Royal Wedding TV Specials

Prince William and Kate Middleton were married on April 29 at Westminster Abbey in the grandest royal wedding since William’s parents Prince Charles and Diana were wed. Royals’ love stories are publically debated, poured over and pried into with curious eyes perhaps more fervently than any others on the planet.  With television, many Americans found easy access to all the wedding details they could possibly desire.

Lifetime  premiered an original movie about the love story of William and Kate leading up to their wedding. The movie, titled William and Kate, will premiere April 18 at 8:00 p.m. CT. The movie starts with the meeting of the two at the University of St. Andrews and documents their following nine-year relationship, one full of stress, love and the occasional break up.

Right after the movie premiere, Lifetime  aired the first part of a six episode documentary called Royal Wedding of a Lifetime. Each one hour episode will discuss some part of the couple’s past, their wedding or their future together. References to Princess Diana’s wedding, speculation about Kate’s gown and wedding food will also be discussed.

Even though we are all American, I’m sure Winston Churchill wouldn’t mind if the kids at his namesake school tuned in to watch this important English event. Due to the difference in time zones, the coverage for the wedding started at 3:00 a.m. CT on April 29.

Tanning Tips

Written by: Maureen Weaver

With the sun bursting through the clouds and cool breezes contrasting the frying heat of summer, spring has arrived. On warmer days, the school population sports short sleeves and tank tops. This change in weather also brings the desire to soak in the golden rays of the sun and procure a gleaming tan. But while basking in the sun, it is important to remember some key safety factors.

  1. Remain hydrated. Take a cup of cold water outside when in the sun for extended periods of time. Sweat releases liquid from the body that needs to be replaced with fresh water.
  2. Wear sunglasses. Eyelids provide little protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  3. Moisturize. Skin that is not dry tans the best, and moisturizing will help keep skin healthy.
  4. Limit. Don’t tan in direct sunlight for more than one or two hours a day. This may lead to sunburn which is damaging to the skin and painful.
  5. Be aware. The sun is strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Sunscreen of even an SPF of 15 is a smart idea to prevent skin from quickly burning. Quick tip: when your shadow is longer than you are tall, you don’t need sunscreen.

Moderation is the key to life. Sun can lead to skin cancer, but total sun avoidance is unlikely for most teenagers and adults. Simple safety precautions can help prevent some harmful consequences.

Tea: A Lesson in Observation

Written By: Maureen Weaver

Taking high tea, in my fanciest attire, with my grandmother and mother, has taught me a valuable lesson, one that my heart has quickly seized and expanded upon over the years. Tea has taught me to observe. My desire to decipher and remember physical surroundings, as well as acutely feel and recognize emotions of myself and others, has been awakened. I’ve found that true observation is not merely noticing, not simply seeing, but being able to perceive how such easily noticed external factors impact another’s heart, the part of them which is not effortlessly read.

Every Mother’s Day, my mom and grandmother would take me to Thistlefields Tea Room, an enchanting establishment that made me feel as if I could enter the front door, just a few miles from the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and emerge on a friendly street corner in England. After sitting down at a small round table with a crisp white tablecloth, I would raise my head and look at the countless tea cups and teapots that sat on a high wooden shelf which encircled the room. Early on, I knew that I loved to notice surroundings. But soon I discovered that noticing the people which interacted with them was infinitely more fascinating.

When I was about ten years old, my first tea room abruptly closed. Thistlefields was where I drank my first cup of tea, where I ate my first lavender scone with lemon curd and clotted cream, and where my dear grandmother had urged me to eat the parsley garnish. Never will another tea room equal it. Not because no other place will serve delicious food or be so beautifully decorated, but because no other place can possibly hold such numerous fond memories.

Civil-A-Tea, a tea room with a clever name derived from its native town of Gettysburg, came next. An especially unique crowd was drawn to this place, an extra small tea house slathered in pink and strewn with garishly feathered hats for guests to wear during tea. Elderly women frequently held their Red Hat Society meetings there, bringing along a generous supply of perfume and rouge. The young waitresses bustled about taking orders, contrastingly rushed and flustered compared to the lounging guests. Tea here was amusing, and my grandmother, mother, and I had multiple memorable conversations, though it was at times quite difficult to hear each other. Most importantly, Civil-A-Tea taught me to appreciate other people’s differences, and take joy in finding a glance into another’s life.

Deliberate, or even absentminded, observation has been eliminated by lives of constant activity, stress, and rush. Stumbling blindly forward on a journey to the ever-rising pinnacle of accomplishment, the majority of people miss the opportunity to see into the books of each other’s lives. They don’t see each other deeply, or even on the surface. Cell phone ear pieces, as just one example, enable people to whisk through the grocery store, physically accomplishing their need for food, while intellectually talking business with their bosses. But with this choice, people brush over any chance to express an encouraging word to their neighbor, to notice when the shopper next to them accidently drops something. In not noticing, they eradicate their opportunity to help; they only scribble negatives on innocent victim’s pages of life.

If unhindered by electronic diversion, take a moment to grin as a little girl skips by holding her mother’s hand, eagerly devouring a massive rainbow lollipop, her curly pigtails bobbing up and down. Laugh at the two women rattling endlessly, and noisily, on about their utterly important news, walking at marathon speed in three inch heels. Hold your breath as a dear old lady walks slowly by, her gray hair feathered to perfection and an exquisite antique brooch glimmering on her luxurious velvet scarf. Recognize a heartbroken face and empathize.  Observation ushers in insight. Often, with understanding the progression of other people’s lives, we come to better understand our own.

Lastly, blush and avert your eyes. The individual which you have been absentmindedly observing has discovered you and is wordlessly inquiring with their quizzical gaze why you are staring at them. The temptation is too great, though, you can’t resist looking up again, just a quick glance to see if they’ve looked away yet. Maybe they have, and you can peacefully continue your perusing. But maybe they haven’t, and in that moment a chill runs through you, for you have discovered a kindred spirit, a fellow spectator who has, like you, discovered the innocent beauty of observing the wonders, the people, of the world.

Risks of a Spring Break in Mexico

Written By: Maureen Weaver

Though bursting with abundant sunshine, Spring Break destinations along the southern U.S. border and in Mexico are extremely dangerous choices for vacationing, especially this year. The U.S. Department of State warns that in Mexico, several travelers may die, hundreds will be arrested, and more will make long-lasting deleterious decisions.

One important fact to think about when pondering a trip to our southern neighbor is that in Mexico, Americans are fully subject to Mexican law, whose penalties for violations that we may consider insignificant may be surprisingly harsh. Also, in no way can the U.S. ambassadors release U.S. citizens from prison or the Mexican courts.  Safety standards in regards to pools, roads and water-sports are dangerously lower than in America, leading to much more frequent mishaps and deathly accidents. Even summoning a taxi can be risky, as taxi drivers who are not “sitio” licensed can be criminals in search of victims. Rented equipment is frequently not serviced and in risky condition, and if damaged, the customer may be threatened into paying an outrageously high price for repair.

Acapulco, a common destination for Spring Breakers, has been subject to increasing drug-related violence. Gruesome murders have recently taken place. Cabo San Lucas beaches, on the Pacific side of the Baja California Peninsula, frequently have dangerously strong rip tides and waves. Cancun, a growing city, has increasing crime reports, rape is common, and wave undertows are strong. Reports of Americans drowning in various places in Mexico have already been reported this season.

Wisely choose to avoid vacationing in Mexico, as the risks are high. Even if not in Mexico, be safe this Spring Break by not drinking, not staying out late, and not entering high-risk situations.