LA LA LAND REVIEW

A couple of nights ago, I went to see the highly anticipated film ‘La La Land’. After hearing raving reviews about the film, I was desperate to see it – also because it stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (legends). This movie is about Mia, an aspiring actress, who works in a local coffee shop, and Sebastian, a jazz pianist, whose aim was to bring jazz back to life. Both of which have high ambitions for themselves, but find they fall short, as they are one of many who also have the same dreams. Therefore, the movie displays the troubles they face in such a competitive area of work and show the consequences in the choices they make along the way to trying to reach their goal.

In my opinion, the film was spectacular; the music was so beautifully written, the dancing was well choreographed and the acting was brilliant. Although, a few of my friends who went with me and other people I have spoken to, have claimed the film did not reach their expectations. A few of them said that it was too much like a live show, in that, they didn’t like the musical feel to it. Which I cannot understand, the film is set in Los Angeles, the world of dancing, acting and music, so what were they actually expecting?!

la-la-land-ryan-gosling-emma-stone-1.jpgHowever, La La Land seems to have a darker meaning than people dancing on top of their cars. It expresses the constant battle between love and ambition and it portrays the consequences of chasing dreams, over love. This was conveyed beautifully, but it did leave me very tearful and upset! I think the film is trying to send a message to the people watching, that people should not always stick to their dream, if there is something better in front of them. It is hard to explain this, without going into full detail about what happened in the film, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers! All in all, La La Land tried to show what happened, and then what could have been, which was extremely eye-opening for the audience. I think a lot of people, including myself, have this fixed dream in their heads that they have got to achieve. But sometimes, whilst chasing that dream, something better might come along, and it is up to you to change direction, in hope of achieving greater, or to continue reaching for the dream you once had. 29-la-la-land-4.nocrop.w529.h373.jpg

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling both surprised me with their extra talents, Ryan with his piano playing and Emma with her lovely voice. The two work well together (as seen in Crazy, Stupid, Love) and they both helped the film come to life, allowing it to have a significant impact on the audience. I fully understand why the film won seven Golden Globes, it is one of the best films I have ever seen! The style, humour, the overwhelming emotions and the talent all piece together to form such an incredible movie. Well done to everyone involved in the production of La La Land – it was truly amazing.

I will definitely be watching the film again, and if you haven’t – you must see it!

Why Rowan Blanchard is already making history 

The 15 year-old first claimed her fame on the show ‘Girl Meets World’, a spinoff from the 80s show ‘Boy Meets World’. The show on Disney Channel expressed and emphasised the importance of acceptance and Rowan used this platform to further her argument.
The young feminist has given various speeches, encouraging young women to stand up for their rights. She also has highlighted and helped give a voice to the LGBTQ community, who she actively works alongside.

Rowan is not an average teenager, and has used this to her advantage, by spreading the message to her fans. She uses social media to express and educate her followers:

Her caption on a post she posted during Donald Trumps Inauguration

She is definitely a role model for young teens to look up to, and if she continues to involve herself in fighting for freedom for everyone; it is undoubtable that she will progress into becoming a known activist, giving a voice to those unheard, as well as making history.
Rowan is one to watch, as her acting career and her activist career are both rising significantly. Keep going Rowan, you are doing the younger generations proud.

Saying Goodbye to Obama

I am going to assume that you are all aware about the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, which means we will have to bid farewell to Obama. I am not an American myself, but I am a politics enthusiast, as well as a fan of Barack. Some people might say that he has not done a lot during his two terms of presidency, which is more or less true. However, it goes without saying, that he did accomplish bits and pieces which have more or less helped some Americans.

First of all, Obama managed to create the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. It has been quite a controversial act, amongst the Americans. This is because it has only really benefitted a small percentage of America, or because people believe that the law did not go far enough. However, the Affordable Care Act has actually benefitted those who were in need of immediate care. This can be seen when Paul Ryan, member of the Republican Party, was faced with answering to a cancer survivor who was glorifying Obamacare and Obama. This was during a CNN question night for the Republican member and the cancer patient was one of the first speakers that Ryan had to answer to. He exclaimed;

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I’m standing here today alive,” he said. “I rely on the Affordable Care Act to be able to purchase my own insurance. Why would you repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement?” Then continued to say, “I want to thank President Obama from the bottom of my heart, because I would be dead if it weren’t for him.”

