Lily Overby, 9
I bet you were tired of scrolling through Instagram looking at the countless pictures from the Rockbridge Young Life retreat. You probably thought that all we did there was take pictures. However, that is far from true. We discovered a connection with Jesus, sang exciting songs, and watched the “jorts wearing, mustache bearing, badge carrying Rockbridge mall cops” put on a spectacular show. It was an eye-opening experience in a beautiful place in the mountains.
I personally made a stronger connection with God, and it guided me to want to be more involved with my church. I also made new friendships. If those people didn't go to Rockbridge I would probably never would have talked to them before. We had an amazing leader lead the Bible lesson, and he made sure we all understood what he was saying by using analogies and visually showing us real life examples.
Sadly, it all came to an end, but Young Life doesn't end there. If you want to become a part of Young Life, club meetings are every Monday. You can talk to me or any other Young Life member for more information.
Julianne Hott, 9
20 percent off! 30 percent off! Buy one get one free! A whopping 50 percent off! These are the types of mega deals that are available during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These two major shopping days are perfect for getting all of the holiday shopping done considering they are amazing deals offered during the season.
The term Black Friday originated in 1869. It was not related to the shopping season, and actually was talking about two men who bought most of the country’s gold supply with the plan to sell it at unbelievably large prices. What happened instead was a huge crash in the stock market, and that day was named Black Friday.
When stores were operating at a loss, they would record their sales in red ink. The day after Thanksgiving, when holiday shopping began, they would begin to earn profit, and would switch their ink color to black, thus coining Black Friday. However, with technology on the rise, is Black Friday as popular as it once was or is it Cyber Monday’s turn in the spotlight?
Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving. It is similar to Black Friday, however, the sales are online. Some major online retailers include Amazon and Ebay. Some huge upsides to shopping online include the fact that it can be done while commuting or while in bed. In short, it can be done without leaving the house and while multitasking.
There was a study done by blackfriday.org, which stated that the two main things that people are looking to buy on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday are clothes and technology. People are looking for toys more on Black Friday and smart home items on Cyber Monday. According to the same study, 15 percent of Black Friday shoppers head out at dawn to wait in lines, while 17 percent wait until midday to head to stores so the lines can die down. A whopping 68 percent percent do their Black Friday shopping online. Lastly, the study concluded that each shopper will spend an average of $57 more on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday!
What do you think: Is Cyber Monday the next big thing?
Camille Ryder, 10
In October at Robious Middle school, conflict arose about songs mentioning Jesus in their chorus. It was decided that no songs mentioning Jesus or anything sacred would be performed. While those involved did not mean to make a fuss about the issue, they simply wanted to allow the middle schools to keep an open mind about religion. Is excluding sacred words and ideas from Christmas celebrations too much? Is it being contradictory when mainly aiming exclusions toward Christianity? Is our society becoming more politically concerned?
It is understandable that now especially our schools want to represent all cultures -- we are in a new era with more acceptance than ever. However, some may say excluding divinities from children’s concerts is too harsh, and it is impossible to represent and please everyone. Some feel that the exclusion of songs is targeted to Christianity because of its current prominence. A resolution that James River has come to is to perform songs at its upcoming winter revels concert that offer a more broad spectrum on the holidays. We were also asked if any of the songs we are performing make us uncomfortable, and if they did to talk to our teachers.
All of these concerts and events, even though labeled with Holiday, sometimes seem like Christmas with the title taken away. How far should political correctness go? Religion is prevalent in the world, and even though conflict can arise from differences, it still happens. Not talking about religion could be considered censoring, and if we don’t talk about issues like this, then they will never be resolved.
Lily Overby, 9
You spent $20 making your galaxy themed outfit or spent hours decorating a trailer so that your team or club can take place in the homecoming parade. Maybe you were just excited to get some candy. It doesn't matter how much or how little you did to prepare for the parade, everyone was bummed to hear it got cancelled.
Now this isn't the school’s fault, it is mother nature’s. There were intense storms the original day it was scheduled, so we didn't go to school at all. The football game that day was rescheduled for the next morning. The second time it was rescheduled had a forecast of storms, which meant the parade was cancelled and the football game was rescheduled yet again. Most grades will be able to take place in the parade next year, but not the seniors. I asked a senior, Bri Glidden, what she thought about the cancellation of the parade.
“I was disappointed that it was canceled the first time because I’ve participated in the parade every year. I’m glad that we didn't have it on the rescheduled date though because it wouldn’t have been as special. The parade is always a tradition for homecoming.”
I know everyone is hoping next year won't be as disappointing and they will be excited to see what it brings.
Fallon Parrish, 9
There are many new trends for Halloween costumes this year, from Harley Quinn to pirates and princesses, and I’m going to tell you the top costumes for this Halloween. The number one most popular costume is Fortnite characters. This isn’t a big shock since the game took off in 2018, obviously most children would want to be a character from it.
Following Fortnite on the list of top 10 most popular Halloween costumes are, Spiderman, dinosaurs, and unicorns. These costumes are classic and will never go out of style. Some of the other costumes that fall on the list are witches, Harley Quinn, superheroes, pirates, rabbits, and princesses. These aren’t the only popular costumes this year, according to Google: the Incredibles, Black Panther, and 1970’s themed outfits are also extremely popular. James River students dressed up as everything from Freedom of Speech to Kim Possible!
Swathi Shekharan, 11
James River was lucky to hear the insight of two foreign exchange students from Germany. They were both studying at VCU and came through the Fullbright Germany’s Meet a German initiative.
They started by answering some prepared questions comparing Germany to America. A popular topic of discussion was food, and one main difference was that the food in Europe is much fresher, while fast food and fried food is a big part of American culture. To elaborate on this, one student explained how most people just went to the market everyday just to buy the groceries that they needed for the day rather than going to a huge grocery store every few weeks.
When asked about their favorite experiences in the US, they said that they really enjoyed going to concerts, since more artists play in America than Germany, as well as exploring cities such as New York city. One of the student’s college major is finance while on a pre-law track, and the other’s is urban planning.
A very interesting question was asked about what kinds of American stereotypes they had heard to be true, to which they responded: the big SUV cars and using a lot of plastic. According to the exchange students, some must-do activities in Germany include watching a soccer match, hiking, as well as the exciting, historical cities.
The questions were then turned to the audience members, who were very fascinated about the culture in Germany. One of these questions was about the architectural differences. The students responded by saying that there is much more modernism and sprawling cities in America, whereas cities are much older and compact in Germany.
The main thing that they are proud of Germany for is embracing other cultures: because Europe is made up of so many different countries so close together, it is very easy for people to intermingle and intertwine. In fact, they believe that it is something America could do more of. It was such a great opportunity to hear about German culture and receive some personal insight about the differences between the two nations!