garnetblackgold Rock Hill High School
Issue 02 | January 2013
because the world didnâ€™t end
contents 03 04 05 06 08 10 11
12 13 14 16
snapshot news teachers in china 1-1 technology lucid dreaming marijuana legislation blind teacher babies what is a bearcat? rising stars BCS overview movie/book review album reviews video game reviews
gbg a student magazine
Publisher Print Pelican PRINCIPAL Ozzie Ahl ADVISER Chris Rashley STAFF Sarah Ann Snipes, editor-in-chief Jaclyn Baker Caroline Brown Lauren Carver Kayla Champion Savannah Crocker Hunter Evans Sammi Hayes Sarah Lumetta Shelby Osborn Zach Oxendine Mikey Pharr James Porter Andrew Raad Anna Senesi Alison Thrash
ADVERTISING Chris Rashley, adviser Voicemail: 803.985.3842 Email: email@example.com Fax: 803.981.1343
GENERAL ENQUIRIES Rock Hill High School The Garnet, Black and Gold 320 W. Springdale Rd. Rock HIll, SC 29730 Phone: 803.981.1300 Fax: 803.981.1343 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://bit.ly/RPCKyS COPYRIGHT
All material appearing in the Garnet, Black and Gold magazine is copyright unless otherwise stated or it may rest with the provider of the supplied material. The GBG takes all care to ensure information is correct at time of printing, but the publisher accepts no responsibility or liability for the accuracy of any information contained in the text or advertisements. Views expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher or editor.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The GBG staff encourages students, faculty, or staff to write a letter to the editor. When space and content allow, we publish letters as long as they are signed by the author. (In other words, we donâ€™t publish anonymous letters.) The GBG staff has the right to decline publication of letters or edit them for space, libel, or poor taste. Submit letters to Mr. Rashley, room A-205.
Follow us on Twitter!!
announcements, sports updates, accolades, more!
@RHHSNEWS news snapshot by Lauren Carver
At RHHS, something is always happening. Read below to find out what:
The ROTC program at RHHS is an optional club/class taken to learn leadership experience. According to senior Lucas Fields, group commander, “RHHS’S ROTC program is unique when compared to other schools because when groups in the community need an ROTC program, they call us.” Many of the events the ROTC attends are within the community. For example, they were a featured part of the Come-See-Me Christmas parade.
On Nov. 19, the faculty and staff at RHHS held a silent auction to benefit the underprivileged students at RHHS, so they could have a memorable The ROTC program, this Christmas. year, has the possibilLike the name sugity of 3 people going gests, the auction to basic training once was all silent. they graduate. “The goal All the items sold of our program is not were laid out and to recruit people,” said the bidders went Major Murray. through with note However, they are cards to write their honored to send people bids down. to basic from the halls According to Anita of RHHS. Benfield, Guidance Something Murray alAdministrative Asways lives by is, “Do your sistant, the guidance best at everything you counselors know do,” which he also wishes the students whose this for his graduating parents need help students. Congratulafunding presents tions ROTC Seniors. for their children.
“We contact the student’s parents,” Benfield said, “then we send the gifts to them so it seems as if the gifts are from the parents. The students never find out. The whole process is very private.” This year’s main focus was to raise more money than last year. Last year, the Auction was on Nov. 21 and they raised $700 in gift money. However, this year’s auction raised $925, which exceeded their goal by $225. The staff raised this money by selling baked goods and craft items. Hope you had a Merry Christmas!
3 news//jan 2013 Here are a few school related Twitter Accounts that send out frequent updates on what is happening at the Rock. Go follow! @RHHSNEWS - Can’t hear the announcements? Just check here! @OzzieAhl2 - For game scores, awards, announcements, and all things Rock Hill High. @BWarren_RH_AD - Helpful updates for sports fans and athletes from our Athletic Director. @DiamondBearcats - Baseball, Baseball, and more Baseball. Motivational tweets for our team. @RHHSBasketball - Consistent updates relating to the basketball team. @RHHSSga - Tweets to organize and gather student opinions for future SGA events. @Rhhsyearbook1 - Updates important information related to yearbook. @RHHerald_Preps - Sports updates for all District 3 highschools.
Teachers adventure to China by Caroline Brown
This is a wall decoration given to Ms. Henderson by the class of teachers she taught in China this summer.
