What We’re Wearing: Shoes

By Camille N-G

As a new student at Southwest, I noticed that the majority of the students wore a select few kinds of shoes. I did a survey of 110 students to find out which were their favorites. The one that stood out the most to me was Birkenstocks. I hadn’t been aware of this trend until starting school this fall, and I didn’t even know that kids my age wore them. It seems as if over half of the students are wearing them every day! The popular alternative style has manifested itself in these comfortable leather shoes. On girls, Birkenstocks are usually worn with leggings and a cute sweater. Otherwise pairing them with a casual dress can create the perfect boho look. On guys, they are usually worn with any shorts, except athletic styles. Birkenstocks can be worn with calf-high socks or with none at all. They are a cute and easy fall staple shoe.

Beating out all of the other shoes, Converse were the school favorite in popularity. Converse have never seemed to go out of style. I remember getting a black pair in second grade, and then a lemon yellow pair in fourth grade and wearing them constantly until my toes were smashed against the front. These sneakers are a timeless classic that can be worn with almost anything. They can be dressed up with a cute fit-n-flare dress and a chunky sweater. They can also be paired with jeans and a graphic tee to create a more casual look on girls or guys. Converse are (and have always been) a great shoe for any outfit, especially this fall.

Two very similar shoes common at Southwest are Vans and Keds. The Lo Pro style Vans are almost identical to Keds. Vans are a gender-neutral shoe, while the latter seem to be more popular among girls. Vans turned out to be over three times more popular than Keds in my survey. Personally, I think Vans have a slightly more attractive shape and are sturdier. I have two pairs in the Lo Pro style: one black with white laces, and one all white. My black pair is my favorite and I have worn them out so much that I now sport a slowly growing hole in one shoe, exposing my big toe. Neutral-colored Vans and Keds go with everything. Girls, pair them with a dress, a skirt and sweater, printed joggers, or jeans. Guys, use them to top off your back-to-school best: sweaters, hoodies, skinnies, or shorts. They are easy to wear and comfortable all day.

The last trend that I have seen lately is combat boots. This category doesn’t exactly follow the pattern of specific brands, but these seem to be a favorite among fashionable girls at Southwest. Combat boots have recently made a comeback from the 90’s, along with the rest of the grunge style. These were one of the highest-voted shoes in my survey. They can be all shades of brown, black, and grey. Try them with loose fitting dresses or flannel with leggings for an all-out grunge look, or a girly skirt to add just a little edge. All of these popular styles are great additions to anyone’s closet, and although all of these shoes are cute, Converse was the most popular among Southwest students.

Prisoners Movie Review

By Luke C.

Prisoners is a mystery film about two little girls who go missing on Thanksgiving day, and the lengths their fathers (Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard) are willing to go to get them back.

To start it off, this movie is awesome. It blends all the great elements of a mystery/ horror film, with a gritty city/suburban landscape. It has plenty of suspense, surprises, and little hints that will keep you guessing till the very end of the movie. The acting is great from both Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal who plays a detective, and the supporting cast is great as well.

The performances of the little girls are small, but pretty good. I mean, don’t lie to yourself when you say child actors are good, because they usually aren’t for the most part, but these little girls actually seemed like real people. They weren’t just movie characters to add conflict. That’s another thing, all the characters in this movie act like real people. They are all convincing, which I find rare in most movies.

I loved this movie, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its cons. First off, this movie is two hours and thirty-five minutes long. Although this works with a lot of movies, including this one for the most part, it can bug you if you have a low attention span. Some parts can drag on. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re gonna go with a buddy who is bad at solving mysteries in movies, because that definitely comes in handy if you can. Otherwise, he or she will be asking you to recall the entire movie just so they can understand it.

Overall, it is a really good movie which I expect will win a lot of awards. All the performances in the movie are lifelike and excellent. Good suspense, good plot twists, good mood and good all around movie.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

What Does the Fox Say?

By Hannah R.

As children, we were all taught which animals make what noises, but did they ever really tell us what the fox says? Well, Ylvis, a comedic duo from Bergen, Norway (composed of brothers Baard and Vegard Ylvisaker) have come up with an answer! In their song, “The Fox”, they sing about, well, animal noises. And for the chorus, guess which animal they sing about? Yup, the fox. The answer to “What does the fox say?” according to them would include “Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringding!”, “Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!”, and other jargon.

