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November/December 2017

Wonder Movie Review

By Olivia Borland

Wonder movie poster
One of the best new movies this winter, Wonder, has already made 8.6 million dollars at the box office since its release just under a month ago at the time of writing. The movie is based on the bestselling novel by R.J. Palacio. Popular with 86% of critics and 91% of audiences, Wonder has gotten some of the best ratings of recent movies.


Wonder follows the protagonist, a boy named Auggie who has a severe facial deformity, on his journey to succeed in fifth grade at a regular school for the first time. True to the book, Wonder is told from the perspective of multiple characters. This way, Auggie’s life can be seen through the eyes of his family, friends, and himself.


The supporting character’s stories, such as Auggie’s sister, Via, his friend, Jack Will, and Auggie’s dog, Daisy, all contribute to Auggie’s understanding of his place in the world. Wonder combines comedic topics with serious topics, such as bullying, in a really believable way.


If you can get through the whole movie without completely breaking down and remembering every time you could have been kinder, that might just be a new record. I would absolutely recommend seeing Wonder, especially if you read the book.

NJHS Field Trip to USC

By Olivia Borland


The eighth graders in National Junior Honor Society visited USC on Thursday, November 17. A large group of Ensign’s best students met early in the morning to board buses that would take the long two-hour drive to the college. When they got there, they were treated to views of the college’s prestigious campus and took a tour of the main buildings. Some highlights included the Cinematic Arts school and the Journalism building. They got to see the George Lucas statue, who is one of USC’s notable alumni, and many of the statues in the courtyard.


Because of the upcoming game with UCLA, all the statues were wrapped up to keep them safe from possible vandals from other schools. There were even USC students camped out to guard the statue. Speaking of the USC vs. UCLA game, there was an entire carnival set up to celebrate the game. The ferris wheel and carnival games must have been fun for the students to enjoy over the weekend! After spending an hour eating lunch (and visiting the Sprinkles ATM), the NJHS students grouped back together to visit Heritage Hall before boarding the bus to go back to Ensign.


To all the seventh graders that want to come on these fun field trips next year, getting into NJHS takes a lot of effort but the requirements are pretty simple. You just need to maintain a 3.5 GPA for three or more quarters, have no Ns or Us on your report card, and achieve 30 or more community service hours. I would definitely recommend joining NJHS. What’s better than missing school to tour awesome college campuses with your friends?

Net Neutrality

By Aliana Lloyd


Hey…have you heard about net neutrality? That thing that you’ve probably heard people talking about? If you have no idea what I’m talking neutrality makes network service providers treat all of their services equal/neutral.  This principle makes internet service providers such as AT&T or Verizon treat the internet as a public utility center; they cannot charge extra or less to use data. It is all the same.


Unfortunately, on Wednesday, December 14, this principle was repealed by the F.C.C. This means that AT&T and others can speed up or slow down certain data on the internet. So imagine yourself watching Netflix and suddenly your movie starts buffering.  It’s not the bad Wi-Fi. It’s your internet service provider slowing you down. Like traffic, other services are given the right of way before others, so your Netflix may be waiting in line behind another service that is on its way to another person’s device. This non-net neutrality is set to be put into effect by next year, 2018.

LA Fires

By Keira McPhie and Hannah Egan

LA Fires

Recently, California has suffered horrific fires that have destroyed homes, burned wildlife, and killed individuals. While some of us are glad to missed those few P.E days because of poor air quality, these fires are hurting our communities. Unfortunately, families are suffering from their lost belongings only to be thankful for their lives. Surprisingly, among the havoc that has occurred, amazing stories are brought forth from the survivors


An old couple had woken up late in the night, realizing they were unable to escape from the fires around them. In utter terror, the couple strived for survival though chances were dim. In a surge of instinct, the couple ran to their (Los Angeles Times)neighbor's pool and spent the night underwater only coming up to breathe. Despite the flames above them, the pool was freezing and the couple was lucky to survive.


Though many have perished and lost their homes and family members, fires such as the ones occurring in California have brought amazing stories of human survival.

Who We Are...

