Marfa ISD Journalism Class dispatches: Introducing Journalism Class 2023-2024!

Xavier by Samantha Martinez 

Have you ever seen a kid walking and dancing around town? If you know, you know.

This kid’s name happens to be Xavier. Xavier is a junior at MHS. He spends his summers hanging out with his girlfriend, whom he loves to dance with. Xavier also really enjoys listening to music. Specifically hip hop, country and rock music. You will always catch Xavier around town with his headphones on and probably wearing a cowboy hat, dancing along the railroad tracks, or down Highland Street by the post office. He’s definitely social: his favorite things are cookouts, parties and dancing to the beat of his own drum. His goals for the school year are to try his best to get good grades so that he is on pace and able to graduate next year. 

Memo by Austin

On August 16, 2023, school resumed for all Marfa ISD campuses. With the new year came the school’s journalism program, a class for young writers who are assigned to keep up with current events. I was intrigued to find out about this team of advanced writers, but when I joined the class nobody was in the room –– Ms. Powers’ sixth period was almost empty (although since then we’ve added four sophomores.)

But, that first day, I glanced around the room and saw a quiet and busy Memo, drawing at the back of the room. Memo is a motivated person with artistic talents. I decided to interview him, and I learned he was really open-minded and had some pretty interesting things to say about the new class. 

“Hello, excuse me?” I said.

“Yo, what’s good fam?” he replied. 

“Do you mind if I ask for your name?”

Memo looked at me, looked at his computer, and laughed. “Broooo,” he said, not bothering to respond to my question. I guess since I’ve known Memo since third grade, he thought a formal interview was off the table.                              

Austin by Memo

Last week on Friday I interviewed a classmate, Austin Milligan, a junior at MISD. The interview consisted of five simple questions. I first started my interview by asking Austin what his thoughts were about the new school year so far. He responded with, “Ummm, in my opinion I believe that it’s off to a somewhat mid start, or like an okay start for now. We lost half of our classmates, ummm, but that being said, I like the programs that are being offered. I also enjoy, um, you know, just being able to make up my credits, so yeah.” 

I then asked him what is something he wants to see change in our school, he replied with, “I want everybody to fix their attitude, ummm, I feel like if everybody in this school came together a little more and stopped pinpointing everybody and separating, that maybe –– that everybody would have a better attitude, rather than being in a stagnant phase and being scared.”

“So you’re saying Marfa HS could change if the people changed?” I pressed.

“Yeah, because it’s all the mentality of the people, we’re the ones who live here. Our brains control us, and you know, your actions are based on your thoughts. Like even me, I’ve done some stupid stuff, just because my thoughts weren’t in the right place.” 

I continued my interview by asking, “How do you expect the school year to go?” 

Austin responded with, “I think it’s gonna age greatly over time; I think right now it was just off to a rough start because they’re low on staff, there’s not a lot of students. There seems to be a lack of interest and effort in a lot of things, and the school is in a lot of debt, but um, I believe that with time, maybe until we get to basketball season, I think then the school will have more people, and we’ll somehow make up the recovery for the funds, and we’ll be able to put this in a more positive light.” 

I think Austin gave good responses, but that’s it folks, that concludes my interview.

Isaiah by Messiah

Isaiah Ramos is a 10th-grader at Marfa ISD. Full disclosure: he’s my boyfriend. That’s his main occupation, although in the spring he plans to join powerlifting, after letting me know that “all other sports are for losers.” (Hopefully the football team isn’t reading this!)

I decided to interview Isaiah about this coming school year. 

“What did you do over the summer?” I asked.

He replied, “I worked a lot over the summer and made a bunch of money! And I also talked to my awesome girlfriend. I slept a lot too.”

“Are you excited about this year?” I asked.

He answered back, “A little bit! I’m just trying to see how my classes are this year, and I’m glad to be a year closer to getting out of here and graduating! I think the four-day week/no school on Fridays is pretty good. I think it gives people who did all their work a day to do whatever they want.”

