Berner News Update

February/March 2018

Who's That Tiny Teacher?

Check out the baby pictures of some of your favorite FACS, technology, and physical education teachers. Do you see anyone you recognize? The answers are revealed at the bottom of the page!

Berner and Massapequa News

Berner Idol

by Madelyn Breves

Berner Idol is a singing competition where 10 to 12 students from each grade compete. It’s not that easy to get in, though. Hundreds of students line up in the auditorium waiting anxiously to audition. So many people have beautiful voices, but not all of them can get in. After lots of consideration, the judges finally post their results. This year the contestants are Sophia Diaz, Emily Reynolds, Cooper Arbisi, Delaney Diaz, Mia Konstantinakos, Julianna Holmes, Samantha D’ Guanno, Nicoletta Alcamo, Sofia Almerdarez, Daniella Anastasio, Abigail Arenella, Vincent Arenella, Annamaria Brancato, Antonia Busceml, Abby Colfer, Joseph Corey, Daria Durandina, Nicole Foretti, Jesse Findling, Nicolette Foresta, Erin Goldrick, Julie Gonzalez, Maya Hasset, Isabella Inzinna, Allie Italiano, Anna Izquierdo, Bianca LaSpina, Victoria McCrystal, Haley McDonald, James McKeever, Hannah Molloy, Kirsten Pasket, Vasilikki Sculley, Grace Sferrazza, and Ariana Surrow.

On February 1, the day had arrived. At 6:15, the lights dimmed and the noise level skyrocketed. Bright rainbow lights illuminated the entire room and the host stepped on to the stage. He announced every name while everybody’s voices were getting hoarse. Everyone in the auditorium heard some of the most beautiful voices in all of Massapequa. Some of the songs we heard were "Beautiful" performed by Emily Reynolds, "Drops of Jupiter" performed by Cooper Arbisi, "Don’t Stop Believing" performed by Joseph Corey, and "All of Me" performed by Grace Sferazza. The next performance is on March 22. It is recommended to get the tickets early because they sell fast!

Geography Bee

by Madison Gangi

On Wednesday, January 17, 2018 the Geography Bee took place. In grades six through eight 23 finalists made it to the school championship. Mrs. Kennedy and Mr.Chlystun, both 7th grade social studies teachers, were in charge of the Geography Bee. Students were set up in rows and each got a privacy folder. They also received a whiteboard and dry erase board marker. Students answered questions about the world´s geography. After a student got two questions wrong he or she was eliminated.

The room was very tense before the competition. In no time the competition started. Mrs. Kennedy asked a question to one student at a time. For the first round students answered questions orally. For the second round questions were asked to all the competitors. Students had to write their answers on white boards. In the third round students got a map of the U.S. Interstate Highway. This map had no states labeled. They were individually asked questions based on the map. After this round more students were eliminated from the competition. In round four students were once again asked a question and wrote the answer on the whiteboard. Going into round five, seven students remained. In round five students were individually asked questions and they were orally answered. In the sixth round it came down to the final three contestants.

Round seven was the championship round. The remaining two students were asked a set of three questions. Ricky Chen came up just short in the final round. Chen is in 7th grade and in the red house. However, congratulations to him for making it so far. In the end Connor Burns was named the school champion. He is an 8th grader and is also in red house. Burns was in the Geography Bee last year and did not win. It was great to see him become Berner’s school champion this year. Congratulations Connor, good luck in the next round of the competition.

Current Events

Super Bowl Lll

By Madison Gangi

Fly Eagles Fly

Super Bowl 52 took place on February 4, 2018. The Super Bowl was between the New England Patriots versus the Philadelphia Eagles. This was the ninth Super Bowl appearance for the Patriots and the third for the Eagles. Backup quarterback Nick Foles and the Eagles defeated Tom Brady and the Patriots, 41 to 33. Nick Foles had an incredible performance. He outdueled a quarterback with seven previous super bowl experiences. Foles’s performance also earned him the title of Super Bowl Lll MVP.

Big Plays

First Points of the Game

Elliot makes a 25 yard field goal for the Eagles.

Patriots First Drive

Gostkowski makes a 26 yard field goal for the Patriots.

First Touchdown of the Game

Foles throws to Jeffery for the touchdown. The extra point on this touchdown was missed.

End of First Quarter

Eagles 9 Patriots 3

Missed Field Goal

Gostkowski misses 26 yard field goal attempt.

Second Quarter Injury

Cook from the Patriots suffered a hard hit early in the first quarter. They take him to the the locker room and turns out he had a concussion. Due to this injury he was out the rest of the game.

Trick Play

The Patriots try a trick play early in the second quarter. Brady hands off the ball to White. White then tosses it to Amendola. As this exchange happens Brady runs down the line. Amendola throws the ball to Brady. However Tom Brady (apparently the G.O.A.T. quarterback) might have had some holes in his hands the day of the Super Bowl (he dropped it).


Foles hands off the ball to Blount and he runs into the endzone for the touchdown. The Eagles decide to go for the 2 point conversion; however, they miss it.

Field Goal

Gostkowski makes a 45 yard field goal for the Patriots.


Patriot’s player White runs into the endzone with two minutes to spare. Gostkowski misses the extra point.

Foles Shows Brady How It's Done

In the last thirty seconds Burton throws Foles a pass into the endzone. Foles was the first quarterback in Super Bowl history to catch a touchdown pass.

End of Second Quarter

Eagles 22 Patriots 12


Brady throws Gronkowski a touchdown early in the third quarter.


Foles throws to Clement for another touchtown.


Brady throws to Hogan for the touchdown.

Field Goal

Elliot makes a 42 yard field goal for the Eagles.

End of Third Quarter

Eagles 32 Patriots 26


Brady throws to Gronkowski for the touchdown. This touchdown gives the Patriots the first lead of the game.


Foles throws to Ertz for the touchdown.


Eagle players knock the ball out of Brady’s hand and then jump on it.

Field Goal

Elliott makes 46 yard field goal.

Hail Mary

Eagles knock down Brady’s hail mary and time runs out.


Fly Eagles Fly

End of Forth Quarter


Eagles 41 Patriots 33

Fun Super Bowl Survey Down Below

Let the Games Begin!

by Eliza Levitt

Once again it is that time of the year! The Winter Olympics are here! This year, the Winter Olympics are going to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. There are a ton of sports involved this year. Some of the sports include alpine skiing, bobsleighing, curling, figure skating, ice hockey, luge, Nordic combined, ski jumping and more. There are 242 total people on the U.S.A. winter Olympics team this year. Prior to the 2018 games, the U.S.A. has won 282 medals in the winter Olympics and 96 of them were gold medals. The Paralympic Games are also this year. The Paralympic Games are for people who have physical disabilities that can’t compete in the regular Olympic games. Some examples of sports in the Paralympic games are para-snowboarding, wheelchair curling, ice sledge hockey and biathlon. If you enjoyed the winter Olympics, stay tuned for the Paralympics which takes place March 8!

California Wildfires

by Jacqueline Paduano

In just 2017 alone, over 9,133 wildfires have burnt over 1,381,405 acres of land. The trend of wildfires in California has been progressing more and more but 2017 started the mass amount of fires never seen before. This flow happened to spread into 2018, unfortunately. Therefore, starting this year was pretty tough for California. With the devastating amount of wildfires that have gone off in the area from 2017 to the start of 2018, awareness has spread and people have started to take action.

As for the citizens of Northern California, the area that was affected the most from the wildfires, they think that it might take years to fully recover. Not only are their houses and neighborhoods destroyed, but some basically have to start from scratch and rebuild their lives again. This has been hard for so many to cope with, so government officials have stepped in. According to Fox News, the state of California has started funding for the reconstruction of families’ houses and communities. They have also supplied safe environments for the people of California to stay in while their homes are being rebuilt so that they have a place to stay. Along with the officials, people all around the world have made donations to the cause. CNN has also said that people have also made small memorials for those who have passed during the fires and dedications to all of the brave citizens that were evacuated. People from all around the world have been dedicated to helping those in need in times of struggle.

Clearly, the California wildfires have been some extremely tragic occurrences. With everyone pitching in, though, things are getting better. There is still tons if progress to be made regarding the destruction and overall feel of those affected, but a lot can be done to make things better sooner. There are some temporary aids that obviously will not help forever, but if the support from across the globe keeps on coming, the recovery of California can be faster and more efficient. Of course, the wildfires have affected many lives for the worse, but the goal of the fundings and other beneficial elements is to build up a new found hope for the citizens of California. Although throughout this time things have been challenging to deal with and the blazing disasters have been at a high rate, the help from all over is sure to give a full overview and hand awareness to the California wildfires.

Germs, Germs, and More Germs

by Lindsey Black

Come every winter, people buckle down for freezing temperatures, runny noses, and dry skin. Often tagging along is some kind of virus like strep throat or the flu, both of which are easily treatable with a prescription or over-the-counter drug. This year, the flu isn’t like any other, though. With the death count already up to 53 for children alone, people are saying it's like the 2009 flu pandemic. With many parents fearing for their kids, and people crying that the vaccine isn’t working, hospital waiting rooms are more crowded than ever.

A strain is the genetic make-up for a virus. A common question among concerned people is if the strain for this year's flu is more severe, making it harder to treat and control. In an ABC interview with Dr.Mark Rosenberg, the chairman of emergency medicine for St.Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson, New Jersey, explains the answer to that question. He says, “The strain seems to be more virulent, it seems to come on more quickly than we’ve seen in prior years and those who are very young or very old seem to get sicker from that.” Dr.Rosenberg goes on to say that the most effective means of preventing the virus is the vaccine, even though it is not as effective as prior years. The flu vaccine has created much controversy over the years, but many doctors still stand behind it. There is a possibility of getting sick from the shot, which is why people refuse it.

On February 5, a seven year old girl died from the flu after being sent home from the hospital. She isn’t the only one who has felt the wrath of the virus. According to a New York Post article, a father in Texas had to have both of his feet amputated because the virus was so bad. His fever had reached 104.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Normal body temperature is 37 degrees Celsius or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Another reason that the flu this year is so bad is the amount of people it has reached across the nation. The Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, reports that 48 states are experiencing high activity levels. That number is continuing to rise. Unfortunately the worst is yet to come. A CDC spokesman said in an Al interview that, “We have not reached our peak yet...Really, the bottom line is there is still likely many more weeks to go.” Flu season typically ranges anywhere from 16 to 20 weeks. Being only nine weeks in, we are guaranteed another few weeks of the flu, some even predicting into May. Concern for the amount of needed antiviral medication is also escalating. With the increase in the number of cases, prescriptions and antivirals are in high demand. Hospitals are also running out of room to put patients, with many already putting two beds to a room.

Everyone here at Berner has seen the toll the flu has taken on the student body. In almost every class someone, including teachers, is absent. With February break in sight, everyone is hoping to enjoy it flu free. The most important thing to remember in preventing the flu is washing hands. Keep an eye out for symptoms to try not to become a transmitter of the disease.

Groundhog Day

by Erin Finnerty

The Origins

People from all over the world have celebrated different forms of Groundhog Day. In Europe, it was a Christian tradition to have a clergy bless candles that were going to be needed for a long winter to come. The candles represent how long and cold the winter was going to be. This event was called Candlemas Day, and it was celebrated on February 2, which is around the midpoint between winter and spring. In Northern Europe, farmers needed to know when to start spring planting. They determined this time by watching when hibernating animals started to come out from their slumber, which occurs early February. The farmers believed that when the hibernating animal arrived, spring was on its way. If the day the animal emerged was sunny and they saw its shadow, more winter weather would come, and if it was a dreary, non-shadow day, then spring would be coming. In Germany, they used hedgehogs to predict whether more winter weather was coming or not. Whether it saw its shadow or not was similar to the way the farmers in Europe decided when to plant their seeds. When the Germans immigrated to America, they kept this tradition but they used groundhogs instead of hedgehogs since groundhogs were more plentiful in Pennsylvania. The first Groundhog Day was officially celebrated on February 2, 1887 at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.


Groundhogs are the largest species that belong to the squirrel family. These animals are also referred to as woodchucks, whistle pigs, and land beavers. These animals are found mainly in eastern and central parts of the U.S., though they are also found in in parts of Alaska and Canada. They have a lifespan of six to eight years, and their average weight ranges from 12 to 15 pounds. Groundhogs are considered herbivores, and their diet consists of apples, peas, carrot stems, clovers, flowers, tree bark, and dandelions. These animals eat more to accumulate fat in preparation for hibernation. They hibernate starting in late October and ending in March, but male groundhogs start to come out from hibernation in February to start looking for potential mates. Even though these animals are usually solitary, with the exception of mating season, they whistle to alert and protect each other from danger. They are skilled climbers and swimmers, so this helps them escape from predators such as bobcats, hawks, bears, foxes, and coyotes.

