My Fall Playlist by Anna Welsh

On the first of every month, I am faced with a daunting task: creating a playlist for the four weeks ahead. I´ve had this routine since freshman year; picking songs that I will listen to until the following month. Music is a constant in my life. I listen to it in the mornings, while my entire family is crammed into one bathroom to get ready for the day. I listen to it while I write, allowing the music to wash over me. I listen to it before bed, calming myself as my day comes to a close. On the first of October, I produced my playlist for the month ahead. 

 

Georgia by Phoebe Bridgers

I was introduced to Phoebe Bridgers in the spring of my freshman year. Since then, she has become one of my absolute favorite artists. My favorite Phoebe songs vary each month. Last month, it was Chinese Satellite, a song I am quite accustomed to screaming in the shower. However, after I attended Phoebe Bridgers´ concert in The Flats on September 29, my favorite song quickly became Georgia. Georgia, as performed by Phoebe at the request of screaming teenagers, is a soft ballad about love unrequited. Phoebe wrote it when she was 16. There is quite a bit of teenage melodrama within the song but it isn’t overdone. It ends, like all the best songs, with Phoebe belting her heart out. 

That Funny Feeling by Bo Burnham (Phoebe Bridgers cover)

Uh oh. Another Phoebe song. But it’s different, I promise. That Funny Feeling was the encore at her concert, and immediately I fell in love with her cover of it. The song itself was originally in Bo Burnham’s comedy special, Inside. It is a reflection on the irony of our contemporary world. I think the lyrics are genius, ¨a gift shop at the gun range, a mass shooting at the mall.¨ I listened to it, embarrassingly, quite a bit when Inside was first released. And now Phoebe has a cover of it! It’s the best of both worlds. 

Paprika by Japanese Breakfast

Paprika by Japanese Breakfast feels like just some sort of happiness in my ears. I don’t even know how to explain it. I first listened to Paprika over the summer, in a rush to listen to all of the new summer albums and figure out my new favorite songs. It’s loud, melodic, and bright. Michelle Zauner´s (Japanese Breakfast) voice weaves between the cheerful rhythm. This song just makes me so joyous. I don’t really understand the lyrics, but they feel to me like some sort of dream. 

New Friends by Pinegrove 

Pinegrove is an alternative country/rock band based out of New Jersey. Now, if you know me, you know I am a staunch hater of country music. I can tolerate Garth Brooks or Willie Nelson, but anything else and I will probably have to leave the room. I’m mostly kidding. Maybe. However, Pinegrove is the greatest exception to my rule. I love Pinegrove. Their music reminds me of summer, of friends, of relaxation and cheer. That may not really make sense because their music is to a certain extent, slightly depressing, but New Friends reminds me of starting school and leaving my summer behind. It’s not sad- it´s exciting. New friends, yay!

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel 

This song, and the entire album,  is a masterpiece. Neutral Milk Hotel is one of my favorite bands ever. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is their 1999 sophomore album. I can´t even count how many times I´ve listened to it in its entirety. I know very few Neutral Milk Hotel enjoyers. Most of my friends just tell me to shut it off every time it´s on in the car. But I stand by my opinions. Neutral Milk Hotel is just good

Cover Story: Phoebe Bridgers | The FADER

The Chick-fil-A Heathen By Carrington Hughes

It was a casual Friday evening and my mother had just called to let me know she was on her way home from a demanding day at work. These calls tend to last fairly long due to the incredibly detailed narrative she shares with me about how her day went, nonetheless, I always look forward to them. As the conversation comes to close, I begin to prepare myself for the question she was about to ask.

“What do you want for dinner?”

Although she asks me this question everyday, I never seem to have an actual answer. This question is usually followed by 30 minutes of back and forth discussion as we thoroughly talk through every single possibility. Today however, I had known exactly what I wanted. As we gleefully  reserved our spot in the drive-thru of the well known Chick-fil-a, our excitement was quickly terminated. Another car had just cut in front of us, forcing us to have to wait an extra FIVE MINUTES  for our food. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but to two hungry and incredibly impatient women, this was the biggest atrocity. As we helplessly sat in our car, we began to say things that I cannot ethically repeat in this school blog.

