• Exams for freshmen through juniors will be Friday, June 4th, Monday, June 7th, and Tuesday, June 8th
  • Tuesday, June 8th is the last day of school for freshmen through juniors

The Central Trend

Natalie Mix

Natalie Mix, Editor in Chief

Natalie Mix is a junior, wrapping up her third year on The Central Trend. Within The Central Trend, she has found both people and words, and they have stuck by her side. She is indescribably grateful for the opportunity to make sense of the world with her words, and even more so for the other writers that have become a sort of family to her, allowing her to feel crucially accepted and loved.

Favorite type of story: short stories

Enneagram type: 7

Favorite pieces of punctuation: the em-dash and the Oxford comma

Constant state of being: longing for some manifestation of change

A few of her favorite things: her two best friends, her cat, sunsets, dying her hair

 

All content by Natalie Mix
This is my cat, Yoshi, sitting by me while I read the third installment in the Shadow and Bone series

This moment – figuring it all out

July 14, 2021

For the past three and a half weeks, I’ve been fighting a sense of self-focused frustration, despite the overall contentment that the golden arrival of summer has brought me. I’ve been guiltily fending...

My best friend took this photo of me on a hike the other day. I feel like it symbolizes a beginning of some kind.

This moment – the beginning

June 17, 2021

Hi. My name is Natalie. If you read The Central Trend with any regularity, you’ve probably read an article or two of mine. For the last three years, I’ve been publishing an average of three articles...

Eighteen sophomore speakers seek to change lives at FHC Inspires

Eighteen sophomore speakers seek to change lives at FHC Inspires

May 28, 2021

The auditorium milled with thirty-some students, the high-ceilinged space warm with conversation and nerves. Matching “FHC Inspires” t-shirts caught my eye at every turn, each one styled differently...

We are so close to summer; I won't give into burnout yet.

The words she has to offer

May 24, 2021

She walks a fragile line, on these desperate late nights, when the words are elusive and uncooperative. She’s mastered the balance between prose and feeling, yet at times, she’s still entirely at a...

Lynlee Derrick has been writing for The Central Trend since her freshman year and has been Editor in Chief for the past year. She graduated tonight, May 17th.

Lynlee Derrick is driving down the road of her own future—one where she is excited to wake up every day

May 17, 2021

Senior Lynlee Derrick drives like she lives: without hesitation.  In all the ways that it manifests itself, whether it be impromptu ice cream trips with her best friend or hours spent hot-gluing Diet...

FHC Inspires Announcement

FHC Inspires Announcement

May 17, 2021

After a year of relegation to the digital world, FHC Inspires is back in person, redefining the entire show. This year's FHC Inspires team, headed up by student directors Lydia Bolger and Sarah Bethel,...

My best friend, Katarina Lalic, one of the people who has stayed and made me feel so loved

The ribbons of love have kept me standing

May 17, 2021

The past few months have found my sticker-adorned laptop consistently overloaded with tabs partitioned by windows correlating to each of my six subjects.  This system has become a necessity, the only...

Here I am, on my seventh birthday, in the kitchen of my childhood home

Once, she was seven

May 10, 2021

Once, she was seven, and she doesn’t remember much about being seven—mostly the feelings. She remembers how all-consuming those feelings were, the enormous anxiety too great to fit into her small body,...

Abby Wright has been on the staff of The Central Trend since her freshman year and has been Editor-in-Chief for the last two years.

Abby Wright finds home in the people and places that give her life color and vibrancy

May 3, 2021

Senior Abby Wright’s final year of high school found her spending more time than ever in the small town of La Porte, Indiana. While she’d often resided there during her summers, only this year was...

And the kingdom will crumble at her hands

And the kingdom will crumble at her hands

May 3, 2021

it has to be like this impromptu beautiful in simplicity heart racing, fingers dancing   and in a way she's been avoiding   but how else, to capture the epitome of youth   how...

A photo from our second week in a row hiking, on another sad Saturday

Whatever’s in between here and there

April 26, 2021

She’s consumed by conflicting consternation on these late Friday nights, the time for adventures, for laughter in bubbles and bursts, for the epitome of teenage folklore. She feels the shadowy black...

