All posts by Jill Bernard

Profile: students enjoy listening to fields’ “classroom stories,” passion for science

by Andrew Love/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Fields’ class works outside.

Biology teacher Ms. Rebecca Fields has been involved with teaching and extracurricular activities since she began her career here at Greenfield Central. Fields has been known to help out with things like SLA, JSA, Genetics and Engineering, and Robotics club. So who is this “laid back” teacher as former GC student Preston Evans called her, and how has she impacted the school and students?

Teaching for 15 years at our school, Fields has gotten to know the students and staff better than most and it shows as she is very well respected. Students enjoy listening to her “classroom stories, as it makes class interesting and whatever is going on that day just comes out,” says John Stuckey, 10.  

Before getting her masters degree in Biology she worked in business. After getting her masters degree in biology going from Purdue to IU, she transferred to a teaching program and became a registered teacher about a year later. She enjoys the challenge of being a teacher and seeing all of the students’ different perspectives. “I enjoy trying to make unmotivated students motivated,” says Mrs. Fields. Students like that she is relatable and easy to talk to. 

“I always enjoyed how passionate she was about any type of science I talked to her about,” says Evans. Fields says, “I took every single science class I was offered in high school.”  

John Stuckey, 10, says, “Whether we were talking about biology, money, life, whatever it was she was knowledgeable about and could help you out.”

 Students enjoy how her classes are not just “boring homework” as John Stuckey says it, and more about “real biology hands on lab,” as Fields states. Even for the students that were not totally into science, she is usually still able to talk and relate to them about sports or other activities after helping outside of school, for example being an assistant swim coach and a driver’s ed driver.

Whether you had Fields or not, she is a veteran teacher here at GC and wants the best for each student and staff member. “Once I leave I want to know that I helped people here from all ages have a better time during the school year,” she said.

Profile: Mosser helps as teacher, exchange student adviser

by Trot Scholl/Staff Writer

Ms. Jordan Mosser is one of the foreign language teachers in the high school. Many students at Greenfield think she is a great teacher. Student Bryson Pratt, 12,  says, “She teaches very well. She goes in depth about her work she assigns. Every time I have a question about the assignment she answers it very well so I can understand.”

At first she did not plan on being a teacher. She said, “Originally I did not want to be a teacher but I told myself if I was going to study German then I would either be in teaching or in business.” Ms. Mosser was very close to switching her major to elementary education but decided that working with kids around high school age fit her better. She was always pushed by her old German teacher at her high school. “My German teacher kept pushing me to learn and keep using German, but she never pushed me to be a German teacher.”

 While yes at first Ms. Mosser didn’t want to be a teacher, this doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy teaching. She stated, “I like helping students learn German and other things that aren’t German and other things about the world so you can be young and functioning adults in the world. At the end of the day, I know most of you won’t use German after highschool but I like to see my students challenge themselves.” 

Ms. Mosser also helps with the foreign exchange students. “I think it’s fun to see how they react to American culture and how they react to American schools. I think it’s fun to work with kids from other places because they have other perspectives on the world,” Mosser stated.

Ms. Mosser is very fluent in German and can help students learn German very easily with her help. Pratt said, “Since she is so fluent, she can teach it very well to where I can understand the work.” She helps as many of her students to understand the subject as she can and explains her assignments very well.

Ms. Mosser is a very good teacher with helping other students, helping the foreign exchange students and many other things. Ms. Mosser, who wasn’t planning on being a teacher in the first place, is a very helpful instructor at the high school.

New FACS Teacher, GC Grad brings new ideas to classroom

by Justice Hyde/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Ms. Mikayla Bowman works in her FACS classroom. Photo by Justice Hyde

GCHS’s newest FACS teacher Mikayla Bowman is a former GC graduate who just became a certified teacher at the start of this school year. When she was a student at GC she took every FACS class she could, and in fact she currently works with many of her old FACS teachers. Ms. Bowman has only been teaching for a month, but she is already being described as “fantastic” by fellow FACS teacher Mrs. Sandy Powell. But there is much more to Ms. Bowman than what meets the eye.

Ms. Bowman’s mom was a teacher, so she spent much of her childhood in classrooms, and has always been enthusiastic about teaching. “I always wanted to help around the classroom or grade papers,” Bowman stated. Mrs. Bowman coaches the GCHS dance team, and has been coaching since before she became a teacher, so she’s always been active in GC schools. 

Ms. Bowman graduated from GCHS in 2017. When asked what made her decide to come back to GC schools as a teacher, Bowman asked, “Why wouldn’t a teacher want to teach at the same school they graduated from?” She described how amazing it is to be working in the exact classroom she fell in love with FACS in. 

Ms. Bowman puts amazing amounts of effort into her job even having only been here for a few weeks. Mrs. Powell, a fellow FACS teacher, complimented her by describing her with terms like passionate, creative, and intelligent. She is well liked by her students, with many naming her their favorite teacher even having only known her for a few weeks. “When some of my students were asked what class they looked forward to the most, many of them said my FACS class,” Ms. Bowman said.

Bowman is already known throughout the student body for her fun and energetic way of teaching. She always manages to keep class interesting and fun, while still making sure students are able to learn all that they need to be successful in her class. 

Guidance welcomes two new counselors

by Aidan Bow/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Sarah Graham is the new director of counseling.

This year at GCHS we have two new counselors. Both of them have skills that are helpful to our school; they are a resource for students that need help whether it’s with schedules or mental health.

 Mrs. Sarah Graham,  GCHS director of counseling, is a new counselor at GCHS. Before joining the GCHS counseling team she worked at Warsaw Community High School in Indiana, as the counseling director of the school.

