Category Archives: opinion

Opinion: We need an art club

by Summer Terry/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Nevaeh Stewart, 9, talks to Summer Terry, 9, about the possibility of an art club.

“I would join (an art club), if we had one,” said Ariana Carmichael, 9. “I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands, and don’t really know how to spend it.” 

A lot of kids draw in their free time here in GCHS, so I thought, why not ask them about an art club? We don’t really have art clubs here, and I think we should. These are some of the students’ opinions on having one. 

One of the first I asked was Carmichael. “I would like to be a part of something,” she said. “I think it would be really fun to join,” 

Of course, I’m no expert at knowing what people would want, so I went ahead and asked what they’d expect it to be like.

“Just a place to share common interests and art, perhaps a bit of constructive criticism if wanted,” said Carmichael.

“I think that an art club would be a good place for students to work on personal projects. It would also be great to have art club students do collaborative projects for the community, such as painting murals and artwork for the school, or even doing face painting at events,” said Ms. Hannah Johnson, 2D Art teacher.

Students say they’d go alone, but would consider asking their friends to join. Most think having an all-in-one art club would be fun.

 “I think it would be a lot of fun and motivating if we got to do projects for the school,” said Carmichael. “I prefer drawing and 2D art, (but) I think an all in one would be fun!”

I also asked if they’d prefer to do group or individual projects. “I’m honestly on the edge for both of them, but mainly leaning for individual projects,” Carmichael. 

“I’d prefer it to be after school, and such,” said Carmichael. Most seem to want the club after school, instead of before. 

Of course, like any other subject, some people don’t enjoy it that much. “No, (I wouldn’t join) because I don’t like art that much,” said Nevaeh Stewart, 9. She said if she did, she would go “with friends to feel more comfortable” and she would expect to “learn more about art.”

 

Esports leagues provide scholarships, recognition

by Alex Young/Staff Writer

These days video games are a huge aspect of people’s lives and leisure time. Even if you don’t play video games they will most likely still be part of your day. You can see them on the news, in articles, and especially from people talking about them around you. These very video games help people through all kinds of problems in their life or for some it just  helps with their boredom. Since these games are already incorporated with our lives, what if we make something more out of them? What if we could make an esports team that we can use to teach us many things and allow kids to make more friends?

Video games can provide many benefits to teenagers, children, and adults, but for this article we are going to focus on teenagers/adults. Even though many people believe that video games are bad for kids it is actually the opposite. Video games can benefit teenagers in their everyday lives and school. Video games help with teenagers concentration, coordination, and problem-solving skills. In an article from engadget.com dated February 9, 2017, writer Sheila Eugenio stated, “Video games, especially action games have been proven to capture the players’ attention for the entire period of the game.” The reason this is helpful to teens is that this is usually brought about by the players need to complete certain objectives within the game. This helps teenagers have the same mindset in school when it comes to doing homework and completing assignments. Video games can also improve coordination by making the player focus on more than just the screen they have to focus on what they are doing and what to do outside of the game to play the game which also helps with multitasking. These are just some of the many benefits of playing video games but how successful has high school esports been.

Many other high schools have in operated esports teams and gaming into their school and extracurriculars. Two of these school esports teams are in Georgia. These two teams of many in their esports league went against each other in front of CNN. These high school esports teams have helped many kids in their college and high school career when it comes to finding colleges and paying for them. There are many other schools all around the U.S. doing the same thing in some kind of way. These esports teams also benefit both the school and the students a lot when it comes to money and colleges. Many colleges now have esports teams and are looking for players by giving out scholarships. 

The students who are participating in the esports gain a lot more than teamwork, experience, and another thing to put on their college resume. From an article written on September 19, 2019 Brian Seto McGrath for NBCNews.com wrote an article about  apparently you can get scholarships for colleges. Jeremy Murray, a junior at Francis Howell Central High School in St. Charles, MO, watched six of his teammates as they were offered nearly $400,000 in scholarships to play esports in college. Esports can give students great advantages like this scholarship for their college career. There have been many other cases where colleges gave out money. In the same NBC News article, McGrath noted, “In the 2018-19 school year, some 200 colleges in the U.S. offered $16 million in esports scholarships.”

