MISD Journalism Dispatches: January 2024 Part 1

MHS sleep schedules

By Maddie and Itzel

People typically require around 8-10 hours of sleep per night for optimal health and well-being. But, that’s not really the case for some Marfa ISD students.

First, we asked Raven Martinez about her sleep schedule. The first question we asked her was, “How many hours do you get to sleep each night?”

She said, “Um, probably around six hours of sleep.”

We asked why she gets so little sleep. She replied, “I just scroll through TikTok and SnapChat people.”

We moved onto the next person. We asked Austin Milligan how many hours of sleep he gets at night. He replied, “I get four hours of sleep. I go to sleep at 2 a.m.”

We then asked, “Why do you get so little sleep?”

He said, “Well if I got nothing to do, I just go outside to listen to music, but it’s getting colder so I gotta stop doing that.”

Then we interviewed Itzel Urrutia who likes to sleep a lot in class. Instead of listening to the teachers she is usually dreaming she is at home in bed. Then, we asked why she sleeps in class. She said, “Because I don’t sleep a lot at home.”

“My TikTok screen time is crazy!” Itzel continued, “Like 30 hours a week, I fall asleep every night watching TikTok. At like, midnight.”

To finish the interviews we spoke to Belen Soto Torres. We asked how many hours of sleep she gets: “Um, uh around six.”

Then we asked, “What do you do on your phone that keeps you up?”

She said, “I watch shows on Netflix and just text whoever is up. I also make conversation with my sister Kimberly.”

Vinnie, a senior, suffers from insomnia.

“I go to bed around one in the morning. Because I can’t turn my brain off. I don’t have my phone with me, I put it to charge away from me, not in my bed. And I just like, stay in bed for two hours or so, not asleep. And then I just pass out.”

“Last night I got two hours of sleep, usually though, like four or three,” says sophomore Isaiah Ramos, who also says he is plagued by insomnia.

“I get into bed at like 11, and I’m on my phone for a few hours, and then I’m off my phone, just starting at the ceiling.”

“I go to bed every night at one in the morning,” says senior Samantha.

“On weekdays, typically, I do take an hour nap from 5-6 p.m. Then, I hang out with my friends from 9-10. I get home and I have to shower and do my nightly routine. So I officially get in bed at 11:30, 12 maybe. And I think everyone needs a one-hour social media catch-up before bed. So that you go on all your social media apps until you run out of new content, and then it’s time for bed. The last step of my before-sleep social media routine is my SIMs check. I look at the SnapMap to make sure all my friends are where they belong.”

So, it’s clear that many Marfa students aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep to maintain healthy minds and bodies. Still, many don’t seem willing to give up their late nights, and early mornings are needed to get ready and get to school by 7:45 a.m.

Concert in Odessa attended by some at MHS

By Flavio

Recently on January 17, some high school students went to Odessa for a concert at the West Texas Jazz Festival. A large majority of high school students went because all sophomores, juniors and seniors in good standing were invited, but the freshman class stayed behind. 

The trip to Odessa took Ms. Lara, Coach Pittman and Mrs. Donaldson as chaperones, and students whose grades were passing and were without excessive absences. The conditions to meet were simple, but there was another condition. Only sophomores, juniors and seniors could go. This left the freshmen wondering why they couldn’t go!

Some freshmen speculated that since they had gone to the West Texas Jazz Festival during their junior high years, that they weren’t invited this year. Or, maybe, there just wasn’t enough space on the buses. Both are completely logical explanations, but no one was telling us the real answer, so we couldn’t be too sure on why we were left out.

First up, I interviewed freshmen on their opinion about the trip and if they would have liked to go. And I asked about other other things regarding last year’s trip and what they liked about it.

Belen Soto is a freshman. I asked about the concert during junior high and if she enjoyed it. After that, I asked her if she would like to go on the trip to the concert again. “It was enjoyable, but I wouldn’t go again.’’ 

I questioned Itzel Urrutia if she was upset that she wasn’t going on the trip, or if she was glad she wasn’t going. “Yes.” I then asked her if she liked the empty hallways and the peace and quiet here. “No.” 

