What is the Immigration Ban?

By: Olivia Cholewczynski and Hope Hottois

Donald Trump has been the President of the United States for about a month, and as it is for all newly elected presidents, the public is watching closely to see what he does in his first 100 days in office. We hear about his actions through biased news channels and satirical talk shows, but do we really know what is going on? The order that has generated the most amount of attention so far is the Immigration and Refugee Ban. If you only partially follow politics and are pretty confused as to what exactly this ban is, here is a little summary of what it entails.

The Immigration and Refugee Ban is an executive order President Trump signed on January 27, 2017. This order bars all immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. These countries are Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Somalia. Anyone entering the country from these locations with a Green Card will be let in on a case-by-case basis. The idea was to suspend immigration from these countries until Congress could come up with a better, more permanent strategy for vetting Muslim immigrants from countries with high risks of radical Islamic terrorism.

Immediately, this order became controversial, many viewing the ban as unconstitutional. Not long after, a federal judge from the state of Washington found that the order did not fit with the Constitution and blocked it. They said that it violated the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which stated that an immigrant visa could not be denied on account of race, gender, religion, or national origin. This verdict was soon upheld on appeal in San Francisco. On February 9th, the immigration ban was officially repealed on the account of due process.

The situation has sparked interesting conversation on the Constitution and on federal law. It has pushed us to reexamine the definitions of discrimination and due process, and has encouraged discussion on whether or not the states have the right to challenge federal law. The Immigration and Refugee Ban also makes us retrace the history of crime and terrorism in American—should we be functioning on a 1965 act when at that time, gun control was only starting to be addressed and terrorism was not as big of a problem?

Regardless, we can all appreciate these tough and inspiring questions the executive order has brought to the forefront, and we can also appreciate President Trump’s passion for American protection and security and his readiness to act upon his word. However due to its shock-factor, among other things, the Immigration and Refugee Ban was found unconstitutional. But it has only been a month, and the President may very well write a new, better law. There is hope for a safer country. As American citizens, it is our job to pay attention to what our President is doing. Do some research and find out what is really going on and what the intentions were. Then, formulate your own opinion. We are all a part of history.

Photo:

http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/hans-von-spakovsky/trumps-immigration-executive-order-both-legal-and-constitutional

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Stranger Things

By: Victoria Sogueco

I had popped into the kitchen to find myself a snack. From there I could see the TV. On it were kids, five of them, but two seemed to be against the other three. The three kids looked just like any other on the street, and yet they had something about them that made them stand out. For one, a kid had a shaved head. Another had no teeth.

Wow, I thought to myself, that’s a strange show. And no truer words have ever been thought.

After constant nagging from my mom and brother, I finally watched the show, appropriately titled Stranger Things. The opening scene perfectly sets the tone for the series: it’s mysterious, terrifying, and reminds you of movies like Alien. Paired with the 80s-influenced theme song, it’s enough to make skeptics want to watch the whole thing.

When it comes down to it, it’s a story of a missing boy, Will Byers. It should be a straightforward “find the kid” TV show, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a tale of monsters, underdogs, and love. It takes characters that we see every day (and might even be) and puts them in a story about the impossible. It makes you laugh and cry. It scares you. It even makes you hate a character named Troy.

The writing doesn’t disappoint. The show doesn’t fall flat in its execution, leaving you saying, “One more episode….” even at 2:00 in the morning. The episodes, in fact, blend so perfectly with one another that it feels more like one huge movie.

The actors definitely do the script justice. For example, Millie Bobby Brown (who portrays Eleven) was actually only eleven while filming. Despite this, she shows talent beyond her years. Her head-shaven character is the product of government testing, and knows nothing about the outside world. She gets caught up in the story of Will’s disappearance, and seems to know where he went. At first, many dismiss her as the easiest character to play, due to her small amount of lines. But as the series goes on it becomes clear that it’s difficult to be Eleven. She’s intimidating, and yet so afraid of the world outside. She’s confused, but knows so much about Will’s disappearance. Millie has to take on all of these emotions and convey them without the use of words, but by displaying them on her face. She is truly a precocious actress, and she definitely isn’t the only gifted actor on the show.

