By Scott Weisbrot
I have always loved change of pitch in music. Change in pitch is the same voice from a song but with an altered pitch. This can be in different songs on the radio, in movies, and from overseas.
I first noticed that I liked change in pitch in either 4th or 5th grade. When I was in Chorus, I liked to sing in a higher pitch because I felt it energized me. In the 8th grade, the chorus teacher put me into the boys choir, which made me kind of unhappy. This meant that all the boys had to be in the same group, the baritones. I didn’t have the chance to sing in high pitch much anymore.
I went home and checked the internet to understand what the difference was between boys and girls in choir. There were two categories for boy singers. Tenor is for higher pitch males, and bass was for lower pitch males. This was frustrating to me because our voices were rapidly changing due to pubescence, and my desire was to stay in the higher pitch group. I was still able to sing in the high pitch, but it wasn’t like the 7th grade or elementary school, where it was just the altos and the sopranos.
When I would listen to music, I used to listen to my favorite songs on the radio or TV shows on YouTube. This was in the late 2000s. Back then, they used to allow location designations on your account that showed what country someone was from. I could tell the pitch of different sounds from the clips of different movies.
In 7th grade, I would notice that some songs were in super high pitch or deep pitch. I used to download MP3 files from YouTube to iTunes. From 2011 to early 2014, I used to search for songs that came in high pitch, like I heard on the radio. This was a challenge as I sitll didn;t know how to change the pitch of different songs. And between 2012 and early 2013, I used to record sonds from radio stations that had high pitch.
A few days after my 16th birthday, my half older brother Stephen taught me how to use Gargage Band on my mac computer and search AU Pitch to raise the pitch of a song. I was grateful to him for the life lesson on music. I was then able to raise the pitch of different songs and download that to iTunes.
On that same day, I learned about Spotify, another music platform. Spotify is a digital music platform, where I was able to listen to songs in their regular pitch. It was so cool being able to use two music platforms. I was able to use iTunes for high pitch songs and Spotify for regular pitch songs, so I was able to understand the difference between the two. In 2018, I found the website TimeStretch Player that can adjust the pitch of different tracks for you. This was perfect for determining the right high pitch I liked to listen to.
When I go to special events or weddings, if I heard a song that was high pitched like I would hear on the radio, I automatically start dancing and get amplified. I live for today’s generation of music (from the 2000s to the present). The party is always more exciting when someone plays something I love in high pitch the way I like it. It makes the party more lit up, more purmped up, and I can dance on the dance floor until I get tired.
During the pandemic, I decided to spend my nights downloading songs from every genre of 2020 from alternative rock, country, electronic & dance, pop, and hip hop/rap. I want to become a DJ, so I can mix songs and play them at local bars or night clubs. Maybe I would combine this with blogging to help keep my success going. I still currently download songs on YouTube and convert them to mp3s. After the songs are downloaded to iTunes, I go to TimeStrech Player to change the speed a little bit and raise the pitch a little higher than usual. I have recently found more modern websites that can alter the pitch, tempo, and more of music.
As the years go by, I’m definitely going to continue to listen to modern music and watch its evolution to see if its good or not depending on the genres of music.
Recently, I found that all of the music I had from 2011 to 2017 has become distorted, which means the audio is getting outdated, so I am going to have to remaster them. I now know how to change the tempo speed, so I am also going to do that now because many of the songs now sound slower than they should be.
One day, I hope to travel overseas, I would love to explore the music of different countries. I currently use the Shazam app if I am in the club so I can save songs and look it up when I get home, I go to the music stores, or in case I hear it on the radio.
I also have found out that DJs in clubs can remix songs based on pitch, if it’s low or high. If I hear a song of a remix that is high pitched, I get amped up on the dance floor and party like I don’t care. No matter what type of music you listen to, it’s the format of the song that fits in your soul. If the song doesn’t sound right, you can change the pitch or tempo to make that song more entertaining to you!
Here is a list of websites I found for tempo and pitch changes to audio:
Edited by avanicole23
By Marissa Parody
Jim Butcher is an American author who writes contemporary fantasy novels. Some of his most notable works include The Dresden Files, Codex Alera and the Cinder Spires book series.
In particular, I love The Dresden Files By Jim Butcher. My favorite book in the series is Fool Moon. The book centers around the idea of wearwolves, humans that can transform into animals. The novel follows a wizard named Harry Dresden who lives in Chicago and uses their supernatural powers to protect their community from evil. The idea of transformation from human to animal keeps me very engaged as I am curious as to whether this could really happen? And I’m very intrigued by Harry Dresden as I’m left wondering what’s the difference between good and evil? Are they both riding on the same line?
