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  • Honoring MJ | The Whirlie Post

    MJ leads his students in a vocal exercise. Beloved Teacher Makes Musical Magic at Grimsley Marshall “MJ” Johnson celebrates his 20th anniversary leading vocal music at Grimsley. By Ashley Crowell In Marshall “MJ” Johnson’s classroom, there are many different flags, posters and memorabilia from years past that show the history and character of the Grimsley vocal music program. But one sign perfectly captures the spirit of the vocal music and modern band director. “NO- you may not draw on the board when I am not here or without my permission. EVER. Love, MJ,” the sign reads. MJ’s students know they can feel at home in his classroom and express themselves, but that there are limits. His classroom is a safe place, where they have a teacher who listens and will always be there for them. He’s also got a lot to teach them. “If a student believes that the person they are learning from truly cares that they learn that thing and they are going to benefit from it, that’s the magic sauce,” MJ said. He’s also a teacher who insists everyone, including staff and students alike, call him by his nickname. As he likes to say, “No one knows who Marshall Johnson is, but everyone knows MJ.” MJ has experience creating a culture where students can thrive. He first worked at Grimsley as a student teacher while studying at UNCG. After teaching music in schools in Myrtle Beach, Raleigh and Ohio, MJ returned to Grimsley 20 years ago to take over the vocal music program when the previous teacher retired. He was drawn back to Grimsley by the Madrigal program. “That was the thing I was most excited to come here for,” MJ said. “I specialized in early music as a professional singer, so I was singing a lot of medieval and renaissance music professionally in New York and in San Francisco.” The Madrigal Singers are a long tradition at Grimsley, beginning in 1966, and perform a cappella Renaissance music in period costumes. They are well known in the community and often perform at the NC Renaissance Festival, Biltmore House and many local events, including Greensboro’s Downtown Festival of Lights every December. Sophomore Bridget Schoultz has been in the vocal music department since freshman year, and this was her first year as a Madrigal. Schoultz described how her high school career wouldn’t be the same without MJ. “With MJ, I was able to find a loving community which he cherished and that made me feel comfortable,” Schoultz said. “Without MJ, my high school life so far would be so different and I am forever grateful for that.” Along with teaching the Madrigals and Concert Choir, MJ also leads IB music and two classes of Modern Band. These classes focus on teaching music students to perform on modern instruments together as well as operate sound and lighting equipment. Open mic nights are a popular part of the modern band curriculum. Several times a year, MJ’s classroom is transformed into a concert venue, complete with fog, professional lights and talented student performers. Not only does MJ teach a wide range of music at Grimsley, he also is involved in several different projects outside of school. One of his bands, Flash Jackman, released an album on Christmas day last year. MJ plays with another group, Bandemic, in the community and also leads the modern worship service at West Market Street United Methodist Church. From Renaissance music to modern rock, MJ cultivates a love of all kinds of music for his students. “I just have so many different interests and things and I am just so passionate about music and about teaching and learning,” MJ said. “Teaching is teaching. It’s all about relationships and how you convey information to other people in a way that is meaningful to them that they can connect with.” Freshman Kennedy Goree, a student in his concert choir, knows firsthand the magic of being in MJ’s classroom. She’s excited to have been tapped to join the Madrigals as an alto next school year and continue as his student. “MJ is always in a good mood!” Goree said. “His energy is contagious, and after a long day at school there is nothing better than to walk into his class and feel instantly welcomed!” By teaching a diversity of subjects, MJ has the opportunity to build relationships with students from all kinds of backgrounds. But they all find a place to belong in MJ’s classroom. “It’s a pretty simple formula,” MJ said. “It’s not complex. It’s just being kind and being open, and being authentic in every way that you can. People want to be known and people want to know you, and if you allow that, then there’s real magic that can happen in a classroom.”

