TV Review: Jane the Virgin

The next TV show you’re going to binge on.

Chances are, if you clicked on this link to check out this article, it’s probably for the following reasons:

  1. You heard about the TV show from a friend, and seeing the name pop up yet again made you want to figure out what the heck the hype is about.
  2. The word “virgin” caught your attention. (It’s okay, be honest.)
  3. You know someone named Jane?

Whatever the reason may be, I welcome you into this article and the world of Jane the Virgin, since it’s a TV show you certainly won’t want to miss.

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(The CW)

Jane the Virgin is a semi-new TV show from The CW network. An interesting feature to note is that the cast is almost entirely PoC (people of color), causing the show to receive a lot of attention for the unique characteristic to take on. (There is literally only 2 main white characters in the entire show.)

Uh oh. (The CW)
Uh oh. (The CW)

The story follows Jane Villanueva, a 23 year old who’s had her life meticulously planned and followed for as long as she can remember. But after one unfortunate visit to the clinic, she is accidentally, artificially inseminated by Rafael Solano, major hotel owner and Jane’s boss. The pregnancy is confirmed and Jane, a virgin, is forced to keep her life together and on track as much as she possibly can.

There is definitely a lot more that goes into the story, and the 22-episode season is full of drama and witty dialogue. But what stands out the most about this TV show is that focuses on family. Most shows from The CW are scandalous romance stories about cheating (Gossip Girl), vampires (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals), or some magic-supernatural subject (Supernatural). And while Jane the Virgin definitely does have its fair share of telenovela-worthy drama, at the end of each episode is the moral that family, no matter how large or small, is what always has your back, no matter the choice you make.

Family comes first, no matter what. (The CW)
Family comes first, no matter what. (The CW)

Moving out of all that cuteness, Jane the Virgin also has some seriously hot male leads. Or really, just one in particular, and he plays Jane’s beau Rafael Solano, super-rich, entitled hotel owner.

 

OMG x100000 (janegifs, Tumblr)
OMG x100000 (janegifs, Tumblr)
OMG x10000 (janegifs, Tumblr)
OMG x10000 (janegifs, Tumblr)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The narrator is also hilariously funny, and really one of the main reasons why I watch the show. His sass is unreal, but it’s something you need to watch episode-by-episode to get the best snippets and fully appreciate them. Here is a short snippet of a scene that perfectly captures this entire show, but remember, it really does get better.

Finally (although I already touched up on this before), it’s the new portrayal of a Latin American culture in a TV show that makes this so intriguing. Although I wish I can say this is a common scene on the American TV-screen, it’s not, despite the astonishing fact that there are over 54 million hispanics living in the United States. This fresh view reminds us of other new POV shows like Fresh Off The Boat, told from an Asian family’s perspective. With Jane the Virgin, you get a glimpse at a hispanic culture and family, while learning a bit of Spanish along the way. It’s the best of all worlds, and you need to go and watch the first episode, right now. (But after you finish all your homework.)

 

– Faith Choi (’16)

The Fashion of Coachella 2015

Check out Blueprint’s top 5 (unsurprising) trends of Coachella 2015.

Not too long ago, you might’ve heard some of your friends or your peers whining about how all they want to be at is one place: Indio, California, home of one of the most popular music festivals in the world.

 

We’re talking Coachella.

 

People from all over the United States and the world, fly out to California during April to attend this two-weekend event. And although it’s an art and music festival with highly anticipated performance lineups and attending celebrities teeming in every corner, Coachella is also very well known for its inspirational fashion, or rather a lack thereof.

Blueprint’s put together the top 5 most popular fashion trends spotted this year at Coachella 2015. Whether or not you want to follow these cliché trends for the upcoming spring and summer, though, is completely up to you.

 

     1. Fringe

Following Coachella’s everlasting trend of the so-called ‘boho-chic,’ fringe is supposedly a must-have in your Coachella-closet. Whether it’s on your skirt, or your shirt, or your pants (God-forbid) or your boots, or your backpack, you’re sure to fit right in. It’s all in the name of boho, people.

