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thank u, next (year) As the year closes, ring in the new year with a recollection of events from 2018. From the Winter Olympics to the Royal Wedding, 2018 was a memorable year.

The Olympics

Story by: Charmagne Abangan, Amber Murray, Brenna Sealy, Brian Scott and Mikaila Zvyak

The Winter Olympics are held every four years and alternate every two years with the Summer Olympics. From Feb. 9 to Feb. 25, the 2018 Winter Olympics were held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Millions of people came together to watch the games with family and friends, either for entertainment or learning purposes.

“I watch it with my dad mostly. Since I was born, we’ve always watched hockey. He used to have parties for all the games, so [my favorite memory is] probably those parties of him having all his friends over and just sitting around the TV watching the games,” John Bondi (10) said.

The United State's Women's Hockey team placed first. Image Source: Harry How/Getty Images

Students who play winter sports watch the Olympics to gain information and learn new techniques to bring out on the rink. They acquire information by watching pros in action.

“It’s fun to watch and it shows me how the better players play, so I can learn from them. It helps me realize things that I do wrong [and] that I should do better when I play. I watch the specific position, the defensemen on the other teams work on the passing and where they’re looking to get the puck to,” Brett Bandstra (11).

Watching the Winter Olympics isn’t just to see how the pros play the sports. Some students have had the opportunity to train with Olympic team members, and watch in support of their peers. Competing in the ladies’ singles figure skating event, Alina Zagitova earned the gold medal for Russia.

“Watching Bradie Tennell in this past Olympics [was my favorite part] because I skate with her at my rink. It definitely motivates me having people around just knowing [the Olympics] are a goal,” Grace Marlow (9) said.

Bradie Tennell. Image Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

With 2,922 athletes representing 93 countries, each person competed in one of the 102 events. To a large sum of people, figure skating was viewed as one of the most thrilling to see. The United States achieved 23 medals, nine of which were gold.

“What makes it fun to watch is that there's so many different combinations. I’m a person who doesn’t like baseball because it’s all the same, while [in] ice skating you can do different jumps in different orders and different spins. There’s 26 different types of jumps that you could do,” Madisen Pivoney (10) said.

The Olympics are seen as a symbol of unity all throughout the world. Players come from all over America to compete on one united team, and history was made this year when North and South Korea were unified for the first time since the Korean War.

"It's patriotic, in a sense, because you have a team playing for you country and it's inspiring because I would want to play for my country someday," Noah Steepleton (11) said.

“I thought it was cool that a bunch of players from around the nation [could] come together and make this team to play other nations. It’s patriotic, in a sense, because you have a team playing for your country and it’s inspiring because I would want to play for my country someday,” Noah Steepleton (11) said.

The 2018 Opening Ceremony. Image Source: Francois-Xavier Marit/Getty Images

Crazy Rich Asians

Story by: Joshua Chen

Note: This essay was written for AP English Language and Composition class.

Director John Chu and the cast: Ken Jeong, Awkwafina, Constance Wu, Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh and Henry Golding pose for a photo for The New York Times. Crazy Rich Asians gained media attention for being the first major Hollywood movie to feature an all-Asian cast. Image Source: Rozette Rago

With flesh and blood

“Be a man. Men are supposed to lead the family,” my father tells me in English and Mandarin. “You Asians all have small d**ks,” one boy says in the lunchroom in seventh grade. “I’d never date an Asian,” someone comments under a YouTube video.

Throughout my 16 years of existence, I have heard and read comments like these thrown around everywhere, unsure of how to be and act "like a boy." That uncertainty only intensifies when I try to understand what being a Chinese boy means.

When I grow up watching television and movies that rarely feature Asian people, save the occasional nerdy sidekick or martial arts master, how should I think about myself? How am I expected to act and how should I? This issue of gender and expressions of masculinity and femininity becomes remarkably more complex in the context of race and media representation, especially in Western society.

