Monthly Archives: April 2016

Movie Review: Steve Jobs (John Lusk)

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The movie Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle) provides an interesting view into one of the tech industry’s most influential innovators. Instead of focusing purely on Jobs’s success in the tech industry as CEO of Apple, Boyle tries to paint him as a real person instead of just a legendary inventor. To do this, it takes an interesting approach by only showing Jobs at the product launches of the original Mac, the NeXT computer, and the iMac.

Modern movies are dominated by CGI and green screens, but Steve Jobs takes a break from all that. Instead, this movie is all about conversations. The movie is full of intense dialogue between Jobs and his employees, friends, and family. It brings out the humanity in a man that many associate only with computers, iPods, and iPhones. Watching the movie gives you a glimpse inside Jobs’s true gift: his ability to force the best performance out of his people.

Most people will probably come away from the movie disenchanted with Jobs as a person. This movie shows just how stressful of an environment Jobs created by his demands. It also shows the dark side of business: how the pursuit of success can isolate one from friends and even make those same friends enemies. Jobs’s family life was a wreck and he was often brushing off his closest friends and ignoring the pleas of his employees.

In the end, the movie captures why he was so successful. In his own words, Jobs “plays the orchestra.” Anyone who wishes to find out more about the man who put the iPhone in their pocket would be entertained by this movie.

Note: This movie’s R-rating for language. 

H2O Intolerant? (Camilla Lemons)

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

As expected, the first few months of the new year have been filled with talk of recipes and fitness tips for a healthy lifestyle. This year many health nuts like myself have downloaded the “Plant Nanny” on their phones and tablets. This app encourages people to stay hydrated by growing various kinds of virtual foilage. I find it fun and actually very helpful for maintaining proper hydration through the grueling spring track season.

When the app is downloaded, users enter their weight and activity level. The app then calculates the necessary amount of water they should drink in a day. Every time they drink water, they get to water a plant the same amount. Too little or too much, and the plant starts to wither and die.

This app is better for certain personalities than others. Some people download and delete it after a few days. Others, however, find that the app motivates them to drink more water. Nevertheless, everyone who downloads and uses it for a day realizes how much water is necessary to stay completely hydrated. Everyone should consider trying out this app, not just athletes. Studies show that staying fully hydrated is critical for everyone, regardless of how often they participate in exercise.

So let’s get growing.

Thus Always to Traitors (Lauren Hoaglund)

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

This is the story of a betrayal so infamous, so diabolical, so preposterous, it is sure to live on through all generations. At least in my family. If you shudder at the thought of such monstrous treachery, turn back now and scroll down to read an article about a movie review or the recent senior thesis presentations. But if your heart longs to know the struggles of a poor, crippled, middle child trying to escape the grasps of her jealous and spiteful cousins and sisters, read on. You’ve been warned.

Every year my family and I go to Crested Butte, Colorado for a ski trip with our three cousins, aunt, and grandparents. And every year we have two slopes that all six grandchildren treat as race courses. At the end of the week long trip, we tally up our points from our daily competitions and declare the winner for that year.

As some of you may know, I injured my knee last year and had surgery to fix it this past May, which I had assumed would essentially destroy my hopes of winning so much as a single race. So as I went down the first course, knee brace and all, I had very low expectations. Against all odds, I dominated. And not just once. Every day on every slope, I was placing first and sending my cousins and sisters into a jealous rage.

Later in the week we were competing in a relay race in which my team was, of course, winning routinely.  As we neared the last race of the day, I suspected mischief from my competitors and thus sought the help of fellow teammates to keep me safe from malevolent family members. Unbeknownst to me, one of my teammates, my cousin John Pender (yes, that’s two first names, never a good sign), had allied himself with my sister Maddie and other cousin Jacob, who had long been envious of my winning streak. As we stood on the line, I gave John Pender who was on my left a confident head nod, thinking he had my back. Then as Maddie finally reached the end of her count down, I plunged my ski poles into the snow to propel myself forward.

As I did so, Jacob and John Pender unbuckled my skis, causing me to launch myself face first into the snow. I scrambled on the ground, wildly grabbing for my enemies’ ski, but to no avail. They were down the hill, and I was cleaning up the yardsale. My flawless winning record was ruined. I marched back to the start, reattached my skis, and began plotting my revenge.

As we got to the top of the next hill, my cousins and sisters still chuckled at their dastardly behavior. I smiled innocently, appearing to go along with the joke. Then quietly and quickly, I unclipped the left ski from John Pender’s boot, scooped it up, tucked it under my arm, and proceeded to ski down the mountain, throwing it into a nearby snowbank at the bottom.

