With the stress of classes, looming college applications and uncertain futures, we Blazers can always use a little help in learning what our lives will bring. As seniors, we were naturally tempted to get some advice from the paranormal by seeking a psychic. So, we, Samantha Lint and Tasnia Habib, your fearless entertainment editors, set out to test the murky waters of palm reading.
"To my brother. To my dear, dear brother. I do love you. But I really don't like you." Freshman Ellie Musgrave wrote these words to her brother on a September evening after the two had a fight, but she never sent them. Instead, she vented her anger in a page-long rant and posted it on her public Web log.
A message pops up on the computer screen. "Hi, I've trimmed the computer down somewhat. Happy hacking!” The computer, which had once held a slew of files, is now completely empty. The witty message is all that remains of Mark's presence.
Junior Kirstyn Ross-Roach still remembers April 1, 2006. Over dinner that night in her hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia, her father informed the family that they would be moving to Saudi Arabia. Ross-Roach scoffed at what she thought was her dad's attempt at a joke, but the announcement was no April Fool's Day prank.
The city was a chaotic mass of 17 million people sprawled across the capital of the largest country in the world, but the quiet pink apartment was tucked away, six long stories up from the streets below. Inside, a gentle wind breezed through the feng shui-arranged space, and Blair science teacher Desiree Balla and her family were the new occupants, embarking on their year abroad with few expectations and eager anticipation.
The loud clash and bang drew sophomore Hannah Jo Mounty-Weinstock into the kitchen. She found her parents smashing pots and pans as they cleaned up. "You'll have to stop doing that," she signed to them. The racket went unnoticed by her parents. After all, Mounty-Weinstock was the only person there who could hear what was happening.
The little pill looks tame enough. It's reddish and comes in an eight-pack that resembles a prescription. The package, which contains barely any English writing, comes from a mysterious company that promises a "taste trip." The pills are affordable, legal and classified as a "dietary supplement" by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And for a few adventurous Blazers, they are a mind-boggling experience.
Like a typical media assistant, she handles overdue books, checks materials in and out, orders new books and magazines and scans IDs for student computer use. But hidden away in the back of the media center is a collection of "Blair paraphernalia" that students and staff have given her over the years, a reminder of her presence at Blair as the Spirit Lady.
There are photographs of just one naked girl on his cell phone — his girlfriend. Greg, a junior, is the only person meant to see these pictures, and he respects that wish. The photographs and videos of 18 other girls on his removable memory card, however, are a reminder of his single days.
David Bowie and Iman. Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs. Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubrey. All these celebrities have something in common with several Blazers: their part in a movement to tilt the view of interracial relationships.
When the music begins, senior Jhon "JC” Colque and the other performers come alive, as if stirring after a long slumber. Clad head-to-toe in brightly colored traditional Bolivian garb —including multicolored feathered hats — they twist and turn in a series of fast-paced dance steps. With each fluid movement, their neon clothing adorned with sequins becomes a blur of color and energy. The male performers leap up and down and, helmets in hand, bang rhythmically on the floor as the women shake their dazzling hats and skirts to the brisk and cheerful beat of the music. Energy radiates from Colque and his fellow dancers; their twirling, hopping, sliding and twisting to the Bolivian music creates an enthusiasm so infectious that the audience cannot resist bobbing their heads to the beat.
The scene was cinematic. It was the 4th of July, and while others were commemorating the independence of the nation, Jack, a senior, was standing on the rooftop of an abandoned building in downtown Washington, celebrating his latest artistic achievement. With the fireworks going off all around in the distance, it was a perfect end to an exhausting, dangerous night.
Kids bound around on the plastic McDonald's indoor playland, shouting in excitement. A few feet away, one little boy stands completely alone, watching the commotion from a distance. He takes a timid step toward the other children, wanting desperately to join in on the fun, but they dash to the other side of the playground, yelling "you're weird" at him and whispering to one another "he's different."
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