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MARCH 14, 2017

the student newspaper of Ballard High School


Multicultural Assembly a Success


Cheer wins at state


The Making of “Les Misérables”


March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA) 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

The value of a free press

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.


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 practices sound journalism as found in the Society of Professional Journalists, Code of Ethics.


S awa nt wa s m i s q u o te d i n ‘ S e at t l e co u n c i l wo m a n re ce i ve s b a c k l a s h fo r a nt i t r u m p p ro te s t s’ a s s ay i n g “a s u rg e i n h ate c r i m e s, b u l l y, at t a c k s” when she actually said “a s u rg e i n h ate c r i m e s, b u l l y i n g, at t a c k s”

Cover photo by Miles Whitworth

Rachel Halmrast

Managing Editor Jackson Croy

News Editor

Melina Monlux

Sports Editor

Sam Heikell

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

Jackson Croy

Opinions Editor

Claire Moriarty

Copy Editor

Katie Read Kearney

Photo Video


Miles Whitworth


Miles Andersen

Online E d i t o r

Ana Marbett

Political Correspondent

Letters to the Editor

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



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Oscar Zahner


Alex Putnam


ince the very start of the Trump campaign, we have witnessed countless precedents being shattered. From his campaign antics and inability to properly debate, to his cabinet appointments and executive orders, the 45th president of the United States has yet to demonstrate his capability of behaving in a normal manner for even a single day. The nightly news has become more entertaining than reality tv (yet can one really be surprised after electing a reality tv-show host?) Regardless of the comedic gold that the Trump presidency is, we often find ourselves laughing in a disbelieving, terrified way that very closely resembles Anderson Cooper’s reaction to Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” bit. One of the most recent occurrences to launch us into this state was Trump’s exclusion of some of the most credible news sources in the country from a white house press briefing. Among those blocked were CNN, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and the BBC. He has at some point prior to this, taken the liberty to brandish each of these media outlets as “fake news.” While the absurdity of these allegations is difficult to put into words, one can point out that the BBC is one of the most credible sources in the world, and isn’t even from this country. Still, Trump has raged war on them.

This is perhaps the most unprecedented thing Trump has done in his presidency. While some of his predecessors are guilty of a great deal of misdemeanors, none have been brazen enough to venture near such totalitarianistic ideals as attacks on the media. Trump’s claim to be the sole reputable source echos of fascist dictators, and his notion that his created facts cannot be disproven is downright Orwellian. In this time of uncertainty, when it seems that everything is being labeled as fake, we mustn’t give up. While checking a source’s credibility can be exhausting, it is what must be done. Resigning one’s self to the belief that it is not worth it—that it’s all just fake—is exactly what the president wants. That is how he wins. While Trump preaches about returning our nation to its former glory, he forgets that this includes a free press, valued above all else. Even Thomas Jefferson stated that should he have to choose “whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, [he] should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” No president has dared encroach on the liberties of the people in the way that Trump has. It seems that they understood in a way that he does not, that without a free press, America is not free, brave or just, and it is most certainly not “great.”

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March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

A celebration of culture

Multicultural Week leads to class discussions and increased appreciation

s Neiw fs e r B Mumps Mumps outbreak outbreak among students among students in in King King County County


Polynesian dancers perform a traditional dance accompanied by Greg Taufaasau on drums and vocals. (Miles Andersen)


he Multicultural Opinions Editor Club organized an assembly to promote diversity and cultural awareness in school. The assembly featured performances from several different ethnic dance groups as well as guest speaker Gabriel Teodros. Students clapped along to traditional music as Mexican folklore dancers, Franklin High School’s Somali group and Polynesian dancers put on energetic and engaging performances. Teodros, a Seattlebased singer, artist and writer, encouraged those in attendance to explore their own cultures in order to understand others. “To heal yourself, you have to know yourself,” Teodros said. “Have meaningful conversations.” Multicultural Club, headed by President Trinity Cho , Vice President Felicia Palaez and advised by Suanne Kauffman,

Claire Moriarty

is a safe space for students of all backgrounds, religions, sexuality and genders. They meet weekly to discuss issues faced by the community and the nation, and their goal for Multicultural Week and the assembly was to get others to do the same. “In a school like Ballard that is so predominantly white, it’s really important to talk about these things because otherwise no one is going to talk about it,” sophomore and Multicultural Club member

Marlowe Barrington said. “Unless you are really forced to talk about issues that concern things that you are privileged to, you probably won’t, just because it doesn’t affect you in the same way it does someone else.” On the four days preceding the assembly, a series of videos created by the club’s members were shown during Daily Academic Management (DAM) time to educate students about issues of race and inform them of the hardships faced by minorities. Students and teachers were supposed to talk about and reflect upon the issues brought up in the videos. “I think that people did learn quite a bit, because I know that while not all classes watched the videos, the classes that did and the students I talked to seemed like they were having discussions, which is really what we wanted them to do,” Barrington said. For the second year in a row, the Multicultural Club has presented a successful assembly educating the students on issues of race and ethnicity, and inviting all to participate in a celebration of culture.

Traditional Mexican dancers perform during the assembly. (Miles Andersen)

ashington state has confirmed 301 cases of the mumps, with 163 of those cases in King County. The mumps is a very rare disease that typically causes intense flu-like symptoms and painful, major swelling in the salivary glands under the cheeks. The best mumps prevention is the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. For more information on the vaccine and where to get it, visit the Teen Health Center.

New New mindfulness mindfulness class class helps helps students students


nn Hollar, mother, teacher and mentor is teaching a mindfulness class at BHS about learning to be truly present in the moment and recognizing what is happening to your mind and body, and knowing how to use tools to become centered and grounded. The class is held on Thursdays in the Teen Health Center.

