Monthly Archives: April 2011

By: Leah Noecker ’11, Page Editor

“Pictures are all you see these days, it’s just all pictures,” said Carolina Blohm ’11. “Our world is so visual.”

Film Literature teacher John Monaghan said pictures are even evident in movies, as is the case with stop motion films. Stop motion films are pieced together by taking pictures and moving objects little by little in each shot so that when they are placed together and run through a projector, it looks as though the objects are moving. Examples of these films include “Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Coraline” and “James and the Giant Peach.”

Given her photo background, when assigned the task of making a student film for Film Literature, Blohm said a stop motion film was an obvious choice.

“I knew when I started that class that I wanted to do stop motion, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it,” said Blohm. “I just thought it was such a cool type of animation.”

Carolina Blohm’s Stop Motion Video from Tower Pulse on Vimeo.

 

Once she knew that she was going to make a stop motion video, things automatically started falling into place, Blohm said. Her untitled film has been chosen to be shown at the Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) on April 30. One of Blohm’s first inspirations was the song “Tighten Up” by The Black Keys.

“I heard the song on the radio when I was driving and I thought, ‘I really like this song, it’s a cool song,’ and I started listening to it everyday,” said Blohm. “I thought I really could do something with this, but I ended up having such a weird schedule that it looked like I had to do it [the film lit project] by myself because the movie was made in three hour bursts. We would go drive somewhere and take a bunch of pictures, then go home and do something else, so I kind of wanted to make something about me and my photography and Detroit.

After all was said and done, Blohm said it had taken her a total of six weeks and approximately 6,000 pictures in total to reach completion of the final cut with the aid of Windows Movie Maker

Taking pictures with the intent of making them into a movie is very different than taking them for photo class, Blohm said.

When a movie is played on a projector, the film runs through a projector at 24 frames per second. This means that in each second of film, 24 pictures are seen, Monaghan said.

Although focusing on many aspects of Blohm’s life, the film is primarily centered around Blohm’s adventures downtown and some of her other favorite places to take photographs.

“It starts with me leaving school and I act  like I don’t want to be here and then it just goes into Detroit and all these interesting places, like the historical Boston Edison District, the train station and Belle Isle, which are places I go to a lot,” said Blohm. “I just want to show other people what I see. It was just a day long journey of going places.”

Blohm had many advantages because of her photography background, Monaghan said. She was able to give a unique perspective through her film.

“Her photographer’s eye was so evident,” said Monaghan. “It reflected on her and gave us a sense of the city. She was like a character. The way she depicted Detroit and the way she picked the music for it. It was really a great film.”

Taking pictures with the intent of making them into a movie is very different than taking them for photo class, Blohm said.

“I was using my camera like a video camera,” said Blohm. “I was doing shots that would be in movies. With photo I’m looking for a message in what I am taking pictures of. It’s not like I am trying to send a message through taking pictures. That’s the difference between them.”

Art teacher Kit Aro agreed that Blohm’s skills and her ability to compose with the camera makes her stop motion and photography strong.

“The film as a whole, the beauty of what she did with stop motion was punctuating the beat of the music with the rhythm of the animation,” said Aro. “It has a whole new life compared to each shot which is beautiful in itself and it’s got this amazing vibrancy and rhythm and life. That’s exactly what the message of her movie is.”

Artwork by Annie Gough '11.

In terms of age, a student teacher may only be in his or her early twenties. Just a few years older than students in some cases, they may not always be respected. Yet these professionals-in-training offer the classroom a diverse set of benefits, and in turn, strong school systems get a chance to train the next line of educators.

As a positive addition to the classroom now, while also vying to become an influential force in the educational system’s future, student teachers cannot be ignored as a key piece in revamping American education.

Reports of problems within the educational system have become commonplace, not to mention studies that show this country’s students falling behind on a global basis.

Student teachers are a valuable resource that can provide modern and innovative updates to the current educational model, which can hopefully provide answers to some of these ongoing educational issues.

“Grow our own” initiatives across the country are attempts by states and communities that promote educating quality teachers who will eventually become placed in that area. In a similar way, when our school district provides student teaching opportunities, it is not only helping to enrich the development of that person’s education, but also generating potential new employees.

