Free Write
Hit the Books and Not the Backwoods
The thing about OUR generation is there is a time in life where things aren't a ball game no more. You’re on the road, turning at the wrong light, you end up in an empty lot, orange cones, concrete ruble, graffiti and sometimes even some old cars. YOU don't realize till something goes wrong, till you’ve lost family, “even if not by blood.” Now you don't know where you are. 
WE don't have to resort to the tip of backwoods, RAW or a medal handle with flavor.
If you really want no problems, if you want to get better, do something about it. 
I DON'T MEAN go give a fist to the face, 
to end up with the blood of another on your knuckles,
or start problems, but realize that 
YOU got a problem and get ya self help, give a chance to someone an spill ya problems and keep it real with them, or hit the books.
Things don’t change on they own. 
Our world didn't get to where it got by folks smoking they problems away.
BUT by working, turning the wheel the right way, especially for they kids. The fam didn't work till they dropped or come here illegally for 
teens to just be catching smoke or to be
getting cancer, 
goin’ to juvie. 
Doing RIGHT gets
you respect,
Gettin’ the dough or even a diploma to show ya folks that you can. 
It gets you a better life.
It gets you a productive life. 
Ain't no one ever said they got to the top without working. To get anything and keep what you want to be yours, YOU have to work and do it the right way.
If the car doesn't go when you turn the wheel, 
then you gotta get out and push it, but you can't push 4,009 pounds on your own.
You’ll need help, especially to get back to the light you made the wrong turn at.     

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There are too many emotions to count in this world, there are the simple ones like happiness, sadness, anger and anxiousness. What about the ones we hide? The ones we don’t like to show or talk about because we’re too afraid of what people may think or say?
The little flower opened its petals and saw the sunlight, when all of a sudden, a storm cloud formed. It was still in its growing stage so it wasn’t strong enough to withstand the winds and heavy rain and it immediately broke down. Then a few weeks later, there had been some rain but it was lighter, more like a drizzle, and the little flower was able to grow. It spread its petals again and reached towards the sun and smiled. The little flower was then greeted by another flower who was brightly colored, perky and looked like she didn’t know what a “hard time” was. Not knowing why, she started to cry. She was confused and began to ask herself, “Why don’t I look like that?”
When the bright flower walked away, she fell down and suddenly became overcome by a feeling of defeat and sadness. It began to rain again and she broke down. Admittedly, it took her awhile to build herself up again, she still managed to grow tall, but was a little bent from all of the pouring rain. But, she was happy that she was finally almost as tall as the other flowers in the garden. So she smiled at all the other flowers, and they didn’t smile back.
She didn’t feel so good after that. She wanted to hide but she couldn’t let them see how much it hurt her so she just stayed there, silently. She knew what she was feeling wasn’t normal, all the sadness and breaking down. She wanted to talk to an adult flower because she was scared that if she opened up to someone her age, they might judge her. She remained shy and quiet, but all of her emotions piled up after months and months of staying quiet and holding in. Little by little her petals fell apart, she wished that people around her would ask her to talk, even assure her it’s okay to have these feelings but it’s also okay to talk about them. 
 A few years later, a new flower grew in the same spot, although this time there was no heavy rain, no bright flower that was better than her, but she still had her bad days. She realized how tall she had grown and how strong she was. In fact, she was the bright, strong, beautiful flower in the garden. She found it hard to believe but knew that this came with taking sometime to grow and not letting other flowers, herself or anything on planet Earth destroy her. All she needed was to vocalize how she felt, even if it was to herself, to always feel as confident as she did when smiling at those other flowers. She was appealing to her own eyes and that’s all who she cared about impressing. 
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Apex Legends
Fed up with “Fortnite?” Not particularly pleased with “PUBG?” Bored of “Blackout?” If the battle royale genre has been starting to wear out, prepare to fall in love all over again with Respawn Entertainment’s “Apex Legends,” released earlier this year.  A sequel of sorts to the sleeper hit, “Titanfall,” this new take on battle royale pits you and your three-man team of unique heroes in a battle to separate the losers from the legends.  Apex Legends is free to play on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

The Umbrella Academy
“Shameless” meets “X-Men” in Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy.”  Based on Gerard Way’s Eisner Award winning graphic novel, “The Umbrella Academy” is a high quality watch for both die hard Killjoys and newcomers alike. Rather than seeing capes duke it out with a maniacal villain, our protagonists are an emotionally-stunted family, reunited to prevent the apocalypse.  Complete with time travel, ghosts, and a killer violin solo, the unbridaled weirdness tied with the oddly relatable characters will draw you into the most bingeable show of 2019.

Superhero Szn
Everyone loves a night at the cinema, and the summer movie season is fast approaching. First there’s “Captain Marvel,” the Marvel cinematic universe’s first woman-led solo film, out March 8. Then, “SHAZAM!,” DC’s debut of  “Earth's Mightiest Mortal,” hits theaters April 5, and “Detective Pikachu,” featuring Ryan Reynolds as the titular Pokemon, follows on May 10. 

Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki
You know what’s never-ending? The love for “Ponyo,” “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” and countless other cult favorites animated by Hayao Miyazaki. The man behind the screen has retired, but he still harbors his love for animating. Follow the life of Miyazaki through a free screening of a 2016 documentary about his life, “Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki,” at the Museum of Science. 
Wednesday, May 8, 7-9 pm, Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston.

Anime Boston 2019
Impatiently waiting for more anime? Anime Boston, an annual three-day event hosted at Hynes Convention Center, comes to town this April. Find art, key charms and manga at booths, attend cosplay events, and jump from panel to panel. Feeling in the mood to dance? Buy a $4 ticket to the Imperial Ball— profits benefit the Central New England chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
April 19-21, Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. Tickets start at $75.

