Schools out!

When it comes to this time of year, all you ever hear is “School is over in (Enter Days Here) then, I will be stress free!” However, perhaps if there was a way you could still retain the knowledge you have without having to learn over the summer while staying stress free? I’m sure at this time you’re wondering what this amazing thing could be? That amazing thing is called chess. Chess originated from the two-player Indian war game, Chatarung, which dates back to 600 A.D. In chess you have a total of 18 pieces on your side of the field as does your opponent. The name of the chess pieces are Pawn, Rook, Knight, Bishop, King, And Queen with the king being the most important of all of the pieces. The objective of the game in chess is to effectively trap the king without any other piece be able to move to block the trap (Checkmate), seems simple enough right? Wrong. Now you may be wondering, “Chess will not help me” or ” I’ve tried it before and I was very bad at it.” Now that may be the case but hear me out, I’ve been playing chess now for a total of about 6 months, in this 6 months I’ve noticed a vast amount of improvement in my cognitive ability. Chess may seem like a game but it is more than just a game, chess is a very good way to improve many skills that you may lack right now. In chess you need to have the ability to have immense strategy to subdue your opponent into checkmate. In this small amount of time I’ve played chess I’ve not only noticed an improvement in my strategic skills but also my critical deep thinking skills, my observation skills, my ability to handle stress, and my “what if” skills. Now, allow me to elaborate further on these improvements. When you play chess you need to be able to observe the board in such a fashion that requires you to critically think on your next move while being able to handle the stress of an impending loss and the stress of trying to get out of the loss, onto the “what if’ skills, with the “what if” skills, these allow me to be able to think that maybe the thing I’m doing right now isn’t the best option for me ethically or morally such as slacking when I should be doing my schoolwork. I hope this has intrigued you as learning about chess did for me 6 months ago, and remember maybe instead on focusing on a tan or something else that maybe does not require that much brain functionality, just remember, you have school again in 2 months and you still have to learn!

Read More

Boys’ golf defeats Griffith in conference match

Last week Hobart had a conference match against Griffith and played exceptionally well. It was the last JV match for the Brickies and they were also looking to go out strong with a win. The varsity team played on a very tough course, but handled it very well. The lowest score of the day went to Andrew Barras who had a score of 44. Barras had been struggling before then and this match hopefully got his confidence up just in time for sectionals. The Hobart varsity team ended up winning by about 10 strokes.

The JV team also played very well for their last match of the year. Going into this match they had only lost one match against Munster so they were having a pretty good year overall. The JV players played on a little easier course than varsity and had a fun time playing it. The lowest score for the JV players went to Broyce Cosme with a score of 38. Jacob Kollross also had a very good score of 39. The Brickies dominated the Panthers and beat them by more than 20 strokes.

Read More

Brickies defeat Pirates in sectional opener

Thursday our Brickies baseball team beat the Merrillville Pirates in commanding fashion with a final score of 10-0. In the win Braden Niksich threw a 5 inning no-hitter before the mercy rule came into effect. Niksich was able to use a strong curve ball to his advantage and have his way with the Merrillville Pirates lineup as the Bricks advance to the next round of ssectionals Niksich said after the game that in the last inning it was definitely on his mind. Offensively Nick Bokun led the way with 2 RBI and the combined six Merrillville errors also helped lead to a W. The Bricks will take on the La Porte Slicers in the sectional semifinal which will be played Friday May 30th at Chesterton High School

Read More

Tips for final preparation

Finals is just around the corner and though it might not seem like the most fun time of the school year, we all need to get passing scores. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for finals.

1)  Start studying at least a week before finals. Staying up all night the night before won’t do anything but make you tired.
2) Organize. Start by making an agenda for which subjects to study each night and which subjects you may need to study more.
3)  Make flash cards or outlines to help you study. Highlight areas of importance or where you struggle with.
4) SLEEP. On average, most people need at least 7 hours of sleep to be able to function. Tests are designed to make you think.Make sure to get to bed early the night before a final.
5) Stay calm. When first seeing the test it may seem overwhelming and if you run into a question you’re not sure of, skip it. Answer questions you know first then go back and answer the questions you’re unsure of. They’re no problem with taking time and clearly reading the questions.

