Month: December 2013

Be Kind

Words: Maryam Elhabashy

Be decent. Be generous. Be kind. These are the types of characteristics that we are taught to strive towards. One would think that they are time-tested and true.  But one could argue that the way we communicate in the 21st century is changing the standards of what kindness is.

Not too long ago, if you wanted to express a feeling of gratitude or appreciation towards a person, it was through something called a letter. Believe it or not, the letters were actually handwritten. They were pieces of cardstock paper, drawn on either by an artist, or, if you were an overachiever, you’d draw it yourself. Home-made was more thoughtful – more kind. Customarily, at the end of the letter was the signature: “love,” “yours truly,” or “sincerely.” A few days later (yes… days) if the sender was lucky, the recipient would receive the letter. Back then, a mere two generations ago, a part of your heart was laid out on the page, because communication was fewer and farther between, and was a reflection of effort.

Let’s visit the present. Now, if you want to express a feeling of gratitude or appreciation to someone, it’s through an e-card, an email, or a text. Of course, the signatures have changed too: “Luh youuuu *4 heart emojis!!!” “Thanks babe *3 kiss emojis!!!” or “ILY BOO *5 wink emojis!!!” If you’re an over achiever, you’ll do multiple lines of the designated emoji. If you’re a complete nerd that has no life, you’ll write the letter.

The death of the hand-written letter is just a drop in the bucket. It’s not just the way we communicate. It’s our perspective that has changed. With “acts of a kindness” giveaways from the likes of Oprah, Ellen, and most recently, a Canadian airline (with nearly 22 million YouTube views in just five days!), walking an old lady  across the street is chump change in terms of 21st century kindness.

And so the days progress and people’s understanding of kindness might easily be altered.  Is that really what we want? Can “gifts” of kindness be free? A smile? A service? A thought? And maybe, just maybe, we might turn off our phones for a few minutes, pull out a pen and paper, and write an unabridged sentence telling someone how much we love and appreciate them.

Girls Basketball Comes Out on Top Against Hebron

Words: Giana Han

On Dec. 13, the Lady Eagles celebrated a victory over their rivals, the Mount Hebron Vikings.

The game started out slow for the Eagles, with only four points, consisting of foul shots from Brittany Anderson and Kimberly Eads, and a lay-up from Sara Downing.  The Vikings made out better than the Eagles, but not by much, and the quarter ended 10-4.

However, a different team showed its face in the second quarter.  With 6:37 remaining in the half, the Eagles were able to tie it, 10-10.

“We knew we could play better than that,” said Downing, Centennial’s lead scorer for the night.  “We just had to forget what happened and start over.”

The Eagles were able to extend their lead, and the half ended with the Eagles up, 20-14.

“They played a runner offense, and we let the pressure dictate how we played, but we started to play at our own tempo [in the second quarter],” said head coach Robert Macheel.

The Eagles were able to maintain their lead through the rest of the game. Hebron came close to coming back when they cut the Eagle’s lead to one with six minutes left in the game. However, a three-pointer from Anna Mitchell gave the Eagles the boost they needed to hold their lead to the end of the game. Foul shots in the last minute from Sammy Albornoz, Anderson, Downing, and Mitchell helped the Eagles to increase the size of their lead until the buzzer sounded, and the Eagles won 49-43.

As a varsity team, none of the players or the coach had ever beaten the Vikings until that game. “It always comes down to a close loss for us, so it feels good to finally come out on top,” said Downing. “Beating Hebron has proven to us that we can beat anybody.”

The Lady Eagles are now 4-0 in the county, three of the wins coming from three straight days.

“We have two more games before break. Our goal is to go into break strong,” said Macheel.  “Wins and losses are not as important as the way we play.  We want to keep getting better as we get closer to play-offs.”

Finding the Perfect Holiday Sweater

Words: Caroline Lawrence

Don’t know what to wear this season?  Wondering how to stand out at your next holiday party, but not sure how to make a festive fashion statement?  How fortunate for you that the Wingspan Online has published this article on trendy holiday sweaters, solving all your sartorial dilemmas.

Each year, these warm, woolly creations make an appearance as our minds start to swing into the holiday mode.  But how can you find a sweater that meets your sense of style?

Marketing editor, Kris Berry muses, “I look at the patterns, you know, I like to find one that evokes the holiday spirit and, you know, really celebrates joy, peace and family.” Though he currently does not own any of these holiday masterpieces, the Wingspan thinks he would look particularly spiffy in a bright red one to match his colorful personality.

Whether you’re dreaming of a white Christmas sweater, or a green one, or a red one, or even a blue one, the part that makes the statement is undeniably the pattern. These fun holiday toppers come in a plethora of different designs. Popular motifs include reindeer, jolly old elves, or decorative strings of lights — some that even blink! If you do not celebrate Christmas, no need to despair. You can still enjoy this trendy tradition with colorful Hanukkah or Kwanzaa sweaters.

When picking your perfect sweater, think about the pattern on the front. You will feel the most comfortable in a sweater that fits your personality. If you like Christmas trees, find one with a tree. If you like reindeer, let us suggest a sweater with a reindeer on it.

If you want to stand out even more, a holiday sweater vest may be perfect for you! For even more festive fun, wear your vest over your colorful sweater to really get in the spirit of the season.

Stay tuned for more fashion advice from the Wingspan, and send your Christmas sweater “selfies” to chswingspan@gmail.com to be posted on the website!

Bruno Mars’ Latest Album

Words: Bushra Lohrasbi

Bruno Mars is the image of pop. I genuinely can’t think of a time when this five foot five inch legend was on a tabloid for doing something socially unacceptable. Mars’ last album and the most successful thus far is Unorthodox Jukebox. Hit after hit. Number one on iTunes month after month. The one rhythm my neighbors could always hear coming out of my house during the summer was the vintage yet modern beat of the 80’s, with the smooth yet upbeat voice of Bruno Mars.

