books

Very Adult Lessons from Beloved Children’s Books

Author: Kerrin Frappier, Entertainment

Once upon a time, parents read their millennial children stories to help them fall asleep, and to teach them about the world that they were growing up in.

At the time, these books gave us warnings about trusting strangers with very big teeth, and how pathological lying can prove fatal. Honesty and caution are important road marks for any responsible adult to follow, but even seemingly silly stories have their own pieces of advice to share. These books may not be fairy tales, but being open to their guidance as adults may make us a bit happier about our continuing journeys through adulthood.

 

REAL LOVE MAKES US “REAL” PEOPLE from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
At first glance, the stuffed rabbit a young boy receives as a Christmas present is not much to look at. It doesn’t move on its own, and seems rather old-fashioned. The rabbit knows that the only way he can become real to the little boy is through the boy’s love for the stuffed animal. The rabbit sees little hope in becoming real, until he takes the place of another toy lost in the nursery. From then on, the boy and the rabbit are inseparable, that is, until the boy becomes very ill. All the toys and bedding in the nursery must be burned to prevent the disease from spreading, and as the velveteen rabbit mourns the end of his life with his beloved boy, a fairy appears and leads him to the forest to be with the real-life rabbits.

Truly, there is nothing as powerful as love. Not just the word love, or crushes, or lust, but real, genuine, unconditional love. This is the love from family, friends, mentors, and partners that can be life-changing. It transforms us into who we are meant to be.

YOUR OPPORTUNITIES ARE (STILL) ENDLESS from Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
A common, yet thoughtful, gift for any graduate, the last book to be published while the author was still living is one of his most inspiring. The unnamed character in Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is leaving town and comes upon “The Waiting Place” (where people wait for things to happen) along their journeys. But the narrator makes it clear that the protagonist can go anywhere he chooses.

This lesson should not be reserved for those taking on new careers, or graduating high school or college. You can change your direction any time you want! It is never too late to embark on a new path.

EVERYONE HAS TO GROW UP from The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
Even Christopher Robin’s time in the Hundred Acre Wood has to come to an end. It seems Piglet, Pooh, Eeyore, and Christopher Robin are all aware of this reality, and in the final chapter of a book full of adventures, Christopher Robin’s friends throw him a farewell party.

Growing up can be painful. A person leaves behind all the things he or she has known about the world, and who they have been to this point. Responsibilities can be overwhelming, and life is no longer as simple as visiting old friends. But as The House at Pooh Corner comes to a close, Pooh promises never to forget his friend Christopher Robin. We should never forget the places we have been, and the wonderful memories we made while we learning to grow up.

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MATERIAL THINGS from How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Sure, it’s a holiday favorite, but at the heart of How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the reminder that material things cannot make you happy, and being miserable hurts no one but yourself.

In this day and age, it is easy to see what we do not have, and compare ourselves to others. But does owning the latest iPhone give us anything but a fleeting sense of satisfaction? It wasn’t about the presents or trees in Whoville. Despite our collective desire to have it all, this is one lesson we should keep in our hearts all year long.

OUR DAMAGES DO NOT MAKE US WORTHLESS from Corduroy by Don Freeman
Lonely and perched on a department store shelf, Corduroy is spotted by a young girl, Lisa, whose mother refuses to buy him because of a missing button on his overalls. Corduroy searches the store for the long-lost button, but to no avail. To his surprise, Lisa comes back into the store the next day without her mother, and purchases him with her own money. Once they arrive home, she sews a button on his clothing, happy to have found a friend.

Our shortcomings and scars do not make us less worthy of love and friendship. They may teach us painful lessons, but people who truly care for us will take the time to make us feel safe again. Knowing you are worthy of such love helps to stitch those lost pieces back together again.

[Blank] My Life web series

[Blank] My Life

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Entertainment

Millennials, we’ve seen many forms of entertainment that have been created as a result of newer technologies available to us. Thanks to YouTube and increased video capabilities, the web series is a format in which we’ve been able to create full seasons of shows at a lower budget than a television show would need.