Messiah by Isaiah

I interviewed sophomore Messiah Licon (my girlfriend). I began by asking her about the coming school year.

“What are you most excited about?” I asked.

She replied, “My new classes.”

After that I asked what specific classes she was excited for. “Technology and yearbook class,” she said.

“Are you happy with your classes that you got this year?”

“Yes, I am very happy with the classes that I got this year!” she responded.

Then I asked if there is anything that Messiah would like to change about her current schedule. She responded, “No, not at the moment, I want to try them out and see how it goes.”

“How do you feel about Alferez being the new superintendent?” I said.

“I can’t wait to see what he does, and I think he’s gonna do a great job,” said Messiah. “He was a good teacher so I think he will be a good superintendent too.”

Finally, I asked, “What is your opinion on the Shorthorn Success Days?”

“I am excited to have my Fridays off, and I’m motivated to keep my grades up so that I don’t have to come to school on Fridays ever again!”

Madison by Dariela

Madison Cash is a freshman at Marfa ISD. She is a very well-known person, she’s popular and plays many different sports. Since she is my beloved friend, I know she plays sports, so I began with a question I knew would get her riled up!

“How do you feel about having cross-country practice at 5:20 a.m.?” 

She gave me a blank glance and said, “It’s SO hard, because it’s tiring. It’s tough to get motivated to run early in the morning!”

She went on about how it makes her tired, especially before school. 

After her rant, I looked at her and asked, “What is your favorite class and thing about school?”

She didn’t seem too excited to answer the question. “My favorite class is probably Mr. Pineda’s ICEV class because I haven’t done much yet, and my other favorite part is going home after a long day! That’s about it,” she said, unenthusiastically. Maybe when cross-country season is over, she will be able to enjoy her classes more!

Dariela by Madison

Dariela Munoz is a new freshman who just moved to Marfa ISD a year and a half ago from Brownwood, in Central Texas. She plays softball, volleyball, track, basketball and she runs cross-country. She is one of my closest friends. 

I started our interview by asking her how she feels about the four-day week and she replied saying, “I like it, but it doesn’t make a difference because we have games. But I mean, um, I’m happy there’s no school on Fridays.” I nodded my head in agreement and went on to the next question.

I wondered what all she did this summer, so I asked her, and she answered, “Um, I didn’t do much. I went to volleyball, workouts, or stayed home and did nothing.”

My last question was kind of personal, but I decided to ask anyway. I asked her if she likes anyone and what her type is. She nervously replied, “I mean, I text people but I don’t really like anyone. My type is tall, dark, curly hair, kinda ugly, big nose, and nice to me but not nice to other people.” 

Flavio by Aubrey

Flavio Udave is a ninth-grader at Marfa High School. Since he was in the building during his seventh- and eighth-grade years, he knows the school halls pretty well, same with the teachers. As this is our first year in journalism, I decided to ask if he wanted to be my partner for this project. That’s how I came to ask him the following questions. 

“What’s your dream job? And why?” I asked nervously as Flavio looked at me.

“English professor,” he said proudly. “I have a passion for teaching English. It feels relaxing, and I feel like I could be a calm and collected teacher. I would also not pass out too much homework.” He paused and said, “Unless it is necessary.” 

I nodded and moved on to the next question. “Would you rather visit the Eiffel Tower or the Egyptian pyramids?” He looked off to the side, thinking. Finally, he said, “If I had to choose I would pick the Eiffel Tower. I would rather be in a city than in the middle of a hot desert! Also, I would prefer the sights of a city, other than a desert with nothing.”

“Do you think you will ever visit Paris?” I asked, feeling a nice window into conversation.

“I would visit, but I wouldn’t stay. It seems like a nice place.”

When I asked where he would live if he could live anywhere, he wasn’t quite sure yet. But I kept pressing, asking if he’d prefer to live in America or outside the country.

“Not America,” he replied. “I don’t think this is the country for me!”