With all these tips you should do great on the final.

Read More

Summer concerts

The summer of 2014 seems to look very bright for all those music lovers. It seems as if we went through months and months of snow storms, school cancellations, below freezing temperatures, and mountains of snow, so that we could all come together this summer and all share one love. The love of music! Nothing compares to the feeling of being taken over by the music, the crowd going wild, and the goosebumps rising on the back of your neck. This year there is something for everyone. If you like Hip-Hop and Rap there will be artists like Wiz Khalifa, Hoodie Allen, Future, and Kendrick Lamar performing.

You can also check out the line up list for this years Super Fresh Hip-Hop Fest. For those of you who can handle a real crazy time the Spring Awakening Festival and the North Coast Festival is just the thing for you! Also don’t forget Miley Cyrus’s return Bangerz Tour  concert on August 14! Personally I believe that this summer is perfect for all of us hippies, hipsters, and pop punks. It will be an unforgettable summer with artists and bands like The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend, Jack Johnson, Queens Of The Stone Age, Two Door Cinema Club, Matt & Kim, Passenger, and All Time Low!!! And I’m not stopping there, make sure you have your calendars cleared for the HOTTEST music festivals in Chicago! Starting off with Pitchfork Festival July 18th-20th, followed by Warped Tour July 19th, Lollapalooza August 1st-3rd, and finishing off with Riot Fest September 12th-14th. This will fore sure be an important time in music history for a lot of various genres of music.

Read More

Beautiful Paradise

Imagine that you are sitting on a beautiful sunny beach. The bright sun is beaming down on you, the ocean water is clear crystal blue, palms trees are swaying in the wind, and you hear nothing but the windy breeze.

You are in Paradise. Aruba, One Happy Island.  Aruba is a beautiful island located 27 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Aruba has sandy white beaches on both the west and southern coasts of the island and beautiful clear ocean water. There are six cities and towns located in Aruba.  The cities are,  Oranjestad,  Paradera, San Nicolas, Noord, Santa Cruz, Savaneta. Citizens of Aruba speak many languages.  The official language is Dutch, another common language is Spanish. English grew in Aruba due to tourism.

The weather is perfect in Aruba. Aruba has clear blue skies, bright sunshine and cooling winds. Aruba only receives 16 in of precipitation from October through January. There are a few brief showers happen on some days.  The temperature year around is in the 80′s, Aruba is known for it’s winds blowing from Northeast and Southeast.

When you go on vacation in Aruba, there is many activities you will enjoy! Aruba beaches are great for families, there are many activities and sites that you can visit. The tour sites are butterfly farm, you could go scuba diving, enjoy boat rides and water sports, there is many more activities that you can enjoy or you can just lay on the beach and enjoy the beautiful breeze.  There are many hotel resorts that you can stay at and have a beautiful ocean beach view. At the Holiday Inn, there are amazing restaurants and some are on the beach. Every night there is always a theme night, for example; BBQ night, Caribbean nights, and even carnival night. If you are looking for a good vacation spot, visit beautiful Aruba, one happy island!

Read More

The school year is coming to an end

Say goodbye! I’m not quite sure how it approached so fast, but it happened. I’m sure we were all counting down the days. Well, the end of another school year is finally here…

When this school year began, we all walked in with a positive attitude. I believed it was going to be a good year, and looking back at it now, it sure was. This was all made possible by my awesome friends and great teachers that I have had the privilege of getting to know. I sure hope everyone also had a great school year too. If not, there is always next school year. From all the sporting events I attended with friends, all the dances, Spring Fest, the talent show, and so much more. My sophomore year has definitely been a year to remember.

