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the student newspaper of Ballard High School



Student survey results p.10


Jayapal replacement decision


Boys and girls basketball victories


Student with autism shares his story


Talisman staff picks: best books

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January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)





M i s s i o n Statement


Rachel Halmrast

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.

Managing Editor Jackson Croy

News Editor

Alison Aiken

Sports Editor

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

Sam Heikell

Fe a t u r e s E d i t o r

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.

Eleanor Dudley


Claire Moriarty

Copy Editor

Katie Read Kearney


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


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.

Corrections The Growing Achievement Gap was written by Chris Barrett and Ella Andersen, not Elsa Anderson. There were also issues with citation in the article explaining the Electoral College.

Cover design by Jackson Croy and Rachel Halmrast


Ethan Fritzberg


Miles Andersen

Online E d i t o r

Ana Marbett

Letters to the Editor


Jackson Croy

Opinions Editor

Advertising P o l i c y

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.


Brandon Griffith


A place in the dam

n a school of over 1,800 students, it’s hard not to see at least one new face every day. We pass through the halls hundreds of times, following our familiar paths, without ever managing to make a connection with every face around us. And yet, we manage to create a community of ourselves, of a group of almost complete strangers. We walk the same halls, we struggle through the same classes, and we face many of the same daily issues, regardless of our diverse interests and backgrounds. A sense of community can come from the simplest of similarities, and has the power to tie a mass of people together. At a sports game, our students cheering in the bleachers may not all know

one another, or even the players bearing their colors on the court. But we cheer just the same. It’s our team. For that one game at least, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, at that moment in time, they represent the entire community. It’s only right that we should offer them all the support we can muster in return. This doesn’t just go for sports, however. There are groups of students at Ballard that are accomplishing amazing things in our name, and who deserve the same level of recognition, but are often easier to tune out. It’s true that the bonds we form in high school may not last forever, but they are undeniably real. Whether it’s through a sports team, an academy or club or any other small group of like-minded

students, finding our “place” can lead us to our “people.” Those who think like us and believe what we believe, who will support us through the hard days and share their best days with us. These groups can bring students together that would otherwise never have met, and foster the kinds of high school relationships that may last even past graduation. School pride is a complicated concept. It’s not easily measured, and it doesn’t take the same form for every person. It can take conscious effort or occur somewhat naturally. It’s not something that’s always at the forefront of our minds, but our need to belong is embedded deep in our nature. High school is our first opportunity to find the place that we belong.


Alex Putnam Miles Whitworth

We b s i t e Te a m

Gwen Lawson Ismael Jones

Staff Artists

Emma Obrieton Fletcher Anderson Brandon Griffith James Johnson

R e p o r t e r s

Elsa Anderson Ella Andersen Nolan Baker Clay Cantrell Chris Barrett Julia Drossler Olivia Burdick Graciela Gomez Oscar Zahner Owen Levandoski Chris Holland Melina Monlux Keely Carolan Jake Rehfeldt Lily Russell

A d v i s e r

Michael Smith



January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

A portrait of grace

The end of eight years under a true inspiration and his family


ever in my lifetime will I forget the day I watched President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

I had only a vague understanding of values and be ready to defend them. But defending them doesn’t mean that moment’s historical significance, lecturing to deaf ears and blocking and not merely because of the color of out the voices of those around me. It our new president’s skin, but because doesn’t mean renouncing my country’s of the values he stands for, the president as not my own. America he believes in and the man I’ve learned to believe in my that he is. generation. To go forth with fire and I watched his wife who embodies wholeheartedness. To see the good strength, in her iconic Jason Wu dress, and I watched them slow dance, and be willing to exemplify it daily. To find my voice and what it stands for. and like the rest of this sentimental I’ve fallen in love with journalism nation, my heart was touched. —something I swore I’d never do Because their love is like their hope, because of my family connection—not undeniable and unflappable. because it’s a part Fast forward eight years and I’ve learned to believe of my genetic code, but because my the day of the year in my generation. To desire to do good is the same but this girl is not. go forth with fire and and ignite change, surpassed my I’ve learned wholeheartedness. To has fears, insecurities the importance see the good and be and boundaries. of this night. For the moment I’ve learned the willing to exemplify it journalism is my necessity of voting, of democracy daily. To find my voice platform of choice. I cannot say and of humanity. and what it stands for. where I’ll be in I now feel the four years, on yet another blustery urgency that comes with youth. November night. I feel the hope that resides in this I cannot say what I will have country, that radiates from our very learned by then, what I will have seen core. and done. Another night I’ll never forget is I am afraid of what those years in watching the victory of another man, between will bring, of the challenges one who has done despicable deeds and said words I can’t fathom allowing they will carry. But my hope and faith are stronger than my fear. into my reality. But reality it will I will never stop being thankful to become on January 20, 2017. grow up with the president and first His victory is one I cannot forget, lady that I did. for it taught me to never sit on the I have seen the change possible sidelines again, to never accept defeat when capable and compassionate —and not because the candidate who shared my political views didn’t win — individuals lead their country and community. but because humanity didn’t. Today all I can do is take solace in In the time elapsed from election to hope, have faith in fellow humans, election I’ve changed. find my determination and jump into I’ve learned today is the day to do action. the things that feel impossible. I hope you’re there with me. I’ve learned that quitting is always an option, one you must never accept. I’ve learned that unity for our great nation must be the highest priority This editorial is written by on anyone’s political agenda. And junior Eleanor Dudley, The that unity starts in our classrooms, Talisman’s Features Editor. hallways, communities, streets, Eleanor enjoys travelling, households and hearts. I’ve learned I must trust in my drawing and cooking in her strong foundation, and know my free time.


January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

s w e N iefs Br


Seattle councilwoman receives backlash for anti-Trump protests Kshama Sawant organizes protests after Election Day

MLK MLK Assembly Assembly cancelled cancelled due due to to complications complications


dministration has announced that there will not be a Martin Luther King Jr. assembly this week due to complications finding an appropriate speaker. Instead, teachers will be conducting a 20-minute DAM time lesson this Friday the 13. “We’re totally open to feedback to see if [the discussion] is effective or not… hopefully [the discussion will] go deeper in a classroom of just thirty.” said Assistant Principal Carrie Burr.

Big Big earthquake earthquake soon soon to to hit hit Pacific Pacific North North West West


n 1700, a devastating event known as the Cascadia earthquake hit the Pacific Northwest region. The affected area stretched from what is now British Columbia, Canada, to Northern California, and the 8.9-magnitude force caused a tsunami in Japan. Records show that the PNW is due for another earthquake like Cascadia, since historically they occur every 300500 years. Nancy Hirsh, Director of the Northwest Energy Coalition, urges people to prepare.

Bucky’s Home Home for for the the Bucky’s Holidays Holidays


ucky’s Home for the Holidays, an annual giving campaign run by ASB, recieved many donations this year. Eleven families participated, while money was donated to an additional seventeen families. Second period classes came together to get presents for families.

