They Don't Call It The Happiest Place On Earth For Nothing

They Don't Call It The Happiest Place On Earth For Nothing

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With the first day of summer being less than a month away (June 20th!), it's time to let go of all of the stress of school and begin enjoying summer for all that it is meant to be. And what's the best way to destress? A vacation. Summertime is great for all sorts of vacations: New Hampshire, South Carolina, or even New York City. But the one summer vacation spot that trumps them all is Florida. Known for attractions such as the Everglades and countless theme parks, there is always something to do or see in Florida. Most commonly, Walt Disney World. Disney World is home to four separate theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Disney World also features two water parks: Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Disney's Blizzard Beach. Each park contains many rides based on many of the company's featured films, so while you're bound to run into some of your favorite classic characters (Mickey, Minnie and Goofy), here's some things you should brush up on before you set out on your adventure.


"Toy Story" - Experience the toy box really coming to life as you join Woody and Buzz on an adventure of your own. In Walt Disney Resort's Pixar Place Toy Story Mania attraction, you can see what it's like to be one of the toys while you blast moving targets. Similarly, in Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, it is up to you to defeat Zurg in this thrilling space battle.


"Finding Nemo "- Everyone knows the story of Nemo who swims a little too close to the surface and is caught by a diver. His dad, Marlin, sets out to find him with the help of new friend, Dory. Your underwater friends come to life in Epcot in The Seas with Nemo & Friends (an attraction based on the film which finds Nemo lost again). Enjoy a Q-and-A with our turtle pal, Crush [Turtle Talk with Crush], test your undersea knowledge with Mr. Ray's quizzes, and snap a pic with Bruce the Shark [Bruce's Shark World]! [Note: This is the perfect way to get excited about Disney Pixar's new movie, Finding Dory (In theaters June 17, 2016)]


"Frozen" - In order to save their kingdom from perpetual winter, Kristoff must help Anna find her sister, Snow Queen Elsa, and break her icy spell. Set to open June 21, 2016, Frozen Ever After allows you to board an ancient Norwegian vessel through Arendelle and enjoy the wonderful, wintry world of Frozen!


There's so much to see in such a short time, from "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh", to "The Magic Carpets of Aladdin", to Cinderella's Castle. Whether you're racing through the diamond mine with Snow White and the Seven Dwarf's [Seven Dwarf's Mine Train], or flying from London to Never Land with Peter Pan [Peter Pan's Flight], you're sure to find a little something for everyone on your journey to the happiest place on Earth.

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Poetry as A Way to Process Body Image

A poem about my hands
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The prompt for this poem was "what do my hands know?". I've answered this prompt before and written about being a musician who creates aural art with her hands, but this time I turned my contemplation in a different direction—toward my hands themselves.

I think it's interesting that I chose to conflate knowledge with a realization of aesthetic value independent from traditional social norms for women in the current US culture.


A History of My Hands

By Lydia Solodiuk

My hands know that they are beautiful.

It was a reckoning a long time in coming.

I hated their oversizedness, having a man’s hands in the 5th grade isn’t what any girl wants.

I hated that I didn’t have pianist hands even though I was a pianist in my younger days

It took a visit to a laser esthetician office’s,

She, heavily coated with makeup and derision, judged my hands unacceptable to the feminine norm.

So I ran outside, into the narrow parking lot bordering a small highway. Everything smelled like exhaust and rubber and pizza sauce.

I watched the man through the grimy window shape a pizza with his bulky man hands into a perfect swirling circle.

That was the beginning of love, for me and my hands.

What a poetic beginning for a girl descended from Sicilian orchards

Where grimy, hardworking hands slowly caressed lemons into wooden boxes.


Cover Image Credit: Public Domain

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Who IS Allowed To Talk About Gun Control?

I have more questions than there are answers but I hope that we are on the way to a country with far less gun violence.
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Who is allowed to talk about gun control?

I see a lot of stuff on social media saying that teenagers don’t know enough to talk about gun control. Why? If a teenager dies of cancer, their friends talk about cancer. If a teenager dies because they were hit by a drunk driver on Prom night, the high school scares their students into not drinking and driving. Guess what, 17 teenagers were killed last week. Why are their friends not allowed to have an opinion on that? They have been going to funerals every day since Friday. I can’t imagine having to go to the funeral of the guy I sat next in math class. People my age aren’t supposed to die, we are supposed to graduate and get our dream job. A high school student should be thinking about homework and what movie they're seeing this weekend, not if that noise in the hallway was a man with a gun.

In media, we project images of strong teenagers. The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, they are all books and movies depicting kids in situations they don’t like. The main characters fight the system causing an uproar from the adults. But, in the end the teenagers are victorious, their prize is happiness and spending their adult lives in peace. Why would adults feed their children these novels and not expect the message to be taken to heart.

Ou president is a 71 year old white man, there were approximately 14 incidents where shots were fired in a school. That is about as many as there have been in 2018. I have no idea what changed, what has made this number dramatically increase. But obviously something needs to change. Why does President Trump feel threatened by the idea of making the ability to purchase a gun less accessible?

Personally, I don’t think that we need to make all guns illegal. There are many people, several of which I’m related to, who legally own guns that have only ever been used to shoot animals during their designated hunting seasons. But, last week I watched in horror as the news story of a guy that I graduated with was shot and killed. He had recently bought a pump action shotgun and was showing friends when it accidentally went off and shot him in the chest.In our society, guns are not going to disappear, but they are far too prevalent and easily accessible to those who clearly do not need to be in possession them.

The students of Douglas High School do not want to do away with guns. They want to make sure that no one ever has to worry about their friends, children, siblings or any one else while they are trying to get an education. I have more questions than there are answers but I hope that we are on the way to a country with far less gun violence.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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