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A STUDENT VOICE

The Communicator Magazine April 2018

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About the Cover PHOTOGRAPHY BY GRACE JENSEN

This photo was taken at the Ypsilanti student walkout on March 14, protesting gun violence in schools. Pictured are seniors at Rudolf Steiner School Deborah Fagan and Riley Rybicki, listening to speakers and holding a protest sign reading “books NOT bullets.� We chose this photo because it represents the debate over gun control which has been ignited by the recent school shooting. More generally, it also represents the youth movement building in our country. This is arguably one of the biggest issues concerning high school students today, so as a high school publication, it is our job to cover what is happening. BACK COVER DESIGN BY MEGAN SYER

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The Sound of Our Voices

On March 14, students all over the country walked out of schools to protest school shootings. Following the walk out, students from around Washtenaw County rallied in Ypsilanti, Mich. where they spoke out about the change that they want to see involving gun control.

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The Biostation

The Community High Ecology Club drove up north to the University of Michigan Biological Station, making stops in Grayling, Mich. and Hartwick Pines State Park before spending a long weekend near Douglas Lake.

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A Perfect 300

Senior Rachel Hystad shares her experiences competing in archery during her quest for a perfect score.

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Community High Teachers

Community teachers talk about how recent school shootings have affected the way that they teach and go about each day.

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The Fierce Urgency of Now

Even though Martin Luther King Jr. gave his speech, “The Fierce Urgency of Now,” over 50 years ago, his message rings true today: that there is no better time than now, and that fighting violence with violence will not solve the problem.

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Secrets of the Justice System

While the justice system keeps us sane, it’s not as pristine as people believe it to be.

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Letter from the Editors Dear Readers, The day after the Parkland shooting, Tracy, our adviser, asked us to take a break from our computers. We all took seats on the other side of our classroom and talked about what we were feeling. Tracy asked us how we were doing, and how often we thought about the possibility of a shooting at our school. This shooting was even more real for us. Not an elementary school, a concert, or a nightclub. A high school, like ours. The Communicator has always been a place for students to share their voices. The Parkland shooting has ignited a newfound voice in young people, and we feel that young journalists are a part of this voice. As a high school publication, we have the unique opportunity to cover this issue from a student perspective. Our peers have thoughts and emotions on these issues. Not all of us share the same opinions; however, all of us now must press a button to be let into school through the locked doors, and all of us have to think about what that means. In this edition, you will find several news stories about the local school walkouts protesting against gun violence. You will find interviews with our teachers to hear their thoughts following Parkland. Next, you can see the data with an infographic about school shootings over the years. Finally, you will find an opinion piece by Suibhne O’Foighil comparing the recent call to action for gun control to Martin Luther King’s idea of the “fierce urgency of now.” He asks readers, “How many more massacres must there be for change in this country?” We hope you find this edition of The Communicator informative and enlightening.

Adviser

Staff

Tracy Anderson Print Editors-in-Chief

Mary DeBona Grace Jensen Isabel Ratner Megan Syer

Web Editors-in-Chief

Mira Simonton-Chao Gina Liu Managing Editors

Abigail Gaies Ava Millman Andie Tappenden Design Editor

Ella Edelstein

Infographic Editor

Isaac McKenna Photo Editors

Alec Redding Cammi Tirico Copy Editor

Paige Duff

Social Media Editors

Atticus Dewey Claire Middleton

Business Manager KT Meono Art/Graphics Editors

Caitlin Mahoney WM. Henry Schirmer

Your Editors,

Sports Editors

Shane Hoffmann Viv Brandt Shea O’Brien Content Editors MARY DEBONA, GRACE JENSEN, ISABEL RATNER, AND MEGAN SYER

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.

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Elena Bernier Sam Ciesielski Madie Gracey Zoe Lubetkin Shea O’Brien Emily Tschirhart Sacha Verlon Human Resource Managers

Camille Konrad Mazey Perry Suephie Saam

Evan Ash Bernie Barasa Hannah Bernstein Neil Beveridge Grace Bradley Viv Brandt Joshua Caldwell Milo Chalin Benjamin Cooper Lauren Cooper Leah Dame Jordan DePadova Elinor Duck Ava Esmael Isabel Espinosa Ojanis Frometas-Canales Ethan Gibb-Randall Ebba Gurney Daniel Gutenberg Eli Hausman Jane Heckendorn Axel Hiney Jenna Jarjoura Loey Jones-Perpich Owen Kelley Hobbs Kessler Miles Klapthor Max Klarman Linden Kronberg Joshua Martins-Caufield Andrew Lafferty Ed Lewis Spencer Morgan Rishi Nemorin Jonah Nunez Suibhne O’Foighil Roxana Richner Ella Roberts Bruno Ruderman Sophia Scarnecchia Lucy Scott Joseph Simon Charles Solomon Angelina Smith i.O. Soucy Treasure Sparkling Kat Stanczak Jakob Stoney Ruby Taylor Geneve Thomas-Palmer Sarah Tice Camryn Tirico Morraina Tuzinsky Tai Tworek Jay Walker Madison Wallace Emma Winegarden Marley Wolff Ben Wyngaard

FIND THE COMMUNICATOR ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

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NEWS

PI DAY 2018

FEATURE

WASHTENAW COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT STUDENTS RALLY TOGETHER TO PROTECT THEIR SCHOOLS

March 14 – Three students arrived on the third floor at 11:00 a.m., marking the very beginning of the massive line that would soon wind around the entire hallway. By 11:15, the hallway was jam-packed with Community High School students, all ready to get the piece of pie that had caught their eye. BY EMILY TSCHIRHART AND AVA MILLMAN

PODCAST

Thousands of students participated in a national walkout on March 16, 2018 following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida just a month beforehand. BY ELLA EDENSTEIN AND MIRA SIMONTON

VOICE

THEY DIDN’T WANT THE TRUTH TO GET OUT

A & E

ROY G BIV: THE COLORS OF EMPOWERMENT AND BEAUTY

In August of 2016, 55-year-old Jeff Iron Cloud packed his bags and left his construction job and his apartment in Denver, Colorado to drive nine and a half hours to North Dakota. He left after working at that job for eight months. He left with no expectations for what the next part of his life would bring. BY GENEVE THOMAS-PALMER Through a treacherous and tedious two year process, Rashmi Meenakshi “MYNA” Pandian released ROY G BIV on Feb. 28, 2018 on Soundcloud, recorded and produced with Youth Owned Records and The Neutral Zone. BY iO SOUCY

SPORTS

HUMANS OF COMMUNITY

SONG OF THE DAY

LAMAR JACKSON: QUARTERBACK

In the history of the NFL, many college quarterbacks have made the switch to wide receiver upon entering the league. The usual candidate is an athletic, dual-threat quarterback who showcased average abilities as a passer in college, in other words, his skills were deemed “not good enough” for an NFL quarterback. BY SHANE HOFFMAN

ELLEN STONE

“It involves cars. I think I had a dream for years that my college boyfriend, who broke up with me in a sad, sad way, was in a car. I don’t know, it was just always leaving, and I could never get back. Even like ten years later there’d be that car leaving in a dream, and I’d be like, ‘I don’t even like him anymore!’ But there’s the car, driving away from me. The car representing boyfriend who broke up with me.” BY TAI TWOREK AND JENNA JARJOURA

WATERMELON IN EASTER HAY

Watermelon in Easter Hay by Frank Zappa is considered one of the most exceptional guitar solos of all time. Written in the winter of 1979 by Frank Zappa, Watermelon in Easter Hay is a tearjerker and an emotional joy ride. BY EVAN ASH

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“I don’t want to be living in a country where gun violence is frequent.”

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Student Walkout Against Gun Violence BY GRACE JENSEN

Your caption goes here! First sentence describes the image. The second gives information that is not stated. Third is a quote yayyy.

A crowd of students stood in a circle on the basketball court outside of Community High School, huddled together against the cold. Many of them had spent countless sunny days on this court, shooting hoops and cracking jokes. Today, however, something was different. Nobody was talking. The chirping of birds and the chimes of bells from the Kerrytown clock tower across the street were the only sounds to be heard. The students stood clustered together, some hugging, some just staring at the pavement in thought. The silence lasted for 17 minutes, for the 17 victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. At noon on Feb. 21, students at schools across the country walked out in protest against gun violence in solidarity with Broward County, where the shooting occurred and the main protest was held. Community was one of the many schools that held satellite walkouts. At noon, a group of students walked out of the school together. More joined in, and everyone converged on the back lawn. At least 50 students participated in the protest. After students gathered on the basketball court, Community senior Will Carroll read off the names of the Stoneman Douglas shooting victims and a short description of each person. Afterwards, Bree Linton, also a senior, announced the 17 minutes of silence.

“It’s pretty incredible and heart-wrenching that so many people from all of the grades decided to come out,” Linton said before the event. There have been 17 school shootings in 2018 so far, according to the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. As reported by The Washington Post, five of those occurred during school hours and resulted in physical injury, and since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, at least 170 U.S. schools have experienced a shooting. “Our government just keeps seeing children dying more and more, more and more frequently,” Linton said. “That’s something that needs to stop. Children should be able to get an education and not be worried that they’ll die doing it. I feel like I’m lucky enough to be living in Ann Arbor, where gun violence doesn’t seem to be that huge of an issue, so I don’t feel severely unsafe, but as a person, I don’t want to be living in a country where gun violence is frequent.” “America needs better gun safety reform,” Carroll said. “A 19-year-old should not be able to buy a semi-automatic weapon when he can’t even buy liquor. It’s just really sad. I just think there’s more that we can do as an industrialized nation. If Australia and Japan don’t have this problem, I don’t see why we have to. [We] and our parents fear every day that we’re going to walk into school and never come back. This is the United States of America; we should start acting like it.”

Left: CHS students head back to school after the walkout. This was only one of several protests planned after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting on Feb. 14. “These were real people, with real lives, and real families, that died,” Carroll told the student protesters before reading the names of the victims. “They went to school, and they didn’t come back. That’s a problem, and anybody who doesn’t think this is a problem, I don’t even want to get started with you.”

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Students from Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor gather on bleachers, brandishing signs protesting gun violence. “It’s really liberating, it is great that so many people are willing to stand up for what they believe,” said Lucy Sheridan, a junior at Rudolf Steiner.

The Sound of Our Voices

PHOTOGRAPHY BY GRACE JENSEN

Students from across Washtenaw County gather at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti, Mich. to demand gun control and school safety.

BY ABIGAIL GAIES AND WM. HENRY SCHIRMER

After various 17-minute walkouts at many individual schools, hundreds of students gathered for a rally at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti, Mich. on March 14. Voices could be both heard and seen in the cold, 35-degree air, some people wrapped in blankets as they struggled to stay warm. “My toes are cold, but it warms my heart to see everyone here,” said Hasna Ghalib, one of the speakers, describing a feeling clearly shared by the many whoops and hollers of agreement from the crowd that followed. “This cold has frozen the living daylights out of my vocal chords, but I’m still up here, and you’re all still in front of me.” The shivering students had arrived from all over Washtenaw County, brandishing signs that read slogans such as “Books NOT Bullets” and “Silence Our Guns, Not Our Voices.” Along with the feeling of frozen toes, these students shared another thing in common: an anger for the neglect our government has shown towards gun violence. With this feeling as their fuel, the students came to Ypsilanti to show their disgust at the lack of 8

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legislation, particularly following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14. Gathering 15 minutes before the speakers were set to begin, protesters shared in sign-making and hot chocolate drinking. At 11 a.m., Max McNally, a senior at Lincoln High School, got behind a microphone positioned in the gazebo resting on Huron River. “Hey, Washtenaw County!” McNally shouted into the microphone. McNally began with a short opening in which he mentioned that the people there protesting were sending “a figurative middle finger at the NRA.” Later, he compared guns to cigarettes, saying that health education teaches students not to use and abuse various substances, and then asking why the same is not taught about guns. “None of that matters — whether I’m smoking, whether I’m addicted to this or that — if I’m coming to school and someone pulls out an AR-15 and mows me and my friends down,” McNally said. “It

News

doesn’t matter if I smoke when I get home. I’m dead.” A topic that came up multiple times was that while the speakers was rallying for the same general idea of gun control laws, they were not agreeing on the same solutions, which was okay. Clara Nunez-Regueiro, one of the first speakers, addressed this in her speech. “If there is one thing that we can unequivocally agree on, [it] is that we have to demand safety in our schools, because we are sick of watching child after innocent child die in the classroom,” Nunez-Regueiro said, which many agreed with, apparent by the following eruption of the crowd. When Saima Harrison, a sophomore at Pioneer High School later spoke, she used a personal anecdote to stress her opinion on gun control. “When I was in seventh grade, school was my safe place,” Harrison said. “I was depressed, I was suicidal, and I could go to school and I was away from the world. Recently, there was a kid who went to school and shot himself in the bathroom. He was


in seventh grade.” She went on to explain that this poor student should not have had the chance to get a gun and kill himself with it. “Sandy Hook should have been the last school shooting,” Harrison went on to say. “Columbine should have been the last school shooting. There are so many school shootings that should’ve been the last. Today, we are here saying that the Parkland school shooting is the last school shooting! It’s not going to happen here!” Aija Turner echoed Harrison later in the rally during her speech. She asked the crowd a seemingly simple question, “When is the time to talk about it?” Each time, the crowd shouted “right now!” as an answer. “When is the time to talk about it?” Turner asked. “After the Columbine shooting, when 15 lives were taken? When is the time to talk about it? After Sandy Hook, when 28 innocent teachers and children died? When is the time to talk about it? After the mass shooting in Orlando, when it was Latinx night at a gay nightclub, when black and brown people, a part of the LGBTQ

community were targeted, and 49 of them died? Again, I ask, when is the time to talk about it? We send our thoughts and prayers, we make our social media posts, and then we mourn. Everyone turns their heads and they say that they don’t want to talk about it right now, that now is not the time to make it political. So once again, I ask, when is the time to talk about it?” The crowd was vocal in their agreement with what Turner was saying. She spoke not only of the victims, but also the ways in which the shooters are treated. “If they identify as Muslim, we label them as terrorists — which is inherently Islamophobic,” Turner shouted, getting more passionate as her speech went on. “If it was a black man who commited the crime, they’re labeled as thugs — that is anti-black. But when it’s a white man who does the shooting, he’s labeled as a lone wolf; he is given the benefit of the doubt; he is deemed as mentally ill. We ignore that by doing this we further stigmatize and generalize actual people who suffer from mental illnesses. By doing this we validate the fear that people

have for black and brown men and people of color, and that we validate people’s Islamophobia; we perpetuate it.” She ended her speech by looking towards the future, as many others had done before her. “Today we say no more,” she said. “Today we carry on the revolution. Today we have no doubt, and we march because we call BS! But we can’t let the revolution stop here. It extends beyond social media; it extends beyond protest; it extends beyond being an ally. It’s about solidarity. And with solidarity comes sacrifice. And with sacrifice comes action.” Turner’s closing statement paralleled something that Ghalib had said: “We’re everything. We’re everything! You are the future, you are power, you are voice. We’re everything! I refuse to die at the hands of a gun, and the day it silences me will be the day that this has all been for a loss. We call…” The crowd howled in response: “BS!”

Top Left: Max McNally uses cigarettes to discuss the lack of laws and education that surround guns and gun control. McNally is a senior at Lincoln High School and has a younger sister starting school next year — one of the reasons he fights for gun control. “She’s four years old, and when she starts school, I don’t want her to go there and have to worry every day whether or not someone’s going to pop off and she’s going to end up shot,” McNally said. Top RIght: Marquan Kane speaks near the end of the rally, evident by his shivering hands, but absent from his strong voice. This protest followed the two year anniversary of the day his family friend was shot on the street. “Some of us are here today because we have lost loved ones to guns,” Kane said after mentioning his family friend’s passing. “Some of us are here today because we feel threatened in schools and we don’t feel safe. All of us are here today because we are saying that we will not be the next ones!” Bottom Left: Ajia Turner stands in front of the microphone. She speaks about how the skin tone of the shooter affects how they are labeled, and how these labels are inherently Islamophobic and anti-black. “When it’s a white man who does the shooting, he’s labeled as a lone wolf; he is given the benefit of the doubt; he is deemed as mentally ill,” Turner said in disgust. Bottom Right: Students from Washtenaw International High School (WIHI) wait for the speakers to begin as they gather with others from Washtenaw County to rally for gun control laws and safety in schools. Teryn Robinson Crowling was at the protest mainly to support victims of gun violence. “I feel powerful,” Robinson Crowling said. “I feel like kids are change and we are just taking over.”

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THE BIOSTATION. Students from Community High’s Ecology Club took a three-day trip to the University of Michigan Biological Station, which included hiking, stargazing, and walking across a frozen lake. BY MEGAN SYER

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Science teacher Courtney Kiley (left) and senior Mary DeBona (right) sit in the front seats of a rental car on the way to the University of Michigan Biological Station. Kiley reached to turn up the volume to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes; the music was playing from a playlist made by DeBona, which featured ‘80s hits.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. – Students from Community High School’s (CHS) Ecology Club gathered near the school doors on Thursday, March 1, at 8:30 a.m. to travel to Pellston, Mich. for the weekend. Cars were filled with sleeping bags, suitcases, backpacks, and food. 30 minutes later, the club had divided into four groups and departed from the school; CHS teachers and chaperones Courtney Kiley, Ed Kulka, Marcy McCormick, and Liz Stern drove. It was the fifth trip taken by the Ecology Club to the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) – nicknamed “the biostation.” Kiley came across the destination after visiting the biostation in high school and later spending a semester studying there her junior year of college at the University of Michigan. Before reaching the biostation, the Ecology Club made a stop in Grayling, Mich. for lunch at Bear Den’s Pizzeria. They then went on a hike at Hartwick Pines State Park. The trail was completely covered with thick sheets of ice, and many students fell while walking. The next morning, the Ecology Club took their first “official” hike, which was optional, at 10:30 a.m. around part of Douglas Lake – the lake that the biostation surrounds – and through the wooded area nearby by following the Grapevine Nature Trail. The second hike was in the afternoon after the group had a moment to re-energize and eat lunch; the afternoon hike was around a different portion of the lake and woods and was also optional to students.

