The Lance The Student News Site of Robert E. Lee High School Mon, 10 Feb 2020 19:53:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Washington Awaits Impeachment Vote Mon, 10 Feb 2020 19:52:58 +0000 Could Donald Trump be the first president to be impeached and removed from office?

On Tuesday, September 24, 2019, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, announced a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump because of a whistleblower complaint.

According to government teacher Heather Kunicki, impeachment simply means a formal charge against the President. Kunicki explained that the impeachment process starts with a series of hearings featuring witnesses and testimony collection.

“Once these hearings, or this investigation is over, the full House will vote and if at least 50% vote to impeach, then they impeach. Impeachment just means to bring a formal charge against the President. Then it’s going to go to the Senate. The Senate will basically start all over with a trial with witnesses again, most likely. It’s going to be much more formalized. And then after that, the entire Senate will vote on conviction, and they need two-thirds of the Senate for that,” Kunicki said.

Kunicki believes that a two-thirds vote of conviction would be difficult given the Senate’s Republican majority.

The impeachment inquiry began with a whistleblower complaint concerning President Trump’s interactions with Ukranian President, Volodymyr Zelensky. The two had a phone call on July 25, regarding a quid pro quo.

Government teacher Heather Kunicki explained why quid pro quo was so bad.

“A quid pro quo basically means bribery, which asking a foreign country to investigate your political opponent is against the Constitution. It’s against the Framers’ intent. So I think it’s incredibly bad if it did happen,” Kunicki said.

In order to give Ukraine the U.S.’s military aid, President Trump allegedly requested President Zelensky to interfere with the upcoming 2020 election by investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, who at the time was the likely 2020 Democratic top front-runner. Specifically, Trump asked Zelensky to work with his personal attorney and Attorney General to create a corruption inquiry on Biden.

Another piece of evidence verifying this accusation is a text sent by Trump’s handpicked messenger, Kurt Volker, to Zelensky’s aide, Andrey Yermak. As reported by CNN, Volker messaged: “Heard from White House — assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / ‘get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington. Good luck! See you tomorrow,” to Yermak prior to the call.

This further suggests President Trump’s intentions were not for the safety of the public. Instead they were intended to benefit his reelection in the 2020 presidential campaign.

In addition, the impeachment inquiry reviews delays in the U.S. military aid to Ukraine, our ally. Based on a CNN article, “the Trump administration froze $391 million in military and security assistance to Ukraine,” while at war with Russia.

This was considered as “bribery,” by some Democratic lawmakers, which is mentioned in the Constitution as an impeachable offense.

While some acts were made by President Trump, most were assigned to his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Some lawmakers and political commentators believe Giuliani was completing these tasks under Trump’s authorization rather than fulfilling the duties of his job.

Furthermore, Giuliani removed Marie Yovanovitch, an Ukrainian US ambassador, without good probable cause. He accused Yovanovitch of intruding into Trump’s relationship with Ukraine as a “deep state” partisan.

Additionally, the Trump Administration declared the impeachment inquiry as “unconstitutional,” when they were not cooperating at first. The administration would deny access to documents, and disregard testimonies along with subpoenas, a written command requiring a person to attend court.

Although the impeachment inquiry consisted of bribery and high crimes, there was a flaw to it: The Constitution does not have specific regulations regarding presidential conduct dealing with foreign nations.

This gives President Trump more flexibility on how he can manage foreign policy, and therefore can be used as an argument against the inquiry.

However as of November 18, 2019, the Democrats have included David Holmes, the counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine. Holmes was added to the impeachment inquiry sharing new evidence of an impeachable offense.

Specifically, Holmes described how President Trump not only solicited for an investigation on Joe Biden, but also on his son. This happened a day after President Trump’s call with President Zelensky, on July 26.

The question no longer seems to be whether Trump has committed an impeachable offense, but hat will happen next. While American voters do not have direct control over whether or not he is removed from office prior to the next presidential election, this is an event to play out in the weeks to come in Washington with significant influence on the upcoming election.


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Is The iPhone 11 only Mon, 10 Feb 2020 19:45:57 +0000 Do we really need a new iPhone? As an iPhone XR user, I have found that many of the features on Apple’s new phone are the same as those on last year’s version.

