January Dispatches from the Marfa ISD Journalism Class

January Newsletter


Prom confirmed for April 22 at Hotel Saint George

Kassandra Garcia turns 16 today!!!!!

New teacher!

By Messiah and Taryn

Since Mrs. Mackie left Marfa High at the end of last year, the high school has been without a history teacher, leaving Mrs. Marginot to supervise online world history and Coach Alferez, the junior high social studies teacher, to try to stretch himself to high school classes. But, as many students know, Coach Alferez can now become a full-time high school history teacher, because Aaron Luna, from the MHS Class of 2018, has joined the MJHS staff.

Last semester, Coach Alferez taught history classes to all junior high, plus the sophomores. This forced him to move between classrooms in the JH and HS wings, and to have extra lesson planning, so it was a lot of work for him on top of football and basketball coaching obligations. Coach Luna, who was a familiar face to many students as an assistant coach, was hired by the board after his graduation from Sul Ross in December. At the beginning of this semester, he started teaching history to the sixth graders and seventh graders.

Coach Luna graduated from MHS in 2018, and during his high school years he played football and basketball and ran track and field and cross-country. He also participated in welding and was on the homecoming court.

After graduating from Marfa High, Coach Luna went to Sul Ross State University and graduated in December of 2022 with a degree in history. During his studies at Sul Ross he was an assistant coach with Marfa ISD. He was also a P.E. teacher in Marfa Elementary. 

Coach Luna says he wanted to become a teacher because he wants to educate the younger generation of children in sports as well as in history. In an interview, Coach Luna said, “I became a teacher to help y’all kids out, to help you become better people. Better men and women in our society. And also I became a teacher because of coaching; I love sports, they’re my passion, all day every day!”

So far, Coach Luna says he’s enjoying a few things about teaching, like learning new experiences that come along with this job, helping his students master their social studies subjects, and giving his opinion to students who ask for it.

Hopefully here at MISD, we will see an increase in the number of teachers like Coach Luna in the future. If we had more teachers, we would be able to add new classes that we currently lack, such as choir or cooking class. Plus, it’s inspiring for students to have young, dedicated and excited teachers that are MHS alumni come back to do the hard work of teaching.

We can’t wait to see what Coach Luna is going to do with his classes for this semester and how he will manage football next year. 

Documentary now!

By Alex

You may have seen students walking around the hallways or interviewing people in between class periods with cameras and microphones. Have you been a victim to getting your outfit checked? With this newly-found interview buzz going around from the journalism class you may already know that we’re up to something. The journalism class is making documentaries to submit to the UIL film festival. The students have the creative liberty to choose their own topics to cover. From interviews to audio clips, we’ve been working hard getting footage on our desired topics. Editing footage is a new experience to most of us, and it’s amazing to watch our pieces come to life from just an idea. Transitioning from writing articles to making a documentary with a camera and lines is a big intellectual leap, but I would go as far to say it’s a good change. Besides my own experiences on our project, I decided to ask another student a few questions. Piper Donaldson was in the middle of editing footage when I asked her if I could ask a few questions, to which she happily agreed.

“What’s your interview about?” I asked. 

She immediately responded “The gentrification of Marfa.”

Intrigued, I then asked, “What made you want to document this?”

She fidgeted with her hands while explaining, “My mother sparked the idea when she was talking about it, and later in the week I heard about Jack’s interest –– that finally led me to decide.” 

“Is this something you think people are going to want to see?” I questioned, and she laughed before replying, “I truly believe it depends where you live. The topic is about Marfa, so it’s especially important to the locals before anyone else.” 

I agreed and moved to my next question.

“What would you say was the most difficult task?” I asked, to which she thought for a moment and shook her head before saying, “Traveling between Marfa and Alpine. I live in Alpine and it’s difficult to interview locals when I don’t know many besides the students.” 

I finally thanked her for her time and parted ways.


By Sam

Ms. Powers began the semester by holding me emotionally hostage along with other eighth-period art students. Recently, after Christmas break, we started the second semester and Esdras decided to try to transfer into art class. The only reason this even came to mind was because Esdras didn’t have an eighth period on his schedule for some reason. And Esdras and I (mostly me) came up with the amazing idea of, “Oh, well just come to art!” (We thought Ms. Powers would kick Esdras out.) 

After having this idea, Amber and I started scheming. Amber and I told Ms. Powers we had to have a serious talk with her. We begged her to let Esdras into our eighth-period class. For some background, Oscar Meraz is in this eighth-period class as well. So, Ms. Powers didn’t quite think this was a good idea. She came up with this CRAZY agreement that if Oscar finished ALL his work over “a week of probation” she would let Esdras in. But then, out of nowhere, she also said to add Amber into that agreement. AND TENESSA!

