Profile: brown details day in life of french teacher

By Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Madame Brown talks to Mya Wilcher, 10, about what she did over Fall Break. Photo by Alex Smith

    Teaching can be a stressful job. Madame Amanda Brown, French teacher, who has been teaching French for 18 years, talked about what makes teaching worth it. She said, “My students make it worth it. Getting to know them. Getting to see that moment where they ‘get it.’ Getting to experience them making connections between topics and subjects. Getting to laugh with them.” 

    Shaun Hughes, 10, who just started taking French this year, talked about what Madame Brown does to help him learn. He said, “She helps me learn by taking the time to individually help me get better.” Christopher O’Connor, 12, who has been taking French for the last four years, also talked about what Madame Brown does to help him learn. He said, “Madame helps me learn by understanding that I have a lot in life to focus on alongside school, so she gives me leniency.” 

Brown discussed what she wants students to learn in French class and what her number one goal is. She said, “I hope that kids leave my class with a bit wider perspective and understanding of the world as a whole.”

O’Connor commented on what Brown does to make French class fun. He said, “Madame brings her energy to class every day, and always tries to keep us engaged. That’s the most fun thing, is that it’s never boring.” Brown talked about the funniest thing to happen while teaching. She said, “I can’t think of a specific moment, but there are so many inside jokes with the classes. When you have the same group of kids for four years, it’s impossible to narrow the funny and ridiculous down.” Hughes also talked about what Brown does to make French class fun. He said, “Madame makes things fun for class by telling us funny stories about some of the different things we learn in class and by just creating an overall pleasant mood in class.”

Hughes said that his favorite thing about French with Brown is that he gets to learn so much about different cultures and different countries. O’Connor discussed his favorite thing about French with Brown. He said, “My favorite thing about French with Madame is the vibe of the classroom. All of us have been in that class with her for four years, so it’s a comfortable environment.” Brown’s favorite thing about teaching French is that she loves discussing cultural differences with her students. 

Brown talked about her least favorite thing about teaching French. She said, “I asked my French 4 class because I really couldn’t think of anything. Chris O’Connor’s contribution is ‘When someone asks you how to do something or does it wrong and you just warned someone to be careful about making that mistake or JUST taught it. That doesn’t go over well.’ Tara Powell’s,12,  contribution (in loving sarcasm) is ‘Having Chris as a student.’“ O’Connor said that his least favorite thing about French with Brown is that she’s always on them if they don’t give their best effort, that it can be frustrating, but he gets it. Hughes talked about his least favorite thing about French with Brown. He said, “I don’t really have a least favorite thing in French since I like the culture and mostly everything about it.” 

O’Connor talked about what he has learned about the French language. He said, “French is a beautiful language, but it’s a pain in the butt half the time.” Hughes also talked about what he has learned about the French language. He said, “The French language is quite difficult but like I said I get to enjoy learning about the different cultures and more about the French culture.” 

Hughes told a memorable story about Brown. He said, “Madame tells us lots of memorable stories so I don’t know which one to do but it seems like she has so much fun teaching French to students.” O’Connor also told a memorable story about Brown. He said, “Madame would let me sleep in her classroom before school when I was tired from early morning football workouts. She gave me bean bags to sleep on so I was comfortable. That was when I knew she was different.” Brown talked about a memorable moment in her teaching experience. She said, “ I teach Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) second semester of French 4. Everytime I teach Chapter 21….it’s the most memorable experience of the 4 years I have with each group.” 

Brown talked about how she keeps the kids engaged. She said, “I try to be as weird, obnoxious, and goofy as my students are (and in some cases, more). Being overly dramatic, using funny voices, telling stories … all part of my game plan.” 

Hughes talked about what he will remember the most about Brown. He said, “I will always remember her smile, her kindness, and her unique personality.” O’Connor commented on what he is going to miss about Brown when he graduates. He said, “I’ll miss how much she cares about me and all of her other students.” Brown talked about what she wants the kids to remember about her. She said, “I hope they remember me as someone who is always rooting for them.” 

Brown talked about who her mentor is. She said, “I don’t really have a mentor, per se, but I refer to Mrs. Stoeffler, Mrs. Anderson, and Mrs. Berger-Harmon as who I want to be when I grow up.”

Brown talked about her favorite lesson to do with the kids. She said, “The ‘DR MRS P VANDERTRAMP’ story, regarding French verbs, for example,  Devenir – To Become, Revenir – To Come Back, and Monter – To Climb.  (This is my favorite) because I get to draw (poorly), I get to be overly dramatic (always), and I get to talk about soccer and food and the circle of life.”

She also talked about what her favorite activity to do with the kids is. She said, “My favorite activity to do is teach the ‘Avoir Rap’.” The “Avoir Rap” is how Madame Brown teaches her students the verb “Avoir” or “To Have” in French class. Brown said about the “Avoir Rap”: “We usually have a lot of fun with it. It’s catchy. It has a lot of call and response elements to it. And it’s one of those things the students tend to remember. Plus, I get to be a TOUCH obnoxious which always makes me have fun.”

Profile: Commissiong positively influences students in JAG

by Kalei Griffin/Staff Writer

JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) director and leader Mrs Cherie Commissiong has shared and taught in many different environments throughout her career. She first began to teach at IU Bloomington. After working years with college students, she decided that she would be “more valuable” working with high school students, preparing them for “what’s next” after graduation. She takes her teaching career very seriously and puts the maximum amount of effort into everything she does. So what makes Mrs. Commissiong stand out, and how does she influence so many people?

Commissiong graduated from Ben Davis High School. She furthered her education by attending Indiana University(IU). She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She has always been intrigued by teaching and career readiness. She then began to teach at IU Bloomington for several years. During that time, she realized that she and her skills, along with her knowledge, would better help high school students rather than college students. So, in 2018, she became a high school teacher. 