She grew up in Wabash, Indiana and graduated from Northfield High School. Later in her life she went to Wesleyan University, where she got her bachelor’s degree in social work and criminal justice. She also has two masters in community mental health and school counseling.

 Mrs. Graham is new to the team but she is already hard at work making our school a better place. About the amount stress she started with in the job, she stated,“The first couple weeks were stressful but it’s smooth now.”

Once they got through most of the students schedules, her stress shrunk significantly and she was able to settle down for the new school year. When asked about Mrs. Graham Mrs. Sherri Foster, a GCHS counselor stated, “Mrs Graham has a lot of new ideas to bring to our community and school.”

Mrs. Sheleatha Aldridge works at her desk.

This is Mrs. Sheleatha Aldridge’s first year here. She used to work at Muncie Southside Middle School; she worked there for 2 years. She grew up in Springport, IN. Mrs. Aldridge graduated from Blue River Valley Jr/Sr High School. After graduating she went to Purdue University where she got her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering. For a brief period she was a structural engineer before she went to IUPUI to get her masters degree in Counselor Education and an Ed in Counseling degree.

She is the mother of three children. When asked if setting up high school schedules was stressful she responded with, “It was stressful as the high school has way more classes than the middle school where I used to work.” She stated afterwards however she likes the challenge it poses.

Mrs. Foster also commented on how Mrs. Aldridge is handling things, stating, “She is good with middle schoolers but is learning to deal with high schoolers. Mrs. Aldridge has a great attitude.”

“I’m excited to have them on the team,” Mrs. Foster said.

Girls golf continues individual success, teamwork

by Dylan Ramirez/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Sydnie Wherry, 12, finishes up a hole at the county meet on August 30. The girls placed third at this event.

 The girls golf team is one of the most successful sports for Greenfield Central with many accomplishments. With this year speeding up, the girls golf coach and two of their most valuable players answered some questions. So far the team is 1-1-1. Russell Wiley, the golf coach, is a teacher who has been teaching for 15 years at Greenfield Central. He has also coached the girls golf team for 11 years and the boys golf team for 7. “Learning the importance of hard work, building skills, work ethic, and being able to get through something difficult since golf is such a skilled sport,” said Coach Russel Wiley when asked what he wanted his team to get out of being on the golf team. 

   Coach Wiley is always on sight to improve his team any way he can. Some of his goals this year is to “finish better than we started — looking back at our first scores and see how much we improved. Also to make it to regionals is always one of our top goals.”   Coach Wiley doesn’t feel pressure, but when the girls do, he likes to ease the pressure and talk them through and make sure they don’t mess up.

  Sydnie Wherry, 12, one of Greenfield’s most valuable players, has been on a roll. With a great match just a week ago, she shot a 39. Whenever she is under pressure, she likes to “take deep breaths and don’t stress over a ball.”  She talks about what she likes most about being on the team. “The girls. They can definitely be a lot, but a special group of people. They are some of the best people to be around, when they don’t stress me out.” 

   Wherry has golfed since she was small, but started playing competitively since seventh grade. She enjoys going to Grandview Golf course once a month with her family. She also likes Hawks Tail. “I love Hawks Tail, mainly because I practice there a lot and go on my off days. I just know the course by heart.” Wherry offered some helpful words of advice to other golf players. “It is harder to keep composure than stress out and throw a tantrum. Never stress over one ball because if you stay angry at one ball, from there to the next shot or hole, you’re going to fall apart.” 

   Ella Neil, 11, another player on the golf team, enjoys being on the team and getting so close with the girls. She golfs almost every day besides Saturday. She golfs with the team all week, then golfs solo on Sundays. “On days I don’t have required practice, I like to go alone and practice difficult shots or just play a fun 9,” said Neil when asked what she likes to do on off days.  This shows how much work she puts into this sport. Neil loves her 7-iron and her driver; those are her go-to clubs. Neil ended the interview with some more advice for golf players. “Don’t get discouraged, even if you hit a bad shot. Just keep going. It’s not the end of the world,” she said.  

AP teachers provide better understanding Of AP

By: Hunter Baylous/Staff Writer

Photo Caption:

When students hear the term “Advanced Placement (AP) classes,” they might think of a hard, boring class that’s always assigning homework and taking notes. Some students will try to avoid these classes because they want to drift through high school without having to do a lot of work to graduate. After asking three teachers here about their AP classes, the hope is to provide a better understanding of taking an AP class.

AP classes are considered college level classes.  In these classes the teachers hold their students more accountable due to the students being considered college students. Within these classes the teachers are required to teach a lot of material as stated by Mr. Phil Leswing who teaches AP psychology. “The one thing about AP is that there is a lot of material, so oftentimes there is material that the students will have to work on outside of class,” he stated. Some students who do take these AP classes are hoping to use what they learn in that class and use it in their future, so taking the class will give them a better understanding of the material. 

Some students will choose to take an AP class because they want to do something with that topic in their career. When asked about this Mrs. Laken Rosing said, “My class (AP Language and Composition) is very much skills-based, so they get to take these reading, and writing, and even speaking and listening skills into basically any career. I have had students email me and say, ‘I have an A+ in my college writing class and I’m still remembering things I learned in AP.’” She has even had students go into STEM professions who tell her her AP class helps even when they didn’t think they would use English in STEM fields.

