotted a beer bottle. I grabbed the bottle and bashed it on his head, glass went everywhere and James and I got out of the car and began to run.

“He’s after us. Go, James, go!” I yelled. Tom said something indistinguishable in the distance as James and I ran into the swamp border lining the neighborhood we were in. We continued to run until we didn’t hear him anymore.

“Finally we are safe” I whispered to James.

“Nick… Ni….. Nick don’t look behind you!” he replied. I turned to see the creature it stood at what seemed to be 10 feet tall. It opened it’s mouth to reveal some several hundred razor sharp teeth under it’s skin flaps.

“Please! NOOOOOO!” I yelled.

I woke up in treehouse out of breath, I looked around.

“It was all just a dream thank God.” I said to myself. I began to calm down and switched on the radio. The announcer began to say something.

“Attention listeners: there has been strange sightings of a human like creature roaming around the Axel Swamp. Be on the lookout and call the police if you see this creature.”

“No, it can’t be, no please, it was a dream; it’s all a dream!”

 

What is a Meme? How can one make a Meme?… Story by Bailey Stapleton

What is a meme? A funny Internet post? A picture with text at the top mentioning something funny? A remix of a movie? To understand what a meme is we need to look back to the beginning of YouTube, 2005.

In February of 2005, three men who were former employees of PayPal came together to create a website where people could upload home videos of random things ranging from comedy to Christmas morning gift openings; this service was called YouTube. YouTube was an innovation never seen before allowing many to share their videos with the world. This is also where the first “meme” appeared.

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Never Gonna Give You Up… Rick Astley likely featured in the very first internet meme, and this re uploaded video has over 300 million views

It’s not exactly sure what the first “meme” was, but many speculate it to be the famous “peanut-butter jelly time” banana which appeared on Newgrounds.com in 2002 and became more widespread because of YouTube. However, many believe the first meme was actually Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” a 1984 single that was turned into a “Rick Roll” because of the song’s common appearance on YouTube people began to troll people by mistitling videos with the song appearing instead of the title name hence the first widely seen meme.

But, what is a meme? Usually a meme is a funny parody of an educational cartoon or even a children comedy evolved to be more funny for adults and trends happening. One such of these is the tv show “Lazy Town” which stars humans and puppets on their wacky adventures in the town of Lazy Town. Users from 4chan and YouTube have taken their time to primarily make two characters the center of recent memes “Robbie Rotten” and “Stingy the puppet”. Basically the Robbie Rotten meme is based around the song he and his hench men sing called “We are Number One.” Internet Users have used these songs and remixed them or have added other sound effects rather than the regular song, essentially creating what we know as a meme.

Mr. Webber's Meme... Several students have had the honor of featuring in Mr. Webber's meme debut
Mr. Webber’s Meme… Several students have had the honor of featuring in Mr. Webber’s meme debut, an entirely original production

But how does one make a meme? Many have theorized how a successful meme is created, but usually memes are created based off of three main components. First, there are trends—trends are essential while creating a meme so it can appeal to the masses and not just a certain group of individuals. Next, you must follow the ways of memes past—as many say, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”. You can reuse the same picture another poster has used and just retitle the text above or make a different remix of a funny meme you see going around.

Finally, social sharing is key to spreading your meme and creating a successful meme. One way to do this is by sharing the link to your meme to your friends, and if your friends find it funny they might share it with their friends and onward. If you don’t have friends, YouTube or even IFunny are great ways to share your meme with others and will spread by themselves through these networks. The most important thing, however, is to give credit to whoever helped you with the meme or if your meme is a reuse of someone else’s meme.

Because of the attention of this article, Bird Eye News have decided to create a meme contest in which students can take part in. All you have to do is email your meme and how you came up with it to FBCSjournalism@gmail.com; the winner will be announced one week after this article is published. Our favorite “memester” will receive a lunch for themselves and one friend, paid by the Bird Eye News.

