rock solid high school

anonymous asked:

what are you favorite top degrassi seasons?

This question is so difficult!! I’m serious I spent an hour writing down all the seasons and weighing all the pro’s and con’s of each season to figure out the order I would put these in. I know you didn’t ask me to rank all the seasons and tell you why I think that… but I am… because I feel like it… so let’s move from the worst to the best shall we?

18. Season 11 - I hated it the first time I watched it. I hated it the second time I watched it. I don’t plan on sitting through the whole thing ever again. I loved the introduction of Zaya and that is about it. I didn’t ship anything. This was the season that made me stop shipping Eclare which I literally used to OTP so hard. 

17. Season 13 - This was the only season that I ever completely stopped watching because I was so bored. I was still nursing my heartbreak over losing Cam and then all of a sudden they ripped Adam from me too. After that I tried to keep up but I just didn’t really care because it hurt too much. Maya was moving on with Miles (which I still don’t get the appeal) and Zig was all but forgotten up until halfway through. The Paris plot was so stupid. And Alli one of my favorite girls was being uncharacteristically dumb (and she’s not very bright as it is). And to top it all off they gave Clare cancer for about 10 episodes then all of a sudden she was better! (I’m not even gonna mention Ew… I mean Clew) Lol no. Bye.

16. Season 14 - 14B just swooped in and saved the entire show for me. After the longest hiatus the show has ever had and about a year and a half after me only watching this show when I noticed it was on, the promise of seeing Alli Bhandari and Clare Edwards graduating was just enough to pull me back in. So before 14B I binge-watched season 13 and the first half of 14 (because I didnt really pay attention the first time) and BOY IT CHANGED MY LIFE. Not because the storylines were good but BECAUSE. OF. ZAYA. Never in my life had I gone from hating a ship (yeah yeah Zig was trying to break up Camaya so I hated him) to thinking it was the most well built pairing on the show. The rest of 14 was crap though. Zoe forcing people to send boob pics = dumb. Clare’s baby plot = dumber. So yeah I fell in love with Degrassi again because of Zaya and it’s probably the reason I’m here today. 

15. Season 1 - Shocked to find what started it all so low on the list? Yeah me too but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Overall not much happened this season. It built the world that we left behind in Degrassi High over again and introduced us to the new generation and thats about it. But Sean and Emma’s first date, Emma’s first period, and the ecstasy plot = CLASSIC DEGRASSI. 

14. Season 8 - No one is surprised. Honestly though I LOVEEE this era of Degrassi. This was the first season I watched from beginning to end as it was airing so it will always hold a special place in my heart. Not only did I instantly love Alli and Clare to bits, but finally my all time favorite character Johnny DiMarco had an actual girlfriend and showed that he actually has real feelings. WOW. 

13. Season 9 - Yeah this is only a step up from season 8 because it was the epitome of Dolly J. The chemistry was through the roof. One of the hottest couples Degrassi has ever had. Plus this season had MORE JOHNNY so yeah I loved it but not a huge amount of hot topics were covered. 

12. DNC Season 2 - It covered hot topics but it didn’t really have that spark. I think since it was made at the same time as DNC season 1 that they put so much effort into making the first half great so it could attract more people but yeah it was a bummer. Honestly the only reason it’s above s8&9 is because of the reunion episode and the Craig Manning appearance… I appreciate them attempting the Black Lives Matter plot but it didn’t get me in the gut. I much preferred the Connor and Dallas racism plot in season 13 even if it wasn’t fully fleshed out.

11. Season 10 - This was when Degrassi reinvented itself for the first time and I must say it had me hooked from the beginning. This was when they started airing an episode a day for several weeks and it was so exciting. Everyone was falling for Eclare. And Adam was stealing everyone’s heart. It was so exciting and different and really a breath of fresh air. Were the plots amazing and jaw dropping? No not really but it kept me super entertained and frankly saved the show and I will gladly give the credit where credit is due. But seriously… Eli was better when he was with Morty just sayin…

10. DNC Season 1 - This was the second time that Degrassi reinvented itself and it was MUCH better done than season 10 was. After being so scared of losing the show altogether, seeing the beginning of Next Class really gave me hope. The cast was smaller and so were the lengths of the seasons but they worked so much harder to really make all the plots count and make every minute of screentime the best it could possibly be. After 4 seasons of really long seasons full of random plots that didnt always make the most sense, watching this season felt like coming home to the Degrassi that I fell in love with because for the first time in a long time they really cared about making EVERY plot the best it could possibly be. They still had a couple of kinks and issues to work out but this season really felt like it “went there” again.

