Orchestra Camp 2.0

By Katelyn Vetro

The Lassiter orchestra recently had their first camp since 2019. As they are heading back into the swing of things, the executive officers and staff have already noticed an immense difference in the quality of their players. The orchestra is finally back together and are able to do things as an entire program. Lassiter orchestra’s executive team member and social media manager, Matt Crane, reflected on the uniting of our players by saying, “Due to the nature of orchestra as a class, sometimes it’s hard to get to know the people around you so I think being familiar with the people we see all the time and play music with will help our playing as a whole.” Matt, and the other executive officers, came to a consensus that this short two-day workshop dramatically improved their musicianship, due to the talented, wonderful clinicians that came to our school. When Matt was asked how camp improved his bass playing skills, he answered, “ This was the first time we’ve gotten to work with real, professional, clinicians since fall of 2019. It was great to see them and they were incredibly helpful as we worked through the challenging music we are currently learning.” The Lassiter orchestra is looking forward to playing music for everyone once again! Their first concert will be on October 21 in the concert hall!

The evolution of the Nutcracker

Audrey Smiles, Staff writer

The Nutcracker has become an essential part of the holiday season—not to mention a part of most dancers’ DNA. These days, the ballet is a beloved tradition, and the lifeblood of many dance companies, whose budgets depend on its reliably great ticket sales. But did you know it is not the same all over the world. The original two-act production, in 1892 in St. Petersburg, was the brainchild of Ivan Vzevolozhsky (director), Marius Petipa (choreographer) and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (composer), adapting Alexandre Dumas’s version of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story. Somehow, however, “The Nutcracker” became a Christmas fixture in the mid-20th century.

Every year productions pop back into life by the hundred, from Vienna to Hawaii. Most still follow the same basic conventions established by that first version: a little girl heroine, her mysterious godfather (the magician Drosselmeyer), a battle between toy soldiers and mice, a forest full of dancing Snowflakes, a ballerina Sugarplum Fairy. However one adaption is the Hip Hop Nutcracker, just like the original it has the same storyline and characters but with innovative digital graffiti and visuals transform the landscape of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s beloved story. In Nutcracker Swings, the familiar Tchaikovsky score mingles with the swinging sounds of Duke Ellington’s jazzy take on The Nutcracker Suite. In this version of the story, set at the end of World War II, the action opens at a swinging Christmas party to welcome home a returning hero. The Nutcracker is not just made to be a traditional ballet anymore and it is quite special to see the new and revised versions.

December bucket list

Samantha Flores, Sports & Health Editor

December is here and it is time to officially start the holiday festivities. Even in East Cobb, there are lots of fun winter activities to do and nobody wants to miss out! Try some of these fun ideas to have an eventful holiday season this year:

  1. Ice Skating

Ice skating is a must-do around this time of year! From the Avalon skating rink to “The Cooler” in Alpharetta, there are many places to check off this activity. 

  1. Christmas Lights

One of the best parts of the holidays are Christmas light displays. Last year, Woodbine Station had a beautiful display, and others can be found in Roswell, Atlanta, etc. Take a nice drive one night and enjoy the lights!

  1. Movie Marathon

Everyone has their favorite holiday movies. From Santa Baby to Elf to The Grinch, there’s something for everyone. Spend a night cuddled up under Christmas blankets by the fire and relive your childhood by watching these movies!

  1. Bake Christmas Cookies

The classic December bucket list task: making Christmas cookies. Go to Publix and pick out the Pillsbury Doughboy Christmas cookies or have fun and bake some yourself! 

  1. Make Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread houses are like the pumpkins of Christmas. Spend an afternoon competing with your family and friends for the best Gingerbread house or simply put all the creative skills into one beautiful, delicious house!

  1. Go see Santa at the Mall

Santa never gets old! Go take Santa pictures for fun and tell him what you want this holiday season!

  1. Organize a Secret Santa Exchange

Secret Santas are one of the best holiday games. Suggest it as a sports team bonding activity, a family game, or something between your friends! It brings people together and is a fun surprise.

  1. Go see a Play

Christmas plays truly do instill the Christmas spirit into the audience and are a great activity. From The Nutcracker to A Christmas Carol, there are many options and all are fun and entertaining!

  1. Shop for a Local Toy Drive

Toy drives are one of the best ways to show the true holiday spirit in December. Giving back is easy, and it makes someone else happy. From Shop with a Trojan to local toy drives at preschools and churches, it is easy to participate.

