She’s My Mother, Not a Criminal!

By Anonymous

Do you ever wonder what it will be like to be far away from your mother? While you either love or hate her, we all have some type of emotion towards mothers. I had this time in my life where everything was going downhill, I didn’t know who I was anymore, my relationship with most of my family members was turning toxic. However, the thing that really turned my switch off was when my mom decided to go back to her home country. My sisters and I were basically the last ones to know and that made us feel some type of way. Let me remind you that this happened during my freshman year, so this was bad timing since I needed her a lot. Two years passed and my mom was still in her country, and now I’m a senior. Ever since she left, I had been so worried about her that it made me lose focus and I would always overthink negative things, since where my mom lived was not a safe place and she was very sick.

We would talk a couple of times but it just wasn’t the same. For the past two years, I’ve been celebrating Mother’s Day with my aunts and I felt bad because throughout the day I would feel so jealous of my cousins because they had their mothers by their side. I’ve been moving from house to house because I was an unwanted kid without his mother. I always prayed to God that my mom would come back and be with us, and one day she finally did. My sister’s father, who is my stepfather, told us that my mom was back in the states and that she’d be meeting us the next day. My sisters were crying and for some reason I didn’t cry. I was happy and relieved to know that she was back but I felt scared. I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment to happen that it felt so surreal.

I was heading out to go to school and suddenly my mom appeared and hugged me. We had a long talk about how she came and I felt miserable. My sister’s father was trying to bring her back with a visa but my mom wanted to come back quicker and the only way she could’ve done that was by crossing the border. It’s great that she’s back but now I have to worry about her being deported. Now that the American president is not a fan of Mexicans, my mom has to be aware of: where she lives, works, and who she hangs out with. This was supposed to be a happy moment for us but happy seems to be a thing that’s never for sure. She’s illegal but she’s not a criminal. She’s not here to take your job. She’s taking the jobs that YOU never wanted. She came here to be a strong hardworking mother, not someone who depends on food stamps because she’s too lazy to work.

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History Of Horror Movies

Horror movies have been a part of history since before movies had sound. It all started in the late 1800’s when director George Mélìés had the thought of creating a film that would send chills down the spine of anybody who dared to watch it. The french film, “Le Manoir Du Diable” which is translated to “The Haunted Castle” in English was released in the winter of 1896; this was the first horror movie in history. From there horror became a staple genre in the world of movies. However in the early 1900’s, horror movies changed for the better; pushing them into a new era, one of monsters and strange creatures. In 1910, the first filmed version of “Frankenstein” debuted in America. The film was silent and ran for 14 minutes.

One of the most famous monsters in the world would get its big screen debut in the year 1922. This monster has spawned to countless of other films and television shows that are still being made today. Based on Bram Stoker’s book “Dracula,” published on May 26, 1897, the silent movie “Nosferatu” was created, starring Max Schreck as the vampire Count Olaf, and Greta Schroder as his victim Ellen Hutter. Other silent films that followed the monster formula were, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of The Opera” (1925). In 1928 the first horror movie with sound was created by director Roy Del Ruth, and it was named “The Terror.” From then on, movies were beginning to shift into the golden age of film (1930’s-1960’s).  Throughout this period, movies like “The Wolf-Man,” “The Creature From the Black Lagoon,” and “The Mummy” were taking over horror, and movies that were once made as silent films such as “Dracula” and “Frankenstein” were being re-made with sound.

However, the gothic genre of horror was not going to last. During the early 1960’s, a movie director named Alfred Hitchcock began making films that would shift horror from gothic myths to modern day suspense. With films like “The Birds” and “Vertigo,” Alfred Hitchcock was cementing his name into the world of horror. But it was the film Psycho (1960) that gave Hitchcock the title of “The Grandfather of Horror.” This film literally left the gothic genre behind with its transformation of the spooky castle into a modern day motel; The Bates motel. Another thing the film also did was introduce the title of the Scream Queen, awarded to “Psycho” actress Janet Leigh at the time.

Eventually, films transitioned from black and white to technicolor, bringing another drastic change to the cinematic world of horror. In the year of 1973, a movie that would be known as one of the scariest films in history was made by director William Friedkin. “The Exorcist,” a screen adaptation of the book written by William Peter Blatty, showed up and coming directors what was now considered appropriate for audiences.

Films like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Black Christmas” followed, leading director John Carpenter to make the horror masterpiece “Halloween.” Made in 1978, Halloween reeled in the age of slasher films which still exists to this day. The movie spawned dozens of copycat movies such as “My Bloody Valentine,” “Prom Night,” and most famously, “Friday the 13th.”

Modern day horror movies based themselves off the template that was set by movies like “Psycho,” “The Exorcist,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and “Halloween.” But even in this day and age, directors are still finding new ways to scare their audience with psychological horror like “Get Out” and  “The Babadook,” and countless other films.

Pray for The Wicked Album

By Gabriel Cruz, Class of 2019

Pray for the Wicked is the sixth album by alternative rock band, Panic! At The Disco. The album was released June 22nd, 2018, and contains 11 tracks. It contains similar themes to their last album: Death of a Bachelor (2016). As the last sole member, Brendon Urie’s vocals are as amazing as ever. All the tracks on this album convey an energetic feeling with the outstanding combination of Urie’s voice and the catchy instrumentals. The  first track: “F*** A Silver Lining,” contains the message don’t ever let a silver lining or a cherry on top of any situation be good enough for you, and to always aim to be the best.

