The Hawk's Eye

Stores Going out of Business

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What isn’t there to like about online shopping? It’s easy, there’s usually a better selection than in store, and you can always return your item if you don’t like it.  These three reasons among others were responsible for the closure of over 6,000 stores last year, and this year doesn’t seem to be looking any better.  Online shopping has slowly begun to replace in-store shopping, and it was especially evident in 2017 when it was revealed that store closures were 200% more than in 2016.

According to Forbes, the desires of the consumers has also drastically impacted the status of stores.  In the past, people wanted products that were commercial, prestigious, global, and generic. However, millenials and Gen Z consumers are now looking for products that are authentic, eco-friendly, artisanal, and locally sourced.  This poses a problem for many companies as store closure marks the beginning of company failure, but as companies move to online platforms, it seems that this could change.

A company that skyrocketed in popularity was Amazon. It offers free two day shipping and free returns, and it is beginning to pave the way for a new shopping experience.  Consumers are able to order anything ranging from phones to clothes to household items to groceries, and it all has one easy checkout.  The variety of items that consumers are able to get from one place saves time that some people aren’t willing to sacrifice for shopping, and it also endangers companies that specialize in one category.

Barnes and Nobles is an example of a store that is suffering because of Amazon. With the rising popularity of ebooks, the need for physical books is decreasing.  Amazon’s easy system and accessibility are causing the company to suffer, and last year, Amazon stores replaced almost every Barnes and Nobles store.  Considering how Amazon also bought Whole Foods last year, it appears that Amazon is slowly taking over.

 

Some other stores that are suffering are:

 

Radio Shack

JC Penney

Macy’s

Abercrombie & Fitch

Barnes and Nobles

Guess

Gamestop

CVS

Sears

K Mart

J.Crew

Staples

The Limited

Gap

Ann Taylor

TJMaxx

Costco

Home Depot

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/26/store-closures-rocked-retail-in-2017-and-more-should-come-next-year.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/richardkestenbaum/2017/04/07/why-so-many-stores-are-closing-now/#34e6bf2c4159

https://qz.com/943870/amazon-amzn-will-replace-nearly-every-bookstore-barnes-noble-bks-closes-in-2017/

 

Filed under Showcase, Spotlight

New Year Horoscope

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Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

School: Good things are to come to you, Capricorn, in your academic life. Your ambition and determination will pay off in the new year. Although, be careful to not let your workaholic side take over. Be sure to take a break and treat yo’ self! If you have a group project, don’t let your sometimes “stubborn” personality get in the way.

Social: You can be a bit shy sometimes, but your best of friends always know how to open you up. As you get older, stress grows larger, so make sure moodiness doesn’t get in the way. Likewise, stress can make you only think about your own problems sometimes, so try to listen to your friends’ problems while keeping your own sanity.

Love: Although you are known to not act impulsively, you are known to act in any way to get what you want. If there has been someone that you have had your eye on for awhile, make the first move! If the time is right, act on your impulses. Sometimes you can be pessimistic, but take an opportunity to look on the bright side regarding your love life. You may have not had the best of luck in the past, but 2018 is your year!

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

School: Your curious personality will come in handy during the school year. Not only does your curiosity drive you, so does your creativity. Strive to make your classmates and teachers think outside the box to see a new perspective. Your modern mentality is especially helpful in humanity classes in which you can test the boundaries of right and wrong.

Social: By nature, you are very friendly and have a positive quality to you. Your vibe draws people in, especially if they are looking for some laughs. You are very truthful which is good, but it can also come off as frank and insensitive. Be sure that your truthfulness doesn’t come off as detached either.  New friends are always in the horizon for you, Aquarius, just be sure to always think of others’ feelings.

Love: Your affectionate personality is always helpful when it comes to your love life. People want to be around you and talk to you, so a little flirting is easy to slip in. New love is on the horizon. Significant others come and go, so this year try something more long term and committed. You tend to be unpredictable, which could be a good trait to always keep people on their toes. It could also come off as detached and immature, so be sure to find a happy medium. Compatible signs: Libra, Gemini, Sagittarius, and Aries.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

School: This year is going to be difficult for you, Pisces, so you need to go against your character and be driven and ambitious. Don’t worry, your wise and intuitive self will carry you through it. We all know how much you love your sleep, so never risk your full eight hours for an assignment. Make sure to keep your patience with know-it-alls, as they might be your biggest help in this upcoming school year.

