Category Archives: Feature

Gifts for Christmas!

What is the meaning of a gift to you?

The accurate definition of a gift is “something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance.

Gifts can show how a person thinks of you. If someone gets you a handmade -gift, or something you’ve been talking about and really want, it could mean you mean a lot to them and that they think of you.

This is what some students at FHS believe a gift is. Abbie Miles, a sophomore from FHS said: “Something special. Like something that you know they put effort into or something you know that they really tried on. Knowing they thought of you is sweet. Even if it’s not your favorite or it’s not what you wanted specifically, they still put effort and thought into it. It’s the love and thought that counts in my opinion.” Jacob Collins, a freshman from FHS said: “ A gift to me is something that means a lot, handmade or store bought.” Another freshman from FHS said: “It means someone loves me or thinks about me.”

Many people don’t think about how much thought and time someone put in for a gift for you. A gift could symbolize so much more than just something they got you. So next time someone gets you a gift, think about how much effort and time they put into it rather than the money they put in. Whether it’s your family or friend, appreciate it and be thankful for the person who got it for you.


Community READ author comes to Van Buren

photo: Kaitlyn Fillhart

On Friday, March 11, author Cristina Henriquez came to Van Buren High School to talk about her novel, The Book of Unknown Americans. Seniors in Advanced Placement English and members of Books n’ Brownies attended the presentation along with students from Van Buren, Corey Rawson, and Arcadia.

Henriquez shared that she did not want to stand at the podium and talk about herself the whole time. After a short introduction about herself, she opened the floor for questions.

Senior Lena Kennedy was one of the students that asked Henriquez a question.

“What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?” Kennedy said.

Henriquez replied that you should write for yourself and don’t worry about your audience.

Senior Jordan Jones questioned why Henriquez chose to kill off an important character.

“I wanted you to feel something,” Henriquez said.

Senior Alexandria Tong asked Henriquez if she has gotten any negative backlash from people who have read the book since the plot involves immigration.

“The book is not about immigration. The point of the book is to tell the story of the immigrant,” Henriquez said.

Henriquez went on to say that when she goes to the movies, she wants to get emotionally attached to the character; the same holds true to the characters in her books. She added that when her mother read the book, she was also upset about the death of the important character.

All of the questions were not focused around her book. There was some light conversation about her family, her favorite book (Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five), and who is her favorite judge on The Voice.

After questions were answered, Henriquez signed student’s books and took pictures with anyone who wanted one.

St. Patrick Patron of Ireland

Many of us have heard of St. Patrick. He has a widely celebrated feast day on March 17 that is filled with food, drinking, and fun. In the United States, St. Patrick’s day is often synonymous with celebrating Irish heritage. United States St. Patrick’s Day traditions include drinking, partying, parades and in Chicago, over 40 pounds of green dye is used to make the Chicago River green.

Patrick (who may have had the birth name Maewyn Succat) was born in 387 in Roman Britain to wealthy nobles. His father was a deacon and it is believed he only did this to receive tax incentives since the family was not very religious. When Patrick was 16, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. He was assigned to be a shepherd in Mount Slemish in County Antrim. Patrick was a slave in Ireland for four to six years and during that time, he became very lonely and turned to prayer. When he was nearing the close of his captivity, he had a dream of God telling him to escape to the coast as there was a boat that would take him home to Britain. He returned home at the age of 22 and after a time he had a dream of the people of Ireland begging him to come back to them and preach about his God. He studied long and hard to become a priest and was declared Bishop of the Irish by Pope St. Celestine I, Patrick now had the tools and the will to see his goal through and bring the Irish to Catholicism. Patrick traveled and converted Ireland for 30 years. He founded many churches and monasteries and was able to merge pre-existing Celtic symbols and practices with Catholic ones to ease the transition from paganism to catholicism the most famous of these is the Celtic cross where he merged a celtic symbol with a cross. Patrick also knew the language which made his evangelization much easier. After converting almost the entire island of Ireland to Catholicism, Patrick died on March 17, 461 in Saul, Ireland and was believed to be buried in the town of Downpatrick, County Down.

