GENESIS The Student News Site of Elkhart Memorial High School Mon, 23 Dec 2019 02:05:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Book review: “Zlata’s Diary” Mon, 23 Dec 2019 02:05:49 +0000 “Zlata’s Diary” is the diary of Zlata Filipović and details her life one year before the Bosnian war began, all the way until her evacuation and her brief time in France as a refugee.  Filipović’s life was nothing short of perilous. She risked nearly being killed, having to worry daily about her mother dying due to snipers, and the constant stream of news that told them about the death of their relatives.

The siege of Sarajevo lasted nearly four years, from April 6, 1992 to Feb. 26, 1996 and was orchestrated by the infamous war criminal, Ratko Mladić. He is primarily known for the Srebrenica Massacre. The number killed during the siege is highly debated–some say a few thousand were killed and others contend that over 10 thousand lives were taken.

The book is interesting as it is written through the eyes of a 13 year old girl and offers a first-hand glimpse into the siege. Zlata offers a glimpse into the daily life of Sarajevo compared to her parents who often saw the violence of the city during their trips around the city.

The entries are often short and provide a brief summary. Most notably the dangers and brutalities of the siege is covered in detail later in the book. The most notable part of the writing is the beginning, “Dear Mimmy” and the end with “Your Zlata” or some other variation. 

At times, it is awkward to read, especially since  she covers how the market got bombed and then somewhat abruptly ends with a lighter mood. Or her energetic entries which might end with a simple “Zlata”.

The writing is simple and is translated from a different language, which is most likely the reason the writing is slightly awkward and simple. Along with the fact that it’s written by a 13 year old. The content is good most of the time and can be quite captivating. 

Often compared to the Diary of Anne Frank, I would recommend it to those who enjoyed reading her story.

Overall, I would rate this 7/10 Greenfields. The book is good overall; however, it has its flaws which can make it awkward to read. 

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Annual craft bazaar creates pure happiness Mon, 23 Dec 2019 01:50:18 +0000 Where can you buy homemade fudge, cinnamon rolls, and crafts while at school? The yearly craft bazaar!

The students in Intense Intervention classes along with the Young Adult Program at Elkhart Memorial hosts this annual fundraiser in the Idea Box every December.

Kailey Blazier
One of the treats that is sold at the craft bazaar.

“The profit earned at the event goes towards our Community Based Outing experiences with our students,” teacher Don Knowlton said. “Bowling, shopping for cooking ingredients and eating out for lunch are some activities that this money supports.”

Not only is the bazaar a great way for students and staff to feed their sweet tooth, this also stands as an amazing opportunity for the students who host it.

“Our students feel great seeing what they have accomplished and have sold at the event,” Knowlton said. “They also love telling their friends in their general education classes about the craft show.”

As soon as you walk into the Idea Box, you are greeted by an eager student grinning from ear to ear. There is no better feeling than knowing that by taking a few minutes out of your day, you are making someone else’s so much better.

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The Art Club gets a grant that takes them to the Windy City Mon, 23 Dec 2019 01:28:09 +0000 With the Windy City on their mind, during their meeting on Thurs. Dec. 12, the Art Club was awarded an $800 grant by the Elkhart Education Foundation to fund their desire to travel to the famous Art Institute of Chicago.

They had been selling Elkhart Memorial commemorative scarves to fund their trip, but they really needed the grant to make their dream a reality.

“Taking this trip to the Art Institute of Chicago means a lot to me because I’m going to have a lifestyle that involves a lot of art and having the opportunity to go to a college and museum that involves that is just really inspirational,” said junior Kaiden Burkhart-White. 

Kaiden has been taking art classes since the beginning of his sophomore year and has big plans to further his knowledge in art.

Junior Kaiden Burkhart-White makes his own silk screen printed shirt during an Art Club meeting with the help of local artist, Bradley Davenport. The art club was awarded a grant to fund their trip to the Art Institute in Chicago.

During class, the students were also treated to a surprise visit and silk screen printing demonstration by local artist, Bradley Davenport. Burkhart and other Art Club members got the opportunity to try silk screen printing and to sign and keep the shirts they made to wear on their Chicago trip.

“Being able to go means a lot because I have gone to Chicago before, but I have not been able to see the Art institute,” sophomore Lauren Schulz said. “I know it will be a new experience. It will be interesting seeing other peoples different styles and most likely well-known art throughout the ages. It’s just going to be a great experience.” 