As is the case with any type of media, some of these series are for niche viewing. Others however, are very relatable to millennials, and to the things we go though in all aspects of life, some on a daily basis.

Enter [Blank] My Life. A web series that truly covers it all.

“It started as slices of my life, or things I thought about,” said Alex Spieth, the series’ creator. “My character, Susan, grows up, falls in love with her boyfriend, and decides to leave New York. When I first started the show, it was a reaction to the year I’d just had. But what I’m thinking about doing now is different that what I was thinking about then.”

Before starting production of the series, Spieth, like many other millennials, struggled with the transition from college to adult life, which gave her a lot of inspiration for the show.

“As an actor, I had an agent right after college,” she said. “I was dropped after a year. I have always been a Type-A personality, and this was the first time that I had to examine what I had to do. I asked myself, have I been lied to? Have I been deluding myself? I needed something to remind me that I had something to offer.”

So, why should we watch it? 

It deals with today’s dating scene 
We all know how that can go sometimes, right? Remember that Valentine’s Day that you spent doing anything but something romantic? The main character spends one Valentine’s Day babysitting — and not for a well-behaved child, either. It also deals with the online dating struggle, which is relatable to so many of us. And remember that time that you had to deal with your ex, after you had broken up? There’s an episode for that. And it’s just as awkward as you’d think.

It addresses making good decisions, versus making bad ones
In that very same episode in which the main character goes on a dinner date with her ex, said ex is portrayed as the devil. In other words, spending time with that ex is a bad decision, and she needed to be reminded of that fact throughout. We’ve all been there. We’ve all needed to remember why that person is an ex in the first place, or why we shouldn’t rebound so quickly, or why we shouldn’t post that picture.

It understands your work struggle
You know that bad day at work (or maybe bad days? weeks? months?) where whatever could go wrong, did go wrong? You spilt coffee on your white shirt, your desk phone rang off the hook while you had millions of other things to do, you ended up cleaning up after your colleagues who left a coffee pod in the Keurig again, you were interrupted by outside visitors (outside visitors? what does that even mean?), and maybe you were just a little hungover? This show gets it. It gets all of it.

It confronts some of the most difficult, as well as the most important, issues in our society  
On a much more serious note, [Blank] My Life brings the important issues to the forefront of the conversation. One episode shows the scary truths about how rapes can happen anywhere, including on college campuses, and showcases the main character’s experiences with it. Another looks at mental health head-on. The main character finds herself with her life in a state of despair. She also has scary experiences, including hallucinations, brought on by certain situations. She contemplates leaving her now home in New York City, to see if it will improve both her life and, in turn, her health. While much of the above is often considered taboo to talk about in a public setting, it’s so important that the conversations around these difficult issues continue.

So, what’s next for the series? Is there more to look forward to?
“We’re in the process of writing the next season,” Spieth said. “The past two seasons have been done piecemeal, and we don’t want to do that this time around. We’ll be filming in Pittsburgh next, and we really want to feel like this is ‘our project.’ We’re looking to do a movie, and we want to more that I haven’t already tried.”

 

Follow [Blank] My Life on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Beauty and the Beast

Disney Movies Tried to Forewarn Us About the Future

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Entertainment

We all know that our beloved Disney movies are full of doom and gloom. Walt Disney lost his mother at a young age, which is why all Disney movies include a parent’s, or a grandparent’s, death in some way shape or form.

But, upon watching Disney movies as an adult, you realize that they’re filled with lessons on dating, life, adulthood, and much more. If only we had realized these things in our youth, maybe adulthood would’ve been much easier? Who knows for sure, but as they say, better late than never!

 

When Cogsworth blatantly showed us how fixing relationships really worked.

 

When Jasmine showed us that love should be the reason for marriage, not anything else, not even for money.

 

When Rafiki taught us all that no matter how hard we may try, we cannot in fact successfully run from our pasts.

