Tag Archives: featured

Profile: Students describe Voelz as “patient,” creator of “great conversations”

By: Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Krysha Voelz, English and Film Literature teacher, helps Chelsea Adair, 9, with her assignment in English 9. Photo Credit: Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Mrs. Krysha Voelz, English and Film Literature teacher, has recently been voted Teacher of the Year for GCHS by her peers. Voelz, who has been teaching English for 8 years at GC, talked about what makes teaching worth all the stress, all the grading, planning, and overall time involved. She said, “It is worth it whenever I see a student feel accomplished and proud of his/her efforts.” 

Voelz mentioned several positive aspects of being an English teacher. She said, “I enjoy multiple aspects of it. I really enjoy forming relationships with teens and watching them mature socially, intellectually, and emotionally throughout high school. I also LOVE analyzing literature with students who discover new meaning and have those ‘Aha moments’!” 

Katlyn Garner, 11, discussed what her favorite thing about Film Literature with Voelz is. She said, “She is a good teacher; she’s really friendly. She really likes to talk about films and it’s nice to talk to her about that sort of stuff.” 

McKenzie Bell, 9, talked about her favorite aspect of English with Voelz. She said, “My favorite thing about Mrs. Voelz is how caring she is about her students’ education and our feelings. She also makes eye contact [with us] when explaining things which shows she’s genuinely communicating.”

Voelz mentioned how she has handled teaching English, Film Literature, and F111, a college composition class, during a pandemic. She said, “It has been extremely challenging. I have had to let some things go and allow myself the same ‘grace’ I give to others. On the flip side, I have discovered new teaching strategies and have added [them] to my ‘wheelhouse.’ “

Bell talked about what Voelz does to help her learn. She said, “Something she does to help me learn is check in occasionally to make sure I’m on track.” Garner discussed what Voelz does to help her learn. She said, “She’s very patient, she’s great at explaining things and creates good conversations.”

Voelz talked about what teachers or mentors that she follows on social media and why. She said, “I chuckle at this question because I am not one for using social media much. However, I do follow one English teacher, Laura Randazzo, on YouTube and Teachers Pay Teachers. She is a high school English teacher about my age who creates fabulous lessons for her students. She also makes some entertaining videos. She is my idol!” She also mentioned who the most influential teacher in her life was and why. She said, “The teacher who impacted me the most was my high school English teacher, Mrs. Barbara Taylor. She was my teacher during my freshman year as well as my senior year. She was tough, funny, and inspired a love for the classics. I was first exposed to classics such as The Iliad and The Odyssey as well as works by Shakespeare in her room.”

Garner further commented on Voelz, “I’ve only had her for a short period of time but she’s just a really good teacher.” Bell told a memorable story about Voelz: “I was struggling with my grades and she noticed so she called me up and talked to me about it and offered to help me which no other teacher has done before.” Voelz discussed memorable moments in her teaching career. She said, “There are so many; however, I am always moved when I receive a card or an email from a student, years after I have had him/her in class, to thank me for making a difference in his/her life.”

Bell talked about what Voelz does to make English class fun. She said, “Something she does to make class fun is letting us work with friends.” As for Film Lit, Garner said, “Like I said, she’s very passionate about films and talking about films and there are good conversations.”

Voelz discussed how she balances her work and home life. She said, “This is tough, as I haven’t fully achieved this balance. It is a juggling act, for sure. Like most teachers, I take a lot home with me. This includes grading, planning, and responding to emails. I go through phases where I am more ‘balanced’ than others. Currently, my husband and I are making an effort to exercise together and get to sleep before 11:00. It always helps to achieve balance when you have someone who provides encouragement and accountability.” She also mentioned what she does outside of teaching English. She said, “I try to exercise regularly and enjoy working out in the gym and outside. I walk, jog, do yoga, and swim. In addition, I spend a lot of time with my family. I have one daughter who lives at home and three other adult children who live in Indiana, whom I see often.”

Garner mentioned what Voelz has taught her about in Film Literature this Semester. She said, “Right now we’re watching a film that’s about history, which is really cool. We’ve watched a lot of different types of films and different styles of films.” Bell talked about what Voelz has taught her about in English 9 this Semester. She said, “She’s taught us about the story Romeo and Juliet and Greek mythology, my personal favorites.” Voelz discussed her favorite lesson or activity to do with the kids. She said, “I really enjoy Socratic seminars. It is extremely uplifting to observe students lead and discuss issues they have independently noted in texts they read for class.”

Bell talked about what her least favorite thing about English with Voelz is. She said, “My least favorite thing is doing work on our own.” As for Film Lit, Garner said, “Most of the reading can be a little bit continuous and the notes can be a bit boring sometimes but there’s good conversations.” For her part, Voelz discussed her least favorite thing about being an English teacher. She said, “My least favorite part is the paperwork (email, etc.) I know it is important to communicate with others, but sometimes it seems to take over my life. Balancing email communication with grading, planning, and teaching is challenging.”

Voelz talked about what she wants students to learn in English class. She said, “My number one goal is for students to realize they are capable of achieving whatever they work to do.” She also mentioned how she keeps the kids engaged. She said, “I typically find that their engagement is related to my enthusiasm. If I enjoy what I am reading or discussing, I usually find that my engagement is contagious. I also think engagement rises as the students have more ownership in the lesson.”

Garner talked about what she is going to remember the most about Voelz. She said, “Probably just the classroom morale and how many movies we watched.” Bell commented on what she is going to remember the most about Voelz. She said, “Something I will remember most is how much she cared [about us] and she is really good at teaching.” Voelz concluded by commenting on what she wants kids to remember about her. She said, “I hope that they remember that I care and that most people in life are willing to help you when you show effort.”

Profile: color guard coach positively impacts students

by Shelby Duncan/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Angie Mayhue, GC color guard coach, and the GC color guard staff celebrate receiving gold at the Winter Guard International competition.

GC color guard coach Angie Mayhue is one of the newest additions to the Greenfield-Central Color Guard, but she has already made a great impact on the students in the guard. Mayhue is very well-known for her talent and creativity in the activity and has been able to share that talent with the GC guard program. She seems extremely   dedicated to the activity and her students. So, how exactly is Mayhue so well known and so great at what she does?

Mayhue started color guard when she was 12 years old in her hometown, North Huntington Pennsylvania. After some convincing from her former directors, she auditioned for DCI (Drum Corp International), a group of individuals that audition for the best talent in guard or band, at the age of 17. She then marched Carolina Crown ‘14, ‘15, and ‘16, and Boston Crusaders ‘17 and ‘18. When she started DCI she became well known on Instagram for her creative choreography she would write.

 Photo Caption: Mayhue performs in her 2017 Pride of Cincinnati show “The Inevitable Direction of My Life.”

Later, she began teaching and writing for many teams, including Greenfield. She strives to always leave a positive impression on her students. Students notice that she is always bringing a great “vibe” or environment where she teaches. Current color guard captain Kylie Huffman, 11, said, “Angie has been able to influence my guard career in many ways. One that stands out to me would be that she has the ability to help me even on my hardest days.”  

You may ask, “How did Mayhue become a coach for GCCG?” When she moved to Greenfield 3 years ago she was supposed to teach Greenfield right away, but she ended up getting another job and the timing didn’t work out. She had been friends with Rico Santiago, the GC guard director, and he always asked her to come in and see how the guard was doing. So, during the 2018 guard year she decided to come in and help him out. It started out as her helping out her roommate, to now being the group she works with most consistently.