  • The Whirlie Post | Grimsley newspaper

    Hea dlines Check out the latest articles Read Here Join The Whirlie Post Are you interested in being a part of the Grimsley school newspaper? Interest Meeting May 20th 4:30 in room 306 I'm interested Welcome Welcome to the new Grimsley High School student newspaper. We are excited to share important news and impactful stories of the Grimsley community with you! Read More Our Vision Dedicated to creating a community in conversation with itself at Grimsley High School Learn More Letters to the Editor We welcome your respectful thoughts and opinions about the issues and topics discussed in these articles. We may publish your letter in an upcoming publication. First Name Last Name Email Subject Leave us a message... Submit Thanks for submitting!

  • Articles | The Whirlie Post

    Current Headlines Discover what's happening at Grimsley! Beloved Teacher Makes Musical Magic at Grimsley Marshall “MJ” Johnson celebrates his 20th anniversary leading vocal music at Grimsley. Previous Headlines Catch up on what you might have missed at Grimsley! Grimsley Bathrooms to Be Renovated This Summer. Indoor cosmetic renovations, as well as bathrooms and AC will be addressed during summer renovations. Ramadan: My Perspective as a Grimsley Student What does this holy month mean to Muslims and what is the purpose of fasting? Film By Grimsley Student Wins State Competition Golden Dawn director and Grimsley senior Alexander Carpenter aspires to be a successful filmmaker. Donuts: A Perspective A look at producer J Dilla and his unmatched legacy. Athlete Spotlight: Drew Mascia This Grimsley runner is not only an outstanding athlete, but also a hard worker! Giving Back to Grimsley Grimsley Goods finds ways to create a better Grimsley. Student Council Brings Back T.W.I.R.P. Dance Despite challenges, the Student Council hopes the dance will become a spring staple. Three Grimsley Poets Voted Finalists Poems by Nasir Crawford, Rainey Thompson, and Zai’ere Watson were selected in the GCS poetry competition. A Tribute to Molly Rotunda The Grimsley community mourns the loss of a beloved alumna. Objection Your Honor! Grimsley's Mock Trial Club prepares students for the future. Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Potts and Ms. Williams Meet two first-year teachers at Grimsley! Anxiety Is Real I struggle with anxiety in high school. Do you? “Overwhelmed” Grimsley Senior Charlotte Williams overcomes her anxiety. The Whirlie Cafe ​ Exceptional students serve up coffee and gain valuable experience. Seminar Class Cooks Up A Storm GHS Seminar Class finds its sweet spot with a weekly baking competition. Swann Middle to Be Shut Down, Renovated Major changes to Swann Middle School bring mixed reactions from students and teachers. Athlete Spotlight Swimmer Ellie Hunt speeds her way through the water to a successful season. Catch the Beat: Praises for Legendary Chillhop Artists Nujabes and Shing02 engineer the chill sounds of Lo-Fi Hip-Hop. Whirlie Trends Make Friends and Fun Fads in music and school essentials fuel self-expression, giving students a place to belong. What Happened to the School Newspaper? Join us as we dive into the history of the High Life.

