Showing posts with label HHS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HHS. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A View from the Bridge at the Grand

Yesterday Darryl, my colleague in the English department at HHS (and dear friend), and I took a group of students to see a performance of A View from the Bridge at the Grand Theatre.  Every year the Grand Theatre performs matinees for high school students free of charge and I absolutely love this because many of our students would not have an opportunity to see live theatre otherwise.  I derive so much enjoyment from live theatre and I love being able to share my passions with students.  All of them had read the play by Arthur Miller and they really seemed to enjoy the production.  In fact, many of the students on my bus talked about the differences between the performance and the text which pretty much made me giddy!  The story focuses on Eddie Carbone (Jason Tatom), a longshoreman in an Italian community in Brooklyn, his wife Beatrice (Teresa Sanderson), and his niece Catherine (McKenzie Steele Foster).  Eddie is extremely protective of Catherine and is almost obsessed with her.  Eventually, Beatrice's relatives Marco (Aaron Adams) and Rodolpho (Rusty Bringhurst) arrive illegally from Italy and stay with them in their apartment.  Rodolpho and Catherine begin dating, much to Eddie's dismay.  He believes that Rodolpho is only interested in Catherine because he wants to use her to become an American citizen and his jealousy leads to tragedy.  The set is extremely clever with the apartment in the middle of the dock.  All of the lead actors give amazing performances, especially Tatom, and the students were very impressed with the dramatic second act.  A View from the Bridge runs at the Grand Theatre until April 7 (go here for tickets) and I highly recommend it.

Note:  Arranging a field trip is like planning the D-Day Invasion but it is ultimately so worth it!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Sundance Student Screening 2018

I have a wonderful group of seniors this year!  I had a lot of the students as sophomores two years ago so I had an instant rapport with them.  They trust me and so they are willing to share their opinions and discuss the pieces of literature that we read.  Last semester we read Hamlet and we had some epic discussions about characterization.  One of the things I asked them to think about as we read was if they thought the characters were the architects of their own doom.  They came to the conclusion that all of the characters deserve their fate except for Ophelia.  The girls, especially, were really angry about her treatment because they saw her as a pawn for all of the men in her life.  Some of the students were so interested in Ophelia as a character that I eventually recommended the novel Ophelia, by Lisa Klein, which tells the story from her perspective.  Imagine my surprise when some of them starting reading it (one girl asked for it for Christmas!).  This is why I do what I do!  Every year I am given tickets to a student screening at the Sundance Film Festival and I was emailed a list of films to choose from in early December.  I noticed that there was a film called Ophelia and, when I read the description, I realized that it was based upon Klein's novel.  Of course I had to choose it and, when I announced it to my students, they cheered out loud.  My 50 allotted tickets were claimed within days and they have been so excited, practically counting down the days!  We were able to see the film yesterday and to say that the students loved it would be an understatement.  They discussed it all the way home on the bus! It is so special to me to be able to share my love of film with my students and the fact that they were so engaged with this particular film is something that I will never forget!  I have had so many wonderful experiences at the Sundance Film Festival this year (a full wrap-up is coming soon) but this tops them all!  A huge thank you to the Sundance Institute for offering these screenings to students free of charge.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Grand Teton National Park

My friend Rich teaches a class called the American West at Hunter High School.  During the summer, he takes a group of students from the class on a camping trip to Grand Teton National Park.  This year I went along as a chaperone.
I have been to Yellowstone many times but I have never camped at Grand Teton National Park and it was beautiful!
We stayed in the campsite by Coulter Bay in tents that were almost like cabins because they had reinforced walls and a roof.  They were pretty nice but it was very cold at night.  There was a wood-burning stove but we let the fire go out the first night.  I was vigilant about keeping the fire going the second night!  I was with the girls in this cabin.
On the second day we went rafting on the Snake River.  The level of the river was higher than anyone remembers it ever being and the guides were even nervous about the conditions.  They gave us a safety briefing that was comprehensive, to say the least.  After that I didn't know if I wanted to do it any more!  To be honest, I was pretty terrified.  I had gone river rafting once before on the Athabasca River in Canada but that was a bit tamer than the Snake River.  They made us wear wet suits because the water was so cold.
Here we are in our raft before we started down the river.  Notice that I am in the back in the middle.  Our guide wanted the two bravest people in the front as the lead paddlers and the most scared person in the back!  Ha ha!
Rafting the river was amazing!  We hit some really big rapids and we all got drenched but it was a thrill!  It felt like the biggest roller coaster you can imagine but it was completely out of control.  I loved it!  Our guide took this picture of us on a calm portion of the river!
On the third day we went on a hike around Jenny Lake which gave us spectacular views.
This was such a fun trip and the students were so great.  Some of my favorite moments were sitting in the bathroom charging our phones, making s'mores by the fire every night, an epic Monopoly game, and the Hootenanny in Moose.  I hope I am invited to go again next year! 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What I Want To Remember

