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.

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

by Drew C. Smith and Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writers

Initial Reflections from the Writers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A (Paisley Slunaker): Yes, kinda. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drew and McKenna Movie Challenge 2

by William McKenna/Guest Writer

DREW MOVIE CHALLENGE 2

# 1 Dune 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 2 A Taste of Honey 1961

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#3 Spencer 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#4 Portrait of a Lady on Fire …2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

#5 Happy Lazzaro 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Profile: JAG Coordinator Turner helps students with job skills

by Jeremiah Edwards and Alex Smith/Staff Writers

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

Mr. Darren Turner shares his experiences as JAG Coordinator 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: What do you do outside of teaching JAG?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: How do you keep the kids engaged?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jonah Hord: Learning world problems and solutions 

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

What does Mr. Turner do to help you learn?

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

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

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

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

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

What does Mr. Turner do to make JAG fun?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jonah Hord: The fun we had in the classroom. 

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

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

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

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

GC Athletic department gives insight to daily activities in sports

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senior spotlight: memorable moments, achievements, looking ahead

by Alex Smith and Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writers

How has your senior year been so far? What stands out to you about it?

Brynn Elliott: It has been great! I think I have made more memories than I ever have before this year.

A.J. Springman: It was really fast, honestly. What stood out to me is how emotional the final choir concert was. I was expecting me and my friends to be in absolute tears hugging each other.

Kathryn Root: Stressful but the most meaningful, the most emotional.

Hunter Reed: It has probably been the best school year of my life. There has been so many fun events that I’ve been to.

What are you looking forward to in the last few weeks of school? Why?

Brynn Elliott: I’m looking forward to senior brunch, I think it will be really fun.

A.J. Springman: Getting closer to graduation

Kathryn Root: Feeling like I officially accomplished a milestone. I’m less stressed than I have ever been and feel proud.

Hunter Reed: Getting out of here.

Are you ready for high school to be over? Why or why not?

Brynn Elliott: Yes I am, I’m just ready to get away from some of these people and start a new chapter in my life.

A.J. Springman: I am but I’m not. I just wanna stick in madrigal and legacy with Mr. Grazzard but in the other hand I’m ready to get out into the world and pursue my dream of acting.

Kathryn Root: Absolutely! I can’t wait to go to college and be more independent. I’m so excited for moving and exploring.

Hunter Reed: YES! Freedom!

What are some memorable events during high school that will stick with you even after graduation?

Brynn Elliott: Definitely all the shows I have been in.

A.J. Springman: The last choir concert and how emotional it was and probably he goofy moments I had with teachers.

Kathryn Root: Drama Club and Choir. The family atmosphere and community in both groups has given me life lessons and irreplaceable memories.

Hunter Reed: Choir concerts, prom, madrigal dinners, homecoming stuff.

How did COVID affect your high school life?

Brynn Elliott: It was a lot harder to get things done because of all the distractions at home.

A.J. Springman: It made my grades plummet

Kathryn Root: I don’t remember two years of it really well but on the academic side, I remember the plays and concerts.

Hunter Reed: Choir concerts, prom, madrigal dinners, homecoming stuff.

How did you feel about the COVID mask mandates coming to a sudden halt?

Brynn Elliott: I was pretty okay with it

A.J. Springman: I honestly couldn’t care much

Kathryn Root: Finally! Hallelujah! This is what life was like!

Hunter Reed: (The mask mandates) made junior year miserable for me.

What do you wish you could’ve done differently during high school?

Brynn Elliott: I wish I would have done more with friends. I used to not find time for them and I wish I would have.

A.J. Springman: I wish I tried to enjoy my time in high school more.

Kathryn Root: Stress less and sometimes not care so much about the small things.

Hunter Reed: Getting better grades I suppose.

What are some achievements that you’re proud of? What else are you looking to achieve?

Brynn Elliott: I’m proud that I was apart of our theatre department. I want to achieve my goal of making it through college.

A.J. Springman: Being casted into a TV show, getting a trophy for legacy. I’m looking forward to being casted into my productions

Kathryn Root: Being a Tech Head and Stage Manager of Drama Club. I can’t wait to keep building.

Hunter Reed: I’ve made so many friends and I’ve became far more popular than I was in high school, so I’m definitely proud of that.

What are your plans for life after high school? Are you excited about it? Why or why not?

Brynn Elliott: I am going to be a musical theatre major at Oakland University and I am so so excited. I can’t wait to meet so many new people and start living independently!