Left: Some members of the Ecology Club pose for a picture before continuing to hike. It was the second hike of Friday in the middle of the afternoon. Other students stayed back and decided to play cards and attempt to finish a 2,000 piece puzzle of “Starry Night,” which was never completed. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARISSA CORZINE

Right: Students and chaperones walk into a trail on Saturday afternoon for their second hike of the day after previously hiking the gorge.

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Students stop while on a hike before crossing a main road to get to the gorge as others catch up from behind. The gorge was across the street from the lodge, which was nestled in the woods by the lake.

Members of the Ecology Club walk across the frozen Douglas Lake. The group then hiked around the gorge nearby as their first hike on Saturday morning.

Many students spent the evenings playing games found inside the lodge, watching movies, or stargazing at night. On the second night, students made pasta and salad for dinner; in the evening, some members of the club watched the movie “Baby Driver,” but paused it in the middle to go stargazing on the frozen lake. Underneath them, they were able to hear the water running below the thick sheets of ice that supported them. The next morning, Kulka made pancakes and Stern cooked bacon for breakfast before the group took their largest hike around the gorge. The group left around 10 a.m., and walked across the lake before heading off to hike half an hour later. The hike lasted approximately two hours. “It was so beautiful that it felt unreal,” Chrysanthe Patselas, senior at CHS, said. “The snow was sparkling from the sun, the air was super crisp, and the trees were really pretty.” In the afternoon after the group ate lunch, some went on another hike, while others stayed behind. The group started hiking through the Grapvine Nature Trail, hoping to take a different route than previously. But when the ground became too slick and steep to walk on, the group resorted to gliding across the perimeter of the frozen lake to get back to the dorms. “At one point, we even laid down on the ice,” Patselas said. “The landscape was incredible and the sun coming through the trees onto the lake made it look like the ice that we were walking on was actually water.” The day concluded as students ate chili and salad for dinner after returning from the second hike. Some students watched “Madagascar 3,” while others played cards and board games; later that night, some watched “National Treasure.” A few stayed up all night and watched the sunrise on the frozen lake the next morning. When Sunday arrived, beds were stripped, and bags were packed as the students and chaperones prepared for departure. The group left at 9 a.m. on Sunday to head back to Ann Arbor. “This trip really made me see that we can sometimes get so caught up in the present and that we just need to take a step back and appreciate what the world has to offer us in its beauty,” Patselas said. To see more pictures from the Ecology Club’s trip, go to www.chscommunicator.com

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WATCH OUT FOR

THE

! s Pothole

What lies underneath the surface of fixing and funding for our roads? BY GINA LIU

Driving up the highway from Monroe But how does the commission decide over a billion dollars more, and have for a County to Zeeb Road, Emily Kizer chugs which potholes are fixed when and where? number of years. There’s a very clear reaalong I-94, keeping an eye out for pesky “It’s easy to think it’s like a random act of son why Ohio seems like they have better cavities in the road. These craters — which God,” Kizer said. roads.” can be as deep enough to halt cars and However, the process itself is pretty In hopes of solving the problems in shortcause tire damage — are the annual prod- straightforward: there are two ways pot- term repair, the road commission launched ucts of heavy Michigan winters, known as holes can get reported. a four-year millage plan in 2016, asking the potholes. One is through the citizens who spot them voters of Washtenaw County if they would While she can slow down or swerve to with phone calls or online reports, which go be willing to have part of their property tax steer clear of these ditches, Kizer cannot directly to the crew and foreman in that spe- go to road repair. Before this plan, only user avoid them when she’s off the road, where cific ‘district.’ The second way potholes are tax — which included things like license fee she works as the communications coordina- reported is by the crew and foremen them- taxes and fuel taxes — went toward road tor for the Washtenaw County Road repair. Fortunately for the Commission. Road Commission, an Kizer calls this time of year — overwhelming 71 percent from late February to March — potof voters approved this “People are rightfully frustrated with hole season: when the snow melts measure. Plans using tax and reveals the nuisance of potholes. money toward road repair the roads. And so are we.” And 2018 looks like a year with one are now being implementof the worst pothole repair seasons ed throughout multiple yet. counties in Michigan. During the first three months of “I think people are get2018, Washtenaw County snow mainte- selves, who predict where potholes are like- ting so frustrated that federal and state nance crews have only had one weekend off. ly to form because of their familiarity with [governments] aren’t doing anything, that With the below-zero temperatures followed their own districts. Usually, it is a simultane- they’re going local,” Kizer said, also acby the warm-up in January and another ous combination of both methods to reach knowledging how the new revenue might snowstorm in February, the freeze-thaw cy- the more than thousands of potholes the not help as much as they’d like. “We’re so cles in Michigan have been dramatic and crews need to repair as fast as possible. far behind. It’s going to take years and years unpredictable, causing the road commisThe part that becomes muddy is how to get caught up. With winter maintenance sion crews to switch from pothole-patching funding goes towards road repair — or re- and pothole maintenance, that’s not really to snow clean-up in a matter of hours. Any ally, how it doesn’t. healthy.” moisture — like rain or the slightest bit of The fiscal budget for pothole repairs on Signs of these unhealthy repair practicsnow — delays all possible patching. Michigan’s trunklines (Michigan’s highways es become increasingly evident every year. “Just that back and forth is really difficult like I-94, I-23, M-14) stood at 8.1 million Just in the first week of March, Kizer overfor our roads to handle,” Kizer said. “We’re dollars, according to the Michigan Depart- saw the entire road closing of Platt Rd. into trying to get through that quick transition ment of Transportation. This is an increase York Township because the road was so debetween winter season and pothole season, from the 7.7 million in 2016, but an overall teriorated that foundation clay was coming and this year it has overlapped.” decrease compared to the 10 million spent up through the pothole. The method of The most common fix for the potholes in 2014. “throw-and-go” asphalt could not nurse the that appear during this time of year is cold Kizer argues that the budget for road re- road’s heavily eroded conditions this time patch — asphalt that can be shoveled into pair in Michigan has not kept up with the around. a pothole in mere minutes by a two-man price of inflation and has been historicalKizer understands how irritating these crew. During the last week of February, an ly low, resulting in only temporary pot- road closures and dangerous potholes are to average of 38 tons of cold patch were used hole fixes like the cold patching that may citizens of Washtenaw County. Yet it seems each day by the Washtenaw Road Com- last only one winter. This method acts as a at this point, the only thing that can truly mission Operations Department, which is “band-aid” instead of a permanent fix. control the poor conditions of the roads in made up of 85 people: the laborers, crews, “Per person, we’re one of the lowest fund- Michigan are the seasons and government and foremen you see on the streets. In con- ed states in the country,” Kizer said. “Just to funding. trast, Wayne County, which has more miles compare to Ohio, they have about the same “People are rightfully frustrated with the of road, used an average of 250 tons a day. miles of road that we do, but they spend roads,” Kizer said. “And so are we.” 16

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The salt dome in the Washtenaw County Road Commission holds the salt used for salting roads for the winter. This is one of the last salt domes left in Michigan, as more road commissions have opted for taller barns.

Trucks used for salting and road repair crews park in the County Commission garage. The space hasn’t always accomodated such large vehicles; decades ago when the Commission was built, trucks were smaller and fewer.

Cold patch, a quick and temporary pothole fix is stored at the Commission. In February Washtenaw County road workers used an average of 28 tons per day.

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Angst and Anxiety In an age of anxiety, a new documentary proves both informative and heartwarming as an affirmation of mental health issues. BY EMILY TSCHIRHART

On Feb. 20, Community High School’s (CHS) Craft Theater filled to the brim with a collection of forums and forum leaders, giggling and chatting as the room went dark. After having been granted funding by the University of Michigan Depression Center, CHS and Ypsilanti High School held screenings to preview a new documentary called “Angst.” Robbie Stapleton, organizer of the event and leader of Community’s Depression Awareness Group (DAG), had decided to change CHS’s mental health curriculum from the month of March to the entire second semester of school. The movie was a collection of stories from children and teens who suffer from some form of mental illness such as anxiety and depression. At 56 minutes long, it is a clean and concise representation of mental health issues that countless students face on a day-to-day basis. Even though the reassurance of knowing that you don’t face mental illness alone is a comforting thought, according to Stapleton, this film isn’t just a form of validation for students, but a matter of education for parents and teachers. “We are not familiar with what you guys are familiar with,” Stapleton said. “There was no depression awareness when I was in high school. No one talked about it. In a similar way, there were no gay people either because no one would talk about it. And of course there were gay people, and of course there was depression and anxiety, but no one addressed it.” For someone like Stapleton, who grew up with no conversation about mental health help or addressment, it was an adjustment that she had to learn to make as she grew. As both a mother and a teacher, the film was a wake-up call and an affirmation of the knowledge she had gained as a

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health teacher. “I think if you are literate in the world we live in alongside our children and students without educating oneself about mental health is sort of irresponsibility,” Stapleton said. One of Stapleton’s favorite aspects about the film was the diversity and representation of minorities. The film showcased a multitude of teens and children, some of them women, some people of color, and some on the autism spectrum. It’s easy — especially in a modern world — to forget that there are people out there who are just like you. Anxiety, in fact, while some may share, not all of us share in the same ways “In certain subsections of society, [anxiety] is far more stigmatized,” Stapleton said. “Women have more anxiety, yet I think there is a lot less stigma for women to be able to speak out and up about it. There comes a point where everyone has to say that they aren’t feeling strong, and need a little help. And I really think that there is strength in asking for help.” Stapleton has been working with DAG and The Depression Center to figure out how to make men and people of color more comfortable with asking for help. It takes a new group mindset to help people feel comfortable enough to exhibit vulnerability. As students filed out of the Craft Theater, many felt changed. “Angst” had summarized the way that many of the students were feeling or have felt at some point in their life. The reassurance that it gave students is unparalleled. “Angst” is a wonderful documentary about how anxiety is normal, anxiety is treatable, and no one is ever alone.


HQties of Community

The pocket gameshow that’s sweeping the globe — and the school. BY PAIGE DUFF

It was the beginning of 2018, and Julia Babaev, a junior at Community High School (CHS), was glued to her phone. The countdown had begun for HQ , a live trivia game show with a cash prize for that night’s winners. Babaev was one of millions tuning in, and they all wanted a shot at the money. She could feel her impatience growing. “He was talking so much,” Babaev said of the usual host, Scott Rogowsky. “I was like, ‘Get to the game!’” Founded in June of 2017 by Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov, HQ has steadily gained a global following. The structure of the game is simple: 12 questions, 15 on Sunday’s jackpot game, 10 seconds to answer each, and no redos. Those who answer all 12 correctly split that night’s winnings amongst themselves, receiving the prize via PayPal. Going live weekdays at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern time — just 9 p.m. on weekends — this pocket game show has acquired plenty of loyal players, or “HQ-ties.” “It’s just like a party,” Babaev said. The colorful display, catchy theme music, and live action certainly could contribute to this party-like perception. It’s all this that keeps players coming back for more, something Max Steiger, CHS sophomore, understands. “I play HQ almost every available time,”

Steiger said. Steiger’s experience differs from many HQ-ties out there: he’s actually a former victor. With cumulative winnings totalling around $20, Steiger’s a seasoned player. But, just because he’s made it to the end doesn’t mean he’s a stranger to losses. On March 4, the HQ prize pot totaled $50,000. With over two million players, Steiger made it all the way to the 11th question. One away from victory, he made the wrong decision. “I wanted to bang a pot onto my head until I got knocked out or something,” Steiger said. “It was not a happy moment.” Steiger didn’t let this set him back; in fact, he played again the very next day. If he ever wins one of the major prize pools, he’s got a plan. “I would go to the BP, the gas station by Community, and I would go 50/50 between Rice Krispies and those one-dollar scratchoff lottery tickets,” Steiger said. “50/50. Whole lot of Rice Krispies.” While the cash prize seems to be the major draw for players, HQ is a game of trivia at its core. Covering topics of geography, technology, and everything in between, the games obscure questions keep things tricky. They also seem to be making their players smarter. “When I lose, I’m never like, ‘Oh, that’s so

stupid,’” Steiger said. “I’m usually like ‘Oh, that’s another thing that I can be like, ‘Fun fact! This happened here!’” According to HQ Insiders — a group dedicated to collection and analysis of HQ data — the game is growing, and growing fast. HQ has had over 484 million recorded responses during 168 games, and is expanding in user engagement still. This growth has already changed the game’s structure with the addition of special Sunday games, and could have untold impact on HQ of the future. This start-up seems to be just getting started. This growth means another thing for Ann Arbor teens: more players. HQ-ties are joining in around the world, but this added competition isn’t deterring CHS students. In fact, it is actually drawing them into the HQ-niverse. Babaev has found herself relying on the brains of her ice-dancing team more than once. “I ask, ‘Who’s really smart?’” Babaev said. “They help me.” In reference to a G-Eazy, A$AP Rocky, and Cardi B collaboration, HQ host Scott Rogowsky said to millions of game players, “Quiz with me and get some money.” It seems as if Community High students are listening. |

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On Saturday, Feb. 17, Frankie plays outside with other classmates at North Falmouth Elementary School, enjoying all the cheer and laughter. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARAH MURPHY

No Borders Between Education The impact of an inclusive education for students with disabilities. BY ELINOR DUCK

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rankie Gallagher is still new to North Falmouth Elementary School, but she feels right at home with the community. When her parents, Shannon and Mike Gallagher, decided to move Frankie and her two younger brothers from Milton, Boston to North Falmouth, Cape Cod they were looking for a school that would be supportive of Frankie, who has Down Syndrome, and her inclusive education. Shannon Gallagher spent summers in North Falmouth, Cape Cod where her twin sister, whose two sons also attend North Falmouth Elementary School. Having family in Falmouth made her decision to move a lot easier. “When you have a child with special needs, moving to a new town can be an additional stress because educational priorities vary by district,” Shannon said. Shannon realized that students including Frankie would benefit from inclusive education. She wants her daughter to feel welcome everywhere. As Frankie grows up, she’ll be learning in bigger atmospheres and having an inclusive education, where she is growing up will make learning and maturing easier. Inclusive education is about how people develop and design schools, classrooms, programs, and activities so that all students can learn and participate together. “Every person deserves the chance to try something new and to challenge themselves,” Shannon said. “The more we practice inclusion, the more opportunities people get to discover interest, forge relationships, and develop skills.” Frankie’s family does not want her to feel sheltered, but instead wants to form an environment where she can grow up and learn equally in a classroom with kids without disabilities. Her parents are here to support her, love her, and to help her succeed in life. “A person’s ability should not dictate what

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opportunities they will be given,” Shannon said. “We are all human beings first with many common desires and needs. Feeling accepted and valued is essential to a person’s development.” Gallagher has realized that inclusive education forms a stronger and richer community. People feel proud of a school that supports all students’ needs. Frankie has impacted her classmates by showing them that she is an individual with talents and strengths, who also faces challenges, just like them. North Falmouth Elementary School is new to inclusive education. “Making the decision to add inclusive education is incredible,” Shannon said. “It has formed an unbreakable environment, where every kid can learn and never feel doubted about what they can achieve in life. To witness a student like Frankie achieving her goals makes people believe that inclusion is important.” Frankie’s family notices that having a strong support team is vitally important. In her school, people who are a part of her support team are Bill Henderson, a retired principal of the Henderson school in Dorchester, Mass., and Cheryl Jorgenson, an inclusion facilitator. One of Frankie’s biggest advocates is her paraprofessional, Jenny Falcone. Falcone is with Frankie for academic support and also to make sure she stays engaged in activities in the classroom. She also helps Frankie with communication and her iPad app touch chat, which she uses to aid communication. Most importantly, Falcone is there to help Frankie achieve her learning goals and keep her safe. Shannon has thought of several ways to make inclusive education successful in every classroom. She wants to fight against antiquated mindsets, low expectations, and the ignorance of laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities and a culture of segregation. These things are reasons why

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North Falmouth Elementary School has formed an abundant learning atmosphere and have improved the everyday life for kids and parents in the community of students with disabilities. “We have a strong family who always cheers Frankie on and wants nothing but the best for her,” Shannon said. “Frankie’s first inclusive experience is her family, and we have seen her relationships with cousins benefit her.” Frankie’s family wants the best for every kid, especially with disabilities. To grow up in a welcoming environment and to learn and share experiences with the world is crucial for kids like her. Shannon’s advice for parents whose kids have special needs is to reach out to the agencies in your area and find out what services are available to help you. She points out that the Michigan Department of Education, Special Education, and early intervention would be a good starting point if the families or the parents have not reached out yet. Many support groups for specific, identified disabilities like Autism or Down Syndrome have been recognized. “Finding and building a community of support is very important,” Shannon said. “Sometimes we have to be their voice. I want my daughter to have as many opportunities as possible and I have to be willing to speak up for that when necessary. You are not alone in your experience. Most importantly, do not be afraid to dream for your child’s future. Creating a vision for your loved one helps to focus how you advocate and what you advocate for. Dreaming is important to all of us.” Moving was the best decision Frankie’s family has ever made. Frankie feels right at home at North Falmouth Elementary School. She’s made many new friends and has learn a new education that has benefited her in the best way.


A Tale of Two Prisons BY ANDIE TAPPENDEN

For every 100,000 people in America, 716 are incarcerated. Despite the U.S. having 5 percent of the global population, it holds 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. Furthermore, more than 70 percent of people in prison are illiterate. However, across the country nonprofits are working towards improving literacy in prisons, teaching in prisons, and changing the public opinion of what a “prisoner” is. Here are two of those programs.

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Karen Smyte travels to prisons all around Michigan hoping to reconnect incarcerated parents to their children. Christia Mercer teaches philosophy and literature to prisoners throughout New York City.

