Grand County student newspaper returns |

Grand County student newspaper returns

GENERATION 21, first edition

By Marina Koepke and Randi Strandberg

We’re back for the 2011-2012 school year. The “Forever Young” teen section of the newspaper has returned with a new name, “Generation 21,” and a new staff.

This year we are happy to welcome our new writers that will bring a new taste of articles to the paper. As high school seniors, we are all very busy and we’d like to thank our writers for taking the time to be a part of this paper.

We’d also like to thank Sky-Hi News for allowing us to continue publishing articles.

Watch for us every few weeks. Thank you and enjoy!

Late Night Wonderings

By Lauren Mitchell

I gaze into the darkness that is spread above my head. The depth at which it extends boggles my mind causing my feet to stumble on the grass below them.

My mind expands as I search the heavens above. With my feet on this ground and my head in the sky, thoughts find their way easily into my brain. The future of my existence is the first thing to sneak in. I wonder what the sky will look like years from now to these eyes. Will I be able to see them as clearly as now, their bright lights pinpoints in the sky? Where will I find myself five years from now, looking at the stars every night as I do?

Focusing on the answers causes my heartbeat to quicken as I start to worry more and more. It is all so unknown, this future of mine. How am I to know if things will be all right? In this moment in time, I feel happiness flowing from my being with my current situation. What happens after is something that I cannot predict until the moment right before.

I search above, seeing if there is any answer contained within the depths. My mind reels at all the possibilities and I crash to the ground. Expectations about what I must become push me down; my hope has suddenly left me. Glancing up again light shines within my mind and a sudden realization grips hold of me. I am here, right now. This is where I exist, in this moment. My life must be lived for this moment at risk of it being lost forever.


By Camille Clancy

Pearly white flesh decorates my toned, cheerleader-like build, my milky blonde hair precisely curled and styled to perfection. Pale blue eyes and blush adorned cheeks off set my itty-bitty nose and full glossy lips. A worn-down Hollister hoodie, colorful camisole tank-tops, a pair of abused blue jeans (which may have expired in size), and last summer’s Faded Glory flip-flops dress my size three frame, hugging every curve.

Though I like to think of myself as the typical “American teenager,” in hope that others may agree, I have learned not to trust my instinct. For I know of the enraged, hectic, chaotic, and hard-working life I live, and therefor set myself aside. I like to refer to myself as “pending.”

The Creature

By Evan Debakker

In front of Alex hung a hulking creature. Its body merged with the wall at the torso. The creature’s head and arms hung limply in front of Alex, as if the beast were dead.

Alex approached the figure in absolute silence. It simply remained dangling from the wall as it had before, leading Alex to believe he was safe. He let out a sigh of relief; the silhouette jerked into motion, its head tweaked at an unnatural angle to face Alex. Its eyes slid open; two opaque white orbs penetrated the darkness, peering directly into Alex’s mind. In the moment it had happened, the monster disappeared.

Alex swung around to locate the thing, but the hallway was empty. Confusion overwhelmed his mind as he frantically spun around in search of the creature that had only moments ago occupied the patch of wall in front of him. An acrid screech rung through the confines of the hallway; Alex dropped to his knees grasping for his ears as he fell. And then nothing … Total silence engulfed the claustrophobic space. Alex opened his eyes and began to stagger back to his feet; something clasped his ankle with a freezing cold vice like grip and tore his foot out from under him. Alex’s body impacted the concrete floor with a solid thud, completely taking the breath out of him. The lights in the room began to flicker; Alex’s combination of immense fear and unbearable pain rendered him all but paralyzed. The lights sequentially dimmed, only the tungsten filament glowed a dull red inside the individual bulbs. The lights exploded once more in a flood of white light.

Everything had happened so fast and so randomly, it was hard to comprehend and nigh impossible to have so much as a thought. All Alex could do was lie there and stare at the warping shapes in the ceiling. The monster was slowly falling out, but was then caught by its torso once more. The same white eyes pierced into Alex’s psyche as they had before. The creature spoke in a rough gargling voice, “You should not have come here!” In that instant Alex realized his fate and knew there was no possible chance of escape. The creature had once more receded into the wall.