St. Patrick’s feast day is on March 17 and hedd is the patron saint of Ireland, Australia, Nigeria, Boston, New York, and engineers. Two of the most famous legends associated with St. Patrick are that he drove the snakes out of Ireland (which he probably didn’t as there were no snakes in Ireland prior to he being there).  This tale was probably meant to signify the driving out of evil and paganism from Ireland. The most famous legend is that to help the Irish understand the Holy Trinity he picked up a shamrock, a three leaf clover, and used it to explain that there are three persons in one God; God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. St. Patrick also created a famous prayer St. Patrick’s Breastplate;

Christ with me,Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,Christ in every eye that sees me,Christ in every ear that hears me.

St. Patrick’s feast day in Ireland is a more holy occasion, where it is a Holy Day of Obligation meaning an individual is required to go to Mass. There is now a huge St. Patrick’s day festival in Dublin to promote tourism. Common foods that are eaten of St. Patrick’s day are corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Drinking is also a common past time on St. Patrick’s day.

Today, St. Patrick’s day in the United States is more of a day to reflect on your Irish heritage then the actual saint. All over the United States there are parades, parties and celebrations of all things Irish. Almost 35 million Americans claim they are of Irish descent which is more than 7x the population of Ireland itself! Common St. Patrick’s day traditions at the University of Notre Dame are; Irish food is served and the glee club and bagpipers have concerts and there are numerous parties around campus.

Father Jim Duell of St. Patrick’s Parish in Troy, Ohio shares his favorite traditions, “I think events that highlight Irish culture, song dance and poetry are very good.”

St. Patrick is well loved for many reasons, Fr. Scott Woods of St. Michut ourselves,” Woods said. “I think Saint Patrick is so well-loved because, first of all, he is so intimately connected with the Irish people, and who doesn’t love the Irish?  Seriously though, Patrick is an example of selflessness; he returned to the people who had enslaved him, after all!  He’s a good example for us.

St. Patrick has and will always hold a special place in the hearts of the Irish no matter where they live.

Photo of the week

kez“The Blanchard River Watershed Partnership is holding a rain barrel contest and Findlay High School’s Art Club is participating!” Junior, Austin Sexton explained.

“We are making rain barrels They are going to be auctioned at the competition at the mall.”

But why did the club choose rain barrels?

“Rain barrels collect rainwater and people use them to water their Gardens,” said senior Mackenzie Collins.

There are three categories; agricultural, watershed, and general, and the department decorated barrels for the general and watershed categories. The entries were picked up on Thursday and will be judged over the weekend.

Seniors Look Beyond Findlay High School

Jenna Marie Hohman

College attending: The Ohio State University

Favorite part of the school: The campus, atmosphere, tradition and football

Favorite part of campus: The Oval

What are you studying? Major? Minor?: Sports Medicine or Physical Therapy

Has senioritis set in? Of course

What activities do you plan on doing: OSU’s women’s club soccer team

What made you pick this school over others: it feels like home

What were the other schools under consideration: none

Has a family member attended? Nine OSU alumni in my family.

Isaiah Gaines

College attending: University of Pennsylvania

Favorite part of the school: the atmosphere

Favorite part of campus: College Hall

What are you studying? Major? Minor?: Computer Science

Has senioritis set in? Undoubtedly

What other schools were under consideration: Cornell and Dartmouth

What activities do you plan on doing: studying, running, struggling to survive

What made you pick this school over others: great team and my favorite campus

What schools did you pass over: Cornell and Dartmouth

Has a family member attended? No.

Carley Montooth

College attending: University of Toledo

Favorite part of the school: The social aspect

Favorite part of campus: How pretty it is when walking around

What are you studying? Major? Minor?: undecided

Has senioritis set in? Yes

What other schools were you thinking of: Bowling Green and Ohio University

What activities do you plan on doing: intramural sports

What made you pick this school over others: Close to home

What schools did you pass over: Cincinnati and Kent State

Has a family member attended? Yes, my sister.

Jordan Coppus

College attending: Ohio University

Favorite part of the school: The multitude of opportunities to become involved with the school.

Favorite part of campus: The gorgeous green campus.

What are you studying? Major? Minor?: Majoring in Physical Therapy

Has senioritis set in? Senior year is quite tough but I’m not ready to let go just yet.

What other schools were under consideration: The University of Toledo and The University of Cincinnati

What activities do you plan on doing: I plan on being involved in cheerleading and Greek life.