The iPhone 11 was released on September 22, 2019, and is the latest model released by Apple.

Some similar features to the iPhone XR are shape, size, LCD display, water resistance, and weight. Other similar characteristics are lightning ports, speakers, aluminum rails, etc.

The iPhone 11 comes in a mixture of new and old colors. The colors being black, white, yellow, red, green, and purple. Green and purple are the two new colors replacing last year’s blue, and coral iPhone XR.

Despite their similarities, one major difference between the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR is the new chip. Apple claims on their website that the new chip is, “the fastest chip ever in a smartphone.”

Another visible difference, and major change is the addition of two extra cameras. This means that iPhone users can take better quality photos using an ultrawide lens. The cameras also look different because of the matte gloss finish added to the rear cameras.

The iPhone 11 has a streaming video playback battery life of up to 10 hours, which is an hour longer than the iPhone XR.

The iPhone 11 has a dual back camera with a main and ultrawide lens. This extension can capture more angles when taking photos. This new camera includes a night mode feature, and three new effects, including: Stage, Stage Mono, and High-Key Mono.

Furthermore, the front camera contains 5 more MP in the iPhone 11. The front facing camera also comes with a wide lens feature.

The image resolution and optical image stabilisation of both phones are the same. As well as the physical aperture and retina flash, yet the video resolution on the iPhone 11 is of higher quality.

The sound quality on the iPhone 11 became slightly better when Apple added Dolby Atmos. According to the Dolby website, Dolby Atmos, “creates powerful, moving audio by introducing two important concepts to cinema sound: audio objects and overhead speakers.”

The iPhone 11 is water resistant of up to 30 minutes in a 2 meter depth. This phone is also available with a new sensor, and dual sim.

The iPhone 11 has a higher battery capacity of 3110 mAh, compared to the iPhone XR’s 2942 mAh. This feature allows the iPhone 11 to charge 50% within 30 minutes.

The iPhone XR is offered with 64 GB and 128 GB. Additionally, the iPhone 11 is offered with 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB. In addition to that, 1 GB of RAM more than the iPhone XR.

A similarity between the two models are the built-in apps arranged by Apple, along with the free apps created by Apple. Additionally, both phones are provided with the same 32 languages.

Apple has reduced the price of their latest phone compared to last year’s model. For example, a 64 GB iPhone XR at its release date cost $749. However, a 64 GB iPhone 11, at its release date, costs $699.

In conclusion, many similarities remain with Apple’s iPhone 11 from the iPhone XR, but their differences have been found as significant improvements.


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Buried in Homework Mon, 10 Feb 2020 19:37:59 +0000 Homework is an unfortunate reality of high school. Every student at Lee, at one point, has had a complaint about this grueling task.

With after school obligations, time is scarce, and fitting homework in those small slots seems almost impossible, especially with students involved in sports and clubs who may stay after school as late as 6:00 PM. 

When you factor in a healthy 10:00 PM bedtime, the student is left with only four hours to: eat dinner, do chores, get ready for bed, and anything else involved in their evening routines. All while still needing to do homework.

 In my own experience, it takes me an average of around two hours each night to do my homework. This time frame often leaves me struggling to finish my homework.

Students are left with the decision of either staying up late or waking up early to complete their homework. Both of these choices would force the student to miss his or her target sleep time.

Whether we like it or not, homework is essential to our learning. However, there are many changes that teachers could make regarding the homework policy. 

The most obvious change is a reduction in the amount of homework being given out. This would allow students more time to partake in after school sports, clubs, and employment while still having time to complete their work.

Junior Ben Wang believes that it is unfair that Lee teachers do not take into consideration the homework demands that students face in their other classes.

“Sometimes, teachers grade it too harshly, and they give out too much and do not take into account other teachers that give out the same amount, which makes it really hard on the students,” Wang said.

There are many different forms of homework, but some are more interesting for students than others. For many, it is harder for them to do homework in which they have no interest. 

Wang also finds homework hard to do if he is not engaged by the course.

“[Homework] is very hard to like if you don’t understand it,” Wang said.

My favorite type of homework has been watching informative and entertaining videos created by my biology teacher, Kathryn Kallfa, as part of a flipped classroom format. 

