Life

Death, revenge, and back stabbing are all apart of the excitement of Shakespeare’s novel, Hamlet. Without them, the novel would not be as exciting as it is. I couldn’t help but compare my own life experiences to become connected with the novel and enjoy it more. Each part can be compared to our lives and experiences we have today.

Death affects thousands of people every single day. Coping with a death can be very difficult because we aren’t sure how to cope with the loss.  We cannot be taught how to cope with losing someone close to us because we all cope with it in our own personal ways. Some of us grieve and try to move on. Others  believe that they will see them again on the other side, bringing them peace and comfort after a loss. There are those of us that are like Hamlet and want payback for someone wronging them. How I see it is if you get back or kill the person who has done wrong, then your just reliving the stress, worry, and guilt they would otherwise feel if they were kept alive.

One definition of Revenge is-  “malignant wishing of evil to one who has done us an injury”. To me, revenge is something that should be done  carefully. I wouldn’t want the killer to be killed or hurt, nor would I want to attack them. If we do the same hurt they did to us, we are just as bad as they are. Two wrongs do not make a right. Even if my own father, like Hamlets father, was murdered and I knew who murdered him, I wouldn’t want to get revenge on the individual. Most people would want that person to die so they could bring the murderer to justice. I wouldn’t want them dead. I would want them to be stuck in prison for life. I’d want them to have to live there life alone in a cell. They would have to live the rest of their life with the knowledge that they took an innocent life and affected the lives of many people. That would be justice served. “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” -William Shakespeare.

We have all experienced back stabbing, weather it be from family or friend. Back stabbing is something people do for self gratification and to  feel superior over others. In Shakespeare we see this  when Hamlets uncle kills the king, his father. Not only does he do this to wear the crown, but to be wed with the Queen.  If you have ever back stabbed someone, then you know that it is not as gratifying as you thought it would be. It doesn’t solve anything, just makes situations worse. You are just becoming like the people you always complain about with your friends.
We need to just live our lives and respect other people. backstabbing boxheads-JJ

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Haunted

Hamlet is one of the most well known plays written by Shakespeare. I’m currently reading this play, and have gotten to the point where Prince Hamlet is talking to his father’s ghost. Hamlet found out about his father’s ghost from Horatio, one of Hamlet’s good friends, who saw the ghost one night while standing watch with Marcellus and Bernardo. Shortly after this, King Hamlet is buried and Queen Gertrude and King Hamlet’s brother, Claudius, get married. Hamlet was told about his father’s ghost and agreed to participate in a “stakeout” for his father’s ghost.

            As expected, King Hamlet’s ghost shows up. The ghost motions for Prince Hamlet to follow him, and once they are alone they begin talking to each other. The ghost tells the prince that his death was a murder and that Claudius, his brother, killed him by pouring poison into his ear as he slept. The ghost tells the prince to get revenge against the murderer but not to hurt his mother. The ghost then disappears.

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The song that I think relates to the first act in Hamlet is “Haunted” by Taylor Swift. There are several lyrics in this song that relate to parts of the scenes in this play, which is why I chose this song.

The lyrics “Oh, holding my breath. Won’t lose you again, Something’s made your eyes go cold”, remind me of the scene in which Hamlet and his father’s ghost were talking. The ghost’s eyes were crystal clear and cold, urging his son to get revenge. Furthermore, the lyrics contain the phrase “won’t lose you again”; in the scene Prince Hamlet told his father not to leave him, but the ghost did so anyways.

The lyrics “He will try to take away my pain, And he just might make me smile, But the whole time I’m wishing he was you instead” implies to the fact that Claudius is going to try to keep Prince Hamlet from dwelling and grieving over the loss of his father, but obviously no one will ever be able to take the place of Prince Hamlet’s father. In the play, Claudius tells Prince Hamlet that it is okay to mourn the loss of his father, but he shouldn’t dwell on it for an extended period of time. The play and the song have this thing in common: a new man trying to play the role of a person who was previously very important to the writer (Taylor Swift) or the protagonist (Hamlet).

 The title of the song “Haunted” could also represent the fact that his father’s ghost haunts Prince Hamlet. It could represent King Hamlet who is stuck in purgatory because he didn’t get to confess his sins and who is haunted by the fact that his own brother killed him. Prince Hamlet is haunted by what his so-called “stepfather” did to his father.

