Author Archives: Melanie Mortensen

How free are we to speak?

by Melanie Mortensen

The definition of freedom of speech is the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint. The First Amendment states:”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Freedom of speech includes the right not to speak (specifically the right not to salute the flag), to allow students to wear black armbands to school to protest a war, to allow students the right to not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate, to use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages, to contribute money (under certain circumstances) to political campaigns, to advertise commercial products and professional services (with some restrictions), and to engage in symbolic speech (for example: burning the flag in protest).

Freedom of speech does not include the right to incite actions that would harm others. An example of this would be someone falsely shouting “fire” in a crowded theater or saying “bomb” on an airplane. It does not include the right to make or distribute obscene material, to burn draft cards as an anti-war protest, to permit students to print articles in a school newspaper over the objections of the school administration, to allow students to make an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event, or to allow students to advocate illegal drug use at a school-sponsored event.

As you can see, there are certain extents to everything.

Do Americans really have freedom of speech?

There are parts of our culture where we really do not have freedom of speech. For example, a sports coach can get kicked out of a game for using profane language, and anyone can be silenced from the things they say. All over social media you can find people saying things like “Why do celebrities think we care about their political opinions when we hire them to act, sing, write, etc for us?” or “Why do celebrities think we care about their political opinions as they are only actors and don’t live as normal of a life as most Americans?”

An article released on was literally titled “Good News, America! Nobody Cares What Celebrities Think.” But the real question is why shouldn’t they be able to state their opinion? They, as Americans, have the same rights as everyone else. Just because they are famous for one reason or another doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to talk about politics as much as any other American. The political opinions of celebrities hold the same amount of importance as everyone else; no one opinion should be more important than another.

Students are forced to change their clothing if it doesn’t meet dress code standards, or if it displays profanity, and others get in trouble for speaking their mind with simple words. A student at a Tennessee high school got in trouble, and kicked out of class, for saying “bless you” as good manners when someone sneezed. After she was kicked out of class and sent to the principal’s office, she got sent to In-School Suspension (ISS). In 2010, schools around the country banned bracelets that read “I heart boobies,” even though the bracelets were supporting the nonprofit Keep a Breast Foundation. Five year old Cooper Barton was told to turn his University of Michigan shirt inside-out because it violated school rules. The dress code in Oklahoma City’s public schools said students may only wear shirts from Oklahoma colleges and universities. In 2011, one sixth grader in Nebraska was told she couldn’t wear her rosary clothing (clothing expressing faith) to school because it violated the school’s dress code.

You should not be forced to change your clothing because someone doesn’t like it, that is your freedom being taken away.

So, do Americans really have freedom of speech? It seems to be that the freedom aligns with restrictions of larger organizations, regardless of the individual’s personal standards or beliefs. Freedom of speech exists, but is anything really free? That is for Americans to decide themselves.

Tryouts at Rockwell


The Track and Field team at the state meet in 2016.

by Melanie Mortensen

Here at Rockwell we have tryouts for track and field, baseball, and softball all this week.

The first practice for track is right after school Wednesday, March 1st and will go until 5 pm. Meet at the back of the school by the busses dressed and ready to run. Tryouts are Monday March 6th and Tuesday March 7th.

“I’m excited to see how the team progresses this year,” said track coach RaNell. “I feel like we have the potential to make it to state, so I’m just excited to see how we do.”

Baseball and softball tryouts are both after school everyday Wednesday, March 1st to Friday March 3. Make sure to be on time and ready to play your hardest.


The Rockettes at a recent competition, where they took first place.

There will also be drill team tryouts from Monday, March 20 to Thursday March 23. Workshops will be at 3:15 after school Monday the 20th to Wednesday, March 22. The official day of tryouts is Thursday, March 23. Make sure to be on time to every workshop ready to learn dances and show your determination.

Come tryout for one of Rockwell’s athletics teams!

Donate shoes, eat pizza

by Melanie Mortensen

Rockwell is having a shoe drive from February 13 to April 13. Rockwell’s journalism class is putting on the shoe drive to earn money for the class and the Marshal Magazine. All shoes donated will be given to a foundation that will be giving all the shoes to third world countries.

The grade who donates the most shoes wins a pizza party, so get donating!

“If we win, we get pizza,” said Rockwell sophomore Dontel Bautista. “So I’m going to bring lots of shoes.”

