The school year is coming to a close and there are many mixed emotions. This article will help anyone who has regrets about not doing everything they wanted to achieve this year. I have come up with fifteen things you can do before the last day of school.
- Make Your Own Spirit Week- You know Spirit Week, where everyone sticks to certain themes to follow each day of the week? If you want to go out of the box for the last few weeks of school, start your own Spirit Week. Gather some friends and come up with wacky ideas to wear one week before the school year ends.
- Find Clubs to Join During the Summer- When I think of summer, I think of free time and fun. In reality, I sit on the couch and watch Disney movies all day. That is why you should think of places to go/things to do for summer. Ask friends if they want to go somewhere for summer while you still see them!
- Memory Book- Get a Scrapbook from Michael’s for a memory book. You can put anything in this! You can put pictures of fun events, tests and quizzes with good grades, tickets to school games, and play programs to name a few. You can go insane!
- Start a School Savings Account- Sorry Seniors, but this one does not apply to you. This involves students who should start saving for the upcoming Disney trip or any school related event. Simply start saving spare change in a bin and keep a goal intact.
- Create a Reading Group- Summer reading, whippee! Want to have fun reading with all your friends? Grab some buddies and start looking at anything you want to read (so I didn’t forget about you Seniors!) I mean books, magazines, summer reading, comic books, or even news articles! Go crazy!
- Get Phone Numbers- I spend time with a lot of my friends through school and simply forget to get their number. Since summer is coming around, get a little notepad and ask some pals to jot their digits down so you can stay in touch!
- Summer Sport- As I said before, most of my summer consists of Disney movies on the couch. That is why I suggest playing a summer sport. This pretty much consists of going to a local park and practicing any sport you like. Pretty much, stay active!
- Organize Your Locker- Got a messy locker? Why not change that now! Get a garbage bag and clean out that locker!
Tip: If you want to be loved by all, add a calendar of how many days left until school is out! You’re welcome in advance!
- A Bake Sale- Like to cook? Want to raise money for the school or simply for yourself? Get the cooking utensils out and host your own bake sale. Get some pals as volunteers to help you out! Cookies and cupcakes can never go wrong!
- Clean Out Your Closet- The last week of school is going to be what your peers remember about you in the fall. Want to dress to impress? Clean out your closet of things you would like to sell/donate or put away. Don’t be afraid to try new looks, too!
- Spring Cleaning- Still have school papers from the fall in your folder? Start to get rid of any unnecessary papers/quizzes/tests that you will not need for the school year.
- Make Your Own Club- This can apply to both in school and out of school! Grab some friends with the same interests as you and make a club about it! Honestly, this can relate to anything (Mac and Cheese Club, Puppy Club, Owl Club, etc..)
- Start a Study Group- Now, no worries! Summer is coming, I realize this. But to prepare everyone (going back to high school or not), gather some buddies who will be in the same classes with you so you all can study together!
- Host a Pool Party- Soon, pools are going to be opened! Pools + End of the School Year= Pool Party! Set a date for friends to come over and celebrate your last days in school together!
- Enjoy the Time- Realize this, we will only be in high school for four years! Enjoy the time here while you can! Time flies, honestly. Appreciate everyday while you can.
So, if you want some activities to complete before the school year ends, you’ve got fifteen! Enjoy the rest of the year and your summer break!
There was a time where technology did not rule one’s life. People would communicate face to face. People found the news through newspapers. And fun came through experiences, not staring at a mobile device. It seems that today, citizens across the globe have gotten obsessed with television, cell phones, computers, and technology in general. For example, think of what you were last doing before you started reading this article. Were you on a phone? Were you watching TV? Were you online; that’s how you got to this article, right? Technology has taken over.
Through this change, we have been starting to distract ourselves from what is really important in life. Think about the popularity of social media today. You know, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine. Even if you don’t know what these are, the one thing you really should know is that they all have one purpose; sharing your opinions/ experiences with the world. Yes, I mean the world. If you take a picture and post it on a social media website, anyone can see what you took a picture of.
This has become a big problem today. Social media has taught generations to focus less on the moment you are in and more about the feedback you will get as people observe your life. Let me give you an example of a concert. Imagine you are going to a concert with your family and friends to see your favorite artist. You and your guests get wonderful seats, very close to the stage. You are so close that when the show starts, you don’t have to see the big screen to see the performer. What would be the first thing you would do if you were in that situation? Social media has implanted the thought that we have to share every great moment that happens to us. So, many would think to pull out their phone to take a photo or video of the show (yes, some people go crazy and film a whole concert to post online.) We need to learn how to live in the moment. Think about the fun that you would have if you didn’t care about social media. You could make great memories with your loved ones instead of worrying about all of the people who will look at the picture you took.