  • Catch the Beat | The Whirlie Post

    Catch the Beat: Praise for Legendary Chillhop Artists Nujabes and Shing02 engineer the chill sounds of Lo-Fi Hip-Hop. By Jake Acosta Jan. 29, 2024 Production and instrumentals are seen as the spine of music, essential for creating a song. Hip-Hop is prominent in the world of production, especially for the kind of samples and methods that were utilized to make the music. Amidst this soulful atmosphere, one producer stands out in the realm of jazz-rap, using samples from across the globe and flipping them in a way that no other could even imagine. Nujabes, a Japanese record producer and audio engineer, has left a lasting influence on every corner of hip-hop. Pronounced noo-jaa-buhz, he has achieved this legacy despite only releasing two studio albums during his lifetime. From his early mixtapes he released through cassettes, to his first studio album Metaphorical Music (2003), and even working on a soundtrack for a widely beloved anime, Samurai Champloo (2004), to his eventual death in 2010, Nujabes has left a legendary mark on hip-hop forever. Jun Seba Yamada, known by stage name Nujabes, was a hip-hop producer who worked through the early and late 2000s and embraced a jazz-centered, hip-hop sound mostly through sampling. Nujabes’ sound is warm and reassuring, focusing on intricacy and making the most with the depth of his samples. These elements of his sound are what makes most hip-hop fans deem him as the godfather of lofi. The subgenre of LoFi Hip-Hop embraces a softer and cleaner sound, usually through instrumental beats featuring no vocal performance. This is commonly regarded as “chillhop”. Nujabes pioneered this sound and generally did it better than anyone ever has, expressing and communicating exactly how he felt through these instrumentals. Oftentimes when he would have MC’s on his tracks, they would translate into words exactly what Nujabes was aiming for regarding the emotion of the beat. And Nujabes brought the best out of everyone he worked with, one MC in particular being Shing02. Shingo Annen, known by his stage name Shing02, is a Japanese MC and record producer who worked primarily with Nujabes while Nujabes was still alive, even releasing a posthumous record they had worked on together, titled Luv(sic) Hexalogy (2015). Shing02 and Nujabes have been working together since 2001, their first track together titled Luv(sic), which features a young Nujabes introducing Shing02 to his production potential with the best he had at the time. From there, Nujabes went on to further emphasize how meticulous his beat- making process was, and also went on to create 5 more parts to the Luv(sic) series, excluding remixes and alternate versions. These versions were never released together until 2015. Five years after Nujabes died in 2010, Shing02 released Luv(sic) Hexalogy under Nujabes’ name. This album compiled of every song in the Luv(sic) series (parts 1-6) along with remixes and alternate versions of every track, as well as the additional song Perfect Circle and its instrumental. Luv(sic) Hexalogy is beloved by hip-hop fans of all kinds for its peace-inducing, universal tone. Shing02 writes on the tracks about previous loves/friends in his life that have passed away, how they changed his life and his devotion to them through music and everyday being, along with giving thanks to the current friends that surround him. This along with the insanely deep instrumentals from Nujabes that bleed solace and appreciative reminiscence, the match couldn’t be any more perfect for such a given message and composition within a song. This is done all throughout Luv(sic) Hexalogy. Luv(sic) pt 2 emphasizes this perspective through writing. On this track, Shing02 writes about a late lover from the past and how they surfed through life together, writing that he and she couldn’t have met at a better time even if they planned it. He narrates their relationship stages, and how they developed their love for each other, and then her eventual passing and his gratitude to have had the opportunity to to know her. On the other hand, Luv(sic) pt 4 brings perhaps the deepest Nujabes instrumental ever done in his career, with the utilization of his signature drum break being the structure for his soul-lifting samples of piano and sax. The way he includes record scratching to enable Shing02 to begin rhyming, and then follows it up with an ethereal saxophone sample that drives the main melody is something no one else can do, at least in the same way. Nujabes has left a lasting impression on hip-hop fans of all kinds and of all ages. Even people who wouldn’t consider themselves as hip-hop fans give their praises to Nujabes. Whether it’s because of his intricacy or consistent depth, or because listening to one of his beats feels like you’re talking to him face-to-face, or you just like chillhop, Nujabes has brought cultures around the world together in celebration of the most beautiful form of poetry the world has to offer, hip-hop.

