Category Archives: News

The latest and greatest and most hard hitting of information.

Profile: From cadet to full-time firefighter, Oleksy is on his way up

Photo Caption: Volunteer firefighter Tyler Oleksy helps to put out a fire in Greenfield. Photo by Emily Oleksy

Why would someone want to be a firefighter? This is a question that could be asked of Tyler Oleksy. A 2018 GC grad, Oleksy has been working his way up since he started out at the Greenfield Fire Department. He became a cadet and has been learning all the ways to be a firefighter. Currently a volunteer firefighter, he has started to the process to become full-time. 

Oleksy had very important reasons for wanting to become a firefighter.  “I got into the job because of my dad being a firefighter. I wanted to follow in those footsteps,” he said. He grew up around the department his whole life and loved hearing about the things that his dad did on the job.That is what made him so interested in it to have that job one day.

Olesky did discuss the toughest part of the job. He said, “Calling the time of death of a person that has passed after getting done working on them to save them and deciding the right time to call it. People can either be young or an older person; either way it isn’t the easiest saying that a person has passed on,” he said.

Olesky said he chose the job for the people he is around and for the mission he serves. “I picked it because of the rush you have when you either put a fire out or save someone’s life,” he said. Each time he saves someone or puts out a house fire he said he feels accomplished knowing that the fire is out or that someone has been saved from dying. He also said, “This job is pretty special to me with all the people that I have became close to.” The type of people that he works with have helped him so much throughout his life from his father passing and teaching him all about being a firefighter, he said. 

Greenfield firefighter Anthony Evans talked about Oleksy’s performance and growth in the department.  “Tyler is a very hard worker and great with people as he has been here. Everyone has grown a friendship with him”. He went on, “Tyler is the type of worker that won’t give up until he makes it. Me and him have become really close. I see him as another son. He is such a great person. He works so hard for everything that he has and he never gives up.”

Profile: Anderson U. baseball players hope for spring season

Photo Caption: Clayton White, a senior at Anderson University, waits to throw a pitch against his opponent on April 21.

Corinne White/Staff Writer

Anderson University’s athletes have taken a harsh downfall for this season. The coronavirus has taken away lots of opportunities for players on the team. Most recently, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, of which Anderson is part,  postponed any conference-related contests and championships scheduled for the fall 2020 season. Clayton White, a senior who has played baseball all of his life, has been very doubtful about this coming season. “As a senior it’s really hard to let all of my hard work go to waste. Knowing I most likely won’t get my last season is truly heartbreaking,” White stated. 

The Anderson Ravens baseball season was cut short last season, and seniors from last year did decide to come back for this season. “I’m glad most of the guys are coming back this season. If our season gets canceled this year, I’m not sure I will continue my baseball career,” White explained. 

White, a graduate from Eastern Hancock, has played baseball since he was 5 years old. His drive is obvious,  as he set many records at Eastern Hancock and pitched the second perfect game in Eastern Hancock history as a sophomore. White then committed to Anderson University to further his baseball career. He has had lots of opportunities and has MLB scouts looking out for him. 

White explained that at first he didn’t think the coronavirus was such a big deal. “I didn’t know anyone that had it at first. I didn’t think it was possible for me to get it.” The Anderson baseball team has been restricted from practicing because 25% of the players tested positive, including White and his roommates. 

“I was the first one in the house to have it. I went to a party and a few days later I got sick, tested positive of course,” Tyler Burton, a Ravens baseball player stated. Soon after that all of the boys tested positive.

Burton graduated from Knightstown with a very good academic standing. Burton is one of the best hitters on the Ravens baseball team. As a freshman he was able to achieve his goal of 10 home runs in one season. “I felt extremely guilty when I tested positive for Covid. Not only to my roommates but for my whole team,” Burton explained. He knows that he will have at least one more season. Nonetheless he is still very upset and feels sorry for the seniors. 

When the coaches announced that practice and fall ball was pushed back the boys were devastated. Zach Lane, a senior baseball player, tried to uplifted the boys and be a leader.  His goal for this team is to not only be successful by winning, but also be a family. The boys on the team call Lane the “dad” of the team, because he is always taking care of people and being a leader. “I went to a very small high school and my team was not very good. There’s where I learned my leadership skills,” Lane said proudly.

