The Music’s This Way

By: Emily Schmidt

On the good days, the bad days, and the days you’ll remember for the rest of your life, there is usually one thing in common. Rather it be background noise, a full on soundtrack, or a little carpool karaoke, music slips into our lives everyday and contributes to the way we hold on to memories. When you’re sitting in a room full of people, at least a handful of the crowd would say that music on it’s own has created a memory that will go down as the best day of their life. Experiencing live music leaves a lasting impression like no other, and forever changes the way you feel about a certain tune, venue, or band. Today, the live music scene grows bigger and bolder, with a new modern wave of music festivals is becoming the next biggest trend.
In April, one of the largest music in the world, Coachella Valley Music Festival, happened in California’s Palm Desert, attracting over 400,000 people 2 weekends in a row, including myself. The draw to be a part of the magic took over the brains of ticketholders for the 10 months they knew they would be attending the magical desert trip. Coachella is the festival of the elite, where siting celebrities, from the Kardashian’s to YouTubers, is just part of the normal daily excursions. With something this popular, getting tickets isn’t the easiest. Snagging tickets is something that has to be taken very seriously, as they sell out in a matter of hours. Tickets go on sale before the lineup of the festival is released, which is a tactic that many other festivals do as well in order gain attention and speculation from the press and attendees.
Once the lineup is uncovered, they amount of people who will hunt down scalpers, or people who buy tickets and try to sell them for a outrageous markup, in order to get in on the action. Radiohead, BeyoncĂ©, and Kendrick Lamar were the original headliners for the 2017 festival, but unfortunately BeyoncĂ© had to step away due to the fact that she’s pregnant with twins. Many fans of the Queen Bee were disappointed in her departure, but others, including myself, were pleased to see that Lady Gaga would be stepping in her spot on the Saturday night headlining spot.  With world renowned acts coming together all in one place, the draw to the desert stages left people fighting for a spot in the action.
When you see a artist you love announce a performance or a festival appearance, you automatically want to jump in a car, bus, plane or train in order to see them perform, even if it’s just for forty five minuets and you are all the way in the back. There is something magical about live music that leaves people wanting to come back for more. Mark, an employee at the Lake Sumter Book Store, said that the production of sound and the feeling you get when you heard your favorite song is unforgettable. Zach, who provides security at the Lake Sumter Campus, said that maybe his best day ever would have been seeing his favorite band, Tool, live at a festival in Orlando. He notes that the energy you feel when everyone around you is signing along and has the same love for the band that you do, then that moment is unbeatable.     
My favorite memory is seeing my Vampire Weekend at a music festival a few years back, and I would say that Coachella is coming up on a close second to that memory.  Memories made with a connection to music become everlasting and live on in your heart forever. So imagine being reminded of that moment where you look up and see the artists that have changed the way you live your life. These songs and bands have made all of your awful and good days better, and being able to take a moment to personally reflect on those moments, all while standing in a field with thousands of other people who feel the same way is life changing.
Festivals are the future of live music. Being able to sell out venues is becoming difficult, and getting on the roaster for a festival is more convenient. According to Katie Nguyen, a talent booker for major festivals across the nation, headliners for these major festivals can make a few hundred thousand dollars for a 75 minuet timeslot, and second level performers can earn around seventy five thousand dollars for their performances. These prices are too good for most artists to pass up on, which leads to a lineup full of talent from all different genres.

As a college student, I want to live this period of my life to the fullest. I think that being able to make memories and live out great experiences is the best part of life, and attending a music festival with a few old friends, and making a few new ones is an experience like no other. After attending Coachella, I want to spread the word on the magic that it creates, around the festival and inside myself. I want the people my age to go and see all the beauty that comes along with music. Being able to engage with others and create bonds that you will carry for life is one of the most beautiful things we are granted as humans. So next time you see that artist you love performing at a festival that’s a few states away, take the challenge and make it happen. Grab some friends, a tent, and your dancing shoes, forget about work and school, listen to some tunes, and change the way you live forever. 

