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The Stresses of Nanowrimo

By Allison Miller

With Camp Nano having started on April first, it is clear that both old and new writers alike are back for another month of intensive writing. Though most of the writers that joined have elected to take on the challenge, they will most likely face problems getting to their word counts in a month’s time. Even if all of the authors on the Camp Nano website have chosen to be there of their own free will, and not forced on by parents or writing professors, they will almost all have experienced stress before the month’s end. But why is this? If everyone on the website is excited to be participating, where is all the stress coming from? When people choose to begin Camp Nanowrimo on April first, they may not consider how many words a day they need to write, may set their word count goal too high, not realize how much time it will take out of the limited days of the month, or not plan out their story before trying to write it out.

When Camp Nano writers take on their word goals and the calendar hits April first, they may not think about how many words they need to write every day. They may start with a few days of extremely high word counts but not continue to keep it up. They may think that after one day of going one hundred words over the projected goal they can take the next day off entirely, which will easily put them very behind on the road to achieving their word goal by the end of the month. A problem many writers run into while writing is the fear that they won’t get to their projected goal for the day.

Another cause of stress can be setting a word goal too high at the beginning of the year, and then realizing that it isn’t feasible to reach by the end of the month. If this is the cause of stress to the writer, however, the simple solution would be to change the word goal. Even if the person is too stubborn to admit they can’t reach their goal, the Camp Nano website will let a writer change their word goal after the beginning of the month all the way to the end, which is the same on the Nanowrimo Youth website.

Many writers also don’t realize that writing will take so much time out of their day and out of their month altogether. As the months go on, writers tend to get tired of using up their weekends to focus just on writing, without being able to hang out with their friends, or they may stay up later than usual finishing their homework along with completing their word goal for the day. This can easily get tiring for authors throughout this month and can cause them to become stressed over which things they need to eliminate from their day as they continue their novels.

One of the most heavy causes of stress on the Camp Nano participants lies not within word counts or time management skills, but rather in themselves. Many writers choose to not take the needed time to plan out and outline their stories before sitting down and deciding to take on the monumental task that is meeting a word goal and committing to writing for a month long. Since outlining is such a fundamental part of writing a story and not losing sight of the plot, it can be easy to get distracted without doing it. Without an outline, it can be immensely difficult to hint at future events in the story, let alone keep the plot moving in a progression that makes sense to the audience.

Overall, however, Nanowrimo is a fantastic experience for those who can handle it. Though it may be straining to the mind (and the schedule), the sense of achievement that comes from meeting a word goal for the day, or finishing one’s novel altogether, overcomes all the stress that got the author there. Though stress can be overwhelming sometimes, it is better to look past it and focus on the goal than to dwell on it and kill productivity. Camp Nanowrimo finishes at the end of April. Until then, good luck to all those participating!

 

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March for Our Lives: Enough Is Enough

By Maya Schenne

On March 24, 2018, thousands of students marched to protest gun violence all across the country. This protest hit the biggest cities across the United States, including Washington D.C., Chicago, Phoenix, Las Vegas, New York City, and Dallas. This giant event was called March for Our Lives. The recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida sparked the protest. Students have had enough violence in their schools. They say enough is enough. Joanna Gates, an art teacher who survived a school shooting in 1999, was proud of the students for standing up. “I have been waiting so long for something like this to happen. This is just incredible. These children have achieved more in a month than us adults have done in years. It’s time for change. It’s beyond time.”

March for Our Lives was sparked by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen students were killed on February 14, 2018, because of the shooting. Survivors of the Parkland shooting organized March for Our Lives. Over 500,000 people showed up in Washington D.C. to protest gun violence. March for Our Lives is one of the biggest youth protests since the Vietnam War. That shows how much of an impact school shootings have on a nation. More than one million people protested for change across the whole country.

March for Our Lives

In Prescott, over fifteen hundred people came together to march. It was inspiring to see such a large number of people marching in downtown Prescott. Not only were students protesting, but a large number of adults and seniors also attended. People handed out free signs that read, “STUDENTS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA.” The goal of protesting was to bring awareness to the needed changes in gun safety laws. Although there were over 800 cities that participated in these protests, Washington D.C. was the main event.

Celebrities joined the students in the protest in Washington D.C. near the Capitol. George and Amal Clooney, Jimmy Fallon, Halsey, Cher, Glenn Close, Kim Kardashian, and Kanye West all came to support the students. Other celebrities came to perform, such as Demi Lovato, Vic Mensa, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Common, Andra Day, Ben Platt, and Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus said, “Thank you for being here. I love you all so much. Never again. You guys are so incredible, and I just count myself lucky to be in the presence of all you wonderful people, fighting for what’s right.”

Amy Schumer, Olivia Wilde, Cappie Pondexter, Yara Shahidi, Meg Donnelly, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Trevor Hall, Jacob Sartorius, and Skai Jackson also came to support the students. Many celebrities donated large sums of money to help pay for services, such as bathrooms, food, a medical tent, etc. It also helped by giving the organization everything it needs to succeed in their movement.

