The Orange and Black

Martinsburg High 2022 January Issue

The Unsolved Mystery of the Fire Alarms

By: Quinn Hughes and Karlee Domenico

There have been many questions regarding the fire alarm always going off at about the same time at least twice a week. Could it be someone pulling it? Or, could it be students vaping in the bathroom? Faculty members were interviewed about how this problem has affected students, the school days, and classes.

There has been a “new fire alarm installed as of last year” according to Assistant Principal Mr. Sine. The alarms are continuing to go off because they are “extremely sensitive.” He has also stated that these new fire alarms are equipped to detect any disruption in the air including smoke or vapes. “The staff will continue to monitor restrooms, e-hall pass allows us to know who is in the bathroom at all times, and which bathroom they are in, reporting any suspected use,” according to Sine. If someone is caught vaping unless they are actually seen with a vape, the admin can’t do anything about it. There is one day of in-school suspension and one day out of school, which is the first offense, and then there are three days out which is the second offense. “It’s now causing a disruption for everyone, so we are going to try to run it by the county and see if we can push it as a disturbance to schools,” states Mr. Sine. As we know, all bathrooms have been shut down in the mornings until 8:15 AM, except for the bathrooms in the cafeteria. The purpose of shutting the bathrooms down in the mornings was because of “students coming in from buses gathering in there, and overcrowding the bathrooms,” says Mr. Sine. He also stated that they may shut down the bathrooms in between classes.

“As it’s gotten into the colder months of the year, this issue has only gotten more and more frustrating,” says junior Haylee Sherman. She says that “it’s taken away from my personal work time.” This situation has not only affected the students having to evacuate, but the teacher’s class time, as well. Mrs. T. Elliot says, “Fortunately it’s been happening at the end of class and we’ve been getting back in pretty quickly, so it’s not terribly distracting. However, if it were closer to the end of the year, and we were in the middle of a dissection or something of the kind, it would have been much more frustrating.” Having an important class during this time, like Mrs. M. Elliot’s AP Language is “very annoying because it takes away time from me focusing on something very important. I need to do well on the AP test in May,” says Sherman. “Having an AP class at that time is even worse as teachers are trying to prepare their students for the AP test”, says Mrs. M. Ellot. She also says that she is “willing to teach wherever she needs to, and adapt to get what we need done. Even in the 90 minute blocks, it is still hard to get everything done. It also cuts into the students time as they are either working on a test or classwork. It cuts into the flow of their focus.”

Although this fire alarm situation may be frustrating, staff is working to find ways to prevent it from happening so often. These upcoming changes will help benefit students who have lost class time due to this problem.

Georgia Bulldogs Prevail as Champions

By: Jason Bednarski

This year's College Football National Championship was another rematch between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide, and the Bulldogs won with a score of 33-18. This was after the SEC Championship, which happened earlier this year where the Crimson Tide beat the Bulldogs with a score of 41- 24. Since 2012, the Dogs and Tide have played each other three times and haven’t been able to beat Alabama. After the game, Kirby Smart, Georgia’s Head Coach said, “A lot of credit goes to Alabama. They out performed us in the second half. The game had a lot of momentum swings in it, up and down, up and down, back and forth, which we knew it would.”

Since 2012, these teams have met three times in the National Championship and every time Alabama has beat Georgia, so this is the first time Georgia has beat Alabama. According to Braydon Mott, a Martinsburg High Student, “I believe Alabama wins this game solely based on coaching experience in playoff games. Georgia had looked great this year but I think they’re outmatched against Bama.” In this game, it had a slow first half which involved five field goals and ended with a score of 6-9. It was a defensive first half with the defense making most of the plays keeping this game tight. Then in the second half, Georgia Quarterback, Stetson Bennett IV, threw for two touchdowns, which helped Georgia finally be able to take the lead over Alabama. After winning the game, Stetson Bennett IV said, “I hope it gives somebody a little hope. Just keep fighting, keep your mouth shut, work hard. Life’s tough, and you just gotta fight through it. The game was clinched for the Georgia Bulldogs when Defensive Back Kelee Ringo had a 79 yard pick-six, after Bryce Young overthrew his receiver.

