The Backstory Behind the Birch

Mr. Yancy Birch was born on February 22, 1988 in Grand Junction, CO. He grew up in a military family with two older brothers. The sports he played in his life consist of baseball, basketball, and football. When he was in his freshmen year, he decided to devote his life to teaching and graduated from the University of Nebraska. Nowadays, he teaches Law and Global studies along with a study hall at Fruita 8/9.

The reason I chose to interview Mr. Birch is because he is an amazing teacher. When we take notes in class, he presents them in a clear way to understand and wright down, explains them to the entire class to help fully understand it, and even promotes discussion between students on the subject. Not only that but Mr. Birch’s Global Studies class (the only one I have with him) is one of the first classes I have ever had in the nine years of school I’ve been through that PRIMARILY teaches you about AMERICAN HISTORY (not Egyptian, Mayan, or any other culture as the PRIMARY subject for the ENTIRE YEAR) as well as what’s going on in the current world and how it affects us on a day to day basses.

The Strong Will of Mr. Wilson

Ask anyone in the Fruita 8/9 school who their favorite teacher is—what their favorite class is—and the answer will likely be Mr. Wilson’s literacy or mythology classes. He is widely known as one of the coolest teachers at the school, and one of the school’s favorite teachers. But do they know the man behind these amazing classes as well as they think they do? The answer is no; he has an incredible backstory that may go unspoken of.

Mr. Wilson was actually born in England, which is a bit of a surprise. His dad was in the military, which led to his family moving around a lot; living in Germany, and eventually Michigan in United States. Much like Fruita, the part of Michigan he lived in was rural (farms, corn fields, acres of distance in between houses is not uncommon). In other words, Wilson was a bit of a country boy when his family suddenly moved into the big city of Detroit. A city that is known for being tough to live in is even tougher for someone accustomed to quiet farm life.

“I developed some empathy, I think, for being the new kid, being the different kid, or things like that,” Wilson says. He was beat up and bullied, unfortunately, for being the new kid when he moved. Over 77% of students have been bullied in the United States, and it is a serious issue that is, hopefully, on its way to being resolved. It’s devastating that Mr. Wilson had to be one of those kids, but he would never have been who he is now if it hadn’t been for that.

It was not the switch in environments that led Mr. Wilson to become a teacher, though. When asked why he had decided to become a teacher, he explained that he was an ‘A’ and ‘B’ student until senior year of high school. He mentions that he had begun to slack, and his history teacher Mr. Cummins saved him from that hole he was digging himself into. Wilson began to come to class tardy almost every day. Mr. Cummins called Wilson out in front of the entire class once and chewed him out, which was likely a very embarrassing experience; however, later, the teacher talked to him about why he had called him out. He explained that he was upset with Wilson disrespecting his class, but that he cared and wanted him to succeed. Mr. Wilson says that he is the main reason he became a teacher.

Although he could not become a teacher right away (since he went into the air force straight out of high school), Mr. Wilson went to college to teach as soon as he could. He began teaching in a large school in Ohio before moving to Colorado to explore his hobby of mountain climbing, and continue teaching here, of course. Wilson says he really likes the Colorado lifestyle and the people here.

Mr. Wilson truly is an amazing teacher, and he proved that it is best to stay strong through life—and that one can do anything with grit. He is one of the most respectable teachers here, and one of the most respecting. He is a huge inspiration to the entire Fruita 8/9 school, and he deserves many thanks for his incredible teaching and his strong will.



(Thanks for reading!)

­Carpenter And the Cameo Mines.