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ne of the prisoners sat down in the corner with a book in front of him, open, on the floor. He sat like that for 10 or 15 minutes. The volunteers were perplexed. “Do you want to record?” they asked him. “Yeah, I do want to record,” the inmate said. “I do want to record. This…this was the last book I ever read.” The program “Staying In Closer Touch” travels to prisons all over Michigan, and records incarcerated parents and grandparents reading a bedtime story to send to their children or grandchildren, some of whom they haven’t seen for years. An important aspect of the “It’s program — since it is run that through the Children’s Literacy Network — is literacy training, and fostering the love to read in children who might not normally get a lot of attention or access to literature. However, given the circumstances, it often creates an intimacy that can be powerful to watch. “Often, I’ll hit ‘off’ and they’ll start crying,” said Karen Smyte, a volunteer at Staying in Closer Touch who goes into the prisons to record. “Because it’s the absence, it’s almost immediate that you feel the absence, the fact that they aren’t there. And it’s such a gift because you’re giving them an almost presence — the book, the voice, the child can imagine. But it hurts because of course they’re not there.” One in ten children in Michigan has a parent who is currently in prison.

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The percentage of children with any incarcerated relative — uncle, aunt, cousin, brother, grandparent — is much higher. These numbers are not seen nationwide. Michigan spends more on prisons (as a percentage of the state budget) than any other state, by a wide margin: Michigan spends 22.5 percent of its budget on prisons, and the second highest is Oregon, allocating around 13 percent of their budget towards prisons. Furthermore, Michigan is one of the few states to incarcerate juveniles

Inmates can choose any book they want, for each of their children. They record for about six to eight minutes, and are encouraged to deviate from the text. Smyte recalls one woman who chose to record herself reading a book that she had used to read to her daughter before she was sent to prison. “I remember the girl that I read the book to,” the woman said. “I remember you, and I know you’re still in there. I’m still here too.” The program is popular among the prison inmates and their children. Since there are so many people to the absence, it’s almost immediate record, each child receives you feel the absence. The fact that one book recording every nine months or so. But they they aren’t there.” listen to that recording over, and over, and over again. “When they’re missing their parent, when they’re missing their grandparent, they can listen to them,” Smyte said. “They can imagine them as adults. So it’s not really surprising that being there. It’s almost like a good ghost. such a significant percentage of Michigan They can hear that they’re okay.” parents are sitting in a cell at night instead There had been an incident — gang vioof by the bedside of their child. lence, probably — and so the prison went “I wish it were a right, not a privilege, into lock-down. For two weeks, the prisonto be read a story by a loved one,” Smyte ers stayed in their cells. For two weeks, they said. “I wish everyone had that right to have couldn’t go to the mess hall, shower, or go rhythms and singsong wash over them, and outside — although that last part isn’t unI wish it were a right that every mother has usual. At the Brooklyn prison, there is no the ability to parent how they want, but outside. that’s not the case here. It is a privilege to For 12 days, a handful of prisoners could read a story to your child. It is a privilege do nothing but read Gilgamesh. to parent.” The Justice-in-Education Initiative

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through the Center for Justice at Colum- studying Gilgamesh, for example, they disbia University aims to offer courses at local cussed the concept of “immortality” at prisons, that prisoners can apply to, and, if depth. accepted, receive Columbia credit through Being a professor at one of the top unithe course, with the option to continue their versities in the country, the juxtaposition beeducation at Columbia when they get out. tween her Columbia students and those in If they get out. prison is interesting. However, the biggest Christia Mercer is a professor of philos- difference between the two, Mercer finds, is ophy at Columbia University. She was the in their backgrounds. Her students at Cofirst to volunteer to teach prisons through lumbia, for the most part, have trained their the Justice-in-Education initiative. whole lives to be the best students they can The first class after the lock-down, Mer- be, whereas her incarcerated students have cer said, was one of the best classes she’d taught in her life. Her students knew Gilgamesh so well, “What they don’t deserve, not only the plot, but the deeper messages within is to be put in a cage.” the novel as well. One student — who had never written a paper before, and didn’t often not. She recalled having incarceratgo to high school — compared the events ed students who had never learned what a in Gilgamesh to his own life. He was a wild thesis statement is, or didn’t know the difyoung man, he said, who made a friend ference between a period and a colon. It is who really helped him out, but who died difficult to compare her two genres of stu(presumably from violence, but he didn’t dents, Mercer said, other than that they are specify), much like the friendship to Gil- both often incredibly intelligent. gamesh and death of Enkidu. Reading GilBefore Mercer went into the prison for the gamesh, he said, was the first time he was first time, she completed a mandatory oriable to confront his loss. entation lead by one of the top Command“This is the first time I’ve been able to ing Officers. begin to get over it,” the student said. “Gil“These people are animals,” Mercer regamesh is about my life, and it changed my called him saying. “They will take advanlife.” tage of you. Do not give them any sympaMercer uses ancient literature in every thy.” class she teaches. However, she did give them sympathy. She “I think it’s easier to get to people when created an environment where they could it’s something really, really old so they can share ideas and support each other, and in see that their own human condition is not this environment her incarcerated students unlike those from 4,000 years ago,” Mercer flourished. said. Moreover, she challenged the prisoners In her classes in prisons, they explore intellectually. Her joke is that she “takes no profound philosophical questions: What is prisoners,” and she finds that they often relove? What is justice? What is family? While ally appreciate being taken seriously. Many

of her students, Mercer said, were never taken seriously as learners. In school, if they asked hard questions or made clever remarks, they were told to shut up. In prison, this passivity is reinforced even stronger. In school, being a “wise-ass” would’ve gotten them sent to detention. In prison it gets them sent to solitary confinement. “We want to create a space where they can be wise-asses,” Mercer said. “[The prisoners] didn’t have the chance to be brilliant, because they were never encouraged. Especially the women have never been allowed to be agents, they’ve always been victims.” The first prison Mercer taught in — and one she continues to teach in — is Taconic, a medium-security women’s prison. The women she teaches have been sentenced for decades; one prisoner had been in for 25 years before attending Mercer’s class. Many of them are in prison for homicide or armed robbery. One woman had smothered her child. However, the vast majority of Mercer’s students had suffered extreme trauma in their life previous to being incarcerated or came from difficult backgrounds. Many came from poor and uneducated families. Many had self-medicated undiagnosed mental illnesses. Seventy six percent of incarcerated women in the United States have been victims of sexual assault, and Mercer’s students are no exception. “You think, ‘oh they must be just animals,’” Mercer said. “‘They must be horrible human beings.’ And then you hear their stories. They’re really wonderful people at this point in their lives. They’re friends of mine. But when they were 17, 18, or 19 and had been on the streets for a few years, they did really bad things. What they don’t deserve is to be put in a cage.” |

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Mairead Erhardt, a midfielder for Huron’s Varsity field hockey team, plays against Skyline on Oct. 5, 2016. Erhardt has been playing field hockey since elementary school. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ISABEL ESPINOSA

Learning Grit on the Field

Mairead Erhardt, a senior at Community High School, plays field hockey for Huron’s Varsity team. BY JOSEPH SIMON

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all of 2016 during halftime, Mairead Erhardt and her teammates learned how to have grit. On the sidelines of the tournament in Florida, her coach, Nancy Cox, thought that no one was working as hard as they could. She told everyone to squeeze their hands as hard as they could. Everyone did. But then she told everyone to squeeze them harder, and everyone did. “I told you to squeeze them as hard as you can,” she said. “You can always work harder and have grit.” That lesson has stuck with her ever since. Erhardt, now a senior at Community High School, has been playing field hockey since third or fourth grade. She played throughout middle school, and she now plays for Huron’s Varsity team and has been captain for the past two years. “I love being a part of the team,” said Erhardt, who plays as a midfielder. “I love the girls; all the girls that I’ve met at field hockey are all nice and really supportive.” As captain of the team, Erhardt tries to make the game as fun as possible for her teammates. “Everyone plays field hockey for fun, so I try to keep it fun and make sure people are enjoying the sport,” Erhardt said. “We came up with fun cheers. I liked to make up cheers that kind of went with commer-

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cials.” On the field, Erhardt makes many memories with her team. “I remember two years ago, when I was with my travel team in Missouri we won a game that was going to qualify us to go to nationals,” Erhardt said. “That was really exciting because we were the first team from Michigan to make it to that level, so that was big news for field hockey. It was a shoot-out at the end, so it was a nail-biter.” It was not always easy to follow through on her plan. “I remember it was a lot to have to go meet with [college] coaches,” Erhardt said. “That was really scary as a freshman, to have to be calling an Ivy League school coach and trying to talk myself up. But then, every year that I kept doing it, it got easier, and I started making connections with people. It definitely got easier as I went, but also the rejection was really hard; as a sophomore, having schools just being like, ‘We don’t really want you,’ and having to be like, ‘Alright, it will work out in the end,’ and that I’d end up where I was supposed to be.” However, rejection did not mean the end of the world. “I knew that if a school was rejecting me, then it wasn’t the right fit anyway,” Erhardt said. Erhardt did not make her journey alone.

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She received guidance from her sister and her travel coach to help her through the process. “My older sister played field hockey in college, so she had just gone through the process a couple years before,” Erhardt said. “She was really helpful, and a good role model.” Cox, played a role as well. “She just has connections in the field hockey world, so she would help me go to tournaments where I could get seen.” Erhardt does not plan on quitting field hockey anytime soon. She has plans to play for Madison and Lee University in Lexington, Va. “I’m going to play field hockey there, but I don’t know what I’m going to study,” Erhardt said. She has wanted to play in college since she was a freshman in high school. Erhardt has not only enjoyed playing field hockey, but she has also learned important lessons from it. “I think I’ve learned a lot about hard work and dedication,” Erhardt said. “Getting recruited for a collegiate field hockey team was a really long and stressful process. It was a three-year process, but in the end it all worked out.”


Callie Krawcke (far right) in a group huddle with teammates before the start of a field hockey game. “I get really happy when we win,” Krawcke said. “I just feel proud of myself.“

Thirteen Years and Many Memories

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ISABEL ESPINOSA

Senior Callie Krawcke reflects on her field hockey career that began when she was only five. BY SOPHIA SCARNECCHIA

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t the tender age of five years old, small yet ecstatic Callie Krawcke stepped onto the short cut grass for her first day of field hockey; the sports program took place at her elementary and middle school, Honey Creek. At the time, she was in first grade, a year younger than her school recommended. However, she was still allowed to play on the team because of the small number of members at the time. Today, Krawcke is a senior at Community High School, who previously played field hockey for Skyline High School. “My school was pretty small, but so was I,” Krawcke said. “My parents were both surprised that I wanted to be on a sports team. Neither one of them had ever done sports, so they were pretty shocked to find out I wanted to do one.” Her parents also didn’t know she was going to do the sport for 13 years. “After I finished middle school, I continued doing field hockey but at Skyline,” Krawcke said. Krawcke was encouraged to stay in the sport from the close relationships she made with her teammates. “I loved them, and the fact that without them you just couldn’t win,” Krawcke said. “You couldn’t do anything without any of the other people around you. I just loved being around everybody, even if I was really frustrated with someone, we could only figure it out.”

When Krawcke started playing for Skyline, there was a couple new differences. In high school sports, teams are divided into groups based off genders. Meaning she could no longer play field hockey with some of the males she used to. At Krawcke’s previous school, there was no sex divide between teams. “It was a little hard because some of those guys I knew since I was young,” Krawcke said. In the U.S., there are over 1.5 million Americans over the age of six who play field hockey. The majority of those players are female. “I really wish that some of those boys would [have] stay[ed] on the teams,” Krawcke said. “But when you reach a certain age, there’s pressure on you to quit; I think since mostly girls play the game, then they think it’s not manly enough.” Even though she’s seen her male teammates leave, she has also changed positions. Krawcke’s positioning went from defense to goalie; it happened when she started playing on her high school team. Krawcke was put in the position after their first goalie got injured and had to go to the hospital. “I got really nervous, because I didn’t know if I’d do well,” Krawcke said. “Sometimes if we lose a point or something, I usually take it out on myself. Sometimes I get upset at my team too, but they tell me it’s okay.”

Despite her 13-year-long period playing field hockey, Krawcke’s student athlete career came to an end in the fall of 2017. Krawcke played her last field hockey game during the first semester of her senior year. “Our last game was so sad,” Krawcke said. “We lost by only one point.” If their team was able to win that last game, they would have been qualified to go to state championships. “At the end, me and the other goalie ran to each other with our arms open for a hug,” Krawcke said. “When we did, we started to cry.” Even though Krawcke is done with playing on a team for a while, she will be coaching Skyline’s field hockey team next season. “I’m excited,” Krawcke said. “I get to be involved with my favorite sport and boss people around. Those are my favorite things to do.” “If you want to join a sports team, just try it,” Krawcke said. “You don’t have to like it — just try it. If you don’t like it, then it’s not the sport for you. But, I highly recommend trying it, even if you don’t get the hang of things. Keep at it for two weeks. If you’re still struggling, just stick with it or you can choose to move on, but I highly recommend sticking with it. You get to be with great people, and that’s what can make you stick [with it]. I know it did for me.”

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Climbing His Way to the Top Community High School freshman Hobbs Kessler climbs to 10th place, achieving his goal, at the National Climbing Competition in Salt Lake City. BY ELI HAUSMAN

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fter competing in Salt Lake City for the rock climbing nationals, Hobbs Kessler, our very own Community High School (CHS) Rainbow Zebra, placed 10th — noncoincidentally his goal for the year after placing 22nd in nationals last year. He improved 12 spots over the course of a year. He claims he only does strength and conditioning two times a week with weight workouts. But with improvement like that, it’s hard to believe such a thing. “[My friends and family] didn’t really react much [for my placing],” Kessler said. “Some did better and some did worse, so it doesn’t really matter.” Rock climbing, unlike many sports, is very competitive, but lacks the unsportsmanlike attitudes. “There are very few jerky attitudes,” Kessler said. “Everyone is a good sport.” It is a very accepting sport and the parents are supportive of everyone, not only their [own] child.

Kessler has been climbing from a young age. Inspired by his parents, he started climbing at Planet Rock, a climbing gym on Jackson Ave in Ann Arbor, Mich. His whole family climbs; his parents have been climbing for 20 years. His younger sister also climbs with him. Kessler has been competing at nationals for years. He competes in sport climbing and bouldering. Bouldering is a climb that is less than 50 feet and is without ropes. Sport climbing does use ropes, and has no limit to the size of the climb. Kessler is a climber at Planet Rock; they have a climbing team that Hobbs competes for. Hobbs loves to climb, mountain bike, and run. One of the things that is great about CHS is that there are so many different interests. Nobody is mean or down-putting if they dislike the other person’s interests; everyone accepts other people’s happiness and respects one another. That is one of the attractive qualities about CHS.

Kessler climbing Kaleidoscope in Red River Gorge, KY in the fall of 2016. He went with his dad, who is also a climber. Kessler considers this climb to be one of his hardest climbs at the time he did it.

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A Risk Worth Taking

El Harissa’s display case is full of colorful and healthy specialties. Sue Thomas, co-owner, says some of their most popular dishes are Tabboulah, Tunisian salad, and their Spice Roasted Cauliflower. There is also a case full of specialty gelato including flavors such as mango, crisp apple, pomegranate, dulce de leche, green tea, and more.

Five years in, local restaurant El Harissa is still running strong. BY JOSHUA CALDWELL

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he North African and Mediterranean vibes can easily be felt in El Harissa. The friendly and low-key environment allows people to read, study, or have a nice conversation. “We made a lot of things ourselves. We made the shelves, and we reuse and repurpose a lot of things,” said Sue Thomas, who co-owns El Harissa with her husband. “We used Maker Works, which is a makerspace to make all the shelving and tops for all the counters. We did all the work ourselves like painting, fixing the floor, fixing the machines, making the signs, pretty much everything.” “The risks were huge,” Thomas said. “I believe 4 percent of all businesses started in 2011 made it to their second year. For us to be in our fifth year is pretty remarkable.” The risks of owning a restaurant, and not to mention a market, are huge. Sue Thomas and her husband scraped together enough money to buy everything they needed. “We found money through our own savings, [and] friends lent us money,” Thomas said. “So in your first year, you have to pay all that back. You also have to make enough to pay your staff…We work here ourselves,

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and if we had to pay other people to do what we do, that would be a huge expenditure. So our hard work made it possible to stay and keep going.” “El Harissa attracts a wide variety of people,” Thomas said. El Harissa has a variety of North African and Mediterranean dishes that give people with food allergies options as well. “Everybody has their favorites. We have lots of vegan and gluten free options,” Thomas said. “[One] of the most popular dishes [is] the Chicken Chermoula, because it’s so tender,” Thomas said. “Some people also like the spiciness of the Chicken Tagine. Some people love the lamb and beef meatballs. Other people who don’t eat meat love the mushrooms, the cauliflower, and we sell a lot of tabbouleh and a lot of homemade hummus. My husband makes hummus fresh everyday.” Owning a restaurant in Ann Arbor and having it succeed is incredible. According to MLive.com, eight major restaurants that had been open for years closed in Ann Arbor in 2017. Ann Arbor is a very food-based town packed with restaurants. El Harissa is

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in its fifth year and still thriving, receiving glowing reviews. “Crazy Wisdom has written about us a few times, and also the Ann Arbor Observer,” Thomas said. “Another magazine called Current came and recommended food for picnicking in the summer.” El Harissa has a gelato bar, market, and a window of dishes to choose from. “I have a little local section in our little market, and I have cards that our customers make that are artists and photographers,” Thomas said. “I am happy to sell their work. We have things we bought in Tunisia and sell here, and also some things that our customers make, like potters who make cups and mugs, jewelry. So I’m happy to sell anything I like, and can tell people where it’s made and who makes it. I think that’s the same thing with our food. We can tell you everything that goes into it and who made it.” Thomas and her husband have created a friendly and original environment for customers to eat, read, or chat in. The room is filled with North African and Mediterranean vibes. El Harissa’s locally renowned gelato is the perfect way to end a perfect meal.