Perhaps the most significant portrayal in the film, the women of Crazy Rich Asians occupy powerful and complex roles in a variety of ways, ways that include a much broader view of traditionally depicted Asian femininity. According to researcher Hanying Wang, character Rachel Chu subverts the traditional notion of a “a ‘China Doll’, a submissive image.” While in Singapore, she attempts to navigate a swarm of challenges--jealous socialites, cultural dissonance, and a staunchly disapproving family. When her boyfriend Nick faces the daunting decision of choosing between a relationship and life with Rachel and a life with his family in Singapore, Rachel chooses for him. Understanding the essential role that family occupies in Chinese culture and Singaporean society, Rachel gives Nick the opportunity to keep ties with his family and also eventually find love which his family will approve of. This act completely upends the stereotype and gender role of a submissive woman in a relationship; it lends power to an Asian woman on-screen and illustrates that Asian women can be resilient and completely capable. However, this contrasts with the portrayal of Eleanor Young, played by actress Michelle Yeoh. As the hardened protector of the Young family dynasty, Eleanor reflects the socially mandated gender role of maintaining the family structure in a wealthy family. Yet, Yeoh depicts Eleanor not merely as an antagonist who perpetuates gender roles but as a multidimensional loving mother, motivated by selfless love, personal insecurities, and age-old cultural values. Yeoh makes it clear how Eleanor’s hostility toward Rachel stems from her own concern for the family empire she has maintained for years.

Such a portrayal possessing nuance presents the various facets of traditional gender roles without attacking the existence of such roles, leading viewers to examine how broad the expression of femininity truly is. The film’s representation of femininity makes a powerful statement affirming the complexities of Asian femininity.

Similarly, the male characters of Crazy Rich Asians occupy diverse roles and behave in ways that are not defined by traditional representation of Asian men in Western culture. On a general level, American ideals of masculinity have been limited to a single set of characteristics and behavior, usually stoic, powerful, and unemotional, which writer Paul Theroux describes as similar to “having to wear an ill-fitting coat for one’s entire life.” That same limited perception of how men should act heightens on a race-specific level. Historically, Hollywood has emasculated Asian men, imputing them “with no sexual drive” and characterizing them “as brainy wimps, martial arts contenders, perpetual foreigners, or fatalistic, silent victims,” as described in "The Journal of Men's Studies."

Crazy Rich Asians shatters the stereotype of the emasculated Asian man; John Chu includes scenes lingering over shots of actors’ bodies, presenting characters who can be sexual and desirable.

Though this type of portrayal can reinforce conventional notions of macho masculinity, the film’s use of this challenges the problematic emasculation of Asian men in media. Furthermore, the movie’s plot revolves heavily around the situation of Nick Young. As the heir of his family dynasty, his family expects him to fill the role as head of the family business and structure. Nick’s navigation of cultural and gender expectations pose thoughtful questions over how men can be “masculine” and occupy “masculine” roles. His love for his family and its traditional values competes with his love for Rachel, and he exhibits thoughtfulness and deep respect through his conflict. Additional male characters encompass a wide group of behaviors, including a brash, rude frat boy, a narcissistic cousin, and a flamboyant, outgoing stylist.

This myriad of Asian masculine identities that the film presents reveals the fluid nature of masculinity, establishing the full humanity that Asian men can embody in media.

As a film released in Western society, Crazy Rich Asians makes a compelling affirmation of the existence of Asian women and men, depicting complex and humanized portrayals of Asian femininity and masculinity.

For the first time in 25 years, a major-release film illustrates Asian men and women as people who exhibit a spectrum of masculinity and femininity.

Asian people do not and should not subscribe to a singular depiction of gender expression. I can only imagine how the release of a film like Crazy Rich Asians would have affected my grade-school and middle-school self.

As Michelle Yeoh so definitively puts it, “We want to be included, not just as a token, but really with flesh and blood, with heart, with passion and with the storytelling that deserves to be told.”

Movie and Music Mania

Story by: Taylor Anderson, Mya Bell, Kaila Ormerod, Hailey Prasopoulos, Morgan Taylor and Julie Wasyliw

A variety of movies and music were released in 2018. From a new installment in the "Halloween" series to a long-awaited Travis Scott album, many new additions left some viewers obsessed and others not so much.

Movies

"Halloween"

"Halloween," came out over the Halloween season, the most recent film since 2009. Joining the franchise as the eleventh installment in the Halloween series, the movie sold over $7.75 million in tickets alone.