One of Mayhue’s favorite moments with GCCG happens to be preliminaries from last marching band season, Ramped Up. Mayhue said, “I was able to realize how much the group had really grown in that moment. Even though the team didn’t make the semi finals I was so proud of the show they had finished on.” She was really glad that they ended with a good show. 

Mayhue absolutely loves teaching. She said she really likes that she is able to influence so many people in the activity. She really enjoys watching her students grow each season, although sometimes teaching can be challenging. Every guard has different techniques and ways of teaching. Every student also learns differently. Mayhue said, “Learning these different ways can be difficult at times, but I always try to adapt and enjoy my students.” 

Mayhue always would like to make a great impact on her students. Mostly, Mayhue said, “I would want confidence to be the biggest thing to get out of the activity. One of the number one things I have learned over time is that the more comfortable you are with yourself, the better you do in front of an audience.” She said it took her a long time to understand the art of performing, but once you are able to find that inner confidence, not only does your performance enhance, but you can apply that to other aspects in life. 

Photo Caption: Mayhue in an Instagram photo.

What to Watch: Film Reviews for February

by Drew Smith and Mr. William McKenna

Have you ever experienced this? You open up one of the many streaming services you may have, and proceed to mindlessly scroll through all the movies and TV shows before selecting something you have already seen or exiting the app. If so, then this article is for you. Bill McKenna, Greenfield’s very own Radio/TV teacher, and I watched six films that are on popular streaming services, such as Amazon Prime and HBO Max. We do our best to give thorough and intelligent reviews to help inform readers on if these films that they may scroll past mindlessly are worth checking out. So, without further ado, here are six films we watched this February:

  1. Beautiful Boy (2018)

(Drew’s Review)

A film that follows the memoirs of David and Nicolas Sheff about Nicolas’ extreme 

struggles with drug addiction and the brutal cycle of rehabilitation and relapse. Steve Carell stars as David Sheff and delivers an excellent performance that really stands as the strongest part of the film. Everything from line delivery to body language is captured incredibly by Carell. His performance elevates the emotion of the film and, at times, elevates a script that can be lackluster. On this note, I think at times Timothée Chalamet is unable to make some of the more bewildering dialogue work and his performance can feel a little shoddy. But, on the whole, Chalamet gives a solid performance and really shines when bouncing off of Carell. The cinematography is simple but effective, capturing landscapes in the beautiful wide shots and finding interesting ways to use the space around the characters to say something. The soundtrack is, at moments, egregiously over-the-top and really hit or miss. When the music is good and befitting of the scene, it works really well, but when it’s bad, it is really bad. Overall, the film really is about a parent’s relationship to their child and the uniquely unconditional love that comes with that, no matter what that child becomes or what that child goes on to do, they’re still their child. The film, I believe, aptly conveys that. – 7/10

(McKenna’s Review)

Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet star in a film directed by Felix Van Groningen . The true story is taken from two memoirs (BEAUTIFUL BOY: A FATHER’S JOURNEY THROUGH HIS SON’S ADDICTION and TWEAK : GROWING UP ON METHAMPHETAMINES) about a father who tries to pull his son back from the brink of the end due to very heavy drug addiction. The subject matter is a tough one to take in as it shows the decline of a terrific young man as he compromises all he is as a human being to the drugs that have consumed his very soul. The story is condensed and covers a lot of ground quickly. Films don’t have the luxury in telling the story slowly like a book. The characters are from an upwardly mobile family with the funds to pursue all the various treatments…each no more successful than the last. The film has all the usual drug addiction movie tropes but manages to stay engaging. The performances are really good all around with Chalamet great as the young man who was unable to see his own worth outside of the drugs that made him feel wanted. Carell is a bit too earnest as the father who will do anything to save his oldest child from his addictions. Ultimately the story breaks down to a father having hope in the face of hopelessness because the reality leaves few options. There is never a happy ending in a story of addiction… just the pursuit of a better day.

  1. The Lost City of Z (2016)

(McKenna’s Review)

The Lost City of Z is directed by James Gray and stars Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson. The story is about Englishman Percy Fawcett who was a military man who made several excursions into the Amazon to find the lost city of Zed. The film follows the usual “man-obsessed” tropes as Percy gets further and further into the jungle with each exposition. The native people attack and Percy finds a way to befriend them. He learns more about himself as he ventures into the jungles of the Amazon. The film is well shot with spectacular cinematography that makes the jungle the best character in the film. At two hours and twenty-one minutes long, I found it very dull.  Percy Fawcett was a real person and the film kind of tries to make it a Laurence Of Arabia in the Amazon. The film has a grand vision but I just didn’t connect with it on the level necessary to care about the characters. I found myself much more interested in the people who were already living in the Amazon than the intruders from the “civilized” world. Tom Holland shows up as Percy’s son for the final act of the film. When he enters the jungle where danger lurks I couldn’t help but say to my TV, “Use your Spider-Sense!” That’s not fair but that’s what I thought as “Peter Parker” showed up in an early 20th Century English adventure film. Movies are not real and to make them compelling liberties are always taken with the truth. The conclusion of the film borders on fantasy. The real Percy Fawcett story is quite interesting but that’s not captured in this film. It’s worth your time to Google him and learn about his efforts to find something that most likely didn’t exist… not in the way he thought it might. Overall, the performances are fine and the direction is adequate. James Gray followed this film up with Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones and it’s exceptional, but this film gets lost amongst the backdrop of the Amazon. If interested in a movie about an obsessed explorer looking for a lost city in South America, I highly recommend Aguirre, the Wrath of God directed by Werner Herzog. 

(Drew’s Review)

The Lost City of Z is a film that never falls short but never exceeds expectations. Based on the real life story of Percy Fawcett (a British explorer who goes searching for a lost, ancient civilization deep in Amazonia), the film is essentially about man’s obsession with myth and mystery and the need to conquer these fantasies of the unknown. But while I think the theme is a fairly basic but solid backbone for the film, the script suffocates it with unrelentingly bad dialogue and messy pacing. It is very hard to get invested in the characters and plot of the film when everyone is written like blocks of cardboard that just spit out incessant cliches. The actors do their best, I believe, to try and elevate the script, but the lead man Charlie Hunnam struggles immensely and his performance left a little to desire. Robert Pattinson gives a solid performance as Hunnam’s co-star in the role of Henry Costin, Percy Fawcett’s main companion on his explorations of Amazonia, and I think the majority of actors do their best. The cinematography is a highlight of the movie, capturing the Amazonian jungle in these colorful, gorgeous wide shots. The music is serviceable at worst and really engaging at its best. The film has a lot going for it, strong cinematography, solid music, good actors, but the unavoidable elephant in the room, the script, continues to rear its head and sink the quality of the film. – 6/10

  1. Rashomon (1950)

(Drew’s Review)

Rashomon is so much in such a short span of time. Only lasting a tight eighty-eight minutes, the film is able to capture so much without rushing anything. This Akira Kurosawa film is most remembered and most celebrated for its excellent bending of narrative structure and important questions about truth and morality. And it certainly lives up to its accolades, having some of the best direction I have ever seen from a film. Kurosawa is absolutely masterful with the camera in this picture, turning moments and exchanges that most directors would ignore into creative sequences that give insight into the characters and themes of the film. So many shots have so much cinematic language within them that it just makes your jaw drop. The performances all exceed expectations and give so much life and depth to these characters. The script is insanely effective and is able to build perfectly to the final moments of the film. The editing is lovely and fairly ahead of its time, of course it frequently uses the “wipe” transition. Overall, Rashomon has much more to say than just thoughts about morality and truth. It also has subtle commentary on how audiences trivialize horror and evil for their own enjoyment and commentary on misogynist culture in Japan. The film leaves it to you to come to your own conclusion of the events of the film. The real horror is that after being given four versions of the same murder and sexual assault, you are still left inconclusive on what exactly happened. – 9/10