He has also tested positive for coronavirus. “I think everything happens for a reason. God has a plan even if we don’t like it sometimes. Something good will eventually come out of this. We just have to wait and see,” Lane explained with a big smile on his face.”

The Anderson Ravens hope to have their season in the spring. White hopes to do something big for the end of his baseball career, maybe continuing into the minor league baseball league. The team has been looking forward to their season so they can give their seniors an experience to remember. 

Profile: Powerhouse Ninestar producer discusses behind-the-scenes work

by Drew Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: John Painter, producer of NineStar Sports as well as the creator of NineStar’s local TV channel, at a recent volleyball match between New Castle and Greenfield, just before filming begins on Sep. 10, 2020. 

In the absolute black of night, only illuminated by the obnoxious shine of automobile lights and the blast of the football field fluorescents, a man emerged from the sea of moving cars and wandering people in the parking lot to greet one man: John Painter. They talked briefly, speaking of the man’s newborn and his hopes to return to broadcasting. There was nothing awfully unique about this occasion; to a wandering eye it may seem as though it was just as simple as small talk. What was really significant about this occasion wasn’t that it happened, but that, in fact, it seemed to happen all the time. From country club bartending to tarring a factory roof, to being a computer technician at General Motors, and even a plant manager for NineStar, it seems as though Painter has been all over the world, and as though all the world knows him. 

“All my life, I have loved to create and have always spent time creating in all types of different forms,” elaborated Painter when asked about the best aspects of his job at NineStar. “The position NineStar has put me in is one that they give me the freedom to be creative in many forms.” While Painter has certainly shuffled around in his career, he now finds himself the producer of NineStar Sports as well as the creator of NineStar’s local TV channel. NineStar Connect is an energy and communications company based in East Central Indiana that provides a number of services including water, electric, and internet, and also as a result of Painter’s work in the company, a local TV channel. Painter has worked with the company for several years, and went onto explain the many positions he had held in the span of time, stating, “Again, I love to be creative. I have held many positions with NineStar, from a telephone lineman, to maintaining the digital headend, and even supervisory roles with outside plant.” 

In the early hours of the day, through sizzling heat and bitter rain, one can find Painter at one of the local high school football stadiums, basketball courts, baseball fields, or even wrestling rooms setting up for a rigorous night of recording. He can be seen running cables out to cameras, setting up laptops for editing and rendering, and more time-consuming, tiresome work. “Growing up on a farm, hard work has always been instilled in me by my upbringing,” he pondered in consideration of the tediousness of it all. “I do enjoy it because once we finish, there is a great sense of accomplishment and much satisfaction. I guess because I am just driven by sort of an obsession with those games that I do not feel any fatigue or pain until the next morning.” But even after all the arduous set-up and labor, when the game begins, whatever it is, Painter runs the show like a trainer runs a well-disciplined mustang on a dirt-ridden horse track. 

“I think John possesses a combination of mental fortitude and experience that is perfect for how stressful and nerve-wracking productions can be most of the time,” illustrated Dave Anderson, camera operator for NineStar Films, the team responsible for the filming of local county sports games. Anderson is an established and consistent member of the team, having worked there for nearly four years. “There have been many times over the years that have solidified my faith in John as a producer. Whenever there are technical difficulties with our equipment or there are outside factors beyond our control, John just deals with it or fixes the problem if he can,” elucidated Anderson, “He never gets mentally flustered or panicked, which is pretty remarkable considering some of the things we have had to deal with over the years.” Painter runs a consistently collected and calm ship and maintains a level of quality that is undeniable. 

As one could surmise, Painter seems to possess the work ethic of an ox, never failing his responsibilities and always moving forward. “John is different from others in that he is a one-man army,” Bill McKenna, Greenfield-Central Radio/TV teacher and director at NineStar Films, attempted to explain, stating, “He is producing, engineering, and doing all the production jobs himself, every other team is full, John has only himself. He teaches himself new technology, he finds a way, [he’s] self-reliant.” McKenna has been working with Painter for six years and even knew him as a child. “We both were kids during the blizzard of 1978, we both had adventures, mine in the city and his in the country,” McKenna mentioned. “[He] and his dad went out in the storm and worked; I just had an awesome snowball fight. He told me about what it was like to work with his Dad tending to the cows as this epic storm engulfed them. His youth made him who he is.” McKenna has worked in the industry for many years, even working under Channel 6 for some time, as well as ABC. Yet he notices something different in Painter as a producer, simply stating, “He stays with what is good in life. I’ve never worked with anybody as good as him.”

