COMMUNITY • PAGE 2 Mr. Bahat and Dr. Stout join Upper School faculty
SPORTS • PAGE 3
Winter sports teams impacted by COVID-19 quarantines
OPINION • PAGE 4
Editor-in-Chief Adriana Paz gives advice to underclassmen
Krewe of House Floats decorates city for Mardi Gras • PAGE 5
St. Martin’s Episcopal School • 225 Green Acres Road, Metairie, LA 70003 • Volume 67, Issue 2 • March 22, 2021
'We Will Rock You' takes the virtual stage by ALEXIS STECKLER Staff Writer In April, St. Martin’s Episcopal School will put on its spring musical “We Will Rock You.” After a year of masks, stay-at-home orders, and virtual meetings over Zoom for just about everything, Director of Performing Arts Meredith Long-Dieth and Senior Erica Ricci thought about how to safely stage a musical amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Through many years in the Solomon Theater together, both Long-Dieth and Ricci have worked tirelessly show after show. Despite all these experi-
ences, nothing could have prepared them for the challenge of putting on a musical during a pandemic. “We weren’t sure if we could even put on a show safely,” Long-Dieth said. “We had to completely shift the way we plan for shows, as well as our whole process.” While the fall production of “The Twisted Tales of Poe” was performed outdoors as a radio show, the singing involved in a musical raised different considerations. “We thought about performing ‘We Will Rock You’ outside, but singing is still dangerous,” Long-Dieth
said. “We decided to film it like a movie.” In a time of uncertainty, Long-Dieth’s dedication to putting on a safe and fabulous show is a great comfort to all her actors, especially her seniors. “You know, with COVID it is really difficult to do our usual type of shows and still follow the necessary protocols,” Ricci said. “Mrs. Dieth is making it her mission to bring that experience back to us and to the audience, while keeping everyone safe and healthy.” Despite everyone’s best efforts, most students agree that the thrill of working together on a sports team,
Girls basketball reaches semifinals
Photo by Nicholas Arensman The girls' basketball team made school history when they reached the Division VI semifinals for the first time since 1994. The team faced off against Ouachita Christian at Southeastern Louisiana University Center in Hammond on Mar. 1.
in a classroom, or on stage is being with your friends. Ricci shared how that has impacted the rehearsal experience for the musical. “It's definitely heartbreaking to me,” Ricci stated. “I have to do my role virtually due to my family being at high-risk, and I wish things were different almost every day. I miss my theater family very much, and it's not the same without them!” This year especially, students involved in activities miss bonding with one another, none more than the senior class. “Usually, I am able to connect with my castmates
of any age, but due to COVID, I am only able to see them on my screen,” Ricci said. “It makes me even sadder to think about how, since this is my senior year, I would have led circle-ups and other things … I have been a part of this community since my freshman year, and it devastates me how everything has turned out.” This past year, St. Martin’s students missed their last dances, senior nights on the field, graduation on the stage, and now, student actors have no last chance to take a final curtain call. From a faculty standpoint, See Musical, page 6
by RIKKI BOURG Managing Editor The 2020 holiday season looked quite different for members of St. Martin’s Episcopal School. Whether plans were canceled or altered, everyone felt the shift in this year's holiday season due to COVID-19 restrictions. Many students experienced these changes within their families and to their holiday traditions. Senior Laura McCrary felt the effects within her family, including not being able to see one of her brothers that lives out of state. “One of my brothers and his wife couldn't come visit us for Christmas due to their fear of COVID,” McCrary said. “It was unfortunate because I only get to see him once a year if I’m lucky, and Christmas is meant to be spent with family. My other brother did get to visit though, but we couldn’t really go anywhere due to the restrictions [throughout] the city. It was still good to see him though.” Senior Erica Ricci shared that this holiday season was spent alone with her
immediate family, rather than gathering with those she loves as usual. “This year, I just spent the holidays with my mom, my brother, and my dog,” Ricci said. “It was kind of sad because we usually celebrate with all of our friends and family, but this year it was just quiet. I mean, we were making the most out of it, but it just wasn’t the same.” Others felt the lack of activities among friends this time of year, like Senior Thomas Devall, who missed the parties usually associated with winter break. “It was weird,” Devall said. “I wasn’t able to spend Christmas with the rest of the family like we usually do. For New Year’s, no one was able to have a large get together or party due to COVID. I’m crossing my fingers that it will be different next year.” Other students, like Freshman Emy Farber, faced the difficult issue of having their older loved ones over for festivities. She recalled having to take precautions in See Holidays, page 6
