Evolution

ISSUE 4

FEBRUARY 2017

 

 

NEWS    FEATURES    ARTS    EXTRAS    CALENDAR

 

 ↓ CALLING OCSA PHOTOGRAPHERS ↓

 
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News

 
 
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Juniors and seniors take a picture in front of the Capitol.

Photo courtesy of Soorim Lee

History Has Its Eyes On You

Madalyn Watson

staff writer

 

On January 20th, 45 students and four history teachers from OCSA witnessed history in action at the 58th United States presidential inauguration.

Bundled in layers of winter coats and crowded on the National Mall, we watched President Barack Obama’s last moments in the White House as well as Donald Trump's first few moments in office as the 45th president.

Everyone in the audience, no matter their opinion on the outcome of this year’s election, cherished their privilege to visit our nation’s capital during an extremely chaotic four days.

Even though Junior Hannah Enriquez (IA) was initially feeling disappointed in the outcome of the election, she reflected she realized that “I was a part of something big and important.”

The group’s schedule was packed with tours of the National Archives and Mount Vernon as well as exploring museums, memorials and the National Arlington Cemetery that immersed students into our country’s busy political center. Even though the group was unable to take part in the Women’s March in D.C. because of safety precautions the hosting tour company was taking, OCSA students were still given a chance to express their variety of opinions.

“I think the side of me that wasn’t responsible for a bunch of teenagers enjoyed seeing the chaotic parts of history,” Julie Scheppele, one of the beloved teachers who joined the students on the trip, answered when asked about the experience, “[It] gave me a shot of adrenaline…”

Scheppele teaches United States History as well as AP Government and Economics, so her knowledge aided students with their understanding of what they were seeing. Along with the other chaperones, Scheppele tried to, “figure out how [to] balance being exposed [to the outside world] and not becoming hurt.”

The balance was constantly challenged according to Scheppele, “ [when] some kids in our group that were targeted and when [students] were picking up protest signs. Where is the line between letting them express themselves and not having one of them getting punched in the face?”

The political tensions in D.C. that pushed OCSA students outside of their comfort zones were deeply involved in of the atmosphere during the inauguration. Senior Gaby Orlando (CW) noticed these when she compared watching the inauguration live and watching it later on television, “On the TV, all I saw was a big crowd, but no one really understands how tense the vibe was in person. Everyone seemed ready to jump if [someone] made the wrong move.”

Political tensions aside, Senior Kalista Base (IM) summed up many of the students’ perspectives by saying, “It really doesn't matter what party you're a part of,  because in the end, [he’s] our president and the experience was one to never be forgotten.”


 
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Juniors Justin Aoki (CM) and Taryn Cohn (IA) won Winter Formal king and queen.
Photo courtesy of Brooke Randell

USS OCSA Sets Sail for Winter Formal

Lily williams

editor-in-Chief

 

Winter Formal. Let me set the scene. Snow is falling. A young woman sits in front of her large vanity mirror, adjusting her elbow-length gloves for modesty. Then a knock! Her date has arrived. She saunters up to the door, the train of her gown trailing behind her. Her date dons a tuxedo and helps her into a horse-drawn carriage. Off to the ball they go, ready to waltz.

This was not my Winter Formal. It wasn’t anyone’s Winter Formal. If it was your Winter Formal, please let me know how you pulled it off.

My Winter Formal -- nay, our Winter Formal -- took place at the Ocean Institute of Dana Point, the second maritime-themed Winter Formal in a row. I did not arrive in a horse-drawn carriage, but in a 2012 Prius V. My date wasn’t in a tuxedo, but in a black lace dress: my little sister, Jeannie. I invited her so that she could have the OCSA dance experience. Unlike her Winter Formal the week prior, “people actually danced” at OCSA, she said.

You can’t get into the groove without good tunes, of course. However, reviews for this year’s DJ were mixed.

