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.”

7 a.m. Never Felt So Good

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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.

The Four: Battle To Stardom Finale Review

by Jake Fontaine

The Four: Battle to Stardom, Fox’s newest singing competition, ended its search for the world’s next superstar, revealing the winner on last Thursday’s two hour finale.

Drum roll please…congratulations to Evvie McKinney on winning the title of IHeartRadio’s “On The Verge Artist,” a record deal with Republic Records, and the opportunity to produce a song with icons, such as Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled, and Meghan Trainor.

However, if the ultimate goal of the show was to truly find “the next superstar,” then Zhavia (pronounced Jhuh-VI-uh) should’ve been crowned the victor.

Plain and Simple.

I’m definitely one to give credit where credit is due, so I’ll begin with that before my emotions get the best me.

McKinney, a 20-year-old vocal powerhouse from Memphis, is exactly how I put it: a vocal powerhouse. She has a charismatic stage presence, an insane vocal range and pours her heart out during every performance. I love the fire in her eyes and I’m a genuine fan.

As the hardcore fanatic I am, I’ve watched my fair share of talent competitions, with the extensive list including shows like The Voice, American Idol, etc. You name it, I’ve probably watched it.

Now, I’m usually one to root for singers like McKinney: the ones who can belt the highest, loudest note and add some oomph–the vocal powerhouses. Yet, the point of The Four wasn’t to find the best singer, but rather discover a star in the making.

Sean “Diddy” Combs, a judge on the show, stressed since the The Four first aired that it “isn’t like other talent shows” and that he’s “here to find a superstar.”

I hate to break it to you, but there’s already a Jennifer Hudson.

Already a Kelly Clarkson.

Already a freaking Beyonce.

There’s no need in the music industry for another belting, female powerhouse. Moreover, there’s no room for one.

Which brings me to the one that got away: Zhavia, a 16-year-old artist from Orange County.

Like I said: an artist.

A potential superstar.


With her original tone and style, which she describes as a mix of R&B, reggae, hip-hop, and jazz, Zhavia brings to the table a uniqueness the music industry has yet to see–and fans love.

Since her first appearance on the show, Zhavia has gone from 2K followers to a staggering 1.3 million.

To put this into perspective, the Voice’s most beloved contestant and season 9 winner, Jordan Smith, currently has 153K followers on Instagram; therefore, Zhavia has nearly 10x the amount of followers.

Major key alert (as DJ Khaled would put it): Zhavia connects with the audience.

Sure, her range isn’t out this world and her vocals need some fine-tuning; but, a superstar doesn’t need to be the best singer, or the singer who can belt the highest note.

Selena Gomez isn’t. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Taylor Swift’s range is mediocre. (Sue me).

What is needed, however, is an immense fanbase–something Zhavia has obtained since she’s stepped into the spotlight.

So congrats to not only McKinney, but also the show itself.

You found the superstar you were longing to find, but you let her slip right through your hands.

Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity.

by Jess Wolfe

Students at Grandville High school collected over 200 hats, gloves, and blankets to be handed out in Detroit and Grand Rapids by High Hopes Hammock Co. CEO Connor Moynihan and myself. As a High Hopes Hammock Co. sales rep, I traveled downtown to Degage Ministries. It was an eye-opening experience and my perspective is forever changed.

Degage is a safe place for individuals living without a place to call home. They allow homeless people the opportunity to buy a low-cost meal, no more than two dollars. If an individual can’t afford a meal, they have the option to work a small task at Degage such as sweeping or wiping down tables. This gives them a sense of dignity when purchasing the food because they know they’ve worked for it. This program is a great way to keep individuals off the streets. Degage serves 400-500 people every day.

In addition to the winter gear, I also handed out bracelets donated by Cornerstone Church of Grand Rapids. The bracelets which read ‘Live Grateful’ serve as a constant reminder of the importance of living our lives with an attitude of gratefulness. 

During the time I was handing out winter gear and bracelets, I had the chance to catch some of it on video. Check out what these individuals would like to say to the world…

When Robert saw a new jacket on the pile of winter gear, he was so excited. After putting the new one on he placed his old jacket on the table saying,

“I don’t need this, somebody else can use it. I can only wear one coat.”

Another man by the name of John was walking out when he turned to me and said,

“It’s better to give than it is to receive. It says that in the Bible!”

These interactions were so humbling and changed my perspective on how I perceive homeless individuals.


One woman didn’t want to be on video but allowed me to capture a picture during our conversation about life and what she is going through.

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Regina explained to me that she reads the Bible every day and wants other people to know about the Lord but when she tries to tell people, they never want to listen to the good news she has to offer.

When I asked Regina what she’s most thankful for in life, her answer was simple.