 

 

FBCS Art Project: Cosmic Under-The-Sea Mural… Story by Jada Giddings

At Forrest Bird Charter High, several students have chosen to partake in painting an art mural in an alley in downtown Sandpoint.

For their community project, students of Forrest Bird Charter School collaborate to paint a massive mural of a whale floating through a space setting.

Work in Progress… The students plan to add other sea animals in addition to the whales they’ve already started on

Through these past few days, kids have been painting this mural for the community to inspire citizens in an artistic way. From the beginning of May, these groups of students have worked diligently on the beautiful mural to now, working in the mornings and even after school. Anna, Sloan, Drew, Ariel, Kiley, Colleen, Daniel, and Brandon have all worked on this mural and intend to create a full piece containing not only the whales, but octopi, jellyfish, starfish, and eels.

Though this mural was thought up by Sloan, all are contributing with their amazing artistic abilities. Because the mural is so large and only halfway finished for the project, these eight FBCS students will be working through the summer to make the art piece even better than it already is. On Oak Street, nearby Finnan McDonald, the mural is located for all Sandpoint citizens to see in one of the well-known art alleys.

Alleyway Art… Sandpoint is known for being open to murals. The FBCS mural is featured near Oak Street

The students chose to paint a mural because they wanted to bring art into the community. Many believe street art is simple graffiti, or vandalizing, but Sandpoint is also known for being open to community art. They hope to impact the next generations in an artistic way and bring light to Sandpoint and its citizens. From the FBCS students working on the mural, they state the title of the mural will not be released until the hours they have to meet on the project are over. Until then, the mural will be a mystery.

Responding to Letters to the Editors… Story by Isaac Solly

Last week, many students sent letters to the editor in advisory class. Bird Eye News wanted to look at some of these, either to address concerns or answer questions. We appreciate everyone who sent a letter and is actively involved in the Bird Eye News—the letters that were chosen just warranted a quicker response than some others.

 

“Dear Editor

Your title is so bad and great at the same time. It holds the perfect criteria to be a clickbait Buzzfeed title. Though I’m not sure if the all capital letters was your decision, it really helped the effect. Also, in the title it says by Roger Rogers, as a pseudonym. Roger Rogers is a great pseudonym, especially considering the subject matter. But under it there is the real name of the author, so what is the point? At least you had a spoiler warning.

Regards, Joshua Droppa”

Firstly, I assume the piece you are talking about is “Spoilers! Star Wars Episode VIII Leaked—Real or Fake?… Story by Roger Rogers.” You should know that the name underneath the title isn’t the writer, but the editor (in this case Jada, but it’s often my editing as well). Roger Rogers is, as you pointed out, one of our writer’s aliases. As for the capital letters, if you look through the website that is our formatting across the board and nothing to do with a clickbait.

Editor Aliases… The name underneath an article is the editor, not the writer. Writer names (or aliases) are always in the title
Editor Aliases… The name underneath an article is the editor, not the writer. Writer names (or aliases) are always in the title

We appreciate the feedback though, and it should be noted that we don’t aim for clickbait when choosing titles.

 

 

“Dear Editors,

I have to be honest with you. I don’t watch and/or read your articles. When I go to your website I don’t have any interest in reading the articles. They don’t draw to my attention. I have only watched one of your YouTube videos. I am subscribed to your channel.

The website go there first thing that I think of when I look at it is boring. My mind doesn’t want to take the time to read the article if there is nothing there to draw my attention. When I say it looks boring is because all the colors are brown, black and white. My attention just leaves.

The YouTube Channel I can’t say much. It doesn’t draw my attention. Maybe you can try different life hacks, DIY’s, different exercises, doing different lessons that people could use (piano, taekwondo, singing, and dancing) and fun useful things to do. Maybe you can add some pizzazz. I honestly don’t know what you should add to your YouTube channel. Thank you for your time.