 

     2. Crochet

The crochet has also been popular at Coachella. It lets you be a little cooler in the unforgiving desert whether of Coachella Valley while looking decent (that is, if you pull it off correctly). A crochet top or dress is easy to pair and mix, so this is definitely a staple for your Coachella fashion needs.

 

     3. Statement Accessories

Many Coachella-goers stick with simple, solid colors such as black, white, or a tan shade go heavy on the statement accessories. This usually tends to come in the form of a chunky necklace, especially as seen in Coachella. This can be great to make a plain outfit pop, but make sure that you don’t stray too far from your color scheme, and keep the accessories at a minimal or your outfit can end up looking messy. Check out how these Coachella-goers outfitted their statement accessories!

 

 4. Flash Tattoos

Flash tattoos have also becoming increasingly popular lately. These temporary tats usually come in the shade of gold and silver, and are literally just like your average childhood temporary tattoos, except less peely and definitely cooler looking… or not. They are usually applied on your wrists or the upper portions of your arms, and usually look like you’re just wearing extra bracelets. They’re a nice accessory to be sporting around during your weekend in Coachella, and not worrying about losing them or them being a burden. Not sure how well they work with your tan lines, though.

 

     5. Flower Crown

Ah, yes, the flower crown. How can anyone forget. Of course, Vanessa Hudgens, the queen of Coachella (who sadly could not make it this year) has done this fashion the best. Not sure who even thought about this in the first place, but hey, all in the name of boho, right? (Is this even boho?) The flower crown can make you look dainty and carefree and just light up your face, but if the size is too large, it can just end up looking like a head dress. But since Coachella takes place in the springtime, what better way to celebrate the coming of a new season than with a nice, pretty flower crown?

 

Overall, I’m not surprised that there weren’t astoundingly new trends to show up at Coachella this year. Coachella is a tradition, everything from the art, to the music, to the fashion, to the showing off. But what is exciting to see, though, is how different generations apply this fashion differently every year.


– Faith Choi (’16)

Header: Craig Arend, Harper’s Bazaar

Guys’ Promposal Tips 2k15

The guide for the best promposal – according to the guys of KIS.

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Promposals here, promposals there, promposals everywhere, love is in the air!

Or something like that.

 

Over these past few weeks, promposals have been popping all over school and outside of school (we’re talking to you, Joonki Jin), and smitten girls have bashfully taken the flowers, or gifts, or hugs from the promposal initiator, signed an unwritten contract by saying “yes,” and are soon off to prom in the next month or so.

 

But, as many promposal as there are right now, there still should be more to come — there’s still time left!

Don’t know who to turn to, who to ask, what to do?

As always, Blueprint’s gotchu. We’ve gathered useful tips (up to your judgment, really) from KIS’s finest on How To Get The Girl: Prom 2k15 Edition.

 

Masayoshi Sakakura (‘16)

“Despite the size of the audience who will be watching, promposal is only between you and your partner. So, be sure to prepare a kind of promposal your partner wants but not what others want.”

 


Jerry Kim (‘16)

“First of all, to do a promposal, confidence is essential. You got to be confident that you are going to the prom with the person that you chose. Well to be so confident, it’s pretty important to have a solid plan. Simulate the promposal in your head to see if the plan is perfect or just the way you want it to be. The most important factor is affection towards the person. That, I think, does not require explanation.”

 


James Kwon (‘16):

“Don’t ask a flower if you don’t want to be called a flower boy. (We’re talking to you, Taeshin.)”

https://instagram.com/p/1Vpo-hPJX5/

 


Charlie Park (‘16):

“Make it brief, but meaningful.”


HyunJae Moon (‘16):

“Be confident and feel pride in promposing!”

 


Harry Song (‘16):

“#YOLO.”

 


John Park (‘15):

“Something creative and meaningful. It should be a promposal that can only be done to that one person. Whether it’s public or private doesn’t matter, only that the message feels genuine.”