Seattle Councilwoman, Kshama Sawant, leads protest against “notorious slumlord” Carl Haglund in 2015. Haglund had been attempting to double his tenant’s rent. Sawant teamed up with the Tenants Union of Washington to help the tenants protest the unfair rent. (Photo courtesy of


ity Councilwoman Kshama Sawant has come under fire since calling for peaceful protests in Seattle and a nationwide shutdown on the day of President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. “I appeal to you, today at… 4 p.m. Westlake [Park], let’s have a massive protest and tell America we do not accept a racist agenda,” Sawant said at Councilwoman a city hall press Kshama Sawant conference shortly after Election Day. “And let’s make sure on Inauguration Day… [we] do a nationwide shutdown, and occupy inauguration.” Hundreds did arrive at Westlake later that evening, where the councilwoman doubled down on her call for protests. A video of the speech was posted on the internet. The following morning, Sawant’s office reportedly received over 200 calls before 9:30 a.m. objecting to Sawant’s assertions. “Go back to India, b*tch,” one e-mail read. “I am tired of being shamed because I’m a white male. You

Chris Barrett Staff Reporter

automatically think I’m a racist. How about you go the f*ck back to India or wherever you came from?” “The sort of thing that’s happening is to be expected,” Sawant said in a Q13 News interview when asked if she anticipated this reaction. “What has happened now with Trump’s election is not that the majority of America has turned racist, but what has happened is that Trump has given a mandate—a certain acceptance and emboldening of those who are racist—and those are the people who are calling my office.” A petition to remove Sawant from office currently has over 19,000 signatures. “She’s using her platform to incite violence and call for protests and riots,” reads the petition’s accompanying letter. “Our elected officials should be helping and bringing people together in our communities, not promoting hate towards our democracy.” Sawant maintains that her comments and right to protest are protected. “I have never condoned any kind of violence, and kind of vandalism, any kind of property damage. I think what we are facing, though… is that there’s already been a surge in hate crimes, bully, attacks [since Trump’s election].”

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January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Rebecca Saldaña appointed to state Senate

Director of Puget Sound Sage will fill Senator Pramila Jayapal’s vacant seat Oscar Zahner Political Correspondent



decision made by Seattle City Council on Dec. 12 was one of the most difficult the council had made in a long time: whether to replace a female IndianAmerican state senator with another woman of color, or a white man. The County Council is nonpartisan in name, but every council member is affiliated with a major party. Six of the council members are democrats, three are republican. When a state senator needs to be replaced, the local committee officers for the party and the district of the former senator recommend three replacements for the county council to consider. Historically, the council has confirmed the first choice of the committee officers, in what is called a “rubber stamp” process. In a normal council session, the council members would tend to honor the rubber stamp precedent, and the process would go unchallenged. But the replacement of Jayapal had another dimension that made the process more difficult. The legislative district in question, Washington’s 37th district, is the most diverse district in the county. It encompasses downtown, Beacon Hill, the Central District, Rainier Beach and Renton. Jayapal brought a unique perspective from the 37th district, as she was the only woman of color in the state senate. When Jayapal left her seat in the state senate to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, she personally recommended Rebecca Saldaña, another woman of color, to fill her vacancy. Saldaña has also received the endorsement of Washington State’s senior senator, Patty Murray. The 37th district democrats recommended Rory O’Sullivan, a public

housing attorney and advocate, to fill the seat. Rory O’Sullivan was also the former chairman of the 37th district democrats. Saldaña was the democrat’s number two recommendation. The decision caused somewhat of an uproar in the small-scale world of local politics on the grounds that Washington’s only woman of color state senator, as well as the senator from one of Washington’s most racially diverse districts, was going to be replaced by a white man. The council Rebecca Saldaña marches with community members for her organization, Puget Sound Sage. PSS is an members received e-mails organization that promotes creating a change for “growing communities where all families thrive.” Saldaña from two camps: those is the Executive Director of PSS. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Saldaña) who stood by the decision their interviews, the weight of the committee officers the council at odds with the political climate that had of the racial dynamic hung in and believed that it was precinct party officers has yet enveloped the issue of the air. The council seemed to the decision that was most to be seen, but the decision Jayapal’s replacement made agree that the issue rested on representative of the people was certainly a rebuke of the the issue unique enough whether they were committed of the district, and those rubber-stamp precedent. that the council broke their to diverse representation who believed that a woman In any case, the State of traditional acceptance of the or whether they believed of color was best suited to Washington once again has a rubber-stamp process. The the political precedent was continue the unique voice woman of color in its senate, motion to confirm O’Sullivan adequately representative of that Jayapal had in the and the power of 37th district failed, and the subsequent the people. Washington State Senate. democrat organization has motion to confirm Saldaña While the political Meanwhile, the committee been rebuffed. passed unanimously. precedent had historically process of the 37th district Whether the decision puts won out, the racial and has come under criticism for not being inclusive, to the point where a lawsuit has been filed alleging that the democrats manipulated the vote through systemic ethnic discrimination to prevent Saldaña from winning the seat, and to put their former chairman in the state senate. The lawsuit has not yet gone through, and the allegations are unproven, but the fact that the lawsuit exists serves as an indication that the political process isn’t universally trusted by the district it represents. The presence of these factors was inescapable as the council called forward the three candidates. During


January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)


Basketball programs take home hardware Girls win California tournament and boys win in Victoria Melina Monlux



ver the break, the girls Staff Reporter basketball team traveled to California to compete against schools from across the country in the Surf N’ Slam tournament in San Diego. “We discussed some goals for the tournament a little before we left. We wanted to play our best, obviously, but we also wanted to focus on team bonding and really putting in effort to get to know people we weren’t as close with,” junior Trinity Cho said. The program had participated in this tournament once before under the current coaching staff four years ago, but this year, the girls experienced far more success. “We ended up winning all our games, so we won our division for the whole tournament, which was just a really fun moment that gave us something to be proud of for the rest of the season,” Cho said. The ladies played three games to clinch the title, starting with a matchup to open the tournament against a team from Hanover, Vermont. “We were playing against teams we didn’t really know much about, which was a bit unusual for us. We normally scout the teams really well before we play them,” sophomore Kate Rutledge said. It may have shown a bit in the first game, which was close. “To be honest, I don’t think we played our best in the first game. It was really close, and we only ended up winning by five,” Cho said. The girls learned from their mistake in the first game and kicked it up a gear for the second. “We came out with so much energy for the second game, and our defense was really strong[...] it felt really good to win that one, because last year we had a ton of games where we were in those same situations and lost. I think [Coach] Tom and [Coach] Sara were really proud of us for being able to push through like that,” Cho said. After the second game, the team advanced to the finals, and came away victorious. Much of that success, according to players and coaches alike, came as a result of a stellar performance from sophomore Kate Rutledge, who ended up receiving MVP of the tournament. “Kate played very well the whole tournament. She scored double digits throughout, and was very consistent. In our first game especially, I don’t think we would have won if it wasn’t for her,” Cho said. Rutledge received the award unexpectedly during the ceremony, after the team received the plaque for their victory. “Getting MVP felt really good, because I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was happy about it, but I was more proud of our team for winning,” Rutledge said. In addition to all the success on the court, the team also accomplished their goal of bonding through team activities such as going to the beach, the San Diego Zoo and Knott’s Berry Farm. “I think we will definitely take what we learned in California home. We learned how to play more as a team, through getting to know each other better. I’m expecting to see much more unity on the court in the coming games,” Rutledge said.