ART BY RAFAEL DEJESUS

The Only Case in Michigan Rafael DeJesus serves life in prison for a first-time offense. BY OJANIS FROMETAS-CANALES

On Aug. 12, 1993, Rafael DeJesus was arrested at a Burger King on Michigan Ave. in Grand Rapids, Mich. He participated in a drug transaction of three ounces of cocaine with two other people involved. Rafael was blamed by others involved for the cocaine that was found. The laws made it more difficult for DeJesus because there was mandatory minimum sentencing. This means that for a specific amount of an illegal substance there was a minimum of a 20-year sentence. Rafael was sentenced 60 to 100 years for a first non-violent drug offense with no criminal background. When he was sentenced, DeJesus had no surrounding family at the time and he had no financial resources to hire an attorney. He had moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic when he was 15 years old and lived in the Bronx, New York with a single mother and his sister. He graduated high school and continued his education at Bronx Community College where he excelled in baseball. Going into his sophomore year at Bronx Community College,

he decided to leave New York due to personal reasons and relocated to Grand Rapids, Mich. in order to secure employment. 25 years later, DeJesus is currently serving his mandatory minimum sentence at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, Mich. DeJesus has taken advantage of his time by completing multiple certifications in vocational trades and currently is completing his bachelor degree in the program of Calvin College. DeJesus has also been a successful artist. Through his artwork he expresses his emotions and creates a picture that tells the story for itself. Another one of his accomplishments is that he has successfully trained two service dogs for the blind and currently on his third dog through a program called Prison Puppies, which is supported by Leader Dogs for the Blind. He uses his knowledge about service dogs and teaches other inmates about what it takes to train them. It’s hard to believe and understand why someone with so much talent would be deprived of his freedom. According to DeJe-

sus’s sister, Bernice Albright, his case is the only one in Michigan with this harsh drug charge sentencing. Albright made clear points about his case after going through many different cases. “Yes, this is the only case,” Albright said. “I have gone through over 200 hundred cases. Actually I am going to ask directly to see if anybody can find any other case like this in the state of Michigan. So far the drug law charges, at least on the 2012 list or 2010 list, I have not seen anybody with those charges.” The bottom line is that the law does not exist anymore. When he commited the crime, it was simply a bad choice in making quick money, but DeJesus didn’t know what the consequences would be. Albright will continue to work her hardest to free her brother. She has reached out to many individuals and is getting people to sign petitions. Albright believes that DeJesus’s freedom will come soon.

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The Colors of Sound

Rashmi “MYNA” Pandian sits on the steps of the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, Mich. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANURIMA KUMAR

MYNA’s new album “ROY G BIV” radiates colors of empowerment and cultural beauty. BY iO SOUCY

After two years, Rashmi Meenakshi “MYNA” Pandian released “ROY G BIV” on Feb. 28, 2018 on Soundcloud, recorded and produced with The Neutral Zone. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Mich., MYNA has created an album from the ground up that discusses about culture, substance abuse, and female empowerment. With vibes of Jhene Aiko, SZA, and Amel Larrieux, the album consists of seven songs, all having very different meanings. The opening song, “Red,” is about sexual abuse and drug abuse. With aspects of both subjects intertwined, “Red” resulted in being the most challenging song topic to work with. “That was the song that held me back for the longest time from releasing the album,” MYNA said. “I felt like no one really talks about sexual abuse and the violence and toxicity that comes with it. No one is saying stuff like that, because it’s real.” As far as finding the concept for the album, MYNA found the theme in an interesting fashion. She has a condition called color synesthesia where one associates concepts and numbers with distinct colors. Through this condition, she finds hidden meanings within certain colors and concepts. In the summer between her junior and senior year of high school, MYNA and her boyfriend King Ogundipe spent a lot of time together writing songs and experimenting with music. She started to experience things she had never seen or felt before, resulting in her color synesthesia becoming magnified and sparking epiphanies. This moment was the raw inspiration for her album, “ROY G BIV.” “I noticed the way light reflects, and refracts, and retracts, and shines,” MYNA said. “I found hidden meanings within each 30

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of the colors. When I hear songs, I see a color and I feel a color. A song could be violet and in my albums case, [‘Violet’] is about culture and coming from the Indus Valley; that whole concept is very violet to me.” Throughout her soulful album, MYNA sings and raps her way through heartache and trauma, culture and female empowerment. All of these concepts are associated with a distinct color. The song “Orange” is the second song off of the album. The song talks about how hard it is to be an empowered female within the patriarchal society that has formed throughout our current society. “To me, orange is very vibrant, open, and outrageous,” MYNA said. “Well, how outrageous is it for a woman to declare power? That’s insane, especially in this world. We live in a patriarchal society where men want things to be done a certain way, and they want to take stuff from a women. The most precious thing that we got is between our legs.” Being an Asian American woman has influenced her music and how she wants to be viewed by the world, especially by other musicians. The pride of her culture and ethnicity shines through songs like “Heal (Indigo)” and “Valley Girl (Violet).” Growing up with Indian parents and surrounded by Indian culture, MYNA has been exposed to both Eastern and Western philosophies throughout her entire life. She was enrolled in singing classes until she was 11 years old, which amplified her love of music and her culture. As she got older, she noticed the lack of Western Asian representation in media. She then turned to hip-hop artists, noticing that there were similarities between cultures.

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“We don’t see anyone on TV that looks like us, that talks like us, that eats our food,” MYNA said. “Then you look at hip-hop: okay, those guys kind of look a little bit like me with their dark skin tones. They faces injustices just as my people do. That’s kind of relatable.” Since MYNA had few media role models that he could relate to when she was growing up, she is making it her goal to be the artist that young Asian Americans can relate to when developing themselves. “Hip-hop has kind of influenced me, and being Indian itself makes me want to bring that kind of different layer into music without it being cultural exploitation,” MYNA said. “I see people appropriate my culture all the time and they think it’s okay. You see people wear bindis and henna, but for some reason, they don’t consider it cultural appropriation. They say, ‘It’s just fun. Get over it.’ That’s why I wanna be that face.” Because the album took two years to put together and produce, MYNA faced other hindering issues that many youth face when growing older: inability to take criticism, relationship problems, mental illness symptoms, and not knowing what to do after high school. Originally, the album was supposed to be released in the winter of 2016. Two years of learning and maturing later, “ROY G BIV” has had an incredible amount of thought, work, and knowledge put into it that wouldn’t have been there before. The two years of developing has given it a certain uniqueness ranging from the song structure to the song lyrics. The next time you’re in need of some inspiration like no other, “ROY G BIV” is available now on Soundcloud for listening.


Chris Buhalis, folk musician, sings and plays Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.” Buhalis has been playing this particular song for years. “‘This Land is Your Land’ is the first song I could ever really play and sing at the same time,” Buhalis said. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ETHAN GIBBS-RANDALL

Life of Folk

Folk musician Chris Buhalis speaks on his experiences playing folk music, Woody Guthrie’s in particular. BY CHARLES SOLOMON

The classroom was silent. The sun poured through the bank of windows, illuminating the crowded room. Some of the students within, too many for the limited desks, sat on poufs and cushions. Suddenly, the silence was broken. A guitar chord played, breaking the quiet with the soft sounds of music. The music slowly swelled and grew, coalescing into the famous, longtime favorite “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie. Singing and playing up front was Chris Buhalis, who is both a folk musician and home remodeler. He’s been playing Guthrie’s music for decades. “Woody... kind of blew up the whole idol thing for me,” Buhalis said. “Although not completely, because I never got to meet him.” Buhalis first started playing and singing folk music, especially Guthrie’s, when he was in his 20s. His long-lasting interest began one summer when he and his friend went to Alaska and spent the summer camping out in a tent. “In that time period there were people that were camped around us...” Buhalis said. “And what we did was we sat around a campfire and played guitar and sang songs. That really cemented the deal for me.” For Buhalis, there is one thing in partic-

ular that resonates with him about Guthrie’s music. “His view on justice and his view on America, how he wanted America to live up to its promises,” Buhalis said. He believes he and Guthrie cared about the same kinds of things. Despite his interest in Guthrie, Buhalis doesn’t consider him some sort of “perfect guy” like many do. “Woody was not a perfect guy,” Buhalis said. “I mean, he abandoned his family.” Guthrie isn’t a “hero” or anything to Buhalis — just a regular guy. Guthrie’s songs, however, are special to Buhalis. “‘This Land is Your Land’ is the first song I could ever really play and sing at the same time, so that’s always a special thing for me,” Buhalis said. Although Guthrie is his favorite musician, Buhalis doesn’t play or listen to just his songs. He listens to genres such as jazz, rock and roll, and Motown; he plays his own tunes as well as other folk musicians’. In fact, it was others’ music who first led him to Guthrie’s. As an young adult, he was into Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen was influenced by Bob Dylan and Guthrie. This influence is what led Buhalis to Guthrie. “Folk music branches that way, so I just... followed it back,” Buhalis said. Even if he listens to other genres, though,

Buhalis really only plays folk music. He likes this genre — Guthrie’s genre — in particular because of its intimacy. He feels that in styles such as pop and jazz, you can start to fade into the background and hide mistakes. “But when you’re out there by yourself, it’s like working without a net, but it also makes this human connection,” Buhalis said. Making a human connection is something Buhalis has certainly done over his musical career. His affiliation with folk music has allowed him to make friends around the country and the world. “I have this whole network of friends that I’ve met through music,” Buhalis said. For instance, when most people visit another state, they’d stay at a hotel. Buhalis, however, can almost always find a friend or contact to stay with. Buhalis’s special interest in Woody Guthrie has drawn a certain set of musical friends. “There’s an extended Woody Guthrie family of which I’m a part,” Buhalis said. “I’ve known Woody’s sister [Mary Jo] for 20 years, but it was funny, a couple of months ago I got this Facebook request from a 95-year-old and I was like ‘Mary Jo Facebook?’ It’s pretty funny. But it’s pretty awesome.” |

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From 1999 to 2018: BY JOSH MARTINS-CAULFIELD

M

arci Tuzinsky sighed and looked up the three stories she had to climb to get to her classroom. She was not sure if she was ready to face the solemn faces of her students as she explained the unthinkable tragedy that had occured the day before. It was April 21, 1999, the day after two shooters walked into Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, and killed thirteen people before killing themselves. Marci Tuzinsky remembers exactly where she was when she first heard about Columbine: her classroom. She also remembers the intense reaction it had brought out of her. Tuzinsky sighed again, and began the climb up the path to healing. Almost 20 years later, on Feb. 14, 2018, a shooter walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and killed 17 people. Tuzinsky remembers exactly where she was when she heard about Parkland: a staff meeting, where she received a text from a teacher that said, “take a look at this.” She remembers not bringing it up during the meeting, going home, sleeping on it, and coming back to school the next day. Columbine was a career and life-shaping event for Tuzinsky, and millions of Americans. Tuzinsky was devastated for months after April 20, 1999. However, after years of being left devastated by shootings, Parkland didn’t hit her as hard. “If I were to be 100 percent honest, and this doesn’t make me feel good to admit, my reaction wasn’t as strong or as deep as Columbine,” Tuzinsky said. The problem is desensitization, according to Tuzinsky. Tuzinsky believes that especially in the age of social media, where “it’s all in your face,” overexposure to everything — not just tragedies — is becoming a big problem. According to Darren Simon of CNN, there have already been 12 school shootings in only the first nine weeks of 2018 — The Everytown U.S.A. Research study that showed 18 shootings in the same amount of time, that went viral on social media, was misleading because it accounts for all gun related incidents at school property, including after school hours. When tragedy after tragedy happens without a clear end in sight, and especially with minimal action, it’s hard to feel the same gut-wrenching reaction to every tragedy. It hurts. It hurts every time. But with shooters breaking record after record, exasperation begins to set in. The other part of why Columbine, according to Tuzinsky, was much more impactful on her immediate psyche than Parkland was because of the rarity of shootings before and after Columbine. According to Maggie Astor of The New York Times, in the seven years after Columbine, there were zero school shootings. Today, America would be lucky to go seven weeks without a school shooting. However, Tuzinsky is not more concerned about her school than usual. Growing up with a mother who was an educator and a father who was the leader of the first Washtenaw County SWAT team, her childhood was far from normal. “Maybe that’s how I became a dean,” Tuzinsky said, laughing. Her childhood consisted of regular mock fire drills in her house, complete with climbing out windows and stopping, dropping, and rolling. Tuzinsky used what her parents taught her in her response to the Parkland shooting. As the dean of her school, she oversees all of the school’s safety measures. After an event like this, she does not feel any more anxious about her school than normal, because her parents raised her to always be prepared. “I was brought up to be aware,” Tuzinsky said. “I feel like what makes you feel anxious or scared is when you don’t feel prepared.” For example, the week after the Parkland shooting, all of Commu-

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A Story of Hope, Devastation, and Activism nity’s doors were locked after 8 a.m. Also, to be let into the school, everyone is now required to press a button on an intercom with a camera. Of the great tragedies in the last decade of American history, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, where a shooter killed 27 elementary school students and teachers, was one of the worst. The shooter killed 20 elementary school children. It seemed like this nation’s best shot at gun control was then, but it was killed without ceremony after the former Vice President Joe Biden failed to get the votes necessary to pass a bill to increase gun control. The bill increased background checks, banned internet sales, and closed the infamous “gun show loophole” — where background checks do not need to be conducted and identification does not need to be verified for a buyer of a gun if the gun is bought at a gun show. However, Biden failed, and at the end of the news cycle, nothing was done. This time is different, according to Tuzinsky, because of one very important difference. “It’s the first time it’s been students,” Tuzinsky said. This time, the victims of the shooting, the Parkland students, are taking the responsibility upon themselves to provoke change. Before the responsibility could be placed on a Vice President, or any adult, the students seized it. Tuzinsky believes that this is because the students are being treated with more respect than adults in this situation. “For the most part, adults are being more respectful to the students’ voice, so they’re not being shut down right away,” Tuzinsky said. “I think people are afraid of being the idiot that silences students.” The students have traveled around the country giving interviews and challenging politicians, which has already led to change. Because of the media frenzy the students have kicked up, 17 companies have already

cut ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA), with potentially more to follow. Tuzinsky knows that the only way this was possible is because of social media. Even though, according to her, social media can ruin things by overexposing them to the public, the absence of social media is the reason why the students in Columbine could not make the difference the stu-

dents in Parkland are making. The Parkland shooting eclipsed the four week mark of being national news, and shows no sign of stopping. More important than that, however, is that students started a conversation. These conversations, and the chilling videos that came out from students inside the school that Tuzinsky hopes could not have desensitized anyone, made people reevaluate their stances, including Florida senator Marco Rubio. In a CNN town hall, Jake Tapper moderated a discussion where citizens close to the Parkland area and a group of student activists from the school asked questions to Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, Broward County sheriff Scott Israel, and Rep. Ted Deutch. In the town hall, Rubio came out in support of lifting the minimum age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21. President Trump at a bipartisan meeting also came out in support of a number of different positions closely aligned to comprehensive gun control — although he later stiffened his stance. This did not happen after Sandy Hook or Col-

umbine. The kids at Sandy Hook were too young to have a strong, national voice. The students at Columbine did not have a platform on the same level that these students have, because they did not have social media. However, changing the minds of politicians is not enough to change the law, as evidenced by no legislation being passed about gun safety since the shooting as of March 2018. Tuzinsky is hopeful that something will change, but is not certain if laws will pass. Is Congress capable of passing a law that will implement real change? “I hope so, but I have to be honest, I don’t know,” Tuzinsky said. “I haven’t seen a lot of evidence [that congress is capable].” The students’ physical accomplishments (not just changing minds or starting conversations) include organizing two national protests: the national student walkout on March 14, and the March for Our Lives on March 24. Using social media, many of the Parkland students started sharing both of these events, which led to students nationwide adopting their ideas. That is why Tuzinsky has conflicting feelings about social media. “When I said there’s a lot of negative stuff about media, there’s a lot of positive stuff about media too,” Tuzinsky said. Whether it is by social media or through protests, the most powerful tool that any citizen can have is using their voice, according to Tuzinsky. Messages can resonate across the country, and can inspire real change, not just talk. There’s still some way to go before that happens, but remaining hopeful, Tuzinsky believes, is a good way to bridge the gap. Most high school students cannot vote. According to Tuzinsky, that’s why it is not only their right, but the duty of those students to stand up and “make a fuss” about what they believe in. “Because it needs to be done. That’s part of being a citizen,” Tuzinsky said. |

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A Perfect

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300

A sound like thunder echoed through Rachel Hystad’s ears as she readied her bow to take her first shot. At the other end of the range, a target rested waiting to be pierced by rapid arrows. Her goal was to hit the Xs that marked the target.

Rachel Hystad was one of the roughly 2,000 people that gathered in Cincinnati, Ohio for the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) Indoor Nationals. Hystad is a senior at Community High School, and has been shooting since her father introduced her to archery when she was four years old. “He showed me the way,” Hystad said. “I finally got a better bow, I ended up hitting the target more, and now, every week that I’m with him, we shoot.” Last summer, Hystad and her father went to Billings, Mont. for the Big Sky State Games, in which she placed first. They also shot in a small local competition, which was more of a fun shoot than anything else for Hystad. More recently, Hystad competed in Junior Archery Nationals, where she placed second in her group, based on age, gender, and shooting style, and USA Nationals, where she placed third. However, one of Hystad’s favorite tournaments is in Cincinnati, in which she has competed twice. “The first time I went, I was really struggling,” Hystad said. “Last year, however, I ended up getting third, which is really im-

pressive for me. It really meant a lot to me to shoot third.” This was the best she had ever shot. Hystad scored a 297 on Saturday and 295 on Sunday. In archery, the most you can score is 300. Each day consists of twelve rounds of five arrows. In a round, you shoot your five arrows at a target in an attempt to hit the Xs. “If you hit the middle you get an X,” Hystad said. “If you miss the X, you can get a five, and if you miss the five you get a four, and so on.” After the round, your total score is based on this criteria. “Since [Cincinnati] is a two day tournament, you add your score up from Saturday to Sunday,” Hystad said. “If you do really well on both days you will probably do really well in your flight or overall.” Hystad scored her first 300 this year in Brighton, Mich. at the Metropolitan indoor NFAA Championship shoot. “I finally got my 300 with 50 Xs, and I was so proud of myself because there were so many struggles leading up to this,” Hystad said. Hystad put so much effort into shooting and building up her stamina to the point

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PHOTO COURTESY OF RACHEL HYSTAD

BY WM. HENRY SCHIRMER

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where she was finally able to score a 300. “Also, in that day, I lost my release and my arrows were falling apart, and it was really stressful, and I still somehow got a 300,” Hystad said. Like any other sport, archery has its own set of struggles. Hystad typically starts a competition with stress, but as she progresses in the competition she begins to relax, focusing in on her shooting. “It’s stressful being competitive because you are always shooting next to someone who could be potentially better than you,” Hystad said. Unlike other forms of archery — such as bowhunting, which Hystad also participates in — tournaments add a level of competitiveness. Hystad does not know what the future holds for her archery, but she knows it holds something. “I’m probably still going to compete and shoot because it is what I love to do,” Hystad said. No matter where she ends up, she still hopes to be shooting for that perfect 300.