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c. Hannah Kim (’15)

 

– Faith Choi (’16)

The End of the Malik Era

Good bye, my love.

Alas, the fearful day has arrived—Zayn Malik, the face, the soul, the voice, the EVERYTHING of British boyband wonder One Direction, has officially left in pursuit of a solo career.

This was no doubt a rough past couple weeks for the One Direction fans. Even for non-One Direction fans too, or those who really just supported Zayn Malik in general. Here’s what one blogger on Tumblr had to say:

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(zustin.tumblr.com)

I hate to admit it, but that’s just a solid fact.

Zayn has been well popular throughout the female fans due to his bad-boy-esque good looks, the voice of an angel, the facial hair worthy of Ryan Gosling, and, of course, the heart-melting accent. Honestly, what’s not to love?

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 5.54.22 PM
(charminghoe.tumblr.com)

I MEAN??????????????!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!???!?!!  But Zayn’s come a long way. He was first chosen among a competitive pool in Britain’s X-Factor, and later assembled by the infamous Simon Cowell along with fellow competitors Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson to create the legendary One Direction.

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They probably had no idea how much fame was about to come their way. (Pixgood) 

With humble beginnings, Malik never seemed to prize the lime light. He had always been a private person, and although the offering of money and fame is an attractive incentive for many, it was quite the opposite for Malik. He did what he did because he truly loved singing, and eventually, when One Direction blew up in success, he continued his career for his fans.

(zaynspark.tumblr.com)
(zaynspark.tumblr.com)

As the number of photos of Zayn with this mystery lady continued to pop up on the internet, with party goers of that night confirming their intimacy, Zayn grew increasingly stressed, and understandably so.

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Zayn was seen cozying up with a girl that wasn’t his fianceé. (Lauren Rich, Instagram)

But Malik had always been plagued with probably one of the most notorious press among the other boys in his group. He had been caught for smoking weed, and supposedly ‘cheating’ on his fiancee Perrie Edwards.  Although things cooled down for a bit, the heat rose once again when photos were revealed of Malik getting cozy with a girl that was clearly not Edwards. Malik, obviously, denied these altercations, and claimed that he loved Edwards:

Sounds like something Zayn would say.
Sounds like something Zayn would say. (Zayn Malik, Twitter)

I guess, though, that Malik deemed this time of bad press as an excuse, because the pop star soon left his tour to take a little ‘break’, and that’s when news broke of his official decision to leave One Direction entirely.  

Cue the sounds of sobbing and the shattering of hearts. (One Direction, Facebook)
Cue the sounds of sobbing and the shattering of hearts. (One Direction, Facebook)

The fandom was heartbroken. Malik’s popularity on Twitter reportedly took a nosedive after his announcement, thanks to all the disappointed fans who had previously promised to stand by the band’s side no matter what. Check out some reactions to Zayn leaving One Direction: (imma embed all these and probably only have like 4-5)

Super sly, Denny's. (Denny's Diner, Twitter)
Super sly, Denny’s. (Denny’s Diner, Twitter)
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True. (Kumail Nanjiani, Twitter)
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Honestly the only appropriate way to mourn this event. (Courtney Act, Instagram)
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Same. (louisthirstofficial.tumblr.com)
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A bit of a That’s So Raven moment here. (complicatedhoe.tumblr.com)

But what broke apart the fandom, or at least what was left of it, even more, was when Naughty Boy, a popular producer who has previously worked with stars like Sam Smith, Rihanna, Taio Cruz, and more, retweeted a video that referred to Zayn and Naughty Boy working together.

“Zaughty,” as mentioned in this video, is the combination of Zayn + Naughty (Boy), ultimately indicating that The collaboration of Zayn and Naughty Boy has ‘saved’ this fan.

Twitter blew up. Not only were the fans angry, but the band members too.