Back in 1884, the Great Book Cliff mines were discovered by the late George Smith. In order to supply a growing Colorado, George Smith set his intentions on a mine that would satisfy the people’s needs. Eventually George smith unexpectedly discovered a huge vein of coal in a mine fifteen miles away from the Book Cliff Mountains. The mine granted an amazing amount of resources but without the technology to transport the goods the mine was useless. So this led George Carpenter to create a device known as a minicar, or funicular.  With this simple advancement and the men at his disposal, they could transport the materials across the Grand Valley a lot easier. Eventually a man named Thomas Carpenter, purchased a mine from George Smith. This mine was dubbed Carpenter after Thomas’s last name. The mine then soon became incredibly popular thanks to Thomas’s innovations with the rail road system, providing efficient and fast transportation. As the years went by, the introduction of many useful additions and services were provided. The mine became a well-known tourist spot with people flocking just to see the heart of the mine.  Later on the addition of churches and schools led to a nice community among the mines. As business boomed the resources available slowly depleted, leading to the slow downfall of the mines. Even T. Carpenter at the time grew bored at the now dry mines and decided to leave his mine in the hands of Wyman. Carpenter left to Alaska in the midst of the gold rush. Nearby as the popularity of Carpenter grew, another mine named Cameo came to existence. The town was founded in 1899 at about the same time of the Carpenter mines. Cameo had some great additions that Carpenter wouldn’t have until later on in its life time. At the get go, the same mines had a machine shop as well as schools, churches and about 30 homes available. After the destruction of the Carpenter mines Cameo slowly came to a close. Resources were dwindling and eventually the resources weren’t worth as much. As other booms came to fruition that to let people away and eventually the Carpenter and Cameo mines became ghost towns and a part of our rich history. Even now we can see a hundred years of mining history, in the lonely but fascinating ghost towns, of Colorado.

The Impact and Importance of Syngas.

Waste is an incredibly large problem in our ever growing world. In fact, the U.S.A alone is one of the biggest contenders for waste and overfilled landfills. Over 250 metric tons of waste is generated each year which is quite startling in all actuality. This amount of trash is equal to 61 billion feet which in turn could reach the moon, a whopping twenty five times! (SaveOnEnergy). Folks that’s an insane amount of garbage, now more than ever, it’s crucial that we manage our waste effectively. Because of this large amount of waste, the U.S is faced with having to maintain over 2000 landfills, and that’s not mentioning the other thousands that aren’t in use anymore. In order to address this issue, many would agree that recycling is the next step forward. Sadly it isn’t too effective, sure recycling is an amazing resource that is guaranteed to cut down on waste! But it’s the question of whether enough people recycle, sure there are large groups and programs that help spread the word of recycling, but not many people listen. Most people waste more paper, plastics and metals then they recycle. Up to four pounds of waste is created per pound of waste recycled. (Melissa Breyer) It’s actually quite startling how the waste we generate will affect us, but there is an effective solution that can drastically mitigate this solution with fruitful results. This process of waste recycling is called plasma gasification.

So, what is plasma gasification? Well in order to understand this term we must understand what plasma exactly is. Plasma to put it simply is the fourth state of matter, and makes up roughly 99 percent of matter in the known universe. Plasma is an ionized gas that is formed when an electrical discharge passes through a gas. We can see examples of Plasma in nature, see lightning. Waste such as metals, plastics, and feedstock are shredded into a simple group of its materials. This waste is put into a cylinder that uses plasma torches to heat up the waste drastically. The temperature inside this cylinder reaches over 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This extreme amount of heat tears apart the chemical bonds of these materials, which converts the materials into a synthesis gas (Syngas). The two elements that are primarily created are carbon and hydrogen, two of the building blocks of most fuels and chemicals. The hazardous material that is generated through this process can be turned into slag which can be used to pave roads, and used for roofing. Fun fact, this process has only been used effectively for about thirty five years, beforehand this process was used to destroy waste and provide tar like substances for use. Syngas is also used for many alcohols and liquid fuels. Methanol and ethanol are common gases that are created from plasma gasification, these gases are a basis for synthesis of other alcohols. Also these alcohols can be converted to other chemicals as well. Now we see some of the benefits of plasma gasification. Not only can we produce electricity, gases, alcohols, and chemicals this process is one of the safest and most effective asset we have. This process will unlock the greatest amount of energy from waste, which we can use. Not only can that but plasma gasification be used with hazardous wastes and biomass materials, effectively giving us many options and fuel sources. This would then provide a decreased use of landfills which is a potent danger in America, and this process is environmentally friendly, for this process does not create methane, a deadly greenhouse gas. Hopefully with this information you are now informed to the effectiveness of plasma gasification. Using tools like this can help mitigate the problems with waste management around the globe, in fact places in Asia like japan are already using this process to create a vast amount of electricity for commercial uses. In order to help keep our planet alive, it is crucial to take the plunge into this process that not only is environmentally friendly but quite effective in the long run.




