President Obama Says Farewell to the White House

President Barack Obama gave his farewell address on January 10th, 2017, in Chicago to a very large crowd.

One of the main points that President Obama talked about was the peaceful transition of power from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration. This was brought up when the crowd started to chant “‘Four more years!’”, and Obama replied to them with “‘I can’t do that,’” according to the script of the address on Whitehouse.gov.

“‘In 10 days, the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy…the peaceful transfer of power from one freely elected President to the next,’” stated Obama in response to the audience booing at Donald Trump, according to the Whitehouse.gov.

There was a small underlying message about him [Trump], but it was not direct. He was talking about his progress and how they need to continue it. It didn’t seem intentional, but because they [Trump and Obama] are opposites in the political world, he may have unintentionally done it,” commented Boys’ Latin senior Zach Grace.

Even though Obama stated that he wanted to peacefully transfer power to the newly elected Trump, some people still maintain the idea that he was jabbing at Trump and boosting his own ego.

“Obama chose the moment and the setting (it’s where he gave his victory speech on Election Night 2012) to bask in idolatry rather than say much that will stand the test of time,” according to Fox News.

Obama is “riding high in the polls but just days away from handing over the reins to a Manhattan mogul who has vowed to dismantle much of his legacy,” according to NBC.

Both Liberal and Conservative media want to make the public believe that he was saying bad things about President-elect Trump. Even though in reality, he didn’t say much at all about him.

One extremely strong point Obama had was about race relations.

“For blacks and other minority groups, it means tying our own very real struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face — not only the refugee, or the immigrant, or the rural poor, or the transgender American, but also the middle-aged white guy who, from the outside, may seem like he’s got advantages, but has seen his world upended by economic and cultural and technological change. We have to pay attention, and listen,” said Obama according to Whitehouse.gov.

Obama’s time as president has seen many differing opinions based off of the different sides of the political spectrum.

Some people thought he was good.

“He was good but left a lot to be desired. Some stuff he either ignored or gave wishy-washy answers to. He also said he would do things that he didn’t do,” commented Boys’ Latin senior Grant Iodice.

Some people were not as fond of him.

“I thought he didn’t do much. He promised a lot of change, but there wasn’t a lot of change, and the change he had wasn’t very great,” said Grace.

Some people just didn’t care.

“He was alright,” according to Boys’ Latin senior Ryan Stellman.

Finally, some people were in the middle.

“Obama recounted a presidency that saw setbacks as well as successes,” according to CNN.

Featured Image: https://aurn.com/presidents-legacy-obama-years-criminal-justice-reform/

Dylann Roof Sees No Mercy in Court Decision

Dylann Roof, the shooter during the South Carolina historically black church massacre killing nine people during a prayer meeting, has been sentenced to the death penalty but has until January 24th to appeal.

The Emanual African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting was on June 17th, 2015. Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Reverend Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Reverend Daniel Simmons Sr., Reverend Sharonda Singleton, and Myra Thompson were all of Roof’s victims. Roof was charged with nine counts of murder and one count possession of a firearm which are all felony charges.

“The twelve jurors deliberated for about three hours before sentencing Dylann Roof, 22, to die. To impose the death penalty, they had to reach a unanimous decision. It is the same jury that found Roof guilty of federal hate crimes charges for entering Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015 and sitting among those at a Bible study in the basement before opening fire on the worshippers,” according to Rebecca Hersher, a writer for NPR.org.

Roof is caught on camera with a gun in hand walking into the church on June 17th. He later confessed to the crimes of slaughtering those people once in custody.

“The fact that anyone would just walk into a church while they’re [the victims] not doing anything and just kill them without remorse is scary. We [the Milton family] go to church often; if you think about it, nothing is stopping someone from doing the same thing, but that’s scary to think about. To kill people who are so innocent and really helpless in a sense makes me feel sick,” said Kamesha Milton, mother of Boys’ Latin student Jalen Milton.

Most of the families of the victims did not hold back their harsh words in regards to Roof.