Stranger Things is a story for everyone. Instead of casting adults in the lead roles, kids and teenagers, like me and maybe you, are chosen. Personally, I relate to all of them in some way, and I know that I’m not the only one. But for the adults, it has what many shows don’t have nowadays: nostalgia. It pays homage to the movies that our parents might have grown up watching, and translates them into a TV show for a new generation. It isn’t a watered down version of a sci-fi film, and is refreshing to young (and old) sci-fi fans who are tired of the same tropes and cliches.

Stranger Things is truly a strange show, both in its story and in its execution, and that’s a good thing.

Photo:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stranger_Things

An Open Love Letter to All

By: Sarah Vaccarelli

I have gone to a Catholic school my entire life, so by now, I understand and believe that God intended for humans to be stewards of creation. He wanted us to care for the Earth that He made for us, and nurture everything in it. I feel as though we often overlook that God made us too, in His own image and likeness nonetheless. So why do we not show ourselves the same love and forgiveness that we show the rest of the planet?

I think it is because no one shows us how to love ourselves. We are all brought up being told that we should not compare ourselves to others, that we should love our own bodies and personalities, etc. However, no one really teaches us how to do this. I’ve learned that you love yourself the same way you love others.

When someone you love hurts you, you get upset because you care, and you forgive them. Why not do the same for yourself? It is too easy to get caught up in your own head, bashing yourself for the simplest of mistakes and hurting your self-esteem. And as for our bodies, we are ruthless in critiquing ourselves, especially as teenage girls (as much as I hate to admit that stereotype). Would you treat your best friend that way? Your siblings? Your parents? We abuse ourselves.

Self-love is deeply, deeply personal. It’s extremely upsetting to try and force love on yourself – love just doesn’t work that way. It has to be developed. I believe you have to fall in love with yourself, as silly as that sounds, in order to truly achieve the love and forgiveness that God intended you to have for yourself. Think of being alone as being on a date with yourself, and do things you like to do. When you screw up, don’t be so quick to let that feeling of dread set in. Comfort yourself the way you would a loved one. I know I sound like I skip around, throwing flower petals everywhere or something, but hear me out. You have to put time and effort into your relationship with yourself as you would in your relationships with your friends and family.

It took me awhile, but I am proud to say that I am finally in a place where I can confidently say that I love myself. It’s helped me to be far more easygoing. I also don’t freak out over things as much as I used to since I don’t get into that cycle of beating myself up and letting one mistake snowball in my mind. All I do is acknowledge what’s stressing me out, and strategize how to tackle the issue, the same way I would help my best friend if she were having a problem. Self-love is something I learned for myself at Lauralton, and I hope all of you girls can develop a healthy relationship with yourselves while you’re here too. Nothing is more empowering than the confidence you have in yourself to achieve your goals.

Love,

Sarah Vaccarelli, ‘17

Photo:

https://pureleighliving.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/self-love/

Making Your Voice Heard

By: Kathryn Blanco

Last issue, I mentioned some methods of taking action, political and social, for those not yet old enough to be able to vote. I promised in that article to take a more in-depth look at one avenue in particular: contacting representatives. Whether or not you voted for them, your local, state, and federal elected officials are meant to work for your interests. At a local level, where that representation is more direct (and you, theoretically, have more sway in elections), your influence is stronger. Whether you have a concern you want addressed or want to weigh in on a piece of legislation under consideration, contacting your representatives by mail, email, or phone is an important step.

Of course, in order to do so you have to identify who those representatives are. Connecticut’s Senators are (Senior) Senator Richard Blumenthal and (Junior) Senator Christopher Murphy. Connecticut’s House representatives are Congressman John Larson, Congressman Joe Courtney, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Congressman James Himes, and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty. Check govtack.us to find out which House representatives are from your district: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/CT

And explore http://www.house.gov/representatives/#state_ca and https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/ for contact information.

You can also search your town home page for town officials, their roles, their contact information, and what issues are being addressed by your local government.

Putting yourself out there by talking with a stranger can be difficult, but it’s an important part of the political process, particularly for those who cannot participate in other ways.

Photo:

https://pixabay.com/en/phone-red-vintage-vectors-388838/

Breakfasts that Move with YOU

By: Cristina Ludwig

It’s sad but true: school mornings are often times rushed, hectic, and stressful. We have so many things to do, but still want to get some sleep! Although pancakes and French toast are delicious, it’s unrealistic for a school morning. Sometimes, we don’t even have time to pour a bowl of cereal! However, breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. It’s imperative to get energy in the morning to fuel your brain and body!