Unfortunately, no matter how fantastic a man like Painter is, especially in the industry, the reality is sports are on the decline. According to research firm Ampere Analysis, viewers aged 18 to 24 are the least interested in sports as a genre in broadcasting, and it seems that participation in sports is decreasing, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Talent and hard work can only do so much if the viewer doesn’t care. In considering this, Painter elaborated on his perspective of it: “I watch old sporting broadcasts on YouTube from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. The broadcast was all about the players and the action, period. Total focus was with the game. And it was normally only positive commentary. There was not all the flashy motion graphics and such. It was simple and was all about the game, which is what people have tuned in for. That’s just me. I like the broadcast to be all positive and not overdone with flashy glitz and glamour.” 

Even with all the sweat, blood, and tears Painter puts into his work, he doesn’t complain much nor does he think much needs to change. When asked about changes he would like to make to his current job, he simply retorted, “Well, I guess I would like to see us be able to have permanent cabling at all of our stadiums and gyms, so that we wouldn’t have to set-up and break-down for every broadcast. That would be nice!” McKenna attested to Painter’s absolutely solid mentality, explaining, “He goes well beyond what he has to do in his work. He swings for the fences and never gives up. We have had games in tough weather I would have bailed on, but he stays with it and we get stuff done when it looks impossible.” 

What lies ahead for John could be an innumerable amount of situations, considering his career, but it seems as though for now Painter is planting his feet in broadcasting. Despite the painstaking labor and the decline in popularity, it is where he chooses to stay, even stating, “I hope to be doing pretty much what I am doing now with NineStar until I retire. However, retirement for me will probably be full of video production, photography, or graphic arts. Maybe as freelance even.” So, whatever Painter ends up doing or wherever he ends up working, he’ll keep it cool and work himself like a lawnmower, and plenty of people from all across his career will see him there and won’t be able to refuse saying hi. 

Profile: Mosser highlights challenges of first year teaching during pandemic

Photo Caption: Mosser teaches her German 1 class. Photo by Alex Smith

Ms. Jordan Mosser is in her first year of teaching German at GC, and what a start it has been: a pandemic, a switch to half-in person, half-hybrid learning, and all the responsibilities that come with those factors.   

   Mosser talked about her transition from college to the classroom. “The biggest challenge is I’m on my own and I don’t have another teacher helping  me so being on my own and planning everything is the biggest challenge,” Mosser said. This alone isn’t an easy task but the pressures of being a year one teacher are tremendous especially during a pandemic. For Mosser, it might not be that bad: “Being a first year teacher especially after having another teacher with me for so long is a bit challenging but the pandemic is the saving grace because everyone knows it’s a learning curve,” she said.

Madame Amanda Brown, French teacher, commented on how Mosser was doing in the new environment.  “I think she’s doing a fantastic job. I’ve enjoyed talking to her about GC as a whole and the virtual experience. I really enjoy getting and sharing ideas with her,” Brown said. 

   When choosing the school where she wanted to teach, Mosser looked for something close to friends, Greenfield-Central being a good option: “I was looking for a school to teach in Indiana and I liked how (Greenfield) was near Indianapolis but not in the city,” Mosser stated. 

Mosser usually has high expectations for herself but this year has made things difficult: “I have high expectations for myself because that’s just me as a person. I want to get you guys (the students) to where you need to be but this year I may not being able to do that so it’s all about setting reasonable expectations,” Mosser said, understanding this year’s circumstances with the pandemic.

“I would love for her to work at GCHS for a long time. I expect that she makes everyone accountable and responsible for her work. I expect her to motivate others and to be the best teacher she can possibly be,” said Michael Runions,10, who enjoys Mosser’s class. 