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Gavin O'Meara

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Gavin O’Meara

April 22, 2021

Name: Gavin O'Meara Grade: 11 Role: Troy Bolton What’s your pre-show warm-up routine? "I usually go through both a vocal and physical warm-up. My vocal warm-up consists of a lot of scales...

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Thomas Smith

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Thomas Smith

April 22, 2021

Name: Thomas Smith Grade: 11 Position: Head of Tech What’s your favorite time-killer activity during scenes? "I run and manage most of the technologically related parts of most shows that...

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Josie Butler

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Josie Butler

April 22, 2021

Name: Josie Butler Grade: 9 Role: Mrs. Darbus What’s your pre-show warm-up routine? "I don't really have one, but I guess I'd say making sure to drink water and going over lines if I need...

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Nick Stockenauer

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Nick Stockenauer

April 22, 2021

Name: Nick Stockenauer Grade: 12 Role: Coach Bolton What’s your pre-show warm-up routine? "I don't have one." Why did you decide to try out for the musical? "Mrs. DeMeester suggested...

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Abbey Calderwood

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Abbey Calderwood

April 22, 2021

Name: Abbey Calderwood Grade: 11 Position: Student Director How do you get in your zone before shows? "I make sure everything's running smoothly and everyone's ready to go." What’s your...

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Sophie Young

High School Musical Jr. Q&As: Sophie Young

April 22, 2021

Name: Sophie Young Grade: 12 Position: Head of Hair, Makeup, and Costume How do you get in your zone before shows? "I don't really think I'm ever out of the zone during shows. If I'm working...

High School Musical Jr. Q&As

High School Musical Jr. Q&As

April 22, 2021

Check out these Q&As with a few of the main cast members and the three crew heads of FHC's production of High School Musical Jr! Go to fhfineartscenter.com to purchase an in-person ticket or live stream...

A photo from Lin Manuel Miranda's poetry book,

And the poets have taught me how to transform my pain

April 19, 2021

Poetry is the language of unfathomable pain, of broken people. Poetry is the language of exquisite moments out of time, of mundane beauty rendered in words. Poetry is the language of this moment, with...

The Candlelight Ceremony in 2019, when the class of 2019 transferred leadership to the Class of 2020, the last year that Candlelight was normal

For two senior classes, the Candlelight Ceremony provides a flickering flame of hope

April 19, 2021

Alumna Meredith VanSkiver vividly recalls sitting in the audience of the Candlelight Ceremony her freshman year, enraptured by the sea of glowing candles, longing to someday be recognized in her senior...

I have this sticker on my water bottle in pink. Healing isn't linear.

Fate hasn’t delivered me here today

April 14, 2021

Every time I sit in front of this blank page, with too many fragments of ideas competing to become whole, the fear creeps back in—that I will run out of things to say, run out of ways to say the same...

Women's History Month Q&As: Vicki Felton

Women’s History Month Q&As: Vicki Felton

March 30, 2021

Name: Vicki Felton Years at the school: 18 Field: Special Education What are some of the most exciting experiences you’ve ever had? "Some of my most exciting experiences have been when I'm...

Women's History Month Q&As: Amy Stone

Women’s History Month Q&As: Amy Stone

March 30, 2021

Name: Amy Stone Years at the school: 23 Field: STEM What would you consider to be your greatest achievements?  "Graduating third in my class at Rockford High School [and] winning the Distinguished...

Women's History Month Q&As: Tracy Will

Women’s History Month Q&As: Tracy Will

March 29, 2021

Name: Tracy Will Years at the school: 22 Field: Math What would you consider to be your greatest achievements? "I am proud of the family I've built. I have a great husband and two children,...

Women's History Month Q&As: Laura Zilhaver

Women’s History Month Q&As: Laura Zilhaver

March 29, 2021

Name: Ms. Zilhaver Years at the school: 4 Field: The arts What would you consider to be your greatest achievements? "My ‘greatest achievements’ feel kind of ordinary to me. I am proud of the work...