  • Swann Middle to Be Shut Down, Renovated | The Whirlie Post

    Swann Middle to Be Shut Down, Renovated Major changes to Swann Middle School bring mixed reactions from students and teachers. By Mila Pucilowski Jan. 29, 2024 Guilford County Schools is the third largest school district in North Carolina with 124 schools, many over 60 years old. Because of this many schools are in desperate need of repair, an issue the Guilford County School Board has been trying to resolve. With a new Kiser Middle building being rebuilt right next door and many more schools being closed entirely, it poses the question, what happens when a school is completely shut down? Well, this is happening right now at Swann Middle School. Swann Middle is a historic school that just celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022, making it the district's oldest school building. Therefore it had many problems such as mold, leaks, AC problems, and more. On November 7th, it was revealed that the school would be shut down after the 2023-2024 school year, abrupt news that shocked teachers and students. Mark Maltby, who has been teaching at Swann for 13 years, was with students when the news was first announced. He and the other teachers found out at the same time as the students. Instead of worrying for his job, and what problems it would cause for him, Maltby said, "The hardest part was watching the kids cry." After the initial shock, all agreed that it was best for the school, and many were excited for a new experience. Current seventh grade student Maye Kennerly said, "I'm kind of excited to move schools, to start a fresh year with new friends, new teachers, and a whole new environment.” As for teachers, most core teachers have already been redistricted to new schools. However some arts teachers, although guaranteed a job next year, still have not been told where they will be going. Swann has acted as a middle school for Spanish Immersion and STEM students since about the year 2000. But it is still a district school as well. In total there are about 542 students currently at Swann middle. Students will be redistricted to either Kiser or Mendenhall Middle Schools depending on whether they are in the Page or Grimsley district, according to the Greensboro News & Record. The Spanish immersion students are being redistricted to Kiser Middle, and STEM students to Hairston Middle. Swann's renovation is set to be done by the fall of 2027. The initial idea was for it to become a 6-12 magnet school. However, GCS Superintendent Dr. Whitney Oakley proposed that it should become the new performing arts school, replacing Weaver Academy as Greensboro's performing arts school. The school board approved Dr. Oakley's proposal, and Swann will reopen in 2027 as a performing arts school.

  • Grimsley Renovations | The Whirlie Post

    Earlier this year stairways at Grimsley were redone, with more renovations coming soon. Photo by Kevin Massey Grimsley Bathrooms To Be Renovated This Summer Indoor cosmetic renovations, as well as bathrooms and AC will be addressed during summer renovations. By Ava Lani Schmutzer April 4, 2024 Long overdue and extremely welcome renovations will happen this summer at Grimsley High School. Though the school is No. 30 on the list of Guilford County schools to be fixed up, Grimsley is getting a headstart, with surface-level renovations beginning this year. The county finally will revamp bathrooms in the Main, Old Science, and Vocational buildings! Crumbling walls also will receive attention, and there are plans to fix the air conditioning in classrooms with AC units under the windows. Two years ago, Guilford County Commissioners toured Grimsley with the intent of finding out what needed to be done. The result? Commissioners deemed Grimsley the worst school they had seen, according to a Fox8 News report. “When you pass by this road, and you see this magnificent campus, you think everything is great, but until you go inside, then you will be amazingly disappointed,” said County Chairman Skip Alston. Grimsley was determined a top priority, but there had been no update on renovation progress until now. In 2020 and 2022, Guilford County voters approved bonds totaling $2 billion to build new schools and renovate or replace many schools in the county. Next door, Kiser Middle School is already receiving the benefits of these bonds, being completely rebuilt on both Grimsley and Kiser land. Grimsley’s full renovation is expected to cost around $50 million, but the school is getting a head start as of this summer. These plans have high standards to fulfill for students and teachers alike. Sylvia DiRosa-Taylor, a freshman, has come up with many more ideas for Grimsley renovation in her short time here, including a deep clean, new fans, windows, and doors, as well as menu refurbishing. ‘‘Having a clean and renovated environment, including the bathrooms and classrooms, will help foster a greater attention to learning and a better environment,” she said. “This is nicer for the students, the teachers, and everyone involved.” “I think it’s a great idea. I think it’s long overdue,” said Mrs. Requel Howard, a Spanish teacher. “I just hope that…Guilford County Schools provides the resources to maintain the new stuff over the course of time, because it’s fine to put in new stuff, but if you don’t keep it up and clean it and maintain it…it doesn’t do any good if you’re just going to neglect it.” Other teachers echo this sentiment, including Mrs. Lisa Mortenson, a social studies teacher. “We are going to keep using old buildings, which is wonderful for historic tradition, but we have to put in money to maintain them,” she said. “They’ve added electricity, they’ve added internet stuff - they should be able to maintain plumbing.”

