“Ralph Breaks the Internet” Movie Review

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Ralph Breaks the Internet poster image. This was a sequel to the first movie that came out in 2012. Photo taken from Disney Movies.

Momina Raja

It’s been a little over two months since Ralph Breaks the Internet released and it’s still the movie everyone’s talking about. If you didn’t already know, it’s a sequel to the first movie, Wreck It Ralph, which was released almost six years ago that introduced us to the whole world of video game characters. It follows the main characters, Ralph and Vanellope, as they find a Wi-Fi router that transports them to the “Internet” in hopes to fix Vanellope’s game before it gets shut down.

They meet new people along the way like “Shank” and the rest of her group from the game Slaughter Race, Disney princesses that we’ve grown up with, a cute little virtual bot called an “e-boy” that assists them, a social media helper named “Yesss” (voiced by Taraji P. Henson!) and many others.

One thing that many people were excited about for this movie is that actress Gal Gadot would be voicing Shank, an edgy competitive driver who Vanellope forms a close bond with. Gadot is more recently known for having portrayed Wonder Woman in in the 2017 Wonder Woman movie, Justice League, and Batman V Superman.

Because Ralph Breaks the Internet was produced by Disney, they were able to incorporate and include not only the famous Disney princesses, but also other pop culture characters and brands like Star Wars, Eeyore from Winnie the Poo, a few Marvel easter eggs if you look closely enough, and even a cameo of the late Marvel comic creator Stan Lee, which was a pleasant surprise.

Viewers were also able to see tons of other brands like EBay, Spotify, Pinterest, and YouTube which was nice because viewers were able to relate to the platforms since these applications are something we on a day to day basis.

The film has made $287 million worldwide and won Best Animated Feature nomination at this year’s Golden Globe awards as well as the Critics’ Choice awards. I would definitely recommend everyone to watch this. No matter how old you are, it is a movie that the entire family can enjoy because of the several references to games, people, and brands that everyone knows about.

There’s a New Superintendent in Town

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Amy Cashwell, new superintendent of HCPS, visits the Glen Allen High School Library. She is excited about working with all HCPS employees and students and working to provide the best education for all.


If you haven’t heard already, Henrico County Public Schools has a new superintendent, Dr. Amy Cashwell. Before entering school administration, Dr. Cashwell was a former second and fourth grade teacher in Virginia Beach. She credited her interest towards education to her childhood experience of growing up in a military family. “We moved a lot which means I went to a lot of different schools and sometimes those transitions were challenging. It was nice to know that I had teachers and staff rallied around making me feel safe and welcome” she said. Her “affinity for teaching” ever since she was little was another key factor in why she became a teacher.

Dr. Cashwell went into administration with the help of the experiences she gained from working in the school system. She stated that, “While I was a teacher I was able to take on some different leadership roles.” She served as a department chair, took on lots of committee work, and as she said, she “started getting involved in helping write and shape the curriculum not just for the teachers in the school where I was teaching but for the whole school division that I was working in at the time.”

She began to see the impacts made on the students. She said, “not just the classroom but the whole team of people thinking about what it looks like across the system.” From this she made the decision to obtain a master’s degree in administration, leading to her role of assistant principal and eventually principal, in addition to where she is now.

As of now, Dr. Cashwell hopes to help Henrico County Public Schools “maintain its reputation for excellence.” She hopes that there will be changes made in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusivity. Her main goal is that students and their families should feel that there are equal opportunities for them “no matter what their gender, socio-economic status, religion, and race is.” She stated that she would “really like to see that be one of the major steps that we take forward as a school division during my time here.”

Apart from school related activities, Dr. Cashwell enjoys gardening with her daughters whenever she finds free time in her packed schedule. When asked if she could travel anywhere in the world, she replied with “some place in Asia” so that she could take an actual look at the history of the world “which you can’t really get from here.” The interview concluded with a piece of advice from her to our graduating seniors. She advised them to “Think about your growth and development as a person, and not just academically. Many times seniors are thinking about what they have to do to meet the course requirements required but they often miss the opportunities to grow as a person and become life ready.” Glen Allen Jaguars are excited to have such a great role model and want her to know that she’s welcome to visit anytime!


Climate Change Sparking Controversy Among Students

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Climate change is a contentious topic in today’s tense political atmosphere. However, nearly 30% of Glen Allen High School students polled informally say they are unfamiliar with the issue.

