By: Catherine Amaris Munoz
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of prudence.” ~2 Timothy 1:7
Hi there, all home-schooling teens! My name is Catherine Munoz. I am a homeschooler from Monrovia, California, USA. I am in the 12th grade. This is my tenth column for the “Homeschooling Teen e-zine”, and I am looking forward to sharing more with you all in the future.
This is an eventful month, isn’t it? April Fools Day… Earth Day… Administrative Professionals Day… Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day… Arbor Day… Yet something which is more important also takes place this month. April 8th is when we celebrate the triumphant resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ: Easter Sunday. It is interesting how we might come to see certain holidays as having a rank of importance. It is understandable that one would think of Christmas as the crescendo of the liturgical year, because Christmas is such a warm and fuzzy kind of season. We gather with family, friends, and loved ones as we celebrate the coming of the Child Jesus through the Blessed Young Virgin Mother Mary. Indeed, here at Easter, this is a time of reflection, cheer, resolve, cleansing, and renewal of spirit. So with Easter so close by, what feelings or emotions do we currently seem to be harboring? Easter may not generally be recognized for being the one event of all the church’s celebrations which truly allows for reflection upon Jesus’ coming. But, Easter may actually be the biggest church celebration of the year, because it is the revelation of Jesus’ saving grace. At this time, we especially remember that Our Lord underwent a terrible agony especially at the end of his life here on Earth: the persecution, torture, judgment, rejection, and pain he experienced during the days leading up to Easter. Let us always remember the beauty of our freedom and redemption through Christ, by being living examples of good works and love.
MUSIC CORNER ~ April 2012
Originating in San Diego, California, USA, it’s no wonder the name “Switchfoot” has its roots in surfing: a favorite pastime of the band members. Having formed in 1997, Switchfoot has won numerous Christian music awards, namely a Grammy award which was handed over just last year in 2011 for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album, “Hello Hurricane”. They also won 11 awards from San Diego Music Awards between the years 1997 and 2011. I personally love Switchfoot, especially their songs, “Awakening”, “We Are One Tonight”, and “New Way To Be Human”. Go to www.switchfoot.com for further details on the awe-inspiring Switchfoot.
April’s Recipe ~ “Strawberry Shortcake Cookies”
(Photo provided by www.theurbanbaker.com)
“If you like Strawberry Shortcake, you’ll love these cookies! Just about every ingredient that goes into a Strawberry Shortcake is found in this recipe! Enjoy!”
Yields: 3 dozen/ Time: approx. 20 minutes for preparation; 24-25 minutes for baking.
What you’ll need:
- 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 3 ounces (6 tbsp.) cold sweet cream (salted) butter, cut into small pieces
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tbsp. granulated sugar; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and remaining 7 tbsp. granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
2. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Bake until golden brown, 24-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature to be enjoyed at a later time.
April’s Movie Review ~ “The Hunger Games” (2012)
Naturally, having read the book by Suzanne Collins, I HAD to go see The Hunger Games in theaters! For those who are unfamiliar with the underlying story of The Hunger Games, I will explain a bit of the important facts: The Hunger Games takes place in Panem, which is a post-war-era and totalitarian-run United States of America, consisting of 12 Districts. These Districts are placed in ranking from richest to poorest: District 12 being the poorest. Our main character is Katniss Everdeen, a teenager who takes her younger sister Prim’s place when Prim is chosen as one of the two children recruited for The Hunger Games from District 12. Two children recruited from each of the 12 districts makes for 24 participants in The Hunger Games. It was eerie to watch as the children from District 12 walked from their homes to the meeting area in the town for “the reaping”. This reminded me of lambs being led to be slaughtered. Scarily enough, their impoverished, meager appearance reminded me of the children who were being segregated during the Holocaust. I also find it unnerving that the poorer you are as a citizen of Panem, the higher your odds are to be chosen as a participant. Every time that a person between the ages of 12 and 18 asks for food, water, or other needs and/or comforts, their name goes again into the “bingo”-like raffle of names. This name-choosing ceremony is called The Reaping. I sensed an intense amount of political influence in the movie. It was interesting how the frightening aspect of a totalitarian society was displayed: an all-powerful ruler or political leader, controlling the country, or in this case, the remains of one. Despite the fact that this environment is fictional, we must remember how far from God these values are held. In a civilization which is conducted like Panem, the lower-class, impoverished peasants are seen (not as equals, but) as worthless: yielding no purpose but for being slaves. Does God promote, appreciate, or respect this way of thinking? Definitely not! What a difference we have when we compare this view to that of God’s. To God, the first shall be last. To God, the poor should be tended-to and fed, given drink, and shelter. But in Panem, or in the eyes of the greedy, the poor are supposed to be tossed to the side as though they are the decay of the population. My prayer is that the world which Suzanne Collins created for The Hunger Games never becomes a reality; that each one of us may do our part to reverse any actions or ways of thinking which may ultimately bring us closer to this scary way of living; that each of us will continue to view this macabre and hostile society (Panem) – and any other societies which hold rules synonymous with it – as incorrect and disagreeable with our Christian morals. The Hunger Games gets an A rating from this movie reviewer!