Friday, March 28, 2008

High school debaters, improv team perform at assembly

Room 210 Editor

Members of the Joplin High School debate team came to South Middle School March 25 to show eighth graders what debate was all about. Debate isn’t just all about arguing a case; you can also do some improvisations and other things, too. This class is all about getting students able to be comfortable and speak well in front of other people.

Former South Middle School students who performed were: junior Skye Smith, and sophomores Tiana Clemons, Melody Ketron, and Roni Leonard.

Eighth grader goes to jail

(One South Middle School student spent part of his spring break in jail, but things were not as bad as they sound. Bret Gibson's father is is law enforcement and took his son to work with him one day during the break. One of their stops was the Jasper County Jail.)


For spring break, instead of hanging out with my friends like other kids would, I went to jail.
Now I may have to failed to mention, it was with my dad. I asked him if I could go to work with him on Friday. He agreed, so we went to the Jasper County Sheriff's office. He took me on the tour.

First, we went to central control. That's where one guy controls everything in the jail. Next, we went to the tower. That is where you can see all of the cells and watch the prisoners. There are A to F pods. Each pod is broken into a split level with each level holding 10 cells, two levels per pod.

A pod is for your basic prisoners who have to do their time at county. B Pod is for women in jail.

C Pod and D Pod are for the same as A Pod. E Pod is for the child molesters and F Pod is for the murderers.

After we took the tour, we went to McDonald's for lunch.

Molly Baker wins Best in School in Joplin Chamber of Commerce Essay Contest

Eighth grader Molly Baker won top honors among South Middle School student during the annual Joplin Chamber of Commerce Essay Contest. Awards were presented during a ceremony Thursday afternoon at Memorial Hall.
Miss Baker's essay, on the topic "Joplin is a cool place now, and in the future, Joplin will..." was judged best among more than 200 entries from SMS students. Her essay is printed below:


Joplin is a cool place now, and in the future, Joplin will be amazing.
Consider all the technology at the present time. Now imagine how much more things there will be and how much better they will be. Soon, we will be in cars that fly and we will be living in the sky.
Walk down Main Street and be amazed. You will see the friendly trolley strolling down the lane. Look at the beautiful parks and entertain yourself at the mall or any place in Joplin.
Today, Joplin is a blast and an amazing experience. Picture how much more it will be 25 years from now. We are proud to be citizens of this amazing city- Joplin.

Groundbreaking held for new South Middle School

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new South Middle School building were held Thursday morning. Room 210 News will have a story on it next week.
From the Joplin Globe:

South Middle School Principal Ron Mitchell said the school’s current sixth-graders are excited about having more elbow room.

“The seventh- and eighth-graders are upset they won’t be able to go,” he said. “But in a few months, we’ll have classrooms where we won’t bump into each other.”

Four classrooms at South now have 700 square feet each; the rest have 500 square feet, Mitchell said. The new building will have 900-square-foot classrooms, modern science and library rooms, a 700-seat auditorium and an expanded gymnasium.

The 127,500-square-foot school is part of a $57.3 million middle-school campaign authorized by voters in a bond issue last April.

R.E. Smith Construction Co. was awarded the construction contract on March 11. The company submitted the low bid of $18,140,000.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Amie Howard takes second in Elks Lodge Essay Contest

(Eighth grade Amie Howard took second place in the annual Joplin Elks Lodge Essay Contest. She will receive a $50 savings bond. This year's topic was "What is an American?")


Sometimes when I close my eyes and think about America, I can see Betsy Ross, just a young woman, sewing your first American flag, pricking her delicate fingers every now and then. I see an old man with his right hand placed over his heart, tears trickling down his cheeks as he looks up at the flag, remembering how he fought so we could keep it and remembering his dear friends who died in the process. I see two astronauts, solemnly placing our flag on the moon. These people are true Americans.

Americans should be the kind of people whom other people would risk their lives to be with, just so they can call themselves Americans. But in my modern day American life, I do not see these things in people my age.

On Mondays, when we say the Pledge of Allegiance, most students mumble the compelling, inspirational words written long ago. Some kids don't say it at all, just because they don't feel like it. When I see these kids doing this, I want to ask them, "Don't you know what these words mean?" I am not afraid to show pride in being an American. Most people would die to call themselves Americans.

