Archives for March 2015

Insurgent Wins in the Box Office, but Falls Flat in Ratings

By Leilani Neal

downloadFeature Film Columnist

It wasn’t much of surprise that the sequel to the Divergent series, Insurgent, was going to sell out in box office nationwide, but that didn’t mean that it was going to be good. And sadly, it wasn’t. It was extremely slow and an unnecessary movie to make. The first film was a decent movie to watch, there were moments in the film that didn’t match the book, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the second installment. Insurgent captivated a terrible story line, horrible acting and an annoying box that the antagonist of the story wanted to open, but didn’t really get any further than that.  It was pathetic.

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Megan Abbot’s “Fever” Is Worth Catching

the-feverBy Amber McGee

Weekly Reader Columnist

Nothing sells better than high school drama.

Teenagers who live it can’t help but keep the cycle going, and adults find themselves so fascinated with the topic that they write and produce hundreds of stories about it. The Fever is, in respect, just another one of those stories. The only thing that saves this novel from being another teen drama written by an adult is Megan Abbott’s exceptional writing. It’s with her skillful descriptions and imagery that this otherwise weak story becomes a compelling.

When star student Lise Daniels has a seizure in the middle of class everyone is convinced it’s just a freak thing. The school is shaken, but it’s not until another girl suffers the same kind of attack during a concert that the hysteria starts. With just a few photos and videos the small town of Dryden is shoved into the national spotlight. As more and more girls experience the same attacks speculations fly, everyone desperate to find an answer. Just what is the cause of this mysterious affliction? Is it the off-limits toxic lake near town, or is it an unforeseen side effect of the HPV vaccines they all received?

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What is the True Importance of the Senior Quote?

coltslogoBy Leilani Neal

Courier Staff Reporter

Here lays one of the most anticipated times of high school life, their senior quote. As seniors rush to social media and past yearbooks for guidance they will soon realize that they are all looking in the wrong directions. What needs to be on their minds is their heart. Why is it that nearly every senior wants to be remembered for saying something clever or witty but not something meaningful and beautiful? Why not tell their underclassmen that they are beautiful or that they can achieve anything that they set their minds to? Because…

Who wants that? Why encourage people who say random things like, “What’s up? No you…” In the yearbook and not think twice about it. Most of the time when teens write their quote for their yearbook, they are happy about it until they look at it again 20 years later and ask themselves, “What was I thinking?”  Why waste your time asking yourself that when you can use the beautiful mind you were given and create something amazing. Simple words can brighten someone’s day and might as give them advice to take with them in their own life. So, instead of stressing out about being clever or saying something silly, think of something meaningful and beautiful. Make someone happy that they read your quote, don’t make them pass over it.

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Number of Homeless Students at an All Time High

Homeless_Youth_Under_BridgeBy Angelica Castro

One in five students in California are experiencing homelessness, according to Shahera Hyatt, Director of CHYP (California Homeless Youth Project). Since 2010 youth homelessness has doubled to more than 20,000 students in the state. Beth McCullough, one homeless educator of 16,000 other facilities, is currently helping thousands of homeless students around the world. “If you have a good homeless program, you shouldn’t be able to tell who is homeless by the way they look,” says McCullough. 

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Baby Face Foundations Brightens the Faces of Many

By Keyanna Sutton

Courier Staff Reporter

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Little Baby Face Foundation is an organization that gives children that are  born with birth deformities free plastic surgery. The founder of this organization is Dr.Thomas Romo. The co – founder is Lauralouise Duffy – Blatt. There are a lot of world class surgeons and medical providers that work at this facility in New York City, New York.

These world class surgeons do all sorts of surgeries to kids that are born with deformities. Little Baby Face Foundation is a company/facility who changes kids lives who have been bullied because their appearance. They show that despite deformities at birth, lives can be lived and happiness can be achieved from the care of others like Little Baby Face Foundation.

 

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Warm Weather Welcomes Starbuck’s New Cold Brew Coffee

starbucks-cold-brew.0.0By Amma Prempeh

Alternative Media Columnist

Following small-scale test-marketing last August, Starbucks is launching the new Starbucks Cold Brew coffee nationwide.