Also when Georgia won it broke the 41 year drought without having won a National Championship. Kirby Smart is very close with Nick Saban because he was an assistant coach for Nick at LSU, Alabama, and for Miami Dolphins. He was the first Alabama assistant coach to beat Nick Saban. Nick Saban said after the game, “If we had to lose a national championship, I’d rather lose to one of the former assistants who did a great job with us, and has done a great job with his program and his team. After the game, Kirby Smart said,“It’s not just for me; it’s for all these guys.” This meeting between friends was on January 10th, and it was a night game at Lucas Oil Stadium, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

2022 Winter Olympic Games to Kick Off in Beijing

By: K'Marion Dowe

The 2022 Winter Olympics are upon us! The games this year will take place in Beijing, China, the home of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Winter Olympics will be held from February 4-February 20, 2022. The events this year are alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, luge, nordic combined, short track speed skating, skeleton, ski jumping, snowboard, and speed skating.

The first Winter Olympics took place in Chamonix, France in 1924. The events were bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, speed skating, figure skating, nordic skiing, military patrol, cross country skiing, nordic combined, and ski jumping. Since then, there have been many events added, and the already established events have evolved as competitors have became more skilled. The most decorated winter olympian is Marit Bjørgen, a female cross country skier. She has earned 15 medals in her olympic career.

The most decorated country in the Winter Olympics is Norway. They have earned 368 medals in Olympic history, with 132 gold. The United States is second in total medal count all time, with 305 medals, with 105 gold.

The last Winter Olympics took place in 2018. Beijing, China hosted the event. Norway led the way with 39 total medals, with 14 of them gold. The US was 4th, with 23 total medals, and 9 gold.

Martinsburg student and avid snowboarder Colin O’Kelley is very excited for the winter games, saying, “I’m excited to see professionals snowboard at a high level because I really enjoy it.” When asked what athletes he is most excited to see, he responded with, “I’m more excited to see talent from everyone from the world as opposed to one or two specific athletes.” When asked what other Olympic event he enjoys, he said, “I’m excited to see skiing as well.” Many others like Colin will be tuned in to the Winter games when they kick off.

The world is looking forward to seeing a great Winter Olympics, and many are expecting amazing, record breaking performances from the most elite winter sports athletes in the world.

SpaceX's New Mission

By: Aden Reid

SpaceX is an American aerospace manufacturer and space exploration corporation owned by Elon Musk since 2002. With their headquarters in Hawthorne, California they have had many great feats recently in the past years. They were the first privately funded company to send a spaceship to the International Space Station. Some of their current projects are the construction of their new rocket, the Starship, the next generation of their Starlink satellites, and the launch and catch tower for their new rocket.

Starship’s purpose will be to bring cargo and people to the moon, Mars, and other planets. Even NASA has already grabbed their tickets. They plan to make Starship the first crewed moon lander for their Artemis lunar program. What makes this ship so impressive is that, when stacked on the Super Heavy rocket, it becomes the tallest spacecraft in the world at 395 feet tall. It will also be fully reusable and able to land on Earth again like the Falcon 9 rocket; this means it’ll launch faster and more often. This space voyager also has an increased capacity of 150 tons to deliver more mass to orbit quickly. It’ll be capable of carrying 100 people to Mars in just one trip. Martinsburg High Sophomore, Wesley Hancock stated, “I would want to be on that trip but I doubt they would ever actually carry 100 people at once.” He also said “Commercial space travel would have to be for the wealthier population due to the sheer cost of it.” Even if we’re not the first people living on Mars we’ll still get to see a manned rocket to Mars. The suspected launch date as of now is March 2022, because the Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) has to take an environmental review which is scheduled to be done by February 28th.

