Snow is in the forecast and Christmas is nearly here, so why hold back any longer? Below are some of your many comments about the holidays.
What do you mean Santa’s not real?
Do you remember the moment you found out Santa isn’t real? It can be sad, funny, and everything in between. These are some of our favorite responses to the question, “How did you find out Santa isn’t real?”
Story by Bailey Guy and Owen McClister
‘Jingle Bell Rock’ favorite holiday hit
Radio stations have been playing Christmas music since Thanksgiving. The Ville News asked about 35 HHS students to name their favorite holiday songs. The top choice was “Jingle Bell Rock” with 7 votes followed by:
Other songs mentioned were “The Bad List,” “Wit It This Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Underneath the Tree,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bells,” “Little Did You Know,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Don’t be a Jerk! (It’s Christmas)” from the SpongeBob TV show.
Librarian Angie Woods said her new favorite is “All I Really Want For Christmas” by Lil Jon.
“Up until today it was ‘Jingle Bells,’" Woods said, “but now it’s ‘All I Really Want For Christmas.’ It’s so catchy.”
Story by Kayla Battista, Leilani Boleyjack and Ryan Ray
The HHS wrestling team is holding its annual craft fair Saturday (Dec. 7) in the gym lobby.
The fair runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and raises money for the team's uniforms and travel expenses.
More than 80 vendors will have booths set up with festive items and different crafts for sale.
One booth, Suga Mama’s Sweet Shoppe, will feature an assortment of Christmas sugar cookies.
Coach Ralph Gabriel said the inspiration behind the craft fair is his wife, who likes to make crafts.
“I didn’t want to sell magazines or canned food, but I knew we needed money. So I proposed a craft fair," he explained.
The vendors pay the team to get a space to sell their items. Last year, he said, the event raised more than $10,000.
Because of the fair's success, other area schools such as Station Camp and White House have started their own craft fairs, the coach said.
Story by Cailsey Scott, Gabriel Williams and Zach Kochan
Movie review by Sara Amis
If anyone knows me, they know I love two things: watching Disney movies and picking apart the plots and elements of Disney movies. “Frozen 2” is no exception; it, too, shall come under the microscopic lens of Sara Amis’ mind.
“Frozen 2” is pretty good. It’s not great, and in my opinion, it’s not the best movie Disney’s released this year. The soundtrack is fantastic, and it has tons of very catchy songs that I can’t stop singing. The plot is compelling, and it offers answers to questions you might’ve had during the first movie, but the pacing is a bit odd. Overall, though, it was a good movie; it’s definitely worth the price of admission, and it’s a good use of two hours.
However, I would argue that the first “Frozen” was better than the second. I would also argue that despite “Frozen 2” consistently bringing up things that happened in the first movie, it ignored most of the actual events and character arcs that were present.
WARNING: If you want to see the movie or be surprised by anything, don’t read until after I say the coast is clear. If you’ve already seen it or just don’t care, read on!
Elsa’s character arc was much more interesting than her arc in the first movie, but the focus on her caused other characters to fall flat. Kristoff’s character was almost thrown away; he became a running gag of “I keep trying to propose but get interrupted/put my foot in my mouth” that got old soon, but he did get an awesome 80s-music-video-type song right in the middle of the movie, which was absolutely amazing. Anna has some pretty serious abandonment issues that are clear throughout the movie--her repeated insistence that she can’t lose Elsa, they just got back together, etc.--that were completely disregarded and spat on during the ending when they split up. Her becoming Queen of Arendelle is glossed over rather hardily. Olaf was given a midlife crisis where he questions the changing nature of everything, which is very different from his naive and overly optimistic character in the first movie, but it is really funny and does make sense for his character.
The plot was very interesting to me, and it shed a lot of light on the origins of magic in this universe. It begins with a flashback to their childhood, and their father tells them of the time he journeyed up north to the enchanted wood, where the people lived in harmony with elemental nature spirits (fire, water, earth, air; “Avatar the Last Airbender,” anyone?). The idea was that Arendelle would become an ally of the northern tribe--the Northuldra--and gift them a dam, but they started fighting, so the spirits of the forest descended a fog which was impossible to escape.