“From the acting to the gore, it was an amazing movie that I would highly recommend. I really enjoyed the comedy that was placed throughout the movie. It was enjoyable and even made me laugh a few times. It’s a great movie that I had a blast watching. [The movie is] great for long time fans of the franchise and new ones,” Ethan Pinarski (11) said.

Image Source: Universal Pictures

"Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again"

"Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" debuted 10 years after the first movie hit the big screens.

“[My friend and I] thought it was super awesome. We both cried and it was super cool to see the people from the first movie in it. Some parts didn’t match up with the first movie, so I would make sure everything reflected right from the first movie,” Kimberly Wojciehowski (12) said.

Image Source: Universal

"Avengers: Infinity War"

"Avengers: Infinity War," debuted and left many Marvel fans in astonishment. The movie is number four in the Avengers series and featured actors such as Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson.

“I would definitely recommend this to others, especially Marvel fans that can handle seeing their favorite characters go through so much. It is a rollercoaster with lots of twists and turns, but I think others would enjoy seeing how far their favorite characters have come and how much they’ve changed,” Carina Hernandez (11) said.

Image Source: Marvel Studios

Music

"Beerbongs and Bentleys": Post Malone

"Beerbongs and Bentleys" by Post Malone was an 18-song album that broke chart records. In just the first week, over 461,000 units were sold, earning Post Malone one of the biggest streaming weeks ever.

“Personally I think it was a really great album. It’s very diverse. There seems to be a song for every single mood. It also has a lot of features from a bunch of different artists,” Lydia Farmer (11) said.

Image Source: Republic Records

"Sweetener": Ariana Grande

On the contrary, some albums that came out this year didn’t live up to people’s standards. Some fans were disappointed by Ariana Grande’s "Sweetener" because it differed from her usual style.

“It wasn’t her best work for sure, however, a few songs were good. I definitely preferred her earlier work,” Ian Butler (11) said.

Image Source: Republic Records

"astroworld": travis scott

Travis Scott’s "Astroworld" was also a new album that seemed to surprise many fans. His previous album "Rodeo" was released in 2015, making "Astroworld" highly anticipated.

“I have been a Travis Scott fan for a very long time. It was some of his best work because he branched away from what he usually does and took a long time to make it and that showed,” Marko Kolundzija (11) said.

Image Source: Cactus Jack Albums

"Scorpion": Drake

Drake’s "Scorpion" album topped the charts with some hits such as ‘Nonstop’ and ‘God’s Plan.’ Another hit song, ‘In my Feelings,’ even inspired a dance trend.

“Drake’s music is always good. There will always be at least three songs that are amazing no matter what. Any song that wasn’t really good was decent, none were bad. The last Drake album came out in 2017, so it’s refreshing to get new music from him,” Jacob Pietranczyk (11) said.

The World Cup

Story by: Andie Kalemba, Riley Knestrict, Hannah Kosinski, Cole Marquez and Tiffanie Richerme

The World Cup is a widely celebrated event across the globe. Fans from all corners of the earth pile into stadiums or cozy up in front of the TV to watch the World Cup. During the semifinals, France played against Belgium ending with a win for France, and Croatia won against England. Then, in the final moments of the World Cup, with millions of eyes watching, France won the World Cup at 4-2 points.

France celebrating after the World Cup win. Image Source: Jacques Demarthon

This significant sporting event can be significant to people and can summon bonding in some families, bringing them together over a common interest.

“My family is a soccer family and the World Cup is a really big event for us every time it occurs. My family has been watching it since before I was born. We get together and watch the games as a family, especially the final match to see who wins. I’ve been watching and playing soccer pretty much my whole life so I would say that I am more of a fan than others are,” Geno Zambrano (10) said.

“My family is a soccer family and the World Cup is a really big event for us every time it occurs. My family has been watching it since before I was born. We get together and watch the games as a family, especially the final match to see who wins. I’ve been watching and playing soccer pretty much my whole life so I would say that I am more of a fan than others are,” Geno Zambrano (10) said.

To some, the World Cup is an event watched for fun and a reason to throw a party with friends and family. To others, it can be as important as studying for a final.

