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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Vox Pop

Below is the link to my Vox pop and I went around and asked the students and faculty of Freeport High School what they thought of Freeport High School. The answers may or may not surprise you take a listen if you dare!

Favorite article 2

What was the assignment? The first of two editorials I did. This one was for the NY Times and we were asked to write an editorial pertaining to current issues in our society. Why did you choose this piece over the others we have done? Again I thought that this piece really captured my voice and opinions. I thought it was well written and constructed and had fire to it. I mean I enjoy reading it so I figure everyone else will. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the piece? Strengths are: opinion and voice, facts and quotes. My own personal trials and tribulations add a lot to this piece. Weakness are: probably again some grammar and my math probably could be better. You Accepted Me Why Won't You Let Me Go Here? Let's face it. The cold hard truth is to get anywhere in life, you need to go to college. Now granted some are able to do trades, but for the rest of us who aren't quite skilled with our hands there's college. Yet, how are you supposed to pay for it? To get into any school you'll be roughly paying for a new car each year for four years. Now, granted schools give you scholarships and financial aid. But, truly, what good is that? Unless you're a star athlete (and don't even get me started on the unfairness of college athletics) you don't get a full ride. Coming from a middle class family I get roughly $7,000 in financial aid. My tuition goes down from $55,000 to $48,000. Oh and thank you for that $10,000 dollar scholarship now it's down to $38,000 a year-- totally affordable! Psych!! Plus don't forget to add in all your first year necessities: laptops, kitchenware, food, all that good stuff and all of that out of your pocket. Oh and the $50 you charged me just so I could send you my application. The price added up is the equivalent of a new 2014 truck or SUV. Now of course there's loans but you'll be paying those off for the rest of your life anyway; that is provided you get a job out of college. Floyd Norris of the NY Times states "There delinquencies continue to rise, and loans continue to be made without regard for the ability to repay." In his article Norris not only argues that loans hurt students and make them less likely to take out new loans, but they also hurt the economy. People are less willing to borrow money and have less money to pay for things. Norris goes on to argue: "One thing the federal student loan program does not lack is ways to collect the money." Here he states that should you find yourself unable to pay for college, please don't worry. The colleges will find a way to reach into your pockets and get your money. Somehow, someway they will. In the end, it's all about money and how much can you make off of someone for four years. While a college education is setting you up for your future, it is also simultaneously building walls in your future. College needs to be cheaper or easier to pay for; that is the plain simple fact. You accepted me, why won't you let me go here?

Favorite artical 1

What was the assignment? This was the second of two editorials that we were asked to do. Why did you choose this piece over the others we have done? I really thought it was some of my best writing all year. I thought my opinion and voice were captured really here and it was a strong and well worded document. It was one of my favorite pieces of writing. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the piece? Strengths are: my voice is really strong throughout the piece and with that also my opinion. My facts and quotes are solid and informative. My weakness might be that I didn't explain my quotes well enough and of course there's probably some grammatical errors. It's that wonderful wonderful time of year again. It's the end of March and basketball is being played and students are being exploited. This is march madness and this is an ages old debate. The March Madness tournament generates millions in revenue and yet what do the kids get? Sure they get to play under the big lights for the big school. Some even getting show off their skills before they head off into the NBA. Yet in a business, according to, that even for the smaller schools makes over 50 million dollars they don't see a dime. Now the college would argue that they're paying the athletes through scholarship and giving them an education, yet even that has it's dark side too. The scholarship money is only good as long as you stay healthy but if you get hurt then it's game over, literally. Also with the amount of hours that is put into a sport the money you make off the scholarship adds up to a number that is below minimum wage. And it's not like they're really getting an education. They have classes picked for them and tailored to them to make sure that they don't fail off the team, even though these classes can take them off the track that they want to be on. Jalen Rose a former college and NBA player and now sports analysts for ESPN said some very enlightening thoughts in an interview I was watching: "the coach would say Jalen what's wrong with you? What's wrong with me? My mothers lights about to get cut off. You don't have money at home you defiantly don't have it at school" Jalen was also a part of the Fab Five, one of the most famous college teams ever. He talked about how he was watching a recorded game one time and a commercial came up for a book about them. Yet they never saw a cut from this money, even though money was being made off them, and they couldn't do a thing about it. Bill Simmons who was interviewing Jalen at the time told this story "you guys were going to some fast food place and you didn't have enough money, but the store next to the fast food place, they had all of your jerseys in the window for $55 a jersey." This just shows that people are more than willing to exploit these kids and make money off of them and then refuse to give them even a small cut of it, or as Jalen says: "when you preach amateurism yet your getting money." Basically saying you can't be paid, but we can and it'll be off your blood, sweat, and tears. The college system is a flawed one, yet there are strides going in the right direction. The quarterback from Northeastern, who won his court case and is now able to establish a union is starting to make the system little bit more fair. But even still the NCAA found this to be unfair for the NCAA and so now is trying to overturn the decision. This argument won't stop until there is a fair and equal treatment for college athletes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Senior Year movie review