During the month of July, 40 district teachers went to ShiJiaZhuang, China, to teach Chinese English teachers oral English. Two of those teachers were our very own Judy Garner, librarian and Cheryl Henderson, English teacher. An organization called the Chinese Cultural and Education Program was looking for American teachers to travel to China and teach English to students and teachers. Teachers volunteered through the district and paid about $450 dollars for their travel and rooming. They arrived in Bejing and spent three days touring the major attractions around the city. Next, they traveled to where they would be teaching. In the town of ShiJiaZhuang,
which has a population of about ten million people, these 40 teachers were the only tourists. “The Chinese people are very welcoming, humble, and genius,” said Ms. Henderson. As you can imagine, living on a different continent for a month is a very different experience than living in America. The food, the language, and even the toilets are different. “The biggest culture shock was the food and learning to use chopsticks,” Garner said. There were challenges such as adapting to having one day off a week instead of two, and living without air conditioning. Garner said her “most unique experience was eating donkey.” The teachers stayed in the dorm rooms of Public School 24. The meals
were provided and in their rooms they had western toilets instead of the ‘squatty potties’ used around China. These teachers taught a class of around 28 Chinese English teachers who only knew how to write and read English. Since it is mandatory for all Chinese students to take English, it is very important for their teachers to be able to speak it. They taught verbal English 6 days a week and showed them various activities for them to pass on to their students. Ms. Garner said she was “forever changed by the privilege of teaching oral English to Chinese English teachers. These teachers had an eagerness to learn and absorb like none I have experienced before. Their generosity and kindness to me will never be forgotten. “
4 news//jan 2013
iPads for one, iPads for all
The school district hopes to provide one iPad for every student in the district by the start of next school year. It’s after 4 p.m. on a dull December Tuesday when I am embraced by Dr. Lynn Moody, superintendent of Rock Hill School District 3. It feels like I’m meeting the president. We sit side-by-side in her windowless but fluorescently bright office, and I pull out my uniformly black indestructible case clad iPad to take notes in the iRock spirit. iRock If you haven’t yet heard of iRock, fear not: you’re not alone. Basically, the idea is that for every student in the district, there will
be an iPad. The idea is called 1:1, pronounced one to one. One iPad for every student. On that iPad, the student will have access to a wide array of learning tools ranging from digital books and interactive textbooks to note taking tools and video production apps. Why? Because, according to Dr. Moody, in order for students to be successful as 21st century workers, they must first be successful as 21st century learners. The school system as
it now functions is fast becoming out of date. If technology will be available to students in their workplaces and lives outside of school, why shouldn’t they be taught to use it effectively in school? Dr. Moody gave this example: Twenty years ago, when a teacher stood in front of a class, they controlled all of the information. If the teacher told its students that 2x2=5, the students would have no way or reason to dispute that information. Now students have constant access to an incredible amount of information. A quick Google search would inform a student that 2x2 does not, in fact, equal 5. Don’t misinterpret. The goal here is not for students to undermine teacher authority, Moody says. Though the source of information is changing, the teacher does not become unnecessary. Rather, Moody sees the role of the teacher changing, becoming a facilitator of information. Teachers will pose a question or concept, and the student will take that prompt and find information. The teacher will then help the student figure out what to do with that information. For Moody, it also becomes extremely important for a student to be taught how to filter good sources from bad sources. Why is Wikipedia not the best source for a research paper, but an ok source for a quick fact check? And why is a story written by an MSNBC reporter about a certain subject completely different from a story written by a Fox News reporter about the same subject? Skeptical? As a senior in high school, I am old enough to understand the logistical implications of a project so daunting. Questions like, “How will it work?” “Wow, that’s going to be really expensive. How will we pay for it?” “And artwork by Jaclyn Baker what about the kids whose families can’t buy their own?” plague
by Sarah Ann Snipes
my mind. There is also the widely accepted notion that an iPad is a toy. And to that I say, while iPads are indeed an entertaining play thing, they are also invaluable educational tools. Look at it this way: if students are already entranced by iPads, why not figure out how to teach with them? You already have the students’ attention because you are teaching on their level with a device that they are excited about and familiar with. So, how will it work? First of all, you might be wondering “Why iPads? Why not some other device?” In my interview, Moody said “uniformity is key.” She wanted a proven system with a strong base of applications to back it up. She also felt that a single device gave everyone an even playing field and that teachers would only need to learn how to use one product rather than several. It just simplifies things. Next, the big question: How will we pay for it? Moody said that students who already have an iPad are in the clear. They will be (and in a lot of cases already are) allowed to bring their tablets to school. Other students will be encouraged to purchase their own iPads. The district will provide for those who can’t. According to the plan presented by Dr. Moody to the school board, the district will lease iPads for increments of three years from Apple. Students who do not purchase iPads will be allowed to pay an annual fee to help with the cost. Dr. Moody predicts that the cost will be similar to the cost of the academic fee that students already pay annually. That fee will include damage insurance, which will allow students to take home their rented iPads overnight. The district plans for the rest of the money of come from budget cuts and fundraising. The Rock Hill Herald reports that “The district estimates that it will cost about $264 a year to lease an iPad for a student. That lease includes software and insurance plus staffing and academic costs. It doesn’t include apps. A family could be charged about $85 a year [predicted cost of leasing an iPad]. That plus fundraising would leave the district with a bill of $134 per student.” Moody would like for the board to vote on the iRock plan on Jan. 28. I emplore the school board to take the time to listen to students. We are here. We want to learn. And we want iPads.
5 news//jan 2013
Lucid Dreaming Can you control your dreams? You trip over your own feet and fall, scraping your hands and knees against the cold gravel. You jump up and keep running, ignoring your wounds, heart pounding. Your breath comes out as white gasps in the cold air. You hear a low growl, and with a slightly hysterical noise, sprint faster. But the beast is quicker. It’s on your heels. You’re pushing yourself further, but it’s not enough.
