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THE COMMUNICATOR MAGAZINE VOL. 46 EDITION 4, MARCH 2020

The Climate and Environment Edition


About the Cover COVER BY CAMMI TIRICO, JORDAN DE PADOVA, ATTICUS DEWEY AND ISAAC MCKENNA

Our front cover is our representation of climate change. The melting earth symbolizes the overall increase in global temperature and the dangers of melting polar ice caps. We decided to use crayons to symbolize this because, like many issues in the world today, the responsibility of fixing climate change has fallen on youth. Youth activists have taken the lead in the climate movement because eventually they will be the ones dealing with the melting earth. Our environment edition talks about the effects climate change will have on the us, what we are doing to contribute to it and what others, and ourselves, can do to stop it.


THE COMMUNICATOR MAGAZINE Volume 46, Edition 4 | March 2020

News 08 NAAPID Comes to CHS

On Monday, Feb. 11, CHS parents and students celebrated National African American Parent Involvement Day with pancakes, jazz and conversation. By LACEY COOPER

14 In My Dreams

The CHS Advanced Health class welcomed guest speaker Will Heininger, and he shared his story about depression and football. By ELLA ROSEWARNE

Feature 28 It Just Becomes Normal

Zara Greene-Kaleski reflects on family, purpose and support. By SOPHIE KRIZ AND JOEY LOPEZ

32 Lost in the Gray

Hannah Freeland and Mikaela Melcher open up about their experiences with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a disorder that affects about 10 million Americans. By MIA GOLDSTEIN

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Fast Fashion

Many clothing companies have contributed to fast fashion, and to the growing rate of carbon emissions.

By LILY SICKMAN-GARDNER, AVANI HOEFFNER-SHAH, SOPHIE KRIZ AND ELLA ROSEWARNE

Opinion 66 Instead of Competition, Detroit Got Chaos

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The funding that Detroit Public School’s receieves has affected students’ education.

Constants

By NOAH BERNSTEIN

Reviews - 74 | Humans of Community - 82 | 10 Questions - 85 In My Room - 86 | Crave - 87 | Our Turn - 88 |

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Letter from the Editors

PRINT EDITORS-IN-CHIEF ATTICUS DEWEY ISAAC MCKENNA CAMMI TIRICO TAI TWOREK

As we wrap our fourth edition, we feel that we have a message to share with you all. In picking out a theme for this edition, we felt that environment was the right decision.We recognize that this has been done many times before (including by us last year) but we feel that this is an ever important issue, especially now more than ever. With the effects of climate change well upon us and the threat of catastrophic change ever-looming, we felt that it not only deserves but demands our attention. Through this edition, we of course intend to draw attention to the large issues present in our world today, but we also want to use it as a sign of hope and a beacon of light; with articles highlights climate activists and things are can do to help the environment, we feel that our edition accomplishes these goals. As young people, we are the ones tasked with solving the climate crisis because it is our futures it will impact in the end. This issue was created by others but left for us to solve, and though it often times does not feel fair or just, we know there is no other option, so it is our job to embrace that change. With a conversation around climate and the environment often comes an inward reflection of how we personally impact the environment. We think that this reflection is paramount for progress and we hope that this edition and the articles in it spur that conversation for you. And, for us at least, with the inward reflection comes a sense of guilt or hopelessness. This we feel can go one of two ways, one much more helpful than the other. Yes, climate change is scary and one person cannot stop the issue, but we believe that every small action someone makes is a step in the right direction. Though it may just be a drop in the bucket, eventually that bucket will fill. In this edition, we talk about how small actions can make a difference. So we advise you to make those small changes: bring your own straw, reuse bags, practice meatless Mondays, carpool, bike, walk! Whatever you can do, even if very little, do it! Additionally, in every small effort you make, talk to and convince others to make the same changes. Climate change is not something that will affect one country over others, one party over others or one person over others, it is an issue that will eventually impact us all so we must work together to combat it. So, here is our beacon of hope, purpose of the issue and piece of mind on something that affects our entire world. Thank you and please, do what you can to help save our environment, because it needs our help more than ever.

WEB EDITORS-IN-CHIEF PAIGE DUFF DAN GUTENBERG LOEY JONES-PERPICH GENEVE THOMAS-PALMER

Dear Readers,

Your Editors, Your Editors,

Atticus Dewey

Isaac McKenna

Camryn Tirico

Taisiya Tworek

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MANAGING EDITORS LEAH DAME JORDAN DE PADOVA MAZEY PERRY RUBY TAYLOR DESIGN EDITOR EBBA GURNEY COPY EDITORS LACEY COOPER MORI ONO LILY SICKMAN-GARNER SOCIAL MEDIA EDITORS MORRAINA TUZINSKY FEATURE EDITORS MORI ONO CHARLES SOLOMON OPINION EDITORS ZOE BUHALIS ELIZABETH SHAIEB NEWS EDITORS CHAVA MAKMAN-LEVINSON LUCY TOBIER ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR BRENAN DIONNE SPORTS EDITORS EVAN ASH HANNAH BERNSTEIN BEN COOPER MULTIMEDIA EDITOR ETHAN GIBB-RANDALL

POLITICAL EDITOR ROXIE RICHNER PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR AMBER HING STAFF OCTAVIA ANDERSON JACK BAZZANI SAM BERKOOZ NOAH BERNSTEIN JAIDA BEYER JOSH BOLAND JOSH CALDWELL BENJAMIN COOPER LACEY COOPER SAM DANNUG LEAH DEWEY SOPHIE FETTER MIA GOLDSTEIN JADA HIKARY AVANI HOEFFNER-SHAH JENNA JARJOURA ROMEO KLOBUCAR ELIOT KLUS AVA KOSINSKI SOPHIE KRIZ OLIVER LETE-STRAKA SCARLETT LONDON JOEY LOPEZ ARISTA LUONG BEN MARTINS-CAULFIELD NAJEH MATUTE-MARTINEZ LILY MCCREADY ROSIE MELLOR ILANA METLER ELEANOR NIMAN SOPHIA NUÑEZ ELLA ROSEWARNE SOPHIA SCARNECCHIA ZACK SCHUELER MIRA SCHWARZ JOSEPH SIMON CY VEILLEUX LINNEA VERHEY-HENKE CATE WEISER

ADVISER TRACY ANDERSON

Mission Statement: The Communicator is a student-run publication and an open forum established in 1974 and created by students at Community High School. The staff of The Communicator seeks to recognize individuals, events, and ideas that are relevant to the community. The Communicator journalists are committed to working in a manner that is professional, unbiased, and thorough in order to effectively serve our readers. We strive to report accurately and will correct any significant error. If you believe such an error has been made, please contact us. Letters of any length should be submitted via e-mail or mail. They become the sole property of The Communicator and can be edited for length, clarity, or accuracy. Letters cannot be returned and will be published at The Communicator’s discretion. The Communicator also reserves the right to reject advertising due to space limitations or decision of the Editorial Board that content of the advertisement conflicts with the mission of the publication. Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the journalism staff and not of Community High School or the Ann Arbor Public Schools.


Photography By Ebba Gurney

chscommunicator.com Updated News Coverage | Humans of Community | Song of the Week | Sports & Event Coverage Fashion | Podcasts | Artist Profiles | & More

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Our Month in News

Names and Numbers are Drawn for the Class of 2024 BY ZOE BUHALIS AND CY VEILLEUX

CHS counselor Brian Williams reached into a black trash can and pulled out an index card as a group of teachers, staff, PTO parents and two auditors commenced the lottery for the new freshmen class come fall 2020. The lottery wasn’t the first method used by CHS. For many years, students would simply drop off an application form as a first-come, first-serve process. Students would have to line up outside of the school the day of registration. But eventually Community became more popular and the lines would form a day or two in advance. When it became clear that having students drop applications off at Community wasn’t working they changed the location several times before beginning the double-blind lottery. First, they tried to have application drop offs be at the Balas building — the AAPS headquarters — but this proved to be equally as problematic; parents began lining up a week before the deadline to turn in their applications. Next, they tried keeping the application drop off area a secret until they would release it on the radio. Parents began to drive all around town hoping they’d be close by the time it was announced. “People drove like idiots,” said Liz Stern, CHS science teacher. 6

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“They broke all sorts of laws to try and get to that spot. That obviously didn’t work.” The lottery has been around for over 20 years, and throughout those years, flaws have been discovered and fixed. CHS dean Marci Tuzinsky told the room that there is an eight page list of improvements and steps they take to conduct the lottery. Having been improved, students now enter their name by meeting two requirements: filling out an online application and attending one of many information sessions. Students also must either be an Ann Arbor resident or have already been attending AAPS as a school of choice student since 8th grade. After all applications are in, students are assigned a temporary number that they will use to find out if they got into Community when the results are posted. This year there were 340 eighth graders who applied. Out of those 340, 132 got accepted. On top of that, any child of a CHS staff member is guaranteed a spot and not included in the lottery; in the past, no more than five staff children have attended within the same class. Lastly, the first two AAPS staff member children are brought to the top of the waitlist. The drawing itself is double-blind, this means they randomly draw


the student’s name and their number at the same time. Both names and numbers were shuffled, so the first name drawn wasn’t guaranteed a spot. Before they began drawing cards, Tuzinsky established the process of the lottery to the two auditors. Auditors make sure that certain processes—like the lottery—are well-regulated and ethical. To keep the process ethical, it’s done by hand, which makes it lengthy because they don’t allow a computer to do it—even though it could pair the names with numbers instantaneously. “The two hours it takes us to do this saves us far more than the time it would take for everybody to question whether or not it was valid,” Tuzinsky said. This year Brian Williams drew the names of the students, a job he has jokingly dubbed “not dream crushing,” while French teacher Danelle Mosher was given the “dream crushing” job of drawing numbers. Once Williams and Mosher pulled numbers they announced the name to the “scribes,” Jefferson Bilsborrow, Gretchen Eby, Craig Levin and Katy Sanderson. The scribes located the students name and Danelle then told them the number. They recorded the number and finally Tuzinsky took both cards and stapled them together to clear up any confusion that may appear in the future. Tuzinsky and Sanderson were worried the amount of name cards wouldn’t match up with the amount of number cards. Once it was near the end, Mosher and Williams would report their amount of cards to the room. And with the last pair of cards drawn, the lottery ended with a student taking one of the winning spots. C

Photography By Zoe Buhalis and Cy Veilleux | BELOW: Jefferson Bilsborrow winks at the camera. Bilsborrow and the others tried to have fun during the two hours of the lottery; they’d make fun of Williams pronounciation of students names, and they’d yell out bingo once their spreadsheets would fill up. LEFT: Mosher holds the number card 176, ready to announce it to the scribes: Jefferson Bilsborrow, Craig Levin, Katy Sanderson and Gretchen Eby. This was Mosher’s first time assisting with the lottery.

Saline High School Students File Federal Lawsuit BY DAN GUTENBERG AND TAI TWOREK

In January, screenshots from a racist Snapchat group chat created by Saline High School students were exposed. The creators of the group chat — several white Saline football players — added a few of their black teammates to the chat, where they then used racial slurs including the N-word and expressions like “WHITE POWER” and “THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN.” The group chat received backlash in the school, and the administration suspended the four students responsible for the chat. The Saline Area Schools administration and local government officials have been leading “listening sessions” during the aftermath of the group chat. While many students of marginalized communities are coming forward to share their stories, the four students that created the group chat have filed a federal lawsuit against Saline Area Schools in the US Supreme Court’s Eastern Michigan District Court. The four students are filing the lawsuit on the basis of First and Fourteenth Amendment violations. According to the lawsuit, “despite Defendants only having a small portion of the Snapchat conversation, approximately 10 hours after Snapchat occurred and with virtually no investigation, Defendants made a grossly negligent decision to verbally suspend all the Plaintiff children and barred them from attending Saline High School indefinitely.” In addition to monetary reparations, the four students are asking for a change in policy of off-campus speech, an acknowledgement of the unconstitutionality of the acts brought about by the administration and a pardon of sus-

pension or expulsion from transcripts and records. If the lawsuit loses on the justification that school administration can punish off-campus and on-campus speach in the same manor, administrators may have increased power and authority over student journalism and other outlets of speech. Usually, lawsuits that involve students usually tend to end in a negotiation. Because of a lengthy trial that may become irrelevant to the Plaintiffs’ as they graduate. Frank LoMonte, a lawyer from the Student Press Law Center, believes that although the incident took place off of school grounds, the students in the group chat were all a part of the school’s football team — potentially influencing the court’s decision. The preexisting racial tension in the school may also be another factor that could potentially be accounted for in the court’s ruling. “Whether there is existing tension and friction among the students that definitely can come into play if the speech is gasoline on an existing fire,” LoMonte said. “That can increase the school’s authority over it. That’s definitely something that we’ve seen in past court cases if there’s a a raging amount of racial violence, or ethnic violence or anti-gay violence on the campus already, and the speech will aggravate that climate.” While the racial tensions in Saline continue to unfold, so will the rulings in federal court. C

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Change is Coming: Ameera Salman Starts Diversity Council BY LUCY TOBIER

On Feb. 10, a new club was proposed at Forum Council: A diversity council to be started by McGraw Forum member and junior Ameera Salman. Salman, an Arab-American, wants to create a space for students who don’t see themselves at Community. Salman is working with Black Student Union (BSU), Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) and Latinos Unidos to create the club, which will have some over-lapping members. Salman hopes to use her club to create a space that is broader than the other clubs. “I think the reason I want to have something a little bit more general is because we don’t have a club for every ethnicity, we don’t have a club for every religion,” Salman said. “There are people who are never going to be represented because they’re a minority, because there aren’t a lot of them. And that’s an issue. So I think having something in general will give people a place to have that.” This is not the first diversity council to be created at CHS. A few years ago, a diversity council was relatively successful, but faded out with the graduation of its members. Salman hopes to create a largely hands-on and hardworking club that can be passed down for many years. “I feel like we’ll need to do some planning outside of just our meeting times, and a little bit more hands on,” Salman said. “So if people are in this, hopefully they’ll be committed to really putting work into it.” With the many, many amazing clubs at CHS, Salman hopes that students will choose to spend their Wednesdays at Diversity Council to make a difference. The council is starting off with two main projects: Multi Culti reforms and planning a “not-school-asusual” day. Multi Culti is a complex issue that has long plagued CHS. Salman believes that a diverse group of people should be the ones to assess and evaluate Multi Culti. The reforms would hopefully take place in the spring, so that Multi Culti 2021 might be improved. Salman has a lot of ideas for a not-schoolas-usual day. One is a social justice art night, where students could display themselves and their experiences through art. Salman herself is a poet. She has recently started to include more political and social ideas in her poetry, inspired by her experience reading the Langston Hughes poem “Let America be America Again,” at this year’s MLK day assembly. 8

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“I think that’s really important to just kind of tackle my experiences and what I want to do about those things through my art,” Salman said. Salman is excited to facilitate change at CHS and create a space for others who do not feel represented, but she cannot do it alone. “I want to make those changes,” Salman said. “But I can’t do it alone. I want to hear from other people. I want to know what people need, what people want. I can’t bear all that, and I can’t represent all of that.” The Diversity Council will meet on Wednesdays in Matt Johnson’s room. C

Photography By Ebba Gurney | Ameera Salman poses in Community High School. Salman, who is Arab-American, hopes that by creating a diversity council, she can help other underperesented students feel confident. “I’m not really identified as Arab often so people don’t really know that. I guess it is hard in itself for me like, knowing that I have that heritage and part of my life that is not widespread, that I don’t experience daily,” Salman said.


Zingerman’s Throws Party for the Stapleton Forum BY JADA HIKARY

The smell of Zingerman’s brownies and the sound of laughter filled the air as the Stapleton forum celebrated their most recent accomplishment: raising the most money for CHS’s annual Food Gatherers fundraiser. Zingerman’s awarded the forum with a party for their Food Gatherers donation of a whopping $6,500. “It feels good to do a good thing,” said Maddy Hendriksma, Stapleton forum member. Food Gatherers is a food rescue program in Washtenaw County that has worked to fight food scarcity and provide food for those in need. With the government making major cuts to The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), donations to organizations like Food Gatherers are now more important than ever. “The way we [Food Gatherers] say it is ‘one in seven in Washtenaw County is hungry, but that means six in seven of us can do something about it.” said Jen Whaley, manager of annual giving and grant development for Food Gatherers. CHS’s annual Food Gatherers fundraiser has been Food Gatherers’ biggest fundraiser for several years, and each year the money forums raise continues to increase. With every dollar equating to three meals, the Stapleton forum alone has provided thousands of meals just this year. From asking family members to breaking open piggy banks, each member of the Stapleton forum contributed in some way. The forum met its yearly goal of participation, and then some. The fact that they won a party from Zingerman’s was just an added benefit.

Robbie Stapleton revealed that the award that the forum was working towards wasn’t to raise the most money, but for 100% participation. This seems to be a common theme in the Stapleton forum with their motto being, “We show up.” “Each individual student in the forum did something, and some could do a lot, but everybody just did what they could,” Stapleton said. Stapleton also expressed how important it is to give back, especially when some of us at school use services like Food Gatherers. “We’re all just one big emergency away from needing to utilize public support in some form, myself included,” Whaley said. “Five years ago, I was on food stamp benefits. I never imagined when I was in high school or while getting my college degree that I was going to be ‘one of those people,’ but it really can happen to anybody.” Melaina Bukowski, community giving board leader at Zingerman’s, raved about CHS for coming together to help Food Gatherers. “It’s really cool to see young people doing something that is really changing the structure of our society,” Bukowski said. “I honestly see the Gen Z folks and think, ‘I can’t wait for you guys to be in power.’ I’m totally there for you guys.” C Photography by Jada Hikary | The Stapleton forum cheeses in the upstairs of Zingerman’s Delicatessen. The forum collaborated together to raise the most money out of all the forums. “The idea is that everybody has something to offer,” said Robbie Stapleton, forum leader.

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NAAPID COMES TO CHS BY LACEY COOPER

CHS celebrates National African American Parent Involvement Day — served with a side of pancakes and jazz. On Monday, Feb. 10, National Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) came to CHS. Parents filtered into Bodley Hall, where they were served a breakfast spread that included chocolate chip pancakes made by members of CHS’ Black Student Union (BSU). Twenty years ago, the event was created to invite African American parents and parents of all races to get involved in their students’ school. “It’s National African American Parent Involvement Day, and it’s right in the beginning of Black History Month,” CHS parent Ralph Anderson said. “So I think it serves a dual purpose of drawing attention to Black History Month and also involving more parents in the community of Community.” Anderson, who had taken time off of work to attend the event, was grateful for the early start time as it made it possible for him to be there; He had been unable to attend night events in the past. He also sat in on some of his daughter’s classes later that day, as parents were invited to over the duration of the school day. The event was intended to be a way for parents to connect more deeply to their students’ education. The tradition of NAAPID in the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) is one that was started by Joe Dulin, founding principal of the now defunct Roberto Clemente Student Development Center. “He started thinking that more parents of color need to come in and see what their kids are doing in school, instead of only coming in when their kid was in trouble,” Community Assistant Kevin Davis said. “So that’s how he started it, and we’ve been keeping it up since.” Although NAAPID is celebrated differently across different schools, CHS has maintained the event as a kind of open-house in order to make it possible for parents with different work and personal schedules to attend without detracting from the students’ time in class. Simone Mahler, a member of BSU who helped out at the event by making pancakes for the parents, hopes that NAAPID will serve as a way to celebrate and honor her parents and the parents of other students at the school. Although her mother was unable to attend the event, Mahler says that she hopes to celebrate her through the spirit of NAAPID. “I would love to just honor her, and tell her she means the world to me,” Mahler said. In addition to being served breakfast, parents were entertained by a series of upbeat jazz pieces performed by the CHS jazz band. Included in their performance was “Sister Sadie,” a piece by Horace Silver, met with cheers and applause from the listeners. Patty Mazzola, parent of a freshman at Community and attendee of many NAAPID events over the years, was attending her first one at CHS. She especially enjoyed the band. “I loved having the addition of live music,” Mazzola said. “That’s different, and I think that’s really special about Community.” She also commented on the open and laid-back atmosphere, which she believes is part of “Community’s way.” “Parents find all different times and ways that they engage with their students’ education based on what works for their family,” Assistant Dean Rebecca Westrate said. “We just want this to be something in addition to what parents are already doing — an opportunity to come in and feel welcomed into the school and see what we do.” C 10

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Photography by Lacey Cooper | TOP: Parents gather for breakfast and live music in Bodley Hall. Throughout the day, parents were invited to sit in on their students’ classes and explore the school. MIDDLE: Sharon Barney, Octavia Anderson, Janelle Johnson and Simone Mahler flip pancakes for parents and guests. BOTTOM: Ian Hajra, Hollis Riggs, Jibreel Johnson, Josh Moss and Xander Salsitz perform “Sister Sadie,” an upbeat piece by Horace Silver.


Senior Jake Lee Takes Best Soloist

From a young age, Jake Lee was surrounded by music; six years after meeting Jack Wagner, he won best soloist at the University of Michigan Jazz Festival. BY JACK BAZZNI, NOAH BERNSTEIN AND OLIVER LETE-STRAKA

When CHS senior Jake Lee received the text that he won the award for best soloist at the University of Michigan Jazz Festival, he was ecstatic. “It was unreal,” Lee said. “I couldn’t believe it.” Jake Lee has been playing the trumpet since the sixth grade. “One year I got some money for Christmas and I decided to buy a trumpet,” Lee said. “My mom has always forced me to play an instrument, but I hated most instruments until the trumpet. My favorite thing about playing jazz is how creative you can be with the music. Playing with friends while also creating music is awesome.” CHS Jazz director Jack Wagner has known Lee since he was in seventh grade. “I could tell he was super gifted back then,” Wagner said. “He sounded like a mini Louis Armstrong.” Wagner wasn’t expecting Lee to win, but

he certainly wasn’t surprised. “Jake studies harder than anyone I know,” Wagner said. “His given talent mixed with his hard work has exploded him into one of the best trumpet players in America at his age.” Lee credits most of his success to Wagner. “Jack is amazing, he’s helped me in every way possible,” Lee said. “He always motivates me to work harder, no matter what.” Lee is also a self-taught bass player. “I’m definitely a trumpet player but bass is fun, it’s a very different instrument, it’s almost like playing a different position in a sport,” Lee said. Colleges want Lee so badly that they will let him study both the trumpet and bass. Lee is applying for a jazz major but is not sure where it will take him yet.

Lee stood out during the daytime concert with the CHS Jazz band before winning the award. “I actually missed the award ceremony, but when I found out I won, it was unbelievable,” Lee said. Just a few hours later, Lee was invited to play with the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble for the night show. “It was awesome, definitely one of the best days ever.” C

Photography by Ebba Gurney | Community senior Jake Lee plays the trumpet. He recently won best soloist at the University of Michigan Jazz festival, however he didn’t always love playing jazz. “My mom has always forced me to play an instrument, but I hated most intruments — until the trumpet,” Lee said.

Students Share Their Take on Jazz

Ben Reynolds “Just the overall idea that you can take jazz and play it anywhere. There are set standards everyone will know who plays jazz. It’s an art form, created around the idea that anyone can play with you at any time. So I think it’s really easy to meet new people and start playing with them right away.”

Max Klarman “Well, as a drummer you need to hold down the fort. You have got to be like the conductor of the band. You’ve have a big responsibility, and if you mess up you can really deteriorate the whole song. Jack has taught me that hard work is important.”