Leaking Leaking ceilings ceilings set set to to be be fixed fixed over over summer break summer break


hese last couple of years our campus has been affected by increasing cases of leaks and water damage. The impact is beginning to show, with classroom ceiling panels weakening and falling in, accompanied by bathroom floors being flooded. Teachers have gotten creative, using trash cans to catch the leaks, but the district has finally decided to act. Ceiling repairs are set to begin over the summer.


March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

The search for Plu-Two


Astronomers are on the hunt to uncover the ninth planet in our solar system


landmark scientific News Editor discovery has been made recently. But it isn’t complete yet. Scientists believe that a new planet, currently dubbed “Planet Nine” exists unseen in the outer reaches of our solar system. While the planet has yet to be found, the very knowledge of its presence has sent the astronomical community into a flurry of excitement. A new planet has not been discovered in our system since 1846, with the discovery of Neptune (discounting, of course, the discovery of Pluto, which no longer holds planetary status). Scientists first introduced the idea of Planet Nine’s existence in 2014 when astronomers Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo arrived at the theory after monitoring the orbitals of dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt. Sheppard and Trujillo observed that these bodies all had unusual orbital characteristics. This strange pattern led the astronomers to conclude that there was something influencing these orbitals. Something like a large, undiscovered planet. Evidence in favor of Planet Nine was increased greatly earlier this year

Melina Monlux

Artist’s representation of planet nine, an “ice giant” looming on the edge of the solar system. (Creative Commons)

when astronomer Mike Brown found additional objects being influenced in a similar fashion. Astronomers have now observed eight celestial bodies with orbitals being rotated six degrees to the sun. With all these clues in place, the scientific community has accepted Planet Nine and began their hunt among the stars. They know number nine is out there, now it’s just a matter of finding it.

This task, however, is more difficult than it may sound. According to, the undiscovered planet is large—predicted to be between 10 and 15 times more massive than earth—but it is in no way easy to spot. It resides approximately 200 AU (astronomical units) from the sun at its closest point in orbit. By comparison, the earth is only 1 AU from the sun, about 92.96 million miles. At its furthest point from the sun—what is known as the planet’s aphelion—the distance is

circa 1,000 AU. Pluto, everyone’s favorite dwarf planet, only reaches a distance of 49.3 AU at its aphelion. This extreme distance is part of what makes the planet so elusive. The other factor is its orbit. According to the New Yorker, it follows an eccentric pattern, meaning the orbit is more “elliptical than circular.” A side effect of this shape is that the planet spends the majority of its predicted 12,000-20,000 year orbit around the sun at aphelion. As a result, astronomers have a large patch of sky to sweep, and a distant patch at that. Nonetheless, the scientific community is optimistic about the search and expect the new planet to be found within the next 13 months. In anticipation, many names have been proposed for the new planet by both professional astronomers and star fanatics alike. Brown refers to the planet as Jehoshaphat, while others have suggested Prometheus, Echo, and, perhaps the greatest of all, Plu-Two.

Trump signs executive order reinstating Mexico City Policy New policies could have negative effects on abortion funding and reproductive rights and contraceptive services—just what millions of women around the world marched for the protection of during the women’s march on Jan. 21. The “Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Mexico City Policy,” issued by Donald Trump on Jan. 23, highlighted his Data from King County Public Health. (Chris Holland) actions regarding the reinstatement of the policy. Among ere days Keely Carolan other paragraphs, the memorandum after being Staff Reporter stated: “I further direct the Secretary sworn of State to take all necessary actions, in, Donald Trump to the extent permitted by law, to signed a number of executive orders, ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars do one of which reinstated the highly not fund organizations or programs controversial Mexico City policy. that support or participate in the The policy bans the use of U.S. management of a program of coercive government funding to be put towards abortion or involuntary sterilization.” organizations (such as Planned The policy has been abolished and Parenthood) which provide abortions. reinstated a number of times ever It affects foreign funding in addition to since it was introduced as the political funding in the U.S. itself. This means party in power has changed. However, that it will be harder for women to get access to safe, affordable abortion


the reinstatement of the policy is sure to affect thousands, if not millions, of women across the globe who rely on services like Planned Parenthood to get the care they need. “I think [the policy] could potentially have a great impact, but we still don’t know,” Celia Thomas, King County Public Health’s family planning educator said. “I think it’s early, and fortunately some things take a while to undo. There’s been talk—isn’t it Pence that thinks women who have miscarriages should be jailed? I mean, those are the kind of people that are in power now, so you do have to wonder what will happen to Roe v Wade, and keeping abortion safe and legal for those people that need it.” “I’ve had many, many young women come and ask me about IUDs since the election. I just placed a very large order so we’ll be getting those in soon,” said Karen Boudour, one of the nurses in the Teen Health Center (THC). While IUDs will be made available to students, Thomas pointed out that, “It is expensive, so while they may be becoming available

they might also be cost-prohibitive for some people. A full visit can be around 1,000 dollars.” “There’s great data in terms of the teen pregnancy rates in King County. The numbers have dropped, and I think a lot of that is because we make [contraception] available to teens, we make it free, teens can get it confidentially... We’re seeing some good numbers,” said Thomas. So what does this all mean for women in Seattle, and America? What is boils down to is that women need to just make sure that they stay safe and stay informed. “Just making [contraception] more accessible to teens [is helpful].” Thomas said. “I think what’s also helpful is talking to teens, talking about preventing pregnancy and STDs also increases when you have good education that is comprehensive with talking about sexual health, that also brings the numbers down...We’ve definitely seen an increase in teaching accurate SexEd, which helps too.”



