When do you decorate?

by Emma McDonald, staff writer

I interviewed about 15 people around my neighborhood, a few of which were from school, about when they decorate for Christmas. Here’s what I came up with.

The majority of people decorate after Thanksgiving as a family tradition, Bobby, my next door neighbor says, “It’s a family tradition, a week or so after Thanksgiving my family and I get together and decorate.”

Other people decorate after Halloween, such as Mrs. Violet and her family, “We decorate after Halloween because we aren’t here for Thanksgiving so what’s the point? Plus, I love Christmas.”

Other people decorate weeks prior to Christmas, my family is an example. My grandma says, “We’re busy people, yes I love Christmas but sometimes we just don’t have the time.”

A very very small amount of people doesn’t decorate at all for Christmas, such as Mr. Leon. He says, “I don’t have the time like I used to, these old bones can’t do much no more.”

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State Fair Firsttimer

staff writer Mikhail Stephenson

The State Fair is one of the most enjoyable events of the year for many people, 113,291 to be exact.  I was not one those people, sadly. My family and I went at the worst possible time to go to the State Fair, the opening week on a Saturday. The results were being compacted in a bus with people who were nearly shoulder-to-shoulder with me. The worst of the bus trip was being forced to stand due to no other seats being available for twenty minutes to get to the fair which was only four miles away.

Those four miles were filled with traffic, people trying to cross the street to get to the fair, and indecisive driving by the bus driver. It felt like I was in the bus for an hour. When we got off the bus and past the fair’s checking station, there were dozens of people who we had to get past to find a ticket booth for the rides. By the time we found a ticket booth, the lines for the tickets and the rides were swamped by people of all ages who were intently focused on getting to the end of the lines which they stood in. My brother and his girlfriend decided it was worth time waiting to enjoy the rides since they had never been to the State Fair and they had purchased wristbands which were seventy dollars together.  

With those two gone, it was just my mother and I. We were left to figure out how to keep afloat amongst the sea of bodies and satisfy our hunger and thirst. My mother suggested that we go to the music center of the fair where there was food and drinks. We pushed our way through the crowd of people and reached the music center. I quickly and found a seat among the audience who were expecting a band called Parmalee to play. As I quickly settled in to the new, peaceful climate, my mother got some food for us to eat as we waited for the other two to finish riding rides. The food was terrible and the lemonade was pathetic. The lemonade aspect of the drink faded after two sips and it just became water. Only the fries were good because, as we all know, fries are always good. Suffice it to say, it was pathetic.

Other people’s experiences weren’t nearly as bad as mine. Bryce Spain, 15, sophomore, had the time of his life, or so he told me. I asked him what made his experience memorable and he said,” The stars, man. The stars, the food, and the rides were fantastic man. The only downside was that my sis-…let me stop myself. All in all, it was great.” I told him about my experience and asked him how I could better my experience of it when I go next year. He smiled and said, “Don’t go to the State Fair with any expectations. Just go and have fun. Ignore how many people there are and try to plan ahead to go on a day which wouldn’t seem to have so many people.”

After I spoke with Bryce and gained his advice, I felt myself wanting to give the State Fair another chance. I researched the history of the State Fair and it goes back to 1853. It had memorable events such as 26th Theodore Roosevelt speak to the fairgoers in 1905 and much more. That’s a history I want to be a part of. I know I’ll probably still deal with people too busy focusing on their conversation to look ahead of themselves, but I now know what to do. I’ll trip them to teach them a lesson to watch where they’re going. The next time the State Fair comes around, I’ll be ready.

Did you see La La Land?

by Maddie Mehegan, staff writer

La La Land Review

The story of Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, struggling to make ends meet while pursuing their dreams in a city known for destroying hopes and breaking hearts. With modern day Los Angeles as the backdrop, this musical about everyday life explores what is more important: a once-in-a-lifetime love or the spotlight.

-J. Welch, IMDb

“I loved the music, the acting was incredible and it was so stinkin’ funny!” “The story was incredible and it was real as well as imaginative.” “One of the best movies I’ve ever seen.”

-Jocelyn Cayton, Freshman at Village Christian Academy

5 stars

“The music and dancing was amazing!” “I absolutely loved the movie up until the very end because it tore my heart out.”

-Rileigh Sevigny, Sophomore at Village Christian Academy

4 stars

How to win at New Year’s Resolutions

by Bailee Ku and Maddie Mehegan

A source of much discussion and frustration in January is the topic of New Year’s Resolutions. Are they helpful? Does anyone actually keep their resolutions? Opinions are generally split evenly down the middle, with half swearing off all January-related goal-setting and others still tentatively trying to complete their plans. The fundamental idea of setting goals is great; self improvement is enormously rewarding if done correctly. But people tend to treat their resolutions like fairy godmothers, listing all sorts of unrealistic and unattainable objectives. Lack of planning and the expectation that simply writing a phrase down will change years of habits often leads to discouragement. This is why 42.4% of people fail to succeed in their resolutions every year. (http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/) Real action and effort is replaced by list-making and sheer hope. So, how are we to break this cycle of inaction? Here are the best tips for setting goals.

According to Google, goal setting is identifying something that you wish to accomplish and establishing achievable goals and timelines. First, make a game plan. Significant change happens in steps. Document your progress and celebrate each new milestone. Accountability is key; let family and friends know the plan and how to help you achieve your goals. If you’re trying to get rid of a bad habit, do something else. Build an alternative competing behavior. Have patience with yourself.

It is important to remember that habits aren’t broken overnight. WHEN you fail, don’t give up. In the words of Jesse Jackson,

“If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds.”