A.J. Springman: I ship out for basic training in Fort Leonard wood. Honestly it’s alright

Kathryn Root: I’m going to the University of Dayton to study Civil Engineering. I will then later focus on Structural Engineering. I can’t wait to go do labs and literally break and build stuff all day.

Hunter Reed: I plan on forming a rock/metal band, and/or I plan on getting into wrestling.

GC admin looks back at ups, downs of momentous year

by Kaydence Ham/Staff Writer

             As the end of the school year approaches swiftly, a look back at all GC’s progress seems appropriate, especially after the chaos of the pandemic. The masks, social distancing, and contact tracing have all slowly come to an end. This year was the first semi-normal year since the 2019-2020 school year. GCHS had Prom, Homecoming, field trips, award programs, and other extracurricular activities reintroduced for the first time in two years. 

School administrators and staff have had a difficult job navigating the past couple of years. As this time period is coming to an end, it would be reasonable to address these issues with the school administrators. The biggest issue over the past few years has been the pandemic. Dr. Olin said, “As the superintendent of schools, I believe it was (and still is) my job to ensure that our schools were as safe as possible for our students and staff.  Therefore, my team and I were in constant communication with the Hancock County Health Department and the Indiana Department of Health officials to help us craft our policies and procedures to navigate the tumultuous waters of the pandemic.  I felt as though we were constantly walking the tightrope between that which was too restrictive and that which was too passive.  We did not always get it right, and we definitely did not make everyone happy.  That being said, I am grateful for the grace that most of our students, staff, and families exhibited throughout the year.” 

Coming out of the pandemic has definitely brought about change, as the district tries to adjust to some sort of normal. Mr. Cary stated, “It really seemed like two different school years: one in the pandemic and one after the pandemic.  We wanted to prioritize the health of our staff and our students, while also keeping an eye on the learning loss our students experienced during the pandemic.” Mrs. Coleman agreed. She said, “I really see this year in two different years. We have August to February where we still had to deal with COVID, the absences and all the craziness that the pandemic brought us. I have loved the year since March! I have gotten in more classrooms, gotten to interact more with teachers and students and it has just been a different atmosphere. I think the pandemic has taught us all about perseverance, patience and life. We’ve had to rely so heavily on family and friends, and educators.” 

Although GC has had a very divided year due to the pandemic, students and administration have managed to sneak in some highlights this year. Mr. Cary stated, “There were quite a few highlights for the year: Band winning State again, having Prom for the first time in a few years, the first day of school with the Senior Turnaround, etc.  It wasn’t a normal year, but we had a lot of normalcy along the way.”

Dr. Olin also discussed some important highlights for the district. He said, “Winning back-to-back state championships in marching band was the most exciting moment for me.  Seeing 150+ students coming together to perform something that is creative and beautiful never gets old. Being told that Eden Elementary School had the third highest math passing rate in the state. Receiving the support of our community to build the auditorium was also quite special. Receiving the Family Friendly designation from the Indiana Department of Education for all eight schools was very rewarding. And of course…Dropping the mask mandate and returning to normalcy in the spring semester was definitely a highlight as well.  Seeing our students at Prom for the first time in three years was quite special.”  

GC has also had some challenges along the way. Dr. Olin stated, “We had a number of challenges filling teacher vacancies due to absenteeism during the pandemic.  It is our goal to provide high quality education in the classroom each and every day.  That was difficult to fulfill when we could not find the substitute teachers that we needed.” Many teachers even stepped in themselves and gave up their prep periods to help fill in a teacher’s position.

When asked about other challenges, Mr. Cary said, “I think the easy answer is COVID and the masks/contact tracing.  The other big answer is that we had one less administrator after Mr. Beal retired.  That meant a lot of work on the 3 of us instead of spread out amongst the four of us.  At the end of the day, we prioritized what we could and made the most of the time we had.” Mr. Beal was with GC for 23 years, most of those at the high school before his retirement. 

As the 2021-2022 school year comes to an end, GC is looking forward to many things next year. Mr. Cary says, “I am looking forward to adding another assistant principal to our office. We just hired Mr. Steve Wherry, who is the principal at Knightstown High School.  He is going to make us so much better, and we are going to tackle some initiatives that have been put on the back burner during the pandemic.  I also am looking forward to more normalcy than we already have.” 

