Thursday, October 9, 2008

Compare and Contrast

I really should be doing my homework right now. But as of this afternoon, there are far more important things I would much rather be writing about.

Because that is, after all, my subject matter of choice: topics of importance. Say, for instance, Teen Team.

After receiving my mass-produced fail letter from the San Antonio express news, I decided to do a little undercover reporting of my own: analyzing LAST year's group. And oh, the things I learned.

Justine Cantu: A twin with no other distinguishing features, aside from her "proud achievement" of a 100 on a short story in fourth grade. Her first 100. Her mother must be so proud.

Dylan Elmore: Has dreads and paints. Journalism? Oh, he's just good at it.

Zahra Farah: Her father ran for president in Somalia. She's class president and "academic editor". Fancy. In my newspaper class, we call that "proofing"- its the busy work given to people with nothing better to do. Hey- I guess I'm an academic editor too!

Samuel Gomez: He's in band. And...that's it.

Andrea Marquise: I quote:

"Marquise has gained this new independent perspective on life after a wakeup call in February.

'Earlier this year I had to have surgery because I had a fibrotic cyst, and I was told that it might have been breast cancer,' Marquise said.

'I was always thinking, what if I did have cancer? My time would have been cut short, and from that point on I was always like, 'I've got to live it up!''

Because of the surgery Marquise missed school and soccer practice.

'It was really difficult because we were studying for AP tests,' she said. 'It was during the soccer season too, and I just wanted to practice.'

Now she appreciates what each day brings.

Marquise recalled feeding a family of four raccoons while working at the Hill Country Hyatt Regency Resort.

'There is a family of four raccoons that live in a bush that we throw graham crackers at,' Marquise said. 'The mom will only come near us only but not the babies. The first time I fed the momma raccoon she walked up to me and took the graham cracker out of my hand and ate it.

'I don't take anything for granted anymore,' Marquise said.

Yeah. Very, very moving.

The list goes on and on. Melissa Martin, the fashionista. Rachael McBride, of whom we seem to hear more about her Dad in the air force and the places she has lived than anything she ever accomplished in journalism. Lindsay Medina- she made a cake out of pop tarts! Brianna Roberts, Chris Rodgers, Valdamar Tejada, and the ubiquitous Kendra Taylor, pastor's daughter and "assistant business manager for the yearbook staff".

So, Express-News: where did I go wrong?

You know, I really could have gone about this the wrong way. Talked about overcoming two severely impacted molars and Osgood-Schlatter syndrome, my fight to sing in choir (any choir), my amazing ability to pick up little ditties on the piano, the time when I got a perfect report card in fourth grade, my months of living in hotels and "cramped apartments"- even that day when I spent four hours taking care of some dumb bird that stunned itself flying into our window.

But the facts were clear. I'm no San Antonio native. I don't march or fiddle or pirouette. And I'm way more Tony than Maria, if you get my drift. *snaps fingers rhythmically*

I'm not a senior, and I may hold little more than the position of staff writer as of today. Yet already I'm putting out more content than any editor on our team. And I know for a fact that I can write circles around any of these kids- a fact I intend to prove the weekend after next, at the Texas Association of Journalism Education.

So San Antonio Express-News: I know you "informed me" that I might feel free to contribute to your newspaper through online blogging and will be contacted when your writers need "a teenager's perspective".
Don't bother. I'll give all that to you, right now.

Teenagers aren't stupid. At the very least, not this one. We can see when you're desperate because no kid with HTML knowledge would actually waste time volunteering with your program. And we know when we're not wanted. But just because my last name isn't De La Fuente and I don't make gift baskets for the troops and play the trombone doesn't give you the right to choose what looks good over what journalism is all about: the writing. Call me, but I'm not going uncredited in your paper so some other snotnose kid from the high-risk school can have their fifteen minutes of fame. Because I've been there, and no one cared in that tiny little town that I was from Whatcom Middle School: they just said I was darn good at what I do.
And I know I am, to this day. Dozens of UIL judges can't be wrong.
So you keep picking whatever looks diverse enough for you. I'll keep writing.

And Officer Krupke- Krup you!

A Moment In Time - the Johnson Times

We at the Johnson Newspaper are celebrating today. For over a delicious monster pizza, chatting of lame pep rallies and plans to make second page of the yearbook on the eve of our homecoming game, our newspaper is out of the press.
It smells good. Like ink and new paper and sweat and blood. Ink, for the thousands of words and many days we typed until our fingers twinged. Paper, for the smooth, modern layout and honest pictures that dot every page. Sweat, for that deadline day when we panicked over those idiots who don't allow their name in the school publications, but wanted to be interviewed anyway. And blood- for those many, painful papercuts.

Its a day etched in time- for as long as this school stands, and funding holds, this is Issue 1, Volume 1, of our brainchild. That which we carried from conception to today; surviving its tumultuous birth and now preparing to grow in a strange new world.

As many people that will follow, we are the first. Eight pages of art, advertising and great writing, our own to call "the original". And like those thirteen secret seasonings, we poured our efforts into giving it all the zest and flavor of our time and talent. Its a little greasy at times, and we may have forgotten a few drumsticks, but this is one fine product. From our table to yours.

We ponder if someday, when some young up-and-coming reporter makes a 10 Ideas list of their own, will "Johnson Pride Retrospective" be among them? Will that rookie be interviewing us, who once scrambled for the smallest quote from the biggest names on campus, on how this institution came to be?

I'm certain each of us, be it with a gentle smile or a malevolent chuckle, will have some pearl of wisdom to share. So, in Newspaper class fashion, I will end this entry with quotes.