“Soccer is my life, so I watch it more often and study the game at a professional level, I’ve been playing for 12 years,” Emilio Zambrano (10) said.

Luka Modric, Croatia. Image Source: Petr David Josek/AP

200 countries turned on their TV’s to watch the 2018 World Cup. 44.5 million people tuned in and watched the large occasion.

“I play [soccer] for high school so I’m a pretty big fan. [My favorite part about the World Cup is] definitely getting together with my family and watching it. Me, my dad, and my brother are really big fans of watching soccer so just being able to spend more time with them is something I hope for. I’ve always rooted for Spain. I remember watching the 2010 [World Cup] and Spain ended up winning it that year and that was something that my brother and I were excited for,” Colton Dougherty (12) said.

For boys and girls soccer, there are approximately 265 million professional soccer players in the world. 32 countries competed in the tournament. Some of the top players from this year's championship were Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal and Lionel Messi from Argentina.

“My favorite thing about the World Cup is watching the games with my family and friends, watching all the best players in the world compete. My family is a soccer family and the World Cup is a really big event [in my house] every time it occurs. I’ve been watching and playing soccer pretty much my whole life so I would say that I am more of a fan than others are. One day I hope to be able to travel and watch a World Cup game in person it has always been a dream of mine.” Geno Zambrano (10) said.

The Royal Wedding

Story by: Danica Mileusnic

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Image Source: Ben Stansall

The wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry caught international attention, gaining almost two billion views worldwide. Many individuals in the United States woke up in the early morning just to tune in to the special event.

Harry and Meghan were given the title the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Now, the two are expecting their first child.

The ceremony took place at St. George's chapel in Windsor with a reception following at Frogmore House.

Before the bride, the bridesmaids and page boys walked down the aisle. Meghan walked solo at the beginning, later to be joined by Prince Charles, Duke of Cambridge.

The bride stepped out of the car in a silk, boat neckline dress by Clare Wright Keller design for Givenchy. The dress featured three-quarter-length sleeves and a form fitting silhouette, with a piece of the dress she wore on the first date stitched in. The dress was simple and free of any embellishments.

The almost 16 foot veil tumbled behind the Duchess. Wove into the veil was her two favorite flowers and the 53 flowers belonging to the countries of the Common Wealth.

Duchess of Sussex's veil. Image Source: Jane Barlow

Prior to the wedding, many individuals were debating on what tiara Markle was going to wear. Many believed she would wear Princess Diana's 'Spencer' Crown, but she opted for Queen Mary, Princess of Trek's tiara. The tiara was centered around a giant stone with designs surrounding it.

People were not just interested in what Markle would wear, but also many other individuals attending the wedding were wearing. Princess Beatrice and Eugenie received harsh criticism after Kate and William's wedding, but many were pleased with their looks for this wedding. Several notable celebrtities attended the wedding including: Amal and George Clooney, Serena Williams and Victoria and David Beckham.

George and Amal Clooney. Image Source: PA

After the ceremony, the Duke and Duchess paraded around Windsor in a horse and carriage. The event was broadcast live across several channels. They later went to their Frogmore House reception with their closest friends and families where she wore a simple, halter neck dress.

Bridal party portrait. Image Source: Alexi Lubomirski, Kensington Palace

The Duke and Duchess, after their honeymoon, began their royal duties as husband and wife. The pair attended a royal of tour in Australia in October and November. Recently, they announced they were expecting their first child, due in Spring of 2019.

*poll out of 490* Page by: Taylor Anderson, Mya Bell, Jared Carroll, Delanie Flynn, Danica Mileusnic, Kaila Ormerod, Hailey Prasopolous, Ava Solis, Morgan Taylor and Julie Wasyliw

from the editors

Out with the old, in with 2019. This year has been an interesting year for the both of us and we cannot wait to see what next year will hold.

The end of our senior year is approaching, which only leaves more room for new opportunities. Here is to starting our next adventure to college in the fall.

We wish you happy holidays and a wonderful new year.

Best,

Radosav Mihajlovic and Danica Mileusnic

If you have questions or inquiries, please contact batomihajlovic9@gmail.com and danicamileusnic1@gmail.com

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