By Brittany Campbell
The “Wings” trilogy, by Aprilynne Pike, is an enthralling book series that is dominated by suspenseful romance, ethereal faerie magic, and intriguing twists to historical and mythological events. “Wings” is the first book in the trilogy, followed by “Spells” and then “Illusions”. The series, having been ranked # 90 in Top Teen Reads for 2011 is the first book series written by Pike and has now made her a notable author of young adult literature.
Throughout the series, readers follow a seemingly normal high school girl named Laurel Sewell during her life at Del Notre High in Crescent City, and also among other places like the mystical world of Avalon. As a group of four, Laurel and her friends must complete Laurel’s mission with her as she faces destiny. The existences of two completely opposite worlds collides into a magical adventure that will engulf the reader deeper into this imaginary world with every chapter. Never is there a dull moment, and the books are full of twists and surprises. Will Laurel decide to follow her mission, or decide that she is the maker of her own destiny?
The book series is available for both the Nook and the Kindle, and print copies can be purchased off of Amazon online. This book is definitely worth the read, and will not fail to disappoint anyone who likes fantasy or supernatural plots. By the end, readers will be in agony over the anticipation of Pike’s fourth book in the series.
With the newest release of Worst Thing I’ve been Cursed With Pop-Punk band Sparks the Rescue exceptionally display their talents, finally making headway into Fearless Records music industry. This underdog band has got the ball in their court for this year, or rather- they have one heck of a singer at the microphone.
By Brittany Campbell
Mao’s Last Dancer, is a great historical dance film. It’s about this Chinese man who is under the control of the Chinese Communist government and Mao Zedong. He is a ballet dancer in China and gets chosen to come to America and dance there. His ultimate goal while there is to represent the Chinese Communist government and uphold their ideals and practices; to be an example of Chinese society. The movie itself is based off an autobiography of Li Cunxin, a real Chinese dancer.
In the film, it is really hard for Li to live in America because of the transition from his strict old society to the new one with more freedoms. He isn’t used to the social life and he isn’t used to having political freedom, and the whole while the Chinese Embassy is twisting his thoughts about American culture, manipulating him like they have done since he was a small child. In the film, Li decides to get married and falls in love. This also means that he has ticked off the Chinese Assembly and has caused a lot of bad publicity from America to China.
Produced by Bruce Beresford, the movie goes on to explain the harsh treatment of Chinese peasants under Mao’s rule, and it goes back to the early years of Li’s childhood. Most of the emotion in the film is displayed in the dance numbers, which is what makes this film so different from other cheesy cop-out dance genres. There are real meanings behind the dance numbers; you just have to look for them. Mao’s Last Dancer is a very sentimental film and it will warm your heart.
I particularly liked it because all of the important feelings Li had were conveyed in the dances. Sadness, worry, anger, and love were all cemented into the film by the bucket full’s, adding a refreshing splash to the 80’s dance films, making the genre as a whole more serious and better understood by people. The best thing about dance is that people can interoperate it however they wish, but in this film the viewers are still being pointed in the right direction without the direct meanings behind it and themes presented being bluntly obvious. Mao’s Last Dancer makes the audience think for a change, because a lot of dance films were created to be simple and easy for the viewers to follow blindly.
Will Li manage to live in America? Are the dance numbers really that good? I definitely recommend watching this movie to find out.
What is the standard of food health? If you look up the definition of “healthy,” or rather its root word “health,” in a Macmillan Dictionary, it will say that heath is “1.) Soundness of body and mind; freedom from defect or disease. 2.) Condition of the body or mind. 3.) Toast drunk in a person’s honor expressing a wish of his well-being.” Well, by process of elimination, the third definition is obsolete in this situation, but we can directly concur with the idea that if the word “health,” is applied in direct variation of food, then we can assume it means the state of which the food someone consumes affects a person’s body, or whether it is good or bad for that person. Continue reading
By Brittany Campbell
Senior Skip Day is a secretly scheduled day when the seniors of a high school decide to skip class and do something else, and it has become traditional amongst high schools all across Canada and the United States. Senior Skip Day is usually a date chosen by the popular students of the senior class, and after that the word of mouth leads the information to spread among the students like a wildfire. SSD is a day when these students celebrate their upcoming graduation, and try to find relaxation and fulfillment on one special day of their high school careers dedicated especially to themselves by themselves. SSD is also a temporary relief for “Senoritis,” in most cases. But there is no ‘get out of jail free card,’ for SSD. Most public schools treat it as a regular unexcused absence; however- some schools are extra careful of how they handle SSD, placing extra precautions around to keep students on campus, such as police reinforcements.