“I’m thankful that I’m livin’.”

Later I asked her what she wanted to tell the world and she responded with a confident answer.

“Praise the Lord.”

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It doesn’t get much more humbling than this.

When a homeless person values faith and hope so highly, it changes your perspective immensely. It was in this moment I realized I needed to break down the barrier of stigma between myself and those who are less fortunate.


“A lot of what life is about is just a balance of how I find the proper perspective on what’s going on, to step back and see a different picture.”

says Cornerstone Pastor Marcus Schmidt in an interview surrounding homelessness and living grateful.

“I think a general stigma with a lot of it is that, they’re lazy, that they have no desire to work hard, to pull themselves up and make something happen and in many cases that’s not true.”

Continual judgment forms stigmas. As a society, we need to break down these barriers built on our judgment and realize that homeless individuals are humans just like the rest of us. They aren’t helpless they just need a little help getting out of their circumstances. It’s not always their fault that they are down in their luck.

“I think in most of our society, we put this divide between those who have and those who have not. Most of us are just thinking we will stay away from those who don’t have what we have because they’re not worthy of our love or not worthy of our attention. I think it’s sad because these people want love, they want attention, they want somebody to care, they want to know that they’re not alone.”

This is a huge issue all throughout society. They’re just trying to make the best of their circumstance and live life to the fullest. Aren’t we all? 

“The housing crisis in this area is a challenge as well because there’s not enough affordable housing. This creates a cliff effect that a family finds themselves homeless because they can’t afford to live where they’re living and they can’t find a job that is going to pay them enough to afford what their needs are. The supplemental help from the government helps them along but if they make too much money they lose the government aid so now they’ve taken five steps backwards and it’s a huge cycle that’s deeper than what we ever realize it could be.”

This is the cycle which often pushes homeless individuals down a path of depression and anxiety which is why it’s so hard to break this cycle of homelessness. 

“I have become friends with a lot of people who were homeless and I wanted to fix all of them and you can’t, you can’t just do that because if I want it more than they want it, then it’s not gonna work.”

The best option is to help someone along the way, not to push them or to pull them, but to walk side by side supporting the homeless individual. This is what Degage and several other organizations around Grand Rapids are working to do. The homeless individuals have very little yet in the midst of their circumstances they are thankful for so much.

“Every time I’ve sat down to pray with them, the things that they pray for were like “God I just thank you for the air that I get to breathe today. I thank you for the fact that I had a meal.” And those are some of the things that I hardly ever pray for. The little things that I take for granted are very important to them.”

With a mindset of thankfulness, positivity moves to the forefront of your life, overpowering and outweighing adversity. Often times the things we take for granted in life are the most important things in which we should be most thankful for.

“God is working in every moment of every day in small ways that we just take for granted because of how blessed we are. This is something I’ve learned from my friends who are in poverty, that they don’t take things for granted that I do, so it’s helped me to change that perspective.”

Life is what you make of it. It’s not about the circumstance in which you’re living in. It’s about the way in which you’re living in the circumstance you’re given. Perspective can be altered. Sometimes you just have to see what it’s like to live in some else’s shoes.

Live Grateful.

Humans of GHS

taylor 008.JPGby Miguel Guzman

Mr. Lubbers

Q: What is one of your favorite memories with your parents?

A: “Vacations. My dad was a teacher and he took us out west and out east, and long camping vacations in the summertime, so like for a month. That was awesome.”

Q: What was your favorite place/city you visited?

A: “They took us to the Bahamas when my brothers and I were in highschool, and we drove to Florida, but then flew over to the Bahamas in one of those little boat planes that lands in the harbor.”

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Israel Morales

Q: What is one the craziest moments in your life?”

A: “One of the craziest moments is when I moved to Mexico. I completely left everything behind and started a brand new life in a brand new country. That was pretty crazy. Not a lot of people get to do that and then it’s more crazy when you get to come back to your old and start again. So it’s a fresh start, and I can’t complain. Both of them are really awesome.”

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Mr. Blevins

Q: What do you think the future is going to be like?

A: “I think that we’re going to be forced to go back to nature, a little more than we use to.”

Q: What is one of your favorite memories with your father?

“Fishing, stream fishing. We did it every year, once a month during the summer, until about five year ago when he couldn’t do it anymore.”

Q: What do you think life should be about?”

“Life should be about the connections you have with others and with yourself.”


Q: What is your favorite memory with your mother?

A: “It was this road trip that we took going to Idaho, ironically to go visit my aunt, and it was just fun. We ended up stopping in Chicago along the way, and it was just kind of nice being with her and my sister too, and it was just the three of us being able to connect and talk and go along and have fun.”