The Wren Hurricane
THE CHRISTMAS EDITION
A CHRISTMAS CLASSIC
By: Armando Jimenez and Jacob Blackstock
If you're looking for the perfect movie for this Christmas season, look no further.
Today we would like to recommend a Christmas classic, Home Alone. The movie was a box office success, and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and receives televised reruns every year during the late fall and early winter seasons.
The McCAllister family lives in Winnetka, Illinois, with their sons and daughters, and most importantly, 8 year old Kevin McAllister, played by Macaulay Culkin. After his brothers and sisters ridicule him, he makes a wish that his parents and siblings would disappear. He suddenly gets his wish when the family accidentally leaves him at home while they go on vacation to Paris for Christmas. For a few days, he enjoys his time alone in the house, but soon realizes he has to fend off two criminals trying to break into the house, Harry and Marv, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. He also has to deal with his next door neighbor, Marley, who was rumored to have killed his family in 1958 with a snow shovel.
Home Alone is a light-hearted comedy that anyone can enjoy. It shows that even though burglars are trying to break into their home, Kevin is able to keep his cool and has hope because it is Christmas time. And we can see that Kevin can shut down these burglars with ease. It teaches us about family, as well, because Kevin’s mother was willing to do anything to get back to him when she realized that he was not with them. Overall, the movie is enjoyable and a great watch.
SPECIAL EDITOR'S NOTE: If you don't watch Christmas Vacation this holiday season, you are creating a hole in your heart that you will never, ever be able to fill.
BEST SINGERS IN THE DISTRICT...AND THE STATE...AND THE WORLD?
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN SING?
By: Ashley Goss and Abby Rutledge
BEST SINGER IN THE DISTRICT is a singing competition between students in various districts across the state. District winners then move on to compete in a statewide competition.
WREN IS HOME to the FIRST and SECOND place state winners, Luke Smith and Emily Schultz. Both Luke and Emily are dedicated, hardworking, passionate singers who put a lot of time into preparing for this competition.
EMILY is a sophomore here at Wren High School. Her passion for singing began back when she was in seventh grade. When preparing for this competition, Emily practiced everyday for at least an hour. She decided on joining this competition for more experience in the singing field. Emily also shared that one day she hopes she can have a career in the singing field. Emily’s song of choice was “Don’t Rain on My Parade” by Funny Girl, won her first runner-up. Emily was happy to hear of her placement because, as she shared, “I thought I did badly. I thought I messed up.”
LUKE is a senior here at Wren High School. His passion for music began in the fourth grade upon learning to play guitar. Before the competition, Luke put in many hours of practice to be the best he could be. He thought it would be a fun experience to compete against other talented individuals; to his surprise, he won first place with the song “The Ride” by David Allan Coe.
BEHIND THE CURTAINS gathered dozens of nervous singers, ready for the spotlight. Emily described the competition as “very formal, very straightforward, and they told you where to go and made you feel comfortable.” Luke recalled the competition's intensity saying, “You’re competing against so many different people from so many different age groups.”
ADVICE FOR ASPIRING MUSICIANS? Luke says, “Don’t get discouraged and keep practicing.” Emily advises, “Do and try your best and don’t be nervous.” Congratulations to Wren’s very own Emily Schultz and Luke Smith!
THE COOLEST TEACHER AT WREN?
By: Tania Young
Ms. Courtney Samuel, who teaches Physical Science and is the student council adviser, has big plans for this year. When asked about her upcoming plans, she responded with, “I want to help motivate my students to take ownership in their own learning, and for them to want to learn and figure out things about science that they never have learned before.” Many Wren students describe Ms. Samuel as one of the “cooler” teachers. We asked her how she felt about this comment and she said “I wouldn’t say I am the coolest teacher, but I do believe I can relate to students because I am younger. I understand what they’re going through at this age, and I can help them get through any issues they’re having.”
Her main goal for the next semester is to prepare her students for sophomore year. Being a freshmen means you get to have that AE class in the mornings to help makeup work and get things done. She wants them to be really prepared as a 10th grader.
In her free time, Ms. Samuel loves singing. She said “I am jamming all the time!” She loves hanging out with her college friends and calls them her brothers and sisters. Her hobbies also include eating; she said “I do that a lot.” We asked her what’s her favorite part about teaching and she responded with, “I love being around high school students because it keeps me in the 'hip' stage of life.” Talking with her made our day. She has a lot of great ideas for the freshman class. We wish we had her as our physical science teacher. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for her.
BYE BYE, BAILEY
By: Mackenzie Simmons and Brianna Spearman
Bailey Rogers has played football for 13 years, and out of those 13 years he has played 12 for Wren schools. As he is about to graduate, and his senior year is coming to an end, we caught up with him to talk about his football career at Wren High, and his future as a Furman Paladin.
