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2020-2021 School Year

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Getting to Know Señora Delis

By Brianna Garcia

¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás? - Hello! How are you? I hope you are having an amazing day. If you are not, well good thing you found our Seabee Buzz because now you can read the great articles written by some of your own classmates! In this section, we will be focusing on Ensign’s Spanish teacher, Señora Delis. 

Señora Delis is one of Ensign’s newest teachers. One thing I can tell you is that she is always in a good mood. She loves to have a fun time with her students whether we are on Zoom or in the classroom. Señora Delis teaches Spanish in room 38 - you might want to stop by and ask her some of your own questions after you read this interview. My questions are in bold, Señora Delis’ answers are in italics.  

1. What was the biggest challenge of moving to a new country?

Everything was a challenge for me. I moved from a socialist/totalitarian political system to democracy, from socialism to capitalism, and I did not know how to speak English at all. 

2. What is your favorite part of teaching children about a language and culture they have no clue about? 

When I am teaching the language, I enjoy hearing how funny the students sound when they speak. But when I am teaching the culture, my favorite part is to  compare and contrast the Hispanic and the American culture.  

3. What is your favorite Cuban food?

My favorite Cuban food is "el arroz congry" also known as "moros y cristianos."

4. Is it harder to be a new teacher at a school during a pandemic?

Absolutely! It is hard to be a new teacher period. But the pandemic makes it even worse with all the unprecedented challenges for all teachers--new or not--during this unprecedented time. There is no room for socialization or face-to-face collaboration. I have had help, but I have had to figure out many things on my own which otherwise I would have been trained for.

5. What or who inspired you to become a teacher?

I was a Special Education assistant in South Central, Los Angeles, where it was difficult to hire a teacher for my class. We had different substitutes daily. Students were not getting taught at all. I decided to teach them, and the subs just came to support me. I loved teaching and seeing the students learning and  progressing, so I decided to become a teacher and went to college to get my credential.  

6. If you could have any other job that is not being a teacher, what would it be?

I truly love teaching. I would like to become a motivational speaker, but that is teaching as well. 

7. Did you ever feel like you were challenged while trying to learn English and wanted to give up?

I was very challenge because I needed to learn fast, but never wanted to give up, 

8. Do you like savory or sweet foods better?

I like both.

9. What do you like to do on your day off?

I love to spent time with my grandchildren. I also like to relax, but they do not go together. I choose spending time with my grand babies.

The Good Side of COVID

By Hannah Wegner

I know what you are thinking.  A good side of COVID?  There are no good sides of COVID.  Well, your friendly eighth grade schoolmate is here to tell you about what goodness can come from this pandemic.  While trying to think of something to write my article about, I reflected on my own thoughts throughout hybrid school.  I suddenly realized how much more I valued everyday normalities.  I have interviewed four of my friends, asking them the question, “How has coronavirus affected the way you see school now versus the way you saw it before?” 

Tauren Price, a friend I have made just this year during hybrid, told me that “hybrid school has made it much easier to focus, since it is hands-on learning instead of learning from the other side of a computer screen. I am also in a much better headspace now that I am back in school, since I value being able to see my friends again.”

Greta Shinn, a person I have known for a few years, states, “I now realize how much value going to in-person school can have.  I have also realized how important it is to be social with other people, and am now much more grateful for people like my friends, since I have only been able to see my direct family for the past months.”

I also interviewed two other friends, who wish to remain anonymous.

One says, “I now appreciate the smallest things such as saying hi to my friends in the halls and really being able to interact with my teachers once again.  It has also become much simpler to focus and understand my schoolwork.”

Another shares, “I value seeing my friends that I am not very close with, since I have not been able to see them since school ended last year.”

And lastly, I have enjoyed being lucky enough to go back to in-person school because I look forward to it much more.  I know lots of people still are only doing school on the computer, such as some of my closest friends and a few of my siblings.  It is much easier to do work, and I am way less stressed. 

Thank you for reading my article, and I hope you can find the good in this situation, too.  Hopefully it will be over soon enough!

Maintaining a Good Mental Health

By Brianna Garcia

One thing everyone can agree on is that 2020 was one of the hardest years yet. Wildfires burned throughout Australia. As a community we grieved over the loss of nine beloved lives in a helicopter crash, one of which was one of our own Seabees. Fortunately, this event brought us closer than we have ever been. A pandemic hit the U.S. and shut down everything: shut down our school, the restaurants we used to be able to eat in, our city, our state, our country. Thousands of people across America protested in efforts of creating equal rights for the Black community, using their right of freedom of speech to stand up for the ones we lost due to police brutality. Throughout it all, though, we always remembered to stay as positive as possible. 