What made you pick this school over others: As soon as I stepped onto campus, I felt like I was home.

What schools did you pass over: Toledo and Cincinnati

Has a family member attended? No.

Expect More from the Library

Mrs. Brasfield has made many drastic changes in the Findlay High School library since she started here last year. Some changes to the library include the creation of the reading room which she says is very popular with the students, and the recent addition of the library pet, Helen, the snake.

Besides recent renovations and add ins, Brasfield has taken out the old rules of the previous librarian. The library no longer has to be completely silent during study halls. The students can have cell phones, can seat more than two students to a table, and there is no longer a two book checkout limit.

Changes are still coming to the library; big and small.

“The remainder of the year we will be working cleaning out old books to make room for new collection. Our long term goal is to get a Maker’s Space for the library. A Maker’s Space is a creative space where people go for the intent to learn and create. The best way I can describe it is like the Room of Requirement from Harry Potter. It’s just a bunch of supplies in a room for whatever the students need,” Brasfield said.

However, the space will take a lot of money and planning.

“We are trying to get a grant to fund for the space and supplies. We would like to get a 3D printer, craft supplies, hardware and a variety of utensils. This year we are mostly prepping for the space and finding and writing grants for the space. I really hope to take it into action next school year,” Brasfield said.

The library will continue to be progressing this school year, even without a Maker’s Space. Mrs. Brasfield intends on continuing library programs that encourage students to come into the library. These programs include Snow Flakes, snacks, and Cakes and Cram.

“Cakes and Cram was very successful, with over a hundred students and I got many positive feedbacks from both students and teachers,” Brasfield said.

The library plans on hosting many more activities and groups monthly. Stop by to get involved and see all the new and changing things the library has to offer.

New Coffee Shop Comes to Findlay

Last Wednesday, Findlay saw the opening of a Starbucks at the Kroger on Tiffin Avenue. Starbucks is a coffee shop so many people were excited to see it finally come to Findlay.

Kroger decided to bring in Starbucks since they were remodeling the inside of the store and wanted to replace the bank that was currently in there. The line for Starbucks since the opening of the store has been very long and people have been flooding to the store to get their cup of coffee.

“Once the construction is finished and the store has been renovated, I believe that Starbucks will help bring a lot more business to the Kroger on Tiffin,” Senior Scout Klousing said.

Starbucks could affect the business of other local coffee shops around Findlay.

“I think that for the first couple months local stores such as George House, and Coffee Amici will see a slight dip in revenue, but in the long run it won’t really affect them due to the fact that they are cheaper and have more of a, ‘sit down and study aspect to them’,” Scout said.

A major question about Starbucks is, was it wise inside of Kroger; or should they have their own building?
“I think that it was a smart choice for them to start off in Kroger to see what the market in Findlay is like, the downside is that people might forget about them and it’s also kind of weird to walk in to Kroger just to get a cup of coffee,” Scout said.

People in Findlay can now rejoice because have their very own Starbucks. The news has already spread of the shop and the line is out the door.

FHS students resolve for the New Year

As 2016 began, thoughts were buzzing of what New Year’s resolutions people wanted to achieve. Many are setting goals to become happier and healthier. GoBankingRates surveyed the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2016, and the surveys showed that most respondents plan to have fun and enjoy life to the fullest in 2016. Students at Findlay High School have New Year’s resolutions to get physically fit, to save more money, to be more positive, and many more.

Junior Chris Ricker plans on sticking with his goals by working out during and even outside of the sports he plays.

“My New Year’s resolution is to get in shape as much as I can. I want to be able to lift more, lose more weight, and increase my stamina,” Ricker said.

Learning to accept yourself is a great first step to ruling 2016 and making it your year.

“My New Year’s resolution is to accept myself more because I can’t change my flaws, so why not learn to love them?” Sophomore Julia Weigman said.

Some students are trying to become a part of something bigger this year.

“My New Year’s resolution is to become a part of a different social group to meet new people and make new friends. I would also like to get rid of all the negativity in my life and replace it all with positive things,” Junior Alex Risner said.

Not all students rang in the new year with resolutions for themselves.
“My New Year’s resolution is to not have a New Year’s resolution,” senior Kiyomi Tachibana said.

