A State of the Union to Remember

By Emily Pickering

President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address this year on January 30. The State of the Union is a presidential speech addressed to Congress that allows the president to reflect on the nation’s accomplishments from the previous year, as well as reveal future plans for the nation in the coming years of the presidency. Donald Trump’s speech was mostly filled with calls for bipartisan unity due to the conflict between Democrats and Republicans while debating a compromise on immigration. In a pre-speech lunch Trump said “unity is what I’m striving for, to bring the country together.” He also used his State of the Union Address to talk about his plans to improve infrastructure in the nation, saying that the government would provide $1.5 trillion towards this goal. However, representative Nancy Pelosi contradicted this statement and said “he actually has a infrastructure plan with only $200 billion dollars over 10 years”.

Trump’s speech was evidently geared toward his supporters, as are most State of the Union speeches. Throughout his speech, he proposed mostly Republican supported policies like burning coal and keeping the military prison open at Guantanamo Bay. When proposing these ideas, President Trump used the phrase “clean coal,” which refers to a type of coal plant that limits excess carbon dioxide production and global warming by capturing the carbon dioxide it releases and burying it. However, only one coal plant in the country uses this method because it is extremely expensive and still releases more carbon dioxide than other energy sources. Trump also did propose plans for paid family leave and opening more vocational schools; ideas that could be seen as more liberally accepted and were one of the only parts of his speech that satisfied Democrats.

Trump’s speech was viewed by 45.6 million people, which contrary to what President Trump has said is not the most viewed State of the Union Address.  This speech was a success for his supporters and I believe it embodied what his presidency is about.

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A Letter to Seniors

By Emily Pickering


Dear Seniors,

This year is a stressful one. We are applying to colleges and scholarships, writing admissions essays, choosing what university we want to go to… and on top of all of this, we have the stress of keeping up with homework, quizzes, and tests. Even though it feels like there’s an overwhelming amount of work to be done, we need to remember to enjoy our last year at Mount. This year can be exciting. With the prospect of freedom just around the corner, we can be anxious for the year to end. While it might seem like this year couldn’t be passing by any slower, it’s important to remember that before we know it the year will be over and we will be at graduation receiving your diploma.

Make the most of your time, make a difference, and don’t sit back and let the year fly by. You don’t want to look back on your high school years and regret anything. Do your best this year in your classes. I know you might have been told that colleges don’t look at your senior grades, but scholarships can depend on them. Make sure to get your applications and essays for colleges done in time, but don’t stress out about them. Most colleges don’t expect your essays to be world changing, they just want to learn more about what makes you who you are. Enjoy your time with your family and friends because, unless you go to the same school, you won’t be seeing them everyday like you do now.

Seniors: this year will be over before you know it, so make the best of it!

Your Fellow Senior,

Emily Pickering

National Bullying Prevention Month

National Bullying Prevention Month

By Meredith Taylor

For those of you who are not aware, October is Bullying Prevention Month. Throughout the month, numerous schools and communities come together to raise awareness about bullying. Despite October’s incredible weather and colorful leaves, it can be a difficult month for people experiencing bullying. It changes who they are and their self-worth. They have a tendency to cling onto what they love, or they let their passions and joys fade in fear of condemnation.  

National Bullying Prevention Month means a lot to me because my cousin has experienced bullying. Because he was labeled as “different,” people looked down upon him.  He decided he did not care what other people thought about him. He always stayed true to himself, even when it was difficult. Eventually, the bullying reached a point where his grades dropped, and he had no self-worth. However, I am happy to say that this year has been one of his happiest. He smiles more and his grades have dramatically improved. I am not to sure what turned his life around, but I have learned that if my cousin can overcome bullying, you can too.

Always remember that even if you are not a “bully,” making a judgmental or cruel comment can influence a person’s self-esteem. Treat everyone with love and kindness. Accept people as they are, not as who you want them to be.

“Women Hold Up Half the Sky”

“Women Hold Up Half the Sky”

 By Vivian Boe

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a profoundly moving novel written by journalists Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The married duo traveled around the world interviewing women of all backgrounds on afflictions that affect women today such as, but not limited to, lack of education, maternal mortality, and human trafficking. Each chapter of the book includes personal, true stories of women and girls who have been directly impacted by the prejudice against women in many parts of the world. However, Kristof and WuDunn do not simply present accounts of great suffering. In fact, they do quite the opposite and share biographies of inspiring women who have overcome the hardships of inequality. In addition, they lay out solutions for the problem at hand. Half the Sky is a call to arms and is a reminder that “women aren’t the problem but the solution” (Kristof and WuDunn). Furthermore, “the plight of girls is no more a tragedy than an opportunity.” And what an opportunity we have as an all-girls school to stand in solidarity with women and girls around the world. If you would like to get involved, please visit halftheskymovement.org or read the book for yourself. It is currently the October selection for Emma Watson’s Goodreads book club, “Our Shared Shelf”. You know that if Hermione Granger is backing the movement, then it must be worthwhile.

Autism Speaks

By Olivia Parker

The medical definition of autism is a “serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.” We have all encountered a friend or person with autism. The range and severity of symptoms can vary widely. This means that every child you meet with autism is completely different from another child with autism. The most common symptoms people notice are communication and social interaction difficulty, obsessive interests, and repetitive behaviors.

I recently volunteered at a summer camp designed for kids with autism called A-Camp. A-Camp gives love, hope, and acceptance for children with autism because many people have stereotypes that autistic people do not want to be touched or are not affectionate, or kids who do not talk or who do not have friends, but the reality is that they are none of these things. What I learned at A-Camp is that autistic children are some of the smartest children I know, and they have an unconditional love for anyone. At A-Camp there were two sisters who could not talk and had overall communication difficulties. They were so emotionally connected that if one sister was upset, then the other would become upset as well. We learned that they loved to listen to music, especially the Frozen soundtrack. These girls were such an inspiration and taught me not to judge people by appearances, but by who they truly are inside.

Letter from the Editors

Letter From the Editor

by Kelly Hammond and Gracie Alvarez

The Mount newspaper has always been a place for students to express their ideas, thoughts, views, and opinions. This past summer, we’ve been working exceptionally hard to improve The Mount and help it to reach it’s full potential as a paper. In addition to working on the paper, we’ve been working on bettering ourselves as a staff and training our new writers to be the best they can be for the upcoming year.
This summer, five members of our staff attended the Gloria Shields Workshop in Dallas and attended a variety of classes including Feature Writing, Online Publishing, Editorial Leadership, and Newspaper Boot Camp. We learned a lot and came up with a lot of big ideas for this year. We also hosted a Newspaper Boot Camp of our own this summer and grew even more as a staff (if that’s even possible). We did a lot of get-to-know-each other exercises, practiced our photography, fine-tuned our interview skills, and heard a guest speaker from the Arkansas Catholic.
All that aside, the big idea of this issue is that you should expect big things from The Mount this year. We’ve been working really hard all summer and are planning to hit the ground running. We’ve got a lot in-the-works and hope we can make this year the best one yet.

Best wishes and more to come,
Kelly Hammond ’18 & Gracie Alvarez ’18