Long story short, Louis Tomlinson stepped in, then Naughty Boy attacked again, then Naughty Boy released a song in the works with Zayn as proof and promised the fans they’d thank him later, Louis Tomlinson’s 11 year old sister stepped in for some reason to claim that she had more followers than Naughty Boy, and Zayn’s popularity dropped even more.

 

The One Direction fandom is in a mess, but it’s understandable why.

So what do you think? Is what Zayn did ultimately right, or is it the wrong choice?

– Faith Choi (’16)
Header: Syco Entertainment
Captions: Faith Choi (’16)

SKYMUN Recap

We’ve got everything from behind-the-scenes to the real thing.

On Saturday, March 7th, amateur and veteran MUNers alike gathered at our familiar PAC to await the brilliant start of the highly anticipated 2nd annual SKYMUN 2015.

SKYMUN, which stands for South Korean Youth Model United Nations, is organized every year talented students at Yongsan International School of Seoul, Seoul Foreign School, and Korea International School, while other international school students partake in the conference as participatory delegates, chairs, or mentors.

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Delegates grouped together in the earlier hours of the conference in order to come up with the best possible resolutions for their respective topics. (Faith Choi, ’16)

 

This year’s SKYMUN theme was “All Our Relations,” with topics including:

  • “Further improvement on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to entice its international implementation and spread to all member-states,
  • “Aiming to achieve the first Millennium Development Goal: reducing child mortality,”
  • “Measures to protect human rights during peaceful protests, combat unfair criminalization, as well as police brutality.”

 

Although a generally broad theme, it was nevertheless very prevalent to even the real United Nations and foreign affairs that are being conducted present day. If anything, this broad choice helped the delegates and student officer team remember what MUN is really all about. 

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The Executive Team Olivia Kim (’16), Clara Yoon (’16), and Min Byung Chae (SFS, ’16). (Faith Choi, ’16)

 

The opening ceremony took place early in the morning, with Olivia Kim (‘16) and Jamie Koo (YISS, ‘16) making speeches as part of the Executive Team, and our very own JaeHyun Park (‘15) as the keynote speaker. JaeHyun, as vibrant as ever, spoke passionately about the beauties of MUN, and how we, as delegates and global citizens, must work hard to protect ourselves and our peers from the ever ominous MUNritis, a symptom where:

  1. “If an advisor asks you, ‘Why did you join MUN?’ You say, with a smile, “to become a global citizen!”
  2. You fulfill “the three clause requirement by writing three awareness-raising clauses” (if you don’t get this one, ask a friend who might do MUN)
  3. You are “dozing off at this very moment, dreading me [JaeHyun] to stop talking.”

 

With the words of wisdom of the former KMUN-Secretary General in mind, the delegates split off into their respective committees, where they worked hard during lobby sessions to combine the best possible resolution for their specific issue. Each student participated thoroughly during the debate time as well, perhaps with underlying hopes to earn the hallowed ‘Best Delegate’ title of their committee.

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Secretary General Clara Yoon (’16) dashed from committee to committee, whether it was helping them out with crisis-issues, or taking photos, or delivering snacks, or printing out papers. (Faith Choi, ’16)

Behind the scenes, however, there was the executive team, the mentors, and the student officers, making rapid-fire exchanges with one another to hurriedly get committee crises in order, assuring all the resolutions were printed and snacks were delivered on time.

Just ask Olivia Kim (‘16) about the chaotic scene:

“Running, running, running, a bit of printing, and some more running.”

Sounds about right.

Crises are a special event some MUN conferences decide to incorporate into their already-fun conferences. Usually done by a selected, all-fantastic student officers/actors, a scenario is decided (for example, in the Human Rights Council, the head of INTERPOL was taken hostage by a powerful Mexican drug cartel who demanded a huge ransom for the safe return of the head), and delegates are urged to develop, under a very strict, minimal time limit, an elaborate, efficient, feasible resolution to help deal with the crises. (HRC made a one-clause resolution, which passed and succeeded.)

