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Nuanced conversations in the new year p. 10

Anonymous donation clears lunch debts

Orchestra to participate in national competition in February

p. 3

p. 6

the student newspaper of Ballard High School

Journal from 1925 alumnus found

p. 12

Political buzzwords and their impacts on language

p. 16



TA L I S M A N P O L I C I E S M i s s i o n Statement

The Ballard Talisman is an open public forum for student expression, and exists to give a student perspective on issues relating to the Ballard student body and community. Please send signed letters with author’s name, class or position (e.g. parent, student, teacher, etc.) to the editor.

O b i t u a r y P o l i c y

If a student or staff member passes away during the school year, the Talisman will print a picture and extended caption, however, some cases may warrant an article. Each current student or employee will receive an obituary including name, date of birth, date of death and a short biography. Coverage of former students and employees will be taken on a case-by-case basis.

January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)



rom nationwide protests to school victories to outstanding performances, last year was a memorable one. We will remember the natural disasters in the Pacific, the voices of women speaking out against harassment, the violence in Charlottesville fueled by bigotry, and the passionate resistance by millions of Americans. Here is a look back at the Talisman’s best photos from 2017.


Editors-in-Chief Jackson Croy Eleanor Dudley

News Editor Ana Marbett

Sports Editor


Ermias Hagos

Fe a t u re s E d i t o r Elsa Anderson

A& E

Copy Editors Annelise Bowser Katie Read Kearney

Photo Editor Miles Whitworth

Website Editor Ella Andersen

Business Manager Samantha Goldstein

Political Correspondent Oscar Zahner

Letters to the Editor


Letters submitted must be signed. Though, in some cases, the author’s name may not have to be printed. There is a 500 word maximum. Anything longer may be submitted as a guest article, subject to being edited for length. Letter will appear on the editorial page.

Annika Bergstrom Julian Whitworth


Editorials Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the staff editorial board.


The staff reserves the right to refuse or edit editorials and letters for libelous content, obscenity or material considered inappropriate for publication. The Talisman staff is aware of sound journalistic practice found in the ‘Code of Ethics,’ as part of the Society of Professional Journalists.


Cover Photo by Miles Whitworth

Chris Barrett

Claire Moriarty

The Ballard Talisman reserves the right to refuse any advertisement deemed unacceptable for publication. The Talisman does not run illegal, libelous, or otherwise inappropriate advertisements. If you are interested in placing an ad, e-mail us at

In the sideline chatter “X-Country,” Anastacia Konugres’ record was printed as 12:43.2 when in fact it was 19:10.0. Louisa Yardley set a seasonal best, not a personal best. Nell Baker’s time was 19:26.0 not 13:31.7

Ed ito r

Opinions Editor

Advertising P o l i c y

In “Harvey Weinstein and company: men in power who should be in jail” Chelsea Clark was misquoted as saying “Our president coppped to rape...” when in fact she said “Our president admitted to sexual assault...”




Fletcher Anderson Anika Anderson Ian Davino Damian Troisch

R e p o r t e r s

Zoe Bodovinitz Claude Brun Hayden Evans Lila Gill Ian Harvey Anna Holt Kate Inge Henry Jowaisas Olivia Knoll Eileen MacDonald Niko Newbould Jack Peckenpaugh Mitra Shafii Piper Sloan Sam Swainson Kylie Williams

A d v i s e r Michael Smith


January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Anonymous donation clears lunch account debts


Funds will cover costs of student lunches for months to come


ecently, a very generous Staff Reporter donation of $1,000 was given to the school specifically to pay off any debt in student lunch accounts. The donor is a parent of two students who would like to remain anonymous. “I wanted to make a donation that would directly affect Ballard High School students. There is enough stress, without having to worry about whether or not you can eat, and having to face the people who work in the kitchen that you don’t have the money to pay,” the donor said in an e-mail response. “I know first hand what that is like.” This money will be used only for student lunch debts even after the current debts are paid.

Zoe Bodovinitz

% of Free/Reduced lunch YEAR: PERCENT: 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013

11.00 12.10 15.40 17.80 20.60

The Administrative Secretary Vivian Belcher keeps close count of the money for lunch accounts. “The dollar count just from September to now is approximately $475 that was owed by kids not being able to pay their lunch,” Belcher said. After using the donation to pay off current debts, there will be $525 leftover which will continue to keep students out of debt for as long as possible, even if it isn’t all year.

“That five and a quarter leftover won’t last us until June,” Belcher said. The donor talked with Lan Dang, the cafeteria manager, about the best time to make their donation so that it could help the largest amount of students. “Lan asked me if I could pay at the end of the school year, so that those seniors who couldn’t pay would still be Students stand in line for lunch in the cafeteria. The anonymous donation of $1,000 was given to the school able to graduate. specifically to pay off any debt in student lunch accounts. (Julian Whitworth) There should be He started a GoFundMe account enough in the students for months to come. dedicated to raising money to pay off donation to cover that, but if not, we “I hope that my donation will are willing to help out in June as well,” lunch debts throughout the whole lessen the load of stress that you high district. It spread into other districts the donor said. schoolers are under, that in knowing throughout the state. How much money a student owes that you don’t have to worry about “Statistically we are not a very high in their lunch account determines whether or not you can eat, that free and reduced school so I think whether they can continue to receive you’ll be able to concentrate on other if you were to look at other schools lunch. aspects,” the donor said. throughout the district and other “At some dollar value, you’d have Hopefully this is just the start to check with the lunchroom, I believe whole school districts, we’re talking a of helping all students receive the lot of money,” Belcher said. $10 and under they’ll let you still buy lunches they need. The GoFundMe ended up raising lunch and over $10 they say ‘no,’” “I think the goal is that if our over $25,000 which helped eliminate Belcher said. community sees that one parent made lunch debts for many students This isn’t the first instance of a this donation, the other parents will who couldn’t afford to pay it off parent stepping in to help get some also make maybe smaller donations kids out of lunch debt. The Huffington themselves. This $1,000 may seem to keep this going so that none of our small compared to $25,000 but it will Post reported on a Seattle School kids get turned down for a meal,” serve the school greatly and help many Belcher said. District father in May of 2017.


Juniors participate in National History Day for second year

Winter Ball to be held at Bell Harbor on Jan. 27

uniors in the U.S. History classes of teachers Shawn Lee, Alec Aeschlimann and Robin Dowdy will participate in the annual History Day competition on Jan. 18. “In short, it’s kind of a history science fair,” Lee said. The project allows students to study a historical topic of their choice and then present it as a documentary film, exhibit, paper, performance or website. If students advance past the school level they will be eligible to compete in the regionals, with an ultimate goal of presenting their project at the national competition. Junior Mickey Delgado is doing her project on Henrietta Lacks. “It’s cool because we get to pick our own and it’s something we’re actually interested in other than something that could be really boring,” Delgado said.

inter Ball is approaching and will be held at Bell Harbor on Pier 66 in downtown. This year’s dance will be Oscars-themed, so be sure to dress up like you’re walking the red carpet. Tickets can be purchased between Jan. 8 and Jan. 22 during both lunches and after school in the AC. Be sure to get them fast because they will get more expensive each week. Remember that if you wish to bring a guest from another school, you must first fill out a guest pass, which can be picked up from the AC or printed from the BHS website by selecting Student Life then School Dance Information.



Ticket sale schedule:

Jan 8-12: $20 with ASB card, $25 without Jan 16-19: $25 with ASB card, $30 without Jan 22-LAST DAY: $35 with ASB card, $40 without

Proposed science curriculum sparks debate


here has been recent discussion about a district proposal to reorganize the high school science curriculum. The current schedule has students first taking physical science, then biology, chemistry and seniors taking physics. The new proposal is rearranged so that students would start out by taking a semester of both physics and chemistry. Tenth graders would still take biology, but juniors would then take a second semester of Physics and Chemistry. Seniors could then choose which science to take. “Our major fear is that in order for [pure chemistry freshman year] to work is you have to remove all the Algebra from it,” chemistry teacher Dr. Dewey Moody said. “Most ninth graders aren’t ready for that.” Another issue brought up has been that it will be hard for students to remember what they learned from a class they took two years prior, and try to continue from it.