Many survivors of school shootings made appearances, as well as young activists. Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., made an inspiring speech: “My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but the content of their character. I have a dream, that enough is enough. And that this should be a gun-free world. Period.” Rebecca Schneid, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, added, “This march is just the beginning of a movement that will last a very long time. We understand that this is a marathon and that we’ll be fighting for years. We’re just getting started, now we have to use our rights as voters to make things change. Politicians will see that we aren’t going away.” Another survivor from Parkland, David Hogg, said, “We need to see real action from lawmakers. They have to actually mean it, take meaningful steps to save children’s lives.”

Students are sick and tired of all the gun violence in schools. School should be a place where you learn and grow as a person. School shouldn’t make you fear for your life. Students have stepped forward to say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.” Their movement has spread across the nation, hitting the biggest cities and inspiring others to join in. With lots of hard work and determination, students will succeed in making schools a safe place.

Sources:

http://marchforlife.org/

http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/march-for-our-lives-quotes-586628

http://www.complex.com/life/2018/03/celebrities-showed-support-for-march-for-our-lives/

http://time.com/5167102/march-for-our-lives-parkland-school-shooting-protest/

https://www.dcourier.com/news/2018/mar/25/march-our-lives/

The Book Was Better

By Allison Miller

Why is it that when movies are adapted from books they generally leave the original fans either disappointed, upset, or both? Why would people who have been fans of a series for so long not be completely ecstatic about their favorite books being shown on the silver screen? If they loved the written version so much, why wouldn’t they adore the video version just as much? Maybe they enjoy their own imagination more. Maybe the movie had many errors. Maybe they simply weren’t satisfied with the actors’ portrayal of their favorite characters. Whatever the reason for the audience’s dissatisfaction, these are a few of the reasons why the book was better.

  1. The plot can sometimes stray from the original in film format. When movies that have been adapted from books are released, they tend to get much more criticism for their plot. Many times, original readers will admit that a movie could have been great if it hadn’t been based off a written work. When the crew of a movie changes things about the story’s plot, readers tend to pick it out as something that didn’t go the way they remembered. This was the case with the Percy Jackson films. So many major plot points were changed in the film that only the basic parts of the story were present, which caused much backlash from audiences at both the first and second movies.
  2. A reader’s favorite character could have less character development or even disappear from the storyline altogether. Many movies take only the traits that they want to emphasize for certain characters when they portray them, making a slightly shy character not talk to anyone, or a humorous character only crack jokes. Movies tend to show one character trait rather than the development of the story’s characters overall. Some characters who are deemed ‘unimportant’ by scriptwriters are completely omitted, such as the character of Peeves in the Harry Potter movies. If the deleted characters provided comic relief or any smaller plot point, their roles tend to get pushed on the other characters, causing the earlier issue of a too funny or too shy character.
  3. Many readers would rather get to imagine the way characters and scenes look for themselves rather than have their creativity stifled by a concrete vision of what everything actually looks like. Fans who create art of characters from books love having their medium unrestricted by appearances. It is much more fun to share your own interpretation of how something is when you aren’t confined to the limits of solid looks of characters.
  4. Even if the plot is mostly seamless in a movie adaptation between paper and screen, there are always slight differences between how scenes happen. Memorable lines are left out or a minuscule exchange between characters that changed both personalities can be easily missed.
  5. Movies leave out huge chunks of books, yet tend to be overdramatic when showing certain details. Things like love stories, violence, and explicit language tend to be overused in movies for the sole purpose of captivating the audience when other things could do a lot more with much less.

Though movies are filled with action and musical scores that keep the eyes of the audience glued to the screen, most movie adaptations do not live up to the standards of the reader’s expectations. Many movie producers replace their favorite scenes with special effects and inflated love storylines that aren’t crucial and, in extreme cases, cause the quality of the movie to decrease. Characters are changed to display only their most prominent characteristics rather than showing them all as complex and deep, the way they were written.

Due to all the flaws that surface during the transition between book to screen, most readers have learned not to get their hopes when it is announced that one of their favorite books is going to be shown on the big screen for millions of people to see. Even though most movie adaptations of books fail to please, there are always some exceptions, in some cases where entire scenes of the movie are word for word accurate to the book. Regardless, it is only after examining all the different factors of both the book and the movie that we should decide whether or not the book was better.

 

Love, Simon

by Molly West

If you have been on any form of electronics, it’s hard for you to not have heard of Love, Simon. Not only are there trailers on TV, but the movie has blown up across social media. It was officially released on Friday, March 16th, though it was announced at the beginning of 2018. As of March 18th, the movie has already wracked in over eleven million dollars.

Love, Simon is based on the book by Becky Albertalli titled Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The movie was directed by Greg Berlanti. The story follows Simon Spier, who is portrayed by Nick Robinson. There are other star actors, such as Katherine Langford–most well known for her role in 13 Reasons Why–as Leah and Jennifer Garner as Simon’s mom.