he boys basketball team crossed the border this break to participate in the UVic Alumni Invitational in Victoria, BC. They went into the tournament with a competitive mindset, which led them to the first place trophy. “We just really wanted to win, because we play in the Metro League, and we face a lot of really hard it was cool to be able to prove that we are a good team and are worthy of playing in that league,” senior captain Simon Czyzewski said. But playing in a different country brought its own challenges, and the boys had to readjust quickly. “For most of us, it was our first time going to Canada. It was a pretty unique experience getting to play a worldwide sport in a different country than the United States. They have very similar rules but some of them are different, so we kind of had to relearn some of Top: The girls basketball team huddles before a home game earlier this year. They curthe rules of basketball rently hold a record of 6-6. (Photo courtesy of Shingle Archives) and adapt to their style Bottom: The boys basketball team celebrates their championship victory at the UVic of play,” Czyzewski said. Alumni Invitational tournament in Victoria, BC. (Photo courtesy of Christian J. Stewart) Some of these varia“All of our sets were working and putting back shots,” Czyzetions included a limit of three for us and that’s why we were wski said. people to rebound on free throws able to score so easily, because The game was tight the majorand goaltending rules that enable we just followed the plays and ity of the time, until Ballard was players to hit away the ball if it were able to get good shots. We able to pull ahead with a 13-0 run rests on the rim for a designated also started to pressure full court in the beginning of the fourth amount of time. There are no which helped us because we quarter. five-second calls, the key is much jumped the teams a lot “They were getting really fruslarger and the three-point line of fast break layups,” Czyzewski trated, because they weren’t used was college. The time is also said. to losing, and started getting mad different, with four 10-minute Although the team was able to at each other and playing selfish, quarters making for 40-minute win by a significant margin in all and we were able to take advangames as opposed to 32-minute three games (defeating Lambrick tage of that,” Czyzewski said. games. Park by 21, Walnut Grove by 14 The boys then moved on to The boys team was able to foand Harry Ainlay by 28), the sectheir final game against Harry cus in nonetheless, and win three ond game against Walnut Grove Ainlay, who they defeated 87-59. games for the tournament title. proved to be a challenge. Senior captains Simon Czyzewski “We played really good team “They were continuing an and Valentin Boyanov made the basketball while we were there. undefeated season, and were the UVic all tournament team, and Our guards Fresh and Shay did number one team in their provsenior captain Shay Curcuruto a good job of getting it moving ince in Western Canada. They was named the tournament’s and sharing it. Val and Thomas had two 6’8”/6’9” guys that we most outstanding player. had really good games inside,” had to really box out and we were The team is looking forward to Czyzewski said. struggling in the first half because finishing strong the remainder of This success can also be attribthey were just getting rebounds the season. uted to good execution.



January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Created by: Ethan Fritzberg, Fletcher Anderson, and Sam Heikell

Mount Baker

Stevens Pass

Overall, Mt. Baker is probably the best place to ski out of these four options, but being 90 minutes east of Bellingham, it is the furthest of them all. If you can make the journey there, you are in for a treat. Mt. Baker holds the world record for the most snowfall in one season with 1,140 inches in 1999. With solid terrain, a decent terrain park and a big mountain, Mt. Baker proves to be worth the drive.

Stevens Pass is the second closest mountain to Seattle with a drive of only an hour and a half. They receive a solid amount of annual snowfall and have much better snow than Snoqualmie. Also with a big mountain, solid terrain park, challenging runs and a beautiful backcountry, Stevens is the likely favorite of BHS students.

Snoqualmie Pass & Alpental

Crystal Mountain Crystal is roughly the same distance away from Seattle as Stevens, and they share many similarities. They both have a big mountain with beginner to expert terrain, excellent snow and the highest elevation level in the area. However, they have pricey lift tickets at $74 for an adult, and it lacks a real terrain park, only having a couple rails.

“I like Stevens the best because it has similar terrain to Crystal but at the same time it has the chill vibe of Snoqualmie. Mt. Baker is also a really fun mountain but it’s way to far away.” -Sam Coburn (12)

“Stevens has the best all around terrain and an awesome terrain park. Snoqualmie is nice because its close but its small and is more for beginners. Stevens is just way bigger and better.” - Molyneaux Megenhardt (12)

Snoqualmie is the closest place to ski from Seattle, but that doesn’t come without its drawbacks. It is a relatively small mountain, with lower elevations and unchallenging runs. It has lower annual snowfall than the other three locations and often isn’t cold enough, leaving you with slushy snow. Nevertheless, Snoqualmie does have an excellent terrain park that many BHS students have grown to enjoy.


January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

The other side of the game I

never would have predicted that my childhood dream of playing college basketball would land me in the hospital almost Melina Monlux as much as the Staff Reporter gym. After suffering five concussions, that was certainly how it seemed. One after the other, all in the span of four years. Could have been bad luck, or my style of play, or something else entirely. But regardless of causation, the result was the end of a dream, and an unusual amount of knowledge on how the brain works for a teenage girl. I started with a general physician after my first concussion that occurred in eighth grade. It was mild, and I went through the motions of the protocol, returning to play in no time. It was just another injury, a minor bump in the road. I was back in the game with it out of my mind by the end of that same season. But for whatever reason—likely that for the majority of my career I was composed of nothing but dangling, awkward limbs and no center of gravity—the concussions kept coming back. In high school, concussions quickly became a prominent force in my life, after I suffered a blow freshman year that kept me out of school for over three weeks. The injury found its way into everything that I did, from basketball to schoolwork to simply trying to sleep at night. I had been hurt before, but this was something else entirely. When I wasn’t rebounding as quickly as expected, I was sent to see a specialist at Children’s Hospital. He was exceedingly kind and animated, and managed to bring much more enjoyment to being put through the circus act of concussion evaluations, which consists of standing on one leg, touching your finger to your nose with one eye closed trying to connect with the doctors moving target (which is usually his or her finger) and then reciting back a series of exceedingly random words that they mentioned at the beginning of it all. Dog, gold, bike, spoon, monkey, or something of the sort. He gave me the go-ahead to continue playing, but instructed me to first go through protocol at school (which consists of stationary biking for far longer than anyone would want to, then gradual steps of increasingly intense physical activity before being

cleared for play), and to be wary of returning too quickly. I went through the motions, but was far too eager to return to the game. I participated in a tournament in Arizona that summer, only four months later, when my third concussion occurred. When I returned home, I went back to the hospital, to touch my finger to my nose and stand on one leg, yet again. This concussion was mild, and probably shouldn’t have been one, but affected me so much due to my record. It was explained to me that after one suffers a concussion, they become far more susceptible to getting subsequent ones. As the number of concussions increases, so does that likelihood, generally speaking. At the end of my visit, it was concluded that I would be fine to return to play, but would have to take a test once my symptoms disappeared that would serve as a baseline in case anything happened again. Forget the impact test administered to every athlete at school. This turned out to be a four hour real-life version that consisted (once again) of various unusual physical tasks as well as mental ones, such as repeating stories, and my personal favorite, reciting the months of the year backwards. From then on, I proceeded with caution, and resolved that three was the magic number: I would never get another. This, of course, was a horribly wrong prediction. My coaches, at this point, were not going to settle solely for my hollow declarations. They wanted to see a change in my style of play. It was almost comical how we went about it, setting up rules and restrictions: no going for offensive rebounds, no layups (I was to pull up every time I got in the key), and absolutely no diving for 50-50 balls. These were not easy rules to follow. They eliminated big parts of my game, so that playing felt almost foreign. I had to stop and check myself every few minutes, and if my coach saw me getting too engrossed

in the game—thus forgetting my all important rules—she would pull me. These tactics, though I despised them for quite some time, did work for a while. I managed to stay concussion free for nearly the entire winter season. Until we played Eastside Catholic. The game was close, but we were behind. I am not particularly fond of losing. Reminiscing now, I know that I did not play smart in that game, and may have even intentionally broke my rules. I was making a pass to my best friend and post player, and it didn’t go through, so I lunged for the ball. So did she. I came out, as per usual, on the losing end of the collision, her jaw having smacked into the side of my head. I went down immediately, and was so completely out of sorts I had to be carried off the court, paraded past the boys’ team with my ponytail askew and blood dripping from my nose, and finally laid down in the training room. I don’t remember much else. This time, when I returned to my doctor, he was less certain. I was cleared initially, due to the importance basketball held for me, as well as the way in which my rebound time, or the time it took me to recover from each concussion, did not increase. That pattern would have been a major warning sign. Concussion number four took me out of school for only two weeks, but I didn’t return to basketball until the end of that summer. I spent an insane amount of time working out, trying desperately to turn my clumsy structure into something strong and solid. When I finally returned to playing, however, I was not the same. I didn’t need rules to restrict me, I was terrified. For months, every time I stepped on the court I suffered severe anxiety, and it left me crying more often than not in less than five minutes. Anytime someone came close to me, I saw them all. One, two, three, four. I felt pathetic, but I do think the fear was justified. You only get one brain (something I heard from


