February has brought about the time to create senior pages. I have spent time scrolling through my camera roll, searching for the perfect photos that can encapsulate four years of high school into a single 8″x10″ page.
I found photos of my friends. Photos of projects I had done in art class. Photos I had taken for AP World History projects. Sifting through hundreds of memories to find the most valuable moments has proven to be more difficult than I had thought. I have narrowed it down to about forty photographs, which, if I were to use them all, would be about a centimeter wide each.
While small on paper, many memories still remain as vivid as the day I experienced them. I remember carving pumpkins at my freshman Halloween dance. Is that memory less valuable than the time I hung my art in an exhibit? Do I feature friends, experiences, or accomplishments? What photograph will take up the most space?
As I sift through the photos, I imagine what words will be written on a page. I could write a classic senior quote, a thank you to those who helped me through school, or simply my name in a basic font.
I know my senior page will encapsulate my high school experience as I remember it. I just need to find what moment will serve as the biggest picture.
This year I learned that there are two types of Christmas trees: a noble and a douglas.
I was standing in the parking lot of Lowe’s, searching the fenced in barn for this year’s tree. To my left, there were the douglasses. I knew that any one of them would look great in my living room. They had the classic Christmas tree feel, and I felt satisfied with the quality.
Then, I looked to my right. Propped along the wooden fences were the plush, green noble trees. And they were, indeed, noble. The trees looked as though they came straight out of a holiday hallmark movie. The branches looked as though they grew to meet cold winter snow, and I could not picture any kind of tree that represented the holiday better.
I again turned to my left. The douglass trees then looked drab. Dying, even. The only thing that made them more appealing than the tall nobles was the pricetag. I sorted through each of them, however, and found one that would suit my living room. I admired it and it’s imperfections seemed to disappear. But I again turned towards the nobles.
The contrast in beauty was striking. The tree I had found did not seem as beautiful anymore.
Since this global pandemic situation, I can say that I’ve been pretty inactive. I have no motivation to be active at this point. It is not a good time to go out and have fun with friends, and I can see my flaps on the belly clearly, so I decided to start home workouts. I do not have a lot of experience in this field, so I had to look up some videos on Youtube, and as I expected there were millions of videos of workouts that you can do by yourself. I decided to do 100 pushups every day and some cardio.
I do not know If I can keep up with this routine for months, but I will try my best to get in shape, so I don’t have to struggle when I go back to school.
I believe it is worth time, so I suggest you guys do it too. Exercises vitalize your body and mind.
I truly hope everyone is safe, and this situation will get better soon.
I’ve been trying to get my dad to stop eating meat since I was four years old. We traveled to Ireland and I remember watching him eat bacon day after day and wanting nothing more than for him to understand the terrible health risks. I’ve always been worried about his health… His “weight loss” diets would always consist of meats and cheese (protein fads) along with Diet Ginger Ale… He would lose weight and looked fit so it worked for him, but I became more and more worried.
I tried to explain to him that natural sugars are okay and animal products were truly the problem. He was raised in a family of ten siblings so if he didn’t eat what was served (unhealthy crappy foods) he wouldn’t eat, period. Meats, processed foods and dairy was on the menu during his upbringing. So when I was young he was hard on me for my decisions because he simply didn’t have the proper knowledge.
As I got older he started to support my lifestyle more and more, eventually taking me to vegan festivals and even dining with me to enjoy high quality vegan foods. He even asked me where he could get a metal straw to help with plastic pollution. I figured this was as far as he would ever go. I accepted this reality and kind of gave up on him, sadly. I figured he would never change and that was okay…Because everyone is different right?
When I got the call last month…it was my dad on the phone telling me he is going plant based after watching “The Game Changers” documentary on Netflix. I was in utter shock. Out of everyone in my life, he would have been the last person on my list I would ever expect to go vegan. For me, this showed me hope for humanity! He is the most “manly” guy I’ve ever met so for him to make this change is amazing. With all the stereotypes about vegan guys being weak, feminine and all that other nonsense animal product companies endorse, this shows me how anyone can do it just letting go of their ego. My dad said, “All the research supports the vegan diet and this way of life is by far the most healthy. I have always known that you are on the right track. Now I am seeing that eating plant based can even build muscle, strength and healthy blood flow. It seems that it can also lower my cholesterol which is elevated at this time. I am so proud of you for paving the way. You are a great inspiration to me and I’m never eating meat again.”