On this captivating album, Mars lists his first song to be “Young Girls.” This song is literally Mars pleading to his audience of how intoxicated he gets when he falls in love with these ‘young girls.’ It seems like a weird choice to put as the first song on the album because it is such a slow and intimate song. But it’s the fact that it is so slow and intimate that makes it so amazing.

Next is “Locked Out of Heaven,” which has been on the radio nonstop since the day of its single release. The disco rhythm really takes you all the way back to the 80’s. The more than interesting songs start to begin at number three on the track list with “Gorilla;” it is the epitome of a funky beat that actually sounds good. As several YouTube viewers mentioned in the Vevo comment section, “It is the most relatable and best song he (Mars) has written.”

Treasure. Number 5 on Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles and over 3 million sales in less than eight months, Mars sincerely deserved a pat on his back. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the music video with his spastic yet impressive dance moves, including his entire band! The phenomenon is topped off with repeated lyrics throughout the song, making it even catchier.

Number five and six on Unorthodox Jukebox are somewhat similar yet different in so many ways: “Moonshine” and “When I was your Man.” “Moonshine” is what some people might call a classic Bruno Mars song. The definition of a laid back hit with that 80’s twist on it. “When I Was Your Man” was somewhat shocking to many fans, as they had never really heard Mars sing in such an emotional way, especially in his recording, you can sense the remorse in his voice.

Natalie” is an all-time Mars favorite for me. A faster than life tempo and amazing harmonies in the background from the start is an open invitation to listen. The bass drum keeping the beat during the entire song also helps you basically feel the song inside and out. “Show Me” is almost the exact opposite of track number seven. This track has a Jamaican vibe to it with steel drums rocking in the background, and Mars shows his true talent in this song that he can literally create and perform any type of music from any genre.

Coming toward the end of the track list, Mars decides to place “Money Make Her Smile.” This is a hip and unstructured song with a reggae rock swing. Mars told E! News that this song is how he describes “sex, revenge, anger, and chauvinism.”

Last comes “If I Knew.” Mars hasn’t revealed to anyone why he placed this slow and meaningful as his closing song on Unorthodox Jukebox. But this song really shows how great Mars is at making melodies come together with harmonies.

But there seems to be a pattern with Mars on his entire album, Unorthodox Jukebox. “Locked out of Heaven” could easily be mistaken for “Treasure” if you aren’t really paying attention. It has the same vibe and layer back theme. For a music video addict like myself, the video for “When I was your Man” and “Gorilla” look like they were filmed and recorded when disco was at it’s prime. But admittedly, I couldn’t care less. I love listening to him on my way to school or to work in hopes to raise my spirits just a little bit.

Overall, Unorthodox Jukebox was prodigious. This is really a huge throwback album full of disco jams with Mars’ creative and brilliant own twist. Although most of his songs on this album were quite similar in sound and rhythm, it worked. The pop industry seemed so ready for something like this to come out. A flash to the past is sometimes all we need.

Centennial’s Yearbook Made Easier: All-Digital Production Streamlines Senior Ads Submissions

Words: Miranda Mason

On Nov. 11, Centennial’s Eyrie team began accepting orders for yearbooks and senior ads. For the 2013-2014 school year, the Eyrie team is cutting out hard copy photos and converting their production process to a completely digital one. This shift opens the doors to a new, easier way for parents and students to order their yearbooks and create their ads.

By cutting out hard copy orders, the yearbook team is able to spend their time focused on making the best book possible, as well as preventing any orders from being lost. Digitizing ad orders also means parents don’t have to come to the school to pick up their photos at the end of the year.

“You can upload all your pictures online, which is really easy because you don’t have to come pick up your pictures,” said Abigail McManus, senior and Marketing Director of the yearbook.

According to Production Manager and senior Maddie Albornoz, the process for creating ads online should prove to be easier for everyone.

“Log on, use the access code 5591 and press ‘Create Ads,’” said Albornoz. “Everything from there should have a step-by-step direction.”

In order to buy a yearbook or to create an ad, students and family members have to go to yearbookordercenter.com, using Centennial’s access code, 5591. From there, users can easily navigate to the correct window for ordering a yearbook, uploading photos or buying an ad. The deadline for senior ads this year is January 31, 2014. Yearbook sales will continue through early spring.

Going digital is not the only change to this year’s yearbook; according to McManus, students can also personalize their yearbook with a nameplate on the inside of the front cover, a dust jacket or autograph pages.

Jingle Bell Banquet

Words: Amanda Ali

Over many years at Centennial High School, the SGA has put together an event called the Jingle Bell Banquet. This year, the banquet was held on Dec. 5 in the school’s cafeteria. The SGA invited local senior citizens to have a holiday meal and then to attend the first showing of the winter spectacular. This allowed seniors from local senior centers around the community to be exposed to the spirit of the holidays.

Centennial’s Drill Team was asked to perform a holiday number at the event, as well as the Madrigals who performed a cappella. All of the senior guests were served a turkey dinner with dessert while watching the performances by the music and dance department.

The operative board member of SGA, Anthony Chiu, worked very hard in order to make this event a success. The SGA president Farhan Bader and Chiu drove to four different senior centers to inform the managers about the event and provide sign-up information and fliers. Chiu was also responsible for making some of the scarves that were given out to the seniors at the end of the night.

Chiu believes that it brings them a lot of joy to interact with the young people in their community, and that they were impressed by the talent shown in the show. “The Centennial SGA has always had a special place in its heart for the elderly,” said Chiu.

Chiu and the rest of the SGA achieved their goal in making this event a success, and could not have done it better!