Fantasy novels, like The Dresden Files have the power to take me out of my day-to-day reality and allow me to relax and feel inspired. The three reasons that really keep my interest and engagement are:
These thoughts keep me engaged in these series and keep me curious to keep following Jim Butcher and his books.
Check out the following interview with Jim Butcher on his bestselling Dresden Files Series below:
Edited by avanicole23
By Regina Kanturek
I love all sea creatures, but my favorite has always been an octopus. I love writing and illustrating about these wonderful sea creatures. The reason I am fascinated by these creatures is because they have three hearts and nine brains, each brain lies in a tentacle which allows them to move in multiple directions and with accuracy. I always found octopuses cute, sweet and playful and that made me feel happy.
What is a hug-a-puss? You may not know
They are shy creatures and do not put on a show
They have a sweet smile and eight legs to hug
Please do not mistake it for a bug
They come in colors – yellow, pink, and blue
A hug-a-puss is loyal and true
A hug-a-puss is loving and fun
A hug-a-puss is a friend to everyone
It has three hearts that love you everyday
But you have to treat a hug-a-puss in a special way
A hug a puss’s hearts can break in three
If you are not the best person you can be
A hug-a-puss thrives on the goodnesss you put out
So please do not curse or shout
Every time you are mean or make someone cry
It will make a hug-a-puss slowly die
A hug-a-puss will always be there to hug you when you are sad
It never wants you to feel lonely or bad
Being a good person will take you far
Remember, a hug-a-puss loves you for who you truly are
A hug-a-puss will make the world a better place
One hug from it will make you happy and put a smile on your face
By Jackson Beach
Sometimes when people drop out of college, it changes their lives for the better and in ways they can not even imagine. This is the case for American videographer and music video director Cole Bennett – whom I am a fan of videos. Born in Plano, Illinois on May 14, 1996, he started his renowned multimedia company, Lyrical Lemonade, as an internet blog in September 2013 when he was in his last year of high school.
At first, Cole Bennett directed videos for Chicago rappers, including such as Vic Mensa and Taylor Bennett – the brother of Chance The Rapper. As time went on, he started directing videos for rappers of the Soundcloud movement, including Lil Pump, Smokepurpp, YBN Nahmir, and frequent collaborators Lil Skies & Ski Mask The Slump God.
However, in 2018 Bennett leveled up in his career as he started directing music videos for mainstream figures of hip hop. He started working with late Chicago contemporary Juice Wrld and is known for directing the video for his hit single “Lucid Dreams”, where Juice Wrld is trapped in a floor and raps about his ex’s disloyalty. Bennett also worked with Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa during the year, directing his video for “Fr Fr” with Lil Skies, the latter of whom Bennett continued working with that year. I liked “Fr Fr” because it showed Khalifa and Skies causing havoc in a supermarket with other customers against the manager of the establishment.
In addition to “Lucid Dreams”, Bennett has also directed the music videos for other breakout songs such as “Ransom” by New York rapper and frequent collaborator Lil Tecca in 2019 and “What’s Poppin” by Jack Harlow and hit singles such as “Lemonade” by Internet Money with Don Toliver, Gunna, and NAV in 2020.
See the Lyrical Lemonade videos for each of those songs below:
2019 was the year I got into Cole Bennett‘s videos. I watched some of the videos Cole Bennett directed in 2018 while also watching the newer videos he put out. I not only listened by myself but also with my friend Vincent, who is also a huge Cole Bennett fan. Both of us enjoy the unique video effects and effort put into each video that no other music video director or VFX producer can muster. This includes the spouting horns Polo G sports in the video for their track “21”, off his 2020 sophomore album The Goat which symbolizes that he is the “Greatest of All Time” (GOAT).
My favorite videos by Cole Bennett are those of Australian emo rapper The Kid Laroi. The Kid Laroi was known for their strong relationship with Juice Wrld, before they tragically passed away. My friend Vincent and I love the songs “Diva” (featuring Lil Tecca), where the two are trying to escape the wrath of a female bully and are just having a fun time of it, and The Kid Laroi’s “Let Her Go”, where he says that he prefers his money over toxic relationships and seems to be preparing to fill the void left by Juice Wrld – his late mentor and friend who passed away from a drug overdose the weekend “Let Her Go” and its music video were released
Check out the Lyrical Lemonade videos for “Diva” and “Let Her Go” below:
Cole Bennett has also worked with other popular rappers over the last few years including Cordae, $NOT, YNW Melly, NLE Choppa, Lil Durk, Lil Mosey, 24kGoldn, and hip hop great Eminem. He has also expanded his empire to include an annual summer festival known as Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash; merchandise partnerships with other organizations and rappers; and canned drinks.
Check out these videos below:
My friend Vincent and I also enjoy Bennett’s music video reels he drops every New Year’s Eve to show his contributions to the music industry. Bennett also makes behind the scenes videos that show how the videos were made and includes interviews with himself and the artists he has worked with to create visual masterpieces. It truly shows how far he’s come and how his success continues to grow.
