101 Totally Random Things You Can Do Entirely From Home During the Quarantine

By Alchalel, Rosie (’21)

Quarantine can be boring… VERY boring. So here is a list filled with an assortment of activities to help alleviate some of that boredom. There is something for everyone, from readers to artists to binge-watchers. Do one thing or do them all, but make sure to have fun! 

  1. Clean out your closet (you know you have to)
  2. Binge-watch Victorious on Netflix
  3. Read!!! (A couple of our quarantine favorites include The Handmaiden’s Tale, The Alchemist, and All The Light We Cannot See)Books
  4. Draw a tree
  5. Make your own list
  6. Draft a 2020 version of We Didn’t Start the Fire
  7. Learn the Renegade Tik-Tok dance
  8. Write thank-you notes (to your teachers, best friends, inspirations)
  9. Do 100 sit-ups
  10. Take a bath
  11. Stretch (touch your toes, reach for the stars)
  12. Make a DIY hair mask (there’s an article on how to on The Lion’s Den!)
  13. FaceTime your grandparents (They definitely want to hear from you during this time)
  14. Take a nap
  15. Research the Stanford Prison Experiment
  16. Put on a face mask
  17. Print out coloring sheets and start drawing
  18. Write a book
  19. Bake some brownies
  20. Karaoke with your family
  21. Learn how to cartwheel 
  22. Online shop (always Google coupons before you checkout)
  23. Do some yoga
  24. Learn how to write your name in different fonts
  25. Clean your room (you know you need to)
  26. Drink a cup of tea
  27. Dye your hair
  28. Tie-Dye an old shirt 
  29. Do a 1000 piece puzzlePuzzle
  30. Learn to play a new instrument
  31. Learn how to embroiderEmbroidery
  32. Learn to speak a new language 
  33. Meditate!
  34. Recreate old family photos
  35. Put on a play
  36. Join Instagram live dance classes 
  37. Paint your old white shoes (cow print looks nice and is so in!) 
  38. Read old Lion’s Den articles
  39. Zoom your friends. Be social even from far away
  40. Watch your favorite childhood movies. 
  41. Go viral on TikTok (or die trying)
  42. Organize the pile of papers that have been on your desk FOREVER
  43. Makeovers 
  44. Catch up on needed sleep
  45. Grow a gardenSeeds
  46. Read a Newspaper, it’s important to know what’s happening at times like this
  47. Make a photo wall 
  48. WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!!!!!
  49. Clean out your email 
  50. Paint your nails
  51. Write something you are grateful for every day
  52. Listen to a podcast (On Purpose with Jay Shetty is really getting us through quarantine)
  53. Play around on the Acapella app
  54. Make whipped coffee 
  55. Take an online course (Coursera has great college ones)
  56. Learn how to make different smoothies
  57. Make friendship bracelets
  58. Start a blog
  59. Listen to albums you haven’t listened to before
  60. Call an old friend
  61. Take an online workout class
  62. Start studying for your upcoming SAT/ACT ( Kahn Academy is a great resource for the SAT)
  63. Research different topics that interest you
  64. Put on a fashion show with your siblings
  65. Take a swim 
  66. Play around with makeup
  67. Play some video games
  68. Learn some new hairstyles
  69. Make a DIY hair mask
  70. Paint something random
  71. Play some board games like Rummikub, Life, Monopoly, or….Board Games
  72. Go sit outside for a bit
  73. Clean out your closet and find some things to sell online on websites like Depop and Poshmark
  74. Learn how to write with your non-dominant hand
  75. Catch up with an old friend… over text of course 
  76. Virtually ride Disney roller coasters 
  77. Watch old home videos 
  78. Deep clean your shoes
  79. Watch virtual concerts 
  80. Prank your family
  81. Build a fort
  82. Take Buzzfeed tests
  83. Write a short story
  84. Binge-watch America’s Funniest Home Videos
  85. Dive into Masterclass and discover something new to learn about 
  86. Clean out your photo library
  87. Organize your fridge and pantry
  88. Make a scrapbook
  89. Jump rope
  90. Learn how to photoshop 
  91. Watch documentaries on topics you’re interested in
  92. Paint your room (with your parent’s permission- of course)
  93. Design clothing
  94. Learn a new word everyday
  95. Learn some gymnastics
  96. Detangle your jewelry  
  97. Put together an impressive resumé 
  98. Clean your makeup brushes
  99. Join Houseparty and have fun with your friends
  100. Make a spotify playlist 
  101. Wash your car (or your parents’s)

All photos by Rosie Alchalel, except jigsaw puzzle photo by Alex Wellman (’23)

1917, or: The Great War Against Repetition

Director Sam Mendes creates a stunning retelling of events in WWI – elevated to untold heights by its crew

Movie Review by Ron Gneezy (‘21)

In recent years, as film-making technology has grown exponentially in quality — both in restoring old footage and in creating stunning new imagery — recreations of the Great War have begun to seem as numerous as the Westerns of old. Yet even in this ever-filling pool of blood, discarded shells, and dust of the trenches, Sam Mendes’s 1917 manages to swim to the top.

The sight of the trenches, the horrors of mustard gas, and the hail of machine-gun fire, while all harrowing images, are now known by people throughout the world through innumerable films, documentaries and mini-series. Mendes, however, has created a new story, drawing on war stories told to him by his grandfather to create a wholly new journey which, while not 100% faithful to any one story from the war, weaves a stunning image of the bravery, valor, and persistence displayed by so many dedicated soldiers on both sides.

Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes, director and writer of 1917, who was inspired by his grandfather’s stories of the Great War

1917’s greatest trait is one that cannot be understood without actually watching the movie, and is what won it the illustrious Academy Award for Best Achievement in Cinematography: the movie is shot in such a way that, if the viewer isn’t paying too much attention, it seems to all be composed of two very long shots.

The genius of cinematographer Roger Deakins shines through in a way seen in very few movies before — the most recent successful example being 2014’s Birdman. He has managed to make each shot flow into the next so that the cut is hidden behind natural elements of the scene — be it a spin around a soldier’s legs, the jostle of a backpack, or the walls of a trench. By the end of the film, the viewer feels as though they have been exhausted by the same trek to the new German front made by the film’s protagonist.

Roger Deakins

Roger Deakins, cinematographer for 1917, winner of the 2020 Academy Award for Achievement in Cinematography

George MacKay’s Lance Corporal Schofield is the prototypical model of the British soldier in WWI — for better and for worse. He values his nation above all else, and sees his mission only as saving as many British soldiers as possible, no matter the cost. While this yields great heroic moments where he charges over the walls of the trenches just to deliver his orders, it also leads to a harrowing scene where, to keep the enemy from being alerted to his presence, he has to smother a young German soldier, slowly suffocating him to at least the point of unconsciousness, if not death.

Mendes’s meticulously crafted storyline displays, above all else, the horrors of war — officers sending soldiers to their deaths by the hundreds for the sake of the fight, a pilot fighting to his last breath simply to kill an enemy, and seeing one’s brothers-in-arms die in their arms. Mendes’ achievement is that he has created a unique, top-quality story of the Great War, while never glorifying these sorts of bloody conflicts.

 

A Galaxy Not So Far Away

A Film Review for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

By Kayla Swartzberg

Faceless Rey by Gaby Wellman

Illustration by Gaby Wellman (’20)

I believe with great certainty that Lucasfilm is the definition of ethos. Find it in a dictionary. Look it up online. Because Lucasfilm has delivered so many out-of-this-world Star Wars movies that it’s hard not to give the company credit. And as the Star Wars reputation becomes engraved in stardust gold, the more people watch the coveted films with one thing in mind: to find the flaws.

Why? The Dark Side made them do it.

The newest Star Wars feature, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, is Episode IX in the series, and the last installment of the third trilogy. In other words, it finishes the stories of Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren, and their relationships with the “O.G.”s, Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie. Emperor Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious (rhymes with “hideous”), makes a comeback in this movie, looking deadlier than ever. 

Going into the theater, I had very high expectations. I think most people did, hence the hunt for imperfections. The question of “Is this the last one?” hung over everyone’s heads, and we all knew that if Star Wars was ending, then this movie better leave a lasting mark on the cinematography universe. 

So, did it? Depends on who you ask.

As for myself, I have some thoughts. Buckle up.

Firstly, the three musketeers in The Rise of Skywalker (Rey, Finn, and Poe), however loyal they are to the cause of the Rebels and saving each others’ lives, don’t actually show signs of real friendship. Poe and Finn hold quick conversations of one-liners, trying to out-macho each other. Maybe for Rey’s sake, when she isn’t abandoning them. All three fail to notice a certain furry friend getting captured.

You know who.

Secondly, the lack of narrative is prevalent in this film because there are so many hellos, goodbyes, and face-offs—none of which are bad, per se—that the storyline gets washed away. What’s left? Snippets of different stories mashed together into one. 

The Chosen One.

Thirdly, the movie doesn’t shy away from the classic Star Wars theme of “keeping it in the family” (remember “Luke, I am your father”?) especially concerning Rey’s identity. And while the reveal itself seemed anti-climactic, Rey’s identity fit the storyline relatively well.

But my lips are sealed.

Until they aren’t sealed. A big concern I had with the movie was its constant violence. At some point I developed a sort of numbness toward it, and I pondered whether this is why real violence and gore has become such an apparent American phenomenon.

Too much Force, I suppose?

The truth is, the movies with young Luke, Leia, and Han were more memorable than the newer movies because they weren’t filled with fighting the entire time. No, in those movies colorful aliens danced and sang, old spaceships sputtered, garbage compactors squished, carbonite froze, and ewoks cheered. People talked, talked, instead of smoldered. They took their time, and that was the sign of the times. 

As for The Rise of Skywalker, I would recommend it to Star Wars fans. Not that a warning would stop the hard-cores from kicking open the doors and wrestling for a seat in the theater. I would recommend the movie because of its fantastic film score (God bless John Williams), its hypnotic visuals, clever cinematography, purposeful acting, and, of course, its long-anticipated reveal of Rey’s identity.

Knock yourself out.

It’s purebred entertainment. And, not to mention, there is something very philosophical about the whole “good side and bad side” of a person, or of two people. It reminds me of the Jewish belief in “yetzer ha-ra,” the evil inclination, and “yetzer ha-tov,” the good inclination. It also reminds me of the angel and the devil. Of Cain and Abel. Esau and Jacob. Rey and…  Kylo?

You tell me.

And for all of the Jedi and Sith out there, beware of a few jump scares that will startle you in your seat. One of them being a kiss. 

Muah.

The film also kisses goodbye to the sweet Princess Leia played by Carrie Fisher, who sadly passed away in 2016.

For now, I’d say Lucasfilm wears its gold ethos nicely. The Star Wars reputation upholds. Because although it’s not easy making movies across the galaxies, I think it’s even harder making movies for our galaxy. You can’t please everyone.

Especially with the aliens and all.