12 Years a Slave

Solomon Northup
By Frederick M. Coffin (engraved by Nathaniel Orr) – Solomon Northup (1855) Twelve Years a Slave, Public Domain

My peers and I had the opportunity to watch the film, 12 Years a Slave, in Mr. William’s history class.

This historical film dramatizes the issue of slavery in pre-Civil War America. The main character, Solomon Northup, a violin player, is a free black man from upstate New York living with his family in the year 1841. When Solomon travels to Washington, D.C. with two men for a potential increase in his salary, he is drugged by those two men and was transferred to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he is sold from one slave owner to another, until he is sold to the cruel, aggressive, and gradually insane slave owner Edwin Epps.

As the days turn into months and months bleed into years, Solomon struggles to maintain his dignity and keep his identity as he endures abuse and hardships, such as having to answer to a new name and being whipped daily. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, he meets a Canadian abolitionist who will forever alter his life.

The film details the horrific and unforgettable conditions that African-Americans went through while they were slaves. One slave in particular named Patsey, a female slave at the Epps plantation, was constantly taken advantage of and abused by Edwin Epps, who was obsessed with her, but also hated her at the same time, making Epps an uncontrollable psychopath. His wife, Mistress Epps, jealous about the attention that Patsey was receiving, also abused her and urged her husband to “punish her” if she did anything wrong.

12 Years a Slave is an unforgettable film and a landmark of Hollywood cinema.

Whats Kickin’

There are a lot of shoes in the world. There are many different styles, colors, different shapes, and a whole bunch of different levels of comfort. Style plays a pretty big part when buying shoes, but the thing that people look for the most in shoes and what they pay so much for is comfort. This is why only certain shoe companies right now are running the shoe game for example Adidas and Nike are the main brands. Even though the shoes are a little on the more expensive side, they are the most comfortable.

Nike has some pretty comfortable shoes, they have jordans, nike flyknits, and many other shoes. But the main source of comfort and the ones people are talking the most about right now are the Nike vapormax, they have a pretty big price point of $190 USD. But putting the price aside they have air bubbles which makes it super cushiony, bouncy, and just all around comfortable.

Adidas are really killing the game right now because they have this technology called boost.  Everybody wants to buy these shoes because all of the good feedback that they have been getting. They really blew up after rapper Kanye West was wearing them on stage. Since then they have been the most popular company and have been rolling out many different styles and colourways. Adidas are finally getting all the recognition they deserve.

Junior Class Thoughts

Aaylah Cook

Aaylah cook is a junior at Desert High School. Her favorite thing about school is getting to hang out with her friends and getting to meet new people, but her least favorite thing about school is how disruptive the students are while a teacher is trying to teach.

I asked Aaylah who her favorite teacher is and why. Aaylah responded with, “Mr. Lawhon because he makes history fun to learn and he shows us that he loves doing his job.” Aaylah’s biggest supporter in high school are her friends because they always have her back and no matter what she is going through they will always be there. If Aaylah could change something about desert it would be that they have a better selection for language classes, instead of just Spanish.

Aaylah finds school somewhat difficult because it’s hard to find a balance between social life and school, even when you are involved with sports. If Aaylah could tell Dr. Ellms something, it would be to stop feeding his dog grapes. I asked Aaylah what advice she has for other students getting ready to go into high school she replied, “Don’t get distracted, and don’t get caught in the stupid, petty drama.”

After high school Aaylah wants to get into history because Mr. Lawhon made history a lot of fun and she wants to make it fun for others. She also plans on going to college somewhere in San Diego or maybe Pepperdine. Aaylah is most looking forward to meeting new people and exploring the world after high school.

Skylar Irving

Skylar Irving is also a junior at Desert High School. Soon going to be a senior, Skylar is nervous because that means she has to start becoming more responsible and thinking about her future. Her favorite thing about high school is hanging out with her friends.

Her favorite teacher so far is Mr. Lawhon because he is relatable and is the most chilliest teacher here. In Skylar’s opinion desert could have a better variety of sports for example rugby and drill team. If Skylar could change something in high school, it would be the people because of how much bullying goes on here.

After high school Skylar wants to be a laboring delivery nurse because she loves babies. Skylar plans on going to college, such as antelope valley college for the nursing program. I asked Skylar if she thinks high school has helped her for her future, she replied, “in some ways, it has helped me be more independent with things.”

Cristina Garcia-Franco

Cristina is a junior at desert high school. Since Cristina isn’t a senior, she isn’t allowed to go out for lunch. I asked her how the school lunch is, she responded, “it’s somewhat edible, but it really lacks flavor.” Her favorite activity at school is robotics because it gives her something to do and also she gets to be involved with something that is fun.

I asked Cristina what she would change about desert. She responded with, “I would change the appearance definitely because the school just doesn’t feel like a school or something people want to go to every day, also the school moral.” Cristina’s somewhat favorite experience during high school is just being able to hang out with her friends because she really enjoys them being there for her. Advice that Cristina has for other students getting ready to go into high school is to not procrastinate because the more you do, then the less chance you have getting into a college that you want to get into because they see you haven’t taken high school seriously.

After high school Cristina wants to go to college, possibly UCSD. She isn’t quite sure what she wants to do yet but she feels that she will figure that out within the next year or so. Also, she thinks high school has somewhat helped her prepare for her future, but she wishes that desert had more classes that would be able to help her be more prepared.