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November/December 2018


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Thanksgiving Traditions

By Hailey Wall and Elsa Wiley

Every person has a different background and have different family traditions.  You may have a big family dinner and eat a roasted turkey or you and your close family could go out and get a Chinese dinner or you could not celebrate it at all.  Any tradition your family may have has a purpose and a meaning.

Thanksgiving was first started by the Pilgrims in autumn of 1621 as a celebration of the colony’s first successful harvest.  Since then, people have celebrated this achievement by having a great feast, including turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and many more delicious foods.

We went around and asked a couple of teacher what some of their Thanksgiving traditions were, and what are some things they were thankful for.

First we interviewed Mrs. Cross.

Interviewer - “What are your Thanksgiving traditions?”

Mrs. Cross - “In Hawaii we did everything.  We ate turkey and ham as well as many Hawaiian things like kalua pig, teriyaki chicken, and always rice.  Since I have lived on the mainland I have not seen much of my family.  We are going on a trip to Central California.  We may visit cousins in LA and take a trip to Solvang.  Every year is different since I have been on the mainland.”

Interviewer - “What are you thankful for?”

Mrs. Cross - “I am thankful for good health, my family, and good friends.”

Next, we interviewed the seventh grade math teacher, Mr. Cameron.

Interviewer - “What are your Thanksgiving traditions?”

Mr. Cameron - “Big Thanksgiving meal in the afternoon: we have turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, all sorts of little dishes, pumpkin pie, lots of pies.  A nap, and a football game.  We have a Friendsgiving the day before for all of my son's friends.  The past few years my wife and I have been going to Death Valley for Thanksgiving, as well.

Interviewer - “What are you thankful for?”

Mr. Cameron - “All of my students.  All of my weird students.”

Last, we interviewed Ms. Hernandez.

Interviewer - “What are your Thanksgiving traditions?”

Ms. Hernandez - ”Typically we do a turkey trot wherever we are, whether it be California, Florida or Texas.  My family and I celebrate Thanksgiving together.  We enjoy adding Colombian food from our heritage.”

Interviewer - “What are you thankful for?”

Ms. Hernandez - “I am thankful for my family, my students, especially them, and that my parents are still healthy.”

Interviewer - “Thank you!”

As you can see, many people have different Thanksgiving traditions and ways to celebrate the holiday.  Whether it be celebrating with close family and friends or going on a extravagant trip.  Overall, Thanksgiving is a time to relax and spend quality time with friends and family.

Jackbox Review

By Aaron Wong

Recently, party games have exploded in popularity with… well, only two games but that’s still a lot for the genre. If you don’t know, party games are games, but for parties. Whoa, big shocker, but for some reason they’re not really made too often. It’s like the gaming industry doesn’t really find too much success in party games even though Wii Sports is one of the best selling games of all time. So how is it that there is an independent developer, not owned by a big company, that has been actively releasing party games and has been finding success in every single one?

Enter the Jackbox Party Pack series.

These games are unique compared to most party games, or better yet most games in general.  You don’t need to buy any extra controllers, all you need is your phone. Simply go on to on your local web browser (this means computers can join in on the fun), enter the code and boom! You’re in.

But what is the Jackbox Party Pack and what is exactly in them?

The Jackbox Party Pack is a collection of different party games that are mostly made up of human interaction and how dirty you can be. Mostly how dirty you can be, but I digress.

The games are known as party savers, but you can have a great time with them alone. They consist of mostly trivia and drawing games. A lot actually have you lie to other players, but this increases the competitive edge these games have. But why are they considered so highly in the gaming and casual market? Simple. They’re fun. To be more specific, these games are fun because of how they integrate human interaction into the game and how easy it is to join somebody. Even schools are taking advantage of Jackbox and have been using it like how Kahoot! was used before when it was new. The games in here look pretty lackluster on paper but playing it can be a joy. And, yes, I have tried all 27 games they have to offer (most of them are re-releases or “sequels,” so don’t fret).

