The Rocket Flame

A Spook-tacular Day

Getting+into+the+Halloween+spirit%2C+Jacob+Troupe+%2811%29%2C+Nick+Alfree+%2811%29%2C+Patrick+Hicks+%2811%29%2C+Zach+Slodysko+%2811%29%2C+Dylan+Poffenberger+%2811%29%2C+and+Mason+Younker+%2811%29+dress+up+as+the+band+KISS.
Getting into the Halloween spirit, Jacob Troupe (11), Nick Alfree (11), Patrick Hicks (11), Zach Slodysko (11), Dylan Poffenberger (11), and Mason Younker (11) dress up as the band KISS.

Getting into the Halloween spirit, Jacob Troupe (11), Nick Alfree (11), Patrick Hicks (11), Zach Slodysko (11), Dylan Poffenberger (11), and Mason Younker (11) dress up as the band KISS.

Getting into the Halloween spirit, Jacob Troupe (11), Nick Alfree (11), Patrick Hicks (11), Zach Slodysko (11), Dylan Poffenberger (11), and Mason Younker (11) dress up as the band KISS.

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October is a season full of carving pumpkins, dressing up, and lots of sweets. Student Council decided to celebrate this season by hosting a pumpkin-decorating contest, costume contest, and senior trick-or-treating.

Every year Student Council hosts a pumpkin-decorating contest. The contest allowed homerooms to show off their creative side by painting pumpkins. The pumpkins are judged by teachers who come down and decide which pumpkin is the best.

“I enjoyed being a judge for the contest,” said Hillwig. “It’s cool to see how creative the students can be.”

Homeroom 301 (Art) won the contest with their Oscar the Grouch-themed pumpkin. The homeroom was rewarded with a breakfast provided by Student Council. The breakfast includes bagels, doughnuts, and fruit.

The Art Homeroom Oscar the Grouch Pumpkin

“All the pumpkins were so unique,” said Claire Kriner (11). “I never would have thought to paint a pumpkin like they were.”

At the end of the day, Student Council members will dress up in Halloween costumes and deliver the pumpkins to local nursing homes, including Shook Home and Menno Haven.

“My favorite part of the pumpkin-decorating is visiting with the elderly and seeing how happy their reactions are,” said Kriner.

The next event Student Council planned was the costume contest. The costume contest lets students dress up as something of their choosing. The categories were: Most Creative, Best Couple, Best Group, Scariest, and the Most Funny. Student Council then chooses a random selection of teachers to judge the contest. The pumpkins this year were judged by Troy Hillwig (Faculty) and De-bra Blair (Faculty).

“The judging was tough,” said Hillwig. “There were some great costumes like Bonnie and Clyde and Raining Men.”

Dressing up as Bonnie and Clyde, Jackie Wagaman (12) and Aaron Stone (12) pose for a picture.

The final event to wrap the Halloween festivities up was senior Trick-or-Treating. The event enables seniors to dress up in costumes and go around to teachers who give out candy. Not only do the students dress up, but the teachers participate as well to get into the Halloween spirit.

Dressing up as Captain America Brian Stull (Faculty) participates in Senior Trick-or-Treating.

“My favorite thing is senior Trick-or-Treating because students are acting like they are younger again,” said Lynn Fleury-Adamek (Faculty).

From dressing up to getting lots of sweets, the day was filled with Halloween fun for students and faculty to enjoy.

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Mercersburg Halloween Parade 2018

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How Do You Like That AppleFest?

Vendors+are+set+up+along+the+square+of+Chambersburg+for+Applefest.
Vendors are set up along the square of Chambersburg for Applefest.

Vendors are set up along the square of Chambersburg for Applefest.

Vendors are set up along the square of Chambersburg for Applefest.

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Elijah Blair (7) devours a pretzel twist at the Chambersburg Applefest.

On October 20, The Downtown Business Council had their annual Chambersburg AppleFest.  AppleFest is a family tradition with lots of entertainment, crafts, and food vendors. The festival lasted from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday.  The event is free and has many activities for the whole family. The Festival covered around six blocks of downtown Chambersburg with over 180 vendors.

Tony Diehl sells Denim Coffee at the Chambersburg Applefest.

“When we found out we could put a table outside and serve right in the community we jumped on it and we are happy to be out here! ” said Tony Diehl from Denim Coffee.