Breyer, Melissa. “Trash by the Numbers: Startling Statistics about US Garbage.” TreeHugger. N.p., 01 July 2016. Web. 01 SFeb. 2017.

“” N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2017.

“The Gasification and Syngas Technologies Council.” Plasma Gasification » GSTC. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb 2017.

STAR_, the Relatable Hardcore Gamer

STAR_ is a person who uploads videos on YouTube, and is very well known for his Team Fortress 2 content. He was a professional TF2 player and was featured in multiple Tip of the Hats events, and played against many other professional teams. After he got fairly high in the TF2 scene, a new game came out, wrenching his interest from TF2 to a game called “Overwatch”. He is now a professional Overwatch player, being in the competitive scene with his friend Korea. STAR_ is most well known for his video series where he plays TF2 with his friend Jerma985 labelled “Jerma is Mad”. The series involved him playing matches against Jerma, and absolutely smashing him. He eventually stopped uploading almost entirely, and moved on to upload mostly on his alternate channel, called ster 2. He mostly uploads Overwatch and occasionally other games. STAR_ is a hardcore relatable gamer, and he is truly a hero.

Conservation of Mule Deer in Colorado

Colorado since the 1800s has been an icon for mule deer as well as many other types of wildlife. Colorado has an incredible amount of sagebrush for elk to browse upon and thanks to the Colorado River the wildlife have had plenty of water to suit their needs for living. However since the mid-1900s Colorado has seen wild dips in the population of many species. Mule deer for example has had an incredible amount of swings in their populace. Wildfires have forever affected Colorado for many decades, thanks to the fires many acres of land have been destroyed; meaning that not only mule deer but other species are losing precious land. Droughts, as well have affected the environment. Lack of precipitation would inevitably lead to wildfires, there we see the problem. With less land and water the mule deer population was greatly affected. With large numbers and less food to browse upon the population decreased drastically. Being in close quarters with each other, the mule deer eventually spread disease and soon a great famine overthrow the vast leftover population. Currently as of 2016, it’s estimated that about 400,000 mule deer are alive and healthy; however this number may be large but it’s a drastic dip from the objective population of 550,000 (CPW).

What this statistic says about our ecosystems, you may be asking. The mule deer population may not be in an endangered zone but the statistic gives serious notions that something is awry. While other species thrive, mainly predators other species are on the decline. Most would think that eliminating predators would then increase other species population, while true in theory this decision would host its own set of problems. You see, predators are incredibly important when talking about sustaining ecosystems. Without the predators other species like mule deer would see a drastic spike in life span and population. “Well doesn’t that solve the issue?” critics may argue but in fact the over saturation of mule deer and other species too would lead to even more problems. An overabundance of mule deer would in fact lead to many negative repercussions. With such an abundance of mule deer they would browse upon incredibly large amounts of plants and sage, leading to an inevitable food shortage. With such great numbers the deer would need to eat whole heartedly to survive with each other. Not only would this lead to a problem with the environment we could also see a potential disease spread from the animal. Living in such close quarters with such rapid numbers would indeed spread disease quickly. So as we see the predator theory leads to too many problems, meaning that new ideas must come to fruition.

In Colorado some mule deer populations live dangerously close to highways and in being so close to towns and cities poaching would become a large issue. First off statistics show in Colorado show that a hundreds of mule deer are hit on highways each year (CPW). It may not be a significant amount but reducing the risk of highway fatalities would indeed lead to a subtle but effective growth in the mule deer population. Next a controversial issue will be discussed. In terms of mule deer fatalities poaching is a major crisis that has faced many species for many decades. In Colorado we have changes in hunting policies, via tags for only female elk or hunting is only allowed in densely populated areas. This however is not going to eliminate poaching all together. In the US it is very easy to obtain a firearm of any kind; especially if you are a born and raised American. With mule deer living so close to big towns and cities it would be easy to sneak into an area that mule deer are likely to be around. Most areas like the monument or the book cliffs aren’t prohibited. They may be limited in what areas you may hike towards but still anyone could find loop holes. While we cannot eliminate poaching all together it is crucial that we keep better management of areas in which mule deer are heavily associated in and lastly keep an open and eye and restrict areas to people that don’t have tags for example.