It would be nearly impossible to describe the sublime pleasure of watching my wicked cousin wabble, swoop, and fall in a repeating pattern of clumsiness all the way down the slope.

Ah well. . . thus always to traitors.

Thinking Ahead: Facing the Pressure of College Choices (Pierce Moffett)

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

As soon as a student takes the PSAT in tenth grade, he or she quickly becomes bombarded with different colleges attempting to get in touch with them. Everyday brings another barrage of emails, some worth reading through, many to be deleted and quickly forgotten. This adds another layer of stress to the already heavy workload that a high school student carries. The stress only increases when family members ask about one’s future.

Family holidays and vacations, at least for me, are filled with people constantly asking where I want to go to college and what I want to do with my life. This only increases my anxiety because the answer is always “I don’t know.”

Despite the amount of stress that thinking of the future brings, it can be very fruitful to start early. If you begin to get a grasp of what you might want to pursue in college earlier in your high school career, then it will bring less stress further down the road.

In fact, I just recently had the opportunity to talk with a personality counselor about some future careers I might want to pursue. That proved to be immensely helpful. Not only do I now have some ideas of what I want to do in the future, but thinking of a career can help narrow down my college options.

And now that I have slightly more confidence in the direction I might take, that barrage of emails suddenly does not seem quite so intimidating.

Tale as Old as Time (Katie Krulak)

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The legend behind the classic of Beauty and the Beast has been told for centuries. It has several book versions and has also been adapted to the screen. One of the most intricate and elegant adaptations, however, is the Broadway musical production.

In the stage production, the audience is drawn into the world of the legend, as masterful lighting and swift scene changes create village, forest, castle, and many spaces in between. Lighthearted, yet with a somber undertone, the play draws spectators into cheering for Belle’s independent spirit, wincing at the Beast’s clumsy attempts to be a gentleman, and laughing at the flirtatious antics of Lumiere, all within the space of ninety minutes.

The experience is cathartic and breathtaking, yet instructive. The show provides for a raw purging of emotions, while at the same time teaching several valuable lessons. Beauty and the Beast is a classic example of how kindness and compassion can change even the hardest heart. It reminds us that being true to yourself is far better in the long run than changing to suit the tastes of others. We are reminded that the right person will love you for who you are.

In the end light defeats darkness, and the prince and the princess get married and live happily ever after. Is this a cliché ending? Perhaps, but it’s worth it.  The story is unique and inspiring, truly a “tale as old as time.”

Expected Excellence (Jack Wilson)

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Last year, Coach Fitzgerald’s constant reminder that we were a “culture of champions” pushed our team to greatness. I can say from firsthand experience that last year’s state championship men’s soccer team expected the most from all its players. Every person on the team had a mentality focused on winning, and this was largely due to the leadership of Coach Fitzgerald. His constant encouragement and self-controlled approach propelled the team to win.

This must-win mentality was perhaps most evident in last year’s captains: Jack Stein, Michael Stanford, and John Fitzgerald. Out of their leadership, a near perfect system arose, and as a result the Westminster men won the state championship.

Although it is a new season and games will not always go as planned, there is still a rare quality about this team that most lack.  Sometimes it takes a little longer to develop, but I can tell you that with the our men’s soccer team, you can always expect excellence.

I certainly do.

The Chance to Lead. The Wisdom to Do It Right. (Hannah Price)

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Coach Poore, Westminster’s director of athletics, has evaluated the school’s various teams and identified two major problems. The first is a lack of general physical strength which is being remedied through mandatory strength training for every sport. The second is a lack of leadership within the school’s sports teams. In order to fix this second problem, Coach Poore hired Blake Thompson, Westminster parent and mental conditioning coach, to teach students about leadership. He has been attending various practices and games where he has taught in large group settings, and he has also begun teaching a leadership class.

Mr. Thompson served in the military for several years and has worked at the University of Alabama as a mental conditioning coach during summer practices. The class he is teaching at Westminster is similar to the mental conditioning he provides at the university level, although it is not nearly as intense.

Over the past few months, we have covered several different topics; but one central theme has emerged: Leading means inspiring others to follow. Leadership is a skill that some people are born with an aptitude for. However, it must be honed, and that requires intentionality. Leading is not simply yelling at your teammates until they do what you want them to do. A good leader sets an example through all of their actions and inspires others to follow them.

Now we have opportunity to lead and the wisdom to capitalize on it.