The Hawk's Eye

We Are All Students

Anna Commander

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30 bullets in a round: that is the capacity for the semi-automatic AR-15 rifle which was legally purchased by the 19 year old Parkland shooter a full year before it was used to destroy 17 lives, 17 families, 17 groups of friends, 17 sisters, mothers, fathers, brothers, and so many more people than 17. The Smith and Wesson weapon’s uses are quoted as “Competition Shooting, Home Protection, Hunting, and Law Enforcement & Military.” This weapon can fire off continuous rounds of ammunition before reloading; it is described as “easy to accessorize, but hard to put down. [They] are lightweight and rugged embodying the best combination of function and form.” The sale of guns has been commercialized to the level of the sale of a kid’s toy. A weapon with the power to kill should not be described as “hard to put down” as if they were describing the newest Barbie doll.

The shooter was able to purchase the weapon at the age of 18. Three years before he could legally purchase alcohol. He was known to have previous anger-management and mental health issues, yet lackadaisical background checks allowed this teenager to purchase the semi-automatic murder weapon.

A popular argument is “guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” When I first heard that, it seemed logical, but upon reflecting further and listening to Emma Gonzalez, a student at Stoneman Douglas, I realized that this could have been a very different story had the shooter only had access to a knife. Authorities would have been able to detain him sooner. He would not have been able to recklessly sputter out bullets while simultaneously putting money in the NRA’s pockets.

A lot of my close family lives in Texas. In fact, just a few days ago, they emailed my dad a picture of them with a huge hog after a successful hunting trip. I am not against the second amendment and one’s right to bear arms. What I am against, however, is how out of context the American people have taken that amendment for today’s usage. In 1791, there were muskets and pistols that could fire about three effective rounds per minute. Now we are talking 30 [rounds], in a matter of seconds.

Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t see how I connect. I go to Head-Royce, a well-protected and safe school, I just don’t see this happening to me.” But the sad truth is, no one could see this coming. If you had asked the students a month before the shooting if they would have to hide away from windows, guard themselves from bullets with thick textbooks, and witness their peers and teachers bleed out in front of them on Valentine’s Day, they would all look at you in disbelief. Yet you still might be thinking, “well California has stricter gun laws than Florida.” While true, strict gun laws do not stop countless shooters every day up and down the West Coast. So for those of you who try to distance yourself from this issue – maybe because if you really thought about it, it would be too painful – I would encourage you to think what we have in common with the kids in Florida: we are all students.

We are all students who wake up early every morning to rush to the bus, who are up way too late working on homework, and who complain about how jam-packed their week is. We are all students who shouldn’t have to question their safety at a sacred space for learning. We are all students who shouldn’t have to have teachers carrying around guns as protection. The brave students of Stoneman Douglas High School have been able to add momentum to the long running gun control conversation, and I’m sure many of us have been a part of history class debates on gun control, but now, more than ever, it can no longer be a conversation.

This is not a one-off. This is not an issue you can talk about in History class and then dismiss until it is brought up again. For me, this feels like a personal attack that does not end today. For me, it does not end until semi-automatic weapons are banned, the gun purchasing age is raised to 21, background checks are re-vamped, and mental health is monitored closer especially during the high school years.

There are so many emotions that I have felt since February 14th: shock, anger, disbelief, denial, frustration, sadness. There are so many more things I wanted to talk about. However, for the sake of being relatively brief and letting other voices speak their opinions, I will end here. I wish I could say more, but mostly I wish the 17 victims could say more. Those 17 lives were not done making their impact: Alyssa, Scott, Martin, Nick, Aaron, Jaime, Chris, Luke, Cara, Gina, Joaquin, Alaina, Meadow, Helena, Alex, Carmen, and Peter. They were silenced.

Filed under Opinions, Sports, Spotlight

Roger Goodell

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Though the National Football League is a major source of media attention, there is a lot that goes unnoticed behind the scenes. When you hear about Tom Brady deflating footballs and the infamous Ray Rice tape, you picture the athletes carrying out their suspension on the sidelines. What you don’t see, however, is the man behind all the penalties: Roger Goodell.