Here are 5 healthy, quick, easy, and delicious breakfast ideas to try. All the recipes can be prepared in advance the night before, and are ready to go in the morning. Enjoy!

Smoothie Packs

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup spinach (you can leave this out)
  • 1 medium banana, frozen into slices
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, flavor of choice, frozen into ice cube molds
  • 1/3 cup mango cubes, frozen
  • 1/3 cup pineapple, frozen
  • 1/3 cup strawberries, frozen
  • 1 cup water or milk (whatever kind you prefer)

At night, add the spinach, banana pieces, frozen yogurt cubes, and mixed frozen fruit to a zip-top sandwich bag. Squeeze out the air and zip the bag shut. Place in freezer. Repeat for additional packs. In the morning, pour 1-cup water or milk in a blender. Add one frozen smoothie pack and blend until smooth, adding extra water or milk if desired to preferred consistency.

Recipe from: superhealthykids.com

Nut Butter Banana Roll Up

 Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. nut or seed butter of choice (peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella, sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, etc.)
  • 1 tortilla (whole wheat or flour)
  • 1 medium banana

Spread nut butter on a tortilla. Cut banana in half so it is no longer ‘curved’. Place both halves inside the tortilla. Roll up banana in tortilla. Place in refrigerator until you are ready to enjoy.

Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup rolled or quick oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs. other add-ins! (Chocolate chips, dried fruit, peanut butter, raisins, honey, vanilla extract, flax or chia seeds, etc.) Or fresh fruit for the morning to top with!

Mix everything in jar or mug. Refrigerate overnight. Enjoy in morning, warmed in the microwave or cold.

Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/3 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1-cup nut butter of choice (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc.)
  • 1/4-cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3-cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone-baking mat. Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined. The dough will be sticky and thick. Drop 3 Tbs. dough per cookie onto prepared cookie sheet and slightly flatten the tops into desired thickness. (Cookies will not spread in oven) Bake for 15 minutes until edges are very slightly brown. Don’t bake any longer! Allow cooling on the cookie sheets completely.

You can freeze the cookies for up to 3 months. In the morning, place them in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm.

Recipe From: sallysbakingaddiction.com

Strawberry Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose or other flour of choice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium banana, divided (mash 1/2 and slice the other half into very thin slices)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup diced strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray muffin tray with baking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars, baking soda, and cinnamon. Slice the banana in half and mash 1st half with a fork. Cut 2nd half into thin slices (set these aside). Add the mashed banana to the dry ingredients and stir. Add the applesauce, beaten egg white, and vanilla and stir until just combined. Do not over mix. Gently fold in the strawberries and banana slices. Pour batter into muffin tray, filling about 2/3 of the way up. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool on a baking tray.

You can freeze the muffins for up to 3 months. In the morning, place them in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm.

Photo:

https://pixabay.com/en/cereal-breakfast-oats-apple-805436/

Broadway Deals

By: Maya Welber

There are many of us who could not score a skiing vacation this winter and may have had to opt for a stay-cation. If this applies to you, you might want to take a day trip into the city and do some ice skating in Bryant Park or shopping in Herald Square. Eventually, someone might suggest a Broadway show. This is the point where cost gets prohibitive for large families and the idea gets discarded. What you may not know, but a lot of native New Yorkers do, is that winter time is the perfect time to catch a show in the city. Ticket sales traditionally slump in cold weather, plus a lot of shows are getting ready to close and make way for a new rash of shows previewing in the spring. If you are a Broadway producer, you want to squeeze out a last bit of revenue by offering amazing deals, so Broadway offers two weeks of two-for-one shows. This year, it was January 17th through February 4th. Why are you telling me this now, you might ask? Well, I want you to remember for next year, but you’re still in time for the two-for-one offers on Off Broadway Plays – that’s happening February 27th through March 12th. Some of the shows offered are Blue Man Group, The Fantastiks, and Avenue Q. Before you tell me “I don’t do Off Broadway” and turn up your nose, don’t forget Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of Hamilton, got his start on Off Broadway not too long ago in another musical he wrote and starred in called In The Heights.