Another thing that is contributing to loss of pride in our country is that we don't say the Pledge of Allegiance every day. Why would anyone oppose giving just that small amount of time for something that expresses what it means to be an American?

Trapped in ISS


(Kenzy Pierce kept a journal of her time in in-school suspension.

JAN. 17, 2008

I am in ISS and I'm already scored. I've never been in this much trouble to be down here for five days. It's cold, it's smelly, and there's barely any light. They tape this blue plastic over the lights- I think it's to make it look gloomy. You have walls all around you- to your left, right, and one in front of you. They call it a "cubicle."

They make you copy this paper of all the rules. "No talking allowed," "Raise your hand before you speak," this, that, and the other. All you do down there is work, work, work. I get to get out sixth hour and sixth hour only! Then I have to come straight back.

When you are assigned ISS, and you're able to leave the room, you do what you've got to do, then come back. It's like a prison down here- the school is now the jailhouse, the room is your prison section, and your cubicle is your cell.

Well, the bell just rang and I have four more days, so I will write again tomorrow.

Jan. 18, 2008

Here I am again in my cell. It seems colder than yesterday. I have realized we only have three bathroom breaks a day, our lunch is served in our cell. The food is all right but I haven't eaten lunch today, nor yesterday and I don't plan to until my days are up. You are probably wondering, "Wow, what did she do?" Well, a lot of people already know, so I don't have a problem with telling you.

Well, this boy doesn't know when to shut his mouth, I got tired of it, so I hit him. Gosh, did I feel good and boy, was I happy! I kind of regret it seeing as I got five days of ISS; he got three days OSS (out of school suspension).

Bored...I've done all my work, I don't have a book, so I'm sitting on my butt...which I cannot feel because that's what happens you sit on your butt basically. Seven hours straight. I cannot with until sixth's freedom...for one hour...not even that. I'm about to go so until I come back...

Jan. 22, 2008
Today was kind of fun. Markell is in here and we were laughing away. That was the most fun we've had in here. At lunch, I stole Kaleb's fries, and Markell bought me chocolate. There isn't really anything going on today. It's just a normal day. Tomorrow will be more interesting, I'm sure.

Jan. 23, 2008

"Just one more day, just one more day," I kept telling myself. Hopefully, today will go by pretty quick and so will tomorrow. I don't understand how I can't get out early tomorrow or something if I don't have any work for two days. I mean, come on. I've had good behavior, I've finished all my work, I don't normally talk. Gosh, that should be a rule: If you have good behavior, finished work, and don't talk a lot, you get out early."

But today there are like 10 students down here. I'm so tired, I want to fall asleep, but can't- the prison guard catches everything. Every now and then, I'll catch myself falling asleep and jerk back up again. I'm so stoked; I'm getting out tomorrow!

A quick word of advice: DON'T GET ISS. It sucks terribly. It's only 8:26 a.m.. I have a long way to go. I'll probably try to sleep today seeing as I have no work. So I'll write when something new happens.

Jan. 24, 2008

Nothing new happened so far. Today is my last day!

It's fifth hour and I'm getting out sixth hour and seventh hour. Yesterday, five people got thrown out of ISS. They used foul language to the teacher. There's this guy down here, we have talked every day we've been down here. Today's his last day, also. I won't be able to say goodbye to him, but at least I got a number!

Jail has actually not been too bad. It's pretty good, not as bad as people think. Yeah, it's colder than any other jail, but it's pretty quiet and gives you good thinking time. I have about an hour to go until I get out...I'm dying.

It's pretty funny...everyone's attitudes. When you talk to them, they are all funny and nice, but when the guard talks to them, all of a sudden they are the total opposite...rude and snobby.

Well, I am almost out of room to write, and my time's almost up and in a few moments I will be free, so you have my cold, long story of how ISS (also known as prison) went.

Until next time...NOT!

Friday, March 14, 2008

South eighth grader receives letter from civil rights pioneer

One of the highlights of this year's third quarter civil rights research project in Mr. Randy Turner's eighth grade communication arts class was when Raycee Thompson received a letter from Carl Holmes, one of the attorneys who helped conduct the research that helped the NAACP present the winning case in the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling.