When the School community was asked how they felt about Goodell, those who recognized the name had very similar opinions. “Roger Goodell is a useless commissioner,” says sophomore and avid football fan Damilare Aguda. “All he does is say ‘the NFL is working on it. Abuse is not tolerated by the NFL. Oops, another player punched his wife, oh darn,’” comments sophomore Dylan Evans. His opinion is most likely related to the way he handled the domestic abuse charges against Ray Rice. When a tape came out of the Baltimore running back dragging the limp body of his fiancé out of an elevator after viciously beating her unconscious, Goodell ruled to suspend him only two games. However, after Patriots quarterback Tom Brady allegedly deflated balls in the 2014 AFC Championship game against the Colts, Brady, who had not inflicted violence upon anyone, received a suspension twice as long as Rice’s.

Another time Goodell mishandled a domestic abuse case was with Giants kicker Josh Brown. After he privately admitted to repeated abuse of his wife in emails and journal entries, calling himself  “God” and her “his slave”,  they suspended him for just one game in 2015. The person the NFL blamed for this short suspension was his wife, Molly Brown, for not coming forward with the evidence. Why would she after the Ray Rice fiasco? This ruling caused vitriolic responses from analysts and players, but Brown’s suspension was only increased in 2017 after Goodell was criticized for suspending Ezekiel Elliott for six games in the 2017 season on counts of repeated domestic violence. His charges were put on and off hold three times.

While I believe that the NFL does not care about the health and safety of player spouses, they also do not care about the health and safety of their own players! After purposefully and repeatedly neglecting concrete evidence of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) which is a dangerous brain disease commonly associated with football players, Goodell tried and failed to hide the evidence from the public. To appease former players, he implemented the useless “concussion protocol,” which allows the medical staff to test for concussions during games. If a player is found to have a concussion, they are prohibited from re-entering the game that day or going to practice the day after. Experts speculate that this protocol will be futile against long term brain damage.

Goodell, a man unpopular amongst fans, players, and coaches, recently signed a five-year $200 million contract on December 6. The contract outraged NFL fans everywhere. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who previously tried to team up with other owners to impeach Goodell, has openly expressed displeasure in this new contract.

Some might ask why a commissioner who gets booed by fans as he walks onto the podium at every NFL Draft would have his contract extended to the 2023 season. The answer is this: Goodell works for the owners and answers to them and them only. With this in mind, consider the 2011 budget reform. Players got crushed as the NFL steered five percent of league revenues away from their income and put a salary cap on rookie contracts. Where does the extra money go? To the very owners that elect him. It is frustrating to see that this is what’s behind the sport that I love and to learn that even on a Sunday morning you cannot escape corruption.

 

 

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Marijuana Legalization

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Ever since marijuana was legalized in California, business has been booming. In November of 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized the recreational use of cannabis for adults, age twenty-one and over. The proposition was put into action on New Year’s Day. The legalization of marijuana is definitely a win for the state. Unlike the five other states that allow legalized marijuana, California has the sheer size to grow the agricultural aspect of the marijuana industry; it also has a larger population than the other five states combined. California’s newly-formed pot industry will attract tourists as well. Michael Gordon, CEO and co-founder of Kush Tourism, claims that 30 percent to 40 percent of his customers are tourists. Opponents to the growing industry have raised concerns regarding a lack of restrictions. However, under the law, people age 21 and over have limits to the amount they can consume: 28.5 grams of marijuana. Additionally, there are new cannabis taxes: a 15 percent excise tax and a cultivation tax. If someone is involved with commercial cannabis activity without a license, they are subject to penalties; each day of unauthorized activity accounts for one violation. With these regulations comes a decrease in gang-related violence. People who encounter injustice of any kind can consult with police and the judicial system without finding alternative ways, such as violent ones. Attorney General of the United States Jeff Sessions has brought up debunked facts regarding marijuana in the past: “I believe it’s an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we’re seeing real violence around that”. On the contrary, Denver saw a 2.2 percent decrease in violent crime rates after their first year of legalized cannabis. In 2016, the pot industry created more than 18,000 jobs in Colorado. A study from the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, Harvard University, and Western Carolina University has concluded that the implementation of legal cannabis in the United States has neither made a positive or negative impact with drug abuse. Sessions is facing more criticism after releasing a statement virtually rolling back an Obama-era policy. He released the statement in early January: “Today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country”. In other words, under the Obama Administration the federal government “turned a blind eye” towards every state’s view on marijuana. Sessions wants the opposite to happen. Clearly, the taxpayer’s money could be spent elsewhere. California Representative in the House Julia Brownley responded to Sessions in a tweet. She commented, “The state of California has the right to enact its own policies on marijuana, and the voters have spoken. Rather than wasting taxpayer money going after medical and recreational marijuana users, Attorney General Sessions should concentrate on protecting Americans from criminals”. To conclude, California’s young marijuana industry will likely expand to become the nation’s largest. It will benefit the economy, while still having the ideal regulations. It will also decrease gang-related violence and will not have an impact with drug abuse or addiction. Things are looking golden for the Golden State.

