Tag: A&E

You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me: Dr. Michael Fowlin Speaks to Students

Words: Hibah Khan

On the morning of April 20, the students at Centennial listened to Dr. Michael Fowlin, who went by Dr. Mykee, a psychologist and speaker. He gave a speech that emphasized the fact that everyone wears masks to hide their true selves in an effort to evade pain.

The event, organized and paid for by the Centennial PTSA, was offered in two assemblies to the entire school.

Dr. Fowlin incorporated five characters in his talk based off of true events he witnessed or experienced in his lifetime. These stories were used to convey different messages to the audience about important issues like gender equality, racial injustice, and mental illnesses.

Many of the students were deeply moved by this emotional talk because it exposed them  to truths about themselves that they may not have seen before. Dr. Fowlin explained that people are more than their handles: what they wear, the color of their skin, and the grades they get are not what defines a person. He emphasized that pain is not a bad thing; pain is the thing that empowers a person to create something magnificent in the world. His mission was to explain to the student body that they are not alone, and they have a purpose in this life.

“I think it was really eye opening to me and some parts of it I’d never thought of before. I hope everyone takes it with them and learns from it!” said sophomore Regina Wang.

Dr. Fowlin received a standing ovation after he spoke, indicating that he was able to connect with the audience in a way that the students hadn’t experienced before. He voiced the concerns the students have beyond their “handles.”

In the end it was an impressive event that allowed the students to view their struggles in a new light.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Love, Simon Brings Representation to Hollywood

Words: Lien Hoang

After months of anticipation, the movie Love, Simon, based off the book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, finally released in March with a 92% approval rate from Rotten Tomatoes.

What makes this comedic teen story such a hit?

Love, Simon follows a confused and closeted gay teenager named Simon Spier, played by Nick Robinson, who appears to have a normal life in the eyes of others, but on the inside, he is struggling to find himself. With no one to talk to about his internal conflict, Simon exchanges emails with an anonymous character named “Blue,” who understands exactly what he is going through. As time passes, Simon falls in love with this mysterious individual, wanting to meet him.

The relatable movie focuses on the topics of identity, friends, and family. Love, Simon presents a rare subject that is almost never seen in Hollywood: homosexuality. Simon’s heartwarming coming-of-age journey is inspirational and appropriate for teens and their parents. It highlights the ideas of acceptance and being comfortable with who you are. Love, Simon is the first major studio film featuring the main character as being gay and the whole movie revolves around him and his coming out story. Being the first of its kind, Love, Simon gives representation to the LGBTQ+ community, a group that is almost never mentioned in the mainstream movie industry.

Besides having a unique concept, the movie also includes an amazing cast and a spectacular plot.

Simon’s story is exhilarating and the movie takes you on a ferris wheel of emotions. Hopefully, Love, Simon can start a new trend that sheds light on the LGBTQ+ group.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Theatre Department Takes the Stage With 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Words: Natalie Keane

During the weekend of March 23, the Centennial High School Theatre Department presented the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in Centennial’s auditorium.

The musical, packed with fast-paced wit and humor, follows six middle schoolers as they compete to become Putnam County’s next spelling bee champion. As they progress through each round, with each filled with words that sound suspiciously fake, they also come to address their own adolescent insecurities. While the mood of the show remains playful, some moments highlight more serious and heartfelt undertones of the students’ personal lives.

Speller Olive Ostrovsky wants nothing more than validation from her parents, who are too busy to attend the competition to watch her perform. Leaf Coneybear, clad in a bright red cape, is plagued with self-doubt. Despite the constant mockery he hears from his own family, he manages to develop some much-needed self confidence throughout the play.

Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre has two overbearing moms, who are likely more invested in her own victory in the competition than she is. William Barfee is burdened with a chronic sinus condition and a last name that often provokes mispronunciation. Marcy Park describes the struggles of being simply too good at everything, and Chip Tolentino, a boy scout and last year’s spelling bee champion, is forced to come to terms with his own eventual failure in this year’s bee.

To the surprise of many, the show included audience participation. Four members from the audience were invited to be “guest spellers” in the bee, and did their best to spell through the competition on stage alongside the actors and actresses, contributing even more to the humor of the show. Audience participation highlights the uniqueness of the production, because no two performances can be exactly the same.

The true relatability of every character makes the show all the more wonderful to watch. It becomes easy to cheer on the six misfits as they navigate their way through the competition and their own personal struggles.

Altogether, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,  featuring drastically different characters who light up the stage, truly highlights what makes each of us one of a kind. It teaches a much-needed lesson that little victories, even if not intended to be found, can sometimes be worth more than the ones for which we’re really looking.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

New Forms Art Students Create Inspiring Murals

Words: Maggie Ju

Nineteen students in the New Forms art class will be participating in the Inspire Mural Project, scheduled for Thursday, March 22, but is postponed due to inclement weather closings.