Denim Coffee is a roaster based in Shippensburg that is taking over C&C Coffee on the square of Chambersburg.  Many businesses use the AppleFest as a way to get out in the community and promote their products.

This is the case for Angela Martin, a first-year vendor at the Chambersburg AppleFest with her business Amenity Therapeutic Herbal Wraps.  

Angela Martin sets up her booth at the Chambersburg Applefest.

 “It’s going wonderful, I’ve been so busy this morning I haven’t had a chance to eat my lunch … I’ve always visited this Festival and then I started my own business in 2015 and I thought it would be fun to come sell my product,” said Angela.

Some of our own teachers were at the AppleFest, some would say it was a “JB reunion.”  James Buchanan Faculty Ms. Amy Violante, Mrs. Lynn Troutman, and Ms. Amanda Kuchinski were at the Apple Festival with their families and friends.  Watching the Mar-Le-Nie dance performance was a hit with the James Buchanan Faculty because Troutman’s daughter, Claira, performed.

Amy Violante (faculty) left, (Dietrich Troutman), Lynn Troutman (faculty), and Claria Troutman sit in the food court at the Chambersburg Applefest.

The food vendors were another big hit with the festival. “I’m coming back later today with my mom and I hope we’ll go to the Falafel Shack vendor… it’s my favorite restaurant.” said Violante.

Along with the Faculty, there were also many students from James Buchanan at the Applefest.  Mallory Peck (11) and Madison White (11) were just two of the many students participating in the Apple Festival.

“The AppleFest is tons of fun, it’s a family bonding experience,” Peck (11) said.  

Mallory Peck (11) enjoys a apple cider slushie at the Chambersburg Applefest.

  She has been going for many years and would even consider it a family tradition.  Peck enjoys walking around and looking at all the different products people are selling.  

Next October, put AppleFest in your calendar for a memorable experience.

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

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For years, the James Buchanan Drama Club has followed the same pattern in terms of what type of show they put on in the spring: musical, play, musical, play, musical, musical. Wait, two musicals in a row?

This year, the JBHS Drama Club is trying something new: two musicals in two years, back to back. Last year, a titanic-sized cast brought the historical tragedy to life on stage with Titanic; but the drama department decided to do the exact opposite this year. In the spring of 2019, students will be performing a romantic comedy with a small cast entitled She Loves Me.

“I choose shows that people have likely never seen or even heard about,” said Mr. Luke Spurgeon (Faculty), the director of the drama department. “They come in with no expectations, nothing to compare us to, and we get to be the best they have ever seen! She Loves Me is one of those shows!”

Spurgeon tries to change up the genre each year, challenging the cast to “be multi-talented” by having them act in a myriad of different scenarios, from drama to suspense to comedy, and finally, romance. Once the show was decided upon and announced, the audition date was set. Auditions took place over two days, Sept. 24 and 25, with the cast list coming out the following day. Those that auditioned crowded around Spurgeon as he posted the list to the door of the chorus room.

“I am so honored,” said Emily Palmerchuck (12), who was cast as the female lead, Amalia Balash. “I am so excited to start working ‘cause it’s a great show.”

Once the cast list was out and the leads were announced, it was time for the table read, where the cast got together for the first time and read through the script. The table read was kicked off by Palmerchuck bringing vanilla ice cream for the cast in honor of the song “Vanilla Ice Cream.” Palmerchuck said that her favorite part of the table read was seeing the choices made by the other actors for how they portray their characters.

“I think just hearing how each actor interpreted their lines because we all had our own way of looking at them and how we would say them,” said Palmerchuck.

Ella Heckman (11) and Rose Runyan (12) are always ready to bust some moves.

The cast learned the same lines and the same songs to audition, so everyone had their own interpretation of scenes going into auditions and the table read. Spurgeon played the soundtrack when the script called for musical numbers, but many of the cast already knew some of the songs, singing along to a recording. After making it through the table read, the She Loves Me cast has music practices in November and December.

Palmerchuck said, “Then, we get into the full swing of things starting in January.”

Starting in January, the cast will have practices every week to learn the show. They memorize their lines and begin to work out how they perform the scene on stage. Palmerchuck looks forward to staging scenes between her character, Amalia, and the other lead, Georg Nowack, who is portrayed by Jacob Troupe (11).

“I think I’m most looking forward to staging the scene in the shop where Kodaly sings “Illona,”” said Spurgeon.