  1. Go Shopping

The mall is one of the most decorated and fun places to be during the holidays. The mall during December is a whole different vibe and it must be experienced! Go Christmas shopping with friends or family, or even just go to the mall for fun!

Lassiter’s favorite Christmas movie

Natalia Bass, Co-Blog Editor and Editorials Editor

Besides making hot chocolate, sitting by the fireplace, and listening to Christmas music, one of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit is to watch some of the classic Christmas movies. This begs the question of which Christmas movie reigns superior to all. In an effort to answer this question, we have asked Lassiter students what their favorite Christmas movies are:

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (16%)
  • The Polar Express (14%)
  • Die Hard (12%)
  • Elf (12%)
  • Home Alone (10%)
  • White Christmas (10%)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (8%)
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (8%)
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (4%)
  • A Christmas Story (4%)
  • The Santa Clause (2%)
  • Christmas with the Kranks (0%)

Joker Movie Review

Natalia Bass, Co-Blog-Editor/ Editorials Editor

A captivating and gruesome backstory about a well known villain, Joker tells a tale about society itself as well as the classic character viewers have seen for years. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Joker begins following the life of Arthur Fleck, a street clown who struggles to be understood or “seen” by others in Gotham City. He lives alone with his mother, who depends on him for her every need. Despite the sense of hopelessness Fleck’s situation emits, he dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian and spends a substantial amount of time watching a talk show hosted by Murray Franklin, played by Robert De Niro. Throughout the film, Fleck seems to dip between reality and false promise as he often imagines himself on the talk show and being a part of a society he wishes was real, a society in which he can be himself. Struggling with a mental illness that causes him to laugh uncontrollably at unexpected times, Fleck feels outcast by the public after being fired and treated poorly for the way that he acts. However, he finally feels that he can be himself once he realizes that he has nothing left to lose. After Fleck kills three wall street workers on a subway, protests and riots begin to break out throughout the city claiming that the killer is a hero for standing up to the wealthy in a poverty stricken city. This theme that is seen throughout the movie is what has caused the controversy surrounding it. 

A great deal of dispute has been sparked from the messages in the movie. Many view it as a film that justifies violence as a solution to poverty and the injustice shown to people suffering from mental illness. Others think that the portrayal of Arthur Fleck as a good guy will give grounds for brutal rebellion. Thrillist writer Esther Zuckerman asks, “Just as the Joker, in the end, inspires a wave of violence, could the movie do the same?” Due to the amount of fear surrounding the controversy, certain areas of the country had high police presence to make attempts to prevent an event like the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Despite the amount of debate surrounding how the public would react to the film, it does not outright promote violence as a solution. A film can explore moral issues without directly supporting insurrection, especially because Joker explores those issues on a fairly surface level basis. Regardless of the ethics of the movie, there is no doubt that the cinematography is excellent. The music and editing tie the film together making an amazing end product. As Fleck tip toes between reality and his hopeful imagination, the seamless editing style reels in the audience. There is no doubt that Joker will be nominated for a host of awards.

Homemade Halloween

Audrey Smiles, Staff Writer

Choosing a costume is one of the best parts about Halloween, but what is even more rewarding is when you make it yourself. These homemade Halloween costumes are a fun alternative, whether you are looking for creative ideas for a group, duo, or just yourself. 

homemade halloween costumes - black cat
One easy costume is a black cat, and you probably already own everything you need to create this classic look: a black top, pants, gloves, and shoes. Purchase or make cat ears and a tail and you have yourself a cute, affordable costume.
homemade halloween costumes - smarty pants
This adorable costume includes taking a pack of Smarties candies and use glue dots or double-sided tape to attach them to a pair of pants. Suddenly, you are the smartest in your group!
Homemade Halloween Costumes Bob Ross
Convince your partner to sport a curly brown wig while you take the comfy route with this sweatshirt disguised as one of Bob Ross’ masterpieces. By gluing some felt fabric (paint spots) to a brown sweatshirt, you create a unique, fun costume for you and a friend.