Raycee wrote a letter to Carl Holmes, whom she had met briefly two years ago at an event in South Dakota.

"I received a reply letter from Carl Holmes. He was one of the attorneys who helped to do research for the Brown v. Board of Education case. The sad thing is he has bladder cancer, but he still decided to reply.

"In the letter, he answered my questions over the case. He told me that he researched the question, "Is the 14th Amendment being obstructed by school segregation?" He did the research because he felt it was the right thing to do and by doing the research he was treated differently; with more respect from his friends. He said initially he did have some doubts about winning the case, but he knew it would workout. The one thing I thought was the most important from this letter is the lesson Mr. Holmes thought teens should know:

"The roadblocks of hate and injustice can be set aside by serious study, hard work, and unflagging determination."

The content of the letter is printed below:

Dear Raycee:

We got your letter and unfortunately, Carl Holmes is in the hospital right now. He has bladder cancer. I took your letter to him and he dictated the following answers:

1. Did you believe the case had a chance of winning with a white Supreme Court making the decision?

Initially, I did not.

2. What kind of information did you research for the NAACP?

What evidence is there that the Congress which enacted, and the state legislators which ratified the 14th Amendment, understood or did not understand, contemplated or did not contemplate, that it would eventually abolish segregation in the public schools. This question, propounded by the Supreme Court, is the one that I worked on the summer of 1953.

3. When schools first began to desegregate, did you have any second thoughts?

No, because it was the beginning of change, even though I knew there would be problems.

4. Did people treat you differently because you volunteered to help research information for the case?

Yes. My friends thought it was a good thing to do, and in time as the significance of the decision achieved national attention, they were proud of my efforts.

5.How did the segregated schools affect you when you were younger and in school?

Not at all. I went to schools in New York City where there was no segregation by law.

6. Why did you volunteer to do research for the NAACP?

Because I felt it was the right thing to do at the time- I had just graduated from law school.

7.Recently, Sen. Ernie Chambers from Omaha, Nebraska, suggested that the schools be segregated again. How did it feel to hear an important African-American leader make such a suggestion?

I was greatly disheartened and I totally disagree with San. Chambers.

8. What do you feel is the most important lesson today's youth can learn from your generation's struggle?

The roadblocks of hate and injustice can be set aside by serious study, hard work and unflagging determination.

9. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Thank you, Raycee, for your lovely letter and may you succeed in all future endeavors.

South eighth grader reports on Disney World trip

(Note from Mr. Turner: I thought I had put this story on the website a few months ago, but just discovered it never made it. My apologies to Mary Jean Miller.)

Room 210 Staff Writer

We’ve all been to, seen, or heard about Disney World, right? Well, on Tuesday, October 30, 2007, my family and I took a family vacation to Disney World for a week. I would like to share my experiences with the readers of the room 210 news blog.

Day 1 (Wednesday 31, 2007)

Happy Halloween everyone! Today was the day we went to our first park of Disney World!

Our first park was MGM Studios. We passed a huge Christmas tree at the entrance, and we were soon on our way down the central street of MGM. We took a right turn and found ourselves looking down the street that would take my family and me to the Rockin’ Rollercoaster starring Aerosmith; beyond that being the Hollywood Tower Hotel, Home to the Tower of Terror! I rode the Tower of Terror 4 times, and for skeptics, yeah, it was that good. We all rode the Rockin’ Rollercoaster 3 times. Not as good as the Tower (I may be just a little biased there…. TOWER OF TERROR ROCKS!!!! …. ya know, just a little biased) and it rattled your brains a little, but still completely amazing (you really get to go through a doughnut…. seriously).

My family and I really wanted to see 3 shows. 1st, we saw the Indiana Jones show. We saw how they make all the films, and we even got to see how scenes were shot. Right after that, we saw Lights, Motors, Action! which was a lot like the Indiana Jones show, but instead of a person or people in a scene, Lights, Motors, Action! is an awesome car chase brought overseas from the Disney World in Paris, France! It was a whole bunch of cars, motorcycles, jet skis, and props/ramping fun and action. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

We had time between the motor show and the next show, so we went on a back lot tour. We got to see how film makers produced an “out-of-control” flash flood in a canyon, but it was all carefully planned and controlled so nobody got hurt.

