Hot or Not: Valentines for Middle-Schoolers by Niles Wilson

Valentine’s Day is TOMORROW – which wakes up the everlasting debate…

Should middle-schoolers have Valentines?

Some schools allow it, some schools don’t. Herber is one of the middle schools that allow. During the grade-level lunch times, chocolate roses are sold. Valentine’s Day could lead to middle-schoolers being in relationships.

Teachers that are against Valentine’s Day say that children need to focus on work- not another person. Whether you support it or despise it, it doesn’t matter. Valentines among middle-schoolers are becoming increasingly popular, because it has been introduced as ‘normal’. I’ve even witnessed children being ostracized because they didn’t get any Valentines. The day of love is slowly turning into a day of competition, and I’m afraid we have truly forgotten the meaning of this holiday.


Midterm Tips By Chadrick Glenister

Hi fellow middle schoolers! We all know that midterm week can become VERY stressful, especially for those who might be taking tests for the first time. Here are some SIMPLE tips to make midterm week as painless as possible!

  1. Buy something to snack on since the exams are two hours OR buy a snack from the school for just a buck!
  2. Make sure you sit in the right seat or else you will get distracted and not finish the midterm.
  3. Study, study, study! And don’t wait until the night before…study a little bit each night. 4. Don’t rush to finish.
  4. ALWAYS manage your time. Keep an eye on the clock, but don’t let it overwhelm you!
  5. Eat a well-balanced, healthy breakfast to strengthen your mind for the midterms.
  6. Don’t bring a BIG bag of chips or you’ll see your peers looking to get some…and besides…that’s not a healthy snack option anyway!
  7. In the middle of the test you might get stressed… just stop working for a minute and breathe!
  8. If you’re that kid who likes to sit in the back where the teacher can’t see you and go on your phone/iPad… DON’T! You will get easily distracted and not complete the test.
  9. Don’t sit next to your friends! They distract you and make you lose focus and possibly lead you to not finish.

A Breakdown of the Wizard of Oz – from those in the know! by Michael Lawless

Hello, my name is Michael Lawless and I’m reporting to you all about the first ever Howard T. Herber musical, The Wizard of Oz. Now, I played a part in the musical and as a reporter I refuse to have any bias, so let’s get some interviews from some crew, cast, and audience members, shall we?

     The first person I’m going to interview is the stage manager Angelina Reyes.

Me: “How was it working behind the scenes?”

Angelina: “It was very complicated with moving all the sets and it was very crowded backstage because of the house and before we couldn’t really see anything because there wasn’t any light backstage.”

Me: “What was the hardest thing to do and how did you accomplish it?”

Angelina: “The hardest thing was getting everybody quiet…”

Me: “What did you have to learn?”

Angelina: “I had to learn how to do the curtains, how to turn on the work lights, how to turn on the house lights…”

Me: “As stage manager was there anything you had to teach?”

Angelina: “I had to teach my assistant stage manager Merola to open the middle curtains because I couldn’t run back and forth backstage and I had to spike the stage to know when and where the things (props) are going to be.”

Now, I have an interview from Selin Mutlu who was part of the stage crew for the musical.

 Me: “How was it working behind the scenes?”

 Selin: “It was good but also stressful, very stressful”

Me: “What was the hardest thing to do and how did you do it?”

Selin: “The hardest thing to do was to move the huge props like the stairs and the munchkin land stuff, but that’s not my job. We had the help of this guy named Jesse and some high schoolers.”

Me: “What did you have to learn?”

Selin: “We had to learn how to move every prop and also how to be quiet while people are performing.”

Me: “How did you work with each other?”

Selin: “So there’s two parts of it, stage left and stage right where one side would move some props and the other side would move the other props.”

    The third person I shall interview is Jordan Murphy who’s a sixth grader here who attend the show as an audience member.

Me: “What was favorite and least favorite part of show?”

Jordan: “My favorite part was when The Lion was singing “Courage”. I don’t have a least favorite part.”

Me: “After seeing the musical, would you ever want to participate in the musical?”

Jordan: “Yes.”

Me: “Overall how did you like show?”

Jordan: “It was very good I liked it because I liked the singing and the acting, actors, and I especially liked the lion.”

Me: “Out of ten how would you rate the show?”

Jordan: “100!”

     The fourth person I interviewed is Lorenzo Mione another sixth grader here who attended the show.

Me: “What was your favorite and least favorite part of the show?”

Lorenzo: “I didn’t have a least favorite part but my favorite has got to be when the dog (Toto) opened up the curtain and found Oz”

Me: “After seeing the show would you ever want to participate in the musical in any way?”

Lorenzo: “Yeah I think so, I don’t have stage fright but I can’t sing or dance so I’d probably do lighting or something of that sort.”

Me: “Overall how did you like the show?”

Lorenzo: “I loved the show…it was fantastic.”

Me: “Out of ten how would you rate the show?”

Lorenzo: “8.5”

      The fifth person I interviewed is Tamia Persuad who along with Lorenzo and Jordan, saw the show.

Me: “What was your favorite and least favorite part?”

Tamia “My favorite part was the munchkin land scene.”

Me: “And your least favorite?”

Tamia: “I didn’t have a least favorite.”

Me: “After seeing the seeing the show, would you ever want to participate in the musical?”

Tamia: “Yes.”

Me: “What would you want to do?”

Tamia: “The lights.”

Me: “Overall how did you like the show?”

Tamia: “It was good and I liked the singing and the acting.”

Me: “Out of ten how would you rate the show?”

Tamia: “9.5”

The next three interviews I have are from some of my fellow cast mates.

The first cast interview I have is from Brianna Leale who played “The Wicked Witch of the West”, and “Almira Gulch”.