Flash forward and Elsa hears voices calling to her; cue a “Let It Go”-esque song (“Into the Unknown”) and Arendelle basically being torn apart. The main characters set off on yet another adventure, where they meet the Northuldra and begin to figure out this whole magic thing, along with finding information about their parents. They discover that there are still Arendelle soldiers in the wood and that the sisters are half Northuldra because their mother saved their father from the fog and then fell in love with him (or something). Kristoff tries to propose, gets separated from the others, and sings the aforementioned 80s-style song (“Lost in the Woods”). Anna and Elsa find their parent’s shipwreck, and then Elsa decides to go on a solo-quest, so she sends Olaf and Anna away.
Elsa finds the source of her magic and the memories of her grandfather, who started the war, but freezes because she went too far down--but not before sending a magic message to Anna, who somehow miraculously knows that this means she must destroy the dam, even if it means Arendelle is flooded. Anna wakes up the big rock troll things and leads them to the dam, destroying it and unfreezing Elsa, who then rushes to Arendelle and protects the kingdom from the huge wave the dam was holding back. Elsa decides out of nowhere that she needs to stay with the Northuldra because apparently, she’s the “Avatar”--sorry, wrong franchise--she’s the bridge between magic and the human world, and Anna has absolutely no qualms with her sister leaving her the crown and abandoning her again, just as long as she’s back for charades.
It’s very slow at the beginning as they travel north and very fast and action-packed at the end, almost like they were running out of time, so they had to cram the climax into five minutes. The ending didn’t make sense to me because the whole point of the first movie was reuniting these sisters, and now they’re torn apart, but somehow everyone is okay with it? It just doesn’t seem like what the characters would have done or how they would have reacted.
OK, spoilers are over
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, or that I dislike it. On the contrary, I liked it a lot. I came out singing the songs and with a huge smile on my face. The soundtrack was absolutely phenomenal, and I really love how the songs have a constant melody running through them. The vocals and voice acting were amazing, as well. The animation was stunning--they captured the magic of the world and brought the audience along with them. The landscapes were beautiful, and the animation of the ocean was gorgeous. The jokes were funny, and Olaf gave us some of the best parts of the movie. However, there were just some plot elements that I felt dragged the movie down a bit.
Overall, I felt that it was a better standalone movie than a sequel. With a few adjustments, it could’ve been great, but the way it is, it’s just good.
Tennessee is one of the worst states in the country for flu activity, and HHS nurse Sue Buckberry says the school is beginning to see cases of the potentially serious virus.
Buckberry told The Ville News on Thursday (Dec. 5) that she knows of at least four confirmed cases of flu at the school.
Just this week, she said, 20 students have come to her with flu-like symptoms.
A flu test is required to verify true cases since other illnesses can have some of the same symptoms.
Buckberry said she has seen more flu at this point in the school year than she did at this time last year.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that Tennessee is one of nine states with “widespread” flu activity for the week ending Nov. 23 – the most recent week for which statistics are available.
To guard against the disease, everyone 6 months or older should get an annual flu shot and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, the CDC recommends.
Other precautions against the flu, which kills more than 30,000 Americans each year, include frequent hand-washing and disinfecting surfaces and objects that could be contaminated with germs like the flu.
Flu season generally begins in October or November and can continue as late as May, according to the CDC.
Story by Owen Wilson and Topanga Horton
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s a time for family, food and great memories. We asked a few HHS students and teachers to share their thoughts on the holiday.
They told us about family traditions …
“Every year my family and I watch 'Indiana Jones' before our Thanksgiving meal.” - Savannah Kane, sophomore
“We usually go to my uncle's house in Georgia and we have a big roast, it’s pretty fun.” - Tucker Dunn, senior
“My grandmother is amazing. She is 92 and still cooks her famous macaroni and cheese and hosts Thanksgiving every year at her house.” - Laurie Kerhoulas-Brown, theater arts teacher
“My sister and I do the wishbone thing. I never win.” - Sarah Whitlow, senior
And family memories...