You wake up. Ever had a nightmare like that? What if you could change those nightmares, right in the middle of having one? Maybe by turning that hideous monster into a fluffy bunny or, suddenly being able to fly away from it. It’s possible. It’s called lucid dreaming. It’s when a person is able to become lucid and realize he or she is dreaming. With practice, that person can even control their dreams. It sounds impossible, but there’s plenty of science
behind it. When you sleep, your mind moves through several stages. Here are the five stages according to Rebecca Turner, creator of world-of-lucid-dreaming.com Stage 1. This is the beginning of the sleep cycle. It’s a very light sleep that you can be easily awakened from. In this stage, the brain produces very slow brain waves. This part of the cycle lasts 5-10 minutes. Stage 2. In this stage, the body starts to slow. Heart rate decreases, along with body temperature. The brain begins to produce sleep spindles, which are short and rapid bursts of brain wave activity. Stage 3. This is the period between light sleep and deep sleep. The brain puts out slow waves called delta waves. Stage 4. This part is a deep sleep that lasts about 30 minutes. This is the stage where a lot of people start sleepwalking.
Stage 5. Now this is the exciting stage, called rapid eye movement (REM). This is where dreams happen. During this time, your brain activity increases and your body becomes paralyzed. This is when lucid dreaming is possible. But a warning: if you don’t achieve lucid dreaming correctly, you can accidentally wake yourself and still have sleep paralysis. It’s a very scary experience. The key to lucid dreaming is realization. Realizing that you are dreaming and taking hold of the dream. That’s a very difficult thing to do, and here’s why, according to Stephen LaBerge, one of the world’s leading dream researchers. “Ordinarily, if you were to see something that wasn’t really there, contradictory sensory input would rapidly correct your mistaken impression. Why doesn’t the same thing happen during dreaming? The answer is because there is little or no sensory input available to the brain for correcting such mistakes.”
by Kayla Champion If you want to learn how to lucid dream, the process is very simple. It just takes a lot of time and dedication. Some people get it quicker than others, but don’t be discouraged. Many dreamers suggest keeping a dream journal. When you wake up, quickly write down the dream you had. Over time, try to find a pattern in your dreams, a common factor in all of them. Next, develop a habit. Maybe snapping your fingers throughout the day, or pinching yourself. This is called a reality check. Then when you dream, you can perform the check and become lucid. Once you do become lucid, it’s very hard to stay that way. Try keeping a mantra, “This is a dream, this is a dream, this is a dream.” This should help focus you. Once you have all of this down, just practice, practice, practice!
6 news//jan 2013
7 news//jan 2013
The War on Marijuana by James Porter
The lines have definitely been drawn in regards to the marijuana legalization debate. Twenty states including Washington D.C. have laws legalizing marijuana to various degrees. Washington state has just put into effect a full legalization of marijuana for anyone over 21 years of age with Colorado following suit this month. However, the federal government still outlaws marijuana, classifying it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance which is the severest classification. Whatever your stance on legalization, this issue will certainly not disappear and marks a huge shift in the American mindset. People have rallied, gained support, and fought hard on both sides of the debate for what they believe. Those whose support legalization cite cannabis’ powerful use as a medicine. Marijuana has been used to treat everything from sleep disorders to cancer. The use of marijuana is known to increase appetite while producing a
state of euphoria. Many conflicting studies have been conducted on the long term effects of marijuana in the body. Some studies have found that marijuana actually acts as a shield against harmful enzymes that cause loss of memory. Another case being made in regards to its legalization is the money generated by taxing sale of the plant. Many believe that full decriminalization will lead to huge tax incomes for states. P.E. teacher Andrew Williams had thoughts along the same line. ”You have to look at the obvious tax benefits of legalization. Generating money from taxes coupled with a reduce in money spent on prosecuting offenders will lead to budget surpluses in some states. The sale of marijuana must be strictly regulated by the government to insure safety.” California certainly has seen such benefits. Anita Gore, California Board of Equaliza-
tion spokeswoman, reports that “California tax authorities estimate that the state currently collects $58 million to $105 million in sales taxes on $700 million to $1.3 billion in annual retail sales of medical marijuana.” Those against marijuana feel their side has plenty of firepower too. Communities across the nation have stepped up and banded together in wake of recent pro marijuana victories. May say that cannabis is a gateway drug. Some believe it is a dangerous and highly addictive substance. A recent study conducted in New Zealand, published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, did show that over a 20 year period, users of marijuana who started
before age 18 had actually lowered IQs than those who had abstained. This suggests that marijuana, like many other substances, can have harmful effects on the undeveloped brain. Ms. Toni Owens, history teacher, believes the cons outweigh the pros. “While I can see where people are coming from with the argument for taxing marijuana, I still believe it should not be legalized.” The debate is more heated than ever with pro marijuana supporters gaining ground in many states. Lawmakers are locked in battle and the federal government has not budged. This is a crucial time in American history but as it always is in this great nation, the people will decide.