Therefore, it can be argued that Obama has helped numerous people with the changes he has made as president. Other accomplishments he has achieved are that he:

  • Ended US military involvement in the Iraq War and increased US troop levels in Afghanistan
  • Substantially increased the number of drone strikes targeting suspected terrorists around the world
  • Ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya following a popular revolt against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
  • Authorised the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011
  • Signed the Dodd -Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, strengthening financial regulations to an extent not seen since the Great Depression
  • Nominated Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court – helped pass the Same-sex marriage legislation in 2013.

It is arguable to whether Obama did accomplish many things or not, he has impacted the American citizens in different ways. However, it is not arguable that he has been a great leader of America, almost in a father-figure way. He has a great personality and has made many smile endlessly throughout his presidency. I think many Americans will be sad to see him go this Saturday, especially when Donald Trump is taking over!

I have attached a few of my favourite photos of Obama during his presidency, I think it is safe to say that he will be sorely missed.

barack-obama-photographer-pete-souza-white-house-40-5763e3b3d3eee__880.jpgbarack-obama-photographer-pete-souza-white-house-142-5763e48ea3865__880.jpgbarack-obama-photographer-pete-souza-white-house-56-5763e3d5eb7ba__880.jpgbarack-obama-photographer-pete-souza-white-house-162-5763f0e9439b2__880.jpgbarack-obama-photographer-pete-souza-white-house-21-5763e3898d80b__880.jpg1024x1024maxresdefault.jpg

Obama out.

Amnesty International 

Amnesty is actually a big part of my life, since I run an Amnesty Club at my school and I’m trying to get myself and others involved as much as I can. You probably have heard of the organisation already, but if you haven’t – then look it up.

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end abuses of human rights. The majority of the help that Amnesty receives is through you, by you signing signatures or sending letters could possibly save a one person to a huge amount of people’s lives. If you go on their website (https://www.amnesty.org/en/) then you can see all the issues and campaigns.

At my school, we are more focused on raising money for the organisation, and occasionally we write letters to Amnesty on issues and cases we are very much concerned about. We also have bake sales and we set up stalls at school fairs to get people to sign petitions. We don’t always have a lot of money at the end of each sale but I believe that our small donation will somehow benefit another persons life.

Amnesty is such a huge organisation yet it is constantly needing donations and support. Therefore, anyone who reads this, please go and look through their issues and start to take action. You may not think your one signature will make an impact, but trust me, it will. If you want to start changing the world but want to start small then sign a petition or donate a small amount of money. Because your help can REALLY make a difference.

Please look at the recent issues on their website and take action, because together, we can end the abuses of human rights.

Here is a current issue that is very important to me, and I’ll probably go more into detail about it in another blog. Click on the link to find out more:

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/northern-ireland-abortion-not-crime

How much do grades really mean?

During your life at school, you will think that getting an A is the most important thing, and that anything else below, lowers your self esteem. However, I am telling you now that the minute you walk into the world of careers, suddenly the exams you took back when you were 16 are not as important.

Nowadays, most people are getting A’s, which makes universities so much harder to get into, so they are looking elsewhere on your application form. They want to know your interests outside the classroom, whether you have done charity work or that you have a specific love for a sport. Grades are now not the only thing that will get you into uni, you need to show them that you are more to life than just homework.

However, I am not saying that you should just slack off your homework right now and never look back. You should continue to work hard, but not spend your whole weekend basing your time around revising or work. I suggest that you join a club, create a blog, or become apart of a sports team. Broaden your interests, so that uni’s can look at your application and straight away say yes.

Of course, universities are not for everyone, and I know that a lot of people just want to start a job, where an application process is needed as well. I know that they do look at your grades, but they also look for any experience or outside work. Grades are not going to show them whether you can organise a bunch of files, or have good speaking skills. Therefore, before applying to a job, make sure you have some experience on your CV, even if it is just helping out in an office for a week or working behind a counter in a shop. Anything that shows that you have more to offer than exam grades from when you were 18, could potentially help you with being accepted.

In short, I am saying that grades are not going to get you very far, it is your lifestyle and experience that will. Still try hard at school still, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you get a D or an E etc. If exams are just not for you and you don’t exactly excel in a particular subject, just try out a new sport or hobby, because uni’s and jobs care more about your character than a few grades on a page.