"I thought the music at Formal was good at the beginning,” said senior Thuy Phan (IM). “All the EDM they were playing was upbeat, but knowing OCSA students, it would have been better to know the lyrics.”

Phan added that the music “kind of died at the end, because they didn’t know what songs to play,” but enjoyed the fact “that the DJs were really interactive.”

Senior Lucy Mier (ID), on the other hand, didn’t get the hype.

“The hype men were so lame!” said Mier. “They were not hype at all. [I felt] the need to hype up the hype men.”

Aside from breaking it down on the dance floor, students also had the opportunity to take pictures at a photobooth or green screen setup. Underclassmen congregated around a pool table. Touch pools and tanks with aquatic creatures were also on display.

One of my personal highlights of the dance was Big Al, a fish on display in the Ocean Institute lab. A sign above his tank read: “You’ve read the book, now meet the character!” I don’t know from what literary canon Big Al harkens, but I was still excited to watch him lay at the bottom of his tank. Even more exciting, when I returned to see him at a later point in the dance, he had moved to another corner of his tank. Way to go, Big Al. You’re one hell of a character.

About two hours into the dance, attendees gathered on the dance floor to find out the names of the court winners. After a quick drumroll, the court committee announced juniors Justin Aoki (CM) and Taryn Cohn (IA) as king and queen.

“It was overwhelming how much support I had throughout the campaign and election process!” said Cohn, who expressed disappointment over not winning in tandem with her boyfriend, junior Huxley Berg (IA). “It was still a really cool feeling.”

Though the music ebbed and flowed throughout the night, Winter Formal 2017 ended up being a smooth trip on USS OCSA. Next stop, Prom!


 

Features

 
 
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Mrs. Allcorn poses with her globe.
Photo by Justin Johnson


Teacher of the Month: Christine Allcorn

Dominic Roth

Staff writer

Elaborate costumes, a flamboyant personality and a bubbly disposition are some of the  the defining features of one of the most unique teachers at OCSA: Christine Allcorn; a So-Cal native, who has been teaching middle school world and American history for six years of her nine year teaching career.

Sporting a teaching style that embraces the artistic nature of OCSA’s student body, Alcorn has made a name for herself by making the normally bookish subject of history, far  more theatrical, in an attempt to entertain, educated and relate to the highly creative body of students that she is responsible for.

In addition to teaching and having recently put one of her own kids through OCSA, also organized the first annual OCSA Renaissance Faire. Allcorn recently sat down with Evolution to discuss her career, education, and her position teaching OCSA middle school.

Why do you like teaching middle school?

“I love teaching middle school because it's that transitionary period where kids are deciding whether or not they like school. And students have come back and told me that my class gave them a love of history, and being able to impart that onto kids is really special to me.”

Can you talk about the Annex family [of teachers]?

“I love my Annex family… I think it's light deprivation that makes us all weird in the same way. I wish we had a big teacher’s lounge because all the OCSA teachers are so great, we're [the annex teachers] so close mostly because of geography, and we often teach the same students.”

What is your favorite movie?

“I love Mel Brooks. All his movies… “Young Frankenstein” is the classic…. It was a real memory in middle school watching those movies over and over again. “History of the World” is another one. I really loved showing my boys these movies.”

If you could take over another teacher's class, what would it be?

“One of the senior English classes. I know Cruz teaches Pop Culture. There's also a modern media class. I love movies… one of my favorite classes in college was Media as Literature and I know OCSA has stuff like that… so that would be fun.”




 

Arts

 
 
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"Flip!" Spring 2015
Courtesy of Patrick Williams

Get Ready to "Flip!" Out

AMELIA Newett & avery nueva

FEATURES EDITOR & STAFF WRITER

 

If you’re looking for a new read, new art or just want to support friends and other artists, look no further. “Flip!” is here.

“Flip!” is a student-run graphic anthology featuring comics from a variety of OCSA students, all with different amounts of exposure to comic creation. The book is a compilation of comics created by OCSA high school students in an after-school class offered Fridays during the first semester, or on their own time.