January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Graphic by Ian Davino

Mitra Shafii Staff Reporter

Rant Club starts ‘Not a Joke’ campaign

Students work to cover up vandalism in and outside of school


new club, with the intention of addressing teens’ endless rants and complaints about the world around them, has set out on a mission to cure the world of social injustices. Rant Club has started their ‘Not a Joke’ campaign to help counteract the bad messages and graffiti that are seen anywhere from bathroom stalls to telephone polls. The campaign works to spread positivity in a time when rape jokes are being written on the school’s windows. Junior Grace Stromatt is the president of the new club. “The kind of overarching theme of this is feminism, and it’s not just about finding equality for women,” Stromatt said. The discussion of the campaign came up during a club meeting when a rape joke that was written on a windowsill was featured on a Snapchat story. This made members of the club want to show support for people who are victims of the jokes. “We came to the solution of obviously wanting to cover it up, but taking it a step further than that and preventing those messages to begin with or counteracting them,” Stromatt said. The club’s objective is to support anyone who is a victim of any kind. “We want to make it so that we’re

Kylie Williams Staff Reporter

all on an equal playing field, so that women can have access to everything in the same way that men can have the same access to being emotional and liking pink,” Stromatt said.

joke,’ or ‘my sexuality’s not a trend.’” These stickers will be handed out to students, who will be encouraged to put them over graffiti wherever they can. “We want to put them in places like on water bottles, or bathroom stalls, window sills, telephone posts, that kind of stuff, where you would normally see those negative kind of messages,” Stromatt said. Rant Club wants this campaign to spread as far and as wide as it can, through the stickers and their sister program in Italy, Sticker design for Rant Club’s ‘Not a Joke’ campaign. run by Stromatt’s (Courtesy of Grace Stromatt) friend Isabella Rant Club will soon be handing out Underberg. stickers as a part of the campaign with “My friend Isabella was here for different sayings on them. a week and she was at the club and “The stickers are going to be all she really liked it and wanted to start black with thin white writing, so something like this at her school. I people can’t deface them,” Stromatt talked to her about the campaign, so said. “They’ll say stuff like ‘rape is no now it’s going to be a global thing,”

Stromatt said. Students will also be encouraged to help spread Rant Club’s word when they get the stickers, which will be sometime in January. “We’re gonna have a little hashtag at the bottom that says #notajokecampaign, so if anyone sees one, people can share it on Instagram or Snapchat,” Stromatt said.

“We want to make it so that we’re all on an equal playing field, so that women can have access to everything in the same way that men can have the same access to being emotional and liking pink.” - Junior Grace Stromatt


January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

U.S. embassy to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Trump administration acknowledges Jerusalem as capital of Israel Opinions Editor

The president’s move overrides the boundaries proposed by the still unsuccessful two-state solution.

territories of both Palestine and Israel view as their capital and holy place. The president’s move overrides the boundaries proposed by the still unsuccessful two-state solution. Because Jerusalem is venerated as a holy city by Jewish and Muslim faiths, the eastern section of the city is generally regarded as the Palestinian side, while the west is occupied by the Israeli. Jack Thompson is an AP and Honor World History teacher. “Israel does have a presence in Jerusalem, and so do the Palestinians, and any reasonable peace agreement would probably have to acknowledge both having a right to presence in Jerusalem,” Thompson said. “Rather than using that as something to advance negotiation towards peace, [Trump] seems to have shown no consideration for those dynamics at all.” Trump stated in a press release that after almost 20 years of failed mitigation in the Middle East, “it would be folly to assume that repeating

the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.” The declaration has sparked protests among Palestinians who contend that the United States has no business brokering peace in the Middle East because they are biased towards Israel—a viable assumption, given the tenyear military assistance deal the U.S. made with Israel in September of 2016. The deal provides Israel with 38 billion dollars in military support. Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas, has promised Palestinians that Trump’s decision will not stand. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has slammed Trump for this decision, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises him. “If there was any political forethought in this, it was to ingratiate himself with Netanyahu,” Thompson said.

N nw




The city of Jerusalem is divided between Israel (gray) and Palestine (white).


West Bank



resident Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Dec. 6 and revealed the State Department’s plan to move the American Embassy from its current location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a city which the

Claire Moriarty



East Jerusalem

The Old City

Israel West Jerusalem

2 miles

Net neutrality repealed: What this means for you


et neutrality is the idea that all internet traffic should be Staff Reporter treated equally by internet service providers (ISPs). Under this principle, ISPs are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific online content. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed open internet rules grounded in Title II authority, a classification that allows for more regulation, paving the way for further progress with net neutrality.

Ian Harvey

What’s happening to it?


ith the election of Donald Trump and his appointment of former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai as FCC chairman, the government’s stance on these rules has flipped. The Trump administration has stated that it would move to jettison Obama-era net neutrality provisions. Telecommunications companies like Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner have said they support net neutrality and an open internet, but their definition is different than most people’s. On Dec. 14, 2017 in a 3-2 vote, the FCC moved to disband net neutrality provisions set forth in 2015. In a defense of the move, Pai said, “We are helping consumers and promoting competition, and broadband providers will have more incentive to build networks, especially to underserved areas.”

What this means for you


ith the repeal of net neutrality provisions, ISPs will have the ability to block and/or charge for certain content. Apps like Netflix, Instagram and YouTube could all be blocked by cell phone providers in favor of a partner or proprietary app. Students also stand to loose from this in that certain educational programs, like Khan Academy, which could also be blocked in favor of a proprietary alternative. “Net neutrality protects the people from large corporations,” senior Casey Chamberlain said. “It ensures that all people can use the internet freely.” Although there has been a massive amount of public uproar with 83 percent of all Americans opposing the repeal (University of Maryland Program for Public Consultation), there is still a lot of speculation about what these changes will look like. Many ISPs have promised that their

service will not change, but that is yet to be seen. In an act of resistance, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer vowed to force a vote on the matter using the congressional review act. In addition to this, attorney generals from New York and Washington plan to sue the FCC in order to overturn the repeal.

06 A&E

January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Chamber Orchestra to New York Group selected to perform at Lincoln Center; will compete in national championships

The National Orchestra Cup selected Chamber Orchestra to participate in the championships, along with ten other schools. (Julian Whitworth)


hamber Orchestra was Copy Editor selected to participate in The Orchestra Cup-National Orchestra Championships in late February. This championship is held annually in New York City and orchestras from across the United States gather to compete for the Orchestra Cup and title of top high school orchestra in the nation. Contestants have the opportunity to perform at Lincoln Center, the home of the New York Philharmonic. The upcoming performance will be held on March 3 and will be adjudicated by orchestral professionals and educators. The Director of Orchestras, Brittany Newell, described in an interview the significance and value of this opportunity for the orchestra. “There will be ten high school orchestras from around the country that are performing— some from Texas, from New York City, from California,” Newell said. “It’s a really exciting invitation and a moment for us to shine on the national stage. We get to perform 20 minutes of music in that prestigious hall, which is also home to the New York Philharmonic. We are going to see them perform two nights before our performance.” Chamber Orchestra will be performing Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110, in its entirety, which is a 20-minute long piece with five movements. “It’s a really epic work with a lot of historical weight and context,” Newell said. A violinist and member of Chamber Orchestra, senior Cleo Amrine, commented on some of the challenges the orchestra may face in performing this piece. “Some of our greatest

Katie Read Kearney

challenges I believe will be conquering the difficulty of the piece we’re playing because it has some insane harmonies and really difficult rhythms to learn,” Amrine said. “Beyond that, we’re going to play the piece without a conductor, so we have to work on leading it ourselves, which requires a lot of communication between all members of the orchestra.” The National Orchestra Cup selected Chamber Orchestra to participate in the championships, along with ten other schools, when they heard a recording of Chamber Orchestra performing at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) on a trip to Florida two years ago. Along with performing at Lincoln Center, the orchestra will have opportunities to explore New York City. Senior Veronica Redpath, a cello player for Chamber Orchestra, discussed some of the additional items on the itinerary that she is looking forward to. “I’m extremely excited to get to go to New York City—I’ve been there once before and I really loved it. We’re going to get to go see Wicked while we’re there, and we’ll get to walk around the city and eat at cool restaurants,” Redpath said. “There’s an event at the end where we’ll get to meet people from other states and other orchestras.” There will be a preview concert on Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the black box theater (NE 224) for students and family who wish to see Chamber Orchestra’s performance before they depart on their trip to New York. This performance will be broadcast live on KBFG 107.3, which is a new non-profit community station founded by physics teacher Eric Muhs.

REVIEW: ‘The Disaster Artist’ If there’s one thing filmmakers love making films about, it’s film-making. Staff Reporter Acclaimed movies like “The Artist,” “La La Land” and “Hail Caesar” celebrate Hollywood and all that it stands for, but often skim over the truth that few of the thousands of ambitious filmmakers showing up in Hollywood actually end up ever making the big feature film they always dreamed of. That should have been the case for real life writer, director, producer, actor and enigma Tommy Wiseau after Hollywood rejected him. Thankfully, his mysterious bottomless fortune helped him create one of the strangest movies ever. The result was “The Room,” which since its 2003 release has amassed a cult status as one of the worst movies ever made. Despite, or rather because of the amazingly unrealistic and awkward dialogue, the bafflingly ugly set designs and the down right abysmal acting, “The Room” is still being shown today at sold out midnight screenings. James Franco’s portrayal of Wiseau is spot on. He walks the walk and talks the talk, right down to the perfection of Wiseau’s accent, the origin of which is known today by no other than the man himself. Likewise, his brother Dave Franco nails his performance as well, though it’s a much more simple role. He plays the straight man role to compliment the hilarious eccentricity of his brother’s role, which results in a great sense of chemistry between the two characters. “The Disaster Artist” accomplishes the difficult task of realistically portraying why such a normal and sensible guy like Sestero would befriend such an oddball character like Wiseau. Some of the best moments in “The Disaster Artist” come from the realization that the absurd and often unbelievable things that Wiseau does in the film actually occurred in real life. Wiseau himself has confirmed that the movie is “99% accurate” so it’s good to see that “The Disaster Artist” manages to extract a meaningful story from real events without altering them greatly, something that can’t even be said about some other excellent biopics such as “The Social Network.” Despite the unusual story “The Disaster Artist” tells, the film-making it uses to tell this story is disappointingly usual. With a reliance on hand held shots that rarely show much variety and a rather muted, orange-tinted color palette throughout the The Disaster Artist (2017) entire film, the 1/2 visual aspects left

