I pull up to the first address, checking the street number. The building towers 10 stories above me, and residents stream out of the heavy glass doors, headed for the subway. A notification appears on my phone: “You’ve arrived! Swipe to tell your passenger you’re here.” 
This new app has made it effortless for anyone with a car and an iPhone to drive people to the polls—all I had to do was sign up as a volunteer. The twenty extra people who will vote because of me probably won’t swing the election, but it still feels good to do something.
I hop on Twitter as I wait, and see a reminder about new voter ID requirements; a warning about what another term of Trump could look like; a report that ICE agents are asking for documentation at the City Hall subway stop. I pause with a pang of fear for Elena and her daughter. It’s okay, I reassure myself. They know not to answer the door to anyone. They’ll be there waiting for me when I get home. 
I look up to see a young woman hobbling out of the building on crutches. She has a boot on one foot and a Nike sneaker on the other, both of which clash with her carefully chosen outfit. As she navigates the busy sidewalk, I hurry to open the passenger door for her. She extends her hand. 
“You’re Elizabeth, right?” she asks, a huge smile on her face. “I’m Nora, it’s so nice to meet you!”
She gives off a hopeful energy, and as we’re chatting on our way to the next house, I forget about the nagging feeling that today could end the same way as it did four years ago. 
“If you don’t mind my asking, what happened to your foot?”
“That’s a great story actually,” she responds with a laugh. “I went to the Democratic convention this year, and I had aisle seats that were close to the stage. After Kamala Harris finished her nomination acceptance speech, she came into the crowd to talk to people, and her photographer was taking pictures while walking backwards, in heels, and she stepped on my foot.”
I look over at her, eyes wide in disbelief, and it takes everything in me not to swerve off the road. “You were—I mean—I’m so sorry about your foot, that sounds incredibly painful, but you were that close to her?”
“Yup,” she says, with a modest smile and a slow nod. “The boot sucks, but at least it came with a cool story.” 
“Wow. Did you volunteer with the campaign?”
“I did, actually. I was knocking on doors almost every weekend for the early summer, and then once I got the boot on, I was stuck inside, phone banking.”
“Every little bit helps,” I reassure her. 
We continue talking about the campaign and debate whether Trump was more or less disgraceful this year, or in 2016. When my next pick-up, a petite woman in her fifties who introduces herself as Marion, gets in the backseat, we invite her into the conversation, but to no avail. On my third or fourth try, I ask her opinion on a recent Anderson Cooper segment that made the rounds on the internet. 
She hesitates to respond. “I’m sorry, I haven’t seen it. I’m more of a Fox News person myself.”
There’s an awkward pause. I can feel Nora staring at me, but I intentionally keep my eyes on the road, figuring out how the hell to continue this conversation.
“That’s nice,” I comment, in an effort to fill the void. As soon as I say it, I can hear how fake it sounds. I internally slap myself. My parents raised me better than this.
“Your social media feed must be pretty different than ours then,” Nora says with a forced laugh. 
“Oh, I’m not on all those apps and things that you kids use. Too confusing for an elder like me.” 
I smile at her little joke, then feel a twinge of guilt for laughing with a woman who probably doesn’t care that the six-year-old in my house hasn’t been outside in months. Then there’s overwhelming shame when I realize I’ve assumed Marion’s entire worldview based on her news preferences. And then embarrassment when I still don’t know what to say. 
The rest of the ride is filled with quiet small talk, but luckily, we’re only a few blocks away. I drive into the drop-off area and accept the women’s “thank yous” and “nice to meet yous” as they climb out. Another person will be driving them home, so I probably won’t ever see them again. 
The awkwardness in the car retreats with them, but as I’m about to leave for my next pick-ups, I quickly decide that I need some sort of closure to the conversation. I put the car in park and jump out to find Marion in line. 
“Did I forget something in the car?” she asks, surprised to see me. 
“No, um, I—I just wanted to apologize,” I admit. “I’m sorry if you felt alienated during that ride, and I don’t really have an excuse, I just didn’t want you to leave thinking that I regret driving you or anything.”
