Senior Spotlight: Max Wofford

by Rachael Wang, Staff Writer

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1. When and where were you born? Describe the kind of child you were.
I was born April 25, 1996 I was curious, and I always pushed the limits of what I could do and what I couldn’t. I liked to play with anything I could get my hands on. I had toys like Kinetics and Legos that I could build with and when I didn’t have them I would build things with wood and other materials anything I was allowed to touch really.

2. Do you have any siblings? How did they affect the Max we see and know today?
Nope, no siblings.

3. What was your favorite year of high school? Why?
My freshman and sophomore years. First of all, I didn’t have to deal with the restrictions of high school and the coming college process. Junior year was packed with classes people told me to take, not what I wanted to take. I never felt like an outcast by upperclassmen when I was a freshman or sophomore. As an underclassman I didn’t care about someone’s class and as an upperclassman I still don’t.

4. What is one of your favorite memories of high school?
My first Hackathon with Rachael, Zach, Ben, Luke and Henry. I never thought I could do something like that. I was very afraid at first. The concept was rough. I had no idea how to talk or communicate with people, but then I started reaching out when I need help. The others were there to steady my hand when we got down to work. We built something amazing in 36 hours, something people could use.

5. What are some of your extracurriculars and accomplishments?
This year I was Robotics President. I’m a Boy Scouts Patrol Leader. My team won second place at LAUNCH Hackathon. I taught myself to code so quickly. That’s really an accomplishment.

6. How have you changed from freshman year to senior year? Were there any defining moments of your high school career?
I am more independent. High school has taught me that only I know what is good for me in the long-run. Right after junior year was my most defining moment. I had just finished the year but I felt very unaccomplished afterwards. I have a problem with that. When most people are working hard on something they don’t want to do, they have a metaphorical ‘light at the end of the tunnel’; something that motivates them to finish it. I didn’t have that. After the hell of junior year was over, I just had an empty feeling. I had done a whole year of what I did not like and I was given no internal reward. I picked up my laptop and typed “how to code” in to Google. That single action has had the most reward for my effort in my entire life.

8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Working at a startup or at my own company. I don’t specialize at one thing. At a startup, because it has so few members, any one person must be able to complete a number of tasks. I like that environment and work ethic; anyone is capable of learning and doing anything.

 

Frozen: A Chilling Masterpiece

by Rachael Wang, Staff Writer

Frozen, the very first Disney animated feature co-directed by a women, is undoubtedly one of the very best. It was nominated and won Oscars for the best Animated Feature Film of 2014. Sources for ContectMusic.com tells us that, “Frozen looks set to overtake Toy Story 3 as the highest grossing animated feature film of all time…” I’d have to agree with Sophie Miskiw that the film has been so popular since its release in November 2013 you’d have to have been living under a rock to not have at least heard about it.

Not only is it a thrilling story about the bonds of friendship and sisterhood, but it also reveals valuable lessons about human nature and fear. The music in this musical is captivating and touching. Critics are raving about its unique themes and perspectives. “Frozen has both show tunes and darkness, but most satisfying is a formula-defying finale that successfully subverts the fairytale status quo,” Rotten Tomatoes notes. Richard Roeper for Chicago Sun-Times says, “Disney’s Frozen works beautifully as a timeless fairy tale with a modern twist.” And Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic writes that “‘Frozen is fabulous. Its thrills and chills are brought to life by an excellent ensemble of voices led by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel.”

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Frozen contains a passionate and unique, but very close twist on the old legend of the snow queen. Although it has been adopted in many versions the original story of the Snow Queen story was this:

-About an evil hobgoblin who creates a magic mirror that distorts reality by taking everything good and making viewers see things as worthless.

-Kai and Gerda are neighbors and the best of friends. They both loved roses and and grow vegetables together in little window boxes they shared on their roof. One evening While Kai and Gerda were playing one day with roses, a piece of the mirror struck Kai’s heart, froze it and he became wicked.

-Then the Snow Queen comes into town on a magnificent winter sled and Kai goes with her to her castle. Gerda sets out to rescue Kai with the help of a reindeer and a Lapland women. At the end of the story, Gerda melts Kai’s cold heart with a kiss and together they complete the task of writing the word “eternity” in ice. Spring comes and the snow queen disappears.

The directors reveal in an interview during the premiere of the film that they worked hard to create Disney princesses unlike any other Disney princess with their own flaws, Jennifer Lee, the female director, says, “To us the characters were what were going to drive the more modern element. It was through their choices and them being wonderfully messy and flawed like we all are in real life. Anna is fearless and inspirational but she sometimes makes wrong choices – albeit with a lot of heart.”