I first started off by interviewing Ms. Powers.

“What was your first reaction when we asked you if you could let Esdras join art?

She laughed.

“Umm, well,” she started, “I had Esdras in Art I when he was a freshman. I think he’s a very good artist; he’s talented at drawing and making things, his giraffe was one of my favorite sculptures during the Chinati collaboration. But, by the same token, um, sometimes he wasn’t always the best behaved person in the classroom at that time. So, while I knew he could do the work, I was a little bit worried about whether he would fit into the culture of our eighth-period class, which is pretty chill.”

“Did you ever think this transfer was going to happen?” I pressed.

“Yeah, I’m basically a pushover,” began Ms. Powers, before continuing, “And I want people to want to be in art, because it’s a fun class that teaches a bunch of great things! And it’s a class where if you don’t thrive academically, you can still thrive in art class, and I think everyone should have that opportunity.”

“Do you think Esdras will last all year in this class?”

“I hope so, but I guess that depends on the choices he makes.”

“Did you expect everyone to finish their work?”

“Hmmmmmm, I wasn’t sure. I think sometimes in eighth period it’s very hard for the kids in here to finish their work since it’s almost the end of the day. Definitely the highest percentage of people who don’t finish or don’t attempt to finish their assignments are in eighth period. Having Esdras as an incentive definitely energized a few slackers.”

I then went to go interview Esdras and get his point of view on this.

“Did you think that Ms. Powers was going to accept you in her class?”

“No, I did not,” he replied.

“How long do you think you’ll last in this class?”

“Until the end of the semester! I don’t think she will kick me out, I’m well-behaved now. I don’t even talk in her class actually.”

“Why do you think y’all have beef?”

“She has beef with me. I know why she doesn’t like me, because in my freshman year I ran away early.”

Eric Martinez confirmed this story, because Ms. Powers couldn’t remember the incident. He recollected, “Ms. Powers was making the class clean up at the end of seventh period, and so we snuck out of the room while her back was turned to go to athletics even though the room was still dirty. The bell rang like a minute later but then Ms. Powers came to athletics and took us out and then made us help finish cleaning her room by sweeping and washing brushes.”

Overall, I guess we can see that the beef has been squashed, and they’re both now fine with each other.

Let’s see how long Esdras lasts in art class. And congratulations to Esdras for getting accepted into art. I wish you the best.


The prom scandal

By Zaley

I was sitting in my Earth and Space class one fateful Friday when I heard a certain junior say the prom theme casually while they were talking about what they wanted to wear. My jaw dropped as I heard another junior tell the culprit to shut up. Then, Dimetrey Stewart, a senior here at Marfa High School, said it was fine because all the seniors already knew the theme. 

As many reading this will know, the prom theme is supposed to be a secret every year until invitations get put out. The juniors, who come up with the theme, are in charge of keeping it a secret and putting on a special event for the class above them. So, as an intrepid reporter, I wanted to know, who spilled the tea? Who is responsible for this school-wide scandal?

I first interviewed Alex Luna and Tori Torres, both seniors at Marfa High School. I asked them, “Would you have liked the prom theme to be a surprise?”

Tori replied saying, “It would’ve been nice.”

Alex agreed, and they both added that it is especially disappointing because it’s so early on in the semester.

Then I asked the seniors, “Well, since the secret is out, do you like this year’s theme?” 

Tori nodded, and Alex replied, “I think it depends on how it’s executed.” The pressure is on, juniors!

The most important question that we all want to know the answer to is how did everyone find out??!

An anonymous senior explained that he was in homeroom when a junior came in and started talking about the prom theme like it was nothing! Tori didn’t find out until later. She said, “I heard it in Earth and Space, I think he [the same junior] was talking to Kily and Maribel. Then they tried to cover it up and say the theme was actually Winter Wonderland …”

It was me. I tried to cover it up with Winter Wonderland, to save face and try to throw the seniors off the scent. It was a #fail.

I tried to interview Dimetrey Stewart, the first person I heard say the seniors “already knew” the theme, but he refused to talk about the matter.

Next I interviewed Amber Hinojos, a sophomore at Marfa High School. 

“Do you know what the theme is or have any idea?” I asked her.

She replied, “I heard it was going to be a gala theme and also that it was gonna be a red carpet, like the Met Gala themed.” She then frantically fled the room after one of her friends left without her in the middle of the interview.

With two failed interviews in a row, I will end it here. I won’t say what exactly our prom theme is, so for those of you who don’t know, you will have to wait until our invitations come out. But I will say we are having immense trouble finalizing the date. PROM IS NO LONGER ON APRIL 29. It will most likely be on April 1 (there is a track meet in Alpine that day, and it’s also April Fools Day, but that just goes to show how busy and conflicting the schedule is). We won’t put out invitations until our date is finalized, but we are thinking our prices will be one ticket for $10 and two tickets for $15. 