Talk of climate change first began in the 1800s, when French scientist Joseph Fourier theorized that the earth’s atmosphere could trap carbon dioxide, potentially creating negative effects for the environment. Over the years, this theory has gained more traction as we have begun to notice more pronounced man-made consequences on our natural habitat such as longer and more destructive wildfire seasons and rising sea levels. Today, climate change is recognized as a shift in natural climate patterns due to an increase of fossil fuel-created carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a statement estimating there to be approximately 20 years to save the Earth from global warming’s permanent consequences. These long-term penalties include the communities and habitats devastated by rapidly-rising sea levels and atmosphere temperatures, as well as a drastic loss of genetic diversity among living beings all around the world. We have seen these changes especially in this year’s abnormal weather patterns, including an increase of tropical storms in the Western Hemisphere and the third significant Saharan snowfall in 40 years.

Graph of global temperature recorded from 1880 to present day. Image taken from Phys.org.

The IPCC’s warning, just one in the midst of many others, has sent many people into a frenzy, and the issue’s relevance has seen a dramatic boost in recent years. “I think that it’s one of the world’s largest problems, and I think that it’s too late to stop it, but we have time to reduce the effects greatly,” Freshman Alex Van Marcke said.

So how can we help? It is important to acknowledge that an estimated 90% of contributors to carbon dioxide emissions are large corporations, and that the only way we as a society will be able to stop climate change is by these major companies reducing usage of harmful resources.

If you want to make a difference in your own life, experts from NASA recommend taking small steps like using more public transportation, using compact fluorescent light bulbs in favor of incandescent light bulbs, and turning off lights or electronics when you are not using them. According to a survey taken of Glen Allen students’ opinions on climate issues, 6.5% of students polled are already fighting climate change with actions like these, and 45% of students are currently considering it. A single person’s actions won’t be able to make a significant change, but the effects of climate change can be lessened if enough people stand out.

Mr. Tolbert Expands Photography Club’s Boundaries

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Junior Aliza Schwarz’s photo of a rose.

Jakob Larsen

The Glen Allen photography club has been around for a while, but the recent change in focus to the Film and Photography club has broadened the club’s focus as well as connected it with other clubs in the school. Mr. Tolbert, the new sponsor of photography club as well as the sponsor of the Rosette literary magazine for the past two years, explained his goal was to “streamline the process for students to generate art and have it exhibited in the literary magazine.” In the past, Mr. Tolbert said “obtaining art work, especially photography, has been challenging.” However, the connection between photography club and the literary magazine helps Jaguar photographers have their work displayed to the public. He also expanded the reach of the club to include not just photography, but films as well. The goal of this change was to “allow students to engage in conversation about film,” Mr. Tolbert said.

Along with photography, some of the club’s meetings are to watch and discuss a particular movie. The club usually meets once a month in Mr. Tolbert’s room, where they often watch and discuss films. Members of the club especially enjoyed watching Rear Window directed by Alfred Hitchcock, as well as many others.

Finally, Mr. Tolbert has some advice for photographers. He says the best way to improve your photography skills is to “look toward other artists as mentors.” With time, he says, “you will cease to emulate and eventually find your own artistic voice.”

Jaguar Drama’s Peter and the Starcatcher Preview

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By: Abby Perkins

It’s that time of year for Glen Allen’s very own Jaguar Drama to put on another one of their pnuenomical fall plays. This year, Jaguar Drama will be putting on Peter and the Starcatcher, a fast-paced comedy telling the origin story of Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and other beloved characters we all know and love.

To give a brief overview: Peter, played by sophomore Brandon McKinney, is put on a ship called the Neverland with two other orphans; Prentiss, played by 11th grader Devin Alburger, and Ted, played by freshman Katie Burks. There the three boys meet Molly Aster, a starcatcher apprentice and begin a whirlwind adventure. Familiar faces such as Black Stache (Captain Hook), played by 10th grader Owen Rice, his right-hand-man Smee, senior Mark Titus, and even Tinkerbell, junior Sophie Ventura, enter the picture. Other notable characters include Lord Leonard Aster, Molly’s starcatcher father, portrayed by senior Trey Grimes.

The show consists of roughly 33 actors, with the help of several helpful crew members, art teams, and costume designers. Kerry Williams, the stage manager and Glen Allen senior, said that her favorite part about working on Peter and the Starcatcher was “getting to watch everything from the beginning.”

Brandon said, “I like Peter’s story the most while also getting to learn about him and transforming into the character.”