This is another great goal to have because although many of us often forget it, it is important to remember that many things are not permanent.Although it may be difficult to keep up the enthusiasm to achieve your goals, it is not impossible. Select a resolution for yourself for the new year and stick with it!

A debate on diet

FINAL VEG for realHow do you feel about mistreatment of animals in the food industry?

K: I agree there is certainly serious mistreatment of animals in the food industry today, however it doesn’t really concern me. I believe animals like cows, chicken, and pigs aren’t as conscious as we are as humans. Therefore the fact they are slaughtered and manipulated to provide food and nutrition to humans does not bother me. The overall well being of the human race is a bigger concern to me than the comfort of animals.

J: Anyone with access to the internet or a television has seen something about the cruelty involved in mass farming. Delving a little deeper, the horrors that lie just beneath the surface of that annoying PETA email in your spam folder are very real and troubling. Personally, after educating myself on the issue, I decided to do what I could to lessen my contribution to these unfortunate occurrences.  I believe that ignoring the problem just because it is convenient to do so is irresponsible and selfish. Some people refuse to even acknowledge that there is a problem, which is completely foolish in my opinion because the evidence is right in front of us. Animals are sentient beings just like humans, and deserve so much more than the way they are treated in the food industry.

Comment on the health benefits of omnivorous vs herbivorous diets.

K: There is no arguing meat is an excellent source of protein. Chicken breast is a simple and accessible source of protein that is great in terms of offering nutrients your body needs. Red meat and pork products also pack hefty amounts of protein, though these are best eaten in moderation. Fish such as salmon and tuna are low in fat and offer other vitamins and nutrients on top of protein. Eating meat also makes for a more diverse diet, which often times equates to a healthier diet. I do feel efforts should be made to purchase organic, GMO free, and free range meats. They are void of any unnatural substances and better for your body to ingest.

J: A whole new world of food appears when you try eating meals minus meat. There are creative ways to dine that might not have been discovered otherwise, and these flavorful additions are more than enough to make up for what you miss in terms of a red meat burger or chicken nuggets for example. With so many cruelty-free alternatives, it isn’t very hard to make the switch when you consider them. When it comes to nutrition, vegetarians and vegans tend to be healthier than their counterparts, so long as they’re diligent about eating a varied and healthy diet. Consuming lots of different fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains without  the addition of artery-clogging red meat has obvious benefits. That being said, anyone who doesn’t make sure they have good eating habits is at risk for complications, vegan, vegetarian, or otherwise. Potato chips might be vegetarian, but anything in excess can lead to weight gain, fatigue, and a whole host of other problems.

Why do you you think veganism/vegetarianism is so popular as of late?

K: The media has perpetuated the embrace of meat free lifestyles. In the past five years an insane amount of documentaries have been released portraying the food industry in a negative light. People are now more aware of the health risks that come with eating certain processed meats and the mistreatment of animals. I also think a large portion of the population today is concerned with losing weight. They think omitting meat from their diet will help them shed pounds quickly, though often this isn’t the case. There’s also cases in which people adopt the lifestyle to seem unique or trendy. Which I find extremely stupid. Often times they aren’t even fully aware of what being vegetarian or vegan actually entails.

J: I think plant based diets are being adopted by so many people because the media has been highlighting all of the good things about them, and debunking the myths they are typically associated with. For instance, a common misconception about not eating meat is that such a decision will result in a protein deficiency but that simply is not the case. The only difference in how vegans and vegetarians get their protein is that they go straight to the source just like the grazing animals meat eaters consume do, deriving the nutrient from plants themselves instead.  Any well informed veggie buff could tell you this, but the problem with this fad is that many of the followers aren’t in it for the right reasons. Subscribing to an idea or belief just because it is considered cool for a brief time isn’t genuine and if anyone is taking on such a drastic lifestyle change for these reasons, they should probably rethink it.

Would you ever consider giving up meat/consuming meat again?

K: Honestly, that’s not something I can perceive happening. I love chicken wings way too much. Meat is such a prominent part of my everyday diet. I love the taste of it and I have no personal reasons not to eat it.

J: Not anytime soon. I can’t foresee the future, or how I’ll feel in the next few years but for now I plan on sticking firmly to my decision. I was never a huge fan of meat in the first place, and now that I have a moral conviction to avoid it I don’t see any reason to revert back to my old eating habits!

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