Biology is not the only subject at Lee to offer a flipped classroom format. Classes like AP Government have to teach a lot of material in a very little amount of time so they can successfully accomplish this in a flipped classroom.

 In this format, information is not rushed to the student’s brain; the students are able to learn at their own pace.

History teacher, Patrick O’Brien is flexible with homework completion before summative assignments and accepts that students may have other commitments as part of the history department. 

“All the social studies classes now are allowing all late work until the summative assessment. So if students have scheduling issues or something comes up, they still have time to make up other assignments which usually helps a lot of students get in late work,” O’Brien said.

Wang sees the benefits of homework as a source of enrichment.

 “I think homework is essential because you need to do homework as independent practice, which is a big part of learning,” Wang said.

O’Brien stresses the importance of homework to his students’ learning and reflects back on his own learning. 

“Homework is an important time to practice. When I was growing up, homework helped me cement what I learned throughout the day,” O’Brien said.

Wang also sees homework as a way for students to take responsibility for their learning. “Some teachers don’t teach well, and homework is a good way to teach myself,” Wang said.

In order to balance the quantity of homework with teacher expectations, changes in curriculum must be made on the county-level. This can be done through the Fairfax County School Board and possibly the state’s Department of Education. A state-wide decision to lower the curriculum demands for some classes or raise the number of school days could be made for more classroom time.

Teachers need to use good practices to make sure students are engaged by homework and not bored or frustrated. 

While homework is essential, Lee’s homework practices need some improvements. The answer would be to simply limit homework and make existing homework more entertaining, therefore lightening the load and reducing stress on students and teachers.

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Lee High School’s Twist with Peter Pan’s Sequel, “Peter and the Starcatcher” Tue, 26 Nov 2019 21:21:01 +0000 The Lee Drama department is performing Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Elice this Fall on November 21-24, at the Lee Auditorium. The Lee cast is taking a twist on the interpretation of the script, using bold physical theatre and creative set designs to portray the story.


This production has been due to the hard work of the Lee cast from the very beginning of the year up until opening night. This fiction, fantasy, comedy, romance will have every audience member doubling over with laughter.


The plot of the story is a prequel to Peter Pan. It showcases how everything before the famous children’s movie came to be. The story shows how Peter (Zachary Mendenhall), one of three orphans, gets caught up in a rivalry between the pirate king Black Stache (Leah Block) and the wayfarer Lord Lenard Aster (Ed Homan). 


Peter along with the other orphans Prentiss (Courtney Le) and Ted (Wendell Rice) end up meeting Lord Aster’s adventurous starcatcher daughter Molly (Jena Canamaso). A romance between Peter and Molly sparks and the four of the children go on a trip across the sea. Molly’s only job is to protect starstuff, a powerful magical substance that can be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands, and get it to the Queen of England. It seems simple, however, none of this goes to plan.


Senior Leah Block, who plays Black Stache, is looking forward to the shows opening night.


Peter and the Starcatcher is so fun because it tells us how a little orphan on a ship became the Peter Pan we all know and love. It’s so full of magic and comedy that it’s captivating. Each rehearsal I get transformed to another world, and the audience definitely will too.” Block said.


Block appreciates the ability of the play to transform the stage into another world. She believes that the audience will enjoy the childlike wonder that comes along with the background story of the famous Peter Pan.


Jena Canamaso plays the main female role, Molly, who is the British wayfarer Lenard Aster’s daughter. This is her first performance as a main role in a production at Lee.


“Being the lead this year has been a different experience for me, especially since this show is our Cappies show. Cappies is a theatre organization where students become critics and write reviews on other schools’ productions. By the end of the year, Cappies critics nominate actors and tech to be part of the annual Cappies Gala. It’s sort of like the Tony Awards, if you will,” Canamaso explains. 


“With that, the pressure is added with my first lead role. Plus, there’s the stress of learning my lines, memorizing the blocking, and helping with the technical aspects of the show in such a short amount of time. Nevertheless, I am super excited to be a part of Peter and the Starcatcher and what’s more to come for the Lancer Theatre Department,” Canamaso explains.


The Lee Theatre Department is opening their fall play Peter and the Starcatcher with high hopes and are excited for what’s to come next.