Bailey said that his senior year on the varsity football team has been very exciting and definitely one to remember. It has been one of the most exciting and emotional seasons because it is his last one with his Wren family. When asked how it will be playing without some of the guys he has played with for the past 4 years, he said, “It will be different playing with new people, but I’m excited to get the feel of a new team and make new friends.” Bailey said he will miss his favorite coach, Coach Kyle Wilson, who always pushed him to do his best and never give up.
On Friday, November 13, 2015, Wren won their first round of playoffs against Lancaster. The feeling he described was relief that is wasn’t his last game but sadness because the next one could be the last. Wren did lose the following week to Chapin, but it was still a good year for the Hurricanes.
Bailey has been offered a football scholarship from 5 different schools, but he chose Furman University. He chose Furman because he likes the coaches and it’s not too far away from home. He said he is most excited to meet new people and to play football for a new coach. He said, “I’m very excited to be playing football in college but I’ll miss all the high school memories I have made here at Wren High.” Bailey’s Wren High family can’t wait to watch him succeed in his football career at Furman!
WHAT LURKS BENEATH: AN ESSAY IN WORDS AND PHOTOS, PART ONE
By: Andrew Petronis (Part Two will appear in the Feb. edition of the Wren Hurricane)
Most students of Wren High school are familiar with the city of Greenville, as it resides not far from them. It is a bustling metropolis, a clean and bright city filled with all manner of things to eat, do, and enjoy. Amongst the buildings and urban sprawl is situated Falls Park, an oasis of nature punctuating the very modern setting. Flowing through this is the Reedy River, which draws everyone’s focus as it flows wide and strong over the rocks and creates the scenic falls which gives the park its name and serves as a local icon. Largely ignored, is its small tributary which can be followed back, back to a little valley, tucked away in a forgotten corner of the park, where people rarely venture.
It was this place that drew me to itself, not long ago. At its end, the stream disappears into a most peculiar structure. Standing out against the very modern architecture is an old stone archway, cemented together from irregular stones. In summer its entrance is christened by vines. One can see a little ways into it, but it disappears into darkness quickly. Perhaps it is newer, built to look old, perhaps not. It is difficult to tell, but within its depths lies both solitude and mystery, and so I could not resist to go in.
I returned, months later, equipped for my unorthodox journey with combat boots, a hoodie, and a small soviet bag in which was stored medical supplies, my mask, headlamp, and a couple other oddities that could be of use in a place such as this. I stood at the stone entrance and quickly looked about, so as to make certain I was alone and unseen. Once I was sure of this, I stepped inside, leaping from stone to stone to avoid the gently flowing water beneath me. When I had gone far enough to be inside but still have enough light to see by, I donned my mask to guard my lungs and put on my head lamp, throwing up the hood of my jacket. I remember it was hot, very much so, and the cool of the tunnel did little to help with this, but it is necessary to protect oneself.
I continued on my way down the tunnel, the only thing barring my progress was a low spot in the ceiling, which I simply stooped under, and in so doing left the last bit of trash behind me. Now where I stood there was no sign of any human’s presence, no cigarette butts or various bits of garbage. Shining my light around I was able to see the walls around me, much the same as they had been on the outside, made of mortared stone, though in here they were covered in a thin layer of moisture. Looking behind me, I came to the realization that the light of day had departed, defeated by the depths of the tunnel around me. It was clear, the only light in here is was what I brought with me, I was very much alone.
After a little ways further, the ceiling dropped. I came upon an entirely new section of this place, much lower, with simplistic plaster walls, which lead me to believe that the section I had just left was perhaps an old bridge, expounded upon in more recent times. The stream flowed much shallower here, but shining my light upon the ceiling revealed all manner of creatures that flee the light. Spiders and house centipedes and some grasshopper-like thing which I cannot name. It was straight from the nightmares of many, but I was undeterred. I took a deep breath, lowering myself onto threes, and entered.
A LEARNING COMMONS FOR UNCOMMON LEARNING--WHAT THE WREN LIBRARY MIGHT LOOK LIKE NEXT YEAR
MORE THAN A LIBRARY
By: Haley Lester and Andrew Librizzi
Earlier this week, Andrew and I interviewed Mrs. Cunningham, the librarian, about new changes to the library. Mrs. Cunningham has been the librarian at WHS for 10 years. In past years there have been various changes to the library, but this year there are going to be more changes than ever before.
Next year we can expect the library to be completely redesigned. There will be fewer nonfiction books, different colorful furniture, more accessories for the iPads, and new laptop computers available in the library. Laptops will be loaned to students in the library only. There will also be 30 new portable keyboards for the iPads that students can use to write papers or research.
In the library there will be new chairs, an iPad counter, and a recording studio. "The library will now be more like a learning commons with the addition of the Maker Space and One-Button Studio," Mrs. Cunningham explained. The new colors of the library will be light blue, green, and purple.
When asked about how she feels about the new changes, Mrs. Cunningham replied, "I'm excited! These changes will help students to learn faster and easier and find the information they need. I hope these new changes will help students to identify what information is good information and what to use in their projects or papers."