The graduating class of 2014 will be a class to remember and I’m sure they know that they have left a permanent mark on this school and will never be forgotten. I know the seniors are ready to graduate and get on with starting their lives out there in the real world, if they haven’t started working on that already.

Next year is hopefully even better than this year.

But before we even discuss next school year, Summer 2014; we re coming for you! I hope everyone has a fun and safe summer!

Read More


Buffalo Wild Wings: pricey but worth it

This week I ate at the popular Buffalo Wild Wings or simply B-Dubs in Portage. Popular for its signature sauces and seasonings and providing the sporting event atmosphere the restaurant has become a popular choice for teens and young adults. On a Friday night there is almost always a packed house, but with a full venue means a more sporting events need to be accommodated which is no problem with their several high-def television around the restaurant. The variety of sports shown range from baseball, basketball, to sometimes Rhythmic jujitsu. With the atmosphere and energy, it is hard not to enjoy your visit.

When I first walked in on a Friday night I knew it would take a few minutes for my party and I to be seated due to the usual Friday night crowd from my previous visit. It was refreshing to see the workers hustling and bustling about trying their best to provide fast and efficient service while being energetic. Once seated aside from the occasional loud laughter from another table the cheers and jeers from spectators intently watching the sporting events is tolerable and just adds to the overall experience. The server took our drink order and came back with our four drinks swiftly and took our food order and the night officially begun.

It took about 15 minutes for our order to get cooked and brought out to us which seemed quickly with the various games on the screens even though my favorite team was losing. The honey barbecue with a basket of fries came out piping hot and smelled and tasted heavenly. The food is definitely a strength for this food chain and it’s easy to see why so many people rave about the wings. The food really compliments the sports themed element and the special sauces and seasoning just boost the appeal.

By the time my dining experience had come to end and the check situation needed to be resolved and leftovers needed to be boxed up the night was satisfactory to say the least. With the quality service that provided swift drink refills all night long and delicious food, Buffalo Wild Wings is rightfully among one of the top choices in the area. The only complaint is that the food may be a little pricey. But with a full stomach and even leftovers that are just as good the day after; no complaints are in order. The overall experience makes it hard not to consider many more visits to Buffalo Wild Wings.

Read More

Are finals too stressful?

As the school year comes closer to an end, it seems that students become more stressed. The end of the year can be stressful for many reasons such as: worrying about passing your classes, getting into college, turning in all your papers, and getting a job. Teachers always harp on students about how important grades are and some students do not realize that their grades are low until it is too late. Also, I believe that one of the biggest stress factors on students at the end of the year is finals.


Finals can be stressful on so many different levels. They can determine whether or not one passes or fails that class. Also they can determine if that student gets credit for that class. The way the scoring system works at Hobart High School is that one 9 weeks is 40% of your grade, the second 9 weeks is also 40%, and the final is 20% of your grade. That may not seem like a lot, but, in all actuality, it can really affect one’s overall grade. 20% can move a grade two letter grades down if it’s a bad score. That could be stressful because one test can change your overall grade.


Also, another rule we have at HHS is you have to pass two of either the first 9 weeks, the second 9 weeks, or the final. That means for some students, they must pass the final to get credit. That can be very stressful worrying how one test will determine if you passed the class.I do not believe it is right to place that much amount of stress on teens. With the way society is now-a-days, stress is everywhere and in everything teens do. Adding on how one test will determine if you pass that grade or not is too much. It should be an overall evaluation of your grade throughout the year.

Read More

Red Robin: an outstanding place to dine

Last week I went to the popular restaurant Red Robin for my younger brother’s birthday. Being a boy, he wanted to be tough and go eat a big burger for his birthday. I was automatically excited because I love their endless steak fries. I was right to be excited; the cleanliness, service, and food quality were outstanding.

When I arrived at the restaurant, the Hostess greeted me with a big friendly smile that instantly made me feel welcome. She sat us at a table far from all the other customers and was very friendly the whole time. Then we met our waitress, she treated us more like old friends than customers. She sat and talked with us while she took our orders and even told my step mom she looked 30. Very flattering, but definitely not true. She was also very fast, and efficient. Our glasses were always full and she never got annoyed by my countless questions and needs. Also, they whole staff sang “Happy Birthday” to my younger brother with an incredible amount of enthusiasm and gave him free ice cream.