Patrick Williams, the Digital Media Conservatory director, started “Flip!” as a conservatory class in 2013 as a way for students in Digital Media to have a tangible copy of their art. Now, the anthology serves as an opportunity for students of all conservatories to see their work published.

Senior Erin Shin (DM), past contributer to Flip!, says that creating comics for “Flip!” takes “lots of motivation, willpower and hand stamina. As long as you’re dedicated to your comic, it’s just the process of always working on it.”   

Students who want to submit comics to “Flip!” can attend the Friday workshops, lasting as long as a conservatory class, where they are able to work with other artists to create and develop their comic. Alternatively, students can create a comic on their own schedule. Once graphics are completed and “comic season” is over, the pages are scanned and sent to the printer to be published.

Senior Serena Hughes (DM) said that other artists in the class will “help you write comics, brainstorm ideas [and] storyboard everything, anything you need. The idea of ‘Flip!’ is to get people to have fun doing art, no matter what [their] process is.”

Flip! as a whole is designed as an opportunity for a community of young artists to see a physical copy of their work that they can have for themselves and share with others.  

“It's a completely judgment-free, fun way to do art and really get a tangible reward. You get your work published, a free copy of the book and you get to feel good about letting your art grow!” Hughes beams.

Similar to “Inkblot,” the Creative Writing Conservatory’s anthology, past editions of “Flip!” are sold at most OCSA events, such as the Visual Arts Consevatory’s Winter Market. The newest edition will be published and available for purchase in the spring.

If you are interested in participating in “Flip!” yourself, classes will resume next school year and will be filled with students ready to help one another brainstorm, storyboard and create.

For any further questions, contact “Flip!” at comics@ocsarts.net or patrick.williams@ocsarts.net and to see any work from Flip! or the conservatory, visit http://ocsadigitalmedia.com.


 
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Still from "Dreaded Rose."
Photo courtesy of Gavin Conlon

A Complex Cineplex

Maya Maharaj

News Editor

 

The theater swelled with reverberations of applause as the credits rolled across the screen at the end of each film. The audience didn’t know that in the darkness of the theater, while they gasped at moments of surprise in the films, the filmmakers exhaled in relief that those moments were well-portrayed.  

“I think it’s honestly crazy showing my films to tons of people like that. Feeling the energy of the audience, the gasps, the laughs, even in unexpected places, gets me every time,” said sophomore Kai Karafotis (FTV).

Junior filmmaker Gavin Conlon (FTV) shared Karafotis’ sentiment. His film, “Dreaded Rose,” was a harsh contrast to the array of comedy films he has worked on in the past. Conlon says that he can have fun with comedies because his audience gives him an immediate reaction, which wasn’t necessarily the case for “Dreaded Rose.” “[It] was the first piece of work I had done that didn't have a single joke, so I was scared it wasn't going to get a serious response. At one point, I got out of my seat and watched the show from the side of the theater just out of pure fear.” But by the end of each film, the filmmakers’ tension shattered with the applause.  Most creators left feeling content with the way their films affected the audience.

“No matter what film I’m doing, it’s always about trying to get a message across. … [A]s I progress as a filmmaker, I’m definitely aiming to open up people’s thought processes to life as an LGBT+ person, especially being transgender,” said Karafotis.

As for Conlon, his main motive in his films is to “allow someone in the audience to escape from reality for however long [he or she] can. … [T]hat's a profound power to have, to let someone forget about their problems in life for a half hour and give them the opportunity to get wrapped up in someone else's story, letting them know that we all go through challenges, but no one is ever alone.” That seems to go for both the audience and the filmmakers, who endure just as much conflict behind the camera as they set up in front of it. Junior Michael Acevedo (IM), the score composer of “Dreaded Rose,” landed the position on the project during the last leg of production. “I essentially had a week and a half to do all of it. It required me to use every last drop of free time to get done, pulling a few late nighters as well.” In spite of the complications, Acevedo seemed happy with his role in the film. “Even though it was a little stressful, it wasn't a hassle or a process that I didn't want to do. I loved every second of working on it. I'm so thankful that I had a chance to be able to contribute to the making of ‘Dreaded Rose.’”  

