Samuel (Sammy) Kim (SR) is excited to start his senior year. But unlike his previous years, he is taking two online classes in the afternoon so that he can leave school early to eat at home. “I just can’t stand school food. It used to be really bad, but after the new rule about serving only healthier foods in smaller serving sizes, I just couldn’t stand it anymore,” Sammy said.
According to the new school lunch plan, which was actually passed in 2010 with bipartisan support in Congress and is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutritional Services, schools must limit the calories in their school lunch from 750 to 850 calories; saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories; and sodium to less than 1,420 mg. This means smaller serving portions and the end of a la carte lines.
Bloomberg Newsweek claims that the sales of school lunch across the country have been declining. Consequently, many schools have decided to opt out of the National School Lunch Program, which funds public schools for following its guidelines.
Although the First Lady has been getting a bad rap right now from schoolchildren for her school lunch program, only time will tell whether her endeavor to improve the health of the young people in this country is successful. But until then, we must eat up our complaints and wait patiently.
If you have any form of social media, there is almost no doubt that you have seen at least one video of someone throwing ice water on their head and then running around screaming, “It’s so cold!” Don’t worry, these people have not lost their minds. This huge phenomenon was created by a man named Pete Frate, a former Boston College baseball player, who has been battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) for many years. He and his family posted a video online of them throwing water on their heads with the hashtag, #IceBucketChallenge, and the idea went viral in only a matter of days.
The point of the challenge is to take a bucket of ice water and drench yourself from head to toe, all while nominating three other people to take the challenge with the deadline of twenty-four hours. The nominees must complete the challenge or they have to donate $100 to the ALS Foundation. Celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey and many more have participated and spread awareness of this disease by both participating and donating large amounts of money. Between July 29 and Aug. 24, the ALS Association has received an astonishing $79.7 million in donations compared to $4 million during the same time last year. The ALS Association is incredibly grateful for the huge amounts of support from those people who have been soaked, made a donation or both.
Everyone around the country has attempted to come up with the most creative way to complete the challenge. Many people at Chattahoochee have done this also, even Principal Duncan. Madison Rysdon (11), made a huge splash by getting the bucket of water dumped on her from her second story bedroom window. “The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a great way to spread awareness about ALS and help get people interested in making a beneficial impact towards a cure,” says Rysdon.
Even if you have already completed the challenge, you can still donate to the cause at alsa.pub30.convio.net. Just a couple of dollars can lead to the huge difference of creating a world without ALS.
On August 11, one of the most beloved actors of our time, Robin Williams, passed away. He was a famous actor, comedian, film producer and screenwriter that loved to make people laugh. Williams started doing stand-up comedy in his hometown of San Francisco at the age of twenty. Some of his most famous works include: “Good Will Hunting”; “Mrs. Doubtfire”; “Dead Poets Society” and “Good Morning, Vietnam.” The films gave him the recognition that he had been working towards for all of those years. The Hooch community was shocked after hearing the news.
Mrs. Smith said she”loved the work he did so much that when [she] was in 7th grade, [her] punishment was not being able to watch ‘Mork and Mindy’,” a comedy show starring Williams. Her top ten movies of all time include three of his works: “Good Morning, Vietnam”, “Dead Poets Society “and “Mrs. Doubtfire.” Junior, Alice Zhou, indicated that, “Death is always sad, especially when it is good actor/entertainer like Robin Williams.” Alice expressed her enjoyment of his comedy and how the loved to make people laugh. Chattahoochee junior, Henry Smith, was stunned when he heard about Williams. “I thought that such a humorous guy would not suffer from depression. It really opened my eyes to issues that lie under the surface.”
Although Williams was successful, he did experience some tough times during his career. Sometimes the stress of life got to him. Critics said that his creative process could reverse into a complete meltdown. Even though he had to go through these rough times, Williams did not give up. His perseverance inspired many others to never give up and work through their difficult times in life.
Another reason that kids all around the country looked up to Williams was because he was involved in philanthropy. He raised over $80 million by 2014, worked for Red Cross foundation, helped the U.S.O. for the U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan and even volunteered St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital to help the sick children. He will truly be missed by everyone for his comedy and remarkable deeds.
I’m sitting in the gardens, my rear end comfortably supported by a small rustic-looking metal bench facing a small brick building. The roar of buses and cars softly echoes from the street to my left, the sight of them blocked by various trees and bushes. The squeaky chirp of a bird complements the traffic, rhythmically sounding off on my right. This place is relaxing. Nobody’s come by since the next round of classes started a few minutes ago, and I’m alone here with my thoughts and a keyboard on my lap.
So this is college.
The hustle of students of various shapes, sizes, ethnicity, gender, age and major trickle past me, the undisturbing chaos similar to salmon swimming upstream. I feel free, independent and alone, and yet at the same time, included, part of a greater whole collectively. I feel like I matter.
I’ve only had one class so far, so I won’t bore you with the details of English 1060H. I ate breakfast at the new dining hall. I got up without having my mom have to remind me to get up. I went to class. I bought a textbook. I did it all by myself. I’m not sure who’s keeping score, but I’m pretty sure I deserve some major bonus points for that.
Let me start off by saying that I’m not a huge fan of either group, but I know both of them and know and listen to some of their songs.