It is important that the district discovers and supports these student teachers early on so that it can develop relationships with them and keep them in mind when hiring.

That is the future, but in terms of today, these student teachers can brighten the classroom atmosphere for students and teachers alike. With class sizes increasing, student teachers can aid in tasks ranging from making copies, grading tests or updating Pinnacle. This allows the teacher to focus more time on actually teaching and helping students.

In the case of younger student teachers, they may be able to more closely relate with students, communicating with and teaching lessons to students in a more efficient or interesting way. Further, a student teacher can offer a fresh perspective to the teacher so that they can see ways in which to improve their class.

If a teacher can properly set up his or her classroom for a student teacher to play an important role, they can be both a helpful sidekick and provide a fresh look to teachers and students as another long school year progresses. More importantly, though, a student teacher is a soldier-in-training who will eventually battle to improve the educational system.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

0 2
By: Lily Koss ’13, Staff Writer

 

Can art cause happiness? For senior Maggie Davison, that is just the case.

“When I view her art, I usually feel happy,” said art teacher, Kit Aro.  “She is a happy girl and she creates happy art.”

Davisson said she had not always been interested in art, but she always viewed herself as creative, and after taking Photography I, her interests changed.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Davison '11. "Blue" was taken on Davison's choir trip to Greece.
Photo courtesy of Maggie Davison '11. "Blue" was taken on Davison's choir trip to Greece.

“I just fell in love and knew that this is what I wanted to do,” said Davisson.  “The teachers push us to do something new and original, and they keep pushing you to go further than we think we can go.”

All together, Davisson said she has taken Photography I and II, Advanced Placement Photography, and Computer Graphics I through III.

Attending Taylor University to major in photography in the coming year, Davisson liked thier atmosphere of a smaller campus that offered a program that focused on photography as a career rather than a fine art.

“Sometimes I think that being only a photographer and not really having skills in other art departments does worry me,” said Davisson. “But you just have to do what you love, even if people won’t agree with it.  If you love it then that is all that matters.”

Davisson’s goal is to open her own studio and take wedding or senior portraits. Aro advised her to follows her goal even though it is different than most artists’ goal of having deep concepts and a personal emotional message.

“Some other people might want to be more of a fine arts photographer and Maggie could do that, but she wants that polished professional portrait look.” said Aro.  “She just needs to do that and not worry whether she gets recognized in the fine arts world.”

Photo courtesy of Maggie Davison '11. "Berries" shows how plants can survive in the dead of winter.
Photo courtesy of Maggie Davison '11. "Berries" shows how plants can survive in the dead of winter.

Aro said the most important role she can play as a teacher is in helping Davisson develop her artistic eye and the ability to recognize how art has an influence in visual language.

“That is not taught anywhere but in the art department,” said Aro.  “Our culture is increasingly using visual language and communication, and while it is everywhere around us, few people can actually break it down; but I think Maggie can.”

Aro applauded Davisson’s social commentary project on negativity from parents, paralleling those who support their children, rather than knock them down.  Davisson used three different exemplifying images, and thought a lot about her use of elements and principals, Aro said.

“Her whole piece just came together as a strong and important image to view,” said Aro. “It was professional and a portrait but it really bore social change and that is what I love: making art to shape the world into a better place.”

However, Aro said Davisson is not usually ‘gunning’ for social change, and she rather captures beauty and the wonderful side of human nature.

“So much art is delving into sadder things,” said Aro, “and Maggie is not like that.”

Davisson said she aims at capturing emotion and personality through her photographs, and she wants people to view them as more than just a picture.

“I just what people to see that I can capture people the way they want to be captured,” said Davisson.

A personal favorite of Davisson’s that demonstrates her aim for capturing personality is her picture of a little, redheaded girl she was babysitting.  Davisson succeeded in capturing good color, composition, and personality in this picture.

“She is doing what is true for her,” said Aro of Davisson, “which is giving a happy, upbeat and lively message.”

0 4
By: Jen Ryan ’12, Staff Writer

 

The application process for schools is probably one of the more stressful things in a high school student’s life.

Counselor Anne Mabley.

 “Junior year is usually when [students] think about applying to college,” said Counselor Anne Mabley. “It’s important to maintain good grades because colleges look at junior year as the last complete year of performance.”