 

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Online Censorship

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On January 1st, 2018, popular YouTuber Logan Paul released a video in which he went into Japan’s Aokigahara, commonly known as the ‘Suicide Forest’. In the video, he filmed a dead body, presumed to be a victim of suicide. After seeing the body, Paul did not stop filming, and even made jokes about the victim. As expected, this video drew immediate and strong backlash, and after six million views in less than a day, Paul deleted it. YouTube did not delete the video, even though according to its Community Guidelines, they do not allow “violent or gory content that’s primarily intended to be shocking, sensational, or disrespectful”. Though YouTube did publicly criticize Paul after the video, they were not directly responsible for its removal despite the violation of their guidelines. This video, and YouTube’s reaction, have prompted its viewers to wonder whether such content should be censored more strongly.

In my opinion, no content like this should exist on YouTube. To publish content that trivializes suicide, and to portray it sensationally, would only further the already great stigma against suicide and mental health issues. Even though the treatment of suicide as a joke is already rampant in our society, there is no reason YouTube should aim to protect that attitude. Even if the platform does not support this type of content, it is ultimately its job to examine all uploaded videos, especially by channels with many subscribers, and determine whether they are appropriate. Allowing a large channel to publish a video effectively communicates that the website is comfortable with its content. In this case, one of the largest social media platforms in the world is sending a message that it is acceptable to treat suicide in an insensitive way, which it clearly should not.

Despite nearly universal negative reception, there are still some sentiments in support of Logan Paul: mainly “he made a mistake, but everybody makes mistakes”, and “I’m not offended by this content, so I still support him”. While it is incredibly clear that the video was misguided, it was not a mistake: Paul went into the ‘Suicide Forest’ on purpose, he filmed the body on purpose, and he uploaded the video on purpose, not by mistake. While everybody does make mistakes, not everybody chooses to publish footage of a victim of suicide, and not everybody has millions of people seeing their poor choices. Those who have large followings need to be especially aware of the impact their content can make. As for supporters who did not take offense to the video, their support and lack of reaction does not mean everybody will react in the same way. Supporters of Logan Paul are forgetting why a humorous attitude towards suicide is harmful to others. Content that turns suicide into a casual video might not offend viewers who have never contemplated suicide or had a connection to it, but for those who battle suicidal thoughts, depression, or other mental health problems, seeing videos like this could have disastrous repercussions. It is up to YouTube to protect all of its viewers from another “mistake”.

Course Selections Article

By: Annie Steuart and Sofiya Lyall

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Do you feel like you are stranded in the desert? Do you feel like you are an Athenian student stranded in the wilderness with no water and food, terrifyingly close to DEATH? If this is you, listen we’re finna drop some knowledge…

Contrary to the PsYchEdelIc imagery that our graphic suggests, this is actually an article on course selection at Head Royce.  It has come to our attention that students often find themselves in a hopeless, stranded-in-a-desert like condition because they are taking classes they find uninteresting. We have heard students complain time and time again about the obscene stress they face each time they step into their accelerated math class, or their challenging AP science classes. Invariably, when a question is posed to students regarding the reason they subject themselves to classes they so abhor, the response is something along the lines of ‘It looks better on a college transcript.’

