Finding Isla Charity Event | Eeman Y

On Friday the 1 st of February, Finding Isla was performed in the Senior Hall, open to the staff and students, along with a successful raffle. All this was in aid of MQ. Written and directed by one of our very own students – Jane A – this play was created along with help from her very good friends. The play focused mainly on mental health and bullying, a huge topic in today’s discussions everywhere. The performance was in partnership with MQ (“transforming mental health through research”), an organisation based on the progress of mental health awareness and relief, which also received the entire £205 raised. In the play, a teenage girl finds herself in a whirlwind of depression, bullying, friendship conflicts and more with no way to survive it… something that can connect and relate to others as well. Like other patients worldwide, Isla has a spectrum disorder, which she struggles with in social media, and daily life. Isla, through the guidance and use of her friends and herself mostly, gets through the bullying and self-hate, portraying the message: ‘mental illness doesn’t change you as a person’. After an interview with the play’s creator, Jane, on her inspirations and motivations that had driven her to choose this topic, she expressed that the more awareness worldwide for this topic, the better. Jane also said on the question of “What was it like making your own play with your friends?”: “They’re amazing! I’m so happy my friends could act in it.”

Overall, I think the whole event was praise-worthy and well-organised. The portrayal on stage in terms of acting, the script, lighting and audio and the use of humour lightened a topic which may be easier to fully grasp put into a positive situation. The message they were trying to convey together with MQ was shown beautifully to the audience in a sensitive and successful way. In total, Jane and her friends made £205 in aid of MQ, which will hopefully carry the chain of mental health and disorder awareness in future days.

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith | Florence G

Tom Ripley is far from a hero. In fact he’s probably more of a psychopath.

Thomas Ripley is struggling to stay one step ahead of his creditors and the law, when an unexpected acquaintance offers him a free trip to Europe and a chance to start over. Ripley wants money, success and the good life so much so he’s willing to kill for it. When his new-found happiness is threatened, his response is as swift as it is shocking.

His innate ability to charm, impersonate and subvert make him one of the most confusingly amazing and lovingly hated characters in modern writing. The constant threat and danger to everything he’s worked for make it near impossible not to root for him. Yet not to like him; not to want him to win, which is certainly unusual. Patricia Highsmith does an excellent job of ensuring he wheedles his way into our sympathies. It’s a classic story of someone who starts off with bad luck and is disregarded by society, but who, through force of personality, hard work and sheer determination, manages to make something of himself. He’s had a hard upbringing; he lost his parents and was brought up by an aunt who called him a “sissy”. And yet, he came out the other end polite, self-effacing and hard-working. He is endearingly shy in company and worried about the impression he makes on others. Not to mention always assessing himself, always trying to improve. In all aspects, Tom Ripley is a multi-faceted character that comes to life within the first few pages.

“He liked the fact that Venice had no cars. It made the city human. The streets were like veins, he thought, and the people were the blood, circulating everywhere.”

You can’t ever quite tell what’s going to happen. Patricia Highsmith balances the calm beauty of Italy with the violence of murder in such a way that you feel constantly on edge even though you’re enjoying yourself. It’s definitely one of the most interesting books you’ll ever read.

Thomas Ripley is struggling to stay one step ahead of his creditors and the law, when an unexpected acquaintance offers him a free trip to Europe and a chance to start over. Ripley wants money, success and the good life so much so he’s willing to kill for it. When his new-found happiness is threatened, his response is as swift as it is shocking. His innate ability to charm, impersonate and subvert make him one of the most confusingly amazing and lovingly hated characters in modern writing. The constant threat and danger to everything he’s worked for make it near impossible not to root for him. Yet not to like him; not to want him to win, which is certainly unusual. Patricia Highsmith does an excellent job of ensuring he wheedles his way into our sympathies. It’s a classic story of someone who starts off with bad luck and is disregarded by society, but who, through force of personality, hard work and sheer determination, manages to make something of himself. He’s had a hard upbringing; he lost his parents and was brought up by an aunt who called him a “sissy”. And yet, he came out the other end polite, self-effacing and hard-working. He is endearingly shy in company and worried about the impression he makes on others. Not to mention always assessing himself, always trying to improve. In all aspects, Tom Ripley is a multi-faceted character that comes to life within the first few pages.

You can’t ever quite tell what’s going to happen. Patricia Highsmith balances the calm beauty of Italy with the violence of murder in such a way that you feel constantly on edge even though you’re enjoying yourself. It’s definitely one of the most interesting books you’ll ever read.

Image Link: https://i.grassets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1540771547i/7853133.UY1520_SS1520.jpg (26/02/21)

Musings of a Wide Open Space | Ruby H

These moments are now laced with a longing  
For more of the same old. And in these barren winds sway, 
The wild grasses of a month without sun. 
Over the moors lay your absence, 
Rolling under horizon after horizon. 
With these hands I could christen you, 
But the sunsets churn out shadows, 
And each one holds me and asks for a dance. 
Until my hands bear the mark 
Of arching waltzes dissolved in rain, 
Because I’m dancing around the sun rays, 
Chasing these soulful nights.
Over the hill stands a flower. 
Dropping hours through its hourglass.
And gently, the winds pluck it away, 
Slip away petal by petal. 
Sway through the sun. 
Dance into the grasses. 
Pull apart the seconds.

Help me weave these moments, 
Into reeds by a lake. 
And watch me as I wade through shallows, 
Towards the emptiness of the sky’s flaws. 
Watch the petals cry into the water. 
Lean away from this echoed longing.  

Watch the grasses linger in sorrow.

Image Link: https://i.pinimg.com/474x/9e/f9/f1/9ef9f1dc4d56a15e398cef1804a779b8.jpg (13/02/21)

 

Eco Info | Charlotte F-S

The Amazon rainforest stretches over 7,000,000 km ² of land. It has unparalleled levels of biodiversity. One in 10 species on the planet can be found in the Amazon rainforest. To date, at least 40,000 plants, 2,200 fish, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptile species have been specifically classified in the region. However, the Amazon is being destroyed at a rate of 150 acres a minute every minute every day. This is to make space for farm land, more specifically cattle farming, which not only decreases biodiversity due to loss of habitat, and potentially extinction, but increases methane emissions.

Ecologist Tip: Try to reduce eating red meat, more specifically beef. But if you are eating beef, make sure it comes from sustainably-run British beef farms.

Ecologist Tip: Have a go at making an eco brick. Fill a plastic water bottle with any plastic litter and use it for craft projects, or as a way of measuring how much litter you produce, or donate them to projects using eco bricks for construction.

Image Link: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b1/48/f0/b148f049b24d142d5fa082771d74352e.jpg (13/02/21)