Elizabeth Clem ’11 who is planning to attend Grand Valley State University next fall said her search for the right college was mainly based on the size of the school. Grand Valley has a student body of about 24,000 which was a perfect fit for her.

Elizabeth Clem '11.

“I was looking for decent sized classes, not lecture halls with 200 people,” said Clem. “I also looked at the dorms [at Grand Valley] and they were really nice.”

 Connor Matthews ’11 said he searched for a school based on its size and academics. The University of Michigan and Michigan state, the only two schools he applied to, both fit that description.

“I’ve always been a big Michigan fan so the decision was easy for me,” said Matthews. “It had all the qualities that I wanted in a school.”

 Both Clem and Matthews said they practiced time management and took ACT classes to better their score.

“Even though it will be summer and you won’t want to work on applications,” said Matthews, “but you’ll be thankful you did when school rolls around and they’re completely finished.”

 There are a lot of different software programs available for kids to practice on, Mabley said. They have a very similar set up to the ACT and tell one what questions theygot wrong and why.

“Since I was able to finish all of my applications by October, everything got easier after that,” said Matthews. “[The application process] is really stressful but it helps if you really get it done and don’t procrastinate.”

 

Connor Matthews ’11.

Clem said she started her application process in October, but advises juniors to apply to as many schools as possible.

 “I wish I would’ve applied to more schools,” said Clem. “The only other school I applied to was Western Michigan University. I’m happy with Grand Valley but I wish I could have provided myself with more options to choose from.”

Matthew’s key advice is to “start your applications as early as possible.”

“Even though it will be summer and you won’t want to work on applications,” said Matthews, “but you’ll be thankful you did when school rolls around and they’re completely finished.”

 Mabley advises students to not let down on their search.

“Keep your focus on your studies and do the best you can. It’s grueling but make sure to be proactive because the outcome is great: choosing a good school that you’ll love.”

0 7

By: Matt Barnes ’12, Sports Editor

 

South’s 2010 varsity football team finished its season with the most success it has had in school history; defeating rival team North High School, earning the MAC Blue Division Championship, ousting Detroit Martin Luther King for the District Championship and Temperance Bedford for the regional title.

And with great success comes great opportunities: Team captain and starting tackle Reggie Lewis ’11 will be playing football at Victor Valley College (VVC) in California.

“I just wanted to get out of Michigan,” said Lewis. “I was planning to go to a junior college in Iowa, but Victor Valley College called me and it sounded so much better.”

The Victor Valley Rams have achieved great successes of their own since a coaching change in 2000, hiring Dave Hoover as the head coach. Hoover holds the school’s best single season record at 9-1; in 2009, the Rams went 6-4, winning all but two of their conference games. However, last season the Rams record fell to 2-7.

“In the past few years, they (the Rams) haven’t had the best record,” said Lewis. “They had a team of pretty much all freshmen. The coach sounded confident in telling me that the next season will be much better.”

Lewis plans on playing guard on offense, and possibly tackle on defense, he said. During the Rams’ 2008 season, the Rams held the fourth best offense in all of the Southern California Football Association (SCFA), and in the 2006 season defensive coordinator Dale Bunn carried the team to the best defense in the state.

Although he was accepted and given offers to multiple colleges in Michigan including Northern Michigan, Saginaw Valley and Northwood University, Lewis said that he chose VVC because of the possibilities that could open in the future.

“I chose to go to a junior college because I felt like I was better than going D2,” said Lewis. “By going the junior college route I should, in theory, get a D1 scholarship in a few years.”

Lewis attributes much of his personal success to Jesus, he said. An outstanding athlete in both football and wrestling, Lewis qualified for the state tournament in both his sophomore and senior year.

“I attribute all of my success to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” said Lewis. “He has kept me safe from injury and has helped me have an amazing career here at South.”

Varsity quarterback and fellow captain Ben Fry ’11 said that he is excited for Lewis’ opportunities in Southern California. Fry will also be playing college football as a preferred walk-on at the University of Michigan.

“I think that Reggie will have a great opportunity to work on his different football skills at the junior college,” said Fry. “If he works hard enough, he should get noticed by a division one school and play some big time football in the future.”