All posts by Lexy Pickering

Catching Fire: Hot or Not?

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you want to remain in the dark about the events of Catching Fire.

The second movie in the Hunger Games trilogy presents a brand new look at the series, filled with surprises, love, sadness, and death. Even better and more action-filled  than the first, this new movie is a must-see for all Katniss and Peeta fans . Continue reading Catching Fire: Hot or Not?

Crisis in Syria

Although Syria is not on the top of most middle-schoolers’ minds, the civil war across the world is one of the most important things going on currently. For example, when asked, an anonymous 8th grader  questioned, “Syria is in Africa, right?” To answer their question, Syria is in Asia. Students in middle school may want to know more about what kids their age are going through in a country across the world. Continue reading Crisis in Syria

Living in The White House

How would you like it if your mom or dad became a politician, got a lot of donations, ran for president…and won?

Well, it would obviously be a big change: moving to a giant white building with probably a lot more backyard space than you had before, having bodyguards following you and watching your every move, saying things like, “The eagle is clear, I repeat, the eagle is clear!” Knowing that you could be killed at any one moment. There would definitely be good things about being the kid of a President, like an outdoor pool, a new dog, being on TV, getting the run of the White House. You would ride in a limousine, meet a lot of cool people. But the hardest thing that I would imagine is not really having a great friend.

sasha_malia2Think about Malia Obama and Natasha (Sasha) Obama, the current president’s girls. Malia will turn 15 on July 4th and Sasha will turn 12 on June 10th. Going to Sidwell Friends School in Washington D.C. might be a little bit easier than going to other schools, because most of the former presidents’ children have gone to Sidwell Friends, but it can’t be that easy. Think about how every time they want to make a friend, they probably stop and wonder, Does this person like me for who I am, or just because my dad is president? Maybe they have a lot of friends, but they don’t have any real friends, just kids who want to have a playdate at the White House.

Sure, Malia and Sasha look really happy on TV, and who wouldn’t? It would definitely be an awesome life! And I’m sure they’re probably just fine living in the White House for another four years. Just remember, next time you’re watching a presidential election and you sigh and say that you wish you could live in the White House, think again, because there is a lot more stuff to it than just fame, glory, and a new dog.  

Writer’s Block Doesn’t Even Begin To Cover It

You’re sitting at your desk, everyone is yelling out possible topics, and your brain is going into overdrive. The newspaper editors just asked you what your Newspaper topic is going to be, but you barely heard them over the talking/yelling. Someone is shushing everyone else and just adding to the crescendo of voices. You can’t seem to think up a topic for your article. You are thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking, but nothing comes…

Did you know that only 4 percent of your brain is devoted to creativity? Try using that 4 percent to think of a newspaper article. Pretty hard, right? Now add that to 20 writers exclaiming about their ideas. Difficult? Yeah. It’s even harder when you’re trying to figure out what to do while having a conversation with a friend.

DANIELLE: So, what would you like to write our newspaper article on?

MELANIE: I don’t know. Maybe something about fashion.

DANIELLE: Yeah…like what? Clothes, nail polish…

MELANIE: OMG!  I’m wearing the nail polish you gave me for my birthday!

DANIELLE: I know! So cool, right?!!!!!!!

MELANIE: Amazing!!!!!!!! Do you have some? What color?

DANIELLE: It’s kind of bluish, and soooooo pretty! My aunt gave it to me!!!!!!!!

TEACHER: Get back on topic, girls.

DANIELLE: So, anyways, what would you like to write our newspaper article on?

See? Hard to stay on topic when there is a fashionable new nail polish that your friend is wearing. Everyone wishes at one point in their lives that someone else would do something for them every once in a while. But we’re just not that lucky. We have to keep thinking and thinking and thinking….

Of course, there are great things about writing an article. Don’t get me wrong, Newspaper is awesome. Like when a great idea springs into your head, or when your best friend picks you to work with, or when your Newspaper editor says they like your article. But…

Writing a newspaper article is definitely not for slackers.

…And the Curtain Goes Up!


The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker

Did you know that GFS has dancers in our midst? Many of our GFS students are talented dancers. As a matter of fact, soon, these ballerinas will be performing in a well-known performance this holiday season, the Nutcracker. One of our seventh grade dancers, Olivia Wells, has a few comments about her upcoming show. Olivia dances with the Philadelphia Dance Theatre, which will be hosting their very own performance of the Nutcracker. (Others who dance with the Philadelphia Dance Theater are: Lila Kushner, Eve Lukens-Day, and Zoe Osborne.) If you have seen many different shows of the Nutcracker, you will know that there is much controversy about whether the lead girl is named Marie or Clara. For example, in the Pennsylvania Ballet’s version of the Nutcracker, the lead girl is named Marie. However, in the Philadelphia Dance Theatre’s show, the lead girl is Clara. Olivia comments on the 6th anniversary of her participation in the Nutcracker, yet this will be her second time with Philadelphia Dance Theatre. Unlike the original ballet, Philadelphia Dance Theatre’s performance will be set in Philadelphia.

The lead dancers of this performance are around ages 15-17, so our middle schoolers at GFS won’t be the Sugar Plum Fairy anytime soon. But who knows? Later in life, these talented students may find their future leading them to be ballerinas. One former Middle Schooler is current junior Kara Pride.  Kara is now starring in the title role of Clara with the Donetsk Ballet of Ukraine. However, for  this year Nutcracker will feature our friends as Party Girls on pointe, Mice, Snow, Tea, and Candy Canes. How exciting! Congratulations to our skillful students and a Happy Nutcracker! Hope to see you all at the performances!

(Other performers in the Nutcracker this year are sixth graders: Kathryn Bruttomesso-Clarke, Maggie Mushi, and Julia Tanier.)

To buy tickets for the performances, go to

Feature Photo by Will Terry, Dec. 2011

What Time Is It In Will Terry’s Room?

Have you ever heard someone say that “time flies when you’re having fun”? Well, time actually flies backwards in a certain seventh grade English teacher’s room. At least, according to one of Will Terry’s many odd clocks. When asked where he obtained the aforementioned “backwards clock,” Will replied, “Some novelty shop in town…” He decided the clock was worth some publicity, and so here at GFS, the clock has a home.

Football fans may have wondered where the Eagles clock was acquired, and their answer is: “What happens when Jeff Fetterman and Will Terry walk into a flea market?” Some of us couch potatoes might speculate (and admire) where our English teacher attained the “Whatever!” clock. Will responded that he thought it was a gift…from where or whom is unknown.

There are other clocks, too, from the “Mona Lisa” to “Killing Time.” Many of you might be asking yourselves, “Which clock is Will Terry’s favorite?” Our beloved English teacher favors the “Willard Terry” clock. This beautiful clock was made by two “very special students” by the names of Lila and Talya, both of whom were in Will’s homeroom last year. These girls toiled over the clock in Woodshop last year. When asked why the clocks were displayed at school and not at home, Will replied that although it was a tough decision, he had decided the clocks needed some “public acknowledgement.”

The real question is: “Is our English teacher really a clock collector in disguise?”  Apart from the “Willard Terry” clock, Will admits that he collects novelty clocks for the sole purpose of confusing seventh graders about the time! But he adds, “It just so happens that the Terrys and Willards were clockmakers in the 18th and 19th centuries.” Willard was Will Terry’s grandmother’s maiden name. We might never know if there is a psychological connection, but until we find out, we had all better start wearing watches!

Clockwise from top left: the two Mona Lisa clocks, the backwards clock, the Whatever clock, the Willard Terry clock, the Eagles clock.

~Photos by Lexy Pickering and Rhonda Levy