Seniors will be graduating June 5 and Mr. Cary wants them to know: “I hope they enjoy the last few weeks and make us proud in whatever they do moving forward.” Mrs. Coleman also had an encouraging piece of advice. “My advice for seniors is to never stop learning and growing. Whatever path you take next year, have confidence in that path. College isn’t for everyone but be sure you never give up on learning. Learn how to change a tire. Learn how to cook a recipe. Learn a new language. Just keep learning. And, don’t forget your roots. Be proud to be a GC graduate and come back and visit often!” 

Making it ‘Magical’: GC drama presents Cinderella with a ‘flair

By: Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Cinderella performances are April 28, 29, 30 at 7pm and May 1 at 2pm. Purchase tickets at www.gcdrama.org Photo Credit: https://www.theatermania.com/shows/new-york-city-theater/broadway/cinderella_194249

Cinderella has been featured in many schools and universities across the country and it’s a challenge to present the old story in a different way. GC Drama’s cast and crew proposes to put a modern spin on it.

Brynn Elliott, 12, playing Cinderella, talked about how she plans to make the musical a unique production. She said, “I think our goal for the musical is to make it magical. We all want the story of Cinderella to seem like you pulled it right out of a movie, fairy godmother and all. We want people to be stunned by the actors, but to also be stunned by the whimsical vibe that the backstage crew created with costumes, makeup, lights, paint, and of course our sets. It’ll be an amazing show, and I couldn’t be any happier to end my theatre career at GC with it!”

Zeke Holden, 11, playing Prince Topher, discussed how he plans to make the musical a unique production. He said, “I think that each individual person has a good specific vision for how they want their character to be and sound. And it’s really been entertaining to watch myself and others figure it out.” Angel Murphy, also 11, playing an Older Woman, said, “We are going to make this production unique by put our own flair on the show.”

Elliot talked about what she thinks of being in her last production of high school. She said, “I’m really sad. This theatre program has done so much for me, and it’s really upsetting that I have to leave the department and everyone I know and love. We’re all really close, so it just makes things ten times harder.” She also discussed what the biggest things she has learned by being in drama are. She said, “I have learned patience and cooperation. You have to be patient to know what is going on in a production, especially when you’re not onstage. And just being able to take notes and do what the director says is a skill that theatre often teaches you. I have also learned to love everyone no matter what and I’m just so happy with everything our program has taught me and all of the memories I made!”

Elliott discussed how being in various productions for GC has helped her learn and grow and what memories she will take with her of GC drama when she graduates this year. She said, “Being in productions at the high school has helped me grow as a person, and as an actress. Mrs. Voigt has really helped me discover who I am as an actress, and she has influenced my personality a lot. I don’t what I would do without her. I have so many fond memories with this program, and I can’t wait to make even more before I leave.” She also talked about her plans outside of high school. She said, “I am pursuing acting outside of high school. I am going into musical theatre because it is my passion and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life.”

Holden talked about what it means to him to be one of the leads. He said, “To get one of the leads in the musical is absolutely huge for me! I think that being on stage and acting and singing with my castmates has really opened up my eyes to how much I love performing.”

Holden commented on what his individual goals as well as cast goals for this production are. He said, “My biggest goal for the show right now is to establish my own flair for theater seeing as I am very new to it.”

Murphy talked about what her individual goals as well as cast goals for this production are: “To make it fun and try to do our best.” As for Elliott, she said, “My goal is for everyone to walk away from the show happy. I think as a whole group we just want everyone to be blown away by our whole production and for it to be remembered as one of the best shows in GC history.”

Murphy discussed what she is looking forward to the most: “The performances of course but spending that time with the cast is so much fun.” As for Holden, “As of right now, I’m really looking forward to the response from the community when they see the show.” Elliott mentioned what she is looking forward to the most, “Honestly, I think I’m really looking forward to my costume changes that are onstage. My dress will transform around me and I think that it’ll be really cool.”

Elliott mentioned what songs she enjoyed the most: “I really enjoy the songs ‘Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?’ and ‘In My Own Little Corner.’ They’re just really pretty songs and they’re so much fun to sing, I really love them.” Holden said, “My favorite song would have to either be ‘Me Who Am I’ or ‘Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?’. I love the first one because it really is MY song and it’s a song that has plenty of room for improv and comedy, and the other song is just such a beautiful duet between Brynn and I.” Murphy talked about what song she enjoyed the most: “‘Stepsisters Lament’ because it is really funny.”