COVID-19 impacts holiday traditions
2 March 22, 2021
The Halo Community
Isabella Bartholomew by WESTLEY JAMES Staff Writer Senior Isabella Bartholomew has attended St. Martin’s Episcopal School for sixteen years, beginning with her time in the George Cottage. (Editor’s note: Bartholomew is the copy editor for the Halo.) This year, Bartholomew was selected as one of the captains for both the St. Martin’s swim and cross country teams. Believing that encouragement and motivation from older members are key to creating a strong team, she has loved seeing her teammates grow throughout the season and gain confidence in their abilities. “In cross country and running in general, I really enjoy bonding with my fellow runners through
Photo by Nicholas Arensman
our shared commitment to hard work and improvement, all while having fun,” Bartholomew said. “In swimming, a strong drive to push ourselves creates a great team dynamic. I admire my team's work effort in both cross country and swimming every day.” In addition to being team captain for the swim and cross country teams, Bartholomew participates in many extracurricular activities, such Science Olympiad, Honor Council, National Honor Society, the Halo, Quiz Bowl, and a faithbased retreat for high school students called Happening. “I think contributing to my community is really important, both for myself and those around me,” Bartholomew said. “I love interacting with oth-
ers and having fun with those who share the same passions and interests as me. Having varied interests helps me to constantly find excitement in my life.” These extracurriculars, balanced with schoolwork, have additionally helped Bartholomew to develop good time management skills, such as staying off her phone. Currently, Bartholomew does not have a first choice for college. However, she is looking for at least one particular quality in her new school. “I hope to attend a college with a strong sense of community, much like the one at St. Martin’s.” In her last months at this school, Bartholomew most looks forward to spending See Spotlight, page 6
Bahat inspires students to apply math to real life by ALEXIS AKERS Staff Writer St. Martin’s Episcopal School welcomed Upper School Math Teacher Aleksandar Bahat to the community this semester. He teaches Advanced Math II, Calculus, Honors Multivariable Calculus, and AP Statistics. Born and raised in New Orleans, Bahat attended Isidore Newman School. Since he can remember, he has wanted to pursue a career in mathematics. “Once I got older and finished college and everything, I realized I wanted to take it in a teaching direction,” Bahat said. “I realized at some point that I really liked unpacking
and unraveling these concepts that I was learning about, as well as explaining them to other people.” After graduating from Newman, Bahat studied at Princeton University and later Tulane University, where he double majored in mathematics and philosophy. “Math, for me, was always a no-brainer,” Bahat said. “Philosophy was a bit of a curveball for me. It was a side interest of mine. I had plenty of credits left over, so it was just something fun to do.” Bahat has long been familiar with St. Martin’s, because he swam in high school for Crescent City Swim Club, a club team
that practices at the school. Adding a new teacher to the community halfway through the school year, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been difficult. However, Bahat has proven to be a great match for the school with a thorough method of teaching. Senior Hunter Richardson was one student who was asked to sit in on a sample lesson during the interview process. “It was clear from his lesson that his teaching style incorporates the idea that mathematics is a subject that builds off of every concept you learn,” Richardson said. “We left the room with a better un-
derstanding of the class.” Bahat acknowledged the difficulties that this year brings with COVID-19, including his starting in the middle of the school year; however, he feels he and his students have already built a connection. When not teaching, Bahat is an adventurous traveler. Last summer, he swam in freezing cold waters at Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park in Montana. “It’s one of those things like, you’re there, I don’t know when else I’ll get to do something like that, so you know, just had to try it,” Bahat said. Bahat revealed his two favorite things about St. Mar-
tin’s: the teachers and the students. Having been able to sit in on other teachers’ classes before the semester started, he was impressed with their teaching styles and their desire to help the students learn. He also appreciates students’ enthusiasm in the classroom. “The students have made my job a lot easier,” Bahat said. “I’m used to trying to teach math to people who don’t really want to do it, but even if math isn't their favorite thing, my experience has been that the students here try.” Though he has only been here a few weeks, Bahat already has plans for the See Bahat, page 6