The final piece in the puzzle of mule deer conservations lies in their environment itself. Colorado has always been known for its coal and gas but also Colorado is known for fracking, or hydraulic fracturing. Fracking may seem environmentally friendly but in fact it is a source of pollutants in our water. All living things depend on water to live and polluting the water does in fact not help out the situation of mule deer’s. Thankfully in the past few decades it has gotten better, see the clean water act approved by the EPA. Eliminating fracking is not the answer for that is too drastic and would lead to financial loss. But in Colorado especially it would be very important to improve and increase the usage of renewable energy sources. Not only would this help with clean air and water it would significantly support a reduction in the annual droughts that we suffer from in the westward states. The droughts have in fact created many wildfires leaving destruction in its wake, by taking a step to reduce these natural disasters a chance for the mule deer populace to grow would indeed begin.

In order to have a stable environment and stable ecosystems Colorado must make many changes. By keeping predators around the ecosystems will stay balanced without an over saturation of one species. By reducing poaching and highway fatalities surely but shortly the population will indeed grow. Also by taking care of our precious environment we will see steady growth not only for the animals but for us humans. While me may not be able to eliminate every issue we can start slow and make changes that can provide steady growth in populations around Colorado, it may be slow and take an incredible amount of time but eventually the changes brought forth will lead to a better and stable environment to which ecosystems flourish.













Works Cited

“COLORADO PARKS & WILDLIFE.” Colorado Parks and Wildlife. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.

“EPA in Colorado.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 21 Dec. 2016. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.

EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.


Mr. Nash, an English Teacher With a Big Heart.

Growing up in the mid 1900’s, Mr. Nash lived an interesting teenage life. For one he found himself carefree for most of his teen years, no pressure, good grades and lots of friends for certain. While living his teenage years Mr. Nash was surprisingly different, despite getting good grades and being stress free Mr. Nash was very off task and talkative. While he wasn’t a trouble maker per say, he wasn’t the greatest saint, but was an average teen just like the lot of us. Growing up Nash had always had his priorities straight, given form the fact that he was raised in a special environment with loving parents. At home he’d always maintain expectations clearly, completing his civil duties and even being a caring son was important for Mr. Nash. As a child and even as an adult Mr. Nash had always loved being outside with the luscious scenery of nature. He’d be constantly hiking with friends and found himself innovating in the world of engineering with his woodworking skills, these hobbies set him apart from most people especially most teenagers of this generation. On a lighter note Mr. Nash loves all American foods. “Nothing beats a good old’ American hotdog”, Mr. Nash exclaimed excitedly. This paired with other meats like steak or burgers gives him a special taste in the world of American culture. When asked about the teenagers in this day of age Mr. Nash replied, “Kids today are no different than the ones I grew up with”. In fact for the most part the teenagers of today fill Mr. Nash with pure nostalgia invoking the image of himself in most situations. “Teens are the spittin’ image of my friends”, he replied. Now in his later life Mr. Nash is proud of his position in education and his loving wife and children. In the end Mr. Nash has changed quite a lot form his earlier years but in all actuality he is still the same person, with a big heart.


Mr. McClure’s Interesting Life

Mr. McClure is a study hall teacher, who enjoys working with teenagers.

He is an interesting person due to the things that he does in his off-time, which mostly include travelling, and spending time with his family. He has been on every continent, which is a rather huge achievement since it normally costs a lot to travel intercontinentally. Though travelling would seem to be his passion, his favorite subject in High School was History. His High School life was fun, and the world around him during his High School life was friendly, as everyone seemed to get along. Historical events during his education were the Space Shuttle “Challenger” exploding mid-flight.