Kodaly, who is portrayed by Dean King (11), tries to win back his girlfriend, Illona (Allison Collings (12)), after she gets mad at him. Most of the cast already know each other from being in previous productions of the drama department.

“A lot of us know each other already,” said Palmerchuck, “and we’re all very passionate about the show, which is, of course, part of the reason we got the roles we did. I just think it’s going to be a good time, everyone’s going to put in the work, everyone’s going to support each other.”

All of that work will pay of in mid-March, when the musical will be performed. Spurgeon predicts that the audience will leave the show with any of the songs stuck in their heads, but he would like to hear people humming the opening number when they leave.

“[Kodaly] sings the song trying to woo her back…” – Mr. Luke Spurgeon.

“I really want people to leave singing the ‘She Loves Me’ song because it’s the namesake,” said Palmerchuck. “It’s such a big song, it’s such a good song.”

Palmerchuck also thinks that the audience will leave the show “singing the goodbye song as people are leaving the shop,” as it is sung multiple times throughout the musical. With auditions over and the table read completed, it won’t be long until the show is staged and ready to be performed. Grab your vanilla ice cream and a dear friend and come see She Loves Me, as performed by the JBHS Drama Club, in March of 2019.

Deanna Grove, Staff

Deanna Grove is a senior at James Buchanan High School. This is her first year as part of the JB Student Media staff, and she's always busy taking part...

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Small Town Takes On Big World!

After+hiking+up+to+the+waterfall+at+Rincon+De+La+Vieja+National+park%2C+the+group+poses+for+a+picture+in+the+middle+of+the+rainforest.+
After hiking up to the waterfall at Rincon De La Vieja National park, the group poses for a picture in the middle of the rainforest.

After hiking up to the waterfall at Rincon De La Vieja National park, the group poses for a picture in the middle of the rainforest.

After hiking up to the waterfall at Rincon De La Vieja National park, the group poses for a picture in the middle of the rainforest.

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Howler monkeys, exotic plants, hikes to a volcano, hot springs, and lots of mosquitoes are everything a group of 18 students endured while traveling on a nine-day journey to Costa Rica.

 

This is not the first time Mr. John Lum (Faculty) has traveled with students to Costa Rica; he took a trip there in 2015 and he liked it so much he wanted to go back. With sign-ups starting back in the fall of 2016, the students have been waiting two years for the chance to travel out of the country. On June 9 the students said goodbye to their parents for nine days as they gathered into a van that departed to catch their flight.

 

“I was so excited up until that moment when I realized I’ve never been gone that long away from anyone before,” Madison Shupp (12) said.

 

When traveling anywhere, you have to do your research on what the weather will be, what to pack, the environment, etc. A passport and vaccines were necessary for traveling. The centers for disease control and prevention said, “Although the risk of malaria is low in Costa Rica, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. Some travelers to certain areas who are at higher risk for complications from malaria (such as pregnant women) may need to take extra precautions, like antimalarial medicine.”

“I had to pack a lot of sunscreen, bug repellent, and athletic clothes,” ”

— Makena Clayton (11).

 

Leaving early in the morning from Dulles International Airport, with a seven-hour flight to Panama City, Panama, the travelers had a six-hour layover until they had to catch their connecting flight to Costa Rica. With time to kill, students came up with some creative ways to make it go faster.

 

“I slept under the chairs in the airport, and then I went to look for food,” Shupp said.  

 

Once the six hours had passed, the group got onto the connecting flight and headed to Costa Rica. After about an hour flight, everyone went through customs and picked up their baggage. They were then picked up by the EF (Education First) tour bus and tour guide. Once loaded, they met up with the group from Kansas that they would also be traveling with. The group then headed to their first destination, Guanacaste. Starting off, the first day they traveled to Rincon De La Vieja National park to hike up the side of a volcano and see the numerous sulfur pools.

 

“It was a pretty long hike up to the volcano,” said Clayton

 

The park is one of the many national parks in the Guanacaste conservation. Go Visit Costa Rica says it has over 34,000 acres of land, two volcanoes, and 32 rivers and streams. There the students and chaperones were taken on a hike by the tour guide where they saw all kinds of plants and animals. The next day was filled with activity that didn’t require hiking shoes but swimsuits; snorkeling.

 

   “We got stung by jellyfish particles,” said Shupp. “Which left welts on my fingers.”

