The Rocket Flame

What Is So Egg-Citing About Easter?


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.



The World of Wrestling

Find out how James Buchanan wrestling team did the 2017-18 season and what the future holds for them.


Hannah Kimmel

The official proclaims Logan Miller (9) winner of the match.

The wrestling season is coming to a close as the James Buchanan Varsity Wrestling team enters their championship season.


This season started out strong with eleven wrestlers; for nine of them, it was their first year on the Varsity Wrestling team. Many new faces brought a lot of hope to the wrestlers, and they wanted to win matches for the team. Although they didn’t have a winning season, the boys were closer as a team than last season.


“I feel like this team, this year, was a lot stronger and a lot more bonded than years in the past,” said Jaelin Carmak (12), the only senior and team captain. “Just as a team, in general, we bonded real well and I feel like that’s a bigger win than actually winning a dual meet.”


Even though they weren’t able to win any meets, there were a lot of individual wins for some of the wrestlers, which helped boost morale and spirit.


James Buchanan’s wrestling team is very young with only one senior leaving this year; many of the wrestlers will be coming back next year to continue where they left off. Carmak’s teammate, Hunter Smith (9), plans to return for the next season.


“We need more experience. We need more talent and wrestlers, have more people out there and join the team,” said Smith.


Smith believes these are the ingredients they will need for next season, especially with how young the team is. There were six freshmen wrestlers this year, making up over half of the team.


For what the team lacks in their numbers, they make up for in their dedication and focus.


“When you go out there on the mat, you wouldn’t think six minutes of wrestling is real hard, but you’re using every muscle out there,” Carmak said. “You use muscles you wouldn’t even think you would.”


To be able to wrestle even just six minutes on the mat requires hours of training at practices. The wrestler’s condition by running two miles every practice, then they do drills to better their coordination and flexibility. They also learn different moves, so they are able to pin the competition and live wrestling and doing their own moves.


Though the practices are tough and tiring the wrestlers love their sport. Carmak and Smith both agreed that the best part of the season were the bus rides to and from the matches. There, the boys would talk and relax. It bonded them closer as a team making them feel much like a family.


The Wrestling team has been through a long and grueling season, but they are all looking forward to competing in Sectionals, February 17, at Susquenita High School. From there if wrestlers place in the top three they move onto Districts.


Don’t Make Math a Task, Just Ask!

45 minutes may not be long enough to understand the quadratic formula, but some extra help can go a long way.


If you’re one of many students looking for extra help understanding the mysteries of mathematics then all you have to do is ask the math tutors.


Every activity period in the library, any student is able to go down and receive aid in school work; all they have to do is ask one of the ten math tutors for help.  


Their goal as a program is to encourage students to ask questions.


“We want students who are struggling to realize we only got to where we are by asking questions,” said Nick Garbinski,12, one of the math tutors


The advisor and co-founder of the math tutoring program, Mr. Michael Mele, Faculty,  is also a promoter of asking questions.


“My job is to let them [the students] figure things out and ask questions when they need some guidance and clarification,” said Mele.


The math tutors hope to achieve the focus and effort that is based on Mele’s beliefs and the objective of the math tutoring program overall.


“I realized how much I enjoy being down in the library, helping others or receiving help,” said Jae-lin Carmack, 12, another tutor who volunteers his time every activity period.


For the people who partake in math tutoring, asking questions has helped the program better answer similar concerns from other students.

“I needed help significantly, and slowly but surely I’m improving,” states Colby Shingler, 10, currently taking Algebra 1. Shingler is a regular at the library and feels the tutoring program has played a major role in improving his math skills.


The math tutors have anywhere between two to five people come to the library a day with questions on homework. They hope by promoting thought-provoking questions, more students will come asking for help.



The math tutors will continue to aid others until the end of the year and start all over again once more with the new school year.


Carmack advised, “Never be afraid to ask questions because without questions you get no answers and without answers everyone’s clueless.” 

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Jae-lin Carmack