Punxsutawney Phil

By far the most acclaimed and popular weather forecasting rodent, this groundhog is pulled out of his burrow, called Gobbler's Knob, to see if his shadow appears- more winter- or not- an early spring. Thousands of people come to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to witness the groundhog forecaster’s prediction for the remainder of winter. Phil is rumored to be named after King Philip, but previous to that he was called the Br’er Groundhog. Currently, he’s called Phil for short instead of his full name: Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary. Phil lives in a library two miles outside of Punxsutawney. He lives there with his wife, Phyllis, and is taken care of by the inner circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. He is loved, protected, and cared for by the inner circle, who also feed him his favorite food- Nature Valley oat and honey granola bars. The inner circle consists of 15 members, lead by President Bill Deeley, the one who holds up Phil on Groundhog Day. On Groundhog Day, the inner circle president also has the responsibility of telling everyone Phil’s prediction, after he has spoken to Phil in Groundhogese, the groundhog language, of course. These members are the ones in tuxedos and hats standing on the platform at Gobbler’s Knob on February 2. Phil gets around by riding in the Philmobile, a bus that carries himself and the inner circle members. Phil has his own special seat on the outside of the bus so that he can be spotted during parades. Phil and other groundhogs have also had fame. Phil appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1995.

Groundhog Day, a 1993 movie starring Bill Murray was also released. Even though Phil was supposed to be the groundhog in the movie, he wasn’t, but it made Groundhog Day a more widespread holiday. How old is he? Phil is at least 131 years old! At a Groundhog Picnic during the summer, Phil takes a sip of “groundhog punch” that gives him seven more years of life.

2018 Predictions

And the results for this year… six more weeks of winter! According to Punxsutawney Phil, six more weeks of Winter are on its way. Six other “celebrity groundhogs” from across the U.S. have had the same forecast, which includes Buckeye Chuck from Ohio, General Beauregard Lee from Georgia, Jimmy from Wisconsin, Chattanooga Chuck from Tennessee, and French Creek Freddie coming from West Virginia. On the contrary, four other groundhogs predicted an early spring, which includes Staten Island Chuck from New York, Milltown Mel from New Jersey, Sir Walter Wally from North Carolina, and Pierre C. Shadeaux from Louisiana.

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Women's History Month

by Sofia Santiago

Women's History Month is a month to remember all of the contributions and opportunities that women in our past, and even now, have given to us in our culture or society. It was first established in 1987 after March was entitled as “Women's History Month.” Since then, many presidents such as Clinton, Bush, and Obama have declared March “Women’s History Month.”

Women's History Month had only been a week-long celebration for the United States until just a few years later James Carter, the 39th president, had declared it a National Holiday. Then just six years later, the National Women's History Project had successfully accomplished persuading Congress to make the national event an entire month.

Women's History Month 2018

This year for March 2018, it will be the 38th year of “writing women back into history,” according to Women's History 2018 Gazette issued by Emily Dieker of the National Women's History Project. The theme of the month is to honor women who have influenced American history, and most importantly, their commitment and determination to ending the discrimination against women and girls. This also includes discrimination against race, ethnicity, class, disability, and education.


Every year honorees, a person who receives an honor, are selected and are honored during that month. They each would represent many diverse backgrounds and each woman would have made her impact in a different domain.

The following women will be honorees this year and will be honored during the month of March:

  • Susan Burton

  • Margaret Dunkle

  • Geraldine Ferraro

  • Roma Guy

  • Saru Jayaraman

  • Cristina Jiménez

  • Marry Langelen

  • Pat Maginnis

  • Arlene Mayerson

  • Jill Moss Greenberg

  • Pauli Murray

  • Elizabeth Peratrovich

  • Loretta Ross

  • Angelica Salas

  • Linda Spoonster Schwartz

How are honorees nominated?

The nomination deadline for choosing an honoree is January 19. Candidates are nominated in accordance with the following categories: arts, business, education, health or medical career, lifetime achievement, pioneering, professions, public services, religion, and volunteerism. These female nominees must have contributed and made a positive impact on the community. Additionally, nominees cannot be a prior recipient of the Women Making History Awards.

Nevertheless She Persisted

The phrase “Nevertheless She Persisted” was established in February of 2017. Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced while reading an opposition letter written by Coretta Scott King, a 1986 NWHP Honoree. Senator Mitch McConnell said, “Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless she persisted.” Feminists, or people who support feminism, had instantly used the phrase in hashtags and memes. Anything related or consulting to strong or independent women refusing to be silenced was compared to the phrase, “Nevertheless She Persisted.”

Ways to Celebrate

National Women's History Month is a time in our lives to recognize and acknowledge the countless women that have shaped our history by their impacts and influences they have made throughout their lives. It helps us appreciate or show gratitude to the strong women that are in our community.

One way to celebrate is to read about significant women in history or read books written by women. We can learn about the different things that women have done and learn about another female as well.

Another way to celebrate is to go to local museums. Most museums will celebrate National Women's History Month and offer the opportunity to learn some new things.

A third way to celebrate is going to local events concerning women or women's history. Most towns and cities have events regarding the event.

A fourth way is volunteering. There are volunteer opportunities at shelters, or specifically a women's shelter, or health clinics. Volunteering will show appreciation for Women's History Month.

A last way to can celebrate is to just acknowledge how lucky we all are because of what women in our past or even now have done for our community. Celebrating with friends can help people recognize this acknowledgment of women and want to learn even more about National Women's History Month.


President's Day

by Lily O'Daly

President’s Day is a holiday created in the honor of the some of the first presidents of the United States. We also have a week off from school. If we look deeper into President’s Day, we may find more to it than a week off of school and a day to celebrate presidents.

President’s day is always the third Monday of February. It is just a coincidence that it happens to fall on our winter recess. On a national level there is no such thing as Presidents’ Day. The federal holiday is officially called “Washington’s Birthday” and it celebrates George Washington, the country’s first Commander in Chief. Many people call it president’s weekend or president’s week because stores usually have President’s Day sales. Other states changed the name to celebrate another February baby, Abraham Lincoln. Here are some fun facts about George Washington.

George Washington

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. He grew up on his family’s plantation in Westmoreland County, in the British Colony of Virginia. He was the oldest of six children and spent most of his childhood at Ferry Farm, a plantation near Fredericksburg, Virginia. George’s dad died when he was eleven and George helped his mother manage the plantation. As a teen, George showed a love for math and became a successful surveyor (a person who surveys, especially one whose profession is the surveying of land.) This job earned him enough money to begin acquiring his own land. George lived in a house called Mount Vernon. In December 1752, George, who had no military experience, became the commander of the Virginia militia. He was eventually put in charge of all of Virginia’s militia forces. By 1759, Washington had resigned from commission and returned to Mount Vernon. There he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses. He served there until 1774. In January 1759, George married Martha Dandridge Custis, a wealthy widow with two children. By the late 1760s, George experienced firsthand the effects of rising taxes imposed on American colonists by the British, and came to believe that it was in the best interest of the colonists declare independence from Great Britain . George served as a delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1774 in Philadelphia. By the next Continental Congress, the American

Revolution had already begun. George was named the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. After a grueling eight months, the war was over and George was named a national hero. In 1783, a peace treaty was signed between Great Britain and the United States. George, believing he had done his job, gave up the command of the army and returned to Mount Vernon. He wanted to return to normal life, but he was soon asked to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and head the committee to write the new constitution. His impressive leadership convinced the delegates that he was by far the most qualified man to become the nation’s first president. At first, George said no. After all, he wanted to return to peaceful quiet life. Finally, public opinion was so strong, he gave in. George Washington was the first president to go into battle while serving as president. Two terms later, Washington resigned and returned to Mount Vernon. In December 1799, he caught a cold after inspecting his properties in the rain. The cold developed into a throat infection and Washington died on the night of December 14 at the age of 67. He was entombed in Mount Vernon, which in 1960 was designated a national historic landmark.

Maybe next time we think about President’s Day we won’t just think of having school off for a week and celebrating presidents. Maybe next time we will think about all the work George Washington and many other presidents devoted to this country for liberty for all.

New Year, New Movies

by Erin Tumminello

Well, it’s 2018. With the new year comes many new things. That includes, of course, things to watch. Whether a new movie is coming out, or the next season of your favorite show, or if an entirely new series is coming out, many people are hyped. Here are some lists of movies coming out this year.

*Note, some of the following have already been released*


New Movies

  • The Commuter (January 12)

  • Black Panther (February 16)

  • A Wrinkle in Time (March 9)

  • Tomb Raider (March 16)

  • Avengers: Infinity War (May 4)

  • Rampage (April 20)

  • Solo: a Star Wars story (May 25)

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (December 14)

  • Aquaman (December 21)

New Sequels (and “threequels,” etc.)

*Note: Parts of the title are edited; for example Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is written as Jurassic World 2

  • Deadpool 2 (May 18)

  • The Incredibles 2 (June 5)

  • Ant Man and The Wasp (July 6)

  • Hotel Transylvania 3 (July 13)

  • Mission Impossible 6 (July 27)

  • Pacific Rim 2

  • Jurassic World 2 (June 22)

  • Fantastic Beasts 2 (November 16)

  • Wreck It Ralph 2 (November 21)

  • Insidious: The Last Key (January 5)

And, of course, lots of us are hyped up for new TV shows and new seasons coming out, so here is a small list.

*Note, many of these shows haven’t confirmed the release date for their next season*

  • 9-1-1 - series premiere (January 3)

  • Star Trek: Discovery - season 2 (January 7)

  • Grown-ish - series premiere (January 13)

  • Voltron: Legendary Defender - season 5 (March 2)

  • Stranger Things - season 3 (to be announced; most likely coming out around December)

  • The Walking Dead - season 9 (to be announced)

  • Grey’s Anatomy - season 15 (to be announced - it was possibly released January 18)

  • The Good Doctor - season 2 (to be announced)

  • The Gifted - season 2 (to be announced)

  • 13 Reasons Why - season 2 (to be announced; most likely coming out around the spring or summer)

  • Supergirl - season 4 (to be announced)

Source: basic google search

Netflix Releases

by Anna Goldberg

Netflix is amazing! There are so many movies and television shows to watch and help you relax. March is here and Netflix has some new movies and television shows for your enjoyment.

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

(Kids Show) Season 2, March 2

When three young Baudelaire siblings are left orphaned by a fire in their mansion, they are off to live with their distant relative Count Olaf (Jim Carrey). Unfortunately, Olaf is cruel and very mean, but only Violet Baudelaire (Emily Browning) will receive his cruel heart. The other children run away to their quirky Uncle Monty, (Billy Connolly) and coincidentally their phobic Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep). Although they escaped, Olaf is never far behind.

Jessica Jones

(T.V. Superhero Drama) Season 2, March 8th

This show tells the life of one of the dark Marvel characters, puzzling the strange Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter). When a crisis puts an end to her short-lived career as a superhero, Jessica tries to rebuild her life as a private investigator. She then deals with people with miraculous abilities in New York City.

The Beginning

(Anime Series) Season 1, March 2nd

This is the story of two friends, Umataro Tenma and Hiroshi Ochanomizu. They are genius students who study robotics. The two recently completed a robot named A106 that features their experimental, “Bewusstsein” AI.

Jagga Jasoos

(Mystery/Bollywood) Movie 2

A gifted teenage detective Jagga embarks on a journey to find his missing father. On the journey, he’s not alone and he’ll have a little help from a female companion.

Game Over, Man!

(Action/Comedy) Movie March 23

A trio is on the verge of getting their video game financed when their benefactor is taken hostage by terrorists.


Netflix is wonderful! All of these new releases are going to be great!


2018 Mock NBA Draft

by Liam DeVos

The NBA Draft is one of the most important days of the year for NBA fans, the next generation of NBA coming out of college looking to take the league by storm. Starting even before the college season begins, there are mock drafts, which are basically predictions for what player will be selected by each team at a certain time. There can be different No. 1 picks all over after scouts got a better look at players. So, I decided to make my own mock draft for the 2018 Draft Class.

Note: This version of a mock draft will only be showing picks 1-12


1. Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke

The Kings have been in rebuild mode since what seems like forever, but it appears to be taking a step forward after picking athletic Point Guard De'Aaron Fox from Kentucky. Fox and Bagley can be the twosome that can be easy to build a team around. So far this year Bagley has averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds a game while leading the Blue Devils to No. 4 in the country and a frontrunner for the March Madness Tournament. The KIngs may have had some crummy seasons, but as if the get Bagley in the draft and him and Fox develop, the future will surely be bright in Sacramento.

2. Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona

After Paul Millsap left for Denver over the summer, the Atlanta Hawks are now in a deep hole, with their only real star being point guard Dennis Schroder. But Deandre Ayton of Arizona is a Double-Double machine this year at UA, averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds a game, with a total of 13 double-doubles this year, which is a UA record by a freshman. Ayton is 260 pounds of pure muscle and is only 18 years old. Ayton would be perfect for Atlanta and the first step to a successful rebuild.

3. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma

The man taking the country by storm this season, Trae Young would be perfect for Orlando. The Magic already have Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, and Nikola Vucevic. Young would replace Elfrid Payton as the starting Point Guard, but Payton would be the perfect sixth man for a contender. Young is currently averaging 30 points and nine assists a game this year. Those are ridiculous stats for a 19 year old. Yeah, a 19 year old kid is dominating one of the highest levels of competition in basketball. If you’ve got him on your team, you have a very very special basketball player.

4. Luka Doncic, SG/SF, Slovenia

Dallas has fell off a cliff since they won the 2011 title. Dirk Nowitzki will be retiring in the next year or two. They started off their rebuild when they picked athletic Dennis Smith Jr. from NC State at the ninth last year. The Maverick already have an okay starting lineup lead by SF Harrison Barnes. Luka Doncic would be there main building block for the future and build a good core in Dallas. Doncic is currently playing internationally in Spain playing for Real Madrid. He is currently averaging 16 points, five assists and four rebounds in 25 minutes a game. If Dallas can snag Luka at four, they would get a really great start to their rebuild.

5. Michael Porter Jr. SF, Missouri

After a fantastic start to the year, the Grizzlies have seemed to have given up after they fired David Fizdale back in November. If they keep on this route they could pick up Porter, who has had a season ending back injury in his freshman year at Missouri. The one thing about Porter that stands out the most is his potential. Porter has the scouts rambling about him since before he was a senior year in high school. It just shows you that he is going to be a special player when he gets drafted, he has a top three player in the league potential. In his senior year, he won the biggest award an high school player can have,the McDonald's All American Game MVP. If he declares to the draft this year or stays for sophomore year, Michael Porter Jr. will be something special.

6. Mohamed Bamba C, Texas

The Suns have been close to awful over the last five years. They have the main building block in SG, Devin Booker. Bamba is a 7’’0ft defensive beast He is an easy top shot blocker in the country averaging 4.4 per game. Bamba has a freakish 8’’0 ft wingspan, which helps him on the defensive end, and he could easily be a great defender in the NBA. He is definitely not a first option of a championship team, but can easily be a second or third option. While not the best scorer, his defensive skillet would power him to NBA success.

7. Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Michigan State

This pick for the Celtics may be a trade piece for them down the road come draft time, but Jackson would be a good bench player who you could give 20 minutes a game and expect 10 point from him. He has a smooth three-point shot and is a solid defender. He could be traded in a deal on Draft Night, but still would be a nice pickup for any team

8. Collin Sexton PG, Alabama

With the way the Cavs have been playing over the last two months, this would be a great pickup. Sexton has a very high ceiling potential wise. The only reason I have him this down is that teams before him wouldn’t have him as already having a solid PG on their team. The Cavs have Isiah Thomas, but the fans don't seem they want him and he may sign somewhere else in free agency when the time comes. Still, Sexton is averaging 19 points and three assists a game. Whatever happens with IT and the Cavs, Sexton would be a great pick nonetheless.

9. Mikal Bridges SG/SF, Villanova

With questions still flying about SG Zach Lavine’s heath after suffering a torn ACL last year, Mikal would be a great replacement. Even he can play a SF with his quick first step to the ri, which leads to great drives to the basket. He has a solid three and is a good shot creator at his position. The Bulls would be in great shape for the future if the are able to get Bridges on their roster

10. Kevin Knox SF, Kentucky

The Hornets could be ready to push the reset button after watching their veteran-laden team underachieve this season. Knox would be a great pick for a much older team needing some young bloods. Coming from Calipari's NBA army at Kentucky, Knox is a solid scorer who can get you points when you need him to. He would be a great third or fourth option on a team and maybe even a fantastic sixth man for any team.

11. Wendell Carter PF, Duke

With Derrick Favors likely to leave in free agency, the Jazz could definitely use a young power forward with Carter's ability to score inside. Carter has played in Bagley's massive shadow at Duke, but he figures to get more touches and shot attempts in an NBA offense. The Jazz have had pretty good luck drafting power forwards in the past with Karl Malone and Paul Millsap. Carter would be a solid bench role player on any team.

12. Miles Bridges SF, Michigan State

Bridges surprised a lot of NBA executives with his decision to return to Michigan State for his sophomore season considering he was a likely lottery pick last year. Bridges has become much more than just a spectacular dunker, adding a more consistent three-point shot to his offensive arsenal. He could be an excellent fit in New York alongside Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter. Bridges would be the void the Knicks need to make a sixth or fifth seed in the East in the future.

In conclusion, this draft class has tons of potential with the top five. The one thing is that it can’t live up to the future of the 2017 draft class, with players such as Donovan Mitchell, Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz and Jayson Tatum. This draft class has a lot of potential and I can’t wait to see how each player ends up.

The New York Rangers

by Lindsey Black

The New York Rangers season is in shambles. On February 8, it was clear to fans that they had thrown the white flag, and the organization is essentially surrendering their players to other teams and giving up any hope of making the playoffs.

Normally, the Rangers are a competitive team. Not Stanley Cup champions, but competitive enough to make a dent in the NHL. However, every year there is always something standing in the way of them reaching their full potential and going to the Cup. It’s almost as if there is a brick wall with the team on one side and the Cup on the other, and this wall was built by the Rangers themselves. As someone who has been a diehard fan for the past couple of years now, it angers me to see them struggle like this. They are good enough to have a playoff run that lasts longer than the first round. And with Lundqvist not getting any younger, the need to win a cup is becoming more and more prevalent. If he retires without one, it will consume his legacy; one of the greatest New York Rangers goaltenders who couldn’t win a Stanley Cup. He has his ups and down, but he has remained the backbone of the team. If goalies could become captains, there is no doubt in my mind that he would be the one for the Rangers. Many argue that he is too unstable because he plays such an emotional game, but I feel you need that in tension filled situations. It’s not a bad thing to show some emotion on the ice because it proves your dedication to the game. It also shows that you are refusing to check out of a game that you are probably not going to win.

That’s another problem with the Rangers. The mindset that the are in right now is preventing them from succeeding. Once they get into a slump they can't get out of it. The players automatically check out, or so it seems. I mean what else could be the reason why the team is so inconsistent and can’t get over this roadblock between them and the playoffs? It is not unheard of for a team to all of the sudden turn their season around. So why haven’t the Rangers done it? I find myself asking this question year after year with another disappointing loss, especially when we lose to a team that we are clearly better than. Granted, once the puck drops it becomes a fair game but the standings and points don’t lie. There is no such thing as a lack of New York pride when it comes to sports, so it's not like they don’t have the support they need on the homefront. The worst part is that this season seems to be finished. There have been rumors for a couple of weeks now about the possibility of trading Mats Zuccarello, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, and Marc Staal for prospects and some younger blood. Of course players like Brady Skjei, Kevin Shattenkirk, Jimmy Vesey, and Jesper Fast will stay because they are young and have proven their determination to win. And I understand trading half the team so that you can rebuild. I actually think that it is a smart move. Sometimes you have to knock down the entire building so that you can rebuild on valuable property, instead of just salvaging what is left. What I can't understand is releasing Brendan Smith as of February 8, which also happens to be his birthday. Happy birthday and oh yea by the way, you are no longer a Ranger. If another team doesn’t sign him for the remainder of the season, he goes back down to the minors. Have fun celebrating with that news. It is clear that he did something to anger somebody who is high up in the Rangers organization. Last year, the Rangers signed him to a four year deal to bring some much needed aid to our crumbling defense. Why release the guy who you, quite literally, just signed into a contract? He was also a healthy scratch for six games back in November. Why sit a major defenseman for no good reason other than the fact that maybe you don’t like the guy? This releasing also costs the Rangers $17 million, which they can afford but that's not the point. It is the principle that he was a solid defenseman and you need veterans on your team to help guide the young players. What was the point of signing him into a contract if you were just going to trade him? I also think that the Rangers should finish out the season with the team that have now instead of just giving up. Give the season one final go before you drop a bomb on the roster.

Change is necessary, though. As of February 8, the Rangers have lost four games in a row, and have lost nine of their last 12. Additionally they are in 23rd place overall and are last in the Metropolitan division. Not to mention they are in fifth place for the wild card spot. I also think why this season is hitting so hard with fans is the expansion that took place last year. This is the Vegas Golden Knights first year in the NHL and they are in third place in the league. That is unheard of and they are making history with their season. I have yet to catch a game but what they have been able to accomplish is amazing. In retrospect, the Rangers have made one Cup appearance in the last ten years and have lost, not to mention that they won the President's trophy the year after, but lost in the first round of the playoffs. It is just frustration after frustration for the Rangers and maybe change is the only option. I just wish that we didn’t have to lose such valuable players and that that change could happen now. I’m an impatient fan and of course I want to see my team win. And I know that with all of these trades and rebuilding that is inevitably going to happen, the claiming of a Stanley Cup is going to be pushed back even farther. Which means that the beloved Henrik Lundqvist will have to get an honorary one, if the Rangers can’t win before his contract is up. Once his contract is up, I doubt the Rangers will resign him and he will most likely retire. So even though the chances of us even the making the playoffs are slim to none and we are in a winning drought right now, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, right? Let’s just try to get through this season with as few embarrassments as possible and buckle down for the upcoming events. Prepare to see the Rangers name in sports headlines a lot in the upcoming months.

NHL All-Star Game

by Matt Annunziato

On January 28, 2018, the 63rd Annual NHL All Star Game took place at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The NHL All-Star Game is not like the other pro All-Star Games. The entire league is broken down into four teams. The Pacific, Atlantic, Metropolitan, and Central Divisions. The best from each team battled each other on the ice in a tournament style night. Each game has two,ten minute halves. Each team will switch goalies in the half. The winning team in the tournament will receive $1 million Kid Rock performed after the second game. The Metropolitan Division captain was Alexander Ovechkin, from the Washington Capitals. The Pacific Division’s captain was Connor McDavid, who plays for the Oilers.P.K Subban from the Predators was the Central Division’s captain Last but not least the Atlantic Division’s captain was Steven Stamkos, from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Let’s take a look at these stunning players’ teams.

Metropolitan Division Roster

Alex Ovechkin’s mighty crew of defense was Noah Hanifin from the Carolina Hurricanes, Zach Werenski from the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Kris Letang from the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Metropolitan Division’s fearsome forwards were Josh Bailey from the New York Islanders, Brian Boyle from the New Jersey Devils, Sidney Crosby from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alexander Ovechkin from the Washington Capitals, Claude Giroux from the Philadelphia Flyers, Taylor Hall from the New Jersey Devils, and John Tavares from the New York Islanders. Alex Ovechkin’s tough goalies were Henrik Lundqvist from the New York Rangers, and Braden Holtby from the Washington Capitals. The Metropolitan Division played the Atlantic Division at 4:30 p.m. on January 28.

Atlantic Division Roster

Steven Stamkos’ tough tribe for offense was Aleksander Barkov from the Florida Panthers, Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres, Nikita Kucherov from the Tampa Bay Lighting, Brad Marchand from the Boston Bruins, Austin Matthews from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brayden Point (who was a injury fill-in for Lighting defenseman Victor Hedman) from the Tampa Bay Lighting, and Steven Stamkos from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The durable defenseman for Stamkos was Erik Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators, and Mike Green from the Detroit Red Wings. The goalies were Carey Price from the Montreal Canadians, and Andrei Vasilevsky from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Atlantic Division played the Metropolitan Division at 4:30 p.m. on January 28.

Pacific Division Roster

Connor McDavid’s super squad started off with his superstar forwards: Brock Boeser from the Vancouver Canucks, Johnny Gaudreau from the Calgary Flames, Anze Kopitar from the Los Angeles Kings, James Neal from the Vegas Golden Knights, and Rickard Rakell from the Anaheim Ducks. His astonishing army on defense began with Brent Burns from the San Jose Sharks, Drew Doughty from the Los Angeles Kings, and ended with Oliver Ekman-Larsson from the Arizona Coyotes. His goaltenders were Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights and Mike Smith from the Calgary Flames. The Pacific Division played the Central Division on January 28 at 3:30 p.m.

Central Division Roster

P.K. Subban’s gang started the offense off with the face of the Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick Kane. Then it goes to Nathan MacKinnon from the Colorado Avalanche, Brayden Schenn from the St. Louis Blues, Tyler Seguin from the Dallas Stars, Eric Staal from the Minnesota Wild, and Blake Wheeler from the Winnipeg Jets. His topnotch defense started with John Klingberg from the Dallas Stars, and went to Alex Pietrangelo from the St. Louis Blues. His goalies were Connor Hellebuyck from the Winnipeg Jets and Pekka Rinne from the Nashville Predators. The Central Division played the Pacific Division at 3:30 p.m. on January 28.