Social: You are very compassionate and gentle, so people love to be near you in times of sadness. Be careful, though, because one of your strengths and weaknesses is being a martyr. Don’t let people abuse your good-listener abilities and make sure it’s a two-way friendship. All of your friends are very unique and different because you are so friendly, you attract people from all different backgrounds.

Love: You are very artistic, so look for a future love interest in your field of passion. Whether it’s in your music class or at a concert, your new romance is out there! You are never judgemental and always forgiving, but don’t let those characteristics stand in the way of noticing when something is wrong and standing up for yourself. If your S.O. is acting fishy, don’t hesitate to find the truth.

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

School: Lucky for you, Aries, you do not like delays. So use that trait to your greatest abilities and try to not procrastinate. Start the second semester on the right foot! Your leadership skills will come in handy during group projects and you will make sure everyone stays on task. You are also very determined which will help you keep up your hard work and solid grades in the difficult semester to come.

Social: Your enthusiastic and optimistic personality makes people want to be around you. You make everyone feel energized and happy. Although, you can also be quite moody and short tempered, so try to keep that under control. Being friends with you is a wild ride, but be sure to keep everything in moderation so you don’t scare off new friends.  

Love:  You are naturally brave and not scared to take risks, so incorporate those traits into your love life! Your courageous and confident personality will help you find a new S.O., but don’t be impatient. Your impulsiveness might take you down the wrong path, so stick with it until you find someone that you are drawn to and someone that you can share your passionate self with.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

School: This is your academic year, Taurus! You’re very responsible which will help with a heavier workload. You are also very stable, so a bump in the road won’t completely throw you off track. Lastly, you are very reliable for yourself and for others. People count on you to never let them down!

Social: You are someone who prefers a small, tightly knit group of friends rather than a large, less close group. You like the practicality and reliability the group ensues. You may be a bit stubborn, so be sure to not make your friends feel attacked or disconnected from you. Don’t be alarmed- you are a great long term friend. You like to commit to your friendships and your devotion proves that you deserve to be in those people’s lives.

Love: You love romance and you believe that everyone should always be surrounded by love. You usually love long term relationships because you are a very devoted partner, but this year might include more fun flings. You can be a bit possessive and uncompromising, which may frighten your partner. So be sure to keep more of an “easy going” attitude, especially during a low commitment relationship.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

School: Although you’re not the biggest fan of routine, school is important. You are very curious and you have an ability to learn quickly, so that helps you stay engaged in the classroom. You can also be very thoughtful when you want to, so be sure to add in your ideas in your classes. I know you usually feel like you are wasting your time in class, and there are so many other things you could be doing, but be sure to think about the future more than the present in certain situations.

Social: You are extremely sociable and always surrounded by friends. Fun is your middle name! Your love of communicating with others and chatting about literally anything makes everyone love you even more. You do have a tendency to have slight mood swings. Sometimes you can be like two different people. Inconsistency can be fun and unpredictable for your friends, but it can also be quite confusing.

Love: If you have had a love interest in mind for awhile but you were not sure if you should pursue them- go for it! Don’t let your indecisive tendencies get in the way. You might as well just try out the new experience. If you decide that you are not feeling it, be sure to back out sooner rather than later. You do not like routine, so make sure to switch things up in your relationship and make things unique.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

School: You’re imagination may get the best of you in class sometimes, whether it’s zoning out or simply talking with your friends about something very off topic. Use your imagination for the better! Impress your peers with unique and interesting ideas that none of them have ever thought of before. You are also very persuasive, so maybe instead of trying to get your teacher to bump your grade up, try out debate or an analytical writing class.

Social: You are very sympathetic, Cancer, which is an important trait to have in a friendship. You have a tendency to be a bit moody, so if you’re in a bad mood, be careful to not take it out on your friends. You become very attached to your close friends and will do anything for them. You like to be approached with care, so find people who will be there for you and not take you for granted. You may be a good listener and someone that is more than happy to listen to others’ problems, but make sure they reciprocate your care.

