Students Stand Up!

On February 17th, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 17 teachers and students were shot. To most that is common knowledge by now, and hundreds of other shootings in schools in the past have gone through the media cycle where the victims names and stories are told, and then the media’s attention moves on to something else after a short amount of time.

This time it was different.

The students of America stood up for what they believed in, mobilized, and organized two walk out dates to commemorate the victims respectfully, and also protest, so that this time, a mass shooting does not go unforgotten.

Led by the students of Stoneman Douglass High School, two walk outs were organized on March 14th and April 20t…

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To Eat or Not To Eat, Meat is the Question

More recently in popular culture, certain diet-based life style choices have gained more attention. Choices such as gluten-free, GMO-free, not eating red meat, and vegetarianism have recently gained popularity, mainly on a health-based premise.

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstention from animal by-products. Some people choose to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle for more than just its health advantages, such improving your heart health and lowering cholesterol. Many find being vegetarian beneficial to themselves personally, as well as the world around them.

The health advantages do make a convincing case for the lifestyle. Vegetarianism helps to keep down weight, as it …

Read more

Everything, Everything is Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything is a drama released on May 19th about a girl named Maddie who is unable to go outside because of a disease. She is stuck inside her house with no connection to the outside world besides her mom, her nurse, and her nurse’s daughter until a new family moves in next with their son, Olly. They make eye contact through her window and sparks fly. Olly does not let the fact that Maddie cannot leave her house to keep them from being together.

The main character, Maddie, is excellently portrayed by Amandla Spenberg. She encompasses Maddie’s personality, displaying her as a fun-loving teenage girl. She is easily sympathized with and hard not to love. Olly, as played by Nick Robinson, is portrayed as the bad boy who l…

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Life Blooms at the Cherry Blossom Festival

If you don’t have plans for spring break, then try to make your way to the annual D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival. Surrounding the Tidal Basin near the D.C. mall, Japanese cherry blossoms bloom in full force during the spring, making for beautiful pictures and serene settings.

Whether you’re just going down for the day to walk around, have lunch, and soak in the beauty, or stay for the weekend, the free, hour-long walk around the entire basin will leave you feeling refreshed. There are different trails, restaurants, musical events, and

even themed merchandise. During the weekends of the festival, various different events take place such as concerts and the annual Kite Festival.

I happened to see the Kite Festival taking place …

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Beauty and the Beast Enchants a Whole New Generation

It was a “tale as old as time,” until director Bill Condon decided to pick it up and create a new live-action version. This refreshing take on a timeless classic brought the enchanting story of Belle to a whole new generation.

Beauty and the Beast begins with the same prologue as the animated version, and then delves into the beloved story of Belle, a young village girl who ends up trading with her father to take his place as prisoner of the Beast. When the castle comes to life and offers Belle a room outside of the tower, she takes it, slowly falling in love with the people-turned-antiques and the charm of the castle. The plot thickens as the Beast finds himself falling in love with Belle, and Belle notices something that “wasn’t th…

Read more

Students Stand Up!

By | Columns and Opinions, Slideshow | No Comments

On February 17th, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 17 teachers and students were shot. To most that is common knowledge by now, and hundreds of other shootings in schools in the past have gone through the media cycle where the victims names and stories are told, and then the media’s attention moves on to something else after a short amount of time.

This time it was different.

The students of America stood up for what they believed in, mobilized, and organized two walk out dates to commemorate the victims respectfully, and also protest, so that this time, a mass shooting does not go unforgotten.

Led by the students of Stoneman Douglass High School, two walk outs were organized on March 14th and April 20th to protest students not feeling safe in schools, to promote common-sense gun laws, and to remember the students and teachers who’s lives were taken.

At Glen Allen, over 600 students walked out of 2nd period on March 14th in protest for many reasons. The demonstration was 17 minutes long for the 17 people who lost their lives in the shooting.

Maddie Siepe films Patrick Wright while he starts the 17 minute protest with a short speech. He encouraged the people involved in the protest to use their phones to film and then post the walk-out on social media, to create more awareness and support.