 

   Even with the welts and stings, the group also got to pet a baby octopus that was found by one of the tour guides. Moving along, the next day the group went to La Fortuna in the province of Alajuela. There, pairs were decided for each boats to go kayaking on Lake Arenal. Half way through the trip, everyone was then given the chance to carefully get out of his or her kayak and jump in the cold water. With wet clothes still on, the whole group then loaded back on the bus and went to their next location.

 

   “The waterfall was incredible and the view was amazing,” said Clayton. “At first, I was hesitant to get in the water because it was cold, but it was fun.”

 

   Taking about 15 minutes to walk down the steps to get to the waterfall, everyone was surprised to see gallons of water gush right in the middle of the jungle. Everyone was given the chance to swim in the strong current as it raced past the multiple rocks surrounding the falls. Whitewater rafting was next on the agenda for the next day.

 

“I was so excited to go whitewater rafting until the instructor started talking about the bad experiences,” said Shupp.

 

With only three people falling out of the raft, the whole group persevered through the fast rapids and high rocks. Halfway through, the rafts stopped for fresh pineapple and watermelon, which was then accompanied by cliff jumping into the river. After lunch, everyone was then taken ziplining which would allow you to be in the canopy of the jungle. With multiple shortstops, it was ended by a mile long ride across the river and back to where everyone started. Getting back on the bus, everyone then traveled to Tortuguero which could only be accessed by boat.

 

“My favorite animal in Tortuguero was definitely the monkeys because I have never seen wild ones before,” said Clayton.

 

Taking a boat to Tortuguero, multiple animals were seen sitting/resting along the river. The three types of monkeys (Howler, Spider, and Capuchin) were commonly seen in the trees and heard all throughout the day. The day was spent at the beach and exploring the city and taking in the culture. Taking the boat ride back, everyone then had to endure the rather long bus ride to the capital of Costa Rica San Jose.

 

“It was very different from the rest of Costa Rica,” said Shupp.

 

The capital is very much a city type atmosphere, very different from the jungle and dirt roads everyone was used to. With a population of about 400,000 people, commercial restaurants and stores that are around Mercersburg were seen. With the week coming to an end, everyone was ready for the flight out of San Jose back to Dulles International Airport.

 

With the warm embraces from parents and siblings, students and chaperones returned back to the high school after nine days of packed schedules and physical activity. With lots of souvenirs and pictures to go around, everyone will have stories and memories that will last a lifetime.

 

Senior Trip to Cedar Point

Outside+the+Kalahari+Resort+and+Hotel
Outside the Kalahari Resort and Hotel

Outside the Kalahari Resort and Hotel

Outside the Kalahari Resort and Hotel

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The senior class traveled six hours to Sandusky, Ohio for one last hoorah together May 23 to 25. The Senior Class trip was voted on by the class and Kalahari Resort and Cedar Point Amusement Park was chosen.

 

The senior class officers, Abigail Mackling (12), Renee Sollenberger (12), Saige Eckard (12), Rachel Manikowski (12), and Madelyn Hissong (12) worked to plan the best trip they could with the help of their advisors, Mrs. Lynn Fleury-Adamek (Faculty) and Mr. Matthew Riegsecker (Faculty).

 

“It took a lot of collaboration between all of us,” Mackling said. “We had to represent the whole class, not just what we wanted.”

 

The trip began with departing from the school at 6:30 A.M. on Wednesday. After one stop the class arrived at Kalahari Resort around 12:00 P.M. The resort consisted of an indoor waterpark, outdoor waterpark, an arcade, and several restaurants from which to choose. There was plenty to do to keep busy.

 

“I really enjoyed the arcade,” Claire Alfree (12) said. “There was a lot to do in the arcade like laser tag, bowling, and games.”

 

On Wednesday the day was spent in the resort for time to enjoy the waterparks and other attractions. The resort even held a private pasta bar for the class as a free meal.

Lobby of Kalahari Resort and Hotel

 

Thursday, the class then traveled to Cedar Point Amusement Park and spent the day there. Cedar Point is known as, “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World.”

 

“We thought Cedar Point would be a great place to go,” Sollenberger said. “The park is huge and there are plenty of rides for everyone, whether you like roller coasters or not.”

 

The park had many attractions, including restaurants, roller coasters, games, and animals.

 

“One of my favorite parts of Cedar Point was the petting zoo,” Caitlin Heise (12) said. “It was very hands on you could pet goats, sheep, llamas, and even ride horses.”

