This last Sunday, March 14, the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards were held with a limited audience of just the performers and nominees. Hosted by Trevor Noah at the Los Angeles Convention Center, as opposed to the usual location of the Staples Center, there were tons of huge records, singles, videos, and artists up for the awards. I, of course, have my personal issues with the Grammy’s, however it is still an awesome experience to see everyone be awarded for their musical talents.
The famous Record of the Year award consisted of many different nominees including "Say So" by Doja Cat, "Rockstar" by DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch, "Savage" by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé, "Circles" by Post Malone, "Don't Start Now" by Dua Lipa, "Colors" by Black Pumas, "Black Parade" by Beyoncé, and the winner “everything i wanted” by Billie Eilish.
Album of the Year, also having a list of popular and talented artists, ultimately went to Taylor Swift’s “folklore.” This record was released in July of 2020 and absolutely adored by fans and some critics alike. She performed her hits “cardigan,” (which was also up for Song of the Year but lost to Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar”), “august,” and “willow.” I think not only her performance at the Grammys, but her albums throughout the past year, have shown how much she’s grown from her older style, up to her pop phase, and now full circle. She’s back to what she truly wants to do and that’s a more folk, but still pop influenced, style. She’s faced extreme backlash all throughout history in the media due to her style, her fanbase, and more. I think, out of the nominations for this Grammy, she absolutely deserved the win. (Other nominees for Album of the Year included "Chilombo" by Jhené Aiko, "Black Pumas" (Deluxe Edition) by Black Pumas, "Everyday Life" by Coldplay, "Djesse Vol. 3" by Jacob Collier, "Women in Music Pt. III" by Haim, "Future Nostalgia" by Dua Lipa, and "Hollywood's Bleeding" by Post Malone.
As I mentioned, not only was Taylor Swift up for Album of the Year, but Song of the Year as well. Other nominations included artists like H.E.R., Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Beyonce and more. Ultimately, the Song of the Year Grammy went to “I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R., released in June of 2020, this song acted as a sort of tribute or anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement and received lots of praise for its message.
In fact, despite the Grammys’ questionable history regarding racism, there were lots of black people and people of color who won awards this year! Which segways perfectly into this years’ Artist of the Year Award, going to Megan Thee Stallion. Other nominees included Doja Cat, Noah Cyrus, Phoebe Bridgers, and more. Megan performed twice at this years’ Grammys; once with Cardi B for “WAP” and once with a remix of “Body” and “Savage.” Now, Megan’s style of music is certainly not for everyone, and most probably wouldn’t suspect it’s mine either. However, I think her performance was absolutely amazing. The unique mixture of big band sounds with her ‘savage” demeanor of rapping and performing was a perfect combo for the first Grammy awards of the 2020s.
Now, it wouldn’t be me writing this article if I didn’t, of course, mention Harry Styles. Styles’ was up for three awards, Best Music Video, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Pop Solo Performance. He ultimately won Best Pop Solo Performance for his summer anthem, “Watermelon Sugar.” You see, I have mixed feelings about this award, as “Watermelon Sugar” is, in my opinion and the opinion of many other fans, one of his worst songs. He was probably more deserving of the Best Music Video award for his “Adore You” music video, however, that’s just my opinion… As I said, this would not be my review if I didn’t go on at least a little bit of a tangent about Harry Styles, however I will stop here.
One last award I will go into detail about, of course, goes to the man himself… “former presidential candidate turned rapper ” Kanye West. This year, Kanye won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for his 2019 album “Jesus is King.” Kanye and the Grammys have a… unique relationship to say the least. The artist has 70 nominations and 22 under his belt, some of which include: Best Rap Album in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, multiple awards in Best Rap Song, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and so many more. But how can one forget 2018’s Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical award going to Kanye and shortly after, he released a video of himself urinating on it… but that is yet another tangent for another time.
If you’d like to see a list of other winnings this year, you can by clicking the link right here. Overall, there were many talented artists that won awards this year, despite so many social, political, and health issues. I think it’s great we were even able to hold a Grammy awards, despite my personal issues with the presentation as a whole.
In the past year, education has taken a crazy turn. This time last year we did not have a clue we would still be functioning in a hybrid learning environment or the effect that would have. Without the help and support of our teachers and staff, we certainly would not be able to continue learning successfully. Over the past week, our Student Council has gone to extra levels to ensure our staff receives their well-deserved cherishment. Appreciation week included all aspects of our staff. The Student Council thanks the men and women who keep the school functioning on the level it does, even in a crazy year like this one! Special thanks to the Student Council teacher representatives for ensuring this week happened smoothly.