Senior Patrick Wright led the walk out, and opened up the walk-out with a speech that was powerful: stating what the enough is enough movement is for, and why this walk-out needed to happen.  He stated, “This movement is important because it is showing the leaders of our country that students are still citizens. That they have the right to share their beliefs and their opinions and to educate themselves to build said opinions. This movement is important because it is showing law makers that the people want change, that the people want gun reform.”

Christian Wachter speaks for one of the students that died; a freshman who aspired to be a chef. Christian is involved in many facets of GAHS such as theater and cross country, and he continues to be a leader in the school as a senior.

Junior Mark Titus spoke for one of the 17 victims: the cross country coach at Stoneman Douglass High School. Mark stated after the walk out, “I spoke for Chris Hixon, I felt like it was really important that their names were told, because they were victims of something they had no control over it. It was an honor to speak out to my classmates and tell them one of the victims who was a hero, because reading it made me realized that he sounded a lot like coach J, a selfless guy who cared for all his students as if they were his own kids it just really hit me.”

There were also students that cared about the victims, but did not walk out, like junior jaguar Kate Gharib. Her reasoning for not walking out was that “I felt very conflicted because I do believe in honoring the victims; however, I don’t necessarily agree with the political motives behind it. I absolutely think that something needs to be done, but I’m not completely sure what that change needs to be. I still support everyone who did walk out and I’m so proud of my fellow jags!”

Also, there was a protest held at the capital of Virginia and the capital of the United States, which was centered around the idea of common-sense gun laws and to bring attention to the fact that students do not feel safe inside schools.

The next walkout is April 20th, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, which seemed to spark the hysteria over gun violence in schools. There will be students who walk out from all walks of life, and many students that also remember the victims in different ways.

There are so many different types of people in this movement, and even more people outside who criticize it. But, I encourage all Jaguars to stand up to the challenge of talking to people you are in disagreement with about this subject, to see both sides.

All the signs in the demonstration were made by Glen Allen students. Most of the signs were orange, along with the ribbons worn, as those are the Parkland school colors.

To Eat or Not To Eat, Meat is the Question

By | Columns and Opinions, Entertainment, Slideshow | No Comments

More recently in popular culture, certain diet-based life style choices have gained more attention. Choices such as gluten-free, GMO-free, not eating red meat, and vegetarianism have recently gained popularity, mainly on a health-based premise.

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstention from animal by-products. Some people choose to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle for more than just its health advantages, such improving your heart health and lowering cholesterol. Many find being vegetarian beneficial to themselves personally, as well as the world around them.

The health advantages do make a convincing case for the lifestyle. Vegetarianism helps to keep down weight, as it is proven that people who eat less animal products have lower BMIs than those who eat more of them. Also, it helps ward off diseases and prevent cancer. People who abide by a vegetarian diet are likely to live up to six years longer as well!

Not only are there health advantages, but there are also environmental benefits. This is proving to be more and more important as global warming becomes a bigger issue. By contributing to a decrease in the production of animal products, you are also contributing to a decrease in the production of greenhouse gases from manure, such as carbon dioxide. Also, if everyone in the United States adopted a vegetarian diet, the country would save 35 billion dollars annually on environmental costs, which is equivalent to about 46 round trips to the moon.

By preventing diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, with a vegetarian diet, the $1 trillion dollars annually that would be spent treating those diseases would be used in numerous other ways to benefit the economy. An increase in money supply would allow for more available funding for other important areas, such as health care. By maintaining a vegetarian diet, you can even get a lower rate on some health insurance plans!

Despite abstaining from meat, Vegetarians are still able to enjoy delicious food. Vegetarian Emily Bickford prepares to dig into a delicious bowl of butternut squash soup. Photo taken by Emily Bickford.

Despite these facts, however, the most popular reason that vegetarianism has become more popular is for the well-being of animals. Modern agriculture commonly results in animals being enclosed in tiny cages and mistreated. By not supporting these practices economically, you are contributing to a lower production rate of these animals, which results in less deaths.