Last of the freshmen, I interviewed Zoey Salgado about the concert last year. I asked if she liked it last year and what she liked about it, and if not, what she didn’t like about it. And I asked her if there was a better alternative option. Zoey said she liked it and that we had front row seats and everyone really enjoyed it.

Next up are a junior and a senior: Austin Milligan and Samantha Martínez. They were scheduled to go on the trip, but Austin missed out and stayed behind at school.

I asked Austin about his opinion of the concert and if he’d wanted to go. “I think it’s great that the students of Marfa High School got out. They’re not many things in Marfa, and it’s a great opportunity to go on a field trip!”

Finally, I interviewed a senior named Samantha Martínez. She went on the trip, and I asked her if she liked it or not. 

“It was good!” she replied.

I asked her what her favorite part of the trip and or concert was. 

“My favorite part about the trip to Odessa was when Emily sang “22” by Taylor Swift. Mary, Lore, Fern, Liani, Kily and I went crazy singing it.” 

I then asked her if the trip was a good way to take her mind off school and if she liked being away from the school? 

“Yes, it did.” 

I then asked her if she would go again. 

“I would love to go again and sing again.”

So, in spite of the freshmen having a little bit of FOMO, the West Texas Jazz concert seems to have been a hit; it seemed like this year it went great for those who went to the concert. 


By Janayah and Ms. Powers

Powerlifting is Marfa’s newest sport: this is the third year students have been able to compete for the Shorthorn team. Powerlifting has three different lifts that students can compete in: deadlift, squat and bench press. Powerlifters wear all kinds of singlets and suits and try to lift impossibly large weights.

I began by interviewing senior Tony Saenz about powerlifting, and the first question I asked was whether or not the stuff they wear to the competition is uncomfortable and he said, “Sometimes, the wraps are mostly uncomfortable because it cuts off your blood circulation.”

The next question I asked was what’s your personal record on the bench press and he said, “One hundred and sixty pounds.”

Then I asked, “Squat?”

And he responded, “I hate legs, my legs are weak, so 160 pounds.” 

I asked about dead lift and he said, “Two hundred and forty pounds.”

I then interviewed junior Diego Jurado. The first question I asked was again about the outfits the powerlifters wear. He said, “We have to wear these suits, and some of them are comfortable, but some of them are really uncomfortable! Like bad, like leave you bruises bad.”

I then asked, “How’s powerlifting going this year for you?” and he said, “It’s going pretty good, our next meet is on Saturday, and I hope I do good. I should do good.”

I asked when the most recent powerlifting meet took place, and he let me know it was last Saturday. I asked how he did, and he said, “I did good. I got sixth place out of 13 people.”

Finally, I then interviewed senior Jack Marquez about powerlifting. Last year, Jack went to state in powerlifting in Frisco.  The first question I asked was, “How does it feel to be the best person in powerlifting?”

Jack said, “Pretty swag to be honest.”

“How was y’all’s most recent meet, how did you do?” I asked.

Jack replied, “I got first place by 35 pounds.”

I then asked how many times a week powerlifters train.

Jack replied, “Three to four times a week.”

“What are the workouts like?”

“We do the main lifts, and then we do different supplemental workouts with our legs, like if it’s squats we’re focusing on, we do lots of leg exercises.”

I asked, “Do you have any advice for powerlifting?”

Jack said, “Go hard or go home, man.”

“What do you do after a powerlifting meet?”

Jack replied, “I sleep on the bus ride home, and then I’m kinda just chilling the next day which is usually Sunday, but then Monday is when we start training again.”

“Will you continue powerlifting and working out in college?”

“Yes, I see continuing to work out as part of my future. Not necessarily as part of a team, but in the gym.”

“Why did you choose this sport to concentrate on and excel in?”

“I’m good at it. My freshman year I was stronger than all the girls. And lifting was something I liked to do, and then Coach Kelly brought in powerlifting.”

“Why wear such uncomfortable outfits?”

“The squat one specifically is tight because it helps you to get back up. The belts are for your back, to keep your spine straight.”

I then asked my last question, “Do you ever get scared before a meet?”

Jack said, “Not really because I know where I’m at, I’ll probably get scared more when I go to regionals and state and stuff like that.”