senior move-out and “see you later”s

msa is not an experience for the faint of heart. it has been everything that alumni said it would be and more, and i’m forever grateful for the advice that was given to me as an incoming junior. i liken msa relations to a mentorship: there were many students who helped me along the way, including some who wouldn’t even be here for either of my two years. it’s a special place, and i’m grateful for every second of it. because even if it wasn’t great, it taught me something: about the world, about myself, about other people, about human connection, about compassion. msa is about learning, and none of the important lessons are actually taught in the curriculum; they’re formed within the community.

my heartfelt advice to anyone reading this who is thinking about or currently attending msa is this:

everyone will tell you that these will be the best and worst two years of your life, and you won’t believe a second of it. soak in every drop of knowledge and experience that you get here. push through it. it is so difficult at times, but getting to the end is the most rewarding feeling ever. because you can overcome adversity, you can make it through challenging times, and you can stick it through if your passion and ambition will let you. 

the biggest words i can tell you to learn right now are “appreciation” and “compassion.” the hardest part about msa is not the actual difficulty of the times, it’s coming to terms with the fact that even the “bad” moments are serving you in some way.

this journey is worth it. it will bring you lifelong friends, a family (even if it’s a small one), and an experience that you will be proud of yourself for the rest of your life. it’s a wonderful place with wonderful people. no matter how far along i am in the rest of my endeavors after this, i’ll always be here if you want to reach out. my snapchat is sarakhebert, instagram is sara_k_hebert. i’m here for you if you need anything.

until next time, i love and appreciate you all. 

track 5 storytelling

who is surprised that i’m writing another taylor swift blog? hopefully no one. today i’ll be talking about not only the track 5 songs from every album, but how they intertwine with each other. these songs are known for being her most personal and intimate, and it’s very clear why.

cold as you – debut
debut doesn’t get nearly the recognition it deserves, and this song is living proof. at just 16 years old, she was writing about things like love, regret, and having the strength to do the right thing and feel good about it. there’s a line in the chorus that says, “you came along with a great little story about a mess of a dreamer with the nerve to adore you.” this line really encompasses her naivety in thinking things would go in her way, yet they never seem to. she directs it to someone in particular, using second person point-of-view a lot to focus her energy. she understands that even though she was the one being left, it wasn’t her fault, and something better will come of it.

white horse – fearless (taylor’s version)
this fifth track focuses more on the ideas of moving on and growing up than its predecessor, but it has a lot of the same “notes” in terms of content. her fear (and reality) of abandonment appears again, and it focuses much more on the ideas of recovering from that and knowing that it will hurt her in the end. still, she shows her strength and will to say “no” whenever someone (who doesn’t deserve it) asks her for a second chance. it’s very much a track of coming to terms with who you want to be and where you want to go in life, and i think everyone who has been let down can relate to this in some way.

dear john – speak now
after my infamous blog about john mayer, my thoughts on this are… pretty clear. however, lyrically, this is still a masterpiece. they encompass everything wrong with an “unnamed man” in regards to how he interacts with someone romantically. in an interesting turn of events, she is the one to walk away and realize that this “unnamed man” is not deserving of her time, even though she’s still heartbroken. it shows the real, complex feelings of a breakup with someone so much older who has more power, both in the industry and the world. it also relates to her song “ours” from the same album. “ours” has the lyrics, “seems like there’s always someone who disapproves; they’ll judge it like they know about me and you,” but “dear john” follows up with, “i’ll look back and regret i ignored when they said ‘run as fast as you can.'” 

all too well – red (taylor’s version)
widely speculated to be about jake gyllenhaal, “all too well” is about reminiscing an old relationship and remembering every single detail, even when you don’t want to. the track is 5 minutes, cut down from the original 10, which was released as a vault track on taylor’s version. it feels very bittersweet, thinking about the past and realizing that you’re not living it anymore. it features lyrics like “i forget about you long enough to forget why i needed to,” but it also turns around and recognizes that the blame mostly falls on the other “unnamed” person who decided to pursue a relationship that he knew wouldn’t work out to begin with.

all you had to do was stay – 1989
nobody would expect this to be a track 5, for being so upbeat in the introduction of her first true pop album. however, this is where the overall track 5 storytelling comes through. she talks about how “it could have been easy, all you had to do was stay,” which relates to the abandonment themes seen in the previous tracks. however, the actual music suggests a more nuanced thought process of moving on and getting ahead of the game. it reminds me a lot of the song “clean” on the same album.