 Finally, the lyrics, “its getting dark and its all too quiet, and I can’t trust anything now”, relate for Prince Hamlet because he is a dark place in his life, he feels as if his mother betrayed him and his father, and now he knows who really killed his father. From here on out, I predict that Hamlet will have a difficult time trusting Gertrude and Claudius.

-A.W.


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As we come towards the end of the school year our English class is now reading the book The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. The main character of this book is a man named Wang Lung, who is a farmer. Wang Lung was raised by his father  because his mother died. Wang Lung’s father wanted him to marry an ugly woman because it is a sign that she is a virgin; therefore Wang Lung was forced to marry O-lan. Over time, they had four children together: two sons and two daughters. Wang ended up having an affair with another lady and bought her. She ended up moving into his house and lived alongside his family and wife. After meeting the other woman, Wang Lung began to treat  O-lan horribly, and his actions were more horrifying when the other woman wasn’t around. O-lan got really sick and was bedridden for months. A doctor told Wang Lung that his wife was destined to die. He felt a lot of remorse and guilt for the way he treated her, and he cried about it. Eventually O-lan passed away and then a few weeks later his dad also died. Both were given proper burials.

The song that I think this story relates to this is called “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars.This song talks about a guy losing his girl because he didn’t treat her right. Wang Lung didn’t treat O-lan right at all, and while she was sick he felt horribly. The lyrics “Now I never, never get to clean up the mess I made And it haunts me every time I close my eyes.”  relate to when O-lan died because Wang Lung has an enormous amount of guilt, and when he thought of O-lan its haunted him because he felt remorse for his lack of concern for O-lan. He realized that bringing another woman into the house hurt her a lot, and he became aware that all of the work he made her do did damage to her body. Furthermore, during time periods when they were poor and did not have enough food was another reason her life was cut short.  Wang Lung started to understand what O-lan went through during her life and he realize everything she sacrificed for him and his family;  Wang Lung began to appreciate what a strong woman she was. The lines, “My pride, my ego, my needs and my selfish ways, Caused a good strong woman like you to walk out my life.” relate to the book because he let his desire of wanting a beautiful woman contributed to O-lan’s death. He let his needs and selfish ways basically destroy his family and destroy him as a man. Men’s egos are always in the stratosphere, and if they don’t have something that another man has their ego is brought down. Wang Lung had all this land that he owned, but he needed more than that; he needed a beautiful woman. Wang lung was disappointed and ashamed by his inability to love his wife.

A.W.

Do you have SENIORITIS??

Senioritis. If you are or were in high school, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of it, or even experienced it yourself. Senioritis is a colloquial term used in the U.S. and Canada to describe the decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school, college, and graduate school careers. Throughout senior year in high school, you get to the point where you just don’t want to do any work during school at all and you just try to get through the rest of senior year. You start doing less work and caring less and less each day. This is called senioritis.

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You get to the point where you have to go to school and you might be thinking that since you got accepted into college, you don’t have to do a lot of work or you might think that after high school you’ll be done- but no. You might have college. We have been in high school for 1,365 days. My friend showed me a picture that said “By the time you’re a senior in High School… You would’ve spent 17,000 hours of your life in school.” You’re welcome! Spring break is coming up in a few weeks so hopefully some of us get a break. After high school that’s it. You go out into the real world. Senioritis probably hit most of us in the middle of the year. Try not to let senioritis affect you. I asked some seniors at my school if they have senioritis. All of them said yes. Senioritis is affecting a lot of seniors. At school, we watched a video about senioritis. They were saying that it is like a disease. They were saying that it took the student too long to get to class and his raising hand muscles are unresponsive, and he’s prone to making paper airplanes. The “doctor” (teacher) is saying that it’s getting serious. The teacher asked his friends if they knew how it started and they said they think that it started when he got accepted into a college and he was so excited that he took the day off from school to celebrate and he stopped doing his homework a week later and calls in sick sometimes to get an hour of sleep and he drops his AP classes and quits his club and they don’t think he does anything but watch Netflix all day. The teacher said that this is one of the bad cases. The “doctor” said that he tested positive for senioritis. If you have senioritis, you could talk to a teacher. I asked my sister what she thinks the definition of senioritis is and she said “you just wanna be out of school and have summer come now and so we can have grad night now.” My best friend, a senior, said that she thinks the definition of senioritis is “it’s when seniors are so over high school and don’t care anymore and become really lazy.” Do you have SENIORITIS??