virtually everyone on an annoyingly consistent basis throughout those four years). At the end of that summer, I was due to return to Children’s yet again for a check up appointment. (It’s a wonder to me that I never ran into Russell Wilson). To my surprise, the doctor went back on his original decision to clear me for playing. He wanted me to get brain scans, go through the test again, and jump through various other hoops before giving me the go-ahead. I was so indignant that he went back on his word, and resolved to ignore everything he said and play, with or without clearance. My parents, on the other hand, insisted that I see one more doctor before making that decision. Concussion science, and the methods that accompany it, as I have discovered first-hand, often seem a little unorthodox. The final doctor I saw, based in Issaquah, took this to an entirely different level. He claimed that we had to work to rehabilitate my brain, and train it so as to prevent future injuries. This “training” was an intense three days during which I sat in his dark office for five hours each day and stared at a small red light that would reappear in different locations on the wall. Back and forth, it taunted me. He tested the time it took for me to focus in on the light, how quickly I could trace it back and forth, how accurately I could focus on it when it disappeared then came back again. Needless to say, it was painfully boring, and exceedingly strange. I cannot say that I felt any change other than extreme relief when it was finally over. I returned to playing basketball after those visits, and was eventually able to play, more or less, like I used to. Almost exactly a year after my fourth concussion, I got my fifth from passing out in class. I didn’t need to return to the specialist. I knew what the doctor would say. My basketball career was over. The experience, as costly, strange, and horrible as it was, has given me a glimpse into how doctors test and examine the inner-workings of the mind. I certainly do not understand it now, but maybe one day I will. Maybe one day, I will be the one in the white lab coat, telling athletes to repeat words back to me. Maybe one day, I will be able to help them, and bring a new perspective to neuroscience.

Fletcher Anderson




January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA) Designed by Rachel Halmrast and Jackson Croy

Ballard High School by the numbers


or this issue, we examined Ballard High School through the most analytical lens we could. Over the span of three weeks, we conducted an online survey and received a total of 208 responses. All the data on this page was based on that survey.

Our Interests

1857 students

945 boys


Class Sizes 2020: 511 2019: 486 2018: 437 2017: 423


Math/Science Government/Law



Business Education

teacher for every

10 students Other


say they care more about the economy


say they care more about the environment


I don't care

76% Liberal 6% Conservative Liberitarian 8% Moderate Conservative 1% Libertarian 7% Don’t care 3% Other




January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

One three

61% of seniors


37% of juniors


students smoke or consume Cannabis at least once a month

e e n o fivs haveall in nt er

of sophomores


de dd dy stu ed A r stu us othe or ugs dr

of freshmen



are extroverts


are introverts



of students consume alcohol at least once a month



of seniors

48% of juniors

of sophomores

of freshmen

Our Sexualities 76% Straight 15% Bisexual 5% Gay or Lesbian 2% Asexual

2% Other Identity

of ballard students

91% 52%

feel privileged

play a team sport



65% take AP classes


consider education an important part of their life

play a musical instrument

say they are very likely to turn their homework in on time


have committed a crime

Thanks to the class of 2018 for being our most consistent readers!


January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

‘Autism should be more famous’ Student shares his story through graphic art By Eleanor Dudley Features Editor


hose of us whose lives

aren’t touched by living with autism often struggle to find our empathy. Discrimination because of apparent differences in behavior and physical appearance is all too common. According to a United Nations human rights publication it can be a part of life for approximately 70 million people in the world who live with a type of autism. Student Jaykob Walson decided to share his story through art. In Drawing and Painting class Walson created a comic strip to tell his peers what life with autism is really like. “I just want people to start helping others with autism and be more aware of it,” Walson said. He

has struggled with people who make fun of him because of autism. “People may think our behavior is too unique and we may be likely to be bullied,” he said. The issue of discrimination against those with autism is greater than classrooms and hallways. It is a worldwide issue. During World Autism Awareness Week on April 2, 2015, United Nations human rights experts Catalina Davis and Dainius Puras stated in a speech that “Autistic persons should be recognized as the main experts on autism and on their own needs,” they said. “It is about promoting their independence and respecting their dignity.” For all students adolescence is a time of great difficulty, a time where all teenagers struggle to

work towards independence and build their confidence. Imagine the additional challenges for teenagers with autism. Walson asks his peers to think about a day where discrimination against those on the autism spectrum is long gone. Where each and every person is treated with the respect they deserve, regardless of their ability. He poses to peers the question, is autism likely to be discriminated against in the future? “I would hope the answer is no,” said Walson. When students like Walson are willing to share their story, their peers must listen. Our world is divisive and discriminatory enough, and students with autism deserve the same voice and treatment as any other human being. In fact, for Walson, “Autism should be more famous.”

1. “Before I get started, many of your don’t know the true meaning of autism. ASB or Asperger’s syndrome, or well, Autism is a disability. People with Autism have trouble communicating and sometimes can have trouble making friends.” 2. “The function of autism made them very different from other people.” 3. “They had trouble getting attention because they were antisocial.” 4. “Because of their actions they are likely to be picked on.” 5. “They are likely to not graduate from school” 6. “And they have a repetitive pattern of behavior.” 7. “After all, autism is a disability that brings hate to it.” (In order from left to right, top to bottom)

January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

The music of Lilly Corsi Student releases idiosyncratic songs


reators are everywhere. Opinions Editor Painters, poets and musicians can seem far away and even godlike at times, but they do live among us, just faces in the crowd, taking their adventures and turning them into art with practiced, gifted hands and voices. Junior Lilly Corsi—blonde, darkeyed, and an ethereal vocalist—is one of aforementioned creators. At sixteen, she has released several unique songs, including an EP, on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Corsi writes her own lyrics, and has been for years. “I think I probably started writing songs when I was in kindergarten,” she said. “You know, everybody does, how they have like a secret song book they hide under their pillow.” Corsi has worked with other artists and producers, all of whom she said have defined their own style. She tries to learn from them as she attempts to discern what she refers to as “an identified sound,” with the assistance

By Claire Moriarty

of experience and advice from friends to channel Rhianna. While she loves her craft, Corsi does not feel tied down to it. “There will be days,” she said, “when the last thing I want to do is sing. Like, I just want to sit in bed and do nothing. And I do, I have the freedom to do that. I don’t feel pressured to constantly have stuff that I’m working on.” The EP, entitled “definition,” contains five songs of Corsi’s own making. I asked her what prompted its conceptualization and was given a forthright response: “I had just gone through some shit I didn’t like and a lot of the things were definitions of how I felt.” Hence the title, and the haunting lyrical messages in each track. “It’s kind of funny for me to listen to because I go back and listen and I’m like, wow, I remember exactly how I felt when I wrote that,” she said. She writes without a set process, crafting songs as they come to her. “Sometimes the chords on the piano come first and sometimes the words come first and then I find a melody, it



just… It depends. If something happens and I feel like I need to get it out of my brain then that’s kind of where it starts sometimes.” Corsi stated that though music is not currently her top career choice, she finds it very fulfilling. “Who knows?” she said. Artist Lilly Corsi working on her EP entitled “defintion’” that was “I definitely see released on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. (Jackson Croy). it as something you necessarily master. There’s I want to keep always, always new stuff to listen to doing, but I don’t know if I would and learn and try out, which I think is make a career out of it.” really cool.” She spoke of the importance of Corsi is currently working on new feedback, and how rewarding it can music, and hopes to have another EP be. She stated that making music available before the end of this school feels good. “I’m not that good at many year. things, but apparently I’m okay at singing. And music isn’t something

Multicultural Club provides safe space for students Club creates community in which all are welcome

By Elsa Anderson Staff Reporter


n a predominantly white school in a predominantly white neighborhood, multiculturalism and inclusion is extremely important. Students need a place where they can feel safe. Members of Multicultural Club have found a community within one another. “As a club, I think our most important thing is creating a space for students of color to feel safe, especially in a predominantly white school,” one of the club’s presidents, junior Trinity Cho said. “It’s just a place to build community, and to also voice importance of racial equality, multiculturalism, and why that’s important in a school setting.” Cho joined last year after receiving an invitation from her older sister. She was also involved in making videos for Multicultural Club last year. As one of the only returning members, she is determined to build Multicultural Club into a community. “Every time we have a meeting or we meet as a club,everything is so easy,” she said. “Last year we grew really close as a committee. So the returners, there’s only three people, have been trying to create that again with a new group of people.”