Stout brings well-rounded background to history classes by ZOE TATUM Staff Writer In January, St. Martin’s Episcopal School welcomed Upper School Social Studies Teacher Arthur “West” Wendel Stout IV back to the community, where he teaches World History and Civics. As a fifth or sixth generation New Orleanian, Stout attended St. George’s Episcopal School. After his friends heard his mom call Stout “little Wendel,” he adopted the nickname “West.” “‘West’ was originally a kind of acronym: ‘We’ from Wendel, ‘st’ from Stout,” Stout said. “It
seemed to fit, and it stuck.” As a child, Stout believed he wanted to be a journalist, even applying to the University of Missouri's journalism program. However, after graduating from St. Martin's in 1999, he instead attended St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, known for its historic roots as the third oldest college in the United States and its Great Books curriculum in which students submerge themselves in literary classics. “Math and science components of the program go in chronological order […] beginning with Eu-
clid and ending with calculus and non-Euclidean geometries,” Stout said. In the Great Books program, freshmen study Ancient Greece, sophomores Ancient Rome and the Middle Ages, juniors the Enlightenment, and seniors modern works. Students must also fulfill two years of Ancient Greek studies and two years of French courses. Stout believes these diverse narratives allow students to arrive at a deeper comprehension of the world around them. “As students read classical texts of the Western canon they weave understand-
ing of language together with the content,” Stout said. It was this exposure to the origins of different cultures that drove Stout to pursue a career in teaching. He went to Louisiana State University to complete a Ph.D. in history with a focus on the South after the Civil War. Stout’s other interests include film photography, a passion he describes as a living art. Stout recalled one incident that nearly landed him in hot water. “I almost got arrested by the Navy for spying after 9/11,” Stout said. “I was taking a lot of pictures around the Naval Acad-
emy in Annapolis after 9/11, and an officer tried to send the Marines after me. An intense argument among the Marines ensued and I got away in the confusion.” Having previously taught Louisianan and American history at LSU, Stout is now excited to rejoin the St. Martin’s community and make an impact on its students. “My favorite thing about St. Martin’s is the students,” Stout said. “I've seen other schools, and StM has the kindest, best-mannered students around.”
March 22, 2021 3
Sports The Halo
Winter sports teams quarantine during seasons by SYDNI WILTZ Sports Editor and LEVEN GREENE Staff Writer Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the St. Martin’s Episcopal School basketball, soccer and indoor track teams have all kicked off their seasons. Hoping for a sense of normalcy, team members have returned to a seemingly regular routine, following COVID-19 regulations set by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. Several protocols have been required to ensure the safety of the athletes, such as wearing a mask during practice and while on the bench during games. However, due to the spike in positive COVID-19 cases after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, St. Martin’s was forced to quarantine many of its winter sports teams in January. Among those quarantined were the girls and boys basketball teams, as well as the girls soccer team. Head Boys Basketball Coach Michael Odom said that the pandemic has brought on an additional challenge with the later start to the season. “We were unable to have a summer program for the most part so the challenge was unlike any other year,” Odom said. “Combine that with our young group and COVID, I am so proud of the way our guys have accepted the challenge. It's a credit in particular to our two seniors for their leadership: Monte [Lewis] and Thomas [Devall].” As of February 3, the boys basketball team is having a winning season, with a 9-3 record. However, their record has been impacted by several games cancelled as a result of the
Photo by Molly Rivas The girls basketball team faces off against Pine High School on Senior Night on Jan. 21. The team was one of many that had to quarantine during the winter sports season due to COVID-19 exposures. team’s three quarantines. “One of our main goals for success in the future.” School was a downer for Senior Thomas Devall, this season has been to esThe girls basketball team the players who have been captain of the boys basket- tablish trust, chemistry, and had to quarantine after one of working hard all season. ball team, expressed con- belief in our young team in East Jefferson High School’s Nevertheless, the girls concern over qualifying for the our goal to compete at our players, against whom St. tinued to work hard at home. playoffs if they were unable highest level possible every Martin’s had played the “[During our quarantine] to reschedule missed games. time we play,” Odom said. previous day, tested posi- we still