9. Season 5 - The first time ever watching the characters you’ve grown up with graduate from Degrassi is one of the hardest things. DTNG’s 100th episode and S5 finale, High Fidelity will still make me cry at the drop of a hat. Watching Paige, Ellie, Marco, and Hazel graduate and thinking that you’ll never see them again still hurts me so much. And the scene where Jimmy forgives Spinner - SO MANY TEARS. Also this season gave us the iconic Manny line “You can sell this for a million dollars because I’m gonna be famous.” Also Darcy and Spinner’s Christianity plot still hold such a special place in my heart.

8. Season 6 - This season was a rollercoaster. One minute I’m flipping out over Sean and Emma being back together then the most heartbreaking TV death in the history of TV ripped my heart out. To this day I cannot watch Rock This Town without bawling my eyes out. I mourned for JT as if I had grown up with him myself. No other fictional character has ever made me feel emotions that were THAT REAL before. As sad as it was it was the moment that sealed Degrassi as my favorite show of all time and even though it’s been 9 years nothing else has even come close. 

7. Season 7 - Probably the darkest season the show has ever had. It began with Darcy’s rape and then followed her entire journey throughout the whole semester. On top of that we see Spinner reach the darkest place he has ever been when he gets cancer. And boy this season was just so sad. Especially with the addition of all the Lakehurst kids who we’d eventually learn to love like Holly J, Jane, Sav and Anya. On top of that we get to see Emma, Manny, Liberty, Toby, Spinner, and Jimmy graduate which really was a LONG time coming. These were the people who began the show and now that they were leaving it truly was the end of the Golden Era of Degrassi. 

6. Season 4 - This was the season that showed how dark the show could really get and it ultimately proved that Degrassi would “go there.” The fact that still to this day one of the most well known pieces of information about Degrassi is that Jimmy got shot by Rick truly iconic. It’s impossible for me to watch Time Stands Still without getting chills. Also this season featured Kevin Smith and who doesn’t love Kevin Smith.

(to be fair these top 5 are all pretty equal in my eyes and the order in which they come changes frequently)

5. DNC Season 3 - The first thing to note about this season is that it was released at 2am in the morning and I stayed up all night and watched the sunrise because I simply had to finish it all in one sitting. After s14 I was sure that the days of Degrassi’s fantastic seasons were through with and when Next Class began I thought there may be potential but this season went above and beyond all of my expectations. For one MAYA MATLIN. I cannot sing enough praises to the writers for treating her depression and suicide attempt in such a realistic way. And Lola’s abortion plot was the best one they have ever done and was handled in the most beautiful way. This season truly was the darkest season since season 7 and everything about it was So. On. Point.

4. Season 3 - Some of the best and most iconic episodes are from this season and they are the ones that time and time again I find myself rewatching because they never get old. Father Figure, Pride, Holiday, Accidents Will Happen, Take On Me, and Rock & Roll High School all have a solid place on my favorite episodes ever list. This season helped to build Degrassi into the longstanding and iconic show that it has become. During this season we no longer had to introduce characters and get used to them. By now we knew most of our main cast and they instantly felt like family - a concept that is the single most important reason why Degrassi is my favorite show ever.

3. DNC Season 4 - Even though it just came out, I could not imagine putting it any lower on this list. This season accomplished everything I could have possibly wanted and more. The genderfluid plot was so well done and it is something I’ve wanted the show to cover for years. And it tackled terrorism and Islamophobia. Not to mention that this season bid adieu to possibly my favorite graduating class that the show has ever had. It gave each and every one of them the respect and closure that they deserved while not granting any unrealistic and too good to be true endgames (*cough* Eclare). The season focused on the characters themselves and not just their romantic relationships and it really solidified who they have become as people and how much they have grown. And best of all it opened the door for a newer class to come in and keep the show going strong.