Mr. McClure’s teacher life started when his career changed while he was 35 years old, warranting him to pick another career path. He wanted to work in Grand Junction, but Fruita 8/9 offered the first job. The path he took in order to become a teacher involved 5 years of teacher preparation, and 2 years for his master’s degree. However, this person isn’t just about teaching, he’s also about extensively travelling. He has been on every continent. In his spare time when he isn’t travelling, he rides bikes with his family, and overall spends time with them.

My Semester

My semester

                During my semester of Media Productions I learned a lot and enjoyed what I did in here. There are 3 main things, but it definitely isn’t the only thing I learned. I had to have team work to work with my partner and others around me. I had to rely on them to get their job done and do mine at the same time. We all did work and we would help each other when needed, which we did a lot.

I started out in the commercial group doing interviews, and editing commercials. I recorded some but after that I just ended up interviewing for the most part. It took a while to get use to speaking, and the people who we were interviewing always asked questions and we had no clue how to reply to them. After a while I got used to it and as they got out of a class I told them exactly what to do, how to do it, and sometimes what to say if needed. Even though I did a lot of the interviewing I still learned how to work the camera and most of its features, and edit.

We then transitioned to being the news anchor. Nevaeh and I had to edit the news and what we would say. Then speak in front of the camera for basically the whole school to see. It was hard and a little embarrassing to speak in front of the camera. But we quickly learned that reading the screen as we are going and trying to speak normal was the hardest part of all (and Nevaeh gave me a lot of the things to say). Editing the news wasn’t too hard, we had the commercial group that did a lot of it and we just had to put it together and add some music.

Then there came the blogs. Posting wasn’t hard after we learned and our first assignment was getting use to everything. The only problem was researching the topic. It was a little hard to find what I wanted but it ended up working out. I enjoy seeing all the people look at our blogs from across the world to just one state over. I don’t know how someone can find us like that but they find a way.

My classmates and I learned a lot this semester. It was very enjoyable and we did a lot. Almost every week we were busy either maxresdefaultdoing work or helping others. I mainly enjoyed hearing what others had to say about. If they liked it or not, if they wanted to add something. We took in a lot of ideas and always talked about the home games at our school/high school. This semester was very interesting.

Media Productions Final

In media productions this year I learned many things. Those many things I learned have started me on the right path for the future. I learned responsibility, team work, and new skills like, computer skills, and editing skills. With these things I can do more in life because I already have the tools to succeed.  With the right tools you can go far.

This year we had to learn responsibility with the individual jobs we did. For example every Monday we had to do a plan sheet for what we were going to do for the week. So we learned how to plan our week and how to manage our time so we could fit everything in. We also had to manage our time so we could actually get our work done every week. We couldn’t just mess around for a week and get nothing done. You had to manage your time and make sure you got everything done. In the real world with real jobs you have to get your job done or you will be fired so you have to make sure you’re doing your work done. You also have to make sure you put out your best work so you don’t look like your giving your bare minTeamworkimum just to scrape by.

We had to use teamwork. Even though there aren’t very many of us, seven of us to be exact, we still had some problems getting along at the very beginning of the year. I think by the end we all got along much better and I think I understood the importance of teamwork more after this semester. My partner Lance and I had some problems because we butted heads sometimes, but in the end we worked great together and we started to understand each other’s viewpoints. By the end of the year not only did lance and I understand where the other person was coming from we also started to understand what the other ones strengths and weaknesses where so we split the work up to suit our strengths so that we put out the best product we could.. This will help me in the future because you always have those coworkers that you don’t work well with but you are partnered up with anyway. I will already know how to work with them and deal with it. I will also know how to get along with people in general.

This year I also learned many new skills. I learned editing skills and computer skills. With those editing skills I can work towards the kinds of jobs I wanted that work with videos and with the behind the scenes stuff. This will help me because I can get the job I want to that puts me on the right path. I also learned computer skills. I learned good computer skills. This will help me because every job these days has computers involved in the job. I also learned how to type faster. This will help me because the faster I type the faster I can get my work done.

In this semester I learned so much like responsibility, teamwork, and new skills. With all these new skills I have the skills to do many things. Thank you for this opportunity to learn all these new things to help me later on in life Mr. Decker.