The Rocket Flame

What is Student Media?

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From the outside, Student Media may look like it is just taking pictures, but there is much more to it than that. Yearbook does many things like choosing a theme for the yearbook, designing pages, and writing articles not only to document the year, but for our online school newspaper, as well.

 

However, Student Media has just as much fun as they do working with special events, such as the Yearbook Wedding, Ad Sales Day, and the monthly Work Nights.

 

At the beginning of the year, it is all about getting the newbies introduced to how a journalism classroom runs, from the way photos should be taken, how to write features, or how to design their own pages. There are many things done to prepare the new staff for publishing the yearbook and newspaper, like the Photo Challenge where they practice taking pictures, the article they all wrote together to teach them how to write as a journalist, and the study of digital design.

 

“Being the editor, and having a year of experience has significantly helped me to enhance my skills so that I could teach the new staff,” said Hannah Zomak (11).

 

As the year progressed the staff worked on completing the seven sections of the yearbook in four deadlines. They were able to meet each deadline on time as they had planned. The sections range from the People section, to Student Life, to Ads. They are all different, but they each take a lot of work for the staff to complete.

 

“The biggest challenge I had would have been with the Academics sections and that’s because I had PLTW/AG/Business/Tech Ed.” said Madi Dorsey (11). “That is a spread that has four departments on it and it was hard to fit all four departments on two pages.”

Even though there was a lot of work to be done, the staff also made time to participate in activities together. They participated in the Ag Olympics together, went to a PJ night at the movies, and even went out to eat at Burger King.

 

Student Media is period 7/8 in the school day, so the staff is able to work together and have some bonding time. One period of the day is not enough, so once a month they have Work Nights. when the staff gets together after school to work on the yearbook, have a meal, and also enjoy one another’s company.

 

Work Nights are full of laughter and many inside jokes. To the yearbook staff, at these Work Nights is where they become more of a family. At the first work night, they had they Yearbook Wedding where each staff member vowed to be loyal to each other as well to the yearbook. Each Work Night has a different theme and everyone enjoys them.

 

“I really like talking with everybody and it is a great way to work and socialize,” said Rachel Kimmel (12).

 

As the year is coming to an end, many classes are finishing up their work for the year, but Student Media is already getting prepared for the next year. Currently, the staff is working on the Theme Project, where they design the theme for next year’s yearbook and try to “sell” their theme to admin in the district.

 

The staff is divided into three teams with three different designs, and they create and sell a theme package that they present. The class then votes along with the judges on the Best theme for the upcoming school year. The three themes they are choosing from are “Once Upon a Year”, “Let’s Rewind”, and “Day in, Day out”.

 

“Our theme we are working on is all about the work students and staff put in day in and day out,” said Emma Gipe (11) “Every day everyone put in hours of hard work along with balancing their outside life.”

 

As well as doing work for next year, the staff is also looking for students to join Student Media. There will be a meeting held on April 19 in room 220 activity period for anyone who is interested. If you are unable to attend the meeting, come down to Ms.Reeder’s room and get the information. The JB Student Media Staff is excited for you to become a part of their family and are looking forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Showcasing Their Talent

After the Christmas concert in December, Mrs. Sheryl Dieke (Faculty), director, and the Orchestra dug deep in the music library to acquire fun music to prepare for both their adjudication and District-Wide Orchestra concert that takes place this month.

 

The Orchestra will go to South Hagerstown High School to participate in an adjudication on March 13.

 

There are many other schools that participate in the adjudication. An adjudication is a formal judgement. The Orchestra gets the chance to listen to how other schools play. However, the James Buchanan Orchestra is one of the only schools that participates that is not eligible to advance to Districts or Regionals because it is in Maryland.

 

This is the Orchestra’s second year participating. The group will leave in the morning and go during the school day to play for a group of judges that will record them and then critique their performance.

 

“Intonation is just an ongoing thing that just comes with maturity and listening”, said Dieke.

 

However, Dieke has confidence that this year the orchestra is better prepared.

 

“Improvement is all the time”, said Dieke. “It’s still things we struggle with that we have to just keep pushing forward on.”

 

The Orchestra practices every day during second period and works through their music to ensure they are prepared as much as possible in order to receive a good score from the judges.

 

“We’ve been putting in a lot of hard practice lately,” said Rachel Kimmel (12). “I think it’s sounding pretty good so far.”

 

Throughout the adjudication, the students go through three different activities.