(McKenna’s Review)

This is where you start when dealing with real greatness. Rashomon is such an influential film that it basically created the Oscar for the Best International Film category. The film is so influential that it created the “Rashomon effect,” which refers to when different people have very different perspectives of the same event. This plot device has been used over and over…especially on TV. The film poses the question…what is truth? Every person tells their story…the basics are the same…but the details make it different. The nature of truth is not so easily defined. Directed by the great master Akira Kurosawa, whose influence is so great that it would be impossible to trace everybody who has been touched by what he created for cinema. Let’s just say there would be no Star Wars or any number of Spielberg films without him. The film is magnificently shot in black and white with breathtaking cinematography and style. The film has some of the first uses of handheld camera shots, which enhances the action sequences and creates a feeling of dread. There is great beauty followed by great fear and horror. The script is as tight as a drum and comes across like an epic poem. With a running time of just ninety minutes, the film gets right into the raw emotion of the story. The acting is fantastic with each actor bringing depth and emotion to the characters they play. The story revolves around a murder of a samurai and an assault on his wife. Multiple people tell their version of what happened and each has key differences that call into question what is actually the truth. The conclusion is the same…the samurai has been murdered but the “why” and “how” is called into question. Ultimately the truth comes out, but it is much different than the stories being told by the other characters…the outcome is no less heartbreaking regardless of which story is believed. There is a reason this film is considered one of the best ever made…because it simply is one of the best ever made ….and that is the “TRUTH.”

  1. Mon Oncle (1958)

(McKenna’s Review)

Mon Oncle directed by Jacques Tati is an amazing film as it is a throwback to the works of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, while influencing the future of The Pink Panther films, Mr. Bean, the works of Wes Anderson, and even the Oscar winning film Parasite. The film is a visual poem about conformity and people’s desire to keep up appearances in the modern world. The film introduces us to the character of Monsieur Hulot, a man happy with his place in the world but his relatives want him to embrace the modern sterile world in which they live. Using very little dialogue, Monsieur Hulot goes from scene to scene experiencing the absurdity of “modern conveniences.” Much like Chaplin in Modern Times, Monsieur Hulot gets tangled up in the machinery. All of this is done with ever-increasing physical and visual comedy bits that fit together like LEGOs to create an entire narrative, much like a Buster Keaton film. Monsieur Hulot has his nephew along for much of the antics as he is as childlike as his young companion. It’s through the innocence of the two characters that the nonsense of social status is exposed. Monsieur Hulot is the predecessor to Inspector Clouseau with his stumbling into one absurdity after another. The minimal use of dialogue and subtle visual comedy certainly influenced Rowan Atkinson in his various Mr. Bean T.V. shows and films. At first glance it would appear that this is just an absurdist comedy from France, but it’s really much much more as it comments on the pressure to be a part of modern social norms. Just like today in the film Parasite, modernity takes as much as it gives as it forces people to compromise their humanity for technology and social status. The film has fantastic cinematography that punches up the differences between the modern technological world and the world of the past. The visual style is much like the films Wes Anderson makes today, as every structure serves a purpose in the scene. The music accentuates each scene setting the tone for the hilarity that takes place. The French love the comedy of Jerry Lewis for his comedic style that utilizes the visual over the verbal. The French are a master of this kind of storytelling as seen in many of the films of Roberto Benigni and other French film makers. The film links all the segments together using dogs. The dogs go about their lives with the freedom of not caring what world they live in…they are allowed to just be dogs and act like dogs. Even the domesticated dogs just act like themselves. You can put a stylish jacket on a Dachshund but it’s still a dog and will act like a dog. Unlike the humans who must conform to the ever-changing world. In the end our Monsieur Hulot is forced to take his place in the old “rat race,” which is a shame. Coming in at one hour and fifty-six minutes, the film unfolds like a tapestry of hilarity. The last scene is of the dogs running free and being happy dogs while the humans…well, the humans try to fit in when they really don’t want to…better to be a dog.

(Drew’s Review)

This film is unbelievably spectacular. It follows an uncle and a modern, suburban family in a slice-of-life type of story.  The precision with which this film is executed is ridiculous, from every shot, to every costume, to every performance. The cinematography is so wide and is framed excellently, it uses a lot of deep focus to get so much in one shot. The performances use so much of the actor, relying more on the way they move and their facial expressions to show the characters’ personalities. The costuming and set design elevate this film to another level, the modern suburban house that the family lives in is this ridiculously pretentious style with more attention paid to status and look rather than functionality. They contrast this with the uncle, who lives in a town away from his sister and nephew, which while the town is crowded and noisy, it serves much better as an actual place to live. The film utilizes music in a really neat way too, in the suburban house there is no music, it’s just silence. But, in the town, it is full of lively music. Overall, the film is really a comedy about childhood and adulthood, and enjoying life for what it is rather than trying to make it what it isn’t. – 10/10

  1. Le Samouraï (1967)

(Drew’s Review)

This French film by director Jean-Pierre Melville is one of the quietest and most purely visual films I’ve ever seen. Following an insanely ritualistic assassin as he carries out a hit on a club owner that goes awry once the club’s pianist spots him on his way out, this was a hugely influential film during the era of French New Wave cinema. The camerawork is so fluid and dynamic, capturing scenes of planting a listening device or a police chase in the French metro system in these intricate, winding ways. There is this really neat, synth-heavy soundtrack that enhances the scenes with a minimalistic, tense rhythm. The performances, especially from Alain Delon and François Périer, are understated but work so effectively. The film falls short at moments with its winding pace and utter silence leading to times where it is easy to zone out. But, for the most part, the film is a simple joy to watch. The influence this film has on the crime-drama genre is immense. The film is so quiet and utilizes the camera to tell the story which is so refreshing. A very unique movie that is a must watch. – 8/10

(McKenna’s Review)

Le Samouraï is a French neo-noir film directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. The plot revolves around a hired killer who makes a mistake by having several witnesses see him at the scene of his crime. The film plays as a game of cat and mouse, as the killer evades the police as they close in little by little to the final conclusion. Will he escape justice? Though the film has all the usual tropes of the hired killer films, with the steely-faced,  calm hitman who is ever so professional in his work, the film still manages to rise above with stylish directing and a clever script. The police line up scene is particularly good and made me think Bryan Singer borrowed heavily from it for The Usual Suspects. Great cinematography and music choices help set the mood as the protagonist Jef Costello, played by Alain Delon, manages to stay three steps ahead of the persistent police commissioner. Delon sells every scene with minimalist dialogue, using just his face and body language to inform the scene. Very stylishly dressed in a trench coat and fedora, he is quite the handsome killer that makes the audience wonder if he just might beat the wrap. Assassin movies are not a genre I ever cared much about, though there have been some great ones like the Jim Jarmusch film Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. Most assassin films are just noisy shoot ‘em ups with no logic. Le Samouraï is so much better than the modern hitman films. The film exists on its own terms just like the character Jef Costello who, even in the face of the police closing in on him, never yields to expectations and does it his way. 