Donate your shoes to the boxes in the library, in Mrs. Olsen’s room (room 18), or at the Maverik in Eagle Mountain.

feminism=love, unity, &equality


What is feminism? Feminism is the belief that women should have responsibility for themselves and the choices they make. It is the belief that all women should have equal representation and decision-making opportunities in her home and community. It is the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

There are different types of feminism, including: liberal, cultural, radical, ecofeminism, marxist, global, intersectional feminism, and womanism.

Here at Rockwell, we are lucky enough to have an entire class on women’s studies, feminism, and the power of women. Mrs. Frederickson, in room 3, teaches the students in her B4 and B5 classes the capabilities and powers of women. These lucky students are able to develop stronger opinions and learn more about their rights and the equality of all people.

“Young women in this class are able to learn who they are and build confidence,” Frederickson said.

Not all who are feminist are against men. Yes, there are some, but to say all feminists are against men is a statement that is much too broad.

“Feminism is the equality of men and women; it is equality for all,” said Frederickson. “The world, in general, needs equality.”

Some may wonder why call the belief of equality feminism instead of equalism or humanism. It is because you reach gender equality by supporting the rights of the underprivileged gender, and females seem to be underprivileged in society today. By bringing this love towards all, we will gain unity.

“I am for equality,” said Rockwell drill team coach Maddie Beck. “I believe both sexes should be equal, just like all races.”


Feminists do not hate men. they want equality for people of all genders, race, religion, beliefs, sexual orientation, class, and ethnicity. The world will be at its greatest power when everyone is treated equal and we all work together as one. Unity, love, and equality are all things the world needs to reach its highest point.

“We will reach our greatest strength when women grasp their true power,” said Frederickson.”We all need to work together.”

Superbowl Sunday: Commercials and Performances with a Side of Football

by Melanie Mortensen

This year marks 50 years since the first-ever Superbowl game. The first Superbowl was played on January 15th, 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. In this historic game, the Packers beat out the Chiefs with a score of 35-10. This year, the Superbowl will be played on February 5th. The quarter-finals take place next week and semi-finals take place the week after that.

We all certainly love our Superbowl commercials and half-time performances, and some people may even enjoy these things more than the game itself. This year, Lady Gaga is scheduled for the coveted half-time show performance. She will certainly bring her best “Pokerface” as fans “Just Dance” to some of their favorite hits.

What new commercials will this year bring? Top contenders include Mountain Dew, Skittles, and Snickers.

Mountain Dew tends to come up with commercials that catch viewers’ attention in different ways. This year, the “puppy-monkey-baby” bit may be one of the most exotic.

Everyone knows how well-known the large mouth and voice of Steven Tyler is. Watch 2017’s Superbowl Skittles commercial showing new ways to express this well known figure.

Of course we can’t forget the special Snickers commercials that follow the same theme each year – “you’re not you when you’re hungry.” Marilyn is the new idea to their common theme for 2017.

Whether it’s the football, the music, or the top-notch advertising you’re excited for, the Superbowl should feature something for Americans of all ages to look forward to.

Top 10s of 2016

by Melanie Mortensen

For many, 2016 was a year for the books. The entertainment industry lost some legendary stars, a new President of the United States was elected, and technology has advanced like never before. Here are some top 10 lists to round out 2016 and ring in the new year.


10: Loving

9: Arrival

8: The Lobster

7: OJ: Made in America

6: Manchester by the Sea

5: Toni Erdmann

4: Jackie

3: Hell or High Water

2: La La Land

1: Moonlight

TOP 10 Albums:

10: Car Seat Headrest — ‘Teens Of Denial’

9: Angel Olsen — ‘My Woman’

8: Kanye West — ‘The Life Of Pablo’

7: A Tribe Called Quest — ‘We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service’

6: Radiohead — ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’

5: Solange — ‘A Seat At The Table’

4: Chance The Rapper — ‘Coloring Book’

3: Frank Ocean — ‘Blonde’

2: David Bowie — ‘Blackstar’

1: Beyoncé — ‘Lemonade’


10: Anohni — ‘Drone Bomb Me’

7: Frank Ocean — ‘Ivy’

8:  Beyoncé — ‘Sorry’

7: Mitski — ‘Your Best American Girl’

6: Rae Sremmurd — ‘Black Beatles’

5: Rihanna — ‘Work’

4: Chance The Rapper — ‘No Problem’

3: Solange — ‘Cranes In The Sky’

2: Beyoncé — ‘Formation’

1: Kanye West — ‘Ultralight Beam’


10: Garth Greenwell — ‘What Belongs To You’

9: Susan Faludi — ‘In The Darkroom’

8: Paul Kalanithi — ‘When Breath Becomes Air’

7: Adam Haslett — ‘Imagine Me Gone’

6: Matthew Desmond — ‘Evicted’

5:  Zadie Smith —  ‘Swing Time’

4: Han Kang — ‘The Vegetarian’

3: Nathan Hill — ‘The Nix’

2: Yaa Gyasi — ‘Homegoing’

1: Colson Whitehead — ‘The Underground Railroad’

How Well Do You Know Christmas?

