Star Wars: The Force Awakens- Analyzed and Reviewed

 

By Ben Haylett, broadcast team

The latest entry into the Star Wars saga, Episode VII: The Force Awakens is an excellent addition to our beloved series.

The Force Awakens follows a girl on a desert planet who finds a droid holding an object that will help the good guys defeat the bad guys. While delivering the object, she meets an older man who helps her on her

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in theaters across the nation on December, 18. It premiered in other countries in the following days.

journey. This man dies at the hands of our villain. Our heroes then go on to destroy a giant space station that has the power to destroy planets.

Sound familiar? Well it should, because the entire movie is almost a complete carbon copy of Star Wars: A New Hope, the first Star Wars movie. The similarities don’t end there. Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia all make appearances and are main characters.

An added layer of story lines and new characters are what set The Force Awakens apart from earlier entries in the series. The other six movies in the Star Wars saga are more objective based than character based, while The Force Awakens creates a personal bond with the newly introduced characters and builds our interest in them throughout the movie. This brand of characterization is something the series hasn’t seen before, and it shows what kind of differences J.J. Abrams, the director of The Force Awakens, is making to the series.

The actions scenes leave nothing to be desired. Epic space battles, and an amazing lightsaber fight to top everything off rounds out the movie. Battle scenes are very special effects intensive. These effects look very polished, and are much better than those from the prequel trilogy. The design of the buildings, ships, and weapons harken back to the original trilogy, and fit perfectly in the canon of the series.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a great film. Its non-stop pace keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire movie, and it is an appropriate film for a family movie night.

Mr. Bidwell shares personal experiences of paralysis

By Sarah Shaw, staff writer

After finishing a chapter learning about the brain, the anatomy class recently had a guest speaker visit on Dec. 1. The class took some time to focus on paralysis and how it affects the body after a traumatic brain injury.

Paralysis can be explained as the loss of muscle function in your body because messages from your brain to the muscles are not delivered. “I think it’s important to know what causes paralysis if they are in anatomy class, but not the details of paralysis,” said Mr. Chris Greco, the anatomy teacher.

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On Dec. 1, Math teacher Scott Bidwell spoke to the anatomy class about his paralysis due to traumatic brain injury.

The class’s guest speaker is a member of the faculty here at Saegertown. At age fifteen, math teacher Scott Bidwell’s life changed dramatically after a detrimental play in a football game against Lakeview High School. After multiple surgeries, it was unknown if he would be paralyzed for the rest of his life. “It was a killer kickoff, which means go right for the ball. It was rainy that day and as he juked, I jived, hitting him in the femur bone, breaking it while crushing my fifth vertebrae,” said Bidwell.

This ties in with the class’s recent discussion about paralysis and Greco enjoys listening to Bidwell speak to the anatomy class year after year. “I think that students know what it is, but they don’t know the significance of it and what it can do. And, the challenges someone faces with paralysis,” said Greco.

Although this happened at such a young age, Bidwell continues to live his life like anyone else would and keeps a positive attitude. Bidwell has one tip for all student athletes of Saegertown High School: “Play today like you can’t play tomorrow.”

Junior high celebrates the holidays

The junior high is preparing for the upcoming holiday, Christmas. Seventh grader Ava Jones is looking forward to continuing her family’s Christmas traditions.  “Collin, Carson, and I wake up at 6:30 every year and wake up our parents to open gifts.”  Others have different traditions.  “My family goes to my grandma’s for Christmas Dinner,” said Katie Berger.  

Food is a common theme amongst the junior high. When asked about Christmas, Marli McGowan said, “My favorite food at Christmas is ham.” Some students even had food on their wish-list.  “I want a box of Ritz

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Some of the junior high students participated in the holiday spirit day at SHS on December 22.

crackers,” said Kenny Kiser. Many students are not only excited to receive gifts, but also to give them.  Sydney Fredericks said, “I’m giving my mom a necklace from Jared’s, and I can’t wait to see her reaction.”  Others have a different agenda. Oliver Smith is planning to play a prank on his little brother Christmas morning. “My plan is to put a fairly large chunk of coal into a little package, and my brother Linus will get a little Christmas surprise from ‘Santa’ (I got him a real present as well).”

Overall everyone is part taking in the holiday cheer.  Matt Posego said, ”I want to spread joy throughout the world and an eighty pack of Ho Hos.”  Hohoho from Matt Posego and happy holidays from the Junior high.

Little Norwood is welcomed to the Earth

By Rachel Barner, staff writer

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Mrs. Norwood poses with her daughter Vanessa.

November 4 was a special day for English teacher Mrs. Susan Norwood and her husband Zack. On that day at 6:31 p.m. at the Meadville Medical Center, a six pound and two ounce Vanessa Lin Norwood was born.

It has been over a month since baby Norwood was born, and Norwood and her husband are already accustomed to the new routine with a baby. Norwood uses the word ‘routine’ very loosely, since Vanessa’s routine is “eat, sleep, poop, repeat.” She and her husband take shifts of when to take care of the baby, but Norwood usually gets a nap from 8-10 a.m.

“I am surprised at how many hours go to caring for a newborn baby; it disappears quickly!” Norwood said. “It’s a struggle to complete basic housework, and there is no such thing as a ‘quick trip’ anywhere if she’s going.”

“She is fabulous, but I am biased.  Vanessa is quite petite; many people compare her to or call her a peanut. She has been great meeting new people,” said Norwood. “It is mesmerizing, watching her day to day.  She makes hilarious faces, loves stretching or sleeping with her hands in the air, and squirms around in the most amusing ways.”