  • Athlete Spotlight | The Whirlie Post

    Ellie (left) with twin sister Gracie Ellie preparing to dive during a relay Athlete Spotlight Swimmer Ellie Hunt speeds her way through the water to a successful season. By Katherine Medina Jan. 29, 2024 Thanks to our amazing athletes, sports are one activity everyone can enjoy here at Grimsley, whether through participating or watching games. It takes a lot of dedication to balance a sport on top of schoolwork, so the Whirlie Post regularly will recognize a special athlete for their commitment and accomplishments. Swimmer Ellie Hunt is an obvious choice, having absolutely killed it so far this season following the announcement of her commitment to attend the College of William and Mary and compete on their Division 1 swim team. Ellie is a senior here at Grimsley, and with one year left, we are excited to see all the great things she will achieve! Q&A: Q: What got you into swimming? How long have you been swimming? A: My parents signed me up for swimming when I was 4 and I just never stopped. Q: What are your plans for the future regarding swimming? Do you plan on swimming in college or professionally? A: I am committed to swim D1 at William and Mary in the fall next year and I can’t wait!! Q: What are your hobbies/interests outside of swimming? A: I love to read and I recently learned how to crochet. I also play Fortnite! Q: How has your season gone so far this year? A: My season has been pretty great and I’m super excited to see what I can accomplish by March. Q: What are some ways you balance the demands of being a student athlete? A: I try to stay hydrated and eat somewhat healthy so I am energized everyday. I also go to sleep fairly early because I have to wake up for 5 a.m. practice everyday. Q: What do you believe are your major achievements in your sport? A: Continuing to get better each year and never giving up hope even when I’m struggling to compete at my best. Q: What are your pre-game and post-game rituals/routines? A: I tend to eat muffins before swim meets and I’m pretty exhausted after, so I usually get food with my family and go straight to bed! Ellie has had a great swim season, leading the Grimsley Women to an undefeated record so far. She also has qualified in two individual events, the 100 yard freestyle event with a time of 54:47, and the 50 freestyle event with a time of 24:76, for the 4A Central Regional High School Swim Meet in early February at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. She has an amazing future ahead of her, and we wish her the best of luck finishing off her last season with us at Grimsley.

  • TWIRP Article | The Whirlie Post

    Students enjoy music, dancing and snacks in the transformed cafeteria. Photo from Cooper Dunning Student Council Brings Back T.W.I.R.P. Dance Despite challenges, the Student Council hopes the dance will become a spring staple. By Mila Pucilowski April 4, 2024 Doing something for the first time hardly ever goes quite as expected. There are always some problems bound to arise. For many years the T.W.I.R.P. dance, traditionally known as “The Woman Is Requested to Pay,” has been a fun and popular feature at Grimsley. After being discontinued since COVID, this year’s student council decided to bring it back as a spring dance targeted at underclassmen, who can’t attend prom. And their problem was, understandably, spreading the news to the more than 2,000 students at Grimsley. Many students said they didn't go simply because they didn't know until the week of the dance. Because there was very little advertisement until the last minute, many people already had plans or were unprepared. In retrospect, the Council could have done a better job “advertising it to underclassmen and, if we were to do it again, having more preparation on how to sell tickets,” said Sophomore Class President Cooper Dunning. However, despite this, the 250-ticket quota was met. The dance took place in the Grimsley cafeteria with food and music. Many students said it was a great night to get together with friends. “T.W.I.R.P was one of the best nights I've ever had!” said freshman student Zoe Thomas. “It was so much fun hanging out with my friends. I really enjoyed myself.” Though many students enjoyed the dance, they commented that the dance felt empty, with some students leaving after only an hour or so. “Obviously we would like a more well-attended one…there were comments while at the dance that it felt empty, but I think that we can equate that to the fact that the cafeteria is so big,” said Dunning. However, some of the students stayed the whole night until the dance ended, talking and laughing with friends and grabbing snacks on their way out the door. The faculty and Student Council haven't decided whether to continue T.W.I.R.P next year. “I think if we were to continue it in the following years,”said Freshman President Katie Lyles, “it would hopefully have more participation, and become something like a school trend.”

