Category Archives: feature

Students review ups, downs of 2o20-21 school year

by Ben Brunsting/Staff Writer

2020-2021 has been hard. It’s been said over and over. Between the rapid change in schedule, and the new restrictions put in place, everyone has had to go through something new this year, no matter if one was a junior, freshman, or were virtual full-time. With such an odd year, students are bound to have a wide variety of experiences. 

Part of the experience this year was dealing with virtual classes. Some were in school part time, while some were fully virtual. One such virtual student was Maddox Hiner, 10, who didn’t get the opportunity to come back to school this year. When asked if there was anything he regretted from this year, he said, “The only thing I regret was failing to get some of the classwork done.” This seems to be a commonplace problem with virtual school. With attention spans already being low for in-person schooling, being at home surrounded by distractions can be challenging.

While some were at home full-time, most were in school for the most part this year. Alex Smith, 11, was one such student. He discussed his opinion about the schedule this year. “In terms of restrictions and schedule, I don’t want next school year to be like this one. I want to have a normal senior year,” Smith said. With next year’s schedule still to be confirmed, many juniors are worried about their final year of high school being stricken by the same restrictions that this year’s seniors had to manage. 

With the differences that this school year brought, some students were able to get away with skipping class or dodging responsibilities. Several students would just not show up to classes when they were supposed to, or only show up for a short minute and then leave. This led to many students’ grades being lower than normal. There are also students who did fine with the trials this year put forth. When asked about the year, Smith said, “I feel that this year was successful for me both as a student and as a person. I did fine with the part-time virtual and the full-time virtual portions of this and last school year.” Both sides of the issue are reasons for and against having virtual classes next year. 

Between masks, virtual class, and only being in school part time, it’ll be hard to tell what progress happened with schooling.  People also had different reactions to the chaos of this year. Some thrived in the virtual environment and others were swamped with hardships. With this school year finally coming to an end, and next year coming in fast, one can only hope there is a return to normalcy sometime soon. 

Asian Heritage Month: Anna may Wong

by Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writer

In honor of Asian Heritage Month, Cougar Review staffers felt that a profile of a famous Asian American would be appropriate for the May issue of the newspaper. Anna May Wong was the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star. She had a very successful career, appearing in over sixty movies, though it was always an upwards climb to reach that point of success. Wong would face racism and discrimination all throughout her career, being denied lead roles and being given supporting roles or the typical “Asian characters.” This was largely due to anti-miscegenation in the United States, preventing interracial marriages and even interracial actors from kissing on screen. Growing up and living in the early 1900s was no easy task. The standards and layout of society is nothing like we see today. Let’s take a look at how the first Asian American woman movie star came to be. 

It would all start in the 1850s, when Wong’s grandfather, Leung Chew Wong, emigrated from Taishan, China to the United States. Shortly after this move, Anna May Wong’s father, Sam Sing, was born. After moving back to China after his father’s death, Sing settled down with his wife in the Chinatown area of Los Angeles. Wong was born on January 3, 1905. She would be given the name Wong Liu Tsong which means “willow frost” in Chinese. She would later be given her English name, Anna May. 

Growing up, Wong worked in her father’s laundromat which he had opened when settling back down in America. Wong also attended Chinese language classes after school. Around the age of nine, Wong was struck with the interest of movies; that’s when the movie productions moved to California from New York. She took such a strong interest that she would skip classes to attend movie sets and spend lunch money to view movies. Wong finally decided that she wanted to be a movie star. So at the age of eleven she created her stage name, Anna May Wong. She created this by combining her English name with her Chinese name. 

Wong achieved her first role in 1919 in a movie called The Red Lantern. Wong had seen a casting call and without her father knowing, convinced one of his friends to introduce her to the assistant director. She would be an extra and would carry out a lantern in one of the scenes. Wong’s success didn’t stop there; she continued to work as an extra in many movies. She was also balancing school with her career. Two years later after successfully entering the movie business, Wong would drop out and become a full time actress. This proved to be good fortune, as that same year, she landed a role as Toy Ling’s wife in the film Bits of Life. A year later, in 1922, at the age of seventeen Wong would land her first lead role in the Troll of the Sea. 

