Thursday, May 29, 2008

A musical music video

Here's a first for my class. A couple of my students chose to do a music video of a song from a musical. The song is "Popular" from the musical "Wicked." I've had plenty of music videos done before but never a song from a musical.

Enjoy! As always, please feel free to leave comments.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Student rant

This rant comes to us from Alex of Chagrin Falls. Alex is one of my top students. Incredible video editor. Great storyteller with pictures. All around good guy. Anyway, this is what he has to say. Enjoy.

I once had a conversation with a friend about something that was quite intriguing to the both of us (a regular occurrence in daily life for most people). This particular subject was the almost supernatural force that propels people to "creep" (as my friend put it) on facebook. Until now your current society may be leading you to believe that this is out of the norm. By "creep" I am describing the act of being on facebook and finding yourself looking at picture after picture of somebody you may not even know all that well. Why do people do this? I asked my friend.

Perhaps you may have thought that you were the only one who partook in this act of what I like to call "Peer Exploration". But in fact this is something that everyone does. Now to put the question at hand here in the simplest of terms I ask, why? There are two types of "creeping" that I have come across in my facebook travels. I don't want to call one a good kind and one a bad kind, but one type is used for different intentions than the other. The first type that I know of is like when you know somebody well, (or maybe your trying to get to know them well enough to start a relationship with them). This is not the type I am currently writing about for no particular reason. The aforementioned type of facebook "creeping" that I am talking about is the type that nobody talks about. The type that people pretend not to take part in. Not for sneaky or deceitful reasons, but just because of how odd this behavior really is. I can not shed much light on the college aspect of this phenomenon, but I am assuming that this happens on that level as well. So is it strictly curiosity, or is it something more?

Could it be that our generation has been given the advantage of an opportunity that has not been given to anyone in the past? Due to technological advances in our society, it has become possible to share a side of our self's that could not be done 10 years ago. The internet and pages such as facebook and myspace have made it possible to share with people our personal life's. For most people we do this on an appropriate and moral level. With the exception of the people who strive for attention and take topless pictures of themselves only to see what good things people will say to boost their own confidence. But that is the beauty of facebook. There will always be those people. People who want everyone to know and love them. And then there's the people who are just there, existing in everyday life, making decisions and going forth into the future with a strong hold on their own identity.

Personal pages such as facebook or myspace create a place for everyone no matter how "odd" or "weird" people classify you. When you go on a first date with a special someone it is like participating in a mutual interview. You learn things about the other person. Some you like, some you don't. By creating a facebook or a myspace page, it is somewhat similar to going on a first date with everyone who sees your page, and the same goes for every page you see. You put all that information that is given on a first date on your page for people to see. It's like creating a resume for compatibility.

Human nature is constantly evolving and making things easier (although some beg to differ). By displaying this information to the public our generation is "eliminating the middle man" so to speak. That middle man being awkward phone calls, and first dates, the usual protocol in the past. Every day more and more relationships are being started via the world wide web. You have a much better chance of meeting a "soul mate" on the internet then on the street, or at work/school. This is just simple probability. There's a much bigger group of people that you reaching by having a personal page. And again due to technological advances the group of people isn't just anyone. It is someone that already knows a little bit about you. and a group of people that choose to know you and be your friend, hence "friending" someone on Facebook. People are always searching for something more, something that is out there but seemingly unreachable. This is what I think propels "creeping" on facebook. When going through all 194 pictures of the prom queen you may be looking at the usual; to see how good she looked in her dress or how cute her and her date looked. But if you're like other people your looking for something more. You don't exactly know what that is but it is the force that makes you go through all 194 pictures.

This force goes all the way back to the concept of Manifest-Destiny. It's just something you need to do, and you will crave it until it it is done. My friend told me once that "when I start creeping, I really get into it" this is what I mean when I say "force". So to kind of sum things up here, we creep because we have to. It's just human nature. But this does not justify by any means you creeping on one particular person all the time and then becoming obsessed. Try to mix it up a bit and get a variety of different outlooks on life. live love laugh and be happy now.

Just a thought by Alex Starinsky

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Just some observations...

First, let's keep this weekend in perspective. Thoughts and prayers and many thanks to those servicemen and servicewomen who keep and kept this country safe.

Now, onto other notes:
It's Memorial Day weekend. Therefore, if you missed the news, let me catch you up on what is making the news. People are driving. People are grilling. Gas prices are going up. Food prices are going up. Clip and save this for the next several years.

Related to the first note in this post as well as the post below this on the influence of 'Sex and the City'...I was slightly surprised that in today's local newspaper, The Plain Dealer, it's entertainment section is all about Friday's release of 'Sex and the City', complete with a quiz and other nice tidbits about the long running series. Did I say the movie is coming out Friday?