At Head Royce, and in California specifically, there is a stigma surrounding what qualifies intelligence. Often, it seems it is defined by your ability to stay afloat in advanced math and science classes. Though it is understandable that schools in California put an emphasis on STEM courses, given the revenue coming from technological innovation in Silicon Valley, it nonetheless frankly demeaning to students with a predisposition for different subjects. To impose a system upon students which encourages them to prioritize math and science courses, despite the fact that these courses are not appealing to everyone, creates a burnt-out, uninspired student body who take classes not out of passion for the subject matter, but simply to appeal to a college board which prioritizes a certain type of learner. It is critical that students are encouraged to take classes that they are genuinely interested in, so that they can eventually develop skills in a subject they are passionate about. This means that outside of core classes, the only question that should be asked while scheduling  is “What are you interested in?” Currently, it feels like emphasis is placed upon classes that will “challenge” you and therefore make you look more appealing to colleges. But what if you just rode out your desert trip a little bit, found something you were legitimately interested in and went DEEEP MAHN? Classes that challenge you are certainly beneficially and in most cases, inevitable, but, if given a choice, make sure you opt for a class that is not EARTH-SHATTERINGLY DIFFICULT or overly unpleasant.

In addition, this prioritization of STEM courses creates a power divide between different fields of learning, and makes students who may possess a different type of intelligence feel inferior, and unrespected by their administration and fellow peers. More broadly, by encouraging students to select courses which do not develop their own strengths, we condemn our youth to the idea that life is about suffering through insurmountable obstacles in order to achieve some form of pay-off in the distant future. While teaching youth the importance of perseverance is certainly laudable; compelling students to increase the time they spend on subjects they feel no emotional connection to or aptitude for is detrimental, in that it discourages students to develop skills in classes they are passionate about. By forcing students to waste their time absorbing and regurgitating information they have no interest in, we create an education system interested purely in a transactional experience, one devoid of true meaning and so far removed from real-world application, students lose all sense of purpose, and eventually lose all excitement for learning.

Those who favor the humanities shouldn’t feel obligated to necessarily take that harder math class if it is really going to be digging into time that they could be sleeping or doing something beneficial to one’s health. There shouldn’t be comments like: “Oh but he/she is in the easier math class” as if this is somehow a testament of your intelligence or willingness to put in effort. And the best part is, if you want to go to Death Valley and collect GEODES and like be obsessed with that, you should have time in your schedule to do so. Passion can be hard to find when you are just grinding through the everyday, uninterested in what it is you are actually doing. Interestingly as well, when you are feeling fulfilled and excited to learn, I think feeling excited about something is much easier. FIND YOUR GEODES MY G’S.

Breaking Up on Valentine’s Day

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Are you in a rut? Your partner getting you down? Is all the love and romance in the air just sickening you? ‘Tis the season of St. Valentine? Many naive adolescents believe the true meaning of Valentine’s Day is to express affection and active stimulation towards their lover. The romance that is associated with this holiday is a common misconception that has somehow gravely infected our current society. The widely accepted celebration of St. Valentine has been altered with each generation. The true meaning has been lost.

Our story begins in the year 4 AD, in a small village on the outskirts of Ancient Mesopotamia. Gilgamesh had recently been democratically elected Prime Minister, and ancient marijuana had just been legalized. Doris Burke was nine and half months pregnant when she watched her husband admire himself in the mirror for the last time. Without saying a word, she swiftly grabbed her belongings and headed out the sliding glass door of the hut. She never saw her husband again.

Burke gave birth to her beautiful son two days later. She named him Valentine. Growing up, Valentine Burke was always picked on. He was always last kid chosen when the others picked teams for chariot racing and basketball. He had an abnormally large head, and had earned the nickname “Abnormally-Large-Headed-Kid”. Lastly, he never believed in love. That is until, he met Kassandra.