Claud Brun



January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)


‘Black Mirror’ still tests the boundaries of an uncertain future Second Netflix-produced season carries the torch for Brooker’s dark anthology


Claire Moriarty Opinion Editor

n the ever-

expanding plethora of notable Netflix originals, Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror,” a chilling anthology that focuses on the technology that could feasibly take over our lives, stands out. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to call it one of the finest programs to ever grace the small screen. With its fourth season, the show continues to deliver elegant, well-acted episodes, if with marginally less complexity than prior seasons. One of the best and most disturbing things about Brooker’s series is that it takes a normal, recognizable person that we could identify in our own lives—a

parent or a gamer or a lonely youth—and puts them in situations that put their morals to the test. Often times, this serves to demonstrate how access to dangerous technology can exacerbate the problems of the mundane. In each of the six episodes, a different new innovation is examined. This season’s projections include an implant that allows a mother to monitor her child’s every move, a device that literally harvests memories for others to view and a dating program that drags users through a series of relationships before pairing them with their “ultimate match,” to name a few. Much of it is very familiar to longtime “Black Mirror” viewers—an invention that seems great in theory but is misused with disastrous consequences, a small white circle affixed to a person’s temple, alarming examinations of a character’s capacity for cruelty. These are the qualities that make the show so sharp and excellent. However, in this season they almost didn’t hold up. In the past, the stories told in “Black Mirror” were so deceptively simple that when the layers of plot began to fall away, the shock was enough to evoke true, visceral fear. That kind of shock shone through once or twice in the fourth season’s darker episodes (Arkangel,

Crocodile), but as a whole it felt somehow less powerful than seasons two and three, both of which offer unforgettable snippets of a dystopia that’s not far from the world we know. This is still “Black Mirror,” though, and it holds itself to a high standard. Each story is distinguishable from the rest, be it visually, stylistically or in terms of narrative. Still, they flow seamlessly together in a satisfying sequence. Skilled directors David Slade and Colm McCarthy have a knack for making the futuristic look old and battered, which adds authenticity to every scene. Rather than becoming obsolete, the dark subject matter of “Black Mirror” grows even more closely connected to our lives with every year that passes. As always, the show is emotional, engrossing and a masterful portrayal of what could be a fast-approaching existence.

Black Mirror Season 4 (2018) 1/2

‘Ladybird’ crafts a perfect portrait of American adolescence Greta Gerwig’s debut film features Saoirse Ronan in a stirring performance


e all have seen the Online Editor movies about the young teenage girl whose relationship with her mother is less than ideal and who struggles with boy problems, but in the end everything works out for her. She gets her revelation, the audience gets closure and a warm, content feeling in their gut. Greta Gerwig’s “Ladybird,” at first glance, seemed as if it would continue the legacy of similar coming-of-age films such as “The Edge of Seventeen” and “The Spectacular Now.” But Gerwig shattered the expectations that often accompany the release of such films. Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is the epitome of youth. Between her burning need to express her individuality (for example, renaming herself “Ladybird”) and her growing desire to escape Sacramento by attending an East Coast university, Christine portrays the incessant adolescent need to be in control of change. Amid other obstacles, including sexually confused boys and the prospect of “cooler friends,” Christine’s relationship with her

Ana Marbett

mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf), presides over her other problems as the cardinal battle for Christine’s individuality. This immutable conflict between mother and daughter is spectacularly executed by Ronan and Metcalf. Both Christine and Marion have strong, clashing personalities that are only subdued by the calming presence of Christine’s father, Larry (Tracy Letts). In many coming-of-age movies the protagonist is often plagued with searing issues like abusive parents or drug abuse. In “Ladybird,” however, Christine’s life is lacking these scarring factors. Yes, her family is short on money, but they don’t live on the street. Yes, she goes to a Catholic school, but it is not overly strict or oppressive as Catholic schools are often portrayed. And yes, she engages in heated screaming matches with her mother, but really, who hasn’t done that? In short, Christine’s life is fairly ordinary. And there lies the conflict for the audience. People love to watch dramas because the character’s life is often worse than theirs. The audience gets to see someone worse off and feel

content with their lives. Or once a character overcomes their struggles, the relief at the end is intoxicating. Gerwig completely betrays the audience by putting them on the same level as the characters in “Ladybird.” People hate to really look at themselves; to see themselves displayed on a giant screen. So, although “Ladybird” lacks the conventional dramatic element of extremity, it succeeds in painting a perfect portrait of the middle class American adolescence many of us are intimately familiar with.

Ladybird (2017) 



January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Why Seattle is ready for an NBA team The nation’s fastest growing metropolis deserves a professional team


hen the Seattle Supersonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008, basketball fans across Washington were heartbroken. There is nothing worse for a sports fan than losing a home team, and that’s exactly what happened in Seattle, with no warning. Hayden Evans Since then, Seattle basketball Staff Reporter fans have been desperately hoping for a way to get the NBA to return to the Emerald City. In 2013, rumors circulated about a Seattle group purchasing the Sacramento Kings and relocating the team to Seattle. The Seattle City Council even approved a new arena deal, which would have built a $550 million arena in the SODO district of Seattle. The NBA Board of Governors decided to not allow the Kings to relocate to Seattle on the basis that Sacramento had no other professional sports teams, while we already have the Seahawks, Mariners and Sounders. Multiple other attempts at relocating various NBA teams to Seattle have occurred, but so far none have been successful. It’s now been nine years since the Sonics last game in Key Arena. It doesn’t make any sense for Seattle to not have an NBA team. NBA owners want to take their team to a city where they can maximize profits.

They look for cities with a large population, high average income and few existing professional sports teams. Seattle is the perfect city for an NBA team. The average income in Seattle is $80,000 per year, which is nearly double that of Salt Lake City. Seattle is growing at three times the rate of Salt Lake City, and Seattle currently has almost four times as many people as Salt Lake City. In 2016, Seattle was the fastest growing big city in the United States, according to the 2016 population census. With a population of just over 700,000, Seattle is the 18th largest city in the United States and the tenth most densely populated, with approximately 8400 inhabitants per square mile. So why does Salt Lake City, with a population of just 193,000, get to hold onto their NBA team

while Seattle doesn’t? So why has it been so difficult for Seattle to get an NBA team? One issue is that the NBA currently has thirty teams, which makes scheduling games very easy because it has two divisions with fifteen teams. If the NBA expanded to add a new team in Seattle, scheduling games with thirty-one teams would be a nightmare. The only way this could happen was if the NBA added two teams to maintain an even balance between the two divisions. Seattle is considered by many to be an excellent city for NBA expansion, but a second city has not been identified yet. San Diego and St. Louis are both viewed as possibilities, but neither city has an arena that is big enough to support an NBA team. Head Boys Basketball Coach Michael Broom grew up in Seattle and remembers going to Sonics games when he was in high school. Broom has found that since the Sonics left Seattle, he’s rooted for individual players and coaches rather than one particular team, but he admits that he doesn’t really follow the NBA until the playoffs start. “If we had an NBA team I’d pay attention and go to a few games a year, but I’m not losing any sleep over it,” Broom said. Broom also said that having an NBA team in Seattle wouldn’t have a huge effect on the city’s youth basketball scene. He believes that NBA players who grew up in Seattle such as Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford fill the void that was left by the Sonics as role models for young Seattle basketball players. “Even without an NBA team, we have one of the best high school leagues on the West Coast and we produce high level talent every single year,” Broom said.

Graphic by Ian Davino

Junior rises from 88th to 25th

Kai Vickers leads the boy’s cross-country team to 6th in state


t’s the crosscountry Metro Staff Reporter championships and junior Kai Vickers is approaching the first mile mark. Alongside senior Chad Cohen, the boys are in front of the pack. Both are chatting and “just havin’ fun,” Vickers said. What most may think is a high pressure situation, he is easy-going and just loves the fun running brings. Throughout the Metro championships, he was focused and enjoyed the moment. “Just go out and have fun, and then go as hard as you can,” Vickers said. With a 5K cumulative personal record of 16 minutes 4 seconds, Vickers dominates. He was selected for First Team All-Metro 2017. “I didn’t exactly know what it was at first,” Vickers said. He feels honored and proud to be recognized. Only running cross-country since

Olivia Knoll

last year, Vickers went to state both his sophomore and junior years. Last year, Vickers placed 88th in state. Now he is ranked 25th. “It didn’t really hit me at first,” Vickers said. “I was [just] really happy because I got a new personal record.” Vickers’ personal record his sophomore year was 17 minutes 2 seconds, and he is 58 seconds faster this year. Vicker’s immaculate improvement reflects his rigorous training. Over the summer, Vickers ran an average of 13 miles almost everyday. In addition, he ate healthier and drank more water. Since the cross-country team is tight-knit with both boys and girls, Vickers enjoys being on the team for the social aspect as well as the running. Running is often seen as an individual sport, but each team member’s place affects the entire team’s score. At state, Vickers’ placement contributed 25 points to

Ballard’s overall score. The other four runners’ (junior Max Levy, senior Chris Ruiz, senior Chad Cohen and senior Hayden Evans) places, plus Vicker’s contributed to Ballard’s total score. Teams want low total numbers with runners placing the closest to first place. Seven runners run and the top five place from each school. Before a race, “There’s a lot of stress that kind of builds up before, and when the gun goes off, [he thinks] ‘Oh ok, it’s not that bad,’ and start[s] running,” Vickers said. On the final stretch of a race, Vickers motivates himself to continue and finish. “Your body has that voice in the back of your head telling you, ‘Oh you’re too tired to do it,’” Vickers said. “You just gotta use up all your energy you have left, and sprint as fast as you can.”