Within the two years Commissiong has been teaching here at Greenfield-Central, students have grown a strong liking for her and some students have grown a special bond with her that is indescribable. “I am able to connect with Mrs. C in a way that I can’t connect with any other teacher at GC. She is such a wonderful soul and her compassion is outstanding,” says Gracie VanderMeulen, 12. 

“We are able to have ‘real conversations’ about their futures- the fears, expectations, plans, etc,” says Commissiong. Mrs. Commissiong has the ability and opportunity to connect with her students in a meaningful way. Her students are one of her top main priorities and she takes pride in making sure her students are successful and healthy, mentally and physically she said.

Mrs. Commissiong’s goal is to better students, prepare them for the real world, and to leave an impact on her students and she does just that. “Before I started attending the JAG program, I had no clue what I wanted to do after high school nor did I know how to do really anything in the real world. I’ve only been in her class for about a month and I have learned more than I have ever learned,” says Jada Conn, 11. 

Mrs. Commissiong has come a long way and has made her time here valuable. Commissiong has many goals she plans to achieve that will all contribute to one main goal.  “It is my mission to make sure my students are confident about their skills and knowledge to navigate along their journey after graduation,” she says.

HOW THE WINTER WEATHER AFFECTED THE COUNTRY

by Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writer

During the week of February 13-17, a winter storm came through North America. Places that usually don’t see the blanket of white, woke up to a little surprise on their doorstep. The winter weather stretched from the Rio Grande to Ohio. At first it was a treat, with posts on social media of people playing with the snow and exploring the vast pros and cons of the weather. Things took a turn when the weather worsened. Texas experienced many power outages leading to school closures and it is suspected that more than 70 people lost their lives. 

    Temperatures reached 8 degrees in Austin, Texas and -38 degrees in Hibbing, Minnesota, both temps breaking records in their respective states. State officials all over America recommended their citizens to stay home to avoid disasters on the roads. 10 people died due to crashes and poor road conditions. In 14 states, utilities called for a blackout which resulted from subzero temperatures. This left 300,00 residents of Oregon without power. 

Chicago had issues after 18 inches of snow fell in some areas of the city. Every hour almost 2 inches of snow fell, though areas like the O’Hare International Airport saw a lot less snow. This snowfall helped to tie the record for the longest stretch of days with snow since 1884, when records were kept of snowfalls. 

   Chicago wasn’t used to getting this much snow this quickly. Todd Kluber, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, stated, “We’ve had more snow in three weeks than we’d typically get in the entire winter.” 40.1 inches of snow had fallen throughout the three-week period, marking another record as one of the snowiest stretches. This total is about 5 inches more than the seasonal normal snowfall of 36.3 inches, Kluber said. https://www.chicagotribune.com/weather/ct-winter-storm-snowfall-totals–20210216-36pex67a5redhki3tnqfcdjh6q-story.html

Records after records kept getting broken by this winter storm. Over 73% of the lower 48 was blanketed with snow, the largest percentage since 2011, when NOAA began tracking show coverage. Texas was hit the hardest, due to its isolated electrical grid. The state had to rollout blackouts to conserve their energy.   Jessica Knofla, a Texan from Galveston, said of conditions in Galveston, “Basically, everyone who lives here had no warning and is stuck on a blacked-out island with no major stores open and no lights on the road. It’s absolutely infuriating.” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/16/texas-weather-snow-storm-latest-news-power-outages-deaths

12 million citizens of Texas were advised to boil their water before consumption. Kelsey Muñoz, an intensive care nurse in Dallas, stated from the link above, “Currently, I have power and I’m hoping I am not jinxing myself by saying that. However, for water I’ve had to gather snow and melt it. Never thought I had to do that in Texas.’ ” Four million people were without power throughout the week all across the country, 3.5 million were in Texas alone. People were even told to stop dripping their faucets to preserve water for hospitals and fire departments.

   The storm affected everyone differently. Some has a little bit of fun in the vast world of snow; others had very difficult conditions. One thing I think we’ve all learned from the storm: It’s time for summer. 

Fifteen movies in one month with Mr. mcKenna

By Drew Smith/Staff Writer and William McKenna/Guest Writer

Film is a topic of passion and particular endearment for me. My favorite films have impacted me in ways I was unable to predict. Filmmaking is a satisfactory and fulfilling experience for me. I love making, watching, discussing, and being inspired by films. With all that considered, I often fail to watch films as much as I should. I often will find myself having not seen a film in months, putting off movies I should have seen by this point, and generally lacking the drive to just sit down and watch. That’s why for this month, I watched fifteen films, along with Mr. McKenna. He recommended seven to me; I recommended eight to him. The genres and quality of the films vary wildly throughout, and our opinions certainly differ, but be sure to check out these films on your own time, I guarantee you it will be worth it. 

