Preview of Champions League final: Real Madrid vs Liverpool

In this year’s Champions League Final there is experienced Real Madrid looking for a three-peat in the competition most clubs salivate to qualify for, and there is the high-flying mighty Reds of Liverpool that are looking to get their hands on the Coupe de Clubes Champions Europeans trophy.

With both teams leading all teams in goals scored throughout the competition, the game will be played with especially meticulous tactics from the respective managers: Zidane of Real Madrid and Klopp of Liverpool.

Real Madrid will be getting the nod on most bets, but there is plenty of possibility for upset. Liverpool led the competition up this point with a whopping 40 goals through 13 games. The Reds also only let in 15 goals. Because of Real’s experience, the presence of one of the greatest goal-scorers of all-time, the amount of big-time players they have in the starting lineup, their reserves, and intelligence of their manager, Madrid has been given a 56% edge for the match.

Liverpool’s story has been quite enthralling and captivating. With the addition of Mo Salah, the Egyptian magician, Liverpool finished fourth in the EPL, and Salah led them to this Champions League Final shutting up all of the haters on their pressing, energy-enthused squad. The team is a collection of veterans, like James Milner and Jordan Henderson, with plenty of healthy confidence and know-how, plus youth, with plenty of potential in players such as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joseph Gomez.

With plenty of energy and quality up top from Firmino, Mane, and Salah, the Reds will have to focus on sustaining a balanced midfield throughout the 90 minutes and keeping a composed, yet aggressive backline. While dealing with Madrid’s star-studded midfield, and front line is possible, most think it will come down to how much magic Klopp’s attacking three can produce.

image taken from: Final Liga de Campeones 2018: Real Madrid vs Liverpool – Monterrey 360

In regards to Madrid, and the almost flawless squad they seem to maintain year after year, it is all about execution. Zidane will put forth a master plan to pick apart the Reds, and all the Madridistas must do is follow his instructions, put all of their effort in, and leave everything on the field with nothing to regret. If they do so, most seem to think that is quite plausible that they will come out with the victory for the third straight year.

All in all, the match will be quite intriguing so I suggest you tune in.

 

Some suggestions on how to be a successful student despite having chronic depression

Those with depression know that being a successful student can be hard when one suffers from depression. Motivation to try and succeed is very low. There are ways to counteract this feeling, however.

Academically, always make sure to turn in your assignments, talk to your teachers about what you’re going through, and maybe look into a 504 plan.

Turning in an assignment for even only 2 points is better than having nothing turned in at all and getting a zero. Even if you only do half of the assignment, getting the points for that half is better than none at all.

Talking to your teachers can not only provide you a good outlet for what you’re feeling, but it  possibly allows you to make some arrangements regarding assignments and class work for that class as well.

Lastly, a 504 plan is a plan that protects a student with an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. 504 plans allow flexibility with your abilities to turn assignments in. For example those with ADD or depression may turn in assignments later due to concentration issues related to the named affliction. Keep in mind that a 504 plan is a legal document, and you will need to have documentation from a doctor in order to start the process to possibly receive one.

Self care is also a good option to lower stress and almost reboot your system. Make sure you’re eating enough and staying hydrated. Both of these will boost your energy and possibly your motivation levels.

It may also be a good idea to find creative and constructive outlets for your feelings. Some that I’ve seen have been painting (any kind of painting! It doesn’t even have to look like anything, it can just be a bunch of colors in a blob!), writing your feelings down in the form of a poem or story, and writing a short song.

Some other options that have worked for me have been blasting emotional songs and singing along.

Therapy can also be very helpful for managing symptoms of depression. Therapy, however, can be fairly expensive if you don’t have insurance, or if your insurance doesn’t cover therapy.

An important thing to remember is that your health comes before your school work.

If your depression is getting too bad that your ability to function is detrimental, and suicidal thoughts occur, then you should consider: going to the ER and getting help from there, going to the National Suicide Prevention website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or calling the National Suicide Prevention phone number: 1-800-273-8255.

Eid

Vector illustration of Eid Mubarak Islamic Holy Celebration greeting card design – image taken from: https://www.google.com/amp/indianexpress.com/article/when-is/when-is-eid-al-adha-4821958/lite/?source=images

There are two different holidays Muslim people celebrate. The first one is Eid-al-Fitr which happens after the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, and in that month Muslim people fast from sunrise to sundown.

The second holiday is Eid-al-Adha which happens after Hajj. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Hajj is when Muslim people go to pilgrimage to the holy city Makkah. Every Muslim person looks forward to Eid, because it only occurs twice in the entire year, and because all your family members have the chance to get together to celebrate and enjoy Eid together. We eat a lot during Eid, since we have been fasting an entire month before it, and our plates seem to never become empty.