Overall, vegetarianism is a great way to make a change, whether it is for your health, for the environment, or for the wellbeing of animals. Some might argue that you are missing out by adopting this lifestyle, converting to one full of tasteless food. This could not be further from the truth; vegetarians are able to eat almost everything that anyone else can. You may find that becoming a vegetarian might be the greatest thing you do for yourself, and for the Earth.

 

To read more go to:

https://www.downtoearth.org/go-veggie/top-10-reasons

https://www.vegsoc.org

Everything, Everything is Everything

By | Columns and Opinions, Entertainment, Reviews | No Comments

Maddie and Nick simulate touching each other’s’ hands through the glass. This is the movie poster. Photo taken from joblo.com.

Everything, Everything is a drama released on May 19th about a girl named Maddie who is unable to go outside because of a disease. She is stuck inside her house with no connection to the outside world besides her mom, her nurse, and her nurse’s daughter until a new family moves in next with their son, Olly. They make eye contact through her window and sparks fly. Olly does not let the fact that Maddie cannot leave her house to keep them from being together.

The main character, Maddie, is excellently portrayed by Amandla Spenberg. She encompasses Maddie’s personality, displaying her as a fun-loving teenage girl. She is easily sympathized with and hard not to love. Olly, as played by Nick Robinson, is portrayed as the bad boy who lives next door. They not only have to overcome obstacles like Maddie’s illness to be together, they also have to get through Maddie’s overprotective mom as well as her nurse. She, more than anything, wants to leave her house and see the ocean.

The film shows what it is like for Maddie before she meets Olly, wearing her “standard uniform” of a white t-shirt every day. She has no connection to the outside beside her mom, nurse, nurse’s daughter, and the internet. After she meets Olly, who wears all black, she begins to strengthen her desire to go outside.

Everything, Everything contains a lot of symbolism that creates another level of entertainment for the movie. This symbolism strengthens the importance of small things, such as the color of Maddie’s clothing. It was exciting to figure out the meaning behind these symbols throughout the movie.

Senior Joshua Burks said, “It was a fun story about love in an unexpected situation.”

Overall, I give Everything, Everything a 4.5 rating.

Life Blooms at the Cherry Blossom Festival

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Love was in the air at the cherry blossom festival! Prom pictures, engagement proposals, and even the trees showed off their sensitive side! Photo by: Maggie Nuckols

If you don’t have plans for spring break, then try to make your way to the annual D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival. Surrounding the Tidal Basin near the D.C. mall, Japanese cherry blossoms bloom in full force during the spring, making for beautiful pictures and serene settings.

Whether you’re just going down for the day to walk around, have lunch, and soak in the beauty, or stay for the weekend, the free, hour-long walk around the entire basin will leave you feeling refreshed. There are different trails, restaurants, musical events, and

The spring weather was nowhere to be seen when the gray skies made their appearance. The Washington Monument stood tall through the clouds! Photo by: Maggie Nuckols

even themed merchandise. During the weekends of the festival, various different events take place such as concerts and the annual Kite Festival.

I happened to see the Kite Festival taking place this past weekend. The mall was covered with happy families flying kites and eating picnic lunches. The sight of hundreds to thousands of different kites flying in the wind was an amazing sight and the kite festival is something I would highly recommend.

As for the Cherry Blossom Festival, I think that everyone should go at least once. It was absolutely

The cherry blossom tree line starts at the tidal basin and ends at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. The match of impressive stone and engraved quotes with the pink blossoms made for a perfect picture. by: Maggie Nuckols

breathtaking to see all of the different trees lined up and people taking it all in.

Make sure to plan for all kinds of weather and all types of people. When I was there, multiple couples were taking prom, engagement, and even wedding photos! I highly suggest planning to spend more time than you think you might need to, as situations like this might occur!

Beauty and the Beast Enchants a Whole New Generation

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People were worried that the new movie wouldn’t be as good as the original animation when they saw the trailer for the first time. However, Emma, Dan, Luke, Josh, and the rest of the cast and crew proved them wrong. Photo from: Walt Disney Studios

It was a “tale as old as time,” until director Bill Condon decided to pick it up and create a new live-action version. This refreshing take on a timeless classic brought the enchanting story of Belle to a whole new generation.