March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Q&A: A socialist on student activism

Councilwoman hopes to build a movement to resist Trump administration Oscar Zahner

Political Correspondent


ity councilmember Kshama Sawant is no stranger to activism. One of the only socialists elected to political office in the country, Sawant made a name for herself by organizing demonstrations for tenant’s rights, the increased minimum wage and marriage equality. In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory, Sawant’s unique political affiliation and her penchant for community organization has manifested in a series of anti-Trump rallies. Defeating Trump’s agenda at the local level has become one of Sawant’s primary concerns. The Talisman was fortunate enough to sit down with Sawant to discuss her recent activism, her thoughts on the future under President Trump and the power students have to affect that future. The complete interview with Sawant can be read on the Talisman website, at

executive order. The second part of the process involves actions that we must take with a lot of deliberation. For example, the Socialist Alternative is calling for massive demonstrations on Women’s Day, March 8. This is going to be a long-term struggle, so we’re going to need to take action around concrete political demands. We need to demand an end to sexual violence on university campuses, we need to demand that there is no attack on reproductive rights, and, I believe, we need to demand full coverage health care for all. Another example of a day we plan for is May Day, which has historically been a day for immigrant rights. In 2006, for instance, there was an attempt by congress to pass a piece of legislation that was very bad for immigrants. And on May Day of 2006, the immigrant activist community organized nationwide strike activity, called ‘A Day Without Immigrants.’ That’s the power of the working class. This machine of capitalism entirely depends on these millions of people going to work. It’s that kind of courage, where working people refuse to cooperate, that’s when you can have massive impact on the status quo.”

What do you fear most from a Trump presidency? What do you think young “Judging by the state of the people, who may not be part executive orders to the cabinet of the labor force, and may choices and the Supreme Court not have the power to strike, nominees, I think it is very clear can do? that Trump, and Steve Bannon, “If you look at the period of and the whole right-wing bigotradical movements in the ‘60’s dominated administration are very and ‘70’s, those may not have serious about carrying out Trump’s Councilwoman Kshama Sawant speaking at the Inauguration Day protest. She is one of very happened had it not been for campaign promises: a wall against young people on high school and few socialists elected to political office in the country. (Miles Whitworth) Mexico, discrimination against college campuses who played immigrants, seriously going against both a direct and catalytic role women’s reproductive rights and even going after in building social movements. I would say that “Addressing the second question, you can labor unions. Most importantly, I imagine that campus movements are extremely key to what we see an example of community action in the we will see entire communities in America being can do on March 8 and May 1. And I would say protests at SeaTac. After Trump’s executive targeted if we do not build movements of mass that we’ve already shown one indication of what order, some passengers that were flying from resistance and civil disobedience immediately.” students can do on Inauguration Day. We had certain countries were actually detained socialist students organizing peaceful walkouts and were going to be deported. It was the from 16 campuses. That’s a small glimpse of direct and urgent community response at what students can do. Student leaders can work SeaTac, and at JFK, that put the Trump Speaking specifically to walkouts, with labor unions and other movements, and can administration’s back against the wall, and what’s your take on school districts potentially organize mass walkouts that could forced them to back down from deportation. leaving absences for protest unexcused? turn into huge rallies. There’s a spirit of rebellion To me, the SeaTac action represents the first “I think that the school district has a historic among young people right now, and that’s days of real civil disobedience that many of opportunity to stand with the righteous students what gives me the most confidence and hope in our generations had, which inspired us to who are fighting against the agenda of Trump carrying out my own work.” say, ‘we can go much farther than this.’ In and the billionaire cause. If they take the position terms of what we should do, I think it’s a that they’re going to penalize or punish these twofold process. We’ve seen one part of that courageous students, that’s quite shameful on process in the SeaTac response: immediate their part.” responses to dastardly actions like Trump’s


March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Student musician’s success story


Blind student overcomes disability with grace Eleanor Dudley


rom Helen Keller to Stevie Wonder blind people have been overcoming their disability for decades. According to the World Health Organization there are 39 million people worldwide who face the world everyday without the help of their eyes. Here at school there are only two visually impaired students. One of whom is an Iranian immigrant, a remarkable musician and a true inspiration. Junior Erfan Jazizadeh Karimi emigrated from Iran when he was 15. He is part of the award winning jazz program and dreams of being a famous pianist. “I really like playing piano because it is a tool that I can use to express myself,” Karimi said. “When I get the rhythm of that song, for example if it is a sad piece I become sad, if it is a happy piece I become so happy.” Moving from another country is a challenge for anyone, but for Karimi the change has also brought about opportunities. In Iran there were very few resources for blind people. School was especially difficult with 13 subjects, none of them in braille. “My mother or my teacher had to read the subjects for me and I’d have to memorize it,” Karimi said. The lack of resources is no longer a problem. He now has a vision team that translates his classes into Braille and is dedicated to helping him succeed. Technology has also closed the gap for Features Editor

Karimi. “I can study as any other student, I don’t need any help,” Karimi said. Resources available at school include a transcriptionist who prints music and materials using a machine called an Embosser which produces braille for Karimi and the other visually impaired student. “I have a great vision team that supports me all the time, all day,” Karimi said. “I have very good teachers who are experienced and caring and I have a great assistant who is super nice and we became friends together.” Karimi is also connected with other people in the Iranian-American community, including our recently elected Lt.Gov. Cyrus Habib. In 2012 Habib, a lawyer, was elected to the State House of Representatives, making him the first Iranian-American to serve in a state legislature. Habib grew up in Seattle and attended Bellevue Public Schools. “Thanks to great teachers and state’s resources I was able to go to Columbia University,” Habib said. “I really benefitted from public education and state services.” Karimi met Habib during a lecture for blind people in Seattle. After the lecture they spoke in Farsi, discussing Karimi’s future. Habib connected Karimi to valuable resources that he is now involved with. “My role model is Cyrus Habib,” Karimi said. “I really want to be successful like him.”

