Category: Feature

Life in Guatemala: An Interview with Olga Cobo Raymundo

Interview: Minah Mubasher

What was your life like in Guatemala?

My life was bad. Guatemala was dangerous. The gangs there killed my friend, Lucia. She lived next to me and was my best friend. She would always buy me gifts and was very nice. We would do our homework at my house.

Would you like to go back to Guatemala?

I cannot go back to Guatemala. I want to stay here with my father, mother, and my little sister. I also have many new friends here. Even if I wanted to go back, my mother does not have money for a plane.

How have you been adjusting to life here in Maryland?

When I came here, I was 12 years old. The people here were very nice to me. Living here is easy because there is less fear and it is safer here.

What do you miss most about Guatemala?

I miss my house in Guatemala. I also miss my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and my grandparents. My grandpa is very sick. He cannot walk and only has a couple more years to live. My mother sends him money to help pay for his medicine.

What do your friends in Guatemala think America is like?

My friends Elena thinks life here is fun. My other friend, Albaro wanted to come to America with me. His father is here and it is safer. All my friends think America is rich and that there are famous people everywhere.

Do you like life in America or Guatemala Better?

I like it here better. Everything here is better. The school is better and so are my friends. Even the food here is more tasty. There are many more options in America. I didn’t like the meat in Guatemala. The meat vendors did not wash it very well.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan

Behind the Curtain: The Unseen Stars of the Show

Words: Sasha Allen

People go to plays to watch the onstage action, but they don’t always appreciate or even know about how much effort goes on behind the scenes. Lights, sound, sets, props, and costumes wouldn’t be a part of a play without one specific group of people: the tech crew. Without these crucial members of the show who make sure that the whole production runs smoothly, productions of plays and musicals would be less enjoyable for the audience. With this year’s production of Clue coming up, both actors and tech crew are getting ready for an exciting play.

The members of tech crew for Centennial’s production of Clue have started working already, meeting about every other week. About two weeks before the date of the play, they start meeting every day up to opening night on November 15, to assure the play runs as planned.

Tech crew is a huge commitment, and the members are working hard to get ready. Stage manager Emily Dahlgren said that the crew is busy organizing the props and the set to allow for steady scene changes. The crew also went through the script and figured out what props are needed for which scene. This, however, is not easy, and it takes a lot of research because the props need to look a certain way to reflect the setting and era of the play. “For this show specifically, the props are all very intricate,” said Dahlgren. “The main prop pieces are the weapons found in the actual game, and we’re trying to make them as close to the real game as possible.”

Dahlgren is in charge of overseeing each aspect behind the scenes to make sure everything is in order. She has been a part of theater before she started high school, but to her, it is more than just a commitment. She loves watching two different aspects of the show come together after so much hard work.

Dahlgren puts a huge amount of her time into theater, from the first rehearsals to the last show. She attends every rehearsal for the actors, every set build, and every technical rehearsal to check that everyone and everything is in the right place.

While most of the members have a specialized job, working on sound, set, lighting, or props and costumes, Dahlgren oversees all of that and more. She helps build sets, organize the props, and manages what goes on behind the scenes. The crew has a huge amount of respect for her and everything she does.

During the show, the cast doesn’t get a break. “A lot of theater is thinking on your feet,” said Dahlgren. But she isn’t just talking about the actors. There is a lot of preparation, and on the night of the show each tech crew member has to be at a certain place at a certain time, much like acting.

Kai Daley, an actor in the upcoming show, appreciates all of the hard work that the crew puts in. She says that they will help an actor whenever they need it by fixing a mic or trading in a prop, and she believes that they deserve more attention for all of the work that they put in.

“Tech crew is the last thing that brings a show together and makes it believable to the audience,” said Daley. “Nothing would be the same without [them].”

Everyone who is a part of the Clue production puts in so much time and effort whether they are an actor or a part of the crew, and they all care about making the production reach its full potential. Even though they all have different jobs, everyone who is a part of theater has one thing in common: their passion for what they are doing and the work they put in.

Clue will be running here at Centennial from November 15-17 at 7pm and on November 18 at 2pm. The tickets can be purchased for $12 online or $15 at the door. Be sure to come out and support the whole Centennial theater program!

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

A Freshman Perspective

Words: Xander Mauer

Freshman year is a time of great change and uncertainty for many people. Most upperclassmen are well adjusted to the high school experience and often forget how strange it all was on their first day of high school. It is important to understand the perspective of current freshmen in order to properly empathize with them and help them feel welcome.

Many freshmen were quite surprised by the lack of space in the halls, due to Centennial’s student body reaching 1,614 students in total this year. Comparing this to middle schools, which usually have less than one thousand students, it’s no surprise that the newest class is a little overwhelmed.

High school seems to be more similar to middle school than most would think. Most freshmen said that the biggest and most noticeable difference is simply that lockers are not used as much.

Freshman Ahmed Hussin’s transition has been almost seamless.

“[The biggest difference so far has been] carrying our backpacks all day,” Hussin observed.

Something many students may recall is the anticipation during the summer between eighth and ninth grade. In middle school, teachers always stressed that everything assigned was in preparation for high school, which is just preparation for college. This constant reminder of the future can make it seem like a scary unknown, but it turns out that is not the case.

Freshman Sean May has found that high school is less intimidating than he thought. “The middle school [I went to] over-hyped high school,” stated May.

This seems to be a common occurrence, as Hussin agreed. “Middle school teachers made [high school] sound way harder [than it is].”

Although some freshmen find high school to be the standard schooling experience they have gotten used to, others have not been so lucky. The majority of students lamented over the increased homework. Freshman Ian MacIver noticed the difference in the way classes are taught.

“[There is] less time spent on each topic in classes,” MacIver noted.