Kind Regards, Yakira L. Jones”

Well firstly, thank you for subscribing to the channel! I believe we are at 30 or so subscribers right now, meaning that our subscriber base has nearly doubled in the past two weeks. As for our website design, we try and cover it with pictures to give a contrast to the background. The black-background and white-text theme is actually much less boring that the inverse of that, while still being legible.

What I would like to point out is that Meghan is featuring a cooking show, which actually pulls in lots of your DIY suggestions. Bird Eye News is trying to focus on events relevant to students as well, meaning we have to keep a balance on what content we post. Hopefully, this sheds some light on our editing decisions.

The Harrison Report... Harrison will be returning in an episode talking about student projects
Upcoming Videos… Harrison will be returning in an episode talking about student projects, while Meghan plans to do a cooking show

 

“Dear Editors,

I have an idea for you YouTube channel. I propose that you and your associates come together and video document a student’s service project. Perhaps you can come together and vote for which project you want to make a mini document on. You could then post the potential video on your channel. This would show the ‘tubers’ what students of the Forrest Bird Charter School can/will do. Please take my suggestion into account.

With Regards, Rocco Sherman”

Actually, the upcoming Harrison Report showcases quite a few student projects. We also have an interview with the documentary crew, who are videoing other students for their own project. However, I agree that Bird Eye News could do an article or two on the service learning project. One of our goals this trimester was to involve students more in journalism, hence the letters to the editor, and I think that would be a good step in doing that.

Most of the letters had positive things to say about our involvement with the student body, and further encouraged articles relating to FBCS (whether it be prom, fidget spinners, or surprisingly deep social issues). Also note that anyone who wants to give some feedback is free to do so anytime. This feedback is really valuable, and again, thanks to everyone who sent letters to the editor.

 

 

5 Unexpected Things at Prom… Story by Lauren Roth

Prom was even more fun and exciting than I had predicted. But what was even more unexpected was how my peers acted at Prom. Here are the five behaviors I did not expect to see at Prom:

1. A lot of people went without dates. I was pleasantly surprised that so many people were brave enough to go to prom, even if they didn’t have someone to “slow dance” and “take couple pictures” and other couple stuff that we singles wouldn’t know about from personal experience. Bravo to those who went anyway!

2. My peers find dancing awkward too! Though there were some people who just owned the dance floor, the majority of those dancing were in the same boat as me. Most of us were in a
transitional, but totally acceptable and common place where we are only mildly confident about our dancing skills. Congrats to my peers for stepping out of their comfort zones and just dancing!

Under the Blacklight... This years prom theme was much more popular than last year
Under the Blacklight… This years prom theme was much more popular than in previous dances

3. Our seniors are amazing dancers! With their higher status as citizens, and emerging sense of freedom and personal identity, we must respect our seniors by applauding their fearless dancing. Seeing them bust out epic moves definitely made the night entertaining. Special thanks to seniors Martin Chilcott, Connor Conway, Emily Hieronymus, Emily Invernon, Lakiah Turnbull, Andrew Van Winkle, Brandon Michelsen, as well as junior Jared Van Winkle, for making prom exciting.

4.  My peers dance in friend groups. Being in a large group with your friends can make it much more comfortable to dance, as I found out from personal experience. It was by far the most common trend amongst everyone on the dance floor. Thanks to friends for not making us feel absurd while dancing, or dancing absurdly with us.

Hanging with friends… Over 70 students attended prom this year, many of them together
Hanging with friends… Over 70 students attended prom this year, many of them in groups

5. Lastly, I was surprised that so many of my peers came! I was blown away that about 70 people came to prom. Prior to the dance, it seemed like everyone I talked to wasn’t going, so I honestly expected only 20 people to go to prom. Thank you for showing school spirit, and attending this dance!

If you didn’t go to prom, you missed out. According to a survey I conducted with students who went to prom:

  • 100% of the students liked the venue of this year’s prom (At the Warehouse by Evans Bros.) better than last year’s prom venue (At FBCS).
  • 57% of the students liked the theme of black light compared to the 43% of students who did not like the theme of black light.