The message of doing the best you can and working hard enough to reach your goal is a recurring theme throughout this album. The leading track of this album, “(Saturday Night) Say Amen,” is a great track that conveys mixed messages about partying and changes as a person. “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” is about Urie’s success as an artist, reflecting on his journey and how some people only want to be associated with him because of his fame. “High Hopes” is about seeking your dreams without hesitancy and seeing those dreams come to fruition beyond your wildest imaginings. The next three tracks (“Dancing’s Not A Crime,” “One of the Drunks,” “The Overpass”) are still very good but don’t stand out as much as the leading tracks. They convey more of a generic feeling about the endless cycle of partying.

“Dying in LA” is the final track on the album and follows the theme of being a powerful slow ballad, just like the previous album’s last track. The song shows the less known struggle of people who come to Los Angeles looking for a chance to pursue their dreams. However, they end up unsuccessful in their journey. Even the song title helps to paint a picture of the death of his dreams and his hopes of becoming famous. Overall, this album was outstanding, but it felt a bit too similar to the last album. But that shouldn’t stop you from listening to this album as it still has many good tracks that make it worthwhile.

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What about #Me too?

The #MeToo movement was first started with a tweet by actress, producer and singer Alyssa Milano to help women who had been abused, sexually harassed, or raped to share their stories. Milano’s tweet said, “if you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write #metoo as a reply to this tweet.” The tweet went viral and encouraged women all over the world to speak about their abuse and victim stories. Hollywood actresses, including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, shared Milano’s tweet, leading to accusations of rape and sexual assault by more than 20 women against American film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Milano said she used Twitter to shine a light on the issue. Her tweet was so powerful that even men joined the movement, including global celebrities like Brendan Fraser, David Arquette and Matt McGorry, who wanted to empathize with the women to be able to understand and support them.

According to the New York Post, men admired women who shared their stories and felt empathy for them, however they felt that the movement was not taking them into consideration since men are always portrayed as the “bad guy.” Also, men felt the movement was segregating the interaction with women in their workplace. They empathize with the #MeToo stories but want their stories to be heard also, since they felt that men can be sexually harassed and abused too.

#MeToo held a parade on Highland Avenue, California, that men weren’t allowed to participate in. “We’re never necessarily welcome to the parade,” said Andrew Schmutzer, who is a professor of biblical studies at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and has written about being abused as a teen. Experts say men feel ashamed of being raped or abused and refuse to talk about their stories. That’s the reason women should include male victims in their movement. Men want a voice so that their trauma does not go unheard. They want young men to know that they can stand up to their accuser and not get emasculated.

Men want a voice to speak freely about how it feels to be sexually assaulted without being judged. They want to mold the future for teens who might be suicidal due to rape. They want men who are being sexually abused right now to show courage and to speak up. But it’s hard to speak up when women are dimming your voice. “It’s not a competition,” said rap artist Mr. Cook. “Men don’t want to wait, they want to be heard now before the issue is forgotten.”

Black Panther

By Angel Fernandez, Class of 2020

Black Panther (2018)

 

After Boseman’s film debut in Captain America (2016), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) finally has his solo film debut and this is a big deal because he is the first African-American actor to get his own solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The story follows King T’Challa taking the throne after his father’s death and figuring out what it means to be a king. Things get more difficult when Erik Killmonger, (Michael B.Jordan) shows up with the intention to take the throne.  King T’Challa and his General Okoye (Danai Gurira), his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) and his friend Nakia (Lupita Nyong`O) join forces to prevent this from happening.

Will King T’Challa defend his throne with the help of friends and family? Or, will he give up his rights to Erik? Find out in Black Panther.  

Now let’s move on to my personal opinion of the movie. I liked it personally but it’s not my favorite MCU film (Marvel Cinematic Universe). That is held by Avengers: Age of Ultron. But, Black Panther is a great film. I give it a Geek Approval of: It’s worth seeing opening weekend.

What is the Geek Approval? It’s a rating system I’ve created where I, the geek, give it a rating as follows:

  • It’s worth seeing opening weekend
  • I’ll wait for the bootleg to come out
  • I’ll wait for it to come out on DVD
  • I think I’ll pass

Hey and if there are ever any movies you’d like me to review or be featured, just let me know. I’ll most likely be wearing an Avengers: Infinity War sweater.

A CALL FOR CHANGE – Student Activists

The students and employees at the High School for Media and Communications, located at the George Washington Educational Campus, have a lot of problems with the elevators at the 191st 1 train station. The majority of the students have first-period class, the main reason that they are late is because of the crowd in front of the train elevators. Even though there are four elevators for straphangers to use, one or two of them are out of service which makes a delay.

Fortunately, Juan Rosa from the Catholic Charities brought up the idea to change this circumstance. This idea was proposed to Celine LeeSam, a history teacher, and students in her senior government class. They had to come up with a solution for this problem. From last year, 2017, LeeSam and her senior government class decided to do a project for the 191st train station.

According to the interview with LeeSam, she said that she saw many students being late to her class because of the elevators, and she experienced that problem too. In addition, she wanted the students to really participate in this project.

Jaylene Then, a senior at the High School for Media and Communications, started the petition on change.org. As of January 18th, 341 people have signed the petition. Since this petition is public, many people also commented by agreeing that this was an issue.

Elizabeth Stone Menerstein commented, “I regularly take public transportation. The lines at 191st street are impossible to navigate and take far too long.”

Mary Illes, a Washington Heights resident, commented, “I live in the neighborhood and the elevators need to be maintained. Open the rear doors as requested.”

On January 19th, 2018, some students walked over to the offices of local politicians. The letter was to be sent to three politicians: Marisol Alcantara who is the senator for the 31st district of the New York Senate, Ydanis Rodriguez who is the council member for the 31st district, and Joseph Lhota who is the American public servant and the chairman of the Metropolitan transportation authority.

The students and the employees at the High School for Media and Communications are really hoping to make a progress to change the elevators. They are looking forward to having an easier time on their way to school.