Writers: Nikki Blanchard, Olivia Borland, Haley Dodman, Hannah Egan, Makaelee Hansberger, Sophie Harlan, Abby Hickson, Samantha Joseph, Colin Kermode, Morgan Lamond, Aliana Lloyd, Stephanie Martinez, Cindy Mayares, Keira McPhie, Nathan Peters, Ella Stevenson

Editor: Colin Kermode, Aliana Lloyd

Instagram: Nikki Blanchard, Makaelee Hansberger

Webmaster: Abby Hickson, Morgan Lamond

Advisor: Kristine Cross

Archived Issues

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By Samantha Joseph and Abby Hickson

All pictures courtesy of Samantha's food account on Instagram (@youngfoodca).

Waffles on a Stick      

This month, our theme for Instagrammable food was waffles on a stick.  We chose to review the two establishments Ice Cubes and Sweet Combforts.  Though it may seem strange, waffles on sticks have turned into a growing trend for Instagram foodies.

Sweet Combforts

            Sweet Combforts is located inside of a food court called TRADE.  Inside the food court, there are a variety of restaurants for both a dessert and a meal.  At this location, you can find honeycomb shaped waffles on a stick. They serve a variety of toppings such as circus animal cookies and Oreos.  

            The appearance of the food court was very modern and clean.  Sweet Combforts was the first shop we spotted after walking in, so it was easy to find.  We ordered the “Bam-bam” a waffle covered in fruity pebbles and cheesecake bites.  The waffle had cinnamon in it and although the fruity pebbles added a nice crunch, it was not as good as the fruity pebbles waffle from IceCubes.  Additionally, we ordered the “Oreo Cookie Crumble”, a waffle covered in Oreo cookie butter and crunchy Oreo pieces.  This waffle was too sweet and actually crumbled all over the white table, creating a huge mess.  Lastly, we ordered the “Plain Jane,” a waffle dusted with powdered sugar, and a vanilla ice cream in a cone.  This waffle was not so sweet, so it paired perfectly with the ice cream.

2222 Michelson Drive, Irvine, California

Sweet Combforts waffles on a stick



            Ice Cubes is located in Costa Mesa. It has a variety of options ranging from rolled ice cream (which we reviewed in our September article) to Snowballs (liquid nitrogen cereal). Recently, they added waffles to their constantly expanding menu. Ice cubes is a fairly new establishment. They began their soft opening only a few months ago and have since had their grand opening. They have a couple flavors of waffle so far. You can also choose whether you want condensed milk or chocolate drizzled on top.

We ordered the Oreo waffle with chocolate drizzle and the fruity pebbles waffle with condensed milk. Although there was a 30-minute-long wait for the waffles, that is understandable because Ice Cubes is a very new establishment. The Oreo waffle was very chocolatey and tasted very fresh with Oreo flavor.  The fruity pebble waffle also had nice flavors that mixed well and was not overly sweet. Overall, the waffles were much better than the ones at Sweet Combforts.  

2790 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

IceCubes Picture

            Overall, we thought that both places were good but overall the Ice Cubes waffles were better. Even though the ice cubes waffles were a long wait, they were worth it. We would suggest going to Ice Cubes for the better waffles, but Sweet Combforts was a shorter wait. We hope you enjoyed this food review and visit these tasty places!

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

By Samantha Joseph and Abby Hickson


Tired of only ordering pumpkin spice lattes this Autumn? We got you covered.  Our theme of the month for October "Instagrammable" food was pumpkin spice and everything nice. The two places we sampled this month were The Straw and Cauldron Ice Cream.  At both places, we ordered a fall flavor that included pumpkin spice.


The Straw


The Straw is a gourmet milkshake place specializing in rich milkshakes that are made to order.  Their flavors are really original like the “Coco-Duran”  and “Mr. Grey.”  Coco-durian is made with coconut and durian while Mr. Grey is made with Earl Grey tea. Durian is a very stinky Asian fruit that has a taste and smell that is loathed by many but enjoyed by some.


We ordered “The Street,” “Headless Horseman,” and “Bangkok Betty.”  The Street is a Cookie Monster-inspired vanilla milkshake topped with blue whipped cream and cute cookie donuts.  "The Headless Horseman” is a pumpkin cheesecake milkshake.  "Bangkok Betty" was inspired by mango sticky rice, and is made with coconut cream.  The "Bangkok Betty" was very heavy and rich, and tasted like very ripe mango and coconut.  Of the three, it was the most refreshing.  "The Headless Horseman" tasted like fall and everything pumpkin spice, so get it while it lasts! The Street was similar to a vanilla milkshake or an Oreo milkshake. The cookies on this milkshake were dry but tasted delicious when dipped in the milkshake: like milk and cookies. The blue food coloring was very heavy in the whipped cream, though the milkshake itself is not blue. Swirling the whipped cream into the milkshake creates a very pretty gradient that is perfect for photos.