The students traveled to the Art Institute on Saturday, Dec.14.

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6 Reasons to get out and travel Mon, 23 Dec 2019 00:30:39 +0000 At a young age, I am fortunate to have learned the value of traveling. I’ve realized that it’s important because it makes a person less ignorant of what’s going on around the world.

Traveling has become a part of me and the memories I have made will always be with me, and I know my family and I will never forget our trips to Germany, The Netherlands, Algeria and France.

So here are my “Six Reasons Why You Should Get Out and Travel”:

1. So you don’t have to judge a book by its cover

Instead of researching a place and looking at pictures, go out and actually experience the culture, food, and everything else it has to offer.

2. To enjoy life!

So many people are stuck in a rut: work, eat, sleep, repeat. Get out and experience the world with friends and family. Do something fun by going on vacation.

3. To spoil yourself

Go out and save your money and spend a week some place nice! Why don’t you reward yourself for all of the hard work you did the past year?

4. So you can appreciate what you have

Seeing a different culture gives you an eye-opener on how other people live their lives, making you appreciate what you have.

5. To spend time with your family

Don’t let the holidays be the only time everyone gets together. Take a week to get away with the people you love and have a true family bonding.

6. To help others in need

There’s  so many people who need help and you can go out and help by going on a mission trip. A lot of people don’t realize the impact they make when they help someone else. It’s important to go out and see for yourself.

*I’m so blessed and thankful for all the opportunities I’ve gotten to get out and travel with my family and I hope that my readers can find the time to do it too!

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Teacher decade transformations: From 2009-2019 Sun, 22 Dec 2019 23:55:32 +0000 Now that the decade is coming to an end, we celebrate the teachers who were here from the beginning. Check out these fun teacher transformations from 2009 to 2019!


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Artist of the Week: Kaiden Burkhart-White Sun, 22 Dec 2019 23:07:30 +0000 As an aspiring tattoo artist and author of graphic novels, junior Kaiden Burkhart-White talks about his love of all things art.

GENESIS: How long have you been interested in art?

KAIDEN BURKHART-WHITE: “I’ve been drawing basically ever since I could.  It started with stick figures with eyelashes on the wall.”

G: What’s your favorite style of art?

KB: “My favorite art style is realism, or semi-realism, especially with distortion color-wise.”

G: What’s been your favorite art class at Memorial?

KB: “My favorite art class is the one I’m taking this year: AP 2-D Art. It gives a lot of artistic freedom.

G: What would you like to do later on in life?

KB: “Later on in life, I want to be a full time tattoo artist, but also draw for graphic novels I’m writing. I actually have a job at a tattoo shop set-up for my senior year before I head out to college (I hope to SAIC).”

G: Do you have one major thing that usually inspires your art?

KB: “I find that angst and raw emotions really helps inspire art.”

G: Is there anything else you’d like me to know?

KB: “I mainly focus on chalk pastel portraits right now.”

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Remembering her roots and overcoming struggles: Precious Chigwada Sun, 22 Dec 2019 21:50:21 +0000 Senior Precious Chigwada, a two sport varsity athlete, seems as though she lives life just like every other student walking the halls at Elkhart Memorial: going to class, going to practice, and spending time with her friends and family, but that is only what we see from the outside.

Precious came to the United States on Oct. 26 of 2005 from Harare, Zimbabwe. After some health issues for Precious’ mother, the Chigwada family decided that it was necessary for them to move to the United States for better treatment.

Photo submitted by Precious Chigwada
Precious and her family during a trip to New York City on July 20.

Along with her parents and brothers, Wisdom and Victor, Precious began her journey to a new life in South Bend, Indiana where the Chigwada family lived for five years; then they moved to Dallas, Texas where they spent another five years. Finally, they settled in their current home in Elkhart, IN.

“Moving here has taught me to never take anything for granted,” Precious said. “I’ve become a stronger person because of all the struggles I’ve faced and because I moved away from my home. It’s helped me be more expressive in my culture.”

And her friends agree. Precious has a confidence about her that comes from the obstacles her family has worked to overcome.

“She doesn’t care what other people think,” senior Jahlea Douglas, a friend of Precious said. “She has her own style and her own demeanor.”

