Your Voice Oct. 3, 2016
email@example.com | chsacumen.com | facebook.com/chsacumen | @chsacumen
EDITOR IN CHIEF: SELENA QIAN
Alina Husain, firstname.lastname@example.org Sitha Vallabhaneni, email@example.com
10.03 REPORTERS: Jordyn Blakey, firstname.lastname@example.org Jessica Mo, email@example.com Rachael Tan, firstname.lastname@example.org Emily Worrell, email@example.com GRAPHICS ARTISTS: Aditya Belamkar, firstname.lastname@example.org PHOTOGRAPHERS: Divya Annamalai, email@example.com Shraddha Ramnath, firstname.lastname@example.org
Selena Liu, email@example.com Gabby Perelmuter, firstname.lastname@example.org Rebecca Qin, email@example.com Sam Shi, firstname.lastname@example.org Sameen Siddiqui, email@example.com Amy Tian, firstname.lastname@example.org Alanna Wu, email@example.com Christina Yang, firstname.lastname@example.org Raiha Zainab, email@example.com Carolyn Zhang, firstname.lastname@example.org < COVERS AND PG 2-3 PHOTOS, ILLUSTRATION & DESIGNS // SELENA QIAN
Dearest reader, We often rely on vocalization to express what we wish to communicate, but that’s not always the most available nor the most enduring or impactful method of expression. Voice goes beyond the spoken word, encompassing inner beliefs and thoughts. In this issue, we explore varying means of expression, from performance art to nonverbal communication. For the upcoming election, we have surveyed the students and taken into account your
beliefs, your voices. Each piece delves into a different aspect of expression here, at CHS. In a student body of over 5,000, our voices are varied and diverse. Yet, in that same student body, our individuality may be lost among the crowd. From the spoken word to symbolic forms of expression, remember that no one can take away your voice. -Selena Qian, editor in chief
YOUR VOICE | 03
> ON THE COVERS AND THIS PAGE:
An illustrative take on “Your Voice,” and part of the process taken to get there.
IN THIS ISSUE 06
Q&A // Instrumental Expression
Fear of Public Speaking
PHOTO CREDIT // CAROLYN ZHANG
16 Performance 22
Your Voice Online
On a Page
Expression by Gesture
PHOTO CREDIT // SELENA LIU
SELENA QIAN // DESIGN
PHOTO CREDIT // CHRISTINA YANG
YOUR VOICE | 05
PHOTO CREDIT // SHRADDHA RAMNATH
DUNCAN HARDY | INSTRUMENTAL EXPRESSION
QUESTIONS | RACHAEL TAN PHOTOS | CAROLYN ZHANG
Senior Duncan Hardy is a percussionist in Wind Symphony I, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble I and the show choir band.
How do you feel when you’re playing these solos and expressing yourself?
A few years ago they had the greatest percussionists ever in band and orchestra, but they were all seniors, and they all graduated and left a ton of open spots. That’s why I became the drummer for Jazz (Ensemble) I last year as a junior—because all of these seniors left. I had this great example of (previous percussionists), and I wanted to be how good they (were), and I thought to do that I needed to do all the stuff they were doing. I even started taking jazz lessons last year to prepare for jazz band because I didn’t think I would be anywhere near how they were.
(Playing a solo) is kind of intimidating, and drum solos are completely different from any other type of solo because with trumpets, saxophones, whatever, you follow a key and it’s more melodic, but with drums it’s more rhythmically and sometimes it’s kind of difficult to come up with new ideas. My jazz teacher tells me when you’re soloing (it’s) like singing a melody but around the drums, paralleling it with a trombone for instance. I get very nervous all of the time, and I was very nervous at the (convocation) last year, but I still had a lot of fun. (Improvising) took a while to get used to, and a lot of it came last year when I joined Jazz (Ensemble) I, but no longer are you trying to play every note right and perfectly as the composer wanted it. Each time there is a new director or new band members it’s a different arrangement of the song you’re playing, so you can play swing classics and old-timey music as a funk groove, or even as a rock song if you so wanted to. That whole aspect of making the music versus playing it, there’s a lot more creativity. You have a lot more freedom, and I liked that a lot about jazz.