Pacific vs. Central

P.K. Subban’s fierce gang played Connor McDavid’s troops during the 3:30 game. Early in the first period, Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan Mackinnon scored a beauty top right shelfer on Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury.

Marc-Andre Fleury was also spot on with allowing only one goal. McDavid had at least two shots that hit the post. The first half ended 1-0.

In the second half for the Pacific, Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck came in for Pekka Rinne. Calgary's Mike Smith replaced Fleury. Again, early in the period two shots came close to lighting the lamp. But, LA Kings’ Drew Doughty came up big with a breakaway goal on Hellebuyck. The Pacific turned things around by creating many chances, including Johnny Gaudreau’s shot that met the iron. On a 3 on 1, Vegas’ James Neal sneaked the puck past Hellebuyck’s five hole, to make it 2-1. After that, Nashville’s P.K. Subban scored a goal as he went to the top left corner. Then, the Pacific went full steam ahead. Vancouver’s Brock Boeser lit the lamp and broke the tie with a post-in, off top left corner.. San Jose’s Brent Burns scored an empty netter with about 1:30 left on the clock. For his second of game, McDavid passed the puck across to James Neal for another empty net goal. The final score for the Pacific vs.Central game was 5-2. They moved on to the Million Dollar Match, either playing the Atlantic or the Metropolitan.

Atlantic vs. Metropolitan

For the Metropolitan, Henrik Lundqvist started out as goalie. Hometown favorite Andrei Vasilevskiy started out as the net minder for the Atlantic. Forty-six seconds in, Stamkos passed to Kucherov who just missed and hit the iron. Shortly after that, from a pass from Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby puts it in on the left side of the net.. After a takeaway by defense, the pass up to Austin Matthews made him a man on a breakaway with only one person to get past: Henrik Lundqvist. He made a move and then had an open net but he got denied! Kucherov hit the post twice in the first half. After the initial save by Henrik Lundqvist, Austin Matthews put it in. The score was tied 1-1. On a breakaway, Claude Giroux was right in front of Brian Boyle and wanting to pass to him. He turned, but then realized he could beat Vasilevskiy blocker side, and he did. The score was now 2-1 in favor of the Metropolitan division. Not long after Claude Giroux’s goal after, Alex Ovechkin fooled the defense, and ripped a shot above Vasilevskiy’s pads.It was now 3-1 Metropolitan. But right off the faceoff, Kucherov took the puck and put it on the top shelf, to the lead in half. The first half ends 3-2.The Metropolitan ended with 13 shots on goal, while, the Atlantic only had 7.

For the Metropolitan, Braden Holtby subbed in for Lundqvist, and Carey Price subbed in for Vasilevskiy. Jack Eichel created an opportunity with a spin-o-rama pass to an undefended Nikita Kucherov, who put the puck into the empty net. The game was nowtied 3-3. However,Kris Letang scored making it4-3.Things got ugly quickly. On a 2 on 1, Brayden Point and Brad Marchand had a tic-tac-tic-toe goal. The game was nowtied 4-4. Then, Erik Karlsson’s goal was taken away with a coach’s challenge of the play being offside. . Soon after that, Jack Eichel scored a post-in goal to take the lead 5-4. Brad Marchand scored a five-hole goal to make it 6-4. Kucherov’s hat-trick goal was an sealed the deal. Atlantic won the game 7-4. They then faced the Pacific in the Million Dollar Final Game.

Million Dollar Final Game- Atlantic vs. Pacific

Steven Stamkos looked to beat Connor McDavid for$1 million. Almost a minute in, the Duck’s rookie Rakell scored a goal off the rebound of Anze Kopitar’s shot. The Pacific took the lead 1-0.. Connor McDavid tried to sneak it through Vasilevskiy, but he stopped it. Brock Boeser added to the lead by scoring off of Johnny Gaudreau’s shot. It was now 2-0 Pacific. The Atlantic cut the lead in half as Mike Green shot the puck past Fleury. Stamkos had a chance with a between the legs shot that went off the post. Then the Pacific found McDavid on a breakaway, but he was stopped by Vasilevskiy. On a one-timer goal, Drew Doughty added to the score. The first half ended with the Pacific up 3-1.

Carey Price subbed in for Vasilevskiy, and Mike Smith subbed in for Fleury. Early in the second half, Johnny Gaudreau scored a five-hole on Carey Price, making it 4-1 in favor of the Pacific. Mike Green had a lightning-like shot top shelf on Mike Smith. It was now 4-2 Pacific. The Pacific again had many scoring chances but couldn’t come through until the last goal of the day was scored by Rakell, when he scored on a breakaway and shot top-shelf on Price. Brock Boeser was the finals MVP. The game ended 5-2, with the Pacific winning the $1 million.

Video Game Reviews

Cuphead Review

by Ryan Eck

Cuphead is a run and gun Indie video game well-known for being innovative in the genre. It is famous for the fact that all of the graphics in the game are hand-drawn with an aesthetic that makes it looks like it was made in the 1930s. The game mainly consists of boss battles with some platforming levels in-between. So, is Cuphead worth the attention it has been getting?

Cuphead is a difficult game, but it is one of the reasons why it is so great. The game is brutal with its boss fights, but it’s not frustrating, as the majority of your deaths in the game feels like your fault. The game involves you playing as an anthropomorphic cup (or two for multiplayer) trying to get contracts from bosses, since you fell into a deal. Therefore, the game is basically a boss rush, with the majority of the game being boss battles. With that said, these boss fights are absolutely spectacular. They are all about pattern memorization and learning how to dodge the attacks of the boss. Each boss takes tons of tries to defeat, but each death is a learning experience and a reason to keep trying to beat the boss until you eventually win. They are all full of depth and enough unpredictability to keep you on-edge, but they almost never feel unfair. The beautiful visuals also keep engagement for the the fight, but that aspect will be discussed later. There are many bosses in the game, but each one feels complete and the quality is always top-notch with them. They all vary from each other in terms of their attacks, aesthetic, and more.

The gameplay is full of depth and variety. There are many levels where you are on the ground and others where you are in the air. For grounded gameplay, combat involves shooting the boss, meanwhile dodging its attacks. It is possible to jump, aim, parry pink objects to get a small, extra jump and to let you do your special attack faster, and switch between two types of things to shoot. You can swap out weapons by buying them using coins and each type of weapon has its own gimmick. One of them can fire multiple bullets at once, but it has shorter range. Another leads the bullets you shoot out towards the boss, but the fire rate is lesser. You also have a special attack that you can use by filling up a bar of cards, which you can do by parrying objects and shooting enemies. This variety adds to Cuphead’s gameplay. However, there are some flaws with this moveset. Aiming is a little clunky, and while parrying is mostly fine, it can feel a little clumsy at times. In the overworld, you can buy abilities to further bring variety to the gameplay. Speaking of the overworld, Cuphead’s is rather slow in terms of travelling between levels. Rather than have a menu to pick bosses you want to fight, you have to go through the overworld and find them, which is not a major problem, but it can still be annoying.

Some bosses take place off-ground, and while the gameplay in these battles have less depth, they still are engaging. You can parry, shoot between two weapons, use abilities you bought at the shop, use your special attack, and more, but the customization is a little more limited. However, the gameplay is still great and full of depth with these bosses.

There are also a total of six run-and-gun levels. These involve going through a linear platforming level with the typical obstacles you would find in a platform game, with elements of Cuphead’s gameplay mixed-in. The purpose of these are to not only provide a break between boss battles but there are also coins in the level that you can use to buy new types of weaponry. But unfortunately, these levels are not nearly as good as the boss battles. The difficulty feels a little more cheap here as the enemy placement is generally obnoxious, with not much reaction time. These levels share the same mentality as the boss battles of memorizing the way the stage goes so you can ultimately succeed, but the actual obstacles here feel more unfair than the attacks of Cuphead’s bosses. Despite this, many of the mechanics used in these levels are interesting. One level has gravity-swapping mechanics and another has bouncy mechanics, and they both spice up said levels. However, the levels that lack innovative mechanics like these feel a little bland from a gameplay standpoint, even if the visuals keep the experience interesting. Overall, Cuphead’s run-and-gun levels are not bad, but they fall flat compared to the boss fights.

The visuals of this game are absolutely spectacular. The game’s art style is based off cartoons from the time period around the 1930s, and it looks very unique compared to most games released today. The graphics are phenomenal and bring much more engagement into the game. The animations are incredibly smooth and the drawings are top-notch and full of detail. The backgrounds look amazing as well. Everything about the art style is polished and makes the game very unique.

Overall, Cuphead is an excellent game. It is not for everyone; those who do not like difficult games or games that require memorization most likely will not enjoy Cuphead, but the game is still great with its engaging and gorgeous art style and top-notch boss fights.


by Christopher Schimkus

It’s a lovely day, birds are singing, flowers are blooming, people are jumping out of a flying bus. Wait, what?! And now there is a storm on its way that is apparently poisonous. What kind of world is this?! Oh, right, this is Fortnite.

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite is a game where players must battle opponents to gain victory (and experience to level up). There are three modes that players may choose from for your battle: solo, duo, and squad. In either duo or squad players must work with each other to take down everybody else while gaining supplies, gathering materials, and avoiding the deadly storm. That’s right, a storm could kill, but it will take a while if players are in good health. Slowly, and slowly, and slowly. In the game players could either be a coward and hide until everybody else dies out, or they can get all the weapons, take everyone down, and dab when they come in first place. This happens while the losers rage, take a sip of water, and go into another round.

Another gamemode that players may choose from in Fortnite is player versus enemy where you work with a team to take down a hoard of zombies that will try to take down all players. Also, for both gamemodes players can play with other players rather than waiting for your friends to get online… I’ll just stick to other players around the world. But seriously though, Fortnite just doesn’t have these game modes, but it also has techniques for how to play the game the way players want to with either surviving happily or getting killed a shameful death.

Happy Camper or Gung-Ho

Now let’s focus on how to go as a “Happy Camper” or a “Gung-Ho.” If you are wondering what gung-ho means, it is when you go savage and go crazy to take down everyone. But let’s focus on the happy camper first. Being a happy camper is when you stay in one area and hide like a coward. Pretty simple, but the question is where do you hide? There is not many places to hide, though, because many players will be swarming areas to get supplies. Not just that, but the storm will be closing in on you so players will have to move around to get closer to the middle. If you’re lucky and you stop right in the middle of the eye of the storm, then players can find the most magical item in the game, the bush! Yes, a bush. Now, before anyone says that this is stupid, the bush, in fact, are found everywhere in Fortnite and players can get them from chests. These are also classified as legendaries. However, these bushes have one defect, which is that even the slightest hit will break them off.

So being a happy camper does have some efficient uses to it but now let’s look at being a gung-ho. Going gung-ho is a little complicated because you must need a little bit of actual talent at this game. Becoming a gung-ho involves the following: having a battle plan, detecting where all chests are to get the loot, and taking down every last person. Players can almost pull this off unless there is another person who is also a gung-ho. If that player loses to him/her then he or she should just go play a game of ROBLOX to calm down, probably pizza tycoon. Going gung-ho is probably ineffective, like being a happy camper, so players should might as well be both. Stay in one spot for a while and then move, and so this cycle will keep repeating then so hopefully that player can get a successful win in a game.

So that is the basics of how to play Fortnite and get a successful win so you can then play ROBLOX for a change. Fortnite can be challenging, though. If players would focus more on working together with teammates than winning then this game can be a little more fun. Fortnite is probably going to have another update soon so you should look out for that and play this amazing game.

Movie Reviews

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

by Victor Paduano

*Disclaimer: This review contains MASSIVE SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen the film yet, skip this article.*

Ever since Disney has purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas for $4.6 billion in 2012, they have been on a hot streak with Star Wars films. 2015’s The Force Awakens and 2016’s Rogue One were both extremely entertaining movies. However, 2017’s The Last Jedi takes a fresh new direction for the franchise, and is quite possibly the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back.

The story takes place right where The Force Awakens left off, with the Resistance escaping their primary base on the planet of D’Qar from the evil First Order. The First Order destroys the base with an orbital bombardment from one of their feared dreadnought ships, and hotshot pilot Poe Dameron leads a successful counterattack against the ship, but at the cost of many of the pilots’ lives. However, this bittersweet victory doesn’t last long. When the Resistance cruisers launch themselves into hyperspace, the First Order finds them using a tracking device. Kylo Ren leads the assault against the Resistance and destroys some of the support ships, but refuses to fire at the capital Resistance ship, since it houses his mother, Leia Organa. His wingmen, however, do not hesitate in firing upon the ship, killing the entire Resistance high command, including fan-favorite character Admiral Gial Ackbar (may he rest in peace), and almost killing Leia. Meanwhile, on the remote planet of Ahch-To, Rey offers up the Holy Grail of the Star Wars universe, the Skywalker lightsaber, up to the legendary Jedi Master, Luke Skywalker, suggesting he trains her in the ways of the Force. Luke refuses, even after Chewbacca tells him about Han Solo’s death. At night, Luke sneaks into the Millennium Falcon and encounters R2-D2. Luke tells him there is no way R2 can convince him to come out of exile to fight the First Order, but R2 shows the hologram of Leia’s message from 35 years prior, and Luke remembers why he joined the fight against evil in the Galaxy. Now, with Luke as a undetermined ally, the Resistance must defeat the First Order once and for all and rid the Galaxy of darkness.