 

Thursday night and Friday morning were spent in the resort. After a long day at Cedar Point, the class was ready to head back to Kalahari to relax. Departure from Kalahari was at 3:00 P.M. Friday, and arrival back to the school was 9:00 P.M.

 

The class officers saw all their hard work pay off after the trip with positive feedback from the rest of the class.  

 

“Everyone seemed to love Cedar Point,” Mackling said. “People also liked how we didn’t have strict schedules and we could do whatever we wanted.”

 

After months of planning and four years of fundraising for the officers and advisors, the trip was finally complete.

 

“I personally believe the trip went really well,” Mackling said. “Everyone was just there for one last good time as a group.”

 

After one last time as a class the James Buchanan Class of 2018 is ready to graduate and open new chapters in their lives.

 

Hannah Mellott, Staff

Hannah Mellott is a part of the JB Student Media staff this year, and it is her first year as a part of the staff. She also plays the flute in the concert...

Godspeed Totem Pole

On May 20 schools from around the area gathered together for the Tony’s of high school musicals.

While+getting+her+hair+done+by+Claire+Alfree+%2812%29%2C+Kelsi+Parson+%2811%29+ponders+about+Sunday%E2%80%99s+performance.
While getting her hair done by Claire Alfree (12), Kelsi Parson (11) ponders about Sunday’s performance.

While getting her hair done by Claire Alfree (12), Kelsi Parson (11) ponders about Sunday’s performance.

Sydney Jones

Sydney Jones

While getting her hair done by Claire Alfree (12), Kelsi Parson (11) ponders about Sunday’s performance.

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Totem Pole Playhouse Awards were started back in 2014 and closely mimic the Tony Awards for Broadway shows.

 

“Out of three counties, the schools that want to participate in it can have judges come and watch their musicals,” Claire Alfree (12) stated. “Then they get judged based off of different awards, such as Best Actress and Best Ensemble Number.”

 

Five schools/people are nominated for each of these awards, ranging from Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Leading Role, to Outstanding Musical Chorus. James Buchanan High School’s show, Titanic, was nominated for nine of the awards.

 

“I got nominated for Best Leading Actress,” Alfree said. “Dean [King] got nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Jackie Wagaman and Logan [Williams] got nominated for Best Ensemble Male and Female. We got nominated for Best Ensemble Number, Best Chorus, Best Musical, and Best Duet.”

 

Titanic has big shoes to fill from the performance two years ago, Jekyll and Hyde.

 

“We won ten awards for Jekyll and Hyde,” Alfree stated.

 

Back in 2016, Alfree was awarded Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role, for her character Lucy Harris, the same award that she was nominated for this year, playing Kate McGowan.

 

“Honestly, I was really surprised,” Alfree said. “You’re up against seniors and I was only a sophomore at the time, so I was definitely in shock, but I’m proud, and I worked really hard for it.”

Alfree and the other castmates have high hopes for this year’s awards.

 

“I would love if we got every single award, but I don’t want to go in there saying we will,” Alfree said,  “No matter what though, we are going to come home with something, and we’re going to make our school proud.”

 

Dean King (10), who played Barrett in the show, was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role and Best Male Solo. He won the award, for his performance of Barrett’s Song.

 

“I was super shocked. I honestly thought that Ben, who played Shrek, in Shrek the Musical [Waynesboro], was going to win because he has such a beautiful voice,” said King.  
“I was super excited when I won that award.”

 

James Buchanan also won two other awards Sunday evening.

 

“The Titanic musical as a whole also won the award for Best Ensemble, and then Abby Horst won the Jean Stapleton Award,” King said.

 

Even though they may be nice, the musical and Totem Pole are not all about the awards, but about the people.

 

“You get really close with all of the cast members and whenever the show’s over, that first two weeks, you start to miss it a lot,” Alfree stated. “Totem Pole is that one opportunity to have everyone back together again.”

 

The cast had a chance to do it all one last time and Totem Pole will be an experience for them to remember forever.

Sydney Jones, Staff

Sydney Jones is a senior at James Buchanan High School. In addition to Student Media, she is involved in many activities throughout the school, including:...

The Financial Reality Fair

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As the school year is coming to a close, this means the beginning of the seniors’ lives in the “real world.” Sometimes that sounds exciting, and it is, but sometimes it can be really frightening. You know you are going to have to pay bills, but how? How will you afford them? Will you have extra money?

