Are the AIMS Really Worth All the Trouble?

By: Trenton Thompson

Every Arizona high school student has taken the AIMS test at least once. Some students who do not pass them may take them more than once. In some cases, students elect to take the tests multiple times so that they can exceed on each one. This is a practice that Tri-City Prep encourages its students to do. But is it worth it? Does it really help that much?

In the past several years, exceeding on your AIMS would pay for 100% of your freshmen college tuition to any in-state university. However, in 2010 the Arizona Board of Regents decided to cut this scholarship down significantly for htose who were a sophomore or younger at th time of this agreement. Basically, after 2012, graduates that qualify for the scholarship will only have 25% of their tuition covered.

The Board of Regents decided that not only should the amount of tuition be cut, but also the standards of elgibility for the scholarship should be raised. Their agreement said, according to journalist Anne Ryman, that the scholarship would be cut to 25% of freshmen tuition and that students must pass their ACTs with a 28 and their SATs with a 1300. This allows the state to ensure that the students who are getting the scholarship will actually be ready for college and that they will be less likely to drop out.

Although these standards are tough compared to the former qualifications, it has not deterred students from trying.

Emily Stanfill, a Junior at Tri-City, said, “I am going to retake the AIMS to try and exceed.” Stanfill is one of the multiple students who said that regardless of how small the scholarship was she was still going to try for it.

Mrs. Norris, the school counselor, said that there are fewer students than usual retaking the AIMS, but she also said that the school has an abnormally large number of students who exceed the first time through. Nevertheless, 11 students opted to retake the Reading section, 8 retook the Writing portion, and 7 slated to retake the Math section. Although the scholarship has been significantly reduced, it has not greatly affected the amount of students retaking the AIMS.

For more information about the Tuition Waiver visit the Arizona Education website at


Gamer Review: Gears of War 3 Definitely Better and Worth Getting

By: Brandon Gabaldon and Peter Martinez

This past September, Gears of War 3 came out for Xbox 360. This third installment of one of the most engaging and successful franchises improved in many ways from the second and answers some players’ burning questions.

Horde Mode has changed since the second Gears without making it a different mode entirely. Horde is still a co-op or solo experience, but now can be played with up to five other players online.

One of the ways Horde is so different, is you have to kill locust to gain points to buy certain things like ammo. Another addition is fortifications, like barricades and turrets, which can be upgraded and therefore improved.

If you find yorself being overrun, kill as many locusts as you can in an effort to buy a Mulcher or a Flamethrower to help you survive the endless waves of locust.

The campaign is an intense mode with great stories, new enemies, and new areas. It also teaches you how some enemies are made, such as Corspers, Tickers, etc. The campaign has some new enemies, called Lambent, that control every living creature, even humans. This campaign is heart wrenching at every turn. The bosses are bigger and badder at every step.

The Beast Mode is the best mode because you are the enemy. It is the most exciting because you fight the humans. It has a system where the more enemies you kill the more points you recieve. There are an array of enemies you can choose from. You will want to play Beast Mode over and over again.

The multiplayer experience is engaging and similar to Gears of War 2. There are new modes to choose from to keep the replay value for Gears of War 3 high. These new modes are Team Deathmatch, Warzone, Execution, Capture the Leader, King of the Hill, and Wingman. All od the modes are 2-10 players online and many people have already bought the game so you won’t have to worry about having no one to play with.

In both Horde and Multiplayer Modes, there are over 30 characters to choose from in both locust and humans. To unlock different characters, a player has to complete challenges or level up. A new arsenal of maps has been released that are larger than Gears of War 2. They include a supermarket, football stadium, and an abandoned city. Maps are still going to be released with map-packs and additions that will be released soon.

With these additions, Gears of War 3 is a major improvement from the second and is worth getting.

Tri City’s Freshmen Orientation: An Inside Look

By Sabrina Flick

Freshman Orientation took place on October 25th in Tri City Prep’s auditorium. At the orientation, incoming freshman and their parents were informed about the school.

Dr. Halvorson began the meeting by explaining Tri City Prep’s faculty requirements. She said that every teacher is required to have a masters degree, and that some teachers are even college professors.

The next topic was about sports. Dr. Halvorson explained all of the sports offered at Tri City Prep. These sports include soccer, rowing, basketball, volleyball, archery, softball, golf, and cross country. Each sport’s pay-to-play money is one hundred dollars. She also explained that they count for a quarter of physical education credit.

She then discussed the college courses available to the students. They can take college classes through Yavapai Community College as a duel credit. This means that these classes will count for both high school and college credit.

Another topic discussed was the behavior at TCP. Observation reports were explained and the dress code was addressed. Tri City Prep is a small school, so there were not many issues involved.

Finally, the curriculum was addressed. TCP has a large art program ranging from 3D Art to Choir. All of the performing arts include 3D Art, 2D Art, Choir, Chamber Orchestra, and Beginning Strings. Along with many Art programs, there are many Honors Societies, including English, Art, Mu Alpha Theta, Tri M, Science, and The National Honors Society. The foreign languages include Latin, Spanish, and Japanese.

After meeting with the faculty, the students were brought into the library to have the opportunity to ask Mrs. Miliken questions. The majority of the questions asked were about the classes at Tri City offers.

“The meeting was very informative and I learned a lot,” said Hannah Flick, an incoming freshman. “I hope the next year will be fun and I hope I learn a lot.”

Halloween’s Haunted History — Revealed!