delicate – reputation
the first lyrics make the most sense when talking about vulnerability and abandoment, the themes we’ve been referencing to all this time, “my reputation’s never been worse, so you must like me for me.” it’s a very romantic song, talking about the beginning of a relationship and being under the scrutiny of the public eye at the same time. however, it’s the turn that the other tracks have speculated up to now. it’s vulnerable in that she’s coming to terms with a type of relationship she’s never had before, where she’s valued based on herself as a person, not the status she can give. it’s new for her, and it’s a lovely change of pace for her lyricism.

the archer – lover
the most jarring lyrics from this track are, “who could ever leave me darling, but who could stay?” because up until “delicate,” the most common thematics revolved around the pain felt by people leaving. now, she’s asking why people would stay? overall, the song is a lot about moving on, introspection, and analyzing what makes people who they are, especially with references to her own body image issues in a few of the verses. these are real issues that real women face, and it’s a wonderful follow-up to “the man” as track 4, which is all about what society expects from women. 

my tears ricochet – folklore
again with understanding complex relationships, this song is widely speculated to be about a relationship gone awry. it details betrayal, choice, and regret. the toughest lyrics are in the bridge. in my opinion, it definitely has a connection with “right where you left me” from the evermore album, especially with the inclusion of different regret elements. in the bridge, she talks about how this situation is still affecting her feelings, still influencing her decisions, still getting under her skin. to regard this song as “just another taylor swift song about a boy,” would be so disgraceful in neglecting the very real feelings that so many people struggle with on a daily basis. 

tolerate it – evermore 
the most recent (new) track 5 has two different accepted interpretations. the first is the theory that, like the other track 5s, surprise surprise, it’s about a relationship. the second is that it’s about a child whose parent or parents don’t appreciate all of the efforts that the child goes through to maintain their relationship. regardless of what kind of relationship the song describes, it closes out her current track 5 discography with the worthiness aspect of “i know my love should be celebrated, but you tolerate it.”

overall, taylor’s music is about so many more things than just her “boy problems.” everything she writes about connects to the inner psyche, feelings of worth, value, vulnerability, and transparency. her music connects to multiple generations of people who feel like their dreams and desires should be put on the back burner. fifth tracks are the through-line of her entire discography, and they make the most sense to people who have been in her shoes before. 

now, for those of you who say i am slowly turning you into a swiftie, hopefully this convinces you fully. 

Thomas Rhett + How Country Music May Be Returning to Its Roots

A notoriously problematic genre, country music has slowly shifted from its post-9/11 patriotic simplicity, and it’s slowly dipping into complex ideas that most people dare not tackle within their sector. Luke Bryan’s 2017 song “Most People Are Good” recently made its rounds on Tik Tok. People from all walks of life appreciated his remark of “I believe you love who you love, ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of,” and praised him for making a statement contrary to what many other country artists believe or address. A lesser-known song came out recently from Thomas Rhett, Russell Dickerson, and Tyler Hubbard: “Death Row

Interviews have told the story, but essentially, these three men went to a Tennessee prison to sing to death row inmates. The song that came from it can bring anyone to chills.

“I could feel myself trembling when I shook one of their hands. I thought that he would be a monster; turns out, he’s a whole lot like I am.”

This verse opens up the whole song, referencing their hesitance of going in to begin with. In an interview, Rhett mentioned how he was prejudging these inmates based on their circumstances and just how quickly he was humbled by the experience. It re-centers the thought process of understanding that fundamentally, even those who have made detrimental mistakes are worthy of forgiveness. 

“I learned a lot about living from them boys down on death row.”

There are a lot of things that can teach a person about how to live their life to the fullest, but this line elaborates on the irony that few people would think death row inmates to be the people who teach about it. There’s a lot of emotion packed into this, which is likely why it’s a part of the chorus. It’s reiterated over and over again, and while this may center Rhett and his friends in the conversation about capital punishment, I do believe it’s a wonderful artistic choice. The majority of people, especially the demographic that tends to listen to country music, find it hard to sympathize, but by focusing on how it changed the artists’ perspectives, listeners are more inclined to see how these issues affect them.