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year to watch Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Christmas Story while singing Joy to the World and decking the halls with boughs of holly, right? How well do YOU know the Christmas classics? Take this quiz to find out.

“Name That Christmas Song” Quiz:

1. “Tis the season to be jolly”:

  • Deck The Halls
  • Jingle Bells
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen


2. “Looked down where he lay”:

  • The First Noel
  • Joy to the World
  • Little Town Of Bethlehem
  • Away in a Manger

christmas-movie-magic-at-the-yorkshire-museum-elf-little-vikings-uhej7x-clipartChristmas Trivia:

  1. Where was mommy kissing Santa Claus?
  • on the couch
  • in the kitchen
  • under the mistletoe
  • in the bedroom


2. What should children leave for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve?

  • cookies and milk
  • gum
  • cheese
  • water


3. Who is Ebenezer:

  • the 23rd president
  • the creepy guy at the grocery store
  • the mail man
  • the scrooge


4. Which reindeer’s name starts with the letter “B”?

  • Bart
  • Blitzen
  • BoBo
  • Blitz


5. Which is not one of Santa’s reindeer?

  • Dash
  • Dancer
  • Comet
  • Dasher


6. What is the name of Scrooges dead business partner?

  • James Marley
  • Josh Morey
  • Jacob Marley
  • Joe Mason


7. Who tried to steal Christmas from the Who’s of Whoville?

  • Scrooge
  • The Grinch
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Cindy Lou Who


8. Which ocean is Christmas Island in?

  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Arctic Ocean
  • Indian Ocean


9. In “The Twelve Days of Christmas” what is given on the tenth day?

  • golden rings
  • french hens
  • maids-a-milking
  • lords-a-leaping


10. Fill in the blank: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of ____________”

  • Christmas fun
  • Christmas joy
  • misfit toys
  • happy elves


11. What did Chevy Chase plan to buy with his Christmas bonus in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?

  • an RV
  • a pool
  • a christmas tree
  • a red convertible


12. In “A Christmas Carol” who is the first ghost to appear?

  • the old business partner
  • the ghost of christmas past
  • the ghost of christmas present
  • his dead self


13. What three gifts did the wise men bring the baby Jesus?

  • gold, frankincense, and myrrh
  • silver, myrrh, and gold
  • gold, frankincense, and silver


14. Which is not one of Santa’s reindeer?

  • Vixen
  • Prancer
  • Blitzer
  • Rudolph


15. “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a __________”

  • mouse
  • moose
  • cat
  • horse


16. What is the Grinch’s dog’s name?

  • Max
  • Dash
  • doesn’t have a name
  • Moe


17. Is this the best christmas quiz you have ever taken?

  • yes
  • absolutely
  • for sure
  • heck yeah



What movie is this photo from?




BREAKFAST: friend or foe?

by Melanie Mortensen, Editor & Lifestyle Writer

School is now in session and waking up early to get ready before school is already hard enough. Are Rockwell students making sure to eat breakfast before school? Breakfast plays an important role in how students and athletes perform every day.

Mrs. Peterson, Rockwell’s health teacher, says, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” She says that since overnight is the longest you go without food, breakfast is needed to refuel your body. Athletes need breakfast for the protein, and students need breakfast for the energy and academic purposes.

Maddie Beck, Rockwell’s drill team coach, says breakfast will help students and athletes academically and physically. Breakfast can give off good energy, help with better health, and improve concentration which could lead to better grades.

Coach Stuart, Rockwell’s PE teacher and boys basketball coach, said that breakfast is important because athletes can work better not on an  when they don’t have an empty stomach.

Research shows breakfast is very beneficial for teenagers for academic performance, physical performance and nutritional needs.
breakfast-ideas_903_61fc48cb01b00563f514a323368e0a55f45aa396With Shakespeare coming soon, all
working to memorize lines and parts should not forget to eat breakfast – it just might help improve a student’s performance. 

Megan Neilson, a junior at Rockwell, says, “I eat a bagel every morning because I don’t have BAE GOALS with anyone else.”

Sometimes it is difficult to make time in the morning before school for breakfast, but eating breakfast just might make a big difference.