Beauty and the Beast begins with the same prologue as the animated version, and then delves into the beloved story of Belle, a young village girl who ends up trading with her father to take his place as prisoner of the Beast. When the castle comes to life and offers Belle a room outside of the tower, she takes it, slowly falling in love with the people-turned-antiques and the charm of the castle. The plot thickens as the Beast finds himself falling in love with Belle, and Belle notices something that “wasn’t there before.” After Gaston tries to kill and then institutionalize Belle’s father Maurice, Belle comes to the rescue and tries to compromise with Gaston. The village learns about the Beast and goes to kill him, while Belle realizes she loves the Beast and goes to warn him.

I went to go see Beauty and the Beast with my sister and fellow Jaguar Sierra Lasher. I was so excited to see the new movie, as it is my all-time favorite story. This version did not disappoint, and is now my favorite movie! Photo by: Maggie Nuckols

The new movie was an exact replica of the original animation, down to the lines. With all that the movie stands for and means to so many people, the creators had to maintain its integrity yet also add new elements to the already classic story. They accomplished this with elaborate story lines, costuming, architecture, dialogue, and even songs. It had all of the original songs that people know and love from the animated hit, but the addition of a couple new songs added to the repertoire. One of the most notable was Evermore, the Beast’s new solo that brought me to tears. How Does a Moment Last Forever and Days in the Sun were also some of the new songs that shined alongside classics like Gaston, Belle, Something There, and the movie’s namesake, Beauty and the Beast.

“My favorite part was when Beast got his own song, because we got to experience his own feelings throughout the movie, which we really didn’t get in the original animated version,” said junior Sierra Lasher.

While this version of the movie did the original justice, the creators and stars were not about to back down from making it their own. Emma Watson’s Belle is an innovator and a farm girl, and not just a young woman who is

Junior Sierra Lasher and I went to go see the movie after school, and even for a 4:50 movie, it was packed! Beauty and the Beast ended up making $350 million in its first weekend worldwide. Photo by: Ellie Nuckols

dreaming of a better life. In this movie, she makes her better life for herself. The film is better for the slight shift in Belle’s character, along with a few plot changes, such as an enchanted book and the backstory of both of their mothers’ tragic deaths and their subsequent childhoods. It also showcases Gaston in an even more evil light, and is able to tell the story of all of the characters while staying true to the original time period of the tale with historically accurate architecture and costuming.

“The new backstory was very beneficial because it cleared up some of the major plot holes from the original film,” said Sierra.

This movie is the most visually stunning movie I have ever seen, and every scene in a new setting took my breath away. The artistry in Beauty and the Beast was the true star in the movie, and it was obvious that the cast and crew cared about portraying this story with the utmost grace and beauty.

Junior Sierra Lasher loved the movie’s design and visual appeal, adding that “It was clear that there was a lot of time put into it.”

As for the characters themselves, Emma Watson as Belle was a no-brainer casting decision. She pulled off the role as Belle stunningly. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly reporter Clark Collins, Watson shared her love for the movie and why she feels that Belle is a great role model for younger children through this film, just as she was for Emma as a child. “It troubles her that she doesn’t necessarily fit in, but I think she really holds close to her heart her dreams and her aspirations. She was definitely a role model,” said Watson.

Starring alongside Belle is Dowton Abbey’s Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as the dashingly, villainous Gaston, and the voice of Frozen’s Olaf, Josh Gad, as Le Fou. It also stars Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Exan McGregor, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Stanley Tucci, and Audra McDonald.

“It was very well casted! Emma Watson was a perfect Belle. Even the side characters shined as a result of the casting,” said Sierra.

Belle and the Beast’s classic dance scene was one of the biggest scenes in the movie, starring Belle, the Beast, the candle-lit ballroom, and the famous yellow dress. Watson said the shoes were her favorite part of the outfit because she was “able to [run and dance] in them.” Photo from: Walt Disney Studios

All of the stars, cast, and crew made an already marvelous story into an even more stunning film that is sure to make you laugh, cry, and remember your inner prince or princess. But nothing I could write would bring the movie justice. You will just have to go see it for yourself.