Fast forwarding a good 48 hours to when we finally reached the window of the chick-fil-a drive-thru, my mother pulls out her wallet to pay for our meal. Suddenly, the man at window informs us that our meal had been paid for by the elderly woman who had accidentally cut in front of us. My mother and I were appalled by this revelation; how could we have been so cruel? We spent half of our car ride home in silence, paralyzed by the shock of it all.

Moral of the story, you’re not you when you’re hungry. <3

Are You Bad at It or Do You Just Not Like It? by Evan Barragate

 

My school career, which has lasted for about a decade, has had both ups and downs in relation to my success, interest, and enjoyment. Like most students, however, one aspect throughout my years in school has remained: I am passionate and skilled in English and history but unable to comprehend the world of math and science. 

For this reason, I would be described far differently by teachers and students depending on the class they see me learning in. For example, I am both knowledgeable of and intrigued by reading and writing. That is made clear by my internship with the Shaker Writing Center, in which I use this passion to mentor other writers. But on the other hand, I am the one being mentored by a tutor in math, which I have been doing since second grade. Many days in the cafeteria during the social lunch hour, you can find me at my filled table with a math packet and a confused look. When I ask my friends for assistance, I usually receive replies such as “we learned this like three years ago” or “how can you not figure that out?”

I also view most of what I learn in science as a foreign language; as an AP Spanish student, it is not one I can easily acquire. I struggle to put what I learn in this area into perspective. What does this combination of letters have to do with table salt or toothpaste? Is everything around me truly atoms and molecules? Why does everything have a charge, and what does this even mean? Unlike with science, in math, I can at least understand how I can use some of the concepts in the real world.

This math-inspired confusion I am prone to also causes awkward real-life experiences that leave me scorning the lack of balance between my understanding of numbers and words. The event I am referring to took place at work, where my typical task was to perfect meals at the request of the customers I spoke to. However, I occasionally managed the register, which I usually could do without stress. I say usually because customers usually would pay by card. But when customers came in paying with cash, I would often strangely ask for a co-worker to take over and pretend as if I had another task I had to attend to. While outside of school, I wanted no part of adding and subtracting decimals or converting metal coins to numbers in my mind.

As someone who finds humor in poking fun at myself, I went and told my friends this story after but used the explanation that I simply “don’t know how to count.” But my proclaimed inability to do any math whatsoever was contested by my success in the class, particularly this year. My math tutor explained to me recently that she believes I am skilled in the field. Having also worked with me in middle school, she expressed her belief that I developed struggling with math because I lacked the confidence that I could be successful with it. She further explained that I can do it so easily when working with her because I have gained pride in my abilities as a student. This proved true when I earned a high score on a math test soon after, which was congratulated by my teacher.

This inspired me to reflect on my experience at work. If I am finding success in math at school, am I truly so horrible in the subject that I cannot count change? I realized that I did not attempt to deal with the cash-paying customer and fail, but I abandoned the scene to avoid the possible difficulty. So perhaps my tutor was right, and I am not just unable to comprehend math but prone to feeling under-confident in my abilities in the subject.

So, what does this mean? Will I attempt to make my way into the most advanced math class at the high school? Will I strive to achieve a STEM degree? Will I work my way into NASA? Will I even claim to my friends that I am not as bad at math as they believe? The answer to all of these is no. My realization that I can be a successful math student does not that I should rise above others, but that I no longer need to swoop below them. I may have more skill in this area than I had previously believed, but I have no more interest than I ever did. Thus, I have no desire to proclaim to my friends any mathematical talent with my newfound mediocracy in contrast to the perceived atrocity I possessed before. Since I enjoy poking fun at myself more than I enjoy math, I intend to continue boasting my lack of ability. Despite only being skillful in certain areas such as English and history, these are also the subjects I am passionate about. Why waste my energy attempting to be good at what I hate?

