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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. 

10 Movies in a Month

by Drew Smith/Staff Writer

  1. Citizen Kane (1941) – The notorious feature directed by and starring Orson Welles continues to be one of the most well-made films of all time, with its immensely striking cinematography, its larger than life set design that encapsulates the colossal scale of the story, its incredibly dense performances from all the primary actors as well as the side characters, as well as its masterfully done writing and directing that help paint the tale of a lonely man desperate for love from the people. This film floored me in how grand and magnificent it was and to this day still stands to be. It really is one of the best films ever produced and its impact on the industry is incalculable. Not to mention the editing, which pieces together these larger-than-life tales and running plotlines and is able to conjure together a very quickly paced and cohesive narrative. Believe the hype built-up around this film, because in my opinion, it still stands as the giant in film that it’s been said to be. Certainly a 5/5.
  2. The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021) – A recent film produced by Sony Animation (the same production company behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse) and directed by Michael Rianda is a wonderfully animated and edited picture that falls flat on its face with obnoxious and predictable writing as well as lackluster comedic bits that only serve to halt the already begrudgingly uninteresting plot. The film has plenty of positives; it features a excellently organized cast who all give engaging performances, as well as its underlying narrative about growing up and how to manage a ever-faltering relationship between a parent and their child, but I feel the film suffocates from an annoying and grating need to intermingle outdated internet comedy ironically into a story about being out of touch with your kid. The film also uses the quite often recycled jokes about how “older people don’t know how to use technology” in an uninteresting and an uncreative way that just comes off as lazy and slogs down the film. Overall, a very disappointing feature with immaculate animation and a solid cast that could have easily been elevated with better writing and directing. 3/5.
  3. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) – The Madagascar Trilogy is quite bizarre and it often feels like a series of films made for nobody and made by people who don’t know why they’re making it. I suppose the trilogy was made in an attempt to ride the coattails of Pixar’s successes but slowly turned into a Frankenstein’s monster of a film series. A lot of the enjoyment I derived from this film was a mix of unintentionally and intentionally hilarious bits that I couldn’t accurately decipher which was which. To accurately showcase the absurdity of this film would require me to break down one of the many mind-boggling scenes in this film, so that is what I will do. In one of the scenes at the latter half of the film, the primary characters go to save the main character Alex the Lion, (who is outside of the reserve they’re staying at) and they attempt to go rescue him via a makeshift plane that the notorious spy-like penguins built with the assistance of a bunch of chimps, but before they can leave using the plane, the penguins are held up by the chimps in a union meeting (as the chimps have organized into a union) and the chimps argue for maternity leave. I’m not sure how this bit got into a film made for children, but nevertheless, I am certainly happy it’s here. This film is very difficult to break down or even be treated as a film, but I can tell you I equally think of this as one of the worst animated films of all time and I love it dearly. 3/5. 
  4. THX 1138 (1971) – The final film made by George Lucas before his now massively successful series of films known as Star Wars, this feature is quite a unique viewing experience and is neat to reflect on knowing where Lucas’ career went following this. The film focuses on a dystopian future in which the idea of gender and identity is stripped down and most people are known by their prefix of three letters and then a series of four numbers, the main character’s being THX 1138. The feature explores these overarching ideas of consumerism and unleashed capitalism in full force and this idea of mass sedation via pills and drugs to essentially morph people into these workforce bots. The cinematography and editing are extremely striking and help formulate this stream of consciousness that paints the image of this soul-sucking and dystopian world. The sets are daringly large and complex, with these streams of extras all in costume, and maintain the world beautifully. The film is only held back by its at times lackluster script and also by the several retrospective changes made by George Lucas and his insistence in editing and tweaking his old films which he should really just leave alone. For example, the opening credits in the film in the original theatrical cut were white, but for some odd reason George Lucas in his new director’s cut of the feature made them green. He also sprinkled in odd cases of CGI. These changes do not enhance the film; they just alter it slightly and at times worsen it. A solid 4/5.