If Starship is ready in time it will have the privilege of launching the second generation of Starlink satellites into orbit. If it’s not ready they will use one of their Falcon 9 rockets. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given SpaceX authorization to launch 4,408 of their internet beaming satellites into orbit. With 172 satellites in the first phase, 2,493 in the second, and so on. The Starship will be able to deploy 400 satellites in one trip compared to the Falcon 9’s 60. As of now the tower that the rocket will launch from and return to is just being tested. So there’s still a long way to go, but regardless we’ll get to see a spaceship launch as early as this March.

How to enjoy your Snowboarding Experience

By: Colin O’Kelley

The winter season this year had a slow start, not truly starting until January. Since then, there have been many days of snowfall and plenty of chilly days for snow to be made. Now’s the time to hit the slopes if you have not already.

One thing that snowboarding has over skiing is that it is quite a bit harder than skiing but once you get used to it, it almost feels like you are flying. When riding a snowboard, it is important to keep your head and shoulders up and look to plan your next move/turn in your head before it happens. Knowing if you ride regular (left foot in front) or goofy (right foot in front) is also particularly important to know on a first day snowboarding trip. The most common way to find out is whatever foot you use to kick a ball will be in the back. Also, make sure that your knees are bent so that when you go over a bump you kind of just glide right over it. These are some very simple steps to snowboarding, as there is a lot that goes into it, but make sure you have these down for the first time.

Another thing that will happen when snowboarding is you are going to fall and crash often. It is important not only to you but also for other people to make sure you look up the mountain before you get up so that you do not accidentally hit somebody after you fall. Always make sure, even while riding, to have good spatial awareness. It will also make snowboarding a little less scary knowing where you are on the mountain and where you are around others. Also, make sure not to ride behind someone, because if they fall, you are more than likely to hit them. Just making sure you see all that is going on around you and knowing what to do will allow your day of snowboarding to be a bit more fun.

You should not be scared when it is your first time because it’s a worthwhile experience. MHS student, Eli Tompkins, said, “My first day of snowboarding was a fun and challenging experience. It takes a lot of time and practice to get the hang of it, but most importantly it takes determination to keep getting up every time you fall and to never give up.” Never giving up is such an important aspect of snowboarding from beginners to pros. Knowing to get back up no matter how hard you fall is a very crucial part of everything in snowboarding.

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Elias Tompkins First Day On The Slopes

Diving Deep Into the Genre of Fantasy

By: Kamaya Denson

Fantasy is a favorite genre of many and can have something for everyone. Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are some of the most well-known fantasy book series and movie franchises. The popularity of the genre comes from the endless worlds that can be made up and the interesting plots that can be constructed from these worlds. There are infinite possibilities that come with the fantasy genre and the many subgenres that can be enjoyed.

High Fantasy is a common subgenre of fantasy. This is fantasy where the story takes place in a completely different world, usually these worlds are in a medieval time period, and the fate of that world/country is on the shoulders of the main characters. These stories usually include a long journey the characters have to go through in order to protect their world. Lord of the Rings, Shadow and Bone, and the Game of Thrones series are examples of high fantasy.

Urban Fantasy is another big subgenre where the plot takes place in a city in a modern fantasy world. These stories have fantasy elements but there is also the regular modern human world. Typically, the main character discovers the fantasy world and is dragged into the plot because of the discovery. Examples of this are the City of Bones, Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson series.

Paranormal Fantasy is a subgenre where creatures such as vampires, werewolves, mermaids, and other supernatural creatures are included in the plot. Many subgenres overlap as there are many high fantasy and urban fantasy books with supernatural creatures included in the plot. Popular books in the subgenre are the Twilight, Simon Snow, and the Cruel Prince series.

There are countless subgenres and many enjoyable elements of fantasy. “I love the genre because you get to experience a new, magical world and the plots and characters are always very interesting,” Emrys, a student at MHS says. If someone wants to try to read more a great place to start is with this genre because there are many different paths you can go down. There are unlimited possibilities which can make it a fun genre to read.