After the back lot tour, it was time to go see the third show called Sounds Dangerous. The main character, Drew Carey, is an undercover cop who has to bust a smuggling dude called Lefty Malone. I didn’t like it that much, but if you like listening to things without seeing them, you’ll love this show.

My family and I then went over to a Star Wars simulator ride called Star Tours. You get to travel through space like you see in Star Wars while on a trip to Endor. It was LOADS of fun!

At the end of the day, we got to see the firework show called Fantasmic. Mickey is having a dream, and Disney villains soon invade! You watch as Mickey fights Jafar the snake, and then Maleficent the dragon from Sleeping Beauty. You will love this pyrotechnic, water shooting, fireworks show.

It was GREAT!

Day 2 (Thursday, November 1, 2007)

We’re going to Sea World!

When we got to Sea World (had to take a taxi….better than a bus) I was sure my little brother, Preston, was going to go completely wild. He wants to be a marine biologist, so he’s really interested in sea creatures….especially sea lions. The main square wasn’t open yet, but we were able to look at some of the gift shops. When Sea World opened, we headed over to the sea lion enclosure. Before we go any farther, you should know that Sea World and Disney don’t capture animals in the wild. All the animals you see were rescued and they can’t fend for themselves, or were born in captivity.

Now....back to the sea lions. They were so playful! They chased each other, sunned themselves, and goofed around a lot. You could even feed them. 1 of the sea lions had cataracts, so it couldn’t see the food. You had to wave a fish in front of its face (leaning carefully over the rail to do so). It would open its mouth, find the direction the fish was, and wait. You had to toss the fish into its mouth or at least toss the fish to where the fish hit the mouth so it could catch the fish. Otherwise, because this sea lion can’t see, it won’t get the fish. Preston and I found this out when we fed the sea lions.

After that, we went and rode the newest attraction at Sea World. With 7 (yes, 7) inversions (when you go upside down), the Kraken is an incredible rollercoaster that will push your nerves to the limit. This rollercoaster features high speeds, high height, loop-de-loops, corkscrews, huge hills, and more! Preston and I rode it 3 times whereas my parents only rode The Kraken once. Talk about dizzy!

We saw 3 shows in this theme park as well. The 1st show was a show full of dolphins, whales, gymnasts, and stunts. The 2nd show had 2 sea lions, a walrus, and an otter, co-working with a man and woman. All of them were trying to take over an island called Pirate Island. This show was a hilarious comedy full of laughter and fun (they had a mime entertain the audience before the show, and he was really funny when he imitated people finding seats). Last but certainly not least, we saw the Shamu show. All the killer whales are of the same family (pod), so Shamu is their last name. The killer whales splashed the audience, waved to everybody, flipped, dove, and amazed the crowed over and over again. We also rode a flight simulator that simulated a helicopter ride to an Arctic Base that was so real, when everyone saw the screen and ride move to doge avalanches, rocks, and even the sea after a ledge broke off, everybody screamed because everything was so close and real-like. We even went “underwater” in the simulator. After we got off the ride, it opened into a mini-area where we saw real walruses, polar bears, and very playful beluga whales. All in the Arctic! It was kind of cold, though. We even got to see a bunch of penguins and cousins of the penguins at a walk called Penguin Encounter. They were all so beautiful and cute. Sea World was great!

Day 3 (Friday Nov. 2, 2007

Magic Kingdom….here we come!

Caught a bus to Magic Kingdom this morning. After we got inside the park, we caught a train to Frontier Land. The first ride we rode was Splash Mountain. My mom and I got in the 2nd seat so we wouldn’t get too wet. Of course, we ended up getting off the ride pretty wet. Go figure. To dry off, We all headed over to Big Thunder Mountain. My dad and I rode it before my mom and brother, but the coaster was pretty mild. My mom and I were a little drier when we got off, though.

After we rode Big Thunder, we went next door into Adventure Land. The 1st ride we rode was Pirates of the Caribbean. It was great! We spent a half hour shopping after the ride, though. There was sooooo much pirate stuff! We saw a show called The Tiki Room, and it was okay. Then we went on a little boat ride through a bunch of different rivers and learned a little about each one. When that was done, we saw a tutorial given by Captain Jack Sparrow. My brother even got to swordfight him. The actor was just like the real Jack. It was awesome!! After dueling with Jack, we headed over to get a Dole whip. It’s really great tasting pineapple ice cream. Then we went and rode the Haunted Mansion over in Liberty Square. It was really sweet.

