May Marfa ISD Journalism Dispatches

Graduation May 26 at 7 p.m. at Martin Field

Yearbooks on sale now!!!!! Only $20!


Prom recap

By Samantha

So, let’s talk about prom! When it took place on Saturday, April 22, there were people from literally everywhere! Sierra Blanca, Alpine, Marathon, Sanderson, Balmorhea, Austin, Fort Davis, Presidio and Grandfalls were represented on the dance floor. 

Although there has been some criticism, I personally think it was one of the best proms MHS has seen in many years! As y’all know, it was hosted by the junior class, aka my class! We dropped a bag of money on this prom, not gonna lie. Everything we got was super expensive! We anticipated its arrival by hyping it up a lot, and then the decorations came and we got a rude awakening: it was all cardboard, because it came from Anderson Prom (which is NOT worth the money), so literally EVERYTHING started falling apart. When prom came around the corner, the decorations were salvaged with hot glue and the addition of balloons and artful drapery and last year’s fake flowers. So everything turned into something completely different than what it was supposed to be, but the ingenuity of the junior class made it look good anyway.

I went around the school asking people a couple questions about prom. Mostly, I wanted to know who was the best dressed boy and girl.

We took a poll in journalism class, but there were a couple of extra students in there as per usual (although the new crackdown about that ensures this is no longer happening!). The winners for the vote were Maryfer and her boyfriend from Grandfalls who were both wearing emerald green.

Also, there was a rumor that there was also some kind of hate about our DJ. Although everyone was dissin’ on the DJ, I thought that overall he was really good. I mean, he was really expensive, but it came with a photo booth as well. He also had really good equipment. And shout out to Nathan’s parents for coming to the prom and serving snow cones! They were amazing and everyone loved them.

The next question I asked was who drove the best whip to prom. (I think almost everyone who drove to prom had some really nice vehicles.)

But, in the end, the consensus was that it was definitely between Eric Martinez and Joel Martinez. They both pulled up in sick old school whips: Eric in a Bronco from ’84 and Joel in a 1979 custom Ford F150 truck.

Finally, I asked about the best dancers on the dance floor.

Ms. Powers said, “Marco, Memo and Kiko surprised me the most as secretly good dancers! Kily and her date looked like they were having the most fun on the dance floor. Luis, Lesly, Liani and Ummi were the most consistently on-the-dance floor people that I saw, and they all had the MOVES!”

I agree with Ms. Powers, Marco was out on the dance floor with AT LEAST five different girls!

The voters said that the prettiest girl and boy who SAT DOWN the whole night were definitely Esdras and Lluvia (Esdras’ out-of-town girlfriend who Aubrie thought was a ghost but magically appeared at prom wearing maroon).

Our prom king and queen were Nathan and Aubrie this year!

Ms. Powers had some things to say about this. She told me, “I felt a tear in my eye when Aubrie’s name was called! And it fell when the crowd started chanting her name. I’ve been feeling very sentimental recently, hahaha, and I think prom finally made me realize this year is almost over and the seniors are going to graduate!”

I think overall the Juniors Class of 2024 threw the best prom yet! And we are hoping the upcoming junior class comes in clutch, tops it off, and gives us an amazing prom for our senior year. 


UIL regionals

By Taryn

On April 21 and 22, the first regional UIL meet for the freshman took place! The UIL meet was honestly very stressful and nerve wracking as soon as we got to Angelo State (the university where the meet takes place), but the first day was filled with enjoyment and exciting moments that I will keep for my whole life!

When I started thinking about who I wanted to interview first, I thought about Messiah Licon! She’s a little shy about being interviewed. She’s better at asking the questions since she advanced in journalism, and so even though she had a little trouble opening up, I still got her to respond to my questions!

The first question was, “How was UIL?” And she responded with, “The first day we got there it was really fun, but I don’t think it was worth it because I missed a lot of prom, which I’m really upset about.” 

Messiah really didn’t want to continue answering my questions, but my partner and I pressed on with, “Did you believe you would make state, and are you upset that you didn’t (since no one from Marfa made it)?” 

When she heard this, I finally got her to speak her mind: “No, I didn’t think I even had a chance with it because there were like 60 to 50 people there competing in news writing, versus like 10 in Fort Davis!” 

About being upset, she was emphatic: “Nope, no! I didn’t care.” She carried on, saying there were “too many people there” at regionals and that state would probably be even more crowded! And, honestly, I agreed with her on that one. There were so many people that I didn’t want to imagine how many there would be at state. 