  1. Bicycle Thieves (Recommendation by McKenna, review by Drew) – Bicycle Thieves is a post-World War II Italian film directed by Vittorio de Sica, and it is beyond fantastic. A striking film for its time, this film captures tragically the horrors and plights of the working class, amidst a time of reconstruction and destruction. When a man desperately tries to support his poverty-stricken family, he finds a job opportunity that requires a bicycle, and when his bicycle is stolen, he spends every waking minute hunting for it in Rome. The performances by Lamberto Maggiorani and Enzo Staiola are so magnificent, their father-son dynamic is put on display, their relationship carries the entire film. The cinematography is simple but extremely tactical, so many scenes’ tension is carried by nothing other than the camera and its positioning. The soundtrack and soundscape is minimal but still bolsters the already quite emotional film, for a film released in such hard times, the quality stays consistent throughout. Every aspect of the film is so incredible. It tells one of the saddest tragedies of the 20th century, of working class hardship and absolute desperation, and about the lessons we pass onto the next generation. This film gets a quite-deserving 5/5.
  2. Good Time (Recommendation by Drew, review by McKenna) – MEH…at best. This is a film that screams….”Hey look how edgy and raw a movie I’m making.” It stars the new young superstar of the day…Robert Pattinson… who is desperately trying to shake his pretty boy image that put him in the game with those Twilight films. I have never seen them and I have no idea their merit. Good Time is a very basic heist gone wrong film that attempts to do a full on Soderbergh with improvised immersive  dialogue through character. Many non-actors portray their various professions, cliche stuff like that. The director also stars in the film Benny Safdie…he plays an autistic person…he does give a very good performance as a man who trusts the person who should be looking out for him…his brother, Pattison, who of course abuses him and forces him to help rob a bank…which goes south fast all before the opening credits …edgy. The rest of the film is about Pattinson trying to spring his brother out of jail. He gets the wrong guy out and goes on a not very likely adventure with a character even worse than the Pattinson character. There really is no major character in this film worthy of any sympathy except the autistic brother. Pattinson spirals from one awful situation to the next. I’m not sure what I was supposed to feel. All I saw was the abuse of an autistic person by the person who should have loved him most. Clocking in at 1:41 it is at least 20 minutes too long. I kept screaming, “Move it along!” The directing is okay with its faux gritty cinematography. It made some noise  at Cannes in 2017… I guess for being pretentious and gritty? I’m not sure what I was supposed to find interesting or entertaining in this film? Whatever it was …I did not find it. I wouldn’t say it’s as bad as a found footage film…but it’s in the same ball park.Oh yeah it actually rips off Of Mice And Men…I beg you to watch that instead starring John Malcovich and Gary Sinise… man, Good Time is a lazy piece of junk. The closing credits broke my heart.
  3. Big Fish (Recommendation by McKenna, review by Drew) – Big Fish is a fantastical feature by the great Tim Burton, and it’s quite a doozy. With larger-than-life sets, campy and over-the-top acting, and a sweet soundtrack to go with it, this film is quite magical. Ewan McGregor absolutely carries the film on his back, with his toothy smile and comical Southern accent, each scene that he’s in is so hard to peel away from. The film centers itself around a father-son dynamic, when Ewan McGregor’s character begins to fall severely ill and is on his deathbed, his now matured and adult son must confront him and try and get to the truth behind the tall tales his father told him. This movie is quite heartbreaking. Its tragic tale of misunderstood fathers and frustrated and unsatisfied sons is so bolstered by its lead actors and bombastic score and set pieces. The film has plenty of heart, spread out amongst so many endearing scenes, whether it is a dramatic retelling of time served in the military, or a simple exchange between father and son; it’s all done very well. But for all the film gets right, it still falls flat in some aspects. I believe the son’s character arc and story is not nearly fleshed out enough; it definitely lacks some much needed narrative to it. And the pacing as well as editing are all out of whack in certain areas. The film cannot help but bounce from scene to scene with no rhythm or rhyme and often leaves the viewer startled or just confused. The film gets so much right, but its disjointed and poorly organized structure weaken the film’s message and theme. This film gets a 3.5/5 for me.
  4. Roma (Recommendation by Drew, review by McKenna) – A masterpiece…a human story…the style and beauty of the story does not distract from the human story it presents. Every scene is meticulous and informs the mood, emotion and time of the story. There is a huge backstory but it’s the little story with Cleo that forms the narrative. The film has a smooth pace and is very tight. Coming in at 2 hours 15 minutes not a minute is not important to the story. It is shot in glorious black and white, which only enhances the beauty of this very human story.
  5. Nosferatu (Recommendation by McKenna, review by Drew) – Nosferatu is one of the most unique and excellently crafted horror films of all time. Using the backbone of the classic Nosferatu narrative, it expands from that in such ingenious and mind-boggling ways, using incredible filmmaking to carry those explorations into the horror genre. Directed by the German filmmaking titan Werner Herzog, this feature has some of the best directing, cinematography, writing, and pacing of any horror films out there. Starring Klaus Kinski as Count Dracula himself, Kinski has the performance of a century, with his subtle use of body language and physical performance as a bastion for horror, and his line delivery absolutely executes on the building tension throughout the film. Every scene with Count Dracula only builds upon the undeniable terror of the character, capitalizing every minute he’s on screen to fleshing out and constructing the character. Throughout the film, he becomes scarier and also receives a plethora of depth to the character; you soon realize he’s not just a monster, but a pathetic and utterly lonely old man who has nothing to do in the world but cause harm. This film is perfect in every aspect, and has so much more to say about death and the perception of it under the surface. Such a home run of a film. 5/5.
  6. Wildlife (Recommendation by Drew, review by McKenna) – Terrific film…but a real downer about a family falling apart in the ‘60s. Written by the amazing Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano who also directs. Based on a book published in 1990.  It’s well shot and paced with a compelling story that breaks the viewers heart. There are no villains in the film…just human beings getting lost along the long trail of life. The wild fires featured in the film represent the family that was being destroyed by forces that were beyond their control. When the fire passes only the standing dead trees are left… the family is THE standing dead. The film ends with the broken family getting one more family portrait… so the boy can remember he once had a family. Terrific performances by all the actors in the film…very well cast . They all convey an inner sadness that seems genuine.
  7. American Movie (Recommendation by McKenna, review by Drew) – American Movie is a splendid documentary that explores the dreams and aspirations of an independent filmmaker in Wisconsin, as he attempts to make his first feature film, and then subsequently goes onto finish a still developing short film. This documentary is so neat and the people within it are just so fun to watch. So many personalities are to be found from the filmmaker himself Mark Borchardt, to his goofy and subtly creepy best friend, and to his Swedish mother, so much is captured within the runtime. Through crises and triumph, the camera is always rolling, as it slowly reveals throughout the film Mark’s deep insecurities and fears about mundanity. His constant self-criticising and self-actualizing are humorous to watch, but also saddening as you soon get to understand what is really going on in his brain. His ambition and dedication feels futile, but still deserves the absolute respect of any viewer. The documentary is a fantastic romp through Wisconsin, and it never fails to entertain. 4.5/5
