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November/December 2018


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Thanksgiving Traditions

By Hailey Wall and Elsa Wiley

Every person has a different background and have different family traditions.  You may have a big family dinner and eat a roasted turkey or you and your close family could go out and get a Chinese dinner or you could not celebrate it at all.  Any tradition your family may have has a purpose and a meaning.

Thanksgiving was first started by the Pilgrims in autumn of 1621 as a celebration of the colony’s first successful harvest.  Since then, people have celebrated this achievement by having a great feast, including turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and many more delicious foods.

We went around and asked a couple of teacher what some of their Thanksgiving traditions were, and what are some things they were thankful for.

First we interviewed Mrs. Cross.

Interviewer - “What are your Thanksgiving traditions?”

Mrs. Cross - “In Hawaii we did everything.  We ate turkey and ham as well as many Hawaiian things like kalua pig, teriyaki chicken, and always rice.  Since I have lived on the mainland I have not seen much of my family.  We are going on a trip to Central California.  We may visit cousins in LA and take a trip to Solvang.  Every year is different since I have been on the mainland.”

Interviewer - “What are you thankful for?”

Mrs. Cross - “I am thankful for good health, my family, and good friends.”

Next, we interviewed the seventh grade math teacher, Mr. Cameron.

Interviewer - “What are your Thanksgiving traditions?”

Mr. Cameron - “Big Thanksgiving meal in the afternoon: we have turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, all sorts of little dishes, pumpkin pie, lots of pies.  A nap, and a football game.  We have a Friendsgiving the day before for all of my son's friends.  The past few years my wife and I have been going to Death Valley for Thanksgiving, as well.

Interviewer - “What are you thankful for?”

Mr. Cameron - “All of my students.  All of my weird students.”

Last, we interviewed Ms. Hernandez.

Interviewer - “What are your Thanksgiving traditions?”

Ms. Hernandez - ”Typically we do a turkey trot wherever we are, whether it be California, Florida or Texas.  My family and I celebrate Thanksgiving together.  We enjoy adding Colombian food from our heritage.”

Interviewer - “What are you thankful for?”

Ms. Hernandez - “I am thankful for my family, my students, especially them, and that my parents are still healthy.”

Interviewer - “Thank you!”

As you can see, many people have different Thanksgiving traditions and ways to celebrate the holiday.  Whether it be celebrating with close family and friends or going on a extravagant trip.  Overall, Thanksgiving is a time to relax and spend quality time with friends and family.

Eighth Grade Thoughts

By Diana Estrada

I decided to write this article because I wanted to know about my classmates and my friends on what they think about their new teachers and their new classes. I also wrote this article because I wanted the eighth graders to get to know their teachers because this is our last year: next year we're going to high school. I think the eighth graders should get to know their teachers because this is going to be our last year here at Ensign.

I interviewed Daphne Gutierrez, Hayato Onodera, Melissa Castaneda, Nicole Gabriel, Johan Guzman, Alex Prado, and Rafael Martinez.

I asked my bestie, Daphne Gutierrez, if I could ask her questions from journalism she said, "Sure." I asked her what she thinks about her teachers and she thinks that they’re alright and they're "chill." Then, I asked what she thinks about her classes and she said she likes all her classes because they're helpful and she has friends in them.

I asked Hayato Onodera what he thinks about his teachers and he said they're really nice and helpful. Then I asked him if he likes his classes and he said it’s great and he has all his friends in his classes.

I asked Melissa Castaneda if she likes her teachers and why? Yes, she likes her teachers because they explain really well and last year they didn’t help processing and telling us step by step. Then I asked her does she like her classes and she said yes, because she has her friends in them and she has two teachers from last year.  

I asked Nicole Gabriel if she likes her teachers and she said yes, because they help her and they are nice. Then I asked her if she likes her classes and she said not that much because she doesn’t know people.

I asked Johan Guzman if he likes his teachers and he said no because they give too much homework and they are mean to him. Then I asked him if he like his classes and he said, "So so, because some are boring" but he has friends in his class. 

After Johan I asked Alex Prado if he like his teachers and he said no, because he doesn’t like them and some are boring. Then I asked if he like his classes and he said yeah because they are fun and he has his friends.

The final person I asked is Rafael Martinez.  He does not like his teachers because "they are the worse and they give too much homework." Then I asked him does he like his classes and he said he likes PE because he likes to play around and he has friends in there.

How Well Do You Know Ms. Rain?

By Bree Clarke and Kate StulikMiss Rain in Paris
If you’ve had Ms. Rain, you know her as a fast-paced teacher with excellent teaching strategies that cares about her students understanding all of the concepts.  And, yes, lots of homework!  However, as well as you think you know her, there is a lot about this incredible teacher that you do not know. 

The seventh honors and regular eighth-grade math teacher, Roxana Rain, was born in Romania.  She has a younger brother and sister, along with two nieces and a nephew.  Her family never moved; in fact, all the kids in her family was born and lived in the same city.

In school, her favorite subjects were the precise sciences such as math and physics as well as foreign languages (she fluently speaks Romanian).  Her favorite teacher was a math teacher she had in high school.  

When asked what teachers inspired her to teach math and use certain teaching methods she said: “My math teacher in high school was my inspiration for teaching math and some of the techniques I use in my class come from the experiences I had in his class. Throughout my career, I was fortunate to work with some amazing teachers such as Mrs. Pipes who taught math at NHHS and Mr. Mabry, a former Ensign math teacher. I was able to learn some teaching strategies from them as well. I think as teachers it’s important to continue learning and fine tune our craft.”

She went to college in Romania, completing a five-year degree in mechanical engineering and then moved here 22 years ago to continue her studies.  In the U.S., she attended Cal State Long Beach to get her teaching credential.  After all of this, she continued her studies by going to Western Governors University Utah to get her masters in math education.

She began her teaching career at TeWinkle 17 years ago.  After one year of teaching at TeWinkle, she moved to Newport Harbor High School where she taught Algebra 1 and 2 as well as Geometry.  Three years later, she moved to Ensign which is now her home.  She loves teaching at Ensign because of the students, colleagues, and community.

As you may know, last year the district attempted to take away honors math.  When we asked Ms. Rain her opinion about this she said that honors is important for students that wish to challenge themselves academically.  The seventh grade honors class that she teaches allows students to get ahead by taking two years of math in one.  This is very important because it enables them to take advanced classes in high school, as well.

Outside of school, Ms. Rain lives a healthy life, practicing Pilates and working with a trainer three times a week.  Even during her vacations, she works out every day! 

Miss Rain in the Galapagos Islands

Speaking of vacations, she loves to travel and explore new countries and learn about their culture.  She has traveled all over the world and says that each place has something to offer.  In Europe, she loves France, Spain, and Italy while in South America she loved the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and the beauty of Costa Rica.

Miss Rain in Spain

Who We Are...

Writers: Chloe Bennett, Bree Clarke, Chloe Coleman, Diana Estrada, Lucy Halperin, Gigi Jaimes, Lina Jasim, Megan Lachman, Lola Lazzara, Hunter Orozco, Kylie Papa, Quinn Perry, Kimberly Picasso, Lily Rutledge, Regan Smith, Olivia Stratton, Kate Stulik, Julie Venckute, Hailey Wall, Lotte West, Elsa Wiley, Aaron Wong

Editor: Lola Lazzara

Instagram: Lotte West and Bree Clarke

Advisor: Kristine Cross