The story may have some elements from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but it adds some new, daring elements about the Star Wars universe that have caused massive controversy among fans, but that is one of the reasons I love this movie. Unlike most big Hollywood blockbusters, The Last Jedi is not afraid to takes risks, from asking questions that have been established in the past two trilogies, to killing off beloved characters like Luke and Ackbar, fitting into the film’s theme of letting the past die. There are also some clever uses of foreshadowing, with Luke asking Rey if she expects him to walk out with a “laser sword” and take down the entire First Order, and that actually happens when Luke Force-Projects himself onto the salt planet Crait. However, this movie suffers from some pacing issues. For instance, in the second act when Finn and Resistance maintenance worker Rose Tico go the casino planet of Canto Bight to try to find the “Master Code-Breaker.” Also, there are several scenes on this particular planet, and they can be quite distracting. For example, when Luke is teaching Rey one of the three lessons he offered up to her on Ahch-To, and things are starting to get interesting, we almost immediately cut back to Canto Bight. Speaking of Rey’s lessons, we only get to see the first and second one in the final cut of the film. The third lesson has recently been confirmed to be featured in the Digital HD/Blu-Ray release of the film as a deleted scene. This is something I have a problem with because the Canto Bight scenes basically serve little to no purpose in the movie, but that third lesson might have been extremely crucial to Rey’s character development.

Despite the story having a few hiccups, the technical elements are truly spectacular. Rian Johnson’s direction is incredible, and the Industrial Light & Magic effects team have made some the best effects for a Star Wars film since Return of the Jedi, with its mixture of CGI and practical effects. This movie absolutely deserved its four Oscar nominations, including Best Visual Effects and Best Original Score. Speaking of the score, legendary film composer John Williams returns to compose the soundtrack for The Last Jedi, and it’s one of his best soundtracks in years. My favorite pieces of the soundtrack are “Holdo’s Resolve” (which is played when Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo sacrifices herself by using the Resistance capital ship, the Raddus, as a hyperspace battering ram against a majority of the First Order fleet) and “The Last Jedi” (which is played during Luke and Kylo Ren’s “duel”). I have a feeling that, in the end, either William’s score for this movie or Hans Zimmer’s score for Dunkirk (which was my favorite film of 2017) will win the Oscar for Best Original Score this year. I will be rooting for both of these fantastic movies, which is rare for me to do. A category that I think The Last Jedi was snubbed of was Best Cinematography. Steve Yedlin’s cinematography is simply stunning, and there were several shots in the movie where I thought, “Wait...that was actually filmed?” So many of these single shots (like the Force-Projection of Luke walking of the large hole of the Resistance base on Crait to face down the entire First Order’s army of walkers) have been ingrained in my head ever since I saw the film on opening weekend. It is uncommon for a movie to have shots that stick with me months after I saw it, but The Last Jedi is one of those exceptions.

When it comes to the characters, The Last Jedi is nearly perfect. In order to get the negativity out of the way, let me start with the two things I didn’t like about the characters. First, I feel like Finn, the rogue stormtrooper first seen in The Force Awakens, was underused and is basically given nothing of value or importance to do in this movie, which is a shame, because he was one of the most interesting characters from The Force Awakens. Second, the character of DJ, played by Benicio Del Toro, was completely unnecessary to the narrative. He’s only there to tag along with Finn and Rose, betray them when a little while after they board the Supremacy (the First Order capital ship), and disappear entirely after Vice Admiral Holdo crashes the Raddus into the Supremacy, never to be seen again. If Johnson took this character out of the story, nothing would have changed. I also think Vice Admiral Holdo and Rose are just average characters. Besides that, the other characters are fantastic. Rey is able to get more time to shine, and her development is really fascinating. Daisy Ridley also gives a fantastic performance. Luke has been the character who has gotten the most backlash in this movie by fans, but I completely disagree with all of their complains about him. Rey (and the audience) expected Luke to be this larger-than-life hero that is flawless in every way in this film, but he is actually the opposite of that. He was scarred by Ben Solo (Kylo Ren’s actual name) destroying his Jedi Academy and killing all of his students. By the time Rey finds him on Ahch-To in The Force Awakens, Luke has been in self-exile for four years. In those years on this planet, he has cut himself off from the Galaxy and has lost his faith in the Force. To put it simply, Luke is now a jagged and broken man. Despite his iconic legacy, he is only human, just like the rest of us. This new character trait actually made me like Luke even more, and Mark Hamill gives the best performance in his entire 40 year career. Kylo Ren is, once again, a conflicted and compelling villain with a clear motivation, and Adam Driver’s performance is one of the best in the franchise. I don’t understand why so many people hate his character because, in my opinion, he is the best Star Wars villain, second only to Darth Vader. Supreme Leader Snoke served his purpose as the “big, bad Emperor” in this movie well, and I actually didn’t mind his death at the hands of Ren. Snoke’s demise is an essential moment for Kylo because it shows that despite Kylo desperately wanting to follow in Vader’s footsteps, he did something that Vader never achieved: killing his own master.

Overall, despite problems with a select few characters, and the pacing issues in the second act, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an excellent Star Wars movie and movie in general. I don’t know where it ranks in my list of Star Wars films just yet, but it is probably my third favorite as of writing this review. I highly recommend this movie, and you will have a great time watching it.

Dangal Review

by Karn Jaswal

Wrestling is a very vigorous sport, but behind the scenes there is a lot of drama and pressure. The Hindi movie Dangal clearly displays all of this in emotional and powerful scenes. Dangal is about a wrestler, Mahavir Singh Phogat, who lives in Haryana, India. He wanted to become a professional wrestler, but unfortunately forced to give up. He swore that his son will win the gold medal for India. However, his wife gives birth to four daughters. After seeing his oldest daughters Geeta and Babita’s potential. Mahavir decides to teach them how to wrestle.

This movie while being about wrestling, also shows a lot of struggles within the family. The villagers laughed at the fact that Mahavir was teaching girls how to wrestle as they considered wrestling to be a man’s sport. The film also shows how Geeta and Babita were originally unwilling to practice with their father but how they gradually start to try harder and harder. While the film may seem light-hearted at first, it gets much more emotional as the story goes on.

There is plenty of action in Dangal. The wrestling scenes in the movie are fast-paced, quick, and spectacular. There are also a lot of songs in the movie (Indian films and songs go together). Many of these songs are uplifting and catchy so one doesn’t get bored or tired halfway.

Every single actor in this movie does a great job in portraying the characters and their characteristics. However, I think Aamir Khan does an excellent job performing as Mahavir. Aamir shows Mahavir’s strict and rigid qualities that make him a complex character. Fatima, who plays Geeta, and Sanya who plays Babita also play a great sister bond with each other throughout the movie.

If you have read this article and are thinking of watching this movie, don’t worry, it is on Netflix. Then, all you have to do is click on the subtitles and enjoy. If it is no longer on Netflix, you can probably rent the DVD. I highly recommend watching this movie. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Black Panther Movie Review

by Kathleen Tumminello

Black Panther is an amazing movie. It is one of the more stand-alone Marvel movies, but that doesn’t make it any less engaging. The actors are great, and the story is very interesting.

Plot Summary: (Warning: minor spoilers)

After his father was killed, T’Challa (Black Panther) goes to Wakanda, a hidden country in Africa. He plans to take his rightful place as king. Meanwhile, though, a villain named Klaue has stolen weapons made of Vibranium; a rare, powerful substance that is only found in Wakanda. At the same time, a new challenger for the throne appears, and he is very powerful. T’Challa has to find the stolen weapons and defend his authority at the same time.

The characters and actors are all amazing, and once again, Marvel has outdone itself with its movies. Black Panther is a must-see, and I highly recommend going to the movies to watch it. I also recommend seeing the other Marvel movies first. If you can’t, that’s okay, because it only makes a few references to the other movies. This movie made the second four-day opening in movie history, and it is the fifth largest opening of all time. Many people went to see it, so I suggest you do, too!


Once Upon a Time

by Madelyn Breves

I’m sure all of us at one point binge watched our favorite show on Netflix. It could have been anything from Stranger Things to Fuller House. If it was me, I would have watched hours of Once Upon a Time. If you haven’t watched this show, you´re missing out!

Once Upon a Time is a show about fairy tale characters, but with a twist. There are many magic spells, dark curses, secret plots, amazing actors and actresses. The main characters are Snow White/Mary Margaret, Prince Charming/David, Emma Swan, Henry, the Evil Queen/Regina, and Rumpelstiltskin/ Mr.Gold. The story starts off with a little boy who comes up to Emma’s apartment door. This boy, Henry, tells Emma about her destiny and insists for Emma to come with him to Storybrooke. Reluctantly, Emma drives there with Henry to find herself in the town. Nobody knows how they got there and why everything is changing, but Emma is there to save them.

Therefore, I highly recommend watching Once Upon a Time. It is a wonderful show that I can’t stop watching.

Stranger Things

by Ava Fischetti

Stranger Things is my favorite show! And i'm not the only one who loves it. In fact, it's the most watched series on Netflix.

If you are like me, then you felt like you were the only one who hasn't watched it and who wasn't talking about it all the time. So, I started watching it. And it was so good! The five kids, Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Noah Schnapp (Will), and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) aren't just best friends on the series, but they are really good friends off camera, too. They hang out all the time.

One of the biggest questions people have about Stranger Things is, “Is it too scary?” In my opinion, it depends on how easily frightened the person is. There are some jump scares but nothing really scary. In the beginning of the first episode, you feel like something is going to pop out, but it's not. And i almost stopped watching, but I forced myself to keep watching and it was worth it because after the first two minutes it is not scary at all.

I think the most impressive character is Millie Bobby Brown who plays the role of Eleven. She shaved her entire head just for the part! She had to do crazy things in some episodes and I think she was the perfect person to play Eleven! That's not to say the other characters aren't also plyed by amazing actors. The friendship and loyalty they have to each other is one we would all want to have.

Spoilers Ahead ⬇

Some questions people have on Stranger Things:

1. Will the Mind Flayer be the main antagonist in season three?

The last episode of season two leaves us with a cliffhanger. They closed the gate to the upside down but they didn't kill the Mind Flayer. So the Mind Flayer is still roaming around in the upside down. So we know it's still alive but can it get out?

2. Is Will Byers truly free from the mind flayer?

In season two, we figured out the Mind Flayer was actually inside Will. It seemed like the Mind Flayer was out of him because his neck and his face got all black. But is Will really back to his normal self?

3. Are there other numbers than 008 and 011?

In season two, Eleven meets Kali (Eight) her “sister.” Dr. Brenner must have captured her at birth too. But why did he pick 8 and 11. Are there numbers in between?

4. Will Eleven never be allowed to be out again?

Again, we find out in season two that Hopper was keeping Eleven in his house and wasn't telling anyone. She wasn't allowed outside. But she wanted to see Mike so she left. Now that Hopper adopted Eleven, will she still have to be hidden?

No Spoilers ⬇

So, if you were thinking about watching Stranger Things, you definitely should! You still have until around the beginning of 2019 until the third season starts.

Creative Writing

Together: Part 2

by Kathleen Tumminello

This is a sequel of “Together” on the Berner Beacon December/January issue, so you should probably read that before reading this.

I was surrounded by tall grass. Everything was dark and the sky was mostly blocked out. The parts of the sky that I could see were unnaturally dark and starless. I wandered around, trying to find a way out.

“Hello?” I asked, in a small voice. “Is anyone there?” I was answered by a hiss in the grass behind me. I whipped around, pelt bristling. A nervous growl rumbled in my throat, and my claws slid out. Suddenly, I heard the hiss again, somewhere else, and I turned towards it.

That was when I realized I was being stalked. I was being hunted, like helpless prey. I tried to suppress a shiver. “Show yourself!” I snarled.

I heard a laugh coming from the shadows in front of me, and the fur along my spine lifted. The grass rustled in front of me, and suddenly, Raggedfang lunged out with a roar. She dug her claws into my shoulders, and I let out a yelp of terror.


I woke up with a yell. I sat up, my chest heaving as I gasped for breath. Sweat beaded down my forehead, and my heart pounded in my throat. It had been two moons since Raggedfang had been exiled from the pride, but I was still tormented by nightmares and flashbacks. I could barely sleep at night knowing that she could come back. I remembered her parting words, “I will have my revenge if it is the last thing I do!”