blind by Zach Oxendine
Anna Milligan The human race heavily relies on eyesight to learn about the world. Before a human develops the ability to ask questions, it can only watch. And according to Dr. L. D. Rosenblum, even after speaking skills develop, 83% of information is gathered through sight. Ever heard the phrase “believe half of what you see and none of what you hear?” Imagine where that would leave you if you were unable to see anything at all. You would completely rely on your sense of hearing, touch, and smell to understand the world around you. For me, it is completely unimaginable. For Anna Milligan, a freshman here at Rock Hill High School, it’s a part of everyday life. Anna was born in the Philippines, and moved to the United States when she was 7 years old. She is in chorus, plays piano, writes poems, and wrestled for her middle school. As if those things aren’t impressive enough, she does it with her eyes closed. When I asked Anna about her love for music, she began by saying “music is one beauty you can see without really seeing it.” From a young age, Anna loved the sound of the piano. She decided that she would learn how to play. The following Christmas, Anna received a piano and began to teach herself to play. She learned listening to piano sounds on YouTube, finding the key and playing it back. Using only her ability to hear, Anna taught herself to play. Anna also wrestled. In case the name
“Anna” and various female pronouns didn’t tip you off, Anna is a girl. And on top of that, she’s a blind girl. But Anna won matches. She said the trick was constantly keeping physical contact with her opponents. Through touch, Anna could anticipate their moves and respond quickly enough to win. She allowed me to ask anything. I wondered how she recognizes the people around her. She said that the first identifier is voice; Then if the person will allow it, by touch. She asked to feel my arm. Without hesitation, she told me my height and weight almost exactly. It was amazing. I asked her how she understood her surroundings, and her answer sounds like something out of a movie. “Through hearing, I can see things.” She remembers places through sound. I wish I could explain it better, but I have a very hard time imagining how that works. Her favorite smell is rain. She loves chocolate and variety of music. Anna will even joke about being blind, catching some people off guard. Anna Milligan is an amazing and very talented individual. She participates in many different activities here at Rock Hill High School. Looking through her list of accomplishments, you’d never guess that she is blind. For Anna, blindness is not a disability. Though she cannot use her eyes, she sees more of life than most.
9 viewpoint//nov 2012
10 features//jan 2013
Gibson Rutledge Daigle
Son of C (Total B oach Arby Jon ody & C es on Born: S eptemb ditioning) e r 1 8, 2012 Weight: He didn ’t realiz e, ‘‘How 9 lbs, 4o z b ig his han at only ds two mo nths of and feet were age.’’
Jack s Robe on “Jack ” rt M olna r
In the past year, many of our by Sarah Lumetta teachers have had or are expecting babies. Here is a little bit about all of the new bundles of joy.
t Madison Rae Gran
e aigl da D r) n a m lo rs. A counse 012 of M ,2 e nSon uidanc ber 21 z ve a (g em bs, 2o v o ld lo ave a l u N : o 8 Born eight: uch I c lready h W ow m e I a th inc pec cially s -old.” x e t ’ e ar n p e s d y i “I d child e threer othe
ies) Son of Mr. Cody Strong (Social Stud Born: September 13, 2012 Weight: 8 lbs, 4 oz .’’ ‘‘I didn’t realize how fast he would grow
Lily Kathryn Jenkinson Daughter of Mrs. Katie Jenkinson (English) Born: November 17, 2012 Weight: 8 lbs, 12 oz ‘‘I have an older son, so I knew what to expect this time around.’’
Holden Harris McQuay
nnif Born er Moln ar ( :O Weig ctober 4 Business ‘‘Hav , h teac siste ing two Length t: 9 lbs, 2012 her) r and 4 oz : 22 1 kids is a b Jack /2 in but is c la I did n’t e a happ st - Lucy hes xpec y ba is a w b t it y door to take with an onderfu l ama so lo in th zin big ng e mo rnin to get g smile , out t g.’’ he
dsay Grant (Math) Daughter of Mrs. Lin 12 Born: August 1, 20 ; oz 9 , lbs 8 t: igh We Length: 20 inches a 4 year so much fun! I have ng a girl could be ssi dre ’ t ls!’ tha gir lize for rea ns ‘‘I didnt so many more optio old son, so there are
Jacob Thomas Strong
Finley Anna Chandler
Son of Dr. Emily McQuay (Administrator) Born: December 17, 2012 Weight: 6 lbs, 6 oz Length: 19 inches “We’re surprised by how little sleep we get now, plus him coming a month early and needing to gain weight. Whew!”
th Bell e b a z li E e t t Charlo ew Bell (Art)
Daughter of Mr. Chris Chandler (Social Studies) Born: July 20, 2012 Weight: 7 lbs, 15 oz Mr. Chandler was surprised, ‘‘How quickly the last few months have gone.’’
f Mr. Matth Daughter o y 20, 2013 ar Due: Janu
Colin Gray Cooper
Son of Mrs. Jessica Cooper (English) Born: March 19, 2012 Weight: 9 lbs, 8 oz Length: 21.5 inches ‘‘I have been surprised at how quickly my three-yearold daughter forgot what it was like to be an only child. Cara tells me that she is so glad she grew up to be a big sister. Watching Cara and Colin play and laugh together is one of my favorite things about being a mom.’’
