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BY AMORE CHAVEZ | STAFF WRITER
Valentine’s Day, also known as the one day made for paying attention to your “special someone,” is on the horizon. Few lucky girls or boys get together and spend time and money on each other with traditional V-day gifts. But, wait! Can we only buy each other gifts on V-day? The answer is no! No, we can celebrate our love for others every day!
Valentine’s Day isn’t about who is dating whom, or what you get or give to someone. It’s about spending time with the people you love and with the people who care about you. We need to celebrate every day like that.
If friends and family are the best people to spend holidays with, then treat every day like a holiday. Love doesn’t come with a rule book saying “Valentine’s day only.”
Buy a teddy bear and give it to a friend because you missed them, write a sweet letter and give it to your parents just because, go out and buy your partner (and yourself) some candy and enjoy your life.
BY CAMDEN FOUSER | STAFF WRITER
Behind the wheel, everything feels different. You try to appear calm and collected, but on the inside you are freaking out. As just a beginning driver, the freshmen are sure anxious to get started. Driving can be a very rewarding and exciting activity, but driving is also dangerous and requires concentration. Just like everything, driving requires practice. The sooner you start, the more you practice, the better you will get.
“Driving gives me the freedom to drive wherever I want without a parent,” Xavier Garcia, freshman, said. Driving provides a certain feeling of freedom and maturity.
According to The New Mexico graduated driver licensing (GDL) program, you have to be fifteen to legally drive. To receive your provisional license, you must be fifteen and a half years old and you must have at least 50 hours driving, including 10 at night. However, kids are starting as young as age thirteen.
“When I was twelve, I took my dad’s car and drove it into the start of a river,” Ryan LaClair, freshman, said. “He was teaching me how to drive a stick, and I got in the wrong gear. We went down a hill.” That was LaClair’s first experience driving. She currently has her permit.
Kids often practice driving with their parents unofficially. Of course they aren’t driving on the highways and big roads, but more in residential areas. Many kids go to drivers ed with prior knowledge of how to operate a vehicle.
“When I was seven, I would sit on my dad’s lap He would control the gas and brake, and I would turn on turn signals and work the steering,” Amer Dajani, freshman, said. “Essentially, I would copy what he would do.”
Most freshmen are already taking driving classes and some are already finished. “I would like to practice more so I can be a proficient driver. Also, the quicker I take driver’s ed the quicker I can receive a car,” Hunter Valerio, freshman, said.
If you think that the younger you are the more likely you are to get in a wreck, you would be right. The Highway Loss Data Institute reports that 16 year old drivers are the most dangerous on the road. In fact, 16 year olds are responsible for the most deaths on the road out of every age, and in 2016, 2,820 teen motor accidents were reported by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. According to Valerio, “If I got in a crash, I would be worried to get back on the road, and my parents would definitely take my car.”
MADISON HOGANS | STAFF WRITER
The key clicks out of the lock as I wave goodbye to my father. It’s a crisp, clear January morning, the sky still dark and the temperature still low. I turn away from the gate and my house as I start my walk towards La Cueva.
This scene may be ordinary to most people, but to me this is an opportunity of highest magnitude. This first year of high school marks a new era of freedom for me: the ability to walk to and from school. And as a bonus, both done without adults.
I’m well aware that’s not the norm with most other students. I’ve seen many children, whether alone or in small groups, walking towards the halls of education. They’re left to their own devices and the weather of the day. For many years, this was my pastime, to observe this sacred event, a look but don’t touch kind of thing.
Sitting in a car, my mother, father or both at the front, I remember looking upon my peers and thinking ‘There’s something that I want to do. The Rite of Passage.’ And now, walking through a dirt lot in 20 degree temperatures, I’m more than certain I’ve completed this rite.
Everyone I knew told me that the joy of walking alone would wear off quickly. That the silence would bother you, and when the weather turned cold, you would wish for the car again. But that hasn’t happened.
Personally, I like the silence of a single person and nature. Where the only things I can hear are the gusts of wind and my own breath. The joy of being alone, with no human staring, when it’s me and me only, is the bursting of a lock on my soul.
Dirt coats my shoes, thorns and tumbleweeds reach for my coat, and the air around my mouth turns white from the combination of warm and cold air, but I can’t stop smiling.