So after some unknown band trying to be the next Mötley Crüe finally got off the stage at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Aug. 16, the sold out crowd of true 80’s rock fans, sporting fake big hair and trying to squeeze into their leather pants one last time, and their spouses making sure they stopped after the sixth beer, cheered as Alice Cooper took the stage. I don’t know many Alice Cooper songs, but judging by the crowd’s reaction and ability to sing along while mildly inebriated leads me to believe that he spanned many of the big hits of his long career. As far as performances go, as I have been told, most of Alice Cooper’s concerts go the same way as this one, mainly resembling a corny and underfunded middle school production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Still, for sixty-six years old, Alice Cooper was still able to walk back and forth across the stage with his usual swagger, wielding a different prop and/or outfit for every one of his songs, ranging from a cane to a boa constrictor to a fencing saber which he used to pop large white balloons that the audience tossed around. Overall though, it wasn’t a bad warm-up to what I would later discover is the true Mötley Crüe.
Finally, the moment had arrived. The lights at the amphitheatre went dim, and the speakers blared “All bad things must come to an end” repeatedly, and then, in a moment of three-sense titillation, my eyes, ears and nose were swarmed with the essence of Mötley Crüe: blinding strobe light, screeching guitar riffs and pulsing drum and the odor of kerosene and cigarette smoke. The crowd went crazy as the music and the band that fueled their high school years blasted through the speakers. From then on out, it was drums and guitars and flames and lights and fireworks and screaming and, well, Mötley Crüe. It wasn’t all music, though. Bassist Nikki Sixx took a moment halfway through the concert to sit everyone down and explain the origin of the group, introducing drummer Tommy Lee, guitarist Mick Mars and lead singer Vince Neil one-by-one before launching right into another song. Later in the show, Mars showed off his true skills on his instrument with a long and loud solo.
Seeing as this is the band’s final tour, they seemed to pull out all the stops. There sadly wasn’t a drum roller coaster, but plenty of pyrotechnics, guitar flame throwers, pentagrams and girls dancing around. They covered many of their big hits, including “Dr. Feelgood,” “Shout at the Devil,” “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room” and “Girls Girls Girls.” They went out on “Kickstart My Heart” with enough light to illuminate the bottom of the ocean and enough flame to launch a space shuttle into orbit. And then, after the four members wrapped their arms over each other’s shoulders center stage and took a bow, they walked off stage, and the lights faded. The crowd was left stunned because, through all the songs, they group had not played “Home Sweet Home.” Half the crowd was upset while the other half wondered how long they were going to make us wait.
Sure enough, after about three minutes, the band came out into the audience with flashlights beaming out among the smoke. They hopped up on a small platform in the middle of the crowd and, as the soft notes of the song echoed from the grand piano out among the crowd, the platform rose high in the air. The crowd sang along in chorus, and when the platform lowered back down, and the final note faded away, it was over. Mötley Crüe was gone.
“I thought the concert was amazing, and they are great performers always. It was better than their last concert because they played their most popular songs and I knew them all. I’m upset that they are retiring; I’ve listened to them my whole life. I’ll still always love and enjoy their music,” says Gillian Daniels (SR).
Overall, the concert was as pure a heavy rock concert as one could hope, and an amazing send off to a band that, for thirty-four years, wanted nothing more than to fight conformity and keep true rock alive.
I am here, sitting on my bed in front of a dimly-lit computer screen at one in the morning. Why? Well, there’s no real answer. I can’t sleep. I won’t sleep. And in the most cliche tie-in that has probably ever been employed in the world of writing, I will make the connection that my restlessness is equivalent to the restlessness of journalism.
Robin Williams has passed away. There is never a good time for someone’s life to end. And being a celebrity, a time of mourning through social media was only half of what consumed the Internet and airways Monday night. The other was full of questions, investigations, constantly updating news articles and headlines as more information surfaced. It’s the duty of a journalist, to set aside emotion and report the news. Interpretation is for the reader, not the writer. That is how bias comes about, and as a writer, bias is the worst four-letter word of them all.
There was a press release Tuesday regarding the details of Williams’ death, and it fell under much scrutiny about how graphic and detailed it was. Many wanted to remember Williams as a gentle soul, blind to the gruesome details and disturbing facts regarding his method of passing. And yet, it’s information that is important to the overall story. Or is it? How much must be known? Must anything be known? Should the information be offered but not forced? Was it being forced in the first place? This is where journalism walks the thin line, where, without promoting bias, writers must get a general feel for the audience, take a temperature of the room, and understand that sometimes, no news is good news. Emotion cannot be presented in an article, but it must, for the sake of the reader, be considered.
Journalism is a powerful force. With the rise of social media and an ever-growing connected world, the need for it has seemed to dwindle. But was it the need that kept journalism afloat in the first place? Must one know everything that is going on around them? Does one need to know about a celebrity’s passing to conduct their own life? Or rather, is it the desire for journalism that keeps it alive today? We don’t need to know, but we want to know. We care, and as such, we want to be provided with the information. However, we want to be treated as humans. We don’t like being told what to think, but rather allow our own minds and own experiences to dictate our interpretations of facts. As such, facts are crucial. Rumors are unacceptable. It takes a professional, a sharp eye, a trained ear and a dedicated mind to sift the truth from the speculation. Here, true journalism will never be triumphed by a 140-character message hastily written on a smartphone.
Journalism is the past, and journalism is the present and journalism is the future. It is evolving, but it is not dying, for as long as there are those brave enough to look the events of the world in the eye with no fear or reservations, but rather a pad and pen in hand, keys under the fingers and a thirst for the truth, journalism shall live on.
(cover photo courtesy Nate Harris)
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