“Then it hit me we’re all human, ain’t always proud of what we’ve done. Everybody’s days are numbered, only difference is they all know which one.”

There are so many things packed into this line as well, and listening to it for the first time, it introduces just how concrete the death penalty is. For years, inmates are locked into a cell, not seeing the world around them at all, dreading the day that they’ve been assigned. It makes the listener think about what they would do if they knew when they would die. Referencing back to other lines, it’s just another reinforcement of understanding that time is precious and forgiveness is so, so necessary.

“One of them sang ‘Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound’ with one hand raised and one foot chained to the ground. He sang it like he knew he’d just been found, that next week, they laid him six feet down.”

The most impactful part of this lyric is the quickness of it. Again, centering the listener and the artists, one can’t help but to think about how they could be engaging in a meaningful conversation with someone, then that someone is suddenly gone. Even though there’s an element of faith and gospel, the most jarring aspect is realizing how precious time is, especially in the context of having a life-changing experience, then meeting the end of that life.

“I can’t say that he’s in heaven, who am I to judge his soul? But Jesus don’t play favorites, ain’t a name that He don’t know.”

Arguably the most impactful message, I think that this line reconnects to Christianity (as a religion) in an unexpected way. It serves as a humble reminder that it is not up to humanity to place judgement and expectations onto someone we haven’t lived as. It connects back to the line where they sing Amazing Grace, because that’s really what all of this is about: grace, forgiveness, and perspective. 

Throughout the expansion of country music as a genre, many things have been lost in translation. The first songs of country music were all about progress – making good change in the community, encouraging equality, and understanding the value in shared humanity. Because this type of message has been lost over the years, most of my generation associates country music with lyrics about alcohol, the objectification of women, and the well-known Chicks scandal that sent their careers into a downward spiral.

After 9/11, an outpouring of support for America engulfed the entire country music genre, with artists like Toby Keith and Aaron Tippin coming out with very popular songs showcasing their patriotism. Ironically, these songs were appealed to the very same demographic and people who had been in full support of anti-war, pro-peace, and rebellion against the government.

In my opinion, I definitely think that post-9/11 country music was more influential to its listeners political affiliation than vice versa. The people are going to vote for the things they hear, and what they were hearing was an outrageous outpouring of pro-Republic rhetoric. 

However, modern country is slowly stepping out into the light, speaking out against racism, homophobia, and most recently, the government’s ability to take someone’s life (especially a criminal).

Florida Plan To Save Manatees With 25 Tons of Lettuce

 

Manatees as of recent years have been starving because of pollution of their habitat killing their main food source, seagrass.  While conservation efforts are underway to try to replace the lost vegetation, a plan was made to feed the manatees with donated lettuce.  The effort raised 25 tons of lettuce to feed the starving manatees, attracting around 300-350 per day.  “We’re making a difference,” Ron Mezich of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated.  Normally it is not advised to feed manatees as it leads them to associate humans with food, but people can donate money to the effort to help feed them.

Economically, manatee attract a large tourism industry.  Swimming with them is a popular thing to do in Florida.  People come from all over the world to indulge in this activity.  Preserving these animals helps keep this industry afloat.  Fixing our mistakes to maintain ecosystems helps many animals, which in turn helps humans.  Taking care of our Earth will help preserve us and a healthy economy.

Personally, I think it is wonderful that we are trying to fix our mistakes.  Manatees are wonderful creatures and deserve to live long and happy lives.  It is our pollution that kills their food source, so it is only right to try to restore it and find a temporary solution.  I have got the privilege to swim with one of these magnificent creatures; it was a truly magical experience.  The manatee has been taken off the endangered species list, however they are very much still at risk.  Hopefully these efforts help them to continue to thrive and grow in numbers.

With so much news centered around death and tragedy, sometimes it’s nice to just see some people doing what they can to help.  These gentle giants are a natural beauty and should be protected at all costs.  I highly recommend going on a manatee swimming tour with a guide, you must follow a few rules for the safety of the animals; but it is still very much a magical moment.  Manatees are very curious creatures, and it isn’t strange to have one come right up to you if you are still and patient.  They use the whiskers on their face to sense things since their eyesight it poor, so sometimes they even gently bump you with their face kind of like a cat.  