  8. Lift (Recommendation by Drew, review by McKenna) – Terrific little doc …it’s one shot (outside of several cutaways of flies walking on an elevator wall… which makes me think of the “fly on the wall” saying) talking to people over a number of days at different times when they are on an elevator… you get a glimpse into the lives of regular people just being human beings. The conversations last only as long as an elevator ride…it’s uplifting and heartbreaking all at the same time. The human condition is an amazing thing and it doesn’t take much to bring it out… just ask. Clocking in at 25 minutes, it leaves you hoping all the people presented were okay after the camera was turned off. There were a few other cutaways down the elevator shaft and of things going on and off the elevator. I saw it as a metaphor for life… it’s just a short up and down journey.
  9. Coven (Recommendation by McKenna, review by Drew) – Coven is very interesting. Directed by the aforementioned Mark Borchardt, the short film is quite a mess, but has a ton of heart. The short film is all done by real people in Mark’s lives, a community project headed by Mark himself. It attempts to explore alcoholism and drug abuse, but does not go very far in its venture. It’s mostly centered around horror, as a writer finds himself in a hospital after an overdose, and his only remaining friend pushes him to join a suspicious support group.  It is a very choppy and misorganized short film, but I cannot help but love it considering the circumstances it was made in. A very interesting watch, that I can’t say much on as a short film, but as an experience, I very much enjoyed. N/A.
  10. Travelers (Recommendation by Drew, review by McKenna) – People who ride a commuter train talk about their lives. It’s a heart breaking examination of the frailty of human life. People coming and going just trying to find why they are in this world. Unlike his other film this one ventures into the living spaces of the subjects. All have hopes and dreams. Much more polished than his first film Isaacs has a  knack for getting people to open up. Well-shot with perfect sound. It has little moments of joy that make the travel worthy of the journey. Once the film is over the viewer can’t help but hope all the people we have met are okay in the world. Clocking in at 48 minutes, it’s a ride worth every minute.
  11. Slacker (Recommendation by McKenna, review by Drew) – Slacker is a feature directed and written by the incredible Richard Linklater. It is quite the unique and tactical film. It was crafted using guerilla filmmaking techniques, a low budget of nearly $20, 000, entirely underground and inexperienced actors, and almost always filming on location, this feature utilizes and capitalizes on every opportunity and resource available to make this film possible. Slacker follows the lives of hundreds of people in Texas, spanning twenty-four hours, as they live out their lives and explore the world around them, running into old friends, encountering thieves, as well as being followed by manic conspiracy theorists, this film tackles a massive task of capturing all of these stories. For a 97- minute runtime, the film manages to feel like three hours and overstays its welcome. It seems it would fit better as a lengthy short film, there are definitely individuals the film follows that just are uninteresting and ruin the pace of the film, and if you cut them out, it would be much, much better. The film could have been a masterful short film, but instead turned out to be a slightly disappointing feature film. – 4 out of 5
  12. Meantime (Recommendation by Drew, review by McKenna) – This is a well crafted and directed film from the UK with a powerful cast that has both Tim Roth and Gary Oldman when they were really young. Set to the backdrop of the poor working class of the Thatcher era England, man, it’s joyless. There are scenes that are uncomfortable to watch but they inform the reality the film presents and are necessary. The listing has it as a comedy drama…but I saw no comedy. Tim Roth plays Colin, the main character who is lost in a sea of English despair. The conclusion is absolutely heartbreaking, in that it isn’t an end… just another continuation into the dead end of his existence. The scenes in the film are punctuated by the music that consists mainly of a single piano playing down beat music… mundane music for a mundane life. Well directed by Mike Leigh this is a film that is raw and gritty with purpose…. like life.
  13. The Jerk (Recommendation by McKenna, review by Drew) – The Jerk is a wondrous comedy directed by Carl Reiner that stars the undeniably incredible Steve Martin. This film piques my interest. Its strong direction towards absurdity and the fantastical mixture of Steve Martin’s performance and the film’s writing lead to a completely goofy, yet outdated experience. The pace of the comedy certainly disservices the film. When certain jokes fail to entertain or just are not that funny, the film feels as though it comes to an absolute halt as you wait for the unfunny bit to be wrapped up so you can move onto the next joke. But when jokes do work, it is beyond amazing. While plenty of the film has not aged well, so much of it has, so much of its witty absurdity and goofy performances are spectacular and a blast to enjoy. For as much of the film is able to get right, it certainly lacks substance in many departments. The cinematography is far from engaging and plenty of the creative aspects lack life. Certain parts of Martin’s performance are perhaps too over-the-top and cause the film to be more obnoxious than humorous. It’s a solid entry, but lacks substance in many areas, and could use a stronger direction and a cleaner script. – 3.5/5
  14. Black Girl (Recommendation by Drew, review by McKenna) – It’s a well constructed human story by Osmane Sembene, a director from Africa. It’s overwhelmingly sad. A Black woman from Senegal goes to France to become what she thinks is a nanny. Instead she is enslaved by a horrible French couple. It’s a very slow destruction of a human being.  Recognizing the story telling and structure doesn’t do the film justice. It’s just so sad it’s hard to watch. It’s real and raw… the film gave me anxiety… perhaps that was the point. The lead drives the story through her eyes as she reflects on where she is in life and where she has come from. Her eventual ending is tragic. The French couple are pure evil…cold and heartless monsters. The French couple take everything but give nothing…. they torture the woman with their white French privilege… they of course get off scot-free and never answer for their criminal actions. I recognize the film as a great work of art… but I didn’t enjoy it. Movies are an escape for me…I already know humans are awful. The film is just over an hour in length… a hard hour to watch.
  15. Mishima (Recommendation by Drew, review by McKenna) – A Paul Schrader masterpiece… that must be clear… it works on every level… it borders on high spectacle with its eclectic stylized story structure… all working together to come together in one story… it’s ultimately a tragedy. The story is based on the real Japanese writer Yukio Mishima who commits suicide for his world view in 1970. It’s a fictionalized account that incorporates his various writings into the story. It’s a story of self-illusion bordering on full delusion. Mishima sees himself in the grand world of his novels and plays…seeing himself as the only person who can lead Japan back to glory by reinstating the Emperor to power… that would be a terrific story alone… but much of it actually happened which brings a humanity to the story that may not have existed if solely a work of fiction. Much of the story is about the past…looking back…always stylized… we know what the past is…. The present is confusing and the future is scary. So let’s go back…which isn’t possible…the present is already the past. Great artists sometimes carry much madness and self importance…Mishima brings that to the forefront of the story. Mishima as a character exists in Shakespearean level of self tragedy …. he is simply an epic figure in his own mind. Often with great ego comes great art. Schrader doesn’t compromise the story he wants to tell as he moves the story along at a perfect pace, jumping around time periods scene to scene and never confusing the viewer. It is shot in color and black and white and also uses varied color balance to create mood for time and place. Set design is spectacular…parts are surreal that helps illustrate the ego of our protagonist. The person who created these grand visions in his mind thinks a great deal of himself. Mishima embraces extreme ideas of masculinity with his physical body and his outward mannerisms… all of which made me wonder who he was trying to convince. All the machismo looked to be a shield to keep people see his inner vulnerability and self. The film ends with Mishima trying to storm a military installation and trying to install the Emperor to power…25 years after World War Two was over…. it’s a very ego-driven pursuit…ultimately Mishima commits ritualistic suicide…perhaps as he had always envisioned …he becomes a character in one of his story’s. The thing is…this film is a great representation of America today … 36 years after it first came out…exaggerated masculinity …. storming of a political facility and holding officials hostage…demanding to go BACK…it’s nutty how close to now it is.