The Legacy of Betty White

By: Valerie Clabaugh

Betty White was an iconic figure for women in the acting, comedy, and filming industries. She passed away on December 31st, 2021, only two weeks away from her 100th birthday. She died in her home in a Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles from a stroke. She achieved lots of awards and fame throughout her acting career, especially her star role in the hit television show, “Golden Girls”. She will also be remembered for her contributions to animal activism.

Betty White was born on January 17th, 1922. She started her acting career in the 1940s, where she acted on various radio shows. In 1949, she began regularly appearing on television, working as a “girl Friday” in Hollywood on television. Betty White’s first taste of big fame came from her role on the hit television sitcom, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She ended up winning “Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” in comedy two times, throughout her acting career on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Her most famous role in television arguably is her leading role as Rose, from the hit American sitcom, Golden Girls. The series Golden Girls ended up winning 11 Emmys and many other awards with the help of Betty White. Throughout her acting and filming career her most notable awards were five Primetime Emmys, a Daytime Emmy, a Grammy Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards (Cordero,2021). Martinsburg High Student, Daija Wright stated, “Betty White’s role on Golden Girls will always be an iconic and hilarious memory for me.”

Betty White was not only famous for her acting skills, but her desire to volunteer and help. She put her modeling and acting career on hold for a short amount of time to serve in the American Women's Voluntary stateside during World War II. She was also a big animal rights activist. Some of her works of activism were working with the “Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association” in 1966 for animal protection. In 1974, she joined the board of trustees. In 2006, Betty was honored as the City of Los Angeles' "Ambassador to the Animals." She spent a lot of her time and money donating to different endangered species foundations, as well as animal shelters. She used her platform to inform people about animal cruelty and touched the hearts of many. Her acting and social career left a great impact on her generation and the ones to come. Martinsburg High student, Emonie Fennell, stated, “I always admired Betty White’s love for animals and her passion for animal rights.”

Betty White lived a very full and successful life, and her legacy continues. Google created a memorial in her honor on January 17th, a message pops up after searching “Betty White”; “Thank you for being a friend, 1922-2021," which then showed rose petals, symbolizing her iconic role. She will be remembered for generations to come and will always be known for her great acting and passion.

The Life of Vicente Fernandez

By: Margarita Salvador

This is the story of the famous Mexican singer named Vicente Fernadez who passed away on December 12th 2021, in his hometown, Huentitán El Alto, Guadalajara, Mexico. He was known by many nicknames El Charro de Huentitán (The Charro from Huentitán), El Ídolo de México (The Idol of Mexico) and El Rey de la Música Ranchera (The King of Ranchera Music).

Vicente Fernandez was born on February 17, 1940, in Huentitans El Alto, Guadalajara, Mexico. At the age of 6 or 7, his parents took him to see the Pedro Infante movies and it’s where he found passion to play music and one day wanted to be like him. At age 8, he received a guitar from his parents that he started to practice music rancheria songs he heard from T.V and radios. In 1954, Vicente Fernandez entered a singing contest in Guadalajara and at age 14 he won the contest. Because of this, he wanted to perform more places, so he started to sing at weddings, parties and restaurants. However, his father ended up losing his ranch that they moved to and ended up leaving his town. He dropped out of school and worked many jobs as a janitor cleaning shoes, etc. But he still held on to his musical aspiration that he never gave up even if his life had changed.

By 1960, Vicente Fernandez was focusing and devoting more to his song music, which was often played in restaurants. He decided to be around the CBS studios hoping to get an audition for the XEX, which was a radio that Mexico mostly listens to in the mornings. Then he went nation-wide and realized that he was going to become successful from then on. Vicente also got into acting where he performed singing in movies and played with famous actors in Mexico. He wrote many famous songs like the “Perdonanme”, “Volver, Volver”. Vicente Fernandez has made over 100 albums and won many awards.

A student from MHS, Jazmine Espinoza stated, “I love hearing Vicente Fernandez music that my parents would always play in the car." Patricia Salvador said, "I loved his movies and music so much that I had tapes of his music and would play it at home." As the legacy passed away, the people from Mexico will always miss of one of the greatest music-singers. For more than 40 years, he’s been singing just ranchera songs that impacted many Hispanic people who loved his music. Vicente Fernandez will always be remembered as a great singer.