I expect a stern response about respecting elders or something, so I’m surprised when her response is warm and sincere.
“It’s not your fault. Everyone is so entrenched in their own beliefs that they never leave their echo chambers. I’m guilty of it too—I’m surrounded by people who disagree with me, but I don’t remember the last time I had a conversation about my beliefs with someone outside my family.” 
“You’re not mad?”
“No, not at all. The only thing that frustrates me is that old idea that it’s rude to discuss politics with people you’re not close with. It’s created a world where we don’t know how to listen to each other, and that car ride was a perfect example. I’m glad you at least know it’s a problem. Most people these days don’t.”
“Well, thank you. I hope we’ll see each other around soon.”
I walk away slowly and think about the conversation for a little while, but soon enough I drift off, and don’t think about it again until I get home. 
“How is it out there?” Elena asks, as I dump my purse and our Chinese takeout on the kitchen table. 
 “People are exhausted.”
 “They were exhausted last time too, and look where that got us.”
 “It’s a different kind of exhausted. More like ‘I hope the work we’ve done is going to pay off.’” I remember my conversation with Marion. “But you’re right, one little city doesn’t speak for the whole country.” 
 A pair of tiny feet run down the hallway. “I smell food, is there food?”
 “Yes there is,” her mother responds. “Why don’t you thank Elizabeth for bringing dinner tonight?”
 “Thank you Elizabeth!” She squeezes her arms around my waist, then looks up at me. “Is there gonna be a girl president?” 
 “We won’t know ‘til after you go to sleep,” I say, trying to hide my worry. “Can you get the plates for me so we can eat?”
 She walks away pleased with the task she’s been given, but Elena gives me a pained look. “Last time she was only two years old. She was young enough that I didn’t have to explain it to her. What if I have to do it this time?”
 “We’ll do it together.”


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Kat: That movie was so good! I was not expecting that at all.
Jackie: I mean, it was okay. It was nowhere near the book though. You should really read the it—the book is WAY better than the movie.
We’ve all heard a conversation like Kat and Jackie’s after a showing of a book-to-film adaptation. “Jackie” is the avid reader who comes into the theater with the book in her back pocket, the images of the characters painted in her vivid imagination, the plot stamped on her memory. For her, it’s difficult to see someone else’s version of her favorite childhood novel or teenage crush as anything but tragedy.  
This is why those conversations we might overhear or even take part in after watching an adaptation of a book can be quite harsh. “The reader expects to see the film she or he was ‘watching’ in his or her head while reading the book, and a film will rarely match that individual’s interpretation,” explained Debbie Danielpour, an assistant professor of film at Boston University. 
Films and books have two distinctive styles of storytelling. Danielpour notes that filmmakers have tools like lighting, editing, cinematography, soundtrack and actors’ interpretations, while books use vivid descriptions, literary devices and first-person narrations to tell their stories. 
“If a picture tells 1000 words, a moving image tells 10,000,” said Danielpour. 
Transforming a long novel into a traditional film without omitting significant details, characters and plots is extremely hard. This was the case with“Watchman,” an almost shot for shot adaptation of a comic book by Zack Snyder. The film tries to transform a dense, 400-page book into a film without cutting, editing or changing much of anything. This led to a disastrous adaptation that baffled both comic book fans and the unsuspecting moviegoers. Filmmakers cannot expect to include every minuscule detail from the book in the film; it simply does not transfer onto the big screen in the same way. Most of the time, a book’s huge storyline will be shortened to fit a 90-100 minute feature film. 
Of course, there are some film adaptations of books that try to change everything and destroy the whole storyline, like the “Percy Jackson” series. The author, Rick Riordan, even said in an open letter, “Please, for the love of multiple intelligences, DON’T show those ‘Percy Jackson’ movies... No group of students deserves to be subjected to that sort of mind-numbing punishment.” The problem with these particular types of adaptations is that while changing the plot, setting, characters and storyline, the adaptors failed to end up even close to the same theme of the book, which dissatisfies loyal book fans. “Even as a stand-alone movie not compared to the books, ‘Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief’ was an abomination,” said Ibrahim Yousuf, an 18-year-old student from Dorchester.