This is the real deal, kids. We were able to see Beautiful, the story of the prolific songwriter and singer Carole King for $75 for the two of us and Kinky Boots, a great musical about how a drag queen is able to save a shoe factory on the brink of closing. This had wonderful music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Feinstein. For more information and tickets, check out http://www.nycgo.com/off-broadway-week cid=soc_fb_pd_obw_video_onsale_20170213

Photo:

https://pixabay.com/en/broadway-new-york-usa-time-square-1573552/

Bee Thankful

By: Caty Fortin

As scary as their sting may seem, their real power is in their ability to pollinate. Bees are a crucial part of our environment. They are an avid pollinator of all the produce we eat. For animal products, bees pollinate the food they eat, then we eat the animals. No matter the scenario, bees are an active part of our agriculture and farming system. In recent years, there has been a marked drop in the bee population all around the world. This is due to a variety of reasons—habitat loss, parasites, and pesticides. The most notable killer of bees is the pesticide neonicotinoids. The use of this chemical is widespread in cash crop farming around the United States. Some state governments have taken measures to limit their use, but most progress against them has been seen overseas. The European Union has taken measures to restrict usage for the sake of the bees. The United States federal government should take measures to save the bees if we want to continue eating, having cash crops, and thriving as a country. Continued ignorance of environmental issues may not impact our generation, but down the line, future generations could struggle to survive because of our mistakes.

Photo:

http://birdsandbeeshoney.com/our-honey/

 

Marvelous Movies

By: Sara Abbazia

Winter is the time of year where we have a ton of days off from school because it barely snowed an inch and the buses won’t run, or the power went out for a couple of hours but was back on by 8. It is a terrible time for learning, but a great time to unwind a little. After you’re done staring at the ceiling, imagining scenarios and conversations that will never happen, baking cooking just to eat the cookie dough, and screaming at your sister because she won’t stop drop-kicking your phone, you might feel a little bored. Why not spend a couple of hours at the movie theater?

Now, I know that the snacks are ridiculously overpriced, and you’re mostly there to watch the previews; however, going to the movie theater can be a rewarding experience- as long as you choose the right movie to watch. I have seen plenty of movies recently, and I know all of you want nothing more than to hear my completely biased opinions of them (because let’s face it: objectivity is not nearly as entertaining as blatant favoritism)- so without further ado, here are four movies I have seen recently!

*Note: These are relatively spoiler free, but read at your own discretion*

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I saw this movie with a group of friends, and let me tell you, they did not want to hear any criticism of the movie. They loved it, and had already seen it twice or something. As we exited the theater, one friend asked me, “So, how did you like the movie?”

“Well, I have some complaints…”

*Cue instant groaning from everyone and some shouts of “Why are you like this?!” *

Don’t get me wrong, the movie was nice. The set design was amazing (like most Harry Potter movies), the costumes were classy, and the beasts looked- dare I say it- fantastic (okay, I’ll stop, you don’t have to yell).

However, I didn’t love the movie. I think a major part of this was that I guessed most of the plot twists prematurely, which made the suspense and drama of the movie less enjoyable. Also, for me, the two main characters, Newt and Tina, were not nearly as memorable as most of the secondary characters- Jacob, Queenie, the creepy family, the director of Magical Security, and so forth.

Finally, there were a ton of loose ends that were not tied up, which made me quite upset since those aspects were the parts of the movie that I actually cared about. I later learned this was because they are making five more movies, but I think that these missing plot points would have made the first movie more satisfying.

If you are a huge fan of the lore of Harry Potter, you will probably love this movie and enjoy sitting through ten more hours of the series. I myself am not completely enamored, but I am curious about what is to come in the future.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

An important fact to know before I start the review: I had never read the book series that this movie is based off of before seeing the movie.

The movie starts out like most teenage dramas: the mopey main character doesn’t fit in, he finds his grandpa dead in his backyard, he goes to England and finds a boarding school filled with strange kids… you know, the usual.

Despite this boring introduction, the movie actually does pick up. You meet a variety of kids with really cool character designs and personalities- a teenage girl with an airy voice and steampunk-esque lead shoes who can float, an invisible boy who is dressed quite dapperly, a kid who is the literal embodiment of a PowerPoint projector, and so forth. Miss Peregrine, played by Eva Green, is perfection- her voice, leather clothing, and handiness with a crossbow made her my favorite. Also, time travel and time loops were a huge focus of the movie- and I absolutely loved the bizarreness and thought process the movie uses to explain this. My only complaint was that the actor who plays the main character, Jake, is not exactly… good. During the scene where he finds his grandpa in the woods, the lack of emotion and general concern in his voice was a bit laughable. Who knows – maybe the kid was having a bad day, and the director was like, “Yeah, good enough, let’s get to the part where kids start shooting flames out their hands and stuff.”

