A 14-track holiday-themed indie album, You Wish, was released on November 22 by Merge Records to commemorate their thirtieth anniversary. With features from a diverse array of artists—from Mike Krol to Coco Hames—this album offers a buffet of musical selection. The album did not disappoint; its wide musical talents bring a fresh perspective to modern holiday music.
The first track on the album, Coco Hames’ “Keep Your Christmas,” made a pleasant first impression. This track features a low guitar, and Hames’ dominant voice, creating a sound similar to that of The Roches, but with the resonance of a bell. The song maintains an engrossing melody and serves as an anthem for anyone who wants to rebel against Christmas customs.
Mike Krol’s “Won’t Be Alone Tonight” is one of the best on the album. The track centers around a common theme of Krol’s: young love. Krol delivers his usual power guitar sound and fuzzy vocals but this time with a glittering sleigh bell and bright chime accompaniment. His angsty-teenager-in-love persona—resembling the main character in the film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World—coupled with garage rock sounds and sparkling effects make the tune come to life.
Furthermore, Mikal Cronin, a long-running member of Ty Segall’s band, displayed his talents in “Christmastime Heist.” A tune that channels the energy of one trapped in a Christmas maze who paces to find an exit but only finds more lights and holly, this song features an upbeat piano and spiraling sound effects that add to the feeling of frenzy. This is the perfect song to listen to when entangled in holiday mayhem.
Later in the album, Hiss Golden Messenger and Lucinda Williams present a different type of holiday music with “Christmas in Prison.” This tune is soothing rather than frantic. The soft piano allows the voices of Messenger and Williams to tell a narrative and spill their emotions. Their story reflects the cheerful gloom that prisoners feel around Christmastime (“There'll be music tonight/I'll probably get homesick/I love you, goodnight”). Listen to this song when in need of a break from mainstream pop music.
Listen to You Wish over the holidays when in need of a change from conventional holiday music—this album will not disappoint.
~Ally Lozano- Copy Editor
In a few more school days, the final bell will ring and winter break will begin. Although the holidays spell obligatory shopping, gift wrapping, and all the rest, there are many ways to stay environmentally friendly amid the seasonal mayhem. Here's seven simple tips listed below:
1. Shop with a reusable bag. For many, holiday shopping is obligatory. Whether it’s picking up a gift from Target, Home Depot, or Bath & Body Works, among others, the thin, cheap plastic bags add up. These bags are difficult to recycle and take many lifetimes to biodegrade. Switching to a reusable bag will keep excess plastic out of landfills as the weather grows cold.
2. Skip wrapping paper (or recycle it). Instead of using traditional wrapping paper, household papers like newspapers and magazines can be used to conceal presents with equal success. Not only will this reduce environmental costs, but it will also relieve financial costs. After it’s used, the paper can be recycled. Just remember: simple wrapping paper can be recycled but foil or glitter-decorated paper needs to go in the general waste.
3. Gift unconventional items. Don’t feel pressured to buy a gift from the bright aisles of a chain store. Great gifts can be homemade. Spend time crafting a mug for dad or baking cookies for mom. Also, great gifts can be second-hand. Look around the house for presents to give.
4. Reuse gift bags. Gift bags can be used over and over again. Save them to reuse and encourage your friends to do the same.
5. Opt for items with less packaging. Packaging--the product used to wrap or protect goods, including cardboard, plastic, and paper--makes up a major portion of waste in the U.S. This holiday season, goods will fill malls and stores across the country, luring consumers to items coated in shiny plastic. When shopping, opt for items with less packaging to reduce your waste.
6. Save leftovers. Each year, roughly one-third of the food produced for human consumption worldwide goes to waste. This is especially true during the holidays. Encourage friends and family to take leftovers home. Store leftovers in the freezer to enjoy after you’ve had a break from them for a while.
7. Donate. The winter season is marked with cold weather (well, sometimes). As you dig out cold-weather clothes, donate old pieces to a charity or thrift store to give your sherpa jacket or Thrasher hoodie extra life. Likewise, if you received a gift you don’t like, donate it or gift it again instead of sending it to a landfill.