Once a Job, Now a Passion

Don Harrison with his middle school bowling team, “The Pin Crushers.” Harrison is at the far left. PHOTO COURTESY OF DON HARRISON

Donald Harrison, “Commie High” documentary filmmaker, talks about the jobs he had in high school. BY MAX KLARMAN

Donald Harrison walked through the library toward an empty table. He grabbed a stack of past Community High yearbooks, searching for photos and information to capture with his portable scanner. A group of students came over to see what he was doing. Harrison is a filmmaker working on the feature-length documentary, “Commie High: The Film.” Unlike many kids today with their smartphones posting videos on a daily basis, Harrison didn’t start making films or videos in high school. He was busy doing something else. “I was raised to be a professional bowler,” Harrison said. Harrison started on a bowling league at the age of eight, with an average of 64 points per game. In high school, his average increased to 190 points. “I was one of the top bowlers,” Harrison said. When Harrison wanted to earn money, his father helped him get jobs at bowling alleys. Harrison took out the trash, emptied ashtrays, and cleaned the overhead projectors. “I had to change the ice in the urinals because [it was] a fancy bowling alley,” Harrison said. “At the second bowling alley, I was cleaning and fixing machines behind the lanes.” At some point, Harrison realized working at the bowling alley wasn’t very safe. “One of the guys who been there a long time started telling me stories of various bones getting crushed by the machinery,” Harrison said. When a job at a tennis racquet shop

opened up, Harrison wanted it, but he wasn’t qualified. “My dad knew the store owner, and we led them to think I knew how to restring racquets,” Harrison said of how he acquired the job. Luckily, another employee taught him how to do it. For two years during high school, Harrison strung racquets in the Detroit suburbs. “I think working in the bowling alley taught me an appreciation for hard work, and to be humble,” Harrison said. “I don’t know that too many other skills beyond that translated.” “Stringing rackets, on the other hand, [involved] lots of problem solving,” Harrison said. At the bowling alley he was paid minimum wage ($4.25 per hour), but at the racquet shop he was paid $4.00 per racquet. Harrison became fast enough to string two racquets an hour, which earned him almost twice minimum wage. Harrison even imagined this could be his future. “I took it really seriously as a craft,” Harrison said. “I studied it, and for a while I thought I was going to get certified and follow the pro tour. That was going to be my career: the fastest racquet stringer in the world.” Instead, Harrison went to the University of Michigan, and got a bachelor’s degree in social psychology. The first idea that motivated Harrison to try filmmaking was when his father went to a national bowling convention in Reno. “I thought right then and there — I never made a movie in my life — I should totally go to the national bowling convention, and

I should film it,” Harrison said. While Harrison didn’t end up making the bowling convention film, he did become a filmmaker. He went on to teach filmmaking classes at the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and The Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor. He also served as Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival from 2008–2012. “I’m a social researcher by nature, and I tend to come from a documentary perspective of exploring the world,” Harrison said. “I found that with the camera it’s a great way to do that, and to go back to interpret it.” Bowling is still important to him, too. “I run the super sweet bowling league, and it’s been really fun watching these cross sections of our community get to know each other.” Harrison’s hopes for the future include “continuing to work with clients and my own projects, where I get to meet people that I really connect with,” Harrison said. “So much of [my work] is about the process and the relationship. In many ways the film, the final product, is the tip of the iceberg.” His message to students seems to sum up Harrison’s life. “Go explore the world, learn about yourself. Know who you are, what you’re good at, what your weaknesses are, the kinds of people you do better with. Set yourself up in the right situation around the right people to be successful and happy. And then do your best.”

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John Boshoven sits in his office at Community High School. After working numerous jobs across the district, Boshoven finally landed at Community, where he has worked for 20 years. PHOTOGRAPHY BY NEIL BEVERIDGE

A Counselor’s Story

John Boshoven talks school, motivation, and the life of a counselor. BY LINDEN KRONBERG

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or the past 20 years, John Boshoven has been a defining element at Community High; perpetually flashing cheerful smiles and cracking jokes, Boshoven is as quintessential to the ‘Community Experience’ as lunches in Kerrytown and the senior spork game. However, despite his incredible influence in the lives of Community students, both passive and active, many students’ interactions with Boshoven are

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limited to school events and junior meetings preceding college applications. Boshoven’s role at Community extends far beyond the college search, however. Fully grasping the position Boshoven commands on a daily basis would be impossible without taking a look at his past – specifically, what lead him to become a counselor. Boshoven always knew he had a great capacity for listening: such was evident

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through his various interactions with his roommates in college. “I was up late at night, sitting on the floor, talking with everybody that was in the dorms about life,” Boshoven said, recalling his undergraduate days. “Somebody was on the floor telling me all their problems and I was listening to them. And my R.A., resident advisor, walked by, and he said to me, ‘You ever wonder why God gave us one


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mouth and two ears?’ And I said ‘No, Leo, I’ve never wondered about that.’ He says, ‘It’s twice as hard to listen as it is to talk. And you’re a very good listener. We need more of those.’ I didn’t then run out and decide to be a counselor. But those words always were sort of prophetic.” However, Boshoven had never considered capitalizing upon his gift for use as a therapist or other similar roles. Instead, he was following the Pre-Law track at the University of Michigan. “I was going to get my MBA — that’s what my mother wanted my to do,” Boshoven said. “So I could make a whole bunch of money.” During the summer following his freshman year, however, Boshoven had a change of heart. “I did work for a youth organization, which involved a lot of counseling, but all I had was a B.A. in Political Science and History,” Boshoven said. “So one day a kid came up to me and told me he wanted to commit suicide, and I said, ‘Well, don’t do that. Please. Don’t do that.’ I thought, ‘How do I help this kid?’ I didn’t have any training. So then I said, ‘I’ve got to get trained or something here.” Boshoven immediately dialed up the School of Education at University of Michigan, switched his academic focus, and began working towards a B.A. in School Counseling. “I didn’t want to screw up somebody’s life by not knowing what to say when somebody said they’re going to kill themselves,” Boshoven said. Upon graduating with his bachelor’s, Boshoven enrolled in grad school, and joined the workforce a couple years later with his first master’s. From there, he began work with a mental health crisis organization, but went back to school to get his Master’s in Social Work (MSW) four years later. Better equipped to help those in need of mental health assistance and counseling, Boshoven began working for the U of M hospital, doing outpatient counseling for burn victims. After a couple years of work for the University, he switched careers yet again, and found work as a disease prevention and outreach counselor through the St. Joseph Mercy Health System. “My résumé looks like I can’t hold a job,” Boshoven said jokingly. “Lots of stops along the way. It has been a fun sailboat ride.” Everything changed when a friend who worked for Ann Arbor Public Schools called Boshoven about an opening as a counselor at a middle school. “And I said, ‘Well, I’ve never thought about that,’” Boshoven said. “‘What would that entail?’ And she says, ‘Well, I can tell you one thing it entails: summers off.’ And I thought, ‘Well, I was just starting a young family, I had little kids,’ and I thought, ‘Well, it’d be kind of neat to have a schedule that matched my kids schedules.’” With his family and experiences counseling youth through summer programs in mind, Boshoven took a job at Clague Middle School for four years before moving to

I just love working...I love the fact that every day is different, every hour is different. The last student that came in here, we did her schedule change. The next kids going to come in - who knows! With a crisis, with a problem, with an idea, with a...who knows what!

Slauson Middle School, where he would continue working for yet another four years. “I loved working with middle school kids... So I thought I was going to be a middle school counselor forever,” Boshoven said. However, despite his original intentions, Boshoven soon found himself changing schools yet again in 1998, this time moving up to the high school level. “The administration was changing,” Boshoven said. “And so I wasn’t as comfortable with the principals I was working with. So I was looking around for an opening, and the principal that I most wanted to work for didn’t have an opening, but the counseling position here opened up, and I knew some people that worked here, and so I asked them about this job.” The transfer brought a whole new set of responsibilities upon Boshoven. In addition to helping teens cope with the challenges of adolescence and whatever personal situations they may find themselves in, he was also responsible for helping them make the transition to college life. Initially, the challenge seemed daunting; it quickly grew on the new counselor, however. “I just love working... I love the fact that

every day is different, every hour is different,” Boshoven said. “The last student that came in here, we did her schedule change. The next kids going to come in — who knows! With a crisis, with a problem, with an idea, with a... Who knows what!” As with all jobs, there are some downsides; administration, paperwork, and coordination district-wide meetings with the other counselors are some of aspects of being a counselor that Boshoven finds slightly unappealing. However, he does not let them distract him from his work, if you could call it that; indeed, if the old adage holds true, Boshoven truly has not worked a single day of the last 20 years. The challenges Boshoven faces on a daily basis are difficult, but in his eyes, there is no better job in the world. “The teachers just love kids, again, it’s just a very positive, optimistic place to work,” Boshoven said. “The hours are good, the summer schedule is good for families, so its just got a lot to offer. Salary isn’t tremendous, but it’s not bad. You’re not going to drive a Lexus, but do you really need to have a Lexus?”

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ADULT ADHD

Debunking the myths about ADHD. BY AJAY WALKER

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itting in the campus library, weighed down by a heavy workload, unable to stay organized wondering, “what is wrong with me?” This was the college experience of both Jeffrey Walker and Chloe Root. Walker is now a software engineer at Detroit Diesel, and Root is a social studies teacher at Community High School. They have a lot in common: they both grew up with parents who were mental health professionals; they both knew someone close to them who was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) at a young age; and they did not realize they had — and did not start treatment for — ADHD until they were adults. ADHD is often considered a childhood disorder, and most resources for it are directed towards parents who have a child with the disorder, even though it is something most people cannot grow out of, and will inevitably stay an adult with ADHD. “I’ve heard some people say their child grew out of ADHD, or they knew someone who got better when they got older, but then you wonder if they were correctly diagnosed,” Sandra Wong, PhD, a school psychologist said. “I think more likely someone may learn to deal with their symptoms and learn strategies to get what they need done.” This and other misconceptions can make ADHD much harder to deal with, or even realize you are dealing with it. “SMART KIDS DON’T HAVE ADHD” Children who are considered smart can get overlooked when it comes to being diagnosed with ADHD. “A person with higher intelligence may be able to mask some of their symptoms because some tasks come easily to them and so they are functioning well in their envi-

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ronment,” Wong said. This was the case with Root, who did well in school and felt like she was being challenged appropriately, but had a difficult time staying organized and focused. “‘Chloe does everything!’ instead of, ‘Chloe can’t focus on any one thing,’” Root said. Walker had a similar experience: “I had a very wide range of grades depending on how much interest I had in the given subject,” Walker said. “I had every single grade from E to A+.” Both were chalked up to disorganization, laziness, or lack of discipline due to both Walker and Root being intelligent. “I thought of [ADHD] as being something [that] people who struggled with couldn’t do well in school,” Root said. The idea that smart people cannot have ADHD makes it harder for people who have it to get diagnosed. This leads to the feeling of failure when they cannot perform at the level they are expected to. “It affected my self-esteem, because I really thought that I was unorganized, undisciplined, immature, and unable to focus,” Walker said. “It really had a profound effect on me.” HYPERACTIVITY Hyperactivity is the hallmark symptom of ADHD, and often overshadows other symptoms or gets conflated with “acting out.” Or more accurately, acting out is conflated with hyperactivity. “Those who are acting out may likely be said to be hyperactive, but those who are hyperactive are not necessarily acting out,” Wong said. “These folks may just move around a lot, fidget with the hands or shake their legs constantly, but not be “acting out” (e.g. getting into trouble).” “I wasn’t a kid who was always getting

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into trouble,” Root said. She contrasted this with an ex-partner of hers who always got in trouble and was “not served well by the public school system,” as Root put it, who was diagnosed at a young age for this reason. This is the stereotype of ADHD, and while it is applicable to some children — those that act out due to a lack of stimulus or an overabundance of stimulus — it is a restrictive view of the disorder. This is especially prevalent because of the recent combination of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and ADHD, meaning that hyperactivity is no longer a necessary symptom for diagnoses. REALIZATION For people with ADHD, realizing they have it and getting the help they need can be a weight off their back. “I wish that I had [a diagnosis] before college and grad school, because I was always struggling with keeping up with the workload,” Root said. “I don’t think I’m lazy [anymore],” Walker said. “It makes a huge difference.” Being diagnosed as an adult can help people explain childhood struggles in school or realize that life with ADHD is not impossible; it does not have to rule your life. “I think people who have been diagnosed as an adult would probably look back on their childhood and say, ‘oh yeah, I did do ‘xyz’ when I was a child,’” Wong said. It can also help the people around them. Walker uses what he learned about ADHD and applies it to his family members with ADHD: his wife — who is looking into a diagnosis — his child, and his father. Root uses what she has learned to help her students who struggle with ADHD, or just struggle with school in general.


Forgotten Girls

Sorbie Richner stands on pier overlooking Lake Michigan in Good Hart, Mich. PHOTO COURTESY SORBIE RICHNER

BY ROXIE RICHNER

Sorbie Richner grew up constantly ruining family dinners. A normal conversation would quickly end with someone crying, yelling, or walking away. But she didn’t understand why. All she knew was that it was always deemed her fault. Beyond the dinner table, Richner’s interactions with peers often were similar. “They spoke a social language that I just didn’t understand,” Richner said. “I never knew how to interact with people. I knew I was doing it wrong, but I didn’t know why or how. It felt like everybody was keeping a secret from me.” This feeling of isolation sent Richner into a deep spiral of depression, resulting in multiple suicide attempts throughout middle school, high school, and eventually college. Diagnoses were thrown around left and right, ranging from bipolar disorder to anxiety. Borderline personality disorder was the diagnosis that doctors and Richner’s parents thought fit finally; Richner, on the other hand, fully doubted it. Continually, she was told from the people surrounding her to just try harder, to just apply herself, and to stop being confrontational — all of which were much easier said than done. Her actions were deemed as acts of rebellion. At age 21, Richner finally received the correct diagnosis: autism. It made perfect sense; it explained why she often felt ex-

treme sensory overload, why she didn’t understand when something was not ok to say, and why social interactions were overwhelming puzzles that could only be solved by people being very direct. But why did it take so long to diagnose? Nobody had been looking for the signs. Boys are about four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, but what that statistic truly means is hard to say. As is the case with heart attacks, symptoms of autism are thought by some researchers to be different in females versus males. Neuroscience studies indicate that autism presents itself differently in the female brain. While studying the skewed gender statistics, scientists studying ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), found that girls tend to be better at masking their symptoms to mimic being neurotypical. In recent years, researchers have also discovered that the method of diagnosing autism is biased toward men. As a result, may girls with autism that go undiagnosed struggle with their self-esteem, often leading to depression, and sometimes suicide. “When I was young, it wasn’t common to diagnose girls with autism,” Richner said. “That’s probably why a lot of girls with autism end up depressed or killing themselves — they don’t get the help they need.”