A sketch of the waves in my heart, bottled by my own self-loathing

The dance and the waves and every moonlit night

March 29, 2021

The moon indifferently illuminates the shoreline where my feet rest in the sand, the cold pressure of the grains leaving a pattern on my skin.  The sun’s jurisdiction ends here; the moon watches...

This graphic comes from an exhibition, titled

Women’s History Month Q&As

March 26, 2021

The Central Trend is celebrating Women's History Month! Read our Q&As with female teachers from every department in the school as they discuss their experiences as women.

Dr. Anne Keller is an English 9 and AP Language and Composition at FHC since the beginning of this school year.

Women’s History Month Q&As: Anne Keller

March 26, 2021

Name: Anne Keller Years at the school: 1 Field: English What would you consider to be your greatest achievements? "Up there on my greatest achievements [is] getting my PhD—that was pretty...

Laura Stiles has been a teacher at FHC for 26 years

Women’s History Month Q&As: Laura Stiles

March 26, 2021

Name: Laura Stiles Years at the school: 26 Field: Social Studies What would you consider to be your greatest achievements? "I think that the assembly we pulled off—the Winterfest assembly?...

Whitley Morse has been the assistant principal at FHC for 3 years

Women’s History Month Q&As: Whitley Morse

March 25, 2021

Name: Whitley Morse Years at the school: 3 Field: Administration What would you consider to be your greatest achievements? "Giving birth to my daughter this past November. I didn't give in to having...

Señora Dykhouse has been a Spanish teacher at FHC for 35 years

Women’s History Month Q&As: Tammie Dykhouse

March 25, 2021

Name: Señora Dykhouse Years at the school: 35 Field: World Languages What would you consider to be your greatest achievements? "As far as my career goes, I am very excited about the fact that every...

A rainbow outside D&W this past summer that I can't stop writing about

Don’t leave me behind

March 22, 2021

The future is ubiquitous in the corridors of my mind. I’ve tried fruitlessly to capture her and put her on the page, but I’ve only managed fragments, tangential points in yet another self portrait.  But...

I painted my leg for real, the metaphor stands nonetheless.

Hello spring, I write poetry now

March 15, 2021

A mile and a half on roller skates, my palms and knuckles battered, and I’m sore for days after from hitting the ground too many times. But there were people at the park, and encouragement fell from...

FHC's clubs migrate from outdoor and virtual meetings to the opportunity for in-person meetings.

A sense of normalcy returns as both new and long-standing clubs gain their footing with in-person gatherings

March 15, 2021

Principal Steve Passinault has been committed to ensuring that education could prevail through even the darkest moments this year, but to prioritize the most possible consistency for the school year, he,...

Sophomore Maya Rogne with her dog, bundled up in the snow outside

Maya Rogne has Odyssey of the Mind to thank for her own odyssey in creativity and curiosity

March 10, 2021

Sophomore Maya Rogne once spent a few nights on the grounds of a former Hitler Youth training camp that had been converted into a summer camp.  The strange and solemnly historical experience composed...

The divine being has cloistered the rain

The divine being has cloistered the rain

March 8, 2021

The jar balances on a shelf below the window, shrouded by the sunlight on the best days, a constant in the ever-changing room. It’s painted in landscapes, in the scenery from dreams, in delicate curves...

I think it hurts too much to do it again, to ever take a photo like this one again.

To the fireflies and the light they abandoned

March 1, 2021

I’m unraveling knots, flipping through pages, dipping my brush into every bucket of paint. I’m scared to tell this story wrong, scared to distract from the point, scared to make something from nothing...

This photo of my best friends symbolizes everything I want for my future

Look for her anywhere but here

February 22, 2021

With no volition to call my own, no strength to change the tape, I am watching something else take control over my life, something I refuse to call me. I like to think that some higher power—Fate, Destiny,...

An extremely grainy photo—but nonetheless one of my favorites—from the day I started this list

A tabulation of all that she romanticizes

February 15, 2021

She's always romanticized what's at her fingertips, captured beauty in sentence fragments.   Like stained glass windows in high and hidden places— her church is everywhere.   Or...