Brown talked about having a younger teacher like Mosser in the department “Having a younger teacher is always a benefit because they’re more aware of what the kids are into and the slang,”  Brown said. 

Runions said having a younger teacher has some advantages. “ I definitely think it will be easier. I think she’s been through just as much as we have. Since she’s so young, she can understand us a lot better.”

It seems all three of them are on the same page: “I think so because I get what’s going through your head unlike some of your other teachers. I told my students that if they needed to talk about anything they could come to me,” Mosser said. 

This year presented the challenge of the hybrid schedule, half in person, half virtual. This is new to Mosser.  Mosser said there were personal struggles in teaching virtually: “Yes (there are), because when you guys went virtual in the spring I was student teaching so I wasn’t able to teach virtually so everything I’m learning is from the other teachers.”

         “She does very well with helping students. If we make mistakes she goes back and explains how we could’ve found the correct answers,” Runions said. It seems as though Mosser has crushed this challenge: “She makes sure to challenge us and makes class more fun,” he continued to say. 

     Meeting new people can be rough for some people; in this situation it’s not the case for Mosser. Mosser discussed how it was meeting the other language teachers. “It was nice because they’ve been so welcoming and they are everything I want in a language department.” 

Mosser is the new face in the department and it is sad one chapter is ending but happy another is beginning. “It’s both happy and sad. I was very close with Frau Cathy Clements (the previous German teacher) but Frau Mosser is fantastic and I’m thrilled to work with her,” Madame Brown said. It’s good to leave a good first impression and that’s exactly what Mosser did. “Gosh, she’s tall, I’m jealous but she’s very nice, confident, and easy to talk to,” Brown said. Mosser is leaving good impressions on her students as well. “She is a nice person. She doesn’t assign homework unless we need it and she does not get off topic very much,” said Ian Gross, 10. He’s not the only one: “She’s a good teacher and good at explaining stuff and she’s super understanding when we don’t understand things,” said Kensleigh Fairley, 10.

Profile: Turner details day in  life of music department

by Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: JT Turner, music secretary, helps Jackson Martin, 12, read sheet music for band.

Music secretary Jeremy Turner, who has spent many hours helping marching band and drama students, said, “My favorite part of being the music secretary is the interactions I have with all the performing arts students.” 

Turner, who is also pursuing his bachelor’s degree in music education, talked about how he balances his work and home life in a department that hosts countless practices, concerts, and other performances. Turner said, “What home life? I go home and work, that is what I do. I wake up, I come back and I work more. It’s cool, man. I probably end up staying up a little bit later than I would most times.” 

Marching band director Chris Wing talked about his first impression of Turner. Wing said, “My first impression of JT was was that he was young and excited to teach kids.” Because of all the hours spent at practice and beyond, Wing and Turner know each other pretty well.  Wing said, “I like working with JT. Some days he drives me crazy but for the most part he does a really nice job and works hard. My least favorite part of working with JT is that he distracts me. We spend too much time together and we’re too good of friends. I get distracted from my work too easily.”

 Wing added, “My favorite thing about working with JT is that I laugh with him just about every day.” 

For his part, Turner said, “My mentor is Mr. Wing. I know it’s weird because he’s like one of my best friends and also my coworker and also my boss. I can’t think of anyone else that I could go to when I need guidance.” 

A.J. Springman, 10,  has known JT since 8th grade. Springman, who is in concert choir now but was in band previously, said, “My favorite thing about JT is his humor. His humor is unbelievable. I was in band in 8th grade and I was beat-boxing and he was joking about having me be a part of the front line just like sitting there with a mic being the drum line.”  Springman talked about what he is going to miss about JT when he switches schools next year. Springman said, “I can’t pinpoint one thing that I am going to miss about JT when I leave next year to go to my new school because JT is just an amazing person overall.” 

When the marching band won state in November at Lucas Oil Stadium, naturally almost everyone in the program was excited. Turner described the moment: “I felt really good for a number of different reasons. I don’t know if I can quite still say how cool it was, not necessarily for me, in particular, but for the program as a whole thinking about the journey we’ve been on from 2012 to now to the top of the pyramid. I think when they said second place, whoever it was, and we realized we won I felt all of that. I felt all of the times we came up just a little bit short and of all the times where things didn’t necessarily go the way we would have hoped. Of all the times that there were kids that were there that band was their safe place and they couldn’t necessarily go anywhere else. I felt all of that again. That was the cherry on top of all we’ve done so far.”  