Multicultural Club Co-President, Trinity Cho, shows a video from last year’s Multicultural Week at a January meeting. Members will start planning for this year’s Multicultural Week soon. (Miles Whitworth)

It seems that their efforts have been successful. “I think Multicultural Club, for me, is really about making friends and making connections with people from all different places and different backgrounds,” sophomore Marlowe Barrington said. “My favorite part is coming and seeing people that I look up to because there’s a lot of

upperclassmen that are really cool. I just like being in that space where you don’t have to worry.” Barrington enjoys going to weekly meetings where members can talk about issues that are important to them. “Usually, we just kind of get together and talk about what’s been on our minds. We listen to music and just kind of hang out, draw, play

games, do homework, and plan future meetings and events for the club.” “Our main event is Multicultural Week in February, and at the end of the week we have an all school assembly so most of our prep starting very soon will be going towards Multicultural Week,” Cho said. Last year’s assembly included performances from Folklorico (a Latino dance group), Breakdancing Club, Franklin High School’s Polynesian Club and a Kung Fu demonstration. “No matter what the setting is, comparing, for example, Ballard High School to Garfield or Franklin, multiculturalism is very important and it’s important to respect and celebrate different cultures, even if they aren’t widely represented at Ballard,” Cho said. “It’s all about discussing what’s happening in the world and embracing your culture, but at the same time, it’s a personal experience,” Barrington said. “I feel like it’s a safe space for everyone. I feel like that’s what people should know about it the most. Anyone can come and be welcome there, especially students of color.”



By Ana Marbett

January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Seattle’s best bookstores A guide to the literary corners of Seattle

Online Editor


t’s easy to underestimate the wonder of finding a favorite bookstore. That moment when the door creaks open and the smell of paper and joy fills your nostrils and a chill runs up your spine, enticing you to spend ridiculous amounts of money on books. Books are so much more than assignments for school and pages filled with facts and figures. They are voids of adjectives and verbs that open up for readers, engulfing them in a wave of characterization and plot.

Books posses the astounding ability to manufacture worlds completely detached from our own and draw you into them with perfectly sculpted phrases and sentences. As one of the most highly regarded literary destinations of the nation, Seattle is brimming with bookstores that provide these moments. Bookstores that provide refuge and restoration for the mind. All over the city, you can loose yourself in stories that take you away from this world while enjoying a coffee on a rainy afternoon. Here are some of my favorite literary oases in Seattle.

Honorable Mentions: Seattle Mystery Bookshop: 117 Cherry St, Seattle, WA 98104

Queen Anne Book Company: 1811 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109:

Twice Sold Tales: 2419 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

Mercer Street Books: 7 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109

Magnolia Bookstore: 3206 W McGraw St, Seattle, WA 98199

Phinney Books: 7405 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Left Bank Books:

Pike Place Market, 92 Pike St # B, Seattle, WA 98101


eft Bank Books is tucked away on a corner in front of Pike Place Market. Featuring four landings packed to the brim with new and used books. The old wooden floors creak under foot and tags on the shelves point readers in the direction of featured and local authors. On the top floor a window bench is laden with pillows and offers a perfect spot to watch people bustle around at the market as you enjoy a book. Local art is hung on the walls and banisters including shirts and bags bearing logos and book puns. The store is concise and petite but engulfs you with a charm that is irresistible.

Elliot Bay Book Company is the perfect place to enjoy a book and a cup of coffee. (Photo courtesy of Elliot Bay Book Company).

B L M F Literary Saloon located in Pike Place Market is overflowing with books. (Ana Marbett).

B L M F Literary Saloon:

Elliott Bay Book Company:

Pike Place Market, 1501 Pike Pl #322, Seattle, WA 98101

1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122


ocated inside Pike Place Market on the bottom floor, B L M F Literary Saloon is, to say the least, a bit crowded. Every nook and cranny of the store is bursting with books. Stacks of books fill the corners and there is no apparent organization to the mess of books. Books are crammed in sideways in the shelves as if someone wanted to get as many books as possible into the store. Teetering piles of “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings” wobble precariously on shelves with featured titles perched atop each stack. Although there isn’t anywhere to sit and enjoy your book, B L M F Literary Saloon and it’s interesting organization makes you work to find your desired novel.


Left Bank Books has local art hung on the walls and banisters, including shirts and bags bearing logos and book puns. (Claire Moriarty).

lliott Bay Book Company is one of Seattle’s larger bookstores and has two floors filled with an immense variety of books. Comfy leather armchairs provide a most enjoyable place to sit and read. The golden wood floors seem to light up when the sun comes in through the large windows, adding to the pleasant atmosphere of the store. The bookstore also has a café, which serves delicious coffee that goes exceptionally well with a good book. Located in Capitol Hill, Elliott Bay Book Company is a perfect place to spend an afternoon with a book and coffee.


January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Staff Picks


Six books every student should read before they grow up

Emma Obrietan

‘A Tale of Two Cities’ Charles Dickens


really like “A Tale of Two Cities because of the history and the characters combined, it’s a book that takes you on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. There is one character in particular who is my favorite book character of all time and that’s kind of what makes it so special for me because of his journey and the way the book ends, I cry every time.” Melina Monlux Staff Reporter

‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ Zora Neale Hurston


ven though I had to painfully analyze every square inch of this book for Mr. Smith’s class, it is my absolute favorite book of all time. Zora Neale Hurston uses a beautiful and unique blend of dialogue and description in the book, which is primarily first-person. There’s parts in this book where she describes the sunset, or the color of the leaves in the trees, and it’s just profound how she calls images into your mind. You will cry and laugh, and analyze your own youth over and over again as you read it.”

Jackson Croy

‘Everything is Illuminated’ Jonathan Safran Foer


t’s a really creatively written book and doesn’t follow the traditional plot format and it takes place in three different time frames and three different perspectives which all are related through theme but not plot. It’s a really incredible story and the writing is beautiful and artful, and I really appreciate that it’s about a Jewish family and their Jewish heritage.” Rachel Halmrast Editor-in-Chief

‘Dante’s Inferno’ Dan Brown


like “Dante’s Inferno” is because I’ve always been interested in the Christian perception of sin. Throughout the book Dante goes through the rings of hell and experiences all seven sins, lust, gluttony, ect, and if you analyze the book it mirrors the author’s life and can be interpreted as almost something of an autobiography.” Chris Holland Staff Reporter

‘Catcher in the Rye’ J. D. Salinger


atcher in The Rye’ is my favorite book because it’s really genuine and the fact that its stream of consciousness right from his head is fascinating, the way the author executes it is unlike any book I’ve read. It really captures what it’s like to be an adolescent, even though I’d say I’m a very different person than Holden Caulfield is, it was very easy to identify with him. It’s not a hard book to read, I never felt as though I shouldn’t be reading it, just a very solid book I thought I learned a lot from.”