Junior Kai Vickers running at the CrossCountry Districts in Snoqualmie Park this past season. (Henry Jowaisas)


January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)


New season opens up larger roles for young stars Underclassmen forecast a promising future for girls basketball


he bright lights of the Staff Reporter gym beat down on the players of the girls basketball team. Head Coach Sara Wetstone was already out of her seat and it was only the first minute of the game. Senior point guard Trinity Cho dribbles the ball down the floor and called out the play, making sure everyone was in their positions. Sophomore Jessica Coacher and Junior Kate Rutledge are their two bigs, who switch between the post and outside the three point line. It was a familiar scene for the Beavers. This year, Ballard is 5-2 in district play and 7-5 overall. Coming into this season, the team was three starters short after graduating three seniors last year. This has created a new dynamic for the team and left new roles for the returning players to fill. The change in starting lineup, however, hasn’t left the Ballard players discouraged. “It’s hard when you lose big players like that but it just pushes people to step up,” Cho said.

Henry Jowaisas

New roster


ho, the only senior on the team, is one of those players stepping into a larger role for the team after last year’s point guard graduated. “Trinity is our main point guard now and she really stepped up,” Rutledge said. Averaging six points and two assists a game, she has more than contributed to the team’s offense. Completing her abilities as a guard are her array of handles and speed, which she showcases on a regular basis during games. Scoring a season high 14 points at Bainbridge, it’s exciting to think about what else the lone senior has to bring to the table. Junior Kate Rutledge has played varsity basketball all three years she has been at Ballard. Last year, she emerged as a consistent offense threat for the team after scoring twenty or more points in three games. At 5’11’’, not only can she dive down in the post to get buckets, but she can also extend to outside the three-point line, where she is shooting 39 percent from this season. Rutledge is continuing her trend of offensive prowess, averaging 11.8 points through 12 games. On the other side of the floor, Rutledge is no slacker, coming up with almost two steals a game as well as pulling down and average of 3.6 rebounds every contest. Part of this success, she says, is due to the coaching staff. “I really like all the coaching staff because they just want the best for us.” Sophomore Jessica Coacher has

From left to right: sophomore Madeline Angelos, sophomore Jessica Coacher, junior Hadley Schaub, sophomore Maisie Clark and freshmen Olivia Holman wait for the game against Franklin to resume during the second quarter. (Julian Whitworth)

also been a player taking on a larger role this season. “Jess is a beast. She’s a hustler. She kind of just does everything,” Cho said. After scoring 22 points in the first game of the season against Skyline, Coacher has gone on to average 10.3 points per game, improving from 7.4 points a game her freshman year. Similar to Rutledge,

she is a dual offensive threat, scoring with well placed jumpers from the block as well as from outside the arc. Coacher has also improved on the defensive side, grabbing 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals a game. “My goal is to work really hard all the time because that’s something you can always control,” Coacher said.

Team bonding


Sophomore Madeline Angelos calls a play while running the ball up the floor against Franklin. (Julian Whitworth)

ne of the main factors contributing to the team’s success is their exceptional team chemistry. Even being the only senior on the team, Cho doesn’t feel out of place. “I’ve grown really close with all of the underclassmen. The joke is kind of that I’m the mom,” Cho said. The chemistry of the girls outside of their games helps them during their contests. “We get to know each other better and that helps us know each other better on the court too,” Rutledge said. In addition, the girls team takes time to prepare for every matchup. “Usually we scout the team before either on film or seeing them play,” Coacher said. Similarly, in practice, Ballard sets up their drills based on the tendencies they see in their next matchup. This helps them prepare. Also, immediately before games, the team will have a guest speaker and sing a song together. This year, they sing a song from the Disney movie

“Moana.” This helps the team stay motivated throughout the season and continue to build relationships with one another.

Current Season


his season, in many categories, the Beavers have improved upon or matched many of the stats of last year’s team. “We’re definitely a stronger offensive team this year,” Cho said. So far, Ballard has scored 52.6 points a game and has snagged 32.3 rebounds per game, both of which improve upon last year’s numbers.

Looking forward


ith seven of the team’s players being underclassmen, not only is the team looking forward to a strong season this year, but a rewarding future as their new players develop. While Rutledge and Coacher will be a big part of the team’s future plan, players like freshman Olivia Holman also look to form the team’s base in the future. In her first year with the team, Holman is averaging 7.3 points and 5.9 rebounds a game. This includes recording a double-double against Lake Washington. It’s young varsity talent like this that gives the Beavers a headstart for years to come. “Since we have a young team I think we’re going to keep getting better and keep connecting more,” Coacher said.



January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

PRODUCTIVE DIALOGUE A return to nuanced conversations in the new year Eleanor Dudley Editor-in-Chief

Nuanced Conversation 1. A conversation that recognizes the existence of paradox—we can strongly disagree and both be speaking from a true place. 2. A conversation in search of deeper meaning and connections among seemingly disparate things. 3. A conversation in which both people are serious about the topic but not about themselves, so they’re free to explore and challenge themselves. (As defined by Beth Silvers)


e have been through the wringer. It has been a rough year politically—from the polemical presidential inauguration, to the contentious Russia investigations, to the disturbing Alabama Senate race alongside the #metoo movement… and all the while living under the threat of North Korean nuclear war. Recent conversations during holiday gatherings were noticeably strained, or silent, regarding politics. Family members and friends alike are talking past one another or not even talking at all. Facebook and Twitter are thriving as vehicles for shared aggression and outrage for those of similar minds. But in the new year, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can aim to have nuanced conversations. We can cross ideological differences, and dig deeper to understand our neighbors, friends, family and governing officials. We can come together as Americans, connected by our ideals, values and shared humanity. How we choose to think and talk about politics is the foundation of a successful democracy and strong relationships; this is how we can find our way back to each other. To better understand what a nuanced conversation is and how to have one, the Talisman spoke with social media consultant, Paducah

City Commissioner and co-founder/ host of the national podcast “Pantsuit Politics,” Sarah Holland. On the podcast Holland and co-host Beth Silvers describe themselves as liberal and conservative respectively, engaging in nuanced political discussions. “I would define a nuanced conversation as one that prioritizes either the conversation or the relationship, if it already exists, above any sort of points of wins or scoring little victories here and there, when you are really just trying to listen and learn and you are being curious, I think that is the start of something nuanced,” Holland said. But it isn’t always easy. Having nuanced conversations requires intention, purpose and practice. “I think that we can all fall for the siren song of righteousness in our own ears and that it’s very important to reach out to other people and to see the world with a different perspective, a broader perspective and to see where we might be right, where we might be wrong, where we might have more to learn,” Holland said.

Classrooms and communities


his hard work begins in classrooms and communities. Sitting in a circle of desks during a seminar, or raising hands in a classroom discussion, students

have the opportunity to practice nuanced conversations everyday. In AP Language Arts with Brook Brayman, he encourages dialogue and disagreement, and teaches students to debate passionately but respectfully and develop deeper understandings of controversial subjects. “I would actually credit Ms. Stahl, when I first came to work at Ballard Ms. Stahl taught English here and she was doing a workshop with us and she just kept saying ‘Seek first to understand’ and that really hit me,” Brayman said.

Listening to one another


t the end of the day the key to a nuanced conversation is listening. When our minds and hearts are open to others we can surpass ideological divides and partisan positions. Instead of using labels as identities and social controversies to fuel hatred, Americans can see individuals as fellow humans and work together in conversation and action. “It’s about prioritizing either learning or the relationship with the person you are engaged with,” Holland said. “What you don’t want to do is think that you are going to give the right statistic or share the right article and everyone

is going to come around to your side, that’s not what we are trying to do here.” The resistance includes listening. We will not save our democracy by blocking out those who disagree with us. Hatred in all forms is detrimental, regardless of if it’s coming from the right or left.

Social Media


ne area in which we see divisive discourse is social media. This incredible communication device creates a platform for insensitivity, shame, blame and partisan outrage. As a social media consultant and professional blogger, Holland is familiar with the tough terrain of social networks and their role

January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA) in nuanced conversations. She believes that social media can be used as a platform for connection and communication, when approached from a sincere place of questioning, however it can also have the opposite effect. “If you are posting the latest outrage over the latest political controversy, really what you are saying is ‘people who agree with me isn’t this outrageous,’ because all you are really going to do engaging with someone from a point of high emotional contact like that, over a really charged subject, is bring out people’s defensiveness and when people are defensive it’s very hard to have a good conversation,” Holland said.