“You, young man, are among the worst kind of evil. You have said you didn’t have to do this but you felt you had to do this. The fact is, you did not have to do this just as my brother Tywanza urged you not to…One day before your final earthly judgment, it’s going to come to you, and you are going to realize you did not have to do this. And it’s going to hit you hard,” said Shirenne Goss, the sister of victim Tywanza Sanders during an interview for a CNN.com article.

Other family members were even more blunt than that of Ms. Shirenne Goss.

“I want your soul to burn in hell. My mother can’t even step a foot into church. And for you to sit here every day — I was here from the beginning to the end — and never, ever apologize…was hurtful. I pray that your soul goes to hell,” said Gayle Jackson, the niece of victim Susie Jackson during another interview for a CNN.com article.

“Although the crime was committed in 2015 and the ruling process began on Jan. 3rd, the final decision did not come until Tuesday [January 11th],” according to NPR.com

“I don’t know if I agree with the ruling to be completely honest. I usually cannot agree with just killing a man like this, but he says he killed those people on purpose to ‘start a race war’. That is why I don’t really know; I’m pretty torn,” said Milton.

Shots Fired in Fort Lauderdale Airport

On January 6th, 2017, Esteban Santiago opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. After his flight, he went to the bathroom to privately get his gun out of his suitcase and load it. He then went to baggage claim, took his gun out of his waistband, and started shooting.

At baggage claim, all people want to do is grab their luggage after a long and boring flight. At the Fort Lauderdale Airport, however, people got a scary experience along with their belongings.

People began to panic and fend for their lives. “Santiago confessed to planning the assault that killed five people and left several others wounded,” reporters Steve Almasy and Eliott C. McLaughlin of CNN explained. This tragic event left people not only dead or wounded, but also scared.

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Police are investigating the crime scene at baggage claim in the Fort Lauderdale Airport (NBC News).

This shooting in the airport has affected many people and has changed their opinions of flying. “It was crazy and so unexpected that someone would shoot up the airport,” senior John Kunisch said.

“I’m going to have to be more cautious while flying now, especially to the Fort Lauderdale Airport,” senior Eli Frank said. This shooting is going to make people be more aware of their surroundings and alert.

“It hasn’t changed my view on flying, but the next time I’m at a baggage claim, I’m definitely going to think about this shooting,” sophomore Willie Wright said.

Even people in the Boys’ Latin community can personally relate to this attack because they regularly fly into that airport. “I was just at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, and I could’ve been involved if I was there a couple days later,” junior Will O’Dell said.

This tragedy is seen through a different perspective for some people because of their presence at the crime scene. “I’ve been at the baggage claim where it happened, so I can picture what the setting was like. It is just weird to think about that it could’ve happened to me,” Frank said.

People are also angry because of Santiago’s actions. “I believe that he should stay in jail and possibly face the death penalty,” Kunisch said. He needs to face the consequences for taking the lives of innocent people for no reason.

“Santiago is being held without bond on a murder charge,” reporters Steve Almasy and Ray Sanchez of CNN explained. Along with Santiago being in jail, he was also put on the No-Fly List. The No-Fly List is when the government prohibits someone from ever flying on an airplane again.

“Santiago returned from Iraq a changed man, his aunt told CNN. ‘His mind was not right,’ Maria Ruiz Rivera said. ‘He seemed normal at times, but other times he seemed lost. He changed,’” Almasy and McLaughlin explained.

Clemson vs. Alabama Proves to be National Title Thriller

The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers took Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida by storm on January 9, 2017. Each team was poised and ready to compete, but only one team could walk away as national champions.

Having lost the 2016 national title game 45-41 to a formidable Alabama team, one could imagine the Clemson Tigers had redemption on their mind.

After completing a perfect regular season, many weren’t surprised to see Alabama making another championship run.

All bets were made and the stakes were set. Surprisingly more bets were actually made in Clemson’s favor. People were banking the underdog, hoping they would avenge their loss from the previous year, and “roll the Tide”.

“There was upwards of $15 million bet on this game alone in Nevada,” according to an ESPN article written by David Purdum.

“More money was bet…between Clemson and Alabama at William Hill’s Nevada sports book than any other college football game in the company’s history, according to vice president of marketing Michael Grodsky,” in the same Purdum article.

