Thank You, "Yeezer"

Thank You, "Yeezer"

Kanye & Weezer's new mixtape is what every college kid needs
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I woke up to a shrill, familiar noise on my tenth birthday. I had heard it in airports and movie theaters, restaurants, and even once or twice in a classroom.

It was my cell phone ringing. My own cell phone. My brand new cell phone, the one I had been begging my parents for for months. It was a cheap, shiny little black chunk of plastic, and it was mine. Now I could finally call my four friends and 18 aunts (#MexicanProbs) anytime I wanted.

After thanking my parents and eating three slices of cake, I had a difficult choice to make: what would be my first ringtone? I needed something that represented who I was at the time. I was young, I was wild, I was finally ten.

"Don't Phunk With My Heart"? Nah, too "dancey".

"Candy Shop"? I wasn't that risqué yet.

"Boulevard of Broken Dreams"? I wasn't a jaded, angsty teen.

Then I saw it. It was perfect. It captured my essence in every note, in every nuanced lyric. My hopes, my dreams, everything that I believed in as a person, it was all interwoven in this one song.

Weezer's "Beverly Hills".

I wanted to live a life like that. I wanted to live just like a king. The thought of having my picture taken by the pool (with my new flip phone) made me feel like a celebrity. I had grand visions of being in public when my phone would ring, letting everyone around me know that I was going to be somebody.

Now, a decade later, I still suffer from megalomania, but I'm tactful enough to not try and make my ringtone reflect that. Instead, I let my ego speak for itself. But on October 6th, Kanye West and Weezer took me back to 2005 with their collaborative mixtape "Yeezer."

Part of me believes that Kanye created the mixtape solely to use that one (awful) pun, but all of me is appreciative of this audible miracle. Ye's classic lyrics (along with some new ones) transplanted over the timeless music of Weezer is everything I've wanted for the last ten years, and it took this mixtape to make me realize that.

As any college student can (and probably will) tell you, we are stuck in this weird limbo of life. Not quite adults, definitely not children, partially nostalgic, partially hopeful. "Yeezer" symbolizes all of these feelings. This album not only conjures up seemingly-distant memories of childhood, but, over the course of ten songs, reassures any listener of my age group that there is hope for the future. It isn't 2005 (thank God), and Gold Digger isn't all over every radio station anymore, but if these songs, these tired anthems of our youth can manage to grow and adapt and still make me bump'n'grind ten years later (maybe I was a risqué child...), I know I'll be just fine.

Kanye, Weezer, thank you. Thank you for providing the soundtrack for my childhood, thank you for perfectly blending your hit songs in this surprisingly good mixtape, and, coming from a broke-as-a-joke college student, thank you for this (FREE, y'all!) album.

If anyone needs me, I'll be listening to "The Buddy Holly Workout Plan" and laughing about a time in my life when I wore Hollister and stunna shades.

Cover Image Credit: http://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/vulture/2015/10/06/06-yeezer.w529.h529.jpg

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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