On  September 25, 2019, Mike Sullivan wrote an article for Fox 59 about how scouts are going around looking for players that do very well at video games such as a student from Tipton, IN who received a full paid scholarship from Davenport University. Yes, Indiana has its own esports league now, with thirteen schools involved. Tipton High School teacher John  Robertson is behind the project.

Some high schools that have esports competitions are giving each player on the winning team money for their college tuition. Esports doesn’t just help kids make money; it can also help schools make money. High schools can hold competitions for people to pay to come see. These days many people want to watch sports, so why not local esports? 

Esports teams can be very beneficial in many ways that are useful. It can make both the students and the schools a lot of money. It can help students with college tuition or scholarships to certain colleges. It can also help the player with certain skills such as concentration, coordination, and problem-solving skills. There are even a couple schools that also believe this was a good idea in Indiana who made their own high school league. I believe that we could and should incorporate an esports club into our school. 

 

Theatre Review: Murder on the Orient Express

By Andrea Lenser/Staff Writer

 Photo Caption: Playbill from Murder on the Orient Express, seen Wednesday, March 4 at the Indiana Repertory Theatre. 

The stage adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express was written by Ken Ludwig and is based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name. The story follows Hercule Poirot, a detective who must find a murderer among a lineup of passengers, a conductor, and an old train owner friend, all while being stranded on a train that has a diminishing supply of provisions. The victim is a man named Samuel Ratchett, who receives eight stab wounds in the wee hours of the morning. Simultaneously, the Orient Express hits a snow bank, forcing Poirot to solve the crime quickly, lest the killer strike again. 

  The seven passengers and the conductor accused of the crime are Colonel Arbuthnot, his wife Mary Debenham, Helen Hubbard, Hector McQueen, Princess Dragomiroff, her assistant Greta Ohlsson, and Countess Andrenyi. All of them are unique characters, but they all share something in common: resentment of Samuel Ratchett and a common motive for killing him. 

Shortly after discovering Ratchett dead, Poirot finds a clue that reads, “Remember Daisy Armstrong.” Daisy was a five-year-old girl who was abducted and then killed in New York. It was revealed soon after the discovery of the clue that Ratchett had been the one to murder the girl. All of the passengers had connections to Daisy, so all of them had a motive for killing him. 

So if all of the passengers had the same motive, how did Poirot find the killer? The reveal near the end of the show answers that question. The conductor and the passengers claim that they had all seen a second conductor on the train, despite the fact that there was supposed to be only one. However, they all banded together to create this story to hide the real murderer: each and every one of them. 

Ratchett had eight stab wounds, “some weak and some strong.” The reason that he had eight separate wounds of varying intensity was because eight different people, the passengers and conductor, had stabbed him. They all sought revenge for Daisy’s death and attempted to elude capture by coordinating alibis and lying about a mysterious figure on the train. Poirot, however, was clever enough to see through their lies. 

While the idea of all of the suspects taking part in the murder is an interesting concept, I think that the story would have benefitted more from a more traditional ending. Poirot states at the closing of the production that there were two possible solutions: that all eight had killed Ratchett, or an unidentified person had broken in to the train and left before he/she was detected. However, the latter solution contradicts a statement that Poirot made earlier: “No one could have entered the train because there are no footsteps in the snow. This was an inside job.” If Poirot had just presented the eight-killers solution in a sure manner instead of offering up the idea he had already proven wrong, then I feel that the audience and I would have been more astounded by the twist ending. 

While the ending of the tale was underwhelming, the overall professionalism and attention to detail portrayed by the cast and crew for this production was phenomenal. The most unique aspect of the show was the set and scene changes. Three different settings were used when on the train: three bedroom units, a dining unit, and a lobby unit. However, instead of having blackouts for scene changes, the three locations were set on a round platform that rotated counter-clockwise. Whenever a scene ended and a new scene was to be ushered in, the characters would freeze on the moving platform and let the platform carry them backstage. Meanwhile, the new setting would spin around, making the transitions simple and quick. 

Another aspect of the technical design that added to the uniqueness of the show was the use of various lighting designs. A plethora of lighting gel colors were used, such as shades of red, blue, orange, pink, and purple. The gels were utilized to exhibit the mood being portrayed in a particular scene. For example, when the passengers discovered Mary Debenham unconscious on the ground with a bullet in her arm, the lights were switched to appear a deep red to show the intensity of the scene. 

