Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

                                   —Act III, scene I, The Merchant of Venice

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hmmm, Poetry!

First of, I'd like to apologize once more for leaving my blog post-less for so long. It's been a busy year so far, what with our school production of The Lion King, and my dance team trip to the iDance Convention ( which is basically a workshop done by the So You Think You Can Dance stars).

Back to topic, in English class this semester we've been writing alot of our own poetry, so I thought I share a bit of mine with you. The first two poems are both examples of extended metaphors, while the last is just more of an identity poem. I hope you enjoy!


By Mikaela  

I am a raindrop on a windshield,

trickling down from the hood of the truck.

I embark on my perilous expedition,

rushing headlong into the task that lay before me.

Brushed aside by the wipers,

swept off track time and time again,  

only to regain my course, unfazed,

and armed with a newfound ferocity. 

I leave behind a trail, a clearly marked path,

So that others may follow in my footsteps if they choose.

Although I make my journey alone,

I take advantage of the help that is offered by those around me.


fueled with a steady flow of determination,

I race my surrounding raindrops towards the finish line.  

And with one closing burst of energy,  

I make take my final shot at the prize.

All the while, the rain keeps pouring down

Laughter's Rhapsody

By Mikaela

            Laughter is a symphony and we are the orchestra,
The music booms from the auditorium,
at times soft and effeminate,
at others strong and vigorous

 If you listen closely,
you can discern the different instruments,
 each playing their own notes,
yet all in tune to the same melody

 you hear the low brassy buzzing of the saxophones,
 then the silvery moaning of the violins.

the sharp staccato belts from the trumpets,
and the lovely singsong of the humming flutes

  Individually, each instrument can stir,
 the emotional coals lying deep within the stomach of mankind

 But only when they come together,
 in a glorious ensemble,
can those coals be set aflame,
 only then can they burn and send sparks crackling into the sky

If you listen to the symphony in its entirety,
if you allow the music to burst through the roof of the auditorium,
 the bright lights blazing from within
will illuminate all those surrounding.

 The orchestra will play on.
The symphony is no longer contained.

I Am an Artist
By Mikaela
I am imagination’s greatest creation
I am expression without boundaries
I’m the generated opinions, and the emotional trigger
I bring some into the light, while sending others into darkness.
I am an escape from reality
I’m the magical sensation, that particular fixation
I am the eternal dreamer, and the unfazed believer
I am the passionate lover and the tempestuous rebel
I am truth
I am consciousness
I speak of the unspeakable, and explain the inexplicable
I am both the immaterial and the substantial
I am individuality, yet collectivity  
I am the copious interpretations
I am the numerous consequences
I am uncontainable excitement
As a whole I’m inspirational
I’m all those little wonders
I’m that monumental revelation
I am heart
I am sole 
I am an artist  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Dreaded "Novel Study"

And at this, I can almost hear the momentous *groan*. Yes, for most of us avid readers out there, novel studies are the bane of all reading. It's like having a large cheesy pizza with everything on it placed in front of you, but being  forced to tear it apart bit by bit until you have nothing left but soggy mushrooms, undercooked pepperoni and a pile of crust crumbs - extremely disappointing to say the least. Not to mention frustrating and boring as hell. 

But believe it or not there are at least a handful of novels that I didn't mind studying. Now, I'm definetly not saying that Lord of the Flies or The Count of Monte Cristo are not fabulous books. Cause they are, or at least will hopefully be once I get to them. But more often then not, a book's enjoyment is diminished when you have to study every paragraph to understand the deeper meaning (symbolism can be great, but in healthy doses I say and taken with a spoon full of sugar) and not read on just when your getting interested because it will alter your perspective before you get a chance to write this next essay. I have had a bit of luck with novel studies though and I definitely hope this lucky streak continues until I graduate. I might have just been my English/french teacher at the time, but I like to think otherwise. So hear is list of books that you shouldn't have to duck and cover from if you just so happen to encounter in one of your classes.

* All novel synopsises courtesy of  http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/home/?cookieCheck=1. Click on the previous link to visit the websit, to explore and purchase more novels, films, music and more.

The Outsiders by S.E Hinton : 
Three brothers struggle to stay together after their parents'' death, as they search for an identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society in which they find themselves "outsiders."

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: 

Standing on the fringes of life...
offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babitt :
Doomed to - or blessed with - eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a starnger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.
En Attendant la Pluie par Sheila Gordon
This novel shows the bonds of friendship under the strain of apartheid as two lifelong friends, Tengo and Frikkie, come of age amidst the tragedy of South Africa.

