By Aiden Sandhofner and Faron Blakely
Graduating high school is a great accomplishment, one that takes years of hard work and dedication. Graduating from college is arguably an even bigger accomplishment, one that takes genuine perseverance and untiring work. Seljon Akhmedli is on track to doing both... at the same time - something practically unheard of in North Dakota. All there is to ask is, how did she achieve a seemingly unachievable task such as this one?
Seljon began her trek all the way back in sixth grade, when she started to take seventh grade advanced math. Her sixth-grade teacher met with the principal and her parents to see where her mathematical prowess could bring her. Together, they decided to skip sixth grade math and head straight into seventh grade advanced math. When seventh grade began, she passed all the algebra exams with an A and went into geometry. Soon eighth grade came around, and she started taking Algebra II. That summer she took Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry. The next fall, she took Calculus I at NDSU (North Dakota State University). Ever since then, she has been taking as many math and general Ed courses as possible.
Her hard work and tenacity have proven worthwhile because she is graduating from NDSU this year. When it comes to classes, she says that she is currently taking “Partial Differential Equations, Complex Analysis, Graph Theory, and then Axiomatic Geometry.”
All this work was no easy task. One would wonder if she felt overwhelmed? While the task was daunting, she is thankful for her family, more specifically her father. Her father got a PHD in Mathematics from Yale, so if she got wrapped up in a theorem or stumped on a question, she had her dad to talk it through with, so she could get a firmer grasp on what might be confusing her. Her father inspired her to pursue the mathematical route because “ever since [she] was a little kid, [they have] talked about different things dealing with math.” Fortunately, she had her family in her life to help her with her education, because she is obviously headed toward remarkable things.
Seljon has been equally successful at Sheyenne, with teachers in her life that have also helped. Ms. Stephanie Cwikla, her English teacher, said that Seljon “is incredibly bright, but she is also kind and sincere." She is very impressed that Akhmedli is graduating with a Bachelors so early, but also not surprised because of how brilliant she is. She also added: “She truly is special, and the world of mathematics is lucky to have her!” Mr. Gravdahl, Seljon’s advisory teacher, also has some impressive opinions about Seljon, saying “Seljon is one of the most impressive students [he has] ever met.” He also acknowledges that aside from the academic work that she has been putting forth “she is one of the most polite, respectful and humble people.” Gravdahl also noted that he is particularly impressed with her humility, since he didn’t know that she was graduating early until reading about her plans for college.
Seljon Akhmedli is obviously a remarkable student, not only when it comes to academics, but also when you see who she is as a person. Earlier this year, she applied to many places to pursue a PHD in mathematics - many of which accepted her - but she has already decided. She has plans to go to Northwestern University to get a PHD in mathematics this fall. She has made a large impact on Sheyenne, and we hope to see other students following in her prestigious footsteps.
By Carter Phillips
#5 The Sound of Music
#4 The Wizard of Oz
Although it was excluded in my top five classic films, The Wizard of Oz is one of the most watched and beloved films ever made. It is a bubble gum opera, delightful for all ages.
Adapted not from the stage but from the children’s book by L. Frank Baum, this classic exchanges the dark and twisted tone of its predecessor with a cheerful, musical one. From its beginning in the sepia coloring of Kansas, to the dreadful tornado that brings the naïve Dorothy’s to the technicolor world of Oz, the film is iconic.
It was neither an early color film or an early musical however, it was uncommon for films of the genre to have a clear narrative and as already mention, most were stage bound. Instead they were plotless spectacle that usually focused on composition, dance and choreography.
The Wizard Of Oz remains nostalgic, even for those who never experienced its' original magic. Although not as much a masterpiece or innovator as, for example, The Jazz Singer (1927), it is one of the most culturally significant films ever made. The film is as often parodied and referenced in modern culture all because it is still on of the most watchable films of its era.
The film is a cinematic phenomenon, which defines pop culture like a blanket covers a mattress. The film has gone on to ignite theories (such as the one which suggests the story is a metaphor for American politics) and conspiracies (like the film syncs with Pink Floyd’s album, The Dark Side Of The Moon) as well as stay relevant even after ninety years in our TVs and stuck in our heads.
#3 Singing in the Rain
#2 An American in Paris
#1 The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg
Over the ages, cinema has become one of the public’s favorite forms of escapism. What more does an audience want but an escape? They don’t go to a theater to see a mirror, instead a screen that hides all the vices which plague our world. The musical is perhaps the most escapist of all, as it makes fantastical of reality itself. As Twilight Zone creator and host Rod Serling said in the monologue of the series’ 23rd episode of its third season, The Fugitive: “Fantasy is the improbable made possible. Science fiction is the improbable made possible.”
What then is the musical? Maybe it is somewhere between, lurking in and out of other genres, waiting for a passerby’s glimpse into the heart of entertainment.
Remember that this list is entirely subjective and opinions can vary, watch the films, make your own ranking and let me know in the comments. Are there any you think me and Aiden neglected to mention? Let us know.
To view these films through a physical copy links to the Carter Approved editions are below. The site chosen may help guide you to find preferred seller and also includes reviews for image and audio quality.
Licensing may lead these films to go out of print or receive newer releases with superior image and sound quality.
The Sound Of Music:
The Wizard Of Oz:
Singing In The Rain:
An American In Paris:
The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg:
To view the films through streaming services, information is below. The accuracy is only of the initial publication of this article. Licensing rights may lead these films to different services.
The Sound Of Music: Disney Plus
The Wizard Of Oz: HBO Max
Singing In The Rain: HBO Max
An American In Paris: HBO Max
The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg: The Criterion Channel
The Mustang Post
All feature news content is produced by students in the Newspaper program at West Fargo Sheyenne High School.