Berner News Update

December 2017/January 2018

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Guess That Tiny Guidance Counselor!

Check out the baby pictures of some of your favorite guidance counselors. Do you see anyone you recognize? The answers are revealed at the bottom of the page!

Guess That Teacher!

Read the clues and guess the corresponding teacher. Answers are revealed at the bottom of the page!

by Olivia Kenney


Teacher #1:

  • I used to go to skeeter school.

  • I translated for people in the Olympics.

  • I went to a 2 room schoolhouse.

Who am I?


Teacher #2:

  • I have a Keeshond.

  • My favorite color is red.

  • One day I want to own an island.

Who am I?


Teacher #3:

  • I love to snowmobile.

  • I have always wanted a pet monkey.

  • I love old cars.

Who am I?


Teacher #4:

  • I coach the girls 8th grade soccer team.

  • I coach the J.V girls Lacrosse team.

  • I coach the J.V 9th grade girls basketball team.

Who am I?


Teacher #5:

  • I love video games.

  • I am a Marvel comics fan.

  • Venom is my favorite character.

  • I went to Hofstra University.

Who am I?


Teacher #6:

  • I surfed in Australia and lived there for 5 months.

  • I play the flute in orchestras on Long Island and I am currently performing the show ¨Annie Get Your Gun¨.

  • I lived with the tribes of Kenya, while studying there for 5 months in my Junior year of college.

Who am I?


Teacher #7:

  • I worked at Lockhart for 18 years, Fairfield for 1 year, and this is my first year at Berner.

  • I have three children ( 2 boys and 1 girl).

  • I love to cook.

Who am I?


Teacher #8:

  • I was captain of my high school cheerleading team.

  • I have a 13-year old brother and an 8-year old sister.

  • I have a dog named Belle.

Who am I?


Teacher #9:

  • I play the guitar and sing.

  • I ran the New York City Marathon.

  • I first full-time job was at a pizza store in Massapequa.

Who am I?


Teacher #10:

  • I work as a river guide at Pocono Whitewater during the summer.

  • I grew my beard on vacation this summer and a lot of people did not recognize me.

  • This is my twenty first year here at Berner.

Who am I?

Berner and Massapequa News

Veterans Day

by Jacqueline Paduano



This commemorative holiday celebrates all that the veterans and current serving soldiers have done for us, and to celebrate those that have ended their serving time. Here at Berner, we celebrate this holiday with great respect. The events at our school take this holiday seriously, but also shed light on the amazing people that have helped serve this wonderful country.


On this day, the students attend an assembly. As soon as students walk in the doors of the gymnasium, the room is lined with chairs and people, with the veterans being the main center of attention. We all look forward to this assembly, as it is a great way to thank our veterans all together and meet them. We give these veterans and current soldiers the undivided attention they deserve. The assembly usually lasts about a period long, but the time is well spent focusing on some of the most caring and brave individuals out there. After the pledge and patriotic songs sung by the extremely talented select chorus, the students can head out of the gymnasium. Some amazing moments include getting to know some general information about the veterans, listening to the many speeches, and just hearing how much they’ve been through to protect us. This event is truly moving.


After attending the assembly, the students can go on with their day until they arrive at their social studies class. Some veterans usually come into the classrooms and the students dedicate that period to listening to the veterans’ many stories of their journeys. To many people, this experience is truly heartwarming and inspiring. To hear a powerful man or woman’s story about serving our country really makes anyone feel so much admiration for anyone fighting for our freedom. Listening to the struggles that anyone had or even have to go through while serving deserves so much respect. Just listening to how a person can change even more for the better after being in any military branch is just so fascinating. These experiences at Berner Middle School are so important and the lessons learned from these opportunities are truly cherishable.


Overall, this holiday is so important no matter where it is celebrated. It acknowledges the brave soldiers that have dedicated their livelihoods and given up everything to preserve the freedom of our country, not knowing whether the risks will take their own lives. On any Veterans Day, make sure to at least take time out of the day to appreciate the veterans and soldiers in any way possible. This will be inspiring, but it would be even better to write a letter or text to a former or current soldier or thank them in person. That will make him/her feel a strong sense of pride. Even a whole day that is dedicated to veterans is so significant and of immense value to them and everyone else. To the veterans or any active duty military soldiers, we salute you!

Massapequa Chiefs Football

by Brian Kopp



The Massapequa Chiefs had a great season! They finished 8-2 overall and they made it all the way to the Nassau county semi finals before losing. The Chiefs opened up against the one seeded Oceanside Sailors. This was their first home game of the season and it was also the first game on the brand new turf field. It was a disappointing game on the brand new field. The Chiefs were easily defeated 45-21. The Chiefs bounced back though with an amazing defensive effort against the Baldwin Bruins. The Chiefs were firing on all cylinders they only gave up six points and defeated the Bruins 31-6.


Next, against Freeport the Chiefs started off amazing with a score of 21-0. Then, they took their foot off the gas. Freeport drove with two minutes to go then with six seconds left on fourth and goal Freeport threw a screen pass and the Freeport player walked in for the touchdown. Both teams put up a donut in the third. Freeport finally broke the ice in the second half. They scored with eight minutes left from third and goal from the 28. The Chiefs should have had the Freeport player in the backfield for a loss but took it down all the way down the sideline for a Freeport score. There was a ton of controversy on the extra point. The Chiefs blocked the first one but the player who blocked the kick was barely offside. He also returned it to the end zone. This would have been two points and put the game out of reach. The next one was blocked again! Clearly no one was offsides but the refs thought differently. On top of that the ref threw the flag so late. The next extra point was tipped at the line and came up short. No flags 21-13. Both teams traded possessions on fourth down and long the quarterback aired it out and it was intercepted by number 20. There was still a little drama left there were 30 seconds left third and one Freeport still have one timeout. However, the Chiefs ran it for a first down, game over.


Precedingly, the Chiefs crushed the Hempstead Tigers. Kenny Galvin Chiefs quarterback threw for four touchdowns, 15 for 21 passing and led Massapequa to a 42-20 victory. Next week against Long Beach they won another game by more than 20. Beating Long Beach 45-15 led by a 24-0 second quarter. The following week at rival Farmingdale, Angelo Petrakis ran for 181 yards and a touchdown and one receiving touchdown. Owen Glascoe had 7 receptions 136 yards. Garrett Gibbons had 103 receiving yards and a touchdown. Kenny Galvin threw for five touchdowns threw two interceptions and an outstanding 294 yards. The Dalers kept it close at Halftime the score being 28-21 Massapequa. Then in the second half the Chiefs had 27 points to Farmingdale’s zero second half points.


At Uniondale the Chiefs yet again crushed another opponent. The beat the Knights 42-7. Mostly because of the 35-0 halftime score. Petrakis had 116 yards and a touchdown rushing. Garrett Gibbons also had two touchdowns. The Chiefs didn't really have much passing game but their running game was all they needed. Galvin still threw two touchdowns but only threw for 58 yards.


Their homecoming game against Plainview was yet another great performance. Massapequa had a balanced attack, they had two passing touchdowns and three on the ground. Each touchdown was scored by a different Chief.


Now the Chiefs were in the playoffs. The Chiefs were the number two seed. They were playing the seventh seeded Hempstead. After the first quarter only Hempstead scored. It was on a rushing touchdown by the Tigers Andrews. Massapequa responded though scoring 21 unanswered points. Massapequa had a 21-6 lead and had the ball four minutes before half. They had the ball at their own 38 yard line when they made a mistake. Kenny Galvin through a wide receiver screen the receiver caught it, he gained a few yards then was hit by a Hempstead defender. The ball went flying loose number 28 for Hempstead picked it up, there was nothing but green grass as he could have walked in for the touchdown. The Tigers went for a two point conversion, they missed it. The Chiefs the were forced to punt after only three plays. The Tigers drove the ball all the way down to about the Chiefs 15 yard line. With nine seconds left on fourth down the Tigers sent the ball to the end zone, the pass was incomplete. Massapequa got very lucky there. Massapequa woke up in the second half outscoring Hempstead 21-0 in the third quarter. The Final score was 42-18.


The Chiefs had made it to the semifinal game. The semi final game was against Freeport. The Chiefs came out strong. Petrakis had a running touchdown and the Chiefs were up 6-0. Later in the first Freeport started driving the ball down field all the way to the Massapequa 33. Freeports player Elmond scored on a 33 yard touchdown. That was the score at half time 13-7. Massapequa did not come out very strong in the third quarter. Freeport scored on a running touchdown, but the Chiefs did not quit. They made the score 19-13 on a Glascoe receiving touchdown. Freeport shutdown Massapequa for the rest of the game and they tacked on 14 more points. The final score was 33-13 Freeport was victorious. Massapequa finished the season 8-2.

Berner Idol

by Tess Mannino


Will you support your friends and classmates in the Berner Idol? The first show is on Thursday, February 1, 2018 and the finale is on Thursday, March 22, 2018. Tickets will be on sale in the cafeteria for $10 each. The singers will be able to choose their own song, but from a list of them. Come to hear one of your favorite songs performed by students. One person from each grade will be winning a prize from the radio station, WBLI, and a trophy from the school. If you can’t make it to the shows but still want to hear it, there is a DVD of the show or you may be able to view it online. This is our school’s seventh year hosting, and we are looking forward to seeing you there!

Current Events

Black Friday

by Lea Mastorakis and Gina Ruggiero



Black Friday is a national phenomenon around the country. While the sales are fantastic, millions of people leave Thanksgiving early to shop or wait on line for stores to open. What time should these stores open?


According to CNN, 154 million people shopped in stores and online on Black Friday of 2017. This number increased by three million people from last year. Stores like Big Lots and JC Penney opened very early on Thanksgiving, pulling most from family dinners and celebrations. In fact, most stores opened at five pm and six pm, on Thanksgiving. These stores are expecting shoppers to forget all about the holiday and come shop. While shoppers have the decision to leave Thanksgiving dinner, employees don’t have that option. Many are threatened with losing their jobs. Black Friday pulls many people away from their families on Thanksgiving Day.


Some people have stated their opinions about Black Friday. According to Lite Rock, 55 percent of people say that there shouldn’t be a Black Friday, and 40 percent say that there should be Black Friday, but not on Thanksgiving. Some people agree with Black Friday in all. Five percent say that there should be Black Friday on both Friday and Thanksgiving. Overall, the majority of people disagree with Black Friday.


Although Black Friday comes with many pros, the “holiday” also comes with many cons. Most people should think before leaving family dinner early, to go shopping.

Christmas at Disney

by Madison Gangi



What is going on at Disney this Christmas season?


Disney takes Christmas very seriously. After all, Disney knows how to do things right. Every park has different events, food, decorations and shows for the holidays. Even the hotels are decorated from head to toe. The Grand Floridian has a life size gingerbread house! There is no better place to spend Christmas with your family. The Christmas magic combined with the Disney magic is incredible!


Magic Kingdom


Mickey’s Merry Christmas Party

One of the most famous Christmas events is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. After the park closes the only people in the park are those going to the Christmas Party. This party takes place from 7:00pm to 12:00am. The Magic Kingdom is transformed into a winter wonderland for the party. You and your family can enjoy rides under the stars. Also, there are free cookies and hot chocolate. There are dance parties, shows and parades. Even Santa is there. This is an awesome Christmas party with lots to do!


Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Time

Mickey not only has a special Christmas party, he also has a special Christmas parade. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade has gingerbread men, reindeer, toy soldiers and, of course, Santa. Starting December 23 through December 31 this parade will run twice a day. Make sure to watch this magical Christmas parade.


A Frozen Holiday Wish

Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Sven

will also be joining the party.You can find them at Cinderella’s castle daily. The frozen show will be at 6:15pm and 7:30pm. In the show Anna to bribe Elsa to turn their palace into an ice castle. By the end of the show 200,000 lights will be lit on the castle. A Frozen Holiday Wish is open for all to see at the Magic Kingdom.


Jingle Cruise

The only ride changed for the holiday season is the Jungle Cruise. All Christmas season long the Jungle Cruise is now the Jingle Cruise. The Jingle Cruise has decorations all throughout it. Every Jingle Cruise boat has a different holiday name. Also your Skipper will be cracking holiday jokes the whole ride.


Christmas Parade Taping

The last Christmas Parade is the parade taping. This parade is aired annually on ABC. Live acts will be performing on Cinderella’s Castle Stage and Main Street U.S.A. Guests with admission are welcome to watch the taping segments. The parade will be taped November 3 through November 8. A lot of people come for the parade dressed their Christmas best. If you do not want to watch the Parade taping, you are welcome to head down to Frontierland. This might be an awesome time to go on Splash and Thunder Mountain because the crowds will be distracted. If you want to watch this parade from your couch, watch it at 10:00am on ABC, Christmas morning on ABC.


