Hunting Movie Reviews, Lansing Student Creates His Own Website

By Riley Phillips

There are many people throughout the school who play sports, play in the band, or participate in Scholars Bowl, but there aren’t many students who can say that they created and paid for a website all on their own.

Senior Hunter Hotaling begs a differ. Hotaling created his own movie review website slowly but surely over the span of about a year. It is a space that he can freely post his opinions and get feedback from others on his opinions. He started the creation of his website around October 2017  and began adding articles and jotting down ideas as he went.

“I think I wrote about 15 articles before I created my website.” It was no easy project as he said he was constantly playing around with the website, changing things, and editing the appearance. Once he was finished and the website was ready to be publish, Hotaling stated that the website looked nothing how it did when he started in October.

It is his love for movies and his motivation to create his own website helped make all of this possible. “I am a humongous movie nerd and I need to be able to vent my ideas somewhere without annoying people,” said Hotaling. After a long road of saving up his money to pay for the website, which turned out to be around $550 after adding up publishing costs, social media promotions, and adding on different widgets to enhance the websites visual appearance.

Time was also a major factor for Hotaling. “Once my website was published and fully up and running I was spending about two hours a day on the website seeing that I still had to create my SEO(Search Engine Operator) so my website could be found on google. Back then I spent a lot more time on it than I do now.” Hotaling now spends around five hours on his website per week writing articles and editing the software to make it better everyday.

Social media has played a major role in bring people to his website and seeing his articles. “Most of my audience comes from Facebook and Instagram seeing that’s where my ads and articles get posted and or reposted. Many people will leave comments or send me emails stating whether or not they liked the review or telling me to take down my review because it is not the same opinion as theirs, but its my website, but I’m not taking down my review over the opinion of a stranger,” he said.

Hotaling does his reviews over a wide variety of movies ranging from comedies to political movies such as “Vice”. “The review that I did over ‘Vice’ was by far my favorite seeing that the movie is about former Vice President Dick Cheney because there was a big political argument going on in the comments section which was really fun,” he said.

The Lansing senior plans on doing something with the entertainment industry with a critical journalism twist in the future as a career. Hotaling’s website is not associated with the school whatsoever and he plans on keeping his website around for while and hopes to take it to an even bigger spectrum as time progresses. His website is linked here and at the top of the article. Go check it out.


No More Late Work

By Zach Brown and Riley Phillips

At the end of the fall semester many students were up in arms about a new late work policy that would be put into effect after Winter Break. Teachers on the other hand, are showing quite a bit of interest in the new policy. “I feel like the new policy will help motivate kids to turn assignments in on time an will help keep some stress off of me,” said teacher Dylan Brown. The new late work policy was formulated around the halfway mark of the 2018 semester, but will not be put into full effect until the first week of the 2019 semester.

Both students and teachers have mixed emotions about the new policy and how it will be implemented. Many seniors, such as Nate Baker, are very against it and find the new policy absurd. “I don’t think the policy will help kids get work done; I think it will help them fail. Once they see how useless the new policy is, it will be changed right back to how it was previously,” said Baker. He is not the only one who feels this way. Many seniors believe that this new policy is gong end up dragging them down, rather than building them up. Not all of the opinions are negative though, some seniors and even underclassmen think that the policy is a good idea and will give them the extra push that they need.

It seems that most of the negative opinions are indeed coming from the underclassmen. “I think the new policy will bring me nothing more than additional stress, especially once it gets closer to finals,” said Junior Alicia Brown. After hearing about the policy just the week before finals in the 2018 semester, many students and teacher began to stress. Many students were rushing to turn in assignments and teachers were scrambling to put grades into the grade book, due to a trial run of the new late work policy last semester. After speaking to Brown again he had a more positive opinion about the policy. “Students should already be turning assignments in on time, this policy will help the students realize what it is like in the real world.” He believes that that very few kids will fail thew first semester because of the new policy, but it will be a wake up call for them. Most teachers in the building seem to share the same opinion and they are in agreement with the new plan to push the students to be better.

With the new semester getting started the opinions still seem to be mixed and students are still stressing. As the semester progresses students are bound to adjust to the new policy and do what it takes to succeed. Teachers are going to be held more accountable and students grades should improve. There is a long road ahead to see exactly how the new policy is going to change how the school functions.