Is there a particular role you enjoy? Why? By far, the most fun ensemble I’ve ever been in was show choir (band), and I don’t know if that’s because I get to play loud drums and it’s pop music. I still find orchestral and classical music interesting and sometimes even playing timpani and tambourine in a concert band is fun, but there’s just something about playing loud pop tunes with the show choir that’s really, really fun.
You said you believe performing music is about expressing what should be expressed. Where did that philosophy come from? I recorded (a song) for a concerto competition. I didn’t win, but I worked super hard for months and months, and it was really frustrating to have to play that same song over and over, until my teacher told me each performance can be different and each one is different because of the way you express it musically, and I took that as, ‘What can I do to make each performance special?’ and so when I practice that tune, I focused way more on the musicality instead of just playing the notes and just expressing what I thought the music wanted me to say.
SELENA QIAN // DESIGN
What prompted you to become involved as a percussionist in more than just band?
Do you feel that music is your only outlet to release your voice? I think that music is one of the most defining parts of me: being able to express yourself through art and organize your thoughts, whether it’s by music or writing a school paper. And in general, everything you do in music kind of ties to the rest of your life, and I find being able to express yourself and think your own way really important.
YOUR VOICE | 07
SEE THE FULL Q&A AT CHSACUMEN.COM
YOUR VOICES IMMIGRATION
QUESTIONS AND PHOTOS | SAM SHI
Freshman Noah Sim
“My opinion on immigration is that illegal immigration should not occur, but legal immigration where the people who want to immigrate do all the necessary tasks that they need in order to immigrate, should be able to.”
Students and teachers give their opinions on controversial issues in the upcoming election.
Senior Nate Breeden “Aren’t we just the one country that’s all immigration? So why can’t we just increase that melting pot? I think immigration is kind of healthy for us, (so) I don’t think what you should do is kick them out.”
Instructional assistant Sara Rust
“Less car use and more walking and getting out to nature more can help. Stop building buildings where there don’t need to be buildings, leave some of the trees and some of the forest areas. For example, right at 86th and Meridian they tore down all those trees, so that’s all gone now unfortunately.”
AP Environmental Science teacher Jacob Fitzgerald 10.03
Art teacher Andrew Murray
Sophomore Dulce Crane
"I think we are close to where it should be. I don’t think that automatic weapons are something we ever need. Background checks are nice, and those I think can definitely be tightened because you can never really do enough to make sure the person getting (guns) is worthy of it. But, I don’t have any issue with anyone having them, as long as it’s within the privacy of their own home, or permits are needed to carry it just like you would if you were a hunter or fisher."
“I believe that gun control is kind of necessary, but then again kind of not because we are going to do whatever we want anyway. You're not really going to stop it. We have the freedom to say whatever we want, so shouldn’t we have the freedom to do whatever we want? And by issuing gun control, that would take away from that."
"For most people it’s hard for them to think of their future, especially for their kids or young people who live in the now, so I think the huge thing they can do is put a cost on some of the stuff, like put a cost on how much water you're using, or how much energy you're using. Make less efficient cars more expensive to drive, besides just the cost of gas. If you tax (natural resources), people will actually care if you put a money value on it.”
INDIANA VOTING REGISTRATION
SELENA QIAN // DESIGN
ELECTION POLLING SENATE RACE INDIANA VS. CHS
CHS: Todd Young
Be a US citizen
IN: Todd Young
Live at an Indiana address by Oct. 9
CHS: Evan Bayh IN: Evan Bayh
Be 18 years old by Election Day, Nov. 8
CHS: Other, None, Don’t Know
How to Register
38% (4.6%, 19%, 13%)
BY MAIL/IN PERSON: Download and print out the Indiana state voter registration form. Fill out the form and postmark it by Oct. 11.
GOVERNOR RACE INDIANA VS. CHS
Mail to: Indiana Election Division 302 West Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46204
Fill out the form and turn it in to your county voter registration office by Oct. 11.
IN None 17%
DID YOU KNOW?
Only 60 percent of those eligible to vote in the presidential election do so in any given year. At CHS, only 48 percent of students polled voted for a presidential candidate. CHS John Gregg 27%
CHS Other, None, Don’t Know 48% (2%, 9%, 37%)
IN John Gregg 41% CHS Eric Holcomb 25%
IN Eric Holcomb 42%
YOUR VOICE | 09 9%
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Susan Brooks, the republican candidate, has served as Indiana’s District 5 Representative for two terms (since 2012). She won the 2012 election with 58.4 percent and the 2014 election with 65.2 percent of the vote.