  1. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

(McKenna’s Review)

What I know about French musicals is less than nothing, but I really enjoyed The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, directed by Jacques Demy. The film stars Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo as young lovers who get split apart by war and societal expectations, a common love story theme that’s elevated by the music and setting of the film. Though the film is in French, I found it easy to follow the musical numbers using the melodies and the subtitles. The film unfolds like a painting, using bold colors in the production design that makes each scene explode with color and mood. No color tone seems out of place, be it in the umbrella shop or the auto garage. The bold vivid colors draw out the beauty of each character. Catherine Deneuve is the standout as she is magnificent as the young woman who has to watch as her true love is forced to walk away. She has to go from a young girl in love to a woman who has to make tough choices for herself and her young child. She has to do all that while singing at the same time. This was early in her storied career. She is still working in films today 58 years after this film came out. This is the film that put her on the road to stardom. If she is in it, it’s worth watching. The film takes place in 1957 and spans 5 years. The production features stunning costume design that greatly enhances the overall aesthetic of the film. The film comes in at a very tight ninety-one minutes, not wasting any time getting to the heart of the story. The music is beautiful and it’s no wonder the film was a huge hit. It’s a continuous score with every line of dialogue being delivered in song. The melody stayed with me long after the film had ended. The film ends with the two former lovers reunited at a gas station at Christmas in the snow. They have both made choices but can’t help but wonder what could have been, as they go their separate ways as the snow falls. That’s what I call a musical ending.

(Drew’s Review)

A romantic tragedy musical directed by legendary French New Wave director Jacques Demy, this film was absolutely spectacular. Following a young couple in the French city of Cherbourg as they are separated due to the Algerian War, this musical surprised me in a lot of ways. It has one of my favorite opening credit sequences I’ve ever seen, so fun and creative and sets the tone for the coming magnificence. The film has some of the best set and costume design I’ve ever seen, which color plays a large part in, designating certain shades and tones to characters to represent something about them and their emotions. The film is so purposefully detailed and it extracts so much out of each aspect of the picture. It really is a non-stop musical, with each scene being its own song, with certain songs referencing back and using certain passages from earlier in the movie. The cinematography and camerawork are of course fantastic, they utilize a lot of these extremely well-done long takes that capture so much in one shot. The performances from everyone are really incredible and they all bring out so much character despite singing the entire time. The script at times features some flat and horrid dialogue, which can hold back the film from being on another stratosphere. Overall, the film is about codependency and young love, and how sometimes you don’t end up with the people you thought you were meant for because life gets in the way. – 8/10

So, in all, it was a joy to watch these six films. Ranging from foreign classics to modern films that fall short, it was a neat collection of movies to watch. So hopefully this gives you readers an idea for what to check out on your streaming services. Maybe some of these films caught your attention or maybe you have zero interest. But, regardless, when you are scrolling your streaming services and you feel like you are in an endless spiral, reference back to this article and check something out. 

Students gain valuable experience in workforce

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Gary Rincones, 11, works on his Algebra when he has unscheduled time.

Students can learn a lot with a part-time job: responsibility, decision making, and saving money they’ve earned. Here are some Greenfield- Central students who have shared what they’ve learned in their place of work.

Gary Rincones, 11, works for the Greenfield Parks Department. He said he helps take care of all the parks in Greenfield. Rincones shared his position at his job. “Right now at the age of 17 I am a seasonal worker, but since I can drive I have better benefits than most.” Rincones also discussed some of the things he does at work. “The main of my job is taking care of parks and locations in Greenfield. During all the seasons I work on keeping the parks clean and looking good. I mow the grass at either Brandywine or Riley Park. I also cut down trees before new projects are being built as we speak, I have worked on the grounds and use machines. I even work on lawn mowers when they are not working.”

Rincones talked about how his job affects his school work. “Since I don’t take half days I only work during breaks during the school year, but I do tend to help as much as I can.” Rincones shared when he started his job. “I started working in the summer of 2021 and I enjoy working there. I have met new people I consider great friends and I get to sit down with the mayor and talk about projects.” Rincones shared about life lessons that he’s learned while working. “My job has taught me that life isn’t easy and it’s a struggle having to work long hours everyday to receive a paycheck that will benefit your family. I learned that hard work does pay off as we do so many projects and it takes a very long time to complete them but in the end it all pays off. It has also taught me a lot of leadership skills.” Rincones said why he got a job. “I wanted to get a job because I wanted to support my family in ways apart from doing well in school and playing sports. I also wanted to know what it was like working as an adult so I could get the experience.” 

Rincones shared about why he chose where he works. “I was doing an Eagle Project here at Riley Park. I built the picnic tables around the parks but just being in the environment and really seeing the idea of helping and taking care of something really spoke out to me.” This is Rincones’ message to students looking for jobs. “When you are looking for a job many people look at the payroll, and trust me it’s important but don’t get yourself into something you don’t enjoy. No matter what you’re getting paid, find something you like to do.”

Caleb Means, 11, works at a restaurant called Marina 27. He said he is a wait assistant. Means shared the things he does at work. “The things I do for work is cleaning tables, changing the table cloths, filling the water, and helping the waiters with whatever they need.” Means talked about how his work affects his schooling. “My job doesn’t affect my school because I work in the summer.” Means also shared about how long he’s had this job. “I’ve been working at Marina 27 for about 2 years now.” He also talked about life lessons he’s learned at his job. “My job has taught me how to be patient with others and don’t say yes to everything.” Means also shared about what made him get this job. “My dad said I should start working there so he basically chose where I should work.” This is Means’ message to those looking for a job. “I would recommend that you just look for something that interests you as long as you are wanting to do it enough.” 

Jackson Roeger, 10, at CED Indianapolis and is a warehouse worker. Roeger shared what he does at his job. “I pull, put away, and label stock; unload and load shipments, backorders, ups shipments.” Roeger talked about the effects of school and his job. “It doesn’t affect my school work at all because I work during breaks.” Roeger also talked about how long he has had his job. “I have had my job for about a year now and plan on being there for a long time.” Roeger shared the life lessons his job taught him. “My job has taught me how to manage a schedule and has taught me what it is like to be an adult with responsibilities.” Roeger talked about what made him get a job. He said,  “My uncle and my own interest. I always wanted to work. I really enjoy working and working with my coworkers.”

Roeger revealed why he chose to work at CED Indianapolis. “I chose this place because my uncle works there and because of the work environment. I have no complaints about working there at all, everyone there is respectful and helpful.” Roeger finished off by giving advice to those who are seeking jobs. “I would recommend that you don’t get a job because of the money but because of the people around you. You don’t want to go to a job that you regret coming to everyday.”

It sounds like students are getting a lot from their jobs that they might not get from a classroom. These three students also had some great advice for those who are now able to find a job that would be helpful in the future.

Troupe 2961 places third at regionals with Anybody for Tea

by Kaydence Ham/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Ty Smith, 10, Leah Olin, 12, Charlotte Phillipy, 9, Jordan Kuker, 10, and Addy Martin, the old ladies in Anybody for Tea, talk to Detective Dennis O’Finn, played by Ashton Wilkison, 12, about the death of Elizabeth.

Greenfield Central’s Thespian Troupe 2961 put on a strong show once again at  regionals, which put them in third place and awarded them “Best Set Design.” Their third place at regionals got them to state. 

Creating a show for competition is harder than it seems. The cast and tech crew came together and worked hard for months to put together their competition piece Anybody For Tea.  