“She is so fun and spontaneous, but at the same time, she is never disrespectful,” senior Rayna Minix said. “Her family and background have really made her appreciate everything so much more.”

Since moving to the United States, Precious has found a number of opportunities that were not offered in Zimbabwe.

Photo courtesy of Susan Kay Photography
Senior Precious Chigwada follows the ball down the field at her varsity soccer game against Concord on Thursday, Aug. 22.

“I have the opportunity of free public schools, earning money, and doing anything I want and love freely,” Precious said. “The cities in Zimbabwe are like normal urban cities, but packed with many people and vendors. It’s generally a peaceful place, but there’s a lot of poverty and struggle.”

Even if there are some similarities between here and there, it was no easy transition for her family. But, there is no question that her family stuck together and supported each other in this big change.

“My brothers are like my best friends and we have the best bond. My parents are the most hardworking people I know and they’ve taught me everything I need to know,” Precious said. “They always make sure I remember my roots and I couldn’t be where I am today without them.”


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Charger wrestling falls to Central after forfeiting four matches Sun, 22 Dec 2019 19:49:56 +0000 With the conclusion of the final Elkhart Memorial versus Elkhart Central wrestling meet on Tuesday, Dec. 17, Central was victorious 46-30 over the Chargers.

Senior wrestling captain Kamden Goering described the opportunity to wrestle in the match as “surreal knowing it was the last match, but once I was out there, it felt just like any other normal match.”

But was this truly a show of either team’s talent or ability?

Photo courtesy of Katrina Lundy
Senior Kamden Goering celebrates his victory in the 160 lb weight class on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Goering went all the way to the Semi-State tournament during the 2018-2019 season.

“In our case, it showed that even though we won more matches, we lost because we didn’t have a full line-up. I think it showed our team had more individual talent,” Goering said.

The Chargers had to forfeit four matches due to not having enough light weights on their roster, consisting of 106 lbs, 113 lbs, 120 lbs, and 126 lbs. This cost the team 24 points just from forfeits alone.

“The wrestling team is definitely smaller this year. And I know it’s because it’s not an easy sport to handle and we don’t have much advertising for it,” Goering said.

With the rough start for the Chargers forfeiting the first couple of matches and losing a couple after, finally Senior Marcus Nobles took out his competition in the 138 lb weight class for the first win for the Chargers Tuesday night. 

But the momentum didn’t stop there:  Sophomore Kayden Shepherd also won his match in the 152 lb class, followed by Goering (160lbs), Junior Clayton Lundy (170lbs), and Senior Nathan Sabas (182lbs), putting the Chargers right back into things even after the deficit they were thrown into.

But in the end, it was not enough as the Chargers fell 46-30.

“I think our team lost because of inexperience as a whole, but that is something we can improve on. I’m really proud that everyone gave their all, that’s something you can’t teach,” Goering said.

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PSA: It doesn’t make you cool to ruin bathrooms. Thu, 19 Dec 2019 18:03:03 +0000 There’s nothing more disgusting than walking into a bathroom to find it completely trashed and destroyed. Do you ever get that uneasy feeling walking into a gas station bathroom that smells and looks like a wild boar fight has just ended? Unfortunately, our own bathrooms here at Memorial are becoming the same way, but instead of pigs trashing the bathroom, it’s our own student body. This has to end. 

Tyler Lehner
Wet paper towels can be seen thrown against the wall of this bathroom at Elkhart Memorial.

Our bathrooms have several “yuck” factors. Wet toilet paper can be seen thrown against the walls, feces has been spread all over stalls and toilet seats, and whole paper towel rolls, meant for us to dry our hands, they are not to be thrown in the toilets. We are 14-18 year olds, and it’s about time we grow up and start showing respect to our school facilities.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into one of our bathrooms to find it trashed, and what doesn’t make sense to me, is why we are doing it. We are high school students, we should know better. It’s sad to me that elementary school bathrooms stay cleaner than our own. If children can respect their school, we can too.

Tyler Lehner
A message from the athletic department regarding the personal hygiene items.

Down in the restrooms by the field house, you may have noticed that for a short period of time, brand new hygiene products such as deodorant and toothpaste were given to us for FREE, for our own personal use when we needed it. We are lucky to have faculty members that care about us enough to get us these items, and they certainly come in handy when we need them.