We really should all try a little harder to reduce our wastes and pollutants, its very important that when you go swimming in natural waters that you use sunscreen that will not harm the ecosystems there, as some types use harsh chemicals that can make the plants and animals sick.  Another thing is supporting climate positive companies; all companies have a grade on climate, if it is a poor grade you might reconsider buying products from that company.  With a little bit of research it is easy to find good companies to support when making your shopping choices.  Another great thing to do is buy second hand.  Thrift shops and yard sales are a great place to find really cute clothes that just aren’t needed anymore.  In fact, the jeans I am wearing right now are second hand, someone was giving them away, and I think they’re adorable.

Well loves, I can’t make life decisions for you, but I do my very best to make it easier.  I know a lot of places in rural Mississippi have little to no options available for recycling; that’s why I have worked so hard to get a can recycling program at school.  I also keep them in my room, so if you have cans, don’t throw them away, throw them at me- ok, just gently, and maybe a heads up first.

With love and Manatee Kisses, Lillian

 

Works Cited

“A Florida Plan to Save Manatees Is Working — Thanks to 25 Tons of Lettuce.” NBC News, 16 Feb. 2022, www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/florida-plan-manatees-working-

thanks-25-tons-lettuce-rcna16539.

 

A manatee saying hi to a friendly diver

chapbooks

Chapbooks, by definition, are  small paperback booklets that typically contain works of poems or fiction. For our class, our personal Chapbooks had to have a minimum of twenty poems (max of twenty-five), a bio and dedication, title page, and a table of contents (that includes numbering the pages). The amount of work in a chapbook is not always twenty to twenty-five, that was just the requirement for our class. Chapbooks are supposed to have a theme, or poetic narrative, throughout the entire book. The process for picking this poetic narrative varies from person to person, but there are a few standard ways to find it. 

One way is to gather work that consistently makes you feel a certain way, and create a theme off of that feeling. Another approach might be to simply pick a theme and stick with it; then you watch as the theme gets shifted through and refined as you select or cull which pieces fit it. Going off of the first option, you might spread all of the work that you are considering for the chapbook out in front of you and order or stack the pieces by what ever methods you want. You could see which stack has the most work and go with what theme is present. 

After you have picked the pieces you wish to put in the chapbook, you have to decide what order you want the work to be read in. This will be your poetic narrative. When doing this part of the chapbook process, it’s helpful to think of how the pieces feel, and what feeling you would like you readers to end with. 

Some ways to decide the order is to put it chronologically, following the date of when each piece was written or following the date of when the piece’s topic happened. Anther way to order your chapbook would be with the poetic narrative in mind. This way will take you readers on a journey through the pieces, so you have to keep in mind what you want your readers to feel as they travel through the beginning, middle, and end of your chapbook. What feeling do you want to leave them with once they get done reading? 

Moving past the content of the chapbook, we come to its presentation. Would your chat be digital, printed, or both? Which ever format you decide, the presentation also includes fonts, font sizes, colors, formatting the pieces/pieces’ titles on the page, designing the cover/title page, filling out the table of contents, adding pictures (if your want to include them), and the overall colors, consistency, and binding of your chapbook.  

Chapbooks can be full of your own persona work or you could collaborate with friends to make a chapbook that includes a mixture of authors. The process for creating chapbooks can seem extensive sometimes, but if you fully commit and follow the steps then this experience is bound to make something you will be proud of. Have fun creating! 

Sweat And Pray and Sweat!

In my final literary review, I want to review a short story I recently had the pleasure of reading. “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston has quickly become one of my favorite stories thus far in my repertoire or short stories read. Hurston’s use of original dialect within the dialogue, her vivid descriptions, and her unique telling of the relationship between the main characters, Sykes and Delia, make this story unique and full of a life.

Following the story of two people stuck in toxic matrimony, the interactions of Delia and her husband Sykes are depicted through the use of language and actions. With Sykes being verbally, mentally, and physically abusive towards Delia, he threw his hatred on her and never let up. Delia, stuck in the mindset of constantly loving your partner, she stayed with Sykes despite his cruel words and intentions. This story follows the last leg of their marriage. Sykes, tired of Delia and cheating with her plainly, abuses Delia and tortures her with her greatest fear, snakes. Disrupting her hard work as a washerwoman, Sykes brings a live snake into their house and uses it as leverage over Delia. With hopes that the snake would kill Delia, a turn of fate happened. Sykes ended up on the wrong side of his plan and ended up getting killed by the snake as Delia was peacefully sitting under a chinaberry tree as he died. 