In March of 1924, she created her own production company called Anna May Wong Productions so she could make her own movies about her culture. The company, however, would close after her business partner was caught using bad business practices. Wong would soon be fed up with Hollywood due to the constant discrimination. She would then move to Europe where she starred in a plethora of films. Schmutziges Geld in 1928, Piccadilly in 1929, and her first talking film in 1930 called The Flame of Love. She would also star in a play A Circle of Chalk with Laurence Olivier. 

Paramount Studios noticed her work and promised her leading roles upon her return to America. Wong took the opportunity and starred in the Broadway production of On the Spot. Sometime afterwards Wong’s mother was hit by a car in front of the family’s home. The rest of the family stayed in the home until 1934, when they returned to China. 

Wong would still go on to star in many movies but was always asked to play the stereotypical Asian roles. The director of Dangerous to Know even asked her to use Japanese mannerisms when playing a Chinese role, and she refused. She would later appear in one of her most famous films Shanghai Express. After the movie in 1932, Wong went on tour in China for the next year. Wong became the first Asian American to lead a US television show for her work on The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong. She was also planning a return to movies.

Anna May Wong passed away on February 3, 1961 due to a heart attack. She was 56 years old. After her death, awards were named after her by the Asian-American Arts Awards and the Asian Fashion Designers group. Anna May Wong’s decorated career would set a new standard for society. It would set a new wave of thinking. She was a pioneer in a long-lasting war for equality. 

SEniors, others reflect on saying goodbye to the year

by Audrey Roberts/Staff Writer

Every year, seniors graduate from high school.  Each year is different and unique for not only the seniors as a whole, but also for the seniors as individuals.  Everyone has different experiences throughout their high school years, but senior year is set apart from the rest.

Senior year is filled with a lot of thoughts and memories.  Not only do seniors think of their past years, they also have more fears and worries, hopes and wishes.

Of this year, Kaya Billman, 12, said, “I was mainly worried about how I would be able to keep up with my studies.  I am taking several advanced classes, and the workload was heavier than usual.”  Though problems like these were hard to overcome, she mentioned that she eventually was able to overcome and work through them.

Luckily, not everything was a worry for the seniors.  Hannah Kinion, 12, said, “I’m not going to lie, there wasn’t very much I was excited for the beginning of this year purely because I knew that due to Covid-19, most of the major events would be canceled.  However the one thing I kept hope and excitement for was getting to direct Legally Blonde-and luckily it came out better than I could have ever imagined.”  For Hannah, her theatre experience was one of the best times she’d had this year.

Of course, Kinion also mentioned that her favorite part of this year was having a prom.  With a lack of GCHS prom, she was able to attend two other, student-made proms that allowed her to enjoy this senior experience.

Billman said that quarantine keeping her away from her friends was hard, and that the separation by alphabet for the school schedules didn’t help much.  However, when she finally did get to spend school days with them again, she said she was happy to see them again.

Unfortunately, as the year comes to an end, goodbyes are imminent.  Juniors, sophomores, and even freshmen have to say goodbye to their close friends who are preparing for life after high school.  Brynn Elliot, 11, said, “Honestly, the fact that they’re leaving in a month is upsetting.”  When she talked about how she hangs out with them in classes or at their houses, she said that it was hard thinking about not being able to see them every day, or having fun on the weekends.

Trey Smith, 10, talked about how some have become role models for him, and that he’s sad they’ll be going.  However, he turned the tables around and said that he was also excited for them since they “get to begin a new stage of life off on their own.”

Most seniors are ready to start their next journey.  For example, Billman plans to go to Ball State and study telecommunications.  Meanwhile, Elliot says she’s really scared that she’s going to lose friends when she becomes a senior and then moves on to enter college since everyone will go on their separate paths.  But she also said that she was excited to see where life would take her when high school was over.