 

During the warm-up, the Orchestra will run through music, work out any last-minute details, and prepare for their performance.  

 

In the presentation area, the orchestra will play their selection of songs that they prepared for the judges.

 

The judges sit in separate parts of the room so that they aren’t distracting each other as they are judging. They record themselves making comments about the strengths and weaknesses that the Orchestra has while playing. They later give these recordings to the directors so that the students can listen to the judges’ evaluations in order to improve future performances.

 

Lastly, the Orchestra will go to a sight-reading room. Every student, along with the director is handed a folder. They have a couple minutes to study the music. They can analyze things like the key signature, look for incidentals, and tap out rhythms. However, the students cannot use their instrument to practice the music.

 

When time is up the director conducts as the students play the piece of music. There is one judge in the room who again, judges and listens as they play and gives direct feedback on how the orchestra sight reads.

 

“You hear and listen to the tapes but for a judge to actually talk to you, I think that gives you more feedback than just listening to some voice,” said Dieke.

 

Even though this is their second year participating, there is still going to be some pre-performance jitters, even from the conductor.

 

“I always take it as, ‘Did I prepare them enough?”” said Dieke. “‘Did I do what I needed to do to make sure that they were ready?’”

 

Students also experience some nerves as they prepare to play on stage because everything they do is judged. This is different from their normal routine of just playing at their concerts. However, to some, it’s more like a rush of adrenaline.

 

“I like walking up on the stage right before you play because you get this nice nervous, jittery feeling because there’s judges there,” said Kimmel. “It’s a good nervous, it’s a nervous that you want to do good and play your best.”

 

Despite the nerves, the orchestra will play at the adjudication and celebrate by ending their busy day out of school with lunch and treats at the Valley Mall.

Ready? Set? Race!

Who Will Cross the Finish Line First?

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Sydney Jones

The teams race from the start line to see who will win the first event.

Ready? Set? Go!  Yells Ella Heckman (10) and the teams race off to tackle their first event.  The intensity increases as one teammate after the other races against the other teams to get a point on the board.  Ag Olympics hosted by the Ag department is a favorite for many students each year.  FFA Weeks builds the excitement for the finale on Friday for only one week out of the entire school year.

During FFA Week there are spirit days that lead up to the Olympics.  This year the spirit days consisted of: Camo Day, America Day, Farmer Day, Farm Animal Day, and Blue and Gold Day.  Each day had different criteria based off the theme.  Camo Day you were encouraged to wear any and all camo that you owed.  For America Day wearing an sort of red, white, or blue was fantastic.  Farmer Day you were to dress like a farmer.  For Farm Animal Day you were encouraged to dress like any farm.  Finally, for Blue and Gold Day you could wear any assortment of blue and gold.

“FFA chapters use National FFA Week to share agriculture with their fellow students as well as their communities,” said Adrianna Durboraw (11).

Living in a rural community makes FFA Week so much more important.  This is a way to keep our community together through something the community is good at, farming, and something that everyone loves, fun.  

“We do Ag Olympics to have fun and get the whole school involved.  Everybody in the school gets to watch as teams participate in activities,” said Adrianna Durboraw, “ FFA week is to inform people about agriculture and FFA knowledge.”

This year there were six teams.The teams were Yearbook: Rachel Kimmel, Kirstyn Black, Macey Keefer, and Megan Rummel; The Dream Team: Shane Coursey, Heath Hissong, Cody Saunders, and David Clopper; The 717: Evan Clopper, Logan Miller, Trysten Hensley, and Caleb Wise; The Thrasher: Delanie Black, Madison Hock, Lacy Nolan, and Shayla Plantz; Brothers From Differ

ent Mothers: Moses Goetz, Logan Weaver, Alex Letterman, and Trey Settings; and finally The Teachers: Ms. Fox, Mrs. Swailes, Mrs. Chambers, and Mrs. Miller.  Anyone from the school can make a team and enter into the Olympics.  There is a limit of four people per team and everyone must participate in almost every activity. This year the games consisted of: Hay Bale Tossing, Corn Shucking, Apple Bobbing, Penny in a Haystack, and a Pie Eating Contest.  Each of these activities helps students that don’t have a farming background appreciate the community they live in and the work that they do.

“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit because it will, in the end, contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness,” said Adrianna Durboraw.

The community we live in is full of new agricultural opportunities.  Being able to bring them to school for students to learn while having fun is a rare opportunity.

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