Maintaining a good mental health is one of the most important tasks you need to do during your entire lifetime. The definition of having good mental health is consistently having a positive attitude on yourself, others, and life. With a good mental health, you can allow yourself to feel negative from time to time without feeling like you have no control over your emotions. Your relationships, way of living life, and physical health all depend on your mental health. Since our mental health influences how we think, feel, and act here are ten trouble-free and simple changes you could do in your life to become a happier person with a better mental health.

  1. Eating well - remembering to eat three healthy and balanced meals a day is very significant to working towards a better mental health. 
  2. Keeping active - exercising not only keeps you physically healthy, but also mentally healthy. You are able to sleep better when you exercise and also produce endorphins which make you happier. 
  3. A day without electronics - sometimes the reason why you are feeling so down about yourself is because of your phone or computer! Taking a day off or even a couple of hours can clear your mind, with an added bonus of giving your eyes a rest from the screen.
  4. Talking about your feelings - if you ever feel like you have no one to go to or are stuck inside your own bubble, trying to reach out to a family member, friend, counselor or teacher. This can always help both you and your mental health.
  5. Drinking water - water is essential in life and has even been proven that by drinking water you can reduce your risk of having anxiety or depression.
  6. Asking for help - never, ever be afraid to ask someone for help. Whoever you surround yourself with are people who understand your problems and should be able to help you overcome them.
  7. Getting the right amount of sunlight - many scientists believe that getting an efficient amount of sunlight will make you happier since vitamin D is a mood booster. 
  8. Listening to music - hearing the voice of your favorite artists or band is a good way to make your serotonin levels increase. It could be pop, rock, jazz, whatever floats your boat as long as it makes you feel good!
  9. Journal - this one might not be for everyone, but if you have a creative side to you, a good idea is to start a journal. You can track your goals and gratitudes by writing down just one thing you are grateful for each day and a goal you have. This can help you see how grateful you are to be living each day.
  10. Do something you’re good at - by doing something you're good at, you can feel accomplished and like you have done something productive that day. 

If you or anyone you know is suffering from their mental health or emotional distress the suicide prevention hotline and crisis support services is 1-800-273-8255 or text “MHA” to 741741. Always feel free to reach out to someone, anyone who makes you feel protected or safe. Following just one of the tasks above can improve your day and mental health. 

Our school district also has a resource that connects students and staff with mental health care at Caresolace.com/nmusd or by calling 888-515-0595 24 hours a day.

Masks Should Not Stop You from Clear Vision

By Hannah Wegner

Hello, Seabees!  My name is Hannah Wegner and I am an eighth grade student here at Ensign Intermediate School.  I might be one of your fellow classmates!  If you have me as a classmate, you might know that I wear glasses for whenever I look at the board.  This year I realized that breathing in my mask usually fogs up my glasses, and then I can not see what we are learning in class.  I know many of us share the same problem, so I figured I could share some tips with you on how to prevent this.  

One strategy I have come up with is: pull your mask high up onto your nose, and then place the bridge of your glasses over the top of the mask.  This closes any gaps that your mask may have, making it so that you can breathe without air escaping and getting into your glasses.  

However, your mask can slowly slip down your face again.  Now your glasses are fogging up, even though you have just fixed it.  But do not worry.  There is one more trick that I have heard about, found from a recent article by a doctor with glasses.  Simply using a Band-aid over the bridge of your nose, securing the mask on, significantly closes all gaps.  This trick will work for a long time, since the mask is stuck onto you until you choose to take it off.  Now you can freely breathe in your mask and focus on your schoolwork instead of trying to adjust your visionary device every few seconds.  I hope these tips helped, and remember to stay safe!

Bread Recipe

By Matthew Johnson/Tarnow

Over quarantine, many of us have developed new hobbies, whether that be writing, reading, exercising, etc. However, mine was baking, and I’ve decided that I would like to share with all of you a recipe of mine. It’s a standard bread recipe that requires not too much work, and in the end results in a beautiful, great-tasting bread. The ingredients required are:

  • 3 cups of warm water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons granulated yeast
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of coarse salt
  • 6 ½ tablespoons of all-purpose white flour or white bread flour
  • Extra flour for shaping

After you’ve gotten all the ingredients, next come the steps:

  1. Put everything except the flour into a large mixing bowl, and mix it.
  2. Mix the flour into the rest of the ingredients, making sure that all the flour is incorporated. The dough should now be moist.
  3. Cover the container with plastic wrap or aluminum foil or a lid if the container uses one. Make sure that it is not airtight, and do not use screw-topped bottles/Mason jars. Let it rest for 2 hours
  4. After the resting period, put it in the refrigerator overnight. You do not have to do this process, but it makes the recipe significantly easier. 
  5. The next day, make the bread into 1 pound portions, or ¼ of the entire dough. With that dough, you would cloak the bread with flour. Basically, you sprinkle some flour on top of the dough. Then you stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom of all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Most of the flour will fall off. If you need any more explanation, then this video will help you with that. 
  6. When you are finished with the last step, put the dough on a lightly floured paper baking sheet. By now, you should have four balls of dough with their own lightly floured paper baking sheet. You let them rest for 20 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes, you rest them for another 20 minutes, but you start preheating the oven to 450 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  8. During the second half of resting, dust the top of the dough with flour and slash the dough with a serrated knife to make a design. This video will show you how to do it. 
  9. When the 20 minutes is up, you can put the 4 balls of dough on a baking tray with their own baking sheets, and put it in the middle of the oven. After that, take another baking tray and put 1 cup of hot water in it. Place this baking tray wherever you want, but try not to spill it. The water is essential for the baking process, and basically bakes the bread with the steam. Let it bake for 30 minutes
  10. The dough is done when it is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Wait 5 - 10 minutes before eating.

Tips:

  • When scooping up the flour, use the scoop and sweep method. This is when you use a dry measuring cup, then use a leveler to sweep off the excess flour on top.
  • Two useful items that can come in handy are a pizza peel and an oven stone. The pizza peel can be used to pick up the dough easily, and the oven stone can be used instead of the baking tray, which makes it easier to bake the bread.
  • If you don’t have a ½ tablespoon measurer, then you can alternatively just use 1 teaspoon and a ½ teaspoon.
  • Do not use too much flour when trying to shape the dough. Not much flour is needed, and using too much flour can result in a dry dough.
Interview with Ms. McIntosh

By April Huerta

Ms. McIntoshInterviews have an ability to change the way you look at someone or, in other cases, help you know them better.  Often times they help you gain a peek into another person’s perspective and the experiences they have had throughout their lives.  

Additionally, we sometimes forget that celebrities, scientists, other students, teachers, or whoever else might be interviewed are, in fact, people.  So, interviews remind us of that fact, as well.

They can humanize a person.

On that note, today I bring you an interview!  Yes, yes, I am aware of the surprise you all must be in after that introduction.

Ms. McIntosh, our interviewee, is an eighth-grade math teacher in room fifty-one.  She’s a relatively new teacher here, having only joined us at Ensign this school year.

As one of her students, I can say she’s been a very charming and nice individual all year, and her answers to my questions fueled my positive view of her!

I conducted the interview throughout School Loop emails.  My questions are in bold, and italics are Ms. McIntosh’s response.  

Which school did you graduate from?

I graduated from Chapman University in Orange (I got my Bachelor's Degree, then stayed to get my Master's and my teaching credential.)

Who inspired you most in your life? 

Definitely my parents! I've always been very close to them, and family is so important to me. Mrs. King, my third grade teacher, also had a huge impact on my life! 

What are your top five favorite sweets?

1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

2. Pumpkin Pie

3. Brownies

4. Lemon Bars 

5. Carrot Cake

Have you tried Mrs. Groves' famous cupcakes yet?

No, not yet! I have a major sweet tooth though, so I'm excited to try them sometime! 

What do you like about Ensign so far?

The people! Everyone here has been so welcoming and wonderful. 

Which teachers have been the most helpful when settling in here?

The math department has been amazing! I'm especially grateful to the other 8th grade math teachers (Ms. Rain, Ms. Prober, Dr. Dowdy, and Mr. Waldinger). 

Are there any other teachers you haven't met yet or wish to know more about?

I haven't spent much time with anyone outside of the math department or the portables, so I'm excited to get to know the rest of the school!  

How is it like, having started at a new school during a pandemic? 

It's definitely been strange! But I also feel like, in a way, it's made it easier for me to adjust. Being new to the school made it easier to start the school year without strong expectations and just go with the flow. 

What's your favorite dog breed?

It's so hard to pick! Probably chihuahuas, though. We had two growing up, and they can be high-strung, but they're also SO sweet. They'll just flop down in your lap, fall asleep, and trust you to protect them. It's the best! 

Where did you grow up?  How does it compare to where you live now?

I'm from Orange County, so it's pretty much the same! I grew up in Irvine, moved to New York City for a year, missed California too much, came home, and I've lived in Anaheim ever since. 

What are your favorite movies/books?  

I'll read anything, but my favorite movies are all rom-coms. I love Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, and the Princess Bride. Anything sweet and funny! When it comes to books, I really like murder mysteries. I've read almost every book Agatha Christie ever published. I also really like non-fiction books, especially if they're about history! 

What is a normal day in your life?