  • Giving back to Grimsley: Grimsley goods | The Whirlie Post

    Giving Back to Grimsley Grimsley Goods finds ways to create a better Grimsley. By Carter Watson April 4, 2024 All throughout Grimsley, a spirit of engagement develops as students come together to create a positive impact within Grimsley and throughout the community. Grimsley Goods, a student-led organization, focuses on the food and clothing insecurity in our school’s community. From food drives and clothing donations to teaming up with local organizations, students work together to ensure that every Grimsley student has access to nutritious food and winter coats. This club reflects the dedication and empathy of Grimsley students who understand the importance of assisting and supporting one another. “Grimsley goods is a simple way to help others in a significant way by providing food security and support for those in need,” said Allison Lunsford, a sophomore and an active member of Grimsley Goods. “This club is significant to me because it provides an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on Grimsley.” With the Grimsley Goods Club service learning has become a popular way for students to give back to Grimsley. Service learning not only gives back to the school, but also allows students to enrich their own experiences. Whether it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen, participating in a cleanup service, or even tutoring underclassmen, Grimsley students continue to explore ways to engage in their community and contribute to making a difference in the lives of others. As Grimsley students continue to find and research ways to give back and contribute to our community and our school, the future of Grimsley looks brighter than ever. With each act of service and moment of kindness, students are not only making a difference but also laying a foundation for future students and a caring society. In the halls of Grimsley High School, the spirits of activism, service, and compassion are thriving, inspiring each and every one of us to strive for a better tomorrow.

  • The High Life | The Whirlie Post

    What Happened to the School Newspaper? Join us as we dive into the history of the High Life. By Heidi White Jan. 29, 2024 Have you ever heard of family members getting school newspapers or have you seen them on TV shows? The high school newspaper is a popular fixture of American culture. “The newspaper is a greater treasure to the people than uncounted millions of gold,” said Henry Ward Beecher, an influential clergyman of the 19th century. Many students may not know that Grimsley once had a newspaper called High Life. It ran in the school from 1920 to 2013 and would include school events, sports, local news stories, stories about athletes, and the issues students cared about. Several editions featured letters to the editor concerning Vietnam War protests, illegal drug use, and even opinions on the student dress code. A special edition was dedicated to the graduating seniors and included popular features such as the senior class's will. Ms. Lynn Rozelman, a fixture at Grimsley from 1998 to 2021, taught Yearbook, Newspaper and English. Yet as Grimsley grew, more core classes were needed, and Ms. Rozelman was assigned to teach additional English classes. The elective newspaper class was cut, causing the High LIfe to cease publication in 2013. Ms. Rozelman attempted to bring back the High Life digitally with a creative writing class in 2015, but after that school year the creative writing class was cut as well. For many years, Grimsley was without a newspaper. Newspapers serve an essential role in communities, and have done so for hundreds of years. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” School newspapers serve an important role by providing information about clubs and extracurricular activities, events happening at the school and building community among the students by sharing ideas and personal stories. After several years without this integral part of Grimsley, a new newspaper, The Whirlie Post, will take up the mantle of the High Life and continue providing the essential services of a school newspaper. Though it is not yet a class, The Post is a club that desires to grow more and more through new members and more influence, to truly embody the spirit and community of Grimsley. Participating in a school newspaper provides an outlet for self-expression, and a way to “be a part of history,” said Ms. Rozelman. She remembers “the camaraderie of the students” as one of her favorite parts about teaching the newspaper class. If you are interested in being a part of building a community at Grimsley High School, contact Ms. Hunt-Ward in room 217, or Mr. Sharpnack in room 200. Ashley Crowell contributed to this article.