We headed over to Tomorrow Land and rode Space Mountain (2 times), the Space Orbiter, and the new Buzz Lightyear ride (it wasn’t little kiddish at all). We went to Fantasy Land and rode Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (the spinning cups) and Snow White’s Scary Adventures. They were cool (but the Tea Party made me feel kinda sick because I get motion sick when I spin around a lot). We headed to Main Street, did a little shopping, lift the park, ran like the wind to catch a monorail, went to Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and had a great time at a luau. That was fun.

Day 4 Saturday Nov. 3, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

My family and I went to Animal Kingdom today. But before we did, we slept in, had a nice breakfast (usually, we skip it all together), and decided today would be an easy day. When we caught a bus to Animal Kingdom, we were standing by a really nice family, so we had a great time on the bus ride. When we got to the park, we immedeatly headed over to Expedition Everest, Animal’s newest ride. We ended up riding it 3 times.

After Everest, we went on a jungle walk to see jungle animals like komodo dragons and tigers and exotic birds. Then we went to Dino Land, where we rode Primeval Whirl and Dinosaur (based on the movie).

We took a break to have lunch, and then went to a show about the Lion King. Right after the Lion King show, we saw It’s Tough to be a Bug in the base of the Tree of Life. It was extremely real (Don’t take little kids). To end our day at the park, where else to go than the Kahli River Rapids. My dad, my brother and I rode it 4 times and came off cold and soaking wet.

We came back to the hotel and swam in our heated pool run by the hotel, then went and ate dinner and had popcorn.

Day 5 Sunday Nov. 4, 2007

Big giant ball for a symbol….must be Epcot!

Today, my family and I went to Epcot. There were 3 main rides we wanted to ride. They were:

1: Soarin’~ you get to fly high above the golden state of California in a simulated hang-glider ride. It’s incredible. I have no words to describe it except that it’s so realistic and you don’t even know that Soarin’ is a ride.

2: Mission Space~ you may have heard of this one. The original had to be toned down and a “Less-intense” ride was created because people were having heart attacks on it. It was great. I first rode the Green Team because the Orange Team is a giant centrifuge, and don’t forget that I get motion sick if I see people spinning or I’m spinning and can’t focus on anything. I got bored on the Green Team, so I decided to wing it and try the Orange Team. I LOVED IT!!!! It was so awesome. Disney did a great job.

3: Test Track~ enter this building and get transported to a car testing lab. The first time, we all got to the boarding area and the cars broke down. We came back later and finally got to ride it, and it was great. You went over bumpy road, almost crash into a wall, go through extreme heat, cold, and a corrosive chamber, then take a lap or 2 around the outside of the building before coming back to unload. All of this is done in a convertible type test car.

After rides, there’s the World Showcase. Visit countries all over the world without ever leaving Florida. My favorite was Japan, where I got a silk Screen. At 9:00, Epcot’s fireworks show, Illuminations, began. It was spectacular. Completely amazing. Towards the end, a rotating globe came out (all of this was done over a lagoon), opened up, and revealed a giant torch.

It. Was. Great!

Day 6 Last day Monday, Nov. 5, 2007

Time to park hop!

Today we started in Magic Kingdom and redid rides we got to do and didn’t get to ride. We came back to the hotel to drop off some packages, then caught a bus to MGM Studios. I rode the Tower of Terror 4 more times with my father for a total of 8 times this whole trip. I rode Star Tours and the Rockin’ Rollercoaster one more time and went primal on a gigantic turkey leg. We had some dessert at the hotel, and finally got to stop standing on our feet.

My family and I had a great time on our trip to Disney World. I hope that everyone who reads this journal will get to experience some of the fun I had. Who knows? It may help you map your next trip to Walt Disney World!

Mitchell, Gates, Reddell are top eighth grade poets

Tori Mitchell, Christina Gates, and Sabra Reddell have been named winners in the annual South Middle School Eighth Grade Poetry Contest.