Gordon Lewis “I don’t think the audience notices the stuff I mess up on, but because I’ve been working on the song so much and know all the specific parts, when I make some mistakes, that is what my mind lingers on. It’s easier to remember my mistakes than it is to remember your accomplishments.” News |

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A NEW FACE RUNNING FOR WASHTENAW COUNTY PROSECUTOR A new prosecutor hopes to take the place of the 28-year incumbent in Washtenaw County. BY SAM BERKOOZ

On Aug. 4, 2020, the election for the new Washtenaw County Prosecutor (WCP) will be underway. Unbeknownst to many county residents, Brian L. Mackie is our current WCP and has been for the past 28 years. “For 28 years, nothing has changed,” said the Democratic WCP hopeful, Eli Savit. Savit began his activist career when he was only six years old after hearing about the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989; the spill led to Savit starting the Stop the Oil Spills Club at his elementary school when he was in the first grade. However, Savit’s first significant step in his political career began by campaigning for Bill Clinton in the 1992 Presidential Election. Since then, he has campaigned for every Democratic presidential nominee. It was only while campaigning for various local candidates, did Savit realize the importance of the local legislature. “The elected prosecutors, city council members, county commissioners, are making the decisions that really impact the lives on the ground,” Savit said. “I think in no position is this more pronounced than with the elected county prosecutor.” The County Prosecutor is responsible for all felonies and misdemeanors charged under state law, juvenile delinquency proceedings, and terminations of parental rights for abuse and neglect of children, among other things. With this in mind, what initially inspired–and now motivates–Savits’ commitment to change, are the stories told by the victims of our current criminal justice system. The sense of urgency for Savit soon took over after hear-

ing numerous stories of how the system failed time and time again. “I knew what we were doing wasn’t working, but seeing the face behind the story made it even more personal and real,” Savit said. “When I tell [people] about my plan for office, they feel like there is a sense of hope in the future by having their stories heard.” According to Savit, his progressive message strongly resonates with America’s younger generation. “This younger generation didn’t grow up in the 1990s like I did,” Savit said. “When tough on crime was the norm, and all of the political rhetoric was about how ‘we need to put bad guys behind bars.’” He sees that our younger generation is looking at our system with a fresh pair of eyes and is realizing just how broken it really is. Jack Archibald, a junior at Pioneer High School and a finance intern on Savit’s Campaign, has always had an interest in politics. “I decided to get involved because my actions on a local level has a greater impact on lives relative to involvement on a national level,” Archibald said. “It feels really empowering to work on such a positive movement that is much bigger than myself.” Archibald isn’t the only one that feels this way. Gordon Lewis, a junior at CHS, said he joined the movement because he saw it as an opportunity to take action on a problem he knew was very flawed in many ways. At every level, all of the 35 people who are involved in Savit’s campaign are highly motivated to create a brighter future, and they believe Savit is a step in the right direction. C

Photo Courtesy of Eli2020.com | Eli Savit started his political career by campaigning for Bill Clinton in the 1992 Presidential Election. He hopes to take the place of the current Washtenaw County prosecutor, Brian L. Mackie, who has been in the position for 28 years.

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Judith Takes the Stage Judith DeWoskin has made a cameo in a CHS play before, but this time she’s one of the lead roles. BY RUBY TAYLOR AND CY VEILLEUX Photography By Ebba Gurney

“Did you even think before you said yes?” asked a friend of Judith DeWoskin when she decided to play the lead in Community Ensemble Theatre (CET)’s production of “The Tempest.” In her 33 years of teaching at CHS, DeWoskin has been on stage just once before in CET’s “Romeo and Juliet,” and never for more than a few lines. In “The Tempest,” she is playing the lead — Prospero. Quinn Strassal, CET’s director, thought DeWoskin would be perfect for the role due to her matriarchal status at CHS. DeWoskin had never done anything like this before. At 76, DeWoskin is still looking for challenges that will take her out of her comfort zone. Some days, the endless memoriz-

ing of lines and blocking of scenes has her “absolutely exhausted.” But DeWoskin has enjoyed being in the play more than she could’ve possibly imagined. Her favorite part of the experience has been seeing what her students can do on stage. “I love the kids. I love how smart they are, how talented they are and how experienced they are,” DeWoskin said. “I mean these kids are really actors.” DeWoskin is set to play Prospero — a character who has been exiled to an island near Naples, Italy. Prospero is a difficult part to play; at one time they’ll have to be friendly and the next they’ll have to be rude. “I think it’s hard to get a balance of caring and mean in the same character,” DeWoskin

said. “So that’s why I need Quinn. Because at the end of the day, whatever Quinn tells me to do, that’s what I try to do.” Quinn Strassel is directing the play, and DeWoskin is impressed with how he’s put it all together. He’d have different groups of actors come in at different times to block out the scenes — something DeWoskin has never really had to do before. “I’ve never been blocked like this,” DeWoskin said. “In Romeo and Juliet I just came out and yapped at the audience. This is different. I’m supposed to move this way and that way.” With nearly all of her lines memorized DeWoskin is well underway to being prepared for the big night. C

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2019 CORONAVIRUS: FACTS VS. FEARS BY CHARLES SOLOMON AND BEN COOPER

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he word ‘coronavirus’ is one shrouded in misunderstanding and fear. With tens of thousands of cases and thousands of deaths, concern that this will become a global pandemic have taken root throughout the world. Even some CHS students have become concerned as news of the virus blankets worldwide news networks. “I hear about it a lot on the news and with my family but not really from my teachers or at school,” said CHS junior Aidan Osofisan. “I know it is a big issue that started in China but not much else, and I don’t really know who to trust.” The virus expanded out of a cluster of cases in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China. The first carrier of the disease, however, was likely not a worker at or a patron of the market. 14

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According to the latest research, it was most likely a bat. “[The] speculation is that this new [coronavirus] from 2019 [first] existed probably in some species of bat,” said University of Michigan microbiologist Kathy Spindler. “Then that bat somehow transmitted the virus to what we call an intermediate host. That intermediate host could be a mammal; could be a bird; could be some other animal and then that animal likely transmitted the virus to people.” After humans caught the virus from this intermediate carrier, the disease spread outwards rapidly. A respiratory illness, the coronavirus spreads through actions such as talking, breathing and sneezing. Symptoms, which can range from almost nonexistent to deadly, includes fevers, coughing and shortness of breath. At first, the coronavirus was confined to China, but international


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Graphic By Joshua Boland

“I know it is a big issue that started in China but not much else, and I don’t really know who to trust.”

travel quickly led to cases filtering into other nations. At least 28 nations or territories have confirmed cases. The 2019 coronavirus is not the first coronavirus to terrorize the globe. ‘Coronavirus’ is a classification for viruses that have a distinctive crown shape when seen under an electron microscope. Generally, these coronaviruses have mild, common cold-like symptoms. Rarer coronaviruses, however, can cause more severe infections with pneumonia-like symptoms and can be deadly. The 2019 coronavirus is an example of such a deadlier coronavirus, joining the previous SARS and MERS coronaviruses. Currently, the fatality rate of the 2019 coronavirus sits at approximately 3%, and its basic reproduction number — the number of people one infected person will likely infect — is at two. Both are below figures for SARS, although the raw death toll for 2019 coronavirus has already surpassed the 774 people who died in the SARS epidemic. Dr. Spindler, however, emphasizes how preliminary these statistics are. “We don’t really have a good measure of [the 2019 coronavirus],” Spindler said. “The reason we don’t have a good measure of its deadliness is because that’s based on a case fatality rate. And we don’t really have a good measure of the [fatality rate] because we’re only getting reports for the most part of the deadliest cases, and scaling down from there. So the deadliness aspect is going to be refined over time as we get more data.” Governments around the globe have reacted to the epidemic with varying degrees of severity. Many countries have quarantined those known to have come into contact with the virus. The U.S. has gone so far as to issue a travel advisory warning Americans not to go to China, as well as requiring a two-week quarantine for anyone who has traveled in any part of China associated with the epidemic. As for the potential danger for the 2019 coronavirus to become a global pandemic, Dr. Spindler still thinks it is too early to tell. “It certainly has the potential to spread globally,” Spindler said. “It already has [spread] all throughout Asia, Australia, Germany, [the] United States, France, Canada, the United Arab Emirates [and] Italy. Whether it [will] rise to the level of a pandemic, I can’t predict at this point.” Osofisan also feels that it is premature to start panicking about the disease. “I feel like I would be concerned if there was a case close to Ann Arbor,” Osofisan said. “I would start looking around for sick people and I might not even go to school. As of now I feel like I can just live, I just do what I usually do.” Spindler feels that some of the international response has definitely been an overreaction. “As for the travel ban, things like that, to me, start to get a bit political,” Spindler said. “They picked 14 days as the timeline for quarantine, but I think that we don’t know how long a person is contagious and it might be shorter than that 14 days. There’s also some data showing that the quarantining in China is not going to make any difference in the spread of the virus between [last] December and next August. I think it’s legitimate, [and] that’s really striking.” However, Dr. Spindler believes there is a simple way for individuals to help stop the spread of coronavirus . “Handwashing is the most important thing that you can do during flu season, which is now,” Spindler said. “So the same thing holds true for coronavirus; washing with soap and water is the best thing you can do [to prevent the spread].” C

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IN MY

DREAMS As a boy growing up in Ann Arbor, Will Heininger’s childhood dream was to play football at University of Michigan (U of M) under Coach Lloyd Carr. Freshman year was a dream come true. The summer following would not be. The summer between freshman and sophomore year in college, Will Heininger’s life fell apart: his parents divorced, his dad moved to Chicago, and his mom bought a new house that didn’t feel like home. “It felt like I went from 100 to zero in a week,” Heininger said. He knew something was wrong. He constantly had racing thoughts and questions about life, but he hadn’t been taught to express his emotions. Growing up, Heininger was not educated about mental health; no one talked about it, 16

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BY ELLA ROSEWARNE

so when he went into a major depression, he labeled himself as going crazy. He understood it as something hard that he would have to deal with alone. Heininger constantly had thoughts running through his head: “Coach would kick me off the team... my girlfriend will breakup with me… my friends weren’t going to like me.” He felt that he had to keep his mental illness to himself. Other athletes on his team were going through the same struggle as Heininger, however the silence kept them isolated in a tough sport. It was at football practice where Heininger fell apart. When it happened, his trainer led him to Barb, a U of M therapist who saved Heininger’s life. Going into therapy, he didn’t believe he would ever get better. After starting two different medications and hav-

ing both fail, he believed even more he could never get better. His coach told him, “Will, you’re a good football player, but you’re good when you’re healthy, when you’re well, and right now it’s your job to get well.” Heininger had always feared talking to his coach about his depression because he thought he would be seen as weak and not worthy of playing. However, after talking to his coach his entire mentality shifted, and Heininger wanted help. He started to direct his energy towards his well being and therapy. After working in therapy, he noticed the previously racing thoughts he had were coming less and less often. “Once I learned to separate my well-being from my [football] performance was when


Photo Illustration By Ella Rosewarne National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741-741 UofM Psychiatric Emergency Services: 734-936-5900

both of them got better,” Heininger said. Sophomore year, Heininger returned to football; he was playing his best game ever. Heininger got his best grades ever. He was working in therapy and finding a medication that worked for him; out of therapy, he was implementing the tools he learned in therapy in his everyday life. “It felt like I had a cheat code going through college after that because the thoughts that would like throw me off, I could catch early and evaluate: Is this useful? Is this even true? And if it wasn’t, just be able to let it go,” Heininger said. Even once Heininger was well, he continued going to therapy, taking medication and using skills that he still practices today. Using the tools at Michigan, he thrived. Heininger started understanding

people in a new way that helped him understand life better. After Heininger graduated, he moved to Chicago and got a job in finance for two years. During that time his dad, 55 years old, had been rehospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar disease. Heininger’s father had told him the diagnosis explained things he had felt for decades and was the most important diagnosis of his life. During this time, Heininger had gotten a call from the Michigan Depression Center asking him to present an award for students who are involved and work with mental health. Heininger gave the award and shared his story for the first time publicly. After he presented, he had a doctor from Phoenix approach him and ask him to go to Phoenix and present. “Nobody is talking about this as in mental health in sports. This needs to get out,” the doctor told Heininger. While working in finance in Chicago, Heininger took time off to present about mental health in sports in Phoenix. When he got back to Chicago, the U of M Depression Center contacted him offering him a job working on a project with mental health in athletes. “That was when my career took a hard right hand turn and got into mental health,” Heininger said. Since Heininger, there have also been many other student athletes with mental illnesses. Kally Fayhee was a swim captain at U of M and had a dream to become an Olympic swimmer. She had trained for the Olympics and when it came time the only thing that stopped her was point-zero-one pounds over the weight restrictions. After not making the team, she was determined to achieve an Olympic swimmer’s weight. This turned into an eating disorder. Fayhee opened the door for teammates to share their own struggles with eating disorders. Heininger recognized that mental illnesses cut across sports, and he thinks that changes are needed with coaching practices. Verbal abuse has been normalized in “tough” sports like football and that environment is dangerous for student athletes. On Feb. 13, 2020, Heininger and Stephanie Salazar visited Robbie Stapleton’s Advanced Health class from the U of M Depression Center. Heininger has traveled the country and talked to over 100,000 students. After presentations, some students individually talk to Heininger about mental health. “And each [student’s story] is a puzzle piece and fills in this puzzle to me, which is mental health,” Heininger said. One of the struggles with this job is knowing your impact with prevention since it isn’t visible — that goes for all of public health. “If you don’t have any mental health edu-

cation, you’re much more likely to do what I did and let something just eat at you and make you miserable,” Heininger said. Recently, when Heininger was presenting in a middle school, he asked the kids if they had heard of depression and anxiety before and all of their hands went up. As a follow up he asked all the adults if they had learned about mental health before they were 18 and no hands went up. The middle schoolers reactions were confusion. One asked, “So people have had this but just not done anything about it?” Heininger’s response: “Yes.” “The biological components of well being I think are less and less present in the current generation, and it’s not your fault. It’s just the world that you’re raised in,” Heininger said. He talks about human’s stress response system that is similar to the same system humans had many years ago to keep themselves alive in the wild. This stress system sends thoughts and questions through our heads throughout the day. Heininger is seeing Generation Z recognize their stress responses and understand how their brain works so they can get help and catch mental illnesses early. Another way that has become more popular to catch mental illnesses early are mental health screenings. It has been proven that with some mental illnesses, like depression, the brain physically changes and you can tell that in mental health screenings. In the early to mid-1900s, mental institutions had become more common in the United States. People with mental illnesses were sent to these institutions that resembled prisons because society portrayed them as dangerous. In these hospitals and institutions people died and were not treated for their illnesses because people didn’t know they were even treatable. This ideology created stigma around mental illnesses and the options for getting help. The U of M Depression Center centers their prevention work around three prongs: raising awareness, reducing stigma and promoting getting help. With the student athletes and anyone else, Heininger finds the most important thing a friend and society can do is just normalize mental illness and still be there and have empathy — just like you would for someone with a broken leg. Heininger has been asked, “How could you have depression, you play football for Michigan? You said that was your dream?” His response is, “And that’s exactly the question I would have asked because it’s how I thought about it before. I’ve learned that’s like asking, how could you have cancer you play football for Michigan?” Mental illness does not discriminate; Heininger did not choose to have depression. But, he learned how to live with it. C Feature |

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The Duo ‘Til the End An unexpected friendship that led to a loving bond connected through the art of music.

BY JENNA JARJOURA Photography by Sofia Bennetts

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The auditorium was gigantic. It seated around one hundred people, and at the time, it was a big deal to Bridget Roberts and Monty Granderson. For the past couple of months, they had been preparing for their duet with the Slauson Choir. Every practice was perfect. But, when they got on stage that night, there was no doubt in their mind that something would go wrong. On the night of the performance, Roberts and Granderson stood at the front of the choir and were ready to blow it out of the water. But, as Granderson began to sing, something happened that had never happened before. “Monty’s voice cracked like many prepubescent voices do, and then I started laughing,” Roberts said. “Then my voice cracked and we both started laughing and then a baby was crying in the audience.” It was a mess, but an unforgettable memory. The next day Roberts hid in the closet to avoid listening to the recording in class. This was the beginning of their partnership on stage. Three years later, the pair encountered each other on stage once again when they participated in Rising Stars, a group of up-and-coming underclassmen. They had a duet for “Halo” and jokingly acknowledged that this would be the second duet they had together. This experience on stage allowed Granderson and Roberts to learn more about their voices and how to act on stage while standing before hundreds of people. “I had really bad stage fright back then,” Granderson said. “Right before “Halo,” I remember I was going to throw up.” Fortunately he overcame his fear and said over the years he has learned to calm himself down and take in the moment. Stage fright goes away if you take it head on. Roberts and Granderson were scared freshman, preparing to perform on a bigger stage, for a sold out audience in Schreiber Auditorium, which holds 1,700 people. At the time, Roberts and Granderson were not as close as they are today. They had to hold hands at the end of their performance, which was extremely awkward for them. But neither of them wanted it to be their last duet. “After Halo we always knew we wanted to do a song together in Future Stars when we got older and competed,” Granderson said. Unfortunately, the next two years, when Roberts and Granderson were able to perform in Future Stars, they were not assigned to sing together. Senior year was their last hope. When the list came out, Granderson called Roberts screaming; they finally got to sing a song together. They found out they were singing “Beauty and the Beast” and went to the practice rooms to prepare. One way they practiced and researched for their performance was by listening to different versions of the song by some of their favorite artists, such as John Legend and Ariana Grande’s duet. This year Pioneer Theater Guild (PTG) tried a new

way to prepare for the big show. Instead of having vocal coaches come in for the entire duration of Future Stars, members of the band accompanying every artist helped them and they only had a couple of check-ups with vocal coaches from the University of Michigan. “Our first coaching with a musical theatre director did not go too hot,” Granderson said. “Bridget and I just started laughing, just like sixth grade, and then we forgot the words. And then our time was up.” After this practice, Roberts made Granderson stay back in the practice rooms to rehearse for another 45 minutes. They figured out different riffs and choreography that would pair well with the song that would make “Beauty and the Beast” sound like an original piece. Before they knew it, it was time to perform for another sold out audience, in the same auditorium they performed in together two years before. “Monty and I enter from opposite sides of the stage for “Beauty and the Beast,” and we always looked at each other before we went on,” Roberts said. “When they would be announcing our intro, we’d always be looking at each other like ‘Ready to go!’ It’s calming to have another person there that you’re comfortable with.” It was a totally different experience singing together senior year than it was freshman year in Rising Stars. They have grown to be very close friends who perform both in public and in the privacy of the practice rooms in their free time. “Beauty and the Beast” was a performance Granderson and Roberts dreamt of for years. As they announced the finalists of the night, Roberts was in the top five for both “Beauty and the Beast” with Granderson, and her solo performance of “Home Sweet Home.” Roberts was on one side of the stage, representing “Home Sweet Home,” and Granderson was on the opposite side for “Beauty and the Beast.” “I was not really expecting it at all because the crowd’s cheers started off so loud,” Granderson said. “At first I was like, ‘Woah they broke it, I don’t know how they can get any louder.’” When they announced the winners of Future Stars 2020 as “Beauty and the Beast,” it was a celebratory moment for all the contestants. Everyone surrounded Roberts and Granderson as confetti fluttered through the air and balloons floated down from the rafters. “Everybody’s just happy for everybody and that’s what I love about Future Stars,” Roberts said. “It’s a really supportive environment and the competition is mostly for the audience.” Granderson and Roberts described Future Stars as a time where you get to be a pop star. And as they wrapped up Future Stars and reflected back on their time, the closing is bittersweet. “I just love that it’s full circle with Monty,” Roberts said. “Performing together one last time was a really nice way to end it.” C

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“I almost tripped over myself. That was the first time I’d ever sung for an audience.” 20

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Encore: A Return to the Stage

Photography by Sofia Bennetts | Maya Boyd performs her solo, “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae.

Maya Boyd reflects on her experience placing in Future Stars finals for the second time, as well as what her talent means to her. BY CHAVA MAKMAN-LEVINSON AND EBBA GURNEY

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wo years ago, sophomore Maya Boyd gazed out at a crowd going wild. She had just won Future Stars with an unforgettable dance number to “Party” by Chris Brown, alongside her twin sister Gigi and friend Kaleb Prescott. As the three held hands and accepted their win, Boyd smiled out upon the audience, remembering every stage she had once danced on, and realized that this, by far, was her favorite. This year, after a two-year break from Future Stars, Boyd was excited to return and dance again for the supportive audience. But her plans were shattered: dancing was no longer accepted in the talent performance. “I identify as a dancer,” Boyd said. “My initial thought was to perform again as a dancer.” As someone who loved to sing around her house but held no experience singing in front of an audience, Boyd was faced with a choice. She could sit out of her last opportunity to participate, or she could leap from her comfort zone and try something scarily new. Boyd performed twice: one solo to “Put Your Records On,” and one duet with Jasmine Williams to “Don’t Stop Believin.’” Much to her surprise, both acts made it to finals. “The solo was less nerve-wracking for me,” Boyd said. “For the duet, I was always thinking about if I sounded good with [Jasmine] or not, and if I was doing well for her.” As a first time singer, Boyd was struck with the apparent difference in treatment of the performers in the show. Singers were required to attend practice more frequently

and were given more rigorous coaching, a contrast to her experience as a dancer, where she had been able to determine her own practice times in the studio of her choice. “I work independently so I was not upset about it, but since they are more invested in the singers, the practicing was more intense this year,” Boyd said. The experience was incredibly different socially, as well. With Prescott as an older mentor her sophomore year, she had many older friends her first time around. This year, she felt more of the competition aspect. “It felt more competitive, I wouldn’t say hostile, but it didn’t feel as warm as it felt two years ago,” Boyd said. “It’s clearly a competition and I don’t do choir or PTG (Pioneer Theater Guild) plays, so everyone knew each other and I didn’t.” After competing in countless dance competitions in the past for a trophy or monetary prize, the feeling of performing in front of friends and peers was unmatched. “I almost tripped over myself,” Boyd said. “That was the first time I’d ever sang for an audience. I was scared, and genuinely surprised that I’d made it.” Now, with two memorable experiences under her belt, Boyd is faced with an unavoidable decision: where will her future will take her? As the well-rounded dancer that Boyd is, her experience with dance has included everything from hip hop to ballet. However, five years ago she narrowed in and chose to focus her time on ballet, devoting time every single day of the week to sharpening this skill.

Recently Boyd has been taking classes from studio to studio when she can, rather than committing to one group. While this has been beneficial to her busy schedule, it has also weakened her sense of closeness with fellow dancers. “I don’t really have time to stabilize a friend group,” Boyd said. “I don’t mind because ballet is really individual, you don’t really talk during class, you just get ready to do your thing, so the pressure to socialize isn’t as high when you dance.” Her options to pursue ballet in some capacity are expansive. Many professional dancers head straight to a dance company, cutting out college completely, while some try to include both. “There are things I really want to do and experiences I want to have,” Boyd said. “I want to experience dancing with a company or being on Broadway. But I also definitely want to experience going to college, getting my degree, having a salary job and just being more stable.” Wherever Boyd’s life takes her, whether that be taking a gap year, dancing with a company or travelling to France, she is welcoming it with open arms. C

Photography by Sofia Bennetts LEFT: Maya Boyd performs her solo “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae. This was her first time singing on stage for an audience. ABOVE: Maya Boyd, accompanied by band members, feels the music as she performs “Put Your Records On” for the crowd at the finals for Future Stars.

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WHAT IT’S LIKE BEING A CHS STUDENT TAKING A U OF M CLASS BY LINNEA VERHEY-HENKE

Sitting in her CHS Latin class sophomore year, Anna Stansfield knew that the program wouldn’t exist the next year. After her freshman year the CHS Latin teacher left, leaving the new history teacher to teach both Latin and History at both CHS and Pioneer. She knew that he wouldn’t be there for more than a year, causing the Latin program to disappear. Stansfield didn’t want to stop taking Latin, she just had to find a new way to take it. So she decided that taking Latin at the University of Michigan would be the best idea for her because it was a more accessible class in both location and time. Stansfield knew that she wanted to take Latin and since it was a language class, she had to take a placement test so they could see what section she should be placed in. She ended up getting placed into Latin 103 at the University of Michigan. Stansfield then had to find the time and day that worked best for her, which she did by searching in the LSA course guide. Finally, she had to email the professor, and see if they had a spot in their class for her. Stansfield is also taking a psychology class at Michigan. “I knew that I wanted to take a psychology class—I’ve always found psychology interesting and since CHS doesn’t have a psychology class, I haven’t been able 22

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to take it until now. This class has been a great experience, it’s a very different experience from my Latin class,” Stansfield said. “I have definitely found it more difficult than any class I’ve taken at Community, but it’s worth it.” Both of Stansfield’s professors responded quickly and were continuously responsive when she was trying to figure out what she needed to do. Her Latin class is small, around 10-12 students. Her psychology class, on the other hand, is a 300 person lecture class and a smaller discussion class with around 20 students. Stansfield’s psychology class required her to participate in studies through a subject pool, but since Stansfield isn’t 18 she cannot participate in the studies. That part of the course was excluded for her. “Taking classes at the University of Michigan has been an amazing experience. It really gives you a taste of what college is like in the aspect of the environment and how difficult the classes are,” Stansfield said. Mikaela Melcher is currently a senior at CHS, and she wanted to branch out of the classes that CHS had and decided to look at what she could take at the University of Michigan. “I took Korean because my friend Nanako was taking it at the time and I wanted to take that class with her. I really liked it but it was really hard,” Melcher said. Mon-

days were for project work time for their final project, a ten minute video of them speaking. Wednesdays were when they would learn vocabulary; they would learn 100 words every week, and then would have a quiz the next week. Melcher had never taken Korean before this experience. It was a deep dive into the Korean language. She went from knowing very little to a lot. She has not continued Korean since but is very grateful for her experience that semester. Melcher’s class was taught by a Michigan professor but was just for high school students. “ It gave me a little bit of a taste of what college was like: with the workload and how classes work, but not so much about the people because the five other students in my class were high schoolers.” “It was a tough class. We had to learn a lot of vocabulary in a small amount of time. It was still a really great experience, and it helped me understand more how difficult college level courses are. I learned a lot. The professor loved the class so much which is what made it fun,” Melcher echoed Stansfield. C Photography by Ebba Gurney | Anna Stansfield walking out of community mid-day to go to her Latin class at the University of Michigan. “I have loved all the classes I’ve taken at the University of Michigan. They are really challenging, way harder than any class I have taken at CHS,” Stansfield said.