Last week our principal took me and all of the SBOs to lunch at Little America, as he does every year, and it was a lovely afternoon.  It is always nice to be able to leave school for a few hours and go downtown for lunch at a fancy restaurant (the food at Little America is fabulous, especially the desserts).  Our principal had the officers talk about their favorite memories and that made me really happy.  We have had quite a bit of drama in student government this year and I've been feeling a bit negative about the year.  I'm glad I had the chance to be reminded of all of the good things that happened this year.  These are the things I want to remember.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Spirit Week 2017

Last year, my officers took Spirit Week to a whole new level so, of course, the current officers were determined to outdo it this year!  Each class chose a different video game (the seniors were Mario, the juniors were Pokemon, the sophomores were Pac Man, and the freshmen were Sonic) as their theme and each class was assigned a hall to decorate around their theme.  The officers started making the decorations over a month ago and we have had many long nights at school (and even a Saturday).  I can't believe how elaborate their decorations were this year because it looked like you were in the middle of the game as you walked down each hall.  I definitely have some very talented artists in my group!  The reaction from the faculty and student body was very enthusiastic!  I especially loved the giant ghosts from Pac Man that we made with balloons and fabric and hung through the hall.  Our assembly was yesterday and it was one of our best!  The SBOs and each of the class officers had different games and the classes competed against each other.  I loved the freshmen game which was a giant version of Tic Tac Toe using hula hoops as the game board.  It was so fun to watch all of the contestants running back and forth.  The SBOs rented these giant plastic Zorbs and each player raced across the gym inside of one.  It was a riot!  We ended the assembly with our traditional Tug-O-War (there is bad blood between the juniors and sophomores after last year) and this year the Seniors won.  I loved it because the teams have been talking about it all week!  I have been putting in really long hours and I have been so stressed out so I am glad that it was a success but, more than that, I am glad that it is over!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sweethearts Dance 2017

Last year the preparations for the annual Sweethearts Dance were fraught with difficulties.  It took three meetings just to decide on a theme!  Every other decision, from decorations to refreshments to the DJ, was met with similar obstacles.  This year was the exact opposite!  At the very first planning meeting with the officers they knew exactly what they wanted (and showed me pictures on Pinterest of every detail).  They wanted to do something completely different and have a more casual black light dance in the auxiliary gym.  I loved the idea and the theme, "Glow the Night Away," was immediately approved by the administration.  They found a company which rented black lights and we ordered them the next day.  We ordered glow sticks and neon cups (I was more excited about these cups than a normal person should be) from a party store.  We asked for a simple black backdrop from our photographer and we made photo booth props out of fluorescent cardstock for students to hold in the photos.  We bought neon balloons and ordered LED lights to place inside them to make them glow (they looked so cool).  They really wanted candied popcorn so I googled it and found a company that made popcorn in ten different flavors in individual bags which made it so easy!  The officers even found the DJ!  Every detail came together very quickly and the officers were able to set everything up in less than an hour.  They were so excited for the dance to begin;  in fact, I've never had a group so excited for a dance!  It was a huge success!  We had over 300 people at the dance and it definitely looked like everyone was having a good time.  I am very proud of my officers for all of their hard work (but I am glad that it is over!).

Note:  Sometimes I feel like I live at Hunter High!  This week, not only have the officers been preparing for the dance, but they also worked on Spirit Week every day after school.  I also stayed really late at school on Friday to see the play The Crucible, which was fantastic.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sundance Student Screening 2017

The Sundance Film Festival is in full swing (a wrap-up of my Sundance experience is coming soon) and one of my favorite aspects of the festival is the opportunity to bring my students to a screening free of charge.  Yesterday I took a group to see the film Deidra and Laney Rob a Train and, despite a severe winter storm which made driving downtown a lot of fun, it was an amazing experience for both me and my students!  This field trip has become something of a tradition at Hunter High (I had kids asking me about it before Christmas break) and this year the response was overwhelming.  I asked for 50 tickets, like I usually do, but I had so many students sign up that I asked the director for more!  Even so, I still turned kids away.  I can't tell you how happy it made me to see my students so excited about independent film!  Even if I teach them nothing else, I want my students to know that there are stories that need to be told and voices that need to be heard (maybe now more than ever)!  The best part of this whole adventure is that my students absolutely loved the film!  I could hear them laughing during the screening and they talked about it all the way back to school on the bus!  Most of the students in my afternoon class were still talking about it which made some of the students who couldn't go really jealous.  I guess I'll have to request even more tickets next year because many of my sophomores asked if me if they can go again even if they are not in my class any more!  Yesterday was a good day!