The Student Council couldn't do things as they normally do due to the circumstances, but they have made the best of it and planned out individual treats and goodies that can be safely passed out. One example of the things that the Student Council did was on March 16 every in person student got a free cookie from the cafetera. There was also a gluten free option so all students could get a treat. Another thing the Student Council did was put together treats for the teachers and put them in their mailboxes to reduce contact between people.
According to Hannah Ryan, Student Council president, on Thursday, March 18 “[they] organized a teacher appreciation breakfast that included fresh fruit, Donut Bank donuts, and coffee! Members of the Student Council set everything up, helped serve and welcome teachers, and cleaned up afterwards.” Another member of Student Council, Logan Barton, remarked that the appreciation week is “a way to show that we notice [our staff] and are extremely grateful for all they do.”
It is very important that everyone in the building knows they are appreciated because everyone plays a key role in keeping the school functioning as well as it does. Appreciation Week is something the Student Council puts on every year, and COVID-19 was not going to stop them this year from showing how thankful they are for our students and staff.
Layla Wandel and Ashley Hudson
This year at Castle High School, BPA, or Business Professionals of America, has taken a different turn. This club includes many students around the U.S. and many here in our hometown. Our sponsors Alicia Gilkey and Angela Cluck’s hard work make it possible for this club to take the strides it does.
Throughout the year, our students at Castle High School work to gain their knowledge on various events to be able to perform in their final competitions. Various events include Fundamental Word Processing, Business Law and Ethics, and Digital Marketing Concepts. Sophomore, Lauren Pellerito participated in one of these events and said she “enjoyed the event very much and hopes to do it again next year.” To prepare for the event she took classes this past summer that taught various instructions needed for the competition.
Another student at Castle, senior Eshan Goel, placed fourth in his event at state, C# Programming, and will be competing nationally. He gave his thoughts about competing virtually rather than in person saying, “there is an entirely different feel about going to Indianapolis for 3 days to compete compared to sitting at home and just taking a test for 2 hours.” Many students also felt this way and were sad to not work alongside other BPA members. However, another senior, Cameron Andrews vocalized his appreciation for Mrs. Gilkey and Mrs. Cluck saying, “I am so grateful that [they] were so dedicated to us and always encouraged us to succeed!”
Even though the circumstances were not parallel to last year, all the students shared many positive experiences that will turn into lasting memories. Junior Alexis Hall says her favorite part was the “awards ceremony and eating breakfast with other members of the club as we all celebrated our wins.” Almost all of the students who responded said traveling to Indianapolis for the weekend was the most memorable part. Being able to meet new friends and make memories is something they all missed dearly.
Overall, BPA is a great club for anyone going into business later on in life. It provides real world experience for high schoolers by engaging them in competitions and various activities. All students in this club recommend joining as it also looks great on college applications.
Lainey Browning and Caden Drone
The weekend of February 19th and 20th, Castle wrestler John Purdy headed to Indianapolis for the state championships. Here as he got ready to wrestle he said his nerves were very under control and he did not seem nervous at all. He was the only guy at Castle that qualified for state and he is in the 170 lbs weight class. After wrestling four people, winning three rounds and losing the second he placed fifth. Although he didn't win, he says that going up to state gives him a goal to work toward throughout the season. Going up to state also gives him new competitors to go against giving him another challenge.
Throughout this whole season the boys have been working very hard. Their scores each match kept improving as the season went on and as they improved. The boys wrestling coaches: Coach Harmon, Coach Deters, and Coach Oberst are also always pushing them in practice and in the weight room to improve them and make them better. The wrestlers season only lasts about four months but many train all year to get ready for their season. Although many of the boys will admit it is a very tough sport for them mentally and physically, they feel very proud of themselves seeing all their hard work pay off and watch themselves improve.
Some of Castle's hardest schools to go against are Mater Dei and Franklin Central, but when the boys go they try their best and put their all into their matches. A junior at Castle describes his season this year as “The season didn't end how I wanted but it was a fun year. Not being able to have fans definitely made it different, but i'm glad we got to wrestle,” says Evan Reff. This shows how with Covid, like many other sports, there was a limited amount of spectators. This may have been discouraging for the matches because the wrestlers were used to being cheered on from the stands and this year a lot changed. Although they did not have fans, the boys still had a good season with many accomplishments and are excited to have another season next year, with hopes that fans will be able to watch from the stands.