The use of spotlights also add character to the show. Near the end when the crime is about to be solved, Poirot explains the events and the characters act them out as a flashback. To show that their actions were of the past, the lights are dimmed and spotlights shone on the actors portraying a past event. The spotlights create a contrast between the past and the present so that audience members can tell what is happening at the time and what events had already taken place. 

IRT always goes above and beyond with their shows and Murder on the Orient Express is no different. While the story and the ending of the show were not particularly satisfying, the show is still worth seeing because of the incredible technical design and the professionalism of the cast and crew.   

Little Women: Book Vs. Movie Review

By Andrea Lenser/Staff Writer

Whenever a well-known classic novel is adapted for film, controversy is sure to arise. Movie directors must make tough decisions on what details of the book should be included and should be cut. In many cases, the movie is not received well by fans because of the varying opinions on what should be included in the film. However, Little Women was able to overcome this precedent and was acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. 

Little Women tells the story of the March sisters and their journey to finding their place in society despite their poverty. The sisters live in a comfortable home with their mother, Marmee, and their housekeeper while their father is off fighting in the war. Meg, the oldest sister, had a yearning for luxury, but she never let that hope get in the way of the care and nurturing she provided to her sisters and mother. Jo, the second-oldest sister, was strong-willed and fearless. She liked to write and much preferred to dress and act like a man rather than as a lady. Beth, the second-youngest, was bashful, but always did whatever she could to help her family and anyone around her. She also had a great love for music, especially piano. Amy, the youngest, was materialistic about exquisitely beautiful possessions, but she dealt with this desire by painting and sketching what was important to her. 

Another important character was Laurie, the March sisters’ next door neighbor. He lived with his grandfather in a mansion, but he was not happy due to his extreme sheltering. With the help of the girls, specifically Jo, he is able to break away from the mansion and experience real life for the first time. The sisters and Laurie have many adventures together, some exciting and adventurous, some heartbreaking. One trial that they had to overcome was the untimely death of the third sister, Beth. The group grew closer together during this time and learned all about trust and forgiveness. 

The novel highlights many other important messages that the sisters and Laurie learn throughout their journey to adulthood. One simple lesson taught to them by their mother was to always give what could be given. For example, on Christmas morning the girls gave up their lavish breakfast so that a poor family would have something to eat on Christmas. Their father also supplied them with encouragement and words of wisdom through his letters, inspiring them to always be the best version of themselves. These constant reminders guided them into growing up to be generous and kind adults that their future spouses could appreciate. 

The Little Women novel has 47 chapters, so of course the film could not include every detail, but it is clear that the directors and producers painstakingly scrutinized the book to make sure the portrayal of the book was as accurate as possible. The appearances of the characters could have perhaps been more accurate, but the attitudes of the characters could not have been more on point. The scenery and clothes were also exquisite and explained the time period well. 

One interesting detail of the movie is that it is told in flashbacks. The novel is told chronologically in time, whereas the movie starts where the book ends. It starts with Jo attempting to publish a book called Little Women, a journal of the many adventures she and her sisters had experienced. It then shows her life as an adult and her reminiscing about the past. The flashbacks are unique to the movie and complement the novel well, even if the story is being told in a slightly different way. 

The filmmakers also did a wonderful job of developing the characters and showing their growth. An example of this happening is with Jo. In the early flashbacks, she is moody and rash in her decisions, whereas in the later ones, she is more mature about her actions and it is clear that she has learned from her past mistakes. At first, Jo was quick to refuse and then change her mind on her engagement to Laurie, but she realizes later that her rash decision to be with Laurie would have negatively affected her later on in life when she discovers that he is not her soul mate. 

Overall, both the novel and the film exceed expectations. If you’re a bookworm who is detail-oriented, then reading the book is the way to go. If you’re more of a visual learner and prefer to see the whole picture and not focus on too many details, then the movie is more for you. However, the story is what is most important, and both the novel and movie are masterpieces worth exploring. 

Students offer opinions on Pixar Theory

by Andrea Lenser/Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Supercarlinbrothers on YouTube

Have you ever noticed the Easter eggs and hidden references Pixar hides in their films? Perhaps you’ve spotted the iconic Pizza Planet truck driving down the street in Finding Nemo or the Luxo Ball from the Pixar short “Luxo Jr.” making an appearance in Boo’s room in Monsters Inc. This may seem like a harmless Easter egg hunt the Pixar animators like to play with viewers, but it could mean much more than that. These Easter eggs are the origin for the most well-known conspiracy theory in animation: the Pixar Theory.