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“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” Review: It Does Not Rival the Original Tue, 26 Nov 2019 21:02:27 +0000 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil starts where the 2014 live action movie left off. Though this was a strong movie, it failed to live up to the expectations of its prequel. 

Maleficent (2014) was a strong rendition of the traditional story of Sleeping Beauty but told from the villain’s point of view.  Maleficent is a very special movie because of the fact that it’s one of Disney’s few live-action films, if not the only one, where the story is told by the villain. 

Maleficent was introduced in the 1959 Disney animated film Sleeping Beauty. She was the fairy godmother to Aurora, although being a malevolent fairy, she was assigned to Aurora. Maleficent placed a curse on the child, that she would fall into a deep sleep on her 16th birthday, and only be awakened by true love’s kiss, which the fairy knew didn’t exist. Years later, this story would lead to the basis of the plot of Maleficent, the live-action film version. 

In the recent, live-action movies, Maleficent was portrayed as an evil fairy out for vengeance against King Stefan, the man she once loved. In the films, Maleficent is the fairy godmother of Aurora, the child of King Stefan, her past love, and his wife. Maleficent wasn’t invited to the princess’ christening, therefore, she takes out her anger on the child, placing the spell just like in the animated version of the film. 

Maleficent is played by Angelina Jolie, who truly embraces the essence of the role of Maleficent. Her acting was spot-on, setting the standards high for anybody who plays the role of a villain. Jolie fully captured the persona of Maleficent, acting as a confident, strong, and wicked version of this role. The costumes added the final touch needed to impress the viewers of the film, from the huge, dark wings to the sharp, crowning horns, Maleficent doesn’t fail to impress the audience with her divine costume. 

In the second film of this series, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, the story picks up where it left off. Maleficent travels to a castle where the wedding of Aurora and Prince Phillip will take place. There, she meets, the future mother-in-law, Queen Ingrith, of Aurora who has a hatred for fairies. She devises a plan to destroy the fairies of the lands, but Maleficent joins forces with a warrior and other beings from her realm, the Moors, in order to defeat the Queen and her army, and save the fairies from the wrath of Queen Ingrith. 

Queen Ingrith is portrayed by Michelle Pfieffer. The role of Queen Ingrith is hard to portray; you must have self-confidence, sass, and the attitude of a conniving queen, which Pfieffer amazingly captures. Queen Ingrith is a sadistic and vile person, with hopes of destroying the land fairies. Throughout the movie, Queen Ingrith develops into a powerful enemy of Maleficent, and Pfieffer for sure puts up a competition on which villain is best. 

The 2019 film doesn’t have any connection to the original tale of Sleeping Beauty and doesn’t impress me compared to the 2014 film. In my opinion, the 2014 film, Maleficent, beats the traditional story of Sleeping Beauty and its animated film, but it for sure is better, more complex, and more entertaining than the second film, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and like most movie series, the sequel will never live up to the expectations set by the prequel. 

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a perfect movie for family night, with an added twist of surprising events that keep you on the edge of your seat. All things considered, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil wasn’t the amazing movie I was expecting, but because of it being rated as a children/family movie, it is not a bad movie at all, especially with the amazing actresses playing the opposing forces, and the fact that the plot was beautifully written, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil isn’t so evil after all.

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Rambo: The Franchise That Has Lasted Almost Four Decades Tue, 26 Nov 2019 21:02:27 +0000 Rambo is a franchise that’s 37 years in the making with the newest installation: Rambo Last Blood was released on September 20, 2019, with lead actor Sylvester Stallone at age 73 reprising his role as the Vietnam war veteran John Rambo.

The first film in the franchise Rambo First Blood originally debuted in 1982, only seven years after the end of the Vietnam war and public response to the movie consisted of anger.

Writer Janet Maslin who reviewed the movie in 1982 for The New York Times did not leave a complimentary review but offered many criticisms. Maslin stated that the Vietnam war setting seemed to have been an “excuse for a rampage of destruction.”

Although Rambo First Blood achieved success financially and made a gross income of 125.5 million, reviews at the time were mixed.