Halloween originated in Ireland as a Celtic festival known as Samhain (Sah-win).  This festival was to celebrate the end of harvest, on October 31 it was thought that the worlds of dead and living met and that evil spirits could cause damage to crops.
Trick or treating, a famous Halloween activity among children, came from Britain during the Middle Ages. It started out where one would go door to door praying and receiving food in return. The night to do this was called Hallowmas, on November 1.
Every year people go out dressed as many things, such as a ghost, princess, or even a cowboy. They do this, because when this tradition was evolving, It was originally meant to please evil spirits so that they wouldn’t harm that person in any way.
The earliest record of Halloween in America is from 1911 where a newspaper reported that children would go street to street reciting poems and getting treats as rewards.
Jack-O-Lanterns are another Irish tradition. The story goes a man named Jack had tricked the devil into promising not to take Jack’s soul. When Jack died, Heaven refused him and the devil stuck to his promise of not taking him. Jack was stuck on earth, with only a coal to light his way. He placed the coal in a hollowed turnip, his favorite food, and has roamed the earth since then.
When immigrating to America the Irish kept the tradition of hollowing out fruit to keep Jack away, but found it easier to carve pumpkins.
Only a small part of the world celebrates Halloween today. The United States and The United Kingdom are major contributors. Ireland and Canada also carry the tradition, although media is changing that statistic by spreading the activity throughout the world.
Most students have no prior knowledge of Halloween.  One anonymous student  said “I don’t really know anything about Halloween”.
Arianna Olvera, a freshman replied to the question “What do you know about Halloween’s History” with, “[I know] absolutely nothing”.
But not all students are left in the dark from this spooky holiday Alison Whitney, also a freshman stated “I know it’s one of the world’s oldest holidays”.
Lauren Ryan, a senior noted that “I know it’s a pagan Holiday”.
This Halloween watch out for those ghouls and ghosts and have a safe night.

Navajo Nation Teenagers not so Different from Tri-City Prep Students

By Anna Flurry

A fifteen-minute drive on the Navajo Reservation will give you a fairly accurate idea of what it’s like to visit a developing nation. Run-down shacks, stray dogs, and the occasional Hogan lined the highway. I couldn’t help but wonder if Many Farms High School and its students would seem as destitute.

As the car pulled up and we rushed to unpack my parents’ music equipment for their residency, I was pleasantly surprised to find a cheery red building trimmed with large, green and white triangles. “Many Farms High School,” it announced, “Home of the Lobos.” Still, I wasn’t sure whether to expect traditional Navajo-style dress or Abercrombie & Fitch.

First period began with a teacher introducing me to her Navajo language class. Seventeen faces glanced at me with mild interest, muttered hello. Typical new-girl stuff – except that I was the sole white kid in a school of 500 Navajos.

With that, the lesson continued, and I attempted to pronounce the 53 Diné – Navajo – consonants and vowels, which was not an easy task. However, I was surprised that the class was only at this stage of learning their own language. I would find out later that this is essentially the first generation to be allowed to speak Navajo in school since the Long Walk.

Throughout the rest of the day, I attended art, geometry, and computers. Without fail, every time a native Navajo speaker was the teacher, about a quarter to a half of the class was taught in the Diné language.

It seems that language is not the only cultural aspect that Navajo high school kids have lost. Clothes and styles are much more modern, as are household appliances, like cell phones and computers.

“I’m on YouTube half the time,” said Camille Crosby, a junior at Many Farms. Her friend, Cyriah Yazzie, a senior, added that Facebook was also a popular pastime.

For the most part, the lives of kids on “the Rez,” as it’s sometimes called, don’t seem too different on the surface. When asked about what a typical day would be like, Crosby summed it up in one word: “Normal.”

Only a few characteristics came out in the interviews that differed from those of non-Navajo kids. One example was the ceremonies performed.

“Our culture has all sorts of ceremonies for all different things,” said Crosby.

The “Enemy Way” ceremony was the favorite of another upperclassman, Leon Woody. This is essentially a healing ceremony for soldiers who return from war. It is used to keep them from being haunted by their memories.

“If you go to war, and you kill a lot of men, then you have to pay the medicine man to do the ceremony for the patient and give him money and livestock,” said Woody, explaining how the ceremony works. The “Enemy Way” lasts three days, and at the end, the soldier should be free of his or her “ghosts.”

Other than the ceremonies, there are other ways that Navajo teenagers spend their weekends. Crosby and Yazzie described one of their favorite activities: having a cookout.

“I have a cookout with my family every weekend,” said Yazzie. “We get together and play games, talk, and dance.”

Kids hang out around school during breaks. (Photo by: Anna Flurry)

When asked if they invited their friends to these events, Crosby and Yazzie said they didn’t.

“I just invite my nieces and nephews,” Crosby said.

The Navajo Reservation seemed remote, with nothing to do besides work and go to school. However, the students interviewed didn’t seem to think so.

“It’s actually pretty good,” said Yazzie. “In my spare time, I have more things to do. The city’s just too crowded.” She also noted, “It’s nice and calm [here], and you get to see stars.”

That doesn’t mean that high school kids aren’t willing to branch out. Crosby says she hopes to go to Japan some day, and Yazzie also hopes to travel, but they both agree that they will eventually return to the Navajo Nation.

I learned much from this trip. Despite its surface image as a poverty-stricken area, the kids who live on the Rez live similar lives to those of us on the outside. At the same time, though, they are very involved in their culture and families, and they are proud of their heritage.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first arrived, but now I know that the Diné high school students I met are a unique blend of cultures. As a mainstream American, I found myself envying their heritage. They are fully immersed in the trends of the world while maintaining strong connections to their culture and family.