Junior Erfan Jazizadeh Karimi playing piano in Jazz Band II at the 58th annual Ballard Performing Arts Spaghetti dinner. (Miles Whitworth)

Model UN fosters broadened worldview for students World and overlooked issues discussed biweekly during after-school club


ur relationship with other countries is very important. The United Nations (UN) play a very large role in the collaboration of world nations to solve problems from hunger to poverty, to peacekeeping operations. Several students have shown an interest in furthering their knowledge of world issues at Model UN, a club that meets every other Monday in history teacher Jack Thompson’s room. “A lot of people get intimidated by it because they think you have to know a lot about stuff beforehand, but at a normal meeting, you come in and get a packet or we watch a video about a world issue or something the UN is talking about. It’s really interesting,” senior Model UN Secretary Sonja Cox-Raman said. “Then we talk about it a little bit and then we go into a formal discussion and you represent a country.” There is a specific way of speaking that follows the rules that are in place at UN meetings. Members speak in third person on behalf of the country they are representing. “Sometimes [at meetings, officers] just go and explain rules or talk about things the actual UN is doing,” junior Samantha Goldstein said. “But most of the [meetings] I’ve gone to they’ll just kind of do a mini conference, a brief one, not a super big issue and we’ll just come up with one resolution.” Secretary General of the club (similar to the

Elsa Anderson Staff Reporter

Chris Holland president) Sammy Barwell has been in Model UN all four years of high school. “[I joined] freshman year. I heard an announcement about the club and it sounded like something I was interested in because I was interested in learning more about the world.” The issues discussed vary based on current world events and major issues. “This year the big [issues] that we’ve discussed are refugees, that’s a big one right now in the world, mostly in the Middle East.

Climate change is always a big one,” Barwell said. “And then we usually have some room for people to suggest ideas that they want to talk about so we’ve done, like last year and the year before, we did a little bit on Ebola and the Zika virus because people wanted to do health. Or we’ll do women’s rights and education if that’s what people want, so there’s a lot of room for people to choose things that they want to talk about and we’ll create a meeting for that.” There are two Model UN conferences a year. The school’s club members are able to meet up with other club members from other schools. “I went to the first one. I think the second one is in the spring and those you just kind of go with Mr. Thompson and you’ll be put in different committees, just like in the real UN,” Goldstein said. “For example, I had to do one where it was all Latin American countries and you’ll be given multiple situations.” Many members feel that the club has offered them an opportunity to discuss issues that are often overlooked in a typical school setting. “You gain a big global perspective. I don’t think I’ve had any class at school that really focuses on current events on a global level,” Barwell said. “It’s a great way to learn about big issues that are relevant to the world and not just the U.S.”



March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Cheerleading takes home the gold at state

Melina Monlux

Sideline Chatter


heerleading News Editor has a long history of going to state, but the first place trophy has eluded them for over 10 years, since their last victory in 2006. This year, the team was able to change that. The girls delivered a stellar performance at state, where they scored an 84. This proved to be 11 points more than they needed to take home the state championship. “I knew that we had hit our routine when we got off, and we all felt really good about it,” senior captain Maia Purdy said. “When second place was awarded and we still hadn’t been called yet, I think we kind of knew.” The dedication and heart the girls had this season truly showed after Ballard was called for first place, and both players and coaches alike erupted in screams and cheers. “I don’t want to say it was shocking, because we really were prepared, but having worked for it all season, it was almost surreal to see our goal accomplished,” Purdy said. For many of the girls, this accomplishment came just in time to finish off high school cheerleading with the highest level of success. There was certainly a lot on the line, but the seniors felt the pressure the most. “Knowing that this was our last year made us work that much harder,” Purdy said. “We knew how much we wanted to win, and the underclassmen saw that too and stepped up for our sake.” The girls returned to Ballard as state champs and were given a “clap up” to celebrate, where the students congregated in the hallways and applauded as the team paraded by.

Basketball makes it to districts Boys Basketball started out as the 16 seed in the Metro League District qualifier bracket, but quickly clawed their way up the tournament and into districts. Playing five games in five days, the Beavers surprised many, beating three teams that they had lost to in the regular season, including the 2016 3A state runner up O’Dea in the second round. Their run eventually came to an end in the districts after a loss to Bellevue. The cheerleading team scored an 84, which proved to be 11 points more than they needed to take home the state championship. (Jay Dotson) While they are enjoying the success for a while, they will continue to cheer at basketball games, and have one more practice left. Although the team was competitive all season, they put in extra effort to prepare for state. “We had practices before and after school,” Purdy said. “Our coaches were great motivators. They knew that we wanted to win, and tried to push us, but also stayed supportive and reminded us what we wanted.” Leading up to the state competition, Ballard was ranked first in their division after the final regular season competition, where they scored an 81.5 out of 100, 1.5 points higher than the second place team, North Central High School. Regardless of this position and

their hours spent in preparation, the girls knew that winning was no guarantee. “Our division is really tough, there are so many good teams. At the end of the day, not everyone can win,” Purdy said. Still, the girls had faith in themselves and their abilities. “We all have a lot of trust in each other, and that really shows on the mat,” Purdy said. “We have been working really hard, and won our last competition, which definitely helped to give us confidence going into state.” Next year, the girls will be working to defend their title, but for those who are graduating, the victory couldn’t be better timed. “I am really happy it happened my senior year,” Purdy said. “Being a state champion is a highlight of high

Q&A with Jessica Coacher

Jessica Coacher was one of two freshman on the girls varsity basketball team this year and was second on the team in rebounds. The team finished with a record of 9-12. What was it like being one of the only two freshman on the varsity basketball team going into the season? In the beginning I was really nervous and intimidated because everyone was older than me, but towards the end it was super cool. We got close and I felt really confident. When did you start playing basketball? I started playing [recreational basketball] in like second or third grade, and then I started playing select towards the end of sixth grade. What is the off-season like? So we have fall season where we just do fall season games and those are fun, and then we practice in June which is good. I don’t know, it’s hard but we get better. What is it like being the second leading rebounder? It’s pretty cool, I mean as a freshman to be the second leading rebounder. I guess it’s just about working really hard. Reporting by Ella Andersen

Lifeguard Arrested for Voyeurism A 2016 BHS alumnus, lifeguarding at the Ballard Pool was arrested late last month after staff discovered he had set up a cell phone to record video inside an employee locker room according to SPD Blotter. Police were called to the pool after two female employees found a cellphone setup to record video from underneath a pile of swimsuits in a staff locker room. Employees reviewed the video on the phone, which reportedly showed the 19-year-old suspect setting up the camera, and called 911. The lifeguard has worked part-time at the Ballard Pool for the past two years. He was not employed at any other city pool facility.