Love: You are destined to be with someone and treat them well. You are highly emotional and sensitive, so you are comfortable with opening up and getting close to your S.O., which is usually difficult for you. You may have just ended a fling, but love is around the corner! Your loyalty is very strong, so trust is never an issue in a relationship with you. Family is very important to you, Cancer, so be sure to find someone who is close with their family and will like yours.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

School: Oh, Leo, school is not your favorite. Regardless, you always find a way to do well. You do have a tendency to be a bit arrogant and lazy, but many enjoy being in class with you. You could be described as the “class clown” and everyone loves your cheerful attitude. We all know you love to be admired, Leo, so use it in the classroom! Take advantage of your capabilities and be the best one in there.

Social: You are very generous and warm-hearted, Leo, which makes making friends not difficult for you. You are a natural born leader! Not only are you generous, you are very loyal. Your loyalty makes people trust you and want to spill all their secrets to you. This year is going to be tough for everyone, so if your friends have been a bit distant, don’t think they are ignoring you (which you absolutely hate). Be careful with jumping to conclusions. Also be careful to not let your ego get in the way of right and wrong.

Love: Leo, you are very self confident and difficult to resist. It is very rare for you to not have a person of interest in your horizon. Although, if someone isn’t treating you like royalty, don’t think twice about kicking them to the curb! Leo, you deserve the very best- don’t forget that. You hate facing difficult reality, whether that’s confrontation or admitting you were in the wrong. Be sure to not let this get in the way of important relationships.

Virgo (August 23 – september 22)

School: You do not need to worry about this school year, Virgo. You are very hardworking and analytical, so school is a breeze. However, make sure to avoid all work and no play. Find a way to blow off some steam whether it’s catching up on sleep, watching your favorite show, or hanging out with your best friend. You also have an issue with asking for help which can be very problematic. This trait could get you a bit behind if you are unsure on a concept.

Social: You are a very kind person, but some may not be able to see that because you can be a bit shy. Meet some new friends this year! Find someone in a class to sit with that you would usually never expect to be friends with. Remember to not be judgemental of yourself or others because that would restrict you. And, of course, avoid rude people because you over anyone else cannot stand people without basic manners.

Love: You are very loyal, so you would be a great partner. Virgo, you may be a bit self critical and shy, but that is no reason for you to hide in the shadows and avoid center stage! Find that other person who will make your heart flutter because you deserve it after all your hard work. You tend to be a bit on the conservative side, so let loose!

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

School: Libra, your cooperative personality always helps you in the classroom. Not only does it keep you focused and ready to learn, but it helps you follow directions well. If you get a bad grade on a test, make sure to not wallow in sadness because you tend to be a victim of self-pity. You love sharing with others, but don’t let people take advantage of your hard work and look at your papers.

Social: You are a very social person, Libra. You love talking to people and meeting new friends. You hate being alone and you are always surrounded by people you trust. Although, you do have a problem with holding a grudge. If your good friend made a mistake, give them the benefit of the doubt and let it go. You also have problems with confrontation. If someone does something that bothers you, don’t hold a grudge without telling them what they did. Talk to them and sort things out.

Love: You are a very partner-based person. You love having someone that mirrors you as a person. A serious relationship does not seem to be in your immediate future, but seek out someone that you enjoy being with that is similar to you. Although it may not be a committed relationship, there is definitely that spark between you two that gives you butterflies.  

Scorpio (october 23 – November 21)

School: School isn’t your favorite activity, but determined and decisive personality is beneficial towards your work. You also have a stubborn side to you and you will research anything to prove your point. You are a very factual person, which is especially helpful in history classes. You hate dishonesty, so if you see someone cheating on a test, be sure to do the right thing and either talk to them or an adult.

Social: Your friends admire you because of your honesty and fairness. You have a fun, quick-wit that always entertains your peers. If a friend lets you down, be sure to give them a second chance. It may be hard considering you expect your friends to be very loyal (since you possess that characteristic), but try giving them the benefit of the doubt. You never know who may be there for you when you are in need of forgiveness.

Love: You are extremely passionate and honest, which are perfect traits for a perfect partner. You are also willing to be dedicated to your relationship and will find ways to put your significant other first in your priorities. You do have a hard time trusting someone, so be careful when entering a serious relationship. Make sure you know everything about them that you need to know before diving into the deep end. You also have a tendency to be a bit jealous, so keep your partner sane and avoid accusing them of acts they didn’t commit.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

School: Sagittarius, your curiosity drives you to be a better student in the classroom. You love philosophy, so if you are a junior, Western Civ is probably your class. Although, be sure that you do not fill up your schedule too much. You tend to promise more than you can deliver. You can fix this by not procrastinating, or simply saying no to unnecessary tasks.