Well, that’s all for our fifteen film review. We’ve gone from the endearingly hilarious American Movie, to the everyday lives and occurrences within an elevator in Lift, to the horrific masterpiece of power and meaningless destruction in Nosferatu, and the absolute blurring of the lines between art and life in Mishima. It has been an absolute blast to not only recommend these films and get to see the quite animated reviews from McKenna, but to also see the wondrous variety of recommendations I received from him. This experience has helped me push outside of my usual film taste and explore other genres, styles of filmmaking, and general approaches of these films. It has challenged me to look past what I usually think of as a fantastic film and to see value in films that aren’t necessarily obvious masterpieces. This has been an extremely valuable experience.

FOGGING THE ROOMS: HAS IT HELPED?

by Audrey Roberts/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Right before each showing of Almost Maine, played by the GCHS Drama Club, the auditorium seats were fogged.  Students brought in the machines and began to fog the auditorium, making sure to clean each and every seat to keep it clean enough for the viewers of the show.

Here at GCHS almost every room is fogged and it is known school-wide that this is due to Covid-19.  But how does this help?  What does it even do for the school and the people who work and learn here?

First, background information is needed.  GCHS decided to start fogging the rooms in the summer of 2020, to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, says 

Mr. Nate Day, business manager and food services director of Greenfield-Central Schools, said the school received guidance from the Indiana State Health Department and the CDC about hygiene and cleaning surfaces to lower the chances of spreading the coronavirus.  With this in mind, the staff of GCHS chose to fog the rooms.

Mr. Day also said that the fogging of rooms and the wearing of masks has helped decrease the spread of other illnesses such as colds and the flu.

The question of how long rooms will be fogged is up in the air and already the school is discussing it.  Mr. Day said, “At this time we will continue our daily fogging protocol, but may adjust the frequency in the future.” Dr. Harold Olin, superintendent of Greenfield-Central Schools, also said that it was still unclear what the fogging precaution would look like next year.

For Madame Amanda Brown, the French teacher, fogging the rooms seems to be ruining things like door finishes and light switches.  She also mentioned that it doesn’t help with contact tracing, which is also a big move by the school to keep everyone safe.

Alex Smith, 11, had the student perspective of seeing multiple roooms that have been fogged. Smith said, “Yes, I do think fogging the room has helped because it has kept the germs away. But if it were my choice, I would not continue fogging because the fog feels weird on the desks.”

Madame also said that she was grateful the school had planned the fogging without letting it load the teachers with more work in their already packed schedule. 

Mr. Day said, “It takes 8-10 people to fog all of the buildings in the district.  They work overnight to complete the task 5 nights per week.”

While fogging the rooms has seemed to corrode many metal appliances and metal containers such as lockers, drawers, and cabinets, it hasn’t been all bad.  Not to mention, the teachers haven’t had to fog the rooms themselves, which gives them the time they need to continue grading and changing lessons to fit the school’s schedules.  

All in all, while the fogging is being evaluated for next school year, it has helped both in comfort for the students, teachers, and parents as well as keeping illnesses from spreading.

Cougars Exceed Expectations, Still Not Satisfied

By Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Joey Roland, 11, goes to the basket during the Pendleton Heights game on Friday, Jan. 29.

The Greenfield-Central Cougars boys basketball team wasn’t supposed to be successful this season. At least, that’s what some people thought going into the year. As the season played out, though, it was clear that the projections some had for this group weren’t accurate. In fact, they weren’t even close. Under second-year head coach Luke Meredith, after losing five seniors, and much of their scoring from the previous year, the Cougars finished the 2020-21 season with a record of 14-10, earning just the second winning season for the program in the last 17 years.

The low expectations that many had for the Cougars was one of the main resources used to keep the group motivated, and it added loads of fuel to the fire to prove those who doubted the team wrong. “This group of young men were special because we were underdogs all year and always played with a chip on our shoulder. We knew we would be underdogs most nights and when you’re doubted, that continues to add fuel to your fire and additional motivation to prove people wrong,” Meredith said. “This group relished the fact that no one expected us to win 14 games, win a sectional game against New Pal, win the Alexandria Holiday tournament, have the second winning season in the last 17 years at GCHS. This group fed off that doubt from others and used it as a positive to prove them wrong. That was our identity and will continue to be our identity moving forward.” 