The Pixar Theory is a popular fan theory that suggests that all of the Pixar movies exist in the same universe and on the same timeline. It explains how the animals in the Pixar universe gained-human like qualities and explores the conflicts between the three most prominent groups in the movies: humans, animals, and machines. 

It all starts with Brave, during the Dark ages in Scotland. In the film, the witch uses magic sourced from the mysterious “will-o-the-wisps” to turn Merida’s mother into a bear. However, the magic does not turn her completely into a bear; she still retains some human qualities, such as the ability to cut food and open doors. At the end of the film, Merida’s mother in turned back into a woman, but it’s possible that the magic affected other animals and caused them to evolve and gain human-like qualities.

Fast forward to more modern times and certain animals now have the ability to speak and perform tasks formerly done solely by humans. Remy from Ratatouille, the fish in Finding Nemo, and the dogs from Up are among some of the animals that have developed speech. Remy has even developed cooking skills, something only humans could do for a long time. At this point, only a small portion of humans have been introduced to the animals’ intelligence, but once the news gets out, conflicts will arise. 

Around this same time, machines are starting to gain intelligence along with the animals. In The Incredibles, the A.I. Bot “started to wonder why it had to take orders.” This piece of artificial intelligence is destroyed, but others like it begin to acquire more and more knowledge. Now that both animals and machines are gaining intelligence, humans are facing immense danger.

Eventually, a fight between the humans, the animals, and the machines breaks out to decide the dominant species. The animals, the weakest of the three, almost completely die out. The fight comes down to the humans and the machines and artificial intelligence takes the victory. However, instead of killing off the humans, the machines set up a utopian world for the humans on a spaceship called the Axiom. Similar to the toys, machines need human interaction or else they will cease to function properly. 

With the animals annihilated and the humans on a utopian ship, the machines take over the world. Cars, like the ones portrayed in the movie Cars, rise to power. Since humans are no longer living on Earth, it seems that the machines would not be able to thrive, but because the memory of humans still live on, the machines are able to function without the physical presence of humans. Human cities and objects still litter the Earth, so for the time being, the cars and other machines can live on.

As the years pass, the globe slowly succumbs to an inevitable fate. Because the world is run by machines, the amount of carbon emissions and ruined landscape leads to pollution beyond repair. With the pollution also comes an abundance of trash and a lack of human memorabilia that the machines can live off of. The machines eventually die out and the world is left in the state of ruin we see in WALL-E. 

The events of WALL-E play out and the humans return to Earth. Artificial intelligence finally meets its demise as the humans learn how to be independent once again. In another turn of events, a small colony of bugs emerges. It’s believed that these intelligent insects were insignificant enough that they managed to survive on the Earth. Once the Earth is restored to its former beauty, the bugs multiply and become the ants, grasshoppers, and other insects seen in A Bug’s Life. 

Soon after, however, the humans and the animals disappear. It’s unclear why and how the humans and remaining animals disappeared, but monsters take over the world and create human-like societies with housing, education, and jobs. One of the most important jobs, as portrayed in the film Monsters Inc, is being a scarer. Scarers go through doors and scare children to collect screams, which can be turned into energy. The movie implies that humans are simply in a separate part of the world and are not aware of the monsters’ secret society, but this is not the case. Instead of traveling to a different part of the world, the monsters are actually traveling back in time to a time when humans still existed. 

So how does this come full circle? The answer lies within Boo, the little girl that Sully falls in love with in Monsters Inc. When Sully is forced to say goodbye to Boo, she becomes sad that she can never see her big blue friend anymore. From that point forward, it becomes her life’s ambition to find Sully again.

 Boo eventually finds a way to recreate a time traveling door like the one Sully used to find her. She travels to every time period imaginable and will sometimes leave artifacts from the future in the past, such as leaving a Luxo Ball in the Stone Ages. Eventually Boo settles in Scotland during the 10th century and becomes a witch. Boo grows up to be the witch from Brave that started the whole ordeal.