As Alex thought the situation over he was interrupted as an arm shot out of the ground and slammed its hand down on the other side of his head. It then wrapped its forearm around his neck and began to sink back into the ground. Its grip was freezing cold as if the being was dead, and it was only getting tighter. Alex made several attempts at gasping for air yet was always thwarted by the tightening grip. Alex could feel his trachea being slowly smashed into a pancake-like object. The arm released him just before it had entirely crushed his throat. Alex was able to breathe but only to an extent. The creature had left him in the moment of complete despair, as if to grant him another opportunity; or more likely to toy with the boy prior to damnation.

What do we know?

By Randi Strandberg

Whoever said that your senior year was supposed to be easy was obviously not from this generation. Between signing up for scholarships, taking last minute standardized tests, ordering your cap and gown, trying to keep up with school and extra-curricular activities, dealing with stupid drama, listening to our parents nag, trying to have a social life and most stressful of all, applying to colleges, there isn’t even time for us to catch our breath, let alone figure our lives out!

For the past three years we have seen classes of seniors go by, and we have been jealous of them. Why? Now we are being subjected to that same pain of dealing with real life decisions. No one ever told us that we would have to actually start growing up by the time we got to 12th grade. Throughout high school, we have been traveling blindly, tripping and stumbling over so many different obstacles, never really having any idea what is going on and now everyone expects us to have it all together? We’re just kids who are being expected to know everything about our futures, when we don’t even know ourselves yet.

How are we supposed to choose where we want to spend the next short period of our lives when we haven’t even seen anywhere but here? How are we supposed to set a course for our careers when we haven’t even experienced enough to know what we want to do with the rest of our lives? We need to be able to live before there isn’t any time left. I don’t want to spend all of my youth in school. I want to see the world and experience life in all of its extremities before I am asked to make a final decision on what I will do for 50-60 straight years. With all of this pressure of being a senior, and becoming an adult, how are we supposed to truly find ourselves?

What Would Washington Do?

By Marina Koepke

There it is, George Washington crossing the Delaware fighting for our Independence, Abraham Lincoln uniting the country under one flag, Theodore Roosevelt strengthening foreign relations. American history is built from the sweat and blood of men like these. Our country was started by a motivated group whose main goal was to keep this country free and alive; where have we gone from there?

Our president, in theory, is head of the government, leader of the country. They were a figure representing the United States of America, and who pledged their allegiance to better this country based on what the people wanted. Politicians were our role models.

Time passes and priorities change, and politicians have become less of leaders and more of rich celebrities. The system is getting suffocated by the nastiest corruption known to man, MONEY!

They get paid massive amounts of money to be in office, and spend a good majority of this money on campaigns, which is just advertising their face. On average, a single day of campaigning costs $100,000, which can add up to $200,000,000 per election! This money goes toward sending the candidate’s face and name into the public; the more the people hear your name, the more likely you’ll get their vote. This goes for every elected politician. There is this campaign franchise that rolls in an incomprehensible amount of dough! For a tangible reference, President Obama has raised $86 million dollars for his upcoming campaign. And yet, we can’t seem to raise money to get out our country out of debt? Hmm.

Our government is shaping into a “club for narcissists” sitting in fancy offices, in fancy clothes, making decisions that affect the population of the country. What happened to our “knights in shining armor” who participated in the government with the country’s best interest in mind? Where will America stand if corruption completely takes over? Or has it already? Next time, when you find yourself drowning in the world of politics, ask yourself, “What would Washington do?” and follow with that lead.


By Nico Larson

I went on a foreign exchange with the Rotary Club last year, to Argentina. It was an extremely eventful year and I haven’t really told many stories of my time there yet.

I remember the first day, getting off the plane in the unfamiliar Cordoba airport, disoriented, tired, jet-lagged like never before… I honestly barely knew what I was doing. Customs had taken a toll on the little energy that I had left after the almost unbearably long flight, 10 hours or so, on a cramped 747.