‘Breakfast of Champions’ Kurt Vonnegut


t’s an amazing book that forces you to look at the world through the perspectives of fictional people and inherit their likes and dislikes, as if they were your own. It’s written by Kurt Vonnegut my absolute favorite writer, who has the perfect gift of writing absolute absurdity but in a wonderful and artful fashion.” Emma Obrietan Staff Artist

Jake Rehfeldt Staff Reporter

Managing Editor Jackson Croy



January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

The phone stares back: The dark delights of Netflix’s best original series


f you have yet to watch “Black Mirror,” now is Opinions Editor the hour. This phenomenal, speculative series grows increasingly relevant as technology gains a more prominent role in our lives. Prone to thought-provoking, emotional monologues and dark, portentous underlying themes, “Black Mirror” is a flawlessly executed projection of a not-too-distant future where human life is just different enough to be unsettling. Written and created by Charlie Brooker, the show explores how life will change—for the better and the worse—as technology continues

Claire Moriarty

Black Mirror (2011 - Present)

Wright and Owen Harris, Brooker almost warns viewers off such inventions, depicting lives irreversibly ruined by the use of them. What’s so creepy (and sometimes borderline disturbing) about this is how plausible each 1/2 scenario seems. Riveting, compelling and always tremento develop. The innovations examined in dously well-acted, all three seasons of “Black each episode vary from an implant that Mirror” are simultaneously frightening and allows people to save, view and share their memories to a service that permits incredibly entertaining. This series will fill the living to continue interacting with the you with trepidations about the future and dead. Both seem like awesome concepts, doubts about the present, but I cannot stress enough how utterly worth the watch it is. right? With masterful storytelling and assistance from directors such as Joe

What to watch: The series doesn’t follow one plot, instead telling a new story with each episode. Here are our picks.

San Junipero



osedive” revolves around the life of a woman who is utterly invested in a social media score that affects everyone’s entire life, from their social standings to their job prospects and even living situations. This score is based off a system where everyone can rate each other out of five stars, and those with a score lower than 2.5 are regarded as lower-class. Lacie (Bryce Dallas Howard) does everything she can to up her ratings, to the point where she keeps her negative emotions and individual opinions under wraps. Writers Rashida Jones and Michael Schur express some disapproval of the way we strive to portray our lives as perfect and enviable on social media, but overlay this censure with cutting dialogue and aesthetically pleasing visuals.

S The Waldo Moment


aldo is an animated talk show sidekick who runs for political office as a ratings stunt. When the public begins to take his campaigning seriously, his harsh language and apolitical “tell it like it is” demeanor begins to gain gravity. What begins as a publicity stunt for a television program develops into a valid political movement with astounding rapidity, as Waldo calls out his opponents, who are legitimate politicians, for not caring about “anything outside your little bubble” and calling one of them “an old attitude with new hair.” Waldo’s political attitudes and lack of rhetorical propriety are eerily familiar in the wake of a certain presidential candidate’s success in the 2016 election, a success that was based, at least in part, on voters’ desire for change.

tarring Mackenzie Davis and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the fourth episode of season three is beautiful to behold in every way. Skilled pacing and spectacular cinematography combine to create a heart-wrenching installment that gives off more of an air of hope than most of the others. When Yorkie and Kelly meet in 1987, they form a strong connection, and a major breakthrough in technology allows them to remain together in a relationship that seems to defy the laws of time. Without giving away too much, the story deals with an interesting ethical choice and is Brooker’s take on a theme that has been the subject of speculation for all of human history. What makes this episode what it is, is the fact that it’s a gorgeous story where love prevails in the end, a bright spot in an otherwise dark anthology.



January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

A hip-hop head’s lullaby Noname delivers highlight mixtape of 2016


o call Noname a Chance the Editor-in-Chief Rapper protege is and Managing Editor to call an oak an acorn. Prior to this summer, Noname’s (formerly Noname Gypsy’s) only verses were features on Chance songs. No one expected much from the shy and soft-spoken Chicago girl. The album begins with the same shyness we knew on the opening track “Yesterday,” but it seems that Noname opens up to the listener. She lets her guard down, and she shares her woes and wonders with us. Lyricism is again proven as an art form on this record. Noname’s delivery — which seems lackluster at first — with time gives itself away as intimate and subtle, adds beautiful juxt ap osit ion with the brief, potent couplets that are stuffed with some of the smartest wordplay this side of 1999. On “Casket Pretty” (the title of which references the haunting manner in which postmortem individuals look beautiful in their casket), she parallels storybook children’s fears with modern ones: “And I’m afraid of the dark — blue and the white // badges and pistols rejoice in the night” Noname’s flow is as sweet and natural as a lullaby. Her verses seem to pour from her without any effort, and are almost conversational. There

Rachel Halmrast and Jackson Croy

is no hint of rage in her voice — only a teary-eyed solemnity. The first listen might sound like Noname couldn’t be bothered to care about what she says, but as you replay the record it might seem more like “effortless” is the right word. Her raps are bleak, but they leave you wondering if the world isn’t quite the same. In a time where anti-police sentiments can almost be used as a syllabic crutch in rap, Noname provides a stirring alternative perspective for hip-hop fans. Where her male contemporaries speak of fallen friends and brothers, she speaks a view only a woman could have; one of a mother. On “Casket Pretty” the symbolic image of “babies in suits” reminds us that every victim (of gang violence and police violence alike) is someone’s baby. Even as stories of senseless violence become commonplace, each is also the story of a mother’s loss.

Noname won’t raise her voice. Her fist, maybe.

The album will challenge fans of casual “happy rap” to dig a little deeper; to see and feel the harsh realities even when they’re spoken so softly. “Bye Bye Baby” — a wistful love song on an unlikely subject — comes across as a warm lullaby. However, it’s not that Noname’s comforting demeanor dulls her cutting lyrics. Instead, she optimistically pads what we don’t want to hear — the sad, dark message — with what we do want to hear — her voice.

2016 Top 5:

Sam Jenkins


n the wake of 2016, we asked musicians in our community about their favorite and least favorite albums. Junior Sam Jenkins (aka Sam J) is a rapper involved in duo Mystery Inc, which has an album and an EP on Soundcloud.

Fletcher Anderson

Q: Do you think there’s a theme with the albums you really liked this year? A:A lot of them were a lot more slow

paced. Something about the calmer vibe, I’d say. I just needed that in 2016.

Unlike her contemporaries, Noname isn’t militant. The fire and aggression heard on songs like Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” or Beyonce’s “Formation” aren’t present here, her weapon of choice is rhetoric. The monotonous, flat — dull even, at first listen — vocals across the project show that Noname won’t raise her voice. Her fist, maybe. The features are less than impressive, save for a couple, but that’s only because Noname shines so well both stylistically and verbally. Standouts include up-and-coming R&B singer Ravyn Lenae’s vocal additions on the hook of “Forever” and, more prominently, Smino’s feature on “Shadow Man.” Smino raps of playing Metro Boomin’ at his funeral; a lighthearted and comedic address to his death, complementing the album’s somehow both desolate and optimistic look at the world. To ignore the musical prowess demonstrated in the production on this album would be a mortal sin. Producers Cam O’bi, Phoelix and Saba as well as a couple of guests handle all the instrumentation on this album. The beats are beautiful to say the least. Modern yet nostalgic, experimental yet catchy, precise yet lackadaisical.

Noname Telefone

The drum grooves are so crisp they could cut glass, and the electric piano is bright enough to be a point of focus but not so bright as to distract from the lyrics. Choir samples are pitched up on “Yesterday,” creating a sound that recalls the singing children on Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time Is Here,” which in itself is nostalgic enough to bring a tear to the eye. An art form birthed in protest has found its Messiah. At equal parts affectionate and revolutionary, Noname articulates an entirely new side of modern hip-hop. If your 2016 favorites included either of the Knowles sisters or Chance the Rapper and this album isn’t in your rotation yet, pinch yourself, because you’re sleeping hard.