* I read this in French, but it is also available in English
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank:

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank''s remarkable diary has since become a world classic-a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building.

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare:
As the citizens of Venice compete for advantageous marriages, wealth, and status, a moneylender is intent on deadly revenge. Mistrust and resentment thrive in Shakespeare's dark comedy.
La Route de Chlifa par Michèle Marineau 

Karim has journeyed a long way from his home in war-torn Beirut to his new high school in Quebec. Now he must travel the difficult road to a life without war. There is contempt and racism here, too. But there is also My-Lan, a new companion in a new and challenging country. It is an adventure behind the headlines and a lesson in life you couldn''t learn in the classroom.

* I read this in French, but it is also available in English

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Season 8 So You Think You Can Dance Winner

*Spoiler Alert

I know the winner was announced a few weeks ago, I just haven't gotten around to posting it. And I have to say, I was ecstatic about the results! So the winner of the eighth season of So You Think You Can Dance is...drum roll please...

Melanie Moore

Yes, one of my season favourites, who I said would win from the very beginning! I was so pleased when I found out, I YAWPED barbarically to the rooftops and screamed "I called it! I said she would win!", pointing madly to the television screen and bouncing up and down in my seat all the while. In case you need a refresher, Melanie Moore was the dancer who, while partnered with Marko Germar, did that beautiful statue dance, the light bulb dance, and the wedding dance (you know, the one where EVERYONE started kissing each other!), among others. (Like the one she did with Neil Haskell that had the flying leap in it!) Oh, and just for the record, the other three dancers in the top four (Marko Germar, Tadd Gadduang, Sasha Mallory) are all just as amazing and I hope to see them as All-Stars in the future.    

There's not much more I can say, because if you don't already know this stuff, you should hurry up and find out for yourself by watching it! I do however want to congratulate and thank the choreographers, the producers, everyone backstage and the entire top 20 for another amazing season! It was truly breathtaking. Every time I watch the show I get goosebumps and feel an uncontrollable urge to dance.

Friday, August 12, 2011

CRAZY about Dead Poets Society

He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary

As one of my all time favourite movies, Dead Poets Society is a brilliant, heartwarming, intelligent, insightful, hilarious and inspiring piece of cinematography...that I will never, ever forget. I think I've seen it about a million times, so it's kind of imprinted into my brain, but that's not why it made such an impression on me.

For the life of me I don't know why it has taken so long to put this on my blog. I've been watching this film for years! If you haven't seen this film yet - in which case I urge you to get your butt out there and see it - Dead Poets Society is a 1989 drama film about a group of friends from an all boys preparatory school. The film starts at the beginning of a new school year. The new English teacher's unique style of teaching catches the boys of guard at first, but they soon take to the lessons he is trying to teach through poetry and literature, such as the merits of divergence and having the ability to change their lives through free thinking. Among the students are a group of friends - Neil, Todd, Knox, Charlie, Meeks, Pitts, Cameron - who become very inspired by Mr. Keating's lessons. And then they discover Mr. Keating's old graduating yearbook and the mention of a club called the Dead Poets Society...

The brilliant Robin Williams plays John Keating, and received many allocations including an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Speaking of Academy Awards, Dead Poets Society received four nominations, including one for Best Motion Picture and winning won for Best Original Screenplay. The boys in this film display the most wonderful kind of comradeship, loyalty and smart, sleek humor throughout the film, but one thing about the Dead Poets Society that warms my heart to bursting every time. Neil Perry, the more responsible leader/instigator, is played by the House actor Robert Sean Leonard. The shy newcomer and Neil roommate, Todd Anderson is played by the young Training Day star, Ethan Hawke. The group's rookie romantic, Knox Overstreet is played by none other then The Good Wife's Josh Charles. And finally, the class clown/smart-ass, perhaps Mr. Keating's most inspired student, Charlie Dalton is played by Gale Hansen. Every character is just so polished and well played ... it makes me want to be their friends!

Apart from the amazing characters and outstanding story, the film has this very inspiring  and heartwarming ... soul to it. Every time I watch it, I get this warm and fuzzy feeling inside and I get so excited about my life and what I can do with it. It makes me want to seize the day, YAWP barbarically to the rooftops and definitely go to a boarding school. It just one of those films that has it all; great characters, a heartwarming story, beautiful music and gorgeous set and scenery. And when you do watch it, remember to curl up with a box of tissue - I cry every time... 