With symbolism being heavily instilled in the story, Hurston uses this symbolism to put a deeper meaning behind the entire story. What does it take for a woman who has given her all to stop? What does it take to turn love into hate?

I’ll take a pause here to say that these questions came up once I ended the story and analyzed its meaning. I do think there are more questions that can arise from this tale, but I thought these were most important.

In the midst of my analysis, I realized that the story was about gaining what you deserve. In terms of Delia, she gained her deserved peace. She gained peace from her abusive husband and the cruel words he threw at her. For 10-plus years, he changed her life for the worse and caused permanent damage to her mental state. As for Sykes, he gained his deserved punishment for the things he caused Delia. 

You will always get what you deserve. 

Through this story, Hurston expressed this message and emphasized on the reward of hard-earned work and sometimes sweat. This is why I like this story. 

As the reader, you always root for the ones being put down. You always root for the underdog. Hurston giving Delia the peace she deserved ended the story completely. It gave the story a beginning, middle, and end. 

I highly enjoyed the use of old, southern dialect. Hurston gave these characters life, down to the way they talk. The realism of the language and dialogue made the story feel real. It made it feel like it actually happened, which I appreciated very much.

Overall, I am in love with this story. I am in love with the depth of the message it tells. The characters captured me with their personalities and I admire the way Hurston wrote them out. 

I often look at writing styles in comparison to my own, but I couldn’t find it in Hurston’s. I found a sense of longing for the authenticity within her writing. I long for the realism within her writing. As much as I have fallen in love with this story, I think I’ve fallen in love with Hurston as well. During her life, she wasn’t celebrated, but I will be sure that she is.

 

Here is the link to the story!

Microsoft Word – sweat.doc (weebly.com)

Senior Year Coming to an End

As my senior year in high school comes to an end, I look back to where it all began– kindergarten. When I look back to those years, it seems so long ago but I can remember them so vividly. All of Kindergarten to first grade were care free times for me in school and I notice how with every year I went to a new grade, school became more and more difficult. I have at least one memory from every year and when I think about each year I’ve endured in school, it’s almost like watching myself grow up. At times I am saddened that I will never get those years back, but as I look at where I am today, I’m perfectly happy staying here. 

Although not every year was the most pleasant and there were schools I hated more than others, I am thankful for each one and the role they have played in my life to becoming to who I am today. I used to count the days until I could start another year that would be closer to my senior year, but now that I’m here, I try to ignore the days I have left. I don’t want to think about the end of my days here at MSA with my friends who have become a family and my school that has become a home. It is easy for me to say without hesitation that my last two years of school at MSA have been the best years of school in my life… and possibly the best two years of my life. 

This school has challenged me more than I thought was possible and has made me realize my potential as not just a writer, but as a person. Because of my disabilities, I have never really believed in myself the way I have at this school, and my disabilities become insignificant to who I am and how I perform academically. I really cannot express with words the amount of gratitude I feel because of my experience here. I have learned so much about myself, about so many topics, and about others which I am most thankful for. I have made so many friends and have been educated on so many problems they face in their life and it has made me so much more aware of the world I live in. 

I recently changed my bio on this website to my favorite quote: “You cannot do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good you can do.” Realizing how much evil resides in our society, I find it all too difficult to find purpose of living. However, with evil, there is also so much good. There is good among our world and within ourselves and it depletes any evil when you live with the intention of focusing on the beautiful aspects of life. But to go deeper, I have found that I want my purpose to be trying to make up for all of the horrible things that surround me by spreading as much good as I can do. We are merely humans, but humans are capable of so much If we come together and work for a common goal. 

I notice that it is very easy for me to go on these tangents of purpose when it typically isn’t my intention to speak upon this subject, but I can’t talk about my experience in life without including hope, because that is where my mindset is now, thanks to two years of learning and obtaining knowledge at this school. 

I would like to close by saying thank you for any blogs you may have read written by me. I appreciate your consideration to my words greatly and hope to have your support as I continue throughout my life and see where this next chapter takes me:) 

-Katie Spiers

“Sleepless in Seattle” VS. “You’ve Got Mail”

Here’s a comparison of movies that no one asked for!

