By Sarah Schrock

It must be spring fever, because on Friday the fifth-grade hamster escaped from its cage. If this isn’t enough to make teachers go bonkers by the end of the year, fidget spinners might. The most popular toy flying off the shelves and out of stock online is not a video game or some virtual reality electronic device, but a simple hand-held gadget marketed to increase attention and calming for people with ADHD or anxiety. The small orbital fidget spinner has bearings that spin between your fingers, has kids totally obsessed, and it is rumored to be available here in the valley at one local retailer. Curses.

For those of you lucky enough to be naïve to fidget spinners, the obsession over these toys is anything but calming. It’s downright driving some people, especially teachers and parents, mad. Some school districts have banned them. Admittedly, the gadgets are fun and yes, kind of addicting. But what I find most interesting is that instead of being a device to help with attention, they have become a total distraction and thus have fallen into the law of unintended consequences.

When the outcome of an action is the opposite or different than intended, the law of unintended consequences has occurred. The Liberty Bell Senior High School drama class’s performance of “Cry Baby” seems to have fallen victim to this law too, as the overwhelming positive feedback seems to have had one unintended consequence. Apparently, the play was so delightfully fun and entertaining that the audience has been complaining of sore cheek muscles from all the smiling and laughing. Hopefully, there are no serious injuries resulting from over-smiling.

The satirical full-length musical was brought to the attention of drama teachers Kelly Grayum and Danbert Nobacon early in the year by a student.  Despite the mediocre ratings of the Broadway run and film adaptation in the 1980s, Liberty Bell’s rendition was a hit with standing ovations every show and a packed house for the grand finale. Grayum said the students worked incredibly hard and it paid off. The energy and camaraderie that the show built within the class was so powerful that some of the kids stayed afterwards at The Merc Sunday afternoon to continue playing music and singing tunes from the show, not wanting the feeling to end.

The drama class is in its second year at Liberty Bell. After years of it being an extracurricular club, now students gain credit for participating. “Cry Baby” was set to live music played by music teacher Matt Armbrust and accompanied by two students from the school band and jazz ensemble.  Timing and choreography had to be perfect with the live music, but the students took to the challenge. Many of the dances were choreographed by Lilly Cooely and Madeline Bosco. Based on the success of “Cry Baby,” the Liberty Bell Junior High drama class will hopefully pack the house on Tuesday with three one-act plays and a student-written monologue. 

Memorial Weekend leaves no dearth of on-goings. As tradition holds, the annual library book sale will be Saturday (May 27) in the Community Center gym.  The library needs your used books for the sale! Please bring your old books into the library before Saturday. This is the only fundraising event for the library, so make sure to clean out your bookshelves prior to restocking them at the sale.


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