In honor of Stephen Hawking: The Theory of Everything (2014)- Review

by Nevin Hooper

Unfortunately, on March 14th, the famous theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, Stephen Hawking, passed away. I thought in order to remember his accomplishments, and me being a movie buff, I would review the biographical film, The Theory of Everything, starring the excellent Eddie Redmayne as Hawking.

The film follows Stephen (Eddie Redmayne, in a touching performance that earned him a worthy Best Actor Oscar), as he falls in love with a college friend, Jane (Felicity Jones, in a phenomenal performance that got her a nomination for Best Actress). All seems great until he gets diagnosed with his debilitating condition that will haunt him for the rest of his life, though he is still determined to figure out the answer to the universe, and struggles to keep his relationship with Jane.

First, let’s talk about the best part of this movie, Eddie Redmayne. Redmayne totally disappears into this character, and is unbelievably great as Hawking, portraying his physical appearance, and his little moments of intelligence and kindness perfectly. I never saw Redmayne throughout the entire movie, I only saw Stephen Hawking, and his performance must be seen to believe.

Felicity Jones never gets talked about for her performance in this movie. She is so overshadowed by Eddie Redmayne’s exceptional performance that Jones never seems to be mentioned for her equally phenomenal performance. While, yes, she didn’t have to do as much as Eddie Redmayne, her emotional strength is still extremely powerful, showing her emotional imbalance for Stephen perfectly, and very much earned that Best Actress nomination.

The music in this movie was stunning. I loved everything to do with music in this movie; it was quiet, yet at times it was grand and wondrous. It was sad, yet it was mesmerizing, and was just fantastic.

The direction was very calm, yet fast paced, which contributed to the mood of the film, also helped by the excellent.

I love this movie, it was emotional. It was powerful It resonated with me. Enough to give it an 11/10.

Tuscan’s path to GHS

by Jake Fontaine

There’s a new face here at GHS.

You know, that bald, middle-aged man with the barrel-chested physique who comfortably struts around the halls with his sweatpants, sweatshirt, sweat-everything attire and a whistle hanging around his neck? Well, that’s him: John (Coach) Tuscan, the new Physical Education teacher at Grandville High School.

When Tuscan’s wife was offered a corporate position at the Walker Meijer, Tuscan and his family moved up here from their previous home in Charlotte, North Carolina. After several job offers, he decided that the position at Grandville was the perfect fit.

“I narrowed it down between Grandville and Jenison. I could’ve been the Dean of Students at Jenison, but I really wanted to teach PE,” says Tuscan. “Here, I get to teach gym and weight lifting classes, as well as coach on the side. It’s a great gig.” image

Tuscan currently helps coach all levels of the football and baseball teams, primarily working with running backs and hitters. While in North Carolina, he served as the head varsity baseball coach for 9 years at South Mecklenburg high school, even winning a state title in 2013.

Despite 2013 being a year of triumph for Tuscan, he was also faced with the biggest obstacle in his life thus far: testicular cancer.

In the spring of that year, Tuscan’s dog, Mick, a hound mix, jumped on his lap while he was watching television. He instantly felt a sharp pain and fell to floor.

“I felt like someone kneed me in the groin,” Tuscan recalls.

The pain continued for the next week. After seeing four different doctors, Tuscan was eventually diagnosed with testicular cancer and would need surgery and aggressive treatment immediately.

“As a 29 year old sitting in a room from 8 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon with a needle in your arm going through chemo treatment and witnessing people who aren’t going to make, it really puts things into perspective,” says Tuscan.

He is currently cancer free and is in great health, giving gratitude to his dog for this.

“If Mick wouldn’t have jumped on my lap that night, who knows when the tumor would’ve been found. He saved my life.”

Tuscan’s goal as weight-lifting teacher and coach is to provide the best athlete possible through strength training, speed training, and putting athletes in difficult situations that will replicate adversity in a big game.

Spencer Notenbaum, one of the students Tuscan has in class as well as coaches after school, praises Tuscan and his coaching ability.

“He definitely pushes me in the weightroom and on the field,” Notenbaum says. “He’s one of the funniest coaches I’ve ever had, but when it’s time to work we get down to it.”

Eric Stiegel, the head varsity football coach at GHS, has similar praise regarding Tuscan and his coaching mentality.

“I love the jobs he’s doing here,” Stiegel acclaims. “He’s definitely one of–if not the most–important assets to the [football] team’s success next year and for years to come.”

Tuscan has one piece of advice for the students of Grandville:

“Don’t take things for granted, especially at Grandville. You never know when things will change. We have great coaches and a great facility here. Kids all around America would do anything to have the things we do here, so don’t take advantage of it.”

New coach and pre-seaon prep for track team

by Luna Johnston

Track season begins on Monday, March 12th. With the season quickly approaching it’s expected that athletes have already began conditioning.

“It is a very small window from our first practice to our first track meet,” Coach Kirkland said. “Coming in with preparation for the cardiovascular and physical aspect will help greatly.”

In past years, there has always been a group that does pre-season workouts together but this year athletes are expected to perform workouts by themselves. Matija Saarenheimovanderhorst participated in pre-season conditioning in past years, but has had to change her methods.

“Not having a preseason does stress me out a little,” Saarenheimovanderhorst said. “But I’ve been doing other workouts that previous coaches have taught me.”

Saarenheimovanderhorst’s goal this track season is to focus on discus. She had a twenty foot jump last year and if she has another, she could compete in states which is her main goal.