“Nightfur! Are you okay?” Emberpelt was looking at me with a concerned expression on his face.

“I think,” I replied with a shudder.

“Another one of those nightmares again?” he asked, and I nodded. He nuzzled me, and I purred.

Savanna opened one eye, and then muttered, “Try to get some sleep. Big day tomorrow.” She was right. Tomorrow, Emberpelt, Willowleaf, Sandclaw, and Rainfall would turn three moons old. It would be time for them to start learning to hunt, and I had asked to come along. I closed my eyes and drifted back into a light, uneasy sleep.

I woke up, my fur ruffled. I rubbed my eyes with my paws. Sandclaw was curled up next to me, but nobody else was there. “Wake up!” I whispered, gently prodding him with a paw. “Everyone left!”

“Okay…” he murmured sleepily. “Wait, what?” He sat up and quickly jumped to his feet. “Do you think they went hunting without us?”

“Probably not, but they might be getting ready,” I replied. I sniffed the grass to find their scent, and limped in the direction they had gone. Sandclaw walked over and put his shoulder under mine, and I leaned against him. “Thanks,” I said.

“You’re welcome!” he replied, purring. Soon enough, we reached the others, who seemed to be waiting for us.

“What took you so long?” Rainfall jokingly growled, nudging Sandclaw’s shoulder. Poor Rainfall had felt so guilty for asking me to go exploring that night, and I felt so bad for him. But he seemed a lot better, so that was good.

“We overslept a little,” I replied. I shuddered slightly, remembering the constant nightmares. Sandclaw probably felt it, because he turned his head towards me, and looked at me with slightly concerned eyes.

“We should get going,” Savanna told us, her tail starting to twitch a little. “Those antelopes I scented earlier won’t be there forever.” Savanna had been quite weak the past few moons because of her unusually large litter of cubs. Fortunately though, she had started to gradually regain her strength again. She turned around and jumped into the grass. We followed her and saw a small group of lionesses waiting for us. Savanna murmured something to one of them and she nodded. Then, they all vanished into the grass.

I ran after them, trying to keep up, but my injured foreleg slowed me down. “Wait!” I called, but nothing happened. Luckily, Emberpelt and Sandclaw must’ve heard me, because they ran over and stood on either side of me. They pushed together, and I grunted, the breath knocked out of me.

“Sorry!” Sandclaw exclaimed apologetically.

“It’s okay,” I replied, wheezing slightly. They lifted me up, supporting my weight between them, and ran forward. I looked down, and noticed my paws skimming the grass. Soon enough, we reached the rest of the hunting party. Sandclaw stepped to the side, and Emberpelt nuzzled me before walking away.

I walked over to the lionesses, who were crouched behind some bushes, and looked up at Savanna. “Would I be able to hunt? I can’t even keep up with you because of my-”

She silenced me by gently placing a paw on my mouth. “We’re here,” she whispered. “And yes, don’t worry. You can still hunt.” I peered over the leaves, and saw a surprisingly small group of antelopes.

“Why are there so few of them?” Willowleaf asked. “I thought there was supposed to be a lot more!” She was right. There are always several hundreds of antelopes in one herd. But right now, there was only about ten.

“These ones have split apart from the herd that we usually follow,” Savanna told her. “Our hunting grounds are a half-day’s travel from the watering hole in all directions. Lucky for us, We’ve been following this herd for years, and they’ve never really strayed from that border.”

“Let’s go!” Rainfall suddenly exclaimed. He was just about to jump out of the cover of bushes, but I grabbed him by his scruff and gently pulled him back.

“We have to wait a little,” I whispered. “We’ll probably have to surround them before we jump out like that.”

“Nightfur’s right,” Savanna murmured. “We’ll have to split into two groups. Sandclaw, Rainfall, and Willowleaf, you go with Acacia and Tawnyfur. Emberpelt, you’ll come with me, Nightfur, and Swiftclaw.” We split into the two groups. I knew this hunting technique like the back of my paw. We would wait while the other group would go to the other side of the prey. They would then chase them right into our claws.

Tawnyfur nodded at Rainfall, Willowleaf and Sandclaw, and flicked her tail as a gesture to follow. Soon enough, the five lions vanished into the grass. Savanna turned to Emberpelt. “When you attack, you have to jump onto the prey and aim for the throat. If you can’t, try to at least draw blood.”

Emberpelt nodded, and turned towards the antelopes, who were blindly grazing, oblivious to the grass rustling at the far end of the clearing. Suddenly, with a roar, the other group of lions burst out of their cover, and leapt at the prey. Their heads shot up in alarm, and they were chased towards us.

Now!” Savanna exclaimed. We all ran out, causing the antelopes to skid to a halt. A few of them started running away, and Emberpelt was about to chase after them.

“Leave them,” I muttered. “They’ll go back to the herd. They always do.” Meanwhile, the other lions were attacking. Emberpelt jumped up onto an antelope and bit down hard on its neck. It collapsed to the ground within seconds, and I watched, gaping.

“How did you do that?!” I asked. I’ve never heard of such a young cub making a kill like that on their first hunt! But he had turned away and was helping the others. I fixed my eyes on one of the antelopes and bunched my muscles to pounce. I yelped as I jumped up, pain suddenly shooting through my right foreleg. I landed on the antelope’s side, and it ran around, trying to dislodge me. I tried to hold on, but I was flung off. As I went flying, I slashed it with the claws on my forepaws, but surprisingly, only the ones on my right forepaw made the deepest gashes. As I landed onto the ground, I flexed those claws, and realized that they were really sharp.

Soon enough, we had killed five antelope. Each of the older lionesses dragged one behind them, and the last one was taken by me and my siblings. We all took a rest, and Savanna walked over to us.

“Great job on your first hunt,” she purred. Then, she leaned close to Emberpelt. “You’re a natural hunter!” she whispered, so that only he and I could hear it.

I walked over to him. “She’s right, you are a great hunter!” Then, we continued on our walk home. By the time we got back, the sun had reached its peak, and its rays were beating down on our backs. We took a drink from a small stream that trickled nearby. We all ate, and soon enough, the sky was splashed with orange, and a star or two flickered dimly. We curled up next to Savanna and Thunderclaw like we did every night and my siblings drifted off into sleep.

But I was still awake. I flexed my claws, looking at how the ones on my right forepaw looked sharper. I looked at the other lions, and they were all asleep. I quietly snuck away from them and towards a nearby acacia tree. I stood on my hind legs and put my forepaws on the trunk. I started to score my claws down the tree. I suppressed a yowl of pain as the tips of a few claws on my left forepaw snapped off. As I was licking my paw, I noticed that my right claws left deeper gashes than the left ones. They must not only be sharper, I thought, but they’re also stronger! I looked at my claws, thinking about how none of the right claws broke. I walked back towards the others, curled up next to Emberpelt, and fell asleep.


I was walking through a large patch of thorns. I didn’t know why, but for some reason, I felt that I had to get to the other side. But the prickly plants kept tripping me, and kept snagging in my pelt. Each time I took a step, little bits of black fur were torn and left behind me. Suddenly, my legs stopped moving. I tried to take a step, but nothing happened. I felt a sharp pain in my ankles, and I looked down. The spiny tendrils were wrapping around my feet. I tried to bite them off, but the thorns stabbed my muzzle, and poked near my eyes. Suddenly, I was being dragged backward. I clawed at the ground, desperately trying to pull myself away, but it was no use.

The vines stopped pulling, but they were still wrapped tightly around my ankles. I looked forward and saw a dark figure stalking towards me. I continued to struggle, but I couldn’t escape. Suddenly, one of the thorny vines started wrapping around my torso. They started to constrict me, more and more each time I took a breath. I started to panic. The figure came closer. The vines squeezed tighter. The thing in front of me seemed to be the shadowy silhouette of a lioness with gleaming eyes. She bared her razor-sharp fangs in a throaty snarl. Suddenly, a prickly vine launched itself at me and wrapped around my neck. It, and the ones around my belly and chest, gave a sudden, crushing squeeze. I sank to my knees with a gasp.


My eyes shot open, and I realized with a jolt that I was still a bit short of breath. I turned my head, and saw Sandclaw, laying on top of me. I sighed in relief, and pushed him off. He didn’t wake up, or show any sign that he noticed, and I gave a quiet snort of amusement. I crawled forward, nestling myself in between him and Willowleaf. I rested my head on her back, and her slow, steady breathing lulled me into sleep…

To be concluded...

The Grim River

by Victor Paduano

Chapter 2: Death Guard On Duty

While Alyssa McCannon was driving the family’s sleek grey minivan to the county hall, James stared out into the rows of trees and bushes, the sun beaming on his face with radiant energy. “What’s wrong?” Liam asked, noticing James’s quiet demeanor.

James turned around. “Nothing…” he said. “Come on, dude,” Liam responded, “Knowing you, there’s gotta be something you’re stressed out about.”

“Fine,” James said, “I’ll tell you.” He took a deep, long breath. “I’m worried that the county will believe that we’re just joking about destroying the river. You know, thinking that we’re just silly kids in our own little world of imagination and make-pretend.”

“Don’t worry, James,” Alyssa said, “Liam told me everything about your plan, and I actually agree with you two. A nasty place, that river. Nothing but a pile of swampy moss and thrown-away Pepsi cans. Destroying it will benefit this town.”

James nodded. “Glad you agree, Mrs. McCannon.” Alyssa chuckled softly.

When the trio arrived at the county hall, there was a strange feeling in James’s stomach. He was used to talking to guys and girls in formal clothing (Steve Pollick, his father, and his coworkers, did work for the county, after all), but this was different. He would be talking to a stranger, or two, or even ten. His anxiety was at its peak.

As the trio walked inside, several men watched them intensely. One man with a gruff beard stared at them with such hatred that James winced at the sight of him.

“Hold it right there!” a security guard with a bushy brown mustache that covered his mouth and pitch-black shades said, “Where do you think you’re going, lady?”

“My son and his friend need to consult the county about something that happened in the town’s river,” Alyssa said assertively.

“Show me your driver’s license,” the guard demanded. Alyssa reached into her beige purse, pulled out her license, and handed it over to the guard. His mustache dipped into a frowning position. “Sorry, lady,” the guard said, “I can’t let you in.”

“Why not?” Alyssa asked.

The guard glanced at Liam’s Nirvana shirt with disgust. “It’s your son’s shirt. It’s not appropriate to wear around this kind of place.”

Alyssa clenched her fists. “This is crazy!” she shouted, “Just because he’s wearing a shirt of his favorite band doesn't mean we can’t talk to the county!”

The guard pointed to the entrance of the hall. “There’s the door, lady.”

James never saw Alyssa this angry. “Come on, kids,” she said, “Let’s get back to the car.”

"I just don’t get it!” James said. “Why the heck did that guard not let you guys in?”

“Some people in this town don’t have any brains,” Liam said.

“Don’t you mean they’re against shirts like that, Liam?” Alyssa responded.

“I guess you’re right on that, Momma.” Liam said.

“I never understood the town’s hatred towards goth kids who wear shirts like that,” Alyssa exclaimed while pointing at Liam’s shirt, “They say it leads to ‘juvenile delinquency’. In fact, county executives say that since the amount of kids who have started to grow attached to the goth lifestyle has increased, they now consider it to be an ‘epidemic’.”

“Okay, that’s just stupid.” James said.

“I agree,” Alyssa said, “I mean, let the kids like what they like! It’s not like they committed murder or anything...they just like different things than others, that’s all.”

“And why in the world do they have such a problem with kids like that?”

“Personal vendettas, maybe. Or perhaps just a simple bias. Either way, this town can be ridiculous sometimes.”

“Amen to that,” Liam said humorously.

Alyssa decided to drop off James earlier than intended at the Pollick household. After all, it was getting dark when James finally got home.

To his parents’ surprise, James immediately went to his small bedroom to get a good night’s sleep. Hearing the ignorant guard’s thoughts on the McCannons were enough to tire him out.

At around 1:00 AM, when Steve and Jane Pollick were fast asleep, James was awakened by a strange noise coming from his closet. It sounded like someone was gently tapping their fingernails on the door. He stayed in his bed, eyes closed, and tried to ignore this noise, but it got louder.

James opened his eyes. The late summer moonlight struck upon his pale face. The noise got louder once more. With his curiosity now peaked, he got out of his made slowly and quietly walked his way to the closet.

The sound steadily turned into knocking. James’s forehead started to sweat. There was someone...or something...was hidden in that closet, waiting for the time to strike.

Suddenly, the knocking stopped. Relieved, James made his way to his bed, thinking he was just hearing things. Then, without warning, a deafening banging sound came from the door.

