A Wonder Of A Story

A Wonder Of A Story

Kindness goes a long way.
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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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Remember To Be Kind To Theme Park Cast Members This Holiday Season

They make the magic for you.
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For those of you who have traveled to a theme park during the holidays, you know what you are in for.

The weeks right before and after Christmas are some of the busiest times of the year to visit, making the parks extremely crowded and wait times higher than usual. Yet, this time is so popular since it is fun to experience the magic of the season with your family during the special Christmastime celebrations at the parks that bring something extra to your holidays.

One of the most important things to remember during this time of year is to be nice to the cast members!

Families that come to the parks during this time have so much to remember and so much to do; unfortunately, something that is often forgotten during a vacation is to be thankful for those who have to work during this time of year.

The cast members and team members who work during the holidays are doing so at the expense of spending time with their own families. They are sacrificing their Christmas celebrations at home to be at work making your vacation magical.

Some of these workers are hundreds if not thousands of miles away from their families and may not have seen them for weeks or even months. Yet, they are here in Orlando working in a job that they are passionate about because they love making happiness for their guests

Making magic and spreading happiness is something that is important to us and why we love what we do. However, it is still really hard to be away from our families at Christmas.

Think it is hard to be a guest when the parks are crowded?

It's even more difficult for the cast members who are working as hard as they can, for 8-15 hour shifts, when things happen that are out of our control. We too dislike long waits, telling your child that he is too short to ride or the fact that a ride is temporarily closed. These things make our jobs difficult too, just as they may be a huge setback in your vacation plans.

So focus on the positive things and appreciate the time you can spend with your families and friends rather than dwelling on the things that may be small setbacks during an overall wonderful holiday vacation. Please be patient this holiday season. Give the cast members a smile and a pleasant "thank you" or "Merry Christmas". We are here for you and we want you to have a wonderful vacation, but it still makes an incredible difference to know that our work is appreciated.

At this time of year, it is important to spread Christmas cheer and we are excited to celebrate with you and your families!

Cover Image Credit: Park Troopers

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Drama on Odyssey: Forbidden Chemistry

The purpose of a tutor is to help one learn new things... Until one learns something shocking about him.

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SETTING: A library, Edwardian in style. At stage left, a teenage girl, CORA, is sitting at a desk and writing, as her tutor, PHINEAS looks on.

PHINEAS: Now Cora, would you remind me the common name of the narcissus?

CORA: Ah... A daffodil? And it's named after the demi-god who was very handsome but also very vain.

PHINEAS: Both are correct. You're doing quite well, I daresay you're even surpassing your brother.

CORA: I hope you mean Nigel and not Frederick.

(PHINEAS chuckles)

PHINEAS: Frederick isn't ready for Botany yet, although Nigel does better with Literature than science.

(CORA's mother, ISABEL ALICIA, enters stage right.)

ISABEL ALICIA: Coraline, it's time for your dance lesson.

CORA: Must I go? It'll be the last I see Dr. LeClare before he goes to Lochere next week.

PHINEAS: I'll only be gone for the week, my father requested me home to help with his latest project.

ISABEL ALICIA: I do hope it's not another impossible machine.

PHINEAS: You're so much like your father, your ladyship, you only see things for what they are. Nobody said impossible.

ISABEL ALICIA: Go on, Coraline. Your dance lesson is starting soon, and Madame Danica is waiting.

CORA: Yes, mother... (Exits stage right)

(Beat)

PHINEAS: She's doing very well. She's bright.

ISABEL ALICIA: As expected. (Beat) I wouldn't expect anything less from one of your children.

(Beat)

PHINEAS: Must we still keep this from her?

ISABEL ALICIA: That she's not really a Faraday? Yes, if we want her, not to mention our reputations to remain intact.

PHINEAS: You know, it hurts me to lie to her, Belle.

ISABEL ALICIA: I know, me too, but it's for all our sakes. The world is still quite old fashioned. I doubt either of our countries would take well to a well-respected scientist having an affair with a married baroness. It wouldn't matter if we're good people or not.

(Beat)

PHINEAS: I still wish you could leave the Baron Faraday, or that you hadn't married him at all.

ISABEL ALICIA: It would still create a scandal if I left him for you, since we both know we can't stay away from each other. As for the latter... I suppose that was my own fault, not having realized our feelings for each other sooner. (She chuckles) I honestly thought those poems you wrote me in your letters were just you trying to show off.

PHINEAS: I kind of was, and I guess I should have been more straightforward.

ISABEL ALICIA: You were trying, I just didn't notice. We'd been writing each other since we were children, so I should have. I didn't realize until after I married Oswald.

(Beat)

PHINEAS: Did you ever love him?

ISABEL ALICIA: I did at one point. He was saying all the right things, and he was the right match. But as soon as Nigel was born, it just wasn't thrilling anymore. I guess it was all obligation. (She strokes his cheek) I only know what passion is because of you.

PHINEAS: I can say the same, for another person. I've always loved you, Belle.

ISABEL ALICIA: And I you, Phin. (She kisses him)

(CORA reenters, holding a book, but stays far stage right, and listens in. ISABEL ALICIA and PHINEAS do not notice her when the kiss is broken)

ISABEL ALICIA: I should repeat Coraline's sentiments, must you really go?

PHINEAS: As I've said to her, it's only for the week. I'll be back before you even notice I'm gone.

ISABEL ALICIA: I find that hard to believe, you're a hard person to miss.

PHINEAS: I try.

ISABEL ALICIA: You know, Coraline adores you so much. Sometimes I think some part of her knows the truth. (Beat) That she's your flesh and blood.

(CORA drops her book, and runs offstage)

ISABEL ALICIA: What was that?

PHINEAS: Lise, I hope. She's a lot better with secrets than Angelica.

ISABEL ALICIA: (Looks stage left) Nobody.

PHINEAS: Perhaps we should continue in the garden. (Offers her his arm) Shall we?

ISABEL ALICIA: Absolutely.

(ISABEL ALICIA AND PHINEAS exit stage right)

(Beat)

(CORA reenters)

CORA: (Calling) Yes, Madame, I'll only need a moment. (She sits back at the desk) (Beat) (To the audience) I only dreamt that. It can't be true... (She buries her face in her hands)

(End scene)

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