Turner talked about what he wants the kids to get from the experience of being in performing arts. He said, “I want the kids to learn how to work with people. There are going to be people around that you don’t necessarily like. You have to learn how to work with them.”

  

 

Profile: Key stresses importance of current events

by Maddy Wainscott/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Bradley Key, social studies teacher and coach, finds a spare minute to work on paperwork in his classroom.

GC teacher and basketball coach Bradley Key has been teaching for over 10 years and has been coaching for many years as well. Key spends most of his time coaching with his team, especially currently since it’s basketball season, teaching his students and educating them on current events, and listening to pop-country music. He puts effort into those he cares for and puts his heart into what he loves, and what he truly loves is his job. “There are definitely some extreme highs, and extreme lows of teaching, especially freshmen… but it’s worth it. It’s good knowing my kids went home knowing something they maybe didn’t know before, and that’s the best part about it.” Key said, explaining the best and worst parts of his job. So what more should be known about Key? Who does he influence, and how? 

Duriing his entire life, he grew up raised and influenced in the presence of teachers, and sports. He’s always been into sports. “I was never the best of the best, you know? Never the best player on the team. But I was always kind of the leader of the team, always putting out ‘Go, team!’ if no one else would,” Key said. 

Teachers were always around him, even as family, he said. The life of educating people intrigued him, he said.  It made him think… “What can I do for the world? Who can I educate? Whose point of view could I change, how could I do that?”  So he put his game face on the same way he did in his sports career. He took his passion for shooting a ball and combined it with his passion for making a positive difference for young adults in the world. He was always a good student, always the one making the right decision, using his head, he said. That’s what got him to where he is now: an intelligent, educated, caring teacher, and a hard-working, team player, carefully blunt basketball coach.

Most of his students get along very well with him. He’s a fun, outgoing, opinionated man with a good sense of humor, some would say. One of his current students, Lindsey Kirby, 10, feels positively about him and his teaching. “He’s just a funny guy,” she explained, “in the beginning of class we discuss current events, funny stories, hot topics, stuff that everyone is really interested in and it gets everyone going, really. It’s his sense of humor that keeps the class alive and I think that’s his best feature.”

Kaitlyn Garner, 9, said, “He’s been a great teacher. He always goes over the most important things going on in the world and it’s a great thing that he gets everyone so involved in politics and the world.”  

Key truly wants the best for all the people in the building, especially for his students and team players, he said. “I think it’s good to talk politics into kids here, because you really never know what life is like at home. Everyone deserves to have their own point of view, so if they don’t talk about it at home, let’s talk about it in my room,” he said.

“Maybe mom and dad don’t talk about the news or stuff like that at home, or maybe mom or dad isn’t even around. It’s good seeing my students transform from completely uneducated… children, really, into informed citizens of our community, and of our country. It’s good to make everyone stronger and smarter one step at a time,” Key said, on why he discusses political views and current events with his students. 

Profile: Sears creates ‘relaxed environment for kids’

by Abigail Castetter/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Sears states this painting to be her favorite. “Suffragette is an homage to quilts and the role they played in women gaining the right to vote in America,” (Lisa Sears 2017). 

 

“I love art and it’s just something I am happy to do everyday,” stated Lisa Sears, one of the art teachers at GC. Sears teaches many classes including AP Art History, AP Studio 2D Art, Painting, Drawing, and Photography. She also sponsors many clubs such as the National Art Honor Society, Sunshine Society, Fine Arts Club, and Bring Change 2 Mind. Many students gather around her and some, such as Kammi Anderson, describe her as an exciting and lively person who is always at work. Sears balances being a teacher and an artist outside of school.

Sears went to college at the Herron School of Art and Design. She has taught at other Indiana schools before GCHS. “I taught at a K-12 school which was intriguing, fun, and an easy job,” Sears said when talking about other places where she worked. She also talked about a rough elementary school where she had been the only art teacher, saying it made a difficult job.