We also agreed that eating and being at the mall was 100% the best part of this whole entire trip. Plus the part when Piper busted it at Chick-Fil-A where there were a lot of people around, watching her as she hit the ground was absolutely hilarious (she thought so too!).

The next person we interviewed was Piper, the funny, crazy gal that got us three “kidnapped” at the meet to go play basketball with a rando. 

When I asked, “How was UIL?” she responded with a short, “I think it was good, I would  definitely do it again.” 

At the meet, we all agreed when we went into the meet that we probably wouldn’t make it to state this year as freshmen, but that we need to try and try, and we will probably make it in the coming years. That is exactly what Piper reiterated when I asked if she thought she’d make it to state this year. And when I asked if she was upset about not making it to state, she said “Nah, like I said I’m just a freshman; there are plenty of other upperclassmen from other districts with better chances than I had. Maybe another year though if I keep pushing myself.” 

I completely agree with this statement, I feel the exact same way since I hope one year I will make progress in one of the events I do in the future.

Now to the elephant in the room: we were at the UIL meet at the same time as prom. That car ride back was filled with stress, a little anger, and a LOT of rest!

I asked, “Was it worth missing most of the prom?” The common answer was no because it was our first prom! But Piper responded with “Nyeeeeeh … 50/50 … I’m sad I was there for barely 10 minutes, and I ripped my dress, but I got an experience from it that I wouldn’t miss in a million years.” 

In conclusion, this prom day was eventful to say the least! And I’ll never forget it!


Cinergy field trip

By Journalism Class

On Wednesday, May 10, 37 Marfa ISD art students traveled to Odessa, Texas, to spend money that was raised at Storehorns, an art class project in which students worked with members of Chinati’s education team (Mr. Roch, Miss Molly, and Miss Angela) to create large and small scale sculptures. Those works were then sold by Marfa Book Company’s Tim Johnson at a one-night-only event last month. The money raised, about $3,000 from the sale of over 50 works, went toward a field trip that was the students’ choice. And so, we went to a paradise on earth: Cinergy, where we bowled, ate pizza, laser tagged, played arcade games with pre-purchased time cards, and in general just had a lot of fun.

Freshman Isaiah Ramos came up with the idea of going to Cinergy with our earnings.

About the experience, he said, “I’d gone there with my brother, and it was fun, and it has a lot of cool games and arcades, and I just thought it would be fun to go again!”

“I thought it was really fun,” said Tori Torres, a senior. “It was fun because I got to spend a day with my homies playing games, taking pictures, getting mad at the claw machine! I wouldn’t want it any other way, and I think it was a great way to spend our money; arcades are one of my favorite places!”

Esdras Flores, a junior, said that Cinergy was so fun he returned this weekend to go again with his own money.

“My favorite part of Cinergy was beating everyone at laser tag!” said Junior Jack Marquez, who held the high score in both rounds.

“Never bowl against Malicious Melissa Firmin,” said senior Alex Luna, “She had a secret dance, and it was giving her powers, and she smoked us all! She had 113 points!”

In conclusion, it was an awesome experience, and everyone we have spoken to had lots and lots of fun.


Exit interviews with MHS students

By Katana

I wanted to know how students at MHS feel with the end of the school year fast approaching and a new school year on the horizon, especially one with some big changes! So, I interviewed Derick Campos, Memo Guardiola and Diego Jurado to see what they’re anticipating about the end of their sophomore years and the beginning of their junior years.  

I began by asking Derick Campos how he feels that school is over in a couple of weeks. He responded, “It’s crazy, because I feel like it went by really fast!” 

I then asked how he feels about next year’s four-day week! He responded, “I think it’s gonna be so much better and easier!”

I pressed, “Do you mind going to school for more days next year because of the four-day week?” But Derick was clear in his convictions, responding, “No, because I’d much rather have a four-day week!”

Then, because I’ve been wondering, I asked, “How do you think sports will go next year due to the four-day week, since football and stuff is on Fridays?”

Derrick responded, “I feel really confident for next year. I think it should be a good year!”

Next, I interviewed my friend Memo.

I began by asking, “How do you feel that school is over in a couple of weeks?”

Memo said, “I feel ready for school to be over with, I have a feeling this summer is gonna be lit! I’m gonna be working this summer too, and I can’t wait for that. I don’t think I’m going anywhere for vacation, but that’s fine with me. As long as I’m making money this summer I ain’t tripping.”

“How do you feel about next year’s four-day week?” I continued. 