Autism, regardless of gender, is a fairly vague diagnosis. The term itself refers to a large group of complex disorders. The spectrum ranges from people who can go about daily living without assistance, and such as Richner, to people with very limited verbal, communicative, and cognitive abilities. Richner’s diagnosis with autism completely turned her life around. She is able to advocate for the accomodations she needs in her current college setting, and she is able to tell people that she is autistic, which helps to explain that her bluntness is not intentionally to be rude. It has helped her improve her existing relationships, and given her the chance to connect to other people with autism. “[If I had been born a boy], people would’ve been a lot more forgiving of my shortcomings,” Richner said. “Many of the things that I struggle with are okay for boys, like being too direct and blunt, or needing a lot of personal space.” But with the newfound freedom of finally feeling like she has answers, Richner is the happiest she has been in a long time. “As an autistic person, I would not be who I am if I were not autistic,” Richner said. “The most important thing that you can do is to just treat us like humans, and realize that every person with autism has their own specific needs; we’re all individuals.” |

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Terri Wilkerson is on the left, Jeff Iron Cloud on the right; They were both at the Standing Rock protests. Wilkerson called them a “celebration of stregnth and unity.” PHOTO COURTESY OF TERRI WILKERSON

They Didn’t Want the Truth to Get Out

Centuries of bloody history collided and created what we know as the Standing Rock protests, and Native Americans know as the never-ending ending fight for the most basic of human rights. BY GENEVE THOMAS-PALMER

In August of 2016, 55-year-old Jeff Iron Cloud packed his bags and left his construction job and his apartment in Denver, Colo. to drive nine and a half hours to North Dakota. He left after working at that job for eight months. He left with no expectations for what the next part of his life would bring. He left to join the Standing Rock Native American Sioux tribe in their camp to protect their water. For the next seven months, Iron Cloud spent his time keeping warm, praying with others in the camp, and protesting the establishment of the Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL, that would run directly through the southern point of Native American land. There were concerns that if the pipeline were to leak, crude oil would devastate both indigenous water sources, and culturally important land. This story is nothing new to many Americans. If anything, it could be considered old news. But many horrors, such as the brutality of law enforcement, lack of press coverage, and use of intimidation tactics that occured not only during the Standing Rock protests, but throughout history are consistently overlooked. During these protests, centuries of genocide, broken promises, and robbery of the most basic human rights came together to create Sacred Stone 40

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Camp, where American and indigenous people alike shared great triumph, and great loss. Iron Cloud was at Standing Rock from August, 2016, to February 2017. His neighbor whilst at living at camp was named Terri Wilkerson, a woman from Ann Arbor, Mich. “The more I saw civil rights abuses mounting, and saw how poorly the North Dakota government was treating people in the area and how poorly the media was getting the word out about what was really happening there,” Wilkerson said. “I just felt resolve to stay because I thought it wasn’t right.” Although there were several protesters using their phones to film their experiences on the front lines, Iron Cloud noticed a drop in the usage of videography to get the word out. “In the beginning people were trying to record it on their phones,” Iron Cloud said. “But they cut that off after a while. [The law enforcement] wouldn’t allow that information to be recorded. They didn’t want the truth to get out.” This begs the question, what truth was the law enforcement so determined to keep from being publicized? Wilkerson and Iron Cloud described the violent action taken by law enforcement during the protests, the inhumane way arrests were carried out, and

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how they used intimidation tactics and got the inside scoop on Sacred Stone camp. The unarmed protesters would take prayer walks, only to be attacked by dogs, hosed with high pressure water, or shot at with rubber bullets. This all occurred on what protesters came to know as, “the front line.” “There was a lot of the elderly also on the front line,” Iron Cloud said, “[Law enforcement] didn’t care who it was or their age. Every day we came in peace, and we was unarmed but yet we they would still have their dogs and their guns and their water cannons, and we were peaceful.” Wilkerson was aware of some of the arrests of Native Americans that were going on during her time at camp. “[They were] arresting [Indigenous people] in the middle of winter when it’s minus twenty outside and stripping them down to one single layer of clothing, putting them on unheated buses and putting them in animal cages when they get to where they’re going,” Wilkerson said. During the night, over 50 stadium lights shone down on camp to both prevent rest, and to intimidate the people in camp. Aircrafts also interrupted sleep. “There were planes that were flying low, much lower than the U.S. laws permitted, but they got away with it, so they were


Terri Wilkerson holds a rubber bullet. A woman lost her eyesight to one while protesting. Wilkerson says that “it’s very, very dense and solid and heavy, so when you get hit by one it hurts and causes at a minimum bruising.”

meant to intimidate people in the camp because we could not only hear them, we could feel them, just feel the, “puh puh puh puh puh puh etc.,” shaking your tent, the blades whirling around,” Wilkerson said. Not only did law enforcement use intimidation tactics, brutality, and barbaric arrests to dishearten the protestors, but they planted people of their own in the camp. “They also sent people into camp to be water protectors,” Wilkerson said. “They had entrenched themselves inside the camp as well.” An indigenous woman named Red Fawn was arrested. She was accused of firing a gun at the protests, a gun that belonged to her boyfriend. Her boyfriend was an ex-FBI agent. Red Fawn could face 20 years in prison. When asked why the law enforcement fought so hard to keep this information from getting out about what was going on at Standing Rock, Iron Cloud said, “They would get paid pretty good and they want the construction to happen because they was paid more so they would do anything and everything to keep the construction going.” This said construction was highly controversial not only because of the potential

Law enforcement has set up concrete barriers and traffic cones. The protestors they were trying to intimidate were unarmed, and were going on prayer walks. Wilkerson recalls seeing protestors coming back “traumatized and wounded.”

danger to the Standing Rock Reservation’s water source, but because of a rerouting that occured. “It [the pipeline] was rerouted south of Bismark to the cannonball North Dakota area, because of concerns about it leaking into the water,” Wilkerson said. “But somehow, magically when it crosses the river in the southern point there’s not the same concerns. You know, that’s just ridiculous.” All this “ridiculousness” was one year ago. So why should the American people care? The Dakota Access Pipeline has been built. Inhabitants of camp have dispersed. To the untrained eye, this fight may seem over. But this fight was forgotten before it was even finished. Our government did ridiculous things at Standing Rock. It has done ridiculous things to Native Americans before. And it will continue to do ridiculous things. “From the beginning,” Iron Cloud said, “They killed so many people. It was a bad relationship. And even today they’re not

following their treaties. They’re taking the land, they’re taking the water, and they said they would help us with our health care, our education, but they haven’t. And in a sense, that’s the same thing today.” This is a fight for the basic human rights of a group of people who were here before us, and it is far from over. If we forget the millions of slaughtered Native Americans, the treaties we broke and continue to break, if we turn a blind eye to the persecution of indigenous people today, what hope do we have of building a better future? Christopher Columbus is dead, but the mistreatment of Native Americans is not. I cannot ask you to find the bravery of Jeff Iron Cloud as he left his job, his apartment in Denver to help the Sioux, or of Terri Wilkerson, who left her home, her family in Ann Arbor, Mich. to stand up for the rights of Native Americans to clean water, but I can ask this of you: Never forget those who did find that bravery. Never forget Standing Rock. Camp at Standing Rock was sometimes subject to heavy flooding. It was a beautiful, complex place, and in the middle of nowhere. Wilkerson described how isolated they were there. “There was a slight bit of a hill and on that slight bit of a hill was the only place that you could sometimes get wifi connection.” Wilkerson said. “So camp was completely off the grid. We did have solar power and little bits of wind power as well. You could not count on your electronic devices to get in touch with people to text one another even within camp. So it was all on foot basically. We’d go back and forth on foot and get your exercises trying to track down the people and the things that you needed to get a job done.”

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Taking The Stage Kaleb Doughten-Priuska brings Schreiber Auditorium to its feet in his last FutureStars performance. He knows there will be many more stages in his future. BY RISHI NEMORIN

Kaleb Doughten-Priuska dances in a lyrical style. He gathers his inspiration from many different artists, one being Beyonce. “Just doing her and becoming something out of it is something I aspire to do,” Doughten-Priuska said. PHOTOGRAPHY BY GRACE JENSEN

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As Kaleb Doughten-Priuska, 18, stood on stage in Pioneer High School’s Schreiber Auditorium, his knees felt weak. The thunderous applause of almost 2,000 people filled the air as the fun and suspenseful night came to a close. Doughten-Priuska, a Community High School senior, along with Maya and Gigi Boyd, Pioneer High School sophomores, had won the 17th annual FutureStars competition. This is not the first time Doughten-Priuska has won this competition, but this win felt slightly different than the last. “It was a different dance, a different time in my life, a different feeling,” Doughten-Priuska said. “It was awesome.” Dancing alongside the Boyd twins, Doughten-Priuska performed to the song “Party” by Chris Brown, featuring Gucci Mane and Usher. The trio divided the song into three parts for each artist, and met to choreograph the dance over winter break into the middle of January. Even with only a total of four scheduled rehearsals, the trio produced an amazing performance that captivated the audience. “[Maya and Gigi] are so very professional, so there was not a lot of needing to go back and fix things,” Doughten-Priuska said. Doughten-Priuska’s professional attitude was developed at the young age of two, when his parents decided to enroll him in dance classes at Dance Theatre Studio. “I was a very energetic two-year-old, and my parents were like, ‘you need to go into dance,’ because every time they played music in the house I would get up on the couch and literally throw it back,” Doughten-Priuska said, laughing hysterically. As he got older, Doughten-Priuska decided to dance with a several different companies at once to push himself. He started dancing with Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre in fourth grade, and just last year started dancing with Ann Arbor Dance Classics. The years of dedication to his art form paid off when he was crowned winner of Future Stars for the second time. “I think that the most exciting feeling was doing that dance for Schreiber sold out just because it was a party,” Doughten-Priuska said. “The whole stage was just jumping and the audience reciprocated. It was easier to dance with a crowd that was so supportive.” The crowd was not the only thing giving him positive vibes. He gives the people he surrounds himself with a lot of credit. “Everyone was so supportive: the coaches, my best friends, my brother,” Doughten-Priuska said. “So just really the people I keep closest to me support me and have been my supporters, and that’s why I keep them close. Those are just the kind of friends you want to have.” He’s hoping his hardwork will pay off in the next couple months as he hears from New York University, his top choice school for dance. Doughten-Priuska has set the bar high for himself, but knows that this is the path that he wants to pursue as a profession. “Whatever I’m doing, I’ll be dancing next year,” Doughten-Priuska said. “I want to dance for the rest of my life. I want to keep inspiring others to dance. I want to keep performing. Whatever I’m doing after I leave high school will be dancing.”


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Quality Quantity From the SAT to the ACT, standardized tests are a reality of nearly two million students in the United States. The question becomes, how are students paying for these tests? BY MIRA SIMONTON-CHAO

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eeting with hundreds of students on the yearly, if not monthly, Community High School guidance counselor John Boshoven advises students at Community High School on anything from how to study for standardized tests to how to ask your grandmother for money for college. He is an all-encompassing-encyclopedia of college knowledge, and one that Community students are able to access for free. Some of Boshoven’s advice is so simple, however, that many students don’t want to hear it. One of the most common questions Boshoven is asked pertains to the highly anticipated standardized tests. From the ACT to the SAT, standardized tests are a reality for over 1.7 million students (according to College Board). These tests are, at a minimum, four hours long and evaluate student’s English, math, reading, writing, and, in the case of the ACT, science as well. They are not structured like the everyday tests students take in class, and because of that, require specialized studying. Many students have trouble grasping that. “I hear from a lot of students, ‘I just don’t do those standardized tests very well,’” Boshoven said. “So, it’s kind of like me saying to you, ‘I don’t play the harp very well.’ What would you suggest I do if I asked what I should do? Practice — so practice. That would be the same with a sports team or physical theater group — practice is going to help you.” But when it comes to standardized testing, practice is not a quantity over quality situation: the type of practice matters. While SAT and ACT classes can be highly beneficial, if a student is able to pay the steep price-tag of $800-$1,000, they can find just as much success in the classroom as out. It is all dependent on their dedication to the practice: whether that be at home or in a classroom. While the classes can help stu-

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dents find focus, they are yet another form of SAT and ACT information among hundreds of others. And when it comes to the pricetag, it is just another case of what Boshoven bitterly calls “the rich getting richer.” “They’ve got a captive market,” Boshoven said. “They’ve got kids who are really worried about doing well; kids who haven’t practiced themselves and somehow think magic will occur; and they’ll go into one of these classes and get the magic key to the magic lockbox.” Students who are unable to pay for specialized classes have the disadvantage of not having an organized entity that is forcing them to take time out of their day and practice. Beyond that, ACT and SAT classes are theoretically about as beneficial as the free resources available through Khan Academy (a company that provides free SAT practice), and Princeton Review. They provide, ultimately, a majority of the same information, just in a different format than that of a textbook or online video. “I think the kids that really utilize those course — utilize them the most doing the practice, doing the prep, and doing all the things we suggest — are just like somebody who is taking advantage of their violin teacher who says ‘do this a hundred times before we meet,’” Boshoven said. “I think that you’re likely to improve if you’re just disciplined enough to follow through.” While the amount of money a student puts into their practice materials may be, in the long-run, irrelevant, the costs of the tests themselves is enough to convince some students to bow out of the college-search all together. College-search blogs like Ivy Wise, Test Rocker, and Ask the Dean advise students to take the SAT anywhere from one to three times, while other college advice columns, such as Prep Scholar, recommend anywhere from one to six attempts — and

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even then only so as to avoid “sending the signal you’re not taking the test seriously enough to prep each time.” If a student were to take both the ACT and SAT the generally advised number of three times each, their testing costs would be over $350, that figure not even including the costs of practices tests, classes, or other studying materials. “The process of getting into college is just the beginning of expenses — wait till you get into college,” Boshoven said. “Everything related to college has gone up much faster than inflation — in part that is that the rich get a ride.” Testing costs themselves can feel daunting, but the given price tag can be deceiving. While a majority of students do pay the fees, in whole, for all three tests out of pocket, there are many provisions provided by schools, and even college board, that may be able to help students cut their testing costs. Fee waivers are available for both the ACT and SAT for students from low-income families, and for students that do not quite fall into that bracket, but still have difficulty comfortably paying for tests out of pocket, many schools provide free SAT practice tests. Many schools also provide a free SAT test run through the school, and sites like Power Score, Khan Academy, and Kaplan provide free practice tests and problems so that students can be their most prepared going into tests. The biggest piece of advice Boshoven gives students is as simple as “practice, practice, practice.” At the core of standardized tests, that is the mile that makes the distance. “In many cases, it just takes discipline,” Boshoven said. “It’s not much different from people who practice playing the piano. So it’s a matter of making room for it, instead of hoping just magically your scores will improve.”


Through Ebba’s Eyes

Ebba Gurney sees the world as a photo opportunity. BY LOEY JONES-PERPICH

PHOTO COURTESY OF EBBA GURNEY

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he grew up going to art shows and watching her father take photos, but was too young to appreciate the beauty while he was alive. When he died in 2013, the first thing she asked for was his camera. As she started practicing more and more, her eye developed and she came to find passion and art in her photos. “I never saw the art in it until I started doing it,” Gurney, 15, said. “[My dad’s photography] originated my love for it — it sparked my interest.” From the minute she first picked up her father’s old Digital SLR camera, she felt at home. Having “the eye” gave her the ability to find the perfect angle and turn the simplest colors into artwork. “I’ll be taking pictures of [my friend] and the angles will just come naturally to me, what looks good will just come naturally to me,” Gurney said. “If somebody who doesn’t have the eye for it, they can take good pictures, but it’s not going to naturally come to you.” She has continued to develop her skills and passion for photography through countless photoshoots, videos, and hours spent with her photography tutor. Gurney felt a professional career begin when family friends asked her to film their 2017 destination wedding in Colorado. Her family flew down and she spent the day filming preparation, vows, and dancing at the outdoor ceremony. She captured shots of paper cranes suspended from trees, dancing in the wind; intimate moments between the bride and groom next to a flowing river; the first kiss. “It was super scary because the perfect moment happens, and it’s not going to happen again,” Gurney said. “They kiss, they’re not going to kiss again. They’re not going to walk down the aisle three times. I had to get every moment when it happens, and if I don’t get it then I’m just screwed.” Since filming the Colorado wedding, Gurney has received two other offers to film weddings, multiple requests for senior pictures, and four opportunities to take family portraits. As for the rest of her future, Gurney plans to never stop learning. The specifics, like her college and dream job, however, she leaves up to fate. “You learn the art form in school, but if you already have the eye and you’re already making money, school isn’t the most important thing,” Gurney said. “I’m not totally sure what my dream job is, I just know that it’s going to come to me. I know that if I study the right things and I know what I want to do, whatever job I get is just going to happen.”

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HUMANS of COMMUNITY BY ELLA ROBERTS AND GRACE BRADLEY

Miles Klapthor

I suppose I’ve always dressed [in khaki pants and button down shirts], so it’s never been natural for me to dress any other way. I’m not very fashion-conscious. Dressing like this prepares you well for a career in the bureaucracy or in government, or in the private sector. I don’t specifically dress in this manner to reflect who I am. I just dress like this because it’s really nice in the morning to have pretty much all of your pants be bland colors, being able to select for really anything and have it be perfectly fine.

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Kyin Griffith

I’m looking at Wayne State or WCC for a year, and then getting an apartment with my friends and transfering somewhere. Senior year is easy as long as you get past your college applications on time. I played basketball and soccer my freshman year; I had a fifth block free which is the worst block to get free because you have a two hour long lunch and you literally just don’t do anything. My advice for freshmen next year would be get on the right foot with Kevin, and don’t get in the habit of skipping because it’s really easy here.


Ruby Hsu [The most important person in my life is] my mom, because she has a hard time due to living far away from her family, and a lot of people from her family have been dying recently. Even with all of this going on, she still acts like a really strong person around me, and she doesn’t give in to being sad, because she knows her being sad will make me sad.

Nathaniel Peroff

The most important people in my life would probably be my grandparents, because they’re always there for me. I miss them very much, all the time, because they live on the east coast on the beach, and we live in Michigan. So whenever I visit them, it’s really special to me. I wish they lived closer.

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The Oscars in One Sitting Missed the Oscars? It’s not a big deal: here you can catch a selection of reviews of the films nominated. Popcorn isn’t required, but it’s recommended.

Get Out

DIRECTED BY JORDAN PEELE // WINNER OF BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

REVIEW BY JOSH MARTINS-CAULFIELD

Written and directed by comedian Jordan Peele, formerly of the hit TV show “Key and Peele,” “Get Out” was one of the best movies of the year. The horror movie was actually a mixture of many genres, but horror and comedy were the most prevalent. The movie follows the couple Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams). The story starts with Chris being nervous to go to Rose’s parents’ house because he’s black, and her family is white. He asks her in the very beginning of the movie, “Have you told [your parents] that I’m black?” He only becomes more nervous when Rose nonchalantly tells him that she hasn’t told them yet because she doesn’t think it’s a problem, and because she says that her parents aren’t racist. On the way to Rose’s parents’ house in upstate New York, Chris and Rose hit a deer, which damages their car, and flies off the side of the road. This is the first moment in the movie where Jordan Peele expertly and subtly places race relations in the U.S. at the forefront of the movie. As Chris goes to check out the dying deer, Rose calls and talks to a white police officer. As soon as Chris goes back to the car, the officer asks to see his driver’s license. Chris reaches for it, even though he wasn’t driving, but Rose successfully convinces the officer that it wasn’t necessary. This is a clear illustrations of the shaky relationship between the police — specifically white policemen — and black people. When Rose and Chris finally reach

The Shape of Water

DIRECTED BY GUILLERMO DEL TORO // WINNER OF BEST PICTURE REVIEW BY RUBY TAYLOR

It was no surprise that “The Shape of Water,” directed by Guillermo del Toro, won Best Picture in the 90th Annual Oscars. The film is visually pleasing, intentionally highlighting blues and greens to match the theme of water. It is at its roots a sappy love story about two beings who complete each other, but the bizarre yet beautiful romance 48

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Rose’s parents’ house, things already seem off to Chris. He doesn’t expect to see other black people there, but there are two of them: Georgina, the maid, and Walter, the gardener. Their behavior is vastly different from Chris’ previous interactions with black people, and he finds it weird that the only black people there happen to work for Rose’s parents. However, Rose’s parents seem normal to him. Even if her brother is a little weird, Chris sort of gets over his initial anxiety. This is where the twists and jump scares start, so this is where I’ll end talking about the plot in order to avoid spoilers. The best part of the movie, without a doubt, is Peele’s expert way of foreshadowing throughout the movie. On a second viewing of the movie, every action by many of the characters is revealed to be for their own motives. This was done so subtly, however, that it was almost impossible to catch on a first viewing. There was also the huge theme of race relations in America, at least as they pertain to black Americans, which I thought was handled brilliantly by Peele. He managed to make a statement without compromising quality, which is a very difficult task. He didn’t criticize the obvious racism that exists openly in right-wing circles, but instead chose to criticize white liberals for their subtle racism, and the uncomfortable situations it puts black people in. Another strong point of the movie was the comic relief, more often than not delivered by Lil Rel Howery’s character, Rod, which never seemed out of place or unnecessary. Rod is a TSA agent, who are stereotypically not very useful, but proves to be an important character in the plot. Unlike many characters inserted in movies for comic re-

is unlike any that has graced the screens before. The movie stars a mute maid, Elisa (Sally Hawkins), who was found in a river as a baby with deep scratches on her neck, suggesting the reason of her muteness. Hawkins portrays Elisa beautifully as a gentle, vulnerable woman. Elisa works at a top-secret government research lab in 1960s Baltimore. Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) works at the research facility in a job with higher status than Elisa’s. From the outside eye, Strickland is living what was the “American dream” at the time. He drives a teal Cadillac and lives in the suburbs with his beautiful wife and children.

lief, Rod is actually pivotal to the plot, not just there to make the audience laugh. The final strong point of the movie were the performances by the actors in their roles. Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams were perfect in their roles as the main characters, as was the aforementioned Lil Rel Howery as Rod. However, I believe that the best performances in the movie are those of Rose’s mom, dad, and brother, played by Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, and Caleb Landry Jones, respectively. They gave outstanding performances that supplemented the rest of the movie, and added to the greatness of it. Their characters were shrouded in an eerie mystery until the end of the movie, which is a testament to their ability to play ambiguous characters so well. Overall, “Get Out” was a really great movie. The twists were unexpected, the performances outstanding, and the ability of this movie to stay entertaining on repeat viewings is one of the greatest of any movie. Jordan Peele should be applauded for his work for years to come, and I know I’ll watch his next movie. It is one of the best movies of the year.