were working out “We were going to miss “We had a big win on Senior tive for COVID-19. Head and we sent the players a ten whole days of practice,“ Night v. Fisher and another Girls Basketball Coach workout to do to continue Devall said. “We also had one last Friday [ January Courtney Ward’s thoughts their running and try to stay 2 games that week sched- 29] v. St. Charles Catholic.” turned to how to adapt in shape, while we were uled so we had to reschedOnly having two seniors for the rest of the season. out,” Ward said. “The day ule those, which worried and a relatively young “This was a possibility,” we came back off quarantine me. Teams have to play team, Odom is excited for Ward said. “I wasn’t sur- we had a game so we didn’t at least 20 games to qual- the future of these players. prised. I was just thinking, get a chance to practice.” ify for playoffs, so it was For the ten days that “ L o s i n g s o m e g u y s ‘Okay. My team’s going to crucial to reschedule those throughout the season, es- be quarantined. What is the the team was quarantined, as quickly as possible.” pecially to injury is nothing best thing that we can do they managed to grow Although the team has new,” Odom said. “But I while they are in quaran- closer while in isolation. spent cumulatively over have to say some of our tine to stay in shape and be “We [the coaches] wanted a month in isolation due younger players have played ready for when we return?’” to see all of our players’ faces to COVID-19 exposures, with a lot of confidence Being quarantined right so we set up a team meeting they have not let this af- and guts. I am proud, and before their rival match to mainly talk about workfect their competitiveness. our expectations are high against St. Amant High See Sports Wrap, page 6
Indoor track team sees growing number of runners by SYDNI WILTZ Sports Editor The St. Martin’s Episcopal School’s indoor track team has seen an exponential growth during the 202021 season. The team has been accustomed to only having a few runners—and only two Upper School competitors—for the past three years. This year, the team gained numbers and totals twelve Upper and Middle School runners. Senior Isabella Bartholomew, a long distance
runner who has been a part of this team no matter the numbers, is excited to see the gain of runners. (Editor’s note: Bartholomew is the copy editor for the Halo.) “I think it’s really exciting,” Bartholomew said. “We’ve always had a very small team, but seeing these numbers grow, especially as a senior who is about to leave this school, it’s nice to know I’m leaving my team in good hands,” The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has called for
limited contact. Mask wearing, social distancing, and avoidance of large gatherings have all played a role within their season. “We have to wear masks while stretching, and we must bring our own water bottle instead of sharing,” Bartholomew said. “For track meets you can only go inside the stadium when it’s your event rather than setting up inside.” The Louisiana High School Athletic Association does not allow for fans
or crowds at these indoor track meets, which makes the stadiums quiet but emphasizes support from teammates. “I think it’s a bit more difficult knowing we aren’t supposed to get close to each other physically,” Bartholomew said. “And as for the competition it’s definitely quieter in the stadiums. It’s definitely strange not having spectators, but I think it helps me get in the zone and not get too distracted. Though it’s dif-
ficult that I don’t have my parents and siblings there to cheer me on, I still have my teammates.” Alongside the adversity that this year has caused, Bartholomew has high hopes for the future of this team in years to come. “The growing numbers are indicative of the program building itself up, and hopefully in future years, it’ll be stronger even when I’m gone,” Bartholomew said.
4 March 22, 2021
The Halo Opinion
Editor-in-Chief looks back on her years at StM
ADRIANA PAZ Editor-in-Chief
n 2015, I was accepted into St. Martin’s Episcopal School. It was a big step forward for my family and me—we were all so excited that I would attend the highly renowned college preparatory school in Metairie. Neither my family members nor I knew that the next six years would hold a whirlwind of events and ultimately change my future for the better. Before attending St. Martin’s, I was unaware of being the only person of color
at my grade school. However, as I started my journey here, I recognized that I was certainly a minority in the majority. Over the years, I have struggled with finding my own self identity and balancing my personal and school life. However, I now realize these obstacles prompted my journey of personal growth and pride in who I am today. At St. Martin’s, I prepared myself for the academic challenges coming my way. Though I have always worked hard for success, I found the first few years to be a difficult adjustment. At times, I felt, and still feel, that no matter how hard I tried, my grade would not reflect my hard work. I questioned if all of my efforts would prove worthwhile, or if I even belonged at this school.