Memo surprised me by saying, “To be honest I really don’t care. It’s whatever, school is school. Hopefully I will figure out how to get here for an earlier start time and get my stuff together so I don’t have to make up hours.”

“Do you mind going to school for more days next year because of the four-day week?”

“Nah, I don’t really care.”

“How do you think sports will go next year?”

Memo said, “I’m definitely doing track next year. And probably football. I think sports will be great next year!”

Finally, I interviewed Diego Jurado.

“How do you feel that school is over in a couple of weeks?”

He said, “I am really excited, y’all be ready to see me working for the City of Marfa!”

How do you feel about next year’s four-day week?

“I kind of like it,” he paused before continuing, “I just don’t think I’m ready for change.”

“How do you think sports will go next year due to the four-day week?”

Diego said, “I think they will be better, because that last day we can come in and watch films and other stuff!”

In conclusion I think next year will be better for those who participate in sports and those who don’t. The four-day week will help everyone and decrease absences due to sports and maybe even sickness. And it’ll alleviate stress for everyone! I’m excited to see what next year holds!


Freshman year in review

By Isaiah and Messiah

Since the year is coming to a close, my partner and I decided to ask freshmen how their first year of high school went.

We decided to begin with the question: What is your favorite memory from freshman year? 

Our first student we interviewed was Ayven Pippen. He responded, “My favorite memory was football season. It was fun managing.”

Then we interviewed Darren, and he said, “My favorite memory was basketball season because we had a good season! And also that one time Chris and I ditched on a field trip.” 

When I asked about her favorite memory, Taryn Klockman said, “I enjoyed Frama trips because we got a lot of coffee and got out of school.”

“I enjoyed playing sports with all the girls, especially the seniors,” said Raven.

The next question my partner and I had was, “What is one thing you would change about your freshman year?”

“I’d probably do more work and be on time in the morning,” Ayven said.

Darren said very quickly, “I wish they were not as strict this year.” 

“I feel like I did not learn as much as I wanted for certain classes, and some things surprised me! I didn’t struggle in math last year, but I kind of did this year,” said Taryn.

Raven answered back by saying she wishes she’d been better at “staying ahead of my work.”

The next question we asked was, “What was your favorite subject this year?” 

Ayven responded back, “Mine was Klockman! I enjoyed 3D printing random stuff!”

Darren answered back with, “I enjoyed athletics, it was fun because of all the sports I played this year, and I especially like football and basketball.”

“I enjoyed journalism because I enjoyed writing,” Taryn said. Then, Raven answered, “I loved seventh period, which was my theater class.”

Our next question “What would you rate your freshman year on a scale of 1-10?’’

Ayven and Raven said, “7/10.” Darren said, “5, but I enjoyed my eighth grade year a little more!’’

Taryn said, “4/10, eighth grade was better!”


State VASE to San Marcos

By Alex

You may remember the art gallery Ms. Powers hosted for the art students’ individual pieces back in December. These works of art were then judged by Chinati and Ballroom experts with the strongest pieces being advanced to VASE. The six students (Alex Luna, Aubrie Aguilar, Juan Bautista, Jack Marquez, Kiko Rosas and Ash Marquez) then completed a round of judging for regional VASE held in Odessa. Out of all the young aspiring artists, only one advanced to state. Me, Alex Luna!

In case you’re in need of a refresher; VASE is an annual art competition in Texas that allows students to showcase their artistic skills and compete with others. It features categories such as drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and mixed media. Students are evaluated on their creativity, originality, and technical skill. VASE is an excellent opportunity for young artists to get recognized and gain exposure, build their portfolios, and connect with other artists in their community.

Anyway, back to the main focus. State VASE was held in San Marcos, where Alex (myself) entered a second round of judging. I invited three friends including: Aubrie Aguilar, Victoria Torres, and Juan Bautista. We left Friday morning on April 28. We stopped at our hotel before having dinner at a riverside restaurant; after that, we went to the outlet malls to feed our inner spending spree desires.

Saturday, all of us packed back into the Suburban and traveled to San Marcos High School. There we got to see all the works that advanced to state VASE displayed in the school’s gyms. Out of all the 32,000 artworks submitted to regional VASE competitions throughout Texas, only 2,000 works actually advanced. This put my work in the top 6% of all artwork made by high schoolers throughout the state. Or, so says Ms. Powers.

We then split up and wandered through the galleries looking at the vast array of artwork from other students like me who advanced to state. I was taken aback by the amount of talent so many people had; it honestly felt inspiring. As we walked through the gallery viewing different works, we finally found my piece, “Adrift in Mental Space,” displayed in all its glory.