The movie hasn’t been given the credit it deserves up until recently. Although during the post-Vietnam war era it was released, the movie was misunderstood. Today, it is given the praise it deserves for talking about the important subject of PTSD.

Looking back on the original film, you can tell that the movie has remained a cult classic throughout the years due to the vast difference between the other movies in the Rambo franchise. While the majority of the other films mainly focus on the action aspect of the movie and simply use a good-guy-killing-bad-guys formula, First Blood depicts Rambo as a person that feels emotion and is a tortured soul that has simply had enough of the harassment he received from the police force back at home after returning from Vietnam.

I recently watched the newest film in the series Rambo Last Blood. While the movie retains the title of the original film, the overall quality was far below that of the original’s. Stallone’s acting was shaky at certain moments, and although this could be excused due to the lead actor’s age, the fact is that the movie essentially uses the same wash-rinse-repeat formula.

The film Rambo Last Blood is set in 2019 Southwestern America. The movie opens with Rambo living a quiet life on his farm with his niece, but his world is shattered when he learns that his beloved niece, who is visiting her father in Mexico, has been kidnapped by the Mexican drug cartel. This prompts him to leave his home to head south of the border in search of his niece

While previous films in the franchise have addressed PTSD, this film addresses real life issues related to the modern-day drug crisis such as the dangers of drug overdose and the rise of drug trafficking.

Rambo’s past in Vietnam is brought up at various moments throughout the film within flashbacks to events from previous films and war memorabilia found throughout Rambo’s household. Beyond these moments, we see Rambo’s past experiences reflected through his guerrilla warfare tactics which he still employs as a seventy-three year old.

Rambo Last Blood’s gross earnings were a fraction of the original’s and the target audience of the film was likely people who had seen the original films. Audiences were most likely small because Hollywood offers a variety of other characters that also deal with mental traumas and are overall more complex than Rambo.

Maybe in today’s society there isn’t as much of a need for Rambo as there was in 1982. When the original movie was released, there was a lack of representation of strong action heroes who faced problems dealing with past trauma. By 1982, it was also more acceptable to talk about the Vietnam War than it would have been years before.

While the new installment doesn’t hold the same weight the original did in 1982, there are still concepts brought up in the franchise that could be applied to people in the modern era. The films bring up important topics such as trauma and mental health which are still topics that need to be addressed.

In an era in which franchises such as John Wick and Bourne cloud the mainstream, Rambo is still a cult hero. Even though Rambo Last Blood didn’t live up to the legacy of the series, the rest of the series is definitely worth checking out.

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Why You Should Watch “Anne with an ‘E'” Tue, 26 Nov 2019 20:29:32 +0000 Since the publication of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables in 1908, millions of people all around the world have fallen in love with the expressive and imaginative freckled red-head, Anne Shirley. The book has sold more than 50 million copies in 36 different languages worldwide. The story has become an international cultural icon referenced in many other literary works and adapted into film, television, and theater countless times.

Anne of Green Gables tells the story of an 11-year-old orphan girl named Anne Shirley who was sent to live in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island, Canada with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, two siblings in their fifties and sixties who live together on their beautiful family farm named Green Gables. The Cuthberts had originally decided to adopt an orphan boy to help run the farm, but after a mistake was made in the game of telephone, they were instead met by a young girl by the name of Anne, who insists that her name be spelled with an “E”.

Matthew instantly loves her quirkiness and wants to keep her but Marilla requires more convincing, knowing that her brother would still need the help that Anne cannot provide. They decide to keep her as a daughter and hire a French boy named Jerry to help Matthew with the farm work. Anne meets her neighbor Diana Barry and realizes that they are kindred spirits so they become “bosom friends.” Anne also meets the handsome and witty Gilbert Blythe but tries to avoid him at all costs because Ruby Gillis has already claimed him.

Anne with an “E” is a darker and more modern take on the 1908 classic, Anne of Green Gables. The first season premiered on CBC Canada on March 19, 2017, and seasons 1 and 2 are available for streaming on Netflix. Season 3 has already aired on CBC in Canada but will not be released on Netflix until January 3, 2020.