The best and most popular games are "You Don’t Know Jack," "Quiplash," "Drawful," "Trivia Murder Party," and "Fibbage." "You Don’t Know Jack" may be the most obscure out of the five and is ironically the flagship title of the Party Pack series and the company that makes these games. "You Don’t Know Jack" is a game show-esque triva series that disguises itself as a pop-culture trivia game, but secretly hates you. They word their questions very vaguely and one question may turn into a different question because of that. They may ask you about Stephen King’s It, but is actually asking you what is the scientific term for floating. All of the questions are worded very weirdly like this, but it actually makes the game better for that. It brings some charm to the game that sadly can be enjoyed by a select few. The series originated in the 90s on the original PlayStation and has only been in two of the five Jackbox Party Pack games. The first time was a re-release of "You Don’t Know Jack" 2011 while the one released this year, "You Don’t Know Jack" Full Stream, was an entirely new game and was redesigned to be more for a party setting.

The next may be the most popular of all of the games and if you have been on YouTube without hearing about this game, you have been living under a rock. "Drawful," the game to kickstart the series into mainstream popularity. "Drawful" is a game like Pictionary where everybody is given a prompt to draw and you need to have people guess what your prompt is to get points. But the twist is that other players can put out fake answers so that if anybody picks their lie, they would get points and not the artist. This game is where the awkward interaction also comes into play. You Don’t Know Jack has all preset questions and answers while "Drawful" is all user created, except for the prompts. The prompts may be weird or stupid, but it just adds to the unpredictability. Many people worry that they have to draw good in order to win, but no. They can be as bad as possible, but you just need it to be clear. The whole appeal and comedy in the game are the bad drawings you and your friends would produce and it’s just hilarious. Easily one of the better Jackbox games, but it may be an acquired taste.

Next up is "Fibbage," which has to be one of my favorite Jackbox games if not one of my favorite games of all time. It’s a trivia game but in the style of "Drawful." There’s a question with the answer missing. Then all of the players need to make a fake answer that sounds convincing in the context of the question. Then everybody picks the right answer in the pool of lies the other players have created. This game works so well with a party setting and can create many laughs and giggles along the way. It’s competitive enough for me to enjoy it. There’s really nothing much to say about it since it’s very similar to "Drawful," but you can still get a different vibe from it regardless.

Another popular game is Trivia Murder Party, a competitive game in the style of a cheesy horror flick. Everybody has to answer a trivia question and the people that get it wrong have to compete in a mini game that determines if you live or die. In the final round, everybody has to answer rapid-fire questions and whenever you get one right, you move a space. Reach the final space and you escape, meaning the ghosts can still win. This game was meant to be competitive, friendships have the potential to be broken in this game…but that’s where the fun lies. Everybody’s going to be screaming at whoever wins, but that screaming will turn to laughter until somebody hits play again where the cycle repeats. The game can also be really unfair if taking too long and will harass you for losing, but again, that’s part of the fun. It may be an acquired taste and is not for everybody, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.


The next you should also know. Quiplash, or the one game that you can be really dark in but everybody will be okay! Jimmy Fallon played this, Disney played it, a lot of people have played it. Quiplash has you answering two prompts in the most funniest way possible. After everybody’s done answering, every prompt and their answers will appear on screen and you need to decide which answer is the funniest. Now this is where Jackbox peaks. This game appeals to everybody just by having most of the content be user created, meaning your friends can make answers that you can laugh at (wow!). In the second edition, Quiplash 2, you can even enter in a code before the game begins that can access special episodes made by other people filled with questions not normally included in the game. People have recreated other games with this method and it is just incredible. Easily one of the best Jackbox games if not the best out there.

The series is filled with bundles of these games, so which one should you get? I’d say for the best experience, get Jackbox Party Pack 3 which has both Quiplash and Trivia Murder Party as well as three other games I didn’t describe. Jackbox 4 has Fibbage 3 which was the best Fibbage visually and includes a new game mode where the questions are about each individual player. Jackbox 4 also has really great games in there too. All of the games included in Jackbox 5 all have unique experiences that either may or may not please your tastes, but are interesting overall. Jackbox 1 and 2 aren’t worth playing because they were the groundwork for the rest of the series and most of the games included in them do have enhanced re-releases in later entries. At the very least, get one of these games.

Eighth Grade Thoughts

By Diana Estrada

I decided to write this article because I wanted to know about my classmates and my friends on what they think about their new teachers and their new classes. I also wrote this article because I wanted the eighth graders to get to know their teachers because this is our last year: next year we're going to high school. I think the eighth graders should get to know their teachers because this is going to be our last year here at Ensign.

I interviewed Daphne Gutierrez, Hayato Onodera, Melissa Castaneda, Nicole Gabriel, Johan Guzman, Alex Prado, and Rafael Martinez.