A tweet from Superintendent Dan Behm, calling the first snow day of the 2020-21 school year and the first snow day since being shut down last year

The sanctity of snow days is preserved by a community that values safety and mental well-being

February 11, 2021

Last March, with another one of Michigan’s lagging winters reaching an inevitable end, the Forest Hills Public Schools district had only clocked in one snow day. It was a stark contrast to the “snow...

My thrift store pot and dollar tree flowers on top of the notebooks I can't stop collecting

Poems born from an aching soul

February 8, 2021

I can feel myself slipping again, could feel it potently in the overwhelming desire to slip back under it all. My fingertips are rubbed raw from scrabbling at the rocky precipice till they bleed.   No...

A little girl on a pink bike gave this flower to us, and then it was left in my car to wilt, and I guess you could say that flower is me.

She’s not getting enough water

February 1, 2021

She was just a seed, a thought,  a small yellow bloom in a rippling sea of flowers,  and she can’t swim,  so the sea scares her.    But in that sea of flowers,  she was brought...

Students talk about Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Bliss & Vinegar, burgers, Culver's, Starbucks, and Chick-fil-A.

An analysis of the best comfort food amidst a year of chaos and inconsistency

February 1, 2021

I’ve found an unconventional sort of home among the aisles of D&W Fresh Market—especially the version of them with makeshift tape arrows that I shamefully ignore—because my need for the comfort...

The horizon on a beach in Grand Haven, when it was too freezing cold

I’ve never really gotten to know the lines

January 25, 2021

I’m not sure if I like lines.    I guess you could say I like some of them, particularly some of the clearest ones.    The bold, definite ones that delineate the blended colors...

History teacher, Brad Anderson, standing in front a wall in his classroom, circa 2019

Inauguration Day in the classroom: a Q&A with Mr. Anderson

January 21, 2021

Name: Mr. Brad Anderson Classes: AP World History How many of your classes did you show the inauguration today, and for how long? “I started it when the dignitaries started to enter the US Capital...

Media Comm. teacher, Jeff Manders, seated at his desk, circa 2018

Inauguration Day in the classroom: a Q&A with Mr. Manders

January 21, 2021

Name: Mr. Jeff Manders Classes: Civics, Government, Media Communications How many of your classes did you show the inauguration in, and what parts of the inauguration did you show? “It was...

The inauguration proceedings depicted on a projector in one of FHC's classrooms

Inauguration Day and its place in the classroom: opinions from our teachers

January 21, 2021

Inauguration Day was a momentous occasion in the capitol—an event with significant precedent that was produced under a warped lens this year, remaining on par with the absurdity and unexpectedness that...

Me—in a kayak, risking my life by not wearing a life jacket, because I cannot, in fact, swim—living my teenage summer dreams and actually being happy for once.

Some thoughts about silence and what it feels like to sit on the edge of a dock

January 18, 2021

The silence I've come to know isn't really silence. It's merely all the noises that I've never stopped to listen to.   In the absence of every other macabre noise, I can hear...

It's a really long-winded way to say that she's learning what love is

It’s a really long-winded way to say that she’s learning what love is

January 11, 2021

She grew up on stories, was raised by them, if you will.   Between the pages of worn copies, her memories exist to be drawn up again by faintly familiar words. Between the pages,...

Me, my minivan, and the best times to hit the road

Me, my minivan, and the best times to hit the road

January 5, 2021

In the search for inexplicable satisfaction—the quest for perfection and just the right moment, the hurricane of “never enough, always more” that spirals around me incurably—I am left with just...

My family choosing a tree on a Christmas Tree Day when the world seemed black and white still

The little things and the things I don’t have to control

December 18, 2020

It was November 27 this year—my probable favorite day of the year, the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday but more importantly “Christmas Tree Day.”  When I was younger and the world was still...

TCT's The Countless Thanks: Natalie Mix

TCT’s The Countless Thanks: Natalie Mix

November 24, 2020

Jessie – for letting me stay longer than I should’ve I’ve already thanked you for months of quarantine that would have unmanageably lonely and mundane without you—for the all-nighters, hours...