The best book-to-movie adaptations are smart about the cuts they make. However, while it is necessary for a book adaptation to cut and even change characters for the sake of time and the main story, these changes will often disappoint fans of the book who want loyalty to the original storyline. “I honestly loved the remake [of “Divergent”] but was disappointed that some of the minute details in the book were either altered or omitted from the film,” said Iman Ali, an 18-year-old from Malden and a huge fan of the “Divergent” and “Hunger Games” series. 
So, the next time you find yourself in another screening of a book adaptation, don’t expect a shot-by-shot version of the book on screen and presume “the book is way better” because of the film’s minor changes from the book. Instead, enjoy the film singularly as a movie—not as the film version of the book.  












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On December 2099, my life rotated 360 degrees. Bodies floated like plastics bags, people screamed. It felt like a horror movie. Boston was unrecognizable: trash everywhere, poop floating in disgusting water. 
Everything started back in 2090.
We humans are rational animals, but we hadn’t acted like it. Every day, more and more cars were in the streets, more and more cows were becoming hamburgers. The Earth started to become hotter and hotter, the levels of the oceans started to rise, small islands started to disappear. 
The day that everyone was afraid of came. August 1, 2099: the chaos. The Earth fell apart. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, the raw ultraviolet rays destroying half the ozone layer. People died instantly, mostly white people, because their skin didn’t have enough melanin to fight the rays. 
***
Carmon was the richest man in the world. I hated him so much because he had a lot of stupid thoughts and beliefs. We were part of only one hundred thousand survivors on the whole, destroyed Earth. Carmon wanted us to nominate him king of the galaxy because he was the only rich person who had survived. He wanted us to give up our rights, freedom of speech, privacy and our right to choose who to marry. He wanted to control our destiny. He called himself God. 
We had no option—we had to accept it or die. 
After everyone accepted all of his stupid conditions, he declared that all living things were moving to Jupiter, explaining that Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and could hold the human species for a long time.
***
Carmon took all the survivors, including me, and put us in a place with fake oxygen, fake trees and fake happiness. All that was a fake illusion. After two years of recovering from all the lost humans, I never recovered from losing my family. I missed my entire family. I missed my dog and cat. I missed everything that reminded me of how the world used to be.
***
We finally traveled to Jupiter on a Sunday morning in a giant rocket. That was the day I met the love of my life. She was 5’9’’ with big, black, curled afro hair, and she wore a ripped shirt and black pants. I was too shy to talk to her, but I couldn't hide my feelings. My heart was beating too fast; I was so in love. I stared at her for exactly one minute without even blinking my eyes. I didn't notice that she was walking towards me. 
“Hi, I’m Luna,” she said.
“H-h-h-hi,” I replied, stammering, my entire body trembling.
“So, why were you staring at me?” she asked with a huge smile.
“Because I’m totally in love with you,” I replied.
I covered my mouth after realizing what words came out. She didn’t anything.
After a minute of silence, she kissed me, then walked away. No words could describe that moment.
***
We finally arrived to Jupiter. We had to use oxygen masks to leave the rocket. When we got out, I couldn’t breathe, not because of the lack of oxygen, but because of what I saw. I started to to cry. I missed my home, Earth. I cried even harder when I saw the fake plastic flowers with artificial smells.
There were a bunch of skyrockets with apartments. Each apartment had the name of the person who would live there. My apartment was on the 30th floor, so I needed to use the body transporter, which transports you anywhere in 0.5 seconds, but it made me feel dizzy and uncomfortable. 
When I first saw my apartment, it was so amazing. My entire room was decorated white and black, but there were artificial flowers and artificial scents of the sea and flowers. 