The class of 2022 manages to hold onto hope in the face of these struggles, finding solace in extracurriculars. Almost every single freshman surveyed said that their biggest anticipation in school is actually an out-of-school experience.

Some freshmen aspire to make a contribution to the school sports teams, while others find enjoyment in joining clubs to be with friends after school. Regardless of what one considers their preferred activity, there is a place for them somewhere among the many extracurriculars at Centennial.

Freshmen often feel ostracized from the other classes, but it is important to remember that all students have been in their shoes. Each and every student can get overwhelmed, especially when immersed in an unfamiliar situation. Freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior: in the end, they are all just students who want to make the most out of their high school experience.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Marching Band Season Concludes with Awards

Words: Thomas Hitt

Photos: Ellie Zoller-Gritz

The Centennial Marching Band concluded their season on October 29, by having an awards ceremony and potluck dinner.

While everyone finished eating, each section was called up one at a time to receive superlatives made by the section leaders of each section. From funny, to caring and most improved, all the superlatives were a great way to thank each student for their participation in a great marching band season.

After spending time eating, talking and receiving awards, the students moved to the auditorium where the seniors gave small, moving speeches about their experiences throughout their years of marching band.

After every senior had a chance to speak, all parents were invited into the auditorium to watch a slideshow of the marching band season with the students.

The slideshow included a collection of the highlights and best moments of marching band camp and memories throughout the season.

As it was an emotional time for seniors, it was also a joyous time for everyone as the marching band celebrated the season with a potluck dinner and fun awards.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

High School Band Day at The University of Maryland

Words & Photos: Thomas Hitt

On Saturday, October 27, the University of Maryland marching band, the Mighty Sound of Maryland, hosted a high school band day.

High school band day allowed high school band students to spend the day with the Maryland band and perform with them during halftime at the football game. Students from around the state participated in this event, including marching bands from Howard, Centennial and Long Reach High Schools.

These students shadowed the Maryland marching band for the whole day. They started out the day by participating in the game day rehearsal, where they followed behind the band. The high school musicians marched with the Mighty Sound of Maryland to the field. They also were able to play with the Maryland marching band during halftime, including the customary “5th quarter.”

Afterwards, the high school band students sat with the Maryland marching band and joined in for cheering and playing of pep tunes.

This event allowed high school band students to experience what it is like to be in the Mighty Sound of Maryland.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Celebrates National Writing Day

Words: Serena Paul

Photos: Ellie Zoller-Gritz & Maddie Wirebach

On Friday, October 25, 2018, Centennial’s advanced composition class hosted National Writing Day. The different activities that took place ranged from contests to cafeteria games. Students were able to participate in contests like the haiku contest, guess the teacher haiku contest, and caption the meme. Upon entering the building, students were greeted by quotes about writing written on the sidewalk by the advanced composition students who stayed after school on Thursday. During lunch, advanced composition students walked around the cafeteria engaging students in writing activities, in their black shirts decorated with their responses to the question, “Why write?” The contests were just one part of the day, as many advanced composition students taught classes with prepared activities involving writing. Both students and staff came together to celebrate writing.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Immigrants Share Their Stories

Words: Javiera Diaz-Ortiz

Photos: Zach Grable

Imagine being raised in a certain culture, speaking a familiar language, feeling tied to a community and knowing no other way of life. For many students, immigration turns their entire lives upside down. Positive and negative experiences alike, immigrants experience major changes throughout the transition process.

Senior Anne Vicari was born in Brazil and immigrated to the United States in 2010, at the age of nine. Her native language is Portuguese, so the first task she had once moving to Maryland was becoming fluent in English.

However, Vicari claimed that learning to speak the language was not the most difficult part because English “is not as complex as Latin rooted languages.” Rather, the most challenging part for Vicari was leaving her family behind.

Vicari immigrated with only her mother, which meant saying goodbye to the rest of her family.

“The most difficult part of adapting was learning to be away from family,” she stated.

On a more positive note, Vicari feels grateful for having been given the opportunity to gain a new perspective.

“The [best] part of immigrating, other than being able to experience a different culture, was going back to Brazil and telling all my friends and family about my new life,” added Vicari.

Another senior at Centennial, Helen Huang, immigrated from China a few days before her sixteenth birthday.

Like Vicari, Huang’s first language was not English, but her English class in China facilitated this part of the process for her. However, conversational parts of the English language were a factor she had to spend more time learning.

“I [didn’t] know how to respond to ‘what’s up’ or ‘how are you doing’,” she remarked.

One major difference that Huang noticed between China and Maryland is the structure of classes in high school. She noted that in China, she had only one assigned classroom, not several destinations to go to each day.

“I think it’s harder to make friends [since] we usually have only one period together,” Huang added. Even though it was difficult at first, Huang has met many new people at Centennial and maintained several friendships.

“The best part is I [am able to] experience a totally different culture,” claimed Huang, “Immigrating actually [broadened] how I view the world.”

Similar to Huang’s view of immigration, senior Sera Lim, who immigrated from South Korea at the age of seven, stated that she is more “aware of the different foods, activities, traditions, and even historical values not represented in Korean culture.”

Lim’s first language was Korean, and it became difficult for her to communicate with others once first arriving.

Lim has since made an interesting observation between her “old” life and her “new” life. She noted that the sense of community is different.

“In Korea, transportation was very easy and children could walk to a supermarket by him/herself; unlike the United States, where the car is the main source of transportation,” noted Lim.

Vicari, Huang, and Lim all showcase the rush of positive and negative aspects which immigrants are met with. The immigration process shapes an individual and transforms their view of the world.

“Getting to learn and experience a new culture was one of the most interesting parts about immigrating,” Lim expressed, “From immigrating, I am more open and aware of the different foods, activities, traditions, and even historical values not represented in Korean culture.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.