A Wonder Of A Story

A Wonder Of A Story

Kindness goes a long way.

WARNING: Spoilers are ahead!

Not too long ago, I saw the movie Wonder based on the novel by R.J. Palacio. I had high hopes for this movie seeing as it had positive reviews and was based on a heartwarming story. As someone that read the book before seeing the movie, I immediately fell in love with the book and thought it had such an important lesson. Learning about diversity and having an open mind is something that all people need to understand and have sympathy towards.

I was very pleased to see how much the movie stayed true to the book. I also enjoyed the cast and thought all of the kids did a great job in their roles. Although this was not a true story, it was based on a real-life disorder called Treacher Collins syndrome. For those of you that are not familiar with Treacher Collins syndrome, it causes facial deformities and usually, multiple surgeries are needed in order for the person to be live life to their fullest potential.

Auggie, the main character in the book has been homeschooled his entire life and when he reaches the fifth grade, his family decides to take him to public school. Auggie is extremely nervous and is afraid of what kids are going to think of him. People have been afraid of him his entire life so he knows that going to school will not be easy. He went early to meet his new principal and there were students that met him to show him a tour of the school. In this scene, especially in the movie, you can see how the children react to meeting Auggie. Although they were nice to him, one was not. This boy, Julian, acts as the bully throughout the whole book/movie. It was heartbreaking to read and see the scenes where Auggie is crying and calling himself ugly. His mother and father are his biggest supporters and do whatever they can to let Auggie lead a normal life. In the end, Auggie loves school and is thankful that his mother wanted him to go to public school.

The movie was broken into character chapters just like the book. Everything was the same as the book from the importance of the dog Daisy and her death, the fallout between Auggie and his best friend Jack Will, and the trip to the camp where the kids from the other school pick on Auggie. Throughout the novel, many of the children change their perceptions of Auggie and want to be his friend. Majority of the time, peer pressure causes for children to act a certain way, even if they don't mean it. The boys that hang around Julian are rude to Auggie because Julian is and directs them to be so. Eventually Julian gets in trouble for all that he has done to Auggie and it is important to show kids that may be reading the book or watching the movie that bullying is never okay. All of the problems that Auggie dealt with were important for him to face because it made him stronger and the other children learned from their mistakes.

A major theme of the story is to "Choose Kind". This means that when you are in a situation where you do not know what to do or how to act, choose to be kind. This is very important to Auggie's situation and ultimately all of the children choose kind.

I highly recommend this book and this movie if you have not read it or seen it! It is a powerful message with a lighthearted meaning behind it. No matter what age you are, you should sit down to read this book because it will certainly change your outlook in this and people that may seem "different" to you.

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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My AP Environmental Science Class' Cookie Mining Experiment Shows Why Capitalism Is Destroying The Planet

Who cares about the environment with profits this high?


With the AP exams in May approaching quickly, my AP Environmental Science class has wasted no time in jumping right into labs. To demonstrate the damage to the environment done by strip mining, we were instructed to remove the chocolate chips from cookies.

The experiment in itself was rather simple. We profited from fully or partially extracted chips ($8 for a full piece and $4 for a partial) and lost from buying tools, using time and area and incurring fines.

This might seem simplistic, but it showcased the nature of disastrous fossil fuel companies.

We were fined a $1 per minute we spent mining. It cost $4 per tool we bought (either tweezers or paper clips) and 50 cents for every square centimeter of cookie we mined.

Despite the seemingly overbearing charges compared to the sole way to profit, it was actually really easy to profit.

If we found even a partial chocolate chip per minute, that's $3 profit or utilization elsewhere. Tools were an investment that could be made up each with a partial chip, and clearly we were able to find much, much more than just one partial chip per tool.

Perhaps the most disproportionally easiest thing to get around were the fines. We were liable to be fined for habitat destruction, dangerous mining conditions with faulty tools, clutter, mess and noise level. No one in the class got fined for noise level nor faulty tools, but we got hit with habitat destruction and clutter, both of which added up to a mere $6.

We managed to avoid higher fines by deceiving our teacher by pushing together the broken cookie landscapes and swiping away the majority of our mess before being examined for fining purposes. This was amidst all of our cookies being broken into at least three portions.

After finding many, many chips, despite the costs of mining, we profited over $100. We earned a Franklin for destroying our sugary environment.

We weren't even the worst group.

It was kind of funny the situations other groups simulated to their cookies. We were meant to represent strip mining, but one group decided to represent mountaintop removal. Mountaintop removal is where companies go to extract resources from the tops of mountains via explosions to literally blow the tops off. This group did this by literally pulverizing their cookies to bits and pieces with their fists.

They incurred the maximum fine of $45. They didn't profit $100, however.

They profited over $500 dollars.

In the context of our environmental science class, these situations were anywhere from funny to satisfying. In the context of the real world, however, the consequences are devastating our environment.

Without even mentioning the current trajectory we're on approaching a near irreversible global temperature increase even if we took drastic measures this moment, mining and fracking is literally destroying ecosystems.

We think of earthquakes as creating mass amounts of sudden movement and unholy deep trenches as they fracture our crust. With dangerous mining habits, we do this ourselves.

Bigger companies not even related to mining end up destroying the planet and even hundreds of thousands of lives. ExxonMobil, BP? Still thriving in business after serial oil spills over the course of their operation. Purdue Pharma, the company who has misled the medical community for decades about the effects of OxyContin and its potential for abuse, is still running and ruining multitudes more lives every single day.

Did these companies receive fines? Yes.

But their business model is too profitable to make the fines have just about any effect upon their operation.

In our cookie mining simulation, we found that completely obliterating the landscape was much more profitable than being careful and walking on eggshells around the laws. Large, too-big-to-fail companies have held the future of our planet in their greedy paws and have likewise pulverized our environment, soon enough to be unable to return from.

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