What can you do?


hrough the podcast, Holland and Silvers are doing their part to contribute to the national conversation. “We show that you can talk about these things and have hard conversations and disagree and still go on and that scoring points and winning debates is not the only way to feel better about the news,” Holland said. “It’s empowering to feel engaged with your world and with your country, with your party, with the politics of today, not from just a place of outrage but from a place of some emotional investment and a place of empowered dialogue.”

The next generation of voters has a responsibility to engage with the issues. If we are to succeed, we must engage with nuance, empathy and understanding.

Human Family


n her latest book “Braving the Wilderness,” acclaimed researcher at the University of Houston and author of four books Brene Brown shares wisdom and truth about belonging in today’s polarized world. “We’re going to need to intentionally be with people who are different from us. We’re going to have to sign up, join and take a seat at the table,” Brown writes. “We’re going to have to learn how to listen, have hard conversations, look for joy, share pain and be more curious than defensive, all while seeking moments of true togetherness.” If we can find within ourselves the compassion to care about one another, we just might create the change to heal our country’s deep wounds.




with Beth Silvers: NUANCE in everyday life The Talisman: Why is it important to have nuanced conversations? Beth Silvers: Having nuanced discussions enables us to solve problems, keeping diverse perspectives in mind. It enables us to strengthen relationships with each other. Politically, I think the Constitution is a fantastic example of nuance—we have a strong executive, but not a king or dictator; we have a strong legislature checked by the court system; we have a strong federal government that is checked by the states and vise versa. It’s all about balance. Nuance is required in spiritual matters, or else religion becomes nothing but a vehicle for extremism and violence. I think art is an embodiment of nuance. This creative tension really fuels everything good.

How can students have nuanced conversations about difficult subjects?

Recognize that your opinion is not your identity. You are a whole person, regardless of what you think about the role of government, taxes or reproductive rights (just like you’re a whole person regardless of the sports teams you love, the music you listen to, the books you read, the hobbies you enjoy). Also recognize that your opinion is different from a value. You can and should develop values that will inform your opinions, but opinions need to stay malleable. You need to welcome information— even, and especially, when it contradicts your opinion.

How do we inspire young people to become informed and engaged citizens?

I’d like us to invest more in civics education very early on and use our communities as classrooms. I think city halls across the country should be welcoming students, giving more opportunities to observe and volunteer. I think we should make sure that students know who their local representatives are

and what they do. When a school is impacted by a vote, I think that should be a subject of conversation in the classroom. That’s a job for teachers but even more for parents and administrators and the general public. We’ve made everyone afraid of talking about these topics, and because we don’t talk about them, we’re getting worse at the work of governing ourselves. So, we all need to step up to the plate to educate students, invite them to the discussions and empower them to become fully-participating citizens.

In your opinion, how is the current political climate different from earlier years and what does that difference mean for young people today? We have more information, and we care less about it. I think we really have made politics a version of entertainment instead of a responsibility. I don’t mean that in a nostalgic way. It’s easier for young people to know what’s going on than generations before them, but that information is overwhelming. It’s impossible to be even conversant on every issue that makes the news, so we default to our party talking points. Focus is a real challenge, so I think it’s important to ask ourselves, ‘Why do I care about this?’

“We have more information, and we care less about it. I think we really have made politics a version of entertainment instead of a responsibility.”



January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

How to know if the Running Start program is right for you

The pros and cons of augmenting your high school career via community college classes


unning Start is a Staff Reporter program in Washington and Hawaii that offers high school juniors and seniors a chance to take classes at a local community college and to earn free college credits. Running Start offers multiple other benefits, including the chance to get an associate’s degree before you even graduate high school. It helps students to adjust to the new surroundings of a college campus in advance, meaning less stress the following year. It offers an associate’s degree, free of charge and during a time when people are in school anyway, so there’s all the more reason to finish and receive an actual degree and there’s no need to worry about the cost. Plus it allows students to adjust to the larger and more rigorous workload of college in a lower stakes environment, helping them prepare for the future. So why are there only 140 students currently enrolled in the program? Despite its advantages, many high school students choose not to partake

Piper Sloan

in Running Start. Oftentimes the reason is that they don’t want to miss out on the high school experience. One of these such students is senior Sophie Adams who is taking zero classes with Running Start. “Part of the appeal of going to college for me was to experience it, so I don’t necessarily want to cut it down,” Adams said. “I want to be at Ballard for all four years and I want to be at university for all four years so it didn’t make sense to cut time on both ends.” In addition to wanting the full experience of both college and high school, Adams believes that the Advanced Placement (AP) and College in the High School (CIHS) level classes she has taken this year, and in previous years, will be enough preparation for the rigor of a college curriculum. Head counselor Katie Huguenin also believes that the challenging courses offered in high school are often times enough preparation for the difficulty and workload of college classes. “I feel like a lot of our kids

currently are [preparing themselves for college level curriculum and workload] by taking AP classes or taking a CIHS class. Running Start is just another way of accessing a college level curriculum,” Huguenin said. However, participating in Running Start may give students a leg up in other aspects of college preparation. Camille Folweiler, a senior who recently graduated from an all Running Start schedule, feels that if she chooses to go to a four year

college later in life she would be more comfortable in a college classroom than her peers as a result of her Running Start experience. “Running Start students aren’t separated in any way from the rest of the school so if you’re in Running Start you’re taking real college classes,” Folweiler said in a text message. This experience allows students to feel more familiar in a college setting, likely making them more comfortable and less stressed in the future.

The teacher’s pets that most people don’t know about Teachers talk about their lives with animals, both inside and outside of school Zoe Bodovinitz


s students, we tend to disregard our teacher’s lives. We only care about their availability to go over that homework question or if the grades are in. On closer inspection, teachers are more like us than we would think. Specifically in their love for something Staff Reporter

Science teacher Nell Niewiadomski has several fish in her room, many of which she inherited from former teacher Megan Vogel. (Miles Whitworth)

many students can relate to: their pets. Science teachers India Carlson, Noam Gundle and Nell Niewiadomski have unordinary pets in their classrooms. Between Gundle’s ball python, Danger Noodle, who unfortunately died earlier this month, and the fish tanks in Niewiadomski’s room, many different species of pets have lived at school. None quite as interesting as those inside Carlson’s classroom. “There is a fire belly salamander in here, two leopard geckos and an abundance of fish,” Carlson said. Former teacher, Megan Vogel, who sadly passed away in 2012, left a legacy of animals behind in the science department. “When she died, I took over and found homes for all of Megan’s animals,” Carlson said. Having animals in the classroom gives opportunities to students who may not see strange pets outside of school. “Quite a few times I’ve had the Special Education Department ask me if I would let Special Ed students take care of the animals,” Carlson said. “I’ve had quite a few students who are not my students at all, meet me and become friends with me because I have animals in my room.” Having pets inside the classroom isn’t for every teacher, but that

doesn’t stop them from loving their animals at home. Math teacher Kaitlyn Lundemo and special education assistant Mary Lundemo share their home with two bunnies, Tegan and Walnut. “Tegan’s really lovey-dovey, just super cuddly. And then Walnut is like ‘don’t touch me, get away from The Lundemo rabbits, Tegan (left) and Walnut (right) cuddled up at me,’” Kaitlyn home. (Photo courtesy of Mary Lundemo) Lundemo said. The bunnies are “I don’t know the portions so I trained to respond to different claps. usually give them too much,” Kaitlyn “We used clapping on Tegan to train Lundemo said. “She gave them a her when she does something bad,” whole bag of lettuce the other day,” Kaitlyn Lundemo said. “This sounds Mary Lundemo said. “That’s like three really crazy, but I have trained Walnut days worth!” with this special clapping rhythm So whether it’s critters at home or that when I do it, he knows it’s time creatures in the classroom, teachers to go to bed,” Mary Lundemo said. have a lot of room in their hearts for “Their least favorite day of the week is their pets. Sit down with your teachers Sunday because we love the Seahawks and ask about their animals. You so there’s a lot of clapping and yelling might find similarities between your and they get very upset.” life and theirs. The teachers share responsibilities when it comes to the rabbits, particularly when feeding them.


January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)


1925 journal provides insight into high school life a century ago

Ballard graduate’s journal shows how far we’ve come— and how some things haven’t changed


hen we think of life 100 years ago, we Copy Editor picture a different world, one totally removed from the way we live now. While we focus on the changes brought on by World War II, the Civil Rights movement and September 11, 2001, very rarely do we consider the similarities between our society and that of the roaring ‘20s. Gordon Macdougall is an English teacher and a collector of Northwest literature and nonfiction. “I got the idea that you teach from place, what’s happening in a place, the environment, the economy, the sociological factors, the people in it, so I started collecting literature and nonfiction about Seattle and the Northwest,” Macdougall said. He frequents estate sales looking for books, journals and maps that serve as primary sources of Northwest history, and at an estate sale in a modest mansion in North Queen Anne, he found the journal of James Wood Frazier. Frazier graduated from Ballard in 1925 as senior class president who worked on the Talisman and Shingle staffs between 1923 and 1925. The journal features brief profiles of his friends, with cut-out photos and summaries of their schooling and accomplishments from the 1925 Shingle. Student handbooks, class schedules, a driver’s permit and a graduation diploma are also attached to the journal’s pages. Frazier’s journal provides an amusing look into a teenager’s life 95 years ago. Sepia-toned film photos show girls with short bobs and boys with shiny, impeccably combed hair snuggled up on wagon rides or posing in front of the old school building. A profile of a smiling girl is captioned in beautiful cursive, “Anne Hill, the sister of Harriet and in 1924-25 the ardently wooed of Alden Byers.”

