From social work to interior design

by Maddie Osterink

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Grandville High School senior Ariel Merrill plans on attending GRCC for 2 years after high school for interior design. Her track to that decision was not what you might think. 

“I wanted to be a social worker but decided on switching. I realized that you had to be strong and not break down easily, and I couldn’t deal with all the emotions because I’m such a loving person,” Merrill said. “A social worker is a really hard field to go into because you’re dealing with children and others who have super hard lives. Some of them may or are being abused and abandoned and that’s something you have to be strong through and support them.”

Ariel, knowing these challenges, switched to be an interior designer because it would be fun and would make a decent amount of money.

Many seniors and juniors have been stressing about what they want to go to college for and where they want to go. Many other seniors already plan on going to GRCC for two years to get their basic credits and then go to the college that they really want to.

Top 4 worst films of 2017

by Brandon Matzke

I decided that I’d cover this topic earlier than I would my top 10 best films of the year, as I want this year to end on a high note. However, that means I have to discuss the worst films I saw from this year. Oh joy. Well, I might as well say that I haven’t watched every bad movie from this year, and I honestly don’t want to. So, there’s no Emoji Movie or Wish Upon, because quite frankly I don’t want to torture myself that badly. But don’t worry: there’s still plenty of material! ….(sobs)

4. The Dark Tower

When I walked out of this film, I was stunned. Not in the way I was after watching other Stephen King adaptations like The Shining or Shawshank, but in the way you’d be stunned after watching a violent train crash. This film is trying to be way too many things at once: is it a deep philosophical film? Is it a dumb action flick? Is it a fantasy movie? Is it a horror movie? The film has literally no clue what it is, and just focuses on one thing: money. First of all, I had no idea if this was supposed to be an adaptation, or a sequel, or what it was. If you need to read an entire Stephen King book series to understand what you’re watching, chances are it’s not worth your time. Matthew McConaughey gives a performance so terrible that it makes the cast of Maximum Overdrive look Oscar-worthy, the script is extremely cluttered and confused, and this film just reeks of Stephen King cliches. What should’ve been the most epic film based on King’s work ended up being one of the most forgettable of his adaptations.

3. The Mummy

Based on the classic 1930s horror flick (and I do mean 1930s, since the ‘99 version was a remake), this retelling of The Mummy stars Tom Cruise (or should I say his ego) as the most cliched and desperate attempt at being an action movie star. This movie (like Dark Tower) has no idea what it’s trying to be, and ends up completely imploding on itself. The script is absolutely awful, from the 52 year old Russell Crowe calling the 55 year old Tom Cruise a “young man” (gee I wonder who wrote that line), to the cluttered and overly confusing motivation of the title character, this film is the definition of rushed. It’s so rushed, the first trailer wasn’t even finished when it was released! I put a link here because holy cow it’s hysterical. This film is lazily directed, poorly written, and just feels like a cliche. The universal monsters deserve a comeback, but not like this!

2. Transformers: The Last Knight

Michael Bay, just stop. I seriously consider Bay to be the worst director working today, and this film only proves my point. According to Bay, “girl power,” as those terrible trailers showed off, is only having 5 minutes of screen time and not even doing anything important to the so-called plot. Like any Bay movie, the acting is terrible! Mark Wahlberg basically sleep walks throughout the film, never showing any emotions, or charisma, or even reacting to anything. I could probably punch him in the face, and he wouldn’t even flinch! The plot makes literally no sense, but it’s probably the result of trapping 12 writers in a room decorated with Transformers memorabilia as Bay proclaimed. Here’s the thing about writing movies: when you have twelve people writing a script at the same time, there’s always going to be a major loss in communication. One idea can be misinterpreted by another, or arguments break out, or plot points are ignored or dropped. It’s a miracle if even three can make a decent film! And this film only proves that. At least this awful line of Transformers films is over. Wait, I take it back. They’re making 14 more movies

1. The Bye Bye Man

This is seriously one of the worst horror films I have ever seen. I thought horror films couldn’t get any worse after The Wicker Man (2006), but The Bye Bye Man couldn’t wait to prove me wrong. This film is laughably bad from the opening tracking shot with atrocious acting, to the so-called “cliffhanger” (which is really just a desperate attempt to make this a franchise). The characters in this film are absolutely terrible, from the so-called teens trying to make the film watchable (and failing), to the laughably bad “adults”, it’s an epic failure all around. And I haven’t even gotten into the script (one that’s only use should’ve been toilet paper), the stupid attempts at directing, and that stock violin sound they play about 10 TIMES to achieve “tension.” This is one of the worst films of the decade, one of the worst horror films of recent memory, and easily one of the worst films I’ve seen in my early career. My advice: don’t say it, don’t think it, don’t watch it.

What motivates you to lift?

by Pat Clark

Motivation is needed for many aspects of life, whether it be school, working a job or in this case weightlifting.

Thanks to Coach Tully, who is changing the culture around weightlifting, lifting has become a big part of athletics here at Grandville High School here at Grandville.