Powerful Songs preaching equality 

There are so many songs that are about love or breakups or both, however there are also songs that preach equality. I think these are the types of songs that really send a message to the listeners and leave them thinking about what they’ve just heard. Artists are given a platform, to which they can use to an advantage to inspire and teach their fans about equality and acceptance. Here are some examples of songs that preach equality and should definitely be listened to if you haven’t already:

  1. Same Love (Macklemore)
  2. ***Flawless (Beyoncé)
  3. One Love (Bob Marley)
  4. White Privilege II (Macklemore)
  5. Where is the love? (Black eyed peas)

Although, the first two are fairly new and are not as big as others. However, I think that ‘same love’ which is by Macklemore sends a very strong message that really gets the point across. The song is rapped rather than sung, which I think helps deliver the message to the listeners more clearly, as it is almost like a poem, expressing emotions distinctly.

Secondly, ‘***Flawless’ is a mixture between being spoken and sung and the spoken part preaches again about women empowerment and the unjust society, here is a verse from the song:

“We teach girls to shrink themselves

To make themselves smaller

We say to girls,

“You can have ambition

But not too much

You should aim to be successful

But not too successful

Otherwise you will threaten the man.”

Because I am female

I am expected to aspire to marriage

I am expected to make my life choices

Always keeping in mind that

Marriage is the most important

Now marriage can be a source of

Joy and love and mutual support

But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage

And we don’t teach boys the same?

We raise girls to see each other as competitors

Not for jobs or for accomplishments

Which I think can be a good thing

But for the attention of men

We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings

In the way that boys are

Feminist: the person who believes in the social

Political, and economic equality of the sexes”

All these songs should be played on the radio more often than usual, rather than another song about love! Please give them a listen and I would love to hear your feedback about them.

Glee

If you haven’t watched glee, then you’re missing out. I remember discovering the show at my grandmas when there wasn’t anything else on. I decided to give it a go and instantly fell in love, with one Finn Hudson (and the rest of the show as well).

It became my new ritual for every Monday night and I was introduced to new situations that I wasn’t really aware of at that age. One of them was homosexuality, and at first, I remember feeling quite weirded out by it all. However, soon enough, it became the norm for me. I was able to understand that they have no control over who they love, just like anyone does! And to this day, I encourage so many of my younger friends to watch it, so they are not prejudiced to homosexuals, just because they don’t understand. For me, I thank glee for expressing the importance that everyone is normal, no matter their sexuality, religion, race or ethnicity.

Secondly, glee emphasised that you can almost do anything, even if you hit rock bottom. I’ll go through a few of the characters to show this:

1. Quinn committing  

At the start of glee, Quinn was the usual high school queen, head of the Cheerios and dating the quarterback. Stereotypical much? However, throughout glee, we watched her progress into a beautiful women – even though it took its time, she ended up doing well. One baby, one car crash, one melt down later, she finally blossomed and got into Yale, to me, that was truly inspirational. She hit rock bottom and was able to pick herself back up, brush herself off, and continue, accomplishing great things. You go Glen Coco!

2. Rachel Berry

At first, let’s all just say she was extremely annoying. She had no true friends, yet she had one big dream. Even though everyone picked on her throughout the whole of the show, she never really showed her weaknesses. She would just ignore it and carry on, no matter what was really said about her. Eventually, she ended up maturing into a strong, confident woman who made her own dreams come true. Towards the end of the show, she was one of my favourites, as her determination and hard work got to where she wanted to be – and she also had Finn Hudson as a boyfriend!

3. Santana Lopez

Most people know her as the typical mean girl, however in season 3 we begin to learn why. Santana is one of the most inspirational characters on the show, I think, even if she is constantly tearing everyone else down. We witnessed her being forcefully outed by Finn and had to confess her love for Brittany – even when her ‘abuela’ forbid it. After she was outed, she became confident about her sexuality and wasn’t afraid to show her real love for another girl. I think that she inspired many other girls and guys who were having sexuality issues, and she taught them to accept and love themselves, no matter what anyone else thinks!

4. Kurt Hummel

The one everyone adored. Kurt had a really rough time at High School, even before he announced his sexuality. We learn in the first few episodes that he was seriously depressed, he even picked up a pamphlet about committing suicide from the school counsellors office. But the glee club picked him up, they accepted his differences, such as his choice of style and shaped him into a confident man. Even though he had troubles with his dad getting to terms with the fact he was gay and having to deal with all the bullies – even when they threatened to kill him. He still rose above them, and though it took time, he landed a place at NYADA. Kurt came a long way through glee, and I will be forever proud of him.