~Ally Lozano- Copy Editor
After campaigning for four months prior, Ralph Gutierrez won the November 5, 2019 election to become the new mayor of Schertz. He replaces Mayor Michael Carpenter, who served for three terms before deciding to not run for reelection.
“I’d been on council for three years before I ran for mayor, and I had no intentions of running for mayor until Mayor Carpenter decided that he was not going to seek reelection, and at that point, I thought, who is going to step up?” Gutierrez said. “I decided I would run because I wanted to continue the economic success that had occurred under his tenure.”
The economy is a focal point of Gutierrez’s plan to grow and expand Schertz, as he hopes to develop and grow the economy while lessening tax burdens on residents. This relief comes as a result of more businesses making their way to the Schertz area. He emphasizes his plan to reduce taxes by one penny while in office, although he notes that it is a very difficult task, as the equivalent of a one penny tax reduction is $400,000 in total. He also hopes to make sure that all employees are smiling so that it will have a contagious effect with the community.
“I have two goals: one penny, and a smile,” Gutierrez said. “These two goals sound very simple and easy, but they might be difficult to attain.”
Another focus of Mayor Gutierrez is the comprehensive land use plan, first put into effect nearly two decades ago. This long length of time is one reason why Gutierrez plans to take another look at land usage, stating that what people wanted 20 years ago may not be what they want now.
“First of all, we need to go over our comprehensive land use plan,” Gutierrez said. “It doesn’t match our planning and zoning, there’s a lot of vacant space still. The biggest portion is the southern part of Schertz, south of F.M. 78 mainly on the F.M. 1518 corridor. There’s a lot of undeveloped land, and right now, the comprehensive land use plan says one house per five acres. That’s what voters wanted back then, but it may not be what they want at this time. There’s a lot of desire to develop that portion of 1518.”
Along with the south side of Schertz, Gutierrez hopes to develop the east side, opposite of Randolph Air Force Base.
“We can’t develop the west side, that’s where Randolph Air Force Base is at,” Gutierrez said. “We can’t jeopardize or compromise the mission at Randolph, but on the opposite side of the street is the east side. We can go ahead and start looking at development there. F.M. 3009 stops right at F.M. 78, but we need to connect it to go all the way to I-10. That’s my ten year goal. I may not see those things happen, but this is the time to plan for it.”
Mayor Gutierrez also notes that he wants to focus on involvement within the community and younger generations in Schertz, and hopes to create more events that attract teen audiences, especially those in high school. Moreover, Gutierrez hopes to show youth that they should be who they are and stay true to themselves, and that people can earn positions they want while being themselves.
“I want more involvement with our residents and community, it’s not just about me, it’s about we,” Gutierrez said. “Together, we can be involved in our city and make it what we want it to be, so that is the message I want to get across.”
The difficult campaign effort, as described by Mayor Gutierrez, entailed calling many businesses and land owners to place his campaign signs around some of the busiest roads, such as F.M 3009, 78, 1103 and I-35. Gutierrez also thanks his wife for helping him in this process of contacting people to place his advertisements.
“Campaigning is not easy, as soon as you submit your paperwork, you start putting yourself in campaign mode,” Gutierrez said. “For every sign I put out on the road, I had to contact every owner. I had to respect the property rights, I could not just put a sign up there, I had to have permission.”
Gutierrez also explains that he is twice retired, and that he can devote his time to the community fully, noting that this may have played a large part in his election. This faith from the community pushed him to run in the election.
“When I first heard I was elected, I was amazed,” Gutierrez said. “When you look at my life four years prior, I was not on council, and to come up and after just three years and be elected mayor, I was very proud that the residents have that confidence and trust, selecting me to be their next mayor.”
Gutierrez’s time in office should be one of growth and increased involvement, as he has outlined that he will be planning for the future as he takes on this leadership position. He will show restraint as he strives to be a great leader to not only his staff, but the community too.
“You can’t just go in there and start making changes, that’s never the right way to approach any position,” Gutierrez said. “In a leadership position, you stay, you look around, and you observe what’s going on. You make adjustments, but you don’t make big radical changes, that’s not the way to do anything.”