The restaurant was very clean. Even the parking lot had no garbage and even very few pot holes. The windows were sparkling, which made the lighting very bright and made the atmosphere feel very open and welcoming. I didn’t see any dirty tables or crumbs on the floor, and the restaurant was reasonably busy. All of the plates and glasses were clean, which is a huge plus. We all know how disgusting it is when we suddenly realize our cutlery has food residue on it.

The most amazing part of my visit, of course, was the food. I got the Royal Robin Burger and steak fries, and they were awesome. Nothing was burnt, everything was cooked flawlessly. The burger comes with an egg, which was fried and not too runny. My burger wasn’t too dry or too pink on the inside. If you want a good burger you should definitely go there.

All together, my trip to Red Robin was a very pleasant experience. I would go back any day of the week!

Read More

Spotlight on: the best coach and father

Crack! That’s is the sound of the ball coming off the bat for a hard hit double. Pop!Pop! is the sound of the ball hitting the mit for a double play. Click click clack is the sound of the steel cleats on the concrete of the dugout as you jump and cheer for your team mates.

Have you ever been on a team where you all bond together , there is no clicks or certain groups , everyone gets along , you are  always laughing whether someone tripped or got hit the leg with a ball, but at the same time you are all serious about the game and like to win, but in the end whether you lose or win you all still love each other , and know that you all gave your best? Have you ever been on a team with an amazing coaching staff that never gives up on you? Well if you were on my travel softball team, you would have a team likes this. My travel team is called the NWI Jays , and without one person we would not have this great team , no girls , no coaches, no gear, and most of all not a family. Jason Graves my step dad, but really my dad , one day after a hard fall from my previous travel team decided that he and my mom , Dana Graves, wanted to put together a 16U travel team for girls with a lot of heart , talent, and desire to play softball and take their skill to the next level.

Not everyone grows up with a dad. Some pass away , some walk out, some people have no idea where where there dad is. It is so unfortunate for a child to grow up without a stable father figure in their life. I cannot even start to imagine what it would be like to grow up without a father figure, or in other cases a mom or a dad. But , I am lucky , I have a loving mother who would do anything for me , a father who sadly works too much and is in and out of my life , but if I ever need him I know he would be there for me, and last but not least a step dad , who to many people I refer to him as my dad , my best friend , a coach , and a caretaker.I am the kind of person who believes  that everything happens for a reason. Even though it was hard to see my parents get divorced , it still brought my mom, my siblings , and especially me a new person into our lives , and this person changed my life forever.

My mom and my step dad , Jay, met seven years ago after my mom accidentally gave her number to the wrong guy, which in turn was Jay. After talking for about two months, they began to date and spend more time together. After about four months my mom started to bring him around me and my siblings. Then after a year he moved in with my mom, my older sister, and myself. Finally after eighteen months he proposed to my mom, and of course she said yes. I was 9 when they got engaged. The first three years were rough. Jay had two children from a previous marriage. He never really spent time with them because he was young when he had them , and was going through a lot considering his dad died on his seventeenth birthday , and that destroyed him. He fled to Texas , and came back when he met my mom. The first couple years he was learning how to love again and how to be a father. After a hard road he finally got his life to a perfect point, he began seeing his kids again, and most of all gained a new daughter.

Without Jay, I would not be the person I am today. He taught me that no matter how bad something may seem you can always get through it, and that love is the key to everything. He calls my mom and me his angels, but I would like to think that he is mine. Without him I would never play the game I love , and I would not be as strong as I am today. Without him teaching me softball, I do not  think  I would be the strong , competitive, understanding ,athletic girl I am today. I could not thank him enough.