So for Media, we’re doing reports on different directors and their directing styles. I am doing my report on Nora Ephron, the director and writer for the films “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless In Seattle”. The reason I want to compare these two films is because they’re starring the same actors, they have similar settings, they’re the same genre, and I watched them both on the same day.

Obviously, there are a lot of similarities between the two, but my thoughts on them are veeeeery different. 

MILD SPOILERS AHEAD


You’ve Got Mail

Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

So “You’ve Got Mail” follows the story of two competing booksellers as they fall in love. Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), the owner of a corporate chain bookstore, and Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan), the owner of a small, children’s oriented bookshop. The two met in a chatroom online and know nothing about each other, but have become good friends over email nonetheless. When the two meet in person, as Joe’s corporate store encroaches on Kathleen’s small shop, they are not very fond of one another at all.

Over the course of the film, Joe realizes that Kathleen is the person online that he’s been talking with online… only after he’s realized that he’s in love with her.  I don’t want to say anymore because this is an amazing movie and you should go watch it right now (it’s on Hulu!).

I just watched this movie for the first time on the 23rd and I already love it. I am not much of a romcom person, but this one ticks all my boxes. If you enjoy a good Enemies To Lovers story, then this one is a good one for you!

The only thing I dislike about this movie is the fact that (MAJOR SPOILERS UNTIL THE END OF THIS PARAGRAPH) Joe’s superstore eventually puts Kathleen’s shop out of business, as well as puts her and all of her employees out of a job. This happens AFTER Joe figures out that Kathleen is the person he’s been talking to online and after he admits to himself that he loves her. He then proceeds to befriend her as hisself and apologize to her. Only after a period of time has past and the two become friends in real life does Joe reveal himself to Kathleen has her internet penpal. She is shocked and confused at first, but ultimately goes with it and the two live happily ever after. I don’t really know how to feel about this ending. If it were me, I think I would be upset with Joe for not telling me that he was my internet penpal sooner… also I don’t think I would forgive him for putting me out of a job. But whatever I guess. I mean, I can respect that Joe tried to make it up to her by becoming her friend first before confessing to her… I guess it was kinda sweet. 

Anyway, overall, I really enjoyed this movie! Like I said, if you’re in the market for an Enemies to Lovers romcom, then “You’ve Got Mail” is for you!

I give it 4 stars out fo 5!


sleepless in seattle

Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

I’m just going to come right out and say it. I don’t get the hype around this movie. Especially after watching it directly after “You’ve Got Mail”, it just doesn’t do it for me.

The film follows Annie Reed (Meg Ryan), a reporter in Baltimore, as she tracks down and falls in love with a man that she’s only heard the voice of. The man, Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks), was focused onto a radio talkshow after the death of his wife because his son thought that it was time for him to find love again. Annie hears Sam’s appearance on this show and decides t do a story about him. Even though they have never spoken or seen one another, Annie feels a connection between them and writes to Sam, asking him to meet her at the top of the Empire State building on Valentines Day.

OH YEAH, I forgot to mention that while she does this, she is engaged to another man. (BIG SPOILERS AHEAD, UNTIL THE END OF THE PARAGRAPH) She literally leaves a dinner date with her fiancé to go to the Empire State building to meet Sam. The only reason Sam is at the Empire State building is because it was his son that got the letter from Annie to meet there and he ran away from home (their home in Seattle!) to do so. So Sam isn’t even there to meet Annie when he gets there, but they meet anyway and fall in love and live happily ever after. Woo.

This movie follows the “love at first sight” trope perfectly… and I hate it. The two leads are only on screen together for less than 10% of the movie, and they only truly meet in the last 5 minutes of the film. Annie goes through unsettling lengths to track down Sam once she hears him on the radio, including hiring a detective to stalk him. And she does all this while engaged to another man.

I really do like Sam. He’s just a grieving father looking for love. But I really can’t stand “love at first sight”. A lot of reviews online say that you can feel the character’s love for one another throughout the movie, even though they never meet and aren’t on screen together, but I just don’t get it. The ending just doesn’t feel earned or as romantic as it’s trying to be.

I give the movie a 2.5 out of 5 stars. Just watch “You’ve Got Mail”.


On paper, these two movies can seem very similar. “Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in a romcom and takes place in New York” could describe either of these movies. But the two are very different from one another. I thought for sure that I would get them confused after watching them back to back, but I have so far managed to keep them separate.