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A delegate in ECOSOC delivering a passionate speech during a crisis issue. (Faith Choi, ’16)

But before all of us knew it, the conference was over. With much excitement, the delegates began to fill up the seats one by one, as the presidents of the committees shuffled up to the stage to sit behind the executive team. The Closing Ceremony was graced with the speeches of all the presidents, Clara Yoon (‘16), Min Byung Chae (who ended his speech by saying a refreshing “Hasta luego!”) and John Park (‘15), who reflected his time as a member of the Executive Team last year, and as a Mentor of a committee this year.

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John Park (’15) was the guest speaker for the closing ceremony. (Faith Choi, ’16)

But Clara Yoon (‘16), had a few more words to say to summarize her sentiments for a conference that she explains has come to hold a special place in her heart.

“SKYMUN has reminded me that MUN is not about winning awards and main submitting, but to be the pinnacle of diplomacy in a room that could often [not] care less about cooperation blinded by ones’ goals.”

What more could one want out of an MUN conference, really?

Overall, it might’ve been hectic, but even as a veteran MUNer myself, I could see and feel the genuine excitement and passion many of the attending delegates felt during the course of this one day. Valuable lessons, priceless memories, and UN worthy resolutions were passed, and it is sights like this that give one hope for the future to come.

And it’s safe to say, each and every single person who attended SKYMUN defeated MUNritis for good.

Want more? Check out the SKYMUN photo gallery here!

– Faith Choi (’16)

Photo Gallery: Running Man 2015

Blueprint’s captured every single intense moment of this year’s Running Man brought to you by NHS.

Click the photos for the enlarged version and the captions!

Photo and captions by: Faith Choi (’16)

The 8 Standing Ovations of the Oscars 2015

If you didn’t watch the 3-hour long event, this is all you need.

Other than having probably one of the worst hosts of the Oscars, unnecessary racist jokes (courtesy of the ever wonderful Sean Penn and Neil Patrick Harris), as well as a lack of diversity in nominees and winners (what else is new?), the 87th Academy Awards was full of wonderful performances and speeches that earned recognition from fans around the world.

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Mr. Kvam?: All jokes aside, Simmons’ performance on Whiplash is one to be remembered for the ages. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

1. J.K. Simmons’ Best Supporting Actor Win

Although his outstanding performance in the movie Whiplash was filled with harsh words and ruthless criticisms, J.K. Simmons’ speech was, on the contrary, family-friendly as he urged audience members to not text, but call their parents as soon as he was done with his speech to let them know how much they loved them. The audience stood up for him in respect when his name was called, and Simmons proceeded up the stage to recite the usual suspects to whom he was thankful for.

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A Call to Action: Arquette’s passionate speech was met with a bit of a backlash post-award show, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is still needed. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

2. Patricia Arquette’s Best Supporting Actress Win

Patricia Arquette was nominated for her role in Boyhood, a single mother who is struggling to support the welfare of not only herself but her children. The movie was able to shed light on issues often undermined today, and although, like Simmons, the audience stood up for her out of respect in her successful win, it was her acceptance speech that made the crowd roar with agreement. Arquette, after listing who she was thankful for, launched into speaking about gender inequality that was still happening today on the work scene. It was, more or less, referring to a Sony-related leak from the end of last year that showed that Jennifer Lawrence was paid less than her male co-workers for her role in the movie American Hustle. Arquette said: “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” This was met with great enthusiasm from the crowd, especially from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez, who enthusiastically cheered in agreement.

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Flowy & Glowing: Lady Gaga basks in the standing ovation of the A-List audience after her successful performance. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

3. The Sound of Music Medley/Tribute by Lady Gaga

When news spread that Lady Gaga would be performing at The Oscars, anyone couldn’t help but have a hint of doubt that the notoriously unique singer would bring an unorthodox element to her performance that would – in one way or another – surprise the audience of some of Hollywood’s finest. But when she stepped on the stage and finished her performance, the crowd was speechless, and resorted to a standing ovation instead. The surprise appearance of the original woman of The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews, was a pleasant surprise to the audience as well.