Santa Meet-And-Greet

The last event you might want to check out is the Santa Meet-And-Greet.

Santa will be partying at the Candy Cane Garden. Santa will be there from

10:00am to 5:00pm. If you are going to the Very Merry Christmas Party, Santa will be there, too.


Hollywood Studios


Sunset Greetings

One of Hollywood Studios most famous rides is Tower of Terror. New, this year,the Tower of Terror will be magically transformed into different things. Tower of Terror will have projected images on it just like Cinderella's Castle. On the tower you will see the homes of Minnie and Mickey, Woody and Buzz, the Muppets, and Olaf. These characters will also be telling their story through the projection on the Tower. Guest will experience falling snow, twinkling lights, and characters walking up and down Sunset Boulevard.


Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam

Another awesome show being shown at Hollywood Studios is Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam. In this show there's a real crisis going on. Santa Claus has gone missing, and they have a search team looking for him. However there is no luck. They need to find him before Christmas Eve. The show will have fireworks, projections, special effects and music. The show will be taking place around the Chinese Theater. Trust me, you'll have a bam-tastic time at the show.


Hollywood Level Decoration

During the holiday season Hollywood Studios sometimes is referred to as “Tinseltown.” Some of the awesome decorations include a ginormous Christmas tree at the entrance of the park. This tree is a breathtaking sight. This tree is filled to the brim with garlands and lights. Another huge tree in Hollywood Studios is located by Echo Lake. This tree is also covered in vibrant strands of garland. If you didn’t know, Gertie the Dinosaur lives In Echo Lake. Even Gertie is decorated with a Santa hat for the holiday season.


Minnie’s Holiday Dine and Vine

After a long day in the parks who wouldn’t be ready for a holiday meal? A perfect place to go is Minnie’s Holiday Dine and Vine. You will have a festive, delicious meal. Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Santa Goofy will be there. Along with holiday foods, there is music, activities, and decorations. This is a wonderful holiday family dinner.


Epcot


Epcot is known for the World Showcase display. However the holidays take these displays to the next level. Every country has a different event for the holidays.


Canada - In Canada, voyageurs will take you through a musical adventure about Canadian holiday traditions.

Norway- A beautiful farm girl, Sigrid, tells you about Christmas in Norway.

Mexico- Celebrate the holiday season with mariachis and different dances.

United Kingdom- Father Christmas tells stories about holiday traditions and stories dating back to the year 1500.

France- Pierre Noel shows you the magic of a child’s Christmas letter.

Morocco- You get to travel through the seasons of the holiday. In Morocco you get to celebrate the “ spices of life.”

Japan- Daruma Vendor tells stories of of the Daruma dolls and the traditions of the New Year.

American Adventure- You will hear the stories and traditions of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. In the America Pavilion you will get to see Santa Claus.

Italy- La Befana, the good Christmas witch, climbs down the chimney to give the children treats. You get to learn all about La Befana in this show.

Germany- Helga tells the tale of the first Christmas tree and also the first Nutcracker.

China- You get to enjoy the New Year Lion Dance which brings good fortune.


Holiday Food around the World

Every ordinary time during the year you can buy foods from these country. However this time of year there is a special holiday food from each country. Throughout the park there are 12 kiosks filled with holiday treats. These small booths have holiday beverages and sample size food meals from each country.


Candlelight Processional

Another plus about going to Disney at Christmas is the shows. One awesome show is the Candlelight Processional. This show is shown nightly at 5:00pm, 6:45pm and 8:15pm. This breathtaking show is about the story of Christmas. You will experience a 50 piece orchestra, choir, and a different celebrity guest every night. The Candlelight Processional is a wonderful and peaceful show.


Joyful

Another special show for the holidays is Joyful. In this show songs from the gospel are sung. The show includes some popular songs like Rudolph, All I want for Christmas and It’s a White Christmas. The singers will be the American Music Machine and a 5 person acapella group. Joyful will be presented in Future World’s fountain station.


Holiday Illuminations

Year round you can see Epcot’s famous Illuminations. However during the holiday season they add a special twist. At the end of the show they add a holiday surprise.


Chip and Dale Christmas Spree

Some little kids are not fans of the countries. However this holiday season Chip and Dale make looking around the countries fun. Chip and Dale are hosting a Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt. Chip and Dale are sending you on a search for ornaments. These ornaments can can be anywhere from inside a store or hidden in the bushes. You can buy a map and search for all the ornaments. One ornament can be found in each country. After you finish the map you can hand it in and get prize.


Epcot’s Topiaries

To give the park a little extra pizzazz, Epcot decorates with topiaries. The holiday topiaries can be seen all throughout Future World. These topiaries are filled with beautiful vibrant colors. Epcot is filled with holiday joy from all around the world.


Animal Kingdom


Animal Kingdom welcomes you into the park with a huge Christmas tree at the park’s entrance. There are hundreds of trees in Walt Disney World, so you may ask, what makes this one so special? Well this monster tree is decorated with animal themed decorations.


Holiday Activities

If you are looking for some fun Christmas activities go to the Wildlife Tracking Center. There is always some fun family activity going on over there.


Character Spots

Who wants to see some characters in their holiday attire? You can see Santa Goofy and Donald Duck in Dinoland U.S.A. Mickey Minne are hanging out in Discovery Island and Adventure Outpost. Chip and Dale can be found at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Lastly, you can catch Baloo and King Louie in Asia. These characters come out for photos and autographs in their Christmas outfits at 11:00am.


Kusafiri Bakery

After a long day at the parks, I bet you want some holiday treats. Kusafiri Bakery is known for their delicious chocolate mousse-filled-Yule Log.


Tusker House

If you want a delicious meal and to see a three-foot-long gingerbread house, Tusker House is the place to be. At the Tusker House you can also meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy.


Hotels


The Disney hotels go all out for the holidays. Here are some of the Disney resorts that have some insane decorations.


Grand Floridian- In the lobby of Grand Floridian there is 16 foot gingerbread house. This gingerbread house weighs a ton. There is 1,050 pounds of honey, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 800 pounds of flour, 700 pounds of chocolate, 140 pints of egg whites, and 35 pounds of spices. The back of the gingerbread house is an actual store. Cast members sell gingerbread, chocolate, and even sweets that you can see on the gingerbread house. The store is open 10:00-10:00 daily. The gingerbread house is truly incredible.

Beach Club- The Beach Club has a life size, edible carousel. Giant ponies are made out of chocolate and fondant. You can also see a miniature Magic Kingdom made out of gingerbread. Finally, you can look for the 16 hidden Mickeys hidden on the carousel.

Contemporary- The Contemporary also does a huge gingerbread house, like the Grand Floridian. However this one is more 2-D. The gingerbread house is located on the 4th floor. Every year there is a theme, last year it was Frozen. This year the theme is Cinderella. The height of the “gingercastle” is 18 feet. Be sure to check it out.

Swan and Dolphin- At the Swan and Dolphin there are nightly holiday performances under palm trees. The palm trees are lit up in green and red. The show starts at 6:00pm daily.

Boardwalk Inn- The Boardwalk Inn is home to Ginger’s Bread and Cookie Shoppe. Guests are able to buy Candy Cane Gelatos, Brownie Pops, Gingerbread cupcakes, Sollen bread, Minnie and Mickey cookies, and Snowflake shingle cookies. The shop has 11 hidden Mickeys in it.

Fort Wilderness- Fort Wilderness has sleigh rides for guests from late November through late December. A red sleigh will take your through 700 acres of land. This is such a fun activity to do with the whole family.


As you can see, Disney is the place to be for the holidays. Disney is famous for having an incredible amount to do. Imagine all of this-- the rides, shows, entertainment, and hotel--with a holiday Christmas twist you’ll never forget!

Here is some Disney Christmas Trivia. After you take the quiz find your rank.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9SRKSLW


Total your points to see where you rank: 0-1: The Elf Who Fell Off the Shelf

2: Merrily Mediocre

3: Joyful and Triumphant

4: Holiday Gifted

5 or more: Jingle Genius!


Web Links:

-http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2017/11/09/holiday-preview-the-2017-walt-disney-world-gingerbread-displays/

-https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/magic-kingdom/mickeys-very-merry-christmas-party/

-https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/holiday-festival/

-https://www.laughingplace.com/w/articles/2017/11/07/christmas-takes-disneys-hollywood-studios/

-http://www.wdwinfo.com/holidays/christmas_world.htm

-http://www.themouseforless.com/walt-disney-world/planning/events/holidays/disneys-animal-kingdom-christmas-holiday/

-http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2016/12/05/review-treats-at-mickeys-very-merry-christmas-party-2016/#more-159669

-http://www.themouseforless.com/walt-disney-world/planning/events/holidays/magic-kingdom-christmas-holiday/

-http://www.themouseforless.com/walt-disney-world/planning/events/holidays/epcot-christmas-holiday/

-http://www.themouseforless.com/walt-disney-world/planning/events/holidays/disneys-hollywood-studios-christmas-holiday/

-http://www.themouseforless.com/walt-disney-world/planning/events/holidays/holidays-

walt-disney-world-resort-hotels/

We Got a Clue...

by Eliza Levitt



...in the Toy Hall of Fame, with the wiffle ball and the paper airplane.


The National Toy Hall of Fame has been recognizing toys that are very popular over a sustained period of time since 1998. Each year, new toys are entered into the hall. Some previous toys that have been entered are Rubik’s Cube (2014), a stick (2008), Barbie (1998) and a Cardboard box (2005). Anyone can nominate any toy. Once the official nominees are chosen, the public decides which toys will join the hall of fame by casting their votes.


This year hundreds of people voted. Only three inductees were chosen. The nominees included Clue, the Magic 8 Ball, Matchbox Cars, My Little Pony, the paper airplane, PEZ candy, play food, Risk, sand, Transformers, Uno and the wiffle ball. The winners were announced November 9. They were Clue, the paper airplane and the wiffle ball. If you would like to visit them, they will be added to the National Toy Hall of Fame collection in The Strong, an interactive museum devoted to the history and exploration of play located in Rochester, New York.


Sources:


http://www.toyhalloffame.org


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/national-toy-hall-of-fame-finalists-include-paper-airplane-sand-transformers/

The Top Gifts for the Holidays of 2017

by Lauren O'Brien and Lily O'Daly



Gift giving is very hard. It sure would be easier if we knew what the top gifts of this year are and what type of gift to get. This article will guide you through the tough process.


Tech Gifts

Almost everyone loves to stay updated on the latest technology. Here are some things that you might want to add to your technological gift list:


  • Fitbits ($15-$300): Now you can track your steps, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, and active minutes all while looking stylish.


  • Amazon Echo Show (Around $179.99): The Alexa can now show you how to do things instead of just telling you. You can watch video briefings, listen to music, watch videos, and hands free face-to-face calling. You can also hook it up to your security system and ask “Alexa, show me the front door” to see who’s there. It can do what the old Echo can do but so much more.


  • VR Headsets ($10-$1,000): These might have been on your holiday list last year but you might want a new, updated version, such as the Samsung VR Headset with a controller. This Samsung VR won’t break the bank ($99) and it is lightweight for even more real life effect.

  • Nook Tablet 7” ($49.99): Read, play games, and use the internet on the new nook tablet 7”. Enjoy up to 11.5 hours of battery life.


Top Gifts for Kids

The holidays are an exciting time for little ones. Check out these gifts to get the best toys for your little cousins or siblings.


  • Fingerlings Interactive Baby Monkeys: Buy these in a price range of $15-20. These cute and tiny interactive monkeys latch onto your finger. They respond to sound, motion, and touch, by blinking their eyes, moving their head, and talking in cute, monkey talk. If you blow them a kiss they’ll kiss you back, and they can hang upside down on your finger and monkey around.


  • Hatchimals CollEGGtibles: These are small versions of hatchimals which you can hatch on your own. Rub the heart and when it changes from purple to pink, gently press and crack your egg. The prices for these range from $10-20.


  • Little Live Pets Smooch My Dream Kitten: This toy is a great gift for kids about 5-8 years old it ranges from $20-$50. This toy makes sounds and requires the care of real kittens.

  • Bottle Pop Science: This toy is perfect for kids of any ages. It ranges in price from $15-$20. With this kit you can make a volcano, quick-sand, barometer, thermometer, trombone, compass, walkie-talkie, and a lava lamp.

Happy Memories and High Prices

by Lily DiBenedetto



It’s nearly winter and stores are getting ready for the holiday season. Many people are purchasing presents for their loved ones. Stores have been selling something a little different this year, a little retro. Several large companies are trying to appeal to the older audiences as well as the young. Some of these retro items including Atari, Sega Genesis, and PS1 are being sold at big retailers. However there’s a catch; many of these products are being sold for prices higher than their worth.