  5. Dancer in the Dark (2000) – Dancer in the Dark is a quite bizarre venture into musicals by the ever-dark and edgy Lars von Trier, starring Björk as a Czechslovakian woman who is slowly turning blind and who is in love with musicals. The film is in some ways an anti-musical, with its extremely dark narrative (which I won’t go into for the sake of spoilers) as well as its quite unique soundscape it explores for the musical numbers. It has this brilliantly grimey and natural cinematography with it all being filmed handheld, except for the musical numbers, and uses this different aesthetic to enhance the depressing nature of the film. It also features very jumpy and jungled editing, often cutting off dialogue and cutting between pieces of conversations that I think geniusly gives an anxiety to the movie. The performances and musical numbers are genuinely flawless and are just incredibly directed. The film is quite the depressing and equally wondrous adventure. 4.5/5.
  6. F for Fake (1973) – F for Fake is a documentary directed and starring the aforementioned Orson Welles in one of his final projects before he passed. It is quite the journey exploring the story of a notorious art forger Elmyr who lives in Ibiza, Spain, and also the coincidentally present Clifford Irving who faked a story about the once giant actor Howard Hughes, who also coincidentally Welles almost made the main character of Citizen Kane. The film messily explores the art of forgery and lies with this vigorous editing style, at times tripping itself with how complex it makes the story, but also features such a magnificent performance from Welles as the narrator, it’s hard to not watch while at the same time hard to watch. To watch this, one must keep their eyes peeled and their ears open to catch everything because the film will not wait for you to figure everything out. It has really neat cinematography with these very intimate interviews of Elmyr and Irving. It’s a fascinating study of the art market and challenging the supposed “experts” of the art world, but could really be helped by a more streamlined and easier to understand narrative throughline. 4/5.
  7. The Woman in the Window (2021) – The Woman in the Window, formerly a short film, is an absolutely obvious disaster of a film in its ridiculous and predictable script, the horrid performance from Amy Adams that drags the film down, the boring cinematography, etc etc. The film strangely seems to take some major inspiration from the 2020 Oscar-nominated short film The Neighbors’ Window. I could be looking too deeply into it but the two films seem to share some major similarities. Amy Adams’ performance in this is just so obnoxiously over-the-top. Even the way she laughs feels unnatural; nothing about her performance makes me believe in the character. Gary Oldman, who’s likely the best actor here, even shoes it in. This is of course could be the fault of the director, who I have no doubt did not help enhance these performances. The editing is also just ridiculous, so flashy and absurd, it just drags down the film. The main plotline is so messy and hard to follow as well as tries its hand at a Shyamalan-esque twist at every turn. This film just has such little about it that is worth watching other than an ironic enjoyment perhaps, but even there it’s such a boring mess that very little humor could be found in it. 1/5.
  8. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) – The comedy feature parodying the ever-present musical biopic trend within the film industry is quite the spoof featuring an incredible performance from John C. Reilly as well as some quite clever writing, only being held down by some lackluster presentation and some unfunny bits. Not too much to say about this, it succeeds at what it’s attempting to do, even if that isn’t much. The cast is strong and well directed, the bits are mostly funny; at times it’s just overly obnoxious and boring. Its presentation is just so flat, falling into the common cinematography trope of comedies of a medium, reverse medium shot that is just so boring to look at. So much about it is just fine and fine only. A solid 3/5.
  9. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) – One of the most iconic comedy films of the late 90’s to early 2000’s, the Austin Powers series of films are certainly worth at least giving a watch. The film has so much personality and has a great humor about itself, but its writing is absolutely atrocious at times, especially the romance subplot present in this film. It’s also riddled with these strange transitions that kind of just interrupt the flow of the film. It seems as if it is just there as filler. The costume and set design is well done, Austin Powers’ outfits are so absurd and comical; those aspects are extremely well done. The comedy of the film is for the most part well done; some of it just has not aged well with time. Certainly worth a watch, but not too much there. 3/5.
  10. Bad Trip (2021) – Bad Trip is the filmmaking venture made by the notorious internet icon Eric Andre, known for his late-night talk show satire The Eric Andre Show. The film involves an intermingling of live pranks and narrative driven comedy scenes. It’s quite an interesting combination, often being mostly held back by its narrative scenes, the highlights always being the live pranks that Eric Andre is most well known for. The film is just genuinely bonkers and out there and does not hold itself back from just going absolutely absurd. The way the pranks are set-up and organized are so well done and creates these incredible scenarios ripe for comedy. The film’s only significant failure derives from the pranks involving the character played by Tiffany Haddish, which just take themselves a little too seriously and don’t have much humor to them other than the semi-interesting reactions from bystanders. Any time her character has a scene, the film comes to a halt and does not pick up again until her bit is over. A slightly disappointing comedy that could have been so much more with a more focused approach as well as certain aspects had been cut out and replaced with better bits. 3.5/5.