Kinion plans to go to medical school to become a doctor in psychiatry.  Working hard, she plans to help people with eating disorders, dementia, and more.  She’s ready for wherever the path leads her.

Overall, GCHS’s seniors are preparing all around the school for their last few weeks before they start the next step of their lives, and there are more people besides Brynn Elliot and Trey Smith who are wishing them well on those next steps.

History of Jordan brand at Nike

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Air Jordan 1 Mid ‘Chicago Black Toe’

It all started in 1984. Michael Jordan had a tremendous rookie year with the Chicago Bulls winning ROTY (rookie of the year) in the NBA. Nike was a fairly new company and was not a successful company in the 80’s. In 1984 Jordan received his first offer from Nike just at 21 years old. Jordan wasn’t interested in Nike and was actually in favor of Adidas or Converse. But then Nike offered him a new kind of deal. Some call it a “signature line” which means he endorsed his own type of shoe through Nike. “Michael Jordan signed a five-year deal with Nike worth $500,000 per year.” (Republic world.com) Jordan accepted the offer, little did he know that he was about to release one of the biggest shoe and clothing franchises ever.

Nike and Jordan called it “Air Jordan” or just “Jordan.” The first release came in 1985 with the Air Jordan l. But these shoes did not meet NBA standards. As it says from footlocker.com. “The NBA banned the original Air Jordan for not meeting the league’s stringent policy on uniforms and colors. Jordan wore them anyway and faced a $5,000-per-game fine as a result.” But that’s not the only thing about these shoes “This Air Jordan was the only one in the series to feature the familiar Nike Swoosh logo.” (Footlocker.com). The shoes also featured wings instead of the, yet to be created, Jumpman logo. The wings were trademarked by Nike on May 7, 1985.

After Michael Jordan won ROTY in 1985. The Jordan brand soon took off, creating all sorts of new clothing, shoes, and sports equipment. Hitting $100 million dollars in sales in 1985, business was booming for Nike. Not to mention that the Air Jordan 1s game worn autographed sold for $560,000 becoming the most expensive sneakers to ever be sold. “Sotheby’s recently sold a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s for $560,000 to become the most expensive sneakers ever sold.” (CNBC.com).

Nowadays, Nike is the most popular footwear brand. With new endorsements such as LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, etc. But we can’t forget how it all started with one man, Michael Jordan. Jordan has made 1.4 billion dollars off of Nike alone, and Nike is a 34.8 billion dollar company. So in conclusion, Michael Jordan and the Jordan brand have made a huge impact on Nike today. Without Jordan’s success and Nike’s signature deal. Who ones what Nike could’ve turned out today.

Students offer thoughts on in-person schedule for 4th quarter

by Jeremiah Edwards/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Abby Morgan, and Shelby Robinett, both 10, meet with a classmate in yearbook while they are in-person and the classmate is at home on the previous hybrid schedule.

Greenfield-Central High School switched to its new schedule after spring break. Previously students were put into splits based on their last names, A-K and L-Z, A-K going into the building on Monday and Tuesday and L-Z going in on Thursday and Friday. The Cougar Day, which is on Wednesday places every student at home. With the new schedule the splits don’t exist and everyone who is supposed to be on site goes everyday besides Wednesday which is still a Cougar Day. After winter break, GC opted to stay hybrid. At first rumors were the school would be hybrid the rest of the year but after a promising third quarter, and of course a school wide vote, GCHS opened its doors for all students who opted to be onsite to be in the building at the same time. The separation felt long as many students hadn’t seen each other since the beginning of the school year before the eventual progression into a hybrid schedule. The question is, how do students feel about this new schedule? How has it affected them so far? Which schedule has benefited them the most? 