I asked my bestie, Daphne Gutierrez, if I could ask her questions from journalism she said, "Sure." I asked her what she thinks about her teachers and she thinks that they’re alright and they're "chill." Then, I asked what she thinks about her classes and she said she likes all her classes because they're helpful and she has friends in them.

I asked Hayato Onodera what he thinks about his teachers and he said they're really nice and helpful. Then I asked him if he likes his classes and he said it’s great and he has all his friends in his classes.

I asked Melissa Castaneda if she likes her teachers and why? Yes, she likes her teachers because they explain really well and last year they didn’t help processing and telling us step by step. Then I asked her does she like her classes and she said yes, because she has her friends in them and she has two teachers from last year.  

I asked Nicole Gabriel if she likes her teachers and she said yes, because they help her and they are nice. Then I asked her if she likes her classes and she said not that much because she doesn’t know people.

I asked Johan Guzman if he likes his teachers and he said no because they give too much homework and they are mean to him. Then I asked him if he like his classes and he said, "So so, because some are boring" but he has friends in his class. 

After Johan I asked Alex Prado if he like his teachers and he said no, because he doesn’t like them and some are boring. Then I asked if he like his classes and he said yeah because they are fun and he has his friends.

The final person I asked is Rafael Martinez.  He does not like his teachers because "they are the worse and they give too much homework." Then I asked him does he like his classes and he said he likes PE because he likes to play around and he has friends in there.

How Well Do You Know Ms. Rain?

By Bree Clarke and Kate StulikMiss Rain in Paris
If you’ve had Ms. Rain, you know her as a fast-paced teacher with excellent teaching strategies that cares about her students understanding all of the concepts.  And, yes, lots of homework!  However, as well as you think you know her, there is a lot about this incredible teacher that you do not know. 

The seventh honors and regular eighth-grade math teacher, Roxana Rain, was born in Romania.  She has a younger brother and sister, along with two nieces and a nephew.  Her family never moved; in fact, all the kids in her family was born and lived in the same city.

In school, her favorite subjects were the precise sciences such as math and physics as well as foreign languages (she fluently speaks Romanian).  Her favorite teacher was a math teacher she had in high school.  

When asked what teachers inspired her to teach math and use certain teaching methods she said: “My math teacher in high school was my inspiration for teaching math and some of the techniques I use in my class come from the experiences I had in his class. Throughout my career, I was fortunate to work with some amazing teachers such as Mrs. Pipes who taught math at NHHS and Mr. Mabry, a former Ensign math teacher. I was able to learn some teaching strategies from them as well. I think as teachers it’s important to continue learning and fine tune our craft.”

She went to college in Romania, completing a five-year degree in mechanical engineering and then moved here 22 years ago to continue her studies.  In the U.S., she attended Cal State Long Beach to get her teaching credential.  After all of this, she continued her studies by going to Western Governors University Utah to get her masters in math education.

She began her teaching career at TeWinkle 17 years ago.  After one year of teaching at TeWinkle, she moved to Newport Harbor High School where she taught Algebra 1 and 2 as well as Geometry.  Three years later, she moved to Ensign which is now her home.  She loves teaching at Ensign because of the students, colleagues, and community.

As you may know, last year the district attempted to take away honors math.  When we asked Ms. Rain her opinion about this she said that honors is important for students that wish to challenge themselves academically.  The seventh grade honors class that she teaches allows students to get ahead by taking two years of math in one.  This is very important because it enables them to take advanced classes in high school, as well.

Outside of school, Ms. Rain lives a healthy life, practicing Pilates and working with a trainer three times a week.  Even during her vacations, she works out every day! 

Miss Rain in the Galapagos Islands

Speaking of vacations, she loves to travel and explore new countries and learn about their culture.  She has traveled all over the world and says that each place has something to offer.  In Europe, she loves France, Spain, and Italy while in South America she loved the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and the beauty of Costa Rica.

Miss Rain in Spain

Who We Are...

Writers: Chloe Bennett, Bree Clarke, Chloe Coleman, Diana Estrada, Lucy Halperin, Gigi Jaimes, Megan Lachman, Lola Lazzara, Hunter Orozco, Kylie Papa, Quinn Perry, Kimberly Picasso, Lily Rutledge, Regan Smith, Olivia Stratton, Kate Stulik, Julie Venckute, Hailey Wall, Lotte West, Elsa Wiley, Aaron Wong

Editor: Lola Lazzara

Instagram: Lotte West and Bree Clarke

Advisor: Kristine Cross