5/5 Paws

How to Be More Mindful

By | Columns and Opinions, Entertainment | One Comment

Emily Bickford

It is human nature to look for the worst in things. This pessimistic attitude leads us to be unhappy and ungrateful. Making small changes to be more mindful in our day-to-day lives will lead to a greater overall sense of wellbeing. Taking the time to focus on the important things in your life and choosing to let go of the bad will give you a sense of serenity.

Senior Alyssa Roman said, “I make sure I appreciate the little privileges in life like: being able to see, having food to eat, having a car, living in the country I do, etc. I try to do this every morning when I wake up. It makes me humble.”

Taking small amounts of time out of your day to do a few of these mindful things will make you happier and help you become more grateful.

This journal is empty and full of potential. Journaling is a great way to practice being mindful. Photo by Emily Bickford.

This journal is empty and full of potential. Journaling is a great way to practice being mindful.
Photo by Emily Bickford.

-Take some time, about ten minutes, to yourself to reflect on your day. For example, you could sit in your car on the way to school and listen to what is around you, or take the time while you are eating breakfast.

-Meditation is a common form of mindfulness. Reflecting on yourself and your life is a good way to be mindful of everything you are blessed with. Using mediation to focus on everything you have been gifted with in your life and to realize that the negative things do not matter in the long run is a great way to become more grateful.

-Journaling on a regular basis is also a great way to reflect on life as well. A good way to be mindful is to write about instances in your life that are important to you. Making lists about all the good things you have in your life is another great way to become even more consciously grateful.

Doing these things and others like them will make you happier in the long run!

 

Check out the following link for more tips!

http://www.happify.com/?srid=ggl_sem_org&c1=112833461&c2=&c3=9783700181,happify&gclid=CjwKEAjwwcjGBRDj-P7TwcinyBkSJADymblTlWc0wt9pUH5dASYLIV2LxNamaP4xwpJ2bEw1R7F7exoCuw_w_wcB 

 

Betsy DeVos’ Upsetting Cabinet Appointment

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Jamison

Newly elected President Donald J. Trump recently appointed his new cabinet members and they are now going through the process of being confirmed through Congress.

Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, was recently confirmed in her hearing on February 7th, 2017.

Over the past few weeks, Americans, despite their political affiliation, have expressed their concern about Trump’s decision to nominate DeVos because of her inexperience in the education field.

People have pointed out the fact that DeVos herself has never been through public school and has never had to deal with the outcome of the highly-inflated prices of college tuition for her or her children.

It seems hypocritical for Trump to nominate DeVos due to the amount of money she and her family have donated to the Republican party over the years, especially since he has continually stated his wish to keep “big money” out of politics.

She has donated money to the campaigns of Republican senators, such as Marco Rubio, who eventually voted for her entry into Trump’s Cabinet.

Senior Jacob Clark said, “I think that she was selected because of her generous donations to his and other senator’s campaigns and he wanted like-minded individuals.”

IMG_0009

Many public school teachers are scared as to what is next for public education under Betsy DeVos. She has publicly spoken out against public education and is in support of charter schools. Photo Credit: Jamison Crenshaw

DeVos developed a harsh following after her committee hearing in January when the Committee of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) began questioning her motives and ideas for her future leadership as Secretary of Education.

The Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, questioned Mrs. DeVos on the amount of money that she has donated to the Republican party, inferring that she does not belong among Trump’s cabinet choices because she is unqualified and was nominated for the wrong reasons.

According to the Huffington Post, Betsy DeVos is a “school choice activist” and has contributed to the addition of charter schools and advocates for more in the US even though they are proven to be very low performing and achieve low scores in math and reading.

Jacob also said, “I feel like our education system is going to become devalued in a sense and public education is going to become less important than private education and charter schools.”

Many of the Republican senators stuck to their vow to vote against DeVos, but it was not enough to keep her from being approved.

This appointment has been historic due to the final verdict and tie-breaking vote from the Vice President that approved this unqualified, and widely disliked woman.

 

What Has Trump Done So Far in Office?

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Emily Bickford

Junior Chanelle Williams catches up on the most recent Donald Trump news. Many are becoming increasingly on edge with Trump’s most recent actions. Photo taken by Emily Bickford.

