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Wesley Harris
Wesley Harris

Eighth Grade ((TOP))


Eighth Grade is a 2018 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Bo Burnham. It stars Elsie Fisher as Kayla, a middle school teenager who struggles with anxiety but strives to gain social acceptance from her peers during their final week of eighth grade. To cope, she publishes video blogs as a self-styled motivational advice-giver, though spends much of her time obsessing over social media. This frustrates Kayla's otherwise supportive father (Josh Hamilton), whom she alienates despite his wish to be present in her life as her sole parent.




Eighth Grade


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Eighth grader Kayla Day is in her final week at Miles Grove Middle School, a public school in a small New York town. She posts motivational vlogs on YouTube about confidence and self-image that receive few to no views. Timid and struggling to make friends at school, she is voted "Most Quiet" by her classmates. Meanwhile, her single father Mark struggles to connect with her and break her reliance on social media.


Kayla makes a video announcing that she intends to stop making videos, as she is not the person she pretends to be and feels unfit to give advice. She opens a time capsule she created for herself in sixth grade and watches a video in which her past self asks about her current friends and love life. After enlisting Mark's help in burning the time capsule, she asks if she makes him sad. He tells Kayla she fills him with pride and he could never be sad about her, prompting her to embrace him.


As a touring comedian, Bo Burnham suffered from panic attacks related to his performances since 2013. While his main intention was to write a story about anxiety, he chose the setting of eighth grade because of his perspective that "anxiety makes me feel like a terrified thirteen-year-old."[26] He also reflected on his notion that eighth grade is a crucial year for forming self-awareness:[27]


I wanted to talk about anxiety and what it feels like to be alive right now, and what it is to be unsure and nervous. That felt more like middle school than high school to me. I think the country and the culture is going through an eighth-grade moment right now.[28]


Burnham was also inspired by observing a girl in a mall taking selfies while alone; he believed she was concerned about her appearance.[29] Given his career started with producing YouTube videos, he also wanted to explore the life of a character whose videos have very small audiences.[30] Work on the screenplay began in March 2014.[31] Kayla was not the sole protagonist in an initial draft of the screenplay, but Burnham decided to focus on her because her voice felt the most true of the characters.[26] He decided his protagonist would be female after watching YouTube, saying, "the boys talk about Minecraft and the girls talk about their souls ... probably half because girls are just actually maturing more quickly and half because culture asks way deeper questions of young women earlier than men".[27] He also liked the idea of a female protagonist to avoid "projecting" his personal memories of eighth grade as a male.[30] The film's working title was The Coolest Girl in the World.[32]


Actual teachers and students at Suffern Middle School in New York were used as extras, with principal Brian Fox saying five to ten students were cast.[44] During the audition process for the real-life eighth graders, one student claimed having eczema was her "special talent" and another auditioned by "eating a bell pepper like an apple." Burnham accepted this as a qualification.[45] Band teacher Dave Yarrington said Burnham cast him because he "liked my look".[44]


Bo Burnham knows that of all the terrors in this world, there is nothing quite as terrifying as being a shy 8th grader, attending a birthday party for the most popular kid in school. Filmed like a moment from "Amityville Horror," Kayla stands at the sliding glass doors in her lime-green one-piece bathing suit, shoulders hunched, arms dangling down, staring out at the playful shenanigans of her classmates, all of whom display the social ease utterly unattainable to an outsider like Kayla. Burnham pulls the camera back slowly, as the electronic music (composed by Anna Meredith) blots out all other sound, with Kayla hovering in the background, a ghostly figure seen through glass. "Eighth Grade" is full of stylistic flourishes like this. A flourish can be empty, a flourish can keep the audience comfortably "above" the action onscreen. But Burnham knows what he's doing. Every moment is life-or-death when you're 13. These flourishes identify us so strongly with Kayla that every social scenario is pierced with emotional peril.