When Jordan Kuker, 10, who was a member of the cast was asked what the cast’s goals were when performing she said, “Our goals were mainly, get our set on and off quickly, do our acting fast but not too fast, and the most important goal of all. Make people laugh. The phrase ‘remember what’s funny’ will probably be ingrained into my brain until the end of time, but those three words are probably what helped me the most.” Some people also set personal goals for themselves like Audrey Roberts, 10. Roberts said, “My goals for this show were to give it my all and have fun. Acting is unpredictable in so many ways. You never know if the tea tray will refuse to go under the table or if you’ll accidentally drop a pencil during Regionals (and yes I know from experience).  With that unpredictability in mind, I knew I just needed to have three things done: all my lines memorized, have created a character that is more than just the lines, but has a motive for why she is who she is, and I needed to be prepared for the little things like dropping a pencil.” And Coy Walden,10, director said, “ Our goal is just to have everything run smoothly, and make the show enjoyable for not only our audience, but for the actors, too.”

Going through the competition process isn’t exactly a breeze either; at regionals they are scored on so many things including how long the play takes to put on, perform, and take down, how well they work together, how good their acting was, and how well the set was made. Before the cast puts on a performance they have things they like to do to prepare. Kuker says, “ For me personally, I have very very bad anxiety, so keeping myself calm is very very important to me. I do deep breathing which is good if you have a mic backstage before a show, I can stay pretty quiet and keep myself distracted. I also carry a fidget toy on me at all times, so before I go backstage I make sure I have time to fiddle with that. I also listen to music as I get my makeup on.”  Roberts said, “The best way for me to deal with before show jitters is to stay occupied. We, the actors, might run through the lines once before going on, but there’s so much wait time we find other things to do. Before state, we were playing games like hangman and “down by the banks!” Walden said, “We have many things we do right before a show. A lot of times we’ll sing and dance to music to just let our jitters go. We also make sure we know we’re all there for each other, we’re prepared, and that we’re a team.” 

Being in a club like Thespians brings memories and a second family. Walden said, “The best experience of the show being the director is definitely sitting in the audience and being able to watch everyone’s hard work pay off. The worst experience was probably performing it for the last time. It was bittersweet. We had all grown attached to this show, and were sad to see it go, but it was good to finally put an end to it once and for all.” 

Roberts said, “My favorite memory of the show was our first performance at the high school when I started backstage and could hear everyone onstage in character; it was so incredible to hear these old lady voices and the laughter of an engaged audience. Honestly, worst experiences fly away faster than you would think. At the end of a show, we’re all sad to see it go, so the bad moments are often forgotten in favor of all the fun times we had.” 

Kuker said, “I think my favorite experience would be getting dinner with my friends at the college campus and then going and seeing a very good show another school had put on. I remember laughing with my friends at lunch and watching that amazing show. The whole thing was truly an amazing experience which I think will change the way I act for the better. I don’t think there was anything that I really hated. I guess if I had to choose one thing it would be when we had trouble getting to the school during heavy snow. It was a little scary but our bus driver was very very skilled and nice.” 

Q & A for Minimum Wage Work: understanding the employees that make the world go ‘round

by Drew Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Maddox Johnson and Mario Steverson talked with Drew Smith about their minimum wage part-time jobs.

Every town in America has them. Every major city, every small business, every major corporation, they all have them. They do the little things that make the world turn and yet they’re met with little recompense. Our society and economy cannot exist without them, as proven by this recent pandemic. I am, of course, talking about part-time, minimum wage, essential workers who undoubtedly are everywhere and who are undoubtedly needed. I have and always will have sympathy for the unrelentingly rough conditions that these people go through and have always sought to talk with them and have their voices heard. So, I sat down with three workers, Maddox Johnson, Mario Steverson, and Ethan Privett, all 11, who work at Greenfield’s local Taco Bell and Jimmy John’s. We had an honest conversation with them about their jobs. Here it is:

Q: As a part-time employee, what is the primary motivation to have a part-time job and to work your shifts atop of school, clubs, and even your free time?

A (Maddox): I like the social interaction. I’m friends with most of my coworkers. 

A (Mario): Money! No, I think it’s good to have cash in your pocket as a young person. So that way when you become an adult you have a sort of foundation for future endeavors. 

A (Ethan): The primary motivation to get a job for me was because I wanted to start making money. I had a lot of stuff I wanted to buy and couldn’t because I didn’t have a job at the time. My girlfriend, at the time, also gave me motivation to work. The main reason was because I wanted to make money so I could buy the things I wanted such as games and other collectible stuff.

Q: In comparison with other jobs, what about the job you have do you prefer over other part-time positions? 

A (Maddox): The managers do not care. They do not care. Like, yeah.

A (Mario): I would probably say the location. I’ve got a couple of coworkers that go here and we can hang out if we want. Not that I want to, but it’s an option given the location. 

A (Ethan): Jimmy Johns felt like a good starting point. I had applied to multiple places and it was the one that was accepted. They were pretty good with scheduling and everyone was really nice. I did work unofficially at a place with my dad, but it was 45 minutes away so location helped a lot, too. It was a really good starting point for a “first official” job that I found on my own.

Q: And, on the same note, what about your job do you find most frustrating, and what are things about other jobs that you maybe wish you had or that your workplace included?

A (Maddox): It’s the customers! It’s the people! People will get on you for anything. I had like five people come to our lobby at once and while they were waiting on their food, they were like, “I wish the cup lids had a sign that said what size they were,” like, just pick them up and look at them! You can see that they’re different sizes! 

A (Mario): I think the customers are a horrible part of working in any service because… I feel like Greenfield is such an old-person town. There’s nothing but old people.

A (Ethan): One thing that really frustrated me was communication. Sometimes the communication was not the best between managers to cooperate, and managers to employees. Most of the time it was really good, but there were a couple instances where it wasn’t the best. I haven’t really had another job like the part time position I had at Jimmy Johns. Like I said I did work at a place with my dad but it was only for a week and during spring break. Other than the couple of communication issues that occurred everything was pretty smooth and everyone looked out for each other.

Q: Speaking of your workplace, how are the conditions of your workplace? Are there aspects that concern you or is it perfectly fine?

A (Maddox): It’s not like my old job, it’s not like they’re washing the mop in the dish sink.

A (Mario): I think we, like, try our best to follow most of the rules. I’m not saying, like, we’re washing the mops in the sink-

A (Maddox): They would put the whole bucket and mop in the sink at my old job. Taco Bell is nothing like that. 

A (Ethan): The conditions of the workplace were really good. Everyone was super nice and helpful especially to the new people. The kitchen was clean and we did regular maintenance on everything so it was kept up to date.  The managers were really chill too and made it a fun work environment. The quality of communication between workers was really good. Like I said earlier, sometimes we cooperate with managers, and then that information being relayed to employees wasn’t the best. 90% of the time it was good. The only bad example was holidays and part of that was my fault, a “Hey, you guys don’t have work today” text would’ve been nice for the people that had never had a job, though.

Q: Co-workers play an important role in your quality of life at your workplace. How are your interactions with your coworkers? What is the quality of communication? 

A (Maddox): It can range from bad to decent. I don’t dislike any of them. 

A (Mario): I think the coworkers are cool especially given that none of the managers really appreciate the work the minors are doing. I feel like the managers hate all the minors. I thought at one point we were all getting fired. 

Q: On this note, management plays probably the largest role in how you interact with your job and generally your experience in the workplace. How is your relationship with management? Is it tense or are relations smooth? 

A (Maddox): It’s pretty smooth, they all like me.

A (Mario): They don’t like me. I mean, really though, with some of them (only a couple) there is constant tension, but for the most part everyone is cool there. 