As stated earlier in the article, AP students are held to greater responsibility or accountability. Mrs. Laura Mann who teaches AP Statistics explained, “The students take on more of an ownership role and I provide feedback as they work through different concepts.” When asked about the teacher’s responsibility Mrs. Rosing stated, “I need to have good content knowledge meaning if they come to me and say ‘Mrs. Rosing I don’t understand this,’ I need to be able to explain it to them in a different way.” A lot of AP teachers’ responsibility is helping the students understand the information or give the students a good starting point for the information.

A question that students might ask is, “What are the benefits and downsides of taking AP classes?” With AP classes you gain the opportunity of getting some college credits, some better knowledge going into college, and the chance to use what you learned in school in your everyday life or career. Mr. Leswing stated, “With all the topics it relates to their future whether it’s in the business world or it’s in their social life, or just their personal life.” However some drawbacks may be you may possibly get overwhelmed from the material as it is more advanced than normal high school material. You also have more responsibility in those classes like getting work done outside of class and getting assignments done on time as some classes don’t accept late work at all.

However, despite all this the teachers such as Mrs. Rosing said, “I have tailored the class to meet some of the deficits that I have identified in AP English in high school. ” Some teachers’ interests in their subjects inspired them to pursue teaching AP classes. Mr. Leswing stated, “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to teach it, because I had a psychology class in high school and really enjoyed it. The subject, the students that were in there, the teacher that was there. That’s why I wanted to be able to teach that.” So even though AP classes have a lot of responsibility or material, the people who teach it or know it the most believe if you want a challenge or believe you are ready for it, you should definitely take the class because the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Source for image – 

Mrs. Laken Rosing assists a student with analyzing the rhetoric of a letter from Abigail Adams in a letter to her son.

Students take closer look at past two years with Class of 2023

by Drew C. Smith and Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writers

Initial Reflections from the Writers:

Drew C. Smith – There was a rush of excitement when I first learned that we would be out of school an additional week following spring break. Of course, that additional week turned into a sprawling two months of uncertainty and restlessness that felt like it would turn into an eternity of Google Meets and nights spent up until the early hours of the next day. Was it fun to be out of school for essentially four-and-a-half months? It was fun in the same way that dessert is fun; every once in a while, I like to have dessert after dinner, but I do not want dessert for every meal. This fourth quarter has been my first full fourth quarter of my high school career; in my freshman year, I of course spent the entirety of my fourth quarter at home due to COVID-19, and my sophomore year, I broke my leg three weeks into the quarter and once again spent the rest of the fourth quarter at home. It’s nice to be back and in for my first full year of school. Socially, I’ve been way more engaged and it’s just nice to be able to actually reach the conclusion of a full school year, which I have not felt since eighth grade. And, knocking on wood, hopefully my senior year will be entirely uninterrupted. 

Jeremiah Edwards – To be honest, not going back to school after spring break made it feel like an extended summer, I really enjoyed that at the time. Though once school started, I was not ready at all. My love for school turned into dread and irritation. My sleeping schedule was so unhealthy to the point where I had no motivation to go to school. Of course, once the hybrid schedule was established it made things easier but I quickly learned that it was not beneficial to academic success. I’m glad things are returning to normal and that this fourth quarter has been my first full fourth quarter. I feel like I missed out on growing socially due to not having a full, normal, not virtual-driven school year. I’ve always felt that the fourth quarter is the best time of the year. That’s when my relationships with my peers have flourished and when I’m able to be the most engaged in my academics. Being able to finish out the school year normally has prevented me from losing connections that I value. I believe my senior year will be the absolute best year and I’ll be able to enjoy school the way I used to and experience things I’ve always wanted to. 

High school can be argued as being some of the most exciting or some of the most important years of one’s life. Though for students currently in high school, the past couple of years have been dreadful. How does the Class of 2023, at Greenfield Central High School, feel about their high school experience, so far, and how do they feel about their future at G-CHS? We (Drew and Jeremiah) sought to find this out and get direct answers from juniors, soon-to-be seniors, on this topic. We sat down with Preston Wise, Paige Rutledge, Michael Runions, Paisley Slunaker, and Cooper Cox to gather their thoughts on the shift into senior year and how they reflect on quarantine. 

Q: It has officially been over two years since the school year was cut short by the coronavirus. How do you reflect back on the two years and how has your perspective changed on quarantine?

A (Preston Wise): So, I think it’s weird to reflect on that I haven’t seen, ever since two years, that we went from not seeing anyone for a quarter, to then only seeing half the kids, and to then get everyone back with no masks. Looking back on it, it feels super quick, like we were just on top of it, but at the same time, going through it, it felt like forever. I feel like most of my sophomore year, thinking back on it, half the school was out for my time there.

A (Paige Rutledge): Well, I think it was a lot easier throughout quarantine, mostly because teachers just kind of gave up. And, I don’t think that anyone actually cared, but now that everyone is back, I feel like it’s a little harder to get back on track and do things, cause after so many years of not doing anything, no one cares.

A (Michael Runions): I reflect on the two years as a learning experience. I learned a lot about myself and I had to grow as a person, get out of my comfort zone of being at home. My perspective on quarantine was that it wasn’t too bad. I had a routine and I stuck by it every day. It was easy. 

A (Paisley Slunaker): My perspective really hasn’t changed because when it first started, I felt it was boring, and I still feel it was boring. 

A (Cooper Cox): During my freshman year, during fourth quarter in quarantine I really had no idea what to do when it came to online school. And I think most of us didn’t either; it was just too much to keep track of. So, I think the school handled it well when it came to grades. And, during our sophomore year when we had hybrid, I know it helped a lot to reduce the amount of COVID cases, but on the other hand lots of people were struggling mentally because of the isolation. So, in that regard I’m glad we’re fully back. 