Three wrestlers make state Sophomores Jeremy Miyake, Isaiah Larkin and Kayla Rodgers made it to the state wrestling meet in their respective weight classes. Larkin was coming off of a Metro League championship victory in the 106 pound weight class and Miyake was Metro runner up in the 113 pound weight class. The team overall placed 3rd im the Metro League and did not make it to state. For Rogers and Miyake, it was their second time reaching the state tournament. With three state wrestlers, the team hopes to build on this success.


March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)


Young talent includes five gymnasts at state tournament

Sophomore places in four different events and takes 12th all-around


ive of the top gymnasts Staff Reporter competed at the state meet at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall in February last month. Those who competed in state this year were freshmen Kelsey Barnes and Ava Alvord, sophomores Avery Miller and Stermer and junior Amirah Karam. “I was disappointed that we weren’t able to [compete] as a team this year, but the whole team still came out to support Celyn Stermer us so it still felt like a team event,” Miller said. Stermer was one of the five gymnasts that went to state this year, and placed eighth on vault, as well as tying for eighth in floor, 14th on bars and 12th for all-around.“I know this is cliché, but never give up,” Stermer said about what she’s learned from gymnastics. Stermer has been thriving in gymnastics this season, winning vault, bars, beam and all around about six weeks ago at a meet against Ingraham and Roosevelt, leading the team to

Ella Andersen

victory. She was also named SPS Student Athlete of the Week on Jan. 17. She’s been doing gymnastics for eight years, and scored herself a spot in state for it. “[Gymnastics] is a way to conquer fears you didn’t even know you had, and you can express your personality in your floor routine,” Stermer said, on what she likes most about the sport. The sophomore doesn’t plan on pursuing gymnastics after high school, but will still give it all she’s got while she’s here. Freshman Ava Alvord ensured herself a spot in state for every event this year, and though she’s new to our school, she’s not new to gymnastics, having competed since she was sixyears-old. “My favorite events are beam and floor,” Alvord said. Alvord tied for 46th on bars, tied for 29th in floor, tied for 41st on vault and tied for 37th all around. She has three more seasons of gymnastics at school, so she has plenty of time to work her way up the leaderboard. Sophomore Avery Miller tied for 26th on beam, and junior Amirah Karam tied for 35th on beam and 31st on bars. “It was really cool [to make it to state as a sophomore] because there were a lot of people who were really

Sophomore Avery Miller performs a floor routine during a meet earlier this year. Miller placed 26th on the beam at the state tournament. (Jay Dotson) high up and it just felt like a bigger event,” Miller said. All of these gymnasts are still young and it isn’t their last season. Next season, the team looks to build upon their success this year. “I think

it’s great because there’s still room to grow,” Miller said. “We just have to keep going.”

Bracketology: March Madness fan predictions I usually pick Gonzaga to go all the way, just because I’m a big Gonzaga fan. But I usually put at least one Pac-12 team in the final four. Arizona goes fairly often, and then UCLA is really good this year. You also always have to pick a team from the East like Seaton Hall because they are always big upset winners.


Connor Mount (12)

I usually pick teams who have been consistent in the tournament in the past and that have experienced veteran players leading the team. That’s why I’m looking out for Villanova because they won it all last year and not that many star players left. Also look out for Gonzaga and of course Duke and Kentucky because they’re powerhouses.


Min Devaney (1o) I usually get hooked on one player before the tournament and then I just pick their team to win. This year my favorite players are Luke Kennard [Duke] and Miles Bridges [Michigan State] because they infuence their teams astronomically. Also, Lonzo Ball [UCLA] is a magician.


Shay Curcuruto (12)

Sam Heikell



March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

E K BREAKING NEWS! A F Rachel Halmrast Jackson Croy Claire Moriarty

“Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest,” said New York Times Editor Dean Baquet regarding the barring of several news outlets from a White House press conference.


or 250 years, the press has been an integral part of the American Republic. Serving as an ultimate check to the power of the three branches of government, it guarantees honesty and transparency between the government and its people. Unfortunately, we have elected a president who directly opposes the press, even referring to it as an “enemy

of the people.” The First Amendment to the Constitution promises that “congress should make no law … abridging freedom of speech or of the press.” However, the Trump administration’s agenda is not to eliminate the press; it seems to be to distill enough distrust toward them as to eliminate their credibility.

The ultimate check to the power of the three branches of government


President Trump has stated that The New York Times and CNN—both of which have at least half a century of credible news coverage under their journalistic belts—are “failing” enterprises. Trump has claimed that they are “FAKE NEWS” and “a great danger to our country.” The obvious danger of this stance is that the President of the United States of America is tweeting in a derogatory manner about which businesses are succeeding and failing. The less obvious (and far more nefarious) danger is to the people when the press is suppressed. Continued on p. 15


March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)



Legitimate news organizations will have their own domain names. Beware of sites—they are deceptively similar to the official news site, but may offer completely different content.


Just typing the reporters’ DOUBLE names into Google can confirm the validity of an article. Reporters without proper credentials—or even with fake names - are common writers of articles.