Next, I asked Flavio, “Since you want to teach English, would you like to teach people how to speak the language or people who already do?” 

Flavio looked at me before responding, “I can’t imagine myself teaching people how to speak the language. I don’t have enough patience for that, because sometimes I get upset at people at my school that don’t know certain concepts of English.”

“How do you spell ‘concept?’” I asked.

Flavio slammed the table, uttering an “Oh my!”

I laughed softly, “Oh, nevermind. I know,” I said as he shot me a threatening look.

“You should put that down,” he said, and I laughed before doing what he suggested.

Belen by Zoey

Drum roll, please! Introducing Belen Soto! She is a ninth grader who works hard and is caring. She’s focused on school and she is an excellent friend. Fun fact about Belen: she is the youngest person in our class. She does cheerleading and is the cheer captain and helps the team out a lot. She also wants to go to college, which means she wants to have a good future. Also, she likes trying new things!

To begin our interview, I asked, “What would you change about Marfa ISD?”

She said she would change the school spirit because, as a cheerleader, she thinks this school could use a lot more school spirit and it would affect our sports performances.

Honesty, I agree! But about the cheerleader thing, I can’t relate, sadly –– cheerleading is not for me, and, no, I’m not going to be inside Bullette this year!!

So I asked, “What are your red flags for a guy?” 

She replied, “Most boys are stupid and unloyal!” She thinks that they “don’t value girls’ feelings,” which is very true, I said. They’re like this in a relationship, or even in the “talking stage.” To this, I said, “Facts, just straight up facts.”

Itzel by Giselle

Today I interviewed Itzel, a new ninth-grader at Marfa ISD. She plays a lot of sports and is a great student.

I wanted to talk to Itzel about this new school year and how she felt. First thing I asked was about our new superintendent at Marfa ISD.

“How do you feel about Coach Alferez being our new superintendent?”

“Mmmm, I don’t know what to say,” she replied then started laughing. 

“I feel like it’s not gonna be the same,” she continued, “but it won’t be as strict, and he’ll be cooler than Mr. Aguero.” 

Then we both started to laugh, because we both had Coach Alferez as a teacher, and he has a very uplifting personality. It feels good for Itzel and I to have a teacher who knows us very well at the top of the administration.

Then we moved on to talking about our new history teacher, Mr. Pineda. He is in his first year of teaching, and, unlike any other teacher we’ve ever had, we get to call him by his first name (which feels a little weird but it’s okay).

“How do you feel about the new teacher?” 

“I like that he’s more chill and understands us,” she said. Itzel enjoys Benny’s classes because she does so many sports and is always tired, and the new teacher understands that!

Kassandra by Janayah

Kassandra is an 11th-grader in Marfa ISD and she doesn’t care what you think about her! But, she is very kind to her friends and has a bright smile that lights up every room she walks into, if she decides to smile at you. She is very helpful and nice when she wants to be.

“What did you do this summer?” I asked Kassandra.

She replied, “This summer I went to Big Bend and to Young Life camp in Utopia.”

Next, I asked Kassandra, “Would you ever go bald?”

She said, no, she doesn’t want people seeing her head.

Next, I asked what she would change about the school.

Kass said that if she could change something in the school year so far, she would have things be more organized and the first days wouldn’t have been so chaotic. She also said that having a principal and a counselor would help this situation.

Next, I asked Kassandra what she thinks about DAEP for vape use on campus, or new HB 114, which requires students to be removed from the learning environment if they are caught with a vape on campus. She said she thinks the new law is kind of reasonable.

Next, I asked, “If you had to eat one food for the rest of your LIFE what would it be and why?”

She responded, “Brisket. Because I love it.”

Aubrey by Flavio

Aubrey Tarr is a ninth-grader at Marfa ISD. She’s a passionate writer and she loves to listen to music, especially Billie Eilish. She is a fellow member of the journalism class, and since this is our first year, it meant we were bound to interact. To start the interview I asked, “How do you feel about this new school year?”