Q: This is your first fully in-school fourth quarter, and it’s happening as a junior. How do you feel about that? 

A (Preston Wise): It feels weird. I mean, like freshman year, there wasn’t much I missed out on because for freshman you don’t go to prom, obviously you’re not graduating. I don’t feel like I missed out on much, other than that transition into being a sophomore. I feel like with this year, especially though, it’s going to hit me that I’m going to be a senior.

A (Paige Rutledge): It’s really stressful actually. I have a final in every single class and it’s kind of just cramming all of the information in the last three weeks. It’s very stressful. 

A (Michael Runions): It’s good to see progress and to know that things are continuing to become normal again.

A (Paisley Slunaker): I feel I have missed out on a lot of activities and what high school is really about, the social part, spending time with people. 

A (Cooper Cox): I don’t really mind that this is the first time we’re getting a full end of the year, as juniors, I’m just glad that this school year has felt mostly normal. There’s no doubt it’s not a normal high school year, and I think that I did miss out on quite a lot. But there’s no way I can get that back, so I move on. I loaded my senior year with classes so I really do hope we can stay in person, because it’s much harder to focus outside of school.

Q: Do you feel that you have missed out on the full high school experience? Do you feel like you have been cheated out of valuable time with friends and classmates?

A (Preston Wise): Like I said, before, I feel like I didn’t miss out on much freshman year. Sophomore year they didn’t have homecoming or prom, so I do feel like I missed out on homecoming. But yeah, only seeing the kids on one half of the alphabet, it was tough having friends on the other half, because I didn’t get to spend time with them and sort of drifted away. 

A (Paige Rutledge): I mean, a little bit. Since I’m in theater, we usually have traditions where we go out and hang, but for like the past two years- this is the first year we could actually go out and be with each other, to get that “high school experience.”

A (Michael Runions): I feel like I haven’t missed out on the full high school experience. I’ve spent a lot of time with classmates and friends, even with all of the restrictions. 

A (Paisley Slunaker): Yes, kinda. 

Q: How do you feel about senior year, now that, hopefully, it will not be complicated by COVID-19 restrictions?

A (Preston Wise): I feel pretty good about it. I feel like it will be a pretty solid ending to my high school career. Everyone’s back, I feel like it will be like a normal high school experience.

A (Paige Rutledge): Actually, I feel a little bit better about it, my senior year should be pretty breezy, cause I got nothing to really do, just two more classes. If everything goes well, minus the COVID, I think it should be fine. 

A (Michael Runions): I feel that my senior year is gonna be the best one. I’m happy to have a full year without any issues with COVID-19. It’s gonna be a fun last year.

A (Paisley Slunaker): I think it will be fully packed with as much stuff as I can do, cause I did not get much in the previous years. 

Q: Finally, what advice would you give to the underclassmen and students coming into the high school? Would you encourage them to enjoy their time in the school or would you tell them something else?

A (Preston Wise): Don’t be stupid, enjoy your time here, but don’t be reckless and ignorant. Just respect the rules and have fun. 

A (Paige Rutledge): I would tell them please don’t be annoying. I don’t mean it in a mean way, but if you want people to respect you, don’t start out by being annoying. Just be with your friends and have your fun, but just don’t be annoying. 

A (Michael Runions): Underclassmen: have fun and enjoy every day, because you never know if you’ll be taken out for a very long time. Enjoy your time in school and outside of school like at football games, events, or dances. 

A (Paisley Slunaker): I would say do as much as you can to get involved and join clubs, get active. 

A (Cooper Cox): I would suggest joining a club or sport after school. They really help when it comes to building relationships with people and I regret not doing it.

The Class of 2023 experienced a not-so-normal high school life, facing challenges like quarantine, hybrid schedules, and masks. It seems, for now, they have high hopes and a positive outlook for their senior year after facing an obstacle along the way. They certainly have much more gratitude, now, for being in person at school. We (again, Drew and Jeremiah) are optimistic about the future and look forward to a (knock on wood) normal senior year. 

Drew and McKenna Movie Challenge 2

by William McKenna/Guest Writer

DREW MOVIE CHALLENGE 2

# 1 Dune 2021

I have been told about how great the Dune series of books is for over 40 years and I have yet to read them and likely never will. Even when I was in the Sci-Fi book club I avoided it. Why… way too much work. Trying to keep up with the House of this and the House of that and the trade routes and the spice. I’ve seen the David Lynch version of the book from 1984. I have also seen the great documentary Jodrowsky’s Dune which I highly recommend… so I am quite aware of the Dune universe. YES I know that George Lucas was inspired by some of the things from Dune when he made Star Wars. I get it…people love Dune. People love 50 Shades of Grey and I haven’t read that either. I’m more of a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy type of person. So to each his own. I will try and enjoy the movie all the same.

The film features the dreamy Timothee Chalamet as some sort of chosen one type character who is thrust into a quest on the planet Arrakis. It’s the only planet that has the SPICE which I guess gives people super powers or something? The rest of the cast is rounded out by various cast members from the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe. Aquaman has pretty solid part as some sort of ultra tough warrior. Big surprise there. Mary Jane from Spider-Man I guess is the love interest. Never saw that coming? The cast is fine as they spout such epic lines as

“This is worm territory” and “worm time warning”. I guess there is a worm problem on planet Whatever.

The good guys are all nice looking people while the villains are bloated gross people with horrid table manners. I’ve never seen a movie where the characters who were disgusting when they eat were not the villain. The main villain is channeling his best Marlon Brando as he mumbles his lines and gobbles down squishy, sloppy, nasty food. He even looked like Kurtz from Apocalypse Now. “The Horror…The Horror.”