2. Season 12 - Wow this season came out of nowhere. In the midst of 2 of the worst seasons Degrassi has ever had was this gem. What made it stand out is that for once the writers went into the season with a plan of where they were going and where they wanted the characters to end up. The entire season was building to Cam’s suicide and how all the characters would be affected by it. Therefore this season had more direction and meaning that many seasons before it were severely lacking. Not only was the over arching plot of this season fantastic, the smaller pieces of it were as well. I was so invested in Campbell Saunders from the moment he showed up on my screen. His relationship with Maya became one of my favorites the show has ever done and it also made me love Maya as a character. This season was also the epitome of Eclare’s relationship for me. They were healthy and in love and finally on the same page (well until Bitter Sweet Symphony). We also had fantastic ships like Fimogen, Drianca, Jatie, Jonnor, and the beginnings of Bhandallas to pass the time. And another one of my favorite Christianity plots featuring Jenna took place in this season. This season’s success caught me by complete surprised and drew me in when I was beginning to not care about the show anymore. More specifically Campbell Saunders and Dylan Everrett’s acting saved Degrassi for me. Without that character I don’t know if I would still be watching the show. His character made me believe that Degrassi still had the ability to make me feel these emotions that other TV shows can’t and therefore this season holds such a special place in my heart. 

1. Season 2 - The first time I watched it I did not realize that this would be my favorite season ever. Because to me this season is the Degrassi essentials. It is the bare bones of what makes this show great in every way. Craig’s introduction in When Doves Cry will forever be the greatest introduction to a character I’ve ever seen. It’s so rare to meet a new character and become so drawn in and attached in a single hour that it blew me away. Degrassi introducing Craig as a new character in the season premiere and showing him having an abusive parent was absolutely heartbreaking. To be honest the first time I watched it I didnt understand. I was too young to fully grasp the magnitude of how important this episode was but it was. Moving forward, this season also went on to introduce Marco and Ellie and cover Paige’s rape which was the first time Degrassi truly “went there.” Another personal unsung favorite of mine is Don’t Believe The Hype that shows Hazel’s struggle to accept her heritage and it’s the first plot covering Islamophobia. And how could I possibly not mention one of the most iconic episodes to date, White Wedding that features Spike and Snake getting married with most of their old Degrassi High friends in attendance. This episode also features the cutest most adorable first kiss between Sean and Emma that stole my heart in season 1 but gained OTP status by season 2. In essence, season 2 is the heart of Degrassi.

espn.go.com
#ConcernedStudent1950: How protest started, spread, rocked Missouri
Grad student Jonathan Butler was prepared to die to bring change to Missouri. With help from the football team, he lived to see his hunger strike succeed. Here's how it happened.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – He penned his will on an autumn day, his 25-year-old life summed up by his three most coveted possessions. Jonathan Butler had a laptop, a stack of books and a backpack. He bequeathed each of the items to his friends.

Butler had spent more than a quarter of his life as a student at the University of Missouri, a Midwestern campus with a student population that is 77 percent white. And deep inside, he was reaching his breaking point. He’d been called the N-word, had his health benefits cut and witnessed overt acts of discrimination throughout the campus. Those acts seemed to escalate in the year since the Ferguson riots.

Every stand Butler tried to take yielded few, if any, results. On Oct. 10, Butler and his activist group Concerned Student 1950 staged a protest at the homecoming parade, blocking the convertible that carried Tim Wolfe, president of the Missouri university system. The driver revved his engine, and Wolfe eventually rode away without addressing the protesters’ concerns. (Wolfe later met with the group, but didn’t agree to any of their demands.)

Feeling frustrated, Butler, in an interview Tuesday with ESPN.com, said he started reading up on the hunger strikes staged by Cesar Chavez and Dick Gregory. He saw how they helped impact change and decided to embark on one himself. Butler, a graduate student, was convinced Missouri would do nothing and ultimately he would die.