“Definitely being able to speak in a British accent, everything about the show is fun and that just adds to it,” Trey said.

photo credits to Jakob Skammer -Sophomore Brandon Mckinney acts through the end of act one.

photo credits to Jakob Skammer – junior Kruger Daniels poses during mic check.

Be sure not to miss Jaguar Drama’s Peter and the Starcatcher! The show runs from November 29th to December 1st at 7:30 p.m. each night at Glen Allen High School. Tickets are $6 in advance (can be purchased during lunches the week of the 26th) and $8 at the door. Just a small price to pay for such a hysterical and memorable show!

Is Political Correctness Effective?

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By: Sofi Varon

Political correctness has sparked heated debates over the years.  It specializes in banning offensive words, which at first glance seems innocuous, but many consider it to be a weapon for the neurotic.  Arguments over its necessity or absurdity have increasingly become an epidemic. The feuds frequently explode on social media, but they have also seeped into our politics.  I call this “the controversy over words.”

Political correctness has merit in aiming for politeness, but one must also recognize when such politeness can go too far. Some have labeled common words such as hysterical, crazy, and blind as societal taboo.

Even when we eliminate a genuinely offensive word, political correctness is the equivalent to sticking our finger up a faucet; rather than finding an alternate solution, we stubbornly end up trying to shove our whole fist. When a racist word is eliminated, for instance, and racism is still present, rather than thinking of a different approach, we fruitlessly try to find more words to banish.

Categorizing specific terms as “no-no words” have left some people satisfied, but the remainder of us frustrated. Racism hasn’t ended. Sexism hasn’t ended. Anti-Semitism hasn’t ended. We must acknowledge that the issue isn’t the words themselves, but rather the intent behind them. When we stop thinking of solutions and instead fixate on potentially offensive words, we end up tilting at windmills.

Naturally, political correctness has rightfully retired several terms, specifically the ones designed to be offensive and demeaning. We are capable of cleaning out the garbage, however, without throwing away every day materials. As blogger Bruce Mikells sees it, political correctness should be like sugar, best used in moderation.

Words describing African-American people have been repeatedly misused, retired, and replaced throughout history. From “Negro” to “colored” to “black people” to our current, but likely temporary, “African American”. All share the same definition, yet once negative connotations emerge, we hastily replace them. Problematically, the xenophobes using the words, however, won’t change because it’s “politically incorrect”; therefore, removing them is scarcely beneficial.

America’s prejudice is as old as the country itself.  Modifying a word is but a lame attempt to avoid conflict. Instead of puzzling over a potentially offensive term, politicians should face the real reason behind America’s discrimination: our ego.

To eliminate the countless –isms that have plagued our society, we need to stop categorizing and associating ourselves with particular groups. To banish racism, for instance, we should stop identifying ourselves by our race. When people place both themselves and others into distinct categories, they face both pride and prejudice. Problems will arise the second we create an “us vs. them” scenario. We naturally associate the groups we are in to be the superior one. This is especially absurd because the groups are illusions. The groups, in essence, exist only in our heads. Scientifically, we are homo-sapiens. That’s it. We are not a religion, class, or country. We are human. It is when we promote unnecessary specifics that the -isms start to form.



A Day in the Life of Disney – Food and Wine Festival

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By: Layla Rose


My mom and I packed our bags full of excitement and ready to run in the Food and Wine 10k race in Disney World during the month of October. When unfortunately, we both got knee and foot injuries. My knee was messed up while my mom’s foot hurting really bad. So, we decided to go to Disney World for a normal vacation. To our surprise we didn’t realize that they were having an actual food festival. There was so much more food than we could have ever imagined. It is a time when you go to the Epcot park, walk around the various countries, and try food from ALL over the world. It is a time to learn about other countries’ life styles and what they would eat. During the week my mom and I tried over 20 of the 40 food options from the countries and surprisingly I didn’t know how much of it I would actually like. I am a very picky eater and this experience at Epcot changed the way I ate. I tried so many dishes that were foods that I would have never tried in my life. Some of our favorite places we went to were Canada, Japan, and Australia. We ate some delicious Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Soup from Canada that was so creamy and smooth that every bite I took was more delicious than the last. Next, we ate in Japan and had a Teriyaki Chicken Bun which had a tangy taste of spices and sweet fluffy bread. Then, we went to Australia for some sweet Lamington cake with coconut on top. I have never been fond of coconut, but to my surprise it ended up being one of my favorite desserts I tried. After our trip of eating all this unbelievably amazing food, I realized how much I enjoy all the different types of food in the world and how different they taste from one another. After all that food I hope my knee heals so that I will be able to run it all off.