The reward of having a significant role in putting together pieces of art like these films outweighs the laborious work that enables these contributions. As Karafotis says, “Being able to have a concept and see it realized on the big screen, in front of peers and an audience, is so satisfying and rewarding. For a couple hours, all of us forget the sleepless nights and panic and hard work that went into the project and just get to enjoy the art we made.” With the dimming of the lights and the rolling of the film, the creators’ problems are forgotten, as they are wrapped up in the fictional ones of others, fullfilling the motives of their film careers to such depths that they can captivate even themselves.  


 
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Freshman Maia Sheridan (ACT) is on the ground after she baptizes the other characters.
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Walsh (alt-senior.com)

Fainting at "Flies"

Becky lee

ARTS Editor

 

Rumor has it that a girl fainted during the “Flies” play and it’s true because that girl was me. I did in fact faint at the “Flies” show. But before we get to that, let’s get down to what happened behind the scenes.

Seventh to ninth graders in the Acting conservatory performed in “Flies”, a play based off of the novel “Lord of the Flies.” This show revolves around a group of adolescents who survive a plane crash with no adult survivors. Their dreams of a no-adult and no-rules utopia become a distant happy memory as everything turns into turmoil and destruction. Unlike the other shows the Acting Conservatory has put on, this play was performed by either an all-female cast or all-male cast.

“The best part about preparing for this show was spending time with the all-male cast and getting to know them through our weird conversations. That was by far my favorite,” said eighth grader Brandon Young (ACT), who played Jack.

Eighth grader Caitlin Cheung (ACT), who played Mari, said, “My favorite part was to dig deep into becoming a chaotic person and not taking in responsibilites. In this play we’re just kids so we don’t have anyone who is telling us what to do so we have the freedom to go crazy.”

Although the actors were amazingly talented on putting this play, applause to the production and props of this show, because it took my breath away for a couple seconds before I fainted.

The adults started throwing out reasons as to why I fainted, one of them suggesting I passed out at the sight of blood. I simply couldn’t understand the reason. I see blood on television all the time (thanks to medical television shows and gory action movies). I guess watching it in front of my face knocked the wind out of me.

But there are other possible reasons why what happened happened. I was standing up the whole time, propping myself against the wall. There were definitely seats in the middle of the audience, but I didn’t want to disrupt the play with me shuffling through legs trying to get to a seat. I wasn’t raised like that. So I decided to stand and was perfectly fine with that. The room was humid, too (which, by the way, intentional or not, kudos to the production team for making the temperature of the room humid because I really felt like I was on the island with the kids).

My faint and blurry memory of what happened before I blacked out was when Jackie, played by freshman Maia Sheridan (ACT) appeared from the curtains, her hands and arms oozing with bright red, thick blood. That scene was hard to swallow, but I was determined to finish the show. I couldn’t leave the show without knowing what to write for the article you’re reading right now! But the part that really sent me spiraling was when Jackie started baptizing her group of hunters with that same blood. She was smearing her bloody hand all over her followers’ faces. Midway through the baptizing ritual, I crashed.

“I was shocked indeed but I found it a great way to practice how I would react if something interrupted our performance. I’m also very happy that I was able to experience the surprise,” Cheung said on her thoughts on the event.

I woke up to adults and staff hauling me from the room that “Flies” was held in. The back of my head was throbbing like it had a baby alien inside of it and I was trying to gain consciousness from the sudden event. People were trying to talk to me, but my mind could not comprehend what they were saying. I knew they were talking because their mouths were moving, but I still couldn’t hear what they were saying. I was partially deaf for three minutes, and then I gained full consciousness -- still dizzy and nauseous. I didn’t talk until an adult suggested calling the parademics. My weak voice managed to eke out, “Don’t call the parademics,” because I didn’t want the people to come and see that I was perfectly fine. All I really needed was rest (and sugar in the form of candy and soda.)