James jumped. He couldn’t believe what he just heard. To see if this was all just a dream, he now tiptoed his way to the door. The banging grew louder and louder every instant.

He reached for the doorknob, his hand shaking and face covered sweat. He grabbed the knob quickly and opened the door. Nothing was inside the closet.

James smiled. It was all a dream… he thought, All...a… He then felt something weird and liquidy on his feet. He looked down and saw a large pool of crimson blood, which emerged from the closet. In it, he saw a pair of large, fiery eyes. A webbed, swamp-green arm revealed itself from the pool, blood dripping from its fingers.

James, with his hand still on the knob, slammed the door shut, and ran to his parents’ room, leaving a trail of bloody footprints behind him.

As soon as he walked into the room, he turned on the lights and shouted, “MOM!!! DAD!!! THERE’S A MONSTER IN MY CLOSET, AND IT TRIED TO KILL ME!!!”

Both of his parents got up from their bed. His father looked cross.

“James, there’s no such thing as monsters, and there’s definitely not one in your closet! Now go back to bed!”

“Please Dad, believe me!” He showed his father his feet. “My feet are bloody, see?”

“There’s no blood on your foot.” His father exclaimed.

James was shocked. They couldn’t see the blood? How?

“James, please,” his mother replied, “Go back to bed.”

“Fine,” James said with sadness.

He walked back to his room, his body sulking. It was hard for him to sleep that night, but before he fell into a slumber, he heard a terrifying voice chant, “We will find you.”

A few weeks later, the first day of school arrived, increasing James’s anxiety. Not only was he still scarred from the closet incident (and was terrified to reach into it when he had to pick out his clothes), but he now had to start eighth grade which, according to most of the kids in his neighborhood, was one of the hardest grades in the school curriculum.

Luckily, the school he was attending, Orange Hill Junior High, was near his house, so his mother drove him to school. “Good luck,” she said to her son as he left her Lexus SC300, “And don’t be afraid. Today’s going to be fine.”

“Okay,” James responded, “Bye.”

When his mother left, James took a long look at his school, and it was as beautiful as he remembered.

It was a large school, clad with a crisp, ghost white color, and a large flagpole on the very top of the school. In many ways, the school looked like a replica of the Capitol Building, though on a much smaller scale.

“Hey, James!” A familiar voice called. James turned to his right to find Liam, a neon blue sling bag around his shoulder that contrasted with his Miami Heat jersey. “Oh, hey Liam,” James said, “What’s up?”

“Nothin’ much.” Liam responded, “How ‘bout you?” James didn’t know what to say. He wanted to tell Liam so badly, but telling him in front of over a hundred kids would make him look like he’s crazy.

“I’ll...tell you later.” James said.

“Alrighty then,” Liam said, “Let’s get a move on!”

“Where d’ya think you’re going, Goth Boy?” Liam and James turned around. A tall kid with slicked back, greasy black hair, and a Harley-Davidson jacket was standing in front of them, along with a couple of his friends, who were around the same height, but with different hair styles.

Liam shook his head. “Brady,” Liam said, “What do you want from us?”

Brady Reiss neared closer towards the pair. “I heard your friend Tobias died recently,” Brady said, “Was he really that stupid to just jump into the Grim River and drown like that?”

“He didn’t drown!” James fired back, “Something in that river killed him!”

Brady chuckled. “You think I believe that bologna, Pollick? You and Mister Goth here both know that Tobias died because he was an idiot. To be honest, I’m glad that loser is dead. He deserved it.”

“YOU SADISTIC DEMON!” James shouted. He tried to lunge at Brady, but Liam was able to hold him back.

“Come on,” Liam said, “Let’s get to class.”

As the duo walked into the school, Brady gave a sly smirk while pondering his revenge. “Next time, boys,” he said to his lackeys, “We’ll make sure they regret ever being born.”

At the sound of the first morning bell, Liam and James headed to their lockers and went to their first period class, which took about six minutes to carry out.

“It’s a shame that Tobias will never be in these hallways ever again.” James said to Liam during the walk to class.

Big shame.” Liam responded.

“You know,” James exclaimed, “There’s people like Brady that I hate the most in this world. I just don’t understand why he calls you that insulting nickname all the time!”

“It’s alright, man,” Liam said, “Momma, Papa, and I have been called worse names before."

The first day of school was a breeze for the pair, but it was ninth period gym that was truly bizarre.

James had always been slow when it came to changing clothes, so it was a surprise to no one that he was the last when to finish changing in the locker room. However, when James put all of his clothes into his top locker and was about to go into the gym, he heard a clicking sound.

The door of his locker had been unlocked.

He turned towards the door, shaking immensely. The door slowly but surely opened itself. At first, there was nothing but darkness, but then, a glowing pair of ruby red eyes appeared in the shadows.

James staggered back. The eyes were the exact same arched shape as those in his closet.

He also heard the same chillingly deep voice say, “Join us...

As the voice continued to repeat this phrase, a pair of long arms, which were the same swamp-green color as he saw them on that faithful late August night, grabbed him by the waist.

He tried to release himself from the ever-tightening hold of the arms, but it was no use.

The arms lifted him towards the open space of the locker door, the eyes growing brighter with every slight movement. They were able to lift James’s body directly into the blinding light of the eyes.

Then, everything went black…


Trials: Part One

by Erin Tumminello

Everything happened so fast. My entire life... changed in 24 hours or less. But the thing is, if you have abilities, special abilities, you need to watch your back. Keep your family near you. Stay safe, and never, never ever EVER go anywhere alone.

I’m sorry. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about. I tend to skip around when I’m stressed. I need to start from the beginning…

The car followed me as I walked down the street from the bus stop. I’d never seen it before. It was a sleek black Lamborghini-like vehicle, but there was no logo or license plate. The windows and windshield were tinted, and I thought I could see the silhouette of a man inside.

I began to walk faster. My long black hair whipped me in the face each time I turned around. And each time, the car was closer.

I turned a corner, a random corner, and broke into a run. I would’ve ditched the backpack, but I had stupidly stuffed my phone in there, and if I got rid of it, whoever was in that car could use it to track me down. So there I was, running at only half of my top speed, with a huge Jansport bag thumping against my butt.

The car was hauntingly silent, so I didn’t hear it as it came around the corner behind me. I stopped to catch my breath, and it pulled up next to me.

Crud!” I hissed. I sprinted onto another street and dove into a hedge. I covered my mouth so I wouldn’t scream as a huge spider dropped onto my shoulder and climbed down my arm. I sat there for what seemed like hours. I wasn’t entirely sure if the car was gone or not. I slowly peeked out through the leaves. Whoever it was had left. I crept out and looked at what street I was on. I sighed. I had gone two blocks in the wrong direction.

As I walked, clouds began to block out the setting sun. Before I knew it, I was caught in the middle of a complete and absolute downpour.

“Perfect…” I said through gritted teeth.

“Mom, I’m home!” I called. There was no answer. Her Jeep wasn’t in the driveway, either. I shrugged and went up to my room to change my clothes, which were sopping wet. I came back downstairs to start my homework.

I nearly died with relief as I opened my backpack to see that everything inside of it was perfectly dry. I was completely drenched, but my books and folders and phone and computer didn’t have a drop on them. I don’t know how that happened, but frankly, I didn’t care.

I was trying to factor “25x-9” when there was a KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. I nearly jumped out of my skin. I wasn’t allowed to answer the phone or the door when I was home alone, so I ignored it and went back to my algebra. The knocking came again, louder and more demanding this time. I muttered a curse and creeped up the stairs to look out the window in my parents’ room, which faced the front of the house. I inched the blinds up ever so slightly and put my eyes right up to the windowsill.

My stomach did a triple flip when I saw the black car parked in my driveway.

I practically slid down the stairs, trying to stay as low as possible. I took my backpack and homework and stuffed them under my couch. I grabbed my phone and computer and crawled back upstairs. I went into the bathroom. It had no windows and was safer than any other room I could think of. I locked the door and climbed into the bathtub.

I closed the curtain and pressed my body to the bottom and tried to calm down. That man didn’t know for certain that I was in here… right?

I spent the next few minutes in complete silence. I barely breathed.

I choked back a sob as I heard the sounds of a lock being picked. Suddenly, I whipped out a phone and started to text my mom.

When I got off the bus there was a car following me and now the person who was in the car is trying to get into the house and if something happens to me I just want to say that I love you and Dad and please tell my friends tha-

“What the heck!” I heard someone yell. I heard people outside get into a heated argument. I couldn’t catch everything that they were saying, but this is what I got:

“...My house…”




“...nothing wrong with…”

The door crashed open. “Marissa, are you ok?!” My mom called frantically.

“I’m here!” I answered. I deleted the would-be text and came downstairs.

“Are you hurt?”

“No, I’m-”

“Tell me everything that happened. Now.” I was taken aback by my mom’s urgency. I knew she wasn’t mad, but…

“Is everything ok?” I asked. Her long moment of hesitation scared me.

“Yes,” she finally breathed, “everything is fine. Now please tell me what happened.”

I explained the whole thing, starting with the first time I saw the car. My mom nodded occasionally and never broke eye contact with me. After I told my story, she said,

“I’m driving you to school tomorrow.”

The next morning, my mom grabbed my arm as I climbed out of the car.

“Stay safe. No matter where you go, keep someone with you. And if you see that car again, you are going to run. As fast as you can. When you get to the point where you can’t go any farther, keep running.”

“Is something going on?” I half asked, half yelled.

“Everything is fine. I’m going to be at work a bit late today so you’re walking home with Elena today.”

“Um…” I felt like she knew more than she was letting on.

“I talked with her dad. You’re going to her house after school.”


My mom blew me a kiss and drove away. I walked inside and went to my locker.

“I am going to fail social studies,” Elena laughed. Of all people to walk home with, I’m glad it was her. We had barely been friends, we just met this September, at the start of ninth grade. But we grew close almost instantly.

“Relax, it’s only November!” I affectionately nudged her forearm with my elbow.

I breathed in the crisp autumn air. The newly fallen leaves crunched under our sneakers. Suddenly, Elena cried out in pain.

I whipped around. “What happened?!” My friend had her hand on her neck. She pulled out something sharp and winced.

“It seems to be some sort of dart…” she said, studying it. Then she collapsed abruptly.

“El? EL!” I looked around to see if there was anyone around. My eyes came to rest on a vehicle. A black car. The black car. I gasped. I locked my arms around Elena’s armpits and tried to drag her. Suddenly, something pierced my arm. I fell to my hands and knees. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t scream, speak, or even breathe. Then I went unconscious.

I woke up to find that I was hanging upside down. A rope was wrapped tightly around my ankles, scratching and digging into my skin. I was in a very small room. Each wall was about three feet away from me. Where… am I?

A group of hooded figures walked in.

“Who are you? Why am I here? What do you want with me?” I asked, my voice raised in panic. They didn’t answer. Instead, they just murmured among themselves. One of them left and returned with a huge needle. My insides twisted at the sight of it; I knew that it was meant for me.

“Wait-” I began. But one of them seized my arm with a gloved hand. I let out a small grunt of pain as their fingers dug into me. I gritted my teeth and drew in a sharp breath as the needle went into the opposite side of my elbow. I watched as it filled up with blood, my blood. What were they doing with it? I thought, though I knew the answer; Nothing good.

They left the room, and I heard the metallic slam of a heavy door being shut. Am I going to be trapped here?! I thought with despair. Suddenly, water poured down from somewhere above me. My head was only about a foot from the floor. If the water got high enough, I’d drown. And even worse, the water was boiling. I didn’t know what to do. I began to breathe heavier and I became lightheaded. I didn’t know what to do or how to escape. In just moments, the scalding hot water would reach me…

The steam flew up into my face, blinding me. But I could sense that the water was only three inches from getting to me… two… one…

I squeezed my eyes shut and braced myself.

But I felt nothing. About a minute passed. I slowly opened my eyes. I was speechless. It seemed unreal. I don’t know how to explain it, but I’ll try my best. Basically, it was like I was in an air bubble. The water had filled up the room, but there none around me. It was like an invisible, oval-shaped force-field was surrounding me.

“How is this happening?” I whispered, though I knew nobody could hear me. Then, the water drained away through small holes in the floor. The door opened behind me, and I was hit by the same kind of dart as before, and I soon lost consciousness.

When I opened my eyes, I was in some sort of cell. The walls were made of concrete, and there was a set of bars which must have been a door. I was wearing some sort of dark jumpsuit with a raggedy gray... shirt? It was on top of the jumpsuit. I had shackles on my wrists, ankles, chest, neck, and abdomen, which were all chained to the floor.

“Are you okay?” a hoarse voice asked. I turned to my right, where it was coming from. There was a girl about my age, also chained up and wearing the same outfit as me. She had short red hair that didn’t go down past her ears and bright teal eyes that were staring at me with concern.