Obviously my personally favorite out fo the two is “You’ve Got Mail”. It’s not a perfect movie,  and comes with it’s own set of issues, but I much prefer it to “Sleepless In Seattle”. It’s on Hulu if you’re interested in watching it.

If you’ve made it this far, I hope you enjoyed reading all this! Also if you like either of these movies, go watch “Julie & Julia” on Netflix! It’s another Nora Ephron film and I’ve already written a blog about how good it is. 

Who knows, as I continue my Director’s Report, I may written another blog on a Nora Ephron film. Guess we’ll find out.

Not Even A Day to Exhale.

“Hey Besties, Derek Chauvin is going to jail!” A passing classmate said to me and a group of friends. In that moment a bright smile appeared across my face. It has almost been a year since the entire world witnessed the brutal murder of George Floyd.  On the night of May 25, 2020, the world became awake to what America truly is. I remember the way my tears soaked the pages of my journal as I tried to write away the trauma. I wished to feel as sense of release when I finished, however, that feeling was not there because it was not justice. When I heard about the verdict, it felt as if everything was worth it. As if this trial was the proof that change is not only coming but it is here. Me and millions of black people who has George Floyd in our hearts can finally exhale. 

 

Exhalation, unfortunately, did not last long. Not even a day later, Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot and killed by Columbus, Ohio police. 

 We were a given a moment to feel like we had won, until they took another one of us. We did not have even a day to exhale this madness.

The tired fight still continues…

I am sorry. 

George Floyd and his daughter.
Ma’Khia Bryant posing for a selfie.

an unorthodox healing

This past weekend, I attended prom at my old school.

Before MSA, I had attended this school from Pre-K3 to 10th grade. Because of this, I had been hesitant to come to MSA. My old school had been all I’d ever known, so the idea of switching schools FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER was very scary to me. 

This weekend, when I revisited this school and the people there, for the first time in almost two years, I was hit with a kind of unsurprising revelation.

I have changed.

Of course, I am aware that I have changed within the past two years here at MSA. I made a blog at the beginning of this year recounting how I thought quarantine and COVID as a whole had affected me as a person, so obviously I am more than aware that I have changed!

But I don’t think I was aware of exactly how much.

When I was at their prom and talking to them and being there… I didn’t know how to act. I still have good friends there, so I wasn’t alone. The music and food was good, so I was having an okay time hanging out there… but it still put me in a weird place. The energy there had always been draining to me. The student there rarely got disciplined well, so bullies ran rampant throughout the dance. I felt like everyone there kept giving me side glances for wearing a mask, even though they weren’t a requirement. As I spent more and more time there, I couldn’t figure out how I had ever spent 10+ years in school there, when just the prom was almost unbearable just by itself.

I’m not going to too terribly bash my old school or anyone there, because I still have friends there that are enjoying there time there, and I’m happy for them! But it just never really worked for me personally. The school didn’t offer any sort of artist classes or activities for creative minds. And to be someplace all day everyday for years that doesn’t aline with your personal needs and interests is juts very draining. The energy there is just so off-putting for me and I don’t exactly have the fondest memories there, so I ended up leaving their prom worrying why I thought it would be a good idea to be there in the first place.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I really couldn’t visualize myself there anymore. I couldn’t put myself back in the place that I had been in for some many years. I felt like a stranger there, I felt like a stranger to myself. I am no longer in touch with the person I was two years ago. Maybe I am not completely different, but I have become completely realized in a way that I previously never thought possible.

MSA has played a pivotal role in me coming to fully realize myself. It has provided me with a space to grow and see exactly what I am capable of. I don’t miss my old school and I refuse to live in the past, but I will never hate the person I was. She did the best that she could in her situation and she ultimately got me to where I am today. I am just her, but improved.

I guess what I am trying to say is that this weekend was a weirdly healing experience for me. I was back in a place where I had not very happy for a long amount of time and it made me realize just how happy and more sure of myself I am now. It is the first example in my life experience where my quality of life has gone up significantly because of a big chance I decided to take. Next year, I will be going to college in New Orleans, so this makes me hopefully that this new, big change I am making will bring me even more happiness. Maybe one day I will look back on my time at MSA and think that even though I was happy then, I am even better off now.

I have no idea if this blog makes any sense, but I just felt the need to write all my feelings out 😛