After we felt done and content there at the VASE event, we took our adventure elsewhere. We began on a glass-bottom boat tour and saw the aquarium at Texas State’s The Meadows Center, which was such a beautiful sight. We even went back to the river from the start of the trip and took a dip before riding the rapids on inner tubes! There was even a moment where a few of us got dragged in. Scariest moment of my life. Needless to say, if Aubrie is asking for your help, don’t trust her. I GOT PULLED INTO THE CURRENT. No joke, my life flashed before my eyes.

Finally we dried off, devoured some barbecue, and the next day we rode back to Marfa. The car was eerily silent besides the occasional moments where I would ask if anyone wanted some pistachios. Us exhausted students, plus Ms. Powers, made it home safe and sound before saying our goodbyes.

In conclusion, though I didn’t end up getting a higher rating or any medals, I still felt really proud of myself. I learned that art is a powerful tool that can help young individuals discover their unique talents and creativity. Being able to express yourself through art can build confidence and develop a sense of self-worth. Art also provides this  platform for young people to explore their emotions and experiences. By engaging in art, young individuals can develop a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them, which can be a powerful source of personal growth and empowerment, at least for me. I’m just proud to have had the chance to experience such a great trip with those I hold close.


A new tradition: End of year junior high dance

By Zaley

It has finally come! The last six weeks! I am so excited for school to end. Two weeks left of school (plus the one week between then and graduation) and the chaos is starting to set in. The classes are slowing down, the STAAR tests are being taken, prom just passed, track is coming to an end, and softball is at its busiest. The most recent event was a new end-of-year tradition for the MJHS students last Friday.

In honor of Cinco De Mayo, the junior high had a school dance at the cafeteria on May 5. Junior high students were instructed to bring Hot Cheetos, queso, chips, and whatever snacks they would want during the dance. 

I volunteered to chaperone and help clean up after the dance for service hours. After having attended the dance, I can say that it was nice for a junior high dance, but perhaps the energy could have been better, as Lily Aguero was the only one showing her moves on the dance floor for the more upbeat songs, while others stuck with just slow dances.

When I was in junior high, I believe we had maybe two dances, but this year’s freshmen say they never got a dance. Well, at least they got an eighth grade promotion, which this year’s juniors didn’t, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a student council member, I brought up hosting a dance for junior high for months, but it never became more than just a topic we discussed. I remember feeling like the school always skipped over us when I was in junior high, so I thought it would be nice to do something for them. Anyway, the junior high teachers took the matter into their own hands and organized a Cinco De Mayo dance, the first dance that has been allowed for junior high for at least three years. Although the teachers tried to keep it a surprise at first, the kids found out pretty quickly.

I attempted to interview junior high English teacher Ms. Foster, but she didn’t have much to say on the matter. I managed to interview just one junior high student, Flavio, eighth grade.

I started with the basic question asking if he would be attending the dance.

Flavio replied with “I will, unfortunately.” 

“Are you excited?”

“Absolutely not.”

Flavio explained that he only wanted to go for about 10 minutes. Flavio also said he doesn’t like dances, even though he had apparently never been to one.


Obituary: FruFru Donaldson

By Piper

The death of Felina, Fru Fru, the short-tailed Brazilian Opossum, has left me stricken. 

As you all know, I had been on escapades for a ferret the past year and over spring break of this year, in turn, I got an opossum instead of a ferret. 

I had brought Fru Fru to school. She helped with the creation of my art project, and she was, all in all, a tiny, cute little creature. 

Fru Fru was named after the little rat girl with hair in Zootopia and a Marty Robbins song, “El Paso.” In Zootopia, the little rat girl’s name was Fru Fru, and Judy saved her and complimented her hair. The next time Judy sees her she runs into her The Godfather-esque father and compliments her dress. My mother and I made the connection that she looked like our opossum. The Marty Robbins song is about a guy who falls in love with this girl, Felina; but Felina was with another man. So, in the song he kills him and runs away to New Mexico, only to come back and be killed, and the last thing he sees is Felina, because they say the last thing you see before you die is what you love, and he loved Felina. So my mother and I came up with Felina, and Fru Fru for short. 

Fru Fru died the Monday after Easter Sunday. I had walked into my room late that night to see her curled up on the bottom of her terrarium. I know opossums play dead but at that moment I knew she wasn’t playing. I kind of let out this sad screech calling for my mother who couldn’t hear me in her room. I had this sad walk of shame to get my mother. 