When asked about how she balances time and inspiration to do the things she loves, like personal art, she said, “I paint every day for an hour. I find that you set aside a certain amount of time and you always try to stick to that time for whatever you’re passionate about.” Sears said from 9 to 10 p.m. you’ll almost always find her painting something. She mentioned preferring to do art with acrylic and to not waste paint. She does crafts with her scrap, dried paint. Eventually, with time, inspiration will snowball into her art.

Kammi Anderson, a freshman student who hangs out regularly in Sears classroom, talks about her often. “She’s a chill person, unlike me, and it’s always fun when we enter ranty conversations with everyone in the room. She keeps up a good conversation with someone of my pace,” Anderson stated. Many students hang out with Sears, whether it be for extra activities or just to spend time. Anderson also mentioned Sears being someone you don’t feel afraid to talk to about anything, weird or serious.

Another freshman student, Makenna Hansen, who has had her for class and often floats in and out of Sears’ room talks about Sears’ class. Hansen stated, “While she does expect her students to follow rules just like any other teacher, she’s very flexible when it comes to her students’ needs, as well as allowing them to genuinely enjoy their time in her room as it is a very relaxed environment.” She spoke more about the entertaining sarcasm Sears is never afraid to use and Sears’ relaxed attitude.

When asked about sharing artistic interest with students she stated, “kids love art and I love art so everyone’s happy.” Sears has gained respect from many students, like Anderson and Hansen, who share her classes or activities. Students gather around her for guidance and her personality. She chose to be a teacher for the students and enjoyment of sharing hers and others’ art. She has become a prominent figure in many students’ lives and students in her class state they feel welcomed, no matter their beliefs or backgrounds.

Profile: Students enjoy ‘open and honest’ teaching

By Abby Morgan

photo caption: Kaitlyn Gardner, 9, studies while Ms. Erin Grimes, Dylan Moles, 9, and Nicole Civitarese  pose for a quick picture.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” said Miss Erin Grimes.

Grimes has been teaching Spanish I and II for a few years at the high school now. Before she was a teacher, she student taught for Mrs. Paula Perry, the head of the Spanish department. Ms. Sonja Jaggers, another Spanish teacher, said, “It’s nice to have a young teacher beside me. We throw ideas off of each other sometimes and it helps the both of us with lessons to teach our classes. She also helps me out with technology a lot when I need it, which is nice too.”

When she was little, Grimes would often play outside with her friends. When she got a little older, she picked up the skill to play piano and started to take lessons, she said. She also has an older brother; he is three and a half years older.  Grimes thinks her parents influenced her and made her a better person, having them always tell her what to do so she wasn’t ever lost. Growing up, Grimes always wanted to be a teacher. It was either math or Spanish, she said, but as time went on math got very difficult. Once she decided on that, Grimes started to actually study and pay attention in class. She thinks she did well, or at least she hopes so, she said.

One of Grimes’s favorite things to do is bond with her students. There is nothing better than getting to know them, it makes it easier to have a class with them, and also makes it easier to teach them, she said. She is proud of all of them, no matter how rambunctious they may be. Addie Coombs, 9, said “I like Miss Grimes because she’s closer to our generation rather than someone older because she understands how our brains work and sympathize with us a bit more rather than an older teacher. She’s a great Spanish teacher, she doesn’t get in student’s faces about learning quickly or pronouncing words correctly all the time. She lets us learn at our own pace and kindly guides us through the mistakes we might make.”

Grimes thinks all of the schooling was worth it; she gets to do what she loves almost every day and make lots of friends out of it as well. Jaggers said, “Grimes is very young, open, and honest. I’ve learned a lot from her just from the few years she has been teaching at the school.” Many students often go to Grimes’s room on their lunches, EB’s and in between passing periods often times to just say hello. She is almost like another student in a way, just by the way other kids talk and laugh with her. 

Grimes’s teaching career is still fresh, and she hopes there are many more years. She loves meeting new students and helping them learn another language, she said. Coombs said, “She is really good at making sure you get your work done or that we make sure we understand the material that she would give us. Grimes would make sure to check in every once in a while to show that we are okay and not too stressed out, as a good teacher should.”

