The highs and lows of the Oscars

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By Sara Johnson, staff writer, @sarajohnsauce Pin It

ST.BONAVENTURE (March 1) – Meryl Streep said it best when accepting the Academy Award for Best Actress on Sunday.

“When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh no!’” she said.

Welcome to the Oscars, where votes are anonymous and your opinion, no matter how badly you believed Viola Davis was going to win Best Actress for her role in “The Help,” doesn’t matter.

[Related: Best Bonaventure tweets about the 84th Academy Awards.]

The show kicked off with host Billy Crystal doing a comedic video montage featuring a kiss from George Clooney and Crystal’s controversial Sammy Davis impression. Then he began to sing a song featuring every nominee in the best picture category.

Although his early jokes weren’t met with more than giggles, he made the audience roar with the last line, “Nothing can take the sting out of the world’s economic problems like watching millionaires presenting each other gold statues.”

And just like every other year, the presenters stole the show.

Robert Downey, Jr. appeared on stage with his own camera crew, claiming he was making a documentary called “The Presenter,” and that he turned down Clooney’s role in “The Descendants.”

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis walked around the front of the stage carrying cymbals, which they banged in Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s faces as they walked by and continued to drop on stage when opening the envelope.

Chris Rock delivered the most laughs while presenting the award for Best Animated Feature.

He explained that having an animated role is the easiest job of all. You show up, read some lines, “and then they give me a million dollars,” said Rock bluntly.

My favorite presenters for the night were Ben Stiller and Emma Stone.

Stone loomed over Stiller at about a foot taller than him and presented different ideas to the audience of funny skits they could do on stage.

“We should have some banter,” said Stone, “Where you act cocky, and I shut you down and you call me pretty, but I say ‘No chance, funny boy!’ and everybody laughs.”

Overall, “The Artist” was the big winner for the night. The silent film, completely in black and white, took home five Oscars during the show. Mark Bridges, a Niagara Falls native, won for Costume Design. Michel Hazanavicius, won for Directing. Ludovic Bource won for Original Score. Actor Jean Dujardin, won Best Actor in a Leading Role and the film took home the holy grail of the Academy Awards – Best Picture.

Martin Scorcese’s children’s film “Hugo,” also won five Oscars that night. Its awards included Cinematography, Art Direction and Visual Effects.

Some of the best Oscars speeches of the night included Mark Bridges (Costume Design, “The Artist”).

 “…you know, I was just a kid from Niagara Falls,” said Bridges, “Who dreamed, ate, and slept movies, and so I want to thank the Academy for this honor and for making a lifelong dream come true.”

Alexander Payne (Best Adapted Screenplay, “The Descendants”) gave a shout out to his mother in the audience when he said, “She said if I ever won an Oscar I had to dedicate it to her, just like Javier Bardem did with his mother.”

Philip Stockton (Sound Editing, “Hugo”) kept his speech short.

 “Thank you to who’s ever been born … And if you haven’t, you know who you are.”

The other big winners of the night were Octavia Spencer (“The Help”), who won Actress in a Leading Role, and Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”), who won Actor in a Leading Role at the age of 82, the oldest Oscar winner in history.

Despite Streep winning the statue over Viola Davis for her role in “The Iron Lady,” the 84th Academy Awards were funny, entertaining and had many worthy winners. If they would have just gotten rid of the out of place Cirqu de’ Soleil performance, then we might have been able to enjoy the Muppets singing “Man or Muppet,” which won Best Song.

Jenkins Serious In Role As Personal Trainer

By Sara Johnson, Contributing Writer, @sarajohnsauce 

Sweat drips down a student’s face as she struggles to keep her back straight and knees bent at a 90 degree angle. 

“Only fifteen more seconds to go,” said Jessica Jenkins, as she hands the student two, eight-pound hand weights.  

St. Bonaventure University students now have the opportunity to enroll with the Sandra A. and William L. Richter Center to get personal training sessions with one of Bona’s own – Jessica Jenkins, member of the women’s basketball team. 

Jenkins, a senior marketing major, became a certified personal trainer this past July to help the Bonaventure community trim fat and learn new techniques for a healthier lifestyle. The program was an idea of Rob DeFazio’s, the director of the Center for Activities, Recreation and Leadership. 

“He said he would really like to take advantage of my certification,” Jenkins said. “I loved the idea so of course I went with it. I enjoy working at the Richter. It’s giving me valuable hands-on experience that I won’t be able to get after I graduate.”

In order to receive her certification, Jenkins went through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. The academy, one of the top certification programs in the nation, specifically trained her to work in a setting like the Richter Center, she said.

“Any location can be different,” said Jenkins. “It’s important to know what machines, weights and rooms are available at the location you will be working out at.” 

The certification process took Jenkins approximately six months of studying and practicing, using the materials sent to her such as a textbook, workbook, DVDs and access to Internet materials including videos, articles and templates. After the six-month-long process, Jenkins took a multiple choice test and passed, starting her career in fitness. 

As one of the captains of the women’s basketball team, Jenkins incorporates what she’s learned from her four years on the team into her clients’ workouts. She also uses her knowledge as a personal trainer to help keep her, and the team, in shape. 

“Jessica introduced me to new ways to work my muscles,” said teammate, Armelia Horton. “She even got me to start doing yoga, which allowed me to become more flexible.” 

The fitness plans Jenkins teaches her clients come from various sources, including her basketball workouts, informational tools used during the certification process and from her personal experiences training with many different people. 

“Darryn Fiske, our strength and conditioning coach, has given me all the information I’ve asked for,” said Jenkins. “He gave me the opportunity to intern with him this past summer and has really helped me in every aspect of this career.”

According to Jenkins, having a personal trainer may be the key to some people’s success in the gym. 

“It’s tough to motivate yourself when you’re working out alone,” Jenkins said. “It’s tough to push yourself all the way to your limit where you’re getting the most out of your workout.” 

Because of this, each client gets a personalized workout based on their individual goals. Accepting only nine clients for the semester, a Notice Board post explained the free, first-come, first- serve basis service, she said. Jenkins is an employee of the Richter Center, but the program is a free service for her clients. 

Before training began, Jenkins had each client fill out paperwork. 

“I think it helps me and the client if we have met once before we start working out,” said Jenkins. “This helps to keep people comfortable in the gym environment. I ask every client to help me design a plan that is going to get the best results for them. It is important not only to know what the goal of a client is, but also why this is a goal.” 

Jenkins said she works with each client twice a week and also plans easier workouts for them to do on days not spent with her. 

“Some people want to tone up, lose weight or gain muscle mass,” said Jenkins. “You have to work with each person separately and make sure each person is working towards their goal.”

Jenkins hasn’t had a problem with clients missing appointments yet but believes, “not showing up shows that they aren’t as dedicated as they think they are. Constantly missing appointments is only hurting them in the long run,” she said.

After graduation, Jenkins hopes to use her certification to start a career in personal training in another setting like the Richter Center. 

“I can’t imagine not having fitness involved in my life in some way,” said Jenkins. “I really have a passion for fitness and helping people change their lives and achieve goals they set for themselves.”