    Of course you’re gonna need a viral video to go along with the rapidly popularizing song! But I gotta warn you, however weird the song lyrics are, the music video is almost twice as weird. Lots of students have said “Your life will never be the same,” and I’m not quite sure if they mean that in a positive way. It starts off with a party at someone’s house with all the guests dressed as animals. Then somehow, this party shifts to the woods, and the woods have basically turned into a nightclub, complete with strobe lights and a dancing fox! Oh and don’t forget about the old man in a rocking chair with a child on his lap, singing along. The brothers are also suspended in air at one point. It’s all very scarring, but I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen it. It’s been shown to me by friends, acquaintances, even my AP Human Geography teacher (who was the first person to “change my life”)!

Overall, it’s very entertaining in a weirdly disturbing way. Maybe that’s why all the Southwest students are talking about it quite a lot. I’ve even seen a few people like Ylvis’ page on Facebook. If you’re looking for some entertainment, go watch that video. Although, I don’t think I’d suggest you watching it with a little kid who might actually take it seriously. I’ll see you when another eccentric song comes out!

Horoscopes

By Lor V.

Aries (March 21-April 19): You may want to be pretend to be someone else just to fit in, but don’t. You are who you are for a reason.

Taurus (April 20- May 20): If you are feelings butterflies in your stomach whenever you’re near him/her, it’s worth it to give it a try.

Gemini (May 21- June 20): It’s good to get out of your comfort zone once in awhile. It may give you the most unforgettable experiences.

Cancer (June 21- July 22): The Tortoise and the Hare story was never there just to be a race between a turtle and a rabbit. Apply it to yourself and get those goals accomplished.

Leo (July 23- August 22): Being the best doesn’t mean you have to be good at everything you do. It’s those flaws that make us the best we can be.

Virgo (August 23- September 22): Playing it safe is the most dangerous game to play. You never know what’s ahead of you because you’re too busy making excuses to take the next step.

Libra (September 23- October 22): You’re usually an indecisive person, but remember to keep your goals in check.

Scorpio (October 23- November 21): People will always have comments to make, but don’t let them get to you. It can be as simple as “in one ear and out the other”.

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21): Do what feels right to you, not what other people think is right.

Capricorn (December 22- January 19): Being a good friend doesn’t mean being a perfect friend. It’s about helping your friends be the most perfect they can be.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18): Not knowing and caring about anything is like jaywalking. If you get hit, it’s your fault that you decided to cross it in the first place.

Pisces (February 19- March 20): No matter what you meet along the way, don’t forget to look off in the distance once in a while.

The Who’s Tommy: Performing Wizards

Performing Wizards

By Elizabeth Rinde

It is surprising how one can be so entertained by observing the abuse of a catatonic child. On Saturday, I went to see Southwest High School’s production of The Who’s Tommy. For those who are not familiar with the popular British band from the 60s and 70s, The Who released their rock opera album in ’69 which was later turned into a movie in ’75. The story starts at the beginning of the Second World War when a young couple conceives a child. The husband is sent off to fight while the wife, Mrs. Walker, is left to take care of her child at home. When the husband is reported to be missing in action, Mrs. Walker finds comfort in a new lover. Returning to the family he lost during the war, the husband finds his wife with the lover and in the heat of the moment, murders the man in front of his young son, Tommy. Escaping into a catatonic state, Tommy is haunted by the event he witnessed and without success tries to reach out to those around him for help through the emotional chaos he feels inside. Symbolically, he searches for himself through his reflection and grows to succeed at controlling the only thing he can; the contained chaos of a pinball machine.

Filled with budding talents, the cast offered strong dance numbers, focused acting, and gorgeous voices. Reflecting the sorrows of his character’s past, Eric Heltemes (Tommy) grimly stared at his younger self and sang passionately about his desperation to be free from silence. With motherly worry under her brow, Meredith Casey (Mrs. Walker) offered a beautiful tone that grabbed my attention. The chorus kept a moving undertone and collectively added to the symbolic chaos of Tommy’s memories. During the “Pinball Wizard” they threw out wide, synchronized movements. Although, the singing was lovely, the actors consonants were not stressed enough to be understood over the talented rock pit. Even so, the majority of the plot was understood through their remarkable acting. Technical elements are the key to a superior production. Maybe it was written in the script to add dramatic effect, but Sam Gaines’ mic (Minister) was echo-y and thus caused his words to be lost in the walls of the auditorium. Another problem with sound, Natalie Young’s mic (Specialist) did not turn on and her diagnosis of Tommy was silenced (no pun intended). That being said, the lighting was artistic and significantly added to the grim atmosphere of the performance. Spotlights from overhead were cast down to dramatically showcase the Tommys while hiding their faces and cool-coloured textured gels accented the nightmarish scenes. However, it would have been nice if a spotlight was used to attract the audience to the main characters when they moved to the right side of the stage.