Annelise Bowser

A page in Frazier’s journal shows a handkerchief and photo of Frazier’s friends, Joseph Phillips (right) and Dorothy Morrill (left). (Miles Whitworth)

In 1925...

• A gallon of gas cost $0.09 • A movie ticket cost $0.25 • A pair of Levi’s cost $0.50

The cover of James Wood Frazier’s journal, decorated with his photo. (Miles Whitworth)

On one page, a scrap of handkerchief is glued in and labeled as “a piece of a handkerchief that nearly caused a disruption among good friends,” leaving us to wonder how a handkerchief could cause such a problem. “And you know these are just high school students being high school students,” Macdougall said. “I think it is an interesting look at how things aren’t that different in a lot of ways, that kids are kids.” The students in the journal had endured great hardship. World War I had ended just years before, and an outbreak of Spanish Influenza that followed added another weight to their shoulders. After years of worry and fear, Frazier and his friends are able

Frazier’s junior year yearbook photo. (Miles Whitworth)

to cut loose and really relax as the jazz age picks up and America takes a deep breath. Despite the entertaining entries about Frazier’s life in high school, many pages also allude to greater societal trends. Frazier’s grandfather owned a successful Northwest shipping company and his father was an affluent banker as the president of Washington Mutual Bank, so it’s safe to say he had enrichment opportunities— such as a trip to Atlantic City for an academic convention— that other students may not have had. In addition, there is not a single student of color in the journal, and the 1925 yearbook only shows a slightly higher percentage of non-white students. “The journal itself speaks to that [affluence] to some degree, you know the enrichment opportunities he had, and frankly you know to look at all angles of it, the wealth available to some groups of people here in Seattle and not to others,” Macdougall said. “You don’t see any non-white people in this book at all.” Student handbooks, known as “‘B’ Books,” show the prominence of gender inequality in the 1920’s. At the time, there was both a Boys’ Association and a Girls’ Association, and while the published purpose of the Boys’ Association was to promote Ballard spirit and the general welfare of the boys, and “to uphold the honor of the school by maintaining a name for clean sportsmanship, good scholarship and gentlemanly conduct,” the purpose of the Girls’ Club was “to promote the social relations and to care for the general interests of the girls.” The Girls’ Creed shows further disparity, as the girls promise to be “prompt and gracious in obedience” so that they “may become a fine and worthy woman.” “The girls have been relegated to a subcategory in here, and you note that it’s a category of domesticity, you know the domestic thing, emotion and all that,” said Macdougall. “This was 95 years ago, and you have this really entrenched idea that, you know, boys should be doing this and acting this way and girls should be doing this and acting that way.”




January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

A voice that needs to be heard, if not listened to

New York Times piece describing the life of a white nationalist sparks controversy and conversation


ast election season, The New York Times published an article about the “white picket fence” allAmerican life of Tony Hovator, a 25-year-old Eileen MacDonald recently married Staff Reporter man from Ohio, who just so happens to be a Nazi sympathizer. According to the article, entitled “A Voice of Hatred in America’s Heartland,” Hovator, as a member of the Traditionalist Worker Party, holds staunchly fascist beliefs about the rights of white Americans, and has attended many rallies supporting White supremacy. Although it goes somewhat into detail about his politics, what the article truly emphasizes is how normal he is. He makes himself sandwiches and watches Seinfeld, and lives the classic “Leave it to Beaver” life. This naturally, is not what most people expect from a piece written about a man who believes the races are better off separate, but there it is. Within moments, there was an online upheaval of readers outraged at the casual profile, claiming it “normalized” a Nazi and his beliefs, which to many are far from ordinary.

Upon reading the letter from the editor, however, it is apparent that the intention was to do just that, not in the form of a casual feature, but as a warning. Iz MacMurchie, sophomore, is a member of STAR club (Students and Teachers Against Racism). Initially after reading the article, she was skeptical of the necessity for a piece giving a voice to a white nationalist when there could instead be one from a more liberal perspective. Upon a second reading, however, she saw why voices like Hovators must be heard. “In my peer group, republicans consisted mainly of future businesspeople, good Samaritans and ethical decision makers, but among them sat white nationalists and neonazis. I grew up hearing these fascist and bigoted views in my classrooms, and stories like that of Tony Hovater were the stories of my peers and their families,” MacMurchie said in an e-mail response. “Citizens of cities like New York and Seattle, to no fault of their own, are somewhat shielded from seeing the daily lives of hateful fascists, and this article begins to open that world.” In a report released by the FBI, it has been observed that since Trump’s election in 2016, the number of hate crimes in America has reached a five-year high, and a near 5 percent increase since 2015. Under the current administration, more than ever we

must recognize the strong presence of the far-right perspective. That does not mean that we must appreciate it or respect it, but we must acknowledge it or the culture of hate will never change. “These hateful views are held not by ghosts or inanimate objects, but by human beings. They sit next to us on buses, in classrooms and walk past us on the street. They have families, friends and foes all their own,” MacMurchie said. Ignorance is the plague that truly divides our country, whether it be intentional or oblivious. The Times’ purpose was to remind the public that not everyone is on the side of acceptance, and that the populations of groups such as the Traditionalist Worker Party are steadily growing, aided by the intermittent storms and sunny days that describe our volatile political climate. They feed on misunderstanding and the loss of credibility that comes from passionate displays of liberal justice, and as a result are able to portray themselves as the classic American patriots, exemplified in Hovator. “The personalization of white nationalism and overt racism is dangerous, because it equalizes hate with peaceful protest. That being said, understanding where these views come from and the people that voice them is the first step to a societal acceptance of xenophobia in general,”

MacMurchie said. The original article might hit on the relatability of Hovator too hard without acknowledging directly how the normalization is a problem, but maybe it is good thing that it was written in such a way. The fact that there was such an intense response to the piece means that people do care about this issue, even if they don’t understand it in all of its complexity. The piece started a dialogue, and at the end of the day that is exactly what we need. “I am a firm believer that knowledge is the key to peace, and that education will end xenophobia,” MacMurchie said. “Take the time to talk to those with views not differing from yours, but opposing yours directly. While there is a clear right and wrong on this issue, fighting will only end in further breakage and separation. Only on this individual level of communication does awareness reach those who seek it or need it.” STAR club is dedicated to providing opportunities for that kind of communication, but it’s not just members of STAR who can begin those tough conversations. We all grow up in different environments, come from different backgrounds, and have different beliefs. Everyone has the power to educate themselves, starting with a simple “hello.”

Ignorance is the plague that truly divides our country. The Times’ purpose was to remind the public that not everyone is on the side of acceptance.


January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Social media is the post-millennial addiction


Human interactions weaken as cell phone use grows stronger



November, I deleted my Instagram and Snapchat. Everyone told me it wouldn’t last long. There were few peers Ella Andersen in my life who Online Editor wholeheartedly supported this decision, and none followed me in this act. I did it because I felt that I was on my phone too often. I see someone in the halls I don’t want to make eye contact with: pull out my phone. I go somewhere I don’t know anyone: pull out my phone. I have a lot of homework tonight, but guess what, I’d rather pull out my phone. The worst of it was that even if I saw someone I liked, I would default to my phone, as I felt that any eye contact was awkward eye contact. Social media goes to a deeper

level than just avoiding interaction, though—it takes a stab right at our self-confidence. Scrolling through Instagram and seeing beautiful people in beautiful places, wondering why we don’t look like that or have that life. Snapchat is no better. One can find oneself lost in looking at stories any given night and wondering why they weren’t invited or why they don’t do anything like that. These are the questions that our generation faces in a way that no past one has. Our deepest insecurities are put into our back pockets, and the worst part is that we need it. We need our phones like we’ve never needed anything else ever before. We can’t be without it. We can’t go a day without our phones, and even saying a day, that seems like far too long. When we’re apart, we crave it, and when we’re together, we don’t put it down. When did phones become the equivalent of people? I really enjoyed my time away from social media. It took me a while at first to stop looking at my phone so

often, but once I did, it felt freeing. I found myself making more eye contact, and talking to new people. I also found that I took a lot less pictures—as I had nowhere to “post” them—which allowed for me to fully enjoy experiences for what they were, instead of just documenting them for other people. I got my social media back on the last day of school last year. I thought I was changed and I could have social media while also not spending too much time on my phone and keeping up my human interactions. That was sadly not the case. Social media came back along with all my old habits, and I was once again a slave to Apple and its apps. This new generation has had it pounded into them that addiction is bad. Cigarette PSAs are on constant

rerun—they’re bad for you, they’re addicting. People talk about addictions as such a serious topic because they are, but what people don’t realize is we’re all addicted to our phones. We can’t go without them. We freak out if we don’t have them, and even after going to rehab, there is always a chance of a relapse.