While this theory was only published to change one’s perspective of the Pixar movies, many people are divided on whether Pixar producers planned the movies to fit cohesively together or if it was a mere coincidence. Jonathon Hudson, a Radio/TV Teacher, said, “Personally, I think it’s a coincidence and they ran with it. The way that Pixar always operates, on the surface all their films appear to be very simple, but when you dive into each individual film, you find a lot of themes that are very complex. There’s always this social aspect, there’s something driving these characters, there’s some kind of motivation for why the characters do what they do.”

Other fans believe that the hidden references mean nothing more than what they are at the surface. Brooklin Bittinger, 10, said, “I think that Pixar purposely puts cameos and Easter eggs in their films, but I also think that a lot of theories, like this one, are made up by their fans to give the audience an alternate perspective.” 

Another question to ponder is now that Pixar has been made aware of this theory, do they attempt to continue the theory or destroy it with their new releases? Hudson said, “I think they realized a long time ago that this thing could happen and planned their releases accordingly, but I don’t think from the start they had this planned. There’s always a deeper meaning, though, so we really don’t know.”

Ally Hughey, 10, said, “I think that Pixar didn’t originally have any way to tie together all of their movies in something this complex, but maybe they will intentionally make movies in the future that fit in with the theory. At the beginning they may have decided to add in things to each movie like the Pixar ball because they were cool, but know the references have a different meaning because of the theory.”

Whether the theory is true or just a bunch of random connections strung together will probably never be answered, but as long as Pixar and their fans keep thinking creatively, they’ll be plenty more movies and theories to come. 

 

https://jonnegroni.com/2013/07/11/the-pixar-theory/ 

 

Photo Opinion: What Are You Looking Forward To In 2020?

By Ella Maciel/Staff Writer
We asked some students about what they are looking forward in 2020, here are their answers:

1. August Breedlove, 12:  “I am looking forward to graduating high school and starting a new chapter of my life.”

2. Dylan Thomas, 12: “ I am excited to go to the army and boxing there.”

3. Meghan Brown, 12:  “ I am looking forward to college and deciding what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

4. Julianne Hatcher, 11:  “I am looking forward to meet my last set of high school teachers.”

5. Makaela Bailey, 11: “ I am looking forward to senior year and the fun things it brings.”

6. Erin Kelly, 9: “I am looking forward to spending more time with friends and family.”

7. Elayna Morris, 10:  “I am looking forward to my license because then I can drive.”

8. Claire Bodell, 12:  “ Looking forward to going to college and being on my own.”

Broadway’s history celebrated

by Andrea Lenser/Staff Writer

Photo: Broadway Theatre District District: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/broadway-became-broadway/

Theatre has shaped cultures and impacted the lives of millions around the globe. Many memories are made at the theatre, whether one is performing in a production or simply attending as an audience member. And for those who wish to perform with or experience the best of the best, there’s most likely no better stage than Broadway. 

The first Broadway theatre was built in 1750 by Thomas Kean and Walter Murray. The theatre seated almost 300 people and performed a variety of opera and Shakespearean shows. Productions were halted during the Revolutionary War, but shows continued soon after with the building of an expansive theatre called Park Theatre. 

More theatres sprang up in the area in the 1800s, including the Bowery Theatre, Niblo’s Garden, and the Astor Place Theatre. Productions expanded to include operas, musicals, plays, variety shows, and vaudeville shows. However, the modern musical that is often seen on Broadway today wasn’t introduced until 1866. 

The first musical to include original choreography and songs was a show called The Black Crook. The show was nearly six hours long and ran for an astounding 474 performances. 

At the beginning of the 20th century, a staple of modern Broadway theatres was introduced: an electric marquee with bright white bulbs to advertise a show. The first show to be displayed on one of these electric signs was a show called The Red Mill, which was a musical based on the current time period. 

Broadway theatre’s popularity died down with the introduction of motion pictures with sound, but it rebounded in popularity after the Great Depression. This period brought to life classics that have been revived and are still being performed today, such as Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, and My Fair Lady

Modern Broadway shows consist mostly of musicals, though traditional plays can also be seen. The longest running Broadway show was previously Les Miserables, with a total of 6,691 performances. The musical Cats took the lead when its run ended with 7,485 performances. But the show that really takes the cake is Phantom of the Opera. The show has been performed over 12,000 times and is still on Broadway to this day. 