For Eid-al-Fitr, families all have different ways of celebrating. Since it is the next holiday coming up, here are some ways that we have celebrated it in the past.

On Eid, my family and I start off our day by praying the Eid prayer. After we finish praying we go to my grandma’s house where we meet up with all our aunts and uncles and their kids. While we are there we eat breakfast and catch up with people we haven’t seen in a long time. We usually stay there for at least 2 hours, then we go to a restaurant, then to an amusement park where we stay. The next day we usually hang out with our friends and do something with them.

Weeks before celebrating Eid, you need new clothes because when you pray the morning prayer you need to be clean. My family and I go to a restaurant, Old Country Buffet, where we eat, and as you would expect it’s all you can eat, with really great food. There are usually a lot of other Muslims who are there eating because they are celebrating Eid as well. After that, we go to an amusement park, Valley Fair, where we meet up with my relatives and just enjoy the day as we celebrate the ending of fasting. Eid celebration is a beautiful day
where people get together and everybody is happy, parents are nice, and they give their children money.

On Eid, my family first all gets together. All the relatives we haven’t seen in forever come sleep over at our house. They sleep over so we can all wake up in the morning and go to Eid prayer together. Eid is a celebration after the month of Ramadan. Eid is meant to be spent with your family and friends. It’s like a reward after all the fasting we had the month of Ramadan. After prayer, my family comes home and goes back to sleep because it’s still pretty early and everyone is still tired. When we get back up, we go together as family to get breakfast and after that it’s up to you what you want to do. Whether you want to spend the day with your friends, and go to the movies or the mall, or if you want some quality time with your siblings and parents. Eid is a good day, and a day of happiness, don’t just stay home.

Ramadan

The month of Ramadan is a sacred month to Muslims. This month is a basic belief and command that all Muslims must follow. This month is part of the 5 Pillars of Islam which are: Shahadah, belief in Allah and His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him – PBUH); Salat, praying five times a day to Allah ONLY; Zakat, giving charity/alm; Sawm, fasting during the month of Ramadan; and Hajj, going to pilgrimage at least once in a Muslim’s lifetime.

The month of Ramadan is a month of 29 or 30 days where all Muslims, with the exception of few, have to fast (no eating or drinking) from sunrise to sundown. All able Muslims that have reached puberty, or the age of 15, must fast. The exceptions are: if you are menstruating, just gave birth, breastfeeding, pregnant, traveling, ill and need medication, or don’t have sanity etc. The people who have any of the above, except for insanity, will have to make up their fast after Ramadan and Shawwal.

The month of Ramadan brings people closer together because more people will do more good because Muslims believe that any good deeds they do will be multiplied more than any day that wasn’t in Ramadan. It is a month to learn to become a better person and a better Muslim. It also bring Muslims closer to God because God loves when we do good things for others and ourselves, and when we pray to Him, and do what we were commanded to do.

Also, during this month, the Holy Qur’an was revealed to our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and we try to read the entire Qur’an at least once or twice, during Ramadan, in Arabic because we follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) which is his life story or biography and the Prophet (PBUH) read it once or twice.

There is a day called Laylatul-Qadr a.k.a. the Night of Power. This night is on one of the last 10 days, most likely an odd number day, but it is unknown to us which day it is. We give more, read the Qur’an more, learn more about Islam, and pray a lot more during these last 10 days because if we do these good deeds on Laylatul-Qadr we will be rewarded by Allah more and be rid of our previous sins.

There are about 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, and most will be fasting during this month. If you aren’t Muslim, and there are Muslims around you, keep in mind that they might be fasting. It isn’t an easy thing to do when people around you are eating/drinking or even listening to music, and it’s okay to ask them questions. Ramadan Kareem or Ramadan Mubarak (Have a blessed Ramadan)!

God of War review

God of War’s concept and game play is based on the hack and slash gaming genre; players control Kratos, and kill enemies throughout the journey in many different and gruesome ways. The amount of action and detail that the developers include allow fans to feel immersed in the game. The dynamic camera angles and cinematic scenes within the game, are created to let the fans feel emotional towards the story of the game and the characters.

Image taken from: https://godofwar.playstation.com/

The intense, and vast amount of details, in the graphics of the game, and the cinematic scenes were amazing. Fans were able to clearly see and tell what was going on with the story and the events that were occurring. The way the camera allows you to see every scene and detail perfectly, and the character emotions, lets the gamer relate more during their time playing the game.

Image taken from: http://variety.com/2018/gaming/news/god-of-war-steelcase-translation-1202780501/

Published by Sony, and created by Ready at Dawn, the new creation of the God of War game transformed how fans perceived the previous games. For starers the camera view is locked as a third-person view instead of a free, changing camera during the gaming portion while the cinematic scenes are always changing to put more intense and excessive feeling in the scene.