Me: “How did it feel to be on stage?”

Brianna: “It felt really great I really enjoyed it, it was a great experience.”

Me: “Were you ever nervous, if yes, how’d you get over it?”

Brianna: “I was nervous but I just practiced and…tried to get over stage fright, Mr. Coonan helped me with it.”

Me: “How did you remember all your lines?”

Brianna: “Practice… a lot of practice, Kaiden and my dad helped me.”

Me: “Would you do this again?”

Brianna: “I would definitely do this again, it was a great experience.”

Me: “Are you going to continue this through high school?”

 Brianna: “I would definitely do that because our performance would just get better as it goes on.”

Me: “Rate your experience performing.”

Brianna: “The experience was five out of five it was a great experience to be with everyone on stage and it was a one of a kind opportunity.”

Next up, I have Jahi Bradby who was the Doorman, Coroner, Guard, and was in all of the ensembles.

Me: “How did it feel to be on stage?”

Jahi: “It was fun and I really like it because it was fun.”

Me: “Were you ever nervous, if so how’d you overcome it?”

Jahi: “I wasn’t really nervous…well, I was kind of nervous. I just thought that I was performing in front of people and they wanted to see a good show.”

Me: “How’d you remember all your lines?”

Jahi: “I didn’t really have that many lines so I didn’t really need to memorize that many, so I just said them in my head a lot.”

Me: “Would you ever do this again?”

Jahi: “Yes, Every year of my life that I’m in school.”

Me: “Would you continue this through high school?”

Jahi: “Yes…”

Me: “Rate how your experience preforming was.”

Jahi: “9.5”

Lastly, I have Kaiden Ulysse who played
The Lion and Zeke.

Me: “How did it feel to be on stage?”

Kaiden:  “It felt empowering to be on stage because I felt like when I was there I had a whole new life that I could envision.”

Me: “Were you ever nervous, if yes, how’d you get over it?

Kaiden: I was nervous if people would like my roar because before it was horrible but with the help of friends, I had my roar on point.”

Me: “How’d you remember all your lines?”

Kaiden: “With lines, I would just repeat them in my head and sometimes I’d say them in curtain times”

Me: “Would you ever do this again?”

Kaiden: “I would love to do this over and over again until my legs fall off.”

Me: “Are you going to continue this through high school?”

Kaiden: “I am definitely doing this in high school without a doubt.”

Me: “Rate how your experience preforming was.”

Kaiden: “I think I’d give myself a 10/10 because I think I did awesome and there is not gonna be anything better than that coming out of me.”

And that’s it, that’s the inside scoop on the Howard T. Herber Middle School production of The Wizard of Oz.




Basketball Interview – by Ava Karpowitz

Basketball player interviewed: Chad Wesley, 7th grader at HTH

Q: How many players are on the junior high basketball team?

A: There are 25 players on our team.

Q: How many points were scored in total, this season?

A: This season, our team scored 65 points!

Q: What is this season’s record?

A: We had 5 wins and 6 losses

Q: What was extra special about this team?

A: My teammates and I were like brothers…we got really close!

Q: What moments are you  most proud of this season?

A: I think I played really well this season. For a few of the games, I scored the most points out of anyone else and I was really proud of myself for that.

Q: What position did you play?

A: Shooting guard

Q: What is it about this sport that is so special for you?

A: I just love it. I’ve always loved it, ever since I was little. I love staying after school to practice something that I have so much fun doing. And I really like how excited I get before the games.

Q: What lessons did you learn from this season?

A: No matter how good you think you are, always work harder next season!

Middle school Musical review by Jordon Blue

Howard T. Herber recently performed a musical called The Wizard of Oz. I saw and it was amazing! I never thought middle school students would be able to put on a show like that! I wasn’t expecting the play to look how it did. The cast and crew put a lot of work into this musical and it all worked out marvelously in the end.

The surprising part is it only took three months for them to put this play together. The lighting of each scene was perfect and the backgrounds for each scene matched the scene entirely. The acting made it look like the kids were doing this professionally! I really enjoyed this play and I would see it again if I could. I give this musical a 5/5.

I can’t wait to see what fabulous production our school puts on next year! Encore!

Into the Spider Verse – Movie Review by Jordan Blue

Into the Spider Verse is the story of Miles Morales and the premise of this movie is different spider men (and women) from different universes have to interact with each other to save the world. The cool parts of this movie are (I will not be going into spoiler territory) that every spider person has a unique art style and animation style! The funniest part is this movie was made by the creators of the Emoji Movie. This is probably what surprised everyone. The cast consists of Miles Morales, Peter Parker, Spider Ham, Spider Woman, Spider Man Noir and Penny Parker. It has a 98% rating on rotten tomatoes and critics love it. Overall I think it’s a really good movie and you should go see it.

Christmas Cookie Recipe by Alessandro Vera

There are so many wonderful things to love during the holiday season, but most could argue that it’s all of the delicious sweets! Here’s one of my personal favorite recipes for classic Christmas cookies!

Here’s what you will need:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 egg
1½ teaspoons Wilton Imitation Clear Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Wilton Imitation Almond Extract
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
a pan (oven-safe)
frosting to decorate on your cookies (if  you choose…but who doesn’t love a decorated Christmas cookie?!)

Now that you have everything you need here’s what you have to do:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lightly spray pan cavities with vegetable pan spray.
In a big bowl, beat butter and sugar.
Beat in egg and extracts, mix them well.
Combine flour and salt, add to butter mixture.
Beat until well blended.
Press dough into cavities, filling ⅔ full.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown around edges.
Cool in pan 10 minutes.
Turn pan over, and tap lightly on the back for the cookies to fall out.
If you choose, decorate your cookies with your frosting. I highly recommend doing so!

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!