What most people don’t know about student absences is that a lot of the time, student attendance is tied in with direct correlation to the amount of funding a school may receive from the state. Funding for things such as desired athletics, extracurricular events, and elective classes for students. In one article written in 2010 by The Bay Eagle, ( http://elsegundousd.com/eshs/thebayeagle/2010/02/senior-ditch-day
) SSD led to a severe loss of funding for the El Segundo School District. This district lost $38.36 of funding for any student absent on any day of the school year. So, lets say 300 seniors took part in their 2010 SSD. That would mean that the school district would lose $11,508 in a single day. Which is what happened. The school had to cut their JV football team to help cover their expenses, since just the JV team cost $4,000 a year at the time. The school was also forced to give faculty members a notice saying that their jobs were in jeopardy, all because the loss of state funding on SSD. In another article written by Sherry Parmet, it was said that it is common for about one fourth of the seniors in a class to ditch on SSD. Principal Rick Schmitt of Torrey Pines High school stated that “Good old-fashioned senior ditch days are in every school, but I think all of us are more tuned into this now because of the budget,” he said. “We get nearly $44 per student per day, and when students don’t show up we don’t get a penny.”
To prevent students form ditching on SSD, some schools call the parents ahead of time once they get wind of the date planned for SSD. “When talking to parents, we try to play on their guilt,” said Assistant Principal David Hall of San Dieguito High School Academy. “We tell them that this money that we lost would pay for a quarter’s worth of paint in our paint class, or district wide it would pay for an instructional assistant.” Another method of preventing students from skipping on SSD is for teachers to schedule something important on the planned date, like a test or lab work.
Even though SSD can put a big hole in some school’s financial wallets, most states allow schools to regain funding from students who are absent by sending them to Saturday school for them reattribute their lost school hours back into cash for school programs. So, even though it may be fun to get out of school and satisfy that irritating “Senoritis,” think about the extracurricular classes you love- classes such as choir or art. Then imagine your school without them because your school has to be able to afford such classes, of which they can no longer do because of missing students. At that point, I think most of us will be reconsidering our decisions for SSD.
By Brittany Campbell
You know your favorite book series is horrible as a TV show when one of the main actors can’t even pronounce his love interest’s name correctly. So yes, if you are a loyal fan of Charlaine Harris’s book series, the Sookie Stackhouse novels, you will be greatly disappointed by the TV production released by HBO. After a whole season of hearing “Sucky, Sucky, Sucky,” instead of the name “Sookie,” actor Stephan Moyer was definitely describing my opinion of the True Blood TV show as a whole. Since I am a huge fan of the book series, I thought I could give him another chance- thinking that maybe by the end of the season he would be able to pronounce the name Sookie correctly. Wrong, he still couldn’t pronounce it even by episode 12, now I have lost all hope on the improvement of his speech impediment.
Compared to its marvelous literature counterpart, the TV reproduction is absolutely atrocious. It is a disgrace to the book series and a disgrace to TV, having been morphed into something that will discourage people from even reading the books. All HBO did to the book series before releasing it on television is add a bunch of adult content and cast horrible actors to play the roles.
Most people who did not read the books tend to like the TV production, but those who have read the books tend to have an opinion of dislike for the show. I can give the first season props that it did follow through in staying with the book’s plot, but the details that were added to fill in the time slot of an hour of airtime were not needed and they were twisted into ruining the potential of the show. In conclusion, to quote my friend Stephan Moyer the first season of True Blood is utterly and truly “Sucky.”
By Brittany Campbell
March the 3rd is the first day that the Actors Theater of Louisville will be commencing their annual Humana Festival. This year’s festival will be held for five days, and is the 35th festival to be held at Actors. The festival is a way to introduce new American playwrights and their upcoming works. The Humana play festival is the equivalent of the Sundance film festival. It’s epic. Theater lovers come from all over the world just for this debut in Louisville, as this festival will either make or break the novice playwrights participating. The plays being presented to the public at this year’s Humana festival include works by upcoming writers such as Anne Washburn, Molly Smith Metzler, A. Rey Pamatmat, and Adam Rapp along with various others. The plays being presented will continue to show even after the festival is over, until April 3rd. One main attraction of the Humana festival is the 10 minute play contest. Anyone participating in the contest has submitted a play to be displayed and to be reviewed by selected judges. The plays performed will then be considered to win the Heidman Award from Actors, which was founded in 1979. The winner of the award will receive a $1,000 dollar cash reward and will be declared winners of the 10 minute play contest. Tickets for the Humana Festival can be purchased from the Actor’s Theater’s website, http://actorstheatre.org/humana-festival/ . We will be posting updated reviews as the Humana Festival returns again.