A Tray of Eggshell Teacups

A Tray of Eggshell Teacups

November 16, 2020

In his timorous grasp, they quiver. Four teacups, delicate, intricate, finding solace on the table’s steady surface.  “Would you like anything else, ma’am?” He's...

Ben Lowen

Ben Lowen

November 10, 2020

Name: Ben Lowen Grade: 12 Role(s): Snow White, Cinderella, Dwarf, Demon 1. What are the advantages and disadvantages to having a smaller cast compared to other years? "I think that having...

Death Knows Her Name

Death Knows Her Name

November 9, 2020

A knife’s alluring glint, over folds of iridescent fabric, whispers her name enticingly.   But the children, little feet on cobblestoned paths. Her love, endearing acerbity...

Signs like this one were scattered across the city outside polling locations on Election Day

The future of the nation lies in the hands of this year’s voters

November 3, 2020

In the below-fifty-degrees-Fahrenheit chill and at only 7:15 am, the people have already congregated. The lines meander out the doors of each polling location, lines that at some point today will include...

There Was Blood in the Snow

There Was Blood in the Snow

November 2, 2020

There was blood in the snow.    The first snow of the season,  crystalline grains like crushed up minerals, coalescing into soft hills of white.   Enough to blanket the ground, enough...

a polychromatic shade of longing

a polychromatic shade of longing

October 26, 2020

It quickly became familiar, the permeating,  sometimes saccharine scent  of color in a bottle.   Stains on my skin became a regularity,  splatters on the floors,  dye-ruined...

Homecoming Court Q&As: Carson Deines

Homecoming Court Q&As: Carson Deines

October 23, 2020

1. What was your reaction when you heard your name called? "I was really shocked. I did not expect myself to be represented with that fantastic group of individuals." 2. Why do you think you were nominated? "Honestly,...

Ashley (in the cart) and her brother, Mason, inside a Target

Ashley Yarnell discovers her identity by following in her family’s footsteps

October 21, 2020

Influenced by her brother, Mason, and his theatre involvement, sophomore Ashley Yarnell was aware of at least one area of interest for herself when she began her freshman year of high school. But the spotlight...

A brief commentary on the world of fanfiction

A brief commentary on the world of fanfiction

October 19, 2020

Some nights I fall asleep to the monotonous droning of the day’s Supreme Court hearings, playing from my phone beside me. Others, I fall asleep with my phone clasped in my hand, thumb intermittently...

This is Topanga, and she made me happy for a brief moment, a little bit of sunlight before the darkness comes again. She looks a little sad to me, and I think that's fitting for where I'm at.

The sunlight isn’t enough

October 12, 2020

In the sunlight, nothing seems as broken.   She fills the gaps between the shattered pieces, holds them together like an ephemeral glue. Through the glass, all I can see are the...

The NHS symbol overlaying a cropped image from cottonbro on Pexels

The NHS Academic Success Center dons an unorthodox persona this year

October 9, 2020

In the fall of 2019, the National Honor Society was embarking on their newest journey, the Academic Success Center in the library, a space for students to receive tutoring from NHS members in any of FHC’s...

Antifa: an idea, an ideology, a movement

Antifa: an idea, an ideology, a movement

October 6, 2020

While it may have been barely audible over the onslaught of attacks and defenses being thrown about the debate-stage-turned-battlefield, most of the audience caught at least this much of Joe Biden’s...

A Dying Angel and a Dying Girl

A Dying Angel and a Dying Girl

September 28, 2020

Sari was dying.  Angels weren’t supposed to die this young. Not until they’d fulfilled their purpose. Which wasn’t supposed to happen until they’d completed many missions, touched many lives....

Improv Q&A: Benji Zorn

Improv Q&A: Benji Zorn

September 25, 2020

Name: Benji Zorn Grade: 11 1. How did you get into improv? Why did you decide to try out? "The way I got into improv is Gavin's mom told my mom to do improv. So then my mom would always continually...