By next year the library or "learning commons" will be available for all students to enjoy. So next year feel free to come and experience these new fascinating changes.
MEET SEPTEMBER COLLINS (#24)
By: Madison McCurry
Rising athlete September Collins is no doubt one of the most naturally talented basketball players I've ever met. Her play looks as natural as a fish swimming or a bird taking flight. September stands at an intimidating 5'10 and outplays most boys her age. When she is on the court, she is in her element. She has the look of a warrior in her eyes and you can just tell she is about to dominate the court. September got her start at an early age when she was living in Savannah, Georgia. Basketball was simply something to pass the time until her parents realized her clear natural ability to handle a basketball. Since then she has played for many schools as well as travel teams. When September tries out for a team it isn't even be a question whether she has the ability. Her coaches admire her strong emotions and her "team player" attitude. September is 100% one for all and all for one. She understands a team should be treated as one entity.
What inspired you to play basketball as long as you have?
"I would say my mom because she pushes me to be better, try harder, and achieve more. Shes always told me" Perseverance is Victory".
Who is your role model?
"Again I would say my mom because she is such a pivotal person in my life. She has played softball since she was in middle school and even played with a semi-pro team that went to Germany to play. That has taught me that nothing you want in life is out of your reach. You just have to be brave enough to reach out and take what you want."
Five words that describe who you are:
"Funny, driven, determined, successful, hardworking"
Do you plan on continuing your athletic career after high school?
"No, I don't. Even though basketball is a passion of mine, I don't see it being my entire future. I would like to focus my attention on my education as much as possible."
What are your expectations for Wren's varsity team this year?
"Hopefully winning regionals then heading to state. Honestly if we make it to state that is a victory in and of itself, no matter the outcome. I want to make my last year playing for Wren count."
ALUMNI CORNER--MEGAN LANDRETH, CLASS OF 2011
Hey there, Wren High School! It’s been over four years since I have graduated and I cannot even believe it. Brief update on me since I graduated in 2011:
I graduated from Anderson University with a Bachelor's of Science in Kinesiology, and now am in graduate school. I am getting my Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in St. Augustine, FL. I am in my first semester there, and I can confidently say this is the hardest and most challenging thing I have ever done. I should finish in August of 2017, and then I will be on the lookout for a real-life, grown-up job! I know… it’s hard to believe.
When I was a student at Wren I was very active with pretty much any extra-curricular activity you could think of. I was also involved in student government, Category V dance team, and participated in the Miss Wrenicycle pageant every year. Senior year I was voted on as Teacher’s Pet (ask your teachers, they would most likely agree- I was totally a suck-up), Hall of Fame, and the Principal’s Leadership Award.
Honestly, I haven’t thought much about those awards until I was asked to write this article for the newspaper. But looking back, those are really special to me and I didn’t even realize it. Those awards are a huge honor and say a lot about my motivation and hard work during high school. The quote that I chose for my Hall of Fame was, “Watch your thoughts; they become words. What your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny”-Unknown. I love this quote so much because it is so raw, and so real. It isn’t sugar coated, and it gets the point across. I have gone back to this quote so many times since then, for an attitude adjustment. Food for thought: “Am I who I want to be, and am I being portrayed to others the way that I would like to be?”
Competing for Miss Wrenicycle was something that my grandmothers, mom, and I looked forward to every year! I won Miss Freshman and the first-runner up for Miss Sophomore, but junior year I competed for Miss Wrenicycle and did not win ANYTHING. Senior year I competed for Miss Wrenicycle and won second runner-up for talent, personal interview, casual wear, and the title of Miss Wrenicycle. I know it sounds cheesy but this title really meant a lot to me. To me it wasn’t just a title, crown, sash and recognition--I wanted to be an example to others.
Junior year when I did not win anything, it produced a lot of self-doubt and self-consciousness. And it shouldn’t have. A pageant should never make you feel less of a person, it should allow you to accept your flaws and be who you are with confidence and poise! It gives you the opportunity to be yourself and share your passion with others. The title doesn’t give you these traits, the experience does. Each year I found out a little more about myself, and it was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to come back and see how the pageant evolves over time. I can honestly thank my pageant history for my ability to do well in interviews and when speaking with professionals. These have been very helpful for me during undergraduate admission, graduate school admission, and all of the jobs that I have attained during school.
Try to enjoy high school! I was that girl that could not wait for college, then college came, and all I wanted was to go back to high school. Don’t you dare take life for granted. I know this is deep, but from the time I was a sophomore at Wren until now, I have lost seven Wren classmates and friends. Embrace the people you walk the halls with every day, because they might not be there the next day, or you might not be there to hug them. In summary, picture yourself in 5-10 years down the road looking back on your high school memories. What will you tell your future kids and grandkids about the high school you? Will you tell them that you were a bully and a jerk, or that you were too self-absorbed to really make true friends? Or that you tried to be friendly to everyone and made the best of all of your time?
Megan Landreth, Wren High School, 2011