“My brother has autism and one time we were about to say the prayer and he started singing ‘Happy Birthday.’” - Alex Brown, junior
“One time my grandpa dropped the turkey while pulling it out of the oven. So, we had everything but the turkey that year.” - Mitchell Church, senior
“For the last 20 years or so, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving we have a big turkey fry and fry up anywhere from 10-20 turkeys. It’s kind of a guys’ night.” - Bob Cotter, principal
And the Thanksgiving Sandwich …
“The single most important aspect of any holiday that we celebrate here in America, or even really abroad, is the Thanksgiving Sandwich. You take a conglomeration of all the individual dishes, and you join them all together in a sandwich/religious experience where you consume them all at once. Just take a couple pieces of bread, some mashed potatoes, some green bean casserole, some sweet potato casserole, some cranberry sauce, some turkey, some ham, and put it all together in one sandwich. … I think we should all do our part this year and partake.” - Sam Gilbert, English teacher
Story by Bailey Guy and Owen McClister
For some, Christmas can’t come soon enough.
You know them, those people who listen to “Jingle Bells” in September.
“On November 1st, I decorate my room with Christmas stuff,” said freshman Charity Kinnard.
Senior Angel Kirby also likes to get into the spirit early.
“Are you going to put a turkey on top of a tree? You don’t decorate for Thanksgiving,” she said.
Sophomore Evan Walker said Christmas is the “main holiday” and should overshadow Thanksgiving.
But junior Matthew Stewart likes to let his turkey and pumpkin pie settle before skipping ahead to Christmas.
“People put it before Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving comes first,” Stewart said.
Principal Bob Cotter says to each their own.
“The spirit hits them when it hits them and if they want to put it up before Thanksgiving, let them put it up. It’s fun. I usually put my stuff up right after Thanksgiving, but I have friends who have to have their tree up by Thanksgiving Day,” Cotter said.
The annual how-soon-is-too-soon debate might be more heated than usual this year, observed guidance counselor Michelle Nevels.
“I’m listening to Christmas music right now, but I think the cold weather is getting people in the spirit extra early,” she said.
Story by Alorah Fridley and Hannah Mailander
Many HHS students expressed their appreciation to friends, faculty and others this week by writing a Gratitude Gram.
The forms include a section for the recipient’s name and first block teacher and plenty of room to write a sweet message.
Students filled out the forms during lunch and Advisory. The messages will be delivered first and second blocks Tuesdsay (Nov. 26). Each Gratitude Gram will also include a small treat to go along with the personal note.
Usually, between 800 and 1,000 Gratitude Grams are delivered, according to School Climate Leadership Team (SCLT) sponsor Jessica Jorge.
Gratitude Grams are not a new project; SCLT has been in charge of it for about four years now.
“Gratitude Grams was one of the first projects that School Climate Leadership Team started to make the school a more positive place...it was kind of like our kick-off project,” Jorge commented.
SCLT is responsible for many other well-known projects like the spring clean-up and senior send offs. Jorge said, “The goals of SCLT are to make the school more positive, safe, and inclusive; and so we started with the positivity [through Gratitude Grams].”
Story by Rain Adams and Bridget Bireley, who is a member of SCLT
The Sign Language Club is looking for new members, and if you’re the type of person who likes to help others and learn new things, it might be a good fit for you.
The club has been around for almost two years and is thriving, said club leader Shelby Lyle and Deaf Ed teacher Deborah Conn, who oversees the club.
The club meets 7:30 every Thursday morning in “The Pit” theater in the foreign language hall.
You don’t have to know how to sign to join; one of the club’s purposes is to teach more people to sign.
The routine at the meetings is simple: members “read” a story by signing the words. Afterward, they receive a list of signs to remember for the next meeting.
Lyle said she joined the club because she has a friend who is deaf.
Club member Diona Leonard, a freshman, said the club “gives you an opportunity to learn something that isn’t given much attention, and it spreads awareness.”
One of the group's major activities is a Silent Dinner, where diners can only communicate by signing to each other.
If you’re interested in getting involved, see Ms. Conn in Room 118.
Story by Cayman Jackson and Hannah Frady