Note:  Deidra and Laney Rob a Train was filmed in Utah!  I recognized the Heber Valley Railroad and my friend Adia, who came with me to help chaperone, went to Judge Memorial High School which was also featured!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Quarters for Christmas 2016

Last week I helped my officers to sponsor a campaign to raise money for Quarters for Christmas.  My officers worked tirelessly to make this campaign a success and the students of Hunter High were incredibly generous this year!  We were able to present a check for $2,107.20 (the most we've ever raised at Christmastime) to KSL for a segment aired on the news.
Deanie Wimmer, one of the anchors on KSL, met with the officers and graciously thanked them for the donation, spending a considerable amount of time with them.  It was really fun to go behind the scenes to see what happens during a news broadcast.
I am really proud of my officers and the students of HHS for helping to make the holidays better for the children of Utah.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Make A Wish 2016

Last year my officers had the amazing opportunity to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Utah to sponsor Carson, a seven year old boy with a brain tumor.  His wish was to go to Disney World and, with the help of the generous student body of HHS, we were able to make his wish come true!  When the 2016-2017 officers were planning for this school year, they immediately wanted to sponsor another child.  In fact, one of the new officers told me that she specifically ran for office so she could participate in this campaign.  It is pretty magical!
This year we were able to sponsor McKelle, a girl who has cerebral palsy and hearing loss.  She loves the Disney princesses so we based our "Wish Week" around the princess theme.  One of the officers designed a special shirt for the week with Cinderella as the logo and we sold the shirts as a fundraiser.  We also ordered Make-A-Wish wristbands (we sold out of them in two days) and sold stars that students could write their names on to hang in the commons.  In addition, we held our 2nd Annual Dodgeball Tournament which raised quite a bit of money.  Like last year, we created a huge thermometer with challenges that the officers would complete in our Wish Assembly if certain monetary goals were achieved.
We introduced McKelle to the student body at the beginning of the assembly and she certainly charmed everyone in the gym.  My friend made her a princess shirt and she was so excited!
We had her Mom and several of her siblings speak to the crowd about the difficulties McKelle goes through on a daily basis.  They also spoke about her love of the Disney princesses.  She wants to go to Disney World so much that she has a bag packed by her bed ready to go!
Then we had a "Miracle Minute" where the officers went into the crowd to collect money.  HHS donated almost $1,000 in that minute!
Then the officers completed the challenges.  One of them was "Egg Roulette."  We had hard boiled and raw eggs and each officer had to pick one to smash against their forehead.  The raw egg was a little bit messy!
Another challenge was "Mystery Baby Food."  The officers were blindfolded and we fed them such delicacies as carrots, beets, squash, and peas.  Apparently, the peas are pretty gross!
Several officers had to eat a raw onion.  I didn't think this would be too bad but, apparently, it was disgusting!  We also had the boys wax their legs (like last year) and one of the officers cut her long hair!
When we were brainstorming different challenges, the officers wanted to have a tarantula walk on the officers who were afraid of spiders.  I didn't think that the administration would approve this challenge but they did with the proviso that we not harm the tarantula.  I thought that was hilarious!  It turns out that tarantulas are very fragile and, when I picked it up from the pet store, I was given lots of instructions.  When I was in college getting my teaching certificate, no one ever said that I would have to be a tarantula wrangler!
Throughout the week, we sold raffle tickets to students for the chance to throw a pie at their favorite teacher, coach, or administrator.  We drew twelve names and this was the highlight of the assembly!  I can't imagine why but we made lots of money with this challenge!  (The teachers, coaches, and administrators were very good sports!).  We were able to present a check to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Utah in the amount of $4,021.25!
Several of the officers dressed up as princesses to give McKelle a tiara and a trip to Disney World!  This week was so much work but it was worth it just to see McKelle's face when her wish was granted!  She programmed her iPad to thank the crowd and they gave her a standing ovation.  Such an amazing experience!

Note:  Go here to see the news story on KTVX and go here to find out more about Make-A-Wish Utah.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Trunk or Treat

There is a Trunk or Treat at Hunter High every year and I was overjoyed when some of my officers wanted to participate this year because I had never been involved in one before.  We immediately looked on Pinterest started brainstorming ideas for our theme and decided to go with pirates.  We went shopping for supplies (my favorite was the parrot) and found everything we needed but a skeleton.  We really wanted a full-size skeleton and all we could find were small ones.  I eventually found one on Amazon for more than I wanted to pay but go big or go home!  When I mentioned the Trunk or Treat to my sister Marilyn, she asked if she could participate because she has always wanted to do one, too.  I agreed and she planned an Alice in Wonderland theme, even buying herself a costume.  She enlisted my Dad's help as the Mad Hatter.
We had a lot of fun decorating and I think our trunk turned out great!  There were lots of clubs involved and we had a big turn out!  It was a lot of fun!
Marilyn's trunk was adorable!
We got second place in the trunk decorating contest!
We won't mention who got first place.  (Who invited them?)

Friday, October 28, 2016

2016-2017 Student Body Officers

Over fall break the Student Body Officers had some photos taken at the Utah State Capitol Building and I really love how they turned out.  Here are a few of them.
This next one is my favorite because they wear their sweaters like this all of the time (they are really hot, especially at the end of summer when school starts).

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