Happy prom season everyone!


Second semester of senior year

By Tori

It’s the beginning of the second semester! That means we have a couple of months left of school! Most kids are excited about it, but it’s different for the seniors. This is our last semester of school, meaning it’s going to be our last prom, our last everything before graduation. I decided to ask a couple of seniors some questions about how they feel about their final semester. 

I kicked off the questions with Alex, who returned to Marfa ISD for his senior year. I asked him how he felt about this being his final semester of school. He told me that he was excited, but nervous because it’s a big change. “A lot of people tend to be excited about leaving the nest and starting their lives,” he explained. “The jump people take to different environments is scary.” 

I also asked him what his goals were for this semester. He listed two things; finishing his work and making memories. He also wants to prepare for when the school year ends. “I need to soak up what I have left of high school. Making memories with friends is the most important.”

He’s positive he can achieve these things by the time we graduate. He gave a shrug and said, “it won’t be perfect, but it’ll be done. Just as long as I try, that’s what really matters.” 

This is the big question: do you have senioritis? He sighed and told me, “Yeah. Even if my work isn’t the best, I just want it done and over with.”

Aubrie was the next person I interviewed. She explained to me how excited and nervous she was because this is the last semester. “I have a weird feeling I can’t explain. Not only am I nervous, I’m dreading it as well because I’m gonna miss you guys.” What a heart-throbbing answer!

Her goals for this semester are to make it to the state semifinals for her animation. She also wants to keep her grades up because she’s been slacking. “I know I’m turning in my work, but I’m so exhausted already!” 

She also told me she has an extreme case of senioritis. As she said previously, she’s exhausted “not because of the work, it’s just –– you know.” Don’t we all?

Finally, the last person I interviewed was Janelly, who also returned to Marfa ISD for her senior year. I asked her how she felt about her final semester, and she replied with: “So excited! I also freak out about it sometimes.”

Janelly’s goals for this semester are to continue working both between school and her job, and to work on who she is. She’s also confident that she will achieve these goals by graduation. She also has senioritis like the rest of us!!

To tie all of this together, it seems like everyone in the senior class is excited but nervous for this semester because of what comes after. Like Alex said, we’re all going to be leaving the nest very soon. It’s going to be scary, but it’s going to be a new step in life. We just have to continue fighting the senioritis and everything else that’s stopping us from having a good time for our senior year. 


Christopher: A satirical personal essay of failure and sadness

By Chris and Isaiah

Hello, my name is Christopher Huerta and I can’t seem to do anything right. It seems like the whole world is against me. Any time I try to do something, it seems like I fail. The only thing I enjoy is being a troll and arguing with anyone who has an opinion even slightly different than my own. But, I’m not even that good at that because, as Ms. Powers says, I’m actually a really nice kid.

The thing I struggle with the most is school. Math, English, history, science, Spanish, you name it, I’m not good at it. Even though I didn’t fail a class this last semester, I still think my whole vibe is  “failure.” And yeah, the time I did fail my classes it was a global pandemic, and I really wasn’t trying, but I still think it’s because I just can’t seem to get anything right.

One thing I like is cooking. I am good at that. My favorite thing to cook is steak. I eat it rare. Give me a steak that’s basically still mooing. I mostly just cook for myself, after school. I make elaborate meals in my kitchen, mostly just for me. A lot of my friends joke that if I had a normal metabolism I’d be obese. I guess that’s one of the only ways I’m a lucky guy.

I don’t have any friends, either. Except for all my friends like Isaiah, who is actually my best friend and who loves me a lot, even though he doesn’t like to admit it and he does make fun of me almost constantly. But I’m pretty mean to him, too. And I have other pals, like Messiah, Taryn, Ayven and Darren. That doesn’t mean I’m not unlikeable, though! Even though Ms. Powers says I’m a “secretly nice kid.”

Ms. Powers also recently told me I’m a “ding dong” because I poked myself with a straight pin and I have a lot of trouble meeting the journalism deadlines she imposes. In general, even though I think I’m kind of a foolish person, I am pretty good at getting other people, like Isaiah and Ms. Powers, to help me execute and finish all my work.

In conclusion, Isaiah says I’m a “special” boy, and everyone “loves” me. But I know that I’m just a big, useless failure with lots of friends and a fast metabolism who hasn’t actually failed a class recently.


District games are underway

By Darren

For this month’s article I’m writing about the district games that Marfa is going into. 