But, there needs to be something that drives an athlete to get in the weight room and grind multiple times a week. The idea of motivation had never occurred to many students until they were asked the question, “What motivates you to lift?” and they were forced to reflect.

Senior Matthew Clark said, “whenever I’m in the weight room my motivation comes from me wanting to be the best athlete I can be for me and my teammates.”

Senior Bret Chesla said his motivation came in his sophomore year, to be exact. He said “freshman year I came in not knowing my place in the weight room. I wasn’t that motivated. But what motivated me was to become the best baseball player I could.”  

Now it was time to ask the man who runs all the weightlifting sessions for the school, Tully Chapman or as most people call him “Coach Tully.”

Tully said his motivation came from a middle school coach.

“I started in middle school with a guy named Jim Fast who taught me how to lift weights,” Tully said. “I learned how to lift weights, and all of my friends did that, so I started doing it and really loved it.”

He also credited his high school football coach

“[He was] a good strength coach, I wouldn’t say everything we did was right, but we didn’t have the research we have now.”

Tully said his main motivation came from following his l football coach’s path.

“He played division 1 football at Michigan State and I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” Tully said.

As you can see, people have different reasons as to why they lift weights.  Find yours and the drive to become a better athlete, person, or classmate becomes easier. 

Mrs. Pepper spreads positivity

by Kenny Champion

Mrs. Pepper is a special education teacher who is currently co-teaching biology, and world History courses. She received her bachelor’s degree from Aquinas College in Education. She also graduated with honors with her master’s degree in the Arts of Teaching and Special Education at Aquinas College. We’ve decided to interview her and a few students Mrs. pepper has had a positive impact on.

How did you lose your hearing?

“I believe that I lost my hearing at birth from having jaundice as a baby. I was 18 months old when my family discovered that I could not hear. I was fortunate to having hearing aids to work for me and learned how to communicate with speech therapy as a child. Throughout my school career, I had to work harder to reach my goals but it has been truly rewarding. The power of positivity will get you far in life!”

What were some things you had to overcome when you started teaching?

“I had to learn how to use my resources and develop a network of support with students, colleagues, administrators, and parents. The communication barriers is always a challenge for me and it will never change. I learned the importance of being patient with others, being more confident, and using self-advocacy skills on a daily basis in order to be successful! I am truly blessed and fortunate to be a part of Grandville High School because people are protective and supportive of me. It’s like my extended family!”

How do you manage to teach classes with up to thirty students with your loss of hearing?

“I believe it’s a team effort with my students every year! I do my best to teach students that we are all here to help each other in this world, starting in our classroom. It is important for my students to be aware of my needs as a hearing impaired teacher and specific classroom expectations to run smoothly. Occasionally, some students will take advantage of my hearing impairment and try to get away with it. Most of my students are wonderful and always willing to be helpful! I also have incredible co-teachers in co-taught classes who also help manage the classes with me, I am very grateful for them!”

Did losing your hearing inspire you to get involved with Be nice club?

“Yes, a few years ago, I was asked to become an advisor and I was very honored to do it. Having a hearing impairment helps me use grit to overcome challenges so I try to share my experiences to reach out to everyone. Students who struggle with mental health are often silent so I hope to create more awareness to reach out to students who are struggling everyday.”

Does Be nice club allow you to help students who struggle with similar things ?

“Absolutely! It is all about empathy and spreading kindness to our community. Many people suffer with mental health issues that we don’t even know about and there are too many victims of bullying happening around us. It’s important to be aware to notice, invite, challenge, and empower. It’s incredible how powerful it is by simply “being nice” can impact everyone around you and can actually save lives!”


What’s your favorite memory with Mrs.Pepper?

Makayla Basman- “My favorite thing about Mrs.Pepper is that everyday, no matter what, she’s smiling and has a positive attitude.”

Jimmy Anglim- “I was standing next to the track uniform boxes, and as she was walking by me, I reached my hand out and scared her. We laughed so hard. I love Mrs.Pepper.”

45th Anniversary Review of The Godfather (1972)

by Nevin Hooper

TV- version

Hello, once again fans of classic films, and I am so, so happy to finally talk about this film. It is considered one of the best films of all time and is a perfect film about the struggles of family life, the Italian mob, and just a perfect film in general! So, here we go into one of the most celebrated films of all time, The Godfather!

If you are not familiar with my grading system it goes like this: I grade films on a scale from 0/10 (movies that are so horrible that they should have never been made) to an 11/10 (movies that are so good, so amazing, that you just can’t give the average 10/10 grade).

This magnificent film tells the story of the struggling Corleone Crime Family after its leader, Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando, in one of his best roles), survives an assassination attempt from another family. Because of this, the new patriarch of the Family, the youngest son of Vito, Michael (Al Pacino, who gives by far his best performance), is determined to avenge his father. The rest of the film follows the near fall and hysteria of the Corleone Crime Family.