I thought just MAYBE the entertainment section might have highlighted Hollywood's look at war and soldiers over the years. Maybe there's a local connection to a great film or something. But to spotlight a chickflick that's five days away surprised me.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sex and the City

I am a subscriber to the magazine Entertainment Weekly. This week's issue is full of articles on the upcoming movie "Sex and the City." There are articles about the fashion, the characters, all of the seasons, and everything else connected to the series.

Outside of Star Wars and Star Trek, I can't think of many other movies that have had such a huge cultural impact. Help me out. What other movies or tv shows have had a pop culture impact like Sex and the City?

In Sex and the City, people talked about fashion trends (oh, the shoes) , Cosmopolitans became popular, the hairstyles, acceptance of different lifestyles and family structures, etc.

Film Fest

Last night in the Aurora High School auditorium, our fifth annual film festival took place. It was a pretty good night. The program started a little after 7 p.m. and went almost until 8:30. We had a slight delay due to a bird that somehow got into the auditorium and scared a few folks. Honors Chemistry teacher Doc Munson said it was very "Alfred Hitchcock-like."

I was very impressed with the number of parents that came to see their children's work on the big screen. It's always good to see parents take an interest in their child's accomplishments.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Engelbert's 40th

Wednesday night, May 7th, Engelbert Humperdinck performed at the State Theater in Playhouse Square in Cleveland as part of his 40th anniversary in show business tour. I took my Mom as part of a birthday present which turned into a Mother's Day present. This concert was originally scheduled for last November but got rescheduled for May 7th. Anyway, Engelbert is 72 years old. He said he had dropped 32 pounds and lightened his hair color. The loss in weight really improved his performance. Those who saw him the last time he was in Cleveland noticed his gut and how out of shape he looked. His vocal skills were lacking a couple years ago. On this night, Engelbert turned back the clock 10-15 years and put on a great show. He sang for nearly two hours to an enthusiastic crowd.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Miley Cyrus controversy

I don't know if you have seen the controversial Vanity Fair photo of Miley Cyrus but it touched off a debate in my second period class.

My major problem is that she's 15 years old and she is basically holding up a sheet. In my opinion, it's very distasteful.

Girls in my second period class see nothing wrong with the photo. They said it's "artistic." One girl said that Greek statues are naked and that's art. Of course, there's this thing that the Greek statues are adults.

A couple other girls mentioned that the expression on her face makes it artistic. It's not "slutty" as a couple girls said. So, if she was naked and smiling, would that alter the opinion on the photo?

And yet, another point raised by the girls was that there are ads which show girls in bikinis and they consider that much worse. There are a couple of issues with this point. First, advertising has different motives than a photo shoot. Secondly, justifying the Miley Cyrus photo by saying that there are teenage bikini ads DOES NOT make the Miley Cyrus photo more acceptable. That's like saying driving 110 miles an hour is much worse than driving 85 miles an hour....but both are wrong.

Now, in the afternoon, I asked my seniors and they said the photo was gross and the number one point they kept saying was "SHE'S FIFTEEN!"

Parents and other readers of this blog, I really want your opinion on this issue. Basically, I want someone to explain or reason why the controversial photo should be considered acceptable. Comparing it to another photo or ad doesn't cut it. We are talking about a 15 year old girl.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Student rant

This week's rant is from Nicole from Mayfield.

I am sick and tired of how low the media has become with the news, just a couple days ago I was watching E! News and they had a news story on how People had a news story on 101 Most Beautiful People. Honestly who cares! I would rather know things that would eventally affect my life. News is defined as "a report of a recent event; intelligence; information". The media need to expand on subjects that inform people on world events not just what is happening in America.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I agree with this post. Last night, I was flipping around the channels and E! was doing some countdown of the most violent news stories. Of course, Columbine was getting a lot of airtime.

My lingering question was/is: Why does there need to be a countdown for this (violent stories)? What's the point? I felt like it was glamorizing violence.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Save the date

Friday, May 16th at 7 p.m. in the Aurora High School Auditorium is the date, time and place for the 5th annual film festival which features projects that my classes have produced from this school year. As always, the event is free and there are free door prize giveaways including dvds from Hollywood Video as well as Pizza Hut.

With this being the fifth film festival, I want to do something special and auction off something special. I sent requests to the Cleveland sports teams for autographed items or anything they would be willing to donate. The Cavs stepped up with an autographed hat by Cavaliers guard Delonte West. Yep, the guy who hit the winning shot in game four against the Wizards. The hat will be auctioned off at the end of the night.