Image taken from: http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2018/03/07/ready-at-dawn-next-game-is-a-third-person-action-game/

The story and plot they created for the God of War game was different than before but allowed fans to feel nostalgic towards the past installments.

After a time passes, and the events of God of War 3 pass, Kratos finds himself in a place called Midgard and creates a family. Soon after, Kratos and his son, Atreus takes the ashes of his wife to the highest mountain throughout the realms. This is the start of their journey that takes place in Norse mythology, and while on their journey they encounter enemies, creatures, and monsters that cross their path.

Many fans bought God of War because they had played the previous installments and hoped to continue the lore of God of War and the story of Kratos. Some fans never got to play the previous God of War installments, and buying the newest one would allow them to get a feel for the story. Others bought it for the interest of God of War, the genre that the game is made for, or the innovation of graphics, gameplay, and story.

The only drawback of the game is that it is PlayStation exclusive, so owners of the Xbox franchise do not have access to God of War.

Summer blockbuster movie preview

We have had a big start to the year with movies. This year had some great blockbuster movies such as Black Panther. Black Panther had great cultural impact, sent a strong message about African culture, and also touched on how those who are oppressed are more likely to lash out and try to make things fair. The other purpose of Black Panther was to set up Infinity War.

Infinity War was another great Marvel movie. Marvel had been building up to Infinity War for ten years, and they managed to make it all pay off. Infinity War was great, but it does end on a cliffhanger. That cliffhanger will pay off in May 2019.

Now, we should look forward to the rest of 2018. In summer, the big blockbuster movies will be Ant-Man and the Wasp, Mission: Impossible Fallout, and Deadpool 2.

Deadpool 2 did come out in May, but I will count it as a summer blockbuster. Deadpool 2 was great and very funny. It also sets up the next X-Force movie.

The new Ant-Man movie will serve as one of the two lead ups to Avengers 4 (the other being Captain Marvel which releases in 2019). Ant-Man will probably end up as another perfectly adequate Marvel movie. It will probably be a predictably, funny movie that pleasantly kills a couple hours of your life.

Mission: Impossible 6 should be another movie similar to Ant-Man. I would not be surprising if there is some kind of twist in this next movie, but ultimately it will be another good addition to the Mission: Impossible series. Tom Cruise got injured on another stunt, and the movie will probably be another adequate movie, with some amazing stunts.

We should be ready for another great year of movies. I don’t know where the movie industry will go next, but we should just enjoy this era of comic book movies and spy thrillers. Movies will continue to evolve and it will be interesting to see where they go.

Valleyfair day

As the school year comes to an end, Highland has been celebrating by hosting many events to close the year for its students, and especially for its senior class. This includes events like Prom, Boat Dance, AG Day, and finally, Valleyfair!

Valleyfair Day is a trip to the amusement park in Shakopee, Minnesota for Highland’s graduating class. This field trip isn’t for every grade, only seniors are invited and encouraged to attend to put a cap on all the memories they’ve made the past four years at Highland Park. This is one last field trip for the class to share together, to celebrate all the hard work they’ve put in together as a class, and to enjoy one last trip with each other.

Valleyfair offers activities for everyone who attends! They offer rides for those who do enjoy the thrills of giant, fast roller coasters, and offer different activities ranging for those who are on the more calm and collected side of things.

Valleyfair has arcade games, water rides, wave pools, roller coasters, food, and many more fun activities around the park. There are several dozen different events for every student in the graduating class of 2018. The bus for the field trip left at 9 am on Friday, May 25th!

A night on the Mississippi

On Friday night, May 18th, 500 of Highland’s students danced the night away on the Mississippi River. The Boat Dance was open to students at 6:30 pm, on Friday, at Harriet Island, on the West side of Saint Paul, MN. The boat took off around 7:15 pm and returned to Harriet Island at 10 pm.

The dance has been a Highland tradition for many years, and by the number of students that attended this year, it will continue to be a tradition for many more years in Highland’s future. This year, the dance had the most attendees it’s had in years – so many that the school couldn’t continue selling tickets – filling up both of the boat’s capacity of people pretty quickly.

There were two different boats for student’s to enjoy; one boat was for the people who wanted to dance, and the other boat was for the people who preferred to sing karaoke with friends or sit back and watch others sing. No matter what boat you were on, there were dozens of different groups of people who were making the best of their night for themselves, their friends, and others around them.

If you chose not to, or were unable to attend the dance this year, make sure to attend Boat Dance 2019! Hopefully, the boat’s attendance remains high throughout the rest of its years at Highland, and hopefully the energy of the attendees remains the same as well!

