Annual Talent Show: A hit once again

by Lauren Redfern

The Friday before Spring Break, Bellbrook High School commercial arts class puts on the annual talent show and raises funds for Key Club causes. The talents show starts of with the commercial art class performing various skits or dances. This year’s show was hosted by seniors Trent Beard and Dima Shaltaf. The pair introduced each act and along with fellow senior Luke Mayberry they performed skits throughout the show.

This year’s talent show had bands, solo performances, duets, magic tricks, dancing and even hoola-hooping. Junior Sarah Malas said her favorite part was the opening band, “The Young, The Mild and The Orange.” The members of the band include juniors Kyle Miller and Ethan Reigelsberger along with senior Harris Norton. The band was given about 10 minutes to perform any songs of their choice while the audience was being seated.

Other fan favorites included a magic show, performed by Nicholas Riggs. He used audience members to help him perform his trick. The volunteers were selected at random, and definitely showed their emotion of surprise when the tricks were performed. Senior Anna Robertson gave the school a performance of her Irish dancing. Robertson toured Ireland over Spring Break with her dance team. Several students performed solos and duets, and freshman Zach Schultz capped off the show with a bassoon solo.

Pictures of the performance below were taken by Max Fader.

Struggling to finish your last semester of high school? Here’s how to get through it.

by Connor Robinson

Is senioritis hitting you hard? Here are some tips:

  1. Get plenty of sleep: It may seem simple, but keeping your body well rested during these stressful months can mean the difference between having fun and being a walking zombie at school every day. We are all guilty of staying up too late to catch up on homework or watch a favorite show, but try to treat yourself to a full night’s sleep as often as possible so you can be your absolute best.
  2. Be sure to stay on top of all important deadlines from both the high school and your college. Balancing both can be challenging, but methodically working through tasks like signing up for AP tests, sending your final transcript to schools, and even picking your roommate are important to complete, because failing to do so will cause you headache in just a few short months.
  3. Don’t allow yourself to fall behind on grades despite being accepted into a college. Top universities ask for a final transcript for a reason: to ensure that you kept working hard all the way until the day you are handed your diploma.
  4. Begin acquiring everything you’ll need for college, both physical items and mental preparedness. Ensure that you start out right by having everything needed to function at your new home away from home. Use your final weeks of high school as practice for how you’ll function in college without your parents around to help guide you through the motions of life.
  5. After all of these boring steps, you must remember to enjoy yourself! You’re ⅞ done with school and are ready to go into the world. Celebrate your final days of school by going to prom, attending other functions, and participating in the senior field trip. Your last weeks are only as good as you make them, so get out there and make the absolute best of them so they are remembered for years to come!

OPINION: Social Media: Waste of Time or Information Cache?

By: Carter Caldwell

Social media is taking up more and more time on a daily basis, with many reports claiming that teenagers are spending around 8 hours a day on social media sites or apps.  Among the biggest of these are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.  While some of these sites may hold true educational potential, it is how they are used that ultimately determines whether or not time spent on them was worthwhile.

For instance, there are some who claim that social media provides students with the ability to communicate easier and in turn make educational progress, with a study by the National School Boards Association revealing that 59% of teens admit to having used social media to “discuss educational topics,” and another 50% having used social media in direct relation to assignments.  These numbers are not surprising, as mobile sites especially are making the spread of information much more accessible and verifiable.  Sites like this also make new discoveries and/or studies more available to the public, which makes for a more informed and better prepared society.  

Conversely, social media also opens many new doorways for cheating, with apps like Snapchat (which allows users to share pictures that disappear after a certain amount of time) in particular encouraging these behaviors.  Social media also taps into the brain’s reward circuitry, which could lead to users feeling the need to constantly check social media and as a result lose productivity, which supports a handful of studies that found non-social media users to have higher GPAs and score higher on tests. There is also the question of online safety and privacy.  Sites can be counted on asking for at least some pieces of information that leave you wondering what they could need them for, especially personal things such as addresses and phone numbers.  Coupled with the ominous possibility of companies being hacked, sharing such information should be valid grounds for concern.

Today’s world is changing faster than ever, and it’s often a relief to have something to mindlessly scroll through, especially when one is bored.  In an attempt to curb possible distractions, many schools have simply taken to barring all phone use in class.  In many ways this is an understandable solution: since cell phones are a new phenomenon, there is no time-tested way to deal with them so why deal with them at all?  However, many of these same schools are also finding themselves taking advantage of the Internet in classrooms, resulting in new “paperless” systems.  In some ways, this makes for an almost ridiculous contradiction.  If Internet usage is so distracting for students, why make it a central part of their education?

5 tips to finish the school year strong

By: Sara Wolf

The end of the year is so close and distractions are everywhere. Adjusted schedules, school and graduation events, weekend plans and better weather pull anyone’s mind away from the school work still left to do. As close as we are and as sad as it is, there’s still school and exams left for the most of us. Count down the days until June 2 if it helps, but focus on the few days left. There’s only a month to secure your grades and keep your GPA intact.