Other new changes are forthcoming this track season, including the new head coach, John Ybarra. Ybarra has a history of coaching at Yale and has several accomplishments of his own as a thrower. He was a 2012 US Olympic Trials competitor and he finished fifth at the 2011 USA Indoor National Track and Field Championships and finished 2010 ranked in the top 20 in the shot put in the United States.

Co-coach Kirkland works with the girls track team, she has an extensive history with the sport and has been a coach for eighteen years.

“Coaching track and field has been a wonderful journey for me over the past 18 years” Kirkland said. “I am still a little giddy when we get to walk out onto the track for the first time each season.”

In highschool, Ms. Kirkland was a sprinter, participating in the 400m dash and several relays including the 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m. As a junior her 4x100m relay team broke the school record and it still stands today!

“Sports has always been in my blood,” she said. “Track was one of my favorite sports to participate in when I was in high school.”


7 a.m. Never Felt So Good

Image result for yoga gif

by Simone Krabbe

As you walk in the room you see the desks, chairs and the stale white walls. The bulldog posters hanging in every corner and the book filled shelves. It looks like an ordinary classroom, except every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., this classroom is turned into a workout place. Two GHS students, Alex Morales and Celesta Van Wyk, decided to create a yoga club this year, and it has been a success so far. The only thing you need to bring is your own mat and a good morning attitude!

Yoga can be traced back to around 5000 years ago when the indus sarasvati civilization first starting exercising yoga, and now we continue to exercise yoga here at Grandville. However, the yoga we do today has changed a little bit since then. Unlike 5000 years ago where technology didn’t exist, it does today and we use it for almost everything, including for yoga.

“We have a team stretch for like 5 to 10 minutes, where usually I lead it, where we all just count together,” said co-founder Morales. “Then we watch the video of the yoga lesson.” image

The use of video for yoga has apparently also made for some good laughs, as the yoga director in the video makes some funny but awkward comments when showing the poses. As Ariana Star a member of yoga club confirms:

“The person we watch makes really weird comments sometimes and we just kind of look at each other and laugh,” club member Ariana Star said.

Currently the yoga club is doing a 30 day yoga challenge where they watch the YouTuber Yoga With Adriene” and her thirty minute long videos.

Instead of doing a video a day they watch one once a week over the course of 30 weeks. They are currently on episode 10 meaning they have been doing the challenge for the past 10 weeks and they only have 20 more to go.

A lot of people find it embarrassing or nerve racking having to try to do yoga for the first time in front of classmates and friends, but co-founder Van Wyk reassures fellow students that it is a open and welcoming space.

“It’s a good environment and a good way to start your mornings,” Van Wyk said. “It’s really relaxing.”

Not only is yoga a good way to start your morning it also has multiple health benefits. In yoga one of the main things that is focused on is breathing and meditation. Yoga focuses on the body getting to a state of relaxation.

“ I makes mornings a lot easier because you’re finally wide awake and you feel more relaxed and it helps decrease the stress that you have,” Morales said. “So for me I like it because it relaxes my body and my mind.”

Hopefully after having read this article you are interested in learning more about yoga and experiencing the relaxing sensation that yoga is. If this is the case you should try stopping by room 117 every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. where I am positive you will be welcomed with open arms.

Freddy vs. EK: The Rivalry

by Emily Sarjeant

He was talked up to be an amazing high school basketball player. He was said to have perfect shots, amazing dribbling skills and sped up and down the court. But he was a transfer student, so he had to be benched for part of the season.

Frederick Baker, junior and starting guard on the Grandville varsity basketball team transferred this year from East Kentwood. His first game playing for the Dawgs was on January 26 at home. versus, oddly enough, the Falcons of East Kentwood, Bakers old team.


Baker shoots a free-throw during his first game playing for Grandville and against his previous team, the East Kentwood Falcons.

Most people would imagine that the transition alone would be a challenge for him and on top of that playing against your old team and boys you called family for your first game of the season.

“The transition wasn’t easy at first, but it helped that everyone accepted me and offered help if I needed it,” Baker said. “East Kentwood and Grandville are two different worlds, but the love and unconditional support from the Grandville community won me over.”

The Dawgs won over East Kentwood, 73-67. This was a huge win for the team and the Grandville community is proud of these boys.

Bakers presence at this game helped the Dawgs come out on top. Senior and Varsity captain Ethan Rycenga noticed Bakers determination to beat his old team.

“He brought the intensity and we could tell that he wanted to beat his old team,” said Rycenga. “It made the rest of the team want it more too.”

The whole team was striving to defeat the falcons and they did exactly that.

“We knew it was a big night for Freddy, and we all wanted to support and be there for him to help him achieve his goal,” Rycenga added.

The Dawgs play the Falcons again tonight, February 23 at East Kentwood.


Dreams Series #2- Alyssa

by Christian Lubbers

Fast Facts:

Age: 22

Childhood dream: Model

Current occupation: Cashier for PetSmart.

“When I was little I always wanted to become a model, however I looked in the mirror one day and seen a mole on my face. After that I decided it was impossible to become a model, so I quit my dream. Later in my life I noticed my mother was acting stranger and stranger every year, but in reality I was just realizing that my mom was legally psychotic, so my dad finally got a divorce and now they live separately from each other. Three years later I then decided to move in with my boyfriend over here in Grandville. I applied to multiple jobs around the area, and PetSmart was the first to respond. I only started working here three weeks ago, but I feel that I’m going to be here much longer!”