Articles by Audrey Blinman

The Black Cat Crisis

We have entered into the month of October, bringing with it a new season, cooler weather, and, above all, the only day where it’s acceptable to dress up as a giant frog or a Pokémon and take people’s food. Halloween is a holiday that is generally highly anticipated, as children await the day that is sure to bring sugary treats. But with this holiday comes a true tragedy, in the form of the iconic black cat. As many people know, black cats have come to represent witchcraft, night and, in most cases, evil of some sort. Because of this, they are often associated with Halloween, and many people try to adopt black cats around the time of this holiday. Afterwards, they find themselves with a cat that they can’t or do not want to care for, and oftentimes abandon or return them. Not only that, but these animals are also…


Asia Kate Dillon and a Theory on Gender-Neutrality

A show aired on the channel Showtime now includes a non-binary character. Taylor Mason, a character on the show Billions, is a gender-neutral character whose pronouns are they, theirs, and them. The actor that plays Taylor, Asia Kate Dillon, also identifies as non-binary. They are the first gender-neutral actor playing a gender-neutral character on television, and not only that, but their performance has put them up for an Emmy nomination submission. Showtime approached Asia and told them that they were going to submit them for an Emmy nomination. The channel asked Asia how they would like to be submitted, as an actor or an actress. Dillon was conflicted about how they would like to be entered, and so wrote a letter to the Emmys in order to sort out exactly what the two categories meant. The Emmys responded saying that any eligible performer may be entered in either category for…


Balancing Fat Acceptance and the Health Craze

In the media, we are seeing more and more of people with varying shapes and sizes. The fat acceptance movement¹ is an ongoing movement trying to decrease the anti-fat bias held by much of society, as well as by many media companies. While it is a very criticized campaign, it is also widely praised; it is supposed to decrease stress around body image, and, because stress is a prominent factor in obesity, has proven effective. Even with this happening, we are also seeing a lot of “healthier” food and dieting options aimed towards losing weight. The contradicting developments both seem very positive in all senses, but in actuality neither are improving things. Instead, they have created two completely opposite poles while simultaneously focusing on exactly the wrong topics. Fat acceptance and “health” promotions are both about weight, when in actuality they should simply be about health. Health is a complicated topic….


Request for Submissions

Hello! The poetry submissions we received for National Poetry Month were magnificent, and so the newspaper has decided to continue accepting submissions. We’re also expanding our borders and accepting short stories as well. The length of the short stories may range from 500 words to 2000 words (small exceptions within 30 words may be made). The directions are the same as the National Poetry Month article. Please write and edit your piece, and email it to msnews@friendscentral.org. You must include the following:   Your name Your grade Genre (short stories) Anonymous or not   If you would like your piece to be completely anonymous, you may drop it in a paper format in Ms. Kenealy’s room. However, we will not reveal your identity if you choose for it to be anonymous in your email. Once we have five submissions, we will publish the collection. Thank you!


National Poetry Month

The following poems were submitted to The Phoenix Inquirer in honor of National Poetry Month. They are all written by Middle School students. PRISON BREAK By E.F. Books   I plot to prison break from this broken prison It’s essential to elude the corrupted system To release the chains ‘round my wrists is my decision Question How do they captivate me with such precision? Don’t see any shooting stars but I’m wishing That my imprisoned uncle could take me fishing, – I’ve risen Don’t get me wrong; I’m content My family owns our home but if we didn’t we could pay rent. No, we are scavenging for cents. We have clean water, unlike Flint. They ask where my happiness went It never left But Don’t Assume I’m dumb, blind or deaf Don’t Assume I’ve never seen wealth Don’t Assume I’ve experienced an abundance of death or health You don’t know the feelings…


Earth Force: Children’s Books to CHOP

Bettering our communities and improving the quality of our experiences aren’t easy tasks. They take a lot of work, dedication, and willing citizens in order to make progress in society. Our eighth grade community has been given an assignment called, “Earth Force,” which is about working with a cause that you are passionate about. Eighth graders Ha-Eun Choi, Anne Gullace, and Cindy Kim are working on their Earth Force project now. They are donating books to the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania and to GoodWill. I had the fortunate opportunity to be able to talk to Ha-Eun about their project and got some details about the process of collecting the books. Why did you decide on this project? We all like to read books so we wanted to donate some so that others can read them. How have you been going about collecting books? We made an assembly announcement, we have…


Calling All Poets! It’s National Poetry Month

Established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month takes place every April and has become one of the largest celebration of literature in the world. In recognition of this month, our newspaper is accepting submissions of poetry. They will all be published collectively in an article that will come the first week of May. If you are interested or know someone who may be interested, please consider submitting some of your work. Please note, we will not publish offensive or inappropriate poetry. The poems can be published anonymously, but only at request of the author. In order to submit, email us at msnews@friendscentral.org. Please include your name, grade, poem(s) and whether or not you would like the poem to be anonymous. This is not a contest and anyone can participate, even Upper Schoolers. Submissions will be limited to April 25th in order to release the article on…


Commonly Written: Four Poems

Poems by Audrey Blinman Photography by Blake Riesenfeld COMMONLY WRITTEN Poetry is so commonly written by the victim. The bystander. The bullied. The pained. And yet I wonder how many were written   by the perpetrator? By the bully? By the torturer? By the heartbreaker? The liar? The deranged?   What if every time I see your name create a glow on the screen and still fail to acknowledge it for fear of having to acknowledge it, every time I complain to my allies about your desperation   I’m still not the one feeling the most pain. But what if I know that and still I do nothing?   What does that make me? How do I write then? Am I a villain? Are my words written by a true criminal? By a bully? A torturer? A heartbreaker, a liar?   Do I lie when I say, “Thank you,” When…


Thespians On: Character

Tips for Developing a Character So, you got cast in a musical, a movie, or whatever. How are you going to play your character? How do they behave? How do they respond to the other characters, the situations, the sets? What steps do you take to figure this out? Well, you need to figure out their motives. Figure out what makes them tick and how they feel. What are their relationships with the other characters? Think about these tips and you can find your character’s “voice.” (I mean, not their voice literally. That will just be your voice. But their…reasons for the things that they do and how they do them. See, voice is easier.) 1. What is your character’s motive in the story? This is about identifying why your character does what they do, why they say what they say, and how they say it. A line or an…


Thespians On: Crying on Command

Crying is not generally considered a good thing, unless you’re “happy-crying.” Theatre is one of those weird things that considers drying a talent. Crying on command is a must-have skill for anyone trying to get into professional acting, because a lot of directors will have at least scene in their movie where someone is crying. Now, you could do that fake dry-crying where you make weird breathing sound that make it seem like you’re choking on cat fur, or you could actually learn how to get those salty droplets to roll down your face. If you don’t know how then WAIT! GUESS WHAT I’M ABOUT TO DO! GUESS, COME ON, GUESS! Yes. A LIST. You’re welcome. GET SOMEONE TO BLOW ON YOUR EYES   This won’t exactly get you to Viola Davis’ snot-acting level of tears, but if you have an off day and need a little kick to get…


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