Walking out of the terminal, I remember there was a big Plexiglas wall in front of me, like at a zoo exhibit, and there were crowds of people jabbering away in rapid fire Castellano Spanish and pointing excitedly at random people around me. This sight in itself was fairly astounding, the amount of noise and energy these people radiated was almost overwhelming by itself. Being a lifelong resident of such a small, quiet place tucked away in the Rockies like our dear town is, I was entirely unprepared for this.

I had a cart with me, three large suitcases and a backpack, the entire load was pretty difficult to push. Push it I did, though, heading toward the right side of the Plexiglas wall, and into the mob of enthusiastic Argentines. Many hands were shaken, cheeks were kissed, and greetings exchanged with people I didn’t and still don’t know.

When I left the USA I was reasonably comfortable with my Spanish speaking skills. What I didn’t realize is how intensely different the Argentine dialect is. The double ells, the ll is pronounced with a ‘zh ‘ sound and same for y. One of the first lines I remember was, “Che, boludo, mira un Yankee!” This translates roughly to ” Hey dude, check it out, a Yankee.” At first I was convinced that they were calling me a junkie, so garbled was the pronunciation of the word Yankee …

I made it almost to the doorway of the airport when a family surrounded me and began the eclectic Argentine greeting process, hand shaking, cheek kissing, and general enthusiasm. I suppose they thought I was the exchange student to be staying with them, and I noticed that they didn’t fit the pictures I had seen of my host family back in Colorado. Embarrassing pause, and I mumble something about being tired, about the extent my sleep deprived mind can put together. Another family comes over, much more calmly and introduces themselves to me, speaking slowly and clearly enough that I can understand them. They are my host family, confused looks from the first and a sudden bout of giggles from the second. My host father, Guillermo, claps the man of the other family on the back and says something outrageously fast along with extravagant hand gestures. They speak like Italians, I realize, almost as much with their hands as with their voices. I cling to the hope that I remembered my guidebook on Castellano, mutter a farewell, and follow my host family to their car.

First thing we do is take a scenic tour through Cordoba, the city is wonderful, dirty, fast, rude, energetic, and filled with an unwavering life force. Laughter resounds all around, protests are happening at almost any given time, and prices are haggled in loud voices from street vendors. This city is lively and pulses with a beat of unrelenting goodwill and organized chaos.

Pulling into a parking space, Guillermo, Mechi, Catalina, and Jose lead me into a bar, a rundown little barn looking building. Mechi is my host mother, about 5 feet. 7 inches, long blonde hair, and a warm smile at all times. She is the quietest of the family. Catalina and Jose are my host siblings, and they had informed me that my third host sibling was at home studying. His name is Juan Cruz, or Cacu. Jose stands taller than me, with wild, curly black hair and an intense gaze. Catalina is around 6 foot, and astoundingly beautiful. Long auburn hair, big dark eyes, and a very friendly smile.

We sit down in the cafe and I look for a menu. Seeing none I look to Guillermo, Memo as he tells me to call him, and he smiles to me and says, ” Mira.” He waves his hand in the air, making a small circle with his pointer finger and calls out, ” Mozzo! ” or ‘ waiter ‘. The waiter comes over, without menus, and asks us all what we’d like. The family rattles down a list of then unpronounceable drinks and snacks of sorts, he asks me, and I’m baffled. I have no idea what the cafe has to offer and look desperately to Memo. He tells the waiter to bring a “Submarino.” This turns out to be a large glass of steamed milk with a bar of chocolate and some sugar to go with it. I don’t really know what I’m to do with this so I dunk the chocolate in the milk and move to take a bite. Catalina grabs my wrist and laughs, takes the chocolate, and drops it in the milk along with two packs of sugar. This stirs up into a wonderful chocolatey concoction the likes of which I’ve never tasted in any country before.

The four-hour ride back to Marcos Juarez, the town I’m to stay in, is short mostly because I fall asleep 10 minutes after getting back into the car. What a time, what a first day, and what an introduction to Argentina.

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