He held off on telling his friends about the hunger strike because he knew they would worry. Butler is the type of guy who gets something in his head and doesn’t back down. When he was in high school, he was an unimpressive offensive lineman who had one final year to make varsity. So what did he do? He trained all summer, transformed his 5-foot-8 body into a rock-solid 240-pound beast and helped lead his Omaha Central High School team to a Nebraska state championship.

The situation at Missouri also motivated and consumed Butler. “For me,” he said, “it was like, ‘What else do I have to do to prove to you that I’m a human? That as a constituent of this university that I deserve to be heard and deserve to be respected?’”

Butler composed a letter to the Missouri board of curators, the school’s governing body, vowing that he would not consume food or nutritional sustenance until Wolfe was removed from office. It was Nov. 2, and a campus was about to be turned upside down.

Monday, Nov. 2

At 3 a.m., Butler knows he can’t put off the news any longer. He tells the members of Concerned Student 1950, a name derived from the first year black students were admitted to Missouri, that his hunger strike will start in six hours, and that he will call for the president’s ouster. But why Tim Wolfe? He had only been president since 2012 and wasn’t exactly perceived as a villain around campus. One person who knows Butler later wonders whether he’s taking a page from the book “Rules for Radicals,” which implores the reader to go after people and not institutions. “People,” the book notes, “hurt faster than institutions.”

Butler will later say that he hasn’t read the book. He doesn’t know Wolfe, who is 57, a former IBM executive and white. He demands Wolfe’s removal because Butler believes he was tone deaf in responding to the concerns of marginalized students. Butler compares Wolfe to an athletic director of a major football program. If the team struggles and keeps losing, the coach is at fault, and the athletic director is to blame, too.

Wolfe’s inaction during the homecoming parade may have been a catalyst, but several incidents on campus led up to that moment. In September, student body president Payton Head was walking down the street when a truck full of young people yelled the N-word at him. A few weeks later, members of the Legion of Black Collegians (the official black student government at Missouri) had racial slurs hurled at them. Then late last month, a swastika drawn in feces was found in a residence hall on campus.

When Butler announces his strike, members of Concerned Student 1950 want to do something to draw more attention to his plight: The more supporters and the more media, they figure, the better the chance they have for the school administration to act.

His friends spend $75 on a tent to pitch in the grass at Carnahan Quadrangle, near the student recreation center. They fill the tent with water and granola bars and other supplies. Six students sleep in the tent the first night.

“We have a chance to be an inconvenience to the university,” Marshall Allen would say later, explaining the group’s strategy. “Because being out there on the quad, we’re inconveniencing their public relations. To have people and visitors come through and see us camped out, you’re going to have to engage us to figure out why we’re camped out there.”

Allen serves as security guard that first night. He snores and keeps everyone up. Butler does not stay at the camp. He wants to keep his strength up.

The group, which has 11 original members, is very protective of each other to the point of almost being combative. It creates an interesting tug-of-war between wanting their message to get out to the public and carrying an enormous distrust for the media. Signs are placed in the grass ordering reporters and outsiders to stay away.

A member of Concerned Student 1950 later says that one of the reasons they put up the signs is to keep people from taking pictures of them when they’re crying.

“One of the biggest things I learned this week is to have faith,” she says. “Just to have faith and believe that whatever you believe in will come to fruition. We kept working, but we had those moments where we were like, 'You know what? Let me go cry, and then I’m going to go back and start working again.’ I prayed more this week than I probably prayed this entire semester.”

Wednesday, Nov. 4

The number of tents has grown. Concerned Student 1950 has been holding nightly prayer vigils, and more students are joining in. Butler spends part of the day at the camp. He is greeted by former Missouri All-American defensive end Michael Sam, who made news last year when he publicly came out as being gay.

Sam brings Butler some water. Though he says he never experienced racism in his time as a player at Mizzou, Sam feels compelled to stop by and lend his support for Butler.

J'Mon Moore, a sophomore wide receiver for the Tigers, also visits Butler. Moore later tells reporters that he was driving by the quad, spotted the tents and wanted to learn more. He meets Butler, goes home and talks to his roommate, safety Anthony Sherrils, and then they consult with senior captain Ian Simon and defensive end Charles Harris.