Walmart is selling an Atari for about $100. GameStop is selling the same exact model for $70. These are both two big retailers, but one specializes in video-games and the other does not. Many are wondering the reason for a different price. Well here’s a theory: large stores like Walmart have a wide variety of products. People will go into these stores trying to buy all their presents in one trip. While going through each aisle trying to get everything on their list, they will see something that gives them nostalgia. Since it’s something old, they might think they cannot find it anywhere else, and buy it on a impulse. Large retailers will then charge more, they meticulously place the items in the middle of an aisle, which makes people more likely to see these items, especially if they weren’t planning on going into the aisle that these items are normally held in. This isn’t a problem for stores like GameStop, however. This is because they have one focus--games. If going into a store like that, it’s for one purpose. People won’t buy something they won’t need there because they know what they want to get. The store won’t get away with selling something for a higher price than necessary. So if people are shopping and buying gifts for the holidays and they see that item of nostalgia, they should be reminded that they can probably get it cheaper somewhere else.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

by Erin Finnerty




Every year in late November, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York City is lit, with thousands of people watching from crowded sidewalks, millions watching from home, and live performances in its presence. This year, the 75-foot tall Norway spruce from State College, Pennsylvania was lit on November 29, 2017 and will remain lit and able to visit until January 7, 2018. This year marks the 84th annual Christmas tree lighting. In the year 1931, the first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a balsam fir, was put up by construction workers on the construction site of the skyscraper being built. This tree was modestly decorated with tin cans and scrap paper. This skyscraper, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, stands tall behind where the current tree is located.


Unique Trees

Putting up the tree became an official tradition starting in 1933, and held the first ever public lighting ceremony for that year’s 50-foot tree. The following year, in 1934, the tree was decorated with an assortment of ornaments, including horses, sailboats, stars, and giraffes. In 1942, three small trees were placed there to honor the war effort going on during the time when World War II occurred. Each tree was one color: red, white, and blue. The tree was decorated with ornaments of each of the three colors. Two years later, the tree wasn’t able to be lit at all due to wartime blackout regulations. A few years later in 1945, the tree’s event organizers used ultraviolet light projectors to make the tree lighting special, to make up for the unlit tree the previous year. All the lights on the tree that year looked like they were glowing in the dark. In more recent times, the tree was once again lit up in red, white, and blue to honor those who were apart of the September 11 attacks in 2001. Currently, the tree is decorated with about 45,000 lights, spanning to a total length of six miles.


Where does the tree go when the season’s over?

Tree’s have been recycled, starting in 1971. In this year the first Christmas tree was recycled. This tree was turned into bags of mulch to be placed along nature trails in Manhattan. The trees continued to be turned into, on average, three-tons of mulch in the years to follow, and then this mulch was given to the boy scouts and girl scouts. This happened process happened every year until 2007. Since then, every tree’s remains have been given to Habitat for Humanity, an organization that makes simple homes for those in need. The stump of the tree is saved for the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team. This team uses the trunk as an obstacle to help train horses.


The Tree’s Star

The star that sits on top of the tree is a Swarovski Star, which was made for the 2004 Christmas tree in particular. This star was designed and created by Michael Hammers, a German artist who works for the Swarovski company. It’s made of 25,000 crystals,is nine and a half feet wide, and weighs in at a heavy 550 pounds. The material is said to be shatterproof glass, the same kind that’s used in some skyscrapers located in New York City. This star was first presented in 2004, and it’s definitely an improvement from past stars. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was a four foot tall plastic star. In the 1990s, a gold-leaf star was used to top the trees until the current star was made.


Who picks out the tree?

Some years the tree is picked out by the head garden manager of Rockefeller Center. Other years, people are willing to offer their tree to be displayed in Rockefeller Center. For example, in 1956, a man from New Hampshire offered his white spruce as a holiday gift to the city.They used his tree that year. In years where there’s a tree needed to be found, Erik Pauze who is the head graden manager, has to go out and look for a tree. He usually goes to places such as Pennsylvania, Vermont, Connecticut, Ohio, and Canada. He has to start looking from two to four years in advance to ensure finding a suitable tree for the job. -Erin Finnerty


For more Info Visit:

“Oh Christmas Tree”

by Anna Goldberg

Photography by Alexa Biscardi



Christmas is a fun time for all of us. The gifts, the parties and the wonderful Christmas joy! During Christmas time New York City is a really cool place to be. It has the Christmas tree lighting and really fun window displays. There’s Radio City and the Rockettes, too!


The city is huge with lots of fun activities to do. One fun ideas is looking at the tree. Did you know that this year the tree is 75 feet tall and weighs 12 tons? It came from Oneonta, New York. The tree takes a lot of work and in the end it cost a lot of money.


Here are a few more fun facts about the tree:

  1. The tree will stay up until January 7.

  2. People actually try to climb the tree. In 1979 a 27 year-old man climbed it with purpose. When he reached the top he yelled, “FREE THE FIFTY!” This was because there were Americans being held hostage at the U.S. embassy in Iran. However, the police were able to talk to him by saying free the fifty won’t help anything.

  3. Every year since 1931 there has been a tree in Rockefeller center.

  4. Every day 500,000 people pass the Rockefeller tree.

  5. At the top of the tree there is a star that weighs 550 lbs. It contains 25,000 Swarovski crystals.


Every year, the tree is lit by the current mayor of the city. This happens during a live broadcast on NBC. The tree is usually a Norway Spruce, ranging from 69-100 feet. The head gardener of Rockefeller center looks for trees in the tri-state area. People can also submit their personal trees if they feel thier tree is Rockefeller-worthy.


When the holidays are over, the tree is made into lumber. The lumber is then donated to Habitat for Humanity. The tree makes nice cozy houses for people without homes to go to. Last year's lumber was sent to Orange County. Four houses were built from the lumber, so they call the street Rockefeller row.


While there people may also want to check out the traditional window displays at Macy's, and the funky displays at Saks 5th Ave. Bryant Park is also a must. They have the tastiest food and awesome gift shops. The tree will be around for about another week so check it out!

Not Since '99

by Lindsey Black



Racial and ethnic equality is one of the most discussed topics around the world. With everything going on in politics, the amount of people talking about the topic has spiked in the last year. It makes sense that when it was announced that there are no white male nominations for the Best Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, people had a lot to say about it.


According to CNN, the last time this happened was in 1999, when all women were in the spotlight of the nominations. This year the nominees include Bruno Mars’s “24K Magic,” Jay Z’s “4:44,” Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” and Lorde’s “Melodrama.” All nominees were announced on Tuesday, November 28.


This is not the first year that the nominations for Best Album of the year have created controversy. It was just last year when artists such as Katy Perry and and A Tribe Called Quest made bold political statements last year during their performances. There was also the fact that Adele’s “25” beat Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” and even Adele did not agree with the win.


Award shows often tend to take the tone of the national events going on. The Grammy Awards went down an extremely political route last year and viewers think that is the direction they are going this year. The Grammy Awards will be on at 7:30 p.m on January 28, 2018. Tune in to see what kind of statement artists will make this year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.

Sports

Gordon Hayward´s Path To Recovery

by Will Carmenaty




On October 17, 2017, it was opening night of the 2017-2018 NBA Season. There were two games. Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, and Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets. That night there was only one thing trending on social media, Gordon Hayward.


Gordon Hayward was diagnosed with a dislocated ankle and a broken tibia. The injury happened five minutes and 45 seconds into the game. Gordon Hayward signed a four-year deal with the Celtics on July 4, 2017. The injury occurred when Hayward went up for the alley-oop, and his defender came behind him and Cavaliers Power-Forward LeBron James came up in front. Haywards foot got caught and his ankle snapped to the left.


The next night Hayward underwent surgery on his ankle during the Celtics home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks. Before tip off for the game, Hayward sent a 30 second message to the fans at TD Garden in North Boston before undergoing surgery. His message read, ¨Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who's had me in their thoughts and prayers, O'm gonna be alright. It's hurting me that I can't be there for the home opener. I want nothing more than to be with my teammates and walk out on that floor tonight. But I'll be supporting you guys from here, and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.¨


Two weeks after the surgery, Hayward spoke at a press-conference about his recovery. The next day in the Celtics gym, he made a half court shot while sitting in a chair.


As Gordon Hayward recovers, the Celtics just keep on winning, and winning. Hayward is expecting to return either late in the regular season, playoffs, or next season. With months of physical therapy, and training, Gordon Hayward will be back in no time.

One To Remember

by Lindsey Black




The Giants 2-9 record (now 2-10) was a shock for National Football League fans everywhere. No one expected the season to have this bad of a turnout, especially since they ended last season with an impressive record of 11-5. Fans want to point fingers to find some reason behind the team’s sub-par playing, and injury did play a big role in the team’s struggle. Change was inevitable for the Giants. Something had to be done to get the normally competitive team out of its drought. However, benching Eli Manning for the game against the Raiders on December 3rd, was not the solution fans saw coming.


Ben McAdoo, the Giants head coach, announced that Geno Smith would start the game. As read in a CNN article, this change in quarterbacks snapped Eli’s 210 consecutive regular season game streak, which was the second longest in NFL history. Eli was given the option to start the game, and then switch out with Smith at halftime. Eli declined this offer. He said in a CNN interview, “I mean, I just didn't think that you start knowing that you're going to come out of a game to keep a streak alive, maybe. That's not what it's about. It's not a preseason game where you're going to play the start to the half, what's the next week? A quarter, a series, that's not fair. That's not fair to me, that's not fair to Geno, that's not how you play.” Many sports personalities and fans were outraged at the decision, saying that Eli wasn’t the problem and deserved to play. Plus, it was not a rookie starting for the Giants who might bring some much needed change, but a Jets ex-starter. It is claimed that the management along with the fans had an issue with the way the situation was handled. Eli was almost brought to tears by the decision. The Giants went on to lose the game to the Raiders at a score of 24-17.


All of this happened around November 30. At the beginning of December the Giants had played one game since losing to the Raiders. In that time span, the Giants again rattled the NFL with some more shocking news--they had fired head coach Ben McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese. Eli Manning is back to playing full games and the team president says benching Eli was not the reason for the firing. The decision was announced on December 4. According to WRUF in Gainesville, Florida, Mara met with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to take over the now vacant job of head coach. Spagnuolo agreed and it was also decided that Kevin Abrams would fill in as General Manager. This will remain until the completion of the season. The NFL is eager to see if these changes will help to turnaround the Giants season. One thing is for sure, and that is that this season will continue to be one to remember for the New York Giants and their committed fans.

Reviews

Book Reviews

The Hunger Games Book Review

by Sofia Santiago




In a place once known as North America, is Panem, a country run by the Capitol and President Snow. It is surrounded by 12 districts. As a lesson from their rebellion, the Capitol holds an annual ¨Hunger Games¨ every year, where a boy and girl are chosen between the ages of twelve and eighteen from each district to fight to the death in an arena aired on live television. When Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from District 12, volunteers for her younger sister, Prim, she fights in the arena, but soon has to decide over her survival or love.


The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, is an adventure and science fiction book. The main characters are Katniss, Peeta Mellark, Haymitch Abernathy, Effie Trinket, Gale Hawthorne, Prim Everdeen, and President Snow. The book is written in Katniss’ point of view. Collins did an excellent job of describing the setting of Panem and how Katniss felt in the arena. It clearly describes the arena and how Katniss had to survive all of the problems she faced. All in all, I would give this book five stars because the first time I read this book I was hooked and I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Suzanne Collins kept me interested and made me keep reading. If you like adventure, suspense, and science fiction then this book is for you. The Hunger Games will keep you in suspense.


If you enjoyed the first book, then there are two more left to read, Catching Fire

and Mockingjay.

Video Game Reviews

Super Mario Odyssey Review

by Ryan Eck




Mario has had an excellent track record with his 3D platformers, but there is much variety in how each of the games play. They started off as non-linear sandboxes, with Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, but with the Wii’s general focus on casual gaming, the next 3D game, Super Mario Galaxy, was rather linear in comparison to the 3D Mario titles that came before it. Super Mario Galaxy 2 was then released in 2010, and another linear 3D Mario game was released in 2011 called Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS. That game was followed with a sequel entitled Super Mario 3D World, released on the Wii U in 2013. Four years after that game, Mario has returned to his exploration-based 3D gameplay with Super Mario Odyssey, the Nintendo Switch’s first 3D Mario.