Welcome to DaJungle by Mikey Pharr
Everything you need to know about your Bearcat
A bear? A cat? What’s that? Its a Bearcat! A bearcat has a face like a cat’s and a body like a bear’s, long, shaggy black hair, stiff white whiskers, and a prehensile tail that is as long as its body. Now for some facts about your bearcat. Bearcats are also known as binturongs. Bearcats are about two to three feet long and weigh about 30 to 60 pounds. Their life span is around 20 years in the wild and more than 20 in a zoo, reaching maturity at age 3. Bearcats are carnivorous mammals and part of the Viverridae family. The bearcat is the only Old World mammal and one of only two carnivores with a prehensile tail.
Bearcats are primarily nocturnal and move slowly through their homes looking for fruit which is why bearcats are sometimes mistaken for sloths. Sloths and bearcats are pretty similar animals in the way they look, but sloths are leaf eaters while bearcats eat fruit, fish, small invertebrates, birds, eggs, and leaves. Bearcats walk around like bears but unlike bears, bearcats can turn their ankles so that when they are climbing down trees head first, their claws can still grip the tree. Bearcats have a prehensile tail that is very muscular, so they can be used as a extra hand when climbing. Bearcats make a lot noise when trying to communicate. If you
hear them make a chuckling sound, this means that they are happy, but if you hear a high-pitched wail then they are bothered, and you need to leave them alone. Bearcats also make loud howls, low grunts, and hisses. An interesting fact about the bearcat is that their rear ends smell like popcorn. Even though this buttery treat is a pleasing smell to the human nose, this scent serves a different purpose to animals in the wild. Bearcats let off this scent to let other animals know that they are trespassing. This can be a good thing if you’re looking for a mate but bad if you are the trespasser. The jungle cat is also responsible for RHHS’s most recent name
acquistion: Da Jungle. When Will Hinson, senior, found out that bearcats live in the jungles of Southeast Asia, he thought it made sense to call our glorious student section “Da Jungle.” Several people are now trying to think of a nickname for our school’s mascot. So far the suggestions we have heard at the GBG are Rocky, Bandit, Baloo. or simply “The Bearcat.” If you think you have a better idea for a mascot name, then either tweet the GBG @rhhsnews. Remember, this is not an official naming of the school mascot but just for fun.
ROHI Rising Stars: Winter Edition By Andrew Raad
Logan Sexton, Fr., Wrestling
Freshman Logan Sexton has all the tools to be the next great RHHS wrestler. He is a very technically sound wrestler who can execute a plethora of moves. Logan enjoys the one on one battle of wrestling. His goals are to be a state champion and looks up to 2012 Olympic wrestling champion Jordan Burroughs.
Jordan McCraw, So., Basketball
McCraw is the lone sophomore on the varsity basketball team. His strengths include outstanding 3-point shooting, superior vision on the court and an understnading of the game beyond his years. Jordan enjoys the speed of the game and his favorite player is Golden State Warriors guard, Stephen Curry.
Ty Moses, Fr., Basketball
Ty is a versatile player on the varsity girls basketball team. She can play inside the paint or on the perimeter and has a unique ability to jump very high. Ty hopes to be able to dunk by her sophomore year and hopefully dunk in a game before she leaves RHHS. She enjoys playing defense.
12 sports//jan 2013
BCS National Championship by Mikey Pharr and James Porter
As you are reading this story, please keep in mind that we sent off the magazine to get printed on January 7 and we are distributing them after the game. So look at our predictions and check how accurate we were.
Mikey’s Prediction: Notre Dame- 20 Alabama- 17
The stage is set for a BCS showdown like no other. January 7, two programs brimming with tradition and history will meet to do battle once more. Alabama is seeking their third title in four years, cementing their legacy as one of the greatest college football programs in ever. For Notre Dame, pride is on the line. This storied program has fought its way back from the depths of mediocrity to regain its luster of the 20th century. Two powerful defenses, two legacies on the line, one national champion. The Crimson Tide versus the Fighting Irish in a game sure to make history. The experts (us) disagree on who will be the winner. I (James) believe that
Notre Dame has the heart to be in this game late. And if Everett Golson can play no turnover football and have the game of his short career then MAYBE Notre Dame could pull this one out. Otherwise, the overwhelming crushing nature of the Alabama front seven coupled with one of the most efficient QBs in college football in AJ McCarron will lead to heartbreak for the Irish. Coaching, depth on the roster, and experience on the big stage all favor Alabama. But this is college football; and usually, Murphy’s law applies. However, that being said, Roll Tide. I (Mikey) believe that Notre Dame will be able to find a way to escape Sun Life Stadium with a W. Even though I
think Alabama has the better coach and possibly the better team, I think Everett Golson and the Fighting Irish have more heart and have more desire to be National Champions. Notre Dame has no loses this year. They’ve escaped some close ones and also have blown out teams. They have great wins over Michigan, Stanford, and Oklahoma. This is my first time ever pulling for Notre Dame because they are usually overrated but not this year as you can tell by their great wins and no defeats.Even though Notre is number one in the nation, they are still the underdog in this game. And we are all fans for the underdog, so Let’s Go FIGHTING IRISH!!!