Of course, every production is not without challenges. Holden talked about what has been the biggest obstacle during the process for him and how he is working to overcome it. He said, “The hardest part of being in the show for me, is trying to keep it out of EVERY conversation I have! I’m very passionate about this show and I have enjoyed it so much.” Murphy said, “My social anxiety is definitely really hard with so many people.” Elliott commented, “It was really really hard for me to find Cinderella’s character. I never realized how difficult it would be to be a character everyone knows and loves, so it made me want to not mess up. I finally realized that I needed to be more myself than looking at it as a role. I’m way more comfortable now, and I’m very confident with my character.”

Murphy commented on her favorite part of the show, “Definitely when we are in the town spinning and dancing.” Elliott talked about her favorite line in the show. She said, “My favorite I think is one of the Prince’s. He says, ‘She’s my lady’. It’s my favorite because the way Zeke says it is absolutely hysterical and makes me laugh every time.” For Holden, he said, “Right now I’m torn between two lines where after I slay an evil giant and save the day, I shout ‘I wish I was doing something more important with my life!’ I also really enjoy the line ‘I don’t even know your name!’ after a kiss scene.”

For Holden, the magic of the theater is real. He said, “I will definitely be in future shows! This experience of Cinderella has been so much fun and has really given me a love for performance.”

Walker Career Center provides vocational path for students

By: Tyler Young/Staff writer

Walker Career Center is an institution that you can take for certain curriculum that you want to take in the future that your high school does not offer. Many students go there for career paths that they wish to pursue in life and there are many places to go for those classes.

Devin Evanoff, 11, is one of those students who go to Walker for their future career and interests. Evanoff takes an aviation class at Walker. He said he takes it because he’s always had an interest in flying planes and flying in planes. Evanoff said that when you go to Walker the class you would want to take is only offered in certain semesters. Aviation, for example, is only offered in the second semester. Evanoff talked about a daily walk through about his day with high school and Walker. “My day doesn’t start till 9:00 a.m. so I miss the first and most of the second block at the high school. The class is from 9:00-10:45 except on Fridays. And once I finish at 10:45 I go to the high school to finish the day.” 

Evanoff said what he does in the class is interesting and interactive. “I actually got to fly in a plane and fly the plane. It was really cool.” He also talked about the best part about going to Walker. “I don’t have to wake up early for an 8:30 class and I get to learn about my future career.” He also mentioned the interactiveness of aviation. “It’s very hands-on and we’re always doing something that doesn’t require writing down notes.” Evanoff talked about who to recommend the class to. “I’d say anybody that likes to get out of their comfort zone and just about anybody can take the class.” 

Evanoff said that the aviation class is only one semester of regular school but it also takes time out of his Spring Break. He talked about where he wants this class to take him in life. “I want to be a commercial pilot for American or Delta Airlines.” Lastly, he talked about where he goes for Walker Career Center class. “I go to Mt. Vernon High School, but there’s a location in (Warren Central township) as well.” 

Abby Morgan, 11, is another one of the students who is involved in the Walker Career path. She is studying Criminal Justice because she has always been invested into true crime and thought it would be fun to have a class not offered at a high school.

Morgan talked about what they’ve learned in class. “In my class, we’ve learned how to solve crime scenes, file police reports, handcuffing, fingerprinting, and a lot more.”

She also talked about her daily schedule. “Every day I wake up at 5:30 to get to Walker by 7:15. Then my class ends at 9:10 and I either go home until my third block starts, or I go to the library and work on any homework I may have. After that, my day is normal and I have my third and fourth block here at Greenfield.”

‘Dissecting the Material’: Students describe Berrier as ‘hands-on’, creator of ‘fun’

By: Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Heather Berrier, biology teacher, teaches her Anatomy class about the tongue. Photo Credit: Alex Smith/Staff Writer


Mrs. Heather Berrier, who has been teaching science classes at GC for 5 years, talked about what makes teaching science worth it. She said, “Every job can be stressful if you let it. That is why it is important to find things outside of your career that you enjoy and take a break. I have had several other jobs before coming to teaching and this job is by far the most rewarding. Working with you guys and guiding you in your science education is a career like none other.” 

Berrier mentioned her favorite part of being a science teacher. She said, “I absolutely love watching students learn, and with that, it is the growth I see from getting a new topic failing with some concepts, but then learning from that. Also when I have students say ‘Wow that’s so cool!’ When it’s looking at a hydra or when they understand exactly how oxygen is used in the body.” (A hydra is a genus of invertebrate freshwater animals.)

Samantha Torres, 12, discussed what her favorite thing about Anatomy with Berrier is. She said, “The atmosphere! She always makes class a fun place to be. Not only does she incorporate labs but we also do a lot of group work, which I appreciate.”