5. ‘Four’ - Badbadnotgood 4. ‘Introverted Intuition’ Lance Skiiwalker 3. ‘The Sun’s Tirade’ - Isaiah Rashad 2. ‘Malibu’ - Anderson .Paak 1. ‘Blonde’ - Frank Ocean

Q: Fill in the blank: ‘2016 is the year of the _____ album.’ A: I’d say the next-generation album.

Q: What was the worst album you heard this year? A: Passion, Pain and Demon Slayin’ [by Kid Cudi]


January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Unexcused absences: valuing sporting victories over political involvement School board excuses absences for sports parade, not for political protest Keely Carolan and Chris Barrett

month earlier; Nov. 14, 2016, the ment right and addressing an event Monday following Election Day. A that affected the entire nation were student-organized walkout was sched- not? The logic here definitely seems to Staff Reporters uled to take place in the afternoon be flawed, and many parents are questo express student opinions over the tioning the underlying message that is or the first election results. At the end of morning sent to students through these actions. time in the announcements, Principal Wynkoop If the walkout could be construed history of came on and reminded students that as an excuse for skipping school, what Major League any absences that afternoon would does that make the parade? It seems Soccer, the SeNOT be excused, regardless of whethstrange that student-led political attle Sounders er or not a student had parent permis- assembly would be met with such won the MLS sion. He also encouraged students to suspicion and analysis while this kind Cup in an excitreally think of absence ing game against about why Political participation should would be Toronto FC on they were forgiven. not be stamped out in our Dec. 10, 2016. participating “RegardTo celebrate this in the walkcountry’s youth - not in a less of my exciting victory, out, and not personal suptime when the nation is in the team held to just use it for the crucial need of this kind of port a march and rally downtown on Dec. as an excuse message of 13, much like the celebration that took to skip class. enthusiasm. the walkout, place when the Seahawks won the “I reit was a poSuper Bowl a few years back. ceived a mixture of feedback from litical rally,” said Principal Wynkoop Naturally, some students were parents,” Principal Wynkoop told the in an e-mail responding to parent’s absent from school that day in order Talisman. “Some were very supportive concerns. “By definition, political to attend the event. The day before of accepting excuse notes [after the rallies are supported by some and not the parade, Principal Keven Wynkoop parade] from parents, while others by others. The partisan nature of it sent out an e-mail addressing how were concerned about what they saw made the consideration of excusals too absences for this event were going to as a double loaded to allow.” be handled by the school. The e-mail standard.” Wynkoop also cited the fact that stated that absences for the event Comparing how the two events were since he excused the Seahawks parade would be excused (with parent perhandled by the staff something doesn’t in 2014, it would be inconsistent of mission), while students would still seem quite right. Absences for a celhim to not do the same for this, and be responsible for any work that they ebration of a community victory were also that if he excused the walkout, it missed in their classes. excused, while those on account of wouldn’t be much of a “walkout.” Now let’s take it back to about a students exercising their First Amend“After receiving my explanation, all parents were understanding, although… some felt that parents should always be able to decide which absences are excused and some felt that none of the absences should be able to be excused.” What message is that exactly? Well, by making absences unexcused for a protest, students are discouraged from participating. Seeing as Seattle Public Schools is not legally permitted to take a stance on political issues, it makes sense why they would take that action (not that it discouraged many students from walking out anyways). What doesn’t make sense is why they would permit the absence of students for the celebration of a sporting victory, of which there are no academic value to attending. Sure, the Sounders victory was a historic event and it deserves to be celebrated, but it’s not something that has an effect on everyone. In fact, it affects a very narrow audience, just soccer or sports fans. The election results, however, are something that Ballard students walk out in protest of a Trump presidency Nov. 14. Students who have and will affect the entire country participated recieved an unexcused absence, whereas for the Sounders Parade in the next four years to come. The absences were excused. Similar walkouts occurred in high schools and middle Sounders victory was an exciting moschools all over the district. (Miles Whitworth) ment to be sure, but that excitement


soon passed. The election of Donald Trump into presidency will spur long term changes that certainly hasn’t been overlooked yet, and will continue to be relevant in years to come. Additionally, the walkout provided an excellent learning opportunity to students. It was a perfect chance for them to practice exercising their first amendment rights in a somewhat controlled environment. It was a way to encourage them to voice their opinions and take action for what they believe is right. A time to learn the importance of participating in society in order to make a difference for themselves and their community. Not to mention how monumental the election result was. Such a vast number of people, within our school community and throughout the country, were affected emotionally by the election of Trump, and they day following the election was a solemn one. Altogether, why would the school discourage students from participating in such a unique and valuable opportunity? Sure, there were definitely some students who used the walkout as an excuse to skip class and take off, but that certainly happened on the day of the parade as well. No matter the event, there will always be students who take advantage of it to miss school. What matters is the majority of students who do intend to participate in the events, and how the handling of absences affects them. Essentially, it seems that by allowing students to miss school for the parade and not the walkout, the staff is telling us that it’s not as important for us to voice our political opinions and acknowledge impactful national events as it is to celebrate fleeting community victories. And quite frankly, this doesn’t seem like the message that Principal Wynkoop actually wants to convey to students. Political participation should not be stamped out in our country’s youth not in a time when the nation is in crucial need of this kind of enthusiasm. Almost half of eligible voters did not take part in this year’s election; it was the lowest turnout in a U.S. presidential ballot since 1920. We can’t afford to let kids be disconnected from politics. The values and passions that are instilled in youth will follow them into adulthood, and in that way encouraging students to have a voice in politics has great value. Or at the very least, more value than a soccer parade.

January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Analyzing the Alt-Right


The movement that hopes to be the future of conservatism is difficult to define


hen PresidentElect Trump made Breitbart executive Steven Bannon his chief strategist, the media went Oscar Zahner into an uproar. Political Correspondent A flurry of editorials from the nation’s most respected journalists collectively denounced the move as Trump’s thinly-veiled extension of an olive branch to the nebulous but terrifying “alt-right.” The appointment of Bannon is quite in keeping with the accepted narrative of Trump’s campaign and the rejuvenation of the republican faction. The more unconventional ideas of the farright are becoming normalized by the harsh political binary. The fringe has been brought further and further into the mainstream by Trump’s successful campaign, and now by his upcoming administration. The Republican Party, which the left once seemed confident had cannibalized itself, is adapting. Prior to Donald Trump’s election, the democrats had lulled themselves into complacency and peddled amongst their supporters the dogma that they were on the right side of history. The conservatives seemed like a dying breed in the democrat’s new America; a party that existed by and for the old, the white, the antiquated; a temporary obstruction to progress that would soon be quelled. The leaders of the democratic establishment were so sure of themselves that they contorted the primary into the favor of their preferred candidate, secure in their own belief that the Republican Party was dying. The democrat’s hubris was shattered when the republicans not only won the election, but changed the electoral map, winning states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, which the democrats had won for decades. The democrats are still trying to rationalize their defeat. How could a party so cantankerous and seemingly out-oftune with the zeitgeist have gained so much ground? Contrasting the results between a Cornell study in 2012 and a USA Today poll in 2016 reveals that little has changed between the demographics of presidential voters with one very noticeable exception: the poorly