They met at the local 24 Hour Fitness, and the connection was instantaneous. She was on the treadmill, he was on the elliptical, and the song playing in the background was “Low” by the Grandelius Flo Rida. He worked up all his courage and approached the young beauty.

“Great weather we’re having.”

“Yep,” she responded seductively.

After that, he went back to the gym day after day, hoping to see her. Their secret rendezvous at the gym quickly blossomed into a loving relationship. They picnicked under the breathtaking view of the Mesopotamian night sky, as he pointed out the constellations of Orion and Cassiopeia. They went to Ikea and pretended to be a married couple, shopping for their new two bedroom apartment flat. And he dressed in a trench coat, holding a boombox under her window that played “In Your Eyes”.

Life seemed perfect for Valentine Burke, he had just reached Saint status (but that’s a story for another time), and soon, he realized that he didn’t just like her, he didn’t just like like her. When he was with her, the world stopped spinning, time froze, and nothing else mattered. She taught him how to love.

If our story ended here, then the current Valentine’s Day traditions of chocolate, hearts, and flowers would be appropriate. Unfortunately, this story does not have a happy ending.

Just as St. Valentine learned to love, he learned to hate. On February sixteenth, his one year anniversary with Kassandra, he came home with chocolates, flowers, and a ring. But instead of the warm welcome he had expected, he got something much worse. Kassandra dumped Valentine, forgetting that it was their anniversary, then changed her facebook status to single an hour later, he was stalking her page.

For the first century following this day, the world celebrated Valentine’s Day with contempt. People broke up with their significant others, and gave each other mud instead of chocolate, weeds instead of roses, gift cards instead of jewelry. The rise of consumerism and materialism has transformed the once historical holiday into a phony celebration for phony people.

So, if your relationship isn’t working out, and you can’t stand the thought of another day with your partner, do not listen to your “friends” who tell you to wait until after Valentine’s Day. Do not listen to them say it is “heartless” or “cruel” to dump someone on Valentine’s Day. In fact, if you do, you will be the one staying true to the holiday.

As for the “how to break up with someone” you read in the title, it is really quite simple. Just tell them: “It’s not me, it’s you.”

Freshmen Dating

Children+holding+hands
Children holding hands

Children holding hands

Getty Images/Flickr Open

Getty Images/Flickr Open

Children holding hands

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Freshman year has always been and always will be dominated by the actions of hormone-fueled young teens struggling to break out of their shells and speak with – or, if they dare to be so bold, date – a person whom they find attractive. But dating as a freshman is not so simple a feat. In fact, dating as a freshman has proven to be quite complex and delicate. There are things to consider such as curfew, transportation, money… the list goes on. Yes, there are also benefits freshmen enjoy in the world of dating that older kids do not get to enjoy. So, what does it mean to date as a freshman?

A freshman beginning their foray into the dating world must consider the issue of transportation. A freshman cannot yet drive on their own, resulting in a complete dependence on public transportation or, more likely, the services of a visibly uncomfortable middle-aged man or woman, whether it be a parent proud of their child for finding love or a Lyft driver swallowing their cringe-fueled laughter in order to secure a five-star rating.

Some freshmen have strict curfews. I can see the parents yelling from the porch steps now, “Be sure to get back by 10:00 honey! You kids have fun.” Unfortunately for freshmen, the curfew problem is largely out of your hands and is something that only time and trust can remedy.

There is a general awkwardness and inexperience that comes with dating as a freshman. Impulsive actions driven by a hormone imbalance certainly don’t help when trying to snag a suitable mate. In time, things inside will settle down and become a little more manageable, but for now, the inherent awkwardness that comes with just being a freshman is unavoidable. Sorry.  

Do not let this discourage you from using Valentine’s Day to finally profess your love and go on a date with the 14-year-old of your dreams. At a restaurant, many freshmen still possess the youthful glow of a “12 or under,” therefore making them eligible for the deals and half-price meals only available on a kids menu. Similarly, movie theatres might offer cheaper tickets to a pair of lovestruck youngsters.