Dress codes force conformity, but are uniforms better? Where we should fall on a spectrum of crop tops to Catholic School uniforms


nyone who has attended a school with a dress code has some kind of horror story about it. I received a written warning because my shorts broke school policy by having a pattern. It wasn’t that they were too short or anything— they just had elephants on them. A friend did lunch Anna Holt detention, not for any normal Staff Reporter reason, but because her shirt was too long. Other instances are worse. Detentions, dismissal, suspensions, barred from school dances, the list goes on. Dress code violations and school overreactions are par for the high school course. We’ve all seen the Twitter timelines up in arms about some kid sent home for collarbones or the kids forced to cut their hair on loop on the news. It feels like with dress codes we sign away our right to self-expression. We all know the opinions on it: sexist, demeaning, gender specific, distracting. To boil it down, dress codes suck. And look, I get it. This is not a hot new take on the dress code controversy. I think we can all agree that strict dress codes are ridiculous. Thankfully, ours is so lenient it almost borders on non-existent. We can get away with almost anything because the official dress code is so vague. As long as it’s not ‘overly revealing or disruptive’ or presenting ‘health and safety problems,’ your outfit is good to go. Now, I’m not trying to be overly difficult here, and coming from high school prep central, is that really

the way we want to go? Yeah, it’s awesome that you can wear what you want and not get in trouble for it, but shouldn’t we have some kind of standard? Think about it this way: some food service places have posted signs. No shirt, no shoes, no service. If you can’t buy frozen yogurt in your super totally cute outfit, should you be able to go to math class?

I’m not trying to criticize anyone here. If you think you look cute, you do you. But sometimes, it just feels like there’s no room for modesty. We all agree that strict dress codes are out of the question. But what about uniforms, with the stereotypical white button downs and all plaid everything and loafers? Why not give those a shot? I’m not saying we should exchange the “wear whatever you want” rules for the buttoned up professional, but I think school uniforms get a bad rap. Let me explain. How long does it take you to figure out what you’re going to wear to school? Is it a split second choice or a carefully thought out decision? Is it just whatever’s clean or something specifically picked out? How much time does it take? With a uniform, it’s easy! I don’t mean to sound like a commercial here. But look at all the merits! You know exactly what to wear everyday. You don’t ever have to worry about not having the “right clothes” to fit in with everybody else. There’s no fancy brand names or trends that you have to keep up with. Everyone is on an equal playing field. No one has cooler clothes than someone else, you’re just all wearing unflattering plaid. It’s equality. There are some who believe that uniforms can positively impact their schools. The National Association of Elementary School Principals conducted a survey and 86 percent believed uniforms had a significant, positive impact on




January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

George Orwell and the language of partisanship

The state of language in America’s political discourse has a disturbing literary parallel



Trump’s Russia paranoia is terrifying” to formulate their conclusions for them? Or take Trump himself. Many of Trump’s supporters were drawn to his unique habit of forgoing erudite and obfuscatory language in his speeches, but Trump’s simple articulation of ideas and promises that require complexity and nuance to have any basis in reality has made the public political dialogue frustrating and ruinous. Why should people devote their time and energy to listening to complicated and insightful debates between politicians when politics can be as simple as “building a wall and making Mexico pay for it”? Already this mindset has warped the language of the political extremes. The partisan divide will only increase as our language reflects the polarization of our politics and nuanced and subversive ideas are drowned out by buzzwords. There is a vocabulary specific to the American alt-right: words like “cuck,” “snowflake,” “triggered.” And there is a vocabulary specific to the extreme of the American left, too: words like “Nazi,” “problematic,” and, of course, “deplorable.”

people hear the word “Orwellian,” many readily conjure up images of surveillance cameras and Oscar Zahner secret police. Political But for all Correspondent its cultural significance and its inescapability in political shorthand, the more subtle oppression described by George Orwell’s “1984” is often overlooked: the oppression of thought through the butchering of language.

Media consumption


he media we consume offers countless modern examples of how language shapes our thinking. Take, for instance, these excerpts from two purportedly objective reports on the resignation of Democratic Senator Al Franken due to allegations of sexual assault. The first comes from reporter Matthew Rozsa of, a news website that tends to err on the side of the political left. “Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced Thursday that he is going to resign from his office within the coming weeks—while acknowledging that at least two prominent Republican politicians are not being held to the same standard as himself.” Contrast this with the article published on Breitbart, a news website that usually errs to the side of the political right, from reporter Sean Moran. “Franken then turned his attention to President Donald Trump and Alabama’s senatorial candidate Judge Roy Moore who have both denied accusations of sexual assault and misconduct against them.” The difference is subtle, but you can imagine how readers of the different news sources would internalize the information they’ve been given to form contrasting conclusions. The Salon article’s use of the word “acknowledging” implies a veracity in Franken’s remarks about a double standard between Democrats and Republicans, while the Breitbart article describes Franken as “turning his attention,” arguably carrying the connotation that Franken is trying to divert the spotlight from his own allegations. It’s not particularly extreme or

Detriment to conversation

T obvious, but this seemingly pedestrian example provides an interesting insight into how political biases affect the nuance with which we use language. It’s the subtleties in the words we use that make our ideas whole, articulable and arguable.

Effects of crude language


o what happens when language begins to lose its nuance? Orwell took this question to its terrifying moral extremes in “1984” with the government of Oceania’s invented language: Newspeak. Newspeak is functionally very similar to English, but qualifiers and adjectives are cheapened to the point where language is basic, practical and functional, nothing more. For instance, the word “phenomenal” would be translated into Newspeak as “double-plus-good,” while the word “appalling” would be translated as “double-plus-ungood.” The tyranny of such a language is that it crushes subversive ideas, because the language is not mature

enough for new ideas to even be articulated. More terrifying still is the reality that the cheapening of language doesn’t have to be the result of a tyrannical government forcibly rooting out modern English. The cheapening of language and the subsequent loss of nuanced ideas is a societal problem that can have many different catalysts. It’s difficult to examine the state of political discourse in America without seeing evidence of an abandonment of nuance. You can see it in the immense popularity of heavily partisan media and explanatory journalism. People seek out media that implies, often overtly, how they should react to and internalize a story. Why should someone read The Washington Post’s pages-long story on the complicated implications of Trump’s relationship with Putin, “Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked,” when they could read CNN’s short, comparatively nuance-free commentary on said article, this time titled, “This story on

hese words don’t foster meaningful debate. These words shut down debate. These words turn productive discussion into contentious shouting matches. But people gravitate towards these words because they make politics refreshingly simple. They make the news easier to internalize, easier to digest. Liberals and conservatives alike are creating their own languages, their own Newspeaks and isolating themselves from the world of nuance and the world of complexity. The reality is that our nation is finding itself at a crisis of language, a time when productive political discussion is a dire necessity. Our nation needs a restoration of decorum to the political discourse. All I feel that I can ask is that you go forward with a wariness of oversimplified language, with a distaste for the buzzwords that have come to define our national dialogue and a readiness to encounter ideas and nuances that may make you uncomfortable. Otherwise we will gravitate, and continue to gravitate, towards the exact same trap that George Orwell described as one of the more subtle carcinogens to a healthy society. Otherwise, we’ll all be speaking Newspeak.


January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

CONT. FROM PAGE 15 peer pressure and 64 percent believed they helped stop bullying. But that’s just the opinions of a few elementary school principals. What’s the conclusive research proving the impact of uniforms? The fact is, there’s isn’t any. In his 2004 book, “The School Uniform Movement and What It Tells Us About American Education”, author David Brunsma

concludes that there is “no empirical research conducted to assess the effectiveness of school uniforms on student behavior and educational outcomes.” Some say there’s no significant impact, others say there’s actually a negative impact. So why the conflicting opinions? This all might just be more about what they symbolize as opposed to just being clothes. They might make students look more professional, but unless they’re actually proven to do

anything, they’re just another kind of clothes. Clothes are still a form of selfexpression. How you wear your clothes matters just as much as what you wear. Dress codes violate that. They limit who you can be in front of others. Uniforms do something similar, but instead of limiting you, they set you free. When you don’t have to worry about what you wear, everything is a little bit easier. After all, they are just clothes.



me disappointed. While it gets the job done and is never really bad, the movie would have benefited from a more eye-catching visual style. However, this isn’t a movie that needs to look stunning in order to succeed and everything else is well done, especially the hilariously over the top, but still believable acting from James Franco. Despite the visuals leaving much to be desired, “The Disaster Artist” answers the question of how this bafflingly inept movie was created, and reveals the heartwarming twist behind the answer.

Where will your vision take you? Beomyoung Sohn (MFA 2012)

Transfer to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and join a community of peers who reshape the visual landscape. APPLY BY JANUARY 15 CLASSES BEGIN FALL 2018 MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE SAIC ADMISSIONS | 312.629.6100 | |



CONTINUED FROM PG.12 These inequalities are especially glaring by today’s standards, but it is hard to determine whether the differences in the Boys’ and Girls’ Associations were due to active perpetration of oppression or passive conformity to societal standards of that age. It is inaccurate to judge history by present-day standards because ideas of morality are constantly changing. Ballard was still a logging and shingle town in the 1920s, and there were very prominent differentiations between income-based classes. The Norwegian immigrants who worked at the shingle mills and fishing organizations were very poor, and there were innumerable differences in available resources between the workers of the lower class and the people occupying higher-paying management and business positions. Racial covenants prevented many people of color from living in Ballard at this time. “This part of town had a racial covenant on most of the properties, where the deed to the house would say ‘no blacks or no non-whites,’ and many, if not most of the deeds for the properties of the city of Seattle had that on them,”

MacDougall said. Redlining intensified racial separation by making it nearly impossible for black families to buy a house or get a loan from the bank to buy a house in Ballard. Real estate agents would tell black clients that there was nothing available in Ballard, but would show them houses in the Central District. Bankers wouldn’t grant loans to them for anywhere except the Central District. “There were ways to kind of group people, and that was done here,” said MacDougall, “so you know Ballard has suffered that as well.”