***
Jupiter was so crispy and weird; it was always night and always cloudy, with artificial clouds and artificial oxygen. When you inhaled the oxygen, it tasted like mint and candy. It wasn’t like Earth’s oxygen; everything was so fake that I couldn’t handle it.
It was always night on Jupiter because of its distance from the sun. I was so bored those first few days, even with all the technology and robots that I had at home. My robots didn’t let me do anything in the house because they were always cleaning and and cooking for me.
***
One day, I got bored, and I started to experiment with my scientific equipment. I used to create a lot of clones in my experiments, but that day, I ended up cloning a mix of an exotic cheetah and a jaguar. She was so cute, strong, beautiful. I made her really small in order to control her. 
Suddenly, my body transporter beeped. Someone wanted to to face telegram with me, but I had to accept the friendship first.
Oh my God, it was the girl that I met during the trip, I thought. I didn’t know how to act, but I knew that I wanted to to see her, see that beautiful, lovely girl again. I accepted her request and immediately started chatting with her. She wanted to use the body transporter to come to my house.
She came into my house and started talking and talking. I was confused about what she was trying to tell me.
“Calm down, speak slowly,” I said.
“Ok, Carmon started with his s*** again, he signed a new f**** law that prohibits relationship for gays and lesbians. He’s so homophobic and stupid,” Luna explained. “The problem is that I fell in love with you the first day I laid my eyes on you,” she added. 
I should’ve been happy because the woman that I fell in love with had the same feelings for me, but at the same time my heart broke, just like a wrecking ball destroys houses. 
“Are you saying that we can’t be together?” I asked with a broken heart. 
“Yes, that’s what Carmon’s new law says. It doesn't mean that we need to follow it. I won't give up on being with you. Just because we are two girls and we choose to love each other... I won’t give up on you,” she added in an angry voice.
Of course she was right. I wouldn’t give up the love of my live just because someone doesn't want to mind his own business. After I calmed her, we talked for two hours about how much we missed our liberty and how much we missed the Earth. 
***
Suddenly, two of Carmon’s police robots knocked at the door. They broke into the house, and in less than a minute, they handcuffed Luna.
“You've been arrested because you broke the law 590 page 888 for trying to create a movement against the leader and trying to change people’s minds,” the robots explained.
I couldn't do anything because they were four giant robots each at least six feet tall. I told Luna to not worry. I would try to get her out of jail. Immediately, I contacted Carmon.
“Carmon, why did the f*** did you arrest Luna? Why did you involve her and other citizens in our problem?” I asked, expecting the worst and most hilarious answer ever.
“Everyone knows that God created Adam and Eve, not two Eves or even two Adams. Why would we accept it?”
“First of all, God does not judge people. Even Jesus saved a prostitute before being stoned by the civilians,” I interrupted him. “Who are you, a simple man that likes to play God? Just because you fell in love with me and I didn’t respond to your love because I’m gay, now you want revenge and to hurt people that don’t have anything to do with this? This is our problem,” I added.
“If you can’t be mine because you think you’re gay, then you can’t be anybody else’s,” Carmon said.
“I don’t get to choose who I am going to love,” I disagreed. “And I definitely wouldn’t have fallen in love with you. You are pathetic, cruel and incapable of loving,” I added.
“In order to let your lovely girlfriend out of jail, you need to marry me first,” Carmon said.
Of course, I didn’t agree, but knowing that my love was in prison, there was no way to say no. I felt like a robot that had been controlled by a human, with no freedom to move, a slave to my feelings.
***
Carmon quickly organized the wedding the next day, and invited people with the same disgusting personality as him. I didn’t choose my wedding dress. I dressed up like a boy because I wanted him to be really angry with me, to show him I wasn’t happy at all. The wedding was in his house with a lot of scrupulous people. When I stepped in, everyone turned their heads with surprised faces. I was prepared for that. Carmon, as a light-skinned man, was turning purple. I could see how mad he was, but I didn't care, that was my point. I was laughing inside proudly. 