The problem with the film is that it is boring. The screenplay uses way too much exposition. Characters walk in the room and describe various this and that so the viewer can understand why the heck we should give a flip about the SPICE or fear the sand worms. A novel works in its own universe and often does not translate to screen. Dune is a prime example of a book that just doesn’t translate cinematically. Though Star Wars covers many similar themes it is written specifically for the screen and works great. The screenplay for Dune a is like a long walk in the desert because the story spends a long time with characters talking about the desert and walking and occasionally running around in the endless desert avoiding the giant worms.

The film has the expected cinematography and production design. The special effects look like stuff you have seen in other movies. The desert scenes are OK but the entire film is shot too dark. I kept wondering why nobody ever turned on a light. I guess space people can see in the dark.

The film ends with out any sort of climax as that has to happen in the next film. The novel is long and dense and the 2 hour 35 minute running time for the film isn’t enough time to tell the story. So I guess I will have to wait till the next film to find out why I should care about anything that happened in this film. Timothee never even rides the giant worm…oops that’s a spoiler for the next film.

The film is fine overall; it’s just not a movie that interested me. I’m still not sure what the story is really about outside of people really loving them some SPICE and be careful or you might get eaten by a giant worm.

# 2 A Taste of Honey 1961

This is a film about a school girl left to take care of herself when her mother remarries. It’s directed by Tony Richardson. This is a gritty drama for it’s time and features a bi-racial romance that would have been controversial in 1961.

Well-shot and directed the film moves along at a good pace but finds a way for the viewer to connect with the characters. Jo, played by Rita Tushingham, carries the film as she plays a 17- year-old just trying to feel loved in the little spot she occupies on the planet. She has a relationship with Jimmy who is a sailor that leads to a pregnancy. He ships out and there she is by herself to have a baby alone.

Jo quits school gets a job and befriends Geoffrey, played by Murray Melvin, who is gay which also would have been controversial in 1961. The two form a little family that brings some needed stability to Jo. Though Geoff is gay he is dedicated to Jo and is willing to marry her though they are not in love.

The stability is shattered when Jo’s mother returns after her recent marriage collapses. The mother chases off Geoff and Jo is once again trapped in the cycle of disfunction with her awful mother with the only person who cared about her gone.

The film uses upbeat childlike music throughout which is interesting as the situations the characters are in seem hopeless. Jo is a child and it works almost like an inner monologue reminding us that even though Jo is pregnant and taking care of herself…she is just a child.

Many scenes in the film feature children playing games and doing kid things. Jo is a kid herself but her situation keeps her from being in that world even though she wishes she could. Jo is frightened of the responsibility being a mother brings as she has never had any stability in her own life.

Will there be a happy ending for Jo and her child? That’s a question that is not answered as the film ends. All that is certain is that Jo is on her own just as she was when the film began.

#3 Spencer 2021

On August 31st 1997…I know exactly where I was when Princess Diana died in a tragic car crash in a tunnel in Paris. I had come in and worked a Saturday at WRTV 6. Though it was Sunday the 31st in Paris, the time difference made it only Saturday in Indianapolis. I recall clear as day just before we were going to air the producer that night, Jenny, in a voice of shock saying “Oh, my God, she’s dead!” We stayed with network from then on out. That’s an important story to keep in mind as I give my thoughts on Spencer, a movie about Princess Diana’s fictional Christmas with her awful husband and in-laws. I have no interest in royal people…I think it’s absolute nonsense. Princess Diana, on the other hand, had been a kindergarten teacher and seemed to be just a regular normal person trying to do her best every day. By her own accounts she just wanted a family and be a good mother and wife. Unfortunately, she was involved with the wrong man for that. I’m not likely to give the royal family a break in this review.

The film opens with Princess Diana, played as best she can by Kristen Stewart, arriving late for a Christmas weekend at a cold English estate. She does what she can with the accent and the immaculate style of Diana. Stewart controls every scene she is in and demands attention as it’s all happening from her point of view. It’s a tough role as Princess Diana meant so many different things to so many different people. I’m guessing nobody will ever be able to really capture how complex Princess Diana actually was but Stewart is all in on her effort.

Diana is completely aware that Prince Charles is having an affair with another woman. He even gives his lover the same gifts he gives his wife. He has no problem humiliating her. Diana is a strong but abused woman. She entered a marriage with the proper intentions but her husband did not.

The story unfolds with preposterous ceremony in a family Christmas weekend, everything so formal and lifeless. Diana was just too bright a light for the pompous, cold, dark royal family. The estate is poorly lit with centuries of old artifacts. The dinner scene with the family is so formal and soul-sucking I was hoping somebody might pass gas to lighten the mood.

The production design is top-notch. Even though it takes place in a large estate, the environment gives off a stifling claustrophobia that closes in on Diana in every scene. As soon as she enters the house she is in by all accounts a haunted house of horrors. This help set the mood for Diana’s state of mind thoughout the weekend. It’s known that Princess Diana had mental health issues intensified by her environment.

The rest of the cast fulfills their roles as best they can. The royals come off as cold, lifeless ghouls. That is probably a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s how they exist in the story as it unfolds around Diana. The actors who play the help are the only people Diana connects with on a human level. Sally Hawkins as Maggie is Diana’s only friend and confidant and she is great in the role.

The best scenes are with Diana and her children William and Henry. Above all else Diana wanted to be a good mother and her children are the only family she has that weekend that loves her. She was suffering through it all in hopes things would work out for the children.