Girl Up Becomes Part of Glen Allen High

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Girl Up is one of the newest clubs at Glen Allen High School for the 2018-2019 school year and is sponsored by Ms. Shevchuk and run by president Kathryn DeBusk. Senior Kat DeBusk, who is also involved Student Council, drama, BACK, and Model UN, said, “My friend Sarah was in Girl Up at Hermitage, so I looked into the idea and thought it would be really cool to start at Glen Allen.”

In this Tuesday forum, Kat talks about various issues that surround women today. These issues include poverty, lack of hygiene products, and trafficking. Photo Credit: Momina Raja

The club focuses on empowering women and there are over 50 members participating. DeBusk explains, “We try to bring awareness to the struggles that young women in developing countries face. We want to make sure girls around the world have access to medical care, education, sanitary and hygiene products, and more. Recently, we conducted a feminine hygiene drive to benefit Period Patch, an organization that helps RVA’s homeless and displaced women with their monthly cycles. We also are in the process of installing feminine hygiene product dispensers in the bathrooms of GAHS as a long-term solution.”

Interested in joining this club? The sponsor is Ms. Shevchuk and she can be found in room 111, and the club is always open to new members. Meetings are every week on Tuesdays at 8:15 a.m. in room 111.Topics range from human trafficking to wellness in women. There are also Tuesday forums, where people submit something they want to know more about, such as sex trafficking or struggles for women in third world countries. Impactful videos are shown and much needed discussions are held. There is a remind group that anyone can join (text @girlupga to 81010), just talk to either Kat or Ms. Shevchuk. It’s a great way to change the world through empowering women!


The Aftermath of the Kavanaugh Trial

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It seemed Brett Kavanaugh was the perfect pick to be the next Supreme Court Judge. He had gone to Yale and Yale Law, while also clerking underneath Justice Anthony Kennedy. Donald Trump knew he had chosen a good candidate.

On September 14th, 2018, the Democratic Party received an anonymous allegation from a woman stating that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. This then released a stream of women coming forward stating that they were witnesses or victims of sexual harassment by Brett Kavanaugh.

Christine Blasey Ford was the first woman who raised allegations against Kavanaugh. Professor Ford accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to the bed at a high school house party while he was heavily intoxicated. She stated that he also groped her and attempted to take off her clothes while covering her mouth with his hand after she screamed. As quoted by Vox and The Telegraph, she said that she “feared rape” and being “accidentally killed.”

Kavanaugh denied these claims, but the damage had been done. Multiple women also came forward stating that they witnessed Kavanaugh sexually harassing women; one woman even stated that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her personally. To rectify the claims and attempt to understand what truly happened, the Senate Judiciary Committee called forth Ford and Kavanaugh to testify in his confirmation hearing.

An emotional Brett Kavanaugh gives his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee with unsettled faces behind him. Throughout his testimony, he states that his family has been destroyed because of the allegations.

Throughout the course of his hearing, the subject had changed from whether or not he was qualified for the position to whether or not he has assaulted not only Ford, but was capable for assaulting the other women as well. Not only was his track record important for his confirmation, but it truly allowed the American people to understand who Kavanaugh is and what ideas he embodied. As of today, Kavanaugh has been confirmed into the Supreme Court despite uproars of the American public condemning his and Trump’s choices. Even so, this event has inspired others to campaign for their own ideologies to be heard due to the fact that the Supreme Court has been overrun with right-leaning politics.

Women have begun to campaign for themselves as candidates for a position in their local, city, or even state governments. In the midst of the #MeToo movement, Christine Blasey Ford empowered women all across the country to speak about their own experiences to help others as she has to heal. The first Muslim women, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, were elected to Congress. Wisconsin Democrat lawyer Sharice Davis was one of the first Native American people to be elected to Congress, along with Democrat Deb Haaland in New Mexico. As stated by the Center for American Women and Politics, 85 women currently hold seats within the House of Representatives. Women represent 19.5% of the 435 members and 34 states within the United States.

An overwhelming wave of diversity in the elections, not only in gender but in race, has allowed the different cultures of the American people to become more represented in their government.