Freshmen are quite busy with the perils of the infamous “iSearch,” but most are unaware that the iSearch provides wonderful opportunities for romance. Need a peer editor? Ask the person you want to date! Need help organizing the ever-important iSearch binder? You guessed it, ask the person you want to date. Need an interview subject? Ask the parent of the person you want to date!  

Of course, this article is only helpful if someone does actually agree to go on a date with you. There is always the very, very real possibility of rejection, humiliation, loss of pride, tears, loss of friendships — but do not let it faze you. Remember: Trust the process, and have a great Valentine’s Day.

Filed under Opinions, Showcase

Valentines Day MadLib

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Dear ________________ (crush’s name),

 

I still remember the first time I ________________ (verb, past tense) my eyes on you. It was during ________________(school subject) class, and you came in to give ________________ (a teacher) a ________________ (noun). You were wearing a ________________ (color and piece of clothing), jeans, and white ________________ (shoe brand). The first thing I noticed was your ________________ (adjective) ________________ (noun), and your beautiful ________________ (noun). Since that very moment, I must admit that I have had a(n) ________________ (adjective) crush on you. If you want to, I would love to take you to ________________ (place) and maybe even go to ________________ (another place), as well. Enjoy some ________________(food) and maybe watch the sunset at ________________ (place). I have never been so ________________ (verb) by someone and I would be so ________________ (adjective) if you would be my valentine!

 

Love,

________________ (your name)

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Netflix Recommendations

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There are so many Netflix shows and movies to choose from that it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. We have a few recommendations for you in order to minimize the time you spend searching for shows. One of the most popular shows, especially among Head-Royce Students, is a series called Grey’s Anatomy. This show focuses on a hospital and the lives of the doctors both inside and outside of work.

If you’re looking for a more scary show, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries are both very popular. Pretty Little Liars is an intense show about four teenage girls who have a stalker who calls themselves ‘A’. The girls have to deal with all of the threats and pranks that get pulled on them. The whole show centers ar trying to find out who ‘A’ is. Vampire Diaries, on the other hand, is about a town, Mystic Falls, filled with both supernatural creatures and regular humans. The show focuses on a love story between a vampire and a normal girl.

If you’re looking for a more realism in your drama series, Scandal will definitely have you hooked. It is about a a managing firm in DC that works closely with The White House and helps people who are accused of crimes. If Scandal sounds a little too mainstream for you, Orange is the New Black might be your thing. It’s a crime and comedy show that focuses on the corruption in a women’s prison.

If you’re looking for a spooky mystery, Stranger Things is great show for you. This show takes place in a small town in Indiana where strange occurrences begin to happen. The battle against supernatural forces and thrilling plot will surely get you obsessed.

One very popular show that many people enjoy is Gossip Girl. This show follows a group of teens who live in the upper east side of New York that are addicted to sending in tips to an anonymous source called Gossip Girl. They group must overcome many obstacles which threaten their reputation. These are just a few of many Netflix shows that you should check out whenever you have free time.

Tips for Single People on Valentine’s Day

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Many people think that it is bad to be single on Valentine’s Day, but in reality being single is so much better.  Firstly, if you do not have a significant other in your life than there is no need to waste your money on gifts for other people. This is only one of the many amazing parts of being single on Valentine’s Day. Another tip that singles can use on Valentine’s Day is to host an anti-Valentine’s Day party. If you are single, and you do not want to be around couples, having an anti-Valentine’s Day party is great. You can meet other single people and eat all the junk food that you want. On the topic of eating junk food, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to drop your New Year’s Resolution. Many people break or forget their Resolutions in the first few weeks of the year. But, if you have remained true to your resolution, let being single on Valentine’s Day be your excuse to let it fade from memory. You won’t have to worry about being held back by some pointless annual tradition anymore. Going out on the town with good some good single friends is also an excellent choice. Going to see a movie, eating out, and roaming the streets provide are perfect opportunities to mock couples from afar with your other single friends. Lastly, if you do not have anybody to hang out with, and you are not invited to or throwing an anti-Valentine’s Day party, just set aside your worries and watch that Netflix show that you have been waiting to watch, and eat like calories are an imaginary construct. Being single on Valentine’s Day is not as bad as people think and might even be better.