Cold brew is a simple, super-tasty cold coffee drink. The grounds are steeped for anywhere from 7 to 26 hours in cold-to-room temperature water. The result is a more caffeinated, less bitter alternative to iced coffee. The cold brew’s strength means that baristas dilute with water and ice before serving. Cold brew is dark, dense, smooth, and sweet- wholly enjoyable. It’s unusual then, that it took the coffee king of the world so long to introduce this craft-shop champion.

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Weekly Reader: Silhouette of a Sparrow

By Amber McGee

Courier Staff Columnist

The 1920s, a period of time we now often think of as one big party. The war was over, a jazzy revolution was sweeping across the nation, prohibition was being ignored by millions, women were beginning to break out of their traditional roles, and the economy was doing better than ever.

For Garnet Richardson, life in the 1920s means being sent away from home to escape the Polio outbreak, to give her mother a chance to help her father return from the war, and to learn how to be a proper lady, to give up her passion for ornithology.

It’s the summer before her last year of highschool; she should be going on double dates and watching birds, not sitting in stifling heat stitching napkins. Even after being allowed to get a job Garnet still feels unsatisfied with her summer. Weeks have passed since her vacation started and still nothing exciting has happened.

Then one day a young woman walks into her life and changes all of that.

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Feature Film Chappie Deserves More Recognition

By Leilani Nealchappie-movie-review-columbia-pictures-530x329

Courier Columnist

Let’s open our arms and welcome the rejected robot, Chappie. This robot has shown and changed the thought of human consciousness by the beauty of human sacrifice and desperation. Anyone who has experienced the hunger of wanting to understand and be understood would connect to the lost Chappie as he tries to find it himself.

Chappie, takes place in South Africa where the crime rate is at an all time low and robots are the reason. The city revolves around business and the trembling fact that many are heartless. Each of the robots are known as “Scouts”, which are completely indestructible robots that never eat or sleep, which makes them the perfect cop. But Scout #22 (Later named Chappie) is destroyed by being shot by a missle. The creator of the Scouts, Deon, has spent the last two and half years of his life trying to create a software that could give a robot consciousness (and give it the ability to make decisions and feel) but also, not even knowing it for himself, immortality for humanity. Though, after becoming successful with the software, Deon asks his boss for approval to test it on Scout 22 before it is recycled due to its damage. The boss, played by Sigourney Weaver, constantly told him no, which seemed to be her only job. But Deon takes the Scout anyways and test the software only to be kidnapped by a gang who wants to use the Scout as a invincible member of their group to help them pull off a heist.

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Opinion: Special Ed Program has Too Many Students to Handle?

By Angelica  Castro

Courier Staff Reporter

James Logan’s Special Education program is rapidly growing and it might not be a good thing.

6,612,752 children and students ages 3 to 21 are under IDE (Individuals with Disabilities Education). Since the law was proposed in 1977, the total number of students increased by 81%. Special Education involves different learning styles to help the students. Teachers devote more time into a single student and help strengthen where they are having difficulties.

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Grade colleges on how well they teach teachers? Universities balk

By Sharon Noguchi
San Jose Mercury News(TNS)

SAN JOSE, Calif. – With fresh credentials in hand, enthusiastic and energetic teachers charge into classrooms hoping to change young lives. But in the first year they often end up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and unprepared to teach and manage classes.

Now the Obama administration wants to improve teacher training so that newly minted teachers arrive prepared and able to deliver high-quality instruction. Too many teacher credential programs focus on theory, critics say, and devote too little time to instructing teachers on how to teach. And reformers say too many teachers – 40 percent – leave the profession in the first five years, in part because they’re unable to handle a complex, tough job.

In an unprecedented plan that uses federal dollars as a lure, Uncle Sam would grade education schools and alternative training programs – partly on how well new teachers’ students perform on standardized tests. That could hit hard in California, where one national – if controversial – survey has ranked the state’s credential programs lower than average.

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