Castle’s boys swimming and diving team finishes their season off with a sectional title and multiple state qualifying times. After a long and hard season of training, the boy's hard work finally paid off.
Swimming and diving has conquered many tough challenges this year regarding COVID-19 restrictions. Not only were spectators not allowed, but the swimmer’s meets were limited as well. Varsity swimmers were able to swim about three quarters of the usual number of meets while junior varsity swam in only two.
Junior varsity member and team captain of the boys swim team, Colton Tang, says despite the challenges they “definitely put in the work no matter what.” Training up to eight times a week, the boys made sure to see results when championship season came.
Their first large meet following conference was sectionals. Tensions were extremely high leading up to this meet. Bryce Eckert, a senior varsity member, highlights how “since [they] lost this meet last year, our goal all season was to make a comeback this time.” And of course, they did just that.
Starting off the meet was the 400 medley relay which consists of a fifty yard swim of each stroke. Castle placed second in this event, leading us off with a large sum of points, just behind Boonville. After that it was mostly up to individual swims and having the energy of champions.
After a long day two days of swimming, the Castle boys won sectionals. Additionally, they qualified four individual boys for the IHSAA state championship the following weekend. Seth Cannon (freshman) qualified in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke, Saaketh Reddy (sophomore) in the 200 individual medley, Owen Metzger (sophomore) in the 500 freestyle, and Caleb Beaven (junior) in the 100 breaststroke.
Caleb Beaven, junior varsity swimmer and team captain, is excited to lead many of the boys to their first state championship and get them excited for the seasons to come. Additionally, Beaven is “looking forward to hopefully returning to normal for his senior season.”
All in all, the boys swimming and diving team had a fantastic season with many first place finishes, personal best times, and great memories along the way. Although their season ended on a high note, the boys are more than ready to work even harder next year.
Trippie Redd released the deluxe version of his October 2020 album, Pegasus in February and it is titled Pegasus: Pegasus vs Neon Shark Presented By Travis Baker. The title is often shortened to just “Neon Shark” and I will be using the shortened version for this review. The album consists of 14 new rock and roll inspired songs with 26 songs being on Pegasus already bringing the song count to a whopping 40.
As stated the new songs are rock songs as Trippie Redd wanted to experiment with the genre. He is a rapper and heavily associated with the emo rap subgenre. Machine Gun Kelly is another rapper who has been experimenting with rock and roll and he has two features on the album. Trippie Redd isn’t going into the rock genre permanently, these songs were just him experimenting as an artist.
Neon Shark has been teased as a project for a long time however he didn’t start teasing it more until late 2020 around the time he announced the sequel to his 2018 album Life’s a Trip. The one and only single released for the deluxe album was “Dreamer” and it’s a song that I really enjoy. My favorite song on the deluxe is “Pillbreaker” though. The new songs are all really good, however they don’t really transition well with the somber mood of the Pegasus songs compared to the very upbeat and excitement of the new songs.
Overall I really enjoyed the project. I am a little biased because Trippie Redd is my favorite artist of all time. Despite him being a rapper he created some fantastic rock songs and you could really tell he was excited and had so much fun with the music. This album is definitely one of his best. While it’s not better than his 2018 projects Life’s a Trip and A Love Letter to You 3, it is better than his last two projects (not counting Pegasus), A Love Letter to You 4 and !. Overall I rate this project an 8/10 as not every song from the main album was great but the rock songs were amazing.
Earlier this February, a new true crime documentary premiered on Netflix, chronicling the 2013 disappearance of Canadian college student Elisa Lam in Los Angeles.
The series, titled Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel follows the days leading up to Lam’s disappearance, the police search for the truth, and the internet frenzy that followed.
Back in 2013, a video released showed the last known footage of Lam alive at the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, and sparked a number of web sleuths to start searching for the truth about her disappearance.
I remember this story happening, and was very interested in seeing all of it being told now that the case has been closed. The documentary series presents all of the story and what happened, giving a good picture of this wild time.
From the moment the video of Lam was released until much after her body was found in a water tank at the hotel, people online went crazy with outlandish conspiracy theories and ideas as to what may have caused Lam’s death. This series presents a number of these theories, as well as the ideas of the police department involved in the case. While many of the internet theories seem outrageous and too complicated to be true, it is still highly enjoyable to see the crazed fanatics of this story.
The series also dives into the shady and dark past of the Cecil Hotel and Los Angeles as a whole. The hotel has an infamous past filled with murders, drugs, and more. The documentary does not shy away from this, but incorporates the hotel’s past into the search for the truth. This and the history of Los Angeles’ infamous Skid Row district are both shown vividly.