Junior Chanelle Williams catches up on the most recent Donald Trump news. Many are becoming increasingly on edge with Trump’s most recent actions.
Photo taken by Emily Bickford.

Donald Trump has been president for three weeks now, and has wasted no time taking action. He has made several changes, possibly taking the country backwards progressively. Since his inauguration, he has attempted to follow through on a lot of his campaign promises. Many of those who were not excited about his term but wanted to remain hopeful. Many believed that Trump was all bark and no bite and did not believe that he would actually follow through on some of the detrimental actions he promised throughout his campaign.

Senior Noah Mason said, “He’s made some strange decisions so far. I do appreciate that he’s trying to follow up with campaign promises, even if they don’t hold over too well with the populous. He is obviously putting in serious effort, even if he may go about doing some things the wrong way.”

Junior Rachel Greif said, “Within the first days of his presidency it seemed like he was ruining everything by trying to undo what the Obama administration had worked towards the last eight years. On election night Trump got the lead in electoral votes and I knew Hilary could not catch up and I wrote in my journal that if we elected the next Hitler I would be deeply saddened. But it happened. He doesn’t want immigrants and the US was dumb enough to turn away eastern European Jews in the 1930s and 40s, which resulted in their death. I really don’t understand how he doesn’t see that this could all happen again.”

One of the first things Trump did in his initial days in office was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he regularly criticized his campaign. The Trans-Pacific Partnership was a trade deal between the United States and several countries including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Since it had yet to be approved by congress, the partnership is simply becoming nullified.

On his first full day in office, Trump froze federal government hiring, aiming to decrease the overall federal workforce and sub sequential debt. This is supposed to last for 90 days and will not include military spending. Fortunately, the order does include exceptions for broader categories and case-by-case expectations by the Office of Management and Budget.

Soon after the Women’s March on Washington, Trump took action to repeal Roe V. Wade. His goal is to fulfill his campaign promise of defunding Planned Parenthood, because of its close associating with abortion, which would take away from the rest of the health care opportunities that the organization offers. Only 3% of what Planned Parenthood offers is abortion related. Defunding this organization and others like it that offer incredible amounts of health care for women who could otherwise not afford it, is detrimental to the overall American population. Removing the care that was offered to women who would otherwise not be able to afford it means they would no longer have access to many much-needed things. STI testing, more affordable or free contraception, and annual exams would become luxuries no longer attainable for many women.

This policy is said to come into place once it is written by the Secretaries of state and health, and is meant to apply to renewals and new grants. Some organizations such as the Guttmacher Institute and the Kaiser Family Foundation believe the order will apply to all global health funding by the United States instead of just organizations for family planning or reproductive health., which would take away the funding of similar organizations in countries funded by US as well.

Taking away a woman’s right to make important decisions about her body by defunding these organizations is taking away one of her most basic human rights. Trump’s sexist attitude towards women has catalyzed a large concern from many women and men across the country. From sexualizing his own daughter to appointing two men to advise him on women in the work place instead of women to his requirement for the women around him to “dress like women,” he has continuously shows an extremely backwards attitude towards women.

Another goal that Trump has acted upon is to amend the Affordable Care Act also known as Obama care. He aims to get rid of any parts of the act that cause a financial burden on the states, healthcare providers, or individuals. His directive sent to the Department of Health and Human Services will not have much impact other than influencing how Congress goes forward with their decision making processes.

One of Trump’s more popularly discussed executive actions is his effort toward boarder security. His widely discussed plan of building a wall has been extremely controversial. The wall will cost around $12- $15 billion dollars and the Department of Homeland Security says that there is about 100 million dollars available to use immediately. Trying to get funding for this outrageous project would cause opposition from many Democrats and Republicans. Also, the department will need to appeal to Congress for funding to hire even more immigration officers. Cities and private lands that the wall would potentially be built on will likely offer legal challenges as well.