A (Ethan): My relationship with the managers was good. They were all really cool and chill. The problems came from the higher-up ones. The ones that just managed and didn’t have a high up position were always really nice. The only issues I had with some of the higher up ones was communication. I had put on the sub sheet in the back that I needed 2 consecutive shifts off. I then worked with my managers to figure out how to go about getting a sub properly, what to do if I can’t find one, how to get ahold of other employees to take my shift, and everything else needed for those days to be taken off properly. I tried to cover all my bases. I worked with them for a month doing this. And they said that if I couldn’t find a sub it ultimately wouldn’t be a big deal. I then let them know a week before formally that I’m taking these two days off and I don’t have a sub and they said that’s fine. No sub took my shift. So I’m on my way back from being out of state on the second day I got off and I get a text from one of the managers that I worked with that it could be considered a no call no show if I didn’t let them know I wasn’t going to be there. I didn’t call in those days, but I was told everything was fine and I did everything I could do, so I didn’t need to worry about it. Obviously upset, I was like, I worked with you guys for a month before I took these days off, why am I getting reprimanded? The manager that texted me didn’t want that to happen because she knew all of the details, but the general manager said  if I “no called no showed” again to write me up. He didn’t know the details and the month long of working with the managers I did. He didn’t send me a text or tell me I did anything wrong though and then wrote me up for 2 counts of no call no show. He later canceled the write up, after I confronted him about it, but that showed me that communication between higher up managers and employees wasn’t a priority and it really made me upset because that was the first time I had taken time off in the 6 months I worked there.

Q: Part-time work often involves interacting with the general public, whether that be as a grocery clerk or as a fast-food employee, and oftentimes you can be dealing with frustrating individuals. How do you handle those who can be disrespectful or can be making your job harder?

A (Maddox): If they’re disrespectful, it takes everything in my power to not be disrespectful back. I’ve got to pass it off. 

A (Mario): I like to think that with customers I’m a pretty relaxed guy. But in the situation that someone’s, like, acting crazy, I’ll often do the same thing back. I won’t scream at them or cuss at them but I’ll give the same energy back to them. It’s just annoying. I don’t get paid enough to deal with you being mad because you got lettuce on something you didn’t want it on, like, grow up.

A (Ethan): If there was a rude customer, the managers were pretty quick to act on solving the problem because they all could hear the drive through or us taking their order because of where they were located or the headset being on their head. First I would try to be nice and calm and if the manager heard someone being mean they would take over and handle the situation accordingly. Thankfully I never really ran into mean customers which was a relief. A lot of the time the managers would take over which I love because the managers do care about their employees and I know other businesses may not be as gracious to take over and just make the employee deal with it.

Q: How has your experience as a part-time employee shifted how you see those who work part-time jobs and the industries surrounding them?

A (Maddox): I think anybody that goes to work for any of these places forty hours a week, or more, needs to get at least twenty dollars an hour, AT LEAST twenty. All these people want these places to be open twenty-four/seven, but they want high schoolers to work there for three cents an hour. That’s not possible. Somehow they don’t realize it. All these people want to go there for lunch and then are shocked that they’re adults there. Like, how am I supposed to work there? I go to school for 7-8 hours a day.

A (Mario): Honestly, I think it’s kind of like me and all these other kids with jobs, I guess. Like, we all have a bond, we all know that it sucks. But, we’re making money so I guess it’s ok. 

A (Ethan): My experience of being a part time job worker helped me because I have so much more sympathy for drive through workers especially. A lot of time they will take the blunt end of a rude customer and not even be the one making the food. It gives me a lot of sympathy because I know what it is like to be on the receiving end, and to be behind that counter, making, bagging, taking orders or whatever it may be. They have gained my respect.

Q: How do you feel part-time work has impacted your future? How do you feel your work has set you up for certain jobs or careers you might follow in your future and how do you feel it has helped you prepare for your life ahead of you?

A (Maddox): I’m definitely prepared to not be able to get another job. I’m prepared to be stuck here. 

A (Mario): I feel that I’ve gotten a lot more patient, at least a little bit. But, I think this has given me that early grind mindset going. You know, basically after college and after all of that, you’re basically working for the rest of your life, so I guess I’ve gotten a head start on it. 

A (Ethan): The time I worked for Jimmy John’s set me up and was a really good experience and a good learning opportunity for me. While I may not go into fast food when I’m older, it set me up to know how to do customer service, put quality into my work and give all the effort I can, no matter the job. It set me up with a lot of skills I can apply and use in the future even if it isn’t in the direct application I learned them in. Working also helped make me more responsible.

In all, it was a, frankly, very enjoyable conversation with these three. They’re insight was blunt but earnest. In a way, this may inform others and remind others of the experiences of these part-time workers. It’s easy to forget for those who used to be those same minimum-wage, part-time workers, just how difficult and frustrating these jobs were. So, when you’re going through the drive-thru, or you’re in line at the grocery store, remember: it may be taking longer than you want or your order may not be exact, but what those workers are experiencing is a whole lot more frustrating. 

Q & A with GC Color Guard/ marching band staff shows influence on program

by Shelby Duncan/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Angie Mayhue, GC color guard coach, is waiting for the 2019 Pride of Cincinnati show titled “Another Door Opens” to start.

Sean Widmer is the GCHS percussion director. He writes all percussion features along with working with all the kids. He is great with the kids and has made one of the biggest impacts on GCHS. Not only does he impact his percussion students he impacts all of the band and guard students  around him. If you ask anyone in the GC bands program if they know Sean, they will say “Of course!” along with a funny story behind it.

Sean Widmer, percussion director for GCHS bands, celebrates their state championship for Ramped Up with the percussion section.

Question 1: What does Sean like about the GC bands program?

A: Sean says: “Our band program is very inclusive to many types of people. It is full of young students who grow as much as better people, musicians, and performers.

Question 2: What was your favorite moment with GC bands?

A: “Of course some of the best moments are state finals and successes through the years, although it’s always amazing getting to have fun with students.

Question 3: What was it like winning state a second time?

A: Not as bitter sweet as the first time, but still very enjoyable. It was fulfilling and rewarding for sure. It was unexpected because the band didn’t feel as if they did their best run through. Our last show, after our win, we had a much better run though.

Question 4: How has the GC band program changed over time?

A: When I first started here the band was much smaller. There was only one concert band and only one jazz band. The junior high did not have a jazz band and was less involved. It has grown considerably, we now have many bands. Even the space and what we have has changed a lot too. It isn’t very difficult to see that we’ve grown exponentially, as well as accomplishing so much.

Question 5: What are some plans in the future for GC bands?

A: The whole auditorium will change, which is great, helping the band AND the other programs. Our concerts will be more professional and state of the art. We will be able to host people to come in, which is exciting. Hopefully we will win more state championships. And maybe someday be a BOA (Bands of America, national) contender and finalist.

Jeremy Turner, who mainly goes by JT, is the band secretary for GCHS, although he is more than just a band secretary to the students. Many students see him as a teacher; many also see him as a friend and someone they can safely come to. JT has been around the GC program for a very long time and has brought so much positivity and light to the students and the band program. Below is a photo of Sean Widmer and JT.

Question 1: How does JT think GC bands have changed over the years?

A: The arts have certainly gotten bigger, and it really feels that the depth and quality have gotten stronger. Mrs. Voigt is doing an outstanding job in the theatre department. The orchestra is exponentially growing also. Mr. Wing has been able to create so much positivity and light for the band’s program and the students as well.

Question 2: What are some favorite moments with GC?

A: Guard: Regional A 2018 guard had a show called “Mom” and I loved working with that group. A lot of the people from that season are around today and have truly grown so much. 