AMY TIAN // GRAPHIC PRESIDENCY.UCSB.EDU, INDIANAVOTERS.IN.GOV, REALCLEARPOLITICS.COM, // SOURCES Survey size: 615 students, grades 9-12, random stratified sample by grade
Green Party Jill Stein/ Ajamu Baraka
Libertarian Gary Johnson/ William Weld
Democratic Hillary Clinton/ Tim Kaine
Republican Donald Trump/ Mike Pence
CHS PRESIDENTIAL POLL
Other None Don’t Know
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING WORDS | ALANNA WU PHOTOS | CHRISTINA YANG
Non-verbal student at CHS finds hope through facilitated communication
t first glance, senior Megan Lueking should seem no different from any other CHS student: she has a job, dreams of being a psychology professor someday and enjoys going to McDonald’s for a “cheap date” with best buddy and best friend junior Grace “Gracie” Hamilton. She loves to read and type. Because Lueking has non-verbal autism, typing is what allows her to communicate. Lueking certainly isn’t alone; according to Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to spreading awareness about autism, approximately 25 percent of all individuals with autism are non-verbal. For Lueking, non-verbal autism manifests
10.03 itself into a physical force that prevents her from acting the way she intends. “I have a part of me that I hate,” Lueking said. “(Autism) is my opponent. I think it makes me not able to communicate.”
SITHA VALLABHANENI // DESIGN
Hamilton said Lueking often describes it as a struggle between her mind and body. “She is in her body, and her mind works differently, but she’s still very smart. But she can’t make her body move in the way that society thinks bodies should move. She will shake her hands and move her head around, and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to sit there silently, make eye contact with people, and she just can’t do that,” Hamilton said. Jim Smyth, co-founder of Saved By Typing, a local organization dedicated to advocating facilitated communication and supporting individuals learning to type, said many
YOUR VOICE | 11 individuals with non-verbal autism face the same struggles as Lueking when it comes to conforming to society’s expectations of them. “Society takes away, at the youngest age, who you are going to be and says ‘You’re
Senior Megan Lueking (left) uses her iPad to communicate to others like her mom (right). While she can say a few words, she could not communicate before she had an iPad.
Junior Grace “Gracie” Hamilton is senior Megan Lueking’s best buddy. Hamilton said she wants people to try to make an effort to talk to Lueking, even though most people think she’s not listening.
SITHA VALLABHANENI // DESIGN
autistic. So you’re never going to be this, never going to do that’... All of society (is convinced) that they have the mind of a two or 3-year-old,” Smyth said. However, facilitated communication allows Lueking to partially overcome her non-verbal autism through typing. A facilitator pulls back on Lueking’s arm while she types, providing the resistance she needs in order to focus her mind on the muscles she needs to type out a word. Without the assistance of a facilitator, it is very difficult for Lueking to type. Yet, typing independently is the only option. While Lueking cannot communicate with her peers at school, Hamilton said she believes CHS students should at least make an effort to communicate with Lueking.
“She doesn’t make eye contact, or shake her head ‘yes,’ so I can get how people think she’s not listening,” Hamilton said. “Nobody really makes an effort to be her friend. It’s really hard because she wants community, and she’s not able to get that because she can’t talk.” Lueking can’t tell her peers it’s her autism that forces her to take their iPhones and iPads, bite her hands or say certain things she doesn’t necessarily mean. She can’t tell them she is very intelligent and is tired of constantly being babied. She can’t tell them she hates it when people talk as if she isn’t there at all, simply because she can’t reply. “I want to tell people that I am in here, and I hear everything,” Lueking said. A
YOUR VOICE | 13
Senior Megan Lueking types what she wants to say on her iPad. Facilitated communication helps Lueking concentrate on typing.
Using her iPad, senior Megan Lueking discusses her future plans. Lueking said before the iPad, she couldn’t say what she was thinking.