   From the students who were interviewed, most have a fair to strong liking of the new schedule, noting that the only big issues are the loss of sleep, more people, and a bigger workload. Cooper Cox, 10, said, “I struggle with online learning…the new schedule holds me more accountable” but when asked what are the advantages of the old schedule, Cox cited, “The old schedule gave me more time to sleep.” Michael Runions,10, also emphasized how the old schedule gave him more time to sleep and how he had to change that habit. “During hybrid I would stay in bed for most of the day or I could sleep in during my EB but now since we are in school I make sure I’m awake and out of bed in the morning.” Though he also understood that being online for 3 days a week wasn’t the best for him, citing that the old schedule is not favorable over the new. “I do not favor the old schedule because I missed all of my friends and sometimes I would get confused because everything was online, and now I actually have my teacher in person to ask questions,” Runions said. 

Runions highlighted another way the old schedule benefited him but underscored that it might not compare to the new schedule. “The old schedule did let me go into the week a lot smoother because I was virtual Monday and Tuesday, but other than that I like the new schedule more.” Addie Coombs, 10, supported this feeling that the new schedule is draining and tiring, yet saw this is needed and prepares us for the future school years. “I don’t mind being back in person all four days a week.  The longer we go with this schedule the more tired and drained I feel. But either way, we will have to get used to this because there’s more school in the future.”

Tiahna Ayres, 11, supported the new schedule, stating, “I like that we are back four days a week, I have more motivation to do my work and it’s a lot easier to get help from teachers.” Ayres also gave some challenges. “Some challenges are it is more likely that we’ll get quarantined, which puts us out at home for a few weeks. Another thing is we got so used to being at school two days the last year, all of our social anxiety is through the roof and we don’t know how to interact with one another as easily as we did before.” Coombs gave her take on the schedule, emphasizing how important being hands-on with teachers really is. “One of the benefits is being able to see your teachers nearly everyday of the week so it isn’t as hard to get behind like we could with the hybrid days. It’s easier to ask questions, get assignments, papers, etc. But a challenge is having everyone in the building while we are in the middle of a pandemic.”

Students do have very different opinions about Cougar Day. Mario Steverson, 10, stated “I feel like the new schedule is as safe as it can be. As much as I personally resent the Wednesday Cougar schedule, it’s our best bet to be here for the remainder of the school year.” Runions, on the other hand, appreciated the Cougar Day but also enjoyed the push for normalcy. “I feel like we are getting somewhat closer to normalcy. I do appreciate the Wednesdays too because I do like being virtual for that day and staying home.” Ayres, 11, had a third opinion, citing a pro and con of the Cougar Day and supporting the opinion that the new schedule is better than our previous one. “I wouldn’t change anything about the schedule now because I like the Cougar Day. I like how it is a shorter day to get us caught up on our work and to start a new unit in a faster but organized way. The only thing I dislike about the Cougar Day is how fast the classes all go and how much work is assigned by certain teachers.”  

Abigail Coughenour, 10, made the Cougar Day debate spilt even further. “I absolutely hate the Cougar Days because some teachers don’t understand how long 45 minute classes are.” Kye Jocham, 11, pushed the debate to one side. “I really dislike the Cougar Day because it’s very difficult to squeeze all eight classes into one day and it feels like class time is just wasted because it is so short.” Macy Kirkpatrick, 10, helped develop a middle ground between the two opinions. “Cougar day is stressful because some teachers assign too much, but on the other hand I like being comfy at home.” Coombs stated a pro about the Cougar Day, “What I like about the Cougar Day is that we all get a chance to get in touch with all of our teachers in one day instead of waiting for a day.” Iris Pinto Hidaldo gave a thought on the Cougar Day, “I like that now the teachers know that we need a more relaxing day and they don’t assign a lot of homework.” Rylie Voigt, 10, strengthed the argument against Cougar Day across this group of students. “I would change Cougar Days because I strongly dislike attending all 8 classes a day. Each class is almost too short to complete any work, and we almost always have homework that we couldn’t get done in class.” The verdict is in, for at least this group of students: The Cougar Day has some flaws. 