After reading the story of my resentment for a topic and failure to perform well in it, followed by my realization that I can achieve success in it, and finalized with my pledge to retain my rejection of that topic nonetheless, one question remains: Why does any of this matter? Well, the moral of this story is that you will not find happiness by being good at everything. As I have explained, I am content with being average in math and science because I dislike them and am both talented and interested in English, Spanish, art, and history. But this applies to more than school. I am also a poor driver, but I accept this because I would always rather get a ride. I also I prefer running anyway, which I am good at.

So, embrace your flaws. Exaggerate what you lack skills in. Have fun making fun of yourself. But remember not to let this undermine your confidence because you are likely not as bad as you claim.

A Guide to Garfield by Reece Turner

Over the past 40 odd years, Garfield, the fat orange cat from comic strips in newspapers, has become something of a cultural phenomena. Often when I’m discussing his influence with people who only have a passing knowledge of his existence (which happens surprisingly often) they seem bewildered by the character’s success. What sometimes happens after that is they’ll come back to me a day or two later and proclaim something along the lines of “I read some of the Garfield strips and I don’t get it.” Herein lies the fatal mistake: exclusively reading the comics. Don’t get me wrong, the strips are funny, and a great addition to the orange cat’s mythos, but they don’t give you the whole story. 

 

So where should you start? With one of the two animated TV shows? One of the 12 primetime specials, the two live action or three animated direct-to-video movies, or the host of Garfield-brand video games produced since 1984? To many looking to “get” what it is about the character that wormed its way into the collective consciousness of the nation, entering the franchise appears a convoluted, difficult process, especially with some of the cat’s more obscure appearances. In order to streamline the experience, here’s my official guide for getting into everything Garfield:

 

  • Start with the special “Garfield’s Thanksgiving” from 1989. It’s the most accessible entrypoint into the franchise, outlining many of the tropes of the series, and it’s free on Youtube.
  • If you were a fan of that, move on to the 90s TV show “Garfield and Friends.” It’s important to note that a lot of this stuff is pretty similar, so if you don’t like these first few entries you probably won’t like the later entries either (with the exception of some of the specials which I think stand alone).
  • Intersperse watching the TV show with the rest of the 80s specials. They’re probably the best thing that’s ever been associated with the Garfield brand, and a couple of them even won Emmys. If you aren’t sold on the franchise at this point at least give some of these a shot.
  • To transition into some of Garfield’s more modern appearances, watch the two live action Bill Murray movies, “Garfield: The Movie” and “Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties,” both of which are solid, if a bit mundane.
  • From there, watch the early-2010s TV show “The Garfield Show.” It’s not as consistently good as its 90s predecessor, but it’s experimental enough to warrant a watch.
  • If you still can’t get enough of Garfield, try the three late-2000s direct-to-video movies. These are animated in the same 3D style as “The Garfield Show” and are equally as experimental, so if you liked the show you’ll probably like the movies. These can again be interspersed with the show in the same way as the specials, so don’t feel like you have to finish the show to watch them.

 

By this point you should have a near encyclopedic knowledge of Garfield. This guide is by no means concrete, so feel free to jump around if something catches your eye. The guide also doesn’t mention the comics or video games, but you can jump into those at any point; the comics are free on the internet and I personally haven’t played many of his video game appearances so I can’t testify to their quality (although I know there’s something of a cult following around the racing games). I watched TV shows and read the comics religiously as a kid, and as such I hope to give people a way to experience the franchise the way I did.

Quarantine Lessons by Julia Mennes

 

2020 was undoubtedly a difficult year. In an attempt to not discredit the challenges many had to face, I will put it this way: I am privileged to be able to say I had a surprisingly good time in quarantine. The pandemic allowed me to take a breath and really reflect on the “normalcy” of my life. I finally had time to finish the many chores and projects I had been putting off. I had the energy to pursue new hobbies like baking (mostly sourdough bread, along with the rest of the world). My family became closer than ever as we took long walks with our quarantine rescue dog and held daily pickleball tournaments in the driveway. Now that most places have opened back up and many of us are back to our busy schedules, I ask, what lessons and/or changes should we bring forth into our post-pandemic lives? While I can’t say I have made any major epiphanies or turned my lifestyle upside down, I have adopted a few habits that I am trying my best to continue as the pace of life picks back up.

 

Practicing some form of body movement every day

 

Reading (for pleasure, not for school!)