Recap on the Met Gala

The Met Gala as always, left us shooked as celebrities served looks that we weren’t prepared for. This has undoubtedly been a year to remember, as many celebs walked the red carpet in stunning outfits. The theme of this years Met Gala was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” Let’s just take a trip back and relive some of the most beautiful outfits that walked the carpet this year.

Rihanna

image taken from: https://www.vogue.com.au/culture/red-carpet/rihanna-has-interpreted-the-met-gala-theme-in-the-most-rihanna-way/news-story/45df66c43703acdb823302aeec65e7d0

Without a doubt, you can always count on Rihanna to faithfully execute any Met Gala; she really hit the crowd with a thunderbolt as she went matched the theme and as always looked fierce and sexy. She wore Maison Margiela by John Galliano, however, the highlight of this extravagant piece is definitely the Vatican papal tiara, which was studded with 18,000 diamonds. Rihanna came to shut the show down, which she did effortlessly.

Zendaya

image taken from: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/zendaya-debuts-red-hair-bob-010011704.html

WOW! The Versace dress with detailed sequins and metal work shoulders and arms left everyone amazed. Zendaya resembled the Catholic Saint, Joan of Arc. The beautiful metal dress compliments not only her golden complexion but also her dark red hair and strong smoky makeup. Altogether, Zendaya walked the carpet in high fashion and with one of the most literal outfits of the night.

Solange

image taken from: https://www.popsugar.com/fashion/photo-gallery/44821955/image/44821969/Solange-Met-Gala-Dress-2018

It is no surprise that Solange came to shut the show down. Wearing an Iris Van Herpen dress, complemented with a bottle of communion wine. The doo-rag and the halo were what really shut the Internet down. Doo-rags have become a cultural phenomenon, which was what really shocked the crowd with this look.

Cardi B

image taken from: https://www.popsugar.com/beauty/Cardi-B-Hair-Makeup-2018-Met-Gala-44820004

Nothing says “heavenly body” more than a pregnant woman. Cardi B wore a pearl and jewel-studded gown designed by Moschino. The look was accompanied by a separate tailpiece, and one of the best headpieces seen all night.

Lena Writhe

image taken from: https://www.popsugar.com/fashion/photo-gallery/44819318/image/44819369/Lena-Waithe-Outfit-Met-Gala-2018

Lena came to the Met to literally make a statement. A sophisticated look, but outrageously stunning. Wearing a black and white suit, paired with a bright LGBT flag. This is just yet another look that will be remembered for ages. We could all take a page from Lena Writhe’s book, next time you want to make a statement, you should wear it!

Although there were plenty of other amazing looks, these are just a few of the celebrities who deliberately came to shut the show down, and also matched the theme of this year’s Met Gala exactly, except Lena Writhe of course, who clearly deserves her own Met Gala theme.

 

 

 

 

BTS comeback

BTA are now releasing a new album, which means they have a whole new concept for this. All of the members dyed their hair black, because the concept is supposed to be a dark one.

So far, they have released two teaser trailers, the first one was released on May 14th, with over 9 million views. The second trailer was more recent, May 16th, with over 8 million views already.

This concept is different than usual, Last Comeback was pure and soft, and this is more dark. They also released a video of the member Taehyung having a solo song called “Singularity.” This got a lot of attention because it was our first look into what’s to come.

They are also preparing for a tour around the world, like usual, the tickets are already sold out almost everywhere due to the smaller venues they picked. They limited some fans by only allowing people 16 and over into the pit. Soon, they will release more tour dates, but for now everything is sold out in America.

The new album, Love Yourself Tear, is basically a continuous part, with their last album being Love Yourself Her. There will be a third album since they both have 4 versions. Love Yourself Her, Covering Love, and Love Yourself Tear with Your. The next album is Covering Self.

Love Yourself Tear was released May 18th, and so was the music video of their title track, “Fake Love.” The idea of the music video is that all love is fake; that there’s no such thing as love. The music video is also linked to their older videos, meaning it has references for the fans to theorize about.
This album has 11 tracks:

1. “Intro: Singularity”
2. “Fake Love”
3. “전하지 못한 진심” (feat. Steve Aoki)
4. “134340”
5. “낙원”
6. “Love Maze”
7. “Magic Shop”
8. “Airplane pt. 2”
9. “Anpanman”
10. “So What”
11. “Outro: Tear”

This list was released early, to get fans excited, along with member RM stating his favorite song. This time, there was no break in the album, usually there is a skit, or one track where it’s not a song.

Overall, I like the concept of this album; they are kind of going back to their older concepts in a way, but making it better. It has been awhile since we’ve seen them with dark hair like this, and fans are very happy about it.