"Eighth Grade" Changes The Game When Looking At Coming-Of-Age Movies

"Eighth Grade" changes the game when looking at coming-of-age movies

It's a film so honest that you will feel personally attacked by it's accuracy.

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As a Bo Burnham fan, "Eighth Grade" has been one of my most anticipated movies of 2018 ever since the comedian and first-time filmmaker tweeted it out last fall. I was fortunate enough to see an early screening of it this past Tuesday and it did not disappoint.

A simple blurb prefacing this film would be something along the lines of 'Follow Kayla (Elsie Fisher) during her last week of eighth grade and all of the shit that goes along with that,' but that doesn't come close to encompassing everything that this movie is about. It captures all of the anxieties and constant struggles that Kayla deals with and exhibits them in a way that's so authentic you can't help but empathize with her. That, paired with all of the cringy moments that result from her hilarious relationship with her single dad (Josh Hamilton) makes this film feel all the more real.

A key part of "Eighth Grade" is the social media component and how it actually affects the lives of teens. Kayla makes these videos giving life advice like "Putting Yourself Out There" and "Gaining Confidence" and posts them on Youtube. She watches makeup tutorials when getting ready for school, and she scrolls through Instagram before falling asleep. It's the first film I've seen that correctly portrays social media as a tool to help kids who feel clueless and alone, rather than to "brainwash us" or whatever the baby boomers are saying.

"Eighth Grade" does an incredible job of really bringing you back to those horrible years and memories that we tried so hard to suppress. Kayla reminds us how life was, and still is, fucking hard. Girls are mean, boys are horny and parents just don't understand anything. And your world is so small. You have little sense of belonging and virtually no scope of importance; something we adults (ha, I'm 20 and cry all the time, but sure) take for granted. One clever aspect of the film is in which scenarios Burnham decides to showcase how eighth graders live in their own world; all while keeping with the current social climate. One scene in particular shows Kayla and her classmates in the middle of a school-shooter drill. "Now kids, what do you do if you hear gunshots?" "Run the other way." Most of us would find this scenario horrifying, but because Kayla is growing up in an age where a school shooting seems to be more of a mainstream phenomenon, she doesn't care. Instead of paying attention, she spends the drill staring at her crush, Aidan, from across the hall.

"Eighth Grade" shows how things that may seem simple to adults are daunting for kids. Things like going to a pool party, making small talk or going on your first date--all of these seemingly little moments when Kayla feels nervous, upset or happy are amplified into bigger moments, because, when you're 13, everything is a big deal. This is something, as an audience member, I didn't know I needed to see. Thank god Bo Burnham did.

If you're wondering, yes I did cry. It started about 10 minutes in and then was on and off until the credits rolled (@jadedill on Twitter for pics). This can all be yours on July 20th! Or, if you're an elitist in New York or Los Angeles, you get to indulge starting Friday, July 13th.

Cover Image Credit:

Courtesy of Jade Dill

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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