Percussion: The 2017 indoor group had a lot of issues at state finals, but the show itself was really good and even the kids bought into it. It was a very special moment.

Orchestra: The Christmas concerts were so outstanding and amazing.

Band: The first time winning the State Championships was awesome. The whole day was amazing and so memorable.

Question 3: How did winning state championships change current circumstances?

A: Winning state was a little bit of weight off of our shoulders. We’ve had years where we were really good, but still not made it to state. To finally get that weight off of our chest, but still knowing the still did amazing all those years. Leading us to be where we are today.

Question 4: How does having such a huge role for the kids make you feel?

A: Everything good that ever happened to me has been developed by these people. Helping these people is why I am who I am. And I will never tell myself that I’m being too kind I can only be as good as I know to be. 

Q&A with Angie Mayhue! One of the newest additions to the Greenfield Central Guard.

Who is Angie Mayhue?

Angie Mayhue is a writer and coach to many students across the US, but not only is she a coach, she is also an influence and an idol to her students. Angie went to DCI, a very difficult place to get to, at the age of 17. She became very well known for her amazing work and presence she brought to the activity through social media. She was originally from North Huntington, PA, moving to Indianapolis at 22 years old. She is now a coach and writer for many teams, with Greenfield Central being the group she coaches most consistently.

How old were you when you started color guard?

“I was 12 years old when I started colorguard.”

When did you first go to DCI?

“I first went to DCI in 2014, I was 17 years old.”

What DCI groups did youmarch?

“I marched Carolina Crown ‘14, ‘15, and ‘16 and Boston Crusaders ‘17 and ‘18.”

How did you become so well known for color guard?

“I did color guard all throughout high school and I didn’t really become well known until I was at DCI. Right around that time I cut my hair, which was a big thing because people saw that as something I was identified by. People would say “Oh that’s the girl with short hair!” After my continual posting of choreography and diddy’s I wrote, I gained a lot of followers and recognition for what I do.”

What’s your favorite show overall?

“One of my favorite shows has always been Pride of Cincinnati’s Preaching To The Choir 2012. I also really like Flanagan 2011, and Tarpon Springs 2012. I still, as of today, think of those shows as I write and choreograph my work.”

What made you continue to pursue color guard? 

“My senior year of high school I went to a Carolina Crown camp and I actually didn’t want to march at DCI at all. I thought it would be too much of a time commitment and it would take all of my summer. And then 2 of my instructors convinced me that it was something that would make me so much better. They said it would give me a bigger perspective of many other people doing color guard in the country, as opposed to just my little high school in my area.”

What is your favorite thing about color guard?

“Overall my favorite thing about color guard has changed over time. When I first started it, it was performing in front of an audience and playing different roles as I perform. Now, it is how creative I get to be when I do it. Whether it is choreography, teaching, meeting new people, or clinics. It is like my personal creative outlet.”

How did you become a coach for GCCG?

“When I moved to Greenfield, 3 years ago, I was supposed to teach Greenfield right away. I ended up getting another job though and the timing and everything didn’t work out. I have lived with Rico Santiago, the GC guard director, for 3 years now. He has always said “Hey you should come to this rehearsal and see how they’re doing.” So, the 2018 year I finally decided to come in. It started out as just helping out my roommate to now being my most worked with group I have.”

How is GCCG different than other groups?

“I would say that even though GC has had so many obstacles to overcome, I think that each year they always come back and find the love for color guard and why they want to do it again. A lot of seasons we end up losing people, but I think that, in a way, it strengthens the ones who are here and want to continue coming back.”

What is a favorite moment you’ve had with GCCG?

“One of my favorite moments would have to be the prelims last season because I was able to realize in that moment “wow this group has grown exponentially.” Even though we didn’t make the semi finals I was so proud of the show they finished on and was really glad they ended their season with such a good show.”

What’s one of your favorite things about teaching?

“One of my favorite things about teaching is being able to influence so many people in the activity. I really like watching the kids grow each season.” 

What are some challenges you’ve had with teaching?

“Some challenges would have to be crossing over from student to staff so quickly. It was hard to be sure that they weren’t only my best friends, but also the people I’m teaching. Another challenge would be finding different ways people learn. Everyone learns differently, sometimes the way I teach isn’t always the best way a person would learn. Teaching techniques are so different for every guard, and learning those different ways can be challenging at times.”

What would you want your students to get out of the activity?

“I would want my students to get confidence out of this activity. One of the #1 thing I’ve learned over all these years is that the more comfortable you are with yourself, the better you do in front of an audience. It took me so long to truly understand the art of performing, but once you latch on to the idea of who you are and I am going to be confident, that helps you in guard, but also in the real world.”

GC teachers, students find ways to help community

by Jeanna Brown/Staff Writer

The holidays can be a very challenging time of the year. Families may be struggling with money, or even losing a loved one. People in the community like to do a lot to help others in the community. Many teachers and students here at Greenfield Central love to help the community as much as they can. 

Melanie Matlock, 10, said that she likes to donate presents to kids who don’t have any. “I like to help the community as best I can. I feel like I should volunteer more of my time to help others.” Matlock also mentioned, “If I had to choose between buying Christmas presents and cooking dinner for a family, I would choose to make dinner because some people don’t get to have home cooked meals all of the time.” When asked what family tradition she would like to spread to others, she mentioned a Christmas morning tradition. “Every Christmas we open presents, and eat a big breakfast at home. I think other families should make breakfast on Christmas morning.” 

Hayley Herrin, 10, said she loves helping out the community every second she gets. “I feel like if I can do little things to help the community and make a difference, then I will be more than happy to help them out.” Herrin said there are so many kids in the community that are struggling, so she tries to donate to them as much as possible. “I like to donate articles of clothing to homeless shelters to help people in need. I feel like I could donate or help out the community a lot more than I do.” Herrin mentioned if she had the choice between buying Christmas presents for a family, or cooking them dinner, she would choose to make them Christmas dinner. “I feel like if I make them Christmas they would appreciate a nice homemade dinner and they would know it was made with love.” One family tradition Herrin would like to spread is, “Every year my family and I make hot chocolate and popcorn and we go on a car ride and listen to Christmas music and go look at Christmas lights. Sometimes we go and see the tree lighting downtown.” 

Lillie Pratt, 11, said she loves helping young kids as much as possible. “I usually liked to put money in the soil pots in front of Walmart or help the homeless. I feel during the holidays I could be more giving to those in need.” Pratt would prefer to buy Christmas presents for a family in need. “I would choose to buy presents because food can only be used once and presents can last a while.” Pratt said she believes every chance you get to donate to the community, you should. 

Not only do students at Greenfield Central help those in need, teachers do as well! It does not take a lot to help those in need. Mr. Josh Holden, health department, would do anything to help the community. “I have always thought about the people who don’t have a family to spend the holidays with.  We have a nursing home right down the road and I’m sure some of them don’t have a family to come to visit.  Every year I tell myself that I’m going to go spend time with someone who is alone.  Regrettably, I never do it.  Now, with COVID, I doubt I would even be allowed.” Helping out people does not mean that you have to spend a lot of money to help them. You could simply donate old items of clothing to them, and that would help them as well. Mr. Holden would rather donate presents to a family in need. “It all depends on the need.  When I was in college I met a man named Lucious Newsome. One day Lucious was helping feed the poor in Indianapolis a Thanksgiving dinner.  When he asked what they were going to do the next day, he was told that they only serve the poor once a year.  Then, he asked, “Won’t the people be hungry every day?”  Lucious spent the rest of his life serving the poor.  When I met him he was looking for college-aged kids who wanted to serve others by adopting a family from Hawville.  Our athletic advisory board, of which I was president, adopted the family.  The family didn’t need food, they needed opportunity.  We got the mom clothes that she could interview for jobs in.  We got her gas cards.  We got a local mechanic to donate time and labor to help with her car when she needed it.  The children got shoes and clothes.  They got school supplies.  They got sports equipment and fees paid because mom believed sports teach life lessons.  There were no toys, no video games, no candy, but they were so grateful.  It was awesome.” Just being kind to people can make a big difference as well. 