2 Teams; 1 Dream James’ Prediction: Alabama- 27 Notre Dame- 22
13 perspective//jan 2013
Clockwise from top left: Amanda Seyfried, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Isabelle Allen, Eddie Redmayne and Seyfried, Helen Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, and Russel Crowe
by Alison Thrash
The best performances you’ll see this year Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway deserve the highest recognitions for their performances in Les Misérables. The film adaptation of the English musical based on Victor Hughes’ novel, Les Misérables, was released in theaters Christmas day, 2012. The title, Les Misérables, literally translates, and the characters in this remarkable film are definitely that. It begins with a prisoner and his fellow inmates raising a once sunken ship. The man is gaunt, with a tangled beard, a badly shaven head and scarred head, wearing raggedy scraps of what used to be clothing. His name: Jean Valjean. The man is then released from prison on parole, finds God, breaks parole, and seeks a better life. He later finds himself caring for a young girl and the movie continues to detail their lives during the second French Revolution. The entire film is sung live, which you’d assume would get old fast, but you get so lost in the amazing performances you almost forget. Almost, because the singing itself is so amazing. I’d like to imagine that angels sound the way Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried did in this musical. However, it did get annoying when a group would sing over one another with each member singing different lyrics, because you don’t know what to listen to. Hathaway gave the second best performance with her phenomenal tear-rendering rendition of “I dreamed a dream” as Fantine.
Her voice was beautiful, but her acting was extraordinary. The best part is she’s only in the movie for approximately forty minutes, but her scenes are some of the most memorable in the movie’s threehour-long run. Hathaway came second only to Hugh Jackman. Jackman’s portrayal of the tortured Jean Valjean was done with so much emotion, I was awe-struck. And his voice! The only issue was Russel Crowe and I don’t even have too many bad things to say about him. Crowe plays a military man that forever hunts Valjean and while his voice was good, it just wasn’t up to par with the rest of the cast. Not only that, but in his final scene, which should have brought tears to my eyes, he forgets to act like a tormented soul, contemplating the meaning of his life, and instead just blankly and apathetically stares forward. Not to say that this movie is all tears and shuddery breaths; Sacha Baron Cohen and Helen Bonham Carter liven up the film with their thieving antics, earning more than a few laughs since Cohen’s character can’t ever seem to remember Cosette’s name. I’ve never seen a better musical OR movie for that matter. It does have some mature themes and
Hobbit By “The Hobbit,” written by J.R.R. Tolkien, is a prequel to the three part epic series, “The Lord of the Rings.” This story follows Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, on his adventure across Middle Earth to the Lonely Mountain to restore a dwarf’s stolen fortune. I would consider “The Hobbit” a very exciting and action packed book. It seems as if there is not a moment that doesn’t leave you at the edge of your seat. Although at the beginning I found the plot line rather slow, I could barely put the book down once the journey commenced. This book is like a roller coaster; once you get over the initial hill, the ride is a thrill that you can’t stand to leave. J.R.R. Tolkien created an extremely original world with such great details that
obscenities, and the Romeo-Juliet type love that’s introduced is kind of lame, but this movie surpassed my expectations with flying colors.
by Sammi Hayes
J.R.R. Tolkien it almost seemed like it could actually exist. He took famous magical creatures such as dwarves, goblins, and dragons, and made each his own individual creation. He even made his own magical beings such as the hobbits, which were probably my favorite of all the magical races. Tolkien also uses songs to describe certain scenes or tales in the book. This addition to the story seemed to add a poetic beauty that could not be duplicated any other way. One of my favorite songs was in the beginning of the book, describing the journey ahead: Far over the misty mountains cold To dungeons deep and caverns old We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold. I personally loved this novel. I would especially recommend it to anyone who loves adventures or enjoys books like Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia. The classic tale of Mr... Baggins is not only fun and heart warming, it is also adventurous, sad, and at some times, even dark. Don’t let the book’s plain cover fool you, it is definitely a worthwhile read. The first installment of the three part move adaption was recently released in theaters. I would recommend reading this book first. In my opinion, the book is almost always better than the movie.
14 features//jan 2013
ATTENTION: This album should be considered explicit, and will probably only be liked by those who consider themselves dedicated rap fans. Kendrick Lamar’s most recent album good kid m.A.A.d city is one to keep up with. Trust me; you will still be listening to it in the car when you’re 40, kids complaining from the back seat. This album is a true stroke of genius comprised of entrancing beats, incredible lyrical versatility, and cleverly incorporated guest rappers. By the time you finish m.A.A.d city, you will have endured and conquered Compton. You will become a man with Kendrick Lamar. You’ll share in his pain and swell with pride when he becomes another “black boy who flies out of Compton.” The opening track “Sherane AKA Master Splinter’s Daughter” is a steady slow beat overlaid with a shrill singing chorus, coaxing you into Compton, California. You are 17 year old Kendrick at a house party where you meet a hot girl named Sherane. The next thing you know, you’ve stolen your mom’s Dodge Caravan, and you’re driving to Sherane’s house. There is no way you will be back in 15 minutes, but screw it. Your 15 minute hook up
Kendrick Lamar GOOD KID M.A.A.D. CITY By Sarah Ann Snipes turns into a few days long bender full of booze, babes, running from the cops, and riding with the homies. There’s also a lot of rapping. The plot of the album is stitched together by a series of voicemails left by Kendrick’s mother and father. They serve as an anchor for Kenrick, a reminder that he is good and can withstand the pressures of the streets. In one of the darker tracks “The Art of Peer Pressure”, you will do a few things that are out of character. It’s you “and [your] n*****s four deep in a white Toyota with a quarter tank of gas, one pistol, and orange sodas.” You drink some more (not orange soda) and smoke some more (not tobacco), rap and repeat. Some notable tracks are: pretty much all of them. If you aren’t really into the idea of listening to a whole album, good kid m.A.A.d city could still be for you. There are more than a few radio ready singles in the mix. Tracks like “The Recipe,” ”Money Trees,” or “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” are probably where you should start.