Everyone deserves a good love story, but for Simon, it’s a bit more complicated. Simon is just like most teens–he has close friends, a good relationship with his family, and a steady reputation. He has one secret, though, and that is that he’s gay. He has yet to tell any of his friends or family, as he has a fear things will be different between them.

After seeing an online post on the school’s gossip blog, he begins emailing an anonymous student at his school who is also secretly gay and goes by the pen name Blue. These simple emails spiral into a journey of love, conflict, emotions, and coming to terms with who you are, as Simon’s secrecy is threatened. You may not think you’ll cry, but trust me, you will. It feels just like the cheesy teen movies you have always seen, and in a way, it is. The melodrama of the movie does not outshine its important message, though.

Ratings for Love, Simon have been fairly high. On average, it is rated as four stars out of five. It also received 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Joyce Slaton from Common Sense Media says, “Tender, sweet, and affecting, this is the mainstream rom-com that gay teens might not have even known they needed. But when they watch it, they’ll find themselves deeply reflected.”

Another review is by Glenn Kenny of The New York Times, who says, “The emotional resonance in Love, Simon may be surprising given the movie’s relentless gloss, but it’s real.”

Just days after the movie’s release, Love, Simon has made an astounding impact. It is the movie that LGBT+ teens need, whether they know it or not. Teens who were too scared to come out as gay before gained the courage to come out after watching Simon’s journey. Nick Robinson even admitted that his brother came out to him as gay during the filming of Love, Simon. Not only that, but it helps the parents of these LGBT+ teens better understand how their child feels.

Love, Simon is a huge step for mainstream gay movies. Its success gives hope that gay movies will be more normalized in the future. It may be a bit cheesy, but Love, Simon is the on-screen representation gay kids–and even some adults–have been waiting for.

Spirit Week At Tricity Prep!

By Allison Miller

This week (Monday March 19th to Thursday the 22nd) is spirit week here at Tri-City Prep! The week has only just begun, and already everyone can see the enthusiasm of the school to participate in this week’s activities.  The schedule for this week is full of fun, with Pajama Day on Monday, Tacky Tourist Day on Tuesday, Vans vs. Converse Day on Wednesday, and Color Day on Thursday.

Pajama Day was entertaining -to say the least- even for those who wore their normal day clothes to class. Teachers and students alike showed off their support for the school with their robes and comfortable pants. With spring break having been the week before this, many students forgot that it even was Pajama Day, though other students simply would rather not participate. Nevertheless, those who did remember could be seen lounging on the grass at lunch in onesies and slippers, while some teachers went all out and arrived at school with curlers in their hair and slippers. Even with some members of the school disregarding the spirit day, there was still an impressive turnout.

On Tuesday, even more school-goers participated in Tacky Tourist Day. Since many people find it much easier to throw on a Hawaiian shirt over regular clothes rather than risking having their pajamas judged by friends and other students, it’s much easier to pick out those who didn’t participate than to pick out those who did. Though flowered-shirts seem to be the most popular choice of the day, there are others who are sporting the generic “I Heart NY!” shirts, sweaters, and ball caps. Other students are dressed in khaki shorts and sun-hats. There was even one student wearing a poncho and a sombrero.

Wednesday will showcase the rivalry between the Tri-City inhabitants who prefer Vans and those who prefer Converse. Since it is a choice between footwear and not complete outfits, it is extremely likely that even more participants will be seen throughout the day. Some students who are in the middle of the Vans vs Converse debate have expressed that they may even wear one Converse shoe and one Vans shoe.

Thursday will be Color Day, with each level of the school representing their group by wearing different colors, with the faculty wearing maroon, freshman wearing red, sophomores wearing green, juniors wearing blue, and the seniors wearing black. Everyone is hoping that the school will be full of colors and that maybe at lunch the faculty will see tables full of all colors of clothes, friends regardless of grade.

This whole week will eventually come to a close when Thursday night after all the week’s festivities have ended and the school day is all over, there will a Color Dance held at the school. After a long day of wearing one color, the students will all be able to show up to the dance in either all white to glow under black lights or in neon so that the dance will be full of flashing lights and bright colors, all moving around as the students and supervisors dance to the music.

Overall, spirit week has already been amazing and a huge success. Everyone has been enjoying the outfits they’ve seen just in the past two days, and they are all excited to see the costumes to come. Only two days of the week have gone by and everyone is certain that the next two days are expected to have even more participation in Vans vs. Converse Day and Color Day. It is going to be very interesting to see all the pictures the office has taken of students and teacher’s costumes throughout the week in the yearbook.

Even though many people forgot it was spirit week on Monday, this week has been a great way to ease everyone -not just the students- back into the last segment of the school year after the week-long rest of spring break. Seeing everyone support the school through their goofy costumes and through having fun with all the different looks people are sporting is refreshing. It isn’t every day you see students who have so much fun with their peers and teachers the way that the member of Tri-City Prep do. Spirit week has been amazing for everyone.

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