So, if I can’t get the world to listen, you listen. Live in the moment the best you can. You should be the one loving your life, not your Instagram followers. You should be the one remembering your memories, not your camera roll. You should be living your life, not posting your life. Get enjoyment from experiences, laughter, and love. I know I am not your teacher, but let me be a thought taken into consideration.
Try for one day to not use any technology (no phone, tv, computer, etc.) and see what happens. Maybe you can go on a picnic with your best friend. You can read a book. Maybe host a family game night. There are many things in this world that can make us happy. Explore those moments for yourself without help from social media and see where that takes you. At the end of the day, you can give your life the “like” button.
The holidays are here! The holidays are here! Yes, it’s that time of year again and it’s also time for those Christmas TV shows and movies that everyone waits all year for. Even if you don’t want to admit it, you know deep down you can’t resist a good 25 Days of Christmas movie on ABC Family.
Speaking of the 25 Days, it started up on December 1st and will run through Christmas Day. Movie favorites like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Elf and ageless specials such as The Year Without A Santa Claus and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town are in the lineup and if that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will. The full schedule can be found on the schedule page at abcfamily.com.
Another classic Christmas special that will remain timeless forever and is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year is A Charlie Brown Christmas. Who can forget how our favorite yellow shirted blockhead brought back a tree that barely had any needles and was satisfied? It taught us to take a step back from all the commercialism that the Christmas season brings along with it and to look at the bigger picture. Why do we really have this holiday? Charles Schulz certainly did, and is still doing Peanuts fans proud even after his passing, when he produced this gem of a seasonal special. It can be seen on ABC throughout the month of December.
Now for something you may not have heard of. The Great Christmas Light Fight pits neighborhood families against one another to see who can create the best light display, all in hopes of winning 50,000. If you think you know crazy Christmas lights, think again because this competition is about to redefine your definition of that. It is hosted and judged by Carter Oosterhouse from HGTV’s Million Dollar Rooms and Taniya Nayak from Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible. It airs on ABC Mondays at 8 PM throughout the month of December.
For all of you who enjoy the smells and tastes that come along with the holidays, there is The Great Holiday Baking Show, which is based off of the wildly popular UK series The Great British Bake Off. Six of the nation’s best amateur bakers compete in a series of themed challenges, hoping not to be eliminated and to walk away with the title of Holiday Baking Champion. It is hosted by My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s Nia Vardalos and husband Ian Gomez of Cougar Town fame, and judged by James Beard Award-Winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzuni and England’s “Royal Queen of Baking” Mary Berry. It airs on ABC Mondays at 10 PM.
Last but certainly not least, who can forget the classics that CBS shows every year and generations of all ages get excited about? Frosty the Snowman, Frosty Returns, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer are Christmas staples and really add to the magic of the season. What would Christmas be without them? How would we feel if we didn’t have the snowman who’s first words were “Happy Birthday!” or the reindeer who leads Santa’s sleigh every year? The season certainly would feel like it was missing something. These specials are not to be missed and air multiple times throughout December. Listings can be found by searching the program name on tvguide.com
With all of these great holiday shows and specials, aren’t you excited? Time to get that nice warm cup of something special and snuggle up on your couch to catch some of the best holiday programming the season has to offer. Let’s be honest, what’s better than that?
The first recipe is the all-time classic peanut butter cookies. The ingredients you will need for this recipe are;
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Next are the directions on how to bake these. This is very simple! Before you start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine, peanut butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and then stir the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir all the ingredients into the peanut butter mixture. Once you are done mixing everything together, drop spoonfuls of the mixture on a cookie sheet. Set the bake time eight to ten minutes on the preheated oven. Make sure you don’t over bake the cookies or they will be too soft and chewy. Once your cookies are done, allow them to cool on the baking sheet for approximately five minutes before placing them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
The next recipe is called magic cookie bars. These are an all-time favorite! The ingredients are listed below:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
11/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
11/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
Before you start to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for glass dish). Coat the 13×9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan, and pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumb mixture. Layer the mixture evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with a fork. Set the oven to bake your magic cookie bars for twenty-five minutes or until they are lightly browned. Make sure once they are done baking, leave them alone to cool for five minutes. Cut into the cookie bars in squares or diamonds. When you are done, store them covered at room temperature.