Word starts to spread throughout the team, and it surprises Butler. He didn’t know any of the football players before last week, aside from watching them on TV.

By Wednesday, the effects of the hunger strike are starting to take their toll on Butler’s body. He will eventually become weak, lethargic and short of breath.

Back in Omaha, Butler’s old coach at Central reads on the Internet that a Jonathan Butler is staging a hunger strike. Jay Ball turns to his assistant coaches and asks, “Is that our Jonathan Butler?” They find a photo of the man in Missouri and learn that, yes, it is their J.B.

Ball isn’t surprised that Butler has staged the hunger strike. “This guy has some serious mental toughness,” Ball said. “I saw it when he was 17 years old.”

Friday, Nov. 6

There are now roughly 20 tents in the quad, and hundreds of people are stopping by to lend their support. Syed Ejaz, who is running for Missouri Student Association president, decides to camp out for a night. He is accompanied by members of his campaign staff. It is three days from the start of the election.

The ground is wet from Thursday night’s downpour, and the temperature drops to 38 degrees. Wind whips through the campsite. To pass the time, the group plays a game called Two Truths and a Lie. The students sit in a circle, introduce themselves and say three things about themselves. The others figure out which one is a lie. They wrap themselves in blankets and huddle close together, black and white.

Ejaz is uncomfortable in the cold, but he calls the night inspiring. He feels as if he is part of something bigger.

“This has been bubbling for a long time,” Ejaz later says. “I think what Jonathan is doing is heroic, it’s brave, it’s inspiring. It’s very courageous. And the fact that he’s effectively putting his life on the line for this … it’s very powerful.”

Saturday, Nov. 7

A group of black football players meets Butler at a location on campus that he declines to disclose. He can’t remember everything that happened that day. He says he was in an exhaustive state. He can’t recall his emotions or reactions to things.

He thinks there were about 30 football players at the meeting. They had heard about the hunger strike and want to know why he is doing it. He gives them his story. He tells them he has encountered racism since arriving on campus in 2008. He talks about his acquaintance Sasha Menu Courey, a biracial former Mizzou swimmer who, according to a 2014 ESPN investigation, was allegedly sexually assaulted by one or more Missouri football players in 2010 and took her own life a year later.

Butler talks about mental-health and academic services and his wish that everyone were treated equally and received the same care. By the end of the conversation, the players are so moved they tell Butler they are going to stage a walkout.

Butler shakes their hands. Some of them pray together. He has no idea what kind of an impact the meeting will have.

One of the players calls Tigers coach Gary Pinkel to inform him of their plan.

That night, Sherrils tweets a statement that is also sent out by the Legion of Black Collegians that says athletes of color on the team “will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences.”

Sunday, Nov. 8

By midnight, Missouri’s 4-5 football team is the biggest story in the country. News outlets swoop into Columbia, and Butler’s phone is ringing nonstop.

On Sunday morning, Pinkel sends out a tweet. “The Mizzou Family stands as one,” it states. “We are united. We are behind our players.”

The school releases a statement that the team won’t practice until Butler ends his hunger strike. As reporters arrive on campus Sunday night, members of Concerned Student 1950 get nervous. They tell them to keep their distance. At 10 p.m., at least 100 students gather in a circle for prayer. A man in the center shouts, “Do not talk to the media!”

Monday, Nov. 9

Eric Wichmann, a senior studying information technology, is up until 1:30 in the morning studying for class. But by 9 a.m., he discovers that his classes probably won’t be held. Students and faculty are staging a walkout, and the gathering in the quad mushrooms into a mass of humanity.

Mallory Scanlan, a business management major, is standing by Wichmann and taking in the swarm of people. Scanlan agrees with Butler that changes need to happen at Missouri. Last week, she was in the student center eating lunch when a group of black students stormed in carrying bullhorns. They blocked the exits, she says, and demanded that the students listen to them.

She said one man approached her, looked at her Macbook and her clothing and barked, “White privilege,” to her. Scanlon teared up. She is at Mizzou on a biracial scholarship.