While the Cougars are obviously happy about proving the doubters wrong, they aren’t satisfied with how the season came to a close. Adam Lester, 11, said, “It felt great to prove everyone wrong and win 14 games. We were doubted all season and fueled off of it. We made a solid run, but in the end, we didn’t get the job done. Until we bring a trophy home, we won’t be satisfied.” Gavin Robertson, 11, echoed similar thoughts to his teammate. “Looking back at the season as a whole, there was a lot that we accomplished, but we are never satisfied with where we’re at. The goal is bigger next year, and we are working to achieve a sectional and conference championship.”

The Cougars improved greatly in many areas throughout the course of the season, but one word is all that Coach Meredith needs to sum up the improvements: Culture. “This team cared about each other, were fun to be around, worked hard, and loved the process of practice, they understood what it took. We preach the standard is the standard, which simply means when someone pays to come watch Greenfield-Central boys basketball, they know what to expect: young men who will work hard, dive on the floor, hustle on and off the court, and represent our school, community, and program the right way. The biggest improvement from November to March was caring about each other and continuing to develop our CULTURE.”

As for next season, the Cougars feel like they can bring the momentum they obtained this past year into it and reach even higher levels of success. Leading scorer for the Cougars this past season, Dylan Moles, 10, said, “With how our season ended, we’re definitely hungry going into next season. We always feel like we are overlooked and slept on, so we’ll be ready to continue to wake people up next year. Nobody is satisfied, and we are ready to get to work and cut down the nets next season.” 

Coach Meredith also believes that the program can build quite a bit off of the success from this past season, and with a complete buy-in from his players, believes that his Cougars squad will once again have the chance to surprise some people. “We can build quite a bit from this past season. We return our core with a group of players that logged a ton of minutes as sophomores and juniors. If these young men continue to buy-in and work hard this offseason, we have an opportunity to surprise people again next season. We will be undersized and doubted along the way, but that is who we are and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We just have to stay humble and hungry and be willing to put in the work in the dark if we want the opportunity to shine under the bright lights next season.”

LET THE MADNESS BEGIN

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer

That’s right, all you sports fans. The NCAAM (college basketball men’s) and NCAAW (college basketball women’s) will all be held in the state of Indiana, even both the Big Ten tournaments for men’s and women’s basketball.

The Big Ten tournament was supposed to be held in Chicago but was relocated to Indianapolis in Lucas Oil Stadium and will go from March 10-14 due to “multiple factors for the decision, primarily health and safety, and COVID-19 testing protocols” according to thedailyhoosier.com.  The same thing goes with the Big Ten women’s tournament, which will be held one day before the men’s tournament starting on March 9 and ending on March 11. It will also be played in Indianapolis. But instead of being in Lucas Oil, the women will play in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Now for the NCAA men’s March Madness. According to the writers of ncaa.com, “The 2021 NCAA D1 men’s basketball tournament will be unlike any March Madness that has come before.” Announced in early January, many sports fans were shocked to hear that the ENTIRE NCAA men’s tournament will be held all in Indiana. A total count of “67 men’s basketball games will be taking place in Indianapolis” according to ncaa.com. That is exceptional. Selection Sunday will happen on March 14 and the Final Four will start on April 3 and April 5. The schedule is strangely similar to the previous tournaments, just all the games are in the same state. NCAA.com also states that “Games will be played on two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena in West Lafayette and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Only one game at a time will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium. Teams will practice at the Indiana Convention Center with multiple courts set up inside the venue.”     

The 2021 NCAA Women’s basketball tournament, however, will not be held in Indiana. Instead this event will take place in the major cities of Texas. It states on ESPN.com, “including San Antonio; Austin, Texas; and San Marcos, Texas.” Live coverage starts on the 21st of March and ends on the 4th of April with the National Championship. Unlike the NCAA men’s basketball coverage, which is held on CBS, TBS, TNT, or truTV, the women’s basketball tournament will be entirely on all platforms of ESPN throughout all dates of scheduled basketball. ESPN.com states that “The Alamodome will host the Women’s Final Four, Elite Eight and Sweet 16. All 63 games of the 64-team event will be televised by the ESPN family of networks and available on the ESPN App.”

Lastly, there will be some considerations and ideas moving forward. After Selection Sunday the NCAA is considering a 1-4 team pool provided a disqualification before the end of the first round. An article on CBSsports.com states, “if necessary, to move into the tournament field should that be required before the completion of the first round. Those teams would be ranked 1-4 and will be announced during the Selection Show on CBS on March 14 at 6 p.m.” This special type of March Madness shall be interesting to watch. Let’s just hope that it gets to happen.

black history month Profile: Jackie robinson, major league baseball pioneer

by Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writer

There are many prominent figures to look at for such a historic month. A lot of these figures’ stories deal with hardship, oppression, and inspiration. Though today you’ll take a look at the first black MLB player, Jackie Robinson.

Robinson was born on January 31st, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. He was the son of Mallie and Jerry Robinson. In his early life, Robinson grew up in a family of 5 children with no father and little money. This forced him to make his own way in life, he picked up sports, playing football, basketball, baseball, and track all at once. 

  Robinson enrolled into Pasadena Junior College in 1939 and finished in 1941. He then went on to enroll in the University of California but in his third year had to withdraw from the school to help his mother take care of the family. After entering the army in 1942, Robinson faced court-martial in 1944, becaus he had refused to follow an order to sit on the back of the bus. Charges were dropped and he received an honorable discharge. 

After the military, Robinson played two professional sports at once. Football in Hawaii and Baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League. Doing so helped him draw attention from the Dodgers’ general manager, Branch Rickey. Trying to find a good candidate for integration, Rickey looked at Robinson. He had all the ideal characteristics: skills on the field, integrity, and his conservative lifestyle. Though Rickey needed to know if Robinson could handle the racial abuse that he would face when playing. That’s when the two first met Rickey shouted insults at him. Robinson was unfazed. On October 23, 1945 Robinson got signed to a Dodger farm team the Montreal Royals of the International League. 