Scenes with Prince Charles are tense as would be expected under the circumstances. It’s a thankless role as he is truly the villain in this relationship . He keeps trying to control his wife while living as he pleases. There is simply no love. Charles goes on about doing things for the good of the country but is willing to do nothing for the good of his family.

There are lots of really good scenes as Diana begins to break free from the confines of royal life. An unapproved visit to her childhood home reminds her of her joyful youth. She simply has to be her own person. By the end of the film she gathers her children and returns to London. In a call back to an opening scene where Princess Diana pulls an old coat off a weathered scarecrow as a sort of contrast to her immaculate image, she drives past it and this time the scarecrow is dressed in her clothes. She is leaving it all behind. The film ends with Diana not knowing what her future would be. Of course I know what happens so it makes the events of the film that much sadder.

This is not a movie I would usually be interested in but Stewart is so engaging that it’s really pretty good. The directing is fine but it’s the power in Kristen Stewart’s performance that drives the film. It’s stylized and at times borders on hallucinatory but feels real at the same time. That is tough to do.

#4 Portrait of a Lady on Fire …2019

Portrait of a Lady On Fire is like any film where a painter comes to paint the portrait of a person on an island. From the start you know they are going to end up in a romantic entanglement . This film is very predictable from the very start. Marianne arrives on the island to paint the portrait of Heloise who is about to be forced into a marriage to some guy she doesn’t love. Has there ever been a movie or story been made about a beautiful young woman being forced to marry some guy by her family where the viewer is like “Yeah, this is great”?

The film is directed by Celine Sciamm. The production design and setting is spectacular and enhances the story of forbidden love that is being presented. The film is a period piece that takes place sometime in the 18th century. The women are stunning in the fashions of the day, all of which informs who the characters are and their status in the strict social structure.

The film is interesting in that it is strictly from the women’s point of view. The story is about women and the relationships they form with each other and the value society puts on them. Heloise does not want to sit for her portrait as she knows when it’s finished she will have to get married and she will have to compromise her own identity to fit social norms of the day. Marrianne also has few options as a woman of her era to be free as she would like to be as well. Over time the two women embrace their own desires and enter into a relationship. It’s not presented as something salacious or vulgar but as two people who genuinely fall in love. Though the story is very predictable and been presented in other films where usually the male painter pursues the female subject, this film focuses more on two people finding each other as people, not just objects of lust. There are many quiet moments of the women together where the attraction grows in a much more organic and fulfilling manner.

The women only have a few days together when the mother of Heloise is away from the island where they can be free. At a gathering at a bonfire with other women Heloise’s dress briefly catches fire and she appears as a phoenix for just a brief magic moment. This of course becomes the painting the title of the film comes from as it is a symbol of the fire like passion the woman have for each other. Though the fire burns only for a short time it burned brilliant like their love.

Marrianne finishes the painting as Heloise mother returns and has to leave the island. As she leaves she turns back to see Heloise in her wedding gown. This is the last time the women will be able to show how much they love each other as both know they will be less than they could be as they will now be apart.

This is not a movie I would usually seek out but it’s a cut above the painter falling in love with the subject trope. The story is completely predictable but the directing and performances rise above the basic story elements.

#5 Happy Lazzaro 2018

This is an Italian drama directed by Alice Rohrwacher and stars Adriano Tardiolo as Lazzaro. I can tell by the grit of the film that it is well shot on 16 mm film. This gives the film a strong visual presence that informs the viewer there will likely not be many funny bits in this film. The Italian village where the film is shot looks really lived in and the grain of the film enhances the environment of these characters.

The story revolves around a group of isolated people who are being swindled by a land baron to work on a farm. The story is a kind of fairy tale. The people in village are so isolated that they do not know sharecropping is illegal and they are being exploited. The story is based on something that actually happened. They are exploited and just continue about their daily lives as best they can with little hope of improving their place in the world.

Through a series of events the villagers discover they are being swindled by the land baron. Lazzaro falls off a cliff and becomes unconscious as the other villagers are rescued from servitude. Lazzaro becomes a Rip Van Winkle figure.

Time passes and Lazzaro wakes up having not aged at all. When he goes to his old village it is abandoned and run down. He finds his way to the city where all the old villagers now live. They have fallen into terrible poverty, much worse than they had in their days of servitude in their old village. Lazzaro is very confused by what is happening and wants things to be the way they were before he went into his Rip Van Winkle sleep. He is a young man lost in time as all he knows is gone and all his friends have become old or died as he has stayed young and somewhat innocent.

Lazzaro is desperate to try and return things to the way they had been before and ends up in a bank asking that the old land baron be given back his fortune so he can return to his village. The people in the bank think it’s being robbed and beat Lazzaro to death.

The film ends with a wolf maybe running through the city into woods back to the old village…this being Lazzaro’s spirit, I guess.

Not sure what the big takeaway from the story is as things go from bad to worse to dead. The film is very well-done and shows the human spirit can be crushed in more ways than one. Not even the innocence of a good-natured young man is enough to overcome unfortunate situations. A wise man once told me, “Life is a poop sandwich and each day you take another bite. “ Poor Lazzaro and his villagers had the misfortune of actually having to eat two poop sandwiches.

In closing I would like to say I have enjoyed the journey of watching these films that Drew has picked. Most are films I most likely never would have discovered. In a time where most kids his age think Jason Momoa talking to a digital fish is high art… it’s good to see a young person finding real stories to watch. It seems that for the most part Drew likes films that are kind of downers where the characters get kicked in the head a lot by the world around them. Yes, life does have a lot of hard knocks…that is for sure. But there is also a great deal of love and happiness. Perhaps pepper in a few Steve Martin comedies from time to time to offset the misery of life films.