Find the (REAL) quotes


Do a reverse image search to find stolen photos Look up sources

Just the presence of quotes in an article is a good sign: they usually indicate a oneon-one conversation with someone who is knowledgeable about the topic. However, they can sometimes be taken out of context from other sources.

It’s all too easy to skim a headline and jump to conclusions. Headlines are meant to draw readers in, but they do not present all the facts.

Articles often rely on support from other information to back up their claims. If a source is cited, don’t just take their word for it—check out the source for yourself and make sure the information is being interpreted correctly.

Photographers that work for legitimate publications will always take their own photos, or cite where their photos came from. A reverse image search is as easy as dragging an image into the Google search bar, and it will generate similar images, as well as any other sites that feature that image.

SEARCH FOR DISCLAIMERS Truly satirical news does exist, and is meant to sound impossibly ridiculous. Although they are not always posted, some satirical news sites will have disclaimer either in their “About Us” page, or hidden somewhere else on their website.



March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

FIRST PERSON: How to make a feature film

The ins and outs of creating ‘Beach Club’


each Club” began as a simple

idea in the minds of three somewhat innocent sophomores entering their second half of high school. We worked on an outline one scalding-hot day in June, in the midst of end-of-year mania, and emerged with the story of three boys on the trip of a lifetime through the dense and wild forests of the Pacific Northwest. That was nearly two years ago.

Step one: Build a crew


crew made up of likable people is one of the most essential features of a successful shoot. Since conceptualization in June of sophomore year, both the idea and people involved matured and expanded into fullygrown entities. Leo Galen Rauf (12) worked tirelessly on a script, and we added friends from both Ballard and The Center School to the crew. We all genuinely liked each other, and that’s important; a set can’t function properly if precious hours are spent being mad at one another. There were, of course, moments where we didn’t get along. In these moments of stress, take a breath and remind yourself how lucky you are to be doing something you love surrounded by your friends.

Step two: Prepare for the worst Things will go wrong; it’s completely and utterly unavoidable, so accept the problems and deal with them. Our car broke down at a

grocery store, forcing Baker and Director of Photography Sebastian Mesler (The Center School, 12) to sleep there overnight. We got backed into by a van at 6 A.M. on the last day of shooting, and Jesse Romero (12) had to get her car repaired once we returned. As best as you can, prepare for these things. Don’t expect everything to go swimmingly because, no matter how well you plan, it won’t. At the end of the day, though, that’s okay. A story with no hurdles is hardly a story at all.

Step three: Recognize the little things


or every one thing that goes wrong, there will be five that go right. There are moments that you expect a difficult shot is completed in one attempt, an actor delivers a line exactly how it was imagined the moment it was originally typed. These are important however, the truly special moments are ones of spontaneity. Some will have to do with the film itself: we experimented with improvisation throughout the filming of Beach Club, which made for some of the funniest lines in the movie. Other moments, though, will have very little to do with the film and much more to do with the people making it. Dancing to David Bowie under the moonlight. Playing board games in the tent after cooking burgers on a cheap grill. Waking up at dawn to the increasingly annoying sound of “Another Day” by Paul McCartney, played to death each morning by Rauf. Recognize these small moments; they will be the things you remember.

Our campground for the majority of our shoot. We slept in a small area on the outskirts of Port Townsend, Washington. (Miles Andersen)

Step four: Commit, and hope for the best

Miles Andersen and Emma Obrietan

Video Editor and Staff Artist


he process of making a feature film is tiresome, annoying and ecstasyinducing. It will be both one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, as well as one of the most rewarding. It takes time, and before you embark on that journey you need to stop and consider something: Is your film something that you’re willing to put years of your life into? Is it something that you truly believe in, without a shadow of a doubt? If the answer is yes, then we implore you to take the first step in the long trek towards victory. Good luck. Above: Baker and Obrietan enjoy a post-shoot relaxation at our campground. (Miles Andersen) Left: Our schedule for the week leading up to the trip. This was a tense time, but we persevered and left Seattle feeling excited about the coming shoot. (Miles Andersen)

Learn more about ‘Beach Club’ in an interview with the crew on


March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)



Behind the scenes of the spring musical Katie Read Kearney


hen audience members attend a musical they view a finished product: an integration of the cast, chorus, orchestra and set design. If done well, it is easy for the audience to become immersed in the magic such a production has to offer. However, what is rarely seen from this perspective is how this magic is created and a masterful rendition is produced. Directors and cast members of the production provided insight into the meticulous work that occurs behind the scenes to ensure that each portion of the production is successful and harmonious with the others. Mr. Riley, Director of Les Mis, has a hand in almost every aspect of the production. This includes, but is not limited to: scheduling, set design and costume coordination. Riley uses several strategies to ensure that the overall performance of the cast is successful. “Because there are very few named characters in this play, we’ve asked all of the cast members to create a backstory for their characters,” Riley

Copy Editor

said. “Why are you here? Why are you fighting? Why did you join the rebellion? Who are you leaving behind? Are you a father, a brother, a mother, a sister? Who are you in this play? Because when you’re just playing ensemble, stakes aren’t high enough. And, of course, stakes are very high in this play, they are going to revolt against the government, knowing that they most likely will die. As long as that particular actor knows what he or she is doing on stage, it will read as if they are buying into the story.” Senior Diego Roberts Buceta commented on his role as the musical’s lead protagonist, Jean Valjean. “What I enjoy about taking on the role of Jean Valjean is that he is a very complex character in that you have to really study his past, what his motivations are and his emotional states throughout the show,” Roberts Buceta said. “He’s also a very challenging role to play, and I really enjoy challenge.” Les Mis opens this Thursday at the performing arts center and runs Thursday through Sunday from March 16 to the 26.