This is going to make me sound so boring, but: I wake up around 5:00 am, get ready, and drive to work while listening to an audiobook (I go through about two per week). I teach until 2:40 pm, then I take attendance, enter grades, and make sure everything's ready for the next day. I usually drive home around 4 pm and get there around 5 pm. After dinner, I answer all of my emails, and then I head to bed around 8 / 8:30 pm.

I then questioned her further on some of her answers.

How was Chapman University?  How did you end up there?

Chapman was great! I transferred in as a second year student, so I lived at home the entire time (Usually, first year students live in the dorms). I also had a job off-campus, over in Irvine. I was only on campus 2-3 days per week, so I didn’t get as involved in student life as I wish I had. I loved my classes, professors, and classmates though! 

How I ended up at Chapman ties into my answer to your other question:

How was life in New York?  Did you make any friends there?  What made you in the end come back?  Or was it already decided you'd only live there for a year?

I originally thought I’d be in New York for at least four years, since I was there to attend Columbia University. 

It had been my dream since 10th grade, and there were a lot of things I loved. My classes were amazing, I made some good friends, and I was able to get massively discounted theater tickets almost every weekend. Columbia’s financial aid is also very, very good! 

The only thing I didn’t like about Columbia was how far it was from my family. In the end, that outweighed everything else. I have a large extended family in California, and I’ve always been close to them. I didn’t realize how much it would hurt being so far away. It didn’t help that I was only 17, I’d never been away from home before, and it was a particularly eventful year for our family (I missed a birth, a death, and an engagement!)

In the end, I decided to transfer to Chapman, so that I could be closer to home. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I’d stayed, but I don’t regret my decision. I’m happy with where I am now. 

In what ways did your parents and Mrs. King help inspire you in your life?

This question is so hard, because I honestly have no idea who I’d be without my parents. They’ve had such a huge impact on everything from my values to my sense of humor. But I think I’m most grateful for the way they taught me to communicate and relate to others. 

My dad has always been the most patient person I know. I’ve only seen him lose his temper a few times, and each of those times he had very good cause. He’s always pushed me to talk things over, look at arguments from the other person’s perspective, be more generous and understanding. 

My mom has more of a temper, which I inherited. We used to argue a lot when I was younger. At the same time, she’s the person I’ve always felt closest to. The good moments with my mom far outweigh the times we’ve argued. But you asked how she inspired my life, and I really think that’s a big one. 

Arguing with someone you care about teaches you how to argue in a healthy way. You learn how to make yourself heard without lashing out and deliberately hurting the other person, because the goal is to strengthen the relationship (and not just to “win” the argument). That’s something my mom and I learned from each other over the years. 

There are so many ways my parents have inspired me, and I feel like I could talk about them all day. They were young when they had me (22 & 24), and they’ve always been very open about the fact that they had to figure things out along the way. They broke up when I was 4, but they’ve stayed best friends for almost 30 years now. They’re not perfect, but they’re kind and supportive and (in my opinion) hilarious.  

Now that I’ve basically written an essay about my parents, a little bit about Mrs. King: 

Right before third grade, I moved to a new city and switched from private school to public school. I ended up in Mrs. King’s class. At the end of the year, our school closed, and we were all sent to a new campus. For whatever reason, the new school gave Mrs. King a 4th grade/5th grade combination class. As a result, she was my teacher for three years in a row.  

I’m not sure if either of these references are still relevant, but I used to describe Mrs. King as a cross between Mrs. Frizzle (from Magic School Bus) and Mr. Feeny (from Boy Meets World). I loved her so much, and I’m so lucky to have had her in my life. 

As I’ve kind of hinted, there were a lot of changes going on in my life. Mrs. King was the first person to notice how that was affecting me, and she gave me the stability that I needed. She was strict, but caring. She also loved math, and the way she talked about it made me love math. I didn’t realize I wanted to teach until college, so I’m not sure I can credit Mrs. King with that. But she is probably the reason I teach math. I hope everyone gets lucky enough to have a Mrs. King in their life!
 

After reading Ms. McIntosh's responses, I really got the feeling she was a knowledgeable individual who had a lot of experience!  

That and she had a clear voice in her writing, which made it enjoyable.

There's a reason people find narratives about certain subjects better than, say, scientific papers on them.  It's because scientific papers don't have a voice, don't have a 'soul.'

This makes it harder for the average person to be invested in them.

Ms. McIntosh's writing is easygoing and warm.  

If I had to describe her writing, I'd say it's like lavender, pumpkin pie, and old books.

It's calm, comforting and sweet, yet knowledgeable. 

Who We Are...

Writers: Brianna Garcia, April Huerta, Matthew Johnson, Hannah Wegner

Advisor: Kristine Cross