~Brady Davis- Editor-in-Chief
She steps up to the tee box with her driver in her hands, expecting to drive the ball down the middle of the fairway. Although she has confidence in her consistence, she can’t help but feel nervous about her shot. Her hands start to sweat as she takes her stance to the ball. She takes one large breath, and quickly glances to where she desires to hit the ball, then slowly starts her backswing. Only focusing on the ball, she starts her foward swing and smoothly hits the ball. It goes exactly where she expected it to go.
“Golf is very fun, challenging and the tournaments we play are extremely competitive, the vibes of our team are above and beyond, everyone is extremely encouraging and we all grow together,” said Karina Duran (10).
A lot of people see golf as an easy sport; for some it may be, but for others, it is extremely hard to learn. If it were too easy, everyone would be playing it. Since only a small amount people play golf, it is a lot easier to get a scholarship, which is the reason some people play. Also, golf is not a very laid back sport; it takes a lot of patience and a lot of hard work to get good at it.
“I golf because it keeps me disciplined and gives me an opportunity to work towards a college scholarship," Kaylee Molder (10).
~Zoe Dean- Staff Writer
Gifts are a great way to a person's heart in the holiday season, and a popular way to exchange gifts is to play Secret Santa. Giving your classmates and friends an entertaining, traditional game to play is the best reason to throw a party. But have you ever sat down and wondered where Secret Santa comes from?
Everyone knows how to play: each player is assigned a person's name and has to anonymously buy them a gift, and they have to guess who bought them the gift after opening it. The game got its name because the person receiving the gift has no idea who their “Secret Santa” is.
So here's how it started. In 1979 an American entrepreneur by the name of Larry Dean Stewart made it a practice to anonymously donate 100 dollar bills to the people in Kansas for twenty-five years. He also donated 25,000 dollars to New Yorkers after the 9/11 attacks. He only came out as the “Secret Santa” in 2006.
While we do secret santa as a gift exchange, in many other countries the traditions are different. For instance, in Scandinavia it is called “Julklapp” and involves leaving a present on a person's front step, knocking on their door, and running away.
All of these traditions have the common theme that a person brings gifts to another person, connecting them all in one way or another, just as the holiday season connects us all.
~Haley Welker- Staff Writer
The theatre production class went to the Gaylord Texan resort hotel and convention center on November 21-23 for this year's Texas Thespian Festival.
Theatre's small budget did not allow thespians to go for free; they all had to pitch in. The original cost for each student to go was $364, but they had extra money from the Snow Queen’s admissions. In total, the students ended up spending less than two hundred dollars. This covered their rooms and meals. The costs covered and plans set, the thespians were confident going into the competition.
“I’m not nervous because I’m an actor, that’s what I do. I chose specifically the musical IE because I’ve always wanted to perform a musical in front of people, and I chose to do it with Harley Modra because I thought she was a very good singer,” Wyatt Niemietz (11) said.
Students that go to the Texas Thespian Festival have to perform an IE, an individual event for judges. Students got to pick their IE’s and who they worked with. They spent two and a half months practicing to get them perfect. They weren’t allowed to have props or a set--only chairs if the scene required it. Each group got to choose between an acting or a technical IE. In total there were 5 acting and 4 technical IE’s that they took to the festival.
“I’d say it was a little challenging to pick an IE because we are a trio and it was two girls and one guy, so it was kinda hard to find one in general. You can’t change your gender in the IE's because it’s very specific, so that was hard,” Emily Trevino (10) said. “None of them really stood out to us so we picked the best that we could find.”
The weekend wasn’t just IEs and being in front of judges all day. They got to go to theater workshops and see the main stage plays and musicals that were performing, including Steele’s musical, Chicago. It was full of fun and they made memories they will never forget.
What makes their trip even better is the fact that Devin Bosch (10), Olivia Jonas (10), and Emily Trevino (10) advanced to the national competition with their group act, Chemical Bonding, and Devyn Rowe (12) for costume design of The Revolutionists. They are the first in school history to make it to nationals.
The national competition will take place at the University of Indiana in Bloomington, Indiana on June 22, 2020.