Despite his put-together image, Strickland is an angry, cold, unhappy man who sexually harasses Elisa and abuses the amphibious creature with an electric cattle prod, his weapon of choice; this ties him to southern law enforcement, seen using the same model to beat civil rights protestors on television. It is an interesting addition to the film, relating the treatment of the creature by Strickland to that of oppressed people and those who stood up for them at the time. Strickland’s character seems to be commenting on the fact that people are not always as they seem. Strickland represents the demographic of upper-middle-class, middle-aged, white men of the time. He and his family look picture-perfect on the outside, but he faces many internal problems. While Strickland’s life seems fine and well, he is really a malicious, hateful person. His story sharply contrasts Elisa’s. Though her muteness outcasts her from society, her neighbor and good friend, Giles (Richard Jenkins), who is a closeted gay man, and her African American coworker at the lab, Zelda (Octavia Spencer), share with her kindness and understanding.

Despite her caring friends, Elisa is lonely and feels incomplete at the start of the film. When she cleans the room where the “asset,” — which the amphibian man is called by Strickland and the men working at the facility — is kept, they begin to communicate through sign language. Elisa soon looks forward to this part of her day, bringing him hard-boiled eggs and records to dance to. Throughout the story, the “asset” continues to be humanized by Elisa, but dehumanized by everyone else. When Elisa discovers that Strickland has plans to have the “asset” killed, she decides that she needs to take action to save her friend. She and her band of outcasts devise an elaborate plan, which results in the amphibious man escaping. Elisa keeps him in the bathtub of her small apartment above a movie theatre. Here, their very intimate romantic relationship begins. When she needs to leave the apartment, she moves him into Giles’ apartment. When Giles steps out for a moment, the amphibious man leaves the bathtub and bites the head off of one of his many cats. This is a reminder that despite human as-

Call Me by Your Name

bursts of energy as they orbit each other. It takes them numerous lazy days laying in the sun and swimming in the creek to realize what is between them, but once they do, it is electric: “We wasted so many days,” says Elio to Oliver one night outside the villa. This theme — an inevitable departure — runs throughout the movie. Within each interaction is the realization that this will end. This love is beautiful despite the fact it is impossibly ephemeral, or maybe because of it. It is lush and extravagant, but close enough to reality to allow the viewer to picture himself falling in love around the corner, through the green leaves of the apricot trees. “Call Me by Your Name” is a story told in moments. The summer has an almost lethargic air to it, but the cinematography contradicts this: shots are cut off abruptly, mid-splash. Music ends mid-note. It does not linger unless absolutely necessary, so when it does, it sticks in the mind. The scene chronicling the title request is one such lingering scene. “Elio, Elio, Elio, Elio.” Oliver’s name, said slowly, the vowels drawn out. It is like this: call me by your name, and I will call you by mine. Guadagnino makes sure this will be remembered; all — from the silence broken only by breath to the slow pan away from the room until all seen is trees — is intentional. I could wax elaborate poetry about all of the shots, but it wouldn’t be nearly as exquisite as the shots in this film. Even the smallest details create the atmosphere: the flirtation of sun through the trees hitting the water of the river; the incredible infatuation with everything that is felt when there is an entire life to live; when the only tasks of the

DIRECTED BY LUCA GUADAGNINO // WINNER OF BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY REVIEW BY ZOE LUBETKIN

How easy it is to fall in love when surrounded by so much beauty. Described only as “somewhere in Northern Italy” in the opening credits, the setting in director Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name” is an intoxicating oasis of the senses all laid out for the viewer in grainy green drenched in sunlight. It is here we watch the residents of a removed Italian villa indulge in all of the experiences available during the summer of 1983. Weaving a drowsy, dreamy path through small towns, across cultures and languages, the story follows 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) as he goes through an idyllic, if indolent, summer. His father (Michael Stuhlbarg), a scholar of Greek and Roman cultures, studies with a graduate student each summer, and this year’s newcomer is the American Oliver (Armie Hammer). As the summer progresses, Elio explores first experiences, the Italian countryside, and first love with Oliver — in no particular order. How easy to fall, but it is a languid descent: the “dance of desire” between Elio and Oliver, called as such by Guadagnino, is incredibly slow. Elio is still figuring things out; throughout the film, he has a fling with the French Marzia (Esther Garrel), which is shallow for him, but means more to her. He regards Oliver cautiously, but with curious

pects of him, he is still a monster and cannot live in a home with people, or animals for that matter. Elisa realizes that he does not belong on land in the human world, despite the intimate relationship they have formed, and decides that she will return the amphibious humanoid to his original home, the ocean. The day that she plans to let him go, it is rainy and ominous. When she and Giles drive him to the pier and begin to say their goodbyes, they are interrupted by Strickland. He pushes Giles to the ground, and shoots both Elisa and the creature, seemingly fatally. At this point Strickland cannot hold his image of calm perfection anymore and it is evident to all that he has cracked. The creature uses powers to heal himself and slits Strickland’s throat, leaving him to die on the pavement. He then grabs dying Elisa, and jumps deep into the water with her. He uses his healing touch on the scars on her neck, and they are transformed into gills. The film ends on the two embracing underwater, and Giles voice saying that he believes they lived happily ever after.

day are made up of swimming in the sun, reading books turned yellow with age, and transcribing music, then playing it on the piano in a bright living room. All is saturated with sun and sky and stone, until it’s not. It is winter now, and “I remember everything,” says Oliver, over the phone. After this phrase, the last spoken words of the film, Elio is shown in an intimately close shot watching the fire. His eyelashes cling together with tears. The camera focuses on him as the credits roll and he goes through the grief of love lost all over again. Like first love always is, the idyllic experience Elio and Oliver shared, however fleeting, will be stuck in the mind long after the final tears fall. He remembers it all, too. A simple request; call me by your name. It’s like the music Elio so expressively plays on the piano: all is whimsical and irresistibly beautiful, a piece which sticks in the mind and plays again and again and again until, when it inevitably stops, the abrupt silence is almost too much to bear. |

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Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri DIRECTED BY MARTIN MCDONAGH // WINNER OF BEST ACTRESS AND BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR REVIEW BY MIRA SIMONTON-CHAO

“Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri” left the Sundance festival with praise and appreciation after its first release in December of 2017, but in the months following, has accumulated a flurry of controversy in regards to its sympathetic portrayal of key character Officer Dixon, a racist — with a heart of gold, of course. The film follows the aftermath of the murder and rape of a young woman named Angela Hayes in the small town of Ebbing, Mo. Her mother Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand), is outraged by the local police department’s lack of investigation in her daughter’s murder, and leases three billboards located on the outskirts of her town. These billboards call out not only the department’s lack of initiative in the case, but more specifically Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). Tensions are high, as it is between Hayes and the department, and this existing conflict is only inflamed by the involvement of the chief ’s second-in-command Officer Dixon — an immature and often violent officer with a muddled history in policing. The film does an excellent job of portraying an incredibly desperate and deeply injured mother, but along the way, mocks just about everything else. From cancer, to suicide, to police brutality, there is just about no serious 21st century topic this film

Ladybird DIRECTED BY GRETA GERWIG // BEST PICTURE AND BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE REVIEW BY EMILY TSCHIRHART

Growing up is all kinds of ugly. Our young literature lives were blessed with classics like “Catcher In The Rye,” “Manchild In The Promised Land,” and “To Kill A Mockingbird,” all about the coming-of-age of young men in America. Childhood is a sickly thing, filled with awkwardness and uncomfortable circumstances. In the critically acclaimed “Ladybird,” we are given a look into the life of a young woman who is growing up and exploring her individuality, her faith and Catholicism, and the trials that women face as they are growing up. Saoirse Ronan won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy for her 50

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does not mock. Sometimes it’s funny; sometimes it hits the humor mark; sometimes, the comedy is so misplaced you want to run right out of the theater and scream at the writer that suicide is not funny. Hayes is an undeniably strong woman and, to be honest, a little bit violent. But behind her tough exterior, buried under years of abuse, financial issues, and sadness, she is loving. She loves her children and she loves her friends, and at the heart of the film, that is what shines through. But through all the violence and hate, the love gets foggy. People are tossed out of windows, buildings set on fire, and at some points, Officer Dixon is so horrible he just about makes you want to give up on humanity as a whole. He may be one of the most stupid characters I have ever witnessed in a film classified as a drama. He is not only inherently ignorant of the things one would assume common knowledge to a police officer, but also a bigot and racist who took five years to graduate from the police academy — not including the year he made up. “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri” makes him out to be a deep down, really nice guy. But the fact of the matter is that he is a racist, homophobic, sporadically violent man, and that nice is so deep down it’s irrelevant in the long run.

portrayal as the calm yet indignant Ladybird, a Catholic high school senior who is preparing for college and trying to make a name for herself. Her name, Ladybird, is the name she gave herself to differentiate herself from the other high school girls. She has a strong belief in self-worth and and in singularity, and is a powerful and relatable female lead who knows what she needs. Her ability to emote in the same ways as a high school student is absolutely heartwarming. Laurie Metcalf plays the mother of Ladybird in an honest and heartwarming portrayal of what relationships look like from the side of both of the mother and the daughter. The witty banter between the two women is honest and brilliantly realistic. It’s refreshing and wonderful to see that there are such honest portrayals of what growing up as a woman is like. Societal standards have always been high for women. We always get to see what the story looks like from a male perspective. Vulnerability is typically frowned upon from an old-

It is a film worth seeing if only to better understand the world, and the country we live in now. But, I say that with a warning. “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri” is not for the light hearted, and its comedy is everywhere from that. It is an intense film packed with tension, drama, and an extremely drawn out plot. With each of the characters’ questionable moral compass, the film is a showcase of raw humanity while at the same time one of the cringiest films I have ever seen. Get ready for some of the most uncomfortable film moments of 2017 and a deep wanting to punch not one, but multiple characters in the face.


er male perspective, yet Ladybird’s life is filled with emotional turmoil. We see Ladybird have her first kiss, her acceptance onto a waitlist for college, her first time having sex, her prom, and her financially-struggling family. She celebrates turning 18 by buying a scratch-off, a pack of cigarettes, and a Playgirl magazine. We see her heartbroken by her first breakup, her talking to her father about his depression, and her being made fun of by the more popular girls at her school.

There is also a strong mental health subtext which can be seen as a rendering of what a typical girl looks like in an age of anxiety. As a girl who has grown up with her mother as her best friend, this story helped me understand my relationship with her to a further extent. I, too, attended a Catholic school as a younger girl, and the similarities I saw had me reminiscing about the past and masses in the morning.

The impact that this film has had on young women and an evolving female standard has been beautiful. It’s hard to find a more relatable and human representation of what relationships can be like for young women as they grow up. Even though it’s set 16 years in the past, the ideals hold true to themselves and still remain relevant and thought-provoking.

Phantom Thread DIRECTED BY PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON // WINNER OF BEST COSTUME DESIGN REVIEW BY ANDIE TAPPENDEN

When you come upon the exhibit of the iconic Charles James (a fashion designer from New York and popular in the 1930s through the 1950s. Pieces like his “Four Leaf Clover” gown and “Taxi” dress are viewed as legendary and instrumental to the future of fashion.), know that his legacy is continuing today. Or, at least, it probably is. Daniel Day Lewis’s character of Reynolds Woodcocker — a supercilious dressmaker, whose dresses are nothing short of art — is rumored to have been inspired by James in Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest film, “Phantom Thread.” In “Phantom Thread,” Reynolds’s passion for his work and mysterious personality are encaptured in the secret messages he writes and slips into the seam of every clothing piece he makes. His world is captivating, although meticulously maintained, a world Alma (Vicky Krieps), an immigrant who stumbles into the adoring eye of Reynolds after being his waitress, calls a game in which nothing is natural or normal. Although I know it to be true, I struggle to call this film a love story. “Phantom Thread” is a story of class. It is a story about people. It’s a story about love, that’s true, but its nontraditional and yet utterly realistic depiction of the complexity of humans and the relationships they create goes beyond the classic romance (boy meets girl; boy orders breakfast from girl; boy makes gown). Beginning scenes painted in jewel tones — plum and crimson and gold — immediately envelop the viewer with the beautiful extravagance of 1950s London’s upper class, while cinematographic techniques place them right in the scene: a shaky shot of a lush backroad through the windshield of a bustling car; a worm’s eye view of streams of seamstresses tropsing up the swirling staircase of the House of Woodcock, uni-

form in their white aprons, yet differing in the color and style of their hats; an up-close picture of a powdered sugar and cherry pastry; a sketch of a dress; wrinkled, feminine hands sewing the rectangular label of “House of Woodcock” onto a garment. I didn’t take notes on these scenes; their sheer elegance of simplicity has followed me like a cloud in my mind for days, and I had to pay them mention. The character Reynolds Woodcocker is unlikeable from the start. His arrogance and disregard for anyone but himself, his sister, and his clients is made obvious early on in the film, when he calls his then-lover “stodgy” — a delightfully English, mid20th century word meaning dull — and berates her for “confronting him” at breakfast (Woodcocker continues to view his peaceful morning meal with the utmost of importance throughout the entire film, somewhat to the chagrin of later companions). He doesn’t have time for confrontations. He’s simply too important. The character Alma is likable from the start. Her almost saccharine, yet pugnacious exterior first struck me as innocent and refreshing, however it gradually dissolves to show a harsher interior, an inferno that I’d mistaken for idyllia. Their love story at first is one of infatuation. Alma is a muse and Reynolds is a self-absorbed artist; their love was never made to last. He proclaims from their first date that the reason he has and will never get married is because he is “cursed.” Although, a later scene where Alma unravels a seam of a Woodcock wedding dress, she finds a scrap of fabric embroidered with the phrase “never cursed.” Perhaps that is one of the first signs that Reynolds’s beginning conceptions of love are changing. The character development and breathtaking cinematography kept me engaged

even while the storyline itself became stodgy. Many love stories don’t have a clear plot, but “Phantom Thread” was so inconsistent that — although the extreme characteristics of zealous Reynolds and stubborn Alma were not unrealistic — the combination of the two was at times perplexing and overwhelming. But, in some ways, that only added to the charm. I don’t want to give away too much. Suffice it to say that “Phantom Thread” is like a dress from the House from Woodcock: made by renowned artists and pleasant to view, it hides a secret in the seams that leaves the audience shocked. |

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A PICTURE IS WORTH

1000 WORDS

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BY GRACE JENSEN

M

ei Semones, Quinn Perkins, and Thea Rowe went out to capture during Steve’s digital photo class a few weeks ago, and Semones was intrigued by Perkins’s shadow in a puddle. This photograph was the result. Semones likes taking the class because she is not limited in where she can find her inspiration. “It’s pretty great,” Semones said. “We have a lot of freedom in terms of what we photograph. There’s no prompts, so you can just photograph what you’re interested in.”

Semones found an interest in photography when she and her friends taught themselves to manipulate photos and video, editing and adding music until they made something they liked. “It’s an artistic way of capturing a moment in time,” Semones said. “The world around me inspires me to take photos because it is very beautiful.” She says a good photo is one that has good composition, lighting, and colors, and is “hard to look away from.”

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Community High Teachers share their thoughts on the recent school shootings. BY NEIL BEVERIDGE, ALEC REDDING, AND SUEPHIE SAAM

Liz Stern “I feel safe here. I feel like most people just think that it’s going to happen to someone else. It is really rare for these things to happen. I do feel a little nervous though. It seems like when this happens, everybody kind of gears up and locks their door for a while, and then maybe a month or two later they stop. I feel like we go into crisis mode for a little while and then we get comfortable and complacent. I think that short term, we have to take security a lot more seriously. I think that the district has to put their money where their mouth is and stop asking teachers to be security, because we’re not. If they’re really serious about it, spend the money to make sure the doors in the stairwell can automatically lock from the main office. I think that the training that they gave us was inadequate and too long ago. It’s not going to be something that people automatically remember. [Teachers] are not going to act the way they want us to. They’re going to be afraid. They might freeze, they might make the wrong decisions, they might even make heroic decisions. I think there is a reasonable level of caution and then there’s an unreasonable level of caution. I think we all need to be much more cautious everywhere. We need to keep our heads up, not buried in our cellphones. Just to be a little bit more aware and cautious and not put yourself in danger. I think the main thing we need to do is, instead of hardening our schools, we need to soften them and we need to make sure we’re having relationships with students so that if they are feeling mental distress we know it and we prevent that before it even gets going.”