However, immense support from the faculty helped me to find myself in those moments of self-doubt. They always had faith in me, and I will never forget that student-teacher bond. I remember deciding to take Latin my eighth grade year. I struggled through the classes as I tried to catch up with the rest of my classmates who had already been learning the language for a year. Nearly everyday after school, I would find myself in Mr. Schwarz’s room practicing and translating sentences. He always welcomed me warmly and gave his patience and devotion to help me catch up. I have received the same support from all of my Upper School teachers, especially Dr. Laskay. As my teacher since junior year, she put in an extraordinary
amount of work and care for her students. She has helped me grow as a math student, and I can say that I feel genuinely prepared for my next step in college. Although I thrived and loved the school and its opportunities, I also struggled with finding my place among my classmates. Knowing that I came from a different background, I often felt left out or unable to easily connect with others. Nevertheless, I had my family, who always had my back, reminding me to keep my head up and moving forward. Without them, I would be lost, and I would not be as proud of my heritage and roots. Now, as my time here at St. Martin’s draws closer, I feel so happy and proud of the young woman I have become.
I started out as a shy, quiet middle schooler and have blossomed into a hardworking, confident individual. I am so grateful for the opportunities from St. Martin’s. I will forever be proud of my school and the upcoming generations of students that will follow my footsteps. To future students, my best advice if you feel left out or incapable of accomplishing great things is to always keep your head up and move forward. Remember who you are and the values most important to you, and strive for success. Meet with your teachers if you are struggling, talk to and learn from your peers, and most importantly, use the resources that our school has to offer.
Marvel films have bright future ahead of them
NATHAN CHATAGNIER Staff Writer
endless films in the future. Producers create each movie with great care and attention to detail while keeping the overall narrative in mind. This style makes crossovers seamless and enjoyable. Take Bruce Banner’s story as a case study. In a science experiment gone wrong, Banner is transformed into a monster, the Hulk, that feeds on rage. Over time we learn more of Hulk and the relationship between him and Banner. Their character arc ends in Banner combining aspects of Hulk and himself to become smart Hulk. Aside from a 2008 film, Banner has never had a standalone movie. Almost all of Banner and Hulk’s stories are told throughout bits and pieces of other movies. The same happens for another fan favorite, Loki. Though never having a stand-alone movie, Loki
arguably had the greatest character development in the MCU. He went from being the loyal yet bickering brother of Thor to craving world domination and hating his father. His plans are foiled, and over time his relationship with Thor recovers. This vast storyline is possible because Marvel has the freedom to create multiple movies. A single grand plan glues all the standalone movies together and tells one overarching story. Most movie franchises only think one movie ahead—hence the reason why sequels and subsequent films plummet in quality and merit the old adage that “nothing beats the original.” Marvel’s foresight in creating a robust foundation that develops stories and characters in multiple movies allows for the next group of characters to be introduced early on,
with the end result that the next era doesn’t seem like a reboot or continuation. This solid base allows the franchise to spend less time giving context in new installments. Viewers already know the history and characters without need for reintroduction, meaning more time can be spent on other aspects of the films such as action scenes, deeper subplots, a more dynamic villain, more comedic or longer and more meaningful dialogue. Because Marvel dives right into films, they can improve other aspects of the movie. Marvel is not just unique in this one way. Their producers also plan the story years in advance so that every film fits perfectly into a grand narrative. It is how Marvel has made the story so compact and collected for an eye-popping twenty-three movies.