  • Get focused and avoid distractions – Lay out and keep in mind all the work you have to do, and try your best to do everything while keeping yourself free from distractions. Find a good place to work or a helpful friend to work with to keep you accountable.
  • Stay organized and responsible – As you focus in on the last few weeks, hold yourself accountable, too. Try your hardest to stay on top of everything there is to finish, even when it’s tough. It will pay off in the end!
  • Talk with your teachers – As exams approach and quarters are ending, check to see if you’ve done all that you can to get your grades in place. Check to see if there are any extra study opportunities or materials you can take advantage of, too.
  • Remember what you’ve worked for – We’ve spent 8 months so far this year to get to where we are now, remember that! Summer is almost here and all of the hard work this year has required is almost behind us.
  • Take care of yourself – Do the little things like eating well, staying active and getting enough sleep. Taking care of yourself will help you to stay focused and feel better as the year finishes out.

“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” Premieres in Hollywood, Challenges High Expectations

By: Carter Caldwell

On April 19, Marvel’s long awaited Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 premiered at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood leaving the audience more than satisfied.  The film, which takes place in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, is a sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which was praised for its comedy, soundtrack, and visual effects.  For the sequel, Marvel writer/director James Gunn returns.  Gunn also acted as an (uncredited) director and writer for a scene in Doctor Strange, and will be an executive producer for Avengers: Infinity War, as well as returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3.

The Guardians debuted in the comics in 2008, as a revamp of the late-sixties team of the same name.  Originally an obscure property, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige singled out the team for a film in 2010, and then again in 2011, culminating in the announcement in 2012.  Although it featured relatively unheard of characters, the film’s trailer was viewed upwards of 22 million times within 24 hours, and the song “Hooked on a Feeling” (sung by Blue Swede in the trailer) saw a 700% increase in sales.  

“Hooked on a Feeling” was part of a widely acclaimed soundtrack of songs from the seventies and eighties that topped several charts.  This set the bar very high for Vol. 2, but Gunn claims that the new soundtrack surpasses it’s predecessor in diversity and features former chart-toppers “My Sweet Lord” and “Southern Nights.”  All songs were worked into the script by June 2015, and Gunn announced them via Twitter on April 19, in tandem with the film’s premiere.  Also in a similar fashion to Vol. 1, Vol. 2’s trailer had 81 million views in its first 24 hours, which set the record for Marvel Studios films, and also pushed Sweet’s “Fox on the Run” to the top of the iTunes Rock Chart.

The premiere was essentially a who’s-who of the MCU, attended by actors such as Clark Gregg and David Hasselhoff, as well as prominent filmmakers such as Joss Whedon and Taika Waititi and mainstay Stan Lee, who cameos in the film.  With a run time of 2 hours and 16 minutes, the film has been praised for its visuals and humor (much like its predecessor), but has been criticized for overusing the once-new ideas used in the original.  However, it is unlikely that any criticisms would impede the film’s box office potential, as the MCU is the highest grossing film franchise of all time, with each film averaging a worldwide gross of $779,557,590.  If Vol. 2 could reach this total (and thus out-gross Vol. 1), it would be an almost surefire bet that Marvel will put out a Vol. 3 someday, especially with Gunn recently announcing that he would return to write and direct such a film.  Until then, audiences will have to wait until May 5, and then again when Avengers: Infinity War is released on May 4, 2018 to see the team again.

24 Holidays You Didn’t Know Existed

By: Sara Wolf

We all know that not-as-popular national holidays exist thanks to the tons of instagram posts on National Siblings Day (April 10) or National Pets Day (April 11), but exactly how many somewhat random holidays are there? Here’s a list summing up a few holidays throughout the year that you may not have known about, thanks to!

  • January 14 – National Dress Up Your Pet Day
  • January 17 – National Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day
  • January 25 – National Opposite Day
  • February 13 – Get a Different Name Day
  • March 19 – Corn Dog Day
  • March 20 – National Alien Abductions Day
  • March 22 – International Goof Off Day
  • April 7 – No Housework Day
  • May 6 – No Diet Day
  • June 5 – World Environment Day
  • June 18 – National Splurge Day
  • July 2 – I Forgot Day
  • July 7 – Chocolate Day
  • July 17 – National Ice Cream Day
  • August 13 – International Lefthander’s Day
  • September 5 – Be Late for Something Day
  • September 22 – Elephant Appreciation Day
  • October 1 – World Vegetarian Day
  • October 14 – Be Bald and Be Free Day
  • October 22 – Make a Difference Day
  • November 13 – World Kindness Day
  • November 19 – Have a Bad Day Day
  • November 30 – Stay at Home Because You are Well Day
  • December 16 – National Chocolate Covered Anything Day