January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA) While we’ve come a long way from the intensity of racial oppression and gender inequality, the problems Frazier’s journal hints at still play a part in Seattle life. “We still have wealth differentials that are somewhat impacted by factors such as race, such as generational poverty, such as generational educational levels and enrichment opportunities,” MacDougall said. Women now occupy high executive positions, but there is still a gender wage gap that is much wider for women of color. Racial covenants and redlining are now illegal, but their long-term presence had lasting effects on the racial divisions in Seattle. “I think people here at Ballard are relatively inclusive and welcoming of each other, but I think that there’s not a great deal of understanding of various cultures,” MacDougall said. “I think the northwest corner

of the city can be kind of insular.” However, we can’t condemn Ballard as being full of problems. We have work to do, but ignoring how far we have come is an injustice to the hard work people have put in for decades to improve our city and neighborhood. Numerous clubs and programs work towards equality and justice, and everyday students and teachers work to improve our school and our city. “We’ve made enormous progress just in my lifetime, and yes, we can blame people who are knowingly and consciously racist or trying to maintain these separations because they’re ignorant, and they’re supporting their own ignorance,” MacDougall said. “I tell people as often as I can that diversity is the glory of this country.”

January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)



SATIRE: The Real Housewives of Magnolia Deborah here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Magnolia’s elite. The Real Housewives of Magnolia is a new show on Brava, produced in Seattle, WA. This is the pilot episode in which Deborah recounts the events of the annual PTA elections...

11/7/17 8:25 p.m. Magnolia Mommy Blog


oday’s PTA election was appalling. Jennifer still can’t get over the fact that Sharon is the president and Tamra won’t accept Pam and Carol’s relationship. Like, come on, it’s 2017! Don’t act like you haven’t tried it, Tamra. Anyways, the final results were atrocious. I had to pop three Xans because of the migraine I had from all the screaming. Let me tell you about it. So it was around 10:00 in the morning, Leesa was only on her third mimosa, which is way behind schedule for her. We, the PTA moms, were setting up for the big election. No, not the presidential or mayoral. It was the biggest election of the year: the PTA Board Election. Not one election has happened where there wasn’t a few… mis encounters; or a vulgar display of alcoholism and homophobia. The previous board members had been Sharon as president, a position held for three years. I, Deborah, had been vice president to Sharon for the same amount of time. Leesa was the new treasurer and Barbara was secretary for as long as I can remember, she’s been around the block a few times. So after all the chairs were set up and the podium was erect near the front of the room, I set out the ballot boxes. I could feel Tamra watching me whenever I was within five feet of them. Everybody knows that she wants to be on the board but no one will vote for her because it’s impossible to have a conversation with her without her mentioning her southern roots. Fast forward to 6:30 in the evening and almost everyone has arrived. Of course, Leesa is wearing a dress I’d wear to a frat party in 1985 (is it even fashionable to wear so little?) Tamra was wearing a dress any god-loving man would find sacrilegious (two words: camo sparkles). The rest of us were dressed normal in our Ann Taylor cardigans and Coach pantsuits. The meeting began with Sharon giving her usual spiel about community, togetherness and a few jokes about wine. “Alright, enough funny business. Let’s get into the

voting, shall we?” Each candidate came up, gave their speech, and sat down in the chairs on stage. We started from least important to most, secretary to president. “I’ll be a great secretary because… well… I just love my kids so much. They’re my whole life. Joann Fabrics 14:78. Soccer mama. ;-P.” How she managed to say ‘;-P’ out loud, none of us know. Regardless, she did not win. Next, Catherlyn Bryce, then Martha Hymn (yes, she did change her last name to Hymn,) and the last before things went wild: Emmerloo Westnorth, whose speech was just her singing about the rain for five minutes. Finally, everyone cheered as our “favorite” mom came up to the podium, Sharon. “Now, now, settle down,” she cooed. I rolled my eyes but clapped along with everyone else. I had my plan ready, Sharon was going down tonight. But, little did I know someone else had the same idea. “I know how redundant it is for me to be up here but, alas, I’m sure I can count on all of your vo-” “Why?” Tamra piped up, looking like she just burnt her biscuits on Thanksgiving Day. “Why is it soooo redundant for you to be up there, Sharon?” “Excuse me?” She says, faking a smile to the confused crowd. “You really think that you’re going to win this time, Sharon? Think again. I’m taking over this PTA now, b*tch.” My heart stuttered to a stop. No, this couldn’t be it. I couldn’t let this happen now, not when it would ruin my chances. I had to move quickly and did the only thing I could. “Jesus Tamra,” I exclaimed. The surrounding women looked scandalized at my use of his name in such context. “Are we going to have this outburst now?” Tamra’s face began to purple and she gained an ugly look on her face, almost as though she found out her son hadn’t made the lacrosse team.

“Deborah, what are you doing? I thought--” People’s eyes were shifting back and forth, you could tell they loved the little drama being brought on. “LADIES! I’m sorry for their behavior, everyone. Both of them had one too many margaritas if you know what I mean.” Tamra and I look at each other, the wild look of murder in our eyes. But not for each other. We had a common goal. In my mind’s eye how I wished to leap from my seat, Tamra’s weak spray tanned body by my side and claw at Sharon’s face till you could no longer see her Botox. But I resisted, I resisted the magnifying urge to destroy this primped up Magnolia house wife and instead glared at her shriveled body. Thinking back on the events, I told you the outcome of the elections was disastrous, straight from the beginning you could feel the tension thick in the air right till the end where it frothed over. “Welp,” Sharon smiled. “It seems now that the drama is over, I should declare that I am running for president of the PTA because I know I’m the best candidate for the job.

With the newest vice president by my side, a hopeful Martha Hymn...” Yes you heard her, she was telling everyone that she was kicking my butt out the door. There would be no one to endorse me vice president. “We will bring the students at our school above the others, we will improve funds for sports, clubs, and I guess some education. After all what are we putting them here for?” The people exploded into applause, she flashed her bright pearls for a minute long enough to be deemed grotesque. The final results being Martha as vice, Sharon president, and some no names from Queen Anne as secretary and treasurer. Watching today’s elections could be compared to that of the fall of Rome. Democracy burned and so did the reputation of our school in that room. From now on until those impostors are off of our PTA thrones I say rebel. Rebel against the tyranny that is our PTA and bring back the peace to our community. This is Deborah signing off.



January 10, 2018 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)



“I myself eat imperfect fruits all the time” “Dog first, country second” “I just ate a whole loaf of bread in Target”

“Voice cracks can kill you. They can end your career”

“Who is the most sexually frustrated Spongebob character?”

“‘Does this have nuts in it?’ “That's an orange.”

“I want my candles to smell like you”

“She lives in Queen Anne and everyone knows it!”

“The next thing on my agenda is a yellow shirt”

“I’m not a huge Velcro enthusiast” “I’m going entirely vegan except for bugs”



ow, it’s a war on squash. Earlier this morning, in a press conference, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the President’s new legislative agenda. After derailing Obamacare and nominating conservative judges for lower court positions, Trump is making every effort to eradicate the impact former president Barack Obama had on this country. Now, President Trump has turned his attention to Michelle. Starting by ripping out Michelle Obama’s iconic White House Vegetable Garden and then refusing to eat the vegetables served to him from the White House kitchen, Trump has crossed a new line: by banning all root vegetables across the nation. “I don’t care about vegetables, especially root ones,” said President Trump, while eating a Big Mac in bed. Root vegetables are the latest in the long line of things that the President has banned. The President has referred to this as the “Squash Ban”, although he insists that it’s “not really a ban.” This “Squash Ban” will cause definite harm to the farmers of America. Some will have to close down their farms. Others are planning on switching from root vegetables to other kinds of vegetables.

Anna Holt

Staff Reporter

One farmer said he would pull his support of the President if he introduced this agenda. Others are planning on protesting or mobilizing militias. Who would have thought taking away a man’s rutabagas would mobilize Middle America more than taking away healthcare or raising taxes or provoking a nuclear war? The President has been made aware of the fact that squash is not a kind of root vegetable. When he was told, he took his special set of crayons and wrote out a tweet calling for a recategorizing of root vegetables. Following this announcement, it is expected to see a decline in production of root vegetables, but an increase in public need. Part of this new agenda includes fining grocery stores and farmers markets for continuing to sell root vegetables. Pushback is expected to be fully squashed.

“McClure is like a different country”

“And then he told me I couldn’t eat celery anymore”

“Nah fam I’m running on fake chicken nuggets and tic tacs”

Talisman, Jan. 10, 2018  

issue #3

Talisman, Jan. 10, 2018  

issue #3