Check these videos out below:
Cole Bennett has been hard at work on Lyrical Lemonade for 8 years. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic crushed his plans including the Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash 2020, which was cancelled over safety purposes. Yet, he has persisted and continued to produce music videos throughout the pandemic. There is no doubt that his work has uplifted people in troubled times, especially my friend Vincent and I. Cole Bennett is the definition of how far creative vision and persistence can keep you successful and change the world – no matter what challenges lie in your way. Bennett has always been successful, and I hope he becomes forever revered in the halls of the music video and multimedia industries.
Edited by avanicole23
By Regina Kanturek
One of my biggest interests is poetry. It allows me to be creative and express my feelings and thoughts through words. My dad was a famous illustrator and he taught how to express myself through creativity. There are many ways to write poetry, but mine was through rhymes. Rhyming was like a puzzle, so it allowed my creativity to build through word games. Being a disabled woman was not easy, and poetry allowed me to express my feelings and helped me overcome isolation. Writing poetry was a great form of therapy, one that I harnessed by myself.
I would like to share one with you..
“Her Only Friend”
There once was a lonely little girl
She made up a friend when she was one
When she and her friend were together
They always had fun
They played in a tree house
Which could be a castle in the sky
Or it could be a hot air balloon way up high
Her friend loved her even though she did not have a family
She could tell her friend anything
She could let her feelings go free
Her friend could make her laugh when she was sad
She was the only friend she had
When everything she loved had gone away
Her imaginary friend would always stay
Submitted by Anonymous
Small plates are small dishes resembling appetizers. They can also be the small courses of a greater and more formal meal. They can include rice bowls, salads, and many other foods. I have been inspired by them because everything has to be small and precise. In 2010, my interest in the culinary arts formed while I was taking a cooking course on small plates. My interest in cooking and the culinary industry has culminated into something great, as I now work at Elegant Eating with a huge selection of small plates. These tasty mini meals are very essential to the culinary world.
In a world of so much confusion, isolation and chaos, the culinary arts is something I truly enjoy. I believe that my passion for the culinary arts benefits from my ability to be very detail oriented. When I was four, my mom and I attended church every weekend. I was fascinated as a child about the way they arranged the flowers on the church alter. I thought that I could do it better. One Sunday during a lecture, I jumped up to the alter and started re-arranging the flower designs. I heard giggles coming from the crowd, and now realize what a good job I was doing.
It’s not only my interest in the culinary arts that benefits from being detail-oriented. I still create and design and sketch; I am fascinated by tables scapes, floral arrangements and the idea of food as art.
I believe that these interests and my ability to be detail oriented has helped me with my lonliness and to use creative thinking to move past it. I am able to pull the abstract into detail oriented art forms. I now have the opportunity to explore the culinary arts and design: to take abstract ideas and develop them into detailed art forms. I truly have the career of my dreams. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at Elegant Eating.
If you dream it, and are persistent, you can do anything!
Edited by avanicole23
by Gina Kanturec
One of my biggest interests is old time Rock n Roll. I was inspired by Pink Floyd through my best friend’s dad who plays in a band called US & Floyd. His name is Kenny Kotch, but I enjoy calling him “Gilmore” because of David Gilmore, the guitarist and lead singer of Pink Floyd . I enjoyed their music and started listening to the band more intensely. Us and Floyd inspired me to listen to more of Pink Floyd’s albums.
I started listening to Pink Floyd when I was in middle school. This gave me an outlet to make me feel good when I was feeling blue and isolated. When I was in ninth grade, I would go to my best friend’s house, and Gilmore would be practicing in his studio. Listening to him jamming out, I grew more interested in his music and the music of Pink Floyd.
My favorite Pink Floyd song is “Money”, off of their album Dark Side of the Moon. It might be my favorite song because I find the overall tone of the song very soothing:
Money, get away
You get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
Money, it’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
You can watch the “Money” music video by Pink Floyd below:
By Jackson Beach
Today, my fellow newsmakers and I watched the Disney’s animated movie Zootopia. It follows a new recruit bunny cop, Judy, who teams up with a con artist fox, Nick, to solve the case of a missing otter. Along the way, they uncover a larger conspiracy and harsh truths about the world they live in.
A positive message I learned from the movie is to don’t let stereotypes stop you from being who you truly want to be in life. Although all the officers in the Zootopia Police Department and her parents told Judy she couldn’t be a cop, she ended up proving them wrong and became one of the best cops in the city. The movie explored themes surrounding racism and other forms of bigotry as predators were being cruelly mistreated by prey all over Zootopia. It shows sometimes we shouldn’t judge anyone by opinions or past incidents and tendencies. We should always accept anyone for who they are or otherwise it can lead to dangerous and trauma for others in our community.
