The Rocket Flame

Singing, Dancing, and Vanilla Ice Cream – Oh My!

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Singing, Dancing, and Vanilla Ice Cream – Oh My!

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She Loves Me

Go See She Loves Me This Weekend!

Emily+Palmerchuck+in+She+Loves+Me
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Go See She Loves Me This Weekend!

Emily Palmerchuck in She Loves Me

Emily Palmerchuck in She Loves Me

Hannah Zomak

Emily Palmerchuck in She Loves Me

Hannah Zomak

Hannah Zomak

Emily Palmerchuck in She Loves Me

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She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

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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.

Are You Guilty of Distracted Driving?

Joel+Feldman+wears+bracelets+honoring+many+boys+and+girls+who+lost+their+lives+to+distracted+driving.+Each+bracelet+has+its+own+story+that+Mr.+Feldman+sees+when+he+looks+at+his+wrists.
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Are You Guilty of Distracted Driving?

Joel Feldman wears bracelets honoring many boys and girls who lost their lives to distracted driving. Each bracelet has its own story that Mr. Feldman sees when he looks at his wrists.

Joel Feldman wears bracelets honoring many boys and girls who lost their lives to distracted driving. Each bracelet has its own story that Mr. Feldman sees when he looks at his wrists.

Emma Give

Joel Feldman wears bracelets honoring many boys and girls who lost their lives to distracted driving. Each bracelet has its own story that Mr. Feldman sees when he looks at his wrists.

Emma Give

Emma Give

Joel Feldman wears bracelets honoring many boys and girls who lost their lives to distracted driving. Each bracelet has its own story that Mr. Feldman sees when he looks at his wrists.

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On Monday, May 7, Mr. Joel Feldman presented the importance of being a safe and alert driver to the James Buchanan Faculty and students. He used his own personal experiences to leave a lasting impact.

 

Being a distracted driver could be dangerous to yourself and others around you. Being on cell phones, eating, looking out the window, and even changing the radio station can make you a distracted driver.

 

Emily Palmerchuck (11), who is a teen driver, admits to sometimes being a distracted driver, even when she tries not to.  

 

“My parents like to know where I’m going and when I’m leaving places,” said Palmerchuck. ”So if I forget to text them before I leave, I’ll call them or text them using the voice recognition.”

 

Throughout Feldman’s presentation, he explained that car accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers and that distracted driving is no joke. He used videos and statistics to make everyone see his points.

 

“I think he reinforced ideas and opinions that I already had and really showed the importance of not being distracted,” said Palmerchuck. “Even if you’re doing things that you don’t think distract you, like talking on a cell phone instead of texting.”

 

Feldman also expressed caution to passengers of distracted drivers. He stressed the importance of using “I messages” when confronting drivers about your safety. For example, tell the driver, “I feel uncomfortable when you text and drive.”

 

“The part that impacted me the most was when he asked, “Would you tell your friend and family?” said Palmerchuck. “On your own you can do it, but sometimes it’s harder to tell your friends because you don’t want to upset them.”

 

Another eye opener of Feldman’s presentation was his personal experience concerning the death of his daughter, Casey Feldman. Casey was killed at the age of 21 by a distracted driver who hit her as she was crossing the street. Mr. Feldman shares her story to raise awareness to people all over the world.  

 

To honor Casey and help stop crashes and deaths of distracted driving, her parents created The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation. Mr. Feldman also passed out pink and black bracelets to students at James Buchanan to remind them of Casey’s story and to always drive safe.

 

Many people are aware of the dangers of distracted driving but the real question is: what will it take to make it stop?

 

Palmerchuck says, “ From the things we’ve listened to, read, and seen, we know nothing is important enough to injure or kill someone because you’re distracted.”

 

Baking, Building, and Bonding

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Baking, Building, and Bonding

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Two of the gingerbread structures, a truck and log cabin, sit finished after the designing and planning.

Houses are covered in a dusting of soft, white snow around the neighborhood while icicles hang from the roof so elegantly that only a steady hand could have produced them. Gingerbread fills the air with an intoxicating aroma. Gum drops line the path to the front door that you have to twist a peppermint to- Wait, what? Are we talking about a gingerbread house here?  

Mrs. Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty) 3D Design class combined with Mrs. Horst’s (Faculty) Life Skills class to create gingerbread structures together. Taking up their time before winter bre

As they glue the pieces together with icing, Ashton Heckman(9) and Austin Shaffer(9) wait patiently for the roof of their log cabin to stick together.

ak, the two classes formed multiple groups of students from both classes to create the structure of their desire. While the 3D Design class worked on the design, the

Life Skills class baked and gathered the ingredients.

One of Chambers’ students in her 3D Design class gave her the idea for this project.

“I was like, gingerbread, great idea!” she said. “How are we going to accomplish that? I don’t have an oven.”

From there, Chambers-Matulevich approached Horst, who has an oven, and Horst loved the idea. Together, the two came up with the details to incorporate the skills taught in both classes to create the educational project.

Putting the pieces together of their train and police car, Chance Buchanan (9), Tristen McFadden(9), and Dustin Goshorn(11) concentrate on gluing their gingerbread together.

While the students look forward to the fun of building, designing, and probably nibbling on the supplies, Chambers-Matulevich sees it more as a life lesson.

“I think it’s just really great experience. Not only for her students, but for my students as well,” said Chambers-Matulevich. “You know, you have to communicate with lots of different people.”

Going away from the traditional gingerbread house, the students have decided to use the gingerbread in different forms.

“There’s castles, mansions, trucks, trains, police cars, train stations, trees, a cabin,” said Chambers.

Designing their gingerbread proved difficult at times for the students.

“I think the main challenge is just finding a simple enough pattern that we can make it in the time we have,” said Emily Palmerchuck (11), whose group made a pickup truck. “The original design we had had peppermint wheels, but the

peppermints we can find around here aren’t big enough, so we changed that to the colorful swirling lollipops.”

Currently, designing has been a trouble for the students, but there are worries for what also lies ahead when it comes to building.

“I’m really nervous about the building because I’ve never built a gingerbread house, and part of me can see like giant catastrophes ending in tears,” said Chambers-Matulevich. “I’m hoping it doesn’t go that way, but I am mildly afraid that it could be a catastrophe.”

Enjoying the less stressful part of building their gingerbread house, Alexis Crabtree (10) and Edward Leevy (9) put the gumdrops on the roof.

Even the students themselves are concerned about their structures holding up with the designs that they have made.

“The fact that we have to lift it off the ground with just candy is gonna be interesting, and I think the biggest thing with gingerbread houses is making sure the icing will dry and stick together,” said Palmerchuck.

Going along with the concerns for the building, one of Palmerchuck’s group members also has apprehensions with the design.

“The hood is sorta slanted,” said Adam Cramer (11). “The front piece is too short, and there is gonna be a gap in between the windshield and the roof.”

Although the students and teachers were worried about the outcome of the 3D Design and Life Skills classes gingerbread creations, they used loads of icing and plenty of decorations to achieve their goals. Castles, police cars, and log cabins alike, are all covered in gum drops and peppermints waiting for Christmas day to arrive. 

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Emily Palmerchuck