 

When Genie tried to tell Aladdin that telling the truth is the only way to have a healthy relationship.

 

When Jiminy Cricket tried to tell us all that we’re going to face a lot of temptations in the future — ones
that we have to ignore and get through.

 

When we learned in heartbreaking fashion that those we love will die, our parents unfortunately included.
Death has no timetable, and can affect you at any age.

 

When Mulan explained why she felt the need to change herself — to be someone she wasn’t, in order to be accepted.

 

When Aladdin showed us the struggles of not having money, pretty much forewarning us all of
how much we will have to in fact work to pay off our student loans or our rent.

 

When Gaston showed us gender inequality at it’s finest.

 

When Buzz Lightyear told us that we will, in fact, be surrounded by idiots on a daily basis.

 

When Fairy Godmother tried to teach us patience, because miracles take time.

 

And of course, when Peter Pan forewarned us all that growing up does really suck.

Sabrina

Why Millennials Should Should Watch Sabrina

Author: Kerrin Frappier, Entertainment

While Audrey Hepburn has many iconic roles to her credit, her turn as Sabrina Fairchild is largely overshadowed by the likes of Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s), Princess Ann (Roman Holiday), and Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady). Released in 1954, Sabrina is a story of transformation and love wrapped up in a palatable romantic comedy package. The film may be over 60 years old, but has many relatable lessons for millennials trying to navigate the world of careers and relationships. For our generation, this is a classic not to be missed.


We see that love knows no hierarchy
Sabrina’s father has worked as the Larrabees’ — a wealthy family with a powerful company, and large estate — chauffeur for many years. For almost as many years, Sabrina has been in love with the Larrabees’ youngest son — the lazy, lustful David. David’s frequent ignorance toward Sabrina’s feelings for him finally becomes unbearable, and Sabrina attempts suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning — only to be saved by David’s older brother, Linus.

We learn that true love does wait
After her brush with death, Sabrina leaves for culinary school in Paris for two years, and comes back a different woman. Gone is the uncertain, lovesick young lady, who is replaced with a refined and confident woman. And, the now-engaged David notices. Panicked that the dissolution of the engagement could ruin a profitable business deal, Linus attempts to distract Sabrina, and keep David’s advances on her at bay by perusing Sabrina himself.

We understand that people change, and it can be for the good
Upon her return home, Sabrina’s change in appearance and attitude are immediately apparent. But, throughout the film, the men interested in the new and improved Sabrina also transition into better versions of themselves. Initially, Linus only claims to be infatuated with Sabrina. Over time, he not only genuinely comes to love her, but also becomes more relaxed, and less focused on the company as his only source of pleasure and happiness. It is David who is forced to be more responsible, and think not only of his own promises to his soon-to-be wife, but also the welfare of a company he may one day control. Isn’t that what love — both love for ourselves and others — is supposed to do… help bring out the best in each person?

We learn that we’re not the only ones with doubts in relationships
Sometimes, it is difficult to know whether or not the person we are dating is a person who is good for us. Sabrina has always been attracted to David, but before acquiring her worldly culinary education, he paid her little mind. Shouldn’t the person we are meant to be with stand by us, even when we are not at our most beautiful, put-together versions of ourselves? Relationships should be more than just beautiful backdrops for our selfies, and shout outs when bae cooks you dinner.

We’re reassured that it’s not just us that hate talking about our feelings
Unfortunately, when Linus feels the stirrings of love for Sabrina, he cannot even admit to them himself. Whether it is because he is much older than Sabrina, or because of the guilt he feels for not coming clean about his intentions, Linus cannot see himself as being right for Sabrina. Perhaps an audience might feel similarly when one considers the pain it would cause both parties in real life. For millennials, internet dating has caused its own set of problems — many of which are based on a lack of honesty, and an uncertainty about what each person wants (Are we officially dating? Are we exclusive? Are we merely a hookup? Are we just “hanging out?”).