Each version of Anne of Green Gables has brought something new to the table. I found the 1985 version of Anne of Green Gables most delightful but I loved the way that CBC and Netflix’s Anne with an “E” gave viewers a more realistic version of the story, even if it did deviate from the source material. Rather than sugar coat what life as an orphan in the Edwardian era would have been it paints a vivid picture of the abuse that Anne had endured and the atrocities that she had witnessed as a child. L.M. Montgomery put Anne’s abuse more delicately in the book, likely because corporal punishment was not uncommon during that time.

Some of the subject matter of the show can be quite dark but they are relevant even in this day and age. Anne with an “E” covers topics such as abuse, racism, prejudice, bullying, homosexuality, feminism and gender equality, and identity. These issues were either not addressed at all in the books or minimally acknowledged. The show writers introduced black, indigenous (Native Canadian), and LGBTQ+ characters who were not included in the original Anne of Green Gables, allowing diversity not only allows viewers to better relate to the characters of this very different time period but it allows them to travel back in time and see that people were not as homogenous as history books make it seem.

I loved Anne with an “E” not just because of the beautiful aesthetic but because it is relevant and because of the strong emotion it makes me feel. It’s hard not to feel for all of Anne’s pain and sorrow or her enthusiasm and happiness.

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Kimberly Boateng named 2019-2020 Student Representative to the School Board Sun, 16 Jun 2019 16:20:32 +0000 Hard work sure does pay off for Kimberly Boateng. The rising junior was recently selected as the student representative to the School Board for the 2019-2020 school year. She was voted by a committee of students representing all FCPS high. In the following interview, Boateng explains the competition for and responsibilities of the new position.

What are the responsibilities of being a representative?

I’m a nonvoting member, so essentially, I advocate for issues that are affecting the student body.


How did you find out that you could apply for this opportunity?

Mr. Trotman and Ms. Harrison actually sent me the application. I don’t think I would’ve known about it if it wasn’t for them.


What was the application process like?

The first part of the application process was the electronic kind. They asked us normal questions based on our platform–what qualifies us and all that jazz. Then we went to Edison one day, and we spent the whole day going through the election process. The first round was the showing of videos we took and then a big cycle of caucuses and talking. This round started with 32 applicants and ended with 12. The second round was the 12-person panel, and it went from 12 applicants to 3, and then it was down to a final panel.


What would you say makes you qualified to take on this position?

I could go on about the extra-curriculars I am involved in, but I think what qualifies me the most is that I’m a good speaker and that’s what’s important in this position. I have to have the ability to listen and speak for all 187,000 students in FCPS. (Jeez, a lot!)


What are some school-wide and county-wide issues to which you plan to bring awareness?

My platform includes discipline reform, equity, and implicit bias awareness. I plan to take the baton from the current rep Benjamin and continue pushing for more efforts involving mental health [awareness].


How do you hope your involvement as a rep would bring changes to student life in our county?

I hope that my involvement will encourage a sense of efficacy. What that means is that I want students to feel like: 1.) they have a voice, and 2.) their voices matter. It saddens me that so many kids don’t like school and most of the roots of this dislike is that they feel like they have nowhere to express their anger or annoyances.


What are other activities you are a part of both in and out of school?

I am a part of marching band, National Honor Society, the Math Honor Society, and Music Honor Society. I am the current treasurer of the Technology Student Association. I manage track & field in the spring. I participated in class of 2021 lip sync competition. I’m a part of the Lee chapter of the NAACP.


This past spring I participated in the Edu-Futuro Emerging Leaders Program. I also was a Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Scholarship recipient. Two summers ago, I studied Foundations of Psychology at Lafayette college for three weeks. Last summer, I was at Roger Williams University studying Principles of Engineering for three weeks, and this summer, I’ll be studying Global Politics at Princeton for three weeks.

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Disappointed by GOT Finale? You’re Not Alone Mon, 10 Jun 2019 15:31:25 +0000 The eight-year and 73 episode run of Game of Thrones has come to an end. Based on the novels by critically acclaimed author George R.R. Martin, the show has managed to insert itself into the current culture. For many, the show was a shining example of how to tell a long form story. The seamless weaving of intricate plotlines and character arcs was hailed as an accomplishment like no other. From its gritty realism portrayed in large scale battles to the slow plotting of characters behind the scenes, Game of Thrones captured the public’s eye. And everyone was excited about the finale.