Pre-season games ended a few weeks ago, and now we’re playing games against schools in our district, or games that actually count. There are six teams in our district: Marfa, Fort Davis, Dell City, Sierra Blanca, Van Horn and Balmorhea. As everyone knows, district games determine whether or not we go to the playoffs, so the MHS basketball teams have been buckling down to advance! Starting on Friday, there are five games left, one this Friday in Fort Davis, and then four more next week, all in Marfa. On Tuesday, January 31, the boys play Dell City at 6. On Friday, February 3, both teams play Sierra Blanca beginning at 6. On Tuesday, February 7, both teams are up against Van Horn, also at 6. Finally, the boys play Balmorhea on Friday at 6.  

The Marfa Shorthorns need to win a total of four games in district to go to the playoffs and, thus far, the Shorthorns have won a total of two games each, meaning we only need to win two more games to make it to playoffs.

So far, the boys have beaten Dell City and Sierra Blanca, and lost to Fort Davis and Van Horn. On Tuesday we play Balmorhea. On Friday there is a game against Fort Davis.

The girls have won two district games, too. They’ve beaten Fort Davis and Sierra Blanca, but fell to Balmorhea. Additionally, please let it be known that all Piper wants for her 15th birthday is for the Lady Horns to beat the Indians for a third time on Friday, so that the Horns can have a clean sweep against her former (now rival) school!

I believe both high school basketball teams can make it to the playoffs, and if we keep up the good work I think we can make it past the playoffs and win the whole thing and add one more trophy to our trophy case. Let’s go Horns!!


Y2K baybay

By Piper

Why does today’s generation copy older generations? This question has been asked for as long as there have been generations, and parents, and culture, and teenagers who raid their parents’ closets or go shopping at thrift stores. But, right now, grownups are clearly mystified by a new trend: teens embracing Y2K culture. Why do we like Y2K fashion and early 2000s trends? Why are teenagers at MHS going around singing songs like Fountains of Wayne’s one hit wonder “Stacy’s Mom” (released in 2003) and Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” (2008)? Why are students (myself included!) quoting the 2004 cult comedy Napoleon Dynamite in 2023, 19 years later? Going back even further, why does everyone at MHS seem to own that Poetic Justice shirt with Tupac and Janet Jackson? Or the one with the Nirvana smiley face logo? What is the deal with this nostalgia for the early 2000s that mystifies our parents and teachers?

Since most of us were born in the 2000s, I think Y2K nostalgia came to be because most of our generation grew up with this fashion. I have an inkling that this is our generation’s trend, being the copycat for the early 2000s, as we copy our parents’ generational trends, as they did before us. In the ‘90s, young people had raves with rainbows and parties reminiscent of the free loving 1960s, as well as a punk rock revival, a callback to the ‘70s. The early 2000s called back to the ‘80s, they were a neon mess of MTV and new reality TV shows featuring the first wave of celebrities famous for nothing besides being rich, which essentially began the now ubiquitous role of the “influencer.” 

I think we hear stories from our parents’ childhoods and young adulthoods, and from our siblings growing up, and from this we build personalities and ideas of what entire decades were. It’s nostalgia for a time we barely remember. Today, we have copycats of the ‘90s and early 2000s, but where most MHS students get their tastes from seems to be their parents. We’re definitely repeating what our childhoods consisted of and the media we consumed as toddlers. We’re regurgitating something that we grew up with and half-forgot but that comes back as fashion, music choices and movies like a fever dream because, when we were young and semi-experiencing it or hearing about it, most of it felt unreal. 

Here at MHS, Jack, a junior, likes certain things that are distinctly early 2000s, like long sleeves under t-shirts, certain Green Day songs, and the idea of having a flip phone and “getting away from all the social media.” But, Jack says, Snapchat helps keep students in touch and there are other bits of old tech that are equally interesting but of other eras, like Polaroids, Chucky movies, and cassettes and vinyl, saying of any Y2K nostalgia, “I feel like I’m into it because of my parents; I listen to the Offspring and Three Days Grace because of my mom and dad, the things they were into when they were teenagers, and their tastes haven’t changed so they’ve influenced me.”

Amber, on the other hand, is very Y2K-focused. Her favorite looks are banana clips with two strands of hair falling out, extra glossy lip gloss, quoting Mean Girls (2004) and wearing pink half-zipped hoodies with baby doll tanks underneath. Her favorite songs are all by R&B stars of the early 2000s, like Ray J and Baby Bash. If anyone at MHS would appear on the “Simple Life,” it’s Amber. She says her nostalgia comes from “my mom and even my grandma, who is young still. She knows all the Aaliyah bops.”

So, it seems all this Y2K nostalgia is actually from our parents –– so why are they so perplexed by it?