Super Mario Odyssey: The Best Mario Game in Years

Super Mario Odyssey takes the exploration-based gameplay the 3D Mario games once had, and brings it back in an unbelievable way, with new innovative mechanics to make it feel like a completely new experience. The game has Mario going through multiple kingdoms in search of Power Moons. You are accompanied by a companion called Cappy, who brings excellent fresh ideas to the table for the game.


Super Mario Odyssey is divided into multiple kingdoms, each with their own unique factors. Most of them have familiar Mario settings, such as the forest, the desert, the grasslands, and others, but the levels always have something new to them that make them feel fresh. The kingdom settings can be really unique and not at all like any other Mario level seen yet, such as the Metro Kingdom, which is a level based on New York City, or the Luncheon Kingdom, which is based on food. All of the kingdoms feel special regardless of their setting, but the variety is a nice touch. A new mechanic is being able to “capture” enemies. Just by throwing your cap onto them allows you to take control of them, and they are used in very clever ways that give variety to moon collecting. Speaking of that, while some moons may be a little too easy to get, collecting them is very fun and the majority of them feel very rewarding to take. There are some that are in ridiculous places or are way too easy to grab, but for the most part they are fun to collect. In terms of the exploration value of the game, it is the highlight of it. Exploring the kingdoms is great. Moon hunting is really fun to do and the kingdoms are really well-designed. If you are stuck, there are hints that you can use such as the Hint Toad or amiibo that can reveal locations for moons, which can prevent exploration from becoming tedious. Overall, Odyssey’s levels are amazing and they are a joy to play through.


There are many linear sections in the game within the kingdoms, and those are designed similarly to a game like Super Mario Galaxy. They are mostly just obstacle courses that add to your number of power moons, but they are still really fun. For those who do not like linear aspects of games however, these sections do not take away on Odyssey’s exploration. There are also a lot of bosses in the game. They are pretty good, but are a little too easy at times, mostly with the mini-bosses. The kingdom bosses are similar to how Super Mario Galaxy’s bosses were, and they are really fun to fight. Finally, you can also freeze the game and take pictures of your current position. There are many filters that you can use to change what it looks like. This feature was not necessary but it can be pretty funny when you use it. The whole game really is well-made and is one of the most fun Mario experiences in a while.


Mario’s moveset for the game is one of the best ones he’s had in awhile. There are so many ways to platform and they all fit into Odyssey’s open-world playstyle. He can dive, jump, backflip, roll, long jump, throw Cappy, and more. You can even do a bunch of these moves at once in a chain of actions, such as diving and then throw your cap to get extra distance with your jump. They are rather complex to perform and they can feel overwhelming, especially considering how often they can be used for more precise platforming, but after a few hours, they become very satisfying to perform and much easier to do. All of these moves along with how tight Mario feels when controlling him are factors that make Odyssey really fun to play.


The game also uses motion controls for some moves, but unfortunately this control scheme was not well-implemented. These actions involve throwing Cappy in different directions. You can throw Cappy in a circle around you, above you, in front of you, and in more directions. Besides when you are using the Joy Cons detached, the motion controls feel a little awkward to use. It is the worst with Handheld Mode, where you have to waggle the tablet around and it is a little bizarre. Using the scheme with the Pro Controller or Joy Con grip is not great, but not bad either. It is functional, but does not feel the greatest. Some of the moves are possible by button presses too, but besides the action where you throw Cappy right in the direction in front of you, doing these actions without motion controls are inconvenient and needlessly difficult to pull off. Thankfully, the moves that require motion controls are optional and are not necessary to do. The game is entirely playable with buttons only. On the other hand, using the Joy Cons detached make the motion control scheme very nice to use. This playstyle makes performing these actions a piece of cake, and it is very comfortable. Ultimately, this issue is very small and does not affect the quality of the game much. It is just something to point out.


In terms of the best way to play the game, both the Joy Cons and Pro Controller work extremely well with the game. Despite the Joy Cons having stubby joysticks, moving Mario around is still fluid. The Pro Controller is very comfortable too, but again, the motion controls do not work the best with it, and the same goes for the Joy Cons in the grip and Handheld Mode. Ultimately, the best way to play this game is with a Joy Con in each hand, really due to the motion controls. Overall, the game controls really well, even if the motion control scheme is an annoyance in some cases.


Super Mario Odyssey looks stunning, whether it is the beautiful backgrounds, the nice character models, and the distinct locations that give visual variety. The textures look good, and the game’s artstyle feels distinct. Overall, Odyssey is one of the greatest-looking games on the Nintendo Switch.


For any platformer or open-world fan, Super Mario Odyssey is absolutely worth a purchase. There are some annoyances with it, but it is still an excellent game. It is an absolute joy to play, combining many of the great elements of the past 3D Mario games into an amazing package, which is ultimately why it is one of the best Mario games in recent memory.




Survey: What’s Your Favorite Video Game?


Would you like to share what your favorite video game is? Answer this poll and show your opinion!


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Splatoon 2 Review

by Chris Schimkus




Nintendo has shown some pretty interesting games in the past but this next game will really impress you. This game consists of tension and multiplayer warfare and it is call Splatoon 2.


What is Splatoon 2?

Splatoon 2 was shown to the public on January 13, 2017. Splatoon 2 is a sequel to the first Splatoon game that is on the Wii U console. The new Splatoon is on the Nintendo Switch and it is mainly the same as the first game, but with a new storyline. In both of the games, there wasn’t just a player vs player battle with other players around the world. Both games let you personalize your own armor and battle strategy. The point of the online battles is to destroy the other player’s teammates while also painting the most turf. The storyline consists of two main groups, the squids and the octolings. For centuries the squids and octolings have had a huge war, but then you come along and must end this unending story. Your name is agent four after the first three agents and one of those agents (agent three) is you from the first Splatoon.


In the first Splatoon there were two main celebrates: Calie and Marie. In Splatoon 2 the two new celebrates are Pearl and Marina. The reason why there are new celebrates are because Calie joins forces with the octolings so Marie decides to step out of the fame game for a while to investigate this mystery. So Pearl and Marina take over the role as the celebrates from the next town over.


Is it a Squid, or is it a Kid?

One question that people have been trying to answer since Splatoon was released is if Splatoon characters are a squid or a kid. The research has shown that the characters have body-like features of a normal human and that is what helps keep the character’s balance and to stand upright, so that’s a point for kid. The next evidence that is shown is that Splatoon characters can transform from a kid to a squid, so if the characters had bones they would be crushed. Though, squids do have bones so they can easily be transformable. Also, squids can camouflage into other colors so they may bled with anything. And conveniently in the game, the characters change form and color to go into the ground. So there’s a point for squids.


The next evidence that is shown is that squids learn to hide from prey so they may catch them and in the game you are able to hide from other players to attack them. So for that I will give both squids and kids a point for both being able to attack. The next piece of evidence is a bit scientific so try and keep up. We must now decide if a squid transforms into a kid, or a kid transform into a squid. So to decide this we must not focus on the genes we have, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) but RNA (ribonucleic acid). RNA is what takes the “blueprints” from the DNA and turn them into the real thing (for example, proteins, brain cells, and healing injured parts of body). So basically squids have RNA but humans also have RNA. So just to get away from all this RNA stuff, let’s get back to DNA. DNA is able to copy itself, but there is a part in the middle of it that is not supposed to be there. So the RNA then “cuts” the unwanted part of the DNA with sort of a splicing tool. So this fixing with the DNA is found in the human body. The reason why this is is because the human needs to stay the same every time because humans do not evolve. Humans are humans and that is how it is going to stay. So the chances of humans of evolving again is very slim. Though on the other hand, squids have a very different genetic system. Instead of our slicing system that we use to fix DNA, squids use something called RNA editing. In this form, squids fix the copied DNA theirselves. So squids are able to adapt themselves to anything whenever they want. Unlike humans, squids take usually a couple of seconds to adapt while humans take thousands of years to evolve. So squids can take on any environment they want if it’s either the beach, forest, or even a post apocalyptic world. And it just so happens to be a sort of post apocalyptic world that is the setting in Splatoon. So the winner of if Splatoon characters are a kid or a squid, it will 100% all the time be a squid.


So that is basically how the Splatoon 2 works while also showing that Splatoon characters are a squid. Nintendo is still though deciding if there will be anymore festivals and special events. So go out there and buy yourself your very own Splatoon 2.

Movie Reviews

Thor: Ragnarok Review

by Erin Tumminello




On November 3, 2017, Marvel released the next movie in their ongoing series, Thor: Ragnarok. I saw it the day it came out, and it would make a great subject for my first movie review.


First, I’m going to give a brief, non-spoiler review, and then (after a spoiler warning, of course), I’m going to get into the good stuff!


The movie, in general

Thor: Ragnarok is a great movie, especially because it’s a Marvel movie. The action scenes are awesome, the characters are awesome, the new settings and space stuff is awesome, all of it is AWESOME. This was probably my favorite movie of 2017 (though I think it’s a tie with the sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy), and I think you should definitely go see it if it’s still in theaters if you haven’t already, or watch it on DVD or on demand when it’s available.


Humor

I thought that the movie was insanely funny, which I really enjoyed. I believe that the movie was more directed towards comedy. There were tons of hilarious scenes and jokes and it was just really entertaining to watch. But if you’re one of those people who likes movies with lots of depth and emotion, this movie probably isn’t for you. But if you want to watch it for the laughs, Ragnarok is perfect!


Story/Plot

I really loved the story of Ragnarok. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I mean this in a good way. The characters and the scenes and everything was just great, like all Marvel movies are supposed to be like. Additionally, the humor just made it a whole lot better.


Characters

I liked these characters, and a few new ones are introduced, like Hela, the main villain of the movie, for example. Some others include Scourge, an Asgardian who loves his M16s, Korg, a hilarious rock person, and more. I’m not really going to get into the characters that much, though, because I don’t want to spoil anything.


Cameos

There were a bunch of cameos in this movie, including, of course, Stan Lee, who is a very important person in the Marvel business. There are more, but unfortunately the movie makers want them to be a secret to people who haven’t seen it. So I suggest you watch the movie!


The details

Ok, here’s where things get spoilery, so if you want to see Thor: Ragnarok and you haven’t seen it yet, STOP HERE!



Seriously, STOP BECAUSE THERE ARE SPOILERS!

* But, of course, if you’ve seen it, please continue *



Humor

I really didn’t expect the movie to be as funny as it was. I thought it was going to be like your average Marvel movie, action, other stuff that isn’t action, and little random humorous points. I especially didn’t expect the humor because it was a Thor movie, and those tend to be more serious than the other Marvel movies. But Thor: Ragnarok was all-out hilarious - I mean, the movie literally started with a comedic line. Two of my favorite humor-related parts were The Devil’s… you know what… and the “Get Help” scene, where Loki pretends that he’s dying and Thor tosses him onto the bad guys. I also found it funny how Thor freaked out when he found out that his hair was going to be cut (poor guy… he loved his long hair so much…).


Story/Plot

I didn’t expect the plot that happened. The trailers kind of give you a bit of a false impression of what the movie’s going to be about. At first, I thought that the movie was going to be Thor fighting Hela, and then some gladiator scene. I thought there was going to be a lot more Thor vs. The Hulk in this movie, but the actual fight just lasted for no more than ten minutes. Also, I just have one complaint about The Hulk; he talks too much! I liked it better when he just said things like “HULK SMASH!!!” and things like that, but in this movie, he’s saying full sentences, and I just don’t like it!!!


Now, the stuff with Hela. I was very surprised to find out that she was Thor and Loki’s sister. That was really unexpected, and Marvel did a good job at concealing that secret (unlike the Hulk battle, which I guess would have been cooler for some viewers if they didn’t know that it was going to happen). She definitely had a thing with swords and sharp things, and she was a very powerful opponent. But… her being there resulted in the destruction of Azgard… Why?! I felt very bad when that happened. It was also a very unexpected scene, and I never saw it coming, and neither did many of the other Marvel fans, I’m guessing. But otherwise, the story and the other parts of the movie were great.


Characters

Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth): Thor was relatively the same except he’s a bit more humorous. We also learn that he loves his long hair… :) In all seriousness though, he’s a cool character, but he didn’t have the best day (or days?) in the movie. First, he learns that Loki was posing as his father, then his father dies, then he’s stranded on an alien planet, captured, and forced to become a gladiator. Then, he has to fight his evil sister and he ends up losing his eye in the process and then his planet blew up. So, yeah, I definitely feel bad for him because he didn’t have great experiences in whatever window of time the movie took place in. But he does have awesome fighting skills!


Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston): Yay! Loki’s back! He’s not dead! That’s what I’m thinking, and overall, I’m glad that he’s alive, but some people may not think so. Some people hate him, and others love him, and some feel in the middle about him (like me), and all of these viewpoints are okay, because everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. But what we can probably all agree on is that Loki was a bit of a confusing character not just overall, but especially in this movie. He was a selfish guy who was also a fighting companion and then a bit of a backstabber, but then a good guy again…? What? Loki was very interesting, and was on a bit of a roller coaster from good to bad to good, to say the least. He’s really tricky, both literally and figuratively. Basically, the stuff that he’s doing may not be for the good guys or the bad guys, what he’s doing might just be for his own good. He actually reminds me very much of a certain antagonist of a TV show that I like who is actually a lot like Loki. The character’s name may or may not be a spoiler to that show, so I won’t say his name. But, “so and so” is very similar to Loki, because he’s a confusing character. As a YouTuber said about him (not Loki), “...he’s never been a truly evil character, but he’s never been a truly good character either. He never does things just for the sake of being bad or just for the sake of being good. He does what is best for himself, for his own personal gain.” See what I mean? This quote almost exactly describes Loki, because he was doing everything for his personal gain. For example, he disguised as Odin and faked his death so that he’d be treated like a hero, but then he sided with Thor against Hela because Thor had a very powerful band of allies who would defeat Loki easily, and he didn’t want to stay on their bad side.


Hela (played by Cate Blanchett): Hela was a great villain and by “great” I mean well made. She was a very strong, kickbutt character, and I liked that. Well, I just have one complaint--she destroyed Thor’s hammer, because that was his trademark weapon, and it was part of what made Thor, well, you know… Thor. But that’s just me, and I just don’t like things like that, and besides, her destroying Thor’s hammer was a good way for Marvel to show how evil and powerful she is. It was also very interesting when I learned that she fought alongside Odin, and that they were basically evil. But then Odin decided that they were better off not doing evil stuff, and he turned his back on the villainous side. But Hela, not so much. She liked the good (or bad?) old days, and she ended up being exiled or locked up, or whatever happened, she wasn’t allowed to return to Azgard. Then, she came for revenge, and she blew up the planet, took Thor’s eye, killed a ton of people, and more, before she was defeated by Surtur (the giant fire demon, also the same guy who captured Thor in the beginning of the movie). But I’m kind of glad that she’s gone because I don’t think that anyone is going to want to have to fight her again.


The Valkyrie (played by Tessa Thompson): The Valkyrie, whose real name is Brunnhilde according to multiple sources, was a great character in my opinion. She had a tough personality and a really good backstory (and I love backstories). She was an Azgardian Valkyrie warrior who fought alongside other Valkyries against Hela. But then she wiped almost all of them out, and Brunnhilde (and probably at least a few others), was the only one left. She lost hope and was now working for the Grandmaster on planet Sakaar. She is strong, smart, and very, very good at kicking butt, and she is very skilled at flying and using spaceships, which are all things I like about her as a character. I also find it funny how she goes very overboard with the space drinks… ha ha...


The Hulk/Bruce Banner (played by Mark Ruffalo): There was a lot of Hulk in this movie, which was fine with me! The fact that he was in it sort of tied this movie into the Marvel Universe a bit more, in my opinion. Also, by having the Hulk/Bruce Banner in Thor: Ragnarok kind of gives us a little bit of Hulk’s background. Now we know that during Captain America: Civil War, Hulk was in space, fighting as a gladiator, and hasn’t been Bruce Banner for a year. It was also kind of sad though, because he was in space and had no idea where he was, and he probably didn’t even remember, so it must have been a shock to Bruce when he basically woke up on an alien planet the year after the year he thought it was, if that makes sense. But I think Marvel developed the Hulk (and Bruce Banner) pretty nicely.

Other characters: There were a bunch of other characters that I really liked. For example, Korg (played by Taika Waititi, who is also the director of this movie), the rock person, was just hilarious. I loved him and his comical and friendly personality, and I hope that there’s more of him in the Marvel universe. I also really liked Scourge (a.k.a. The Executioner, and played by Karl Urban, see above picture), because he was a good character, and he was also very funny. I also loved the Grandmaster (played by Jeff Goldblum, see below picture) because, guess, I thought he was funny! If you haven’t noticed already, I like all of the humorous characters, and of course, I loved the below category:


Cameos

This was one of my favorite things about the movie. There were so many actors who made cameos and I loved that. Below, I’m going to say some of the cameos that I noticed in the movie.


Jeff Goldblum: The Grandmaster was no other than this beloved actor. He is famously known for his part in the Jurassic Park movies. I’m a pretty big Jurassic Park fan, so I recognized him fairly quickly and I was glad that he was in this movie.

Matt Damon: Matt Damon is a famous actor who is in movies like The Great Wall and The Martian. He’s also in Ragnarok! Near the beginning of the movie, Thor returns to Asgard to see that Odin (who is actually Loki in disguise) is relaxing and watching a play that was a reenactment of the scene in Thor: The Dark World, where Loki “dies.” Matt Damon is on the stage, wearing a wig and costume, and playing Loki.

Luke Hemsworth: In the scene with Matt Damon, another actor makes a cameo as well. Luke Hemsworth (the brother of Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor) was dressed up and wearing a wig and fake beard on the stage. Funny enough, he was being the fake Thor, while his brother is the real one.

Sam Neill: Another actor from the Jurassic Park movies, Sam Neill makes a Ragnarok cameo. Also in the play scene, he is dressed up as Odin. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a picture of him during the scene, so here is a picture of the actor.

Stan Lee: Of course, it is against the laws of humanity have a Marvel movie without a Stan Lee cameo. This man is the creator of Thor and The Hulk, along with Spiderman, the X Men, and Iron Man, to name a few. He used to be the president and chairman of Marvel’s comic company. He has been in every single Marvel movie, so why stop here?! In Ragnarok, Stan Lee is the one who cuts the hair of The God of Thunder (who is very upset about his new ‘do), and of course, we can expect more of him in the Marvel movies to come (like Black Panther and Infinity War, which are both expected to be released in 2018).


Well, that’s it for my very first review. I hope you liked it!

I’d like to hear your thoughts about Thor: Ragnarok so please comment about the movie in the link to a Google Form.


This is the link!!!


Sources:

The Nightmare Before Christmas Review (No Spoilers)

by Karn Jaswal




The Nightmare Before Christmas is a one in a lifetime movie. Filled with memorable characters, songs, and a great plot, you will definitely enjoy this film.


Plot

As no spoilers are in this review, I’ll just give the plot of this movie. It is about a mystical land called Halloween Town filled with creepy crawlers and creatures of all kind. One of the leaders of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington is bored of the same routine every year to celebrate Halloween. After visiting another town called Christmas Town, he learns about the holiday Christmas and decides to take over it this year. The story is filled with many songs that are catchy and memorable. All of the characters have interesting backgrounds.


I, personally, was a little bit reluctant about whether I should watch the movie or not. In the beginning, I was a little bit stunned and confused why it was in stop-motion. However, it never made a difference and in fact actually suits the movie. Each character that is introduced in the story has their own unique personality. The cast is composed of excellent actors. Not only that, but also I absolutely loved the songs. They were so catchy that I couldn’t stop singing them for a week.


Can Young Children see This Movie?

The Nightmare Before Christmas is rated PG, so young children should see it with a parent or adult. However, there are some scenes that may be uncomfortable for kids, such as the main villain gambling. The story is very much like the other movies that Disney has created.


In conclusion, you definitely need to check out this movie. It’s filled with a lot of fun and anything you’d expect from a Disney movie! The characters all have remarkable personalities and are full of life. The main character Jack has such a ghoulish personality, and Oogie Boogie the main villain is actually likable (very rare for a villain) You’ll really love this movie.

Creative Writing

Grasping Freedom

by Erin Tumminello



I participated in the 2017 Reflections contest and submitted a piece of writing. So I thought, why not put that in the Creative Writing section for the school newspaper? So here it is. Enjoy!


Warning: Since this story was written for adult judges, there are some scenes in the story (which have to do with animal abuse) that are somewhat descriptive and may be disturbing or upsetting to the reader.


I can vaguely remember the events in my mind. My thoughts can grip small pieces for a time, and then they slip away. My mother’s soft fur. The taste of warm milk entering my mouth and filling my stomach. The other leopards walking over to me, purring and licking my back. The quiet sounds of the rainforest erupting into panic and danger. The humans. The hands grabbing me and the tight rope closing on my throat. My smothered wails for help as I was tossed in a truck and carried away from everything I knew.


I shivered in my cage. That was a dream and a memory that I wished never existed. Fear chilled me to my bones every time it replayed in my head. It gave me an intense feeling of despair as well; I knew that I might never return to that life again, though I fantasized means of escape many times. Maybe it was possible. It felt just within my reach, yet so far away.


Living in the circus means following a strict schedule. Wake up. Train. Go to cage. Perform. Go to cage. Sleep. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, “Eat food” is added. But I’m used to the constant hunger. I learned how to put the wrenching pain in my stomach to the back of my thoughts. Now, for the rest of the day probably, I was confined, cold, and alone. My breaths created small clouds in the air. My fur was made for the hot, humid air of the jungles and climates where I am meant to live. It was not suited or thick enough for the cold winters that I have to endure. It was also currently matted and caked with dirt, as well as a little bit of blood. I licked myself, trying to make myself softer and fluffier, though I knew that my efforts were in vain.


I pushed my snout as far as I could through the bars. Next to me was the lock of my cage. A taunt is what that lock is, really. It’s right there and within reach of my paws, but my claws can’t fit through the keyhole. With the slightest of difficulty, I pulled my head back in. I shivered one last time, and then curled up tightly and tried to keep the warmth within myself, as well as fall asleep…


I jerked awake as a human yelled at me and jabbed at me with a stick. My stiff muscles quivered as I stood up. He opened the cage and I followed him. Every part of me wanted to stand my ground, but I knew that the human would hurt me badly if I disobeyed him. So, I padded after him, hanging my head low, my gaze fixed on the ground. I didn’t dare look him in the eye because I couldn’t bare to look at his terrible, intimidating face. It was the one that haunted my dreams, the first one I saw years ago when those humans came crashing through my beloved home to steal me away and force me to unwillingly leave everything behind.


He put a shackle around my neck, which was connected to a chain in his hand. Other humans, who were stronger, lifted my cage and carried it away. This meant that we were travelling. I was led outside to a train that was being boarded by humans and other animals, who I share my miserable experiences with. These short moments were the only times where I could breathe fresh air. I opened my mouth slightly and sucked the thick, warm air into my lungs. The human thrust the stick and hit me in the rear end, signalling to keep walking. I stared at the boxcar looming in front of me. I was suddenly filled with a feeling of dread. I couldn’t go in there. I could be chained for days. It was small and cramped and claustrophobic. This precious moment of breath was always terrible when it was over. It was like a dog that was tied down with a treat in front of it, just out of the rope’s reach. And no matter how much that dog pulled, no matter how much it whined, it would never get the treat. I struggled against my chains in a desperate attempt to inhale just a little more of that fresh air. The human yelled, and another ran up to us. He jabbed me in the ribs with an electric prod. I screeched and crumbled to the ground. I writhed on the hard ground as spasms rippled through my body. Then I lost consciousness.


I woke up to pitch darkness. I felt the damp wood under me. I was in the train. I raised my head upwards and yowled, though I knew that my echoing cries wouldn’t be heard. In a state of panic and desperation, I violently thrashed against the link of chains that held me down. My paw fell through an old, splintered floorboard, and suddenly everything loosened. The nail in the floor that I was tethered to had become disconnected from the car, and I could now move freely. I knew this was my chance to escape. My freedom was finally within reach.


I raked my claws against the walls, searching for a way out. They caught on what I knew was the door. I managed to pull it open. I was abruptly exposed to blinding light and the deafening sounds of the moving vehicle. I shrank back, hissing, squeezing my eyes shut and folding my ears to my head. I slowly adjusted, and then crawled to the opening. The ground and trees rushed by as the train passed them. I knew that my only choice was to jump. I hunched into a crouch and took a deep breath. Then I sprang.


I crashed into the ground and rolled a few times. The train zoomed past and was gone within moments. I’d done it. I had escaped. Freedom was mine at last. My future was mine to control.


I wandered in a daze. I saw human buildings far off in the distance, so I traveled in the opposite direction. My fur was damp with sweat at times and covered in a thin sheet of frost at others. Everything hurt. My muscles were burning. The spot where I was struck with the electricity was stinging. The pads of my paws were dry and cracked.


I wasn’t sure if this journey took hours or days or weeks, but eventually I found myself staggering into lush plants. As I continued on, familiar sounds and smells grabbed my attention, and I snapped into focus. I saw animals that I thought I’d never see again. I saw leopards. I saw my family that I had been separated from years before. I saw my mother standing far away, but staring at me. I could see the happiness and disbelief in her eyes. I could hear her soft purr.