or the first time since 2009, Marvel Entertainment did not release a film in 2020 due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This postponement has caused problems for Marvel’s transition after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” In “Endgame,” many characters died or retired from their posts as Avengers. This gap without a new film leaves fans wondering who the next generation of leaders in the Marvel franchise will be. In the first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe,
producers created a diverse set of characters, each with individual storylines. “Iron Man” introduced Tony Stark, the founder and tech guru for many Avengers operations. With a long story arc that develops over the course of many films, he changes from a cold-hearted eccentric billionaire to using his money and technology to attempt world peace. Convinced superheros and the Avengers need a governing body through the United Nations, Stark disagrees with other Avengers, and a fight ensues. By the end of his story arc and death, he realizes the world will always need Avengers to fight for what is right and protect Earth. Similarly, each Marvel character has detailed stories like Stark’s with character development over many films. The level of detail allows for many plots and subplots to be fleshed out for
St. Martin's Episcopal School 222 Green Acres Road, Metairie, LA 7003
Editor-in-Chief Adriana Paz
Photo Editor Nicholas Arensman
Managing Editor Rikki Bourg
Layout Editor Eric Berthelot
Copy Editor Isabella Bartholomew
Sports Editor Sydni Wiltz
Staff Writers Alexis Akers Lauren Bone Nathan Chatagnier Leven Greene Westley James Alexis Steckler Zoe Tatum
Staff Photographers Emerson Arensman Molly Rivas
Faculty Advisor Matthew Munhall
Editorial Policy The Halo is a student publication of St. Martin’s Episcopal School. Letters to the editor are run on a space-available basis, and editors reserve the right to edit for grammatical errors, length, and/or potentially libelous content and good taste. The author(s) of the letter may be questioned or asked to revise the content. Not all letters to the editors submitted to the newspaper will be published. Views expressed in the Halo do not necessarily reflect those of St. Martin’s administration, faculty, staff or other students.
Entertainment The Halo
Parading at home
March 22, 2021 5 Krewe of House Floats keeps Mardi Gras spirit alive
by ADRIANA PAZ Editor-in-Chief
ew Orleans: the city known for its music, food, and rich culture that runs through the hearts of people from all backgrounds. One particular event that goes on every year is known as Mardi Gras, and is celebrated with rounds of parades, jazz music playing all around, and most importantly, the ornately decorated floats that many artists in the city put their hearts and souls into. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell had to cancel the long awaited parades, leaving many float artists in search of jobs. Despite this hard decision, New Orleanians took it upon themselves to keep the Mardi Gras spirits high by creating a parade route with their own houses, known as the Krewe of House Floats. For those who participated, homeowners hired an artist to decorate the front of their houses as they would for Mardi Gras floats. Citizens in the city were free to drive or take a stroll by the house float parade route to see the decorated houses. All of the decorated houses that I saw on my drive throughout the city were fun to look at, and it kept a smile on the faces of my grandpa, grandma, and brother throughout the ride. We saw a range of decorations, from dinosaurs to a circus-themed house, and of course, some New Orleans Saints pride. Overall, it was a great experience to be a part of, and it was wonderful for people of all ages to enjoy. My favorite house was definitely the dinosaurthemed house. Located on St. Charles with many oak
Photo by Nicholas Arensman
Photos by Nicolas Arensman ABOVE: A front yard adorned with colorful Mardi Gras lights, an array of bugs and a cutout of Alabama football coach Nick Saban atop a ladder. RIGHT: A house imagines a future Travel (Again) Channel, decorated with prominent landmarks from across the globe. trees and plants surround- around it, making it difing it, the yard had replicas ficult to see while driving. of titanosaurs and pteroDriving around the city dactyls. The dinosaurs were on a regular Saturday was a life-sized and looked as if little difficult, since the city they just came from the “Ju- had opened back up since rassic Park” set. Of course, the lockdown. You may have each of the dinosaurs on run into a bit of traffic which display were showing their means it could take a while Mardi Gras pride, wearing before getting to each house. green, purple, and yellow Although the official map for beads. The titanosaur even the Krewe of House Floats had a sparkly hat sitting had yet to be released in late on its head as it gazed into January, it was fairly easy the crowd. In the bushes, to spot the parade homes. the pterodactyls showcased We drove around Uptown their sharp, scary teeth. Al- and there were plenty to see. though my family and I were Of course, it’s sad to driving by in a car, the other think that we missed out people gathering around on the traditional parades, it were also amazed at the watching the high school decorations. In the trees, bands march and catching there were big Mardi Gras- all of the goodies, but the colored ornaments. The only Krewe of House Floats did downside to this house is a wonderful job of keeping that it was really popular, the Mardi Gras tradition and many people crowded alive. Not only did it give
artists an opportunity to showcase their wonderful talents, but it gave them a job—which was important as artists have been especially affected since the pandemic be-
gan. Whether you wanted to walk by or drive by, these houses did not fail to awe you with their artistic decorations. Perhaps this new tradition will continue on for years to come!