However, before you jump out of your seat to rent this DVD from Blockbuster, let me remind you of two things: one, Blockbuster does not exist anymore (which is a real shame), and two, my sources tell me that this movie is almost nothing like the book. Usually I am the one who complains about movies, but this time, it was my little sister. Apparently, the movie completely switched two character’s roles, drastically changed the abilities of a couple of kids, edited the plot points of multiple books together, and changed some of the mechanics of the time loop. As a result, while I found the movie engaging, my sister found it a bit confusing and distracting. Oh well!

Rogue One

I was never too deeply involved in the Star Wars franchise before The Force Awakens came out. I might have seen a couple of the old movies, and I knew the basic storyline, but nothing beyond that. Then, The Force Awakens change my point of view. Action! Suspense! Actual representation and diversity! Space shenanigans! Cute little robots! Tears! Laughter! Adventure!

Rogue One kept all of these elements to make a dramatic, suspenseful, and hopeful prequel to the Star Wars series. The characters were well developed, the storyline was complex but not impossible to follow. The only bad part is when you see Leia onscreen and remember that the talented and inspirational Carrie Fisher is no longer with us…

If you are hesitant to watch the movie, just remember that I went in not knowing that much about Star Wars and still had a good time. Of course, just remember that this is a prequel to the original series, or something like this might happen to you:

My Mom: “Honey, why is Darth Vader back? I thought he was dead? Is there a new one?”

My sister, probably: “No MOM these events take place before the original 1977 film, so Darth Vader would still be ALIVE, UGH you’re so UNCULTURED.”

Sing!

Alright, it’s time for a story.

I kept bugging my mom to take our family to see this movie, because I saw potential – but she gave me the look where she just smiles and nods and has no intention of following up, because it’s just a movie about singing animals, we could just watch literally all the other movies with anthropomorphic animals who behave like humans (seriously, there are a ton).

Then, when I finally managed to get us to see the movie, everyone was like, “Oh my gosh, that was such a good movie!” and I was like, “Yeah, I know.”

Do you like singing and music? Of course you do. Do you like characters that struggle with the expectations of their parents and want to follow a different path? Do you like seeing people overcoming emotional neglect and a lack of self-confidence? Do you like seeing people from completely different worlds bonding together over a common cause? The answer is absolutely yes. Just trust me.

Of course, these movie reviews are simply my opinion, and are just meant to help you make an educated decision whenever you need to watch a film to escape the confines of reality. Feel free to send me a strongly worded letter if you disagreed with my opinion. Now, go watch some marvelous movies!

Photo:

http://screencrush.com/theaters-screen-masking/

Golden Globes Overview and Opinions

By: Olivia Cholewczynski

2017 started off to a good start when the Golden Globes aired on January 8th. A little bit of background: the Golden Globes was started in 1944 by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who vote for the best actors, directors, movies, and TV series each year. As a big fan of award shows, I thought I’d sum up the major nominations and wins of the night (and include some of my own thoughts).

Let’s start with the actors and actresses who walked away with a Golden Globe that night. The award for best supporting actress in a movie went to Viola Davis in Fences. Viola Davis plays the wife to Troy Maxson, a father who was not allowed to play baseball as a young man due to being black, and now refuses to let his son play college football. Aaron Taylor-Johnson won best supporting actor for his role in Nocturnal Animals, a psychological thriller and story-within-a-story. Both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling won for their leading roles in La La Land, an eccentric musical-movie about two people who fall in love in the heart of Los Angeles. The award for best actor in a drama was given to Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea. This movie is about a man who is asked to move back to his hometown and be his nephew’s guardian when his brother dies. Lastly, and most shocking of all, Isabelle Huppert won for her performance in Elle, a French thriller about a woman who is raped in her home and decides to get revenge. Considering Isabelle Huppert was up against Natalie Portman (Jackie), I was certainly shocked to see her win.

Now on to the inner workings of these films…. The awards for best screenplay, director, and original song went to La La Land. Damien Chazelle both wrote and directed this hit movie along with Whiplash, which won many awards back in 2014. “City of Stars,” composed by Justin Hurwitz and written by Pasek and Paul, won for original song and is also from La La Land.