True crime stories have always been interesting to me, and this is now one of the most wild ones. The mass craze on the internet over Lam’s disappearance and the difficulty in solving it make for a great story, and this series handles it well. They give more than enough information on the background of the hotel and Lam’s own personal struggles for you to understand what happened. Overall, I would highly recommend this series for people to watch.
It’s that time of the year again, winter homecoming. An exciting time of snow and fun filled memories awaits our Castle students. As we’ve turned the corner from the past year, many new things have also arrived. Due to the unprecedented events taken place with COVID-19, all events at Castle High School have been affected.
Winter homecoming took some hits with the overall planning and organization of the event. The event was originally planned to take place in the auditorium with only two people allowed to attend per person. These precautions were set in place due to Warrick County’s red zone. Thankfully, Warrick County moved into the orange zone and we were able to have some sort of normalcy. The members on court were allowed four people to attend and the event was allowed to take place in the gym. One member, Grace Gray, sophomore on court said, “ I'm sure it'll still be exciting since it's varsity, but tickets aren't open to the pubic which is kind of a bummer.”
This was so true for each member as they had to experience the reality of precautions needed to be taken. Many friends and family members were excited to go, but unable to. However, Castle High School put on a great show for half time. The members of the court all held onto hope and many had a great time. Freshman Caden Gordon spoke with happiness saying, “I’m glad I got the opportunity to be on it!” Even senior, Laynee Harding said, “I have always wanted to be on homecoming, and to think that I finally get to do it on the last one, it seems ironic.”
Other members that represented Castle High School include, Chloe Bobe, Maya Vanpolen, Airn Bennett, and Caden Gordon from the freshman class, Grace Gray, Kalyn Marrs, Brendan Daines, and Hayden Mercer representing the sophomore class, Sophia Martin, Lainey Browning, Daviontae Hughes, and Shawn Broshears, and lastly the senior class was represented by Ella Bassett, Emma Gilles, Madison Paladino, Laynee Harding, Allie Hazelrigg, Hayden Carter, Jack Blue, Jackson Welp, Kenny Butler, and Caden Porter.
At the end of the ceremony, members Ella Bassett and Hayden Carter were announced homecoming queen and king. This event was one for the books and will be remembered by all.
Although 2020 has finally come to an end, the days of being alone have not. Valentine’s Day has finally arrived and staying Covid-19 friendly is still a number one priority. If anyone asks who you are spending the day of love with, remind them that being by yourself is safer. Luckily for you, we have put together yummy recipes, funny jokes, and activities to make you feel a little less alone on February 14th...
Q: What did one blueberry say to the other on Valentine’s Day?
A: I love you berry much
Bea my valentine!
Q: What did one light bulb say to the other on valentine’s Day?
A: I love you a whole watt.
Brownie in a mug:
4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
Grab a microwave safe mug
Put in all ingredients and mix
Microwave for about 1 minute or until done
Activities for One:
Eat a gallon of ice cream by yourself
Binge-watch all the romantic comedies on Netflix
Wear his/her sweatshirt
Cry to “your” song
Buy yourself the heart nugget tray from Chick-fil-a
On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, just like every other 4-8 years, power was peacefully transferred from one man to the next. Joseph R. Biden Jr. was inaugurated as the 46th President. He is the successor to President Donald J. Trump. The Biden administration has the first woman and woman of color serving as Vice President. The country’s first ever youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, read her poem “The Hill We Climb” during the inauguration. Many celebrities like Tom Hanks and Lady Gaga performed for it as well.
This inauguration was a historical event just like any other inauguration, however, this one had a bunch of little things to it that made it extra special.
- Joe Biden is the 2nd Catholic ever elected president, the first being John F. Kennedy.
- Last time a president didn’t win reelection was in 1992 where George H. W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton.
- It happened during a global pandemic.
- The out-going president wasn’t there to welcome the new president
- Kamala Harris is the first woman and woman of color to serve as vice president.
- Vice President Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, is the first Second Gentleman of the United States.
- Joe Biden is the oldest man ever elected president, he is 78 years old. Second place is Donald Trump and third place is Ronald Reagan.
- There’s now another dog in the White House, Donald Trump and his family did not have a pet in the White House. Last president to have a pet was Barack Obama.
The country’s first ever youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, read her poem “The Hill We Climb” during the inauguration. Many celebrities like Tom Hanks and Lady Gaga performed for it as well.