~Ryleigh McCright- Staff Writer
Starbucks' Peppermint Mocha
I arrived at Starbucks around noon. Although there was a long wait, the burristas were very polite and they greeted me with a smile. I ordered a grande peppermint mocha frappuccino for $4.95. When I took my first sip of the frappuccino, I was immediately hit with a sweet taste of chocolate and coffee, and a chilling aftertaste of peppermint. I found myself drinking the refreshment fast because of the peppermint aftertaste. I was somewhat disappointed by the end of the drink to find that the last third of the drink was ice build up. When I finally pulled in the last few drops, the drink tasted more like water than coffee. For the most part I enjoyed the tasty holiday drink; it contained a nice blend of chocolate with peppermint. However, with the price of five dollars, and with a third of the drink being backed up with ice, I rate this drink a four.
Emily's Place's Grinch
I arrived at Emily’s Coffee Shop after school. They workers were very polite, and they made the drink fast. I ordered a 16 oz. Grinch and added whipped cream and espresso for $4.93. This drink tasted like someone blended a peppermint patty candy and added espresso. There was first a strong taste of peppermint followed by a chocolate aftertaste. I also noticed there was almost no ice build up at the end of the drink, and the peppermint chocolate taste stayed strong until the last drop. I have no complaints for this holiday drink. This drink perfectly presents the flavor of chocolate and peppermint; therefore I rate this drink a five.
Dunkin' Doughnuts' Mocha Mint
I went in the morning, and they gave me my coffee very fast. I ordered a medium for $4.97; however, a medium is 24 oz. here instead of 16 oz. One thing that differed this drink from the rest is how strong the coffee was. The other drinks were mainly showcasing the peppermint and chocolate factors, while this one showed off coffee with some mint. The coffee itself tasted good; however, the chocolate was barely present and the mint flavor emerged a little in the beginning of each taste. The drink did not give the whole “holiday appeal” like the others. Despite this, I would definitely get it again when I need the energy; it gave me the kick to start my day. Because I could not taste chocolate peppermint flavor like the other holiday treats, I rate this drink a three.
~Connie Wiggins- Assistant Editor-in-Chief
A packed room, full of one hundred students in formal dress, each from a different high school, gather to discuss topics from nuclear weapons to human rights. The meeting: a Model UN conference.
Just this year, Model UN was added to the list of organizations offered at school. Every Tuesday, members meet to prepare for the annual conference, which will take place in San Antonio during the first week of January. This two-day conference is a big deal. Students from bordering states and Mexico will travel to participate in the mock United Nations assembly.
To fully imitate the international meeting, each participating school has delegations, groups that are assigned a country. Each group member is assigned to a committee. Part of the preparation process is researching their country’s position on the committee topic.
“When you’re on one of the committees you have to argue your country’s position on that topic,” Logan Michael (10) said. “I'm on the human rights committee, so topics include persecution and forced labor.”
Unfortunately, delegates from Clemens did not get assigned their first choice countries, Australia and Belgium, so they had to settle with less-known countries, Nepal and Portugal. Even though members claim Nepal and Portugal are less exciting and easier to research, the assignment allows them to gather a new perspective—the point of view of a small country.
“When you think about the UN you don't think about those kinds of countries. You think about the big ones—America, England, China,” Michael said. “But other countries have their own position, their own opinion on what’s going on, so it’s cool to look at that.”
Unlike other clubs, Model UN is different. Instead of competing at their conference, delegates work to form solutions with delegates of other countries.
“You don't really win or lose. The goal is for everybody in the room to come to a conclusion, to fix the problem that's been given. You can get awards for if you contribute,” Bryan said.
The assembly serves as a place for members to get out of their comfort zone and represent their country in heated debates.
Michael said, "Honestly I don't like talking in front of people so I guess I don't know why I joined. But it's something different. It’s fun."
Most Model UN members don’t see themselves becoming diplomats or world leaders; they simply want to take part in an important geopolitical discussion.
“We directly talk about issues like climate change and immigration. We are talking about current issues in today’s world,” Bryan said. “We try to solve them because people today don’t seem to be solving them that well.”
~Ally Lozano- Copy Editor
A Letter From the Editor
Happy holidays from the SC Correspondent Online! As we reflect back on 2019, the stories that echo through these halls make me appreciative of the students who make this publication worthwhile. While for many of us, Christmas Break marks the beginning of our last semester of high school, there's still so many memories left to archive. Thank you for appreciating the stories we cultivate as young journalists!
~Taylor Trapp- Online Editor-in-Chief