“A Star Is Born” Movie Review

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The brand-new movie A Star Is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, follows the lives of Jack Maine, a successful musician, and Ally, a waitress and struggling singer. The film focuses on the evolution of these characters through fame and stardom and what happens to their relationship through both good times and bad. The movie conveys themes of love, hardship, family, and perseverance, so audiences anywhere and everywhere can appreciate this film.

Movie poster hanging at the Regal Short Pump Cinema
Taken by: Ella Lefkowitz

Needless to say, the reviews have been strong – the strongest of all four of the movies. The 2018 film was the fourth installment of the same story; the first A Star Is Born was released in 1937, the second in 1954, and the third in 1976. Although famous faces appear in all four movies – Judy Garland played Gaga’s character in 1954, and Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson were counterparts in the 1976 remake. The 2018 remake has garnered the best reviews from the press. The New York Times labelled the film as a “gorgeous heartbreaker” and advises its audiences to bring tissues to the theater. Other reviews echo this sentiment and comment on the tear-jerking aspects of the film, especially the plot twist awaiting viewers at the end. Unsurprisingly, the soundtrack the film has received a multitude of positive reviews as well. Every song in the movie is original, with no repeats from the previous films. The genres of music change from the beginning to the end of the soundtrack as well, representing the evolution of the characters’ personalities. The soundtrack moves from rock and roll to soul to pop, my favorite being the rock at the beginning.

Personally, I loved this movie, and I would rate it 9/10 stars. I thought that Bradley Cooper did a fantastic job directing. The scene that made me the most emotional was the scene during their first performance together, when they sang the song “Shallows.” I was also very emotional at the end of the movie, right after the climax. I thought that Lady Gaga was an unexpected choice for the role, but a very strong choice. Her voice is incredible and she was well-suited for the part. Tori Eriavez, a senior, disagrees with me. She commented, “When Lady Gaga tried to be serious, I didn’t buy it.”

I was shocked by the movie at points. Junior Anna Van Marcke stated, “I thought [the movie] was very good, and different than how it looked in the trailer.” I completely agree with her: the plot of the film veers away significantly from what the trailer portrays. Everyone in the theater seemed stunned and emotional when the lights came back on.

I recommend this movie especially to anyone that loves music. For the people that don’t love music, I still recommend this movie. There are aspects of the film that appeal to everyone, and the film is 100% worth seeing.










The Richmond Folk Festival

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As the dancers of the Zuni Olla Maidens entered the performance space, balancing decorated ceramic pots called Olla on their heads, they transformed their ancestors’ essential, life-giving work of carrying water from the river into an eloquent dance tradition. The dance originates from Zuni, New Mexico.
Photo Credit: Ali Merchant

The Richmond Folk Festival is one of Virginia’s largest events, drawing visitors from all over the country to downtown Richmond’s historic riverfront. The Festival is a free three-day event that got its start as the National Folk Festival held in Richmond from 2005-2007.

This year’s Richmond Folk Festival featured performing groups representing a diverse array of cultural traditions on seven stages.This year’s festival occurred from Friday, October 12 to Sunday, October 15th, 2018.

Many groups came from places such as Turkey, Indonesia, New Mexico, and different parts of the United States. The festival also featured many different cuisines such as traditional ramen and grilled alligator. 

“The alligator tastes kind of like teriyaki chicken,” said ICERV Volunteer Azim Ladhani. “I’ve been doing this for the past three years and I love it! The feeling I get from serving my community is incomparable to anything else.” This year, he volunteered on the green team, a group of people who walk around the nine-mile-long festival and clean up the trash that has been scattered around Brown’s Island.

Many vendors attended the Folk Festival and brought their special cuisine with them. Foods ranged from the classic Burger and Fries of America, to Dumplings from China, and even Chicken Masala and Samosas from India.
Photo Credit: Ali Merchant

The Folk Festival featured many voluntary service opportunities such as fundraising, merchandise sales, safety escorts, and the green team. The festival ran all day and the opportunities for service, food, and fun were endless, from trying new foods to listening to creative music.


Adviser: Melissa McLamb
Co-Editors: Elaina Coviello & Maggie Nuckols
Section Editors: Lauren Baugham & Morgan Deckert
Photography & Graphic Design: Bailey Steele
Social Networks: Jamison Crenshaw & Claire Bernard
HoGA: Emily Bickford & Oscar Gamez
Interactives/Monthly Flyer: Ashleigh Russo & Kelly Riggan
Writers: Kaylee Bagley, Cassie Coughlan, Paxton O'Brien, Sara Beth Stansberry, Brian Fadool, & Joshua Holtzman