Another one of Trump’s outrageous actions is his travel ban of seven countries thought to be “terror” threats. This resulted in several cases of complications for several individuals living in the United States legally. After it was in place, Washington and Minnesota showed opposition to the order. U.S. District Court Judge James Robart has since issued a restraining order on the executive action. Unless the Supreme Court steps in, the restraining order will remain in place until action is decided in the scheduled hearings.

“The ban on immigration is not what this country stands for. Although it is in the process of being stopped and it only technically called out seven countries, the fact that it happened at all completely baffles me,” said Rachel.

Along with the hiring freeze, Trump imposed a freeze on EPA grants and contracts. It is currently unclear if this applies to future grants and contracts, or how long the freeze will last. The EPA has been actively fighting against Trump’s nominee for the EPA Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. In the past, Pruitt has fought the EPA on many issues, including the organization’s legal authority to regulate power plant emissions.

Some of Trump’s picks for cabinet have also been criticized. It has been confirmed that Rex W. Tillerson will stand as the security of state, who has been accused numerous times of having suspicious ties to Russia. Another more popularly discussed confirmation is his choice for the secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, who is said to have controversial opinions over the current education system.

“His choice Betsy DeVos of all people to be the secretary of education was a poor decision. She has no experience and will not be good for us as students or for the country as a whole. People have repeatedly told me to ‘give him a chance,’ but guess what—I have, and it hasn’t worked out,” said Rachel Greif.

The fact that the majority of the Senate is Republican enables Trump and his outrageous executive actions to go unopposed. Since he is able to go through with his extremist executive actions, a large amount of the progress Obama made is being counteracted. The country had become so much more progressive and open-minded under his administration, especially with some of generation z growing old enough to be aware of the depth of the political world and adopting more liberal views.

It is extremely disconcerting that Trump continues to be rampantly dishonest and blatantly hypocritical, especially by constantly slamming Hillary for her ties to wall street, then bringing in many billionaire Wall Street executives into his cabinet. His and Tillerson’s ties to Russia also continue to leave many on edge. Trump continues to act mainly in his own self-interest instead of the good of the country, making it hard to believe that he genuinely cares about the good of the people. He likely only cares about himself and gaining recognition, praise, and money.

Rachel said, “He continues to make horrible decisions, only thinking about these issues from his own perspective. I feel like America as a whole has made intense progress in the last eight years and Trump seems to have his sights set on taking the country backwards. He doesn’t care for the people of America. Anyone who voted for him should have looked more closely at the lies and ‘alternative facts’ he told in order to seem like a good candidate. He contradicts himself constantly and doesn’t stand for the constitution or democracy. In the end, the only thing I know I can do is fight for what is right with the little time and resources I have.”

Donald Trump is under fire for various other executive actions from his first few weeks in office.

To read more go to:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38695593

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/donald-trump-travel-ban-234720

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/02/06/hundreds-of-current-former-epa-employees-urge-senate-to-reject-trumps-nominee-for-the-agency/?utm_term=.2ef8c9cb2daa

https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-administration-imposes-freeze-on-epa-grants-and-contracts

“Starboy” Album Review

By | Albums, Columns and Opinions | No Comments

Jamison

 

Abel Tesfaye, more commonly known as “The Weeknd,” released his new album “Starboy” in November following his popular 2015 album “Beauty Behind the Madness.”

“Starboy” has peaked at #1 in 5 countries and continues to top the charts with its R&B-Pop style of music.

Some of the more upbeat, pop songs like “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming” have already hit radio stations across the world with his first single off the album, “Starboy”, reaching #1 in 6 countries.

Similar to his previous pop songs, his single “Starboy” featuring Daft Punk is upbeat, interesting, and involves synth- styled backing along with some auto-tune to allow this synthy song to break out of the “poppy” stereotype that The Weeknd’s recent singles have been receiving.

The Weeknd is known for his R&B style that incorporates chill beats and his own vocals and rhymes to compliment his unique style of music. His music has gathered lots of fans as he has 4.4 million followers on Twitter.

Songs like “Reminder” and “Sidewalks” create more of a hip hop sound with his rapping and beats. “Sidewalks,” feat. Kendrick Lamar adds even more of a hip hop style to the album with the chill guitar and slick rhymes that Kendrick adds towards the end of the song after Abel raps about his life growing up on the streets of Canada after his Ethiopian parents migrated there.