“It’s sad to say that it gets this big because the football team did it,” she says. “But because they did it, our school came together, and that’s the only good thing that’s come out of this so far. Our school has come together as one.”

Wichmann tells Scanlan that he’s all for people expressing their opinion, but he doesn’t understand what good getting rid of the president will do. Will the person they hire next do any better? Can Wolfe be held responsible for the actions and opinions of 35,000 students?

Within the hour, Wichmann’s concerns don’t matter. At around 10 a.m., Wolfe announces his resignation at a meeting of the school’s governing board in a cramped conference room inside the Old Alumni Center, not far from the football complex. Wolfe makes his announcement right after the meeting is called to order and before the board members go into closed session.

Toward the end of his announcement, Wolfe mentions his daughter, and his voice starts to break. He says she pointed out a biblical passage to him the night before, Psalm 46:1. He reads that passage and punctuates his remarks with this: “Please use my resignation to heal, not to hate.”

With Wolfe still in attendance, the board members go into closed session for more than six hours. By the end of the day, chancellor R. Bowen Loftin is out, too. “I sincerely wish it was different, but events are such that the best course of action for the university at this time is for me to resign,” Loftin says in a release from the UM system. He is reassigned to a new role overseeing renovation of the school’s research facilities.

Back at the quad, the students fill the grass and chant and sing. Members of Concerned Student 1950 grab bullhorns. Hundreds of students form a massive circle to keep the media away.

Butler emerges for a few minutes to join in the celebration. Then he goes to the hospital to get checked. His hunger strike is over after a week. His first meal, he later says, is an IV.

Butler’s hunger strike was over, but tents remained up at the site of the protest on Monday night.

A news conference for the football team scheduled for 3:30 p.m. starts 15 minutes late. When Pinkel finally emerges, he says his motivations were simple. He wanted a young man to eat and to live.

“I knew from the jump that Coach Pinkel was going to support us,” wide receiver Moore tells reporters afterward. “Coach Pinkel supports his players. We’re all his sons. I didn’t have a doubt in my mind that he was going to stand against us. There’s no way he would have done that.”

The protesters leave their tents up in the quad. They plan to stay there for another night. They want to celebrate.

Tuesday, Nov. 10

The football team does not want to talk about its boycott anymore. The players slip back into their fall routine and get ready for a Saturday game against BYU.

One of the team’s leaders declines to talk via text. He says the players decided as a team not to do interviews. He says they want to give the protesters the biggest platform so their voices can be heard.

For once in his life, everyone wants to hear what Butler has to say. It’s an unusual position for a man who was known as quiet and humble during his high school days. Butler grew up not wanting for anything. His father is an executive at Union Pacific; his mother helped found Joy of Life Ministries in Omaha. They were in Columbia on Monday to take care of their son, and whisked him away from the crowds in a white Mercedes.

“The football team stepping in. … If that wouldn’t have happened, the school truly wouldn’t have responded until after I passed.”

But by Tuesday morning, his parents are gone, and Butler is flanked by members of his group. He emerges from a car around 5 a.m. The hospital bracelet he was wearing the day before is no longer visible, and he’s bundled in a coat. He is hesitant to do interviews, but he knows he needs to get his message out.

When this whole thing started, Butler never imagined that one 25-year-old grad student could stop an entire college football team, albeit for a couple of days, or put fear in the minds of college administrators.

Butler said he was prepared to die. Whether a college football team saved him may never be known.

“I know how corrupt the system is, and I know how much they don’t value black lives,” he says.

“The football team stepping in. … If that wouldn’t have happened, the school truly wouldn’t have responded until after I passed.”

Butler walks to his car as the sun rises. By the end of the day, the university will announce the appointment of an interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity. Chuck Henson will begin work immediately, the university says. But by nighttime, there are threats of violence toward black students on social media and more tension. Butler has no plans of backing down.

“We need to look at what’s next,” he says. “It’s more than Tim Wolfe.

"So much has to happen on campus.”

ESPN’s Nicole Noren and John Barr contributed to this report.


A much more believable source on Mizzou than Clay Travis’s pathetic excuse of “journalism.”

h/t: Elizabeth Merrill at ESPN.com