"Spider-man: No Way Home" Achieves Blockbuster Status

By: Laya Chennuru

Released on December 17, 2021, the newest spider-man movie made strides in the ongoing Marvel Universe films. The coveted character of Peter Parker is brought to life by actor, Tom Holland, accompanied by previous spiderman legends, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Additionally, costars Zendaya and Marisa Tomei, who play MJ and Aunt May, methodically bring an unanticipated, emotional depth to the plot as leading female roles.

Though previous spider-man movies have relied heavily on the older comics, the screenwriters of this modern film took a different approach for Marvel fans worldwide. For the first time in cinematic history, the identity of this beloved superhero is uncovered, forcing Parker to seek a solution in the midst of a war of opinions. Through juggling crime in New York City, an academic record, and his love life, Peter Parker’s boyish character leaves viewers feeling a compelling sense of relatability despite his supernatural capabilities. The struggle between being Spider-man versus Peter Parker comes into question as an ordinary boy attempts to save the world yet again.

This action-packed and adventurous threequel not only provides comedic relief through the teenage life of Parker, but incorporates several past villains and character appearances in a nostalgic manner. Throughout the progression of the film, viewers will be inclined to sympathize with Spider-man’s carefully curated arc, while discouraging notable antagonists. Maggie Salvador, a senior at Martinsburg High School, states, “I was so excited about the new movie. It was better than I expected and the crowd was just as enthusiastic.” Though there are plenty of fans in support of the newest Marvel film, others claim it did not stay true to the origin of the Spider-man comics.

Currently, ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home is breaking monumental records, reaching $1 billion at the global box office and is the second largest domestic opening in the film industry. The film is now playing in theaters and will be available in several streaming services in the upcoming future. In addition, this blockbuster movie leads way to multiple, awaited Marvel movies in the coming years, so stay tuned!

“Don’t Look Up” takes over Netflix charts

By: Kaitlyn Dudley

On December 24th, “Don’t Look Up” debuted on Netflix and collected over 52 million streaming hours. The film is now on the top three list of most-watched, just behind the infamous “Bird Box” and “Red Notice.” However, “Don’t Look Up” stars some of the most popular actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, and Meryl Streep.

Throughout the movie, there are two scientists that discover an asteroid coming to ‘destroy’ earth, and no one believes them. Many people became critics of this film since they believed Adam Mckay, the filmmaker, was taking a jab at COVID and how society has treated it. The film was created to be satirical, especially noting that Mckay is also a comedian. However, I believe the film still speaks the truth of some sort. Our current society had become criticized in this film for how narcissistic we are to how social media plays a bigger role than it should. Although the movie was written a few months prior to the beginning of COVID-19, and even had delayed filming due to shutdown, many believe this movie has nothing to do with asteroids at all. “I think it was definitely supposed to be about COVID and not an asteroid. You could clearly see the divide in the film that existed when the pandemic first started, and some people really didn’t believe that it existed or how serious it was,” says Samantha Norris, a Martinsburg High School senior.

“Don’t Look Up” is one of the most creative movies currently on Netflix, and is still charting, despite it being released weeks ago. The fact that a movie is able to satirically capture just how much our society overly-absorbs politicians, the entertainment industry, and social media is interesting and explains how it is still charting. Many people went to social media to complain about the concept and criticism included, which proves the point of this film. “Don’t Look Up” is one of those movies where everyone can have their own perception and theories, which is what makes it so popular in today's world.


Back Row- Antonio Diaz, Aden Reid, Colin O'Kelley, K'Marion Dowe, Kaitlyn Dudley, and Advisor Ms. Foreman.

Second Row- Laya Chennuru, Editor- Valerie Clabaugh, Karlee Domenico, Quinn Hughes, Amani Jones.

Front Row- Margarita Salvador, Jason Bednarski, Kamaya Denson.

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