Finally.


I was home.


For all this time, it had been right here. It had been so close. I discovered, with a jolt of realization, that it had all been within reach.

Together

by Kathleen Tumminello




Together


My tail twitched impatiently as I sat in the grass and waited. My mother was nearby, with my siblings, who have been born just a moon ago. They have opened their eyes recently, and I’d soon be meeting them for the first time. Would they be melanistic like I am? I’m the only black lion in the pride, but maybe they would be, too.


I heard pawsteps behind me, and I turned around. It was Thunderclaw, the leader of the pride, who also happened to be my father. “Are you ready to be a brother, Nightfur?” He asked, purring.


“Yes,” I replied. Thunderclaw smiled and walked away. Suddenly, I heard rustling in the grass in front of me, and I stood up. My black paws kneaded the ground in excitement. After a few moments, a cub walked out into the small clearing. His fur was a bright yellow, no brownish spots on it like most lion cubs had. He walked over to me, and I noticed that he was actually almost as big as I was. He sniffed me, and then walked away and flopped into the grass.


Another cub came over; he had bright reddish flecks in his fur, and he was followed by one with faded grayish-blue flecks. They were noticeably less chunky than the first one. I glanced at the cub with the reddish flecked-fur, and he turned to look me in the eyes. He had a look of and intense affection and trust, and I held his gaze for a moment. I new instantly that our bond would be something special. He walked over to me and, purring, pushed his head against my chest. I nuzzled him, and licked his head. He started pawing at the small, white tuft of fur on my forehead, in between my ears.


Suddenly, the gray-flecked cub tackled him, playfully growling. They rolled around on the grass, and I snorted in amusement. I walked over to them and gently pushed them apart with a paw. They sat there, panting, the gray-flecked one with a mischievous glint in his eyes. The other one hissed at him, hackles raised, and stalked over to me. A few moments later, Savanna, my mother, walked over.


“I never told you their names,” she said, smiling. She nodded towards the yellow one. “This is Sandclaw.” She licked the one with the blue-gray flecked fur, who yowled in annoyance. “This is Rainfall. And that little loner is Emberpelt.” She flicked her tail at the cub with the red flecks in his fur. “I see he’s taken a liking to you!” she purred. She walked back into the grass, and came out a second later, carrying a very small cub by the scruff of her neck. She gently put her down. “And this is Willowleaf, your sister.”


She was smaller than Rainfall and Emberpelt, and her fur was slightly brown, with the tiniest hint of green. Sandclaw walked over to her, and licked her vigorously. Willowleaf pawed him away, playfully growling. Emberpelt and Rainfall had started play-fighting, and Sandclaw began to lick one of his paws. I looked at my siblings happily. I loved them already.


~Two days later~


We were all curled up next to Savanna, ready to sleep. The others were nursing, while I gnawed at a piece of prey. She licked each of us once, and then rested her head on her paws. One by one, the rest of us closed our eyes, drifting into sleep.


____


“Nightfur! Nightfur!” I was woken up by someone whispering my name. I opened my eyes; it was still dark out. “Nightfur!” I looked down, and saw Rainfall, who was wide awake.


Somehow, he and Sandclaw had managed to wriggle themselves under me, and Emberpelt and Willowleaf were in between us.


“Let’s explore!” he said.


“Not right now,” I replied groggily. “It’s the middle of the night.”


“Ok. I’ll just go by myself, then.” He wiggled his way out from under Emberpelt and Willowleaf, and started traipsing away. I sighed, knowing that there was no stopping him. So, trying not to wake up any of the others, I carefully tried to climb down from the sleep pile. I followed Rainfall as he walked around, looking at the sleeping pride. I heard a rustle in the grass behind me, and I turned around. I sighed as I saw the other three cubs following, trying to be stealthy.


“You guys can come out now,” I whispered, my tail drooping in exhaustion. The others slowly came out of the grass. “Let’s go.” I turned around, but then I realized that Rainfall was gone. I sniffed at the grass, and followed his scent trail. It wasn’t long until I found him, walking around and sniffing at the long stems of grass.


“Everything looks so different at night!” He exclaimed.


“Maybe we should go back soon,” Sandclaw murmured nervously. “Should we be this far from everyone else?” I realised that he was right. We had gone pretty far. As we started to walk back, a scent drifted in front of my nose, and I stiffened. A lioness stalked out of the tall stems. Her fur was matted and ungroomed.


Raggedfang. My claws slowly slid out and dug into the dirt. I didn’t know much about her, except for the fact that everyone made sure that she was kept far away from the cubs. “Well, what do we have here?” she sneered. She smiled, showing snaggly yellow teeth.

The fur along my spine began to raise, and I started trembling. “Stay away from them,” I growled. I tried to stand in front of my siblings, and I slowly backed away.


“That is no way to speak to your elders!” She hissed. She raised her paw, claws out, and slashed me across the muzzle. I yelped in pain, and staggered backward. I fell, covering my nose with a paw. I winced, a growl starting to rumble in my throat.


My siblings ran over to me, but Willowleaf got to me first. “Are you alright?” she asked.

“I’m okay,” I replied. “I think.”


“Can I see it?”


I nodded, and removed my paw from my face. My eyes widened a little when I saw that it was covered in blood. “It looks bad,” she murmured, wincing. “It’s definitely going to scar up.”


I turned on Raggedfang. “Do you see what you’ve done?” I snarled. Then, I lowered my voice to a murmur. “Just you wait until the rest of the pride hears that you attacked a one-year-old lion for no good reason.”


“What did you say?” Raggedfang hissed, taking a step towards me. “You’re going to cause a commotion just because I was giving you some discipline? You stupid cub.”


“No he’s not!” Emberpelt exclaimed.


“Of course he is!” she spat. “Obviously, you can show a cub some dominance! What harm is there in teaching someone how to respect their elders?”


“So you think that attacking cubs is a good thing?” I asked. “No wonder nobody trusts you anymore.” Suddenly, Raggedfang roared, and lunged at me. She sank her teeth into my right foreleg, just below the shoulder, and I heard a sickening crack. She jerked her head to the side, and I screeched in pain. She threw me to the side, and I fell onto the ground.


I squeezed my eyes shut and clenched my teeth, desperately trying to suppress an agonized yowl. I felt tears start to form in my eyes. With a roar of fury, Emberpelt launched himself at Raggedfang, and slashed at her face relentlessly. With a snarl, she swatted him away, and he went sprawling across the grass. Rainfall ran to him.


“Are you okay?” he asked.


“I’m fine.” Emberpelt growled, and the two of them ran at Raggedfang, slashing her muzzle in unison.


At the same time, Sandclaw stood in front of me, trying to shield me from the vicious lioness. He was shaking in fear. “Leave us alone!” he tried to sound threatening, but his voice was shaky and high-pitched. But Raggedfang’s focus was elsewhere, since she was being attacked by three cubs; Willowleaf had joined in, darting around her and slashing at her flanks and legs. As soon as Sandclaw realised that she was distracted, he turned to me. “Are you okay?” he asked, his eyes full of terror and concern.


“I...I…” I choked back a sob, the words catching in my throat. Sandclaw’s face seemed blurry through the tears in my eyes. “I don’t know.”


“Can I look at it?”


I nodded, and he walked over to look at my leg. My black fur was drenched in blood. “Oh no…” he murmured.


“What’s wrong?” I asked.


“Your leg...It’s...You might not be able to walk properly again…”


What?


“I think it’s broken. And some of the muscles look kind of...you know…” He picked up a blade of grass in his jaws and tore it in half.


I looked at Sandclaw in horror. “Do you think I’ll be able to walk again?”


“Probably, but you might be limping for a while, if not the rest of your life.” He leaned towards my shoulder. “This might sting a little, but it has to get clean.” I yowled in pain as he started licking my wound.


Suddenly, I heard an earsplitting roar. I flattened my ears against my head. Sandclaw yelped and jumped into the air, his fur raised. We looked at the direction it came from, and saw Raggedfang, with her paw on the right side of her face. When she removed it, I saw slash marks across her face, starting above her eye, and ending below it. But fortunately for her, her actual eye was unharmed. Emberpelt stood nearby, panting. His fur was spiked along his back, and he glared at Raggedfang.


She turned on him slowly, and stalked towards him, seething with rage. “You will regret that!” she snarled. Each time she took a step, Emberpelt moved backwards. Soon enough, Raggedfang had backed him against a large rock. Emberpelt bared his teeth and hissed, glaring fiercely at her. I’m not sure whether or not I imagined it, but she seemed to flinch back slightly. But she continued advancing on him. She pushed him against the rock with one of her forepaws, and raised the other one, her razor-sharp claws glinting in the moonlight. For the first time, I saw fear flash in Emberpelt’s eyes.


”NO!”


I tried to stand up, but when I put weight on my right forepaw, pain shot through my leg, and I roared in agony. In what seemed like slow motion, Raggedfang’s paw came down. “EMBERPELT!!!” I shrieked. A split second before her claws met his flesh, a ferocious roar sounded nearby, and a huge, tawny shape burst out of the grass. It was Thunderclaw!

The rest of the pride jumped out after him as he sprinted forward. In one mighty leap, he tackled Raggedfang, and they rolled across the ground. He pinned her down, one paw on her throat. “I gave you a second chance and this is what you do?” he snarled. “I don’t ever want to see your mangy face again. Leave. Now. And don’t EVER come back!” He released her, and she stood up, hissed, and turned away.


But after she had taken a few pawsteps, she looked over her shoulder and snarled, “You might have driven me out, but I will come back. I will have my revenge. Just you wait, Thunderclaw. I will have my revenge if it is the last thing I-”


Thunderclaw cut her off with a roar, and he was soon joined by the other lions. Emberpelt, now by my side, roared also, and so did the rest of my siblings. I joined in, weakly.


Raggedfang hissed, and then vanished into the grass. As the rest of the pride walked towards me, asking if I was alright, everything started to fade into darkness, and I knew that I would soon lose consciousness.


“Thank you,” I weakly groaned.


“It’s okay, Nightfur,” Emberpelt told me, smiling warmly. “Everything is going to be alright.”

That’s when I thought; they saved me. They will stick by my side through thick and thin. We are together now.


And we are always stronger together.


Emberpelt’s soft smile was the last thing I saw before I blacked out.

The Grim River Chapter 1

by Victor Paduano




Chapter 1: A Swim With Death


On a foggy Florida Sunday afternoon in the late summer of 1993, thirteen-year old Tobias Stonewall decided to do the unthinkable. He told his mother, Karen Stonewall, that he will get groceries for her, since they were running low on food. “How sweet of you, dear!” she said while smiling. She then told him to get dressed, and he went up to his room without hesitation. Usually, Tobias never listened to his mother, and she found this behavior from her son rather odd, but she quickly dismissed it and continued to bake an apple pie for herself.


When Tobias was getting changed, the thoughts that rapidly shot through his head like bullets never seemed to fade away. He was excited, yet anxious at the same time to cross the river just a few blocks away. After all, he simply lied to his mother about him buying groceries for her, just so he can become the new “tough guy” in the county of Orange Hill. He was told by his two best friends, Liam McCannon and James Pollick, that ten kids were last seen near the river...and never returned. That is how the river earned its nickname. For a moment, Tobias wondered if he was doing was the right thing to do. “Of course it is, you doofus!” he said to himself, “If you cross that river, you’ll get all the attention in the whole darn world!” After he got dressed, he rushed down to the kitchen, picked up his Florida Gators cap and a twenty-dollar bill off from one of the counters, and bolted out the front door.


“See you later, Mom!” he shouted.


“Be careful out there, Tobias!” she shouted back. “And try not to get your new shoes dirty!”


As Tobias ran to the river, the wind in his face gave him a rush he never felt before. He increased his pace, going faster and faster by the second, like a locomotive with its brakes unattached. He ran so fast that his cap whisked off of his head and disappeared into the fog. “Oh no!” he shouted, looking frantically for his cap while still running.


He decided to stop and catch his breath after a while. He leaned on a oak tree and noticed a raven, patiently sitting on one of the tree’s branches, staring directly at him. Its eyes were an unusual shade of blood-red, and it made Tobias’s skin run cold with fear. He tried to shoo it away, but the raven still stared intently at him. “Go away, you stupid bird!” Tobias said angrily. The raven then let out a deafening caw, and flew right at him. He was able to duck, but accidently lost his balance and fell on to dirty, green mud. He looked up at the bird, who was flying into the fog at this point, and noticed a great deal of leafless trees and shrubbery.