Check out the trailer for Disney’s Zootopia below:
Dr. Grimaldi’s Takeaway:
Most people who are quick to judge do so out of their own fear and insecurities. People usually base their judgments on the limited information they have observed. Judgment can stop someone from reaching their full potential. Each individual has their own choice to make to become their best self. This Disney character portrays that by overcoming judgments and believing in her ability to be who she wants to become. A positive lesson for all of us about having the confidence to persevere through conflict to the other side. Despite society’s discrimination about her species, she was able to use this as a driving force to become a cop and successful in her endeavors.
by Eric Zuelch
An anime character I like is Todoroki Shoto from Boku no Hero Academia. I am drawn to him by his origin and his development through out the series. The character himself was born so that his father, the flame hero Endeavor ranked second in Japan (real name Todoroki Enji), can have a child combining his fire based quirk, superpower, with his wife Rei’s ice based quirk so that it could surpass the number one hero All Might, with Shoto inheriting a quirk that let him use both fire and ice and being seen by Endeavor as the only ‘success’ out of his four children. He was put through rigorous training regiments since the age of five by his father and was scarred by his mother in a fit of madness brought on by her husband’s abuse. He spent ten years refusing to use his fire abilities out of hatred for his father until the series protagonist Midoriya Izuku told him the power was his, not his father’s. From that point on he uses both his abilities, seeing his fire as his own and not his father. I enjoy watching him change from semi self-loathing to accepting everything about his powers.
Another reason I enjoy him is his powers. I’ve always liked characters with powers that clash, such as those who can control fire and ice like Shoto. I feel like they should not work correctly, but they somehow do. It interreges me how they work when they shouldn’t. I like it when a character can perform multiple kinds of attacks, it makes things more interesting when they are in battle. He also reminds me of Zuko from Avatar The Last Airbender, one of my favorite shows, in both character development and background.
Those are the reasons I enjoy Todoroki Shoto.
Dr. Grimaldi’s takeaway:
This character has survived a lot of trauma and has persevered through his experiences. He has become the good guy, despite the negative image of his father. This character has shown the positivity of making a right out of a wrong and doing what it takes to be accountable to yourself.
by Jackson Beach
In 2008’s smash hit Iron Man, the first film of the universally acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe has many lessons that relate to the world and ourselves. One of them is that businessmen and corporate entrepreneurs of the war industry do not know how their devices and inventions will be used. This is shown at the beginning of the movie when CEO of Stark Industries Tony Stark is injured by shrapnel from his own missile during a terrorist ambush organized by his mentor Obadiah Stane in order to usurp him. This shows that while we believe our inventions have a purpose, we don’t truly know if they will be used for good or bad, as Stark’s arc reactor can be used to power other things like the Iron Monger suit at the cost of his life.
Another essential lesson is not to waste your life. When surgeon Ho Yinsen is dying after being ambushed by the Ten Rings terrorists while constructing the first Iron Man suit, he tells Stark, the man whose life he saved, to not waste his life building weapons and caring only about himself, but to do something good with his talents and inventions and build many relationships. To that end, Stark becomes Iron Man, the very first hero of the MCU.
A final essential lesson is to always take risks. This is essential when Tony is designing his Iron Man suit and despite warnings from his assistant, he decides to fly it and notices a flaw in his suit design. This shows that putting yourself in danger can prevent you from being in further danger through learning from your mistakes. Stane, on the other hand, is so concerned with killing Tony that he fails to try out his armor, resulting in his armor being frozen and damaged, leading to his downfall. Stark ultimately learns from his mistakes as a human regarding his recklessness and selfishness and decides to stop making deadly weapons and also reveal himself as a hero.
Overall, Iron Man, the MCU’s first film and project overall, has many prominent themes and lessons pertaining to the real world, such as terrorism, technology, and corporate conspiracies. However, the overall lesson revolves around how our mistakes as people can harm others. This is shown when Tony is wounded with his own missile and technology and how Stane uses his arc reactor to selfishly power up his suit and kill Stark. However, we can learn from our mistakes by righting our wrongs, shown when Stark uses his suit to stop terrorists and defeat Stane. Iron Man is a perfect example of showing one of the many aspects of humanity, making horrible mistakes and dealing with the consequences of them.
Dr. Grimaldi’s Takeaway:
As positive psychologists, we also try to see the glass half full. Even in the worst of times we need to hold our space of positivity and hold our ground and stand tall. Learning from our mistakes is one thing , but putting them into practice is another. We teach healthy positive rituals to make each individual their best self. We turn our obstacles into challenges and we do it as a team of unique individuals driven to do purposeful work for our community.