GUIDING THE FUTURE BY LEAH DAME AND AVA KOSINSKI

Marie Scott helps her students every day, so that everyone’s future is affected for the better. “I want to defy the expectation of an African American woman in America,” Marie Scott, a new teaching consultant here at CHS said. “I won’t allow myself to be limited based on the stereotypes that have been placed on me.” Scott has been working as a teaching consultant for a long time in the Ann Arbor School District, but only started working at CHS this semester. Scott works with students who have learning challenges to help them connect with the curriculum and their classes. She also works to assist their teachers in planning classes that allow all of their students to be successful. Despite Scott’s passion for her job, she hasn’t always known she wanted to be a teacher. She started off college in premed and only fell into teaching when she started working at a treatment center with many students. Towards the end of the program, a friend working there noticed her passion for teaching and asked if Scott had ever thought about being a teacher: she hadn’t. However, Scott really loved what she had been doing, so she went back to school and got a masters degree in special education. Scott lives by her personal philosophy that “you never arrive”; That’s why the best part of her job is working with teenagers. “You guys are at this point where you’re discovering life, you’re still pushing back, [asking] a lot of questions and haven’t gotten settled into your thoughts and beliefs about things,” Scott said. “So I guess my favorite part is seeing you all develop as people.” Her least favorite part about her job: “Working with the adults,” Scott whispered as she leaned in, almost to tell a secret. “Because we’ve lived life and we’ve experienced whatever it is that we’ve experienced and we’re not necessarily flexible in our thinking and in our being. The difference between teens and adults, we think that we’ve arrived and that we know everything. So once you get there, it’s kind of hard to get people to see things differ-

ently, or to consider other sides of things or another way of doing things. It’s just more challenging to work with adults.” As a teenager, Scott was an active social justice initiator. At the time, she didn’t have the wherewithal to know it at the time, but now, at 46-years-old, if she could tell her teenage self one thing, it would be that she was proud and to advise her to stay on that path: not letting societal or family expectations sidetrack her. Scott still sees a piece of her young self living inside her. However, she wishes it ruled the majority of herself, rather than a small part. “When I’m at work, it’s an easy thing to do, but in the world it’s more difficult going into my kid’s schools and wearing this social justice cap,” Scott said. “The expectation here is that I’m equity-minded and that I’m going to facilitate and guide and push students through this equity lens to help you expand the lens of self, so that it can encompass other people and your experiences. I don’t have that freedom necessarily in other environments to do that.” Her social justice lens is clearly expressed when she wears a “Support Ann Arbor Teachers” sweatshirt. Except most of the time, Scott doesn’t think standing up for something is political. “Sometimes right is right and wrong is wrong,” Scott explained. “If you come and you do a good job, you work really hard, you should be rewarded for that.” She continues to elaborate more on why the movement is one worth supporting.

“Support the fact that we (teachers) show up everyday and we go above and beyond: not forgetting the fact that we have families, that we’re taking care of, and the only way that I can take care of my family is through the work that I do, which should pay me,” Scott said. “So, it’s real basic. This is not a political statement. It’s just right. In my mind we’re the way, we’re the guide, we’re the tunnel, we’re the gateway. Everyone comes through a teacher, every single person.” It’s evident that Scott is passionate about developing young people. She feels like she has a responsibility to use her power and privilege to empower the people who are going to follow behind her, the younger generation. “The changes that need to be made in this world are going to happen to you,” Scott said. “This adult thing where I said we’ve become inflexible, we forget that we’re not going to be here forever. I have a responsibility to leave a legacy. [We have] the next 50 to 80 years to do the work. I can’t do it all, we can’t do it. Like I said, we never arrive. I have a responsibility to make sure that I’m empowering young people to do the work that needs to be done, and to explore who [they] are.” C

Design by Leah Dame Photography by Ava Kosinski | Marie Scott seen smiling in the front entrance of her new workplace: Community High School (CHS). Scott used to work at Skyline but made the switch to CHS in January. Feature | March 2020 | 23


FUELED BY FEAR

Matt Johnson on his journey to write his second book, “Flash Feedback.” BY HANNAH BERNSTEIN

Photography by Ebba Gurney | Matt Johnson is teaching in the same classroom he taught in when he was student teaching in 2006. Before returning back to CHS, he traveled and taught in California and Oregon.

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The strength to succeed sprouted from Matt Johnson’s childhood. Learning how to take risks and go out of his comfort zone, Matt Johnson found a way to push himself to success. In high school, he decided to take up new hobbies. He began to skateboard, but knew he would fall a lot and have to endure pain. Johnson then began to run. He was challenged and constantly injuring himself. All these activities helped him overcome his crippling anxiety and power through the end of high school. Fear and timidness fueled his journey. After the first two years of college, Johnson, at 20 years old, left the University of Michigan (U of M) for a gap year. Practically failing, he took a leave of absence before he flunked out of school. Johnson had worked so hard to get into the U of M, but burned out once he finally made it there. Instead of spending another year sitting in his room playing video games, Johnson found a new passion: he hit the slopes. Johnson taught kids how to ski and was amazed by the experience and impact he had as an instructor; he thought it was astonishing. But he wanted to have a greater influence on people. He knew he would get this same feeling from teaching in school. After a year off of school, Johnson came back to U of M and had a tale of two GPAs. Originally a math person, Johnson ended up becoming an English major and finished off his schooling successfully. “I liked the idea of being an English teacher,” Johnson said. “I wanted to talk about philosophy, the world and equity. So ironically, I became an English teacher, and I was not a very good reader or writer.” In his last year of college, Johnson was a student teacher at CHS in Ken McGraw’s English classes. Following his time at CHS, he was thrown right into teaching. At age 22, he began to teach and was shocked by how unprepared he felt. His practice and studies in college were not equivalent to running his own classroom. Johnson needed a way to process what he was going through. His emotions and experiences needed to be sorted. This is when Johnson first began to write. A journal was a useful way to think through everything. After writing down his learnings and tips to himself for several years, his wife suggested that he should reach out to publishers. This was the encouragement he needed to publish his first book: “Finding Success the First Year: A Survivor’s Guide for New Teachers,” published in October 2010. The book was written from Johnson’s perspective, a young teacher talking to new teachers. In the book, he sorts through his


struggles allowing him to learn more about himself. Luckily this is exactly the content the publisher wanted. After Johnson published his first book, he felt like he had nothing else to say, until a few years ago after he gained more experience in the classroom. He began by blogging to assure himself that people would be interested in his new idea. Johnson’s blog helped him branch out and find new opportunities. To his surprise, big educational groups were showing interest and reaching out. In St. Louis, Johnson, with great luck, once again was speaking at a conference with his future publisher in the audience. The new publishing house, “Sage,” is a lot larger than the first, but also happened to be looking for the same content Johnson was offering. Johnson’s new book, “Flash Feedback,” came out in March 2020. The idea for the book centers around his realization on how a majority of teacher’s feedback to students is more damaging than beneficial. Most of the feedback is harmful, making the student worse or having no effect at all. The book is written in an accessible, conversational style investigating questions on how to give feedback. There are five chapters that are each asking their own question. The first chapter is about how teachers give responses and feedback to students in less time. The second chapter is how one can become more effective with the responses a teacher gives. The third one is about a feedback cycle, where the students have to put the feedback into effect and work on self evaluation. The

Flash Feedback Responding to Student Writing Better and Faster—Without Burning Out

Matthew Johnson Foreword by Dave Stuart Jr.

fourth is how teachers help students build up their relationships and identities. And the final chapter is about how to do peer and self review. Johnson tries to accomplish all the tips he gives in his book, but sometimes it is not possible. He knows humans are imperfect and cannot always occupy the mindsets that you should be in when responding to work. Johnson also talks about the complications of giving responses to students. Really listening to your students is the best way, Johnson said. Teachers should have an understanding of individual students to know what feedback will be beneficial to them. The process is not perfect and frequently relies on judgement calls. Johnson understands that people might not have the same ideas or agree with him all the time. He also understands that he will be critiqued on writing styles, grammar and punctuation. So being a somewhat newer writer is intimidating and is about taking more risks. “From a kindergartener who’s putting down their first letters, to Stephen King, I think all people are terrified of writing, it’s really scary,” Johnson said. “I’m terrified constantly…. There’s a testament to your imperfection at that moment, on a piece of paper.” Johnson is afraid that he cannot fulfill this role as a writer while comparing himself to other teachers in CHS. “There’s also an issue of imposter syndrome where you feel like, ‘Who am I to say this, to have them invest all this money, pub-

lish it and push it,’” Johnson said. “What do I have to say that’s any more special than anybody else? And the answer I come to is that mine is just another perspective. It’s different than anybody else’s. Some people might gain something from that, some might not.” Johnson acknowledges all who have helped him get to where he is now. His colleagues, mentors, the deans, his students and all the people who have helped him with the publication. In the big publishing house, his book has been edited by dozens of people 10 times each. He has teams dedicated to graphic design and marketing for “Flash Feedback” as well. When one opens the book to the first page, they will see that he dedicates his book to his wife, Kat. He mocks F. Scott Fitzgeralds’s dedication to Zelda and says, “Once again for Kat.” She helped him gain the courage to publish in the first place. Johnson is afraid that no one will buy his book. But even if his book is a massive flop, he knows that he has become a better teacher because of writing these books. “Writing and creation is scary for everybody,” Johnson said. “If you’re scared, that just means you’re doing it, that’s normal. And if you’re not scared, then you might want to nudge yourself a little bit into a place where it’s new and maybe a little scary. And that’s okay, that’s the process of it, because that means that you’re being authentically you and trying to say something that matters.” C

How do you feel about it coming out? “I’m super excited. I’m super nervous, as one would imagine you would be. Because, I always try to think about this with my students too, you never quite know how a piece of writing is going to be received. You can make your best guesses, but all authors have moments where their words are received in a way that are different than what they expected. So, releasing a piece that is hopefully going to be read by hopefully a lot of people is nerve wrcking because you just don’t know how they are going to receive it: If they are going to love it, if people are going to take issue with something you said, if it is going to catch on or not. A lot of that, there is a certain magic to that no one, as far as I can tell, can fully predict. I can’t think of a single writer in the world who’s had a home run with everything they’ve written.” How are you going to celebrate? “I haven’t really thought about it because you have to think about how am I going to get this book in people’s hands, which people can I reach out to, to maybe write reviews on it, which bloggers and education can I reach out to that will maybe do a review on it. These kinds of things I have not thought a lot about celebrating. I reckon I will probably just celebrate the way I like to celebrate things the most these days, which is just to be with my kids and my wife and make a nice dinner, maybe have my parents over and have a nice dinner together.”

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THE PAREIDOLIA EFFECT David Zinn is an Ann Arbor based artist internationally renowned for his chalk art. BY CATE WEISER AND OLIVER LETE-STRAKA Graphics By David Zinn

The sun was out in Ann Arbor, Mich., and David Zinn needed an excuse to enjoy the first beautiful day in weeks. He walked slowly, eyes fixed on the ground until he spotted what he was looking for. A speckle on the ground had caught his eye. He kneeled on the ground and began a game of connect-the-dots on the sidewalk. At 30 years old, Zinn had finally used sidewalk chalk for the first time. He never used chalk as a kid; he had lived in a rural neighborhood without any paved roads or sidewalks for miles. After that day, Zinn couldn’t put the chalk down. Art became his career immediately after he graduated college. His first paid art job was for a recycling program. He designed stickers inside the lids of dumpsters that described what should be thrown away and what should be recycled. “My work was literally in the trash from the moment I started working,” Zinn said. Soon after, the recycling company requested that Zinn make comics for the back of the recycling guides. It was dubbed “The Waste Watchers” and it explained complex recycling topics as told by characters like raindrops. Nobody will ever see Zinn sit down to paint on a canvas. Only one has stayed in his home, blank for 17 years. “[The sticker job] was a story problem that had a solution where you never had to stare at a blank canvas and think, ‘What does my heart need to The Latte-Ness Monster express?’” Zinn said. Zinn explained how there is more pressure to paint on a canvas. Something about sitting down in front of something that is meant to hold unplanned perfection paralyzes him. Zinn loved creating the recycling guides because he had deadlines and requirements for what the city wanted. He didn’t always know that he wanted to pursue art. He went to the University of Michigan Residential College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, earning a degree in creative writing and English Language and Literature. He never thought he’d be able to survive on art alone, so he hoped to write children’s books that he could also illustrate.

“Doodling was something I was going to do compulsively every day,” Zinn said. “So it seemed a weird thing to pay tuition for.” Zinn grew up in Ann Arbor, Mich., and went to Greenhills School for seventh through 12th grade, where his interest in art began to expand. “I was a very average student and a terrible athlete, two typical things that you are expected to excel at in high school,” Zinn said. He had a habit of doodling to avoid talking to people. After his uncle gave him paper with pre-drawn squares, he began to make comics and post them on Sluggo’s One-Ring, his locker. These comics became an outlet Two-Cap Circus for Zinn. Known around the school for his comics, the administration let Zinn choose his lockers to make sure his comics got the most exposure. For a school fundraiser, a homemade book full of his comics were auctioned off and bought by one of his teachers. “Those gestures made what I was doing, which was not academic excellence and not athletic prowess, something worth pursuing something worth respecting,” Zinn said. Zinn’s passion for art began with his compulsive desire to doodle, which he defines as “messing around with whatever is in front of you without trying to make art.” Drawn to it because of its lack of rules, he covered everything in his doodles — from restaurant placemats to corners of homework. From a young age, Zinn’s father, a research scientist with a PhD in psychology, encouraged the habit. He provided Zinn and his brother with scraps of paper from his pockets to doodle on. The two brothers engaged in a competition they called “The Doodle Battle.” They scribbled and defaced their pieces of paper, then switched. To win, they needed to draw something from the freshly-drawn scribble. “The one thing we never noticed is that no one ever lost that game,” Zinn said. “Every time someone goes, ‘I bet you can’t make anything out of that,’. Then you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah?’ and every time we both won. It’s al-

Zinn’s Travelling Chalk Box

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ways easier to see something you want to create out of stuff that’s already there.” Seeing things in preexisting objects is known as pareidolia. For example, seeing a face in a car’s headlights and bumper. The Doodle Battle was where Zinn discovered the effect; his childhood fun with his brother trained him for the rest of his life. Pareidolia is the basis of Zinn’s chalk drawPigasus Skyhole ings, which are now his most common creations. His chalk drawings are created on rough surfaces where there are already specks, cracks and stains for him to add upon. Zinn doesn’t consider his chalk drawings “art;” he sees them as doodles. “All the pressure about making art goes away because you’re just doodling,” Zinn said. The drawings wash away after rain, snow or even strong winds, and he never signs his name on them. The permanency and pressure of canvas work is erased. He believes that leaving his signature off of the pieces creates an aura of surrealism. “It increases––I hope this happens, at least for a millisecond––that people might think this is not art, but that it is a message that was put there for them,” Zinn said. His characters are chosen to fit the spaces they’re drawn in. However, some of his made-up characters have unique origin stories. A pig with wings, that Zinn dubbed a Pigasus, was first suggested by a young girl. The reference to the phrase “when pigs fly” was lost on Zinn for awhile, until he heard a parent explain the creature to their young child. The importance of the Pigasus set in. “Because it’s such an inherently negative phrase, drawing a pig that has wings is an inherently positive image,” Zinn said. “It fights back against that negativity. And I’ve actually heard parents — the ones that I like — point to these Pigasis and tell their kids ‘You see that? You know Stories are for Telling what that means? That means anything can happen today,’. Those are the good parents.” Sluggo, another of Zinn’s favorite characters, was the result of a drawing of a child gone wrong. What was

meant to be a child dancing the jitterbug became a green, slug-like monster. A stain on the sidewalk where the child’s head was supposed to be was too tall and long for the right proportions. After several attempts to redo the facial features, Zinn gave up. Out of frustration he drew two long stalks with eyes on top of the head. When he sat back to look at what had become of his drawing, he recalled an important lesson from his childhood: “If you draw things that are real, there’s always some joker who’s happy to come and tell you everything you did wrong,” Zinn said. “But if you draw an imaginary creature, no one can tell you that it’s wrong because you invented it. The original purpose of his art was to get away from the computer, which is where it is most commonly shared now. Zinn has amassed a following of over 520,000 people on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. To encourage others to unplug he created a book of his drawings. The books are photographic albums of his art, his first being crowdfunded by people around the world. Sluggo and Sheep Along with his books, he created mugs, calendars, and other “shameless merchandise opportunities,” which he tries to keep very limited. Despite his aversion to permanent art, he does have a few that are scattered around Ann Arbor. He made a painting of a green monster on a powerbox across from Blank Slate Creamery, and an aquarium on the corner of Main St. and William St. A Pigasus that began as a chalk drawing on the back of the Ann Arbor Art Center was made permanent, though Zinn does not know how. One of his favorite, and most commonly overlooked pieces is “Laughing at Clouds” between the downtown library and the post office. It depicts a man singing, with an umbrella in one hand and a seemingly empty left hand. However, if you stand in the right place, you can see that the lamp post that lies a few feet away from the mural is a part of it. The man is holding the lamp post in his left hand, hanging off of it. More recently, the Natural History Museum hired Zinn to paint a ‘scavenger hunt’ of animals around the museum. Each animal is a real creature and painted onto the wall, which scared Zinn at first. Each is hidden around the museum in their time periods.

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He also makes and sells permanently painted charac- awhile, Zinn snapped his chalk in half and gave it to the ters on broken slabs of concrete and slate. He first made boy. For the entire afternoon, they took turns drawing one for his mother’s birthday. They allow for permanent line after line, not speaking a single word. pieces while still utilizing pareidolia. Zinn’s decision to work in sidewalk chalk stemmed Due to Zinn’s international from his hope to inspire people. Drawing in popularity, he has been able to sidewalk chalk is an attempt to help people display his art on sidewalks all remember their inner child; a time they too around the world. His favorite used chalk. adventure was when he traveled “We learn to doubt that [we are artists],” to Borås, Sweden from August Zinn said. “But we all start out absolutely conto September of 2015. Borås is fident that it is our job to draw on everything, a textile town filled with blank regardless of the consequences. It’s one of the walls, and Zinn was invited by a first ways in which we realize that we have the local street artist to help create a power to change the world, literally. You start public art gallery. Artists and muout life as a passive passenger; you get carried ralists were invited from all over around, things get shoved in your mouth, you the world to provide art for the don’t know how to communicate. Then of the bare walls of the town. first times that you’re not just a passenger is He also traveled to three difwhen you realize ‘No, I can make a mark on Improbability Watch (Nightfall) ferent cities in Taiwan in July of this. Now it’s different, and that was me.” 2016 to attend children’s festivals, where he would sit for David Zinn’s art is hidden all over the world: on social hours drawing on any surface he could. media, in bookstores and in the streets. Hidden gems, “[I enjoyed] the weird experience of being around peo- speckled everywhere. Next time you’re walking through ple with whom you do not share language, so the only downtown Ann Arbor or perusing Instagram—keep your way you can really communicate is through art,” Zinn eyes open for a mouse tucked away on a brick or a Pigasaid. sus right under your feet. C This past summer, Zinn visited the Netherlands. One day, he was drawing on a millstone that he hypothesized was older than the United States. A young boy walked by, and sat to watch Zinn as he drew on the stone. After

Five Second Rule

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BREE & D&D Bree Boehman used Dungeons and Dragons as an outlet for her love of history, and now D&D groups all over CHS are exploring her world.

BY SOPHIE FETTER

Bree Boehman has been writing stories from a very young age. “I’ve always been a very creative person. I love creating worlds and characters,” Boehman said. Boehman truly found her outlet for creativity in the roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). D&D only requires dice, pencils, and paper to play: the rest is up to the imaginations of the players. D&D focuses on storytelling, role-playing, character building, and world-building. It was this focus on imagination and storytelling that drew Boehman to D&D. Boehman is the student leader of the Community D&D club. There had been a previous D&D club, but it was disbanded due to a lack of Dungeon Masters (people who run a D&D campaign). Boehman decided to resurrect the D&D club and that the campaigns should all take place in a shared world. In the summer between her junior and senior years, Boehman created the continent of Aria. She tested and fine-tuned it so that way when she brought it back to school in the fall, it would be ready. There are six main factions in Aria. Most of the campaigns take place on a peninsula in the southwestern corner of Aria. On this peninsula rests the Lynerian Empire, an ancient empire that has stood for generations. The empire has fallen into disarray from the poor leadership of an oafish king. To the south is the land of Elara, home of Eradok people who are tired of the oppression of the Elarian elites and have revolted. The Nords are a people from the far northern islands of ancient mankind. The settlers have moved down south, claiming to be fleeing some great prophecy of winter. The empire is displeased with this exodus as the Nordic settlers have taken control of their northern land, so they have allied with the Vaegir nations of Stotan. Boehman loosely based the Vaegirs off the Slavic Russians. “The Vaegirs emulate Russians with their Slavic architecture, clothing, armament (military weapon and equipment) styles, and their culture of civilian life,” Boehman said. In the eastern mountains are the Kierzghin steps, home of former Khergit Khanate nomadic tribes. Boehman based the Khergit Khanate off the Mongolians. The tribes were apart and at war, but were reunited by a great warrior who led them into grand conquests and united them into an empire. The story directly mirrors that of

Genghis Khan. Far to the southeast are the Seljuks, which Boehman named after the real-life Seljuks who occupy Turkey and Northwestern area of the Middle East, and are the precursors to the Ottoman Empire. Many of the elements of Boehman’s world are influenced by real life. “As are most things in the fantasy genre,” Boehman said. “I absolutely love studying history, not just like the history of my own ancestors but all over the world. I love power structures and political systems, social hierarchies and military strategies.” Boehman is also interested in the arms and armor of various time periods. She does fencing and hema, which is historical European martial arts. Dungeons and Dragons has played a huge role in Boehman’s life. “It’s really helped me hone my creative nature into more productive means by coming up with the stories that I could actually have people experience firsthand, and have them shape along with me,” Boehman said. “It also has really helped my acting skills by having to act out all the different characters’ voices, mannerisms, speech patterns, behavior, and personalities. It’s definitely a huge mixture of acting skills, writing skills and above all else, improvisational skills because you never really know what the players are going to do, and you have to make the world feel alive. It can’t just be like a video game that’s been written out and ready for them to experience in a linear path. It all has to be tailored around their decisions best to ebb and flow with their movements and has to react to their actions as the real world does.” Boehman said it feels amazing that so many others at Community are players in her world. “I really love sharing my work,” Boehman said. “I guess you could call it showing what I can do. It’s my passion, and what good is art if there’s nobody to behold it? What good is playing music if there is no audience? I definitely love putting on a show.” C

Photography By Josh Boland | Bree Boehman holds up the D&D “Players Handbook” and “Monster Manual” while showing off her numerous dice sets. Boehman has been playing D&D for many years. “It’s always been a big part of my life.,” Boehman said.