SPEAK OUT A
pproximately 75 percent of all people experience some amount of fear or anxiety when speaking in public, according to a study by Belmont University. However, public speaking and presenting skills are often used in school, where presentations and speeches can be vital to grades. This is true in the class of Enid Baines, speech and English teacher. According to Baines, she will have students from time to time who have a fear of public speaking. “I talk to (students who are afraid) one on one, and I assure them that a lot of people in the room are feeling the same way, but if you don’t show it and don’t tell people, then nobody will know,” Baines said. “And it’s a skill that gets easier the more you practice. So no matter what you’re feeling inside, no one will know if you don’t tell them.” Sophomore Sophia Hughes said she has experienced anxiety from public speaking in the past, but has since gotten over that fear. “It made me nervous to do auditions or class presentations,” Hughes said. “Like, I would not want to go up there and talk in front of people, and when I did,
Students handle anxiety, fear of public speaking in a classroom setting WORDS | EMILY WORRELL PHOTOS | CHRISTINA YANG
I would just completely mess it up and fail and it would not be good.” However, Hughes said she managed to get over this fear through sheer repetition, speaking in front of people in both theatrical and classroom settings. For junior Lily Plumlee, repetition did not help her get over her fear; in fact, she said it has worsened to the point where she now does her classroom presentations only in front of teachers, without the entire class watching. “It’s just terrifying,” Plumlee said. “I don’t know exactly why. I just really don’t like it and I don’t feel comfortable doing it.” Plumlee is not alone in this fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia. Surveys from Psychology Today have shown that most people fear public speaking more than they fear death. Baines said she had heard this statistic before and thinks the main reason people face anxiety with public speaking is because they aren’t confident in what they’re saying. “It gives them anxiety if they’re not completely sure about the topic. A lot of times I think they’re given an
Sophomore Sophia Hughes has struggled with her fear of public speaking for many years. Hughes now uses practice and performance in both classroom and theatre settings to overcome her fear.
DESIGN // ALINA HUSAIN
GLOSSOPHOBIA: THE FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING The most common fear in the human population can affect you from head to toe.
WHY IS IT SO COMMON?
of people suffer from speech anxiety
increased heart rate nausea
e eav y s art rayte t
e , , a n se m u scles h n h e d i n c re a s i n g s s
50% ma le
rele causases in
es c a u s ing
b re a t h
a % fem le 50
th heightened aw e, g
ol, rtis co eness ar
Just one uncomfortable experience from when you spoke out can make you a glossophobic.
dilated pupils dry mouth unsteady voice
uitary gla pite stress hormonnd
trembling tense muscles
COMPARED TO THE FEARS OF... death - 16% heights – 11% spiders – 13% social situations – 10% darkness – 12% flying in airplanes – 7%
CHELSEA DAI // GRAPHIC MAYO CLINIC, BDBCOMMUNICATION, ACCENT ON BUSINESS//SOURCES
YOUR VOICE | 15 assignment and they just don’t have enough information so it’s difficult for them to think on their feet, and if they don’t have a script in front of them or haven’t prepared enough, then it can be difficult to keep their train of thought because it’s easy to lose focus when you’re nervous,” Baines said. While Plumlee said that methods to help glossophobia, including repetition and practice, haven’t helped her, Hughes said she believes there are ways to use anxiety while speaking in order to actually improve a presentation or performance. “Well, when you get nervous, it’s kind of like a jolt of energy,” Hughes said. “So use that energy to be more passionate about what you’re saying. It will work out for you and make you look less nervous. And if you’re
nervous beforehand, just make sure you practice, but don’t over practice, because that usually makes you forget what you’re trying to say.” Despite this, Hughes admitted that she, too, still sometimes experiences minor anxiety before performances and presentations. However, she said remembering certain facts about the presentation helps her to dispel her fears. “Well, it depends on the setting definitely, but if you’re in a class presentation, I think it’s just knowing that everyone in the room is doing the same thing as you and they’re not looking for you to fail,” Hughes said. “You just kind of have to tell yourself, ‘you’re gonna be fine. It’ll be fine.’ Like, it’s not gonna affect you, and nobody’s looking for you to do badly. It’ll be okay.” A
FINDING VOICE CHS students use performing arts as an avenue to express their voices. WORDS | JORDYN BLAKEY 10.03
hen junior Lauren Alexander went to Holiday Spectacular in fifth grade, she said it gave her confirmation about what she was meant to do. She saw a girl sing the song “When She Loved Me” from “Toy Story 2,” and she knew she wanted to perform. “It was just one of those things, like, ‘Oh my goodness, I want to be able to sing that one day,’” Alexander said. Alexander said performing arts has helped to give her a voice in a school of over 5,000 students. “I know particularly I’ve learned throughout the years (and) different songs and different performances you get to share a lot about yourself,” Alexander said.