  • Three Grimsley Poets Voted Finalists | The Whirlie Post

    Poet Zai'ere Watson, Photo by Kevin Massey Poets Rainey Thompson (left) and Nasir Crawford (right) Three Grimsley Poets Voted Finalists Poems by Nasir Crawford, Rainey Thompson, and Zai’ere Watson were selected in the GCS poetry competition. By Ashley Pritchett April 4, 2024 Three Grimsley students were voted finalists for their submission of poems in Guilford County Schools’ High School Poet Laureate Project. In March, judges from different schools selected Nasir Crawford, Rainey Thompson, and Zai’ere Watson after carefully considering and critically analyzing their submitted works. Crawford, a ninth grader, is one of the winning contestants of the poetry contest. He is the author of the poem “Why the Sky?” In his poem, Crawford describes his delivery of an alternate perspective of the accompanying world that we are swallowed by. Crawford depicts the stress of societal restraints as he embodies a bird flying through the wind passing the sun. “I want to fly past the sun, and see how far I can get without using my eyes.” The remainder of the poem highlights tumultuous times and the hardships of life that can result in growth, regardless of the scars left behind. Crawford describes his poem as painting a verbal visual of himself. Crawford explains how he is able to sow himself into his poetry like a seed and bloom along with the formation of the poem. Initially, he was inspired by rapper Tupac Shakur’s poem, “The Rose That Grew From Concrete”. “When I saw Tupac’s work for the first time,” said Crawford, “ideas began to flood my mind.” “I revert to poetry to indulge in the ideas that my mind creates,” said Crawford, “and I try to display those pieces into characteristics that attribute to the person I find in myself in the foundation of my poems.” “Poetry uncovers your soft spot,” said Crawford. “People see me as a big tough guy and wouldn’t expect me to write poetry, but I’m really a chill laid-back person.” Another one of the winning contestants is Rainey Thompson, a junior. She is the author of the poem, “The Flow.” In her poem, she alludes to the feeling of her mind whirling, emptied of coherent thought as if she is in a dream. “I spin around in circles, traveling along with the air, Getting caught up with the leaves.” Thompson tries to draw a picture of stillness caught in a rapture of the effects of personal emotion and its contributing attributes in her poem. “I create a pathway between dreams and nature by comparing and connecting them to capture the essence of time passing by,” she said. “For I get restless, and I find myself walking through the green fields.” Most of her poems follow a scheme that pertains to nature and dreaming. “I seek to display the feeling of going places you never may have dreamed of going,” said Thompson. “I hope to continue to write and share my works with others.” She is eagerly looking forward to the next step in the advancement of her poetry. “I’ve always loved to write, even since I was five.” Grimsley’s final winning contestant is Zai’ere Watson, a 10th grader. She is the author of the poem What is love? In her poem, she peers into the depths of limitless love. “Love is a journey, an endless quest,”she said. “I delicately unravel the presence that love takes over in our lives.” “It’s the strength to forgive, to heal the pain, to cherish the moments when two hearts remain.” Watson said she tried to take a universal emotion, capture it, and give it a story in her poem. “Love can be unspoken yet heard, it is located in the pits of our hearts and stretches out towards others like the branches of an evergreen tree,” she said. “It’s the power to uplift, to inspire and create, a love that transcends a love that’s innate.” Watson strives to redefine the meaning of love in her own way and elaborates on the mental strife that comes along with love. “I like to place specific reminders throughout my poems that remind the reader that love is found within hope and grace and that we are love,” she said. “For in the depths of love’s embrace, we find solace, hope, and grace.” Watson is able to express herself through her poems. “Writing is my safe haven. I like to go with the flow as thoughts and ideas flood my mind causing me to place pen to paper and write down my thoughts,” she said. “I like to refer to my poems as 12 a.m. poems because they’re random and I often write them at night, “ Watson said. “I hope that I am able to deliver a message to my readers that they can interpret for themselves.” Why the sky? By Nasir Crawford I wish I could fly Everyone is asking me for a reason why I wanna fly past the sun and see how far I can get without using my eyes. Why? Because I am who I am for a reason it’s no reason for me to lie I'm going to just fly as high as I can until the day I die The reason why is that there is no limit to the sky. So if there is no limit to the sky. There should be no limit in my eyes or my mind Sorry if i got off subject but some of you needed to be remind. Remember who you are you can become anything you want no matter the scars You keep moving forward because as soon as you look back that’s When everything falls apart Im not like the teachers imma tell you what it really is They keep the truth away from you just to hide you and their fears You gotta face your fears to get where you wanna be no matter if it comes to tears Now let me tell you a lil about myself And how i made it here without no help even when i had to put everything on the shelf Might be a lil cook but ion care its not for anyone else The Flow. By Rainey Thompson I spin around in circles Traveling along with the air, Getting caught up with the Leaves, Going nowhere. I search for something in the Sky, I search for something in the Stars. I land down on Jupiter And travel on to Mars. Then I catch a ride with the wind Back to earth again. I land safely on the grass… and The weather is fair. But then my bones being to ache From sitting. For I get restless, And I find myself Walking through the green fields, Searching for something else .. Somewhere. What is Love? By Zai’ere Watson In the tapestry of life, love weaves its thread, A force that’s felt, in words left unsaid. It’s a gentle touch, a warm embrace, A connection that time cannot erase. Love is a journey, and endless quest, Through highs and lows. We give our best. It’s the strength to forgive, to heal the pain, To cherish the moments when two hearts remain. Love is a language, unspoken yet heard, A symphony of emotions, no need for a word. It’s the power to uplift, to inspire and create, A love that transcends a love that’s innate. So let love guide you, on this path we share, Embrace its essence, handle it with care. For in the depths of love’s embrace, We find solace, hope, and grace.