-Megan

Dysfunctional

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In class we are reading the novel 1984 by George Winston. As we came to the end of this book, we had a class discussion about the significance and meaning of the glass paperweight. The paperweight that Winston buys in the antique store represents the past in which Winston wants to understand, the desire to make that connection to the past and it represents Winston’s life. The paperweight represents the past because it looks like the world before the party, but it also represents Winston’s life now because of the fragment of coral in the paperweight symbolizes Julia and his “love” for each other, it represents the relationship that they think they have in this room that’s “unprotected” by the party. Once the thought police come and find them, they throw the glass paperweight to the ground shattering it in to millions of pieces. Winston relates to the paperweight because the paperweight is useless, and the Party and Thought Police could come crush him at any moment just like the paperweight is fragile and could be crushed at any moment.

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In the song “When We Say (Juicebox)”- by AJ Rafael, he is talking about his relationship with the girl, and how he found out that there is another person and now they are parting ways but he will always love and care about her. If you watch the music video they go to the beach together and put sand in a glass bottle and that represents and is a symbol of their relationship. At the end of the video the boy is back at the beach alone, where the relationship first started, now that the relationship is over he is there pouring the sand out. As the sand is pouring out you come to realize that he wants to forget about the relationship and that it ever existed. The way that the novel and this song relate is that they both have something that symbolizes there relationships with their significant others. The glass bottle and the glass paperweight are transparent which means they are free from deceit. Even though the glass bottle doesn’t break in the video as the paperweight does in the book, you know the guy in the video knows the truth that the girl was with another guy and in the book Winston is free from hiding the truth and sneaking around, both Winston and the girl in the video are exposed in these pieces for their wrong doings. The line in the song “..But this ain’t a movie, I know you cant come with me..” relates to the book because Winston and Julia know they can’t be together. They would like to believe that Big Brother would help them escape so they can live a happy life but in the back of their minds they know it’s nearly impossible for them to be together. Julia and Winston have to accept the reality that nothing they do, no matter how hard they try there is always going to be something that comes in between them, just like the boy and the girl in the video. So it brings the ending to this, are relationships useless just like the paperweight, because one day everything is going to end.

                                                                                                                   A.V.

LOL, Live Our Lives

In class we talked about the different types of comedy, romantic, satiric comedy, comedy of manners and farce. There  are levels of  comedy, high and low. A way I like to see comedy used is people making other people laugh, and brightening their day. There is comedy all around us everyday at school through our peers and classes. For example, when a teacher use humor in the classroom, it puts the students at ease and they tend to like the teacher more than  their others.

Our lives are filled with humor. When we text we use acronyms such as “lol” or  “rotfl” to show that we are laughing.  Teenagers tend to hangout with their friends that have a good sense of humor. We like people who are funny because they make us laugh and be happy. Physical humor could be an entertaining activity while hanging out with friends. Doing things that makes us laugh are fun! Going rollerblading is a perfect example. When you go rollerblading with your friends you watch each other try hard to keep their balance while flailing their arms and occasionally falling on their rear ends. We can have fun when we are able to laugh at ourselves. We have to be careful when we are laughing at someone because we don’t want them to get offended. You cant be rude and still be funny at the same time. Like in an episode of  Spongebob, where he try’s to be a comedian at the Crusty Crab. He says jokes about his friend Sandy which hurts her feelings. She  asks him to stop and he does. Spongebob is then able to make jokes about himself and other which doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings, and he is still a success as a comedian. 

“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” – Bill Cosby.

What I really Enjoy about this quote is that it is sort of a cheat to life. If you are able to find something to laugh at or someone to laugh with then you could escape your worst problems in life. Its a way to take away the pains of life for a short period of time.

“A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.” – Hugh Sidey

I enjoy this quote a lot for a few reason. Comparing humor to putting on armor is brilliant! You having a positive outlook   on life is defending yourself from all the many negative things that the world throws at us. The other part that i like is the last part. When someone laughs a lot and able to laugh at themselves then they are comfortable with themselves and good with their life.

We should look for the comedy in our lives, be happy, and just live our lives!