 

Making my bed every morning, even if I have nowhere to go

 

Hiking (or just getting outside) as often as I can

 

Regularly texting/calling my grandparents

 

Attempting to meditate (it’s hard!)

 

I’m sure there are more that I cannot remember, but I think self-reflection is one of the most important ways to keep yourself grounded. Small or large, the pandemic is sure to have left some kind of impact on all of us and it is important to reflect on that.

College Applications by Vivian Bowling

If all goes according to plan, I will be in college in less than a year. I’m ready for a new adventure at college, but there are a few issues I have run into. The biggest, and probably the most dramatic, is I have absolutely no idea where I want to go. I don’t know what size school I want. I don’t know if I want public or private. I don’t know what location I want to be in. I don’t know anything at all. At this point I can go anywhere. I have picked 10 schools I wanted to apply to, decided I actually hated them all, removed them from the common app and started over. I have no joke done this 5 times. My original list of schools was 54. Fifty-four. That is literally obnoxious. Let’s go back to the common app issue. I have a love-hate relationship with the common app. I love hating every school I apply to. Common app is so easy yet at the same time I don’t understand a single thing. If you are like me, and plan to apply Early Action to schools, then you are in a bit of a time crunch. August 1 of your senior year the common app opens for applications. They give you tons of prompts and supplemental essays you need to write, alongside hundreds of deeply personal and detailed questions about your life. By November 1 you have had to complete all of these questions and essays, get all your recommendation letters in, submit your transcripts and standardized test score all while keeping your grades up in school so you get into your dream school of course. I know I will end up exactly where I am supposed to be and it will all work out, but for now I like to panic about all the possible outcomes my life could go in the next year. To be fair, I am being a bit dramatic. I have a finalized college application list and I am very happy with the decisions I’ve made. Just like the rest of the population though, I am my biggest enemy. I doubt my ability to get into the schools I love or I stress myself out for the future to come. For now, I am staying focused on senior year and remembering how life works in magical ways so it will all work out. I am enjoying my 13th and final year in the Shaker Heights School District and my final year living with my family. I am reminding myself that this next year will be fast, so I better enjoy it. Life is hectic right now, but the more I think about it, the more excited I am. I just hope I make that November 1st deadline. 

Chargers Outlast Browns in High-Scoring Thriller By Will Welsh

INGLEWOOD, CA — In a battle of two one-loss teams, the LA Chargers emerged victorious, defeating the Browns 47-42.  

Both teams involved in this contest had high expectations leading up to the game. The Browns and Chargers both sat at 3-1 and each team led their respective division. The players must have heard about the hype because their performance certainly lived up to it. 

The Browns dominated the game from the outset, and held onto a two-score lead in the third quarter. As the clock wound down, and the fourth quarter began, a shootout ensued. Both the Browns and Chargers have played well in the fourth quarter all season, and yesterday’s contest was no exception. In the final 15 minutes, a combined total of 41 points were scored

The fourth quarter was one to remember, with plenty of touchdowns, extra points, a missed extra point, and a two point conversion. At one point, the Browns defense worked together to push Chargers running back Austin Ekeler into the endzone for a touchdown, giving the Browns offense just over 1:30 to drive down the field and seal the win. Unfortunately for the Browns, poor clock management and decision making wasted 50 seconds to travel 12 yards and the Browns were left in a hopeless Hail Mary situation. 

Yesterday’s impressive performance would not have been possible without the expert play of both quarterbacks, as well as Nick Chubb, and Mike Williams. Baker Mayfield had a perfect bounce-back game, completing 72 percent of his passes for 305 yards and 2 scores. Justin Herbert, while only completing 62 percent of his passes, ended with 398 yards and 4 touchdowns. Taking advantage of a weak Chargers defensive line, Browns running back Nick Chubb racked up 161 yards and a score, averaging a staggering 7.7 yards per carry. Through the air, Chargers wide receiver Mike Wiliams had a stellar game, ending with 165 yards and 2 touchdowns. The superstars on both teams put up incredible stats, but it was the Chargers that executed in crunch time. 