 

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Women’s March

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The Women’s March on January 21, 2017 sent a strong message to President Trump that many were concerned with his rhetoric and policy plans. The Women’s March movement spawned from a Facebook post by Teresa Shook of Hawaii just after Mr. Trump’s election. Though it is a ‘Women’s March,’ marchers are taking to the streets for a variety of reasons. Some are marching to promote LGBTQ rights, others for workers, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, and many other issues.

Over five million people around the world participated in the march. Washington D.C. had the largest turnout of more than 470,000 people. Attendance in New York City was more than 400,000, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. Attendance in Boston was 175,000, according to Nicole Caravella, a spokeswoman for Mayor Martin J. Walsh. The Bay Area also had a strong showing with over 60,000 marchers in Oakland and over 100,000 in San Francisco.

During the march, both male and female marchers could be seen wearing pink “pussy hats” complete with cat ears as a unique visual statement. The collective use of these hats was a unifier among those who view the new President as a misogynist.   

Additionally, celebrity speakers such as Scarlett Johansson, Madonna, Michael Moore, and Alicia Keys were among the thousands activists that came out to support the march. A great quote by America Ferrera summarizes some of the ideals that the march was fighting for: “It’s been a heart-rending time to be both a woman and an immigrant in this country, But the president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America! And we are here to stay.”

Signs and phrases like “Get your Tiny Hands off my Body”, “Women Rights are Human Rights”, “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance”, and “You are not my President” could be seen at rallies held for the Women’s March. These signs motivate the demonstrators and represent their cause.

Although this was a massive turnout for the Women’s March, their goal is not close to being completed.  They have a campaign to do “10 actions for the first 100 days”.  The goal is to have a separate action every 10 days for the next 100 days to promote issues that matter to their individual supporters.  The first action is to, “Write a postcard to your Senators about what matters most to you- and how you’re going to continue to fight for it.” They will continue to post new actions on their website in the weeks ahead. As it says on their website, “our march forward doesn’t end here.” 

Top Albums of 2016

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  1. Black Star-David Bowie

“Black Star” is truly a masterpiece. As we all know, David Bowie passed away this year and this album is essentially the story of his battle with cancer and reconciliation with death. I am uncertain that there has been an album made by a dying man and released after his death. This album is possibly the most heart wrenching and possibly one of the best albums in the last decade. David Bowie has delivered one of the best musical swan songs in history.

 

  1. Coloring Book-Chance the Rapper

Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book” is a fantastic follow up to 2011’s Acid Rap.  It seems that Chance has really matured as there is a clear improvement on the production.  Chance beautifully blends gospel music and contemporary hip-hop.  However, it was slightly disappointing to see that Chance chose to go with more generic features on his album.  Instead of Ab-Soul and Twista, who were featured in Acid rap, his features in this album were Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber. Despite this, Chance seems to have gotten the best out of his features. This album is great.

 

  1. untitled unmastered.-Kendrick Lamar

2015’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” was highly acclaimed, so following it up is a challenge. While this is not a new album in the same way, it seems “untitled unmastered.” is a continuation of the “To Pimp A Butterfly” era. The album is for all intents and purposes is a B-sides album. The cuts on the record are rough around the edges, but for the patient listener are worth it. It is truly amazing to see that even when Kendrick is not “trying” persay he is making better rap than most others out there.

 

  1. 4 Your Eyez Only-J. Cole

Once again J. Cole has tried to go double platinum with no features and he very well could be successful. “4 Your Eyez Only” embraces the modern jazz rap sound that has become so popular over the last few years. J. Cole delivers some great pop rap tracks, while also tackling some heavy topics. This album is a great successor to 2014’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive”.

 

  1. Views-Drake

Drake, while not delivering anything groundbreaking, has delivered another album ripe with hits. He exercises the same R&B/ Rap sound we are used to from him. However, unlike “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” the album focuses less on rap and more singing. There’s a reason the 6 God is held to such high mainstream acclaim and this album is a perfect reason why.

 

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