A lot of the time people will tell me they would totally go vegan if they could, but it would be “too hard,” “I tried and just couldn’t” or it’s not the time and they will eventually make the switch… But the time is now. We have the resources. Nobody cares about getting the right nutrients until veganism comes up. People will be eating McDonald’s all day and act like veganism would just be detrimental to their health. Another excuse is that it’s too expensive. It is simply not expensive to go to your local grocery store and buy a can of beans or some vegetables. Research the right foods and stop saying you “can’t.” Stop making excuses to make yourself feel like a better person because it is total BS.
This is a lifestyle. And yes, changing your lifestyle is a big deal but crucial for your health and well being. This switch will change your life, and the ones in it, but only for the better. I hope my dad can be an inspirational success story and help you and your family on your own health journeys.
The sixth season of BoJack Horsemanhas just arrived. It’s a story about a horse… man.
Season 6 is going to be the last season of the masterpiece. It really makes you think when you watch BoJack Horseman. It makes you think about your life, it shows how BoJack lives in all of us.
Creating a connection between the audience and the characters is, I believe, a prime goal for the shows. Why else would we watch it, just to see strangers suffer?
However, there is more to it. There is something about BoJack Horseman that haunts you. Some say it’s the Nihilism, to that, I partly agree. But what if life is indeed meaningless? Then it wouldn’t be Nihilism at all. It would just be… life.
BoJack Horseman is not just a show. It may be the most realistic fiction there is, and that’s why we love it. We savor the realism in the story of BoJack Horseman, and suffer for it.
I hope for BoJack to get a happy ending, and for all of us, too.
I always go to the movies purely for entertainment. I’ve never gone to a movie where I’ve left inspired about my future.
But after watching On the Basis of Sex on Saturday, I couldn’t wait to be a lawyer.
The movie was based off the life of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She was the top of her class at both Harvard’s and Columbia’s law schools, but she wasn’t allowed to practice law in New York City solely on the basis that she was a woman during this time.
The story followed her through her first case following a male who wanted a care giver tax deduction, but the law stated that only women or widowed men could be care givers.
This case was the spark that started a series of changes in laws contributing to giving women their rights, many cases won by RBG herself.
Ginsberg went from a lawyer fighting sex-based discrimination against people who wouldn’t listen to being a Supreme Court justice with a 96-3 vote from Congress.
If that’s not inspirational for a young female and aspiring lawyer, then I don’t know what is.
Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I would make up cases and make my family act as the other lawyers and defendants. I went to a mock trial program at UCLA over the summer and most of my daydreams lately have been about excelling in law school.
I’m pretty sure I’m more excited for law school than I am for college.
Watching that movie made me excited for my future, excited to live in NYC, and excited practice law and work on influential cases.
So, thank you RBG. I hope to follow in your footsteps on the path you’ve helped create.
Over spring break, I had the opportunity to see The Book of Mormon live in New York City. To put it simply, the whole musical was pure genius. The whole show was hilarious, the choreography incredible, and the singing even more so.
However, despite how much I loved the show, I’m surprised that it’s even still on Broadway. I could easily say it’s one of the most controversial shows to exist, yet somehow, it’s not that controversial. In fact, according to some people I’ve talked to, Kinky Boots is more controversial simply because of the cross dressing, completely ignoring the fact that the Book of Mormon was offensive to just about every race, religion, and sexuality.
I could tell that the whole musical is basically satirical to the Mormon Religion, but in the progressive society we live in, I’m still trying to ponder how the Book of Mormon has not been shut down by Twitter and Instagram activists alike. Either people don’t watch Broadway shows enough, or it isn’t seen as a problem, even though one Tweet intended to be a joke could be interpreted wrong and ruin someone’s life.
Now, I’m going to dive into an overly, probably unnecessary, analysis of the whole musical and the music included.
For those who haven’t seen the musical yet, it follows the story of two young Mormons who travel to Uganda to convert the people there to the Mormon religion. The musical basically mocks the Mormon religion, but also uses offensive stereotypes of other races and sexualities to get their point across.
This whole analysis isn’t me criticizing the musical. In fact, it was probably one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen besides Hamilton or Aladdin, but I’m just genuinely trying to figure out how this musical hasn’t caused more controversy.