When he got up from the muddy terrain, he looked down and saw the edge of a circular, murky body of water a centimeter away from his feet. He looked up again steadily to see the body of water grow longer and longer. Tobias then came to the stunning realization that he was at the Grim River, and mentally shrieked with terror. He then decided that he did not want to have the same fate as the ten other possibly deceased kids and no longer wanted to be tough. He knew he would die if he stood on this very spot any longer. He slowly picked up his right foot and turned around but, from the corner from his eye, noticed a bright blue and orange hat. He turned around to see his Gators cap in the middle of the dirty river.


“Alright…” Tobias told himself, “...Just get the hat...and leave.” He walked closer, closer, closer to the river. With each little step, the sound of the mud on his feet made him cringe. Just as he was about to put his foot in the river, he saw a pair of large, oval-shaped eyes glowing like fire hidden in the river.


Hello there, Tobias Stonewall.” said a deep, chilling voice that echoed across the river. Tobias jumped and staggered back. Did he just hear a voice? If so, where was it coming from, and how did it know his name?


Are you looking for your hat, Tobias?” the voice asked.


“Uh...yeah.” Tobias said nervously, “How did you know?”


I know many things, Tobias,” the voice responded, “Even things that are unknown to humankind.”


Tobias chuckled. “Uh-huh,” he said sarcastically, “Sure.”


You DARE to my question my knowledge?!” the voice boomed, which was as loud as crashing thunder.


Tobias gulped. “N-no sir, it’s not like that at all!”


I hope so...for your own sake.


“Anyway,” Tobias continued, “About the cap. Is there any way you can get it for me?”

Hmmm...I will try...but first…” Suddenly, a swamp green hand with webbed fingers rose from the river and grabbed Tobias by the leg. “...YOU WILL JOIN US!!!


Tobias screeched and tried to run, but the hand yanked him, causing him to trip and dragging him into the river, its dagger-like fingernails piercing Tobias’s skin, causing it to bleed uncontrollably. Tobias tried to claw his way to where he first stood, but failed doing so. “MOM!!!” he cried out in terror, “HELP ME!!!” A second after his begging call, Tobias Stonewall was pulled into the river, his voice forever silenced by the murky depths of the poison green water.


One week later, after a long and grueling manhunt, the Orange Hill Police Department found Tobias’s dead body lying motionless on the river floor. When Karen Stonewall got the tragic news from the police, she broke down on the floor, crying hysterically. Shortly after, she called the funeral service through never ending tears.


The next day, a funeral was held for Tobias on a rainy Monday morning. Everyone in the neighborhood, including James Pollick and Liam McCannon, attended, clad in black clothing to mourn the loss of Karen’s poor son. As Tobias was being put to rest, Karen sobbed like she never did before. “Poor lady…” Liam mouthed to James.


After the funeral, Liam’s mother, Alyssa, let James at the McCannon household stay for the afternoon, while she had to visit her husband, Daniel, in the hospital. As soon as she left, Liam had an idea.


“You know what?” he said, “I think we need to find out how Tobias died.”


“Dude!” James responded, “Are you insane? If we go near that river, we could get ourselves killed!”


“That’s why we need to come up with a plan, James.”


“Oh, yeah,” James said, “Right. But how are we gonna think of something?”


“We have to examine the river. Not up close, of course, but through this newspaper.”


Liam then held up an issue of the Orange Hill Gazette. An article on the death of Tobias was shown on the front page.


“Momma got this the day the police found Tobias in that river.” Liam exclaimed as he pointed at the picture of Tobias’s lifeless body. “With this here paper, we can get the bottom of this.”


“But eighth grade is fast approaching!” James exclaimed, “We have to worry about schoolwork, classes, nagging teachers, and-”


“Let’s be honest, James,” Liam said nonchalantly, “Nobody cares about some old guy who gives out homework like no tomorrow. Besides, everyone and their grandma is talking about that river and Tobias dying. To be honest, Orange Hill should treat education as a little side thing and focus on that pathetic river.”


“PATHETIC?!” James shouted, “THAT RIVER KILLED ONE OF OUR BEST FRIENDS!!!”


“True,” Liam said in a freakishly monotone voice, “But there has to be a way we can destroy that river. There has to be. There always is.”


James scoffed at Liam’s statement. “Not unless we contact the county.” he said in a sarcastic tone.


Liam bolted up from the ground they were sitting on, startling his golden retriever, Sparkles, who sat right by his side. “Thanks for the idea, buddy.” Liam said confidently, “Let’s go to the county hall. I’ll call up Momma.”


Liam ran to the telephone in the kitchen, dialed the number, called his mother, and put down the phone with suavity. “Momma said we can go!” Liam shouted. He then ran out the front door with a giddy smirk on his face. Reluctantly, James followed, hoping the worst was not yet to come.



TO BE CONTINUED…

Tales from the Trenches

by Cormac Hale




Tales From the Trenches

October 19, 1914

P.F.C. John Lok

501 Queen’s Royal Infantry a.k.a. “The Kaiser Killers”

Eastern Ypres, Belgium


I

Today is the big day. We will go over to Ypres. Baumbaur is saying the Our Father. I am looking at the picture Martha gave me the day I was shipped out to the front, George is kissing his cross, and John is holding a little paper bag. “All right boys, today we are gonna whoop the Kaiser’s behind. We will hold them here… at Ypres!” Lieutenant Amber yells. “There will be not one step backwards. We will meet the Germans with full force. Anyone deserting his post will be shot! For every dead Brit, there will be ten dead Jerry’s…”


WHHHHOOOOOSSSSHHHH


“Everybody down!” someone yells.


“ Artillery!” John screams.


BAM! Five men fly up in the air and fall down screaming in agony.


“Run!” another man yells.


“Coward! Shoot him! Shoot him!” A lieutenant yells. I hear gunshots and a scream cut short.


Then I hear the most chilling sound ever.


Aufladen!” Charge.


II


I can hear the clink of the bayonets being fixed to the top of the gun. The next thing I know I see half the population of Berlin moving swiftly through the mud, bullets, and bodies of no-man’s- land.


“Open fire!” Col. Lennis yells.


Ratatatatatatatatatatata .


The Lewis gun mows down row after row of Jerry’s.


Crack!


I look over at the machine gunner who is slumped down in his foxhole with a bullet in his head, blood seeping into the mud. Then the screams of the approaching Hun get extremely close.


“Hand-to-hand!” Lt. Amber says. I pull out my “hand-to-hand weapon” a shovel and cry, “For Britannia!” Then I hear a crack and the man next to me falls to the ground with a hole in his back with his eyes wide open. I look down at the man and the next thing I feel is a cold slap to the back. I fall to the ground as an angry looking German jumps on top of me and pulls out a knife. I struggle to keep the knife a fair distance away from me as the Hun is muttering German curses, when john tackles him and starts punching him. The knife clatters to the ground. The German reaches for it and shoves it into John’s body.


“NO!!!!” I shout the German turns around and comes towards me I reach for my shovel and feel as strong as an ox. I run at him and hit him with the back of my shovel. He screams in pain as he stumbles to the ground holding his eye. I lean down on him and say, “Hail Britannia, lousy Fritz.” I bring my shovel back over my head and bring it down on his body powerfully.


“Wait,” he says in broken English. “Mercy, please, have mercy.” I stab the shovel into his neck and a spray of blood comes onto my shovel. “ Where was mercy when you stabbed John?” I mutter. I lean over John and drag him to the medical center. He swears as I drag him. He points to his chest and I realize that the knife is still in him. I rip it out and he screams.


“I can’t feel my hands.” he says.


“Just hang in there” I reply. When I get him to the medical center, nurses start injecting medicine in him. I know that John is lucky because while I was dragging him I saw a man dragging another man with his legs completely gone. I know I will live but I will never forget it.


III


At the funeral, everyone was quiet. I hold back tears. “Today we honor Johnathan Joseph Hucks for his supreme sacrifice in the line of duty,” the priest says. The rest of the day I train new recruits. That day a young lad named Max, who was from Ireland, peaked his head over the trench line. Just his luck that the snipers were on duty. He got a red badge, and there was nothing we could do about it. I keep on thinking about what I could do for John. He never got older. Who decides such things?


Facts about the Battle of Ypres

  • There were actually 4 Battles for the small town of Ypres

  • The Cloth Hall, built in the 15th century was reduced to dust by the fourth battle of Ypres

  • Ypres is pronounced E-pris

  • The third battle of Ypres was also called the Battle of Passchendaele.

Casualty rate for WWI

(Note that these are only the main participants in WWI)


Soldiers

Britain- About 6,000,000

France- 5,623,800

Canada-111,442

America-320,518

Germany-6,252,662

Austria-Hungary-4,820,000

Russia- 5,449,000

Civilians

Britain-about 40,000,000

France-340,000,000

Canada-0

America-757

Austria-Hungary-587,000

Russia- (Not including the 1915-1919 Revolution) 1,140,000


Conclusion

Battle of Ypres

The battle of Ypres was one of the deadliest battles in WWI history. It also was one of the worst disasters in German Military History. On November 11, 1914, the day of Kindermord or the massacre of the Innocents, an unknown number of College Army Reserves were slaughtered by British soldiers. The entire battalion of 19-24 year olds was killed by British troops. The battles of Ypres took a whooping total of 202,168 lives away from their owner


Glossary


Kaiser- A German emperor

Jerry- A British nickname for German soldiers

foxhole-A circular trench that can usually hold five to seven soldiers

New Beginnings

by Teresa Greene




“You are going to go to school.” Those words flew like an angel around my head. I was so excited to finally go to school! Since my mom got a new job she can’t homeschool me anymore. I love to learn at home. I get to wake up whenever I want and I don’t have homework! I don’t understand the fuss about Friday. It’s just another day! But this was all going to change. I was going to be reborn on Monday.


Wake up!” my mother quietly screamed so that she wouldn’t wake anybody else up. I could barely see her because it was so dark. The only other time I was up this early was when we woke up to go to Magic Kingdom in Disney World.


“Why is it so-wait, I GET TO GO TO SCHOOL!” I popped out of bed and flew downstairs. It was hard for me to eat my breakfast because I was so nervous and excited.


When I finished getting ready I got in my mom’s car with my backpack and my lunch box. Finally, there it was glimmering on this sunny day. But then I saw kids with frowning faces. Why could they possibly be so sad?


So, what I know is that I am in 6th grade and in this middle school there is 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. I see big yellow buses with flashing lights. I wouldn’t know they were buses if there wasn’t a giant sign that said SCHOOL BUS. They don’t look like the buses that I saw when I was in the city.


I see big, tan, thin boxes that have locks on them. I am very confused and it is so loud. I walk into my classroom and I see posters all over. Numbers and vocabulary all over and I am so overwhelmed! They say we are starting homeroom, but I don’t see my home or my room and I am starting to wish I do.


Class

My first teacher’s name is Mrs. Singer. I told her that I was very confused and she just stated how easy everything was. I had to go to English class next and that was in the same room. I hoped that we would get to start learning and it would be fun.


Through the rest of homeroom the teacher talked and assigned us big tan boxes called lockers. Duh they have locks on them. Why didn’t I realize that? They were very confusing and I needed a special person to come and help me. Anyway, we started learning and it just didn’t feel the same. A stranger was teaching me, not my mom. She gave us supply lists and I wondered where I could find all of this stuff. When I asked where, I saw some people turn away and laugh. I don’t know what they learned in Kindergarten, but my mom told me not to be mean like that.


I had some interesting classes such as Spanish, Health, and even Art! Who makes a waste-of-time class like that? I don’t even like art anyway. Still no matter what, I walked through the halls and I heard my name, Tiana Isom, all around. And I can tell it wasn’t in a good way.


Be kind

Most of my teachers seem to care about me. They try and help me. I thought it was normal, you know, for people to talk about you. They were saying things and laughing at me. I never wanted to cause any trouble. But no. Our principal, Mr. Straywater, heard someone talking about me and in his booming loud voice he said, “THERE WILL BE NO MEAN COMMENTS ABOUT ANYONE ELSE IN THIS SCHOOL!” That was followed by silence. And then, just like that, it was like nothing ever happened.


I wasn’t surprised when we had an assembly the next day about kindness. We learned about bullying and stuff like that. I don’t feel bad about what people did. I didn’t mean all of this trouble, I just wanted to go to a real school.


All it takes is one

I made this really nice friend named Peggy Martin. She used to get called Pegs and she didn’t like it, but she learned to not care about mean people. I wish I could do that. Maybe I could learn from her.


A lot of people are afraid of Peggy because she is tough. People are being nicer to me now. I think they see the real me, not just a person who has never done what everyone else has for the past six years. Being new is hard, but I’m glad I came. Hard times is part of school. If I didn’t learn anything, then what would be the point of school? I learned more about myself and there is more to come. I love school!

