Attending STM’s 50th school anniversary

STM Turns 50
STM Turns 50

In 1993, I was just 12-years old in the sixth grade.  My elementary school St. Thomas More aka STM, was celebrating their 25th anniversary.  In May of that year, kids from kindergarten all the way to the eighth grade assembled for a large school photo and put it into a time capsule.  Each classroom participated and contributed items that would be put into that same time capsule and would later be opened at the school’s 50th anniversary.  25 years later on May 7th, 2018, I made sure to return to my roots and check out the festivities.

STM 50th Anniversary Presentation in the Large Gym
STM 50th Anniversary Presentation in the Large Gym

I attended the STM 50th anniversary with one of my childhood friends from the third grade.  When we got there, we arrived to see the current crop of elementary kids participating in a musical presentation for the audience.  Inside the gym, it was scattered with parents, faculty, former teachers and students that spanned decades.   A slideshow followed that highlighted 50 years of the school’s history.

When the presentation in the large gymnasium concluded,  people started to mingle and catch up with one another.  Unfortunately there weren’t too many people from my grade or even teachers for that matter that attended this reunion.   To be honest, the school did a terrible job of promoting the 50th anniversary.  You would think that in this social media age, they would use it to their advantage to spread the word around such a momentous occasion.  I found out about this 50th anniversary through the church that was next door to STM.  They had a weekly newsletter, that had a small mention about it.

Anyways not to get off track in my story, I went into the smaller gymnasium (our school had two gyms), looking to see the time capsule.   I was very intrigued to see the nostalgia inside that big wooden box that was padlocked for a quarter of a century.   From a pop culture standpoint what I remember during that spring of 1993, Hulk Hogan was WWF champion and the Blue Jays got off to a rocky start in what would be their eventual second World Series championship season.  The Maple Leafs were shocking the entire NHL and having an unbelievable playoff run at the time.  The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was a popular comedy show among my classmates and Lenny Kravitz’ ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way‘ was a really big record.

STM School Photo, May 1993
STM School Photo, May 1993

When I finally saw all the items from the time capsule spread across the table, my childhood memories started to kick in.  It was really cool to see what kind of stuff was inside there.   There was a dated newspaper inside there, with politician Jean Chrétien leading the headlines with his running for Prime Minister. There were baseball cards and hockey cards from the 1992-1993 season.   One class cut out fashion magazines and made collages, highlighting the fashion trends and styles of that year.  Two mixtape cassettes were found in there, ranging from all the popular artists at the time such as Snow, Nirvana, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Robin S to name a few.   There was a VHS tape that had footage of a videographer coming to everyone’s class earlier in the year and having them say something on camera.  They were playing that same video in the school’s library on an old TV that looked like this lol.

I was really disappointed that my class’ contribution, an ecosystem was not displayed on the table.   I remember we submitted some fishbowl looking glass display with plants and algae inside it…maybe when they opened it smelled funny or the water evaporated, I have no clue lol.

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Are Kanye West’s Tweets damaging his career or just a vehicle to promote his next album?

Kanye West
Kanye West

Recently hip-hop artist and fashion designer Kanye West re-emerged on Twitter.  The outspoken rapper has remained quiet on social media for almost one year until now.  Many have known West to have temper tantrums, be outspoken and stir headlines.  His latest press have alienated his public perception more than ever after praising US President Donald Trump in his tweets.  While many predict he is on the verge of a major breakdown, here are three reasons why I think Kanye is in promotion mode.

He is an artist

Mr. West’s body of work cannot be overlooked. He is a 21-time Grammy award winner and has provided countless hit songs and albums as a producer and an artist himself.  His artistry branched off into the world of fashion with his Yeezy line, including his partnership with adidas, who helped the three stripes brand over take Jordan Brand as the number 2 shoe company in the United States.  As an artist, he expresses his thoughts in music and his visuals through his clothing. With Twitter, he’s using the platform to create a dialogue and engaging others whether his opinion is popular or not.

He is creating a buzz for his new album

Kanye was not happy with the album sales of his 2016 effort, The Life of Pablo.  A lot of it stems from the album being only exclusive to TIDAL.  He has since had a falling out with the JAY-Z owned streaming service, which many claimed hurt his bottom line sales in term of availability to the rest of the Spotify’s and Apple’s of the music industry.  So what better way for people to get Kanye talking about him and his music through Twitter?  While his thoughts are free speech, what he’s really doing is to help build a promotional vehicle for his upcoming album Love Everyone, which is scheduled for a June 1st release.

Not even John Legend can stop Kanye.

He likes to feed his own ego

Nobody loves Kanye West more than himself.  He is a confident personality and is looking for approval.  What we know about ‘Ye is that he is a creator, a producer and designer by trade.  He believes in his own ideas so much, that he’s willing to defend them no matter how controversial they may be.  Even his own close friends disapprove of his alliance with Donald Trump, but he wants people to express their opinion just like he has.  It’s ok to agree to disagree with Kanye West. He has built a career on sheer talent.  And while his artistry cannot be questioned, he accepts that his own antics are always met with bi-polar results.

End Point

People tend to jump to conclusions and question why people do what they do.  What are they motivated by?  What causes them to react and behave the way they do?  Kanye West is no different.  Even if he never released any more music, he’ll be considered as one of the greatest music artists of all time.  Despite his current climate of controversy, Kanye is going to  be Kanye.  You can consume all the hype that makes him who he is…you can continue to buy into all the crazy stuff that he tweets.  Or you can see the bigger picture.  He’s here to create anticipation for his next album.  He is releasing product in his own way and is ok to trip and fall regardless of public perception.  A free thinker will take chances despite what others say because its their path and its their story to tell. This is the life of Kanye.

Kanye West  / Charlamagne Tha God interview (05-01-18)

Will Smith is using Social Media to re-introduce himself to a new generation with great success

Will Smith

Entertainer Will Smith unquestionably is one of the most popular and successful actors since the early 1990’s.  The rapper turned actor gained fame on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air sitcom for six seasons, before transitioning into one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars.

However, in recent years his star has dimmed a bit.  Questionable movie roles and lack of audience interest finally caught up to Smith.  His days of grossing $100 million+ for eight straight films in the 2000’s were long gone.  Fast forward to 2018 and the movie industry has a new generation of fresh faces that have exploded onto the scene.  Even an established, charismatic and charming personality like Will Smith has seen his fair challenges.  The two-time Oscar nominee found his career at a crossroads with not so stellar box office receipts in recent years.

Instead of fading off into the sunset and walking away from the movie industry, Smith recently turned to social media to remind fans about the Will Smith brand.  Let’s look at what he’s done with digital in just a few short months.

Leverages social media influencers

On the December 14th, 2017 taping of the Ellen show, Will Smith promoted his new Netflix film, Bright. With the assistance of day time talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres, she playfully got Smith up to speed with how to use Instagram and take the best images.   One of Will’s signature traits is his humility, being able to make fun of himself on screen and in this case, he demonstrated it flawlessly.  It also didn’t hurt to have Ellen’s combined social media presence of over 180+ million followers help welcome Will to the ‘gram.

A little over one week later, Will Smith teamed up with YouTube star Lilly Singh aka IISuperwomanII to help produce a comedic video on Internet lingo.  The playful sketch saw the Independence Day actor poke fun of himself again, learning the ins and outs of social media language that his children Jaden and Willow use on a regular day basis.

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