“Well, one of the beauties of live theater is its unpredictability, and unexpected things are bound to happen. Some things are minor incidents that are easily covered up without anyone in the audience noticing. Others, as in the case of your fainting spell, require the show to stop temporarily. And what's really cool is that the result is a shift in the environment and energy of both actors and audience and the show changes, deepens, grows. Frankly, these unexpected events can be a terrific growth opportunity,” Stephanie Dorian, Assistant Conservatory Director of ACT, said.

Fortunately, the show kept going on “after a 12 minute delay.” It later hit me when I got home that I only watched 20 minutes of the two hour show.

My dad picked me up and I rested at home for a full two days, missing one day of school for fear of fainting while on the Tower staircase and taking someone down with me.

I learned a valuable lesson. I need to avoid blood until I find out the real reason why I fainted. My luck if I wanted to be a surgeon.

Thank you to the “Flies” all-female cast for putting on a great show while I lasted. Your acting and props were so gnarly and real you made me faint, literally! Keep up the good work and surprise the upcoming audiences with what you got, the way you surprised me. And a huge thanks to the adults and staff who helped me from my fall and caring for me like I was their own child. My first OCSA play was definitely unforgettable.


 
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Illustration by Emma Lu

Lock and Key Unlocks the Culinary World

Lily williams

editor-in-chief

 

OCSA’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Conservatory is known for providing its students with invaluable industry experience through internships and the rigor of the program itself. Some students who aren’t satisfied with the “mere” nine hours of culinary instruction offered each week pursue their own paths outside of class. This was why sophomore Cloyce Martin (CAH) began his own pop-up restaurant venture, Lock and Key.

On February 19, Martin and nine other students from Culinary Arts and Musical Theatre will open the one-night pop-up concept at The Knotted Apron, a cooking school and event space in Whittier. The night’s five-course menu will feature meals centered around locally-sourced fresh produce, with influences from Martin’s French culinary training and interest in molecular gastronomy.

The menu will include: a celery root soup, beets four ways in an heirloom beet carpaccio salad, seared scallops in a tom kha gai broth, braised pork shoulder over a creamy polenta, and a buttermilk biscuit with macerated berries.

“I want it to be modern and exciting,” said Martin. “Something new and different.”

Martin’s inspiration originally came “from cooking shows: Giana de Laurentis, Bobby Flay, Ina Garten. I think keeping up with trends helps. [I like] picking things that don’t sound like they would go together but sort of manipulate the flavor or the texture so that it all works.

“The culinary industry is really one big lock,” said Martin. “Being an OCSA student, you’re trying to find the key to unlock the whole idea of the culinary industry and find success, potentially.

“The cool thing about the OCSA experience is that it’s very geared to what the actual culinary industry is like,” said Martin, who started working in a restaurant in his freshman year.  “After OCSA, I’ll have a good enough culinary education to not go to culinary school. I want to travel, eat, learn and cook with different people.”

If the first night goes well, Martin hopes to host a differently-themed dinner at Lock and Key monthly. A theme with all black-and-white food may be next.

Junior Thomas Martinez (CAH), Lock and Key’s business coordinator and general manager, said Lock and Key is “all about gaining experience: learning how to start and manage my own business, how to market, how to interact with employees and how to better practice my communication and leadership skills in a pragmatic way.”

Martinez hopes “the dinner [is] an experience, one as high-end as the food we’re providing. Dining isn’t solely about the food on the table, but also about the atmosphere and the quality of interaction between them and my staff.”

“The culinary industry really is art in all of its aspects,” said Martin. “There’s a difference between making food and cooking.”

For tickets and more information, visit lockandkeypopup.com.