Laney Elliott, 10, talked about her favorite aspect about Human Body Systems (HBS) with Berrier. She said, “My favorite thing about Science with Mrs. Berrier is that she always knows how to keep it fun and she tells us stories of things that have happened to her and people she knows that relate to what we are learning.”

Berrier mentioned how she has handled teaching Biology II, Human Body Systems, and Anatomy during a pandemic. She said, “ ‘If you don’t bend like a willow you will break in the wind’. This is a saying I heard my entire life from my Great Aunt Bunny. And it was so true with the pandemic. I learned so much about how to teach with technology, google meets, Nearpods, video recordings, Flipgrids, things I have never used in the past but now I don’t know how I did without them.”

Elliott talked about what Berrier does to help her learn. She said, “Mrs. Berrier is very good at making lessons hands-on and working with us to make sure we understand the material.” Torres also discussed what Berrier does to help her learn. She said, “Mrs. Berrier is always a helping hand. She often reaches out to students individually when they need help. Berrier is very approachable when you have a question, or difficulty understanding a topic.”

Torres further commented on Berrier, “I have had science class with Mrs. Berrier almost every year of high school. On the first day of my freshman year I had Bio 2 with her fourth period. I was able to go the entire day under the radar…until her class. She broke me out of my shell. She was introducing herself and her family when I saw a familiar face on her ‘Welcome’ slideshow. I had Mr. Berrier for fourth grade English. In front of the whole class she said ‘Miss Torres I’ve heard a lot about you!’ It was helpful having a teacher that welcomed me so early in my high school career.” 

Elliott also had a memorable story: “While we were in first semester we were doing an eye dissection lab and it was always so funny because when it comes to different things that we dissect, Berrier is not afraid to stick her hand into whatever it is we are dissecting, and when we were doing the eye she just took part of it and turned it inside out.”

Berrier discussed the most memorable moment in her teaching career. She said, “The first time I received a thank you card from a previous student, it was an unprovoked thank you card (not on Teacher Appreciation Week) and it caught me off guard. They were thanking me for teaching and telling me I had made such a positive impact on their life when they were in my class. Sometimes you don’t really know the impact you have, and at that moment I was like ‘Wow’.”

Additionally, funny moments happen, too. “Working in the Science department you have to have a sense of humor, we laugh all the time,” Berrier said. “But to me in class it was actually last week. A student told me, ‘Mrs. Berrier I am worried about you’ and when I asked why he said ‘You repeated two jokes twice in class….that’s why we didn’t laugh the second time.’ I immediately started laughing and told him he needed to tell me when I had a grandma moment! Teaching the same class sometimes I know I will repeat myself but him calling me out on it was so funny!”

Elliott talked about what Berrier does to make HBS fun. She said, “Mrs. Berrier tells us stories and lets us do labs to better understand what we are learning.” As for Anatomy, Torres said, “Mrs. Berrier’s attitude makes science class fun! Every other day I’m in class, she walks in the room with a smile on her face. It is contagious.”

Torres mentioned what Berrier has taught her about in Anatomy this year. She said, “This year we have had depth in everything from directional terms, root words/prefixes/suffixes, to the respiratory system and even blood!” Elliott talked about what knowledge she has gained from Berrier in HBS. She said, “We have learned a lot of things this year including the urinary system, joints, and different parts of the kidney and nephron.”

Berrier discussed her favorite lesson or activity to do with the kids. She said, “I love anything with microscopes. Especially in Bio 2 we get to look at living specimens. It is not something you usually get to experience. Looking at the diagrams is learning the structures but when you get to see them moving in real life, not just a video, it is a whole different experience!”

Elliott talked about what her least favorite thing about HBS with Berrier is. She said, “I honestly don’t have a least favorite thing about class with Mrs. Berrier. She is always so fun and personable.” As for Anatomy, Torres said, “Dissections are not my favorite thing to do in science class. Berrier does let us work [with] partners though, which is nice because most times I take notes while my partner does the actual dissection. Although they are interesting to look at, the smell is too much for me!” For her part, Berrier discussed her least favorite thing about being a Science teacher. She said, “I really cannot find anything. I go to work every single day loving what I do!”

Berrier discussed how she balances her work and home life. She said, “When I leave school I turn on the mom mode. I try not to look at my email or grade assignments when I am with my family. It is very important in life to not always be working. If I have to catch up on some grading I will do this after my kiddos go to bed.” She also mentioned what she does outside of teaching Science. She said, “I am a coach of soccer and volleyball with my town’s rec league. I have been coaching for about 10 years. And I have Zumba twice a week!”

