We Are Ike Introduces itself to the Community

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Jenna Berge
Five Star Journal

On Wednesday October 26th, Eisenhower’s ASB president Brenda Villa and our sophomore class president Hailey Adkison, had the opportunity to present the club “We Are Ike” to the non-profit organization iHeartYakima and over 150 community members in attendance at The Seasons Performance Hall downtown.

Brenda and Hailey’s presentation included information about our new club “We Are Ike”; its purpose, its plans, and its progress. They discussed our new “Spirit Pack” (The ASB, the yearbook and the t-shirt for $30,) and how drastic of a change it has been for our funds and our students. “Last year we sold only 400 yearbooks, 800 ASB cards, and less than 100 clothing items from our spirit store… This year, to date we have sold over 1,000 spirit packs in less than 2 months.” At regular price, all of these things would’ve costed $95, an exorbitant amount to ask of students whom are attending a school with a 74% poverty line.

“We Are Ike” was created by Duff DeWitt and his students with the intent of making more students feel like they are a part of something here at Eisenhower, whether or not their families could afford to pay nearly $100 for their student to have something as simple as a t-shirt, a free entry to a football game, or their class yearbook. They raised $16,000 before the school year even began in order to make the $30 Spirit Pack a reality.

The image that Brenda and Hailey were trying to portray to the audience was that here, we are a family. Despite a high percentage of poverty, despite how many kids sitting next to you in class may live below the poverty line, despite how many kids sitting next to you in class may live in a mansion, we are all one and we are all Ike, as stated by Brenda, “What does poverty in a school look like? It looks like high school… We are proud. We are hard working. We are supportive of and enjoy one another.”

The club has a goal to expand and to continue through the years to come, and to make improvements to our school and to our community. We may not have, and we may not ever have, the power to change a family’s income, motivate a student to make school their top priority, or show everyone in this city the great things we are doing at Eisenhower, but we can start somewhere, and here, it is We Are Ike, both literally and theoretically. We want you to feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself, no matter the amount of money in your pocket.

Nirvana

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Ryan Kerslake
Five Star Journal

With Nirvana’s “Nevermind” hitting its twenty five year mark on the 24th of September 2016, it brought longtime fans back to a time when Seattle was the capital of the music world and grunge dominated the rock charts. It’s been a while since Nirvana hit diamond (only one out of a hundred albums ever to do so for selling over 10 million copies in the U.S.) with their highest selling album. What exactly has happened since it was released? How did we get to this place that we currently are with rock music? What has changed since then? Let’s go back and take a look.

Along with Nirvana, a whole wave of grunge hit the market. Bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Sound Garden, all of which were coincidentally formed in Seattle, they made the city sort of a music hub at the time. Rising next to grunge was punk rock. Green Day, which hit big in 1994, sent forth a resurrection for the genre that was previously inaccessible in main-stream media. Nu metal was also beginning in the nineties with a sound that combined rap and metal with a variety of success. Bands like Korn, Rage Against the Machine, and Limp Bizkit ensured that the genre would last until at least the late 2000’s.

At the beginning of the new millennia, rock took a turn from grunge to a more alternative approach. New genres popped up in post-grunge, a more refined and polished sub-category of grunge. The continuation of nu metal, which spawned groups like System of a Down, Staind, Papa Roach, and Linkin Park, began a new trend once again of darker, more distorted sounds. With these two genres coming once again into the lime light, so did a genre called emo, which was mostly propelled by the success of Jimmy Eat World’s “Bleed American” album. Following close behind were bands such as My Chemical Romance and Fallout boy, which have since became cult successes. While emo’s success definitely peaked in this decade, it never quite surpassed post-grunge in popularity. Indie rock also began turning some heads at the end of the decade with Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Arcade Fire, and The White Stripes, many of which released albums that topped the Billboard 200.

During the beginning of this decade Indie rock shot up in terms of popularity, more than likely due to the sheer amount of ways to access their music has increased with the expansion of the possibilities of the internet. Groups such as Neon Trees, X Ambassadors, Twenty One Pilots, and Echosmith all putting out chart topping albums. Alternative rock has risen back to popularity in the last six years with returning artists back into fame like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Coldplay. Alongside them are new artists like Imagine Dragons. While the softer side of rock has been changing and evolving, the harder side has been making a return to its roots. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax have all made a comeback. So have others like Iron Maiden, Rush, Faith No More, and Dream Theater. Not to say that there hasn’t been anything new of course. Five Finger Death Punch, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, and Breaking Benjamin have continued to release popular albums in this decade.