Right: The young revolutionaries, represented by the chorus, settle for the night following their first major scrimmage with the French Army. The young men are grim and introspective as they await the second battle. Marius Pontmercy, played by junior Justice Brown, is aware that his odds of surviving the battle are slim. While dreading his inevitable fate, he grapples with the news that Cosette will be moving away to England with Valjean. (Katie Read Kearney)

Above: Fantine, played by senior Meg Shepherd, rehearses a scene in which she shares a tender exchange with the musical’s lead protagonist, Jean Valjean, played by Diego Roberts Buceta. Fantine, nearing death and in a hallucinatory state, pleads with Valjean that he care for her daughter, Cosette. (Katie Read Kearney)

“There is a lot of freedom and opportunity to discover your character while in the chorus, and to find what makes you important in the context of the show.”


Eileen MacDonald (10) Left: Senior Alexandria Scott plays violin in the pit orchestra. “Musicals have really weird music and weird keys,” Scott said. “It’s very different from what we would normally play, which is classical.” Different than most musicals, the “Les Misérables” orchestra plays the whole time. (Katie Read Kearney)

Les Mis opens in the PAC on March 16. Tickets are available through (search for Ballard High School.)

OPINIONS 14 What it’s like to be an immigrant in America today

March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Students from other countries speak out about travel ban


magine this: you’ve lived in another country all your life; a place where there are different rules, customs and people. Deciding Samantha Swainson to move to Staff Reporter America was hectic and challenging, but you’ve settled in. United States election time has now passed, and people are panicking, regretting or celebrating. The country has become more divided than before, people are shouting at one another— each one trying to get their opinion heard. This past year, relations between political parties and even old friends have deteriorated, all of it relating to where and how they were raised. Most of it boils down to choosing between democratic and republican candidates, or even a third party. Personal tensions are high, so I thought I’d step back from my individual opinions and reach out to students who were raised in other countries. Caroline Gonzalez, a sophomore from Spain, stated a common Trump

sentiment. “A lot of people said, ‘I voted for Trump because I’d rather have a sexist and a racist than a murderer.’” This type of opinion, when voiced in large masses, provided an advantage to the Trump campaign. “Your political background makes a huge difference,” Caitlin Millard said, a senior from South Africa. “For someone like me, I grew up in a fairly racist society and I myself actively made the decision to not be racist.” Different backgrounds may breed different perspectives. How you were raised or where you were born most definitely influences your decisionmaking process. The United States is admittedly very powerful in military and political background. International news was (and is) booming. “It’s such a big deal, the U.S. is such a big country, known by everyone, and everyone loves the U.S.,” Jessica Pruzin said, a junior from Switzerland. Something like the election of the new president of the United States includes massive debates and events, leading up to the candidates endgame: inauguration. The race between candidates was furious, each trying to one-up the other. Still, fake news runs rampant and it’s hard to get a clear view on subject matter. What news

source did people trust outside of our borders? “On the international news, a lot of what was happening was that you were hearing both sides of the story from an outside source,” Millard said, when explaining the differences in what was being fed to Americans compared to outside our borders. “You had these contrasting things that were saying different things, whereas international news was being a little bit more unbiased.” Many have begun categorizing America before and after Trump’s inauguration as Obama’s America and Trump’s America. TIME Magazine designated Trump “President of the divided states of America.” In the past month alone, the amount of reversed laws and acts have left most of the country spinning. “In Obama’s America, most people felt safe, they felt confident in their rights, they knew what was going to happen was predictable even if they didn’t necessarily agree with it,” Millard said. Much of the population is uncertain with the dramatic change in our nation’s leadership, calling out the

Electoral College and fighting against presidential decisions. “I’d like to say our election here was a joke, but it’s still more civilized than things you can see in other places,” Millard said. You arrived new to the school, new to the country, new to the culture. The things you learned are being upheaved. Your perspective is beginning to change, because even if it’s not you being singled out, you’re still uncomfortable, thinking, “that could be me.”

Learning how to be human

Liberal arts should be more highly valued in education and society


cannot count the times my mother has urged me to learn coding, which she refers to as “the language of the future.” She Ana Marbett is absolutely Online Editor convinced that I will never make a single cent unless I become an engineer. Although she encourages me to follow my passions and find what I love, every comment is punctuated by the fear that I will not succeed in life due to my affiliation with humanities. In our society there is a line that divides those gifted in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields and those who are interested in liberal arts. In education, there is an unequal amount of importance placed upon STEM education compared to humanities. Ever since I was young I have feared for my future because of this imbalance. To have educators and

adults tell me that what I was good at was not going to take me far in life was understandably upsetting. I do not believe that humanities should be held in higher esteem than STEM. It’s true that in our increasingly technological world we need people who understand how it functions externally. We need people to keep us fed, watered and with a roof over our heads. But we also need people to understand how our world works internally. We need people to

understand how humanity works. This is the importance of teaching humanities. Humanities is not just about learning how to use a comma or memorizing the order of the Chinese dynasties. It is about learning how to be human. “[Humanities] is how you learn to empathize, look beyond your own perspective and see what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes,” ninth grade language arts teacher Taryn Coe said. “If you don’t read literature about

perspectives that are different from your own, then I think you will have a hard time when you’re out in the world dealing with other people.” I am not saying that STEM graduates lack these characteristics and skills, only that their professions typically do not hone in on them as specifically as those related to humanities. We always think about how we would survive without our scientists, engineers and doctors because they are obviously essential to our society. But we tend to overlook the journalists, artists and foreign correspondents who succeed in uniting communities by informing, connecting and inspiring the masses. Like any system, our society needs balance. Thus, neither scientists nor journalists should be more highly valued or even compared. We all bring something different to the ecosystem that is our community, and in an increasingly divided world we must learn that no person can be disregarded. Cooperation and balance are key to having a society that functions both externally and internally.