 

The Financial Reality Fair on Friday, May 4 was designed to help seniors answer these questions in a unique way.

 

“The fair is an opportunity for students to learn what it’s like to live within their budget,” said Mrs. Chris Shelley (Faculty).

 

Shelley thought that the fair would be a good opportunity for the senior class to take par as they will get to see in a real-world situation some of the things they have been learning in class.

“It’s part of my curriculum, it’s part of the curriculum in Personal Finance courses,” said Shelley.

 

Before the event could take place, the seniors had to do a little preparation so they were ready for the day. They had to look up the career they wanted to do and find the starting salary, which is the salary they will have to use for the day. The students also were required to do a survey asking about how much they save, how much they will make, and what their plan is for spending and saving in the future. They will get a copy of their budget with their salary on it, but it will also have their student loans on there if they plan on going to college to make the fair even more realistic. Seeing their salary on paper is a way to let students see what their financial life will be like.

“I made more money than I thought I would and it was comforting,” said Logan Rockwell (12) “I will have money to pay off my student loans”

The First Ed Credit Union is hosting the event and is going to be guiding the students throughout the day. There are going to be 13 different expense booths with different options of things students need or want to buy. The different tables include: Housing, Food, Utilities, and Clothing. Not only do the students have to buy these things, they also have the option to buy other things that are not required.

 

“I bought a dog because I like them and I think they’re worth the money,” said Josie Myers (12).

There are things in the fair that students may want but cannot afford with just their salary, so that is why there is a part-time job option. Another part of the fair is going to be the reality wheel. The wheel is many things that could be good or bad. Life can take unexpected turns sometimes, so there are things like winning the lottery or having your car break down and having to buy a new one. These are all things that could happen to the student in real life.

Posing with the Wheel of Reality, Abby Mackling (12) is happy with what she got.

“I lost $30 for a doctor’s co-pay,” said CarlyCaron (12) “When you’re an adult getting sick can be expensive”

 

Each student has one hour at the fair to buy all the things that they need and want while remaining within their budget.

“The last thing they will do is go to visit the financial advisors,” said Shelley “when they are finished, they’ll visit the advisors who will look over their budget, and see if they stayed within their budget and met their goals,”

 

If the students were not able to maintain their budget they have to go back to the tables and adjust their spending. Some students may even stay under budget, and the advisors will discuss some things that they may be able to do with their extra money. Maybe they did not buy a pet because they were not sure they could afford it. Now, they know they can, and if they keep to their budget, they will be able to keep it. Another thing the advisors will discuss with the students is if they will be able to invest their money into anything, and what would be good for them to invest in. After this, their time at the fair is over.

 

“I hope they learn how to prioritize their spending, how to recognize that fixed expenses have to come first,” said Shelley “And the importance of budgeting and the importance of education.”

Hannah Myers, Editor

Hannah Myers  is in her second year as a member of the James Buchanan Student Media staff. She is a senior and an editor JBSM.   She is employed at Lizzy's...

Filed under Entertainment

What Is So Egg-Citing About Easter?

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With Spring right around the corner, everyone is excited to celebrate the hoppiest day that falls in April this year: Easter. With Easter comes the activities that everyone loves including dyeing eggs, Easter egg hunts, and lots of candy.

Easter originated as a Pagan festival to celebrate spring in countries north of the equator. In the Greek mythology, the goddess of earth, Demeter, grieves during the six months that her daughter Persephone, goddess of spring, is in the underworld causing nothing to grow. According to ABC News, the Spring Equinox marks the point where she returns and plants are revived from winter hibernation.

The spring equinox is a day where the amount of dark and the amount of daylight is identical,” said University of Sydney Professor, Carole Cusack in an article by ABC News.  “ You can tell that you’re emerging from winter because the daylight and the dark have come back into balance.”

After the advent of Christianity in the early first century, the Easter season became linked to the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ. The theme of Easter was a festival to celebrate new life and rising from the cold dark winter, which connected to the Christian belief that Christ rose from the grave.

Other influences on the Easter season include the Saxon (Germanic) Goddess, Eostre. According to famous American Lexicographer ( a compiler of dictionaries) Robert Barnhart, in Saxon culture, Eostre is the goddess of fertility, which coincides with the new life that the spring season brings. Also, Eostre’s symbols include eggs and rabbits, popular emblems in commercial Easter today.