Bruno Mars UNORTHODOX JUKEBOX By Shelby Osborn Bruno Mars’ second album Unorthodox Jukebox has what it takes to bring him to a whole new level of artistry. The 27 year old Hawaii native had huge success with his first album, DooWops and Hooligans, released in Oct. 2010. Even though his debut album sold more than 45 million singles worldwide, Unorthodox Jukebox has more emotion, unique sounds, depth, and more of Bruno Mars inner bad boy. In an interview with Billboard, Mars said, “This is me going into the studio and recording and writing whatever I want. This album represents my freedom.” Freedom is exactly what you get when you listen to this album. You can’t really classify or categorize this as a Pop, R&B, or even Rock because it’s all of those wrapped up into one. At one moment you get an upbeat song that you sing along to in your car, and the next you’re hit with a love ballad. Throw in a Reggae jam, some urban style, 80’s vibes and you have an album. The Huffington Post quoted Mars saying he was jeal-
ous of singer Amy Winehouse because she successfully released genre-bending songs that connected with audiences all over. Which he accomplished with this album. The song, “When I Was Your Man,” Mars stated to Rolling Stone that “it’s the most honest, real thing I’ve ever sang.” The song is about the mistakes men make in relationships with lyrics such as, “I should have bought you flowers and held your hand/ should have gave you all my hours when I had the chance.” It has more emotion and depth than his previous songs such as “Grenade” and “Just The Way You Are.” Some fans may be shocked to not hear cheesy love songs from Mars but more sensual lyrics on songs like “Gorilla” and “Locked Out of Heaven.” Although Mars has a lot more explicit lyrics, there are more variety of sounds and tunes, making his sophomore album a great listener. I can’t wait to see what he comes out with next and I predict big things will come of Bruno Mars.
15 features//jan 2013
Green Day TRE! By Anna Senesi
I came into this review without any previous knowledge of Green Day. I like rock and this is the album that popped up on Google when I searched upcoming music. Green Day’s newest album, “Tre!”, was released on the 11th of December. It is the third album in Green Day’s“Uno! Dos! Tre!”trilogy. When interviewed by iHeartRadio, Billie Joe Armstrong (guitar player and vocalist) said, “One is just classic Green Day sound. The second record, ‘Dos!’, is more of a sort of garage-rock kind or party record. And then the third record is more reflective on the epic scale… it’s kind of like the ‘Twilight’ series… but good.” That’s one way of putting it, I suppose, but let me be brutally honest with you. I can’t say I was at all fond of the records. Profane children’s folk songs just don’t do it for me. I found the music of “Tre!” redundant, almost boring. I’m a fan of hard rock like Three Days Grace and Fall Out Boy. That’s not what I found in this album. It was a kind of soft rock. I’d describe it like a
flat soda. There was no kick to it. The lyrics were standard, not anything impressive. The music did nothing to emphasise the words, which made the songs forgettable. Now, it wasn’t entirely horrible. I did like the song “X-Kid”. I just didn’t like it enough to go buy it on iTunes. In the future, I expect to hear some of the songs on a movie soundtrack. I think it would be put to good use that way. Picture some of the songs over a video montage of a group of angsty teenagers. I have to give Green Day credit, though. There was little computer generated sound and there didn’t seem to be any auto-tune. There was plenty of guitar, which for me is always a plus. Natural sound is hard to come by these days. All in all, “Tre!” just didn’t cut it for me. I found nothing inspiring or reflective. It lacks the character of their older albums. Die-hard Green Day fans might enjoy it, but this hard rock fan found it rather dull.