Wake Up the Earth
Surely you probably don’t like waking up in the morning for school, but you should definitely attend the annual Wake Up the Earth festival this May. Learn more about the ground you walk on, eat delicious food from local farmers, engage with local nonprofits, and march through the neighborhoods of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. It’s a great day to make budding friendships with humans (and dogs) in your neighborhood.
Saturday, May 4. Stony Brook Deck, Southwest Corridor Park, 100 Boylston St., Jamaica Plain.

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The sports section on any anime streaming platform is filled to the brim with the same plotline: an average freshman year student lives life ordinarily, is academically average, has ordinary friends, and then BOOM! After breathing ordinary 10 minutes into the plot, suddenly the character is talented in sports, beats top players, and lives their life in glory. 
However, the anime “Tsurune” is different. Adapted from “Tsurune: Kazemai High School's Kyudo Club,” a light novel series written by Kotoko Ayano, “Tsurune” centers  around a 15-year-old boy named Minato Narumiya, who is a well known Kyudo archer when the story begins.  Kyudo is a Japanese martial art of archery, and translates to “the way of the bow.” Learning through his younger years with a close friend and his mentor, who is well-respected in the Kyudo community, the target has been set high for Minato. However, at Minato’s last tournament in middle school, an incident happens that pushes him to quit archery altogether and develop target panic, a condition in which an archer becomes so anxious, they can no longer shoot well.
At the start of high school, he reconciles with childhood friend Ryohei Yamanouchi, who nags at him to join the school’s reopened Kyudo club. However, it is not until Minato sees a peculiar man that he feels inspired to pick up his archer’s bow once again.
What’s the difference between “Tsurune” and any cult favorite anime? Minato, who starts off as a high achiever, suddenly crashes, and the show follows his character development as he tries to regain the skills he lost. While many sports anime follow a story in which the main character has an eye for a sport, and polishes that talent until they become the very best, “Tsurune” does the opposite. I’ve come to appreciate the character development in “Tsurune.”
The visuals of “Tsurune” are what initially piqued my interest. Every shot of an arrow had intricate detail, and it was gentle and pleasing to the eye. Animated by Kyoto Animation, who also animated cult favorites such as “Violet Evergarden” and “Sound! Euphonium,” “Tsurune” has a serene animation style and portrays Kyudo archery as it is: a competition between one and the target, rather than one against another.
“Tsurune” simultaneously explores the light heartedness of high school life and the worries of an adolescent teen struggling with insecurity. I’ll assure you, the series’ 13 episodes are something that you’ll definitely want to add to your watch list, and—while Kyoto Animation hasn’t yet released the bowstring on a season 2—I hope that they’ll let the arrow fly soon.

Directed by Takuya Yamamuru, voiced by Yuto Uemura, Aoi Ichickawa, Ryota Suzuki, Shogo Yano,Kaito Ishikawa, and Shitaro Asanuma. Available to stream on VRV, Crunchyroll, and others. 
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Chemical Reactions: A Reflection on the Impact of My Chemical Romance
photo courtesy Michael Spencer
It’s fall 2001, and soon-to-be rockstar Gerard Way is interning at Cartoon Network when he looks outside to see the destruction caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks.  
Later, Way would recount his memory of this pivotal moment to digital music magazine Spin. “I literally said to myself, 'F**k art,’” he said. “I've gotta get out of the basement. I've gotta see the world. I've gotta make a difference.’”
In the following months, Way, who grew up with a passion for music and had been a part of several bands in his teens, would recruit former bandmate Ray Toro, his younger brother Mikey Way, and Pencey Prep guitarist, Frank Iero. The four would become the saviors of the broken, the beaten, and the damned: My Chemical Romance.  
 After the success of their first album, “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love” in 2002, My Chem would defeat the all-too-common “one hit wonder” trope by hitting the scene hard with 2004’s “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” a conceptual album centered around themes of loss, sorrow, and most importantly, revenge.  Highlights include “Helena,” an ode to Way’s late grandmother, and “I’m Not Okay,” a track Way deemed a “self-help pop song” about being, well, not okay. 
2006 would see the release of MCR’s magnum opus, “The Black Parade.” “Welcome To The Black Parade” is the track that makes the record.  Starting with the somberest G-note you’ll ever hear, as the song goes on, more instruments are added until you're jamming and crying, in your element but also in your feels, and then suddenly you’re screaming “DO OR DIE, YOU’LL NEVER TAKE ME” at the top of your lungs on a crowded train and everyone's giving you weird looks, but deep down, you know they feel it too.  
Finally, “Danger Days: The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys” would be MCR’s last full album and consist of tracks such as “Na Na Na” and “Vampire Money,” both of which go harder then my head into my desk as I try to think of an analogy to equal the feeling of blasting “Danger Days” at full volume. 
On Mar. 22 2013, Way, in a letter to legions of Killjoys, said “My Chemical Romance is done. But it can never die. It is alive in me, in the guys, and it is alive inside all of you. I always knew that, and I think you did too. Because it is not a band—it is an idea.”
Justifiably upset, some fans took the news better than others. Even today, Killjoys old and new are clamoring with the rumors of a reunion, which simply is not going to happen.  Fans, music executives, and even Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman have tried to reunite the emo outfit to no avail.
Although My Chem is gone, their legacy continues on.  Despite splitting six years ago, their music continues to touch the hearts of young people all over the world. Even though they’re dead and gone, MCR’s memory will carry on, and so will we. My fellow Killjoys, may death never stop you. So long and goodnight.
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