Inside the World of the Hermit Kingdom : Human Rights

By: Shannon Hansen 
North Korea, also known as the Hermit Kingdom where 24 million people are closed off from the world living under the Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un live in a world unlike many . The defectors of this country have experienced or witnessed inhumane and malicious acts for most of their lives and finally have the voice to tell the horrific stories behind one of the world's most isolated countries.
After the fall of Japan in World War II , Korea had been caught in the Cold War ,and while the northern region was controlled by the communist regime of the Soviet Union The United States had influence over the southern sphere. The first of the Kim family is Kim Il-sung whom had fought alongside the Soviet Union in World War II and following the war went back home and ran for president of his country. It is critical for a North Korean citizen to extensively be knowledgeable of the "Great Marshal" and his family that it is to be memorized and recited at an early age. According to Jihyun Park, North Korean defector , " There are children who learn about the dictatorship before they learn the value of their family, or before they remember their mother or father’s names. Jihyun had fled from North Korea due to the great famine that occurred in the late 90's that had caused her family to starve to death , Jihyun and her brother fled the country leaving behind their dying father ,and to never return again. Jihyun tells The Independent in an interview stories such as hers are common in North Korea.
Among the thousands of North Koreans that reside in South Korea many have difficulty adjusting to everyday life, while buying groceries or going to the cinema may seem mundane to average citizen it is foreign and strange to a defector. Teenage defectors are shocked the most by their sister country South Korea by the drastic contrasting lifestyles between North and South. Without any sort of insight on the outside world they are amazed by plastic cards that hold money and fast food like hamburgers and pizza and the food results indigestion. They are unaware of the difference between mouthwash and laundry detergent. In addition, to the trials of defectors adjusting to life , all adult defectors must forego psychiatric therapy for three months while learning their rights under South Korean law , and other basic skills to adjust to society.  Teenagers can spend two months to two years at remedial boarding school Hangyoreh Middle-High School due to difficulty with basic reading and math. Education in North Korea is useless for life in this country," said the school's principal, Gwak Jong-moon.
Life in the "Hermit Kingdom" is much like it was after the Korean War, majority of the country is unaware astronauts have landed on the moon , television has over thousands of channels, and most of all life does not revolve around the supreme leader. Reporters and journalists have been allowed entry into the country ,but with very strict rules. They allow foreigners to see what they want you to see and have guards beside you at all times. Among the various rules of outsiders into country it is forbidden to photograph any of the supreme leaders without consent and the picture must be full body only.  The restrictions and rules for a foreigner are absurd the rules the North Koreans live by are even more ludicrous. Girls are not allowed to ride bicycles , religion is banned entirely and considered a threat to the state , and viewing western movies is a crime punishable by death says Mina Yoon , a North Korean defector . Western movies smuggled in the country are seen as a "mortal sin" to the state and those who have the films use the utmost caution by covering windows with a "thick duvet" and locking their doors with more than two locks.
Human rights is an alien word and unimaginable to the citizens of North Korea ,   happiness and love is unfamiliar, and freedom is unimaginable. What do young college student, know about North Korea , LSSC student Stephen C. replied to this question by saying," I haven’t heard anything recently about North Korea". Perhaps there is not much coverage of North Korea on the news , another LSSC student comments "the news focus is more directed towards NK as a threat and focuses less on its people."  The unfortunate people trapped inside North Korea have two choices in life; live a normal Korean life under the rule of the Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un struggling to survive and constantly living in fear or taking a life or death chance in hopes of escaping and not being captured and taken back ,but with hope of a better life. Struggling to survive in the country with famine and brainwashed ideas and lies being coerced inside their minds with no sense of freedom or rights they are isolate from any outside help. Fortunately, programs and organizations like Liberty In North Korea, NKFreedom , and HelpingHandsKorea that help North Korean refugees adjust to civilian life is an enormous and impactful way to help and spreading awareness of what life is in North Korea. There are various ways to get involved by giving donations , fundraising , joining a rescue team, and also opening your hearts to the refugees to display kindness and warmth they have not experienced . The citizens of North Korea are prisoners to their own minds and ignorance, and due to no fault of their own they will never forget life in the "hermit kingdom" .

Hurricane Irma Recovery

On Saturday Sept. 9, Florida experienced a record breaking hurricane. Hurricane Irma had no mercy, with bringing down homes, businesses, and flooding neighborhoods. Everyone is still recovering, trying to make up what has been lost. If you are in need of assistance, don't be afraid to reach out. The following information is here to help anybody in the Lake County area. If you need further assistance don't be afraid to talk to officials, even friends, we are all here to help. 

LSSC Emergency Dean Hurricane Irma Recovery Resources
-FEMA Emergency Lodging Assistance Program 1-866-545-9865
-FEMA individual assistance 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
-Florida Disaster open shelters:
-Lake County: Lake Yale Baptist Church (Leesburg) & Grand Isle Baptist Church (Grand Island)
-Sumter County : Sumter Fairgrounds (Bushnell) & Wildwood Community Center (Wildwood)
-Red Cross shelter information 562-254-4498 (cell)
-Search for available local housing (apartments mainly)
-Lake Cares Food Pantry, 2001 W Old US Highway 441, Mount Dora, 352-383-0100
-Catholic Charities/St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, 1351 Paige Place Lady Lake, call 352-753-0989 for updated information on availability
-Family Christian Center Food Pantry, 16215 State Road 50 suite #302, Clermont, 352-242-1895
-New Beginnings Community Food Pantry “Alice’s Place”, Clermont, 352-404-6946
-Real Life Church food program Text “Irma” to 352-577-0115
-SNAP, Department of Children and Families
-Disaster Unemployment Assistance: provides unemployment benefits and reemployment services to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a Presidential disaster declaration and are ineligible for regular state unemployment insurance (UI).

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