Taylor Swift RED By Savannah Crocker
Taylor Swift’s fourth studio album, RED, has topped charts from Nashville to Hollywood. Over her career, she has become less and less of a country music singer and more of a pop artist. Her very first record debuted in 2006. She was only 16-years-old. Her pop music crossover occurred when Big Machine records brought Swift and Swedish pop entrepreneur Max Martin together. Martin cowrote and produced many tracks on RED. If you aren’t familiar with his work, here are a few of his note-worthy tracks: “Hit Me Baby One More Time”--Britney Spears, “Since U Been Gone”--Kelly Clarkson, “I Kissed a Girl”--Katy Perry, “Dynamite”--Taio Cruz, and most recently, “One More Night”--Maroon 5. Heard of these #1 hits? Of course you have, unless you’ve been living under a rock. His work also rubs off on Taylor Swift’s latest music, which frankly, sounds as if it were pulled off of a Katy Perry album. The album starts off with a soft-
rock tune, and ends with T-Swift’s trademark whine about loving and/or hating a boy. Max Martin shines on again in the track, “22”, where she says she just wants to “dress up like hipsters and make fun of [her] exes.” But the very next song is about her finding a new guy. Very original, Taylor. The song “We Are Never Getting Back Together” is a little too repetitive for me. We get it Taylor, you are never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER getting back together. One half of her album sticks to her country roots and the other half is pop-driven. It becomes a little confusing at times. One minute you’re hearing a sweet, country song. And the next you’re listening to a loud and fast beat song. It’s kind of like listening to a bad Pandora Radio. Bottom line: the album is exactly what you expect from Taylor Swift. It’s got a little bit of pop and a little bit of heartbreak. I didn’t like it. But maybe you will.
BlOps 2: Great multiplayer, graphics fell short. by Hunter Evans It took the Call of Duty franchise five games, but Treyarch and Activision finally matched the stunning campaign featured in “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” with the new release “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.” The interactive adventure brings great features to the game, getting you hooked right from the start by reacquainting you with familiar characters from the first Black Ops and integrating new ones that continue this captivating, but confusing story. The story is set in two different times, the 1980s and 2025. However, all the characters pursue terrorist Raul Menendez, leader of the Cordis Die movement. Eventually, you capture Menendez and have the choice of shooting him or just capturing him. Each choice produces different outcomes that may make you wish you chose the other option.
The graphics in this game are great, but not much different from the last “Call of Duty. “They’re not as stunning as they were expected to be. There are also too many cinematic scenes that take away from gameplay and the story is a little confusing at times. The game allows you to blow through missions with the weapons of your choice, changeable with every mission. All of the weapons that exist within the futuristic setting are more innovative and detailed than any other Call of Duty game, arguably the best weaponry in the Call of Duty franchise. For online gamers and zombie slayers this game is an enjoyment. In multiplayer, it brings back all of the popular game modes from past games and introduces new modes that keep you entertained for hours. Classes are also customizable with options
Black Ops 2
16 backpage//jan 2013
on how to customize guns and put clan names and emblems on them. In addition, you can choose to have no perks, no attachments, or no weapons at all in your classes. Zombie mode has expanded since its debut in Black Ops. There are new game modes like Tranzit, where you travel on a bus to different locations, unlocking secrets and exterminating zombies along the way, or Grief, where you compete against other players to see who survives the longest. The game also features survival mode for oldtimers. Overall, Treyarch and Activision did a good job on Black Ops 2, but it could be better. It is one of the best multiplayer experiences in the entire franchise.
VSAssassians Creed 3 AC3: Amazing in almost every aspect.
by Hunter Evans
American history unfolds before your eyes in Ubisoft’s latest addition to the Assassin’s Creed series, Assassin’s Creed 3. As the fifth game in the series, it is by far the best. The series focuses on the conflict between the Templars and the Assassins. The main protagonist of the series, Desmond, uses a device called the Animus to enter into the memory of his ancestors to find lost ‘Pieces of Eden’ which have the power to change history and give a single group control of mankind. Connor, born to a Native American mother and British father, is the main character in the game that has a thirst for freedom and will do anything to achieve it for his people, as well as others. Years of hunting through the vast wilderness and in-depth training makes Connor the perfect Assassin. Connor fights through his own personal endeavors against the Templars while assisting the Patriots’ ef-
forts in the American Revolution. He fights alongside famous leaders such as George Washington, Paul Revere, and John Hancock while pursuing famous Redcoats. This game will teach you more about the shot heard around the world than your history class ever did. The creators reveal a different side of the Revolution and go into more depth on the events and leaders that shaped America, even though its not all true. It is definitely the best aspect of the game to me, being the history buff that I am. It takes learning about our country’s history and makes it more engaging. If learning was like this, I wouldn’t mind it at all. The graphics and the controls make this game the best in the series. One button allows you to run through the immense world and jump and climb over obstacles. The controls for the combat are smoother than before, but they aren’t perfect. Sometimes the parries don’t work and free-running makes you run off a cliff to your death,
but when the controls work right, the gameplay is very enjoyable. The naval warfare missions are just as addicting as the main missions. You sail the seas with your faithful crew while fighting off enemy ships using cannons and by boarding the other vessels to fight handto-hand. With the most fluid controls in the game, you’ll be hooked on these missions right from the start. Even though this game is the best of the franchise and has one of the best gameplay experiences, there are some cons that knock it down a couple of notches. There are a load of bugs and frustrating glitches that make the game a little less enjoyable. Sometimes it even costs you a fully synchronized mission. Another thing that bothers me is when you play as Desmond. His missions pull away from the addicting life of Connor. Even with all these problems, Assassin’s Creed 3 is one of the best games I have ever played. I recommend it to all gamers.
Published on Jan 8, 2013