Lyrics like “Sidewalks saved my life,” and “They don’t let me down, but they lead me on,”  in “Sidewalks” contrast his love-hate relationship with his upbringing.

Senior Anna Houtz says, “’Stargirl Interlude’ is my favorite on the album because Lana Del Rey’s part sounds really cool.”

Edit of The Weeknd and Lana Del Rey influenced by Abel's last album cover. Photo Credit: DJCosTheKid.com

Edit of The Weeknd and Lana Del Rey influenced by Abel’s last album cover. Photo Credit: DJCosTheKid.com

Lana is featured in a few of Abel’s songs and brings a completely different vibe in the artist’s new album and brings more fans to listen to The Weeknd’s new album.

The song being placed in the middle of the album compliments the first song on the album “Starboy” and adds to the tracks in a positive way thus carrying on the theme of “Starboy” that is referenced in multiple songs.

Anna also added, “I think I like his new album more than the other albums because of the different sound he’s created.”

Ending the album with an upbeat track “I Feel It Coming”,  featuring Daft Punk again, The Weeknd once again adds an upbeat, synth song that utilizes more auto-tune and electric piano to create interesting melodies.

The Weeknd’s album “Starboy” has done very well in the charts and is a great album to binge-listen when you are bored and need to get in a hype or chill mood.

“Darkside” Review

By | Columns and Opinions, Entertainment, Reviews | No Comments

Paxton O'Bryen

Over the weekend, Jaguar Drama premiered a contemporary play, “Darkside,” by Ken Jones. It was a story of three astronauts and best friends, two of whom had landed on the moon (Gunner, played by Keegan Manning, and Ed, played by Mason Steinruck), while the third (Bill, played by Nick Drake) was orbiting around the moon, periodically losing contact with his friends and NASA. During these isolated periods, he experienced vivid visions of the past that slowly revealed more about Bill’s inner struggles and regrets.

The set piece for the space craft Independence has entered retirement. During the play, Bill would orbit the moon in it, but it will probably be reused for a later production. Photo Credit: Paxton O'Bryen

The set piece for the space craft Independence has entered retirement. During the play, Bill would orbit the moon in it, but it will probably be reused for a later production. Photo Credit: Paxton O’Bryen

One of my favorite aspects of the play was the use of dancers in black morph suits to indicate Bill’s transition to and from consciousness. This feature was not written into the play by Ken Jones, but added by Jaguar Drama to enhance the staging of “Darkside.” During transitions, the dancers would move around Bill and introduce other characters into his dreams, including his best friend Ed’s wife Gigi, who we eventually find out was cheating on Ed with Bill. Showing Bill help Ed through his anxiety attacks and his struggle to be the “perfect astronaut” provided a tug of war with Bill kissing Ed’s wife. The unresolved issues that eventually contributed to the deaths of Ed and Gunner made their deaths more powerful and significant, leaving a lot unsaid between the friends.

Gunner, the practical and rule-following commander of the space craft who landed on the moon, shows a strong progression throughout the play. At first, he is very stern and has a low tolerance for nonsense (or singing), but as the realization that he and Ed are going to die on the moon sets in, he begins to loosen up and eventually sings along with his two friends.

Sarah Rexrode talking about Darkside's success with her friends at lunch. They all saw it on Sunday and really enjoyed the story!

Sarah Rexrode talking about Darkside’s success with her friends at lunch. They all saw it on Sunday and really enjoyed the story! Photo Credit: Paxton O’Bryen

Overall, “Darkside” was a complete success. The staging along with powerful actor portrayals worked in perfect harmony to create an in-depth representation of human emotion that left the audience with a powerful message. Many other Jaguars felt similarly about “Darkside.” Junior Sarah Rexrode, who was involved with the Run Crew, said, “I liked the play because it’s a difficult play to put up, and the actors were really amazing at interpreting and portraying the complexity of the characters.”

I can’t wait to see more of Jaguar Drama, and will definitely be seeing the spring musical “The Little Mermaid” when it debuts!

Staff

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