Jay was born and raised in Hobart. He started playing baseball at the age of six , and has not stopped since. Along in high school he played basketball and football, but baseball was always his one and only love. His dad died his junior year , on his golden birthday , his seventeenth birthday due to cancer. This hit him hard, but not until after he went to the air force. After high school he went to Georgetown University on a full ride baseball scholarship. He played baseball there all four years. His senior year of college at one of his games MLB scouts were there to recruit him , everything was going good until he tore his ACL and as he lay on the ground, he watched the MLB scouts walk out. That was the end of his career. After college he went into the Air Force where he succeeded. After the Air Force, however he took a hard fall and he moved to Texas after getting into a troubled point of his life. Then as we already know he came back to meet my mother. As you can see he went through a lot, but he came out of every little bad thing that happened.

Jay by far is the best coach I have ever had,and I am not just saying this because he is my dad. He has coached me since my second year of softball and has not stopped yet. Except for when I made the high school team then, of course, I had a different coach. Jay never gave me special treatment just because I was his daughter, I  always had to work ten times harder than everyone else. After a few years of him teaching me everything he knew, I actually started to get good at it. I made the 10u all star team and have made it every year all the way up until I was 15 years old. At that point I began to get more and more serious about it and decided that I wanted to  go to college for softball, so Jay decided it was time to take my talent to the next level and get me on a travel team. So I did, I made a team called the Dyer Fire. Everything went well until after tryouts when he already told me I made the team, and I would be a big part of the team, he decided he was going to release me from the team. This hurt me , but it also infuriated Jay, So he got some money together and put together a travel team for girls that are good and deserve to play, but might not have the money to afford any other travel team, or who have been through the mistreatment of one.   All the girls that Jay has coached always love him , and so did the parents. He was very intense and loud and knew how to coach the right way , not the , “Its okay to lose , just have fun”way , because we all know that it is not fun to lose. He could be hard on us but at the same time teach and love us.

Jay has such a big impact on so many peoples lives, whether it is his family, the girls he coaches , or random people he talks to in the store. He always has something to say , and even though he never shuts up , it is okay because I would much rather have him stop in the middle of the mall to talk to someone than be a grumpy old man with no personality. The way he talks it always seems like he is giving a motivational speech , and even though he might not mean to it is okay. Jay has always been there for me and always will be , I can tell him everything. He is the best father , coach , and caretaker ever. Never stop talking Jay.

Read More

One of Dillon's famous pieces of art.

Spot light on: Julie Dillon

Now and throughout history, artists have come out of the mere clay dust and paint splatters to produce to us, for our visual pleasure, beautiful and astounding works of art! From the stunning paintings of Picasso to the modern art from artists like Fuller Potter, we are completely indebted to artist around the world for making our lives colorful. Julie Dillon is one among these artists.

Julie Dillon is an american artist, born in 1982, that specializes in science fiction and fantasy art. She is a freelance illustrator. Julie Dillon’s artwork has been used for video games, book covers, magazine covers, and covers for music albums. She lives and works in California. Julie Dillon answered in an interview that her inspiration comes from nature. For example; bird feathers, the texture of a flower, or the way water glows when the light hits it just right.

Julie Dillon’s artwork has been up for many awards. She was nominated for Hugo award for Best Professional Artist, Chesley award three years, World Fantasy award for best fantasy artist in 2012. Julie won the Chesley award in 2010 and in 2011.

Julie Dillon has made so many remarkable paintings! Among these phenomenal paintings is one of my favorites, Nautili. Nautili is a spectacular colorful painting of a beautiful woman underwater. There are many spectacular sea creatures around her. This painting has also been on the cover of one issue of Clarkesworld Magazine. Another painting by her is called Honeycomb. This painting is of a young beautiful woman, with a honeycomb fussed in with her chest. It also contains small bees that appear to live in the honeycombs.
There is so much fantastic artwork hidden in the world.  There are artists we have never heard about, but who have created artwork that we all think is extraordinary. The art world is growing even bigger. We all just need to keep an open eye for it, and an open mind.

Read More