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“Stay Weird, Stay Different”: Graham Moore, newbie to the Oscar scene, impressed many with his heartwarming speech extended out to all the outcasts of the world. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

4. Graham Moore’s acceptance speech

Graham Moore, a newbie to the Hollywood A-List gang, captured everyone’s attention with his tear-jerking, heartwarming speech. Confessing about how in his teenage years, he attempted to commit suicide, Moore then went on to encourage all the kids who feel like they don’t “fit in” to know that they feel that way because they are special, but that they truly do belong in this world and have a place in society. Moore won his award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay for the movie The Imitation Game.

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Glory: Legend and Common’s powerful live performance inspired the second standing ovation for a musical performance. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

5. “Glory” performance and win by John Legend and Common

With tensions between races heating up in the United States, John Legend and Common gave a Grammy-worthy performance of their song “Glory” from the movie Selma, which was nominated for Best Picture this year. With a backdrop similar to the famed bridge in Selma which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. walked across, John Legend sang his heart out while on the piano while Common gave out a smooth rap flow to accompany Legend’s famously melodic vocals. It was one of those performances that made you feel something within, something that shook you because of how audibly and visually empowering it is. Additionally, Legend and Common won Best Original Song for “Glory” — and rightly so.

87th Annual Academy Awards - Backstage And Audience
Alice and the McConabeard: Moore accepts her award from Matthew McConaughey, last year’s recipient of the Best Actor award. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

6. Julianne Moore’s Best Actress Win

Longtime Hollywood A-List Julianne Moore took home an Oscar-Man for her astounding performance in Still Alice, where she plays a mother struggling to keep herself and her family together as her memory rapidly deteriorates due to Alzheimer’s Disease. With a tangible, real performance by Moore alongside Alec Baldwin and Kristen Stewart, Moore received a well-deserved standing ovation as she went up to receive her award, and even joked about being able to live five more years because she received the accolade. Let’s hope she does.

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The Oscar Janitor: Redmayne, after looking clearly surprised in this honorable win, dedicated this award to ALS-victims, the Hawking family, and to his new wife. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

7. Eddie Redmayne’s Best Actor Win

With a face of a sweetheart, a voice of an angel, and a heart of a saint, Eddie Redmayne’s win for Best Actor clearly caught the Brit off-guard. As a matter of fact, it was a mixed reaction that’s quite hard to put into words. Redmayne was responsible for portraying a rather difficult role of Stephen Hawking and the love story that began with his future-wife Jane Hawking, and how his disease of ALS became a disruption and battle for him to fight at all fronts. Redmayne’s painstaking research and work that went behind perfecting the character of Hawking was well publicized and talked about during the production process, and it was nice to see Redmayne receive recognition for his efforts. Claiming that he would be the Oscar’s “janitor,” Redmayne even freaked out a bit on stage before finishing off his speech.

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The Big Prize: The cast and crew of Birdman graciously accepts the most anticipated award of the evening. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

8. Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Best Picture win

Although I’m still at a bit of a distaste about the man who presented this award as well as what he had to say to the director, Birdman deserved every bit of the win for Best Picture. Despite the lacking box office sales compared to its competitors, Birdman also took home the Best Director award with Alejandro G. Iñárritu, who even claimed that he was in his “Michael Keaton…tighty whities.” Way to give a visual! But Birdman was almost expected to win this, as it won other prestigious accolades at previous banquets and award shows. But when its win was announced, the director and producers pulled up with them the main actors and actresses such as Emma Stone, Edward Norton, and Michael Keating himself, who took part in reciting the acceptance speech.

– Faith Choi (’16)

Header: Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Captions: Faith Choi (’16)

Jazz Night: Q&A

Check out our exclusive interview with Peter Kim (’15) about this year’s Jazz Night.