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It Just Becomes Normal

Zara Greene-Kaleski Shares Her Story of Family, Purpose and Support

BY SOPHIE KRIZ AND JOEY LOPEZ

For her whole life, Zara Greene-Kaleski has grown up in an unorthodox, but supportive family. Growing up, she watched her mother take care of her and all of her siblings while still working full-time at her job. Despite how tired her mother felt or how impossible the circumstances were, she always pushed onward. “She’s a single mom with a bunch of kids and she has her own business that she started,” Greene-Kaleski said. “So yeah, she’s hustling.” Throughout her life, Greene-Kaleski has always felt a strong connection with her mother. Even though her mother was busy during her childhood, they were always very close. Greene-Kaleski described how she felt that she could often turn to her mother when she needed support or to talk. However, even when she felt she could not talk with her mother, she found support from her mother’s close friends. Her mother’s friends were almost family for Greene-Kaleski; she called them “the fab five.” “So these friends of my mom, I guess

I count them as part of my family,” Greene-Kaleski said. “I even call one of them my ‘second mom’ and all my younger siblings call her that too. She’s always supportive and I go to her for stuff. If I’m angry with my mom or there’s something I’m not comfortable asking her, I go to her.” Greene-Kaleski talked about how her mother has a large family that used to be very close to her, but gradually drifted apart after her grandfather’s death. “My grandpa used to be the family tie,” Greene-Kaleski said. “Everyone just loved him and we came together through him. But when he died, people just lost that reason to come together and there was just this weird silence between us.” In their place, Greene-Kaleski found support from her mother’s “fab five” as aunts and uncles. In addition to her “second mom,” a person she has always been inspired by is another of her mom’s close friends, who is like an uncle to her. According to Greene-Kaleski, he grew up in a selfish family but eventually managed to start

his own business and write his own success story. “I’ve known him basically my whole life and I lived with them for a year, along with my other aunt,” Greene-Kaleski said. “Their first date actually was the day I was born. They went to Washtenaw Dairy and came later to see me. So, yeah I’ve known them for my whole life.” When she was growing up, Greene-Kaleski’s uncle helped carry her through tough times and encourage her to be her own person and pursue her own goals. In addition to her family, related and not, Greene-Kaleski feels that she receives strong support at CHS. While sharing her thoughts about CHS, she explained that there are different routes in life that get you to different places. However, she said that people at other high schools act like there is only one right way to do everything; but in the end, that’s not always the case. Greene-Kaleski believes that CHS helped her realize that everyone has different passions and things they want to do. It has helped her feel that she shouldn’t feel pressured to do the same thing as everyone else and helped support her to pursue new passions and interests. “I was inspired to be myself and do what I want to do,” said Greene-Kaleski. “I think that when you grow up with something, whether it’s like a problem or what, it just becomes normal. So you don’t think of it as ‘Oh wow this is really special and different.’ It’s like you didn’t grow up different.” For her whole life, Zara has been inspired by the people around her. “Someone who really inspires me to do what I want to do is probably my uncle,” Greene-Kaleski said. “When he was growing up… things were hard for him… It was a kind of long process for him and kind of a struggle, but now he is doing what he wanted to do with his life.” Wherever the future takes her, Greene-Kaleski is glad to have so many people supporting her. C

Photography by Cate Weiser | Zara Greene-Kaleski sits in the halls of CHS, confident that no matter what path she chooses for the future, she will find support. For her whole life, her family inspired her to create her own future. “Someone who really inspires me to do what I want to do is probably my uncle,” Greene-Kaleski said. “It was a kind of long process for him and kind of a struggle, but now he is doing what he wanted to do with his life.”

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BY ELEANOR NIMAN AND NAJEH MATUTE-MARTINEZ

Steve Coron, an art teacher at CHS, spent ten days this past summer photographing Lake Superior. “I photographed the lake at the same time in the early morning pre-dawn for 10 days in a row,” Coron said. He took these photos in Marquette, Mich., where he grew up. “Part of my intention was to raise awareness of the fragile nature of our great lakes in Michigan, and how the slightest change in temperature, or human intervention, can alter the state of this lake,” Coron said. His photos show the lake, and how on different days it looked completely different. “It seems kind of immovable,” he said. “Like she’s the queen of the lakes.” Coron’s photo essay not only drew attention to the beauty of the lake, but also awareness of the factors that can affect it. With these photos that he took, he took note of the small changes that occured. “It changed according to the weather and the wind,” he said. “If the wind was out of the north, the lake was choppy. And I called her angry.” Coron has spent a lot of time near Lake Superior, and he’s noticed

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that people are impacting the beach. “They walk where they’re not supposed to,” Coron said. “And they trample the native grasses, which hold the soil together,” The city of Marquette is very aware of this, and they are taking steps in protecting the waterfront and the lake. “They used to have a coal plant, right on the water,” he said. “That generated pollutants into the lake, and they’re currently trying to clean up the shore near Marquette.” This body of water is not only special to him, but it is a part of our great lakes. Coron wants people to see the beauty of the lake, while understanding that they need to care for it better to keep it that way. “It’s an awareness thing,” Coron said. “My photo essay called attention to the beauty of this lake as something worth keeping.” “Each morning the sun came up, I had stopped taking photos, and this family of geese would come by,” Coron said. “And I’m thinking, ‘Wow’, like they know when to leave and start feeding.” C


Child of the Barn BY ROMEO KLOBUCAR

“You know, it’s funny. I never intended to write a book about my mom. I think that when you’re a poet, you just write the poems that you need to write.” For years, Ellen Stone, retired teacher and current poet, defined poetry at CHS. After her retirement in 2018, she’s devoted more and more time to her own work. With one book released in March 2020, and a second on the way, her poetry has flourished. Her book, “What Is In The Blood,” focuses largely on her relationship with her mother as a child. When Stone was ten years old, her mother was diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder, resulting in her inability to parent her children for substantial periods of time. Despite the trauma from her mother’s illness, Stone looks back on her childhood warmly. Her younger brother even goes so far as to call his experience ‘idyllic’. Stone finds it interesting: “He didn’t have the same thing that I had… he didn’t have enough of his mother, but he still found [our childhood] to be idyllic,” she said. She and her siblings grew up in the rural Midwest during the 1970’s, spending most of their time in undeveloped land surrounded by plants and farm animals. “I was a child of the barn. Love barns.” It was a time when children were, as Stone puts it, let loose on the world. Despite Stone’s mother often being too ill to take care of her children, and even herself, Stone remembers her as a fantastic mother. “My mother, when she wasn’t depressed, was still up and working, still our mother…

but she was struggling through, you could tell,” Stone said. The second portion of the book focuses on Stone’s role as a caretaker of her now 88 year old mother. Stone says she has embraced poetry as both a poet and a teacher largely in response to how her mother’s illness impacted her childhood. On her family as a whole, Stone says that many of them felt drawn to specific fields of work or passions largely by influence of their mother and their consequent upbringing. One of the biggest influencers in Stone’s poetic work at large was her mother. It was largely due to the way her mother raised her that she felt so compelled to work with high school students. During her employment at CHS, she has always advocated for the writing and sharing of poetry. Even now, retired, she continues to help lead Poetry Club. In the club, which meets weekly, Stone introduces CHS students to contemporary poetry, which she says she felt she missed out on in her high school experience. “When we were in high school in the 70s, we were taught very traditional, very old poetry that did not speak to me at all. Maybe a little bit of Shakespeare, but I don’t even think we were taught Emily Dickinson. We were taught William Wordsworth,” she said. It isn’t only in the content she teaches, though, that her influence is spread. A huge focus of the club is the ability to write poetry and be open about experiences. Sharing poetry is always encouraged, and Stone hopes

that having a place to share poetry gives high school students the kind of support that she didn’t receive in high school. She wants to be an adult that students feel they can trust and talk to; being vulnerable through her own poetry is a way to show the high school students she works with that it’s okay to feel emotions and go through difficult things. In her high school career, she didn’t have adults to talk to who really made her feel okay about her experiences with her mother. “I remember, the assistant principal called me to his office and said, ‘If there’s anything I can do to help you.’ How was the assistant principal going to help me?” In high school, she didn’t have the refuge of poetry. Because of the specific poetry she was being taught at the time, she didn’t view it as something that she could do. During college she began to discover contemporary poetry and for the first time in her life, realized how relevant poetry could be to her. She learned poems about modern issues, love, and anger. It hit her, she said, “Like an anvil between the forehead to the eyes.” Even with this realization, she still did not write until after college. Once she did, she quickly realized how useful an outlet writing was. Because of how much it allowed her to nurture her own self as well as work through the difficult things she went through in her childhood, she wants to show everyone (especially the young people) how magical poetry can be. C

Photography by Ella Rosewarne | Ellen Stone shares her love of poetry with a class at Community High School. Stone retired in 2018 and has spent time focusing on writing. Her book, “What Is In The Blood,” came out in March 2020.

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LOST IN THE GRAY BY MIA GOLDSTEIN 34 | The Communicator Magazine

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he sun was gone. The gray sky was a thick tarp, smothering everything beneath it. There wasn’t a sliver of sunlight or a cloud in sight. The ground was slush, watery and tinted brown. The snow covering front lawns was patchy and at some spots even bare, exposing matted down grass. Shoe prints had been dragged along the sidewalk leaving behind a muddled stream of intersecting paths. The sky, the weather, winter felt like an unbudging weight. What was this suffocating feeling so many people endured during the winter months? Why did it seem as if the world was face-to-face with a wall? Apparently it’s called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD— how ironic. “I just wish I could hibernate all winter long,” Hannah Freeland said. Freeland is a student-teacher at CHS and an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. Curled up beneath layers of blankets on a frigid winter afternoon was the only place she wanted to be. Certainly not outside on campus in ten degree weather and howling winds. “When it’s so dark and gray, all my emotional energy is taken away,” Freeland said. Although Freeland is not medically diagnosed with SAD, her mood does take a hit during winter months. SAD is a form of depression that occurs at the same time every year. It typically starts in the fall and continues into winter months. However, the time frame can vary from person to person and some may experience SAD during summer months. SAD is estimated to affect ten million Americans and an additional 20% may have mild SAD, according to Psychology Today. The winter blues can get to any one of us, too, not to be confused with SAD. “There are different scales of feeling down. There are the blues, where you’re just not on your game for a while. Seasonal depression on the other hand, spikes up during certain months and the winter weather doesn’t make it any easier,” Mikaela Melcher said, a CHS student who was formerly diagnosed with SAD at a young age later diagnosed with clinical depression.

To clarify: While general depression consists of episodes that can spike anytime throughout the year, SAD presents itself in seasonal patterns. It’s important to recognize that just because a depressive episode occurs in the winter, that does not automatically categorize it as SAD. According to Health Essentials, “the winter blues, ” a milder variant of seasonal depression, is prevalent among those who live in colder climates. For people living in Michigan and Midwestern states, it wouldn’t be uncommon to have the occasional winter blues. Clinical depression, whether it is non-seasonal major depression disorder or SAD, is often more debilitating. “My friend is outwardly a very happy person. But she will take one step outside and you can just see her frown,” Arista Luong, CHS student said about her close friend. She explained that her friend deals with severe SAD and that she does everything she can to make it better. “She doesn’t go to school a whole lot during the winter,” Luong said. It is extremely frustrating for Luong to see her friend slip into such a dark place. She wants only the best for her and wished she would realize the toll it had on her grades and social life. This is a prime example of the crippling effects of SAD. Luong and her friend eventually came to an agreement: If Luong sent her food, she would have to go to school for the rest of the week. Typically, Luong opts for Chipotle and will Postmate it early in the week. It’s not always doom and gloom here in Michigan. On rare occasions, we are reminded of its true beauty; bright blue skies and warm sun showers. Colors become more vibrant, thoughts become unclouded, feelings become stronger. Between classes on nice days, Freeland savors her time walking across the Diag. She’ll look up at the sky and relish the feeling of the sun on her skin. “I like to go for walks in the woods. . . , but I also try to enjoy the time when I’m walking between classes a bit more. Last week was the first time in a while that I heard birds in the morning. That sound definitely lifts

Photography by Mia Goldstein | Hannah Freeland looks up to the sky, closing her eyes in the sun. She savored the warm, comforting feeling as she stood outside Community High School taking a break from the hectic school environment where she student teaches.

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my spirits,” Freeland said. During those super cold, drab stretches, the only people seen on campus are already halfway inside the nearest building. For some with more acute forms of SAD, getting out of bed in the deep of winter can be a rollercoaster of reluctance, dread, and despair. Even the simplest of tasks, like putting together an outfit consisting of anything other than sweats, or completing a straightforward homework assignment, can feel impossible for those affected by seasonal depression. “It really showed in my grades,” Melcher said, “The first and fourth quarters of school were always my best, but during the winter, my grades dropped.” That’s how Melcher realized that she was affected by seasonal depression. She continued to draw the lines between having a harder time getting out of bed in the winter and having SAD. Her school performance took a blow and she simply could not muster the interest to complete her assignments. She sat towards the back of the classroom, letting the teacher’s voice flow in one ear and out the other. Her body was there but her mind was in a haze. “I want to do well, I really do, but I physically can’t sometimes,” Melcher added. Melcher was not willing to sacrifice her mental health for the sake of completing a homework assignment; she knew the toll it could have on her. She was mindful of what her brain and body needed, but it took her a while to get to that point. Melcher spent half of her life living down south, hopping around warm-climate states. As a kid, she moved from San Diego to New Mexico to Hawaii. The predictability of the weather was something that made her happy. That is assuredly something we lack in Michigan. “I would tell my friends about my depression and they’d say, ‘No you don’t [have it]. You’re always smiling, how could you have depression?’” Melcher said. These interactions have made her cognizant of her feelings and she has now come to accept that some days are not as good as others. We all must find ways to cope with whatever we are going through— whether it’s major depression or simply just an off day. We all need something, someone, or some way to just let it out. “Doing small things is enough. If you get up and shower and eat that day and that is all you can do, then that is enough,” Melcher said. She has managed by taking breaks, taking days off, and knowing her mind. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a hard-hitting, unpredictable illness that can knock your knees out at any time of the year. It affects many of us — 10 to 20% of people have a mild form of SAD and it has been reported to affect 10 million Americans. Winter months especially can be a hard stretch of time. The holiday season always seems to pass abruptly and we are left with three months of dreaded, gray weather. The days can feel never-ending with them being so short and dark. But somehow, every year, we manage to see the sun. “It’s important to realize how our moods and our health are connected to the environment that we’re in,” Freeland said. “We move through these spaces and we can ignore how they’re making us feel sometimes, but it’s important to find places that make you feel safe and nourished in order to find balance.” C

TREATMENTS - Physical exercise! Aerobic activity for 20-30 minutes five days a week is a proven mood booster. - Therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and light therapy. Talking through and about your feelings can be helpful. - Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are prescribed medications used to treat SAD. As with other medications, there are side effects to SSRIs. Talk to your doctor if you think medication is the right option for you and about the possible risks of using medication to treat your condition. - Consider seeing a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist or mental health counselor to seek help. 36

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Photography by Mia Goldstein Mikaela Melcher laughs casually as she leans against the windowsill. She talked to her friend in Courtney Kiley’s room during her free block about her weekend plans.

“Doing small things is enough. If you get up and eat and shower that day and that is all you can do, then that is enough.” |

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THE OTHER CATEGORY BY SAM DANNUG AND JORDAN DE PADOVA

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ommunity High School (CHS) senior Chloe Kurihara knows her friends mean well, but when they introduce her as their Asian friend, she cannot help but raise an eyebrow. Kurihara is uncomfortable, but it is the reaction of the friend she’s being introduced to that takes the situation from unpleasant to flat-out awkward. “One of them said I was Asian, so I must be pretty good at my studies and asked if I could help him study for math,” Kurihara said. Chloe is one of a small group of students struggling with a lack of representation at CHS. Asian students make up 2.8% of the study body as reported by U.S. News and as the public high school with the smallest proportional population of Asian students in Ann Arbor, Asian CHS students are uniquely underrepresented. Chloe is half-Japanese and half-white and does not feel “fully Asian.” She does not speak Japanese and has only visited her family back in Japan once. In her day-to-day life, her identity as American is much more effectual than her identity as Japanese; however, that is not the case through everyone’s eyes. “I feel like when people see me, they’re like, oh, she’s Japanese, and I’m kind of expected to know everything about Japanese culture,” Kurihara said. “Honestly I play into that because I don’t want to feel like an imposter so I feel like I should have all of the

answers to questions people have.” At school, Kurihara notices a lack of diversity across the board and feels lumped into a larger group of “Asian” students. Additionally, Kurihara doesn’t see any spaces carved out for Asian students at Community. On trying to address the disconnect Asian students may feel at Community, there are a few different options. Chloe mentions the presence of BSU and Los Latinos Unidos at CHS, and the lack of something like an Asian student union, an organization that disappeared from CHS in 2016 and has not returned since. “Without an Asian student union, being Asian at Community just puts you in an ‘other’ category. You just kind of conform and become one of the white kids because there’s not a place for you to go to be Asian at Community,” Kurihara said. Ironically, while feeling clumped in with her white peers, Kurihara also feels very tokenized at school. “I feel like I have to represent all of Japan or even all of Asia if there’s discussion in class and I’m the only Asian student,” Kurihara said. “It’s hard to be the whole voice when I’m only one person.” The issue of tokenization is not limited to the classroom. Kurihara often feels like she is used to falsely portray CHS as diverse. “Sometimes I’m the only non-white person in certain groups and I feel like I was

“It’s hard to be the whole voice when I’m only one person.”

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selected specifically for that purpose,” Kurihara said. Another CHS senior, Bao Polkowski, notes that at school, he only really interacts with white people. He says he is aware that this lack of diversity is not ideal but also feels accepted and included at school, and whether or not his friends are Asian isn’t something he puts a lot of stake in. One reason a lack of Asian presence at CHS does not affect Polkowski too much is due to the fact that race was never a hugely important part of his identity. “Race has never defined me,” Polkowski said. “I would like it to affect me more but realistically on a day-to-day basis it really


doesn’t.” In a way, Polkowski is grateful that CHS does not reduce him to just being “the Vietnamese Kid.” He recounts a Vietnamese heritage camp he went to and how it felt odd to be expected to make friends with other campers solely because of shared ethnicity. “Honestly, to me that was much worse, being forced to bond just because we have the same skin,” Polkowski said. Regardless of how students at CHS feel about their role as one of a select few people with Asian heritage, there is a pervasive feeling that Asian culture could be better incorporated into the school curriculum. “I understand that there was a Chinese Lit

class and that’s the only representation I’ve ever seen,” Polkowski said. Community freshman, Sam Cao, saw the same issue and brought up some possible solutions. “I think what could be done is adding more diverse options,” Cao said. “Maybe some Japanese literature or Haikus that first came from Japan.” Diversity is a quality in a community that takes time to develop. However, along with curating a more diverse student body, students and faculty at Community can always be working to make the school a more inclusive place and one that encourages students to express and explore their heritage and ethnic identity. C

Photo Illustration by Ebba Gurney | Chloe Kurihara stands among a group of classmates on the third floor of CHS. Kurihara frequently encounters Asian sterotyping and feels tokenized not only as a Japanese student but as a representative of all asian people at Community.

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The theme of this edition is climate and the environment. As the primary and general elections draw nearer, disagreements around climate policy and belief in scientific consensus are making their way to the debate stages. These issues can feel way out of the spheres of influence for the majority of people who aren’t in control of multinational corporations or holding national political office. But young people are especially affected by the climate crisis; even the prospect of growing up on a deteriorating planet can provoke anxiety about survival and the ability to raise a family. This anxiety is valid, but there is so much being done to shift the balance of power towards young people and towards a better future. This edition explores all of these aspects, looking deep into the ways that climate change affects every part of life in a shifting world. |

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ENVIRONMENT

Fast

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Fashion

Photography by Ebba Gurney | Polyester, nylon, acrylic and other synthetic fibers — all of which are forms of plastic — are about 60% of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide. According to the Wall Street Journal, everytime these clothes are washed, they shed microfibers into the ocean, the equivalent of 50 billion plastic water bottles.

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ENVIRONMENT

WHAT IS

FAST FASHION?

BY AVANI HOEFFNER-SHAH

In recent decades, society has become increasingly obsessed with consumption and fascinated by novelty, especially in terms of clothing. To meet this demand, the fast fashion industry was born. Fast fashion is the rapid production of trendy clothing to meet high demand. Despite appearances, not everything in the world of fast fashion is glamorous: Quickly producing affordable clothing often means brands cut corners when it comes to environmental regulations and labor practices. The fashion industry is among the most environmentally damaging in the world. According to The United Nations Environment Programme, 10% of carbon emissions are produced by fashion companies, and the industry’s carbon dioxide emissions are projected to increase by 60% in the next ten years. The problems arise not only from the production process, but from the material itself as well. Approximately 60% of fabric fibers are synthetic, which causes lasting environmental damage when clothing is thrown away. Thirteen trillion tons of clothing are in landfills in the U.S., and the chemicals used to create the material, such as toxic dyes, can contaminate groundwater. However, the environmental impacts of the fashion industry have

not stopped consumers from buying more clothing. People purchased 60% more clothing in 2014 than they purchased in 2000 and kept their clothing for half as long, according to a report by McKinsey & Company and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Ditching new clothing is done partly from necessity, because fast fashion brands make lower quality apparel. Short-lasting clothing has caused a rapid increase in the amount of waste from fashion – the equivalent of one garbage truck of clothing is thrown away every second. In order to keep prices low, most companies rely on cheap international labor. As of now, 97% of clothes currently sold in the U.S. are made in other countries. Many of the workers in these developing nations are forced to work for very low wages, long hours and in poor safety conditions. The typical garment worker has to work 14 hours, seven days per week. In Bangladesh, where many of these factories are located, the average worker makes only three dollars a day. Despite these problems, fast fashion continues to be popular. It accounts for 66% of online clothing shopping traffic, and the industry has grown 21% in the past three years. People are buying more clothes than ever, and corporations are thriving. C

SYNERGY ECO LUXE

FOREVER

BY SOPHIE KRIZ

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y nergy Organic Clothing is another fashion brand that claims to be sustainable. It offers elegant, casual clothing for a slightly more expensive price. The company brands itself as sustainable, ethical and elegant, especially in terms of its “Eco Luxe” collection. One popular product from this collection is the Metamorphose Cardigan. Available in muted, elegant colors ranging from charcoal to spice brown, this product is a true example of casual luxury. However, perhaps it is misleading to market it as sustainable. According to Synergy Organic Clothing’s website, this cardigan is 47% Pashmina wool, 47% nylon, and 6% acrylic. Nylon requires two major chemical compounds to be produced: adipic acid and hexamethylenediamine. Hexamethylenediamine is the base material for nylon and, in the textile industry, is usually extracted from crude oils or fossil fuels. In addition, adipic acid production releases significant amounts of nitrous oxide, which is significantly worse for the environment than pure carbon dioxide emissions. Take into account the large amounts of energy and water needed to produce and cool the fabric, and this product is a far cry from being environmentally sustainable. C 44

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BY SOPHIE KRIZ

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orever 21 is one of the most prominent fast fashion brands today. It offers a wide variety of playful and trendy products for a very low price. When there are new arrivals every week that nearly anyone can afford, most people will buy a new dress any time they have an event planned. Because of this, Forever 21 is constantly working to create and manufacture new clothes affordably, which, in turn, causes it to produce clothing using less-than-ideal materials. For example, take Forever 21’s new Floral Smocked-Waist Mini Dress. With a whimsical flower print pattern, a trendy V-neckline and flounce hem, this dress seems like an amazing option for any event. However, this dress is nearly 100% polyester. Polyester is an all-encompassing term for a large variety of polymers. However, they all have a few things in common: First, they are nearly all petroleum-based and therefore non-renewable. In addition, recent studies have shown that pure polyester fabric releases a major amount of microplastics when washed that end up in the oceans. C


H&M CONSCIOUS COLLECTION BY SOPHIE KRIZ AND LILY SICKMAN-GARNER

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lthough the fast fashion industry continues to grow, consumers have started to demand more environmentally sustainable goods — and H&M wanted to seem like it was listening. The multinational fashion corporation recently released a “conscious” clothing line. At first glance, it offers a perfect solution. The clothes are barely more expensive than those in H&M’s regular line: jeans for $29.99, leggings for $12.99, t-shirts for $4.99. In addition, these “conscious” items appear in nearly all of H&M’s trending collections, ranging from soft and cuddly sweaters from the Winter Essentials Collection, to delicate crêped flower-print dresses from The Flower Shop Collection. However, these cheap prices raise the question of how the conscious line can truly be sustainable. H&M’s website is somewhat vague in terms of explaining its conscious line, stating “All our products are made with care and consideration for the people who make them and for the environment. Garments containing more sustainable materials can be found across all our departments all year round — just look out for our green Conscious hang tags! To qualify as conscious, a product must contain at least 50% sustainable materials.” They cite examples of “sustainable materials” as being “organic cotton or recycled polyester.” Based on this description, the only discernible difference between the conscious collection and H&M’s other clothing is that the former contains more environmentally friendly fabric. Although this is a step in the right direction, H&M makes no promises regarding pollution during the actual production of its clothing or the treatment of its factory employees.