No one knew who would be the victor until the final whistle blew. Clemson was quiet in the first half, trailing 14-7 at intermission. After pulling within three in the third quarter, Alabama pulled away again, leading Clemson 24-14 at the end of the third.

The fourth quarter began with a bang; Clemson drove 72 yards and scored to pull within three. After stumping the Tide’s offense, the Tigers got the ball back. The Tigers scored again to take a 28-24 lead with 4:38 left to play.

Then it was Alabama’s turn. Led by freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts, the Tide drove 68 yards in 2:31. The drive was capped off with Hurts’ 30-yard touchdown run.

At this point, Alabama had retaken a three-point lead with 2:07 left in regulation, more than enough time for Clemson.

Clemson’s quarterback Deshaun Watson led his Tigers 66 yards down the field in just under two minutes. With only six seconds left, the Tigers lined up and converted. Watson rolled out to his right and found Hunter Renfrow waiting in the end zone, catching the pass with just one second left on the clock, courtesy of Stacy Long of Montgomery Adviser.

Clemson avenged their loss from last year’s national championship and took down the Crimson Tide by a final score of 35-31.

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Deshaun Watson was named the championship game’s Most Valuable Player. Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report.

“‘One game doesn’t define a team, and I think our team demonstrated time and time again this year that they were winners. I’m extremely disappointed that we didn’t have a better outcome today, but I’m also at the same time very proud of what this group of young men was able to accomplish,’ head coach Nick Saban said,” in an AL.com article written by Rainer Sabin.

“Our fans deserve this,” Sweeney said during the post-game ceremonies, reported in an article on sbnation.com by Alex Kirshner.

Pulitzer Prize Winner, Class of ’83 Alum Visits Boys’ Latin

“Rick Wartzman is the executive director of the Drucker Institute, a social enterprise at Claremont Graduate University, whose mission is strengthening organizations to strengthen society. He is the author or editor of five books and for 20 years was a reporter, editor and columnist at The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times,” according to time.com. And according to Drucker.Institute, Wartzman won a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to “The Wal-Mart Effect.”

Wartzman, Boys’ Latin Class of 1983, is a very intelligent person. When he spoke, he meticulously chose his words to convey his point as clear as possible. It was not necessary to ask for clarification once during the time spent with him because he always spoke with such clarity.

It was obvious through conversation that Wartzman had a stunning memory demonstrated by how well he was reminiscing about his time here at BL with Mr. Gugerty. He discussed his old basketball team and how the program was not as good as it is today, and he recalled his time as the editor of the Inkwell. He also talked about publishing the Inkwell in a glass case accessible to everyone right inside the front door with everyone gathering around to read the articles.

One of the most striking pieces of information that he mentioned was what inspired him to write. He talked about his old English teacher Mr. Landry and mentioned that he got so immersed into stories in class which inspired him to gain a great interest in writing.

Wartzman spent a good chunk of time talking about his book coming in May of 2017 titled “The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America”. He said that it is about the ups and downs of jobs in America post-WWII through the eyes of four business giants in America at the time: General Motors, General Electric, Kodak, and Coca-Cola.

Before Mr. Wartzman had to head out, he had the chance to meet with a 10th grade English class who were in the middle of a research project. The 10th graders explained their project to Wartzman. One particularly useful statement Wartzman shared with the class was “People tend to write before they actually know what they want to say.”

He also talked about how when writing, a writer must know 150% of the information on the topic before even beginning to write. By talking about this, he emphasized how important research is for writing.

End of Year Launch Projects Approaching at Boys’ Latin

The launch classes include Expression, Compassion, Innovation, Courage, and Leadership. Each student in the launch classes, which the seniors were the first to be exposed to, are required to present a final project to display what they’ve learned over the course of the class. Each presentation is unique to the individual student or pair that is working together.

The students were informed about this project at the end of their junior year. They officially began working on the project at the start of their senior year.

“I’m at stage zero. In fact, I might have to start over,” senior Gideon Endalkachew stated. “As part of my Compassion project, I want to redesign my neighborhood park,” he said.

“I’m creating fidget toys for kids for my project,” Ryan Trupia, a student in the Innovation track said. “I am still designing my project. I am using the 3D printer.”