 
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Seniors Emma Barda, Matthew Dalton, and Erika Kroll (FTV), along with junior Alexis Daneshi (FTV), set up a shot on the set of Kroll’s senior project.
Photo courtesy of Erika Kroll

Let The Credits Roll: FTV Senior Projects

Lily williams

editor-in-chief

 

In my freshman year, I attended my first Spring Cineplex, the end-of-the-year showcase for Film and Television students hosted at Chapman University’s Folino Theater. I was in awe of the scale of it all; over 600 seats were filled with filmmakers, friends and family. Watching my friends’ films on the big screen made me feel even more sure that I wanted to be involved in screenwriting and film production. What impressed me most, though, were the senior projects.

The senior project is an FTV student’s thesis film. Ranging from 10 to 15 minutes, these productions show off all the skills gleaned through the conservatory’s courses, with less restrictions than past assignments.

“I don’t have to give in to any boundaries,” said senior Erika Kroll (FTV). “It’s really completely my idea, which is really cool.”

Kroll’s senior project is an experimental film following a man named Nobody, who is working to overcome addiction.

“The narrative doesn’t pop in your face,” Kroll said. “It focuses on the addiction of anything... It’s about falling back into bad habits.”

Because of the independence granted in the project, seniors can be more ambitious in their casting, crew, and location choices.

Kroll and her crew, including seniors Matthew Dalton and Joaquin Sosa (FTV), will be shooting in a cabin in Big Bear, California.

“We have a professional makeup artist coming up,” Kroll revealed. “Without giving too much away, a lot of fun effects are going to be happening on his face. We get to go up there, [and] we get to use all [of] this cool equipment.”

The seniors are given time to work on their projects in conservatory on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in the Senior Project class taught by FTV Director Aaron Orullian.

Unlike past projects, senior filmmakers more often turn to actors outside of the OCSA student body.

Senior Alec Billante (FTV) submitted details about his film online using LA Casting and held auditions in the Tech Building.

“Finalizing the cast and the locations and the budget” is the hardest part of the process, says Billante, who starts filming this month. His movie is a coming-of-age story about a young boy whose father has been absent on a space expedition.

Billante’s producer, senior Blake Del Rey (FTV), said most of the first semester’s work was “on scripts. That’s been the biggest issue, because we want to have a solid story and dialogue. That’s really the fundamental legs of the film.”

Kroll said Winter Cineplex already gave viewers an idea of what they can expect from the senior projects, which will be released in June.

“There’s a lot of passion here,” said Kroll. “I’m excited to see what comes out of it."


 
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OCSA MT students perform with Ali Stroker.
Photo by Ryan Porter

Let The Credits Roll: FTV Senior Projects

Ryan POrter

Staff writer

 

After the OCSA Jazz students jazzed up with world-famous pro Wynton Marsalis, it was the Music and Theatre (MT) students’ turn to get on the action with their annual “Performing with the Pros.”

“Performing with the Pros” is a program developed by MT Conservatory Assistant Director Karen Rymar in which students, in collaboration with a working professional, create a production. In previous years, featured guests such as Liz Callaway and Susan Egan have come to share their years of performance experience with the students.

For their 2017 show, MT arranged to have actor-singer Ali Stroker work with the students on a musical revue of songs from shows she has been a part of or been inspired by.

Junior McKenna Wells (MT) explained, “the rehearsals have been very experimentally based. Ali came in with this vision of finding everybody’s sweet spot and where they fit the in the puzzle. Everyone has a moment to shine and it’s been an amazing process to watch everyone grow and throw ideas off of each other.”

Two weeks before the the curtains opened, Stroker told elective classes in the Webb Theatre the story of how she became the first actor in a wheelchair to ever perform on Broadway. Stroker played the role of Anna in Deaf West’s 2015 production of “Spring Awakening.”

Due to a head on collision, she suffered a spinal cord injury at the age of two which left her paralyzed from the chest down. When people stared at Stroker as she rolled down the street in her first little, red wheelchair, her mom would assure her it was because “they had never seen someone so beautiful in a wheelchair.”