One of the most popular products from H&M is its 2-pack Jersey Leggings. For only $17.99, these leggings seem like quite the steal. According to H&M’s website, they are 50% organic cotton, 46% viscose and 4% elastane. While cotton is biodegradable, it only makes up half of the total material in the leggings. The other half is mostly made up of viscose, which is actually a fairly environmentally friendly fiber. Viscose is natural, easy to dye, and even more biodegradable than cotton. However, during the production of viscose and other types of rayon, a highly toxic chemical called carbon disulfide is used. Although technology has been created to recapture this chemical after the manufacturing process of viscose is complete, it still poses a high risk to the environment. In addition, although viscose is biodegradable, it is fairly water-resistant and could pose a significant threat to marine life and waterways. Another popular conscious product that might actually be harming the environment is H&M’s comfy Cable-knit Turtleneck Sweater. At only $29.99, this festive sweater is, for many, a winter must-have. However, like other H&M products, this garment is not as sustainable as it seems. According to the H&M website, this sweater is manufactured from 50% recycled polyester, 45% acrylic and 5% wool. Although the polyester in this product is confirmed to be recycled, it will still end up in a landfill when this sweater starts to pill. After that, it could take more than 100 years to decompose. However, the real killer in this sweater is the acrylic. Making up nearly half of this product, acrylic fibers are one of the least environmentally sustainable fabrics currently in use. First,

acrylic fibers are produced from fossil fuels and require a large amount of energy to manufacture. This results in a substance called polymer polyacrylonitrile, which is a deadly toxin to the human body. In addition, recent studies show that acrylic releases nearly 1.5 times the amount of microplastics that pure polyester releases. After this line dropped, the Norwegian Consumer Authority accused H&M of misleading it’s customers by “greenwashing” — making its products seem environmentally sustainable as a marketing ploy — which is considered illegal by the Norwegian government. When companies use labels such as “conscious,” “sustainable” and “green” as blanket statements to describe their products, they are able to make very minimal changes to their production process while leading customers to believe that shopping from them will have a positive effect on the environment. Based on the description on its website, H&M has made no effort to limit water usage during clothing production, pay factory employees a living wage or limit pollution during product transportation. However, since they are using 50% environmentally friendly materials in the clothing for this line, they can call it conscious. In addition, the description of its conscious line is not easy to find on the H&M website. Customers are unlikely to stumble across it and instead have to intentionally seek it out. One of the primary reasons that fast fashion has been so successful for so long is that it’s convenient. Especially in the digital era, buying clothing online often takes only a few minutes. This is why brands like H&M are able to so easily mislead their customers. C Opinion |

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ENVIRONMENT

THE

GETUP VINTAGE

BY LILY SICKMAN-GARNER

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fter digging through bins upon bins of clothing she knew she wouldn’t buy, Kaylan Mitchell found a pair of hand-patched vintage bell-bottom jeans from the 1970s. They were an unexpected treasure, and although she bought nothing else from the woman who owned them, they made her trip worth it. Mitchell is the co-owner of The Getup Vintage, an eclectic vintage clothing store in downtown Ann Arbor that just celebrated its fifteenth anniversary. They find most of their merchandise through private buying appointments in people’s homes, and Mitchell cited this as being her favorite part of the job. “You really never know what you’re going to find,” she said. “It’s a treasure hunt, and that’s really the best part. Getting stories and seeing where all the things came from.” Many of those looking to avoid the fast fashion industry have turned to vintage clothing as an alternative. Since it has already been produced, it has a much smaller carbon footprint, and buying used clothing can save it from being dumped into a landfill. Most vintage clothing is also better quality than what is produced today.

Photography by Ella Rosewarne | A Getup Vintage employee straightens racks of clothes. The Getup opened their doors 15 years ago in downtown Ann Arbor.

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“Vintage is honestly the best thing that you can do for your wardrobe and for the environment,” Mitchell said. “The quality of a 1950s dress is about the same as a couture dress today. These things that have lasted 20 to 70 years, they’re going to keep lasting.” The Getup Vintage offers a range of clothing from a variety of fashion eras, spanning from the 1950s to the 1990s, and all of their merchandise is hand-selected by one of the owners or part-time employees. They bring in clothes from all over Michigan and the Midwest, then wash and repair every article of clothing before putting it up for sale. Despite the dangers of fast fashion, Mitchell is hopeful about the future. “Even a few years ago ladies would come into the store and they’d be like, ‘This is used clothing?’ And I’d be like, ‘Yeah, it has to be used because it’s 70 years old.’ But I’m 35 and the people that are younger than me are starting to be really respectful of the environment, and really understanding a lot more,” Mitchell said. “I see it a lot in the conversations I have with people in the store, and how much it is starting to bubble up as an issue that people are concerned about.” C


Photography by Ella Rosewarne | Racks of colorful vintage clothing fill the store. Each piece is unique and was hand-selected by Getup employees or owners.

Q&A

BY ELLA ROSEWARNE AND LILY SICKMAN-GARNER

What can you do?

Educate yourself. Avoiding the fast fashion industry completely is unrealistic, but knowing which brands hurt the environment can allow you to make more educated choices and be more aware of how those choices affect other people and the climate. Shop local. Transportation of goods is a major polluter, so buying clothes from local shops whenever possible can make a big impact. Online stores, especially huge corporations like Amazon, often have little regard for their delivery drivers, and sometimes even force them into dangerous situations to get their products to their customers quickly. Buy used clothing. Since used clothing has already been produced, the carbon footprint of buying it is much lower than that of new clothes. Also, giving used clothing a second life saves it from ending up in a landfill and causing more pollution. Donate. Instead of throwing away old clothes, donate them to a local thrift store. Although this isn’t a perfect solution — many clothing items that are given away find their way back to landfills anyway — it’s a good first step.

How has fast fashion evolved?

The term “fast fashion” was coined in the 1990’s. Zara was one of the first companies to be labeled by the New York Times as a “fast fashion” brand because of its rapid production of clothing. This opened the door for other brands and allowed the fast fashion industry to expand. The fast fashion industry grew out of increasing demand and a cultural shift towards shopping becoming entertainment. Now fast fashion brands can be found everywhere. Some examples include Fashion Nova, Shein, H&M, Topshop, Forever 21, Gap Inc., Guess?, and Urban Outfitters.

How are Nike products made?

Nike makes almost all of its products out of the U.S. in China. Nike was first accused of having an environmentally harmful production process in the 1970s when consumers became suspicious that Nike produced its goods in sweatshops outside of the U.S. Nike director Todd McKean admitted that the company did use sweatshops for production in a 2001 interview. In 2016, students at Georgetown University protested Nike and the university’s contract with the brand. In 2017, they organized a global day of protest against Nike, which led to a revised contract with the university. In recent years, the accusations against Nike have led to investigations of its factories, which have uncovered large numbers of teens and young women working long hours, for low pay, and under dangerous conditions. C |

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ENVIRONMENT

Will Sustainable Careers Lead to a Sustainable Future? High schoolers are tackling environmental issues by making life-long commitments. BY CHAVA MAKMAN-LEVINSON

Nina Beardsley has always had a passion for architecture. Traveling through Germany, she loved admiring the exteriors and interiors of museums, and she felt she may want to study the subject when college rolled around. But when she entered high school, around the same time that she began learning and caring about humans’ damage to the environment, her father drove her up north to visit “passive houses.” These buildings use 40% to 60% less energy for space conditioning than regular buildings. After touring these intensely energy-efficient spaces created by conservation activists, Beardsley’s outlook on studying architecture began to shift. “The idea of studying green architecture bubbled to the surface this year,” Beardsley, now a senior at Community High School, said. “In the future, everything is going to need to be based around environmental science and green design; this is something I know is going to be important for years to come.” Benefits to pursuing “green” careers are becoming increasingly evident. This field is relatively new due to a new urgency of environmental problems. There is a diversity of ways to study the environment: a “green” degree can take you in a direction of environmental science, engineering, law, education or something entirely different. A “green” degree addresses the market demand for professionals who care about environmental issues. While Beardsley may study methods of eco-friendly architectural design, CHS senior Julia Sonen may go a starkly different route, while working on the same issues. 48

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Through her work with a Washtenaw County naturalist organizing a winter solstice hike and her volunteering at the Leslie Science and Nature Center, Sonen has found a passion for sharing her passion. “Nature has always been my happy place,” Sonen said. “Through those activities, I’m sharing my happy place with other people. I’m helping them care more [about the natural world]. I feel like I’m doing something valuable. I want to learn more [in college], so I can share more.” Beardsley and Sonen face similar frustrations when it comes to their peers’ actions towards helping the environment. Despite many believing they understand the seriousness of the climate crisis, it can be difficult for people to mobilize, even on a small level. “The most immediate challenge to consider when dealing with our changing climate is simply getting everyone to be aware that this is impacting everyone,” Beardsley said. “Everything you do––driving around, online shopping, producing trash––is impacting the environment, and people need to be more aware of that.” Sonen recognizes the fact that people can contribute to making the world cleaner by making small adjustments in their daily lives. She walks home from school every day, and after noticing an abundance of litter on her walk through town, she decided that she would pick up three pieces of trash every walk home. Her frustration that not everyone does the same traces back to her overall passion for nature. “We live in an incredibly interconnected world,” Sonen said. “The


“In the future, everything is going to need to be based around environmental science and green design.”

food we eat comes from crops growing. That relies on the soil having the correct nutrients, and the pollinators’ ability and availability. We need soil to keep the water clean, and everything depends on water. And yet, we let the knowledge of how to keep it all safe disappear, and replace it with destruction.” The urgency of environmental destruction brings about many new things, career paths being one of them. High schoolers are beginning to step up to the plate to help our environment, not only through small daily actions, but through life-long commitments. C

Photography by Chava Makman-Levinson | ABOVE: Julia Sonen studies notes from Ecology Class. Sonen loves spending time in nature, whether it be educating kids about local woods or leading adults on a hike. Photography by Chava Makman-Levinson | LEFT: Nina Beardsley holds her notebook for Ecology class, where she learns about Michigan’s environment and native species. Beardsley wants to continue studying the environment in college.

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ENVIRONMENT

TREATING THE

OPIOID

EPIDEMIC From finding new approaches to treating pain to stopping overdoses, medical professionals are working to halt a decades-long crisis. BY MORI ONO

Photography By Ella Rosewarne

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THE OPERATING ROOM

On a weekend five years ago, Dr. Michael Englesbe, M.D., a Professor of Surgery at the University of Michigan, was in the operating room to extract livers from organ donors. With a new policy, the family of the donor would read the transplant team the donor’s story. Through this, Englesbe learned that three consecutive women he operated on had all died from opioid overdose. Their ages were 20, 19 and 17. Their stories started with a prescription after a sports injury, a prescription after a wisdom tooth extraction and an experiment with drugs at her high school graduation party, respectively. The opioid crisis had yet to make the headlines, and Englesbe had never given much thought to it. However, a medical student’s questions about the donors’ stories left a lasting impression on him. “She was curious about that trajectory from getting a prescription from a doctor to becoming a heroin addict,” Englesbe said. “It stuck with me, and eventually we started to focus on that with our research and our impact.”

ORIGINS

The opioid epidemic in the U.S. can be traced back to the over-prescription of opioids in the ‘90s to treat pain. A five sentence letter to the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine written in 1980 was used to argue for expanding the role of opioids to chronic pain treatment. By the late ‘90s, Purdue Pharma was pouring hundreds of millions into promoting the painkiller OxyContin, instructing well-paid sales representatives to claim that the risk of addiction was “less than one percent.” The statistics paint a starker reality. Eight to 12% of patients develop use disorders. Prescription rates soared from three million in 1995 to their peak of 255 million in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 1999 to 2017, 400,000 Americans died from prescription and illicit opioid overdoses, which became the leading cause of death for people under 50. More Americans die from opioid overdoses than gun deaths and car accidents, and the crisis costs the U.S. $78 billion a year. The gateway to an overdose often begins with a surgery or a trip to the dentist, where patients often receive their first prescription of opioids. Some struggle to stop using opioids after finishing the bottle prescribed to them and return to the doctor to obtain further pills, while others use them to cope with mental health issues. Those who are unable to obtain a prescription may turn to illicit

drugs such as heroin and fentanyl, the two drugs that were responsible for the further increase in opioid deaths beginning in 2010. Treating opioid use disorder is done through Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), which combines medications with therapy and counseling. The most used medications are methadone and buprenorphine, which bind to opioid receptors in the brain without creating highs and cravings.

TREATING PAIN

Englesbe is co-director of the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (M-OPEN), which aims to reduce opioid prescriptions. M-OPEN has developed the best practices for doctors in Michigan to prescribe opioids and sponsors pill drops across the state to reduce the opioid supply in communities. While reducing the number of opioid prescriptions is key to reducing addiction, new approaches must also be taken to treat pain. “The solution to the problem wasn’t to just ignore patients’ pain,” Englesbe said. “We’re all nurses and doctors. We care deeply about best care.” Safer non-opioid medications are available, though they do have side effects of their own. Another method for tackling pain has been to prepare patients for pain after surgery. “[When patients] have surgery, they’re going to have pain and they need to expect that it’s not abnormal, it’s normal,” Englesbe said. “If the pain is so overwhelming that they can’t move or get out of bed, we need to treat it. But some moderate pain is expected and goes away very quickly after surgery, two or three days.” When Englesbe’s team visited Denmark and Sweden, they observed much lower opioid use with better quality patient care when accompanied with realistic expectations of pain. In contrast, doctors in the U.S. are expected to provide more opioids to treat patients’ pain. “I think the culture of American healthcare has certainly contributed to [the epidemic],” Englesbe said. “There’s still absolutely a role for use of opioids after surgery, it just has to be done parsimoniously.” Aside from extreme circumstances, opioids have little role for adolescents. With adults, it is reasonable to use them to treat acute pain, but other options should be tried first, and it is not a solution for chronic pain. However, opioids do take center stage in palliative care.

THE LOCAL CRISIS

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rate in the U.S. in 2017, according to the CDC. As for Washtenaw County, opioid-related deaths have overall increased from 29 in 2011 to 81 to 2018. In 2013, Dr. Gina Dahlem, Ph.D, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan and a family nurse practitioner, noticed an increasing number of overdoses in the bathroom of the shelter she worked at. Working with another chief medical resident, they decided to teach shelter providers on using Naloxone, branded as Narcan, a medication designed to reverse an overdose. However, the shelter director decided they should expand their training. “We trained all of our shelter staff at that time,” Dahlem said. “It has literally been our case managers, our medical assistance, our front office staff that have been reversing overdoses since 2013.” Dahlem has extended her training to first responders, police departments and com-

munity members. On Feb. 10, she presented with Families Against Narcotics (FAN), training 575 people and giving away 150 Narcan kits. In the four counties she oversees education, 440 lives have been saved.

THE CRISIS AND YOUTH

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to opioid use disorders. During this age, the brain has a particularly strong drive to pursue a large neurological reward without the decision-making ability to balance this. Consequently, teenagers are driven to take greater risks, which can include substance use. Notably, starting use at this age increases the likelihood of developing a use disorder when compared to older groups. Despite this, youth still receive opioid prescriptions for minor procedures. For example, Dr. Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., Ph.D., a general pediatrician and health services re-

“If you have opioids at home they should be disposed of. They put everyone at risk.”

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Photography by Mori Ono | Dr. Englesbe in his office at the University of Michigan Hospital. “The best strategy around opioid use disorder is to try to prevent it,” Englesbe said. “But once you have it, we need to continue to devote resources to make sure you get all the care you need.”


searcher at the University of Michigan, identified prescriptions of codeine — an opioid considered less dangerous than morphine and Oxycontin, but still addictive — to children after a tonsillectomy. The direct risk of opioids is not the only impact the epidemic has had on adolescents. When Chua worked in the pediatric emergency department in Massachusetts, he saw the effect it had on friends. “One night, I saw a high school senior who was having a panic attack,” Chua said. “It turns out that three of her classmates had died during the school year, two of them from opioid overdose.” Many adolescents can easily gain access to opioids. When Englesbe’s fellow co-director Dr. Chad Brummett, M.D., visited CHS several years ago, he asked how many of them could get their hands on opioids. Half of them raised their hand. “Many people who think they have opioids in their home [will] go to the cupboard, and they won’t be there anymore and they won’t know where they went,” Englesbe said. Safe disposal of opioids can be done in several ways: M-OPEN recommends finding a year-round drop-off location as the first resort and community take-back events as another. A final option is to throw them away, but only after mixing them with coffee grounds or kitty litter without crushing them, and scratching out prescription information from containers. Dr. Dahlem believes that adolescents can play a role in reducing the death toll of the epidemic by learning how to spot the signs of an overdose and responding to it. An overdose stops the body from breathing, accompanied with blue lips, “pinpoint” pupils and shallow, irregular breathing. Eventually, they will become unresponsive to pain and lose consciousness. Aside from contacting 911 immediately, Dahlem believes it is important to learn how to administer naloxone, a process she sees

as both simple and critical in such a highstakes, urgent situation. The nasal spray form of Narcan can be administered by peeling open the package, placing the nozzle in the nose and pushing the plunger.

THE ROAD AHEAD

Dahlem believes that some of the main challenges to preventing opioid overdoses are increasing access to treatment and getting more providers to provide it. To overcome this, more providers are getting waived to provide treatments, and peer recovery support specialists are working with those struggling with addiction and recovering. Another challenge is investing more resources into treating opioid addiction. “You’re much more likely to run into a liver transplant surgeon at the University of Michigan than you are an addiction psychiatrist,” Englesbe said. “But if you think about the need society has, we need a heck of a lot more addiction psychiatrists.” A part of M-OPEN’s projects to reduce the stigma of addiction is a collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Drama and Theater. Patients were brought in to tell their stories of addiction to university students, who went on to write a musical titled, “Painless” that will be performed at middle and high schools. M-OPEN’s prescription guidelines have successfully limited the supply of opioids. In a single year, 43 hospitals in Michigan reduced the number of prescribed pills in common operations by one-third, and only half of the pills were used by patients with no change in pain reported. Englesbe is cautiously optimistic that the course of the epidemic is changing for the better. “There’s [been] a lot of positive work to kind of appreciate that substance use disorder is not a fundamental flaw,” Englesbe said. “It is an illness that deserves all of our attention and best care.” C

Further Resources Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357 SAMHSA Treatment Search: findtreatment.gov U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Opioid Information: hhs.gov/opioids Centers for Disease Control Opioid Overdoses: cdc.gov/drugoverdose Training and Resources for Administering Naloxone: overdoseaction.org Opioid Research at the University of Michigan: opioids.umich.edu

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ENVIRONMENT

Staying Sustainable

As the activism around the climate crisis grows, so does the panic, and while many people have thrown themselves into activism there are also many people who have been scared off. But every action counts towards this bigger issue, and even the small things matter. BY AVA KOSINSKI

The global climate crisis has become an increasingly acknowledged issue in the last couple decades, and it’s real effects are being seen across the world: fires and droughts are spreading across Australia and California; the Arctic is melting out of existence; sea levels are creeping up on islands and coastal cities; oceans are becoming more acidic and polluted every day with coral reefs coming close to extinction. Climate scientists everywhere are warning us that we only have a short amount of time left before our planet is too far gone to save. As the movement for sustainability grows, more and more people have become involved in their own ways: what they buy, where they work, what corporations they support, how they produce waste and how they advocate for sustainability from others. But as the movement for sustainability grows, the definition of what sustainability is grows along with it. Seeing some people doing so much can make it hard to want to contribute. Seeing people who don’t drive cars, make their own solar electricity and dedicate their lives towards advocating for our planet make the small things most people do — bringing a reusable cup or bag— feel insignificant. Sara Soderstrom is a professor in University of Michigan’s Organizational Studies and Program in the Environment. She looks at how different corporations and organisations can work to positively address environmental and social issues, but also shows that sometimes they do bad and not good. 54

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Soderstrom works around sustainability, and for a long time, has felt the confusion and guilt that can surround it. “It’s so easy to feel guilty about it. I’ll have a morning where I am [on] campus and I forgot my coffee mug,” Soderstrom said. “So do I tear myself up because it was a bad morning, and I am generating waste by getting a disposable coffee mug? Or, do I just expect that stuff happens and I can’t be perfect about it and we’re just going to go forward?” Soderstrom often feels frozen by the guilt of what feels like a failure to be sustainable, but stressing too much about making a small mistake can stop you from doing more. The important part of sustainability isn’t being perfect, it’s making an effort to get involved. Getting involved seems difficult, but even a small action can make a big difference; it’s all about finding ways to engage that matter to you. “For some people they bring their prepackaged food and have their reusable coffee mugs. For other people it might be limiting how much meat they’re eating. There’s all kinds of things that you can do” Soderstrom said. Everyone can get involved in their own way. Soderstrom has seen all kinds of initiatives in sustainability through her University of Michigan Classes; students protesting against fast fashion and only using waste to build their own clothes; students teaming up with larger environmental groups to make the stadium completely waste free and some people joining movements that protests for climate action from government officials.


Whether it’s through fashion, food or sports, getting involved through something you are passionate about is the best way to launch yourself into the life of sustainability. Even as the movement for environmental awareness grows stronger, the fear of climate change does not recede. The main girth of environmental problems are still caused by large industries, which isn’t something that is directly in our control; however, the average consumer is essential to the pollution that is being created. When you buy fast fashion, eat fast food, fly in a plane, or even turn on your lights, you’re making a choice that impacts the environment. Small things you do every day matter so much, because everyone else does them too, and small things add up. Unfortunately, learning to shop sustainably isn’t easy. “I think one of the biggest challenges facing business and sustainability right now is that businesses know that consumers want this,” Soderstrom said “There are some who are advertising clearly about what they’re doing, and some who do what we call ‘greenwashing’, or trying to pretend that they’re being environmental, and it’s really hard as a consumer to tell the difference.” The issue is tough, because you can’t always tell which companies are truly sustainable and therefore, where your money is going. Soderstrom says the easiest way to shop sustainably is to buy as local as possible. Things like the farmers market are always a good sustainable choice when shopping, as well as local business and handmade products over large chain stores. When it comes to living a sustainable life, every bit matters. For a long time CHS science teacher Courntey Kiley has worked hard to bring more and more sustainability into her life. “We’re not the only organisms on this planet, and we have to treat it with respect,” Kiley said. She has made an extra effort to be sustainable at home with her family and at work with her students. Teaching is one of the most important parts of sustainability, and she makes sure to inform her students of the issues while also setting a good example for them. Kiley’s third grade daughter, even though she’s still very young, knows how to read labels on plastics to see if she can recycle them. “I just get my kids outside to teach them about nature so that they respect it from an early age,” Kiley said. Kiley has also made an effort to bring sustainability into Community High School. The school has a recycling program and has compost bins around the school for their food waste. Kiley has even teamed up with other science teachers and other school administration to implement no-waste initiatives for school events, making contests for creating the least waste. When at home, Kiley does whatever she can to reduce the waste she creates: using cloth napkins instead of paper towels, turning off lights, taking short showers, buying clothes used and not using plastic bags are just a few of the small things Kiley does to lessen her impact on the planet.

