Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Red Tails

            I know that I have done a movie review in the past, but after seeing "Red Tails" I decided that I have to write another. Red Tails was about the Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen was an experimental Air Force squadron during World War 2 fighting on behalf of the U.S.A. The film was a story following a group of fictional soldiers participating in the experiment. What made them different from the rest of the army was the fact that this squad was all African American. It was a good movie, with a lot of action, but I had a few complaints about it. The main problem with the movie that I found was that the plot never really focused on the racism. The main characters of this movie were African Americans gaining the right to fight in the Air Force during a time of racism in the United States. The movie touched on the racism, but for the most part all of the characters could have been white and there would be very little difference in the original movie. The focus of the movie was the individual lives of a few members of the Tuskegee Airmen, which is fair, and in this endeavor the film was pretty successful. Another major focus of the movie was action (it is a war movie after all). In this field, the movie did well, but didn't quite exceed expectations. There were a good amount of satisfying explosions and gunshots, but the action element was not nearly on par with a movie that is purely action. In other words, the action aspect was good, but not great. After watching the entire movie, I think that it is safe to say that Red Tails is a good movie. It was overall above average in how well it entertained me. The plot was interesting, the actors phenomenal, and the action adequate. It wasn't the best movie ever, or even close, but it was worth seeing, and I would recommend it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Special Olympics

                Every Friday, I end school, and quickly go into my mom's car. She then drives me to the YMCA. When I get there I eat a quick snack in the car and head inside. The second I get through the doors, I don't go to the basketball courts, or the workout room. I don't go to the racquetball courts or the gymnastics gym. The second I arrive I head straight for the pool locker room.
                I'm not there to swim laps however; I work as a volunteer for the swim class for kids with special needs. I can't in good conscience imply that I am the kind of saint that volunteers out of the goodness of my heart, or for a sense of self-fulfillment. I had taken a sociology class, and for the final we were required to complete 30 hours of community service. The YMCA's special needs swim class was a great opportunity. Honestly though, I completed the hours awhile ago, and I continue to volunteer at the class.
                The reasons I continue there is because I have built friendships with the kids in the class and enjoy working there. The class is split into two parts. The first half is for the kids with more severe disabilities. I spend most of my time working with Jon. Jon has balance problems, so we've spent a lot of time working on how he rotates his arms. We use the wall at the side of the pool and he puts his hands on the wall, brings one back, returns it to the wall, and repeats with his other hand. This simulates the arm movement of free stroke. He has improved greatly since I first saw him swimming. He used to do a variation of the doggy paddle, now he kicks and alternates his arms. His form and endurance still need a lot of work (he rarely finishes a whole lap without a break), but he has improved immensely.
                For the second half of the class, the first group leaves, and the second group, the high functioning kids, arrive. I have less to do at this point, because Jerome, the man who runs the program, can handle these kids better without my help. In a way, I switch from a teacher to an assistant in this transition, but I'm ok with that.
                These kids aren't' just swimming for recreation, they are working towards a goal. In March there is a Special Olympics swim meet that they will all hopefully participate in, and hopefully all get medals in. I can't wait to see the kids compete in this event. I find the entire experience to be fun, and that is why I take time out of my Fridays to volunteer at the YMCA.