I will just go out and say that in my opinion, this is the best American film ever made. I have never seen a single movie throughout my entire movie-watching journey that I have found better than this one. Some may back down and not watch this film and it’s equally amazing sequel because of it’s length, but because of that, these people are missing a phenomenal film. Francis Ford Coppola’s direction is stunning, along with the brilliant Oscar-winning screenplay that so believably brings to life these characters. The cinematography is also excellent with interesting metaphorical imagery to express the difference between these people’s “normal” life and the crime business life in which they are forever entrapped. And I do believe that almost every single shot in this movie could be a perfect framed photograph. The performances in this movie by everyone are also perfect. Marlon Brando does an amazing job portraying the heartbroken Don, which garnered him a very worthy Best Actor Oscar. But, by far the best performance in this film, that I also think is still to this day the most Oscar-snubbed performance ever, is from Al Pacino. Sure, he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for this film, but why in the world did he not win it?! He deserved that Oscar so badly, but of course, he did not win it, and I have to deal with that. I mean, even in the second movie he gives a performance that some may argue is a better performance than what he does in the first one, and he still didn’t win Best Actor for that film either! Anyway, I just can’t talk about this film enough to tell you how great this movie is. It is a timeless masterpiece, and will forever be a cinematic masterpiece, and definitely deserves my highest grade of an 11/10.

Coco: Pixar’s newest masterpiece

by Brandon Matzke

I finally saw it. After two weeks of scheduling and planning, I saw it for you guys. This film follows Miguel, a young boy whose entire family hates music. And I do mean they HATE music. So much that they’ve basically forced everyone in their gene pool to become shoemakers. But poor Miguel simply wants to be a musician and unintentionally gets sent into the land of the dead, where he discovers the secrets behind his family’s history with music. And let me tell you, Pixar is far from losing their touch.

Positives:

One thing that I’ve always admired from Pixar was their imagination. They truly brought this film to life with every ounce of imagination possible squeezing from every frame. The world of this film is so creative and colorful that it should be studied by writers and world-makers alike. And the characters are so much fun, and, from the con-man esque Hector (who I consider to be the best character in the film) to Miguel, to even the mutated dog freak known as Dante, were a blast to watch. The film has one thing a film about music should definitely have: MUSIC! This soundtrack brimnes with culture and wonder, and just adds so much to this film. The animation flows to perfection, with every single detail staying relevant.

Negatives:

I had no major problems with the film itself. What I didn’t like were some of the cliches in the first half of the film (minor flaws). And there’s one more thing I didn’t like. One major, singing snowman shaped flaw. Perhaps 21 minutes of it…. Well, it wasn’t part of the film (it was a so-called “short” that played before it), but wow did it ruin my experience. Thankfully, the theater was merciful to us viewers and gave us free snacks for enduring that crap! Yay!

Overall:

Pixar films are hard films for me to review. Not because they’re bad, but because 80% of the time they make complete masterpieces! I don’t know what’s left to say! Pixar, stop making good movies! I’m running out of ways to praise you! In all seriousness, this is a good film to watch with the family, and definitely earns a 10/10. Definitely check it out, it is most likely going in my top 10 of the year, and please subscribe to this awesome blog. They have so much talent that I can’t even find a flaw with it (and my whole job is being a critic!), and I think my film reviews are only a tenth of what makes this paper great.

Marcus Igo: Student-Athlete Struggles

by Levi Houtman

Being a student-athlete is one of the most stressful yet rewarding things ever. The number of difficulties you face while attempting to maintain several different activities at once is overwhelming. Being apart of any sports team requires practice every school day of the week, additional training, game days, meeting with coaches and more.

Student-athletes have much more to prioritize than the average student. Not only do athletes have to attend their classes as well as practice, but they also have to try and maintain a social life, and sometimes even a job. I was able to sit down with Marcus Igo, a senior at Hudsonville high school, on how he manages his time wisely. He participates in cross country, the dive team, school plays, is active at his church and even manages to work roughly 20 hours every week while maintaining a 4.16 GPA. unnamed-2

A lot of students usually don’t work a job while participating in sports, due to not having the time to work or their schedule just doesn’t allow them to.

“I’ve learned to utilize time,” Igo said. “Most of the time at lunch or in between classes I do my homework.” By completing his homework at school he’s able to not be interrupted during sports or to worry about it after getting out of work.

“Managers and coaches are a really big factor when it comes to allowing me to have a flexible schedule to work around,”Igo said.

“That man is insane, his work effort and dedication to sports, work, and everything else he does is something I’ve never seen before,” Igo’s coworker and friend Matt Pietrzak said. “I can see why people would envy him.”

Igo’s grind doesn’t stop in the classroom, and even outside of it he is always putting in 100% effort and dedication to whatever task is at hand.

One of his managers Emilie Kurnat stated, “It’s really insane and it’s cool that he does that, because most people can’t. It’s something to be proud of.”

Igo shows others that if you are in a sport during high school, you don’t have to designate all of your time towards it. You are still able to maintain an insane GPA, work during school, and also be involved in your community.