March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

Hollywood begins to remake history


The 2017 Oscars took strides toward diverse representation


he release of the nominees for the 89th Academy Awards announced the breaking of two records: the acclaimed Claire Moriarty feature “La La Opinions Editor Land” garnered 14 nominations, the most in history. And six black actors and actresses were nominated, also the most in history. At first, six seemed like a measly number, given that the Oscars have aired 89 times over the course of the past century. But, after some consideration, I came to the decision that in the wake of last year’s awards— in the wake of #OscarsSoWhite, that is—the number should be regarded with positivity. Hollywood, though it likely wants to come off as “all-inclusive,” has had a serious diversity problem in the past. According to a study conducted by the University of Southern California on films and TV shows released between September of 2014 and August of 2015, only 28.3 percent of speaking characters were from non-white racial or ethnic groups. This level of representation is shockingly low, given

how diverse America’s population is. They also can’t seem to stop casting white actors in films that aren’t actually about white people. This has occurred in Hollywood productions throughout history, including but not limited to the casting of Natalie Wood as a Puerto Rican girl in “West Side Story.” That was in 1961, but Matt Damon recently starred in “The Great Wall,” which is in fact about the Great Wall of China. I didn’t think that was possible when I first heard about it, given that the lead actor was white. To be fair, the movie was a colossal flop, and Damon was playing a European mercenary, but is that any excuse? I figure if you’re making a movie about the Great Wall of China, you should allow it to be about Chinese people. So, when awards season 2017 rolled around, I was both irritated with and disappointed in the film industry, mostly because of “The Great Wall.” After the Oscars, I felt a little more warmth for it. In a way, six is a measly number. But we can’t forget the four black filmmakers recognized in the Best Documentary category, or the multiple nods that Barry Jenkins, director of “Moonlight,” received. We also can’t forget Dev Patel, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work in “Lion.”

Political statements abounded that night, some more blatant than others. Actors including Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ruth Negga appeared on the Red Carpet with blue ribbons pinned to their clothes in support of the American Civil Liberties Union. Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian director whose film “The Salesman” won in the Best Foreign Language Film category, boycotted the Oscars in support of the six countries that are being affected by the immigration ban. I found the whole thing inspiring, empowering and totally awesome. And then it got even better. “Moonlight,” a ground-breaking film


vabout a gay black man that was also directed by a black man, won Best Picture. It so deserves that award. It is unique, poetic, moving, spectacularly acted and above all a fascinating and tender portrayal of the impoverished “inner city” black kid and the people around him. “Moonlight” won Best Picture not because the Academy wants to pander their diverse and accepting nature, but because it truly was the best picture of the year. Hollywood, and the world we live in, both have a long way to go when it comes to diverse representation. But the 89th Academy Awards gave me hope that we’ll get there.

Fletcher Anderson

Consequences of media suppression (continued from 11) Historically, there are a few trends that occur when the press is made the enemy of the state. The U.S. media is protected constitutionally. When attacked by a public official, news outlets are enabled to act upon their principal duty: to insure government transparency. If the media’s only defense is to further protect the people’s right to be informed, fewer government slip-ups will be

overlooked. Trump’s rhetoric is almost an exact echo of the early years of Nixon’s presidency. Their campaigns and constit-

uents were similar, and both harbored grudges against news media. Nixon too tried to destroy the credibility of the press, but according to Carl Bernstein, who reported on Nixon’s Watergate scandal, Trump has taken this a step further. “Trump is out there on his own, leading a demagogic attack on the institutions of free democracy,” Bernstein

said in an interview with the Washington Post. “We are into terrible authoritarian tendencies.” The Trump administration has taken anti-press notions past the Nixonian standard of

private-hate-public-love to a new level of blatancy. The administration’s actions toward the press, specifically the banning of certain news organizations from his press conferences, bear striking similarities to history’s most infamous

political party: the Nazis. Rather than completely suppressing the news media, the Nazi Propaganda Ministry sought to control it. If a newspaper published a story that spoke in a negative way about the party, the Nazis would smash the windows and make efforts to ruin the careers of journalists. We learn every year the importance of history and its cycles of repetition. We have come now to a point where it

is of the utmost importance that we recognize patterns of the past, so that we do not take for granted our free and unabridged press. If journalism is a rough draft of American history, we live today through a very

rocky stage of writer’s block. The press should not forget its people, nor the people their press. None of us should let the Trump administration’s efforts to discredit the media impact objective facts or our perceptions of the nation’s most important institution of knowledge.



March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)

REAL NEWS DAILY “Definintely real, not at all FAKE.” NEW Billboard Hot 100 ‘Alternative facts’ OUT NOW Hear the hottest new “alternative” and “indie” facts including Kelleyanne Conaway’s smash hits “And the Crowd goes Wild” and “The Bowling Green Massacre.”

Kellyanne Conway applauds herself on informing the public about the Bowling Green Massacre which justifies the travel ban that will keep America safe.

A division of the Trump Administration’s Very Legitimate and Always Accurate News Company That Also Has Normal Sized Hands.

Largest and bestest wall in the world CONFIRMED. Will be seen from DEFUNDED and FAILING ISS

Making progress: the White House is now Whiter than ever

The world’s biggest and most good crowd ever at the inaguration of Donald J. Trump into the Whitest House

“It’s a very good wall and it will look spectacular from the Democrat Clubhouse we spent all that money on... it’s HUGE.” - The Donald

President Trump vows to make America great again with his very NORMAL sized hand on the bible at the inaguration which had the highest attendence in the history of the United States.

SHOCKING: What this

WOW: The word ‘lies’ has

“To think that eight-year-olds are recruiting our children to ISIS at recess all over the United States... it’s horrifying.” - 4th grade teacher Mary Smith

false in any way, shape or form

replaced in all dictionaries 4th grade teacher discovered been with the phrase ‘alternative facts’ was going on in her classroom which are true, and not at all Designed by Ana Marbett, Online Editor and written by Clay Cantrell, Staff Reporter

Talisman, issue 4, March 2017  
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