A Change in Finals

By Riley Phillips

First semester is very close to the end and that means finals are quickly approaching. Students are rushing to turn in their missing working, raising their grades, and giving themselves as much cushion for their finals as they can. This year finals will be held over the course of two days instead of three. “I don’t feel bad about taking finals this year because we can get them done faster. I don’t have to sit around for three days thinking about them,” said senior Andrew Allen.  Not only does this take out the long drawn out study periods, but also allows the students to start their finals on Monday instead of Friday, eliminating the long weekend break where students “forget everything they studied for”.

Many students are in favor of this idea as well. “I think it will be more effective and efficient for the students. When you prolong the amount of days when taking finals, kids become drained and can’t work on the third day of finals because their brain is so tired,” said senior Bradi Basler. This is not a huge change from last year, but with the new principal in place things around the building are starting to change for the better.

Thanksgiving Traditions

By Riley Phillips

With Thanksgiving Break quickly approaching, students minds cannot escape the idea of the big Thanksgiving dinner, watching football with their families, or even having a Friendsgiving with a few of their closest friends. “On Thanksgiving my family and I don’t really do anything that special. We eat a big dinner together and enjoy all of the good food that has been made. After we eat, I personally take a nap to recover from all of the food I just ate. Then lastly, we all pile into the living room and watch football,” said junior Locarno Hilton.

Thanksgiving is definitely a time for family being together, even if it means being stressed out preparing for the big day. “My family will spend the whole morning cleaning the house and making sure everything is perfect. My siblings and I are in charge of making a dish for dinner later that day. Then, we finally spend the whole evening together. We get lucky if my siblings get along the whole time without fight. I really enjoy the whole aspect of Thanksgiving, like i genuinely enjoy getting to be around my family and having a good time all together,” said junior Kaelyn Hoppes.

It seems to be that many students around the school do the same thing for Thanksgiving, but yet there has to be that one person who does something different. So ask around and get to know your peers a little better, find out what traditions their family has, and what they do to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Positive Principal Phone Calls

By Riley Phillips

With the new school year well underway, many changes have been put into place by the new principal, Rob McKim, in order to better the school’s environment. One of these changes is the “Positive Principal Phone Calls”. At the end of every week Principal McKim will announce a list of student names who teachers and staff around the school believe deserve recognition. “This is one way to recognize students in a positive way that are either contributing to the school, doing good around the school, or working hard. For example there was a student who ran to open the door for another student whose hands were full. It is the little things that deserve to be recognized. It also gives us as a faculty an excuse to look for those positive things,” said Principal Rob McKim.

Even though this a very small thing, it gives a new feeling throughout the building and even has an effect on the students. “Of course this varies from students to student, but hopefully it boosts the teacher-to-student relationships and increases the positivity around the school,” said McKim. This recognition does not stop at school. The parents of the students are called as well so they positivity can carry home and those students can get a pat on the back from their families. “As a staff we are hoping that the students will receive some type of reward when they get home from doing good at school. Not only does it shock some students, but their parents as well, seeing that they are not at school and do not always know what their student is up to,” said McKim.

As of right now there are 39 students who have been recognized with plenty more to come. The students who have been recognized so far are: Sarah Wilson, Shemar Ximines, Eric Karpierz, Kaydence Robinson, Emma DaMetz, Luke Usera, Sammy Masisak, Kelsie Lynch, Joshua Twitchell, Vianne Arias, Justin Wendl, Logan Buffo, Isabelle Ward, Daviud Teegarder, Nick Rothmeyer, Ian Tippit, Corbin Holyfield, Kelsy Morse, Madison Muzzy, Tyler Kane, Diana Green, Lila Dietz, Geoffrey Stentiford, Aliana Anom, Molly Jo Genail, Anthony Beavers, Julia Mullins(2), Dakota Sill, Kaylee Arwine, Hailyn Toedter, Caitlin Bishop, Tre’Matt Pledger, Marissa Ober, Madison Kees, Cole Bilotta, Qahri Tucker, and Calvin Sholey. These students names were called over the intercome and receive a letter recognizing them. This will continue thought the school year and hopefully carry to the next school years to come.