Even with such flattery, it was a hard-knock life. Stroker didn’t feel comfortable in her red wheelchair until she put on the red wig for her neighbor's backyard DIY production of Annie. The small production composed of a cast of friends, family, and pet which caught the interest of  the local newspaper. “I was used to people staring at me, but not for the reasons I wanted. Then all of the sudden, people were giving me attention for another reason, respecting my talent,” Stroker said. She had found her path.

Off to the big city, Stroker graduated from New York University’s Tisch Drama department with a degree in Fine Arts. While in New York, she also won a spot on “Glee” through the reality competition “The Glee Project” in 2013. Two years later, Stroker recognized “the disabled community was being underrepresented. It was 2015 and there hadn’t been a person in a wheelchair on Broadway.” This “got [her] wheels turning—no pun intended...or pun intended.” Then she did it. She became the first actor in a wheelchair on Broadway.

After such an accomplishment, where would she go next? The only stage better than Broadway: OCSA’s.

Learning about Stoker's story, senior Jared Machado (MT), who performed in the show, praised her as “honestly one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. She’s always so genuine with us and you can tell that [she] cares for each and every one of us and she always is in it 110%.”

The show ran for two nights on January 27th and 28th in the Webb Theatre. Costumed in everything from gospel robes to flannels, Stroker and the students performed around 20 numbers, including crowd favorites “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson, “Dear Theodosia” from “Hamilton: An American Musical”, and “Secondary Characters” from “[Title of Show].”

The show was a triumph. Junior RJ Hinton (MT) said, “It was amazing. It was also a very emotional because that was the seniors’ last show.” For their last show, they had an experience unlike any other. Thanks to Ali Stroker and their hard work, they rocked the stage—and so did Ali. In her own words, “That’s how I roll.”


 

Ask Evelyn

 

Need Advice? Send your questions into “Ask Evelyn” by emailing ocsaevolution@gmail.com!


Dear Evelyn,

My mom just got back in the dating game. I'm excited for her; she found a great guy. However, he is a firm believer in Ancient Aliens. You know, [that] the aliens built the pyramids, Stonehenge, etc. He thinks aliens have already found us but we just don't know it yet. I respect everyone's opinion, but he loves to push my buttons and start fights with me about it. How do I get him to stop, or convince him that the pyramids were built by actual human people?

Thanks,
Mom Has a Martian Boyfriend

 

Dear M.H.A.M.B.,

From where I sit, your mom’s boyfriend’s views on aliens are rather harmless. Take your own advice and respect his opinion. Maybe it will help you to think that the ancient structures you refer to are considered a mystery, and no one can know for certain where they came from. Who knows? The Martian Boyfriend might even be onto something.

That said, even if he is a great guy, he is an adult and shouldn’t use his beliefs as a way to purposely bother you or “start fights.” The next time he brings it up, be polite, smile and casually change the subject.

Sincerely,

Evelyn

Dear Evelyn,

I've been dating my boyfriend for nine months now. However, I suspect that he's gay. Actually, I know that he's gay, because he told me so. How do I cope? I'm still in denial.

From,
Should I Stay With the Gay?

 

Dear Stay With the Gay?,

Considering where we go to school, I know that other girls can relate to your problem. After nine months, you should know whether or not you’re getting everything you’d like to from this relationship. What is keeping you two together now? Do you feel like his sexual orientation leaves something to be desired as your boyfriend? Regardless of the good qualities he may have and however much you may care about him, these are questions that you should answer for yourself.

If you want to stay with him, then you’ll have to accept that your boyfriend is gay, and things aren’t likely to change beyond how they are now. However, if you’re not satisfied with your relationship to the point that you’re “in denial,” then my advice is to end it and maybe take a break from the dating scene (possibly until after you graduate).

 

Sincerely,

Evelyn


 

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