Norwood and her husband love being parents. “It’s a messy job, but somebody’s gotta do it,” Zack Norwood said about parenting. Norwood has felt all of the mom instincts kick in, and she loves cuddling with Vanessa. She says parenting is all-consuming, but that she would not change it for anything. She has also has a newfound respect for mothers who have more than one child and mothers that go back to work right away.

The Norwood family plans on spending Vanessa’s first holiday with extented family and friends. “We would like to visit with family as much as possible, but we’re most looking forward to some time, just the three of us, to bond and relax while my husband has some time off from work,” Norwood said.

Norwood plans on returning to SHS in April of 2016.

Scouting and Hunting: Principal’s Edition

By Hunter Trzeciak and Scout Van Cise, arts and entertainment editors

As you know, the students of Saegertown High School have their fair share of unique and remarkable talents, but our new principal is hiding an ability that is a mystery to the staff and student body.  We have learned that in high school and college Mr. Baker was in fact a thespian.

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Principal Tom Baker has appeared in productions including Annie and The Wizard of Oz

Starting his career in theater at Berlin High School, Mr. Baker acted in a school production of “Annie” and played the Mayor of Munchkin City in “The Wizard of Oz.”  He was interested in theater because he liked to meet new people and appreciated that “you get to become someone that you’re not.”

After four years of being a part of high school productions, Mr. Baker furthered his theatrical career for two years in college, appearing in “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Increased Difficulty of Concentration.” Though Mr. Baker loves all of the plays that he participated in, his personal favorite is “The Wizard of Oz.”

Mr. Baker no longer takes part in shows because of lack of rehearsal time, but he enjoys watching them.  His personal favorites include “Wicked” and “Les Miserables.”  Even though Mr. Baker has retired from the theater business, he would still enjoy playing a small part in a local or school production. He encourages all students to get involved in theater, for the best part is “just having fun because it’s structured, but you still have the ability to make the character your own.”

Talents shine from SHS

Sydney Kightlinger, design editor and Rachel Barner, staff writer

To get everyone into the holiday spirit, the Student Council will be hosting a talent show in the auditorium on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Many students will have their talents showcased during the morning assembly that starts at 9:45.

Senior Colten Burdick and sophomore Kevin Johns are each performing

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Grace Diley will perform the piece “Part of Your World” from the “Little Mermaid” during the Saegertown talent show on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

original raps. Burdick, who’s excited and slightly anxious for the performance, said, “I hope to maybe inspire some people and to show who I really am, and I hope I don’t burn down the place with my fire.”

Johns, who fears stuttering, is freestyling. “I am excited to explore my talent and seeing what I can do.”

In addition to rapping, seventh graders Jane Hetrick, Madison Shoop, junior Mackenzie Genaway, and the Chamber Singers will be singing.

Hetrick has  prepared a version of Michael Bublé’s “Feeling Good” after seeing a video on YouTube of Carly Rose Sonenclar, a contestant on The X Factor.

Shoop is performing Katy Perry’s “Jar of Hearts”. She decided to  participate in the talent show because “performing in front of people has been hard for me, and there are times I need to get over that.”

 Genaway is performing “Night Changes” by One Direction, and she is “just a little” nervous to sing in front of an audience, but is very excited.

The Chamber Singers will perform pieces prepared for their winter concert that was earlier this month.

However, vocal performances are not the makeup of the entire show. Sophomore Megan Przybowski will be performing a piece on the trumpet that she is keeping a secret, and seventh grader Grace Diley will play “Part of Your World” from Disney’s “A Little Mermaid” on the piano. Both started playing their instruments while in elementary school.

Seventh grader Dairen Kaye will have a comedy routine. “I have always been able to make people laugh, and I can make many different voices,” said Kaye. He hopes to have the audience participate.

Student Council advisor Mrs. Nicole Keller hopes to make the talent show a tradition. “I hope our appreciation for the talents of students grow, and I hope next year more students sign-up.”

After the assembly, students will return to their classes. Classes will be shortened to 15-20 minutes with the exception of fifth period that will be normal. At 1:35 p.m., the holiday activity period will be begin.

Staff shares holiday favorites

By Bailey Kozalla and Kaity Gage, Staff Writer and Marketing Director

All around the world Christmas is celebrated in a variety of ways.  Some people might buy gifts for family and friends, sing Christmas carols, or even wear their favorite ugly Christmas sweater.

At Saegertown High School some teachers choose to either go Christmas shopping in-store, online, or not at all.  Principal Tom Baker and Mr. Chris

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Mrs. Kimmel holds her dancing Santa.

Greco prefer to do their shopping online, while Mrs. Debbie Houck completes her Christmas shopping in-store.  

The teachers have also addressed their favorite foods and beverages during Christmas time.  Mr. Adam Horne enjoys drinking eggnog and Mr. Molnar’s favorite Christmas food is “ham, the way my wife makes it.”  Mr. Greco celebrates Christmas Eve with his family, and they enjoy steak, lobster, and homemade spaghetti for dinner.  

Certain teachers follow traditions during the holidays, or they might forge a whole new tradition of their own to share with their families.  Mrs. Donna Kimmel likes Santa Claus figures and has a continually growing collection that she adds to every year.  Mr. Molnar adopted an entire new tradition this year.  His cats have become increasingly fond of his Christmas tree, so he has had to “fish them out,” meaning that he physically reaches into the tree to pull them out. Mr. Baker said that he does not have a tradition because (in his own words), “I’m a bah humbug kinda person.”  

Regardless of the variety of ways to celebrate Christmas, the staff always finds time to be with their families and friends during this special time of year.  Mr. Molnar may perhaps summarize it the best, “I believe on giving a gift that keeps on giving.”