  • Charlotte Williams | The Whirlie Post

    Volleyball captain Charlotte Williams, Photo by Jake Acosta and Kevin Massey "Overwhelmed" Grimsley Senior Charlotte Williams overcomes her anxiety. By Ashley Crowell Feb. 29, 2024 Charlotte Williams may not seem like someone who struggles with anything. She is a captain of the Grimsley volleyball team, a dedicated student and a confident young woman. Yet Charlotte Williams wrestles with anxiety. She was diagnosed with anxiety at the age of six and has been learning to cope with it for most of her life. “It started with things that I obviously wasn’t in control of that freaked me out when I was really young,” Williams said. “But as I got into middle school and high school, it turned into more common things…like an academic pressure, which a lot of high schoolers feel.” Then during her sophomore year, the pressure and expectation had come to the point where Williams felt like she needed help. “I’ve always been a person where if my life feels out of control I focus on one thing that I am 'in control of,’ so for me that was school,” Williams said. “So I always put so much effort into school…and you just feel overwhelmed.” Williams was in therapy as a child, but had not been for several years preceding sophomore year. Her parents suggested that they take a different approach and see the sports psychologist at Grimsley. Sports psychology focuses on the wellbeing of athletes and addresses the mental aspect of a sport. For Williams, using sports psychology helped her channel her anxiety through a much-loved activity–volleyball–to work through her stress. “I learned a lot of breathing things…and just taking a moment,” Williams said. “We joke about if you’re going up to serve in a big game, just tie your shoe, take a moment.” She also learned that music and having fun are important ways of releasing stress, rather than becoming tense or worked up about a game. “I’m super competitive, but at the same time I like to have fun,” Williams said. “I’d rather have fun and give my all, versus being so in my head that I can’t give my all.” While being a leader on the court, Williams has also been a team captain since her junior year and has become an example for others who are facing similar struggles. “Girls who would come to me and express similar situations…and it was like, ‘Oh, I’ve been in the same position,” Williams said. “High schoolers often struggle with anxiety and depression. High schoolers put a lot of pressure on themselves, whether people like to admit it or not.” High school is full of stressful social situations and academic pressure, and students can often lose sight of what’s truly important. The weight of the future, and the decisions students are making now feel like an enormous responsibility. Yet as Williams said, “It’s high school, and one B is not going to end your life. It’s going to be ok, that’s important to remember.” If Williams could speak directly to all Grimsley students on the office loudspeaker, she would tell them, “If you need help, seek out for it. It’s there. I’ve gone to the counselors here and they’re always good.” Her best advice to her fellow students is “be in the moment, and don’t worry so much about the future that you can’t control.” ​ ​ Continue reading Anxiety Is Real: I struggle with anxiety in high school. Do you?

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