Adamtar: the last hairbender March of the Senior Take a walk through the park and then while walking expect to have rocks and twigs and random other crap (some of it literal crap) tossed at you. That basically sums up the plot of the new drama/comedy directed by Quentin Tarantino. It's like if you took the moving and redeeming plot of Shawshank Redemption and combined it with the hilarity of a Marx brothers movie. We see the movie open up at the end of summer as the main character Adam Brobst steps through the doors of Freeport High School and enters into his senior year. Everything starts off pretty well in the beginning as we get a sense of what Freeport, Maine is like and how dirty the high school is. However when it comes time to deal with the college process that's when hilarity ensues and we see everything in Adam's life lose control. With Tarantino's twisted and dark sense of humor we can't help but laugh along as Adam slowly loses control of his high school life while dealing with the college process. In the middle of the movie we watch as the love interest is introduced and now Adam actually has something to work for. She is the bright spot of his winter and quite possibly the greatest thing to happen to him and they end up staying together for the entire movie with a bright future ahead of them. This is also when the movie takes a deeper turn and we watch as Adam slowly cares less and less about high school and turns his attention towards college. We see him distance himself from kids he's grown up with all his life and we watch as every night he cries out to god why he should have to do all this monotonous high school work when he's just ready to move on and go to college. The ending is where we see the full character development. We watch as Adam makes his final decision to go to Ithaca College and signs his letter of intent only to learn that his last week of high school is when his teachers decided to load him with work. We also watch as he again has to fight against his oppressive school to finally break free of their chains and go out on to his senior project and then hopefully go on to a prosperous life far from high school. Adam Morrison Brobst gives a very moving performance as himself and the viewer really starts to relate with both his humor and humiliation. He captures the pain and struggle of the last two months of high school with mastery of a seasoned actor, and we really see his capabilities in one scene breaking down and wondering why the hell he is still getting assigned in his words "BS high school assignments when he should be working on college stuff that will actually help his future." Overall this movie is well worth a view, but not for the kids having a PG-13 rating for excessive swearing and a touch of violence. If you're looking for a comedy with a moving message then this is the movie for you. I found myself enjoying it very much although I'm glad for the love interest because otherwise the winter scenes would've been slow and depressing. But in the end I laughed and I cried and I enjoyed my ride. Grade: 4 stars

