Our Very First Play

Surbhi Ghadia recruited cast and crew for her big show

Sophomore Surbhi Ghadia recently brought her leadership project to the stage as a non-profit production of Cat in the Hat during sixth period in the gym on January 13.

“It is basically a parody,” said Ghadia of the Cat in the Hat production, “I kept some original lines in it but mostly, I added in little jokes.”

Although the original story is intended for a younger audience, Surbhi has confidence that it will shine at AHS.

“I think that anyone can watch this play,” said Ghadia, “This is high school and I picked a kid’s type of play and I thought that it may be a little out of the age group but then, of course, no one’s too old for Cat in the Hat.”

The casual performance was offered to anyone who could or wanted to attend during sixth period.

“Basically, whichever teachers want to bring their classes can bring them” said Ghadia on who was invited to the performance.

As AHS doesn’t see very many plays on its stage, the Cat in the Hat was a rare occurrence for AHS students.

“I feel that since we’re a STEM school, there’s not much expression of other talents that people have. Of course everyone here has STEM talents but I know there are also some who like to act,” said Ghadia, “I personally love acting so I thought it would be a really cool way to get people involved who are interested in acting and it hasn’t been done before.”

Volunteers dedicated their time by coming together as a team to work towards a goal they’re passionate about.

“My favorite thing about being in The Cat in the Hat is that I get to be part of an experience that is not always offered to students at AHS,” said sophomore Moshe Henderson who will play the lead role as The Cat in the play, “It gives me a chance to share my talents and passion for the arts.”

“I thought it was a neat idea,” said teacher Troy Hoehne who was the staff advisor for the production, “I like that the students are being creative.”

The cast and and stage crew of volunteers make up the production team and met every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for rehearsals which were led by Surbhi.

“Its fun because my job is really observational,” said Hoehne, “I have watched it from the very beginning. I watched Surbhi from the initial, ‘This is the idea that I have’ and now I can start to see the idea form. Its fun to watch them.”

Although Surbhi has worked hard as the Director, she also has acting talents of her own.

“I do like acting, myself, so what I did was put my own name in the script and I created a character named Surbhi The Director” said Ghadia.

Actors are required to prepare themselves for their role in many ways and the AHS actors are working hard to fulfill their responsibilities.

“To personally prepare for the role of the Cat, I, of course, have to memorize my lines,” said Henderson, “however, I like to take it a step further. As I hope to someday be a professional actor I have to study the character and how he holds himself. I have to pay attention to the ways he might say things, his objectives, his thoughts, and body language. After that, you just have to act, which really isn’t that hard once you’ve done all your homework for that character.”

Just like with any project that requires an audience, it was important to have support from the school.

“I have all of the approvals I need,” said Surbhi, “and I’ve had a lot of teachers ask me about the play who aren’t even involved with it. Its pretty cool how its wrapping around the school because almost all of the teachers know about it.”

After all of the hard work by the volunteers Surbhi, the she is seeing it all come together.

“I’m most excited about, not the actual performance, but the rehearsals,” said Ghadia, “I find that the best thing is building up to the product and I find that the process is the most fun part. So, I expect to have a bunch of good times and laughs with my helpers and actors.”

Along with Surbhi, the volunteers will walk away from this experience with a feeling of accomplishment.

“I became involved in Surbhi’s production because I love to act and want to broaden my experience in the theatre,” said Henderson, “I also know that Surbhi is a great leader and can live up to great expectations, so I trust her to produce something good. Being in a school play also looks good on a resume.”

Craft your Christmas

Even the most awkward hands can make the most thoughtful holiday gifts, Photo by Max Wienke

Wipe away your shopping fear and make your gifts by hand this year – without the dreaded worry of shopping day fury.

A gift by hand, what is it all about? A gift by hand is fantastic, no doubt.

“I think it’s better to make gifts because it’s more meaingful,” said AHS Freshmen Sahara Slate, “when I used to do it for my mom, she liked it better than buying gifts because I took time and did it for her.”

