Through the Written Word

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been refreshing my email, hoping to see one from my Grandma. For as long as I’ve had my email, since fifth or sixth grade, I have had weekly correspondence with my grandmother. Before email, and sometimes after, I would spend my time writing letters. I would painstakingly choose the prettiest card to fill the pages with details of my life. Pestering my mother for the address I could never remember, I would then find a stamp and my mail my heart to my grandma, in form of a letter. Now, as most of my time is taken up by writing essays and lab reports for schools, we communicate through electronic words.  As the years have passed by, I can expect a few things from my grandma’s emails. I’m always greeted by a cute subject header and an even cuter electronic stationery. When I read my grandmother’s emails, I smile when she writes about her life in New York and all the different plays she sees and all the different strangers she talks to. I smile because I know my Grandma has a more busy and interesting life than my own. As we rarely talk on the phone, emails with my grandmother have become a staple in communicating our lives. While there are billions of people who use email, I always see the emails between myself and my grandma as something uniquely lovely and special. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been missing the emails from my grandmother. Unfortunate circumstances have kept my Grandma from her email, yet I would keep refreshing hoping to see an email from her. Hoping to see a sign that she was back to her normal self. This morning my refreshing yielded a result as I was greeted with cheery pink stationery ending with the words “Love you, G’ma.” There is nothing better than a warm hug, but when distance makes a warm hug in person impossible, an email or a letter sends that warm hug through its written words. 
By Maria White

The Stereotypes of Improv by Louis Schwartz

Improv is a big part of my life. I do improv after school every Friday and I’m improvising this blog right now. Let’s do a couple of generic examples of what people think when they think of improv.

“Well, what do I write about...give me a random prompt…a relationship…” 
Prompt #1: Boyfriend/Girlfriend:

Boyfriend: Well…what do you want to do tonight?
Girlfriend: Dinner? Movie? How about going back to your place?
Boyfriend: That’s so generic. We always do that. 
Girlfriend: No…

Hold on stop. This is improv, I can’t say no. Why can’t I say no? 5 letters, PAWDS. PAWDS is what you can’t do in improv. It stands for P(rofanity) A(ddictive Substances) W(eapons) D(enial) and S(exual Innuendos). These things either don’t move the scene along or just don’t make it funny.
“Yes and…” I hate when people think they know what improv is all about and then say, “yes and…”. Do you want to know what the dialogue sounds like if you just keep saying “yes and…” during the whole thing? 
New Prompt…Occupation:
Prompt #2 (the “yes and…” scene): Nurse

Nurse: So what seems to be your problem today?
Patient: My shin hurts, it feels like it’s broken.
Nurse: Yes and how is the pain on a scale of 1-10.
Patient: Probably an 8.
Nurse: Yes and is there a particular doctor you would like to see today?
Patient: Um…yes I would like to see Dr. [insert name of doctor here].
Nurse: Yes and (s)he’s not here today.

Is it getting annoying to you yet? It’s getting annoying to me. So there are two stereotypes that are always associated with improv. The other one is that you always have to crack a sexual innuendo for it to be funny. This is a common thought among people whose only views on improv is the TV show Whose Line is it Anyways. You don’t need a sexual innuendo to make something funny in improv; just be funny yourself. So all in all, the main thing I’m trying to get across is...try doing some improv but don’t fall into the stereotypes of “no”s and “yes and”s. Join us in 2nd semester! It’s every Friday after school in the small auditorium!

The Final Countdown

Image result for finals
Somehow I have managed to survive all of my finals so far.  So as I’m preparing to take my last high school finals ever, I would like to reminisce on finals past. Every year I promised myself I would study for finals during winter break, and then I laughed at my promise knowing I would never keep it. I spent the week before finals stressing as I tried to cram a winter break’s worth of studying into five days. Yet finals weren’t all bad. Although it’s always been a hectic and stressful time, I’ve always found something enjoyable about it. While I’ve never enjoyed sacrificing my sleep to study and then sitting for grueling exams, I have always liked the final exam schedule. With a week of minimal homework, there’s a sense of community as everyone prepares to either succeed or fail together. And the few days after finals are ones of pure bliss, as there’s no guilt for not doing anything since the second semester has not yet begun. During finals the weather outside has always resembled that of a winter wonderland. Some may not like the cold, but I’ve always enjoyed returning home in the snow from finals. The freezing weather always calmed my post finals emotions. While I’m not a fan of finals and I know my finals next year will be even more stressful, a part of me has always been excited for finals week.

By Maria White

My Day

6:00 Wake Up

6:05 Eat Breakfast
6:10 Get ready to leave for school, brush my teeth 
6:35 Put on my shoes, grab my lunch and get in the car to leave
6:42 Arrive at school and walk over to the North Gym Lobby
6:55 Wait for weight training teacher to show up
7:00 Weight training class
7:30 Leave weight training and go to the locker room to shower
7:45 Sit in room 105 with my Junior year English teacher
7:50 Walk to the band room
7:55 Warm up and start class
8:53 Pack up instrument and go to English
9:50 Announcements come on, so I pack up my English stuff
9:54 Dismissed to gov
10:30 Check watch because gov cant be over soon enough
10:40 Check watch because gov cant be over soon enough
10:42 Check watch because gov cant be over soon enough
10:44 Check watch because gov cant be over soon enough
10:45 Check watch because gov cant be over soon enough
10:46 Check watch because gov cant be over soon enough
10: 47 Check watch because gov cant be over soon enough 
10:48 Finally dismissed from gov, go to engineering
11:42 Eat lunch 
12:06 Leave lunch for physics
12:20 Physics starts
1:10 Go to Writing Center (obviously the best class of the day)
2:04 Leave for math 
2:30 Be confused 
2:45 Be a tiny bit less confused 
2:55 Be just as confused again
2:58 Class ends, go to my locker
3:05 Arrive at wherever I choose to sit and wait for practice, usually the writing center 
4:00 Practice starts 
5:30 Practice Ends 
5:35 Drive home
5:42 Wash my face, empty my bag, get changed
5:45 Do homework (yay.)
6:30 Eat dinner 
7:00 More homework (extra yay.)
9:00 Go make lunch and smoothie for tomorrow morning
9:15 Pack school bag and clothes for after weight training
9:25 Brush my teeth
9:30 Go to bed 
I’m not bragging about how busy my day is or anything, I just enjoy the fact that I have a very rigid schedule and it’s satisfying to write it down. 
Charlie Espy 

The Outsiders

When I was in middle school, I was a bit difficult. My mom and my sister had a habit of recommending books for me to read, and I had the habit of automatically detesting every book they suggested. It wasn’t a smart move on my part, it deprived me of Pride & Prejudice and other classics for too long! One day my mom plucked The Outsiders by S.E Hinton off of the shelves at the public library and handed it to me to read. For some magical reason I complied without a single complaint. That night I read the first sentence and it was impossible for me to not continue reading until I finished. Now every time I reread The Outsiders it’s impossible for me not to read it in a single sitting. It’s also impossible for me to describe it when I’m asked what it’s about. I can’t tell you a generic Spark Notes synopsis because to me it’s a crime to condense a piece of art into a few brief sentences about its plot. But I can say that I fell in love with The Outsiders because it perfectly captures the sacrifice of growing up, the love and pain of friendship, and the realness of being a family. Its message is one that I take to heart; in a world filled with division and as we grow older, it’s important to ‘stay gold’. We must take the time to watch sunsets, and we must remember that we’re all watching the same sunset. So what are you waiting for, go pick up a copy of The Outsiders and start reading
By: Kathleen White