Cougars hope to bounce back from Conference, end season strong

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Matt Kaser, 12, tees off at a home match.

The Greenfield-Central boys golf team has had some good moments this year, but are yet to have everyone clicking at the same time. At the conference tournament, it was another instance where the Cougars fell short of having it all come together. However, after a seventh place finish, the Cougars are more motivated than ever, and practicing hard in hopes to rebound from their struggles going into the final stretch of the season. 

Trying to pinpoint the reasons as to why the team struggled the way they did at conference, Tyler Young, 9, says it felt like the team was just overwhelmed throughout tournament. “I think everyone was just overwhelmed during the entire length of the tournament.” Young said. “I think one of the biggest things for us moving forward is just learning to play our game no matter what the circumstances are.”

One thing that the Cougars can use for hope is knowing that they’re not too far off from performing at a level that will ensure success. Matt Kaser, 12, said, “To play our best golf we just need to keep practicing. It seems like every match we get two or three great scores and then we have a couple underwhelming ones to go with them that hold us back from being the team we can be. We have a lot of potential and we need to be ready to have it all come out.” 

Something else that the Cougars are using for motivation is remembering the feeling of almost getting last at conference, and never wanting to feel it again. “We can bounce back from our bad performance at conference by just remembering how it felt nearly getting dead last, while also knowing we were one score off from being a top four finalis,” Kaser said. “That tournament has really hit us that we have to play our best if we want to keep this season going past sectionals.”

Of course, while the struggles at conference are disappointing, something that a lot of people seem to forget is just how young a lot of this Greenfield-Central team is. Not a single member of the Cougars squad had played in the conference tournament beforehand. On the topic of how young the Cougars are, Young, said, “I think considering that this is my first year of school golf, along with a lot of my teammates, we have almost done as much as we can do. If we can come together, though, we can definitely improve our scores.” The young guys have played a big part in the success that the Cougars have had, and it’s been great for multiple reasons for the entirety of the team. “We have a lot of guys who have never played varsity golf, So for our younger guys to step up and play like they have been, it’s special, and it adds motivation for the older guys to keep fighting for our spots,” Kaser said.

Now, with the conference tournament in the rearview mirror, the Cougars have their sights set on finishing the regular season strong before heading into sectionals. With the hard work they’ve been putting in, and the recent struggles adding fuel to the fire, the Cougars believe they have all the tools necessary for a late season surge.

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.

Dr. Olin, Mr. Cary discuss plans for next year’s COViD protocols

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Principal Jason Cary talks about COVID protocols and expectations for next year. Photo by Tyler Young

Have you wondered what the plan for the next school year is? Principal Mr. Jason Cary and Superintendent Dr. Harold Olin have revealed a sneak-peek for the Greenfield Central school system plan next year with COVID protocols, the schedule, and expectations.

Starting with Mr. Cary:

Q: Is there a set plan for next year?

A: “Our goal is to be as close to normal next year. Masks next year with students vaccinated could be flexible. The governor has mandated to wear masks at this point. No anticipation to go above the governor. Hopefully high school students get vaccinated.”

Q: How can we build from this year?