Alas, Fru Fru died. Rest in peace little creature. 


Graduation approaches

By Tori

Alas, it’s already the end of the year, which means this will be my final article for journalism class, after two years as a Shorthorn reporter. How does time go by so fast, especially when it’s your final year, and you’re trying to savor it? I won’t miss having to wake up early (for a couple of months at least), but I will miss seeing my friends everyday! 

I really enjoyed high school, as it gave me plenty of time to mature and become a better person. All the hardships with schoolwork, friends and work have shaped me into who I am today, and I’m very thankful for it. To the underclassmen: there are moments where you want to give up and stop, but there’s no excuse to. You will be very thankful you didn’t. 

I also want to take the time to thank my friends and teachers for helping me become a better person and guiding me perfectly through my high school years. I don’t think it could’ve gone any better. Teachers, thank you for making your classes doable and enjoyable. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!

Graduation will be happening on May 26, at 7 p.m., at the football field. It’s so exciting to think about! It’s a final moment to cherish with your friends, especially when it’s time for the senior circle and we throw our hats up in the air. It’ll be a tear jerker, but it’s always good to have precious moments like that. 

Overall, I enjoyed my time at school. I hated final exams and homework, but there’s no way out of those annoying parts, and they make the good parts that much better. If you want to go to college, I recommend doing really well and putting in maximum effort. Those qualities will not go unnoticed. You can earn awesome scholarships and even get a full ride to your dream college. Pursue your dreams, and keep your head up high, even when it seems high school will never end and that it’s all too much. It’ll all pass, and you will become stronger and more resilient. 


Journalism class in review

By Darren

This year’s journalism class consisted of mainly freshmen along with some upperclassmen. The class would put out a newsletter once a month (you’re probably holding one in your hand right now.) The articles would also get published in The Big Bend Sentinel

I decided to interview some of the first-timers in journalism, to see what they thought of the experience. Historically, the class has been mostly freshmen, in 2019-2020, the first year, it was ONLY freshmen. For the most part, freshmen are placed in the class without knowing what it is, and the sophomores, juniors and seniors in the class are the ones with experience who know what they’re doing. But, for those eighth graders who find themselves in Ms. Powers’ class next year, here’s what journalism is like!

“What did you think about this year’s journalism class?” I asked Isaiah.

Isaiah replied, “I thought it was kinda fun. I got the opportunity to write about the fun and cool things going on around the school.”

“What was the best part of journalism?”

“Playing with the camcorder and recording interviews was fun!” Isaiah said.

“Would you join again?” I asked.

Isaiah said, “Probably, I think it was kinda fun.”

I turned to Messiah, “What did you think about this year’s journalism class?”

She replied, “I thought it was cool.”

“Would you join again?”

“Yes, because I enjoyed it.”

I decided to ask Piper, “What did you think about journalism class?”

Piper replied, “I liked writing, the only bad side was that I didn’t like interviewing people because I am really awkward!” 

“What was your favorite part of journalism?”

“Going on a field trip to the radio station,” said Piper, as Messiah nodded her head.

“Would you join again?” 

Piper said, “Yeah if I have the option to, then maybe!”

Finally, I asked the last freshman, my partner Christopher, “What did you think about journalism class?”

Chris paused.  “… It was fun,” he said.

“Would you join again?”

Chris, who hates writing, said, “No … just no,” because most of our journalism class has been writing this year!

I then asked Samantha for her take on journalism class. She said, “The class was full of many creative brains. My favorite thing about this class was being able to just write about whatever it is that was happening in the school. For the most part the class was pretty laid back. I learned how to do many things on the computer regarding the newsletter. I felt like Ms Power’s little helper. She taught me how to insert images and so on. Let me tell you, though, if you love hot gossip this is the class for you!!”

Samantha was responsible for breaking many important stories this year –– about the effectiveness of the new security cameras, about the Hot Chip Challenge, about early graduation, about the lockdown drill that killed the yearbook class, and more. She even helped Chris and Darren finish this article.

Finally, I asked Ms. Powers about her experience teaching journalism this year. She said, “I LOVED IT! I think that we did a lot of good newsletters, we got a lot of good responses about our articles from people who read them in The Big Bend Sentinel, and we found a lot of new, good, and really talented writers. We went on lots of field trips, y’all did great in UIL competition, and I am just so proud of my sweet journalism class!”

So, if you’re in eighth grade and you’re put into journalism class next year, don’t be scared! Even though it’s a lot of writing, it’s pretty fun and you get to interview your classmates, report breaking news, and go on at least two field trips!