Instructed by art teacher Mark Hanssen, these upperclassmen are creating murals based on Centennial’s values to display uplifting messages to students.

“Mr. Hanssen inspired us to reach within ourselves and create something beautiful while being meaningful,” senior Isabel Trojillo explained. She and other students are working on a design by senior Sophie Lovering, which features the words “Be Kind” in sign language.

“The most important aspect to me is allowing students to see the process so that they can fully appreciate the effort and the values we are reminded of on a daily basis,” Trojillo said, “I cannot wait for our murals to be finished!”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Jazz Band’s Spectacular Eagle Time Performance

Words: Natalie Knight Griffin

Photos: Sarah Kruhm

On Wednesday, February 21, Centennial’s Jazz Band gave a superb and exciting performance in the auditorium during Eagle Time. Free tickets were distributed to students that were interested in attending.

The concert consisted of three pieces titled “Just Plain Meyer,” “Sophisticated Lady,” and “Granada Smoothie.” Solos were performed by several students, each one standing up before the crowd and playing an individual, challenging run of notes.

Soloists during the first and second pieces included: Colin Eng playing the tenor saxophone, Swadhin Nalubola on the alto saxophone, Rainer Hlibok on bass trombone, Henry Bar-O on trombone, and Sean Li on alto saxophone. Colin Homassel, playing the flugelhorn, and Jack Keane on the trombone paired up for an unaccompanied performance during the third piece.

The band played the music from their recent Berklee Jazz Festival national competition, in which the group won fourth place. The impressive placement against hundreds of schools from around the country was no surprise when listening to the passionate and immaculate performances from students. In preparation for the competition, jazz students have been attending daily before school rehearsals since the beginning of the school year.

Although this was the group’s only Eagle Time performance, they encourage students to attend their future events.

 


For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Wonder Movie Review

Words: Natalie Keane

Based on the bestselling novel by R. J. Palacio, the movie Wonder hit theaters on November 17, sharing a message of complete authenticity to viewers. For a movie seemingly aimed at kids, Wonder does an unusually good job of bringing depth and underlying wisdom to the screen, while still being clear enough for younger viewers. With important life lessons threaded through each individual character’s story, it surprisingly could appeal to not just the movie’s aimed demographic of kids, but to much older people as well.

Thankfully, the movie proved to be a near exact replica of the book, and it was a relief to know that the author of the book had a large part in producing the on-screen adaptation. Just as the book is written, the movie begins showing the seemingly minor life of a kid who desperately wants to fit in, but then expands into a movie about community, kindness, and how the decisions we make can affect people in ways we don’t know.

The message of Wonder is clear. The year-long story surrounds 10-year-old Auggie Pullman, who has a facial deformity and is going to public school for the first time. As he navigates through the fifth grade, we watch his character as well as many of the other children at his school go from being closed off and unwilling to accept change to people who work to see beyond their own differences and connect with each other. The movie starts off in Auggie’s point of view, but as the story progresses, the perspectives switch between each of the characters and their stories relative to Auggie’s. Through these differing perspectives from the same year, director Stephen Chbosky doesn’t fail to bring a sense of warmth and genuineness to the screen.

It is often forgotten that sometimes there can be more to a movie than just the entertaining aspect, and Wonder represents this perfectly. Once you dig down to the very roots of why this story was made, you find that there is so much more than what this film seems to be on the surface. It is a lesson that so many people have difficulty learning, which is a lesson of hardship, acceptance, and ultimately, how the choices we make show who we truly are, not anything else.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Fine Arts Prepare for The Nutcracker Performance

Words: Shawn Kruhm

Centennial High School will be performing Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker on Thursday, November 30, and Friday, December 1 at 7 p.m. The show will be held in the school auditorium. Admission is $10.00 at the door or online at chs.hcpss.org.

The show is being presented by Centennial’s Junior and Senior dance companies, members of orchestra, wind ensemble, and the singing groups Bella Voce and Madrigals.

The students and the directors of the production have been working for the past few months to put on this show. Performers in the show have been spreading the word about the show through announcements and posters at school, and social media.

The Nutcracker has been a part of Centennial’s history for a long time. The performing arts program used to alternate between the Winter Spectacular and The Nutcracker every other year, and have made the decision to return to that tradition.

One of the directors of the show and Centennial’s dance teacher Rebecca Clark shared, “the directors wanted to bring new repertoire to their students, and thought this would be a great way to bring The Nutcracker back to the Centennial community.” 

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.