A: “We need to learn what works and what doesn’t work. The virtual option may stay next year. The Zoom meetings may become more a part of what we do. Hopefully there is more of what we can do from this year.”

Q: What is the goal for next year?

A: “As close to normal as possible. Traditional blue and gold schedule with kids all back eating in the cafe. Field trips and visitors hope to be back as well.”

Q: How are teachers going to be affected?

A: “Hopefully not at all. We hope they can go back to their normal careers with no sort of confusion or worry.”

Q: Will we return full-on or with a hybrid schedule?

A: “The goal is to start on a normal schedule. This last quarter was to go from hybrid to full-on last fall. We should be back as normal in fall.”

Q: What can students expect for next year?

A: “They can expect it to be as close as normal from the last couple of years. Hopefully we continue the process of returning to normal every day.”

All of those answers were from Mr. Cary. Now, on to Dr. Olin.

Q: What is next year’s protocol going to look like?

A: “The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has not shared a recommendation for next fall. We have sought to follow the guidelines established by the CDC, ISH (Indiana State Department of Health), and the Hancock County Health Department. We will continue the 3’ radius for contact tracing.”

Q: What should the returning students be aware of?

A: “Students can expect the same precautions from spring and we will not bypass any of them. These include social distancing, increased hand washing, deep cleaning of our facilities, contact tracing, and quarantine periods for infected individuals. But our beliefs are in our students’ best interests.”

Q: How will the vaccines come into effect for your plan?

A: “As of this day, I cannot tell you if we will require the use of masks in our schools in the fall. We may not even have an answer this summer, but I am always eager to hear the new set of recommendations provided by the CDC and the ISDH.”

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. 

GC Baseball excited to be back on the diamond

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Parker Stanley, 12, pitches during the Frankton game on Wednesday, March 31. ( Tom Russo | Daily Reporter)

After having the entirety of the 2019-20 season canceled due to COVID-19, the Greenfield-Central Cougars baseball team’s excitement levels are about as high as possible as the current season progresses. Knowing what it’s like to have the game that they love ripped away from them has made them appreciate the opportunity to go out and compete even more. Along with this, the Greenfield-Central unit feels they have unfinished business from two years ago that they need to handle. With that, the Cougars are experiencing loads of success.

Currently sitting at 8-4 overall, with a 6-1 conference record, the Cougars are tied with Mt. Vernon at the top of the Hoosier Heritage Conference standings. Talking to players on the team, it’s evident that the desire to get back out on the field is one of the biggest reasons the Cougars are frequently finding themselves in the win column. Lance McKee, 12, said, “It feels great to be back playing the game I love. I missed the game a lot after not being able to play last year. I’m glad to be back out there with my teammates; nothing is better.” 

Along with the eagerness to get back on the field, another factor contributing to the Cougars’ success is the desire to repeat as conference and sectional champions. Throughout the course of the season, it’s clearly been the main goal that keeps the team motivated. “From being reigning conference and sectional champs, I’d have to say our main goal is to repeat what we did two years ago.” Carson Gibson, 12, said. “There is no better feeling than winning conference and sectionals with the people you’ve been striving to reach that goal with.” 

The Cougars aren’t stopping their expectations at just conference and sectional championships, however. The entire program believes that the sky’s truly the limit for this talented group. “My goals for the team is to win the conference, win a sectional, win a regional, and finally win a state championship.” McKee said. “We’ve won plenty of games in the past, but I think we’re all looking forward to taking the success to new heights.”

McKee and Gibson both are in the middle of a senior season that they are trying to make their most momentous one yet. How are they going to make it their most eventful? Both of the upperclassmen pointed to it simply coming down to one thing: Winning. “I’m trying to make the most of every moment I have on the field so that we can win as many games as possible. The best memories I have in high school is winning games, so there’s no better way to make this last go-around more memorable than winning!” Gibson said. Echoing similar thoughts to his teammate, McKee said, “I think winning has a huge part of making a season memorable. I know we’re going to win a lot of games and have a good time doing it, and with the goals we have set, this last season will definitely have a great chance to be a special one.”

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.