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life

Renaissance Festival welcomes

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Mad bull chase

homecoming

Reliving the experience of one unforgettable hiking adventure

Bridget Sanders co-editor in chief

Panting heavily, I tore off my blindfold and started to sprint for my life up the beaten path in the hot, sticky village of Bonao. Pause. Rewind. Envision nineteen American teenagers hiking up a riverside trail in a remote village of the Dominican Republic. Having just jumped off four different 30 foot waterfalls, my life-altering adventure aspect of the day had been consummately fulfilled, or so I had thought. It felt like 1,000 degrees. My hiking backpack was sticking to my sweaty tank top. My partner, Joey, tied a black bandanna over my eyes. Holding onto Joey’s shoulders, I was blindly being led up and down steep, rocky hillside, over fallen logs and slippery streams to encourage trust building. After a while, the tension subsided. I loosened my steel-like grip on Joey’s shoulders and the butterflies in my stomach seemed to be disappearing one by one. All of a sudden, I started to hear screams coming from behind me. Worried, I asked Joey quickly what was going on. Concerned only with getting home, he told me not to worry, and we kept on walking. After a moment I started to hear exactly what people w e r e shouting. “ V a c a malo, vaca malo!” is all I heard. It sounded like the l o c a l children w e r e screaming f r o m behind us. Now, really concerned, I turned to Joey a second time as I heard one loud yell above all the rest “Take off your blindfolds and RUN!” My trip leader sounded frantic. I immediately tore off my blindfold only to see not more than 100 feet behind us, a mad bull charging up the path. Heart pounding, I, along with 18 other astounded kids, screamed bloody murder as I started to run, stumbling blindly up the path. Realizing there was no way to outrun the bull, I yelled at my peers to veer off the road in front of a deteriorating shack. Two Dominican children somehow grabbed a hold of the bull’s rope and held it down some ways behind us. Thinking we were safe, we started to cautiously walk back to the road. As soon as we stated hiking up the path again, the bull tore out of the hands of the kids and started charging again. Realizing that for the second time that day, I was in mortal peril, I once again starting tearing up the path. Blood rushed to my head and drowning out all the noise, one thought was all I heard. “This could actually be the end of my life.” Adrenaline pumping, I ran faster than I ever had in my life, all the way up the last hill until we reached a bamboo bridge, teetering perilously ahead of me. Looking behind, I saw I was safe once and for all, as several men had taken control of the bull. My trip leader calmly told us to put our blindfolds back on, and I walked across that swaying half-mile long bridge blindfolded, feeling more safe and relieved than ever.

Tale of TWO homecomings

Graphic by Kyle Kavanaugh

Contrasting stories of homecomings past Saloni Godbole

percent of us went to college. When you go on a date, in my day, boys wore a coat and tie. Girls wore girdles and things, we didn’t even have pantyhose. We (below) Kim Johnson, a couldn’t wear jeans and stuff like that to school. Bloomfield Hills It was all about class, flats, pleated skirts with high sweaters that matched,” says Huffman. news senior advisor However, some things seem universal to Two Bloomfield Hills girls are preparing for high schools regardless of the decade. “I remember I wore my first black homecoming. One matches dress to homecoming. It was a black her velvet dress to her pearls velvet dress. I always had and hops into a Bonneville a steady boyfriend but my parents didn’t want convertible. A decade later, me to “go steady”. And the other decides to skip the everybody had a brand “preppy” dance for an anti-war new car because it was rally. Michigan after all. The On the 50th anniversary of coolest car was the homecoming, students celBonneville convertible, and the coolest ebrate in accordance with the thing to do was go to culture of the times, as students of Ted’s on Woodward the past have done. and cruise,” says Ginny Huffman, from the BloomHuffman. field Hills High School class of Kim Johnson’s experience, like Huffman’s, epitomizes the 1963 (pictured in above graphic), time period. elaborates on the homecoming Kim Johnson “1967-68 was a huge time of Bloomfield Hills alum experience. transition. The class was divided “I was voted both sophomore into jocks, frats, and hipand junior princess,” says Huffman. “It was pies. The Vietnam War was going on; both kind of interesting that I made it onto the Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King court, I was very surprised because I was were assassinated that year. If your pretty studious. In those days, the football birthday was drawn as an early draft number players voted who the homecoming court it was almost guarwas. I also have a charm bracelet-you got a anteed that you charm in those days and one says sophomore would not be startprincess and one says junior princess given ing college.

1967-68 was a huge time of transition. The whole hippy thing was about being “anti-fashion”. Dressing up for homecoming was something that the “preps” did

to me by the school.” According to Huffman, high school in the late 50s and 60s was a different world. “We had one school building, and 80 plus

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B5

Feeling lost reading The Lost Symbol

Sequel to The Da Vinci Code fails to excite Andrew Weiner life senior advisor

After solving secrets in Rome and ending enigmas in Paris, Robert Langdon is back. And I couldn’t care less. Dan Brown’s third entry in the overwhelmingly popular Robert Langdon series, The Lost Symbol, is for all intensive purposes the same as the first two (Angels and Demons and the insanely popular The Da Vinci Code). For the third time, Robert Langdon, a Harvard

professor and symboligist, is somehow roped into solving ancient mysteries against the clock with a beautiful woman at his side. The familiarity of the plot is the book’s biggest disappointment. Take the events of the previous books and move them to Washington D.C. Essentially a National Treasure for adults. Nothing new or exciting. The Lost Symbol takes place several years after the events of The Da Vinci Code. Langdon is in Washington D.C. trying to crack (or keep safe, it’s never really clear) the secrets of the Freemasons. The secrets, known as the Ancient Mysteries, if found will supposedly contain wisdom that will bring a second Renaissance. Langdon is joined on the mission by Dr. Katherine

Soloman, Peter Soloman, Warren Belamy, and numerous other characters. The problem is, however, despite physical appearances the characters share one boring personality. There is no character development at all, and much of the action’s logic is hard to swallow. The few times Brown gives us insight into his character’s thoughts, they all think the exact same way. They all occasionally say a witty one-liner, are doing what they believe right, and all have the annoying habit of sounding like encyclopedias despite danger (note to self- if people are dying around you, don’t spend ten minutes explaining ancient myths.) Also, I’m 99 percent sure that Brown wrote the character Warren Belamy, more than once

described as an “elegant African-American man,” specifically for Morgan Freeman to play in the inevitable movie adaptation. The villain of the story, Mal’akh, is ridiculously cliché to the point of comedy. His brief introduction in the prologue actually made me laugh. Brown tries so hard to make Mal’akh mysterious and intimidating that he is a caricature of a comic-book villain. Brown’s only literary trick is the big, overthe-top, shocking twist. Like millions see BOOK of people, I read Da Vinci and was waiting for the surprise.

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B5

Andover Shield September 2009  

The online publication for The Andover Shield newspaper from September 2009.

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