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pixar Perfect

Pixar is something that never grows old. Everything they do they do it to perfection. Even at the age of 18 their movies are still some of the best I've ever seen. Wether it be the Incredibles or Toy Story (number 3 made me cry) they always seem to hit the nail right on the head. So it only makes sense that they'd do it again with this little short. I remember watching it as a small child right before the start of Bugs Life and laughing as the old man battled himself back and forth, and never has an old man faking a heart attack been so funny. I laughed then and I laughed now. Now that may say something about me as a person, that the same thing that made me laugh at five make me laugh now, but it is also a testament to the hilarity of this movie. The movie starts off with an old man setting up a chess game for himself. He then slowly goes from chair to chair, but as the action ramps up closer and closer to the climax, so does the speed in which the old man switches chairs. Pretty soon the line is blurred and the viewer almost believes that there are two players playing. The back and forth continues, until the old man fakes a heart attack which concerns his "opponent" and so while the "opponent" is checking to see if he is okay the old man switches the board and subsequently wins the game and the ultimate prize, dentures, which he pops in and continues laughing to himself at his cleverness. What works really well here is the back and forth between the "two players" providing entertainment as we watch the man battle his "opponent", not only is it humorous but it also makes you wonder why he's playing by himself and how long he's been doing it. The nice added touch too is the fact the old man removes and puts back on his glasses when he switches between people. This helps the viewer identify who's who and shows that the old man is making a conscious decision to switch, which most likely means he isn't crazy. The heart attack scene adds a lot because you almost believe that there are two people involved in the game and you forget that it's some old man switching chairs until it finally pans out and you see him laughing to himself at the end. The ending though is something I had a little bit of beef with just because I thought there could be more, but it is a short and I'm just nitpicky. Overall this movie out does quite a few full length movies because it has a plot and very interesting characters and it's full of action and humor. Pixar again knocks it out of the park.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review on movie reviews

If you are thinking about seeing a particular movie, would you consult a movie review for a recommendation? Why or why not? I think I might I mean at least now a days because I'm not going to spend nine bucks on a crappy movie. But I've defiantly gone into theaters without doing it so it all depends on my mood and how much effort I want to put forth. What types of useful information can a movie review offer you? List as many as you can. basic plot actors, and their ability if it's any good why it's any good How often do you think young people consult movie reviews before watching a movie? I mean it all depends on the person. I think some people consult them while others don't. I'd say about 55% do and those are some cold hard stats. What aspects about movie reviews make them a positive or negative influence on your decision to watch the movie? well if I read a bunch of reviews and they say a movie is crap then I'm going to assume its crap and I'm not going to see it. But if they say it's good then I'll assume it's good and I'll go see it. Basically wording and such. All though I like to generate my own opinions

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

College Questioning

— What is your reaction to Mr. Bruni’s idea that where you go to college matters less than “the effort you put into your studies, the earnestness with which you hone your skills, what you actually learn”? When I first read this question I honestly thought that Bruni was an idiot. I felt like if you have that nice diploma it well get you a lot farther in life. However he makes a great point by basically saying as long as you work hard and are willing to get an education you can get anywhere. I mean if you have like a 2.0 at Harvard and you graduate at like the bottom middle of your class it could actually been seen as worse than if you worked your butt of and made the top of the class with a 4.0 UMO. I also thought his point about kids with money already having a leg up when it comes to getting into Ivy League schools simply because they can pay to do more and make themselves look better which I thought was an accurate observation. — If you’re a student who is finished with the college process, what advice would you give high school juniors? Don't worry about rejection. The 1st letter I got was a rejection letter and it sent me into a frenzy. I was so scared that I wasn't going to get into anywhere so much so that I forgot that the school I applied to was highly selective. In the resulting weeks I got accepted to all my other schools, so don't worry about one rejection. College is a lot more than you think so apply to all of the scholarships that you can you're going to need them and do it early to get it off your mind. Also pick your school on your comfort level to go just because someone tells you to go because you enjoy it there. Also where you think you might want to go could change. I know that from when I was in middle school I wanted to go to school in Boston my mind was set on it and then I fell in love with a school in upstate New York which is a huge change in scenery. — What is your idea of what the perfect college for you might be? Why? I wanna be somewhere where it's a lot of hard work so I can challenge myself, but I also want to be abler to have down time and get along with people. So I'd never want to go to an Ivy League school because I don't like those kinds of people they all seem really elitist. I think I could be comfortable in a city or in the country, I just want a medium sized school where I can get a good education.