“I think so…” I mumbled. “What happened?” The girl looked at me.

“You have powers,” she said.

What? Like the X-Men?”

The girl laughed for what seemed like the first time in a while. “Well, more specifically, you have telekinesis. You can move things with your mind, sometimes without even knowing or trying. I can, too. So can everyone else here.” Her face was grim again. “That’s why we’ve been captured.”

“So that must explain why the water never touched me…” And why the stuff in my backpack didn’t get wet in the rain… I added to myself. “Wait, captured? Who captured us?”

“There’s a secret society that works here. They call themselves ‘The Pure.’ Basically, they want to rid the world of people like us.”

I nodded. There was a long pause. The silence made me anxious, so I attempted to strike up a conversation by introducing myself.

“I’m Marissa, by the way.”

“I’m Robin. I would shake your hand, but...” she looked at her hands, which were chained behind her back like mine.

“Wait, Robin... Benson?”


“You went to my school. You were on the news last month because you went…”

“Missing.” she finished my sentence. I remembered her now. She was a grade above me and the first girl on the school football team. I remembered her always smiling face and slightly muscular frame. But now she looked gaunt and fragile and just… miserable. “It’s been that long?” she murmured.

“Wait… if we have powers, we can just escape, can’t we?”

“NO!” Robin shouted. “You can’t. I don’t know what kind of technology these people have, but if you use your powers, these,” she gestured to the shackles, “will tighten, and they’ll crush you. I broke a rib because of them, and I was considered lucky.” She looked me in the eyes, and I could see the fear and pain in hers. “You can never use your powers in here, or you will die.”

“I guess there’s no escape then…” I whispered. Robin closed her eyes and nodded slowly. A tear rolled down her face.

It had been days since I had been brought here… I think. Time started to become a blur. But today, there was a lot more activity going on. Multiple “Purists,” as we called them, passed by our cell.

“That’s weird.” Robin said, echoing my thoughts. Then, one stopped outside of our cell. They tossed something small and round in between us.

“Grenade!” I shrieked.

“No it’s not! Hold your breath!” Robin yelled as a gas started to hiss out of the object. It was too late. I already breathed it in. I began to cough as it went into my body. My eyes, throat, and lungs burned. I sank to the floor, wheezing. Everything went dark.

I was sitting up when I came to. I was in some sort of metal chair, and my wrists were cuffed to the “armrests.” Robin was sitting next to me, struggling. I could only see a few feet in either direction, but I could tell that there were tons of other people in here, and in the same situation that the two of us were in. Then I heard a booming voice come over some sort of loudspeaker. Robin looked at me with terror as we heard the words,


To be continued...

My Wonderland

By Abigail Block

I saunter through the flowers

They are blood red,

Lavender purple,

Deep Blue,

Rolling upon the hills

A palace atop the valley,

Windows shimmering in the sun,

A portal to another realm,

I can see the hedges dancing in the wind

Strolling into the courtyard

A warm smile lights up my face

My best friend


dancing, with me

to the wondrous tea party

This is my favorite time

Tea time,

We have a merry time




Drip drop, drip drop,

I can hear the profound pitter patter,

The rain weakens the rush of sweet tea


We keep chatting,



Until my friends become


that we return to the manor promptly

I realize something is awry,

These are not my friends

We bound to the palace

Like a bee racing toward the hive,

In the midst of this

I snap out

My smile melts away

Replaced by a somber frown

I should be joyous,

I’m not

My mind went away

Rolling and strolling

I wish I did not not have to,

Tumbling and stumbling back into reality

Away from My Wonderland


Cute and Easy Valentine's Day Treats

by Olivia Kenney

Treat 1: Chocolate Strawberry Hearts

What you´ll need:

-Milk chocolate chips


-A knife (Be careful!)

-Red sparkly icing

-Tooth picks

-A microwave

Step 1: Wash the strawberries under warm water.

Step 2: Cut the strawberry in half, but cut a little more on one side to achieve that heart shape.

Step 3: Stick a toothpick on each side to make a heart shape and to join together.

Step 4: Melt the white chocolate and the milk chocolate chips in the microwave.

Step 5: Color the melted white chocolate with red food coloring.

Step 6: Dip the strawberry heart into the melted milk chocolate.

Step 7: Freeze the dipped strawberries for 15-20 minutes.

Step 8: Take out the dipped strawberries and drizzle the food colored-chocolate onto the strawberries.

Step 9: Freeze the strawberries again for 15-20 minutes.


Treat 2: Heart Rice Krispie Treats

What you´ll need:

-Homemade rice krispie treats (or store bought)

-Vanilla icing

-Heart sprinkles

-A heart shaped cookie cutter

-Cake pop sticks

Step 1: Make Rice Krispies Treats as usual (or just buy them), and them cut them into heart shapes with the cookie cutter.

Step 2: Place the cake pop stick into the Rice Krispies Treat towards the bottom of the heart.

Step 3: Spread the vanilla icing on to the Rice Krispies Treats.

Step 4: Sprinkle on the heart sprinkles and enjoy!

Treat 3: Cupid's Arrows

What you´ll need:

-Heart-shaped gummies

-Pretzel sticks

Step 1: Stick the gummies on to the ends of the pretzel sticks and enjoy!

Treat 4: Heart Fruit Kebabs

What you´ll need:

-Small bamboo skewers

-A small heart-shaped cookie cutter

-Apples and a watermelon

-A vegetable peeler

-A knife

Step 1: Peel both the apples and the watermelon (optional: cut a portion of the watermelon).

Step 2: Cut the peeled fruits into multiple slices, about a ½ inch thick.

Step 3: Cut multiple hearts of both fruits.

Step 4: Put them onto the skewer and enjoy!

Treat 5: Dipped and Decorated Pretzels

What you´ll need:

-Pretzels (twists and sticks)

-Different types of sprinkles

-White chocolate

-A microwave

Step 1: Melt the white chocolate for about 15-20 seconds.

Step 2: Dip the pretzels into the melted white chocolate.

Step 3: While still wet, dip or sprinkle the sprinkles onto the chocolate pretzels.


Credits for the chocolate strawberry hearts goes to! Have a delicious Valentine's Day!


by Sofia Santigo


  1. What can travel around the world but stay in a corner?

  2. In a one-story pink house, there was a pink person, a pink cat, a pink fish, a pink computer, a pink chair, a pink table, a pink telephone, a pink shower– everything was pink. What color were the stairs?

  3. What has hands but can not clap?

  4. What starts with the letter “t,” ends with the letter “t,” and is filled with “t”?

  5. Your parents knock on your door and you wake up. You brush your teeth, change into your clothes and eat breakfast. What do you do first?

  6. A man took a walk outside. It started to rain. The main did not have an umbrella and he was not wearing a hat. His clothes got soaked but not a single hair on his head got wet. How could this happen?

  7. What belongs to you but others use it more than you do?

  8. A boy was rushed to the hospital emergency room. The ER doctor saw the boy and said, “I cannot operate on this boy. He is my son.” But the doctor was not the boy’s father. Who was it?

  9. What can run but can't walk?

  10. If an electric train is going west at 60 miles an hour and there is a strong easterly wind, which way does the smoke from the train drift?

  11. Mr. Brown has four daughters. Each of his daughters has a brother. How many children does Mr. Brown have?

  12. I am an odd number. If you take away a letter, then I become an even number. What number am I?

  13. What do the numbers 11, 69, and 88 have in common?

  14. How do you throw a ball as hard as you can and have it come back to you if you don't throw it off a surface?

  15. Two girls have the same parents and were born at the same hour of the same day of the same month, but they are not twins. How can this be possible?

  16. Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it you die. What is it?

  17. A boy fell off of a tall 20 meter ladder; however, he did not get hurt. How is that so?

  18. What never asks question but is usually answered?

  19. Imagine that you are in a room with no windows or doors or any way out. Water starts to fill the room. How would you get out?

  20. What invention lets you look right through a wall?

  21. A woman is sitting in her hotel room and there is a knock at the door. She opens the door to see a man whom she had never seen before. He said "oh I'm sorry, I have made a mistake, I thought this was my room." He then went down the corridor and in the elevator. The woman went back into her room and phoned security. What made the woman so suspicious of the man?


  1. A stamp

  2. There were no stairs, it's an one-story house.

  3. A clock

  4. A teapot

  5. Open the door for your parents

  6. The man was bald

  7. Your name

  8. His mother

  9. A drop of water

  10. no smoke comes from an electric train

  11. He has 5 children, and all of the daughters have the same 1 brother.

  12. Seven

  13. They read the same number upside down and right side up.

  14. You throw the ball up in the air.

  15. They were not born the same year.

  16. Nothing

  17. He fell of the bottom step.

  18. The doorbell

  19. Stop imagining

  20. A window

  21. You don't knock on your own hotel door and so the woman was suspicious.

Big picture
by Kathleen Tumminello
Big picture
by Erin Tumminello
Big picture
by Teresa Greene

Just for Parents

Navigating the Digital Berner: IOS 11

by Aidan Moody

In my last article, I told all of the parents how to navigate the platform that is Parent Portal, and it received great feedback. Now I am back, not with a website, but rather an Apple update That most kids are using and even you might be using as well. So enough with the introduction, on this edition of, “Navigating the Digital Berner,” I will be covering IOS 11.

*Disclaimer* I will not be including the technology behind these features. Only the features themselves.

What is IOS 11?

IOS 11 is the new big Apple software update. It contains new features that can be used on the Iphone 6, 6+, SE, and is preinstalled on any Iphone 7, 7+, 8, 8+, and X. Most have to do with the 3D touch that I will be explaining in a bit, but there are more features too.

3D touch

3D touch allows you to do specific things determined by the strength you use to push on the screen. It is mostly used in the home screen. By pushing down on apps, you can use shortcuts. It only works for the apps it gives you and not any you download. For example, you can press down on the IMessage app to immediately go to one of three contacts that you have texted recently. You can do this with some certain apps that are not installed as well, like YouTube. It also allows for different game mechanics to be made in downloadable games from the app store.

New Customization and Smarter Siri

There is also a smarter Siri that comes with IOS 11. It can translate English into Chinese, Spanish, and a few more. It also knows more facts and processes faster. Along with that, there are new settings in the Settings app. I will not be covering them individually, because that is something you can discover on your own, but you should definitely check them out. Apple makes it so that you have full customization in your device. I'm not sponsored.

Other Features

When you swipe up from the bottom screen, it will reveal your control center. This can be used to quickly get to certain settings you want to change. You can change which features you want and what y don’t by going to settings and then control center. Contacts have had a slight change in them, and you can now send texts with effects by typing the text, using the 3D touch on the send button, and then selecting the effect you want. The camera now has new features, and a burst photo where you hold down the photo button, and instead of taking individual photos, it takes one stop motion-like burst. It also has many new filters. You can screen record, edit your screenshots, and much more.

That is pretty much it. There are some other features, but once you are logged in to the system you should be able to figure them out for yourself. Just remember to have fun, and read the next article of, “Navigating the Digital Berner” that will be featured in the article released at the start of May.

Navigating the Digital Berner: How to Haiku

by Aidan Moody

Congratulations, you are getting two "Navigating the Digital Berner" articles in one edition. Truly a rare sight. This may be a shorter article than the rest, but it is still more articles than usual. So without further ado, this article of Navigating the Digital Berner is all about Haiku.

What is Haiku?

Haiku is a Website that the Massapequa School District uses to provide students with links to websites, past lessons and homework assignments, and to give reminders and due dates to students. Every class and club has a Haiku page, and every student uses it. It can also be used by parents as well.

Getting Logged On

You will want to click this link that will take you right to the login page.

Then you will use your google Google account or your child's G Suite or username to log on by using the Username/Password login. Then you should be logged in to the home page. It will display a row of tabs on the left, and a calendar and announcements widget in the middle. This is the home page. The home page displays some recent announcements.

What Can I Do With This?

You can do a lot of things with this website. For example, you can email the teachers by going to their personal page and finding the email button. You can also keep track of what assignments are coming up and what is due. This can be used to make sure your child is doing the work if you already know what the homework is. Teachers have full control of their pages and frequently update it to satisfy the needs of the students. Speaking of students, they are the main users of the website. They use this website to find homeworks assignments and missing assignments. Many teachers require students to use this tool. Haiku is as vital to the student as is a pencil.

There are tons of other features, but those are really for the students. Just remember to have fun, and read the next article of “Navigating the Digital Berner” that is released at the start of May.

Who's That Tiny Teacher? Answers

Teacher 1: Ms. Kenny Didamo

Teacher 2: Ms. Shehada

Teacher 3: Mr. Lukaschek

Teacher 4: Mr. Rath

Teacher 5: Mr. Viola

Teacher 6: Ms. Ostapow

Teacher 7: Ms. Kollar

Teacher 8: Mr. Severson

Teacher 9: Mr. Fiorentine