Juniors take celebratory trip to see Gatsby

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On May 17, juniors trekked from Townsend Harris to Main Street Cinemas to watch The Great Gatsby, in celebration of finishing the AP U. S. History exam the day before and the novel of the same name.

Traditionally, the only grade-wide trip that juniors attended within the school year was the Physics trip to Six Flags. However, the movie coming out just as juniors finished the book was too timely to pass up.

After attending their first band classes, the juniors congregated in the cafeteria for attendance by official class. They then walked for fifteen minutes to the Flushing theater, were each given a bag of popcorn with soda, and were funneled into four different rooms. At the end of the movie, they were dismissed from the theater.

Overall, students felt the trip was well organized.

Junior Chloe Chai said that “just being able to have a trip the day after APs is amazing,” adding that “ it was [opportune] to watch a movie on a book we just read.”

English teacher Safia Jama Cross noted that “Walking was a wonderful opportunity to see our surrounding community while anticipating the film. I used to see movies at the Main Street Theater since I grew up in this neighborhood. The authentic sticky carpets brought back fond memories of five dollar movies.”

While most teachers agreed that the trip was successful, there were differing views on the separation of juniors into four different theaters. While English teacher Joseph Canzoneri would have liked the whole junior class to be in one theater, Ms. Jama Cross said that the small theaters “were a unique viewing experience—we could imagine we were in Gatsby’s own private screening room!”

The movie itself received mixed opinions. For Chloe, “the acting was great and the characters were portrayed just how the book described them,” but she said it deserved five out of ten stars due to awkward editing and transitions.

Junior Sophia Mahin praised the scenes and the graphics, even though it “might be a little hard to understand for someone who had not read the book.”

Like students, teachers also had varying responses towards Gatsby. Mr. Canzoneri said, “I read a few dozen reviews, mostly mixed or unfavorable, so I didn’t have high expectations, but I turned out liking the movie more than I thought I would.”

For Ms. Jama Cross, Mia Farrow, who played Daisy in the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby, portrayed the character better than Carey Mulligan did in the recent movie because “she seemed far too sweet to break Gatsby’s heart.”

Meanwhile, with sophomores taking the AP World History exam and freshman going on a trip to the Hall of Science, Townsend Harris was essentially a ghost town. Seniors were left with the whole school to themselves, along with a handful of juniors who did not attend the trip. The juniors stayed in one room for the duration of the day and watched Lincoln.

Annika Joeng, junior, said, “It felt so nice that the whole school was empty and quiet. School should be more like that sometimes!”

On the other hand, Thursday was just like any other school day for senior Mark Rangasamy: “It didn’t affect me because underclassmen don’t come near us anyway,” he commented. “I had no class that day so I just signed in and left.”

Other seniors indulged in the school’s calm setting. Senior Jennifer Hodge said, “it was quiet, which is what we needed after all the college stress.”

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