Social: Your hilarious sense of humor always brings people near you when they need a good laugh. Also, you are a very generous person. People want to be near you and energetic vibe. You also have a serious side in which you like to discuss the meaning of life and the rights and wrongs of the world. You are quite an extrovert and you would prefer being with your besties than by yourself in your room.

Love: Your love life has always been a wild ride. It’s full of twists and turns, but that’s just because people always want to be the lucky person to be your S.O. Your playful and humorous personality is very attractive to interested prospects. You have an open personality that you wish for your partner to reciprocate. When love is amongst you, your fear of commitment fully disappears and you become loyal and dedicated.

 

Filed under Showcase, Spotlight

Best Albums of 2017

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Last year, musicians pulled out all the stops to deliver pristine projects. Here are 4 great albums made in 2017 that I believe everyone should listen to.

1.  Damn, Kendrick Lamar

It seems like whenever Kendrick Lamar drops an album, you can bet that it is going to be a classic. After dropping “To Pimp a Butterfly,” no one knew what was next for the Compton-based rapper, but Damn showed us how versatile an artist he is. While in TPAB, he blended jazzy oriented beats with his clever rhymes, telling a story throughout those 16 tracks, on Damn, he kept his storytelling ways, but this time switched out beats that contained jazz and funk for hard-hitting, aggressive, addictive bangers. I think Kendrick Lamar’s explanation of why Damn was such a success was probably the best guess, in which he says that Damn is a hybrid of all of his projects into one: “It was me finally being able to take elements from… the message behind To Pimp a Butterfly, the Sonics and Beat slapping from Good Kid m.a.a.d. City, and the rawness of just being able to do what I want like I did on section.80… I take all three of these, it makes the hybrid of Damn for me.”

2.  Flower Boy, Tyler the Creator

When Tyler, The Creator’s “Flower Boy” first came out, fans and critics spent all of their time creating theories about his homosexuality. Whether or not theories are true, one fact that can’t be disputed is that this album is an absolute masterpiece. What makes this album better than any Tyler album ever made is because it is completely different.  In earlier albums like “Wolf”, Tyler takes on one of his many personas, each with an incredibly twisted point of view; this writing style makes it hard to differentiate when he’s being honest or just joking. However, in this album, he shows his vulnerability through his writing. And instead of grimy, purposely poorly produced beats, Flower Boy sounds cleaner and the beats are way lighter than usual. A stand out feature artist on this album, in my opinion, is Rex Orange County. The vocals he provides on the songs, “Boredom” and  “Foreword” really complete the songs. I would check out the songs “Sunflower” and “Loving is Easy” if you liked his feature.

3.  Freudian, Daniel Caesar

In a time where music is dominated by electronic sounds and synthesizers and such, It was nice to find a contemporary R&B artist whose music that comes from actual instruments. Daniel Caesar is a talented Toronto R&B and gospel singer and guitarist whose silky voice was made to sing loves songs, and in his album “Freudian,” he uses 10 songs to depict the ideas of love and why it is such a complex subject. While in songs like “Get You” and “Best Part,” his breakout song, Caesar portrays being in love as complete bliss, where as in songs like “Loose” or “Freudian,” where Caesar focuses more on love lost. But throughout the album the tone of the songs never change; it maintains an upbeat tone no matter the topic. While this album does have its flaws, like the fact that the soundtrack for most of the songs sound pretty interchangeable, If you were looking for feel good songs, look no further than this album.

4.  Saturation II, Brockhampton

Choosing which Saturation I was going to choose was probably the hardest choice I had to make before writing this article, but If I were to be honest with myself, I would say that Saturation II is the best. Unlike the other albums on this list, where storytelling was key, the point of the Saturation trilogy was to “Saturate” The rap game by making as many songs as possible within a year. Saturation II was special because Brockhampton started experimenting with different synthesizers and different sounds, allowing them to make some infectious hooks.