However, those products were used by students to vandalize the bathrooms, and as a result, the free products are no longer easily accessible. To get them, we now have to go to the athletic office and ask for them, and as a student with pits that sweat uncontrollably sometimes, I’d be embarrassed to go up to Ms. Tubbs and ask for what I need, and I’m sure other students feel the same way. By vandalizing the bathrooms with those hygiene products, we are basically slapping those faculty members in the face who simply wanted to do something nice for us.

“The bathrooms here are just horrible,” senior Jerry Thiel said. “I see kids on Snapchat recording themselves ruining the bathrooms and it makes me feel bad that our janitors have to clean up after unmannerly kids.” 

Now, I’m sure many of you are thinking, “Isn’t it their job to clean the bathrooms?” yes, cleaning the bathrooms is one of the many tasks they are assigned, but nobody should have to clean up someone else’s feces on stall walls. In the same respect, our custodians should not have to scrape wet toilet paper off the walls and bathroom mirrors that were thrown there. We should be courteous and make our custodians jobs easier.

Tyler Lehner
A full paper towel roll was taken from its enclosure and thrown into a toilet.

“It makes me upset when people trash places and try justifying it by saying things like ‘it’s the janitors job to clean it’ Like No, you’re being rude by making their jobs and their lives harder than it needs to be,” Senior Patsi Ward said. “It isn’t difficult to be a good, civilized human being and being a jerk isn’t attractive.”

What’s one way to show courtesy to others in the bathroom? FLUSH THE TOILETS. It is beyond disgusting to walk into a stall and find feces that wasn’t flushed, and it makes the entire bathroom smell like boo boo. Flush the toilets and make our bathrooms smell like respectable facilities again.

In addition to flushing the toilets, show courtesy by throwing paper towels away when you are done with them. If you miss the trash trying to shoot like Kobe, the least you can do is pick up the paper towel that missed and throw it away like normal so it makes it into the bin. Leaving trash on the floor is disrespectful and it’s another reason our bathrooms look horrible. 

So what can we do to put an end to this? It’s simple. Start respecting our bathrooms. It’s not cool to ruin them and it won’t make you more popular if you trash the bathrooms and flex about it on Snapchat. 

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Musician of the Week: Celeste Ramirez Thu, 19 Dec 2019 17:54:45 +0000 Junior Celeste Ramirez is a violinist in symphony orchestra who began playing in the seventh grade. Keep reading to learn more about Ramirez and her passion for music.

GENESIS:What made you play the violin?

CELESTE RAMIREZ: I thought it was a pretty instrument and I like how it sounded. My mom actually wanted me to play the saxophone at first and I was like “No, I want to play the violin.” 

G: What do you think separates the violin from any other instrument?

CR: For sure the range of notes you can play. It’s not just buttons that you can press, you can essentially make any note in between with the violin. It can reach really high notes as well something not a lot of instruments can do.

G: How many years have you been playing?

CR: I have been playing since the seventh grade so about five years.

G: Describe the way you feel when you play.

CR: I feel productive when I’m playing. It’s so much fun to play and to learn it as well

G: How do you keep up with everything: the music and just the overall difficulty of it?

Photo Submitted By Celeste Ramirez
Junior Celeste Ramirez has many medals and awards from competing at ISSMA Solo and Ensemble

CR: It’s all about time management and finding free time in your day to practice. For me, it depends on what I’m trying to learn. Some days I practice for thirty minutes or sometimes even hours. 

G: Do you plan on pursuing the violin after high school?

CR: To be honest, not really. For me, it’s mainly just a hobby.

G: How has playing the violin changed your view on music?

CR: It makes me appreciate music more; For example, when I listen to music, I look for the smaller details. I definitely understand the dedication it takes to make music, so I try and listen to a side part in a song and not just the main part of the song. I also tend to listen to how everything in a song comes together as one.

G: What artists, particularly the ones who play the violin, inspire you?

CR: When I was first starting to play the violin I liked Lindsey Sterling a lot. Now, I’m really into Taylor Davis!

G: Why is playing so important to you?

CR: It’s another thing that keeps me busy. I feel like I’m actually doing something when I’m playing. In the end, playing serves as a motivator for me. 

G: What advice would you give other students who want to learn how to play the Violin as well? 

CR: Definitely practicing and asking questions. If you have a recording of the piece you are learning definitely listen to it and your specific part. Listening to how other people play the piece also helped me a lot.


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