It’s clear that each project will have something unique to each launch class. “The goal for our class is to give something that truly represents personal expression,” English teacher Mr. Freihoefer said. “The sheet that tells us the next step hasn’t come yet.”

“I want to see students get out of their comfort zone and be creative,” technology and Innovation teacher Derrick Thomas said.

As part of giving students inspirations for their projects, the faculty invited speakers to BL to give their anecdotes of their lives, occupations, and experiences. The speakers had an effect on some students.

Courage teacher Charles Franklin invited his brother-in-law Brendan Hurson to speak to all launch students except Innovation. Mr. Franklin’s brother gave insight to students about his work as a public attorney and how he came to discover his passion. “I appreciated his desire to help people over getting money,” senior Nick Meittinis said, who is a part of the Expression launch class.

Though many people are at different stages in their projects, they all agree that they do have enough time to create something. “Two semesters is plenty of time,” Gideon Endalkachew said.

“I don’t think I’ve learned much from this project other than the hardest thing is getting started,” senior Graham Easton said in a somewhat joking tone.

It seems that everyone is at very different points in their projects and only time will tell how the presentations turn out.

Golden Globes Kicks Off 2017 Awards Season

January 8th, 2017, actors, actresses, and directors from all genres of movies and tv shows gathered at the Beverly Hilton for the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards hosted by Jimmy Fallon.

The many awards given to the tremendous movies and tv shows really made this Golden Globes especially iconic. Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award made huge headlines regarding the then President-elect Donald Trump and the inauguration this past Friday.

Movies like “La La Land” and tv shows like “Atlanta” received media-wide attention for the number of awards they won and the speeches made afterward.

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La La Land Cast Members and Crew courtesy of http://i2.wp.com/thenet.ng

According to the Golden Globes website for winners and nominees, all together “La La Land” won 7 Golden Globe Awards including Best Motion Picture, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song in a Motion Picture. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone also took home Best Actor and Actress in a Motion Picture in a Musical/Comedy. Director of “La La Land” Damien Chazelle won Best Director and Best Screenplay.

On the Golden Globes website, Donald Glover was recognized as Best Actor in a Television Series in a Musical or Comedy. His show “Atlanta” also won Best Television Series Musical or Comedy. The rapper turned actor made a great acceptance speech and touched the heart of the crowd thanking his family and son in his speech.

According to US Weekly, Glover talked about how his family had impacted his life in a way that his previous life with his father couldn’t. “‘I really want to say thank you to my son and the mother of my son for making me believe in people again and things being possible,’” Glover stated.

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Donald Glover with both of his Golden Globes courtesy of https://static.independent.co.uk

Glover went on to talk about his father and the tribulations he faced. His speech was emotional and heartwarming as the crowd gave him a gracious applause for his speech and all of the hard work he has accomplished.

Actors like Casey Affleck and Viola Davis also made headlines at the Globes winning awards for their respective movies. Affleck won Best Performance in a Motion Picture in a Drama for his movie “Manchester by the Sea”. Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress in any Motion Picture for her work in Denzel Washington’s movie “Fences”.

Television shows also made some surprises at the Awards Ceremony. The British TV show “The Crown” would trump powerhouse “Game of Thrones” and even the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things” to win Best Television Series in a Drama. Claire Foy, star of “The Crown”, won Best Actress in a Drama Television Series.

The highlight of the night was Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her many contributions to the film industry. Streep starred in the comedy movie “Florence Foster Jenkins”, which was also nominated for Best Motion Picture in a Musical or Comedy.

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Meryl Streep giving her acceptance speech courtesy of http://static6.businessinsider.com

In her speech, Streep talked about freedom of the press and referred to Trump’s mocking of a reporter with a disability. According to the Golden Globes Website article, Streep stated that the press will need help to get past this. “They will need us, and we certainly need them,” Streep expressed in her speech stated in the Golden Globes article.

Streep paid homage to her long-time friend Carrie Fisher, who passed away of a heart attack just before the New Year. Streep referred to Fisher as “Princess Leia” and quoted her at the end of her speech stating, “‘Take your broken heart and make it into art.’”

Featured Image: http://www.criticalhit.net/images/2017/01/golden-globe-awards.jpg