With the rising popularity of Easter, in the early 19th century, a big push for commercialism of the Easter season was seen. “Card companies like Hallmark became big by launching images of cute little rabbits and Easter eggs on cards,”  said Dr. Cusack in the ABC News article. This and the other incorporations of past traditions and religious influences led to the Easter festivities and poster symbols that we see today.

Easter is celebrated in many different ways and for many different reasons. For Jae-Lin Carmack (12) Easter is a time to enjoy family activities. “My mom puts together an Easter “Eggstravaganza” for our close family, it’s basically a big scavenger hunt around Mercersburg, Chambersburg, and St.thomas,”  said Carmack.

“We go find hints that lead you to different places and we eventually end up all back at one spot, which is my house, for Easter dinner,” said Carmack.

Food is another thing many families include as a large part of their Easter celebrations. When asked what her family includes for their Easter meal Lauren Fleming (12) explained, “ Our family usually has a big Easter Dinner, We all get together and have a bunch of different foods but the main course is pork and sauerkraut; it’s a tradition.”

Whether it is enjoying egg hunts and Easter baskets with your family, celebrating religiously, or just by taking in the warmer weather, Easter is an enjoyable day beloved by many.

 

 

From Classroom to Stardom

The story behind the musical group whose name is nearly impossible to pronounce.

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Singing, dancing, and everything in between, Messa Voce (met-sä-ˈvō-chā) has been a musical group in the school for decades.

 

“It started in about ‘79, Mr. Eshleman started it, and it was called ‘Show Choir,’” Mr. Eric Poe (Faculty) said.

 

The organization practices countless hours throughout the week to ensure their music and choreography are to the best of their ability.

 

“We have them [practices] second period, and also in the mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:15 am,” Allison Collings (11) said.

 

They perform a few concerts every year, some at the school, during Arts in Action, and their most recent concert held at the Mercersburg Academy.

 

“They [the Academy] are doing a couple pieces, three or four, we’re doing four pieces, and we’re going to do three pieces together,” Poe said.

 

It has been a while since the two groups have come together for a concert.

 

“Before I got hired, Mr. Eshelman did a joint performance with the Mercersburg Academy,” Poe stated.

 

Poe explained that he had planned to do another performance with the Academy when he started directing Messa Voce, but with the group’s busy schedule, it was put on the backburner until the beginning of this school year.

 

“I was contacted by Jim Brinson, who is the organist over there,” Poe said. “He also plays the organ for baccalaureate, and in doing that has had a chance to hear Messa Voce the last few years.”

 

After Brinson heard the group perform, he decided to reach out to Poe.

 

“So he contacted me and was like, ‘Hey what do you think about doing a joint concert?’” said Poe. “‘I’ve heard your select group come and I think they’re excellent. It’d be really good for our students to sing with other students and kind of branch out, support things in the community, etc.’”

 

Both singing groups have practiced their songs and will put them together March 23.

 

“I’m really looking forward to it because it’s in the chapel, which has fantastic acoustics,” Poe said. “Mr. Brinson is going to play the piano for one of the joint pieces, and he’s a very fine accompanist.”

 

There are countless songs they perform each year, each chosen by Poe.

 

“They’re all my favorites, that’s why I picked them,” Poe said.

 

The songs may be a part of the show, but to those involved Messa Voce is more than just the music.

 

“Messa Voce kind of is my life,” Chelsea Wareham (11) said. “I’ve always wanted to join it since I was a little kid in elementary school, and when I finally came to high school, it gave me a chance to make friends with people that are just like me, and that’s kind of awesome.“

Sydney Jones, Staff

Sydney Jones is a senior at James Buchanan High School. In addition to Student Media, she is involved in many activities throughout the school, including:...

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Find Out the Benefits of Spring Cleaning!

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Opening the door to the bedrooms you have not seen since the summer, you are shocked to see the dust bunnies in the corner, and the inch of dust covering every piece of furniture. With a dust mask on and a tool belt filled with Windex, Scrubbing Bubbles, and Clorox Wipes, you are ready to take on the biggest task of them all: spring cleaning.

Cleaning sounds like too much work; is it really necessary? According to Small Business Trendsetters, it is very important to clean your house to get rid of all the airborne bacteria, mold spores, pollen, and all the other things you brought inside on the bottom of your snow boots.

 

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, “Removing allergens from the home can make you feel healthier, especially at a time when allergies are rife.”