SELENA QIAN // DESIGN
YOUR VOICE | 17
Junior Lauren Alexander (left) and Audrey Keokuk Class of ‘16 (right) perform at their first competition in Opelika, Alabama last February. The theme of the Accents’ competition set was “The Games We Play.” LAUREN ALEXANDER // SUBMITTED PHOTO
She started as a dancer, but when Alexander began middle school, she realized she wanted to exercise her vocal talents. “When I entered middle school, I started singing. Acting kind of came later,” Alexander said. Later, Alexander took applied music, a class which, according to the CHS Program of Studies, is used to develop students’ vocal abilities. In the class, she had the opportunity to choose any song she wanted to perform. As she chose her song, she said it was important that she selected something that showcased her individual voice. “I think it’s real interesting when you have a contrast character to what you’re used to,” Alexander said. While Alexander’s main avenue is singing, another way for students at CHS to showcase their voices is acting. Junior Eric Bembenek said acting helped him to develop his voice and personality at CHS. He said it also complements his already extroverted personality. “I think acting on the stage can help you be more outgoing,” he said. “I was always pretty outgoing, but I was nervous about being in front of an audience.” Yet, after acting for a while, he said he started to enjoy it. Bembenek has been acting since middle school and has continued in high school, as it helps him relieve stress. “(Acting is) definitely fun. It definitely takes my mind off of things that are bad,” Bembenek said. Similar to Bembenek, director of theater Maggie Cassidy’s main extracurricular activity in high school was theater. Unlike Bembenek, she had hopes of becoming a famous actress. “When I was in high school I was pretty sure I was going to be a famous movie star,” Cassidy said. Like Bembenek, Cassidy said she thinks
10.03 acting has affected her personality. She has been acting since she was nine years old, and she said it has helped her to expand her voice and become more confident. “I feel like it empowered me; I feel like it gave me more confidence,” Cassidy said. As an actor, theater isn’t always predictable, and Cassidy said the competition to even get onto the
Sophomore Ayden Stewart (left) and junior Eric Bembenek (right) practice their lines from the Studio One Acts. Bembenek’s favorite act that he has been a part of was “Godspell.”
SELENA QIAN // DESIGN
YOUR VOICE | 19
PHOTO CREDIT // DIVYA ANNAMALAI
Juniors Lauren Alexander (left), Sophie Miller (center), and Andrea Garcia practice for their upcoming concert. Alexander loves Accents and Ambassadors because of the positive and encouraging atmosphere.
stage may be a deterrent to fledgling actors. “The only frustrating thing about theater is that when it comes to the actual productions that we do, it is an audition into production. There’s kids who get discouraged when they don’t get to make a show,” Cassidy said. But that doesn’t mean her students can’t make their voices heard in other ways. Her community of students, or “ensemble” as she likes to call them, can get involved in theater by working behind the scenes and joining Theater Club, which allows her students to display their presence at CHS. “So that they can have a voice, so that they can feel like they are making a mark and not just
one of the 5,000 students here wandering the halls,” Cassidy said. Cassidy said she lets her students create their own productions. She said it allows them to express their own voice, even if it’s just within her theater class. “Giving kids the opportunity to make all of the choices and get to be in charge gives them a voice,” Cassidy said. Bembenek, a former student of Cassidy, is an Ambassador like Alexander, and said his position as an Ambassador comes with a certain presence in CHS. “I feel like (Ambassadors) should (also) be good ambassadors of the school,” Bembenek said.