Whether it’s hard-hitting rhythms to lighten up the atmosphere or mellow tunes to serenade its listeners, jazz music has always been a classic and a favorite to a variety of people from all over the world for decades. Its soulful melody, as well as experiments with improvisation, make this music genre a loved one.

Luckily, we have incredibly talented students here at KIS to bring proper justice to jazz music. And they all come together to show off their talent, (or in the case of Masayoshi Sakakura (‘16), a lot of talents) on one very special, very entertaining, very amazing evening: Jazz Night.

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#WERK: It’s no secret how talented Masayoshi is with his instrument, as proven by the many solos he performed at this year’s Jazz Night. (Justin Kwon ’16) 

This acclaimed event at KIS was first introduced by a KIS favorite: Mr. Jay Londgren, who was the band teacher at our school until last year. Four years ago, Mr. Londgren put together some of the best musicians our Band had to offer, and thus, Jazz Night was born. The first event was a total hit, and the night has become an annual occasion since.

But what is jazz, really?

“Jazz is intangible. You can only feel it with your sincere soul.” – Hyunjae Moon (‘16)

“There are two major art reformations: the Renaissance, and the Jazz Age. So come to Jazz Night!” – Terry Lee (‘16) 

“If you have to ask what it is, you’ll never know.” – Louis Armstrong

 

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The Last Song: Jazz Night next year is definitely not going to be the same without Peter Kim (’15). (Justin Kwon ’16)

But that doesn’t really tell us what Jazz Night is all about. So Blueprint approached Peter Kim (‘15), an officer of Tri-M and one of the organizers and performers of this event, to see if he could tell us more.

Blueprint (BP): How did this all start?

Peter Kim (PK): In my freshman year, under the guidance of Mr. Londgren, that year was when the Phoenix Jazz Band first formed.

 
BP: How was the first event? And how has it developed over the years?

PK: I think the history of ticket sales would put the development of jazz night in context. It took 3 weeks for the tickets to sell out in the first year, 4 days in the second year, 8 hours in the third year, and 4 hours this year. As all events and organizations go, it was difficult to set precedence, structure and procedure. There weren’t a lot of students comfortable with improvising, and the genre of jazz itself was new to a lot of the students in the band. The program grew a lot more complex over the years, as we added different sub-genres of jazz and various instrumentations (ensembles) into the performance.

 

BP: What’s different/significant about this event from the past events?

PK: I think the absence of Mr. Londgren would set this event apart from previous ones. I don’t think I can deny the fact that there have been struggles in the preparation due to the transferring of responsibility from him to Tri-M. We’re experimenting with different things this year too. We’re investing a lot in decoration, to build a jazzy, cool atmosphere. This year, Tri-M is trying to provide a holistic experience where they can really immerse in jazz from the entrance of the G-building to the musical content to the ending of the show.

 

BP: How much time and effort have gone into making the event possible?

PK: The bands have been practicing since August, and Tri-M and the music department have been working since December. Hours and hours of work of the officers and the Tri-M members made this event possible. Since the target audience is mainly adults, (parents, faculty, and even board members) Tri-M had to approach the event from a different perspective. More emphasis on the quality of food and atmosphere was taken into consideration.

 

BP: Is there anything special you’re looking forward to?

PK: Not from a Tri-M officer’s viewpoint, but from a performer’s viewpoint, I think this year’s Jazz Night is much more special to me. Probably for the other seniors too. We’ve been playing together in band since 7th grade, and playing in a jazz band since 9th grade. It’s a bit weird to think that it’ll probably be our last gig that we’re playing together as a band. I want to put everything I have into it, so that I won’t have regrets later.

 

BP: What’s your favorite thing/aspect of the event?

PK: I’m probably biased since I’m a performer, but music would be my favorite aspect without a doubt.

 

BP: Anything else you want to add?

PK: I’ll miss jazz night a lot, it was a huge part of my high school life. Four hour long jazz rehearsals on Tuesdays were what really kept me going in life. I’ll miss it.