Maybe it was the hype that killed Game of Thrones. Impossible expectations. Everyone wanted their favorite character to have an elaborate ending. But no—it was the writing. The main issue is the show outpaced the novels. George R.R. Martin’s writing style leads to an almost snail-like pace of writing and eventually, the show was ahead of the books and had no source material for reference. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were tasked with the insurmountable goal of writing a satisfying conclusion to the fantasy epic without the help of GRRM. Benioff and Weiss had proven themselves able to faithfully adapt the novels to the screen but would they be able to write the story themselves?

The answer was no. The show became more of a dumpster fire than an intelligent story. Since season 7, the show has felt rushed—as if they were just checking boxes, trying to get it done as fast as possible. But it was forgivable. The characters were still enjoyable and the plot moved in a somewhat logical fashion. The final season, which was supposed to be the amazing final conclusion, ended up an absolute mess of a season. Character arcs were massacred for the sake of shock value and justified by retroactive foreshadowing. Claiming it was foreshadowing when it clearly wasn’t does excuse poor writing. And even if it was foreshadowing, it has to make sense within the confines of character motivation. And (spoilers ahead,) it makes no sense for Daenerys, who has been shown to care about the common folk, suddenly snaps and decides to commit an act of genocide out of the blue. I was dumbfounded. Truly in awe. How could Benioff and Weiss have gone so wrong? For showrunners who were supposedly fans of the novels, it seems odd that they would have decided to disregard the books as they did. Maybe if it had, the final season wouldn’t have received a 52% score on RottenTomatoes compared to the average of 95% of previous seasons.

There truly was nothing good to come out of this final season. Never before has a TV show been so unsatisfying. And the whole world was watching. They had a budget as large as they wanted but it still failed. It’s a testament to the fact that all the fancy visuals and cool fight scenes in the world cannot save a show or movie from bad writing. It’s a shame how this story was thrown away, cast to the wind for no reason other than laziness and the showrunners’ want to move onto a new project. They had one job—give the story a good ending—and they couldn’t, tarnishing the legacy of Game of Thrones forever.

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Lee Legends: Boys Soccer Competes in Regionals Mon, 10 Jun 2019 14:54:03 +0000 Boys Lancer soccer team is finishing the most successful season in years, competing for the regionals for first time in almost 27 years, despite facing some very complicated training games and losing the district title.

The Lancers started the season, losing their training games, rebounding to win all conference games. This winning streak continued throughout the season until the Wakefield semifinal game. Even when they tied in the match 1-1 and they played 4 extra times giving their best, the team could not avoid losing against the other team in penalties.

All Lancers are looking forward to the end of the season. Senior Jonathan Mulatu (forward) felt proud of what the team had accomplished, and he described how this new group of players worked together to become a stronger and better-organized team.

“I feel good about [the season]. We started playing pretty bad as we tried figuring out team chemistry, but we figured it out in conference plays, and that was good,” Mulatu said.

The game against Justice High School where the team won 3-0 this was an important point. Justice had remained undefeated so far until they played against Lee Lancers. Some players described the game as their favorite game.

“I feel like I gave my best in the [Justice] game, and we give the best of the team to keep the score,” captain Cristofer Ferrufino said.

Another important game was the game against Edison, Coach Millward described that game as one of the important games for his career because it was 14 years since they won a game. Coach Millward described this season as an awesome season, recognizing the hard work that the team is showing.

Players worked with their coaches and their captain (Cristofer Ferrufino) who always looks to focus on the game and support them at the game time.

“The responsibility of being a captain, is to lead the team, to respect the players, the coach, the other team and the referee. I also have to control and support my team when I’m on the field and correct them when they’re making a mistake,” Ferrufino said.

“The coaches push us; I want to be better, and I like that they are very humble. They give us bits of advice, they push us, they told us what we’re doing well and what we’re doing bad,” player Dennis Banegas said.

Junior Manuel Sauceda (Defense) feels this season like the best season in many years, and also he described the union of the team as one of his goals.

Coach Millward’s goal is putting the Lee team on the map and showing the others teams the potential of the team. Even when they lost the District title, losing the game against Wakefield, the team feels really hopeful about the Regional title.


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