SELENA QIAN // DESIGN LAUREN ALEXANDER // SUBMITTED PHOTO
YOUR VOICE | 21 Instead, they always return to the idea of personal expression and encouragement. “The entire room will understand and respect you,” Alexander said. After high school, Bembenek said he wants to continue with theater. “I hopefully want to go to college to major in contemporary theater. A lot of people don’t think there is a future in it, which may be true. I hope there is,” Bembenek said. Similarly, Alexander said she plans to major in performing arts in college. Alexander said, “I hope to pursue (vocal performance), and even if that doesn’t work out, I will definitely keep it with me.” A
Junior Lauren Alexander sings during one of her performances last year. Alexander said she encourages everyone to audition for choir because it is a way to be around students who are passionate about the same thing as you.
Alexander agreed and said the Ambassadors all help each other express their voices and share opinions with their peers. “In the choir setting as a group you can share important messages,” Alexander said. “(It’s an) atmosphere where (we) can be 100 percent focused on that message (we) want to send. I feel like that is just unique,” Alexander said. Every year, each student sings a solo for their choir. With an assortment of songs in mind, the students can select any genre they prefer. This solo encourages students to show a part of themselves to their peers. Particularly with this project, the Ambassadors, according to Alexander, don’t judge each other.
FACELESS VOICES Students express themselves online through different platforms. WORDS | RAIHA ZAINAB PHOTO | REBECCA QIN
Junior Cate Young runs her own blog where she is able to express her thoughts on the world around her. Young has been running her blog for the past six months.
ix months ago, junior Catherine “Cate” Young started her blog, theblondeuneed.wordpress.com, updating it every few weeks with new life lessons she has learned through different experiences. She said, “Usually, someone will do something that doesn’t make me very happy and I never confront them about it, and I take all of that anger and not understanding and I reformulate it in my head and then write about it.” Young said she uses her writing to spread positivity, hoping her audience will leave feeling inspired and motivated to improve themselves and find their self-worth. Counselor Cathleen Johnson said she believes blogs can be a good outlet for students to express themselves.
“There are things that, in a conversation, you may not feel comfortable expressing. But from the comfort of your own home, you’ve got this ability to be yourself and that may be the only place you feel comfortable being yourself,” Johnson said. Whilst blogs can be an outlet that some students choose to use, others use anonymous platforms to express themselves online, such as Whisper, an app that has surged in popularity, with over 20 million active users every month. Through Whisper, people are able to talk to others and express their ideas anonymously online. Users have the option to share their approximate location, age range and gender,
However, Budnick said she has not seen any of these cyber-bullying issues in her personal use of Whisper or other social media platforms. Unlike Budnick, much of Young’s audience is aware of who she is. Despite this, Young said she tries not to worry too much about other people judging her for what she posts, as writing on her blog is an overall positive for her. Young said, “There’s peace that I feel after I put it all out there. If I write down all of my thoughts, I feel this overwhelming sense of inspiration to join another club or find something else that I like to do or spend more time with my friends or get better grades,” she said. “All of a sudden, I have a new outlook on life ... I’ll be up at 2 a.m. and I’ll have all these revelations about life ... It makes me realize I’m only going to be this age for so long and I don’t want to miss out on amazing opportunities just because I’m dwelling on the negative.” A
and are able to talk on private messages with other users. According to Senior Amber Budnick, a frequent user of Whisper, the app is a way for her to talk to people without feeling as if she is being judged. She said, “They just get to hear your opinions and not judge you based on your family and how you grew up.” Budnick said the anonymity on Whisper allows her to voice her thoughts more freely than if her identity was known. Johnson, on the other hand, said she does not think anonymous apps are a good idea for students to use. She said, “There’s too much temptation to do things that you would not do if you’re name was tied to it. I see too many issues come with the anonymous aspect of posting things. I think it presents a huge problem, especially for cyber bullying.”
Take a look at the most popular apps for online expression: YOUR VOICE | 23
The app allows users to anonymously express how they feel and to meet others with similar problems in their lives.
Whisper Users can post “whispers” on backgrounds of photos or videos to share their feelings.
Users can express their personal thoughts on their school and peers anonymously.
Instagram Fake Instagram accounts, called finstas, have risen in popularity as they allow people to express themselves freely on social media.