 

Nasal allergies affect about 50 million people in the United States” (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America). With the spring season quickly approaching, allergies are making people’s eyes water, throats ache, and causing chest congestion. It is important to take steps to prevent from getting these symptoms. One way to eliminate allergens is to get your carpet cleaned every 6-12 months.

 

According to Small Business Trendsetters, “All winter long the house has been shut and one’s carpet becomes a breeding ground for airborne bacteria, mold spores, [and] dust mite feces…. All of these things get lodged in our carpets, furnishings, bedding, and draperies and they need to be cleaned.”

 

SBT suggests hot water extraction as being the best way to clean your carpet. Hot water extraction is from a truck that can produce heat from 190 to 245 degrees, which kills and flushes out any germs and bacteria that may be growing in your carpet. The powerful vacuum can also suck up any other segments that can be logged inside the carpet.

 

Spring cleaning is not just about getting rid of allergens, it can also improve other ways of life as well.

 

Natural News claims, “63 percent claim that happiness is a shiny sink, and the act of cleaning itself gives 57 percent of the population a sense of satisfaction.”

 

Dr. Joseph Cilona with The OZ Blog said, “Cleaning and organizing your personal spaces lets you enjoy a tidier and more organized environment and this can relieve stress. Levels of stress can also be reduced during the act itself as cleaning is considered to be therapeutic.”

 

According to America’s Anxiety Disorder Center,  “A thorough clean helps to clear your mind of things that need to be done around the house and makes it easier to focus on other more important things.”

An important factor, that most people forget is to take the cleaning process slow and try not to overwhelm yourself all at one time. Start off small, taking one room at a time, and work to bigger things. Open the windows, let the fresh breeze come in, and embrace the wonders of spring.

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The Story of St. Patrick’s Day

How the Holiday began...

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The color green, shamrocks, food, and music.  What do all these things have in common? The answer is St. Patrick’s Day.  March 17th is a day that has shaped many cultures and people in different aspects.  

St. Patrick’s Day has been, and continues to be, recognized for decades all over the world, but have you ever wondered where it all began?

According to History.com, St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain, and began his life in a wealthy family.  At 16 years old he was kidnapped by a band of Irish raiders that were attacking his estate.  The Irish raiders took St. Patrick to Ireland to serve as a slave. During his years as a slave, he was forced to work as a shepherd, outside and alone.  As a result of his fear and loneliness, he came to faith and became a strong Christian. Six years after his kidnapping he was able to escape after he got a vision from the Lord telling him to leave Ireland.  After his escape, he traveled to Britain where he had yet another revelation. This revelation came in the dream where an angel told him to return back to Ireland and become a missionary in that area. As soon as he received this he began religious training, which lasted more than 15 years.  He then became an ordained priest and traveled to Ireland with two goals: minister to the current Christians in Ireland, and convert others to Christianity. Since he was held prisoner in Ireland, he already knew their culture and traditions which made his mission much easier. He began to use their traditional beliefs to bring them to Christianity.  Several years later historians believe that St. Patrick died on what March 17, 461.

The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration occurred in Ireland.  Families celebrated with church in the morning and parties in the afternoon.  Lenten probations, according to Catholic Online lenten prohibitions are Catholic Traditions set during the season of Lent (Ash Wednesday to Easter), were set aside for this day and the people of Ireland were allowed to partake as freely as they pleased while they danced and drank.  However, in 1845 the Great Potato Famine swept across Ireland causing people to migrate, due to starvation, to the U.S., taking their beliefs with them as they went.

On March 17, 1846, the migrated Irish citizens took to the streets to celebrate their first St. Patrick’s Day in the states.  A few days later those citizens saw printed in a newsp

aper that they were portrayed as being drunks and partiers. Offended the Irish set out to show to show the American people what and why this day is so special.

Today, over 1,500 years later, we still celebrate a man who had a large impact on history.  In the U.S. there are parades held in many different states, honoring St. Patrick. The people of Chicago celebrate by dyeing the Chicago River green once a year on this day only.  People also celebrate by having family gatherings, throwing parties, and going to church. This holiday has become commercialized as well with many decorative pieces for your home and things like Shamrock Shakes from McDonald’s.

This holiday has been through so much starting in Roman Britain and ending with celebrations that people all over the world can celebrate in unity with one another.  So don’t forget next time you think about St. Patrick’s Day, look past the green and Shamrock Shakes, to the true meaning, to the story of a boy who began just as normal as you.

 

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