'Cobra Kai' season three brings back excitement by NATHAN CHATAGNIER Staff Writer
he third season of “Cobra Kai” has taken the world by storm, becoming one of the most popular shows on Netflix. The consensus has been largely positive with a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The first two seasons followed Johnny Lawrence’s life years after his loss in the infamous 1984 karate tournament from the “Karate Kid” trilogy. He teaches Miguel, a teen that just moved to Los Angeles, how to fight,
but that leads to massive conflict and drama among the students at his high school. Johnny restarts the Cobra Kai dojo, where he trained back in the 80s, to teach a new generation of kids karate. He mentors a lot of kids and builds their confidence and swagger. Season three is different from previous seasons in that former enemies become allies and fight against Kreese, who took over Cobra Kai. Kreese was the original sensei of Cobra Kai who taught Johnny Ka-
rate. This new dynamic brings back the excitement and interest from when the show first came out. This season had a solid plot with great fight scenes and humanized the characters so we got to know them. No one was one dimensional; every motivation by the protagonists and antagonists had merit. The opening few episodes follow the events of the West Valley High brawl and Miguel’s injury. Slowly adversaries find common ground and attempt to take down
a reincarnated Cobra Kai with Kreese as its sensei. Relationships and trust remain important in deciding who are allies and who are foes. This creates loads of tension and drama for various plot lines. Daniel and Johnny's relationship with themselves and the kids is a central theme that is the main driver of the story. They have to work together to solve each other's problems. They are very intertwined. At times though, the acting is a bit corny—none
of the actors are known to be juggernauts in the field. The dramatic tone and constant stop and start of cued dialogue makes interactions unnatural and corny to watch. Chemistry between the actors is hard to come by as well. One of the rare good pairs is the relationship of Miguel and Johnny. They are the most natural and least corny. Overall, the action scenes and story outweighs the questionable acting for a smooth binge that leaves v i e we r s c r a v i n g m o r e .
6 March 22, 2021
The Halo Jumps
best to come together to put on a great performance, and it is certain to be one they will not forget. Like most things in a pandemic year, the musical production “We Will Rock You” will be anything but orthodox, but changing things up has been the running theme of a post-COVID-19 world. “We have never done anything like this before,” Ricci said. “But I think it is a great idea considering our current situation.”