Emma Alamo’s set was brilliant. She constructed a presence that resembled a pinball machine and even incorporated steps that lit up when walked on. The mirror on stage left added a whole new depth to the performance since Tommy could observe his future and past self through it. The effect however would have been more moving to the left side of the audience if it was angled a bit more towards the center.

Although highly symbolic and difficult to understand at times, Southwest captivated me until the very end. I do still wish that I was able to understand what they were singing most of the time, and that they lit the sides of the stage more. This production could still be smoothed out in a number of areas, but it is worth the time to see it. I would recommend this to anyone who loves rock, a great pit, or enjoys psychology.

Elizabeth Rinde writes on behalf of Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Critical Review student reviewer program, which gives Metro-area high school students the opportunity to attend and review touring Broadway productions, SpotLight Musical Theatre Program events, workshops to develop writing skills, and other opportunities depending on availability. Critical Review teaches communication skills and enhances critical thinking and creative response. As part of Critical Review, students receive study guides and press kits before the show, learn from experts including local theatre critics, playwrights and actors who teach workshops in lighting design to choreography, and in some cases, have expanded access to the Broadway touring cast and crew.

Drive safe

Drive Safe!

By Jessica E.

With icy roads and slippery streets, the thought of driving is more nail-biting than the action itself. Although the number of car fatalities have gone down this past year, there is still room for the number to drop to zero. Teens and young adults are the most likely to end up in a car accident this winter season, but simple guidelines to keep in mind while driving can help to significantly lower the risk of an accident. One of the easiest and “no cost to you” prevention tips is to always wear a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt can cut your chances of ending up badly hurt, or dead in an accident, by a staggering 50%. Another thoughtful tip is to slow down. Since roads are currently covered with a thin veil of sleet and ice, trying to break at an intersection is almost impossible to do. Driving at slow and constant speed will allow more time to slow down when approaching a light and makes driving a lot less nerve-racking. Remember though, don’t drive so slowly as to get hit yourself, or provoke other drivers to road rage. The last prevention tip is to recognize weather conditions. If it’s snowing and the estimated fall in 1-2 feet maybe driving to the mall 20miles away isn’t such a good idea. Driving a car and having a license are a privilege that comes with a lot of responsibilities and part of that responsibility is being a safe driver; and not just for yourself, but every one else on the road too.

Dial-M

Dial M for Mad Acting Skills!

By Liza P.

As an exchange student from Ukraine, I was always interested in theatre, so Southwest became, literally, a paradise for me! I watch every play here, and I think it is something for school to be proud of! In Ukraine we don’t have a school theatre and it is very difficult for students to find an opportunity like this. I also admire the variety of shows in Southwest: each of them is different; there are comedies, dramas, musicals, etc.

A week ago I went to the blackbox to see the Dial “M” for Murder”. If you didn’t see it, I’m very very sorry for you, because you lost a lot of fun and positive emotions. It was directed by amazing girls: Madelyn Stocking and Becky Novachek. The play was about Tony Wendice (Vicente Fernandez), who married his wife Margot (Gigi Rich) only because of her money and decides to murder her. He has every detail planned, but unfortunately, the murderer gets killed by the victim, and that’s where the story begins. To my mind, actors did a great job; Owen Lazur, Nathaniel Larson and Nash Meeker continue to please us with their tremendous acting, but I saw for the first time Gigi, Vicente, Genny and Elliot performing, and I can only say that it was marvelous! Watching the play, I felt like it was real life, and we were witnesses of their story. I want to thank everyone for directing, performing or taking part in play. It was awesome!

Do you enjoy watching your friends on the stage or are you just a big fan of theatre? Join theatre, then! Or at least don’t miss your chance to see the next show!

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