Suicide awareness is prevalent, and that’s a huge step for this time period 
Sabrina brings up suicide, in a time where the subject was very much taboo. In our modern world, where suicide games are a horrifying trend, and a young woman has gone to jail for encouraging the completion of such an act, the very mention of suicide should strike a very real chord in millennial hearts. Thankfully, Linus is there to stop Sabrina from making an irreversible mistake, and she takes her second chance at life as an opportunity to go on an adventure — and become the person she has always wanted to be. Think of all the love and heartache, support and disappointment Sabrina would have missed out on. No one will ever know what changes could make all the difference. We should continue to discuss this issue so that our generation can continue to pursue our passions, fall in love, and live the lives we’ve all always wanted.

Harley Quinn

Life Lessons from Harley Quinn

Author: Elizabeth Zarb, Entertainment

Wait, but who’s Harley Quinn and how can I learn from her? Well, she’s a DC Comics character who made her debut as the Joker’s henchwoman in Batman: The Animated Series. 

She quickly became a fan favorite, becoming one of the first comic book characters to originate on TV, and launching from screen to comics with her brash sense of humor, her crazy antics, and, of course, her love for “Mistah J.” Her popularity skyrocketed with Margot Robbie’s portrayal of her in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Now, what can she teach us?

Coffee is always a necessity.

In the 2016 movie, the first thing that Harley asks for when told she could have anything in her cell that
she wants is an espresso machine. A girl after my own heart, and I’m sure yours as well.
Coffee is always the priority. 

 

Solve problems by looking at them from a new perspective.



Mistah J wants the fish to smile? Just put Batman upside down and those frowns become smiles!
Only someone as insane as Harley could think of such a brilliant idea. And it shows us all that the
solution to problems can be found much easier than we realize.
Stop with all the overanalyzing

 

How to properly deal with catcalling.

Guys harassing you? Just pull out a bazooka and “blow them away.” 10/10 would
recommend. OK, not really, but she’s showing us we should all stand up for ourselves
when we’re not being treated right,or being treated in a way we like.
You don’t have to deal with catcalling, or anything, if you don’t want to.

 

Own your past and your flaws.

Upon hearing ex-criminal El Diablo’s tragic backstory, Harley shows little sympathy,
instead telling him to own it. She knows that your past mistakes shape who you
are as a person today, and there’s no use trying to escape the past.
Don’t dwell on it, use it to better yourself, and move on. 

 

Your environment can shape who you are.

Harley tries to give up crime, but because of her reputation as a villain she is unable to
assimilate into society. That same society throws her right back into her crime life.
(Granted, it was a misunderstanding that led society to reject her, but it’s all the same to Harley.)
Be careful who, where, and what you surround yourself with. It truly shapes you. 

 

Sometimes, love is worth it all.

In Suicide Squad, Harley willingly throws herself into a vat of chemicals to prove her
love to the Joker, showing us that yes, true love does exist, and the lengths
that you’ll go to for the person you love know no bounds.
While you shouldn’t have to go to such extremes,
be with someone you’d risk it all for.

 

But sometimes, the person you love isn’t worth your devotion.

The Joker and Harley’s relationship is known to be abusive, with the Joker often
causing Harley physical harm. Harley shows us that it’s okay to put yourself first,
and to leave an abusive relationship in order to save yourself.
Also, you never should have to deal with an abusive relationship in the first place. 

 

Sometimes your best friend is also your partner in crime (and in life).

Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are best friends, with Ivy giving Harley an immunity to many
toxins when they meet. They run amok through Gotham City together (Ivy is driving the
car 
in the aforementioned catcalling scene) and eventually Ivy helps Harley leave
the Joker. 
The two go from best friends to girlfriends, and it’s often said that
if your girlfriend/boyfriend is your best friend, you’re doing it right.

 

Harley Quinn may not be a perfect character (she is a criminal, after all), but she is incredibly complex and involved in some of the most engaging story lines in DC history. She also has given us some very important lessons to keep with us throughout life.