Frozen offers us not one, but two beautifully different princess. One, Anna, (voiced by the amazingly amazing Kristen Bell) ; the other, Elsa, (voiced by the ultimately talented Idina Menzel) is cursed with the ability to freeze whatever she touches.

The movie begins one evening while the children were playing, Elsa’s powers discharge, and she ends hit Anna freezing her heart with an ice blast. Their parents rush to a group of trolls within the kingdom’s mountainous territory and begs for their help, the trolls save Anna and advises the family not to let Elsa use her powers around Anna, says she is a danger.

The girl’s parents begin limiting Elsa’s interaction with people. They dismiss many of the servants and close the gates to the city, turning the Kingdom of Arendelle into an isolated and foreign place. While Anna’s life is rather normal, Elsa has to contend with her powers growing stronger as she matures. The girls grow apart and soon their parents are lost at sea.

3 years after the death of their parents, the castle is in preparations to crown her as the Kingdom’s Queen. During the coronation an incident occurs that reveals Elsa’s powers to the town. Elsa flees town.

And Anna, teams up with Kristoff, a mountain man who sells ice, and his reindeer Sven attempt to find Elsa and bring her back to Arendelle. On their adventure they encounter mystical trolls and everyone’s favorite snowman Olaf.

At the end of the film, Elsa saves Anna from the deceptions of love and realizes her powers are a blessing and not a curse.

The two stories contain the same emotions, and the similar events.

Now it’s your turn to find a thing or person that melts your heart away.

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Images provided by:

http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Culture-Cafe/2014/0105/Frozen-tops-box-office-again-How-it-outlasted-Hobbit-Hunger-Games-video
http://collider.com/disney-frozen-images/

http://animatedfilmreviews.filminspector.com/2014/01/frozen-wins-golden-globe-for-best.html

The Originals: Episode 6

Rachael Wang, Staff Writer

Alright, so Tuesday has come and passed with another amazing episode from The Originals. We are already far into the season now. And guess what? Elijah is back! After being betrayed, stabbed and thrown (coldheartedly) into a box coffin for the first half of the season, he is back and he been scheming about more than revenge on Klaus.

Three things you much know before watching this episode:

1) No one understands Klaus the way Elijah does.

2) No one keeps his word the way Elijah does.

3) No one rips the hearts out of three witches in the middle of a church the way Elijah does!

The episode began in the midst of the Vampire Book Club party, just kidding. Klaus tried to find a way to earn Elijah’s forgiveness for daggering him by bring in fresh human meat, and I mean that literally. Elijah refused to drop this most recent daggering. Instead, he invited Klaus to read the “Fruit of the Poisoned Tree.” Rebecca walks in and gives angry remarks about the carpet stains.

The atmosphere is tight, but remember, Elijah isn’t mad. He was just… unforgiving. He also takes control of the family from Klaus. Throughout the episode you see small pieces of Klaus’s half bitter remarks like, “First day with you in charge brother and we have a missing elder witch, three dead vampires and Marcus possibly finding out about my unborn child. Good job Brother.”

Of course, Elijah has a plan. Elijah knew and informed the others that Sophie Devereaux is not their friend, so it is time to unbind her to Hayley. Davina needs to learn to control her magic. So Elijah found the enchanted knot for her to untie.

If you’ve been keeping up with the series you know that the harvest is the real reason the witches brought Klaus to New Orleans. You also know about the vision around Klaus’s child and how she will destroy all the witches.

Will the real old conservative witches now want Haley dead? They inject a potion that causes miscarriages in Haley and then Elijah gets mad, he gets mad.

His “forgiveness and honor” speech to Klaus had me convinced that he was about to let Agnes go. But, nope. He choked her till blood poured out of her mouth and then snap. It looked painful.

Meanwhile, Rebecca decides to leave to Mystic Falls tonight, before she leaves she decided to pay Marcel a visit to say goodbye before leaving town and of course she couldn’t leave without taking a bite of the fruit from that long-forbidden tree.

As Rebecca left she pulled the apple from her bag, it was immediately clear that Marcel would know where the Original siblings were living. What wasn’t clear whether or not Rebecca gave him the apple knowing he would figure out their secret location or not.

Now Marcel knows where and whom Klaus was hiding and he has Hayley. By the end of the episode all trust between Klaus and Marcel is destroyed and Haley goes missing.

Can’t our poor, pregnant werewolf get a break? The answer… no.

Now I have three questions I’d like you to answer:

What did you think of “Fruit of the Poisoned Tree?” Are you glad Sophie and Hayley have been unlinked? What does Marcel have planned for Hayley?