“We treat our house like an organism, so whatever we bring in we try to make sure that we donate the same amount of stuff so that our house doesn’t get fat,” Kiley said. Kiley does her best to make her daily activities more sustainable as well. Her family doesn’t eat red meat, they bike or walk instead of driving and they compost everything they can. Kiley’s efforts to cut her waste are small things anyone can do. Choosing to walk instead of drive, or turning off the water while brushing your teeth are great additions you can make to your routine that will reduce your impact. “I have little kids, and I work with young people, and I want to make sure that the earth is better than it is now. For you guys and my babies,” Kiley said. Though the recycling of waste has been a great addition, Kiley says that should be a last resort. “It’s definitely worth recycling, but recycling is the last option in the reduce, reuse, recycle,” Kiley said. Recycling is important, but the order of the phrase matters, always try to avoid creating any waste before you repurpose it. The amount of waste that the industrialized era is creating is more than the planet can support, and the only way to save our planet is to try and cut back. Every single small action has an impact on the planet, so turn off your light when you leave the room, go buy that sweater second handwalk or bike instead of driving on a nice day. Find things you love and bring sustainability into them. While we have made great strides as a society to save our planet, we are not there yet. People and governments everywhere need to step up and do their absolute best, because time is running out for our planet, and we don’t get a second chance. C

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ENVIRONMENT

How We Deal With Waste Zingerman’s and CHS work together to reduce waste. BY JOSH CALDWELL AND MORRAINA TUZINSKY Photography by Zoe Buhalis

Overflowing dumpsters and the odor of trash in the allies of downtown Ann Arbor has sadly become the norm. As resturants have stuggled with their waste management, Zingerman’s has worked to reduce their waste and make eviromentally conscious decisions. With hundreds of customers every day dispersed throughout their many locations, it’s undeniable that Zingerman produces waste. However, they have made a commitment to eliminating waste anywhere possible. “Reducing food waste starts at the buying process,” said Rodger Bowser, chair of Planet Zingerman’s. “You have to train people how to not mess food up and as a result, reduce waste.” Not only does Zingerman’s work to reduce waste, but the Delicatessen is a gold level LEED certified building. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building certification program used all over the world. “We work on the ladder of our vendors to reduce the actual packaging waste,” Bowser said. “Such as reusable totes instead of a bunch of boxes. It ends up working better for the grower in the long run, they don’t have to buy a box.” Single-use containers are one of the biggest battles for restaurants working to reduce waste. Single-use plastic accounts for half of all plastic thrown away. 56

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One of the most common substitutes is biodegradable containers however they are more expensive and less leak proof than plastic usually. “We line them(single-use containers) up to find out how much they cost, which ones are compostable and we constantly test to see which containers work the best,” Bowser said. Zingerman’s is also working on a program to eliminate single-use to go containers for locals. “We are going to be piloting a reusable to go container, we are working on that for the summer and hopefully it will hit the ground next fall,” Bowser said. “We’re just trying to find the right packaging for it.” This reusable container will only be available for customers who live locally. Zingerman’s is also partnering with the city of Ann Arbor to help reach the carbon-neutral by 2030 goal. The carbon-neutral goal is an aggressive and necessary step the city of Ann Arbor took to combat climate change. “We are probably one of two restaurants in the entire city to do commercial composting,” Bowser said. The city of Ann Arbor doesn’t provide a composting service year round, so Zingerman’s has to pay to have their compost taken. The People’s Food Co-Op, another local

business downtown, has also been working to reduce their waste. “As far as food waste goes, we donate to food gatherers, and we also let our employees go through anything that is outdated and bring it home,” said Ken Davis, the marketing coordinator at the Co-Op. “Anything else we compost to give back to the environment of course.” Like Zingerman’s, the Co-Op uses commercial recycling. The Co-Op uses a company called My Green Michigan for all of their composting. Being aware of where you are eating and their practices is important. Reducing waste and being environmentally sustainable is expensive, but the cost of not is far greater.

We do recycle.

By 10:30 in the morning, the trash can in room 303 contained several recyclable items: two coffee cups, a plastic tea container and two yogurt cups with their sides slathered with white yogurt. Unfortunately many recyclables do end up in CHS trash cans. Why? Students responses include: it’s easier, there’s nowhere to wash recyclables, they don’t know what they can recycle. And, then there’s the rumor out there: Nothing gets recycled anyways.


However, the rumor isn’t true. Zingerman’s and Community High share their trash, recycling and compost. Around 2010, Dean Jen Hein and Zingerman’s signed a contract that renews every five years. Zingerman’s keeps their dumpsters on the CHS parking lot, and in return, CHS gets to recycle for free. Nancy Rucker, the facility manager at Zingerman’s Delicatessen insists that Community is part of their recycling program, and said emphatically, “We do recycle!” The recycling goes from the CHS lot to a space on Platt Road where it is put in large trailers and hauled to Ohio to be sorted at the Rumpke recycling facility. Despite there being systems in place, there is still confusion about them within the walls of Community. “I have no idea where to put glass bottles,” said Sam Fader, CHS freshman. “So I just set it next to the recycling bin.” This feeling of unclarity when it comes to what you can recycle is common among students and staff at Community. Another CHS freshman, Ava Tiedemann said she just holds onto glass bottles until she gets home. “Yes, this is the real deal,” Rucker said The recycling that CHS shares with Zingermans is called mixed stream recycling. This means all cardboard, paper, glass and cans can all go in together in the recycling dumpster. “I don’t recycle the little plastic containers [with food in it],” Fader said. “Because then I would have to wash it and I don’t want to wash because going into the bathroom with some old food thing is a little weird.” Rucker thinks that it’s always been true that recycling needs to be cleaned out. Someone from the city once came to Zingerman’s to talk about when one piece of recycling is not clean, it contaminates the whole load of recycling. “It was in the news not that long ago that China was refusing some of our recycling because they were saying it’s too dirty. I would hate to think I did that” Miles Durr, a junior at CHS, thinks that Community does an overall good job on providing the means to recycle, but thinks it needs to be more consistent. “They have many places to be able to recycle, but it’s not a set system. I feel like the locations of each recycling bin are always changing.” Durr usually stops by the bathroom if he needs to rinse something out, but admits how much extra effort that can be. “I hope that they will be able to find a system that works for everybody, wherever you are in the school.” C

Infographic by Loey Jones-Perpich

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ENVIRONMENT

From the Eyes of a Science Teacher BY LILY MCCREADY

M

arcy McCormick is fearful of the future. She is concerned about her children’s futures due to the quickly changing climate. “I want them to know a world where they’re not fearful of the climate and what’s to come,” McCormick said. “I want to be able to go to Glacier National Park and have them actually walk on glacier ice, as I did growing up when I took a trip to Switzerland and was able to walk in the Swiss Alps. It just brings tears to my eyes to think that my children will grow up in a world where that has all changed.” McCormick teaches her children to take care of their environment and the Earth is not something to be walked all over with58

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out giving anything back to; it is a place that should be respected. In McCormick’s personal life, she is considerate of her own effects on climate change. Whenever it’s possible, she takes public transportation, walks or bikes. She gives thought to her personal contributions to carbon dioxide emissions when purchasing cars, among other things. Her family tends to eat a mostly vegetarian diet. On voting day, she votes for people who will make changes and work to combat climate change in Washington. “I think the more informed people are, the better decisions they can make as they’re getting older and ready to start voting,” McCormick said. “I think at this point the big-

gest impact people can make is at the ballot box, voting in leaders and politicians who are going to make legislative change.” For years, she has worked to inform students about this pressing issue. Students who have McCormick for FOS 1 spend around a month studying climate change. They learn about how humans influence the climate and the major effects on our society; they then complete an alternative energy plan for a certain region of the U.S. “I feel like what I can do is emphasize the science is there, the evidence is there,” McCormick said. “There’s very little or no doubt within the scientific community about human influence on climate change.” McCormick also emphasized how events


that are similar to the ongoing Australia wildfires have been predicted and they are unfortunately not too surprising. “It’s scary how much devastation is occurring and how much carbon dioxide is being emitted from those fires, and the loss of habitat and animals,” McCormick said. When it comes to natural disasters, including the Australia wildfires, media coverage seems to dwindle after a week or so. Yet that does not mean the fires have ended, the droughts are over, the floods have disappeared or the earthquakes have stopped. McCormick spoke about how major media outlets will shift from story to story not only to inform but mostly for ratings. “I think that’s on us as individuals,” Mc-

Cormick said. “We have to demand more from the media and not let them tell us when a story is over or when it’s not important to talk about anymore.” In today’s world, McCormick points out the current and younger generations will need to step-up in the coming years. While there are things older generations can do to fight climate change, including starting the battle against the fossil fuel industry, there is a need for leadership from younger generations, people who can take charge of the movement to stop our changing climate. C

Photography by Theresa Erickson | LEFT: Marcy McCormick and her two children looking out at Lake Michigan in Ludington State Park. McCormick and her family spent four nights backcountry camping. “You are basically on the sand dunes all by yourself,” McCormick said. “There are eight campsites, you feel secluded. It’s great, you are right off Lake Michigan.” Photography by Theresa Erickson | TOP RIGHT: McCormick and her kids pose for the camera in front of a magical find. They visited Croton-on-Hudson, a town on the Hudson River, where they found this waterfall. Photography by Theresa Erickson | BOTTOM RIGHT: Marcy McCormick after hiking in Sugarloaf Mountain. “This is some of the oldest exposed bedrock in North America, in the upper peninsula, in Marquette,” McCormick said.

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In Action ENVIRONMENT

Naina Agrawal-Hardin BY ARISTA LUONG AND SCARLETT LONDON

Naina Agrawal-Hardin is a teenage activist from Ann Arbor. After years of local and individual action, she decided to start working at a national level with the Sunrise Movement.

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When young Naina Agrawal-Hardin realized there was no recycling bin at Starbucks, she took matters into her own hands. Armed with a cardboard box, she tirelessly stood outside the door, asking customers to put their recyclables inside. All her life, she has composted, recycled, joined sustainability clubs and picked up litter outside her middle school. “I was doing all this individual action,” Agrawal-Hardin said. “But I knew it was never going to be enough.” On March 15, 2019, Agrawal-Hardin helped organize the Global Climate Strike. This was her first time organizing such a highly-attended event. Because of her involvement, she was thrown into a whole new world of connections and communication. This is when she first heard about the Sunrise Movement. The Sunrise Movement involves young people who all have the same goal: stopping climate change. They have created millions of good jobs in the industry of sustainable energy. “There are over 300 Sunrise clubs in communities across America who are working towards a Green New Deal at the local level,” Agrawal-Hardin said. “There’s also a national team that provides resources to the people organizing on the ground across the country and engages with politics at the national level.” After attending her first Sunrise meeting, Agrawal-Hardin felt like she wasn’t alone in this fight. “I felt like I was in a space full of people who had a plan to win against the climate crisis.” Agrawal-Hardin said. “It was so exciting because it finally felt achievable.” Agrawal-Hardin is a junior in high school and as she is beginning to look at colleges, the looming threat of the climate crisis is always a primary factor in her decisions. “When I think about where I want to apply, one of the first things I think about is ‘is this place going to be underwater in a couple years?’” Agrawal-Hardin said. “Is this place going to become increasingly dry and have drinking water shortages, or is this place going to have increased earthquake activity or hurricanes in a couple of years?” The next chapter of Agrawal-Hardin’s life is very much connected to these issues, both on a small scale and a large scale. For example, a warmer planet is a “breeding ground for germs,” and the amount of diseases that will increase with the rising temperature is substantial. “The consequences of inaction are so far reaching,” Agrawal-Hardin said. “Every as-

pect of our society is going to be so drastically different.” As the youth movement sweeps over our nation, many older people are left wondering how they can show their support. “I would say one thing for older people who have more financial privilege to do is donate, because almost all of these organizations that I work with are funded exclusively on grassroots fundraising, so even small donations are helpful,” Agrawal-Hardin said. “When you’re donating to a youth movement, your money is going directly into the hands of someone who’s out knocking [on] doors every single day, or someone who has dropped out of school to fight for their future.” The other thing that adults can do to help is to talk to youth activists. The youth movement cannot win without some outside support; they need the help of their adult allies to vote for someone who will prioritize climate change. “We know that young people demographically are more progressive than older people, and we know that young people are more in favor of aggressive climate action,” Agrawal-Hardin said. “But we need older people to get on board in order to win — especially in the lead up to the 2020 election.” One of the essential tasks in reducing the amount of fossil fuels being used is to stop the influence of fossil fuel funding in politics. “It’s important to get as many candidates as we can to take the no fossil fuel money pledge saying that they won’t accept contributions from fossil fuel CEOs,” Agrawal-Hardin said. “Statistically what we’ve seen is that politicians who do take money from those corporations are significantly less likely to advocate for policies that are going to stop climate change.” But once candidates are on board with fighting climate change, what is the next step? Bernie Sanders is the candidate Agrawal-Hardin feels will answer this question. “I am mobilizing for senator Bernie Sanders,” Agrawal-Hardin said. “This is because of his record of consistency — not only in environmental justice but also racial justice, economic justice and a whole host of other issues that I know are really deeply tied to climate change. I think he also has the most ambitious climate plan.” The Green New Deal — Sanders’ climate plan — is a proposed package of U.S. legislation that aims to deal with two twin crises of economic inequality and climate change. “The idea behind it is that we transform our economies from fossil fuels to renewable

energy sources within the next decade,” Agrawal-Hardin said. “And in the process we employ tons and tons of people to do things like retrofitting buildings and building windmills or maintaining solar panels or whatever it might be.” The strategy of taking workers away from the nonrenewable energy industry and employing them in environment orientated organizations will boost the economy and play a role in stopping climate change. But the Green New Deal will only do so much. A huge amount of individual action is key to ending the climate crisis. This can be hard, as plastics and fossil fuels are such a huge part of the economy today. Many teenagers want to help, but don’t know where to start. Agrawal-Hardin believes that one of the most important things to do, especially this year, is to have conversations with family and friends. “Talk about why you want them to vote for a climate champion in the 2020 election, why you want them to mobilize before the 2020 election,” Agrawal-Hardin said. “And why comprehensive climate action is so important to our generation.” The other important thing to do is to show up. “Come to a meeting!” Agrawal-Hardin said. “There’s going to be a coalition of groups, including Sunrise and a bunch of local organizations, starting to meet regularly in the next couple of weeks to start planning the Earth Day climate strike. You can totally join an organization, even if you have limited time!” Joining the Sunrise Movement made Agrawal-Hardin feel like she was making a difference. “The strategy that Sunrise uses just clicked so well for me, and I was really able to see how what the organization had done had been effective,” Agrawal-Hardin said. “What we are planning to do in the future is going to be effective ,and that was demonstrated really well.” They have already had several victories. One that was especially empowering for Agrawal-Hardin was the climate town halls, which all of the major candidates attended and spoke at. They were posted because of direct pressure from young activists, like Agrawal-Hardin. This victory for the movement showed how important activism is — even for people that can’t vote. Climate change impacts everyone, and whether it’s joining an organization or putting recycling bins outside of stores, everyone needs to do their part for there to be a future. C

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ENVIRONMENT

Climate Judgement and Justice Our individual actions won’t save the planet, but together we might have a shot.

BY RUBY TAYLOR

Against the backdrop of melting glaciers and raging wildfires, the easiest thing is to be angry. And we should be angry — really angry. But we’re angry at the wrong people. The problem isn’t the person who uses a paper coffee cup everyday, nor is it the one who brags about their metal straw but eats factory farmed meat. The problem is the big corporations who are burning greenhouse gases and producing single-use plastics, and even more inexcusably, the laws and government that are protecting them. According to The Natural Resources Defense Council, just 100 companies are responsible for more than 71% of climate change, and the top 15 U.S. food and beverage companies emit more than 630 million tons of greenhouse gases every year. With these statistics in mind, it’s easy to feel small and hopeless. Given that most of us don’t come face-toface with Mike Wirth (CEO of Chevron, net worth of $28 million, responsible for more than 43 billion tons of CO2 emissions each year), or Rex Tillerson (former CEO of ExxonMobil and former Secretary of State, net worth of $300 million, responsible for nearly 42 billion tons of CO2 emissions each year), we often choose to direct our climate anger at, well, normal people. Non-multi-millionaires who are roped into a system where it feels more expensive to help the planet than to hurt it. And sure, it can be a little blood-boiling when your friend boasts their reusable coffee cup but drives a gas-guzzling car to school everyday. But the reality is, your friend could

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drink soley from a Hydroflask or use 12 throw-away cups a day, and on a larger scale, it wouldn’t change a thing. Judging people in your life for the way they address the climate crisis on an individual level is nothing but counterproductive. What you should be judging, and heavily for that matter, is the system which makes this behavior so easy and hard to avoid. Telling someone that their efforts are too small, that all or nothing is the only way, results in less action, not more. We should be proud of the small efforts people are making, and encourage them to do more — to work together to create systematic change. Pretending that recycling and thrifting will save our planet is detrimental, but undermining the validity of these actions as a starting point is too. If all that we normal people do is skip a straw or participate in Meatless Mondays, our planet is not going to survive. So what can we do to encourage our well-meaning friends to take bigger, more meaningful steps towards tangible change? Speak out for the Green New Deal. Disrupt business as usual until your representatives can’t ignore you. Work together and organize to create a livable future. Educate yourself. Educate others. So to those of you who slurp through your metal straws everyday, thank you for taking that important first step. Thank you for making that effort. Now let’s work together to do more. Let’s not judge each other for trying. Let’s join each other and try harder. C


Not Our Problems to Fix Staff Editorial

There are dozens of social and political issues facing the U.S. and the world; whether it’s the climate crisis, mass incarceration or the rise of right-wing extremism, doom can feel imminent. For young people growing up in a world fraying at the seams, the politics of the present can feel disenfranchising and out-of-touch with reality. This frustration with the stagnancy of policy has given rise to some of the strongest youth-led movements this country has ever seen, with high school students taking on a large role in the climate movement and gun rights activism. Young people have amplified their voices — the problem is that no one is listening. Adults, especially those in positions of political power, often speak about the importance of young people in making the big changes our country needs. But the conversations surrounding policy that affects future generations consistently lacks genuine representation from youth voice, much less youth decision-making power. Most politically-vocal young people will instead have heard some version of a dreaded phrase: “Run for office when you’re old enough.” The truth is, there are so many brilliant young people who will eventually hold political office, and their drive to create change is extremely important. But the issues that face our nation and planet need to be solved now. With many leading scientists warning that

we need to completely overhaul carbon emissions by 2030, there is no time to waste, and no time for young people to take all the steps needed to run successful campaigns. Every generation has faced seemingly insurmountable problems, such as the fear of a nuclear war or concerns over how to end the rise of Nazi Germany. But none of those issues had the defined timeline that climate change has, and the lack of action to mitigate it is what strikes fear into so many. So many young people fear that the planet will be uninhabitable by the time they reach old age, dashing the dream of children and a happy family life. Millenials are already the first generation with a lower standard of living than their parents, and right now, that trend looks as if it will continue. The climate crisis, wealth inequality, mass incarceration and every other issue share one thing in common: young people didn’t create them. And, as they’re rarely given the space and power to solve them now, telling them to wait their turn and run for office later is pointless. There should simply be better representation and communication between public officials and young people. Adults have the most powerful voices in society, and they should use their power to amplify the concerns and solutions pushed by those who will eventually face the consequences. C

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ENVIRONMENT

Vegan Profiles BY GENEVE THOMAS-PALMER AND ELIZABETH SHAIEB

JONATHAN THOMAS-PALMER “I had considered going vegan for a while, maybe even up to a year, and just hadn’t done it because it seemed like it was going to be difficult,” Jonathan Thomas-Palmer said. “And honestly, it wasn’t.” Thomas-Palmer’s entire immediate family is vegan; he was the last one to transition to a vegan diet from one that included animal products about one month ago. He took this step towards veganism because of the positive effects a vegan diet would have on his health and on the planet. “The truth is that you don’t need any [animal products],” Thomas-Palmer said. “You can get all the nutrients you need from a plant-based diet. If people knew more about where their food comes from and saw how the animals are treated and processed, they would have a different perspective on how [the meat industry] works. I think that as Americans, we are divorced from the way our food is made. [Since] we don’t see it, we don’t think about it, and it doesn’t affect our food choices, but it should.” Living with people who are also vegan has supported this transition because there are no longer animal products in the house. When he first went vegan, the people in his family had all been vegan for varying lengths of time. They all went vegan “cold turkey” and just stopped eating animal products one day, but this meant there were bits of remaining products like cheese, chicken and eggs left in the house. “[Since] my choice [to go vegan] was based on planet health, throwing away all the food in our freezer and fridge didn’t make sense to me,” Thomas-Palmer said. “I 64

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slowly ate the foods that were non-vegan. It was really interesting that even though I was eating [the products] slowly, I started to dislike the foods that I was eating and I didn’t finish the cheese or the chicken in our house. By not eating it most of the time I realized that I didn’t want to eat it at all.”

RYAN THOMAS-PALMER “When I was in Costa Rica, I ordered sushi, and I specifically said no meat and no fish. Sushi doesn’t normally have dairy, so [I thought] it’d be okay, but they gave me chicken because it wasn’t red meat or fish,” Ryan Thomas-Palmer said. Two months prior, Thomas-Palmer’s mother showed the whole family a documentary on the health benefits of going vegan and how dairy is processed — which Thomas-Palmer said she found “disgusting.” She’s been very strict about eliminating animal products from her diet ever since. “I’m very picky with eating and basically everything,” Thomas-Palmer said. “And I saw how they make the cheese and what comes out of the animals and the pus and everything that just goes into it, and it really grossed me out.” Being vegan can make Thomas-Palmer feel socially separated. Food plays an important role in many social events, and not being able to take part in eating can isolate vegans. “I don’t miss ice cream, but at camp, the first night we have ice cream sundaes for dessert,” Thomas-Palmer said. “If you win camp inspection, then you get to go out for ice cream. And then in the summer it’s a thing to go to Dairy Queen or Washtenaw

Dairy to get ice cream with your friends.”

JERI SCHNEIDER Jeri Schneider first went vegan in 1997. Over the years, she’s seen the culture of plantbased eating change drastically: There was only one vegan cheese, and it was unappetizing; soy milk was the only non dairy milk; only specialty stores sold vegan ice cream, and it didn’t taste good. Now, there are all sorts of plant-based products for vegans to enjoy. One of the main reasons that Schneider cut out animal products was to protect the environment and minimize her impact on the climate. “The environment was a driving factor,” Schneider said. “I think that the animal torture was the biggest [motivator] at that point in time, but going vegan would help not only stop animal suffering, it would also be better for my health, and it had the bonus of being better for the environment.” Schneider believes that veganism can have a dramatic effect on the planet. If everybody were to go vegan, she said, climate change might not be stopped, but a significant decline in the use of animal products by society will help. Schneider sees an issue of perspective with some people who decide against veganism. “People often think about what they have to give up,” Schneider said. “I think it’s better to focus on what they can take in. So rather than thinking, ‘I can’t eat meat,’ think about all the other non-meat options that are out there: there are all kinds of vegetarian burgers; you could go to Burger King and get a vegan Whopper.” C


Environmental Consequences Using up resources: The amount of land being used to raise animals for meat and dairy is disastrously immense. According to the Smithsonian, seven football fields of land are bulldozed to create room for livestock every minute. But land isn’t the only resource being used in large proportions to raise animals; in the U.S., pigs raised for slaughter consume tens of millions of feed every year, and each pig drinks an average of 21 gallons of water every day. Water is also used to create other food, but making meat and dairy requires much more water than non-animal products. For example, it takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of cow flesh, but only 180 gallons of water to make the same amount of whole wheat flour.

Air pollution: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, animal agriculture, forestry and other land use are the cause of 24% of global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, second only to electricity and heat production at 25%. Factory farming plays an enormous role in speeding up climate change: creating just two pounds of beef generates more greenhouse gas emissions than driving a car for three hours, and a California study found that dairy farms are the largest source of smog-producing gas. But the air pollution caused by factory farming isn’t just increasing emissions. Animal feedlots produce dust particles containing bacteria, mold and fungi. A report by the California State Senate said “studies have shown that [animal waste] lagoons emit toxic airborne chemicals that can cause “inflammatory, immune, … and neurochemical problems in humans.”