These are great to bake for friends and family. The recipes can be found on allrecipes.com.
If I Stay/Where She Went Book Review
[Note: This Review contains major spoilers]
Although the major motion picture If I Stay recently made $50,000,000 while in theatres, the book is arguably worth double that! If I Stay, written by Gale Forman, is narrated by a young Mia Hall, who is an extremely gifted cellist. The story begins at the end, with her slowly dying. While she is making her decision to stay or go, Mia takes us on flashbacks of her life, which gets us to understand her family dynamic, and how she met Adam, her boyfriend and Kim, her best friend. By the end of the novel, we have heard every story that has brought her to make her final choice.
Mia Hall was born into her family rock band, but wasn’t interested in her parents’ hard core music. Ever since she was young, she was fascinated with the cello, an instrument that weighed three times more than she did. Eventually she grew to be a phenomenal musician, practicing eight hours a day, and taking independent study at her high school in order to hone her craft. However, Mia’s best friend Kim points out that a popular rocker in their school, Adam, has been watching her play.
Adam starts to make conversation with Mia, and invites her to a YO-YO MA concert, which was Mia’s favorite cellist. This is when they decide to start dating, and fall madly in love. But unfortunately, their paths start heading in different directions two years later, when Mia applies to Julliard, and Adams band ‘Shooting Star’ starts touring the country. This causes a lot of tension and frustration between the two of them, considering they hardly saw each other, and were a part of separate crowds. During this rough patch, Mia’s family is driving to visit their grandparents on a snowy day, and get in a terrible car accident. Kat and Denny, Mia’s parents, die immediately. Teddy, Mia’s younger brother is taken to the hospital, but later bleeds internally and dies as well. This leaves Mia as the only surviving member of the Hall family. Although this is tragic enough, Mia is able to exist outside of her body and observe what is happening around her during the critical 24 hours after the wreck.This leads Mia to decide whether or not she wants to die, and live on with her family, or stay with Adam, Kim, her grandma and grandpa, and her Cello. The doctors tell her that everything is up to her at this point. She runs the show. After contemplating her decision through the entire book, Adam visits her in the ICU stating that he would do anything and everything to have Mia stay. He even writes her a song and promises to quit the band to follow her to Julliard. With this, Mia decided to stay living.
If I Stay has a perfect ending, leaving you to assume that they dealt with their grief together, and became a stronger couple than ever. Therefore, Where She Went, is a punch in the face to the reader.
This time, Adam narrates the story, and a lot has changed in the last three years. The sequel is told in the same format, starting at the end. However, he tells all of the missing pieces of what happened after the accident through flashbacks. We learn that Adam broke up with Mia. Once she was rehabilitated, she went off to Julliard, and insisted that Adam go continue Shooting Stars tours and recordings. She led him on to believe that they would stay together, but she eventually cut off all communication with him. Adam was devastated, and sat in his room, depressed, for almost a full year. He tried to contact her in every way, but she refused. Finally enough was enough, and Adam took his anger out in his music. He wrote ten brilliant songs all in one night, about Mia leaving him like a ghost. It was as if she died. These songs turned out to be the bands biggest hits, taking them from a college band, to world wide famous rock stars. Yet Adam is still miserable. He starts drinking, doing drugs, and taking far too many pills. His life is so empty without Mia, and the fact that all of the songs written about her made them famous drove him crazy! But one night, before Adam was flown out of the country to start his tour, he sees a poster in New York City, advertising Mia Hall, the classical music extraordinaire. She is having a one night only concert. Adam gets one of the last tickets available, and watches her perform. He figures just hearing her play may give him closure. She somehow spots him in the audience, and asks for him to meet her backstage. This leads to them seeing each other for the first time in three years.
They spend the whole night together, sight seeing, and catching up on lost time. Eventually Adam gets the courage to ask why she abandoned him out of the blue. This leads to a blow out fight, where Mia says that she hated Adam, because he made her stay. It would have been so much easier for her to die with her family, but she didn’t. He was the person she loved the most, and so all of the blame had to land on him.
I would give this book series an eight out of ten. Although it is written very basically, the storyline is beautiful, and the flashbacks are complex. I learned a lot from both novels, and was overly emotional while reading them. I would suggest If I Stay and Where She Went to anyone. They are fantastic novels that will make you appreciate your life. You will regret not reading them!