-Jared

In class we watched a video called Quebeckers. In the video, the Quebeckers take to the streets with pots and pans. This is called a charivari. This is a video about a parade of people who are protesting by banging pots and pans and they were protesting about having an affordable education for college. The song, Not Afraid, by Eminem, is about how he got away from drugs and violence. In the song, it says “I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid to take a stand, to take a stand everybody, everybody come take my hand, come take my hand we’ll walk this world together through the storm, whatever weather, cold or warm just lettin’ you know that you’re not alone holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road.” He is saying that he is not afraid to make a change and that he was willing to take a stand. In the song he says that he doesn’t care what “you” think because he was making a change for him. The lyrics “I’ma be what I set out to be, without a doubt, undoubtedly and all those who look down on me, I’m tearing down your balcony” say that he is going to try to become the person he wants to be, no matter what other people think. In the video we watched in class, all of those people were willing to come together to make a change, no matter who was looking down on them and thinking different. The people used pots and pans to protest about having an affordable education. They were doing what they thought was the right thing to do, and in the song, he is doing what he thought was the right thing to do- to become someone better and someone greater. In the beginning of the song, he says “I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one.” In the video we watched in class, the people had to come together as a parade to protest about having an affordable education for college. The lyrics say “now some of you might still be in that place if you’re tryin’ to get out just follow me, I’ll get you there.” He is saying that he is going to help people. In the video we watched in class, they were protesting together in a parade. As long as they have everyone helping out, they have all the help they need. The song, Not Afraid, by Eminem, and the video we watched in class are about one person and a group of people trying to reach their goals no matter what anyone else thinks. Being afraid is something that people go through so they can get to what they want to become. The parade of protesting people were not afraid and they stayed strong so they could have an affordable education for college, just like Eminem. Eminem was not afraid and he got away from drugs and violence.

-Megan

Deception

In class we learned that April is the cruelest month of the year. My opinion is that the reason it’s the worst month is because it’s the month that deceives and tricks everyone. April is when spring starts, where nature is beautiful. The piercing sun shines, while the beautiful flowers blossom. The air is fresh with the smell of nature and everyone is amazed by the beauties of nature. As time goes by, all of these things vanish, and you realize and understand that everything you once loved about nature has turned into something terrible and depressing. That’s why you shouldn’t judge something by it’s appearance because there is a chance it can turn out to be something you don’t expect.

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So there is this song I am sure you have all heard of. It’s called “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen. We all know this one by heart by now; a pining, lonely teen girl throws a coin in to a well and falls for a guy. However, she never says where or why this happens. Or DOES she? Call Me Maybe is actually a song about a girl who is at the mall, gets separated from her friends, finds a well and throws a coin in, then can’t deal with the crowds so she hits on a stranger to hopefully get a ride home. Think about it. She never defines “you,” so she could be talking to multiple people. She has no other reason to be mercilessly hitting on a gay guy, and plus these lyrics… “I’d trade my soul for a wish, Pennies and dimes for a kiss, I wasn’t lookin for this, But now you’re in my way” Clearly the mall is VERY crowded and now she can’t get past the person in her way. So she flirts her way out.

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Here’s the thing about “Call Me Maybe”, the verses don’t matter at all. That’s not to say that the verses are poorly written or anything, they’re just irrelevant. You might hear the song 20 times before you can even remember a single pre-chorus line in the song, you might be listening to the song for the 57th time and pick up on a turn of phrase in the verse that you’d never noticed before. They’re almost written specifically to not perk up your interest too much. An opening lyric like “I threw a wish in a well / Don’t ask me I’ll never tell” is mildly intriguing but ultimately offers no real information, nor does “I beg and borrow and steal / At first sight and its real.” They hint at deep emotion but express nothing in themselves, and Carly rushes through them in a low hush, trying not to draw attention to herself or the words sung.

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There’s also another, more subtle aspect to the song’s universality, the genderlessness of it all. Only once in the entire song does Carly Rae ever make a gender-specific reference, and even then when she says “And all the other boys, try to chase me” on the chorus otherwise it’s all “you,” or “baby.” Even the reference to “ripped jeans, skin was showing” on the verse could fairly easily apply to males or females. And that’s one of the main reasons why when you see all the hundreds and hundreds of YouTube covers and tributes to the song, just as many of them seem to be from guys as from girls. You can change it to be about the other gender with an absolute minimum of effort, allowing everyone to get in on the giddiness.

Therefore April is a very unique month, along with this song. Appearance could mean nothing. It’s what’s under that barrier of truth that holds the true meaning of anything. Just like the quote; “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”.

-A.V.