Ian Gross, 10, felt as if the new schedule is okay. He liked not having full classes but felt that being able to ask questions as easy as it is now is a good thing. “The new schedule is okay; it’s not good or bad. It benefits me by making it easier to ask questions to help learn. I liked the old schedule because my classes weren’t as full.” 

Pinto Hidaldo liked the schedule but also saw a habit that needs to be retained. “As an exchange student I like it. It’s a more normal experience than I have had in the last months that I’ve been here. Now I have more opportunities to make friends, and also it is easier to be focused in class. I think it is also difficult to get up all mornings and get ready because I lost that habit.”

Kirkpatrick had a differing opinion, “I prefer when only half of the school is here. That is because class was more group conversation unlike when everyone is here where I have to raise my hand and talk in front of the class.” Kirkpatrick also cited challenges “Challenges include having to talk to more people and just being in this climate longer.” 

Voigt kept the trend of “pushing for normalcy” in some respects and cited some common issues among students on the hybrid schedule and how it’s better now. “I am actually pretty happy being all back in the same place four days a week; it almost feels normal aside from the masks. It’s harder for students to slack off in classes now, and it’s easier to pay attention. Honestly, being in-person doesn’t really have any challenges for me. (I don’t like) having to wake up early every day, but that’s life.” 

  Being a freshman and getting used to high school is not an easy task on its own; in a pandemic it’s an entirely different story . These freshmen showcased their thoughts on how the schedules have affected them and which one is better. 

Elizabeth Blagburn, 9, said, “I think that the new schedule is a lot since we haven’t been all in person since the beginning of the year. I think that the benefits are making new friends and experiencing what it is like to be a freshman. Some challenges are having a lot of work and not enough time to fit it into my schedule. I am a full time student and a dancer. My life is hard enough. Piling more work on top of it makes it harder for me to focus.”

Jadon Brinley, 9, said, “Well, I don’t really like being back more days a week. I spend a lot of time in a good portion of my classes on both blue and gold days that if I were home I could use better. I prefer to be home than at school because it’s not really more difficult for me to learn at home than it is at school. The benefits of being back would be seeing your friends more and there are more opportunities to do things such as labs in science and practical building in engineering classes.”

Colin Eddington, 9, said, “I think it’s helping me learn more because I have to pay attention. The challenges are primarily for the teachers because for the better part of a year they haven’t had to deal with as many of us and thus must feel overwhelmed.” 

The freshmen capped off their thoughts by dictating if anything needed to be changed about the schedule.

Blagburn said, “I think I would change our schedule by having another day at home. This day will be a catch up day no meets. We are free to work on everything. It would be like one big study hall. I dislike having the meet because most teachers just give us the work and explain it on google classroom. I think every teacher should do that. We are getting old enough to figure everything out for ourselves and if we need help we can ask. So if they hold an optional meet for questions I think that would be the best.”

Brinley said, “I wouldn’t really change anything about the schedule because it’s fine as it is.” Brinley also talked about the Cougar Day: “Finally, I kind of like the Cougar Day. Especially now because it’s the only virtual day of the week. And because most of the classes are easier on Cougar Days because of limited time so there’s less work to do.”

Eddington said of Cougar Day, “This schedule feels like it works pretty well and could be useful.The Cougar Day teachers treat the day like a full class day and thus give out as much homework.” 

    Steverson explained his struggles with the old schedule and how things are getting easier for him. He started by saying, “Yes, I like the new schedule. It benefits me because I personally learn better when teachers can interact with students in person.” He then sheds some light on the downfalls and stressing factors of the old schedule: “I do not wish to go back to the old schedule. I felt like it was too much of a hassle to only go two days a week. I felt as if I was just barely hanging on, and then I’d test on Friday knowing barely enough. I feel as if the only thing the old schedule offered was massive stress. I felt like I’ve had to dive deeper into textbooks and notes now. I’ve also been having to almost “self teach” in certain classes, because there’s just so much information given some days that it’s too much and i’ve got to walk myself through it when there’s no google meets.” Steverson pointed out what many alluded to, that the schedule change to more in-person time was a necessity to the betterment of students’ academics and school life. 