ALINA HUSAIN//DESIGN ADITYA BELAMKAR //GRAPHIC
Finstagram WORDS | GABBY PERELMUTER PHOTO | SELENA QIAN
Senior Gabby Perelmuter explains the phenomenon of having a secondary Instagram account, or a finsta.
s high school students, some of us often have hundreds maybe even thousands of followers on social media. This can cause unnecessary pressure, regarding how often you post or what you want to post. Sometimes, you want to post something that isn’t worth being shared with all of those people, this is where a finsta comes in. An account with a lot less followers often
finding the perfect picture to use on Instagram. It’s an account where the number of likes, posts and quality of pictures doesn’t matter. It can also be described as a digital photo journal. What is amazing about finstas is the option to only let your closest friends follow them. In society, social media is a place where anxiety may skyrocket. Always wanting to get hundreds of likes and new
10.03 just close friends, where this pressure is taken off. A “finsta” or, a fake Instagram account is a rising trend. The idea of a finsta is incredible, really. A person makes a second account, separate from an original account, that they usually only let their closest friends follow. The purpose of a finsta is to post whatever one desires without the pressure and anxiety that comes with
followers in order to keep up with our peers can be a lot of pressure, and in some ways it is our own fault for putting such a drive into this matter. Our peers and other people we follow have set unwritten standards on how social media should or shouldn’t be run. A finsta is a way to move away from this mindset. Some people may question why you can’t just post what you would post on a finsta
Senior Gabby Perelmuter shares her thoughts on finstas, and why she personally loves them.
INSTAGRAM & FINSTAGRAM Take a closer look at just how popular Instagram really is, what a finsta actually is and why they are so important.
Instagram Users Around the World
Fin • sta (noun): Obtained through combining fake and Instagram. Finstas are accounts where users post photos or videos that are more natural and sometimes embarrassing. They are only followed by a small group of the account holder’s closest friends.
Russia: 27.5 million
US: 88.5 million
How important are finstas?
40% of teens feel the need to post content that is popular and casts them in a flattering light. Finstas allow teens to post content without having to feel this pressure.
Brazil: 27.0 million
Turkey: 16.3 million
There are approximately 400 million Instagram users around the world, with only about 25% of these in the United States. These users post over 70 million photos per day and give up to 3.5 billion “likes.”
SOURCES: STATISTICA.ORG, BRANDWATCH.ORG, PEWINTERNET.ORG ALINA HUSAIN // DESIGN ADITYA BELAMKAR // GRAPHIC
YOUR VOICE | 25 on a main account and just make the account private, but often times a person’s main account has more than just their closest group of friends on it. Teenagers in particular often have more than 1,000 followers on their accounts, some they know and some they don’t know, like classmates or coworkers, despite not being close friends. The finsta has a more exclusive side than a regular
private Instagram. While both types of accounts require those who would like to follow to submit a request, more people are denied than accepted by a finsta and often times the names of the accounts are funny and difficult to find. Some accounts are more exclusive than others, but more often than not, if you aren’t close with the person you’re requesting to follow, then you can expect them
to deny your follow request. Also, a regular Instagram account has unsaid rules such as the “no more than one post a day” rule, or the “you should be followed by more people than you are following” rule. Even though these rules are pointless and seem silly, people feel inclined to follow these unwritten rules because that’s what everyone else is doing. A finsta is a way to get away from this logic, as well as
the pressure and anxiety that comes with it. The point of a finsta is still very questionable. Who cares about your personal life or what’s going on? That is what is amazing about social media: people have the option to unfollow accounts or not like posts. So in turn, making a more personal account and posting is almost therapeutic. You can share moments all the time without all of the pressure. A
Book WORDS | JESSICA MO
PHOTOS | SHRADDH
Students express themselves through creative writing.