Their poems will be published in Teacher Select: Anthology of Eighth Grade Poetry, a national book. The poems were chosen by a faculty committee from a field of 30 poems, according to Mr. Randy Turner, eighth grade communication arts teacher. The poems are printed below:


Can’t you see her broken wings,
How she wants to fly?
As she plummets to the ground,
Don’t you want to cry?

Can’t you see her will to try,
The look in her brown eyes,
The sadness you can see in her,
As you look toward the blue green

Can’t you see her shattered hopes,
Her dreams gone with the tide?
When you look upon her face,
Can you tell she has recently cried?

Can’t you hold her in your arms,
And say that it’s OK?
Won’t you wipe away her tears,
Or have you nothing to say?

Can’t you hold on to her hand
And chase her fears away?
Or are you just another face,
That brings pain each passing day?

Won’t you carry her in your arms,
When she cannot stand?
Or will you just stand there and watch,
As she falls into the sand?

Can’t you see her broken wings,
How she wants to fly?
As she plummets to the ground,
Don’t you want to cry?



I’m ugly: I’m fourteen.
The girls at my school
Make me want to scream.

They whisper things in
each other’s ears
as if I can’t even hear

She’s ugly, she’s fat,
She’s such a whore
Their words,
so hard to ignore

My name doesn’t matter:
I’m fourteen
the girls at my school
make me want to scream

When I go home at night,
it’s always just another fight.
I hate you. I want you to die.
I go to my room, I just cry.

Night goes by
to bring another day.
Taunting things
Are all they say

She’s ugly, she’s fat,
She’s such a whore
They seem to know
I can’t ignore.
I want to be something: I’m fourteen.
The girls at my school
Make me want to scream.



Ice, ice, everywhere
Take each step with precious care
Limbs break off like popsicle sticks
But take the toll of 10,000 bricks.
I see creatures walking so slow.
This lets me know
It’s going to be a deadly snow.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

South Middle School's Asia'h performs on American Idol

Following are a few comments from other websites and blogs about tonight's performance by Joplin's Asia'h Epperson on American Idol. Asia'h attended South Middle School from 2000 to 2003:

Idol Chatter on Austin 360- Asia’h delivers the first fashion head-scratcher of the night. Are those footie pajamas she’s wearing? Eek. An interesting take on a song that’s familiar to most, but it just didn’t work for us. She needed more energy — more something — to stand out from a surprisingly talented pack. Randy: “It was a tall order for you to take on but, you know, that’s the reason that we got you here. … You showed and proved tonight that you deserve to be here.” Our grade: C+

Michael Giltz, Huffington Post
- She set the standard for the night with a competent, at best, version of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)." (Boy, the Eighties loved using parantheses in song titles, didn't they?) Asia'h had a cute outfit, continuing this season's very positive trend of the contestants dressing their age in a fun, sexy, but not slutty manner. The lower register is definitely easier for her and she sounded rough on the high notes early on. But this is one of the easier Whitney songs to tackle and it's right in her comfort range. Which makes it all the more notable that she was only ok at best. "I'll take second-rate Whitney" ain't exactly fighting words, Asia'h.

Entertainment Weekly- Second-rate Whitney. That's what Simon called her performance of I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which Randy couldn't help but mention he recorded with the Mistress of Crack back in the 1980s. I thought she sounded okay, but Randy and Paula were gushing over it. Still, good enough for the Top 12.

Rocky Mountain News
- Asia'h Epperson, 19, kicked things off with I Wanna Dance with Somebody. She's no Whitney Houston (well, at least no pre-Bobby Brown Whitney), but she brought her own bubblegum sensibility. She had fun.

Blend Television- She was a roller skating extra in a movie (was it Goldmember?) and she slammed into something. She sings “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” She is so focused on getting down the stairs of the set that her first notes are really shaky, and not every note is hitting 100%. I think her voice is a little too smoky for this song, and by the end of it, she’s not strong enough to have a big finish. Randy admits he recorded the song with Whitney, and he thought it was hot, Paula thinks she pulled off and nailed it, and Simon is not is as enthusiastic, and that she’s a second rate impersonator. It was not even close to being her best performance, but it should be enough for her to avoid the cut.