Profile: JAG Coordinator Turner helps students with job skills

by Jeremiah Edwards and Alex Smith/Staff Writers

Photo Caption: JAG students check prospective job-seeking students into the job fair on April 22.

Mr. Darren Turner shares his experiences as JAG Coordinator 

Q: How long have you been teaching JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates)?

A: This is my first year teaching JAG.  I began this position on July 5, 2021.

Q: Who was the most influential teacher in your life and why?

A: Looking back, I had many influential teachers throughout my school years.  But, the most influential people in my life were my parents and my mentor, former Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club, Jim Andrews.

Q: What’s your favorite part of being the JAG teacher?

A: JAG has given me the opportunity to work with juniors and seniors and, hopefully, pass on information that they will be able to utilize throughout their life.

Q: How do you balance your work and home life?

A: In the past, my career was pretty much my life.  By that I mean that I could not go anywhere without someone asking me a question that referred to my job and that I was basically “on call” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Since I left that career, I have had a much better balance in regards to work vs home.  When I am home these days, I enjoy my home life.  Of course, there are still times that I do work on items while at home. That is the nature of the beast in these type of positions.  

Q: What do you do outside of teaching JAG?

A: When I am not working on JAG, I spend the majority of my time at home with Michelle and our two rescue dogs, Bella and Jasper. and my daughter, Kayla, when she is around.  I enjoy working on puzzle books, watching sports and movies, and going to auctions.

Q: What is your least favorite part of being the JAG teacher?

A: Hands down, it is all the reports that I am required to complete for JAG and the state.  I would much prefer to use my time with the students.

Q: What is the most memorable moment in your teaching experience?

A: That moment has not happened yet – it will be when the seniors I currently have, graduate and move on to start their careers.

Q: Teaching can be a stressful job. What makes it worth it?

A: Honestly, I handle stress very well.  I had a lot of experience in my previous career in learning early on how to handle stress and not let it affect me.  I enjoy seeing my students work to improve themselves.

Q: What do you want kids to remember about you?

A: I do not necessarily want them to remember me.  It is more important that they remember the discussions we had over the career and life competencies we covered.  The students know that they will always be able to contact me for any advice or assistance they may need once they graduate.

Q: How have you handled teaching JAG during a pandemic?

A: I was fortunate that I really did not have to teach during the majority of the pandemic like most teachers.

Q: What do you want kids to learn in JAG? What’s your number one goal?

A: Students have 37 competencies dealing with career and life issues that are covered in JAG I.  We have many important competencies that are covered, but the most important to me is not actually one of them.  My number one goal for every student is to know that they can have the career that they want to have – it might take a lot of effort, a lot of time, and a lot of preparation. (Hopefully, they use the lessons learned in JAG to find that career.)

If you find the career that you want and it makes you happy, then you will be a success.  Success is not always fame or fortune; success is determined by each individual’s own definition.

Q: How do you keep the kids engaged?

A: I hope that I keep them engaged by changing up their class activities.  

We have defined times in which I lead and times in which the students lead.  Students are given many opportunities to lead (entire class or small group), to give their input and ideas and to collaborate on projects.

Q: What is your favorite lesson or activity to do with the kids and why?

A: My favorite activity with students is any time we have discussions, no matter the topic.  This is two-fold. I can actually find out if the lessons we worked on actually sink in and it allows me the opportunity to learn more about each student.

A couple students share their experiences with JAG and Mr. Turner.

What is your favorite thing about JAG with Mr. Turner?

Jonah Hord: Learning world problems and solutions 

Megan Clark: I love how helpful Turner is. Asking him for help, even if it’s 15 times, is super easy!

What does Mr. Turner do to help you learn?

Jonah Hord: He talks with us personally, to make sure we know 

Megan Clark: Turner is patient and doesn’t mind explaining how things work. He does fun games and lets us run the class sometimes.

What is your least favorite thing about JAG with Mr. Turner?

Jonah Hord: Learning all the finance stuff, i find math boring 

Megan Clark: I honesty don’t have a least favorite thing about his class. If I had to choose, it might be the deadlines. He’s understanding though, so it’s never really the worst thing about that class!

What does Mr. Turner do to make JAG fun?

Jonah Ward: He’s gets involved, makes things more personal, makes it feel like its a student to student interaction instead of a teacher to student interaction 

Megan Clark: To make class fun, he lets us lead to discussion. He also gets us involved in interactive games and away from the tablet. It’s refreshing to not be staring at a screen for an hour and a half.

Tell me a memorable story about JAG with Mr. Turner.

Jonah Hord: Probably when we went to the students in action leadership program, it was a lot of fun, we did breakout sessions and games 

Megan Clark: My favorite story is probably when we had to analyze bigger vs. smaller pictures. We did a guessing game where was had to figure out how they knew what color we choose, and I got super into it!!

What will you remember the most about JAG with Mr. Turner after you graduate?

Jonah Hord: The fun we had in the classroom. 

Megan Clark: I’ll probably remember how understanding he was. I’ve had a class with him every year for the past 4 years of being here. I grew very fond of coming to him with most of my problems. He’s not difficult to get along with, and he is super chill. I’ll definitely be missing morning meetings with him and the JAG association.

What has Mr. Turner taught you about in JAG this year?

Jonah Hord: I learned how to write a resume, cover letter, and reference sheet. 