Berrier talked about what she wants students to learn in Science class. She said, “That failing is NOT failure. Experiments go wrong…all…the…time. If the scientist said, ‘Well that didn’t work…moving on,’ we would not have the medications or technology we have today. Learn in life from the mistakes you made, do not let them define you.” She also mentioned how she keeps the kids engaged. She said, “I really like group and partner work where they can talk through ideas and assignments. I also tell stories…a lot. I like to try and relate subjects that we learn in class to things that have happened, maybe not to me….but I know a lot of people with interesting lives!”

Torres talked about what she will remember the most about Berrier after she graduates this year. She said, “After I graduate I will remember Mrs. Berrier as one of the first teachers to introduce me to my future career. I plan on attending Indiana University majoring in Human Biology. Her class and attitude really inspired me to look into career paths in the science field. I plan to be a dental hygienist.” Elliott commented on what she is going to remember the most about Berrier. She said, “I will always remember that at the beginning of the year I was new and Berrier just welcomed me with open arms and made sure that I was comfortable and understanding what I was doing.”

Berrier concluded by commenting on what she wants kids to remember about her. She said, “I hope they remember that you can have fun in everything you do. I know Science is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope they enjoyed the time in my class.”

NATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH PROFILE: ALBION FELLOWS BACON

Photo caption: Albion Fellows Bacon is referred to as Indiana’s Municipal Housekeeper.

By Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writer

The Progressive Era, from the 1890s to the 1920s, was an era of intense social and political reform aimed at making progress towards a better society. During this era issues such as labor rights, women’s suffrage, economic reform, environmental protections, public housing reform, and the welfare of the poor were all addressed. Indiana had its own reformer, someone who wanted to better the spaces people lived in, a woman who would become Indiana’s Municipal Housekeeper: Albion Fellows Bacon.

Bacon was an American reformer and writer. She’s largely remembered for her efforts to improve public housing standards. Bacon was very involved in tenement reform and was vital in the passage of legislation to improve housing conditions in Indiana in 1909, 1913, and 1917. 

 Bacon was born on April 8, 1865, in Evansville Indiana. She was the youngest daughter of Reverend Albion Fellows and Mary Fellows and a younger sister to writer Annie Fellows Johnston. 

After the passing of Bacon’s father a few weeks before her birth, Albion’s mother Mary returned to her hometown of McCutchanville, Indiana. Bacon would attribute her early life in a small, rural town as her motivation for her efforts to achieve urban reform. 

Bacon would go on to graduate from Evansville High School in 1883, she would then work for her sister, Annie Fellows Johnston, who would become a professional writer, as her secretary during her tour in Europe. 

On October 11, 1888, Bacon would marry Hillary Bacon, the owner of Woolworth’s shop in Evansville. The couple would have four children together. 

At the turn of the century, Bacon would become very concerned about the effects of industrialization and urbanization. Her main interest was improving living conditions in Evansville. Bacon then became active in her community; she volunteered as a “friendly visitor” for local charities. She helped organize a Flower Mission group, which donated and distributed flowers to poor working girls.  She formed an Anti-Tuberculosis League that would help with preventing the development of tuberculosis, and also a Working Girls’ Association, that helped young women that were working in factories and mills. The association would later affiliate itself with the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) in Evansville. Bacon was also a part of the Monday Night Club, a group of influential individuals interested in charitable work, her focus being its housing committee. 

Bacon showed her dedication and determination to achieve her goals by attending every session of the Indiana General Assembly from 1909 and 1917 due to her agreement with the Indianapolis Commercial Club. The Indianapolis Commercial Club would sponsor her legislation if she attended sessions of the Indiana General Assembly. During her time attending these assemblies, Bacon would garnish support for her legislation from other groups.

Even after achieving her primary goal of establishing a state-wide  law, Bacon would continue working as a social welfare activist. In 1917 she became chair of the Child Welfare Committee, a part of the Women’s Section of the Indiana State Council of Defense. She would then work on the passage of school attendance laws and establish a juvenile probation system.

An organization was named in her honor, Albion Fellows Bacon Center, located in Evansville. The organization currently provides such things as residential and non-residential services, community outreach, primary abuse prevention, sexual assault help, legal advocacy, as well as children’s and crisis response programs.

Bacon would die of heart failure on December 10, 1933, at her home in Evansville. She is praised as a symbol of the housing reform movement and Evansville’s best known and most loved woman. 

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Albion-Fellows-Bacon