Deciding whether to buy a gift or make it yourself, is a decision that can be made using the stuff on your shelf.

“When I was growing up, I took a bunch of art classes and I really liked watercolor painting and sketching,” said AHS Senior Peter Keckemet, “so I’d always make cards for my parents that I drew and a lot of times, I’d buy them a gift, but I think my favorite handmade gift is a card because often times, a card says a lot more than a present.”

Making quality gifts by hand does not have to be tricky, all you need is a little imagination and something kind of sticky.

“I’ve made fleece blankets by cutting the ends and tying them together,” said AHS freshmen Gabby Rivera, “And I make earrings by getting charms and using tweezers to connect it to the earring hook.”

Resources could be very easy to find, just look around your house and open your mind.

“That’s the other good part about making a card,” said Keckemet, “Various cards for people are five bucks from Bartell’s, but if you have sketching stuff or drawing utensils then it makes card making a lot less expensive.”

Gift ideas can be out of the box, but be sure to make a gift that rocks.

“When I was younger, I use to make gifts for my mom for mother’s day,” said Slate, “I would always make cards with pop-outs and stuff that I’d learned from art class. I would take bath salts from our bathroom and  put them in a jar with a little note.”

At the same time, if you want the homemade care of a hand crafted present, you can cheat the system and skip the time unpleasant.

“If you’re going to buy someone a gift, you can go to a farmer’s market or craft fair and buy someone else’s hand made products,” said Keckemet, “For my mom’s birthday, I just got her one of the bracelets that my friend’s mom makes. With her, part of the money goes toward her school so that’s also a good way to keep the money in your community.”

Homemade gifts can bring a community together, with the holiday spirit no matter the weather.

“Sometimes my family bakes cookies together,” said Keckemet, “That’s my mom, sister, little brother, and sometimes me and we give those out to our neighbors or family friends.”

Often, the feeling in return for giving by hand, cannot be replaced by any certain brand.

“I feel happy when they like it because I know that they appreciated my work,” said Slate, “and I feel happy because I’m giving stuff to people.”

Meanwhile, it’s no secret that the money you save, will lure you out of your shopping cave.

“Well, it’s kind of terrible to say, but I feel like I save a lot of money,” said Keckemet on making a gift by hand, “I think as long as it’s a real gift, something you actually put time into, you feel a lot better about it because you really did something for them instead of just buying them something.”

To some, the difference is clear, but to others they’re on a new frontier. It’s important to know when to buy and important to know when to supply.  

“If someone specifically asks for something,” said Keckemet, “it’s better to buy them a gift instead of trying to make a replacement.”

The beauty of a relationship so close can lead to a gift with the most.

“For my best friend’s gifts, I do a small joke gift,” said Keckemet, “For my mom and sister, I like to get them jewelry, clothes, or stuff they would enjoy.”

To make a gift for a fancy someone, be sure its appropriate and not overdone.

“When I was in middle school, I made a whole bunch of homemade pasta as a thank you gift for my teachers. That’s another good gift, food,” said Keckemet, “The kind of food you make depends on the situation. If you make a cake for a favorite teacher that would be a cool gift.”

Who is the Phoenix Mascot

The AHS phoenix is more than just a bird with glorious feathers. He has a personality that is all his own, which includes fiery school spirit, a special love for Diet Coke, and a mascot rivalry.

The AHS phoenix was reincarnated from a bed of ashes on the first day of school. “Being born in front of the whole school breathed new life into me,” said the phoenix, “I felt empowered and bustling with school spirit and camaraderie.”

Of all the places the phoenix could have called home, he chose to stay at AHS. “This school is a great place to start an ash nest,” said the phoenix, “the boiler room is nice, hot, and humid. Although sometimes drafty, I get through those hard, cold times. The boiler room is the only way I can stand to stay in Seattle for the cold winter. Kelly the janitor keeps me company at night. It’s called my Phoenix Swag Pad, it’s where I take the ladies back to. It’s where the magic happens.”

The phoenix is not shy and represents the school spirit at AHS. “If you want to get my attention,” said the phoenix, “my advice to you is to shake your tail feathers…or perform a mating call.”