 

What were your thoughts about Jazz Night? Leave them in the comments below!

– Faith Choi (’16)

Captions: Faith Choi (’16)
Header: Justin Kwon (’16)

Justice For Michael Brown?

Darren Wilson may be free to go, but changes can be made to the discriminatory issues minorities of Ferguson, Missouri still face.

It was a murder that made the whole world cry out in anger. It was a tragedy that unveiled to the international crowd the brutal, antiquated, often hypocritical outlook many American people and the American police forces still had on race and equality.

It was the killing of Michael Brown.

Many of us are familiar with this misfortune. It’s been over half a year since, and yet it is still a much discussed topic, as it should be. Michael Brown was a teenager looking forward to attending college in the fall of 2014, when he, unarmed, was told to approach a police vehicle by an officer named Darren Wilson under the pretenses of “jaywalking.” He was killed by the white police officer in the city of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014.  Witnesses had varying stories about how the situation played out, but nonetheless, this event of police brutality stirred the entire city of Ferguson. The debate was whether to fight back against the police force, or side with Wilson. The situation spread like wildfire, and places like New York City, New York, and Oakland, California, rallied protesters to fight against the terrible injustice.

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#BLACKLIVESMATTER: The famous hashtag that started to trend since the death of Trayvon Martin (2012) made an appearance once more as people from all over America used the tag for protests both off the streets and on them. // Eduardo Munoz, Reuters

When the time for the trial came around, the slightly dimming spark was flamed again, brighter than ever, at both the words Wilson had to say about the situation, and the decision made by the grand jury to not indict Wilson.

Claiming that he had a “clean conscience because I know I did my job right,” Wilson further added onto his comment that if he had the opportunity to relive that moment, he “would not do anything different that day.”

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The Interview: Darren Wilson got himself an exclusive interview with ABC News, where he made rather stunning comments about his case and the crime committed against Michael Brown. // ABC News

And although many people who were once impassioned by Brown’s unjustified death have filed his tragedy as an event of the past, there are still many people who come to pay their respects at Brown’s makeshift memorial in Ferguson every day, who tend to it whenever a disrespectful, cowardly person comes in the dead of the night to ruin it. There are still many people who are trying to do the one last thing they can do for the deceased teenager, and that is to bring him at least some form of justice he fully deserves.

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“They Can’t Even Let Us Mourn Our Dead.”: A Ferguson resident ran across the Mike Brown Memorial in Ferguson, which had been intentionally destroyed by an uncaught resident. // J. Meless, Twitter

The Justice Department has been conducting investigations on the Ferguson police force, only to find out that the police department had a pattern of mainly persecuting the minorities of the city, especially African Americans. Unfortunately, because the Grand Jury claimed that Wilson was innocent, they are unable to rescind this judging. But to prevent situations like the incident of Brown from happening again, the Justice Department has issued a warning to the Ferguson police force to fix their predictable judgements. Failure to do so could result in “consent decree,” according to Jeffrey Toobin, a CNN senior legal analyst, which would mean that the police force will negotiate “a settlement in which Ferguson will announce that they will make changes in their police department by improving training, perhaps change hiring, perhaps change leadership…” It will be responsible for heavy impacts on part of the police chief of Ferguson, some of the police officers, perhaps on the mayor himself, and definitely on the Ferguson police department as a whole.

US Attorney General Eric Holder delivers remarks on the Justice Department’s efforts in Ferguson, Missouri.
One Last Act: Eric Holder, the current Attorney General of the United States, is expected to retire next week. // Shawn Thew, EPA

And although Wilson still will live with a “clean conscience” and free of indictment, movements like these will hopefully lessen the amount of racially-influenced targeting that is happening not only in Ferguson, but also in so many other cities today. Hopefully, there will gradually be a reduce in situations like the murder of Mike Brown, and the age old practice of racial discrimination will, once and for all, come to a close.

 

Rest in power, Michael Brown.

– Faith Choi (’16)

Header: Jamelle Bouie