Parent need to know that Eighth Grade is an extremely realistic, relatable indie dramedy directed by YouTube star Bo Burnham about going through adolescence. Elsie Fisher (the voice of Agnes in Despicable Me) stars as socially awkward eighth grader Kayla, a social media-savvy teen who's enduring the awkward transition between middle and high school. The biggest red flag here is the frequent strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "p---y," and more). But despite the swearing and some suggestive comments and conversations about hook-up culture, implied masturbation, oral sex, sharing nude photos, and "how far" Kayla has gone or is willing to go physically with a boy, this is a good (if slightly cringeworthy) movie to watch with your teen. There's so much here for parents and their teens to unpack, from mean-girl behavior and too much/inappropriate screen use to the importance of being careful around older teens (particularly for girls) and saying no to unwanted sexual advances. Ultimately, it also promotes open communication between teens and their parents, as well as courage, since Kayla learns to love and speak up for herself.


Directed by YouTube star Bo Burnham, EIGHTH GRADE (also known as 8th Grade) follows quiet, socially anxious Kayla (Elsie Fisher) as she navigates her last couple of weeks of middle school. Although she says relatively little at school (where she's literally voted the quietest girl in the class for the yearbook), Kayla does post short, topic-based videos on social media from the privacy of her bedroom, but not too many people watch them. Raised by a well-meaning but clueless single father (Josh Hamilton), Kayla struggles with a lead-up to middle school graduation that includes a few unexpected adventures, from an awkward crush on a popular bro to a forced invitation to a queen bee's birthday pool party to a special day at the local high school for incoming ninth graders.


Fisher is fabulous in writer-director Burnham's poignant, sensitive exploration of the challenges of early adolescence in the age of social media and constant phone use. Burnham understands that middle school is the most awkward time in most kids' life and that the eighth grade in particular is a fragile transition year as young teens struggle with social status, puberty, and preparing for high school. Kayla knows she's considered one of the quietest girls in her class, and she's fine with that, because at home she records and uploads videos of herself talking about gaining more confidence, getting out of her comfort zone, and other self-help topics. Personally, her goals are pretty universal: She wants more friends, in particular one Best Friend, and a possible romance. But her social anxiety and earnest demeanor make it difficult for Kayla to relate to other teens, especially well-liked girls like Kennedy (Catherine Oliviere), or Aiden (Luke Prael), the boy Kayla is crushing on, who's apparently only interested in girls who've gone past second base.


The campaign was incredibly successful. Several urban school districts declared a goal of algebra for all eighth graders. In 1996, the District of Columbia led the nation with 53 percent of eighth graders enrolled in algebra. From 1990 to 2000, national enrollment in algebra courses soared from 16 percent to 24 percent of all eighth graders.


The surge continued into the next decade. Eighth-grade enrollment in algebra hit 31 percent nationally in 2007, a near doubling of the 1990 proportion. Today more U.S. eighth graders take algebra than any other math course.4 In July 2008, the State of California decided to adopt an algebra test as its eighth-grade assessment of student proficiency. The policy in effect mandates that all eighth graders will be enrolled in algebra by 2011.


The Wait Until 8th pledge empowers parents to rally together to delay the smartphone until at least until 8th grade. By banding together, this will decrease the pressure within the child\u2019s grade to have a smartphone.


During the eighth-grade year, students enroll in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, as well as exploratory or elective courses. Exploratory courses include classes such as art, music, exploratory world languages, exploratory teen living and technology education. Elective courses include world languages and keyboarding.


Eighth-grade students take the state-mandated Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments in reading, mathematics, social studies and science. In addition, eighth-grade students take the PSAT 8/9, a standardized, multiple-choice test that establishes a baseline for college and career readiness before students enter high school.


Eighth-grade students continue to work with their school counselor on their academic and career plan (ACP) to help guide course and program selections throughout the remainder of their middle school years and into high school. Learn More


Eighth-grade students who may be interested in enrolling in an academy, an advanced academic program, the Green Run Collegiate Charter, or the Advanced Technology Center in high school should plan to attend, with their parents, the citywide information night or academy specific information nights held in the fall. Applications for these programs are typically due in January or February. 041b061a72


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