Finally, which movies and TV shows were considered best? The best TV drama award went to The Crown, the popular new Netflix series about Queen Elizabeth II. This category had great nominations: Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, This is Us, and Westworld. I personally would have liked to see Stranger Things win, but I have heard from many people that The Crown is amazing. The best TV comedy or musical award was given to Atlanta, a new FX series about the rap scene in Atlanta, Georgia. The best foreign film went to Elle from France, which explains the lead actress’s win a bit more. The best animated movie went to Disney’s Zootopia. As a lover of animated movies and Disney, I was surprised to see Zootopia win as it was up against Moana, the newest Disney princess movie. Although I prefer Moana over Zootopia, it makes sense that the latter won. Moana was heartwarming and beautifully written, but Zootopia carried a much deeper message. The entire movie was a thinly-veiled metaphor for systematic oppression and racism in our country, and the movie resonated deeply with many people because of its truth.

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: these are the movies that won best motion picture. In the musical/comedy category, La La Land unsurprisingly won. I was quite disappointed to see La La Land win in so many categories. I am a big fan of musical movies, but this movie just didn’t “wow” me. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling did an excellent job, but the story itself fell flat. It felt like the movie was trying to break out of the box and be different, and in doing so it felt scatterbrained and inconsistent. Part of me wonders if it won so many awards just because it stood out from many of the other movies Hollywood churns out. The music itself was good, but it lacked the Broadway volume it seemed to be going for at times. I understand why people loved it however, so don’t be offended by my opinion.

The best motion picture in the drama category went to Moonlight, which tells the story of a boy growing up in Miami during the War on Drugs and his journey to find himself. It sounds obscure, but this movie looks amazing. Despite not having seen it yet, I am happy this movie won best picture. It seems to tell a new and interesting story unlike others in Hollywood right now, and the cinematography looks great.

It’s also important to touch on the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is given to an actor or actress who has had an incredible career in Hollywood. This year, the award was given to Meryl Streep. Her speech was unforgettable. She dedicated her speech to speaking out against the new administration in our government, and she advocated for the importance of the press and the truth it tells. She told America never to give up fighting injustice, and she honored all the foreign actors who have had an influence on Hollywood. If you would like to watch her speech, here is a link to a video of it: https://youtu.be/NxyGmyEby40.

[I did not include all the awards given out at the Golden Globes, so if you have an interest in seeing all of the nominations and awards, you can check http://www.goldenglobes.com/winners-nominees. Also, I have not seen most of the movies nominated for awards, so my opinions are not rounded.]

Many of these award-winning movies are still in theaters, so support the film industry and see them! Also, look out for other upcoming award shows. The Screen Actors’ Guild awards are in a few weeks! Many of these movies are nominated again and will have another chance at a win.

Photo:

http://www.slashfilm.com/2017-golden-globes-winners/

Taking Action

By: Kathryn Blanco

All the political knowledge and constructive conversation in the world can feel useless if you are unable to put your ideas into practice. Although a few Lauralton students are able to vote, many of us cannot. Besides, voting is one – very important – part of involvement in current issues. There are several ways of getting involved at Lauralton – Debate Team or Club and Youth and Government offer further opportunities to learn about rhetoric and the political process. Highlights (if I may say so myself) offers an opportunity to share your voice with other students. There are other approaches that can enable you to take issues you care about into actual practice through Lauralton that don’t directly involve politics at all – consider the Environmental Club if you’re concerned about global warming, Cyber Seniors if you have an interest in technology or helping senior citizens, or Catherine McAuley Club if you want to help the hungry in your community. There are plenty of non-governmental volunteer organizations outside of Lauralton worth getting involved in as well. The Youth Service America Volunteer Match is a useful tool for finding local causes to fit the social causes important to you – whether it’s literacy, the arts, animal rights, or something entirely different.

Of course, there are even ways to take political action without voting. Consider volunteering to increase voter registration through Rock the Vote, or using the resources to educate yourself about voter registration for when you reach eighteen. Another great source of both information and action is the Harry Potter Alliance, a group devoted to promoting peace, justice, and acceptance by using the Harry Potter stories, and sometimes other fandoms, as a model. This site provides news about events and ways to connect with similar-minded activists of many ages. Their “Defense Against the Dark Arts: Politics for Beginners” guide is particularly helpful. One of the actions this organization promotes is calling local representatives, a topic I will address further in the February issue. Stay tuned, and remember that you CAN become involved in social and political issues even if you may feel helpless at the moment.

Photo:

http://bit.ly/2iYuc0V