Legally Blonde debuts on GC stage

by Audrey Roberts/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Elle Woods, played by Brynn Elliott, 11, and Paulette Bonifante, played by Olivia McDaniel, 12, have a conversation in the beauty shop.

The drama club at GCHS has worked hard on every side to put on the production of Legally Blonde the Musical.  While COVID-19 has made it a different year for everyone, the Drama Club included, everyone has worked past that and the musical is ready.  Mrs. Carolyn Voigt, the director, said the positive energy that comes with this musical was just what people needed.

Legally Blonde the Musical is about a blonde woman who goes to Harvard Law School hoping to win back love before realizing she can be smart and dream bigger.  Hannah Kinion (student director), 12, said, “…there were definitely certain roles where we were unsure about placement and it wasn’t ‘t until callbacks that we ended up filling some of the most major roles.”

The actors have worked hard to memorize dance moves and lyrics.  Not to mention they have a bit of a workout song that definitely has them breathing hard.  One of the hardest parts would probably be having to sing while they dance, but everyone is working together and it is coming together.

Not only are the actors stepping up, but the set looks incredibly life-like.  Backstage crew has worked tirelessly to build sturdy platforms and the painting crew has worked hard, even with so much to paint and so few of them.  Thanks to help from actors, Mrs. Voigt, and DC, the backstage director, and others, the painting has been finished and helps bring the musical to life.

When asked what the best part of putting the musical together was, Coy Walden, 11, mentioned that he thought meeting everyone was one of the best parts of this musical.  It’s true that the play, Almost Maine, came before the musical and that he’s a junior, but the musical brings more people in than the play and there are always new people joining, of all grades.

He also said that he found watching how everyone works hard to build themselves and better their fellow cast members was pretty amazing as well.  People have worked so hard and its impressive, but it was definitely even more amazing to watch everyone grow with help from their friends and the result is an incredible show.

Not only are people working hard, but everyone seems to enjoy the musical.  Mrs. Carolyn Voigt, director, said, “Every single number is catchy – a sentiment supported by how often I catch our actors and techies singing the numbers in the hallways and in class!”

This is good news since the actors will have to practice, practice, practice vocals ever since plans changed.  The original idea was to have chorus records themselves to limit the number of people singing on stage.  Plans changed and now, everyone gets the chance to sing live, on stage!

Meanwhile, the backstage crew is working hard behind the live show.  The front stage where everything is seen by the audience looks life-like and seems to change for the actors need.  But behind all that, the pieces are whirling and spinning, fitting and clicking together in a giant puzzle of movements that never seem to stop.  Tirelessly, the backstage crew worked to build this puzzle and glam it up for the show, now they put it together and show off their hard work.

It seems that, even though snow days back a few months ago cancelled not only school days but rehearsals, nothing has stopped the Drama club and, even without some of their rehearsals, everything has come along smoothly.

Though snow days weren’t the only set-backs.  Unfortunately, the choreographer, though seeming to work tirelessly on dance moves for each and every song, was only able to make Tuesday rehearsals.  But have no fear because the student director, Hannah Kinion, 12, made sure she learned every dance move to every dance.  This way, even without the wonderful choreographer, Mrs. Laura Berger-Harmon, there in person, her dance moves are shown with great style and a bit of personality in the show, making them the same, yet slightly unique for each actor.

In the end, through the challenges of a pandemic, snow days, and scheduling, not only was a positive show picked out, but a show that has been taken and made their own by the GCHS Drama crew, actors, and tech.  As the song says, “Hey, hey, hey.  Be positive!”