For those craving some fall flavor, we recommend the “Headless Horseman” and for those who love simple flavors we would recommend “The Street.”  Lastly, for those who love mango sticky rice, or just love sweet, creamy mango drinks like mango lassi we recommend the “Bangkok Betty.”  1215 Baker Street Suite A Costa Mesa, California 92627


Cauldron Ice Cream


Cauldron Ice Cream is an ice cream shop that prides themselves on providing “all natural ice cream made in small batches” according to their website.  They create each ice cream to order using liquid nitrogen. They are also well known for their "puffle" comes, a warm, puffy waffle cone that comes in original, red velvet, and churro.  They offer a variety of ice cream flavors including Rose H20, S’mores, and Earl Grey Lavender.


The flavors that we ordered were Earl Grey Lavender, Spice Spice Baby, and Milk and Cereal.  Earl Grey Lavender was a light purple colored ice cream with honey drizzled on it.  We ordered this flavor in an original "puffle" cone, and made sure to ask for it in the shape of a rose to ensure we got the perfect picture.  The Earl Grey flavor was more prominent than the lavender, however, there was still a strong lavender flavor in it.  The Spice Spice Baby was the seasonal flavor we ordered,  a pumpkin spice ice cream topped with crunchy pumpkin spice clusters.  This was a bit underwhelming, even with the amazing churro "puffle" cone. The flavor got old after eating more than three bites.  We ordered the Milk and Cereal in a regular "puffle" cone, without the frosted flakes as a topping. The Milk and Cereal flavor was even creamier than regular ice cream, with a perfect amount of sweetness.


If you go to Cauldron Ice Cream, we recommend ordering either the Milk and Cereal or the Earl Grey Lavender, depending on your preferences.  The "puffle" were very warm, flaky, and soft inside, so we would definitely recommend getting one as your cone. 1421 West McArthur Boulevard Santa Ana, California 92704       


Overall, although both companies sold delicious ice cream, our seasonal favorite was from The Straw.  Most of the flavors from Cauldron were better than the milkshakes from The Straw, though the seasonal flavor at Cauldron was of significantly lower quality.  To conclude, for a non-seasonal flavor we would recommend Cauldron Ice Cream, though the best fall flavor can be found at The Straw.

Halloween Dance

By Olivia Borland


Ensign’s first dance of the year was held on Friday, October 27 in the gym. There was a great turnout this year, so thanks to all of you that showed up! The highlight of the dance was definitely the costumes. It was hard to choose the best ones, but the official winners of the costume contest were a wind-up toy, a Dr. Pepper salesman, and a colorful Day of the Dead costume. Some other memorable costumes included two larger-than-life dinosaurs.


Although people were dancing for the full two hours, the most popular song was by far “The Thriller.” A group of eighth graders who learned the choreography in P.E. took the lead, which inspired almost everyone in the gym to at least try and join in. The end result was pretty decent, with the straggling "sevies" in the back following the best dancers near the stage. The song came on again as the finale of the dance. That time, our dance was certainly not perfect, but we made up for it with effort and excitement!


For those who were not avid dancers, there was still plenty to do. With The Nightmare Before Christmas playing in the corner of the gym, lots of opportunities to eat candy, and even a photo booth complete with fun props, there was no lack of entertainment. Overall, the dance was a hit. Hope to see you at the Blacklight Dance in January!







Current Events

By Colin Kermode


Currently, our state, California, is undergoing the process of becoming a sanctuary state. Governor Jerry Brown has signed off on the bill and if it stays alive without retaliation, California will become a sanctuary state starting January 1, 2018


The Indonesian Island, Bali, is struggling with an active volcano. The volcano is called Mount Agung, many are evacuating, but some are willing to save their possessions and pets by staying within the danger zone. The volcano has already erupted as more are predicted to come.


Net Neutrality is a bill where there will be government taxes on the internet from Google searches to watching YouTube. As of December 14, at 12:00, it is being voted on by Congress. Many disagree with this policy as it removes public access to the internet and will negatively affect the economy. Now it is in the government's hands.