Holidays, from page 1 order to spend time with them due to the large spike in COVID-19 cases. “This season definitely felt different for me,” Farber said. “Normally, I would have some family come in, but this year it was just immediate family, and we had to take extra precautions just to invite my grandma. It changed a lot. It was also super scary knowing how many people would be traveling at this time of year and the risk it would pose. Overall, it felt weird, but it wasn't too bad.” Other students spent time with their family in less traditional ways, like Senior Elena Gaver. Her family from outside of the state opted to hold virtual
meetings over Zoom to see each other, rather than risking exposure from travel. “This holiday season I stayed home for Christmas for the first time ever,” Gaver said. “My family and I Zoomed with family during the holidays. It was really weird but it was still nice to be able to talk to them. I haven’t seen any of them in over a year and they live out of the country and on the West Coast. It definitely felt different and I hope to see them soon.” Despite the changes in plans for this time of year, Junior Lilly Rabe was able to enjoy the break with her parents and her sister, whom she does not get to see often because of college. “This year my extended
family didn’t spend the holidays together which was new for our family,” Rabe said. “ Instead of our usual family traditions, I spent the holidays with my parents and my sister. Although it was a smaller group, I enjoyed spending time with my sister, who is away at college, and had a happy holiday season despite the differences. Some students had their usual holiday trips canceled, such as Senior Camila Figueroa, but still tried to keep the spirit of the season alive in other ways. “This holiday season felt different because of the increase in COVID cases,” Figueroa said. “I usually like to go on trips with my family, but we couldn’t this
year, so the holiday season wasn’t the same. While I did have a good holiday season, traditions definitely weren’t the same as usual, and we had to do things with more precautions and safety.” Sophomore Lauren Crowell used this year to reevaluate the meaning of the holiday season. “Before this, I thought I’d be more upset about missing out on the hectic events of the holiday season,” Crowell said. “Normally, this time of year is stressfully spent trying to manage studying for exams as well as keeping up annual holiday traditions. Despite the obstacles faced this year, I was able to spend the holidays focusing on my family and friends, even if I might
not have been able to see them in person. Overall, although this year was unlike any we’ve ever had, I think it gave us all time to realize what we’re actually supposed to be celebrating [during] the holidays.” Junior Quinncy Boutchard echoed that sentiment and explained why this year’s celebrations had a different feeling from previous ones. “The holiday season itself was the same at heart,“ Boutchard said. “But since my family couldn’t come together, it brought an undeniable feeling of difference and sadness that came not from change but from not being to be with your family and loved ones to experience it.”
scores,” Bartholomew explained. “We couldn’t believe it and were so excited. It felt like we had won. On the bus ride back, we couldn’t stop talking and even sang, ‘We are the champions of 1A!’ The guy’s team had won first place, so it was a great day all-around.”
Photo by Nicholas Arensman Girls basketball point guard Jayden Coleman goes up for a shot during the semifinal game against Pine High School on Mar. 1.
Spotlight, from page 2 time with friends. Though she does not know what form graduation and prom will take, she remains optimistic about enjoying her remaining time at St. Martin’s. She is also excited to find out where her classmates will be attending college in the fall. Looking back over the years, Bartholomew recounts her favorite memory from her time at St. Martin’s: the 2015 state cross country meet. “It was my sisters’ and my first year running,” Bartholomew said. “We were hoping to get third and worked all year long towards that goal. After the race, we found out we got third. We were exhausted but so happy. Everyone had run their hardest race, with several members running their fastest time.” However, as the team was leaving the stadium, the announcer called the team back to the infield and announced that St. Martin’s had actually come in second. “There had been a miscalculation with the
However, the members who were not quarantined still attended practice. “ O u r p r a c t i c e s we r e smaller,” said Senior Chris Catinis, captain of the boys soccer team. “We had them in the gym instead of on the field because there weren't enough people for that … We had to postpone four games.” Head Girls Soccer Coach Bobby Velasquez assigned workouts and drills to the girls soccer team, likewise quarantined, to stay in shape for return to practices. Athletic Trainer Tara Sosa says the effect of COVID-19 on young athletes is still unknown, and as a result, stressed the importance of following protocols. “They haven’t been able to determine long term effects, cardiovascular or pulmonary, [on young people who have had COVID-19],” Sosa said. “They recommend anybody who is doing a physical activity, or sports where they have to exert themself, after COVID to have an EKG, an exam to make sure they are good to go.”
Musical, from page 1 Long-Dieth is also not immune to the challenges these conditions present. “Well, directing anything is pretty challenging at the moment,” Long-Dieth said. “Non-musicals are easier. Musicals have so many moving parts, and it takes much more time to put them together. Musicals require extra rehearsal time to learn music and choreography.” Without a stage to work on, every member of this production is trying their
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Bahat, from page 2 future. He is contemplating starting a math club and is interested in helping coach the swim team one year. Bahat also hopes to imbue his students with a love for math and help them realize it is not just something found in a textbook, but has worthwhile real world applications. Sports Wrap, from page 3 outs and to do some team bonding and just making sure we are staying connected, even though we weren’t physically able to see each other,” Ward said. After Christmas break, almost half of the boys soccer team was similarly quarantined, and they were forced to cancel matches.