Megan Clark: Turner definitely helped me learn more about communication and hard work this year. If there was anyone in this school who held me accountable it was him. I looked forward to his class, and I would recommend him in a heartbeat. I learned how to compose myself without losing my cool is bad situations, and I learned how to set deadlines for myself and how to stick to them.

GC Athletic department gives insight to daily activities in sports

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer

The athletic director’s of the school do a lot more in a school day than someone may think. This story is to show people a common day as described by them.

Starting with the head athletic director, Mr. Jared Manning has been the head athletic director at Greenfield-Central since 2014 and he has revealed more about what he does at that position. Manning discussed how the sports schedules are made, since that is an important behind-the-scenes decision. Manning said, “We have a system event line that helps us manage events if we have an opening in the schedule. The IHSAA limits contests per sport. For example, for baseball we have 28 games at max with 14 conference games and 14 non-conference games so we just call and email different schools and post about needing games. We also send a contract to the schools. Spring this year is a 1 year contract deal though it usually is longer. If a school cancels they have to pay a fee that is in the contract.” 

 How often does Mr. Manning go to the games? “It’s a hit or miss,” he said.  “There are sports that want us there more often and sometimes we don’t go to certain sports because there are often officials that don’t need to be paid or taken care of. We are nearly at 95% of home events. We go to major events that are away games if at all possible.” 

Manning also talked about a common school day for him. “A typical school day we come in and we check email and make sure we have workers and officials for a game and our facilities are running and ready to be used. We have things thrown at us that we weren’t expecting. Our sound system went down in the gym and the scoreboard wasn’t working. We have big items like fall, winter, spring schedules getting made. (There’s a) newsletter and transportation made bus schedules and handled many issues. And we talk to coaches about previous and current events.” He also mentioned his main job as an athletic director. “My primary responsibility is to oversee the sports programs as a whole managing coaches scheduling events, managing events making sure student athletes are academically eligible and the uniforms for sports.”

Manning was asked about the sports he goes to and the programs he is more involved in. “There are three sports that we are most involved in that involve the biggest crowds like football with the special events and basketball boys and girls are another of the most involved because of the number of people that are here for the games.” 

Another question was if he played sports in high school and college himself. “I moved here before high school. I played soccer, basketball, and baseball. I went on to play soccer for 2 years at Franklin College. I decided to quit after I realized I wasn’t going pro so I focused on my degree. I’ve always played sports and been involved with them. I transfered to Purdue for sports management. I managed training officials. I’ve never been out of sports.” 

Another question was the care for athletes. “We have two full-time athletic trainers,” he said. “They get here at 2:00 and are here at practices and games to meet the needs of athletes. They are awesome.” Manning also talked about the sectional brackets. “Most of the sectional alignments are handled by the IHSAA. They do selections; they’re the ones that assign hosts sites. It’s crazy hosting, especially basketball. We have a meeting about how we manage the officials and the workers and the practices and the management of the game. It’s a lot to make it happen.” The last question was about talking with coaches and what they talk about, “We talk quite a bit, we talk as much as possible, they usually swing in and talk about the game before the game next and how the team is doing and what they need for us.”

Ms. Elizabeth Mercer is an assistant athletic director here at GCHS. The first question was about how many sporting events she attends regularly. “I would say 5 out of 7 days a week I attend sporting events after school. Mr. Manning and myself both attend all of the home events and split the responsibilities involved with events.” 

Regarding what a school day is like for her, she said, “Every school day is different! Some days we are working on our computers all day – answering emails, signing game contracts with other schools, working on schedules, game day information, social media, our website, and more. Other days we are out at different facilities working on things or getting them ready for games. Every day seems to bring something new to the table.” 

Mercer also talked about what sports she is more involved with.“I would say that I am more involved in volleyball and basketball due to having coached those sports before coming to GCHS,” she said. “However, I am at most of our teams’ home events. There are multiple sports that have bigger crowds at events, so it takes more people to ensure things run smoothly for those sports.” 

She also talked about what sports she played in high school and college. “I played volleyball and basketball in high school at Western Boone and played basketball in college at IUPUI.” 

The final question was about how often she talked with the coaches of various sports, “We talk with our coaches every day. They stop in our office all the time just to catch up and see how things are going. We also talk to them about their schedules, their games that might be happening that night, their facilities, and also about their athletes specifically.”

Lastly, Mrs. Fowler was the final interview. Ms. Brayana Fowler is an athletic trainer at GC. The first question was about how many games she goes to. “I go to all home sporting events. I am only required to travel with football. However, if everything is covered at home I will travel to sectionals, regionals, and state.” Regarding a typical school day for her, “On a typical school day I get here around 2:30pm, our athletic training room opens at 3 and if there are no games I am out of the building around 730pm. On game days I arrive a little earlier to set things up and leave depending on when the game is over, usually 9/10PM, later for football.” She also talked about the sports she is more involved in, “I am more involved with football. It is the top covered sport at GC as it has the highest rate for injury. I travel everywhere with football as well as covering home events.”

The next question for Fowler was about the sports she played in high school and college, “I played basketball and ran track in high school. I played basketball in college as well.” Fowler also mentioned if she had a job as a trainer before GC, “I am a Certified Athletic Trainer. I have both my bachelors and masters in athletic training. I was employed part time at Marion High School before transitioning full time to GC after having my daughter.” 

The last question for Fowler was about how often she talked with the coaches, “I conversate with coaches daily. It is extremely important to build good relationships with coaches for the best interest of the players.”

Sounds like the athletic department keeps themselves quite busy. Hopefully this article will show how much the athletic department and the people within it really do for athletes and the school.