— Saodi Bullie

Filed under Spotlight

Golden Globe Reviews: Major Winners

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There were several big winners last night at the Golden Globes: Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, Lady Bird, I, Tonya, Coco, The Shape of Water, The Handmaid’s Tale, Big Little Lies, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and, most importantly, Hollywood as we know it. Here I’ll be reviewing the films and TV shows that took home many awards.

 


Winners

 

Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri is by far the best movie I have seen this season. At first, when I watched the Golden Globes, I didn’t understand why it won everything because I hadn’t seen it yet. After seeing it, it deserved all the awards. Frances McDormand was absolutely fantastic in showing both how much she cared, but also her strong facade, Sam Rockwell had some of the best character development in the movies (going from a questionable, incompetent police officer to a man seeking retributive justice for a rape victim) and the movie itself was simply outstanding. It was especially resonant in the wake of the #timesup movement, as well as the police brutality outbursts at the forefront of our news. If you are going to go see one movie before the oscars, this is the movie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nefD7UOhLCo

Lady Bird was a lovely coming of age movie, which took place in Sacramento, CA. Lady Bird, played by Saoirse Ronan, who was in Brooklyn (2015), took home the Golden Globe for best actress (musical or comedy). Her portrayal accurately represented the struggle of trying to fit in and being yourself, striking the right balance with your family, and trying to have a romantic relationship, all while struggling with financial stability. In the award show, I was glad to see the writer and director was a woman, Greta Gerwig, and I believe that the story was, in fact, based on her life. It was nice to see female representation as well as California pride. While I was a bit surprised that I, Tonya didn’t win, Lady Bird was very deserving. Also, a side note, Timothee Chalamet was in this movie, and was also nominated for best actor for Call Me By Your Name.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNi_HC839Wo

I, Tonya was by far the funniest movie that I saw in preparation for the Golden Globes. The “interviews” added a burst of humor to the movie, especially Allison Janney’s segments, which she imitated when announcing an award with her fake bird. Speaking of whom, Allison Janney was very deserving of her Golden Globe, she played LaVona Fay Golden as a despicable mother, and she was perfectly villainous. Several of her speeches and scenes, especially the one at the diner, showcased the personal life of Tonya Harding, and made the audience more sympathetic to the disgraced skater through Janney’s amazing acting. The entire cast was also fantastic. I was particularly impressed with Margot Robbie’s dedication to learning how to ice-skate, the glorious comedic timing of Paul Walter Hauser as Shawn Eckhardt, and Sebastian Stan’s sincerity and cruelness as Jeff Gillooly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXZQ5DfSAAc

Coco was a beautiful film: full of color, life, and music. For those who have yet to see it, a boy, Miguel, journeys to the underworld after playing the guitar that belonged to his father. In the underworld, he attempts to find his father and meets a collection of long-dead relatives in his voyage. Made by a cast and crew of latinx filmmakers and actors, the movie encompasses many aspects of dia de los muertos and of daily mexican life. In truth, my sister cried during this movie, for, in typical Pixar fashion, it was a moving story about family and not forgetting your heritage. This was definitely the movie to beat at the Golden Globes, and the other animated films didn’t really stand a chance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlnPHQ3TLX8

The Shape of Water, the newest Guillermo del Toro movie, was a beautiful romance set in the height of the Cold War. With several nominations, the movie took home awards for best director and best original score. While neither of those awards were a surprise, I was frankly astonished that the movie did not win more – especially Sally Hawkins for her leading role. Hawkins played a mute woman, who falls in love with a government secret, and eventually helps him escape. All of her acting was done through facial expressions and sign language, and while I haven’t seen Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, I think that her skill deserved more mention than a sheer nomination. I think this film might make a comeback at the oscars, but we’ll have to wait and see! Lastly, just a quick last word, the movie beautifully showed how what we call monsters aren’t always the real monsters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFYWazblaU

First of all, The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favorite novels of all time, so I was particularly excited when 1) the show came out and 2) it took home two awards (best actress and best TV show (drama)). The show was very deserving of all its awards, for it encapsulates the fears of modern America especially during the current Trump regime, while also being a story about hope. Elizabeth Moss gave a very nice speech, quoting Margaret Atwood’s novel: “We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories… Margaret Atwood, this is for you and and all of the women who came before you and after you who were brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice, and to fight for equality and freedom in this world. We no longer live in the blank, white spaces at the edge of print. We no longer live in the gaps in the stories. We are the stories in print, and we are writing the stories ourselves.” So thank you Atwood and the creators of the show for making a show for the times we live in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJTonrzXTJs

Big Little Lies was perhaps the biggest winner of the night, taking home Best Television Limited Series, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor. This show was freaking fantastic. It’s full of twists and turns, so you will never know how it’s going to end. This monterey story shows the lives of five mothers, all of whom are misunderstood, and have deeper stories than anyone would expect. Also, I really appreciate the female representation in this show, for it stars and was produced by several incredible women. If you haven’t watched this, I’d highly recommend it for a story of unlikely friendship, abuse, love, motherhood, and murder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFZcNKzDhYI

I haven’t seen this new Amazon hit, but it took home the awards for best TV Show (comedy) and best actress! It frankly looks adorable, and I look forward to watching it. The Amazon description reads, “In 1958 New York, Midge Maisel’s life is on track- husband, kids, and elegant Yom Kippur dinners in their Upper West Side apartment. But when her life takes a surprise turn, she has to quickly decide what else she’s good at – and going from housewife to stand-up comic is a wild choice to everyone but her. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is written and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls).” If the show is anything like Gilmore Girls, I can safely say that it will be a hit in my book.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOmwkTrW4OQ

Honorable Mention

Call Me By Your Name was perhaps the most beautiful movie I saw in preparation for the Golden Globes. The movie, set in Northern Italy in the 80s, told the story of a teenager, Elio (Timothee Chalamet), and his father’s summer intern, Oliver (Armie Hammer). The love story was simultaneously romantic and heartbreaking, funny and sad, and, most importantly, beautiful and raw. Obviously those all sound like cliches, but I swear they are true. I’d highly recommend seeing this coming of age movie before the Oscars because, even though it probably won’t win a whole lot, was incredible, definitely my favorite of all the movies I saw.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9AYPxH5NTM

Filed under News, Spotlight

The School’s Trips

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Students were highly anticipating the release of school for spring break, but it seemed that a handful of students took their leave a few days early. The School typically hosts trips over spring break, and this year, there were three different destinations: Ashland, Peru, and Hawaii.

 

1) Why did you want to go to Ashland?

I have loved theater ever since I was very young and have a season pass to a local production company, Cal Shakes. Thus, I am very interested in the world class plays presented in Ashland and Shakespeare in general. I actually have been going to Ashland for two years prior to this, but I went with my family and not the school. I have relatives that live in Ashland, so I can catch up with them there. I went to the school this time as I wanted to experience it with people my age this time, and I have many friends who were going. I will be back this summer to see more plays with my family though. Also, I took Shakespeare with Dr. Enelow, and one of the plays that we discussed I got to see live (King Henry IV part 1).

 

2) What did you do?

We saw 4 plays and had meetings with 2 different actors where we got to ask them questions. The rest of the time was freeform, and we got almost complete freedom.

 

3) Who ran the trip?

Stevie, Ms. Math, and Mr. Barankin

 

4) How many people went?

13 people. Sophia Maxine Kojima, Simone Stevens, Xena Wolf, Adriana Celaya, Avery Lemoine, Alycia Filoteo, Blythe Rinehart-Pimentel, Eva Keker, Kate Van Riper, La’a Anthony, Sydney Stewart, Michaela Thomas, and Tara Crymble.

 

5) What were some takeaways you had?

  1.  a) While most of us gave a standing ovation to every play, the Barankin family was super picky about what they would stand for.
  2.  b) There are some dang good plays in Ashland.
  3.  c) If you’re going you NEED to see King Henry IV part 1

 

English teachers Stevie Kaplan, ___ Math, and former teacher Mr. Barankin led a group of 13 people to Ashland, Oregon, where the students watched a series of four plays and had the opportunity to ask a couple actors questions. Junior Simone Stevens, a big fan of theater, recalls King Henry IV Part I as one of the favorite plays she watched during the trip.   Other than watching the plays, the students were free to explore the area on their own.  

Junior Simone Stevens is no stranger to Ashland, as she has gone for two years prior to her visit over spring break, and as a fan of theater, she highly recommends watching King Henry IV Part I.