The ceremony started and the priest was starting to speak when a giant black portal opened in the middle of the house. It was Luna. She was holding a gigantic object that looked like a witch broom.
I didn't even ask anything, I ran towards her and jumped in the portal. Inside was cold and black. Memories passed by.
I hugged her immediately. Feeling her warm and lovely arms was the best thing. She kissed me with her soft, sweet lips. It felt like nothing could destroy that moment. Suddenly, I saw a green, blurry landscape. They looked like trees, but they were big and shiny. A weird and intense light blurred my vision because I was looking straight at it. I heard children's voices from all directions. I thought I was dreaming. It had to be a dream, but it wasn't.
Those were real trees, real birds, real children. The shining light that I couldn’t recognize was the sun. How could that be possible?
“I just created a time machine, with micro intelligences that I found in the jail and someone helped me,” Luna said. “But don't ask me how,” she added.
I couldn’t believe it.
“We are in California, back on Earth. The date is December 6, 1865,” Luna concluded. “I’m giving us a second chance to change the world, a second chance to change people’s minds about gays, and a second chance that can shift all the racism and destruction in this world.” 


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It is a Tuesday night and a young girl and her brother are tuning into watch “The Fosters,” an American drama series on Freeform (formerly ABC Family). Since its premiere on June 3, 2013, over 23 million people from all over the world have tuned in to watch the story of an interracial couple raising a biological son along with several adoptive children. 
 TV news website TVOverMind claims that “The Fosters” is one of the most enlightening shows on the network. “This is because the show focuses on key social issues that affect everyday lives of many people within our society. In addition to simply touching on issues that affect the day to day lives of many people, the film also offers great lessons to many people.” 
Here are three important lessons you can learn from “The Fosters.”

It is okay to be different.
One of the most important lessons that “The Fosters” teaches is the need for self-acceptance. The show’s two main characters, Stef and Lena, are a married couple, and the couple’s family consists of both their biological kids and adopted kids. The relationship between Stef and Lena and the nature of their family might not be considered traditional by many people; however, this has not stopped them from living their life to their fullest potential. Being different is perfectly fine, and you should never let someone dictate your happiness. Always live your life for yourself, not others. 

There will be tragedies in life.
Yes, it is true when people say that life is hard and you will have struggles and difficulties. Branching off of that, it is important to appreciate that life will always present us with various challenges. Despite these challenges, it is important for all of us to find a way to overcome such struggle. Stef and Lena Foster have gone through various tragedies, but one that sticks out among the rest was in Season 3, when Stef learns of the death of Jack (a foster teen). Despite the tragedy, Stef and Lena, along with their children, have to deal with the loss, which they do by encouraging each other as a family. With tragedy comes light. Always try to find the positive in every situation, even if it is hard. 

 Blood does not define family. 
It is often said that family is the most essential part of society. However, family does not have to refer to your blood relatives. It can also refer to those who love and care for you the most. In “The Fosters,” most of the characters are not blood relatives. They see each other as family, even though they come from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. If you happen to be adopted into a family that may not biologically be yours, always remember that your family loves you just as much as if they physically had you.
These three points listed above do not even make a dent into what you can learn from this show. “The Fosters” is a show loved by many because of how realistic it is and how easy it is to relate to the show. While “The Fosters” has ended, it will continue to be a show that has helped many accept themselves for who they are.


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I used to go to the beach everyday after school to contemplate the most beautiful landscape in my city. I also went there to play soccer on the hot sands with my friends, or to help my dad fish. He used to ask me and my other two big brothers to help him bring the boat back to the sands and help him take all the fish to the fishmongers in my village.
One day after school I went to the beach as I usually did, but something different happened. There was a girl named Mirrian who I had always liked. I always thought that she didn’t pay attention to me because I have really dark skin, but I was wrong. She came at me wearing a long traditional Cape Verdean dress and said hi. She was really short, with chocolate skin and brown eyes that looked like caramel candy. 