But then I realized the answer, and it’s because the entirety of the show is mocking the extremities of the Mormon faith and being entirely satirical of it. Maybe everyone who’s seen it and every critic who’s analyzed it has realized that that is the whole purpose of the show, and everyone who buys a ticket is ready to either be offended or be entertained on a whole new level.
First, let’s talk about the song “Hasa Diga Eebowa,” a song the citizens of Uganda sing when the two Mormons travel to the town for the first time.
To translate just the song title, it’s saying “F**K You God,” and that alone should’ve caused uproar to some of the people watching it, however it ended up just causing the whole audience to burst into laughter.
But the reason is that there were these people in Uganda suffering from hunger, a corrupt government, and many other issues (not to forget all the stereotypes of third world countries in Africa they mentioned), and there were these two guys trying to sugarcoat their troubles and convert them to their religion. That was saying that all their problems would go away if they followed the word of the book. Maybe that’s a flaw of all religions alike, that problems won’t just go away with a little bit of optimism. The song was criticizing that idea, but in a way that made it capturing and hilarious.
Next song, is “Turn It Off” which was basically a song about a little trick they had to turn off their emotions or “bad” thoughts, one of these, including homosexuality. Now that’s homophobic isn’t it? Was that the intention of the writers, or was it, yet again, being satirical about the faith? Were they criticizing the fact that the religion that preached to be good, was being bad to people who didn’t fit their standards? They weren’t necessarily being homophobic, but they were using examples of homophobia to shine light on the issues that came with the faith.
Next, was “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” which was my favorite song in the whole show. Basically, Elder Price broke rule seventy-two and was now having a nightmare where he was sent into Hell for eternity. There’s the fact that he was in Hell with Hitler, Genghis Khan, and Jeffrey Dahmer, but he thought he was the most evil of them all. Now, that’s being critical of the ridiculous expectations of Mormons and rules they have to follow. The fact that one little bad act was sinful, and left them believing that they were sinful at the same level as some of the most evil people in history, that’s ridiculous. Now, this example in the show is definitely hyperbole, but it’s still a real problem addressed even if it’s to a much lesser extreme.
Those are just a few examples, but how is this show that’s so insulting still so widely accepted as only comical?
Maybe it’s because it’s so hilarious that people don’t really care, or maybe it’s the fact that it’s a musical meant to be mocking and not actually real life, but isn’t the point of the show to mock the actualities of the religion’s extremities?
I don’t know the definite answer, I’m still trying to figure it out, but for now I’ll keep listening to the songs and continue to analyze this show one too many times.
Just this past Friday, March 30, A Series of Unfortunate Events season two arrived with gusto. Streaming on titan platform Netflix, season two has expanded from eight episodes to ten and takes the views up through book nine.
This season sees the introduction of the two remaining Quagmire triplets, a swagger filled Nathan Fillion stepping into the role of Jacques Snicket, and a wonderful, fourth wall breaking, sense of self awareness that shows of this nature often lack.
While yes it does follow a predictable plot line, which was a problem many had with the first season: bad guardian –> something terrible –> Baudelaires escape. The beauty of this repetitive and predictable plot line though is it allows actors like Neil Patrick Harris (Count Olaf) and Nathan Fillon (Jacques Snicket) to really work their roles and have fun doing so, which is reflected as fully realized and sharp characters.
The plot, instead of taking front and center like most shows/movies, takes a backseat to an incredibly immersive and rich world. Instead of trying to turn darkly fantastical source material into highly approachable comic realism (e.g. Marvel Comics), the plot champions a wonderful sort of self-realized, almost escapist fantasy that is unafraid to hit viewers in the face with a strong message of: This is our world, not yours.
With this world also comes the introduction of the highly secretive and, thus far, very vague secret society of VFD as the Baudelaires chase after red herring after red herring (ha).
This season is wonderful and keeps the Baudelaires on the move, it maintains the spirit of the books and the first season with dexterity, and manages newly introduced plot lines with ease. I recommend this show so highly it and I are probably in space. Go watch it.
Now I may be a bit biased by the fact that I get to see one of my all time favorite series on screen, if one is in the mood for a more comprehensive look at season two (spoiler warning) there is one here.