Change

by Maya Zaidman




This is a fact about me, kayla. I hate all kinds of music and I don’t get the point of it. Boom. I just said it. it’s really just this noisy thing that you listen to? Come on people! It’s just noise. get over it!


Over the decades every single person was a musician in our family. Everyone. My great grandma and Grandpa, my great, great grandma and grandpa, and so on. And even my parents and my brother are musicians. But not me.


My mom is a chorus teacher at a middle school. My dad is a band teacher. And my brother is the bomb at playing the clarinet. Me? I am only good at drawing on a piece of paper. That’s it. Now you would know… I don’t do anything that “Makes the family special” or something that “Makes the family be proud of their child.” I’m just an ordinary 11 year old.

After another typical school day I got off the bus to come home. That was until I found an unusual car in front of our driveway. . . Aunt Mary! I skipped towards my house and once I got in I ran straight to Aunt M and hugged her very tightly.


“How is my Kayla doing?” Aunt M said smiling big.


After dinner Aunt M and I were chatting at the table since Mom and Dad were not back from work.


“So, how about you update me on how your life is, Kayla,” Aunt M says.


“Ok”.


“My mom and dad are trying to get me to do voice lessons… I promise it will be the end of the world when you hear me sing… it isn’t my thing!” I replied.


Aunt M started to giggle. “So you hate singing and any music-related thing that exists on earth, don’t you?” Aunt M says with a slight smile.


“Yup.” I answered.


“Have you ever done it before?” Aunt M said looking clever.


“...No,” I answered.


The next couple of weeks I spent time singing and playing piano and even trying the clarinet with Aunt M as my teacher.


One morning I woke up. Instead of drawing something on my desk like I do every morning, I found myself playing the piano and singing loudly. It was so much fun. wait a minute... am I playing the piano and singing for fun? Wow. You know what-I have changed.


It’s always ok to change your perspective on something. To not like something and then begin like it. And that means that I have changed myself. . . I love all kinds of music now.

Entertainment

DIY Presents

by Olivia Kenney



DIY Microphone Sponge

What you'll need:

-A big sponge or 2 smaller ones

-A pair of scissors

-Something you have that will wash off with soap

-A hot glue gun (If you have two smaller sponges)


Beforehand, hot glue the sponges together to make a bigger one.


Step 1: Draw a microphone shape with a little hole at the handle.


Step 2. Cut out the shape and be sure to cut out the hole!


Step 3: If you would like, add a small piece of rope made out of polyester (You can find this in any crafts store) in the hole so you can hang up the sponge.



2. DIY Lip Scrub

What you'll need:

-Brown Sugar

-Coconut Oil

-Honey

-essential oil of your choosing

-Food Coloring is optional

-Container

-Mixing Bowl

-A tiny spoon/regular spoon


Step 1: Take a half of a tablespoon of brown sugar and put it into the container.


Step 2: Take a half of a tablespoon of coconut oil and put it into the bowl with the brown sugar.


Step 3: Drizzle as much honey as you would like (but not too much) into the bowl.


Step 4: Add about 3-4 drops of the essential oil into the bowl. Add 1-2 Drops of food coloring (optional)


Step 5: Mix evenly in the bowl until the color is uniform and transfer the mixture into the container.



3. DIY Phone Sock Protector

What you'll need:

-A long fuzzy sock

-A pair of scissors

-Googly eyes (optional)

-A hot glue gun

-Embellishments (optional)


Step 1: Cut out a piece of the sock that will fit a little more than your phone. This part should be from the start of the ankle part to the end of the foot part (Near the toe).


Step 2: There should be openings on each side from the cut, so hot glue the bottom side of the sock that was opened. It should look like this.


Step 3: Hot glue googly eyes and/or any other embellishments to the phone sock to make it look cute. This step is optional.


Slip your phone inside and you’re done! No More worry of having a scratched phone after throwing it into your bag!



4. DIY Popsocket

What you'll need:

-A small daisy or whatever flower you would like (not a real one)

-A suction cup

-A hot glue gun


Step 1: Place flower where you would like it to be on the suction cup.


Step 2: Hot glue the flower onto the suction cup.


Step 3: Put it onto your phone case and enjoy!



5. DIY Dry Erase Marker Eraser

What you'll need:

-A dry erase marker with no eraser on it.

-A hot glue gun

-Pompoms


Step 1: Hot glue the end of the marker.


Step 2: Stick on the pompom while the glue is still hot.


Now the pompom can be used as an eraser!



Credits go to Rclbeauty101 for the lip scrub idea and SaraBeautyCorner for the phone sock idea!

Holiday Recipes

by Anna Goldberg

Photography by Xin Dong and Alexa Biscardi


Aren’t the holidays great? There are so many fun activities to do around this time. The perfect way for you to get in the mood is with these holiday treats shown below!


Tortilla Snowflakes Ingredients:

  • Flour tortillas

  • Confectioners sugar

  • Oil

  • Cinnamon sugar (optional)

Cover your tortillas with a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 25 seconds. This makes them soft enough to cut into with a scissor. Next, fold a tortilla in half, and then in half again, and cut it as if you were making a paper snowflake. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry your tortilla on both sides until it is slightly brown and crispy. Shake on powdered sugar for a snowy look. Every snowflake is different in their own way, so have fun and be creative!



Hot chocolate bar

You’ll need:

  • Marshmallows and marshmallow bits

  • Candy canes (Optional)

  • Dark chocolate and milk chocolate candy melts

  • Whipped cream (Optional)

  • Sparkling sugar (Color of your choice)

  • Spoons

  • Favorite hot chocolate recipe


For the hot chocolate, you can use your favorite recipe. First, you are going to make the spoons. Heat the chocolate in the microwave oven for about 25 seconds. Stir the chocolate and put it back in the microwave for 10 second intervals until smooth and melted. Next, let it cool a bit. Dip the spoons into the chocolate and then top with some sprinkles, marshmallows, candy cane pieces, etc. You can drizzle more chocolate over these treats. Place on parchment paper and let it set.


When you’re ready to drink your hot chocolate, dip your spoon in, the hot chocolate and swirl with a candy cane. Add some whipped cream and some sprinkles. The sprinkles, candy canes, and whipped cream are all optional.



Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie.

(Recipe located on the back of Hershey's kisses bag)


Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of shortening

  • ¾ cup of peanut butter

  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar

  • ⅓ cup of granulated sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 48 Hershey’s Kisses

  • 2 teaspoons of milk

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

  • 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon of salt

  • 1 cup white sugar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.


In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, peanut butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then stir in the milk and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir in the mixture until well blended. Grab a bowl and add some sugar in it. Drop by tablespoon and roll the balls in the sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.


Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. After the cookies are baked, remove them from the oven, and immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool completely; the kiss will harden as it cools. These are the perfect cookies to have with milk!


These treats are delicious! I highly recommend all three of them. Every treat is tasty in its own special way.

Holiday Movies

by Sofia Santiago




Staying In the Holiday Spirit


You grasp on to the warm cup of hot cocoa. You sit next to the warm fire and wrap the fuzzy, soft blanket around you. It's almost the holidays and there are so many movies! You might wonder,But, which one should I watch?” Here are some movies that will keep you in the holiday spirit.


Home Alone

Ever been home alone before? Ever felt like someone was going to break into your house? Well, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) definitely knew what that was like. Kevin is an eight-year-old boy who got into trouble the night before him and his family were going to Paris. His family forgot him, and soon he realizes that he is home alone. When he starts to think that he is having the best time of his life, two men decide to attempt to rob the McCallister residence. He then realizes that he will have to protect his home and uses his most amazing, mischievous ways to stop them. If you like comedy, adventure or family movies, then Home Alone is the perfect movie for you.


Home Alone 2

If you watched Home Alone 1, then you know all of Kevin McCallister’s sneaky ways. This time, however, he loses his father and accidentally goes on a plane heading toward New York while the rest of his family is heading toward Florida. When he arrives in New York he stays in the Plaza Hotel fooling everyone, but he soon runs into the same men that tried to rob his home only a short while ago. He then tries to stop them from robbing a toy store before Christmas.


Elf

Are you into comedy, family, and fantasy? Well, Elf is the movie for you. Buddy (Will Ferrell), who was raised by Santa's elves, decides to travel to New York to find his real father. When he finds his father (James Caan) things take an unexpected turn. Before you know it, you will be laughing until your side hurts and you will surely believe in Santa.


The Polar Express

Ever want to ride a train where the North Pole is its next stop? Well, you’re in for a ride. When a boy boards a train (the Polar Express) heading toward the North Pole, he experiences a life-changing journey. He learns about life and what can happen when you believe in Christmas, and most importantly, Santa.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Everybody likes Christmas, am I right? Actually, not everybody does. The Grinch is one of those people. When he decides to ruin Christmas for the citizens of Whoville, he goes to Whoville and steals everything holiday related. He soon meets a young girl named Cindy Lou and she tries to change the Grinch's mind. This movie proves that the joy and warmth of the Holidays can be felt by anyone.

Top 10 Softball Quotes

by Madison Gangi



Softball quotes are a great way to get inspired. These quotes inspire a player to improve . These quotes make players excited to play .. Most of these quotes can be related to all sports and not just softball players.


Here are Links for quotes for your Sport.

Soccer http://www.top10zen.com/inspirational-soccer-quotes-1963

Basketball

http://www.famous-quotes-and-quotations.com/basketballquotes.html

Lacross

http://bronxbardetroit.com/10-lacrosse-quotes-and-sayings/

Football

http://www.inspirational-quotes-and-quotations.com/inspirational-football-quotes.html

Volleyball

https://howtheyplay.com/individual-sports/100-Inspiring-volleyball-quotes

Wrestling

https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/wrestling

Gymnastics

http://gymnasticshq.com/gymnastics-quotes/

Comics

Big image

by Kathleen Tumminello

Big image

by Erin Tumminello

Just for Parents

Navigating the Digital Berner: Parent Portal

by Aidan Moody




In my last article, I told all of the parents about how to navigate the platform that is Google Docs, and it received great feedback. Now it is almost Christmas, and five week progress reports for Quarter 2 are probably posted on the Parent Portal by the time you are reading this. So, this issue of, “Navigating The Digital Berner” will be all about the Parent Portal

What is Parent Portal?


I am sure that all of you have heard of the oh-so famous Parent Portal. But if you are new to the district or need any assistance navigating the system, this article can be very helpful. Parent Portal is a website that all of Massapequa School District uses to tell parents about their child's grades. Students sixth grade and older use it to check their grades as well. It tells you almost every test and homework assignment your child has completed, as well as the grade awarded.



Getting Set Up

First, you must go to the website. You can look it up, or click this link: https://msdps.nasboces.org/public/home.html. Once you are there, it will tell you to put in your username and password. Your child got his or hers at the beginning of the school year, but you should have gotten yours when your child was in elementary school. If you don’t have one, ask your child for his or hers . Once you log in, you should be able to view all of your child’s grades. If not, go to the tabs on the left and click “Grades and Attendance”.


Checking Grades, Attendance, and More!


If you want to see your child’s grades for a specific test or homework assignment, click the number next to the class and under the quarter (Q1,Q2, etc.). It will take you to everything that was graded so far in the class. It will tell you the date it was due, the category of the assignment, the actual assignment, any flags your child got on it, and the grade. Click Grades and Attendance to go back to the home page. You can also email the teacher by clicking name on the home page. Next to the bar indicating the child’s name, there will be two numbers, signifying how many absences and tardies he or she has received. However, there are other tabs in addition to Grades and Attendance. You can see your child's honor roll and class schedule (sixth grade and older only), and you can see if and when your child has logged on to the portal.


And 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 March.

Who's That Tiny Guidance Counselor? Answers

Were your guesses correct?


Guidance Counselor 1: Mr. White


Guidance Counselor 2: Ms. Rollin


Guidance Counselor 3: Ms. Healy


Guidance Counselor 4: Mr. Herr


Guidance Counselor 5: Ms. Tomasello


Guidance Counselor 6: Ms. Maisano


Guidance Counselor 7: Ms. Hutt

Guess That Teacher! Answers

Teacher #1: Mrs. Brigitte Kahn


Teacher #2: Mrs. Eileen Blum


Teacher #3: Mrs. Denise Reynolds


Teacher #4: Ms. Erin Kollar


Teacher #5: Mr. Jason Coppola


Teacher #6: Mrs. Kira Martelli


Teacher #7: Mr. Matthew Cunha


Teacher #8: Mrs. Kristen Kenny-Didamo


Teacher #9: Mr. John Savoca


Teacher #10: Mr. Richard Lukaschek