While Phantom of the Opera holds the record for the longest Broadway run, The Lion King takes the spot for highest grossing. Wicked is runner up to The Lion King, followed by Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, and the revival of Chicago

Broadway has made itself a legacy that will last decades into the future. The coming generations will have the opportunity to experience jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring moments that are unique to the Broadway stage and will most likely never be forgotten by theatre fans everywhere. 

Sources:

https://www.theaterseatstore.com/blog/history-of-broadway

https://broadway.showtickets.com/articles/5-golden-age-musicals-that-deserve-revivals/

http://www.playbill.com/article/the-top-10-highest-grossing-broadway-shows-of-all-time

 

 

 

 

Black Friday deals and perfect gifts

by Emily Rigney/Staff Writer

November is filled with many events happening throughout the month. Fall is coming to an end, Thanksgiving starts, and the weather gets colder and colder. Along with all this comes Black Friday, the one day of the year where stores all around America have giant sales, and everyone starts their Christmas shopping. This is held on the day after Thanksgiving, and usually draws a large crowd of people to start shopping. Cities will tend to get busier depending on how many and what stores are on sale where you are, and how big of a city you live in

Some stores that will be participating in the Black Friday sales are: Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Kohls, Macy’s, JCPenney and Sears. These stores are usually the busiest on Black Friday because they are stores where most people will tend to be attracted to when it comes to shopping for Christmas gifts. These stores sell almost anything you could want, being from kitchen supplies to toys. They are great places to get anything you want for anyone you are shopping for and has a wide variety of options from you to shop from. 

For the different things you want, there are different stores you should visit to get what you are looking for. If you are shopping for your parents, then you should be able to go to pretty much any store. Basic things that you would tend to buy for parents could be found pretty much anywhere. For moms, the most bought items are jewelry, coffee mugs and slippers. https://www.today.com/style/gift-ideas-mom-christmas-gifts-more-mom-will-love-t103992Jewelry can range from a couple of dollars, to hundreds or thousands, depending on how nice you want it. Mugs range from around $10, as well as slippers. For dad, the most bought items are watches, AirPods, and a computer. AirPods are around $159, watches and computers can be around a few hundred dollars as well. 

 For your siblings or friends, I would go to stores like Best Buy or Target for electronics and accessories. For your brother; bomber jackets, wireless speaker socks are the top most bought items for that age range. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/gift-ideas/g28414150/best-gifts-for-teen-boys/

These are all around $20. For your sister; Polaroid cameras, projectors and a new tablet are the most bought items for teen girls. These also go from $30 to around a hundred dollars as well. 

For grandparents, go to stores like Kohls and Target for things that they would be drawn to and enjoy more overall. The top most bought items for grandmothers are candles, planters, and framed pictures. These are only around $5 to $10. Grandfathers top most bought gifts are hats, shirts, and mugs. Which are also around the same price as the grandmothers presents. 

For the Black Friday 2019 opening times; Best Buy opens at 8:00 AM, and Khols from Thanksgiving night until 1:00 PM. These would be the most popular stores to go to so I would schedule out to get there early if you want something certain, so they won’t sell out of what you are looking for. 

If you really want to get certain things for certain people than I would plan what stores you want to go to before you go out. This will help you not get caught in a crowd wandering and would be easier for you to find things. I would also go to stores that you know have exactly what you are looking for so you don’t have to worry about running around town and not being able to get something before it’s out of stock. This way your Black Friday shopping is more stress free and less complicated. If this is your first time shopping on Black Friday I would recommend knowing what you want before you start shopping. 

Best Choices for Hard-to-Get Gifts

by Christina Keene/Staff Writer

Christmas is just around the corner. One of the busiest times of the year is Christmas, so you need to start planning and getting gifts soon. Black Friday is a very popular day to go get Christmas gifts. If you don’t like big crowds and packed stores, then maybe get your gifts on a different day. Thinking of gifts to get for people can be rather difficult for most. Hopefully, I can give you some good ideas.