"I'm trying to think of something really deep and meaningful, but actually, I'm just really really excited right now."

"I'm so excited right now, like I'm totally going to send it to all my families. I mean, family members--wait!"

"I'm going to frame it. On my wall."

"You all did an excellent job for this to be a new school with a new staff. There are accomplished schools out there right now that still don't have an issue printed...... well, maybe you shouldn't write that."

"I just called Mr. Wickerham a metro."


(nothing. he's out for yom kippur right now. PSYCHE!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another week, another review

In customary manner, I have been spurred to write on my blog for the one thing that drives me to theorize and jump about my room in glee like little else on this earth:

Yes, that was backwards. But then, so are many things in the Heroverse these days. Let us begin with my typical play-by-play of characters:

Ah yes. Having watched this episode with a friend from the hood, I, (along with her mother), totally called it, which we were not hesitant to rub in the face of aforementioned friend and her brother. While current Daphne continues to free agent in the biz of evil and Parkman grappels with his amphibian totem guide and possible future, these two are one big family in the not-so-distant future, united by wuv and their baby, Daniella. *cue collective "awwww"* Along with Molly, who is apparently stunted in her growth following the brutal murder of her parents, they live in a very mod-art apartment and (recurring theme) live in a world of Mr. Mom and the feminine provider. Looooonng story short, Daphne dies, and now present Matt is determine to seek out this future and prevent unbeknownst blonde from her fiery fate. I wish him well.

Just had to do a rundown here, given this little un' has been through sooo many screwed up situations by this point in the series. Let me list the ways.
MOM AND POP: So very nice- of course, until padre froze over and madre got spiked to a wall.
THE COMPANY: And we ALL know what a great parent figure Angela is!
THE FBI: Somehow better; somehow much worse.
MOHINDER: Who, by the way, is not very good at explaining "how-babies-are-made-to-save-babies-who-are-superpowered-and-much-more-loved-by-their-daddies-oh-woe-is-me!"
MOMATT: Scary, scary times. As it turns out, TWO Mr. Moms made for a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak.
MOMAYSY: Maya= all that sucks in this world, Mo= ?, Sylar= Apparently on far better terms with his own spawn than Mollywobbles.
MR./MRS. GONZALEZ: With Speedy and Matt busy building their happy (not) family, she enjoys dealing with heart-breaking regret over meddling with Claire and her Posse. and listening to a random mp3 player in her spare time. Lovely.

I admit: I cheered sufficiently when he pushed her away. GAR to Maya and all she stands for, as well as her lame "handicap". But with her happily out the door and out of the apartment, I admit- not sure what to make of Mohinder. He's roachman, fo shiz, but will he become that hoodie-wearing recluse of the future, or remain the wife-beater-beating object of awesome we now see? The future is cloudy. But so far, I dig Mo2.0, big time.

Is dead. *sigh*

Which was both effective and frightening in its own right. (weeps for bad-hair Nathan) But with Peter back on his innocent turn with the intro of season 3, it will be interesting to see who is more inclined to "fight the power": Sylar, or my all time absolute favvy, Peterelli. Which brings me to...

He's very angsty about that.
In the future, Gabriel is a stay-at-home Daddy who enjoys raising his memoir-son Noah, frolicking with Mr. Muggles and churning out waffles. He also inexplicably lives in the Bennet house and consequently angers Future!Claire. And yes- I got considerably misty when the little fella died and poor rehabbin' Gabriel went boom. THAT was powerful storytelling right there. But more than anything I loved seeing him on the mend- surrounding himself with memories of his past, but denying himself what he truly desired. And that watch sequence? Pure. Awesome.
But current Sylar remains creepalicious. And I reeeeally wanna see some Petrelli battle action, prontozo.

Angela: Going to die before the season ends.
Elle: Its her and Sylar, yo.
Arther Petrelli: Coming back next episode, runs pinehearst: check it.
HRG: He will die in the line of fire, possibly at Peter's hand. Sylar will feel bad, and it will inspire him to be good and name his son after him. Awesomeness will ensue.
Adam Monroe: Man, I really hope he dies, and soon. Next to Elle and Maya, nobody really annoyed me more in season 2.
Presiding Villians: All but Knox, who is apparently fairly durable, are dead meat. Go fig.
Nat and the Clone: Sounds like a show from the seventies. But they're perfect, I always liked the pairing, I am actually enjoying their storylines, and wish them the best. Here's hoping Tracy doesn't have the same thing for black guys that Nicki apparently fostered. Trox doesn't sound nearly as cool as....well, its just not as cool.
Muggles: How does this thing survive EACH and EVERY season?

That vent scene was magical. But it was the last we may ever see of the Hiro/Ando heartwarming friendship. Heroes is all drama from here on out, and (having read some stuff on next episode, evil laugh), I can say to you now: he will take a different path than his headstrong but heroic friend. He's drunk with power, which was originally EVERYONE ELSE in the series, yet has now fallen on the shoulders of the man whom uttered "yatta!". I mourn his loss. But villain Hiro will be most intriguing.

Aside from my typical TV-watching pursuits (note: other than the office, this is literally the only time I ever watch the stuff, fyi), life continues to move along at an unexpectedly fast pace. I run- a lot. I rehearse- not enough, or so I'm told. I work on homework, sing in the choir, and still somehow find time to find every landmark in Oblivion and read weird comic books with names like "Fruit's Basket". Life is good, but I could sure use a break at times.
Regardless, the future is amazing- Halloween (woot!), Twilight movie (WOOT!), and the PSAT (woot?) are all closing in. Updates to follow, and Brooke out!