5. Finn Hudson  

Finn was my all time favourite, since age 11, he was my major crush. His personality also added to the many reasons to why I loved him. He was always driven and wanting the glee club to do well, he was the one to motivate them. However, the show and the world lost an amazing actor, Cory Monteith back in 2013. It was a huge shock to everyone and when I watch glee again from time to time, it saddens me to know this amazing human is not still alive. He bought the glee club together, not caring what his football friends thought. He helped Santana and Kurt through their darkest times, he forgave Quinn for everything she had done – which was quite a lot! He dated Rachel (in real life too!). He was an inspiration to many, rest in peace you beautiful human.

So all in all, Glee was really a show to inspire many – from every aspect they could think of and I haven’t even included everyone! If I did, the blog would be never ending. So I picked my top 5, because I truly believe that these characters touched many people’s hearts and people were able to relate to them. So if you haven’t watched glee, please give it a try because it’s honestly an amazing show. (And I haven’t given away THAT many spoilers lol sorry)

‘Being apart of something special, makes you special’

Rachel Berry 

Technology and Women 

Our world is constantly developing with technology. Peoples lives are being saved because doctors can now print 3D organs, businesses are able to set up a page on Facebook with a few simple clicks, politicians can tweet during a live debate in the House of Commons, the list is never ending. I myself am a lover of technology, I love to be able to see how something functions, even if it’s just a switch.

However, I remember a situation that personally happened to me a couple of years ago. I was in physics class and we were working out how to turn on a light bulb. The first one to do it would get a pack of sweets, which obviously, my 13 year old self was driven by. The teacher handed out the equipment and set the timer, following the basic instructions, I was able to construct a functioning light bulb. Shooting my hand straight in the air and saying I did it, the whole class stopped and looked. The boy sitting next to me said ‘wow that’s surprising, didn’t think the girls were any competition with this kind of thing.’

Straight away I remember feeling confused to why he said that. However, as I’ve grown up, I’ve come to realise that the techno world is very male based. Here are some examples:

1. Steve Jobs, creator of Apple


2. Bill Gates, creator of Microsoft


3. Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook

Do not get me wrong, these men are inspiring to many, including me. Although, it would appeal to me more if I saw a female face in one of these pictures. In a hundred years time, I do not want people still thinking that only men changed the world of technology. I want people to see the rise in women empowerment and I want them to know that we are just as clever. It is not a ‘mans job’, it is anyone’s job who has a go. Technology is changing rapidly, it was only 10 years ago that we didn’t even have iPhones! So why can’t the role of women change drastically too? Women have the right to do any job, just as a man has the right to also do any job. Lets try to change this!

Women-in-Tech.jpg

Greys Anatomy – Women Empowerment 

As a fan of the show myself, I thought I would blog about the successful show. Throughout the years of it being aired, people have jokingly said that it has made them want to be a surgeon, however I’ve thought different. From season 1 to 12, Shonda (the writer of the show) has expressed female empowerment and inspired many. Here are some examples:

1. Izzie Stevens

2. Amelia Shepherd

3. Meredith Grey


4. Cristina Yang

However, Shonda stepped it up during season 12 when she gave (spoiler alert!) Bailey the position as chief of surgery. I think as society is growing, more and more women are becoming more powerful, understanding that they are just as intelligent, job worthy and as equal to men. I think Shonda has really come to grips with this, and emphasises this throughout the show, encouraging women to do the same. Therefore, I encourage you to not only watch greys anatomy; if you don’t already (get ready for an emotional roller coaster) but to also realise the power within yourself and to not be afraid to use it. Shonda is a genius for making greys more about a woman’s strength than relationships, she couldn’t have done it any better!

5. Miranda Bailey (sums it up!)

Proud of ME


This badge may not seem that great but to me it’s almost everything. During my six years at my secondary school, I’ve always loved being a part of everything. Whether it was sport, music or academia, I’ve loved and been a part of it. So, as I am coming up to my last year of school. There are certain roles to be filled such as head boy, head girl, head of house and prefect. I didn’t want to be head girl as I did not think that role was for me. However, head of house was my goal, and always has been since I joined the school.

In January, I sent in my application for the role to be head of house. I knew I had some strong competitors, most of which were my closest friends. This made it difficult to show just how much I wanted it because I didn’t want to get my hopes up. But after endless stress over whether I got it or not, I was awarded the badge as head of house at the beginning of March. I literally cried with excitement and I can honestly say it’s one of the first times I’ve been really proud of myself. Not to brag, but I’ve won various events, yet this really made me feel more confident as this was given with honour and responsibility. I cannot be more happy with achieving this, just thought I would let you all know.

Not to be cheesy, but I can now understand why people tell you to not give up on your dreams, because if you really do want something and you put in the work and effort, you will be awarded some way, it won’t go unforgottern!