Music, like any other medium, ebbs and flows with our society, both changing to match the other. It reflects just as much as it changes us. We push and pull on music just as much as music pushes and pulls us, and rock is no exception. From the angry, in your face era of the nineties matched with grunge, to the more polished, more accessible post-grunge sound of the early century, and finally the indie revolution of our decade, rock has changed over its life. Like a living, breathing organism, it evolves. Who knows where it will go next. Maybe music will return to a more Blues sound or something entirely new. The only thing that we can be sure about is that the evolution of music will be one wild ride.

JV Football: Kyler Nelson

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Maria Huante
Five Star Journal

Kyler Nelson is one of our very own JV football boys. Kyler came to us from Long Beach, California. Kyler did not do many sports in California but enjoys doing the sports we have here in Washington. #30 on the field playing as our safety and corner, Kyler puts his all into the game.

Even though this is Kyler’s first year in football, he set a goal for himself: get better as much as possible this season. That’s exactly what he got; Kyler believes that he got insanely better at football and he enjoys the sport a lot more now. Kyler constantly put in as much work as he could for this year’s football season. Kyler has a high respect for his coaches and his teammates are brothers to him. Kyler chose to do football because he believes that it is a fun way to be physical and stay in shape. The school that Kyler comes from is so much bigger than our very own Eisenhower.

At his old school, they included sports like lacrosse and water polo, sports that you wouldn’t see being played here in our little home
Yakima, Washington.

Kyler came to Yakima from Long Beach, California. He did not do the things he does here back in Cali. When Kyler first moved here, he was confused with the way things were different here than back home. Kyler believes that there are more opportunities for him here then there were back home. Kyler has 3 siblings, one even being a student here at Eisenhower as well. Kyler is also well known around school as well for his spunky upbeat attitude.

Whether it’s being a hard worker on the field, or good student in his classes, Kyler knows how to be a great friend or just someone to get to know for fun and say “hi” to in the halls. Kyler will be swimming for our school this year and maybe even hitting some homers down on our baseball field. Whatever it is, he will put his all into to showing people what he’s got.

An Italian’s take on American Schools

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Angela Torresin
Five Star Journal

Since I came here, one of the questions I had to face more was about the differences between the Italian and American High School. Well, all of us know that school is the place where we spend most of our time; where we grow up and where we change completely who we are. What everyone doesn’t know is that school influences you deeply and your way to behave with other people. In Italy, school is completely different and that’s why my answers are always limited, short and brief when people asked me. Here you can find all the answers that you ever looked for 😉
After three years of middle school and our final standardized tests, yes we have exams at the end of the middle school) for an Italian teenager comes that unavoidable and intimidating moment when you have to choose what kind of high school to attend for the next five years, instead of the American four.

In fact, we have different specialized type of secondary schools based on your interests, skills and your future programs: Classics School, where you take courses in literature, philosophy and history; Science School where you can study physics, chemistry, math and biology; Fine Arts School where you attend courses such as drawing, sculpting and painting; Technical Institutes prepare students for subjects such as commerce, agriculture and mechanics. When you select definitively your high school, you know you have twelve subjects, and not six that sometimes can be repetitive, you have to know exactly which are and that you cannot change them; basically we don’t choose subjects but school.
Every week we have an hour dedicated to “religious teaching” where teachers are supposed to teach religions’ histories, but because our School is pretty much conservative, they teach mostly Catholicism and that’s why many kids from other religions have the permission to “skip” this period.

The first days of school in United States were going to be traumatic because our schedule is different. Italian schedule starts at 8am until 1pm, from Monday through Saturday; that means that we don’t eat at school but we have two breaks of fifteen and ten minutes during the all day. “What about changing class?” we don’t change class because teachers do, we stay in the same one for the all year, implying we have the same classmates for the 5 years and this is good if you like the people in your class because you have the opportunity to create real friendship, but if you don’t like them… Well, this could be a problem.

These are just bureaucratic questions, the real difference is the education that is strongly rigorous: for example we have State Exam, also at the end of our senior that tests if students remember what they did in the past, and trust me it’s quite difficult.

What about lessons? They are pretty much the same: we have desks , chairs and we are seated for the most of the time, faking we’re listening. Joking aside, teachers are talking normally for the most of the period, while we are trying to take notes, hoping that the instructor don’t talk too fast.

The relationship with the teachers is more reserved and they tend to be really bossy and authoritative, not all the teachers are like this way, but for the majority, unfortunately, are and that make students feel anxious about school.

For us school it’s just school, we don’t have as many activities as you do like school dances, we don’t even have sports at school, if we want to practice some we have to go to private clubs and generally they’re kind of expensive.

The last difference is that Italian teachers think that students don’t have a private life and they have to focus their free time, supposed that they have some, on doing their endless homework, at least this is from a student’s point of view.

These are the biggest differences that I could notice since I’m here, but I’m pretty sure that there are many so far. Let me tell you something: I like your school much more because it seems that you can let your personality grow with you, and not just your brain.