In summary, this year’s prom was fantastic and I highly anticipate next year’s prom.

Does Idaho agree with Bernie Sanders?… Story by Davey Breakey

According to a recent poll by Fox News, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders currently has the highest approval rating of any U.S. senator. This poll included a variety of political leaders and other politically relevant organizations, favorability is calculated by subtracting the overall favorable views minus the unfavorable views.

I (Davey Breakey) have taken the initiative to poll the students and staff of the Forest Bird Charter School to see whether they support bernie sanders or not. This poll includes 30 different people chosen at random to participate. Here are the results of the poll…

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 2.27.09 PMOverall 63% percent approve of Bernie Sanders, 30 percent are neutral and 10 percent disapprove. Judging by this data, our school has a pretty strong supporter base for Sen. Sanders with a disapproval rating of just 10 percent!

One of the issues and most likely the reason for sanders popularity with young people’s views on making College and higher education Tuition and debt free. An interesting twist, could Idaho (one of the most conservative states in America) have the largest support group for Sanders ideas?

Wrapping up the SATs.... Mitzi Vesecky advises FBCS students, as well as manage state testing
Wrapping up the SATs…. Mitzi Vesecky advises FBCS students, as well as manage state testing

Every student with the opportunity to dual enroll in Idaho also gets $4,125 towards their college tuition saving them upwards $7,000 per year, according to 2017 Boise State tuition fee and possibly even more if you include other expenses such as boarding which is anywhere from $3,380 to $6,294 per year. Also, if we get into food costs you’re looking at an additional $3,900 for 2 meals a day throughout the academic year. All together you could be saving about $17,000 per year!

So if you are able to get your associate’s degree before you graduate high school–which according to Mitzy Vesecky is very difficult to do–you could be saving you or your parents $34,000 in college expenses, I’d say that’s pretty good!

What’s New with Bird Eye News?… Story by Isaac Solly

This last year has seen quite a lot of growth with our schools Bird Eye News, and as with any evolving group we have seen some major changes of late. Last trimester, our former editor Lauren Stidham left Forrest Bird. We have taken this vacuum to try and coordinate our editor services better and produce a higher amount of content for the last trimester.

The role of story editor has been split into two co-editors working independently with their own group, Jada Giddings and myself, Isaac Solly. Because of our aforementioned growth, Bird Eye News now hosts fifteen students—too much for a single person to manage at weekly publications.

Bird Eye News on Youtube… Our channel now features comedy, news, and student pieces
Bird Eye News on Youtube… Our channel now features comedy, news, and student pieces

We also hope to show off some new features on our website this trimester, including more involvement from the student body in the Bird Eye News. A new editorial page will be shown in the near future where we open up issues and articles to student responses. This page will also include opinionated pieces from the journalism class meant to spark a friendly debate. Short stories and student work from classes (including art) will be showcased here—another reason to get involved and read the Bird Eye News.

As well our story teams, Bird Eye News has revamped our respective YouTube channel. Our video department was created last year and has grown from the Harrison report into a large variety of featured shows, all of which can be found on our channel. To help us manage this, Leah Roth has become our video editor along with an expanded group of video makers who hope to increase our content stream on the site.

Hard at work… The film crew prepares for next week’s publication
Hard at work… The film crew prepares for next week’s publicationgroup of video makers who hope to increase our content stream on the site.

 

Bird Eye News is also open to sharing student hobbies and creations on our YouTube page. For example, Bill Morton’s “The Upside Films” videos (which many students are involved with) will have a playlist on the channel. We welcome FBCS students with any other videos that they would like to share with more publicity to approach the journalism class, so we can discuss featuring them.

 

The journalism class is extremely happy that so many people have been watching our videos or reading articles on the site, and we look forward to showcasing even more student work and having a higher quality and supply of pieces to come.