Making a budget for Christmas shopping is very important. You don’t want to overspend and not have any money left. Black Friday gives you a bunch of good deals. Again, if you don’t like or don’t go Black Friday shopping, then you can find coupons or stores with good deals. Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Bath and Body Works, Kohl’s, Big Lots, The Home Depot, and more, all have Christmas deals. Home Depot, Target, and Walmart have deals on Christmas trees and some decorations. Walmart and Target also have a bunch more deals from toys to home items. Bath and Body Works has deals on some Christmas scents and have coupons for free gifts. Best Buy has special deals for electronics. Kohl’s has deals on kitchen tools, electronics, and some clothing items. Big Lots has a ton of good priced Christmas gifts, like movie bundles, food baskets, toys, blankets, and much more. 

Thinking of gifts for family members can be difficult. Some gifts you could get your mom are candles, coffee, her favorite candy, coupons for stores she likes, spa trip, or jewelry. Some gifts you can get your dad are ties, joke books, a watch he wanted, or his favorite cds. If you can’t afford to get family members presents, some DIYs would be perfect. You can make a big card with a letter in it, you can make a jar of things you love about them, or anything else you think they’d like. 

Most people can have a hard time shopping for grandparents. It can be hard, since grandparents don’t want or need a lot of things. Some options for presents are, baking or cooking materials, sweet treats they would like, or a crafty card with pictures of you guys together. 

Typically, getting gifts for friends or people you are close with is easier because you talk and get to know them more. Some gifts for your friends are, gift cards, candy, fuzzy socks, their favorite movie, pictures of you guys together, or a fragrance they like. If you know that they’ve always wanted a specific thing, then consider getting it for them.  

If none of these ideas work for you, you can ask others that know that person for good gifts. You could also just ask the person what they want. Hopefully some of these ideas help you during your stressful hunt for Christmas gifts. 

Recommendations from Bath and Body Works: 

Recommendations from Target:

 

and Best Buy:

 

Are Ghosts real?

by Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

Photo Source:https://www.livescience.com/26697-are-ghosts-real.html

Have you ever been in your room before, and felt like you weren’t alone? Some people have had this thought before, and the word that comes to their mind is ghosts. 

Ghosts are generally one of the most widely believed paranormal abnormalities. There have been many disputes about whether ghosts are actually real or not. Can ghosts really move through solid objects, slam doors, and throw objects? 

In a LiveScience article by Benjamin Radford written on May 18, 2017, it is stated that many people do not believe in ghosts.https://www.livescience.com/26697-are-ghosts-real.html.Ghost hunters use many tools, machines, and methods to try and detect ghosts. They use tools such as electromagnetic detectors, cameras, and microphones. Yet none of these have been proven to detect ghosts yet, also according to the article. Other researchers have claimed that ghosts haven’t been proven to exist in this world. According to Radford, people don’t have the right technology to find or detect paranormal activity. 

If ghosts were to actually exist scientifically we would find lots of evidence, yet we don’t have any. There have been so many efforts by ghost hunters on television trying to locate and find ghosts, but none of the hunters have found a single ghost. Some people such as Abby Coughenour, 9, and Gladys Rodriguez, 9, do not believe in ghosts. Coughenour said that she doesn’t believe ghosts are real because she doesn’t believe that they will come back and haunt you. Rodriguez states, “It has not been proven, and we have no contact with them that has been confirmed or that it is even liable.” 

While many do not believe in ghosts, some people do believe. Some reasons why people would believe in ghosts is because they have either had a personal experience or a haunting. They might have also witnessed a mysterious sighting or heard sounds of paranormal activity. Just think if ghosts aren’t real, why would there be ghost hunters, television shows, and websites about them? Cora Bishop, 9, and Chrissy Keene, 9, have said that they do believe in ghosts. Bishop says that she greatly believes in ghosts when it comes to them haunting someone when they are angry. Keene states, “I have seen and heard a lot of scary things that have led me to believe that they are real.” In the same way people are drawn to scary movies; people are drawn to believing in ghosts. 

Millions of people are interested in ghosts, and a 2013 Harris Poll found that 43% of Americans believe in ghosts. https://theharrispoll.com/new-york-n-y-december-16-2013-a-new-harris-poll-finds-that-while-a-strong-majority-74-of-u-s-adults-do-believe-in-god-this-belief-is-in-decline-when-compared-to-previous-years-as-just-over/ When people believe or don’t believe in ghosts, they have most likely gotten that conclusion from television shows, horror films, or ghost hunters. Despite the contradictions on whether ghosts are real or not, it is up to you to decide what you believe.