The phoenix also has alternative ways of expressing his school spirit. “I like to do it Mardi Gras style so, you show me yours and you know, you never know what’s going to happen. Show me your phoenix!”

Of the many dance styles available, the phoenix has a select few that really capture the essence of his pride. “The moves I like to put into my act are the shuffle, a little bit of frame the face, the teen step, and the pelvic thrust,” the phoenix shares as he performs the moves in a private demonstration.

The phoenix is not short on school spirit and finds his strength from deep within. “My favorite colors are red and yellow,” said the phoenix, “like the fire that burns true in my heart. I also like gold because gold is yellow, just ten times more majestic, and I am ten times more majestic than a regular bird.”

As a bird with an enormous amount of energy, the phoenix has a few favorite foods he likes to eat before game day. “I like to go to QFC,” said the phoenix, “I get the pesto pasta salad and vitamin water XXX. Vitamin water gives me the energy to dance my heart out. My favorite food is tacos because they’re yummy. Diet Coke gives me the energy I need to PUMP YOU UP!” he excitedly shouts, addressing the students of Aviation High School.

Phoenixes are known for having flaming wings and tails as a majestic feature, but that may not be the case with the AHS phoenix. “It’s invigorating and it’s hot,” said the phoenix, “my farts are like an explosion. Have you seen the Youtube video where the guy lights his fart on fire? Well that’s what happens to me, every time!”

The phoenix doesn’t just like to make friends with the students of AHS, he has extended his friendship to the woman in charge. “Ms. Gilman and I are like best friends,” said the phoenix, “we go together like cheese and macaroni. We compliment each other like peanut butter and jelly. We just have such a close connection because of our love for Aviation High School students and planes.”

The phoenix is not the only mascot around AHS and he has something to say about it. “You know what skunks do?” asked the phoenix, “they stink! I love the skunk even though he can be a little stinky. I’m glad he lives in Mr. Steele’s room and far away from the boiler room because you can smell him all through the halls at nighttime.”

Being new in town, the phoenix may cause a little tension between the existing mascots. “The skunk better watch his behind,” said the phoenix on the topic of skunks spraying their targets, “because the fiery liquid that comes out won’t leak out anymore when I’m done with him.”

In the phoenix vs. skunk fight at the October 3 AHS pep assembly, the skunk got the short end of the stick. “I know he beat me this time,” said Newton, skunk mascot to the AHS robotics team, “but my gracious professionalism allowed him to get ahead a little bit. He’s going down next time!”

Although it seems like the phoenix wants to pick a fight, he turns out to be quite fickle. “Honestly, the skunk doesn’t really pose a danger to me as a mascot, because I can fly,” said the phoenix, “but do you know who does? Recyclebot! Man, that robot is scary!”

Recyclebot, the Ecology Club mascot is more laid back about the new arrival. “I’ve heard some things about this new mascot,” said Recyclebot, “mainly that he’s afraid of me, but you know he really shouldn’t be. I mean I just want everyone to recycle and love the planet as much as I do. So maybe I’ll take this new mascot out to tea and teach him the ways of recycling and Mother Nature.”

It is well known that phoenixes never truly die, but are reincarnated from their own ashes. The burning question still remains, is the AHS mascot the reincarnation of Fawkes from Harry Potter?

“No comment,” was the only reply that came out of the phoenix’s beak.

After much prying, the phoenix was willing to open up about the topic. “I met that guy once at a bar at a phoenix convention,” confessed the phoenix, “he dated my sister! That insane creature wishes he was as great as me. If I ever see that guy again, I’m going to beat him to a fiery pulp. Just like I’m going to beat the Skunk, GO PHOENIX!”

Now that the phoenix’s true personality has been revealed, it’s your turn to pitch in because the phoenix doesn’t have a name yet! A naming contest for the phoenix will be held starting October 31. Submit your name ideas to the box in the office designated for the phoenix and ASB will vote on a name from the box that they think embodies the phoenix spirit. Happy naming!

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