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/ 

 

Holiday Desserts 

by Christina Keene/Staff Writer

The holiday season is one of the most popular times of the year. People decorate, shop, and bake like crazy. Some of the most popular desserts and treats for the holidays are sugar cookies, snickerdoodle cookies, gingerbread, and fudge. Here are the recipes for these treats. 

Sugar cookies

Sugar cookies are very popular and fun to make. The ingredients for the cookies are 1½ cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup of softened butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, ½ teaspoon of almond extract, 1 egg, 2 ½ cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar. The ingredients for icing is 3 cups of powdered sugar, 3-5 tablespoons of milk, ¼ teaspoon of vanilla, food coloring(optional), colored sugar or sprinkles(optional) First, get a large bowl and beat the powdered sugar, softened butter, vanilla, almond extract, and egg until well blended. Next, stir in flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Now, divide dough in half, shape the dough into 2 discs, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let chill in the refrigerator for two hours. After you have let the dough chill, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Roll each disc out on flat surface until ¼ inches thick. On an ungreased cookie sheet, place cutouts of cookie dough about two inches apart. Bake 7-8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool completely. Now to make the icing, get a medium bowl and beat powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla with a spoon until smooth and spreadable. Add food coloring if you desire. Ice the cooled off cookies and decorate as you wish. Let sit for four hours to set. 

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodle cookies are also very popular cookies during the holidays. The ingredients for this is 1 cup of softened unsalted butter, 1 ½ cups of sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 2 ¾ cups of flour, 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt. The cinnamon-sugar mixture requires a  ¼ cup of sugar and 1 ½ tablespoons of cinnamon. First, cream the butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes; this is an important step as the butter coats the sugar crystals and creates a smooth texture. Next, use the cream of tartar as a leavening agent, it will give it the signature tangy flavor and chewy texture. A touch of baking soda will help the cookies to rise as well. Now, double roll the cookie balls into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. This helps to make sure the cookies are completely coated in cinnamon-sugar before baking. Finally, bake around 8-12 minutes or just until the edges begin to become a light golden color. These snickerdoodle cookies need to be soft and chewy, so watch them carefully. 

Fudge

Fudge is loved by many during the holidays. The ingredients you’ll need is 1 teaspoon of butter, 1 can, that’s 14 ounces, of sweetened condensed milk, 2 cups (12 ounces) of semisweet chocolate chips, 1 cup butterscotch chips, 1 cup chopped pecans, ½ cup of raisins, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Now, line a 9-in. square baking pan with foil, grease foil with butter; set aside.Combine milk and chips in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute and stir. Cook 30-60 seconds longer, stirring every 30 seconds, or until chips are melted. Stir in the pecans, raisins and vanilla. Transfer it to your prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Gently peel off foil and cut fudge into 1 inch squares. Lastly, store the fudge in an airtight container.

Gingerbread

Gingerbread is very fun to make. The ingredients you will need ⅔ cup of unsalted softened butter, ¾ cup of brown sugar, ⅔ cup unsulphured molasses, 1 large egg at room temperature, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 3 ½ cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of ground allspice, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, and cookie or royal icing(optional). First, in a large bowl using a mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Then, add the brown sugar and molasses and beat on medium high speed until combined and creamy-looking. Next, beat in egg and vanilla on high speed for 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. If the butter separates, that is okay. 

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick and slightly sticky. Divide dough in half and place each onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap each up tightly and pat down to create a disc shape. Chill discs for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling it overnight works too. 

After you have let your dough chill, preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. Now, remove 1 disc of chilled cookie dough from the plastic wrap and make a flour work surface. Don’t be afraid to continually flour the work surface as needed; this dough can be sticky. Roll out disc until 1/4-inch thick and cut the dough into whatever shape you wish. Place shapes 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Re-roll dough scraps until all the dough is shaped. Repeat with remaining disc of dough.

Then, bake cookies for about 9-10 minutes. If your cookie cutters are smaller than 4 inches, bake for about 8 minutes. If your cookie cutters are larger than 4 inches, bake for about 11 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, decorate as desired. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. I hope this has helped you find a sweet treat to bake this holiday season.