  Robinson would find instant success, leading the league in batting average. After that season in 1947, Robinson was brought up to play for Brooklyn. He would go on to win rookie of the year.  In 1949, he won the batting championship. Robinson would also win MVP that year. 

 Up until 1957 when he retired prematurely, Robinson had built a legacy. With six league championships and one World Series victory. Robinson left his mark on the sport and inspired many young talents. He wasn’t done yet, becoming the first black person in the baseball hall of fame in 1962 and receiving the presidential medal of freedom. 

Robinson started to become engaged with business and civil rights activism. He was a spokesperson for the NAACP and would be seen alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Even after baseball Robinson fought for change and the betterment of many lives. He once said “”I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”

This chapter of inspiration and hope would end on October 24, 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut. Robinson passed away at just 53 years old from complications with diabetes. This was heartbreaking for anyone who looked up to Robinson. Many label him as a pioneer given he was the start of a movement that still continues today for equality.

Almost, maine photo gallery

Announcement and Poster for Almost, Maine, Photos by Audrey Robert

Photos below by Kaylee Walden

Brooklin Bittinger and Xavier Stewart, both grade 11, share a moment in the Prologue.

Chris O’Connor, 12, and Anna Gustin, 9, perform the “Her Heart” scene in Almost, Maine.

Kaya Billman, 12, and Addy Martin, 9, as Shelly and Deena, discuss dating and relationships in a small town in “They Fell.”

Billman and Martin

Emmy Mills, 9, and Zaylix Reed, 12, perform “This Hurts.”

Liv McDaniel, 11, and Trey Smith, 10, star in “Getting It Back.”

Break-ups and new relationships were the topics in “Sad and Glad” with Chris O’Connor and Bella Turner, 9.

Coy Walden, 11, and Lexi Torrez, 11, have to decide what they are waiting for in “Where It Went.”

Jaxon Powers, 11, and Mya Wilcher, 10, have an unresolved issue in “Story of Hope.”

Audrey Roberts and Jacob Torrez, both 9, try to “trick” love in “Seeing the Thing.”

Black History Month Profile: Willy T. RibBs, Race Car Driver

By Ben Brunsting/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Willy T. Ribbs was the first African American to qualify for the Indy 500. He achieved this honor in 1991.

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the amazing past and present African Americans in history. With Indiana being such a big racing state it’s no surprise that Willy T. Ribbs is a prominent African American in our history. William Theodore Ribbs was born on Jan 3rd, 1955 to Geraldine and William T. Ribbs, Sr. in San Jose, California. It was early in his life when he discovered his love of cars and racing. He was said to race his car around the California mountains when he was a teenager.  

After he graduated high school in 1975, Ribbs traveled to Europe to compete in races and join a racing school. During his time at the racing school we won six of the eleven races the school held. He made his way back to America in 1978 where he competed in a Formula Atlantic race at Long Beach. During May of that same year race promoter Humpy Wheeler promoted Ribbs to compete in a NASCAR Winston Cup; he decided to promote Ribbs in an attempt to attract African Americans to his racetrack for more business. Though at first he was denied for a lack of experience he was eventually allowed to race, but his opportunity was shot down because of an alleged run-in with law enforcement. 

He had his first qualifying race for the Indianapolis 500 in 1986 where he had a notoriously lackluster test race, only getting up to 170 mph while other rookies got to 200 mph. He ended up dropping out of the race early which disqualified him from appearing in the actual race. In 1989 he caught the eyes of Bill and Camille Cosby, who funded a motorsports team with Ribbs as its star racer. With this team he won two top-ten events in 1990, and he also qualified for indy 500 for the first time in 1991. He qualified again for the Indy 500 in 1992 and 1993 but didn’t in 1994 because of a lack of sponsors.

In total in his life he was the first African American to compete in the indy 500 and to drive a Formula One car. He won the Johnson Triple Crown for his placing in several important races. He raised his two children, Sasha and William Theodore Ribbs III, as a single parent. After he retired from racing Ribbs decided to pursue professional shooting, which inspired his son to pursue shooting. His son then became a professional shooter.

With such a successful racing career, it’s no wonder he was remembered for his achievements by being given the opportunity to race in the Indy Legends Charity Pro-Am Race in 2019 where he ended up winning with his co-driver Ed Sevadjian.

Cougars Capture HHC Title, Place Fourth at Sectionals

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Scott Stanley, 12, goes up against a Franklin Central opponent on Dec. 2.

It’s been a year filled with many great moments for the Greenfield-Central wrestling team, and after securing the program’s first Hoosier Heritage Conference title since 2012, the excitement inside the program is through the roof as sectionals draw closer, and with this season taking place during a pandemic, the conference championship feels even more rewarding for this Cougars unit. 

In a season unlike any other, COVID-19 has certainly played a big role in how things have been conducted, and its presence has caused many different individuals to be quarantined, forcing the Cougars to always have the next-man-up mentality. In response to what this season has been like in the middle of a pandemic, Logan Condrey, 12, said, “COVID has affected our season heavily. I myself have been quarantined, and we have lost some big time wrestlers right before sectionals, like Dakota Herald.” Although this Cougars team has faced many challenges from this pandemic throughout the course of the year, they have found ways to overcome.

As for the conference tournament, it was just another example of this team finding a way to overcome. A complete team effort from the Cougars was what powered the group to the conference title win. Five wrestlers from the Greenfield-Central squad advanced to the championship finals in their respective weight classes, with four of them reigning victorious. These individual championship wins earned by Matt Torres, 12, Scott Stanley, 12, Dakota Herald, 11, and Chase Gardner, 11, each tacked on at least 24 points to the Cougars’ total, along with every single weight class contributing to the team’s 238 total points. 

At the conference tournament, Torres went from unseeded at the start of the tournament to champion of the 145-pound division in the end. Seeing the hard work he put in throughout four years as a Cougar all come together to capture the individual title was something that he’ll never forget. “Winning a conference title was a crazy rush of emotions. It felt great seeing my teammates, coaches, family members, and friends be so proud of me. I can’t thank everyone enough that helped me train and prepare for that moment. Bandits for life.” 