Water pollution: The largest source of pollution in our waterways is agricultural runoff — manure, often containing dangerous bacteria and drugs, that was used to fertilize crops but runs off into nearby lakes, rivers and drinking water. Runoff floats from farms to the Mississippi River, and is then deposited into the Gulf of Mexico. Nitrogen in the runoff causes an increase in algae, which destroys the ecosystem and eats up large amounts of oxygen, making it harder for other life forms to survive. As a result, a large dead-zone has surfaced in the Gulf of Mexico, where little sea life remains. A report by Princeton University concluded that the dead-zone could be reversed if Americans avoid animal products.

Animal cruelty: Often, factory farms strive to produce the most meat and dairy for the least amount of money, which means that they don’t always keep their animals’ best interests in mind. Many animals that produce dairy or meat for human consumption are abused: some are kept in small cages where they are unable to turn around and suffer from exercise deprivation, some fed fattening drugs, some genetically manipulated to grow faster and produce more food. Labels such as free-range and organic can be misleading, as they don’t track the treatment of animals while they are transported or slaughtered.

Methane: According to Vox, there are currently an estimated 1.4 billion cattle being raised for livestock. All these cows expel a lot of methane in the excess gas they produce during digestion; a single cow produces an average of 155 to 265 pounds of methane every year. Methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide, which means as a greenhouse gas, it is significantly contributing to climate change. A report by the EPA shows that livestock production is responsible for 9% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

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ENVIRONMENT

RESPONDING TO DISASTER When environmental tragedy strikes, what do we do? BY ELIOT KLUS

On Interstate 696 near Madison Heights, a strange, yellow ooze seeped out of the sidewall of the expressway. A dilapidated factory loomed above and residences lay nearby. That morning, commuters began to call Macomb County emergency services, and by the afternoon, first responders had reached the scene. Regulators had already recognized the abandoned factory for mismanagement of toxic industrial chemicals: its owner had been in prison for months. That didn’t seem to make a difference, as on Dec. 22, 2019, hexavalent chromium — a toxic and carcinogenic chemical — had reached the groundwater. People demanded answers. “A lot of time when there’s an immediate problem, people want an immediate solution,” said Dan Sopoci, an associate scientist at environmental agency Tetra Tech. “They want the problem identified today. And they want something done about it today.” Sopoci has worked on clean-up cases like the hexavalent chromium spill and is familiar with what it is like to deal with the public fallout. The Flint Water Crisis, a lead poisoning epidemic in Flint, Mich., achieved national recognition as an absolute failure of civic management and government accountability. The lead-contaminated 66

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water had been poisoning the populace for months before it was discovered, affecting school performance and causing several deaths. People inside and outside the community reacted with outrage. The nation demanded a solution and accountability, but science doesn’t always work on that timescale. “It just takes time,” Sopoci said. Sopoci understands the public’s outrage and sympathizes with it, but immediate response isn’t always possible. With constant underfunding of environmental causes, the little money allocated for it must be used in the most efficient way. This often means a more methodical approach; rushing it can lead to incomplete or unsatisfactory results. But Sopoci says the public aren’t the ones to be blamed for the pressure put on scientists. Speaking on the recent PFAS scare in Washtenaw County, Sopoci explains how the political system allowed it to happen. “PFAS was developed in a lab back in the 1930s or 1940s, and we found out it’s a great water repellent,” Sopoci said. “We just started using these chemicals like crazy unbeknownst to the public. The public often doesn’t know what chemicals are being used on a day to day


basis in our products. And it’s often the science that catches up later; people start getting sick and then we start asking the question, ‘Why are we getting sick?’ It takes a long time to pinpoint the molecule that is making us sick, the chemical reaction and how that molecule reacts with us, with all of the different inputs. With all of our daily lives, it’s very hard to zero in on a specific chemical compound that is causing this negative effect.” Decades after PFAS was introduced, the effects of the pollution were seen in contaminated wildlife and waterways. The cleanup is expensive and ongoing. When the risk first became known, the government was forced to determine safe PFAS contamination levels, but without long-term studies it is difficult to ascertain what that is, leaving property owners to ask themselves: ‘How clean is clean?’ If these considerations were made when PFAS was introduced to the market, it’s possible the problems would never have occurred. PFAS was allowed in the public market with minimal testing in order to quickly recoup the investment made in creating it. Industry was the cause of this, but the government allowed it to happen. “I believe that we, as a culture, value economy over health,” said Sopoci. Profit and environmental safety are often conflicting interests, leading industry to dodge the clinical trials needed to keep the public safe. So how do we ensure the environment and those who depend on it are protected? Sopoci is hopeful in this regard. “CEOs today, business owners today, are starting to take a longer

view in their calculus and being more proactive and seeing environmental stewardship as an economic gain for that company,” Sopoci said. Sopoci is a frequent mediator between regulators and business leaders and has seen a shift. The balance between environmental consciousness and the want for profit has been, in his experience, gradually improving. Even with these improvements, Sopoci has no illusions about industry’s self-accountability. In the case of the hexavalent chromium spill, the illegal dumping still has the potential to seriously hurt people. According to Sopoci, political engagement is the best way to manage these man-made disasters. Misunderstanding and irresponsibility have characterized human-environment interactions, but the choice to continue these lies with the people. Regulation is the surest way to keep companies in line, and Sopoci says the best way to get legislators to act in the interest of the people is to make sure the right ones are in office — “Please vote.” C Photography Courtesy of Dan Sopoci | LEFT: An asbestos abatement worker demarcates a contamination area in an old manufacturing plant. Many abandoned factories in industrial America were built with toxic materials and abandoned, like in the case of the hexavalent chromium spill. BELOW: Contaminated soil is removed for road repair. Often toxic material in the groundwater must be removed before work is done.

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Instead of Competition, Detroit got Chaos BY NOAH BERNSTEIN

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How systematic funding failures decimated Detroit’s schools With warped floorboards and peeling paint, abandoned schools litter every other block in Detroit. In 1993, Governor John Engler of Michigan signed a bill allowing for charter schools in the state. Engler and other supporters saw it as an opportunity to better the public schools by creating competition, instead they got chaos. Ever since, charter schools have been corrupting the public school system in Detroit. Soon after the state legalized charter schools, the legislature adopted lenient regulations; consequently, this allowed the newly established schools to take significant numbers of students out of the public schools and into the charter system. Because both public and charter schools are funded on a per-pupil basis, a disproportionate distribution of funding followed — seriously disrupting the educational landscape in Detroit. Included in the loose legislation laws regarding charter schools were state laws permitting more organizations to run charters than any other state; public school districts, community colleges and universities are all allowed to run them. According to the New York Times, the institutions in control of the schools can directly pocket 3% of the funding they receive. Not surprisingly, for-profit companies jumped at the prospect of charter schools: 80% of all charters in Michigan are under corporate control. The creation of charter schools was intended to spur competition and subsequent development among schools in Michigan. Instead, this commercial culture makes schooling in the state dangerously businesslike. In 2009, Detroit was the lowest scoring urban school district in America. Two years later, in 2011, the state legislature lifted the cap on the amount of charter schools that universities can run: a crippling blow to Detroit Public School student enrollment. Four years after the cap was lifted, the amount of children enrolled in Detroit’s public schools faltered to almost half of what it was in 2010. The introduction of financial encouragement to boost competition employs economic principles where there are winners and losers. The city’s youth lost. The children who left their public schools went to nearby charters in hopes that they can find better schooling there. Due to the funding process, there was a suffocating drop

in public school funding, rendering them unable to retain talented teachers, maintain school buildings and provide classroom resources necessary to developing challenging curriculum. The funding that the public schools desperately need, was instead split with the charter schools. Charter schools are not held to the same performance standards as the public schools yet they receive the same funding. Because of this, the current approach to sparking improvement in our schools is unequivocally unfair. For example, Cesar Chavez Academy, a Detroit charter school, opened a second elementary school in 2014, even though the original school fell to the bottom 2% in student performance in the state. I support competition and choice for students. However, I do not support the laws that allow schools such as Cesar Chavez Academy to open another school, resulting in a downward spiral for public school enrollment. With such weak state restrictions on the charters, we are authorizing the creation of schools that will not increase the competition and consequently improve schools in our state. But instead we are approving institutions which systematically dismantle schooling in Detroit. The solution to climb out of the tremendous debt and help all of the schools is quite simple: have a more rigorous authorization process for charters. For instance, Massachusetts has strict charter laws. Research from Stanford University found that Boston charter students have the most rapid growth rate in math and reading that they have ever seen in any city or any state. Not only are the charter schools performing well, but they are also closing the black-white achievement gap by one-half in math and one-fifth in reading. More regulation helps the educational landscape by ensuring the charters meet expectations, while simultaneously improving public school funding since it will boost student enrollment. Ultimately, charter schools have wandered far from their intended role. Instead, many have strayed to a disingenuous and disruptive place in the school system. In order to guide them back to a productive place in the community, we must hold them accountable. C

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Don’t Don’t Touch Touch My My Hair Hair BY SOPHIA SCARNECCHIA

Photography By Ella Rosewarne | Surrounding Sophia Scarnecchia are an array of uncomfortable comments made about her hair style in her handwriting. “I have my hair non-consensually touched at least two to five times a week,” Scarnecchia said. “It needs to stop.”

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S Six hours of unbraiding, two hours of detangling, aggressive hair washing, four hours of air drying, moisturizing, half an hour of separating and six hours of braiding, only to repeat every three to five weeks. This exhausting, day-long process of getting my hair bejeweled in box braids is referred to by my friends and I as “hair” or “wash” day. The time-consuming African hairstyle I’ve been wearing for almost three years now has taught me two important things: that the struggles, hard work and extra care for black hair is underrepresented in our society, and that there is too much stigmatizing mis-education about black hair. I grew up in a Caucasian family, and from a young age, the topic of accepting and caring for my natural hair has always been a struggle. Growing up around people who didn’t look like me, I tried to make myself look like my peers. Every week for four years, I spent my Saturday mornings listening to my hair sizzle and smoke from straightening. It was hard to put so much time and effort into being able to run fingers through my straight hair, when all along the people around me could do that naturally their whole lives. It got to a point where I was so insecure about my hair and every misplaced curl or snarl that at the age of eight I developed trichotillomania (a disorder that involves pulling hair in stressful times). As I grew older, I became inspired by women who were not afraid of showing their natural hair, like Beyonce, Oprah, and recently, Michelle Obama. In awe of the aspiration, for the latter half of my freshman year, I wore my hair naturally. But the reaction I got was not what I expected. For the first time in years, I didn’t have my straight hair to shield me. From complements to stares; I’d never expect to feel so uncomfortable yet oddly appreciated for my natural beauty. But out of it all, there was one thing I hated the most, that many people from my perspective can relate to: touching my hair without consent. Black hair is more than just hair, it’s a symbol of cultural significance, bravery and strength. To me and others, the afro is known as the other crown on the head. Yet today in 2020, there are still schools that ban children from having natural hair, and true discrimination against natural hair.

So it begs the question, why is natural hair so disrespected in society, and how do we stop the disrespect from happening? Just because something about someone looks different doesn’t mean you have permission to touch or make fun of it. My hair isn’t just something for anyone to squish, pull or pick at. If nothing else, it disrespects personal boundaries. And that goes for EVERYONE. The amount of time, work and effort that goes into braids, dreadlocks, perms and presses is truly astonishing. To have people pick and prod at my hair can easily be deteriorating, and it’s upsetting to see and grow up with. For over a decade I dealt with people telling me what to do with my hair, or worse how to take care of my hair (when they have a different hair type than I do). I grew up feeling so uncultured about the history behind my skin; I’ve felt so ashamed for so long about obtaining the opportunity to learn, which I wasn’t willing to explore until I started attending CHS. After committing my time to the Black Student Union, I’ve learned I wasn’t the only person who felt uncomfortable from people disrespecting their personal space – more specifically their hair. It was hard, but I have now come to a point where I realized words and consent should always overrule touching anyone’s hair without consent. I say this for all those who have felt this discomfort or have experienced being non consensually touched: STOP! It’s discomforting, and it needs to end. Our hair is our property, and only we are the ones in complete control of it. The hurt and self consciousness I’ve had from my natural hair is truly appalling, and it would be amazing if our society swapped the negativity given for our bodies with positivity. Even though I’m not saying that some people don’t live by those morals, or that overall respect and appreciation for natural hair doesn’t exist, we still need to treat one another with kindness. So for those who know they’ve hurt me or tried to make me obey what you want me to do to myself: Stop asking if my hair is real, stop asking what country has hair like mine, stop socially shaming me for the curl in my hair, stop calling my hair cute when I’ve done nothing to it, stop telling me what I should do with my hair, and most importantly, don’t touch my hair. C

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ROBYN Thrifting has never looked better. BY MAZEY PERRY

Robyn Farkas has an eye for color. Her unique style combines vintage-feeling tops with trendy jeans, making the picture-perfect outfit. She usually shops at the PTO Thrift Shop, Value World in Ypsilanti and occasionally Plato’s Closet when she feels like spending a little bit more on certain pieces. Her vibrant purple hair and popping eye makeup compliment the bright jacket perfectly, and her cherry earrings, gifted to her by a friend, add a personal touch to the look .

FARKAS Outfit Credits Jeans: PTO Thrift Store Jacket: PTO Thrift Store Tank Top: PTO Thrift Store Earrings: Rowe.com Belt: Her Dad’s Closet Fashion |

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Community Kicks BY MIA GOLDSTEIN

Shoes. Shoes. Shoes. The defining point of an outfit, the epitome of style, and most importantly, a way to express yourself. Shoes are a subtle way to add a hint of color or a splash of design to an outfit. They have also become a fashion flex for some, and a way to prove you are part of the current fashion movement to others Shoes have become more than just an item on your feet. “I thought that what my shoes stood for was really cool,” Shannon Thompson, Community student said about her limited edition, Nike platform Air Force Ones. Shoes have become an essential element of personal style and have become increasingly versatile. People can choose to wear a pair casually with sweats or elevate them with more formal pieces. “I can wear them with anything; they’re my go-to’s,” Thompson said. “But, I try not to wear them with clothes that are super colorful because I don’t want my outfit to be visually overwhelming.” Some have certainly become more aware of how shoes play into their outfits and make sure to style their outfits accordingly. “Sometimes I’ll wear a more neutral-toned shoe to complement a colorful outfit or maybe pair a loud shoe to go with a more dull outfit,” said Cate Weiser, a sophomore at CHS. Thompson and Wesier say you can tell a lot about a person from their shoes. “Some people don’t think twice about what they put on their feet,” Weiser said. “I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but I think it shows they don’t care a ton about fashion. I build my outfits around my shoes, trying to find what matches.” Some people choose practicality over fashion or find ways to incorporate style into more feasible shoes. “I have some problems with my feet,” Aidan Griswold said about his asics. “Getting a casual shoe that was comfortable and well padded was definitely the move.” No matter how you choose to style your shoes or whether or not you purchase the most expensive shoes, shoes are undoubtedly a represenation of personal style. C

Motor City Detroit Exlusive Nike Air Force 1’s $125 74

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Nike Women’s Air Force 1 Shadow $120

Nike Women’s Air Max 95 $160


CASUAL

CLASSIC

BOLD STATEMENT

Doc Martens 1460 Smooth Leather Lace Up Boots $150

Nike Air Presto Mid Utility X Acronym $200

I can wear them with everything; they’re my go-to’s. Fashion |

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Reviews Music

Manic Halsey

Halsey is an accomplished singer and songwriter. On Jan. 17, 2020, she released her fourth album, “Manic,” which is a true comeback to the music industry after releasing her third album “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” nearly three years ago. The album is able to create a deep, detailed self portrait on her struggles with love, trust and self care. While she tries to tell others about the importance of the album’s messages, the 16-track album is giving hope to those in the same mindset and stressful situations Halsey had experienced. Coming in as the fourth track on the album, “You Should Be Mad” takes an alternative country twist. Straying from Halsey’s typical catchy pop route, the song goes on to exclaim how after her and a partner broke up, that he should be upset to lose someone as rare and extraordinary as her. “You’re not half the man you think that you are,” Halsey sings in the song. “You can’t fill the hole inside of you with money, drugs and cars.” The song marks importance for those realizing their self worth. And sometimes it’s best to break up with someone because they may not be the perfect fit. The song is able to reach out to young people who struggle with addressing their self worth, and how sometimes you have to say no to relationship opportunities. As the third track, “Graveyard” begins with a mellow interlude. “It’s crazy when the thing you love the most is the detriment,” She sings at the beginning. “Let that sink in. You can think again.” The song originates around a love in the award-winning songwriter’s life. More specifically, the passions and unconditional will to stay beside and committed to someone you love; no matter what dark paths that person goes down, she’ll follow (support and love) them as long as she can go, even to the graveyard. No matter the relations of the significant person the song originates for, the true meaning can be applied to a partner, friend or a family member. It goes on to display the importance of expressing your love for someone, because you don’t know how much time you’ll have with them. Coming in as one of the most popular songs on the album, “Without Me” stands as another song about the significance of self-worth and leaving toxic relationships. “Tell me how’s it feel sittin’ up there, feeling so high but too far away to hold me,” Halsey sings. “You know I’m the one who put you up there. Name in the sky. Does it ever get lonely?” The song’s significance marks the importance of standing for yourself, and having to abusive states for your own protection. Overall, Halsey is able to bringing together a new sound on pop, and isn’t afraid to explore unused topics through the power of her songs. The comeback album isn’t just a refreshing spin in the turn of pop music, it’s filled with enjoyable songs. -Sophia Scarnecchia 76

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Music

Funeral Lil Wayne

“Funeral” looks to follow up Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter V.” The hype that surrounded “Tha Carter V” was unbelievable. Between legal battles and a posthumous performance by XXXTENTACION, the project received attention that most rappers only dream of. “Funeral” arrives almost one year after “Tha Carter V,” and in comparison, garnered almost no attention from the music industry. Wayne begins the album with a slow spoken rhyme describing a funeral for rappers that embellish their struggles or their accolades. The track, aptly named “Funeral,” then transitions into a rap verse as the beat drops and Wayne picks up the pace of his rhymes. He continues to rap about this funeral throughout the song, but it gets confusing fast. This is almost a perfect euphemism for the album as a whole. Often, it seems Wayne is on the cusp of a great verse or has a great beat selected, but he falls short. The song “Mahogany” is a great example of this. Wayne opens the song with an incredible verse, popping old school one-liners over and over. “Catchin’ spasms and aches, from all the hands I done shake.” Wayne flows over the beat with his usual confidence and disdain. The song’s verses are good, but Wayne is unable to create an ear-catching chorus. “Mahogany dashboard, I do the dash, boy.” This line is repeated around five times each chorus with a string of other lines involving the word mahogany, each managing to be more uninspired than the last. The half-hearted effort on many songs could be attributed to the fact that Wayne left only a year between “Tha Carter V” and “Funeral,” giving “Funeral” an unpolished sound. One bright spot is the song “I Do It.” Wayne calls on Big Sean and Lil Baby to pick up the slack. “Look at God’s child drivin’ a Demon” raps Baby in the opening verse. Wayne outsources the chorus and supplemental verses to Sean and Baby, leaving the final verse for himself. Wayne lets loose an energetic set of rhymes, spitting one liners about everything from his skate stance to the Three Stooges. Overall, “Funeral” is a major letdown. Lil Wayne has established himself as one of the best rappers of the decade, but even the best can struggle to deliver after a major project like “Tha Carter V” and clearly this is true of Wayne. Although there are songs like “Mahogany” that display Wayne’s greatness, the album as a whole falls flat. -Brenan Dionne


Movie Music

Candyman Bernard Rose

The concept of the 1992 slasher film “Candyman” ostensibly draws from fear of urban legends, but its narrative uses failing infrastructure and racial stereotypes to play to a white middle-class’s fear of low-income neighborhoods and black people. Having chosen to film on location in the Cabrini-Green Homes, the Chicago public housing project that the movie is set in, is a horrifying attempt at authenticity that can’t begin to cover the blatant demonization of Chicago’s public housing and its tenants. The scariest thing about the film is the use of a real woman’s murder as inspiration for a fantasy plotpoint. On April 22, 1987, Ruthie Mae McCoy was murdered in her Chicago housing authority apartment, and four years later “Candyman” featured the death of a Ruthie Jean in Cabrini-Green rather than the Grace Abbot Homes. In 2014 Steve Bogira, a journalist for the Chicago Reader, recounted the interest shown in the murder he covered. Eventually others noticed the similarity and brought it to his attention, only for him to find they used his article too. From an initial introduction of Tony Todd’s Candyman as an inverted Magical Negro, using his powers to kill, instill fear in CabriniGreen residents, and antagonize Virginia Madsen’s Helen Lyle, it’s almost surprising that it gets worse. The revelation that Candyman and Helen are linked in an obsessive romance feels like yet another punch to the viewer’s gut. Or one might say a hook to the head. The lead-up to a stereotypical portrayal of gang violence targeting the curious white woman is so close to addressing the point that reallife fetishization of low-income neighborhoods and communities of color is deeply problematic, but rather than addressing the protagonist’s white savior complex, the screenwriters continue to emphasize her bonding with a neighborhood child. From the beginning, Helen’s interviews are voyeuristic and condescending, and jests about “dressing like cops” only intensify the othering of the victimized Cabrini-Green residents. By attempting to put a new spin on the source material, Barker and Bernard Rose fail to think about the deeper history of racism in the United States and their choices’ influences from and impact on the American media landscape. As white men adapting a white story about socioeconomic class, the unwillingness to think critically about their own perspective on the subjects they want to focus on is the movie’s fatal mistake. -Octavia Anderson

City of Angels 24kGoldn

San Francisco local 24kGoldn is an up-and-coming artist and is trending on Apple Music and Spotify searches. The song, “City Of Angels” wasn’t noticed as much as his other songs. However, it is definitely one of his more catchy songs. “Valentino” was his first song that really blew up, gaining him fame and fans. Since “Valentino” came out, he has gained close to 350,000 followers on Instagram and recently hit 1 million on TikTok. There are 29.4k TikTok videos using “Valentino.” The song “Valentino” was going around the Tik Tok trends where millions would hear his songs and start singing them in their heads. The chorus of “City of Angels” is catchy and uses simple but effective rhyme schemes. The song starts with a melodic guitar riff and is joined by a fade clapping. Upbeat high hats come in hyping up the listener. Throughout the song there’s a positive vibe or flow felt while listening. 24k Goldn is one of the most talented artists coming out of San Francisco at such a young age. -Zack Schueler

Music

Changes

Justin Bieber Justin Bieber’s new album, “Changes,” has a different message. This album represents his end of being a playboy and pop star, and the beginning of his new, more settled lifestyle. The song “Changes” is a tribute to his wife, Hailey Baldwin, and how he is healing with her by his side. Bieber also brings in his faith and ends the song with, “people change, circumstances change, but God always remains the same.” This song sends the message to listeners that things in our lives can change for the better and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. -Jenna Jarjoura A&E |

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THE ENVIRONMENTAL HORROR GENRE

As the threat of climate change becomes more pressing, a new genre of horror has emerged in Hollywood. BY ROMEO KLOBUCAR

Environmental horror is an up-and-coming subcategory of the horror genre. It focuses on stories of mankind going “too far” in meddling with the environment and the consequences of technological progress. In an age of increasing awareness around ecological crises, this genre has proliferated. With people learning more and becoming more aware of climate change and widespread habitat destruction (among other ecological issues), fears surrounding those issues have risen to the forefront of the political subconscious. The media, especially horror media, has very much reflected this shift. The environmental horror subgenre, sometimes referred to as the “eco-horror” genre, preys on fears of natural disasters, rampant diseases and mutative creatures.

Underwater (2020):

Starring Kristen Stewart as mechanical engineer Norah Price, Underwater, directed by William Eubank, follows a team of scientists based in a drilling facility far under the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Their employer, Titan Industries, has them employed to drill seven miles to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. When the structure collapses under what appears to be an earthquake, these seven scientists are forced to embark on a trek across the seafloor to reach evacuation pods at a separate facility. During the undersea hike, however, they soon realize that what they thought to be an earthquake was not all it seemed. This visually stunning movie deals with the perils of undersea drilling and the consequences of fracking.