Click on the following video to watch the trailer. You can go to http://www.YouTube.com/ for more Dead Poets Society videos.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A So You Think You Can Dance Update

So we're on our eighth week for season eight of So You Think Can Dance! It's getting closer and closer to the finale, with only six dancers left - Melanie Moore, Marko Germar, Tadd Gadduang, Ricky Jaime, Sasha Mallory, and Caitlyn Lawson. I am both disappointed and excited about the results so far. My season favourites, Melanie Moore and Marko Germar have made it to the top six and are in no position to be going home anytime soon. Unfortunately, both Jess LeProtto and Clarice Ordaz, two of my other favourites have gone home. Still, Sasha and Tadd are luckily still with us.

My season eight top four prediction? Melanie, Marko, Sasha and Tadd. Ricky may be able to back flip across the stage and over split in mid air, but he just isn't personable enough to be America's favourite dancer, in my opinion at least. I mean, a lot of his routines weren't bad, but he hadn't been connecting with the audience and he landed in the bottom I don't know how many times! And Caitlynn, well she doesn't really connect with me. She hasn't done anything that has wowed or impressed me yet (except maybe the Argentine Tango), and let me tell you, she's running out of time.

Anyhow, over the past eight weeks, there have been some very amazing dances and I would really like to share them with you. I think I covered the first to weeks with my last So You Think You Can Dance post in July. Click on the following link to read the post and check out some of my all time favourite So You Think You Can Dance routines: http://ifyouvegoteyesyoucanread.blogspot.com/2011/07/so-you-think-you-can-dance.html. From then on there have been many outstanding pieces! Also, the Emmy Awards are coming up and the nominations were announced just a few weeks ago. So You Think You Can Dance received eight nominations, including one for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. Out of the six Emmy nominations for choreography, five of them went to So You Think You Can Dance choreographers - Travis Wall, Mia Michaels, Stacy Tookey, Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo and Mandy Moore!

Please enjoy these various routines...non of them really need an explanation since they kind of speak for themselves.

Melanie Moore and Marko Germar - Contemporary routine by Dee Caspary  

Caitlynn Lawson and Pasha Kovalev - Argentine Tango by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo

Jess LeProtto and Clarice Ordaz - Broadway routine by Tyce Diorio

Melanie Moore and Neil Haskell - Contemporary routine by Mandy Moore

Top 8 dancers - Contemporary routine by Tyce Diorio

Alexander Fost and Sasha Mallory - Jazz routine by Tyce Diorio

Chris Koehl and Ashley Rich - Broadway routine by Spencer Liff

Top 12 dancers - Flamenco-Jazz routine by Kelley Abbey 

For more So You Think You Can Dance videos and information go to http://www.youtube.com/ or http://www.fox.com/dance/.

Calvin & Hobbes

The greatest comic strip ever! In case you have been living under a rock all your life, Calvin and Hobbes was a syndicated - meaning it appeared in newspapers, magazines and websites - daily comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Watterson from 1985 to 1995. Bill Watterson, an American cartoonist, was born in 1958 in Washington D.C and graduated from the George Washington University Law School to become a patent attorney in 1960. I suppose he later realised his life calling - to be a cartoonist.

I guess you could say that Bill Watterson was a one hit wonder, since Calvin and Hobbes was the only cartoon strip he was known for. But man, what a hit it was! Calvin and Hobbes follows the adventures of the hilariously  precocious six-year-old boy named Calvin and his cynical stuffed/real life tiger named Hobbes. To Calvin, Hobbes is a real life, living breathing tiger. To all of the other characters in the comic, Hobbes is just a stuffed animal.

After Harry Potter, Calvin and Hobbes has been my security blanket, my comforter for years. When I'm sad or mad, I read Calvin and Hobbes and the sarcasm and elegant humor calms me down. And what's so great about the comic is that while the main characters, Calvin and Hobbes, are very funny, the supporting characters, like Calvin's parents, the babysitter Rosalyn and little Suzie Derkins, are all just as enjoyable.

I first got into Calvin and Hobbes at school. They were all in french so I wasn't to interested but I read a few anyway. That got me curious because I new they were really an English comic, so I went to the library and took out a few of these very old, beat-up books full of Calvin and Hobbes comics. Then I really started to get into them. My sister and I started cherishing the books, reading them bit by bit, not all at once because we new that there weren't that many and we didn't want it to be over to soon. For Christmas we received this huge Calvin and Hobbes box set with three enormous volumes. They each weighed, like, three tons and were impossible to get up a flight of stairs. We actually had to separate them to get them into my room! 

What can I say - the Calvin and Hobbes comics are pretty darn amazing. They're sweet, simple, sarcastic and in a odd sort of humorous way, heartwarming. I'd recommend them to anyone who can appreciate sophisticated humor and a cartoon well done. They are a true treat.