or freshman Danielle Loncharich, creative writing is a way to show her voice. “I think it’s more of a chance that young writers can show that they have a voice,” she said. “You only write for English class and they don’t let you really let you express anything about yourself. So then I can be who I want to be and you can really see who I am during my writing.” Loncharich said creative writing is both her favorite
activity and her class. She writes novels in the form of chapter books and will be one of the hundreds of thousands participating in the annual creative writing event called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. According to Jerry Brickley, Creative Writing Club sponsor and English teacher, Creative Writing Club members will participate in NaNoWriMo, an event in
SITHA VALLABHANENI // DESIGN
YOUR VOICE | 27
which participants aim to write 50,000 words in a month. Senior Siera-marie “CeCe” Gargiulo is a NaNoWriMo veteran who writes both novels and poetry. She said expressing her voice through writing is also a vehicle for understanding herself. “I’m really, really into deep philosophy, I guess you could say. So in my novels, basically what it is, is that I separate and fracture different aspects of humanity
and then I kind of just explore it to see how I feel about relationships with yourself and those around you,” she said. “When you look back in time ... when finding your voice, you see throughout history people struggling to define themselves and their places in society, but also how they view their aspect of existing. And I know that may sound a little odd, (but) through writing poetry, it’s like you can develop your voice by also developing the
aspects of you you might not even want to acknowledge exists.” Gargiulo was also recently honored in the IUPUI Poetry Contest. “I submitted an original poem I wrote when I was 13, so I didn’t think anything was going to happen with it, but it worked out and it was quite an amazing experience because it was being acknowledged for something I wouldn’t be able to present any other way than in writing,” she said. Brickley said creative writing possesses many benefits. “The advantage of approaching creative writing is it expands your vocabulary, it makes you a clearer writer and rather than just writing like an essay that just has the facts in it, you’re writing a piece that people might actually want to read,” he said. “If you develop your voice, your writing becomes better and more effective.” Gargiulo said writing could even help people who wouldn’t normally consider themselves writers. “I think (it could apply to) even those who think more logically, like my friend, (who has a) completely logical brain. The way that we communicate best is when she can theorize in her words and then I get to
10.03 Freshman Danielle Loncharich wrote a novel titled Love Story. She said people can know more about who she is through her writing.
analyze them,” she said. “So writing is a form of communication that connects different types of people.” For Loncharich, creative writing is a way to show who she is.
SITHA VALLABHANENI // DESIGN
“Writing is sometimes more effective than speaking,” Loncharich said. “Sometimes if I’m speaking with someone, I feel like I’m never really heard. But, in my writing, there’s a story to be told. If I write something and people read it, then they know more about me....Because they don’t really stop to get to know me, but then you can definitely see (who I am) in my writing.” Like Loncharich, Gargiulo said communicating with writing is easier than speaking. “Sometimes I can’t form words right,” Gargiulo said. “Sometimes I get nervous ... when writing poetry, it’s easier for me because it’s thoughts on the paper versus verbalizing it.” Loncharich said writing is an important method for people to express their personal voices. “When you do find other writers, they know you express yourself and they can definitely see more in your writing. We did this workshop in creative writing, and since (everyone is) all there for the same (reason),
Senior Siera-marie “CeCe” Gargiulo was recognized in an IUPUI poetry contest for a poem she wrote when she was 13 years old. Gargiulo uses writing jounrals to write poetry, personal essays, narratives, short stories and analyses of other works.
YOUR VOICE | 29 even if you just met them, once they’ve read my personal essay and I’ve read theirs, it’s kind of like you already know each other,” she said. “When I write, it’s like I can just let everything out and it’s all poured into my writing. A
Senior Kitty Khachatryan (right) communicates through ASL with Alexandra Daddone (left). Khachatryan is an ASL II student, and she said learning the language has helped her to better understand others. PHOTO CREDIT // SELENA LIU
SEE THE FULL ASL STORY AT CHSACUMEN.COM
Senior Peighton Perkins visits the El Rodeo booth at Deaf Deaf World. At each booth, visiting students could choose a sentence related to the booth's theme and learn how to say the sentence in ASL.
SELENA QIAN // DESIGN & PHOTOS
But still expressed. Students and teachers learn to speak without voicing their thoughts aloud through American Sign Language (ASL) at the annual Deaf Deaf World exhibition.
Senior Ally Fleckenstein signs the letter "E." Fleckenstein had a book-themed booth at the Deaf Deaf World event to teach visitors ASL.
Senior Georgia Duke teaches a visitor to sign the letter "S." Joseph Wheeler, ASL teacher and club sponsor, is a member of the deaf community and said via e-mail he feels he has had a normal life by using ASL to communicate.
Students sign in at the main entrance to the Deaf Deaf World event in the Blue and Gold gym. When students signed in, they received gridded sheets of paper that would be stamped at each booth as they learned new sign language phrases.
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IN THIS ISSUE:
Fear of Speaking Nonverbal Expression Election Polling Your Voice Online
Watch the “Your Voice” issue video at chsacumen.com