Checkmate, World Champion chess Challenger Decided

by Ben Brunsting/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ian Nepomnianchtchi shaking hands after finishing a match. (Credit : https://www.chess.com/article/view/2020-2021-fide-candidates-tournament-preview )

The game of minds. The game of war. Throughout the years chess has been called many things which is to be expected when it came out in the sixth century. With the game being out for so long you might be mistaken to think that the game has been figured out. That, like tic tac toe, there is a way to either draw or win every time, but that is not correct. Even to this day with things like computers and robots who can theoretically tie a game every time, the game is still going strong with new and inventive ways to play. And the best place to see these new and inventive ways is at none other than the FIDE National Chess Tournament.

FIDE stands for Fédération Internationale des Échecs(because of its headquarters being in Switzerland) which is where the chess champion of the world is decided. As of now the tournament is down to the last 8 players in Round 7 of the tournament. The players include Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia), Fabiano Caruana(U.S.), Anish Giri (Netherlands), Hao Wang (China), Alexander Grischuk, (Russia) , Liren Ding (China), and Kirill Alekseenko, (Russia). 

The winner of the Candidates Tournament, which is an eight-player double-round robin tournament played in Yekaterinburg, Russia, will go on to face Magnus Carlsen, the current World Chess Champion in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The tournament was originally scheduled for 15 March to 5 April 2020, but the tournament was postponed at the halfway point on 26 March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second half of the tournament will be played between 19 April and 28 April 2021, also in Yekaterinburg.

As of current the standings go Ian Neopmniachtchi in first with 8.5/12 points, followed by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave with 8, Anish Giri and Fabiano Caruana with 7.5, and liren Ding with 7, Alexander Grischuk with 7, Kirill Alekseenko with 5.5 points and last but not least Wang Hao with 5. The points are decided by adding up wins and draws (wins = 1pt, Draw = 0.5pt). With the tournament standings, it seems Ian Nepomniachtchi will face off against Carlsen somewhere between September and December in Dubai.

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. 

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.

Drama Club PRESENTS ALMOST, MAINE IN LIVE PERFORMANCES

by Audrey Roberts/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Kaya Billman, 12, as Shelly, and Addy Martin, 9, as Deena, discuss dating and relationships in Almost, Maine.

The play Almost, Maine was performed by the GC drama club cast on January 28, 29, 30, and the 31.  But with Covid-19 interfering with normal events, how did the Drama club pull it off?

The director of the play, Mrs. Carolyn Voigt, picked a play that included eight scenes and prologue/interlogue/epilogue, and each scene involved different cast members.  This meant that every scene could stay socially distant from everyone but their scene partner(s).  With different members in each scene, everyone got a good role that also kept all the actors safe.

Second, the sound crew cleaned every mic, mic pack, and any other equipment before and after every use, said Paige Rutledge, 10.  They have always put mics on the cheeks and through hair, so doing the hair-positioned mics more often-due to the masks-was not a problem.

Overall, the members have done a great job of staying socially distanced.  When the director had to quarantine at home due to Covid-19 symptoms, the assistant director, Brynn Elliot, 11, took charge and kept the cast together.  She took on the extra leadership and was able to keep the practices going.

As for the actors, they did their part to stay socially distanced.  When the director was out, no one from the cast had to quarantine because they had been staying 6 ft. away from Mrs. Voigt.  With tactics like these, actors and crew members stayed safe, stayed smart, and made a great show.

Elliot said, “I know Mrs. Voigt has wanted to do Almost, Maine for a long time. This was just a great opportunity to do it.  The social distancing aspect of the show was one of the reasons we chose it, especially for contact tracing purposes.”  This is a great example of how the cast has worked to take a positive outlook on everything.

Towards the few weeks before show week, people were very cautious.  They couldn’t risk getting quarantined and missing their scenes.  Because of this, they worked to socially distance in their seats while watching the run-throughs during practice.

Of course, come show time, the small choir room and green room made it almost impossible to socially distance but by then everyone was either going to have it or not so people weren’t as worried.  It also helped build an even closer bond that might have been built sooner if not for Covid-19 and the six-feet rule.

Kaya Billman, 12, the president of Drama club, mentioned how good the play had turned out even under the circumstances, and what was even more impressive was the bond the club had made even through the differences and hardships, she said.