Next week, the Browns will play the undefeated Cardinals at home and the Chargers will take on their second AFC North team in two weeks, the Ravens. Both teams have playoff aspirations and hope to meet again in January. 

 

Should You Watch Squid Game? By Rachel Coxon

Despite college due dates, extended essay deadlines and studying for tests every other night, I managed to finish the show that’s taking over the internet in a week. Released on Netflix last month, the Korean thriller has reached #1 in over 90 countries. If you haven’t watched Squid Game by now, you must not give in to peer pressure easily, so congrats. 

The series opens with Seong Gi-hun, a gambling addict who’s millions in debt and struggling to financially support his daughter. He’s invited to play “games” for cash, along with 455 others who find themselves in grave debt. The show kicks up a notch during the first game, where a simple round of the kid’s game Red Light, Green Light turns into life or death. The thrilling twists don’t stop there, as each episode takes it to another level. 

Say you haven’t watched it yet, what’s stopping you? Blood makes you squirm? Not your kind of genre? To this I’d say: Suck it up and watch it. 

For one, there’s nothing else like it. I guess Squid Game’s dystopian-play-to-the-death element makes it somewhat comparable to The Hunger Games… if the movie series was on crack. Plus everyone likes The Hunger Games

There’s also some message to it, involving human morality and the fact that money can’t buy happiness. 

Finally, you’ll have a lot to talk about with peers and teachers, not to mention the ability to understand half the memes on the internet right now. Viral sensations are only fun when you’re participating in them, so get on board!

Stressed Out by Nora Konrad

How do you get it all done?

This has been the question swirling around my head for weeks. I’m a senior, and right now everything feels like too much. I am an all or nothing type of person. If I am going to do something, I am going to do it well. I am unsatisfied with mediocrity, and this can become an issue when things add up, because I don’t know what’s a priority. I want to be a good student and do well in school. But I’m also applying to college. Film school to be more precise. So do college applications need to be my first priority? I’m also the president of film club, and I want to find cool opportunities and make it fun. It’s hard to find a balance.
So do you see the conundrum? Everything is important. So what do I focus on first? I hope I’m not the only person feeling this way. But I think just about every high school student can relate to being stressed out.

After many overwhelmed freak-outs, I’ve figured out a couple things I try to do when I’m feeling stressed out:

  1. Make a list of everything that needs to get done
  2. Work at the coffee shop
    1. My favorite places to work include: Van AkeFree Stress Cliparts, Download Free Stress Cliparts png images, Free ClipArts on Clipart Libraryn, Phoenix, and the Art Museum
  3. Get exercise
  4.  Dance it Out
  5. Listen to good music
  6. Hang out with friends
  7. Take a break, watch TV, do something fun

So even though there is a lot to get done, I try to remember that it isn’t the end of the world because I’m trying my best. And that’s all I can do.

Hidden Gems in My Day by Claire Borden

My life is defined by routine. This takes away a lot of my sense of control, because there is so much I have to do, which doesn’t leave very much time for things I enjoy. To cope with this, I try to incorporate habits that bring me comfort. These are always changing, and an unintended benefit of this is how it causes certain parts of my routine to define periods of my life, like how in the winter of Freshman year, I used to listen to “Sandcastles” by Beyonce every day on the way from lunch to geometry. As time passes, I get tired of these habits and move on to new ones. This cycle provides a portal back to past periods of my life, and I love how by simply eating a certain food, or listening to a certain song, I am able to reconnect with the person I was. For now, these are the habits that add color to my day, and when I look back on them in the future, they will remind me of what my life looked like during the fall of my Junior year. 

Listening to old Taylor Swift songs on the way to school

Eating Frosted Flakes as a snack

Listening to the Moth podcast while I’m in the shower

Bringing Earl Grey tea to school and drinking it during my morning classes

Going to Baskin Robbins or Wendy’s after school with my best friend

Watching Downton Abbey before bed with my mom

Packing pasta with pesto every day for lunch

Getting dinner with my friends on school nights

Making eggs and toast every morning while I watch Gilmore Girls 

Painting my nails this one shade of orangey-red

Listening to Harry Potter audiobooks while I get ready in the morning