Filed under Sports, Spotlight

Breaking School Records

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Despite a lack of publicity, student athletes at Head Royce have indeed been breaking records this year. Our swim and track team have both been particularly strong. Three individual athletes, Joshua Soltz, Isaac Teuscher, and Victoria Staples recount some of their victories this year:

 

Q: Talk about a bit about your record breaking:

Joshua Soltz: I broke the record in the 100 back for swimming, we have a really good team this year, its six core guys who are really carrying the team this year, to give us a shot at finally beating CPS.

 

Josh attributes his success to doing more work during the off season, he says that swimming during the off season has really changed the results he is getting. He also says that targeted workouts from his coach have really improved his skills: “the start and the turns that I’ve had to work on, she [my coach] has given me a lot of tips on”. Josh initially broke the record last year, and then set both a personal and school record by beating it again this year.

 

Q: What was your exact time for the 100?

Joshua Soltz: Last year I set it at a minute and four seconds and then was able to bring it down to a minute and 2 and a half seconds.

 

Victoria Staples, a long jumper for our track team has also had a particularly impressive break this season, she says: “It was kind of surprising because I’ve had shin splints all this season so I haven’t been practicing as much as I want to”. Despite this, she too broke both her personal record and the school’s. She attributes this to her father who has been coaching her for six years.

 

Q: How far did you jump?

Victoria Staples: I jumped a seventeen two and the record was sixteen four.

 

Another member of the track team, Isaac Teuscher has broken records in his own right. As a team, he says that the track team has been looking at going to more competitive invitationals and has been working with Carl Kadlic, the new coach. He attributes his own success to racing against faster competition, which he says has “helped me to drop my times”.

 

Q: When/ where did you set the school record?

Isaac Teuscher: I set the school record at a race in Dublin where there’s a thousand or two thousand kids, so it’s kind of crazy but since there were so many people in my race, everyone was about my speed so I was just able to settle into my pace and kind of relax and just run my race.

 

This is particularly impressive, because running is quite a competitive and individual sport and Head Royce is not a D1 team. However, going to bigger invitationals and having a very strong coach has made the track team excel. Both Victoria Staples and Josh soltz are sophomores and therefore have two more years to continue to improve with our teams. Isaac Teuscher is a junior, and therefore has one more year to continue the hard work.

 

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What You Need To Know About St. Patrick’s Day

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Alcohol, food, and the color green; all terms that are associated with the wonderful holiday we know as Saint Patrick’s Day. Saint Patrick’s Day falls on March 17th and is the remembrance of Christianity coming to Ireland. In fact, Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday goes by many different names including: Patrick’s Day, St. Paddys Day, St. Patty’s Day, The Feast of Saint Patrick and my personal favorite, Lá Fheile Pádraig.

St. Patrick’s Day was established as an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century. The most popular groups that celebrate this holiday are: the Catholic Church, Anglican Communion (Church of Ireland), Eastern Orthodox Church, Lutheran Church, and the people of Ireland. St. Paddy’s Day is such a special holiday that the Lenten restrictions on eating meat and drinking alcohol are lifted for the festivities. The holiday is on March 17th because it is the day St. Patrick died. When he was 16, Irish raiders kidnapped him and took him as a slave to be a shepherd. St. Patrick was enslaved for 6 years, and through his enslavement he found God. He heard God telling him to flee to the coast where there would be a ship waiting for him. When St. Patrick returned from his journey, he became a priest. Later on, St. Patrick returned to Northern Ireland to convert pagan Irish to Christianity.

However, this still doesn’t explain why the color green and shamrocks are associated with St. Paddy’s day. Green has been connected to Ireland since it became popular in the 1640s when the Irish Catholic Confederation used the green harp flag. Around the 1680s, the color green and shamrocks started to be worn on St. Paddy’s day. Green has been apart of Irish nationalism since the 1790s as it was used by the United Irishmen, a republic organization lead by protestants but comprised of mainly of Catholics. They lead a rebellion against British rule of Ireland in 1798. During that time, people who supported the Irish wore green and this is where the phrase “wearing of the green” originated.

If you don’t have any plans for St. Patrick’s, you can always go to the festival in San Francisco. The festival starts at ten in the morning and ends at five in the evening, and the parade starts at 11:30 in the morning. There is no charge for admission so if you want food, a fun time, and to wear green, you should check it out.

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How To Be Hipster

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Head Royce From The Sky

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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.

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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