The hard work Torres has put in is no secret to those involved with the program. His teammate, Logan Condrey, 12, said, “Seeing one of my best friends, Matt Torres, win an HHC title was probably the most improvement I’ve seen from anybody this entire season. He’s worked hard his whole life, but never got his payday until now. It was awesome to see.”

Torres isn’t the only one who will never forget this conference championship. Head Coach Josh Holden has been at Greenfield-Central for 17 years, coached 13 teams to winning records, earned HHC coach of the year honors multiple times, and yet, this is just his second Cougars team to conquer a conference title. That alone shows you just how tough it is to do. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of this team. They are only the second team to do it in my 17 years. And, to do it during the COVID epidemic just shows their resilience. We focused all year on that tournament, then, they went out and took it,” Holden said. 

Capturing the conference title itself wasn’t the only thing that made the win special for Holden, though. “The other thing that made it special for me was the fact that we lost a former wrestler this year. Dezmen McGinley was on the last team to win the HHC title. He was a special kid. His heart was as big as anyone I have ever known. He made you smile when he walked into the room. It was like he was watching over us at the conference. I can’t explain it, but we were different that day. It was special, like Dezmen.” 

Holden has seen this Cougars team improve throughout the course of this season greatly on the mat, but the area in which he feels he has seen the most improvement is the team that they have become. “We preach every year that we will be the most improved team in the conference by the conference tournament. This year it was obvious that we were as evidenced by us winning the HHC title. We definitely improved on the mat, but the thing I think we improved on the most was being a team. People think of wrestling as just an individual sport, but you need teammates to get you through the tough times wrestling throws at you. You can really see this team coming together and loving each other.”

After capturing the HHC title, the Cougars had to put the championship behind them and fully focus on sectionals. Focused is exactly what they were, as the team’s efforts resulted in nine regional qualifiers, with six third-place finishers, and three fourth-place finishers. Unfortunately, all of the improvements that were made, and all of the hard work that this Cougars team put in throughout the course of the year was put to a halt. On February 3rd, the school officially announced that the Cougars wrestling team would be withdrawing from the IHSAA state tournament before regionals due to COVID-19 protocols. Six of the nine regionals qualifiers on the Greenfield-Central squad will be back next year, and along with the entire team, are going to use this as motivation, and after having major success in a season that included an HHC title, the entire unit is hungrier than ever before going into next season.

Election and InauguratioN: Historic events unfold leading up to inauguration

By: Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: President Joe Biden is sworn in on Inauguration Day. Photo from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-21/joe-biden-sworn-in-president-of-the-us-inauguration-ceremony/13076538

The change in U.S. presidents over the past few months was rather eventful. Claims of voter fraud cast shadows on the election and caused numerous investigations. While there was no substantiated proof of this voter fraud, President Trump said repeatedly that this was the case. Now some may say his beliefs are true because there was confusion over mail-in ballots during the 2020 presidential election. However, evidence has not proven it as of yet. “The president and his allies filed 62 lawsuits in state and federal courts seeking to overturn election results in states the president lost, according to Marc Elias, a Democratic election lawyer who is tracking the outcomes.” (USA Today) Out of all 62 cases, only 61 have won. But that one win was because some citizens failed to provide a proper ID in Pennsylvania, and the number of disqualified votes would not make a difference in the outcome of the vote. (https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2020/11/12/trump-campaign-election-2020-presidential-pennsylvania-lawsuit-ballots-late-identification/stories/202011120132)

Skip ahead to November 3, Election Day. It was a close call from the beginning. But in the end, Democrat candidate Joe Biden and his chosen Vice-President Kamala Harris pulled ahead, winning major states such as Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia. Joe Biden had won the electoral college vote, and was soon to be sworn in as president. This is when voter fraud became a really popular phrase used by former President Trump, and became a concern to be investigated.

The next important event came on January 6, 2021, the beginning of a new year with many hopes after the challenging year of 2020. But again, it was quite eventful. Before a full week of 2021 passed, a very important historical event occurred on that day. President Trump attended a rally in Washington, D.C. amid claims that there was voter fraud in the Presidential vote. Some attendees of the rally proceeded to storm the Capitol building, wishing to prevent Congress from counting the votes. A riot broke out outside the Capitol, which led policemen and women to protect the Capitol. But it wasn’t enough; the mob forced their way into the Capitol, taking it over. One rioter was shot by Capitol police. Two Capitol policemen died as a result of the riot. Three other civilians died due to medical emergencies. Senators and members of Congress had to flee to be escorted to safety. Many items in the building were also broken and ruined. President Trump tried to stop the mob by telling them to go home. “”It was a landslide election, everyone knows it … but you have to go home now,” Trump said. “We have to have peace, we have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anyone hurt.’” (quoted in NBC News article online: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/blog/electoral-college-certification-updates-n1252864/ncrd1253120#blogHeader) Just days before Inauguration Day, President Trump was set for trial, yet again, to be impeached by the US House of Representatives on January 13 for what members said was “inciting an insurrection at the Capitol” (https://www.npr.org/sections/trump-impeachment-effort-live-updates/2021/01/13/956412385/the-house-has-impeached-trump-again-heres-how-house-members-voted) The Senate impeachment trial will start on February 9. “House Democrats said Tuesday in making their most detailed case yet for why the former president should be convicted and permanently barred from office.” (ApNews)

On January 20, 2021, Inauguration Day, at 2:00 pm President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris swore their promise to follow the Constitution and were sworn into office. But President Trump wasn’t there. “Meanwhile, Donald Trump is at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. He was the first president in 150 years to boycott his successor’s inauguration.” (CNN at https://edition.cnn.com/politics/live-news/biden-harris-inauguration-day-2021/h_8f29890075535554698ebf2eb48ed606) The ups and downs of the election and inauguration continue, as the Senate impeachment trial has begun.