“New school year?” She paused while looking away, “I’m a freshman, so I don’t know. It’s kinda scary?” she answered as if unsure of herself. 

As a follow-up question I asked, “Who’s your favorite new teacher?” 

She looked at me and shrugged. “Well, I like [the new math teacher] Ms. Hinojos. I especially like how she has many ways to make up the work. She seems like a good and kind person.”

I decided to move on and asked her how she feels about the new courses and how she thinks it affects the teachers and students. 

She responded that the new courses give us more opportunities, and they let teachers rest while letting the students work. 

Finally, I asked her what she thinks of the four-day weeks.

She replied bluntly, “Bad idea, I have to wake up earlier.”

Giselle by Itzel

Giselle Torres is a new ninth-grader at Marfa ISD. 

I began our interview by asking, “What’s your goal for this school year?”

She looked at me and said her goal is to “try not to struggle because of all of my assignments and volleyball, cheer, and cross-country! I just want to try and stay on top of my work and enjoy my first year of high school.“

Then we moved on to the topic of sports. I said, “How do you feel about the coaches making the whole volleyball team do cross-country?”

She took a deep breath and said, “I feel so overwhelmed; I feel like I do too much and there’s a lot on our plate! I know they are trying to make us better athletes, but I feel like they are tiring us out really bad.”

Then I asked her, “Would you ever think of becoming a chef?”

She laughed and then said, “NOO! I would be too tempted to eat everything I made! Also I would get bored of just making food.”

Zoey by Belen

Zoey is a ninth-grader at Marfa ISD who does most sports and is also academically gifted. The first question I asked her was, I admit, basic.

“What did you do all summer?” 

She told me all summer she did volleyball, but when she wasn’t doing that, she was binge-watching TV or getting her heart broken. Poor Zoey. 

The next question I asked was if she had her eye on anyone at school yet, and her answer was very straightforward. 

“Ew. People at this school are very questionable. I wouldn’t want to date anyone from here unless it’s meant to be,” Zoey answered. 

Then, I asked a curveball: if Zoey could bring one thing to a deserted island what would it be? Zoey thought about it for a while and then answered, “Probably I would bring a person to bond with, who could help me, especially in a life-or-death situation.”

Next, I asked her what she thinks her favorite trait in a person is, and she said, “I don’t know. I would say staying loyal –– loyalty –– and not giving up on people. I would also say putting in more or the same amount of effort for people.”

The last question I asked her was how she felt about the new teachers at Marfa ISD. “I think they’re really cool and can bring different teaching abilities to Marfa ISD. I LOVE Mr. Benito! He’s just so nice and really understands you,” responded Zoey. 

In conclusion, I think it’s safe to say that you might know Zoey Salgado a little better now!

Janayah by Kassandra

Janayah Villa is an 11th-grader who is currently wearing an Odessa Permian shirt to Marfa ISD. I asked Janayah what she was looking forward to this year. 

She replied, saying, “Basketball season.”

I asked her why, and she said because she can’t wait to use her new basketball shoes, and she wants to shoot some threes. The next question I asked Janayah was what she did this summer. 

She said, “I worked at Chinati, and I had to stop people from touching the art. I also got paid $13 per hour.” 

I then asked Janayah why she liked Kendrick Lamar so much. Janayah replied, ”His music is really good, and I don’t like that girly pop music.”

I then asked her how she would describe our school to people who don’t go here.

“Honestly, I had to explain this all the time when I went to Permian last year,” she said. “It’s just so small.”

The last thing I asked Janayah was what her favorite childhood memory was. Janayah said, “When I had a dog named Zeus.”

Samantha by Ms. Powers

Samantha Martinez is a senior at MHS: you’ll know it’s her not because she’s always well dressed or rocking perfectly manicured nails (although both those facts are true) but because she’s so smart and funny!

“Senior year feels amazing,” she said. “I’m so ready for all the activities: homecoming, prom, graduation, applying for college, everything!”