*I know nothing of the content of the original comic book that Hawkeye is based on. This review is strictly based on the television series.
After a long-running movie or television series has run its course, it is not surprising if fans need a break. If the narrative is to continue, it is important that the writer(s) and creative teams find new plots that they might not have considered before.
Earlier this week, the MCU/DisneyPlus, Hawkeye premiered. In the opening scene, young Kate Bishop (Clara Stack) is witness to the destruction of New York City during the first Avengers movie. Losing both her home and her beloved father, Derek (Brian d’Arcy James) will forever change her life. We then flash forward to the college-age Kate (Hailee Steinfeld). She returns for winter break after accidentally destroying a building on campus and is unhappy that her mother Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) is engaged to Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton).
Meanwhile, Hawkeye/Clint Black (Jeremy Renner) is in the city with his kids to enjoy the Christmas season. He hopes that his only interaction with his superhero past is a dreadful musical adaptation. It’s supposed to be an ordinary family vacation. But fate, his past, and Kate Bishop force him to pick up his bow and arrow once more.
So far, only the first two episodes have been released. What I have seen so far, I like. There is a nice balance of action and comedy. Clint’s reluctance to become Hawkeye again is the yin to the yang of Kate’s eagerness to show that she can be as badass as he is. The emotional hook is not the physical aspect of the story, but how both Kate and Clint have to deal with the issues in their personal lives.
When we graduate college, it is both the end of one experience and the beginning of another experience.
The new NBC series, Ordinary Joe, explores this question. Joe Kimbreau (James Wolk) has just received his BA in 2011. There are three literal and physical life paths before him. The narrative then flashes forward to 2021. Fate had led him down three different life choices. In the first, he is a rock star. In the second, he is a nurse, In the third, he is a police officer. Supporting him is his childhood best friend Charlie (Eric Payne), his college bff/secret love interest Jenny, (Elizabeth Lail) and new crush Amy (Natalie Martinez). Each narrative swirls and gets tangled up in one another until they momentarily mingle, coming together to ask the question of which life he will live.
I really like the series so far. The premise is unique and the format does not feel convoluted or complicated. One thing that I noticed was each scenario has its own color scheme and the representation of where the program could go with three physical paths seen on campus early in the first episode.
When we are young, many of us are told getting a college degree after high school is a must. There is truth in that statement. Without that degree, our career potential and possible income is stuck in the mud. But there is another truth that is often ignored. College is expensive and getting more expensive with every passing year. Our young people are graduating with thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans that seems impossible to get rid of.
Writer Michael Arceneaux is one of these people. In his 2020 book, I Don’t Want to Die Poor: Essays, he talks about his own student loan debt and how it has affected his life so far. He discusses being both black and gay, trying to earn a living while making ridiculous payments, and going after your dreams.
I really loved this book. He is funny, charming, and authentic. I found myself laughing, crying, and knowing exactly what he was going through. I remember being in my twenties and having the college debt hanging over my head. Thankfully, it was relatively low and I had help in paying it off. Not everyone can say that.
In theory, every child should receive the same education, regardless of the factors that have a hand to determining how they are growing up. But in reality, factors such as race, neighborhood and family income often play a role in a child’s access to a solid education.
Last week, it was announced that changes are coming to the SAT test. In addition to the standard scoring, an “adversity score” will be included when an applicant’s file is given to whichever college(s) the student hopes to attend. In a nutshell, the adversity score takes into the account familial and environmental issues that are preventing the student from receiving that education.
If I am to be completely honest, I am torn as to whether or not this is the best way to help the most educationally needy of our children.
We all agree that there needs to be some leeway for these children, especially given the circumstances that they are living in. It’s not exactly a secret that certain communities in our country are able to give their children a more than solid education while other communities are struggling to fulfill their children’s most basic educational needs.
However, there needs to be a line drawn between an hand up and a hand- out. A hand up is helpful, but that only goes so far. It is up to the person who is given to hand up to put in the work to achieve whatever they want to achieve. A handout, if it goes past a certain point, teaches that this person does not need to work for what they want, they will receive it without putting any effort at all.
There is an old saying: give someone a fish and you feed them for a day; teach someone how to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.
There has to be a balance between helping these children and doing the work for these children. I just don’t know where it is.
On the surface, the reason that we go to college is to receive a degree and hopefully use that degree to better our future and the future of our family. But the college experience is much more than the academics. It is about the friends we make, the experiences we have and the growth that occurs in between the day that we move into the dorm freshman year and the day that we receive our diplomas.
The problem is that the cost of college has risen exponentially over the past few years. Many college graduates not only walk away with a degree, but with stifling student loans that have the potential to cripple them financially for years to come.
This past weekend, billionaire investor Robert Smith addressed the class of 2019 at Morehouse College. During his commencement speech, he announced that he was paying off the student loans of every graduate.
In Judaism, we refer to a good person as a mensch. Mr. Smith is more than a mensch. He is not only helping out the young men who graduated yesterday, he is setting an example for all of us, especially other member of the 1%. We all have the capacity to do good in this world, we do not need to be a billionaire, we just need a heart, a conscious and a willingness to step forward.
I wish that there were more like Robert Smith in the world.
When I was growing up, my parents were flexible on many things. But what they were not flexible on was college. One way or another, I was going to attend college and earn my degree. My middle class parents understood the value of a college education and worked hard so that their children would be able to go to college. But not every family has the financial means to send their children to college.
I get it, the process of getting your kid into college is stressful. I certainly remember what it was like as a high school student trying to figure out where to attend college and then studying like a maniac for the SATs. However, the fact that these parents used their money and influence to cheat for their kids is wrong on two levels. The first level is that cheating is obviously plain wrong. The second level is that the kids were cheated out of the lesson that true success only comes from hard work. At the some point, every parent has to step back and let their kids do for themselves, even if it goes against every parental instinct.
The frustrating aspect of these accusations is that the parents accused of making the bribes likely had the income to pay for their kids college tuition in full. With the scary rise in the cost of college tuition and the even scarier amount of student loan debt that new graduates must pay off, many may question if attending college is the right thing to do. But the reality is that most professions require some form of a college degree, even if it is an associate’s degree. Unlike their peers, these children of the accused have grown up in such a way that the cost of college and student loan debt are foreign concepts.
I don’t blame the parents for wanting the best for their children. But I cannot and will not condone what they did in the name of parenting.
C0llege, in it’s most idealized form, should be like a house on a hill. Free from preconceived notions of any kind, the college experience takes a teenager and replaces that teenager with a young adult who is hopefully ready to enter the working world of adults.
Sadly, that is not the case these days. Hate and extremism are becoming common on college campuses these days. Not just in the United States, but all over the world.
My college experience was the most trans-formative of my life. The person that I was when I moved in the first day of freshman year was not the same person who left that campus four years later with a bachelors in her hands. While I had a vast array of experiences during my undergraduate days, I never felt like I was discriminated against or attacked because of who I was and still am.
That is not the case for many college students today.
The thing that saddens and scares me is that today’s undergraduate college student is tomorrow’s leader in business or government. The lessons we learn and the experiences we go through in college will forever have a hold over us later in life.
My concern is that the undercurrent of fear and hatred on our college campuses today will have a cataclysmic affect on our future and not in a good way.