educated, especially poorly educated white voters. This election was not decided by age. It was not decided by income. This election was decided by race. It’s no surprise, then, that the voices that changed conservative rhetoric into the talking points that won low-education white voters have been branded by the left under one label, a label that carries the accusation of unspeakable racism and fringe thought: alt-right. Many on the left readily accept that the alt-right, as the term is used today, is simply a rebranded neo-nazi movement. After all, the term was invented by hyper-nationalists to describe their white supremacy websites like Stormfront, and characterize their fringe movement of holocaust denial, racial biology and homophobia. This definition of alt-right carries a very disturbing implication: the working-class whites who propelled Trump to victory were won over by a brand of racism so archaic that the democrats believed it had been quelled from all but the deepest, darkest corners of American thought. By conflating the agenda of the new republicans with this kind of racism, the democrats are using this outrage in an attempt to beat Breitbart and the new Republican Party by fighting their platforms back to the fringe. Unfortunately for the democrats, this caricature of the political movement is no longer wholly accurate, and inadvertently confirms the republican maxim that the left combats their dissenters by making their ideas contraband. Bannon’s Breitbart has offered in its defense the suggestion that the term “alt-right” is charged enough that it can pit any loyal democrat against an idea, but vague enough that it can be applied to any idea the democrat’s claim to disagree with on moral grounds. In its most sinister sense, the term “alt-right” still refers to the crowd of people that find their heros in the likes of KKK Imperial Wizard David Duke, conspiracy theorists Alex Jones and David Icke, and the strange blend of malicious far-right trolling and even more malicious far-right sincerity that encrusts the far reaches of the internet. Many of the people in this camp readily identify as alt-right, giving this definition a fair degree of credibility. While Donald Trump failed to criticize this faction, or even rebuke their support, this brand of alt-right

is still small enough, and fringe enough, that it is unlikely to be the model upon which the Republican Party is building its future. If you take Breitbart’s apologist definition of the term, from the article An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right, you’d hear that alt-right applies to a youthful wave of conservatives characterized not by overt racism, but by a disgust with the left’s self-proclaimed monopoly on morality. This variant of the alt-right is built on the belief that the democrats have tried to make the genuine beliefs and worries of Americans taboo for political gain. Bannon and Breitbart have a history of echoing this talking point. To this brand of the alt-right, an American who fears a terrorist attack on domestic soil has a right to a voice on Muslim immigration without being called a racist. The term “alt-right” has been applied so liberally that it makes sense to expand on Breitbart’s definition. If the democrats are ready to label the new Republican Party as alt-right, then what does the new Republican Party stand for? If you spend enough time trying to understand the forces behind the youth supporting Donald Trump, and the flood of working class, white, male voters, you will find that this variant of the alt-right is defined by one commonality. This commonality isn’t nativism alone, although it is the priority for many. It isn’t isolationism, it isn’t white supremacy, it isn’t even conservative theory. The identity of this movement lies in a burning, almost primal, hatred for the left. This hyper-factional movement in identity politics was inadvertently created by the democratic establishment. The language the movement uses is a window into the psychology that inspired its genesis. Their favorite insult, “cuck,” is a perfect example. A

word rooted in sexism, originally used to describe a man emasculated by his helpless silence in the face of his wife’s adultery, has been their go-to word to capture the character of a man who has sold out his identity to what they view as a political apparatus hostile to his interests. The insult gradually expanded to what they deem “white apologists,” and eventually to any man, or white person, that has “surrendered” to the left. It’s a twisted worldview, but it’s a worldview that the democrats are strengthening by mislabeling. The future of the Republican Party is being shaped by an animosity towards the left’s perception of morality in America, and the left is trying to slow their advance by engineering moral outrage. This strategy is hastening the rise of the alt-right. Those critical of what they believe to be the left’s moral grandstanding feel vindicated when the democrats call them racist. In this way, the left is helping normalize the fringe. This isn’t to say that the democrats don’t have a right to criticize Breitbart, or the appointment of Bannon. This isn’t to say that the radical white nationalists aren’t a part of Trump’s fold. But it’s dangerous to misunderstand what the new republican constituency stands for. The new republicans are egged on by the democrat’s tactics. If the democrats really want to slow the rise of reactionaries like Steve Bannon, falsely equating him to a neo-Nazi will not work. The left is playing into Steve Bannon’s hands, and the future of the Republican Party shows no signs of going away.



January 12, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)


“She told me to pull up my pants, and I told her to pull up my grade.” “I mistook love for a girl who eats juicy fruits.”

*indistinct trap beat*

“I follow twenty Russians everyday like clockwork.”

“I think I’m bitter in a sophisticated way.”

“I want to be on the beefsdropping.” “The b**** ran away like Forrest Gump.” “Honestly, I would kill for an octopus museum.”

“I watched hella ‘Friends’ yesterday.”


Clay Cantrell Staff Reporter

Monday the 9: Monday Mourning

Join us in the teacher parking lot before school on Monday to grieve with your fellow classmates! Whether you’re glum over the destruction of our earth’s ecosystems or you’re just missing Spot a little more than usual today, you’re all invited as we join hands and scream towards the sky together!

Tuesday the 10: I’m Terrified Tuesday

Life’s scary, ain’t it? And who’s to blame? Not you! Project your insecurities with pride when you wear one of the signs ASB will be passing out in the halls on Tuesday. With hand written messages such as “YOUR BODY MAKES ME ASHAMED” and “EVERYONE HATES ME” you’ll flaunt your self-conscious paranoia like never before!

Wednesday the 11: The Wednesday of Whining

School is meaningless! Our education system is archaic! Why can’t we have no homework like Finland? What does archaic mean? Join us this Wednesday after school on the field as we make our final stand. We will whine together in harmony, at a low frequency that will burst the eardrums of anyone over the age of twenty-six in a half-mile radius. Finland or bust!

Thursday the 12: Tormented Thursday

Unleash your darkest inhibitions in comfort this Thursday at the grand opening of Ballard’s new Safe-Tank™, a place where you can summon your inner demons without scrutiny from your community. Ballard will be installing five sensory deprivation SafeTanks™ in the Teen Health Center this Thursday which will be free of charge for any Ballard student to use.

Friday the 13: F$%ck It Friday

It’s not a question of whether you’d be better off coming to school or not. Don’t.


Trump to impose nationwide Dam Time First 100 days to include nationwide academic management time


n a cryptic tweet sent out at 4:35 a.m. yesterday morning, PresidentStaff Reporter Elect Donald Trump unveiled a new objective for his first 100 days in office: a nationwide mandatory Dam Time from 2:55 to 3:15 every weekday. He stated, “AMERICA needs time to reflect on our HUGE accomplishments! 1st order of business: DAM TIME. Make America dammed again!” There has been intense backlash from this proposal, many citing it as unconstitutional. “What’s the point of this?” A disgruntled citizen tweeted back at Trump. “Everyone is just gonna be on their phones anyways!” Constitutional lawyers around the country can’t seem to find a definitive answer on the legality of the president-elect’s plan to condemn Americans to 20 minutes of academic management time. “Technically speaking, the Constitution states nothing about imposed academic management and reflection,” professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, Dr. Peter Gordon, said. “I would imagine a decision like this would come down to the Supreme Court,” Gordon clarifies, “but with a seat for Trump to fill with whomever he chooses, I can see this passing in a Republican Court and Congress.” The next day, Trump tweeted a video explaining the benefit of DAM Time. He stated that the 20 minutes everyday would “give the average citizen time to reflect on our countries problems, and come up with solution.” Later on the 20 minute long video, he concedes that “With all you beautiful people coming up with solutions to America’s problems, it would really help me out and make this whole thing go on more smoothly.” He laid out a few ground rules for the DAM time, stating that you “must be thinking about how to make AMERICA a better place,” with no further elaboration on how exactly to think, and that “bathroom breaks are verboten - I mean - not allowed.” After the shocking election results just a few weeks ago, the public knew this would be a different presidency, but what will Americans do with their new “privilege” as the president-elect put it? Only time will tell. For now, however, let’s “MAKE AMERICA DAMMED AGAIN!”

Nolan Baker

Talisman, Jan. 17, 2017