She told me that she had always wanted to talk to me because she had always loved boys with really dark skin and afro hair just like mine. My heart started to beat fast. Imagine the girl that you always wanted, the girl that you had a crush on, liking you back. 
That day, we talked for hours and hours, appreciating the beautiful view from the beach. The next day after school, I was rushing to go to the beach and find that beautiful girl again.
The thing that I liked about her the most was that she was a hard worker. She was 20 years old.
We talked to each other for two months before she decided to be my girlfriend. I worked so hard to earn her love and respect. 
At the age of 17, I lost my virginity.
3 months later she told me she was pregnant.
I felt like my entire world was falling apart. I was only a 17-year-old boy with no job, a full-time student with dreams to achieve. 
I had two options. One: tell her to leave me alone and leave her by herself. Two: drop out of school, forget about my dream and work to provide a good life for my future child. I chose to drop out of school and work really hard to have my little baby.
At first, life seemed as confusing as the card deck of a magician. I had no idea what would be the best for me. I had to talk to someone else, someone old enough to understand my situation. I decided to speak to my mom because I was so afraid to tell my dad; he was a straight parent with a lot of rules.
When I told my mom what happened, she got mad at first, but then she told me to keep the baby and not to drop out of school. 
Then, it was time to tell my dad.
Once my dad came from work, my mom told him about the news. He got really upset, he yelled at me and almost beat me, but after an hour of talking he told me that he would help in everything that I wanted in order for me to stay in school. When I told him that I wanted to drop out from school he slapped me so hard I couldn’t feel my face.
“Everything that I did for you in order for you to go to school is not considerable?” He asked. I didn’t answer back, I just walked away without talking, crying inside.
After days of fighting over the same thing over and over again, our relationship wasn’t good anymore. Not only were my dad and I not on good terms, everyone was criticizing me because I didn’t listen to them—I dropped out of school.
After two weeks my dad told me he would help with my future baby, providing me everything. I refused. I’m an independent and proud person. I couldn't sit and watch my parents work really hard to provide me with everything. 
I dropped out from school and started to work withEnapor,” a huge company in Cape Verde that is responsible for all the exports and imports. At first I used to to carry heavy products on my back and had a lot of back pain. But nothing was more important than the life of my baby.
I remember days that my friends would pass by and make fun of me, saying I was stupid and dumb, because I was working for myself, my baby and my girlfriend. That made me cry a lot, but their words weren’t strong enough to make me give up on everything. 
My workplace is where the boats dock to unload products from island to island or from different countries, where people travel to other islands in Cape Verde. I used to feel so cold at night, and hungry, because I used to eat once a day. I didn’t have time to take care of myself for long. I worked so hard that sometimes I couldn’t feed my soul. 
I used to get home at 9 p.m. tired, hungry and stressed, because everyday I had to walk an hour and a half in order to get home. I knew it was dangerous to walk by myself during that time. 
I worked really hard to feed my baby, my girlfriend and also help at home.
After seven months my baby came into the world. It was a boy, with beautiful dark skin, and eyes that looked like the moon. My baby was a big boy—healthy and beautiful.
His mom and I could not stay together because of many problems. I wanted to marry her, but the fact that she was older than me made her thoughts different from mine.   
After almost one year I met the love of my life and we have been together for 24 years. 
She was a tall woman with light skin and was really skinny, with beautiful natural hair. But, she had a lot of attitude. 
She was the opposite of my first girlfriend, as she liked to fight over everything and her attitude was the most horrible thing. But she was trabadjadera, ahard worker.”
When she was only 15 years old, she used to take care of her little brother, the house and help her mom sell cookies.
When my baby turned a year old, he started to get sick a lot so he left to live with his mom and grandma. Unfortunately my baby boy never got better and died with a fever. Then a few years later, God blessed me with a baby girl who I named Cleusa. I have two children, Cleusa and Nilson. I’m still working hard to give them everything that I can afford, but I will never regret what I did. 
 

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