Mrs. Michelle Marler, math department, helps families in need all the time. Through Key Club, Mrs. Marler helped raise items at school for foster children. “I like to adopt a family in need. One thing I feel like I could do better during the holidays is just being kind to others.” One family tradition Mrs. Marler would like to pass onto others is helping others in need. 

Mrs. Angie Crumlin, math department, thinks that helping others in the community is very important. “I would like to pass on the traditions of my family onto the younger community.” A family tradition Mrs. Crumlin would like to pass onto other families is putting up the nativity set first. “The very first Christmas decoration we put up is the Nativity Scene because it is the reason for the season.” 

Helping our community can be done in many different ways. Whether you are doing as much as buying a family in need dinner, or as little as donating your old clothes to those in need. Even if you feel like what you are doing is not enough, it is being appreciated. 

“Let The Sun Come!” GC’s Jazz Band Brings New Type Of Symphony To Our Ears

With Dedication And A Dash Of Swing, The Jazz Band Brings a Fantastic Show.
  

By: Jacob Torrez/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mr. Chris Wing leads the jazz band for the jazz concert last Wednesday, Dec. 1.

  With everything in the world, people from all walks of life will always mess and fiddle with it, jazz being one of these “fiddles.” 

“Jazz band is unique in that it focuses on a more communicative type of music,” said Joseph Woodburn(12), a long time member of the jazz band. When Woodbury was asked about what he liked about the band, he responded with: “Limitations aren’t extreme, and as a drummer, I can play to my tastes and never keep things the same.” In a typical jazz band, the player has more creative freedom to do what they please. In Joseph’s case, he may play different styles or can change rhythms. His limits have been drastically reduced, same with Elias Apodaca(12) , A long time veteran of jazz bands having 6 years of experience. “Instead of playing black notes on white paper we get to be free with inflection,” stated Abodaca. 

    Jazz bands, and there are three at GC, will differ from normal bands and normal classes in that it is much more social than other bands. You have to know your players, the drummer, the soloists, and the pianist. Everyone has to be in sync for a beautiful sound to happen while in a jazz band. With all of this soloing and crazy “jazz” happening, the entire band has to be in tune with one another in order to keep it all from collapsing or sounding bad. With this, the jazz band has affected people’s lives in a positive way by helping them make friends and learning valuable social and life skills. Abodaca stated: “Jazz band has opened up many things from my taste in music and what I like doing in my free time. Jazz band has made me want to play more jazz outside of school.” Jazz band is also a place where you can come to express yourself in your playing; These notes are no longer linear, they are relative to what you the player feel like (to a limited extent), and Woodbury had to agree, saying, “Jazz band has always been my absolute favorite class because it’s the most directly expressive, collaborative facet of my week,”

    The jazz band has always been one of the most collaborative, expressive, and social classes with many styles of music and art to perform, but it all ends up with a beautiful concert for all people to attend. A typical concert consists of all 3 jazz bands performing their pieces for an audience. Elias stated: “Our performances are normally 3-5 tunes. We do a little warming up beforehand.” These pieces that were at this performance that happened last Wednesday, were “Somba, Uno Mas,” and a reprised version of the Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun.” These concerts can range from a typical auditorium visit, to a full steak dinner, with each performance being more impressive than the last. It helps keep you on your seats does it not? Waiting to hear what the band can bring with all types of songs. It does have you wanting “Uno Mas.” 

December holidays: taking a closer look at Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa

by Joseph Phillips/Staff Writer

Holiday traditions are important for many people. This season we wanted to take a closer look at various traditions celebrated in December: Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

Corey Burts, 34, a former Hoosier who now lives in San Jose, CA, is my uncle who has always loved Christmas. He goes all out every year. He will have a show set up for cars that pass by. You would tune into a specific radio channel that he has on a sign by his front lawn. Music will play while light flashes to the song. “What I like about Christmas is the feeling of it. Yeah, I like presents and giving them, but it just feels like everyone is a lot happier,” Burts said. He celebrates Christmas with his wife and two kids. He has Christmas dinner with his mom, dad, four sisters, two kids, wife, and the sisters’ kids and husbands. “We usually have turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, honey ham, vegetables, and fruits.” 

Some people celebrate Christmas for religious reasons, but some don’t. “Yeah, I don’t celebrate Christmas for religious things. When I was a kid I actually thought it was Santa’s birthday but it is religious-based for some but not others,” said Burts. “The reason I celebrate Christmas is because I love giving and I love bringing joy to my loved ones.” 

The origin of Christmas dates back to Rome about 336, but it actually became a major Christian festival in the 9th century. Burts said, “I don’t know the origin of Christmas but Saint Nick was around in like 280 A.D. and I’m pretty sure it used to last a month. Now it’s just one day.” 

Adam Sterling, 22, from Evansville, IN is a family friend of mine. He is of Jewish descent and was born on the first day of Hanukkah in 1999. “I celebrate Hanukkah because of my religion and that’s because my holiday is religious based,” said Sterling. 

Hanukkah is celebrated over a period of eight days. The eight candles represent the number of days that the Temple lantern blazed; the ninth the shamash, is a helper candle used to light the others. Sterling celebrates with a lot of family: his mother, father, grandmother, brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. Sterling said, “We usually play games like the dreidel. We eat oil-based food like latkes (potato pancakes), sufganiyot (Israeli doughnuts), and lots of singing.” The reason people who celebrate Hanukkah tend to eat fried foods is because it symbolizes the small amount of oil that miraculously burned for eight days instead of one. “One of my favorite things about Hanukkah is how long it lasts. Eight days of me and my family every year is really nice.” 

“One thing I hate about my holiday is the oily fried food, I don’t find it healthy or really tasty,” Sterling said. Hannkuah is celebrated all over the world. Today in America there are 5.8 million Jewish people. “The origin of Hanukkah is that it began over 2,000 years ago in Israel.” said Sterling. Hanukkah is one of the biggest religious holidays in the world and is still celebrated every year. 

    Grayson Zurwell, 14, from Greenfield, IN, is my friend who has celebrated Kwanzaa for the last 6 years. “I still consider myself very new to the whole Kwanzaa thing,” Zurwell said.  “I celebrate with only my dad, and we eat collards, mac and cheese, gumbo, and jerk chicken.” Grayson grew up celebrating Christmas for most of his life but when his dad asked him if he wanted to celebrate Kwanzaa instead for the experience, all of that changed. He felt something with the celebration of African culture. “I celebrate Kwanzaa because it’s not religious but it appreciates a culture that I was raised around” Zurwell said.  Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African-American culture that lasts from December 26 to January 1. “Kwanzaa celebrates African culture for 7 days, originated from America, and It was the goal of a doctor or professor to bring African communities together,” Zurwell said.

“The thing I like about Kwanzaa is the food and learning about African Culture but one thing I don’t like about it is how long it lasts because I sometimes forget to do some of the traditions,” Zurwell said. There are about six million people in the United States that celebrate Kwanzaa every year.