Maddie Ostrowski has found her personal power in transcribing her imagination onto the page

Maddie Ostrowski has found her personal power in transcribing her imagination onto the page

September 23, 2020

Senior Maddie Ostrowski was once a little girl who placed sticky notes next to the passages she admired in her copy of Harry Potter, bookmarking those places where the words had been weaved together wonderfully....

To My Best Friend, I Leave My House

To My Best Friend, I Leave My House

September 21, 2020

Prompt from Kaiya Mikel: "It's Friday, and everyone here is bored, wishing they were in the casket instead of Ingrid" It’s Friday afternoon, and everyone here is bored, wishing they were in the casket...

The Lightbulb Continues to Glow

The Lightbulb Continues to Glow

September 15, 2020

Prompt by Lauren Batterbee: write about the life of a lightbulb   Frail fingers extend toward the faded cardboard box resting on a shelf under the dim fluorescent lights. She lifts the box,...

Three freshman girls showcase the positive spirit of the Class of 2024

Three freshman girls showcase the positive spirit of the Class of 2024

September 9, 2020

Amidst the daunting back to school season, the crisp fall breeze carries with it the promise of classic high school traditions that mark the beginning of the year like nothing else. Hunting through sparkling...

Until next time

Until next time

June 6, 2020

So here I am, in the most familiar space, facing a blank page once again.  This place is my home, yet I always struggle here. Here is where the words have no form yet, no shape. Here is where ambiguity...

The whole world paused, but we kept going

The whole world paused, but we kept going

May 20, 2020

The whole world paused. It took a breath and held it. It needed time. Time to grow, to heal. It begged us to rest with it, but we couldn’t stop. Even when all the signs told...

Late night Zoom calls and kindred spirits

Late night Zoom calls and kindred spirits

May 19, 2020

As an extrovert on the furthest end of the extroversion spectrum, I initially shrugged off the concept of FaceTime and Zoom calls as a substitute for genuine human contact. It was my all or nothing approach...

The garden she loved

The garden she loved

May 13, 2020

The garden was the first thing she ever loved. It was a beautifully lush expanse surrounded by an imposing brick wall. Stone paths meandered through the paradise, twisting and turning to reveal new sights...

Chad Scholten

Chad Scholten

May 6, 2020

Name: Chad Scholten Role: AP Environmental Science and Human Anatomy/Physiology teacher 1. What unexpected challenges have arisen in the switch to online teaching? "One unexpected challenge...

To everything I miss so much

To everything I miss so much

May 6, 2020

To my morning cup of coffee   And the hum of the coffeemaker  filling the groggy kitchen.  Coffee crackling into a thermos that will later be left forgotten  upon a chemistry...

When the credits roll

When the credits roll

April 29, 2020

The glass coffin lid was lifted. The apple was vanquished. True love was discovered. She was a princess once more. But every night, as she desperately tries to quiet her mind, visions dance across her...

The butterfly part three

The butterfly part three

April 22, 2020

Vora de la incògnita – edge of the unknown They were two golden threads dancing through space and time, gracefully entwined for the duration of this sacred epoch. But the curtain was closing on...

The butterfly part three

The butterfly part three

April 22, 2020

Click here for the complete story Vora de la incògnita - edge of the unknown They were two golden threads dancing through space and time, gracefully entwined for the duration of this sacred epoch.  But...

The butterfly part two

The butterfly part two

April 22, 2020

La vida va renéixer – life reborn The world was disparate from above—a rainbow of sundry buildings, a striking expanse of gorgeously neglected fields and yards. He was rendered breathless, attempting...

The butterfly part one

The butterfly part one

April 22, 2020

Papallona emergent – emerging butterfly She got up for the sole purpose of acquiring a glass of water when a flash of color caught her eye. It was the sort of mandatory trip that was just pressing...

The caterpillar

The caterpillar

April 22, 2020

Abans de la vida – before life Dim lamplight reflected off the gently rippling puddles and splashed glowing pools against the crumbling cement of the sidewalk. In the darkness, murmurs of activity...

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