For more cute costumes check out the links below:

https://www.seventeen.com/fashion/g1574/best-do-it-yourself-halloween-costumes/

https://www.pinterest.com/kidspartyworks/homemade-halloween-costumes/

https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Cheap-Homemade-Halloween-Costumes-20064402

https://www.womansday.com/style/fashion/g490/60-clever-last-minute-costume-ideas/

Halloween history

Braden Mizell, Staff Writer

The idea of a holiday is an interesting part of a culture. They are a day where cultures decide to stop working and do different types of activities, usually ones that have cultural significance. Halloween is an especially interesting holiday because it is the result of multiple cultures blending together.  This holiday originally started out as a Celtic festival called Samhain, which signified the end of the harvest season and the start of winter, thus started on October 31. It was believed that spirits can cross over to our would easier than before on Samhain, because of this people would disguise themselves as spirits and go door to door asking for food as a form of imitation. When Christianity took Europe by storm, most of the existing pagan traditions were either wiped out or adapted to fit into Christianity, of these traditions. At the time the Christian holiday of All-Hallow-Tide lasted from Oct 31st to Nov 2nd, much like Mexican holiday “Día de Muertos”. The traditions of Samhain were merged with the traditions of All Hallow’s Eve, which was shortened down to just Hallows Eve, and then finally Halloween.

Lassiter’s Fall Concerts

By Julia Walsh, staff writer

It is fall folks, and that means concerts! Lassiter’s music departments have worked incredibly hard to learn and master their songs, and they are ready to showcase. Coming up, we have the following performances:

October 2019:

15             7:30 LHS Chorus concert

16             7:00 LHS Orchestra concert

November 2019:

6               7:00 LHS Orchestra concert

12             7:00 LHS Chorus concert

13             7:00 LHS Band LMI recital

14             7:00 LHS Band LMI recital

19             7:00 LHS Tri-M concert

All concerts are free and located at the LHS concert hall. For those who are unfamiliar with Tri-M, it is the musical honor society, and the concert is a blend of the top orchestra, chorus, and band students playing pieces of music either as a group or as separate departments, really a must see. We hope to see you there supporting the arts!

What’s happening in ceramics?

By Nate Bavely, staff writer

Ceramics is spicing up their game, and Mrs. Daniels has some new projects planned for this year. Although they are trying new and improved projects, they are keeping their regular schedule. Students first create a cup that they begin with every year. Usually, the students are very excited for this project because it is everyone’s first project. But that’s not all that this class has to offer, a new wide array of projects will be introduced into ceramics, such as “Virtual Chinese Takeout”, and many new projects on the potter’s wheel. Every student has a main goad in ceramics: to get on to the “Wall of Large-Throwing Fame Sculpture” which is a wall that certain students can get onto if they exceed the teacher’s expectations. Every year students are more and more intrigued with ceramics. I am personally intrigued with what Mrs. Daniels and the students have to offer.

Book Review: Big Little Lies

By Samantha Flores, Sports & Health Editor

Looking for a novel that is categorized as a dramatic mystery with a comedic twist? Try reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I give this book ten out of ten stars; I couldn’t put it down. I am the type of reader who likes action in the plotline, and I love murder-mysteries, so  Big Little Lies checked both of those boxes.

Big Little Lies is set in a small town on the coast of Australia. The pretty beaches, big, perfect homes, and beautiful schools make the location seem flawless. However, the same characteristics do not apply to the characters themselves. Jane is a single mother who was raped during her college years by a mystery man. The rape results in her having a child named Ziggy. Jane suffers from PTSD and many psychological problems throughout the story. Madeline is the stereotypical “blonde mom” who has two children- one with her husband (Chloe, age 5) and one with her ex-husband (Abigail, age 15). Madeline has anger issues and loves to keep secrets as well as gossip. Celeste is the definition of a “perfect woman” with her gorgeous looks, perfect family, and loads of money. However, she keeps a secret from everyone, including her twin boys, that her husband, Perry, is constantly abusing her. These three women, with their elementary aged children, are the three main characters of the novel.

The story revolves around the children’s elementary school, where the main characters’ children attend. The book starts with the ending scene and works backwards. The ending scene is set at the elementary school on “Parent Trivia Night”, and the story ends with a murder. All of the main characters were present at the scene of the crime, including two other moms named Renetta and Bonnie (who both have external conflicts with Madeline, Celeste, and Jane), and they all knew the truth of what had happened. The description of the scene indicates that all of the women have lied about what had happened, however, the description does not include who the murder victim was. The story then goes back and forth between the past and the interviews with parents at the school discussing the murder investigation and their theories on the main characters’ involvement. This creates excitement and thirst for the answer to the mystery: who has been killed, and by whom?

The twists and turns throughout the novel create the suspense that hooks readers and makes the book a quick read. The author did a great job with the detailed characters and their internal as well as external conflicts. I loved this book and I would definitely recommend it to those who love a good thriller to read in their spare time!