Kalee Kennedy ’15

While We Were Gone…

Welcome back to a new school year! Before we look forward, let’s look back to everything that occurred during the summer. From new school improvements to the global music scene, it’s all covered here.

Music

It was a huge summer for breakout artists and seasoned artists. According to Billboard, the number one song of the summer was “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX. This song gave the Australian, female rapper international fame and recognition. It remained popular throughout the whole duration of summer. The number two song was “Rude” by Magic!, a new Canadian, reggae fusion band. The number three song was “Problem” by Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea. The number four song was “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith, a British soul singer-songwriter, and the number five song was “Am I Wrong” by Nico & VInz.

During the summer, countless albums were released; some to mention are: Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence, Tiesto’s A Town Called Paradise, Linkin Park’s The Hunting Party, Ed Sheeran’s X, 5 Seconds of Summer’s self-titled album, Sia’s 1000 Forms of Fear, “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun, Ariana Grande’s My Everything, and Maroon 5’s V.

MTV’s 31st Annual Video Music Awards was an show to go down in history. It occurred on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. The girl group, Fifth Harmony, was awarded Breakout Artist of the Year; they are the first all-female group to do so.  After winning music video of the year, Miley Cyrus had her friend, a homeless Californian teen, accept the award on her behalf; this move by Cyrus was controversial, seeming as the teen is wanted by the police and came off to some as a publicity stunt. Beyoncé won four awards, which included the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, and had the most nominations of the night (8). She closed out the show with a sixteen minute performance.

Film/Television

Traditionally, summer is known for its film action blockbusters, and this summer was no exception. Rotten Tomatoes reviewed all the summer releases and compiled a score countdown. Click this link (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/guides/summer-movie-scorecard-2014/) to access it. The movies, ranked worst to best, are as follows:  X-Men: Days of Future Past, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Snowpiercer, and Boyhood.

This summer’s movies ranged from book/comic adaptations to gripping new conceptual films that peaked the interest of many. Summer movies are usually geared towards action and teen/kid films, and the autumn/winter movies are Oscar-nominated movies. It was an impressive summer for action, but not so impressive for film critics.

On August 11th, the entertainment industry lost an icon – Robin Williams. His most notable works are Flubber, Mrs.Doubtfire, Dead Poets Society, Aladdin, Jumanji, Good Will Hunting, and Good Morning, Vietnam.

According to USA Today, it was a terrible season of television. The ratings were extremely low and not impressive. Many shows lacked originality and complexity, so television networks suffered during the summer. More focus by the television networks were laid on publicity on their new fall shows to make up for a very disappointing run this summer. Among adults aged 18 to 49, there were huge declines: Fox was down 14%, ABC 13%, CBS 8%, and NBC 7%. Disappointingly, television echoed the box office and relied on action to fuel audience interest.

Politics/Real World

This summer was kicked off by the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The month-long event was held in Brazil. The German team came out on top with the trophy, and Argentina was the respectable runner-up. It was an exceptional competition for the USA team. For a whole month, football fans were tuned in on a different kind of football – fútbol.

In July, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed into Ukraine after being shot down by a missile. Over 300 casualties were accounted for.

During this time, there was major conflict between Israel and Gaza. On July 8th, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Later there were seven weeks of Israeli bombardment, Palestinian rocket attacks, and ground fighting; more than 2,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed. An end to the conflict came fifty days later on August 26th. Both sides claimed victory, and there was a temporary cease fire.

In the same month, the West African Ebola Outbreak became a global issue. This was very important to the United States because American aid workers fell ill to the disease. The aid workers were brought back to the United States and were treated at the Emory Hospital. The workers were able to recover from the disease, and it brought the globe closer to finding a cure for this deadly disease.

On August 10th, there were protests over the police shooting of an African-American male teen, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. The protests became harsh and turned ugly with looting and vandalism. The topics of racial discrimination and the arming of police officials with military-grade weapons ruled the discussions around the United States.

School

When school concluded last June, there was news of the achievements of senior, Andrew Pettit. He is an All-American lacrosse player. Congrats Andrew!

Tower Hill had an amazing run with their summer camp. All the camp officials enjoyed their time working with the campers and the other camp counselors. There was a security grade give to the entire school, emphasizing the safety and well being of the student body. The school welcomed new faculty and new students to the community over the summer as well. For more in-depth information about this topic, see Kelly’s recently-posted article.