Roanoke Times
- Asia'H Epperson came out with a bang singing Whitney's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." At first I was nervous because anyone who tries to tackle Whitney, especially a fast song, usually fails. But Asia'H hit the nail on the head and it's mostly because of the emotion behind her voice.
Mom said she was one of the best she's heard sing a Whitney song. Simon compared her to a second-rate Whitney, to which Asia'H said she'd take that anyday.

Nancy Sluder, Asheville Citizen-Times
- Coming down the stairs, Asia’s starts the show with the upbeat “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” It was ok, but once again, I think she picked a song that was too big for her voice, just as she did last week. Also, she added nothing new to the original, which, when you don’t change up Whitney Houston, you get compared to Whitney Houston. It wasn’t that her performance was bad, it just wasn’t anything special for me. 7 out of 10.

- The best performance was Asia'h Epperson, who sang "I Want to Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston.

Reality Check, Baltimore Sun- Asia'h Epperson says her most embarrassing moment (that's the question of the week) was being an extra on a movie about roller skating and totally falling in front of everyone. On stage, she sings Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." The song really suits her voice, and she's having a good time, but she's definitely not doing anything new with it. Randy Jackson says he recorded that song with the great Whitney Houston and that even though it was a tall order for her to take on that song, "It was hot." Paula Abdul says she wondered whether she could pull it off, and, "You nailed it." Simon Cowell says he isn't quite as enthusiastic and that "at best it was second-rate Whitney Houston." But, with Ryan's prodding, Simon says he thinks it was good enough to get her through to next week.

New South will be bigger and better

Room 210 Staff Writer

As we know we are going to have three Joplin Middle Schools built. We are going to have a new South, East, and North.
"March 3, there was a bid on how much it cost to build the new South," South Middle School Principal Ron Mitchell said.
"The estimate was seventeen million dollars, maybe a little lower." There will be 235 parking spots for the new South building, Mr. Mitchell said.

"For 600 kids to go to a school that was built a long time ago, it's good that we will get to have new bigger rooms like that cafeteria. It will be five times bigger at the new South.
"We won't have to share a gymnasium and auditorium like we have to do now."

Plans are uncertain for what will be done with the old South Middle School building, Mr. Mitchell said. There may be a Regional Professional Development Center for teachers from all over Joplin and some teachers from cities close to Joplin."

The new South Middle School will hold 700 students, Mr. Mitchell said. He explained some of the differences students will see at the new school.

"We will have a baseball field for P.E. Since we have a small cafeteria we have three lunches, but at the new South, we will only have two lunches because about 300 kids will be able to fit in the cafeteria." Autistic centers will be in all 3 new schools.

The new building will also have a safety precaution that is not in place at the current South Middle School.

"Sixty-one total cameras will be in the new South, everywhere except the bathrooms and locker rooms."

Another change will be the addition of extra faculty. "Since the new South will be bigger," Mr. Mitchell said, "it is going to need new teachers for the second floor."

South will be bigger and better once it is built because everything in it will be new!

Fourth Hour class shines at state Project Citizen competition

Room 210 Editor

Mr. Rocky Biggers' eighth grade history classes all worked on Project Citizen, but only one class was able to go to Jefferson City to compete with other schools around the state Monday.

Project Citizen is where the class takes a problem that it would like to solve and researches it. Then it looks at all of its options of how it can solve the problem and picks the one it believes works best and then creates a policy to implement it. Lastly, the class comes up with an action plan on how to get the policy implemented.

On March 3rd at 5:15 a.m., Mr. Biggers' fourth hour class began its journey to Jefferson City for Project Citizen. It was a long trip, but once we got their it was definitely worth it.
At about 11 a.m., we presented our suicide prevention project for Project Citizen to the judges. After that, we ate lunch and then went back to listen to the awards ceremony. Mr. Biggers' fourth hour class was presented with an Excellent award. Once the ceremony was over, we were able to get a tour of the Capital Building. Once our long day was over, we headed home at about 3 pm.
This was a learning experience that many of us will always remember with precise detail. Our class is even going to try and carry on with this program since it is doable, which would be great to change something in our school that could possibly save a life. I'm really just glad that Mr. Biggers gave us the opportunity to work on Project Citizen.

(Note: The class is hoping to take its suicide prevention program before the Joplin R-8 Board of Education.)