The Bay (2012):

In this horrifying part creature feature and part disease outbreak movie, young Donna Thompson, played by Kether Donohue, recounts her experience as an intern for a local news agency in bay town Claridge, Maryland. Her internship coincided with an outbreak of an enigmatic lethal ailment on July 4, 2009. The recounting of the events of that day features recovered video data from myriad sources, showcasing several different storylines from the day. The illness was mysteriously transmitted and the population of the small town found out very little previous to the sickness overtaking them in spades. The homely city was quickly overtaken by the ailment, which manifested as burgeoning lesions and rashes but cascaded into whole-body pains, inexplicably missing organs and full-on psychotic breakdowns. Donohue’s character explores the conditions which led to the outbreak of this disease, largely focusing on exposing a corrupt mayor’s actions and the consequences of overdeveloping and exploiting the bodies of water so many people rely on as well as nature as a whole.

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018):

The third installment in the infamously complex Cloverfield franchise (also including films Cloverfield (2008) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)) follows another team of scientists — this time, in space. Set in 2028, The Cloverfield Paradox sees an Earth devastated by a global energy crisis. With nations constantly at war and with populations turning against themselves, the leading minds of the world turn to one of their last hopes: the Shepard particle accelerator. Aboard the Earth-orbiting Cloverfield Station, the Shepard would provide the Earth with a source of infinite energy. It takes years of trial-and-error, but the team onboard the station finally seems to activate the Shepard successfully. Just as they do so, however, the station is thrown into disarray when the particle accelerator malfunctions and the crew suddenly finds themselves in a seemingly completely foreign region of space. Operating at a breakneck speed, this movie plays host to the hauntingly real possibilities of energy overexertion and global consumption. C

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THE SEX SHIFT

The Netflix original show, “Sex Education,” garners praise from all corners of the internet; from masturbation to abortion, nothing is off limits.

BY JADA HIKARY AND ILANA METLER

The familiar sound of the Netflix Original title sequence played throughout the Harris household as Dr. Lisa Harris and her daughter Lila settled in for a night together to watch a popular new show. The mood was calm. Only moments later, Dr. Harris gasped in shock as the sound of bouncing bedsprings filled her home, accompanied by an even more graphic image. “Sex Education” takes viewers through the life of Otis Milburn, a 16-year-old boy whose mother is a sex therapist. Otis takes on the role of “sex therapist” by starting a sex advice business with help from fellow classmates in attempt to answer sex questions among their peers. The first season of “Sex Education” dropped in January 2019, with over 40 million viewers tuning in. Netflix renewed “Sex Education” almost immediately, and season two was released in January 2020. The hit series explored sexuality and everything around it. From masturbation to abortion, nothing is off limits. When it opened with a sex scene, “Sex Education” made its objective clear. But initially CHS health teacher Robbie Stapleton thought the show was too over-the-top and exaggerated ideas surrounding sex. “It was just so black and white,” Stapleton said. However, as Stapleton watched more, her opinion drastically changed. She fell in love with the show and its characters — especially Otis.

“What I love about Otis is that he is a sensitive, caring, smart, young man,” Stapleton said. “If there were more boys like Otis out there, [they] would change the world. He’s being who I think a lot of boys want to be, but are too afraid to do so.” Stapleton was not the only one that thought highly of Otis. Dr. Harris, an OBGYN for the University of Michigan, thought that Otis took on a deeply important role in conversations about sex that aren’t commonplace. “Otis fills this really vital need that is just emblematic in a lot of places,” Dr. Harris said. When Dr. Harris began watching this show with her 16-year-old daughter, she was taken aback by the boldness. It certainly was not what she expected, but she was all there for “Sex Education.” As the co-medical director of Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan, Dr. Harris talks about sex a lot — especially with young audiences. She praised how “Sex Education” filled the educational void schools had left. “I’m not sure where else you learn from, because no one else is having these conversations,” Dr. Harris said. “It really deals with a lot of the questions people have. Especially with all the fears that people have around sex and the stigma around both being sexually active as well as not being sexually active and virginity. It’s starting conversations that people don’t really know how to have that are really important.”

Many who watched the show agreed that “Sex Education” said the things they were all thinking but never said. “A really sad part of contemporary life, or certainly life in the US, is that there aren’t spaces for everyone to figure out what sex means to them and their sexuality and how they express it, and what they do and how to get questions answered,” Dr. Harris said. Stapleton agreed with Dr. Harris in that sex is a part of everyone’s lives yet it remains a very taboo thing to talk about. “I love it because it forces us to talk about stuff we are very uncomfortable with,” Stapleton explained. “In this country we are saturated with it and we can’t talk about it, but we can see it. It sells everything from butter to cars, and this show is like, ‘If we’re going to talk about sex let’s talk about sex.’ Let’s be honest about it.’’ Dr. Harris does believe that TV shows, including “Sex Education,” “take real life and put it on steroids,” but she also spoke on the many realistic and accurate aspects from the show. In season one, one of the main characters, Maeve, had an abortion. Dr. Harris loved how on-the-nail “Sex Education” was by including non-judgmental and kind healthcare workers. High schoolers also praised the show. “I genuinely thought it was kind of educational,” said Angelina Smith, a CHS senior. “I felt like, especially in the second season, if schools had better sex education resources there definitely wouldn’t be huge issues with the spread of STIs, and there would be more awareness around consent and just lots of other sex related issues.” “Sex Education” seemed to take the recurrent “Am I normal?” question and answer it in hundreds of ways for many people. Overall, season two ended with amazing reviews and although Netflix has yet to confirm anything, a third season is quite likely. C A&E |

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Q&A

Roxie Richner and Isabel Perry have a conversation about writing, poetry and inspiration.

What was your first time sharing/ performing your poetry? I signed up for the slam in 9th grade, on the day of the slam. Ellen Stone was like “Why did you do that? We didn’t expect you to be here.” I read this weird rhyming thing that was not at all what a slam poem is supposed to be, so I didn’t make it to the second round which was fine because I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t even know it was a competition at all. The next year, I read again and I got into the second round, and then this year I won, so there’s been some improvement. Why do you write? I think that being a poet is about knowing how to write but it’s also about knowing how to look, which sounds kind of cliche but I think it’s true. When you notice a specific detail or specific thing that makes you feel a certain way, it’s really nice to write about it. I think that poetry is more about the feeling that it gives you than the words sometimes, which is why I like to write abstract stuff — I think that that is a really good way to express what you’re feeling at the time. I’ve been trying to write more funny stuff because I want to break into that. I feel like a lot of women don’t write funny things or aren’t as credited when they do so I wanted 80

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to start doing that more. What do you hope people get from your poetry? You kind of just have to get it out there and hope that someone can relate to it. Those are the poems that I like the best, when I just find someone who has clearly experienced something that I have or thinks the same way as I do. It’s about sharing the experience and finding the correct nook. Tell me about your process writing EGOT or another poem of your choice. That was actually fueled by rage which is weird because that was kind of the poem that I wrote to be really funny. I felt like people were putting me down and I was upset. There was a person talking a lot about how they were going to be famous one day and I was like, “You know what, no you’re not, it’s going to be me.” I wanted to write something that would make people laugh and make me feel excited about life again. That’s another thing about poetry: it has to make you feel excited about being alive. I was sitting late at night at my kitchen table, trying to figure out what I needed to write because I knew I had an idea. It was one in the morning and I had a piece of paper and

a really bad pencil and was just trying to write it. It was really hard because I’m not super great at making poetic things that are also funny. I can do them both separately but combining them is really hard — it’s like a frankenstein. I was just working on it trying to get it to come out and it finally did but it was a night and I had to read it the next day. Where do you write? When I’m having writer’s block I have to write with paper and pencil. But I often write just little snippets on my phone or on my computer. I’ll write a ton of poetry starts and I’ll go back to them sometimes. I’ll base it off songs, not specifically anyones song, but [for example] my parents used to sing me this little song about an octopus that they made up and it goes like: Isabel and the octopus got married on the ocean floor. Isabel loved the octopus but the octopus loved her more. It’s so cute. I will start with something like that and then write about something that I connect with that. It’s kind of like playing word association or telephone. I like to write outside but it’s a gamble, it either


works or it doesn’t — sometimes there’s too many bugs or it’s too cold. There’s a tree in my yard where I like to go sit. There are some branches that are exactly perfect for sitting on and I can write there pretty well. Also, writing at night works really well. I feel like it’s science that the later at night it gets the weirder your brain gets, as you get more tired. I like to write weird stuff so sometimes I’ll purposely stay up. What do you write in? Whatever is on hand. I have pieces of paper by my bed and sometimes I’ll wake up and write on one of those if I’m feeling it. It always comes at really inopportune times like when you’re lying in bed or when you’re in the shower. That’s the worst and you have to get out and run and write them down. Sometime I’ll take poetry showers where I turn off all the lights and play music. It’s fun. But then I’ll be annoyed at myself because I’m like, ok now I have ideas but I’m in the shower. Then, I never remember to bring a piece of paper with me so I’ll have to run to my room to write something.

What do you think inspires you? It’s definitely a lot about people. People are the most important thing to me. A little moment with a person can mean so much, even if you haven’t met them before. There are people that I’ve met who can teach me something without me liking them or without them liking me. I feel like I can learn something from most people, because they all have a different experience. Sometimes I can like a specific thing about a person even if I don’t like the person. I was sitting in the car with this one guy and I really hated him but Rhapsody in Blue came on the radio and he was like, “This is my favorite song.” I loved that. It’s these tiny little moments, or even a specific color. It’s about knowing how to look. You have to cast around until you find it.

How I Plan to EGOT BY ISABEL PERRY

The Emmy will be easy I’ve already sent the pitch to Disney’s Executives It’s a fun loving sitcom about a gang of best friends-A boy, a girl and a comedian who find the key to the underground vault where Walt Disney’s frozen body sits in billionaire nirvana and-iCarly style-snatch the corpse and hold it hostage, all while cracking one liners. Jerry Seinfeld will guest star whether he wants to or not. If I don’t win an Emmy for my portrayal of the body, Disney will suddenly have an empty vault and another problem on its hands. Either way, I’ll end up making an acceptance speech. I’ll have to use my trophy as a microphone because surprise! I’m singing you all a song. My hit single with Jerry Seinfeld premieres at the awards ceremony. His cameo resulted in a lasting friendship in which we discovered our shared love for experimental ska. We use the calls of swans and loons as a horn section and Jerry imitates Ella Fitzgerald, winning me a grammy with little to no effort. I punch him square in the gut so I can have all the glory. Fangirls scream. Captain Marvel is among them, glowing. EG. Next is the Oscar. This will be my dramatic role, the tearjerker. We open on my rib cage under a red light. Camera pans up to focus on half an orange. No one understands the exact symbolism, but they all know it’s about love, and they love me, and they’ll say it, it’s incredible. I am mailed thousands of golden apples from all over the country. At the end of the film, I am murdered. And there is blood all over my teeth, and you can almost taste the iron, you almost want to, no one knows the blood is unrelated to my death and is actually because I don’t floss enough. It’s a secret only my character knows. I’m great at method acting. DC wants me to play the Joker because of my winning smile. It seems clear I’ll win best actress but Captain Marvel has also been nominated and it’s neck and neck so I smile at her. We sit next to each other at the awards, decked out in electricity. I’m sweating but it’s beautiful. You are watching from home and you want to touch my sweaty neck. I could sell it to you. The winner will be announced momentarily, the envelope walks on stage, creamy and gold. The envelope ought to win an Oscar. The envelope is best actress. It says my name again and again into the mic. The crowd screams as Captain Marvel kisses me. Quentin Tarantino tries to congratulate me but I punch him in the face for being named that. I have an Ego!! I tell him. All I need is the T. I am going to spill the T all over the theater. Tony won’t know what hit him. I rewrite Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. I have all the angels laughing nonstop from the wings. They sound like fire but they are wings, They have wings. I am the only person on stage, on a stool, reciting kaddish. I am not a Jew. Yisgadal V’yiskadash. It is a prayer for the dead. For forgiving the sharp. I’m sorry you died, but I’d like to thank you for the Tony, Tony Kushner. This is my EGOT acceptance speech. I look beautiful, don’t you think? I’m drenched in sweat. I have a kidney stone. I go to the met gala dressed as a brass knuckle. I make vogue as best dressed and 16th EGOT winner. I don’t know what vogue is. Anyway, I’d like to remember everyone who helped me get here. I’d like to thank the Academy,, I’d like to thank David Bowie’s pants in Labyrinth, I’d like to thank My Ex boyfriend’s cat for spitting on me, and for purring so sweetly while he did it, I’d like to thank the long, slow blink cats do when they want to tell you they love you, I am blinking at you, I’d like to thank all my fans, ceiling and box, I’d like to thank I’d like to thank I’d like to thank I’d like to thank you |

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THE WORLD IN LINES BY CY VEILLEUX

“You better not tell anyone this was me.”

Trump’s Old Faithful 82

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The conservative states of the southern U.S. refuse to recognize climate change as a concept, but those same states end up spending the most money on the damages caused by its effects. In 2018, a 16 billion dollar program was established by Congress to fund the disasters set to shock the coastal states in the near future, says The New York Times. The money is set to be distributed soon, and many of the states receiving money have released plans for what they’ll do with it. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in 2017, the damages came to around 125 billion dollars. Out of the 16 billion dollars, Texas is receiving about four billion dollars — the most out of every state. Their plan that illustrates the use of their money never uses the phrase “climate change.” At the same time, President Trump — in efforts to drill oil and mine coal — has been cutting land off of multiple national monuments, including Grand Staircase Escalante and Bears Ear, resulting in nearly 2 million acres of land being stripped, according to The New York Times. Money is being put towards preventing the effects of climate change and being put towards causing it. Now at


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HUMANS OF COMMUNITY

BY STAFF

SOFI MARANDA “I’m passionate about writing and editing. I find a lot of joy in it, even normal essays for school….My favorite was a short story that I did for a literature class about a girl’s shadow…… It was about how this girl’s family was going through a lot of hard times. Then during that time, her shadow disappeared. Before, she was really close with her shadow. But then it disappeared and she was very sad.”

OLIVER SCHUT T “One of my favorite bands (The Avalanches) released music this week. They usually only release stuff like once a decade. The song is called “We Will Always Love You” with a feature from Blood Sunday. I like them because they are very sample based. They do a lot of cool things with samples, and make really cool indie music. I’ve been listening since 2005. My dad played The Avalanches in the car since I was super little; we still will play songs for each other and bond over music that way. I’m not actually a huge fan of the song. I don’t think my dad has heard it yet. Regardless, I’m happy that the band is making new stuff again.”

IRELAND JOHNSON “[I’m stressed about] math because I’m bad at it. I don’t want to try because I just don’t like being wrong. [I started painting] in the sixth grade to help as a coping skill, so when I get stressed out mentally or I feel really upset, sometimes it helps me get rid of those feelings. I just kind of like to paint the sky. I like it because it’s calming and overtime I’ve grown. I think, to be pretty good at it.”

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M A RYA N N L AW R E N C E “I made the executive decision in our home to sell the house and move to New Mexico for no reason at all. Nobody had a job, I was seven months pregnant, and we just up and went and lived there for a year. That was a little surprising. I didn’t realize I could be that either irrational or bold. But in retrospect, [it was] good. Sometimes you have to make a leap, and you don’t know why. There’s a little voice inside your head that says ‘do this ridiculous thing that makes no sense,’ and sometimes you just do it and see what comes of it.”

ROBERT MAGLIONE “My mom is a really important person to me because she’s a really good emotional support to me. She’s just more emotionally in touch with me. That’s really important to me because I feel like I can sense whenever somebody is hurt or needs emotional support because my mom has taught me [to do so]. She has brought that emotional side to the table. She helps me through my problems, she just makes me feel better. There was this one night in July or August where we were enjoying the sunset over the lake. She had her arm around me and we were watching the sun go down and she was like ‘I love you Robert, thank you for being such a good son.’”

MILES DURR “I think that at the start of freshman year I think I was drawn to music more again. In the past I really wasn’t, but suddenly piano became a huge outlet for me and now it’s a big part of my life. So I guess that was a turning point. I’m not sure, I think I heard something on the radio sometime; It was some recording of like a Chopin waltz and I really loved it and I guess that just drew me to the instrument. But yeah, I’ve been growing with it ever since I guess. I’m getting pretty serious with it. I’m hoping that I can self-actualize my potential so I can get into music school, eventually. That’s what I’m hoping to do with my life.”

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PICTURE THIS BY CY VEILLEUX & BEN MARTINS-CAULFIELD

“This picture was taken at Red River Gorge, Kentucky. It was taken by my friend Tanner Bauer. I really like this picture because of the way it turned out, it looks really cool and it looks like a professional photo. And it was a very fun trip with my friend that we went on for rock climbing. It was important to me because on that climb, I’m on one of the hardest hardest climbs that I’ve done, it marks a huge step in my climbing progression. Also I remember, hoping to do this climb when I was twelve or thirteen years old. Finally being able to do it means achieving a big goal that I had, so I’m very excited that I completed this, and I’m really happy that I got a great picture from it.”

HOBBS KESSLER TOBY JONES “This picture right here is of a fallen down tree in front of a house in my neighborhood. Ann Arbor had a pretty bad storm a couple years back I think in 2017. After it hit, I was walking around my neighborhood and my mom was out of town at the time, so I took this picture to show her what was going on at home. It helped me bond with my dad because the same storm damaged part of my garage roof, and me and my dad spent a week fixing it together. Me and my dad didn’t really have much in common before then; we wouldn’t talk much. But then after that we spent a year doing projects around the house, he realized that he liked working with me. We talk a lot more now. We kind of bonded a lot during that year.”

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10 Questions From strawberries to sky blue, Ruhi Khanna talks about her favoite things. BY MAZEY PERRY

What was the last song you listened to? “It was by Nina Simone, it’s called “Feeling Good.” I listen to her stuff a lot, she’s definitely one of my favorite artists”

If you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you think you are? “I think I would think I’m 16 or 17 because I feel like I look and act like a typical high schooler.”

What do you do with your hair in the morning? Sometimes I put water in it to make it curly but that’s about it. I don’t always sleep in a ponytail, really only when I forget to take it down. So I get up and then put it up while I get ready and then just take it down and go with that.

What’s your favorite color? Blue, I think it’s really pretty. Especially light blue I think is just so pretty and it reminds me of the sky which I like too.

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled?

Q “D.C. I think it’s really cool and you can see all the monuments and history. I also just love cities so that’s really nice.”

What’s the best donut and bagel flavor? “Classic glazed donut, you just can’t go wrong and anything else is too fancy. Also I’m not a huge chocolate fan. Bagels, probably everything. I like the flavors together.”

What’s your favorite food?

“As far as food you can just buy, definitely strawberries. My favorite thing to make is Aloo Gobi. It’s an Indian dish with potatoes cauliflower and spices. I make it myself sometimes, I don’t cook a lot but I definitely like to cook sometimes.”

What’s the weirdest fight you’ve ever been in?

What’s your favorite place to eat in Kerrytown?

What shoes are you wearing right now?

One time I was fighting with my brother in the car, we were probably around ten years old. I don’t know what we were fighting over but I ended up punching him in the eye and he got a huge bruise. I think it started as a verbal fight, so I was annoyed and accidentally hit him a lot harder than I meant to.

The Lunchroom, because I’m vegetarian and they have really good options. The queso burrito is my favorite thing they have, but without avocados because I’m allergic. I probably get one of those a week.

“Plain white Adidas sneakers. I got them last year in the spring and they’re my everyday shoes. I don’t love to stand out so I got something kind of basic.”

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ELL A GL ASS IN MY ROOM

BY HANNAH BERNSTEIN AND JENNA JARJOURA

Ella Glass has made her room an ever changing space inspired by music, friends and photography. What allows her room to be so intricate is the structure. Glass chose her room when she was nine years old. She has always loved the room because of the window. Her bed is tucked beneath the window and fits in the pentagon-shaped room perfectly. The ceiling also slants right over the headframe which creates a unique, intimate structure that allows her to explore many different options on how to design her room. “I have no plan, I take down everything all the time and I rearrange everything,” Glass said. “I’ve never really planned anything... I just started hanging up little tiny things on my wall, and it looked awful.” Every space has something decorating the area. There is a lot going on, but everything has its place for the time being. But it won’t be like this for long. She rearranges, removes and replaces things daily. “[The decorations] are not deep at all,” Glass said. “I just think it looks cool to look at andI just really like it.” She finds herself engrossed in musicians, finding funny quotes and posters of them. Glass learns and listens to everything about artists, and expresses her love for them in her room. Besides the endless amount of records, posters and readings that are hanging around her room, the majority of the pictures consist of Glass’ friends. Her friends feel accomplished once they make it up on the walls of the room and it is a way that Glass shows she cares about her friends. Glass would like to keep adding more to fill up the empty spaces on the ceiling and around the doors. One could hardly notice the grey paint anymore tucked behind everything. “There’s definitely been some times where I’m like, ‘Okay I need to calm down,’” Glass said. “I like it, but I’m definitely not satisfied with it yet, there’s still room.” Photography by Jenna Jarjoura

TOP: Glass spends a lot of time in her room. She loves having friends over because of the location and believes her friends feel that her room is a comforting, relaxing place to be. MIDDLE LEFT: Glass makes a lot of small trips to estate sales and record stores. Around her room she has different posters of bands, constellations, as well as records. They may be in one place one day, and a week later be on the opposite side of the room: Glass loves rearranging her room. MIDDLE RIGHT: Glass adds and takes down photos from her wall weekly. She enjoys taking and collecting photos of friends and artists, and printing them out later to post on her walls. She also says that when she becomes friends with someone and they get close, there’s a photo added onto her wall of that person. RIGHT: Although Glass enjoys rearranging where photos and objects are displayed in her room, her dresser has never changed. She finds it to be aesthetically pleasing and cohesive.

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CRAVE

PEAR UPSIDE DOWN CAKE BY LOEY JONES-PERPICH AND RUBY TAYLOR Photography by Ruby Taylor

SPICE UP YOUR WINTER APPETITE This cake was just what we needed on a nasty February night. With all four of our parents sitting around a table playing cards, the two of us stood in the kitchen, trying to figure out how to bake what would be the first upside down cake either of us had baked. We fought with the underripe pears that we’d bought earlier that day, begging them to get soft in the oven and taste sweet enough. The recipe forced us to experiment with ingredients and techniques we’d never used before, like pomegranate molasses and adding crushed walnuts to the flour. But what came out of the oven was a golden-brown, not too sweet cake with soft, caramelized pears on the top. The recipe made a lot, but somehow, we were left craving more, and you will be too. Find the recipe on bonappetit.com.

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Our Turn: The Environment BY JORDAN DE PADOVA AND PAIGE DUFF Photography By Jordan De Padova

OCTAVIA ANDERSON

“When I was in grade school, I went to Sleeping Bear Dunes, and I saw this really big, shiny bottle fly. It was just really pretty, and that was kind of the first time something that wasn’t a butterfly or dragonfly made me go, ‘Wow. This is beautiful.’ The things that aren’t classically considered beautiful can still be amazing. It sucks that all of the animals like that are going to take a massive L if humans can’t get their ducks in a row, so to say.”

CY VEILLEUX

“I’ve been skiing since first grade. My favorite thing to do while skiing is go into the woods and try to find a trail. It’s really quiet, there’s nothing going on, so all you hear is the air and your skis on the snow. Sometimes the land gets flat, so you just get to listen to nature, and it’s probably my favorite thing to do ever at any time. If I could do anything, I’d be skiing in the woods.”

LACEY COOPER “When I think of nature, I think of being at camp this summer. I was at an arts camp; I’ve been going there for the past four years. It’s between two lakes, and in the middle of the woods, and we live in cabins. This summer, our cabin’s toilet had a really hard time flushing, so it was an interesting time. Being so submerged in the smell of trees, and the lake so close, and all of the wildlife, there’s a sense of grounding that comes with it — with being surrounded by living things. You’d be walking through the woods and hear music from every side. It was surreal.”

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About the Art ART BY COMMUNICATOR STAFF

The back cover features 16 visual responses to the prompt “Draw what climate change looks like to you.� The responses included images of forest fires, the earth smoking, protest signs, an underwater world and the earth on fire. Like on the front cover, crayon as a medium represents the people most affected by climate. Crayon is messy and represents youth, and the youngest generations are most affected by climate, and most aware of the pain that these changes will cause.


Profile for The Communicator

Communicator: Volume 46 Edition 4  

Communicator: Volume 46 Edition 4  

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