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Feature

Janelle Johnson “I’m a little bit more cognizant about keeping my door locked. I do think about what I would do if that happens in our school more. It’s really important for my students to feel safe and to not live in fear. I want them to be able to come to school and feel like it’s business as usual. For me, I’m the adult and I’m supposed to keep my students safe. The scenario runs through my mind quite a bit but it’s not something I go over with my students over and over because I don’t want them to be worried. I want them to be cognizant and I want them to know if it does happen we will have to take some sort of action. I think the rules that they’ve put in place are already helpful, you know, keeping the door locked, having to buzz in, and having to be recognized to be let in. I do think that’s helpful. I think it’s really tough, I think something should be done but I can honestly say I’m not sure what should be done. I think about it when I drop my children off at school or when they leave the house. For me, I say a little prayer every morning to make sure that my kids are safe. [These shootings] force you to really make sure that you’re keeping it in the forefront of your mind. Sometimes you do get relaxed about it, but it is definitely helpful to continue to think about it. We’ve definitely talked about it [in class]. It’s kind of tough for you to not talk about it. We’ve had some discussions about it because I do think it’s important for students to be able to discuss how they feel. I think it’s important for teachers to be honest and say it is a scary thing, but if it does happen, we have to figure out how to keep each other safe.”


George Lancaster

Maneesha Mankad “It’s almost life-changing for me to think that kids in school would have to worry about shootings and safety to that level. I could never imagine. For me, school was a carefree, happy experience where I went and never had to worry about safety, and to imagine that that could not be the case, and that that’s where we are today is deeply upsetting to me. I do firmly believe that the answer is not arming teachers with guns. In my mind, the solution is definitely not arming teachers or providing more security. It takes away from the feel of school, which for me is a place where kids get to be themselves, have a learning environment, and feel some joy in their social and learning relationships. I want to create joy in their lives. I don’t want my students to be feeling this amount of tension and fear. I feel like if we were to arm our teachers or make our schools places where there was more increased security, it would just result in fear in the minds of students on a constant daily basis. I definitely think we need to be more supportive of our students in every way possible given the issues with mental illness that exist within our society. We need to address those issues and help provide more support, whether it’s with staffing of more counselors, or social workers providing our students better ways to access mental health facilities. It would be a much better way to avoid this problem in the first place so that they don’t feel like they’re frustrated, bullied, or nobody’s listening to their voices. Being aware of how to live in an increasingly more diverse society [is important] so that you’re not feeling more isolated as an individual who feels like they have to act out because their voice is not being heard. To me, the solution lies with providing young people with more support systems, more learning, and definitely not arming our facilities that should be centers of learning and joy.”

“For the most part, [the shooting] hasn’t had a huge impact [on my teaching] because they’re not new and they’re not close. I thought about it when we had the tornado drill, that it was really important that Marci came on and said, ‘Hey, there’s gonna be a tornado drill, and here’s what’s going to happen,’ because that would be a way that somebody could try to make chaos. It was good to know what was going on. I make sure my door is locked with a doorstop instead of just unlocked. It’s important that I do my part and keep people safe. I really like that every year we see a lot of things about depression awareness. Violence is usually caused by depression or some kind of event for people, and so I think the ultimate prevention of violence in general is helping students to be more healthy mentally so they know how to react in a safer way. The fact that guns are not hard to get means that when there’s violence it has a bigger impact. It’s both helping people know how to handle bad things in a safer way and also to try to make sure that when there’s violence, it’s minimized. Every year, we see a lot of things about depression awareness. I think it’d be great to have more of that earlier in the school year. There’s always a lot of awareness halfway through the year and in the spring, and part of that might be because it takes awhile to get those things going every year. But depression isn’t just a seasonal thing, it’s a year round problem. That’s something we need to think about year round. I’ve seen a decent bit of adversity over the last couple of years with the number of students that have passed away, and I think our school is a good community. I think we’re more supportive than most schools. You do have a family, and that’s a really good thing.”

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1 2

SIGHTS & SOUNDS of

NYC BY CLAIRE MIDDLETON

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3 4 1. THE MILK BAR If you are looking to stop for a treat while walking around New York City, the Milk Bar is your place. The Milk Bar is a walk-up bakery with 10 locations in Manhattan. They sell coffee and tea, as well as baked goods. They are famous for their “compost cookies,” which consist of pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, graham crackers, butterscotch, and chocolate chips. Pictured above is their Financial District location, but all of their other nine locations have the same menu. They also have two locations in Brooklyn, and a few others around the country as well as Canada. 2. T2 If you enjoy tea, you should make it a point on your trip to stop by T2. T2 is a tea cafe located in SoHo. It is filled wall-to-wall with every type of tea you could want. In addition to selling loose leaf and bagged tea, teaware, and travel cups, they also brew tea on the spot. When you buy one of their cups, you get to fill it up for free every Friday. Even if you are not a tea lover, you can still enjoy yourself in T2. They have other locations throughout New York City, so even if you are not in SoHo, you can still pop into a store! 3. MoMA PS1 MoMA PS1 is a contemporary art museum in Long Island City in the borough of Queens. It is one of the largest collections of contemporary art in the U.S., and the exhibits are constantly changing. If you are a lover of contemporary art, you should definitely visit MoMA PS1 on your trip to New York City. It is located near lots of cafes and restaurants, and it only takes a few minutes to get down to the river to catch a ferry to Manhattan.

4. THE HIGH LINE The High Line is an old train railroad that has been repurposed to be a green space. It is located in Chelsea, but has many places you can get on and off of the path. The High Line is located above the city, so you have to walk up a couple of flights to get there. There are vendors selling souvenirs, as well as tons of people enjoying an escape from busy city life. 5. THE CHELSEA MARKET A great place to both shop and eat is the Chelsea Market. The Chelsea Market is an indoor market with restaurants and shops. Pictured below is Artisans and Fleas, which is a hip flea market with vendors selling clothes, art, jewelry, and more. Aside from this, they have bookstores and both sit-down and fast food places to eat. It is home to The Doughnuttery, which is famous for their mini donuts. Besides the great food and fun shops, it is also fun to just stroll around and window shop. 6. COOKIE DO The new hip dessert place in New York City is called “Cookie DŌ.” Located in the heart of SoHo, the cafe has gained steam from celebrities and socialites posting about it on social media. It has also been mentioned in The New York Times, People, and Cosmopolitan, as well as other publications. Their cookie dough has many options and ways to eat it. You can have just a scoop, or you can make your own sandwich, with cookies on either side and ice cream in the middle. You can also get your cookie dough scoop made into a milkshake or a sundae. If you are in SoHo, it is definitely worth your time to stop by.

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57


On Literature by Charles Solomon

A Quest to Save a Magical World And no, it’s not “Lord of the Rings.” When I read a book, I usually look for a satisfying adventure in a well-defined and imagined world, a creative premise, and an original storyline. The satisfying adventure entertains me, and this is the main reason I read the book. I’ve always liked interesting worlds, which often give me ideas to think about. Finally, the creative premise and original storyline keep me interested and unsure of how the story will turn out. “The Belgariad” series by David Eddings certainly fulfilled the idea of a satisfying adventure in an interesting world, as well as an entertaining story. It begins on a quiet farm in the peaceful kingdom of Sendar. There, teenager Garion lives with his mysterious, but loving, Aunt Pol. One day, wandering storyteller Mister Wolf shows up, and Garion finds himself swept away on a whirlwind of adventure that takes him worlds away from the quiet of Faldor’s Farm to faraway places like the poisonous snake-people jungles of Nyissa, the cliff-top temple stronghold of Cthol Murgos, and more. Along the way, Garion gathers a retinue of friends to help him in what quickly turns into a world-saving quest — first to recover the all-powerful Orb of Aldur, then to use this to defeat the insane God Torak who is set on controlling the mystical Kingdoms of the West. While on his adventure, Garion slowly finds out his Aunt Pol isn’t exactly his aunt, and “Mister Wolf ” isn’t just a vagrant — they have a past stretching back centuries, and he’s at the center of their greatest plot and prophecy. He’s not just a farm boy, but the one destined to destroy the God Torak and save the world once and for all. Although exciting and entertaining, with lots of action, magic powers, and gigantic battles, this series simply lacked originality. The whole premise was the same as many of those I’ve read: a world saving and villain defeating adventure, a hero with undiscovered powers, and heroic destiny. The idea features in many novels: “Percy Jackson,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Harry Potter;” it’s a fantasy standard. In “Percy Jackson” and “Harry Potter,” they adapted and differentiated this theme by setting the story as a secret world in the modern times. “Lord of the Rings” seems to be considered a classic of the genre, an epic. “The Belgariad” didn’t have enough originality to make it a fresh take on an 58

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old theme, and wasn’t quite well-written enough, in my opinion, to be considered an epic. Especially in the first two books or so, I found the main character Garion to be incredibly fickle: One moment he’s crushed by an unkind dismissal but just a page later, he’s recovered enough to be worried about court etiquette and holding dual conversations with his friend and an old nobleman. I also found Garion rather dense at times, somehow not fathoming things such as the real identities of his aunt and Mister Wolf after broad clues and hints. I also was somewhat dissatisfied with the other characters and their development. Aunt Pol and Mister Wolf were characters I found fairly developed while others left one-dimensional impressions. All I understood from Mandorallen’s character was a

IMAGE COURTESY OF DEL REY BOOKS

Title: The Belgariad, Volumes One and Two

Published: 1982-84

Author: David Eddings

Published in Volume Format: 2002

Series: The Belgariad

Genre: Fantasy

Books in Series: Five

Sequels: The Malloreon

chivalrous knight, and Lelldorin seemed only the one dimension of an impulsive, but friendly young man. The thief prince Silk with his tricks, dark humor, and silver tongue was always my favorite, and he gave me some development as I got a feel of the family history that motivated him to stay on the road. It seemed that with all the characters in the story, the author simply didn’t have enough time to adequately develop each major character. With a questing party of seven or so, Eddings had to try to split description and focus too much, and it felt like the whole story came off worse than if he had just taken three or so characters in addition to Garion and his extended family; then emphasized and developed their personality more. Instead, we get a few developed characters, and then many supposedly “major” characters only partially developed. My other major problem with this series was its predictability. Within the first thirty pages, I was sure of the secret identities of Aunt Pol and Mister Wolf. By the second book out of the five I had deduced Garion’s secret inheritance. Nothing in the story was very surprising: finding out about the great evil God Torak wanting Garion dead, Garion turning out to have magical powers. It all was very predictable, all following the Tolkienesque adventure with an unexpected hero premise. The epic showdown between Garion and Torak at the end of the series finished as you might predict (guess who won,) and the one idea I was looking at for originality, the idea of two prophecies, one for good and the other for evil, played out in a rather uninspiring way. This series needed a lot more surprise or irony to make it a more interesting read. So, though this was a fairly entertaining read, it lacked the freshness to make it a great book. I enjoyed reading some parts, especially areas of Silk’s biting sarcasm and the banter within the adventuring party, but overall this story didn’t really make me think. Some fantasy fans might enjoy “The Belgariad”: it has good action, nice world-building and some good dialogue. Personally, though, I would recommend “Lord of the Rings” over “The Belgariad.” It simply has a better adventure and more interesting world, in my opinion.


Spring Playlist BY CAITLIN MAHONEY

what to listen to

listen when you’re

Love My Way The Psychedelic Furs

having a fling

I Love You, Honeybear Father John Misty

feeling sappy

Mystery of Love Sufjan Stevens

reminiscing

Need You Tonight INXS

one of my kind

Love and Feeling Chet Faker

chilling

Crash Into Me Dave Matthews Band

riding on the bus

Yesterday No Name

in a good mood

Heart-Shaped Box Nirvana

driving fast

Nodding Off Wavves (feat. Best Coast)

skateboarding

Secret Door Arctic Monkeys

drinking coffee

She Drives Me Crazy Fine Young Cannibals

rocking out

Wildflowers Tom Petty

feeling sentimental

More Than This Roxy Music

up late

Dark Red Steve Lacy

driving

Young and Beautiful Lana Del Rey

in love

Friday I’m In Love The Cure

catching feelings

This Must Be My Dream The 1975

trying to fall asleep

Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out) Citizen King

lying in the sun

LISTEN ONLINE! http://spoti.fi/2k3l88q

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The Fierce Urgency of Now

‘‘

School shootings could be prevented if we followed Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to action. BY SUIBHNE O’FOIGHIL

When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first spoke of the “fierce urgency of now” in April, 1967, he did so in protest of the ongoing war in Vietnam, hoping to spur Christian Americans to join the effort against the U.S. government-led occupation. During the speech, King detested procrastination and berated it as the “thief of time” and cause of lost opportunity. He insisted that “there is such a thing as being too late,” and said that “over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: ‘Too late.’” King viewed the American occupation in Vietnam as a return to colonialism and the subjugation of the Vietnamese people by means of the same injustices suffered by African Americans. He could not idly stand by and let these injustices come to pass. While the ebb and flow of time has washed over that distant past, King’s principle of “the fierce urgency of now” is more relevant than ever. America’s political climate is in turmoil in the wake of the murder of 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School. Students looked on as 14 of their peers and 3 teachers were gunned down by Nikolas Jacob Cruz, a former student and member of the school’s varsity air rifle team. Wielding an AR-15 — a semi-automatic version of the U.S. military’s M16 Rifle, used in operations since 1964 — Cruz triggered the fire alarm and indiscriminately fired upon his former classmates and teachers as they scrambled from their rooms. Peter Wang, a freshman student and JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) cadet, was shot after holding the door for his classmates and teachers to escape the gunfire. Later that day, he died in a local hospital, his body laden with bullets. Wang’s urgency to action saved many lives that day at the cost of his own. While he was posthumously awarded the ROTC Medal of Heroism, if only his sense of urgency had been matched by the lawmakers of this country after the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999, when two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, fatally shot 12 students and 1 teacher during the school’s lunch break; or after the Virginia Tech Massacre in 2007, when senior Seung-Hui Cho fatally shot 32 people with two handguns he purchased online, filled with bullets ordered from Ebay; or after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012, when Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty young children and six teachers; or after the four other instances this year, as of February 2018, in which a shooting with student casualties has occured on a school 60

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campus. While gun-policy reform has been a long discussed topic among the political representatives of our country, the matter has followed the same cyclical pattern for years: a gun-related tragedy occurs and young lives are lost; outrage sweeps the nation and fear dominates the youth demographic; calls for reform commence and gun control debates enthrall the general public; and, in matter of months, the wrath of the would-be reformers subsides and they return to normality, while despair continues to haunt the scarred victims and families. The effect of gun control in other countries is well documented. And yet, the facts and statistics seem to be unconvincing to many of our current and former lawmakers. How many more massacres must there be for change in this country? How many more memorial services? How many more hashtags, organizations, and movements for change? How many more plaques, monuments, and gravesites? How many more calls for reform, political bickering, and indecisive moments? How many more grieving mothers and fathers have to attend their own children’s funerals? How many more innocent kids have to die? Lethargy and fatigue have taken our country hostage in this endless cycle of death and fear. However, the opportunity to cease this terrible violence is upon us. As King said “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today.” There is never a more critical time than now, and today is the moment to act. Not tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that. For the U.S. to progress, we must buy into Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “social contract” and relinquish our natural right to own military style weapons for society’s betterment as a whole. The right to own an assault-style firearm enjoyed by the minority is obsolete in the face of increased safety and ease of conscious for the majority. Reach out to your local congressman, and let them represent you by conveying your opinions on gun control. Advocate for the movement to end gun violence by instead of arming ‘a good guy’ with a weapon, disarming them. Advocate for a movement that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would approve of: one that preaches non-violence above all else, and understands the sacredness of life. Advocate for the advancement of life, rather than for a tool of death. We are confronted with the “fierce urgency of now.” How will we respond?

Opinion

This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwisewe must choose in this crucial moment of human history.


Get Our Guns Under Control BY MADIE GRACEY

Number of Casualities During School Shootings (1970-present)

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

37 48 92 107 138

Statistics for Gun Violence According to the Gun Violence Archive (2018) = 100 people

10,907 incidents involving guns

128 children killed or injured between the ages of 0-11

2,897 deaths

551 teens killed or injured between the ages of 12-17

4,933 injured

345 unintentional shootings

In the 1970s, there were a total of 30 reported school shooting in the United States. For this decade, there were 37 students, staff members, and parents of students killed by guns. In the 1980s, the number of casualties rose to 48. Even though it was only 11 more, that is still 11 lives that were lost due to an unstable person who got a hold of a gun. People who had dreams couldn’t fufil them because they never got the chance. The numbers rapidly rose from 37 to 48, 48 to 92, 92 to 107, and 107 to 138 deaths due to guns. April 20, 1999, two students, 17- and 18-years-old, killed 12 students and one teacher. Among the 13 killed, 21 were injured. Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado would become a massacre that shouldn’t have happened. December 14, 2010 in Newtown, Conneticut 20 first graders, four teachers, the principal, and the school pyschologist were killed when a 20-year-old walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School with four guns. And the latest school shooting that killed more than 15 people was on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. A 19-yearold walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a semi-automatic rifle after he set off the fire alarm and students began to evacuate. 17 were killed and 14 were injured. Douglas High School sparked a nationwide movement for gun control in the United States. Students, teachers, and parents are speaking out against gun violence and how they don’t want to be afraid to wake up in the morning to go to school. Guns need to be regulated more in the U.S. so that unstable people don’t have the opportunity to kill innocents. #NeverAgain is one of the many campaigns that are spreading around our schools and our communities. Emergency response units have done their part and now its our turn to make sure school shootings come to an end and that gun control gets voted in by our Congress. It is our turn. The future is now. Let’s make a change. |

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At Home in Houston A story of a house, a hurricane, and, eventually, hope. BY LUCY SCOTT

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Column


In all honesty, I might know my grandparents’ house better than I know my own. I know the rocky pool deck from afternoons with my cousins, reading good books and talking about life. I know the pampas grass on the bayou, and have spent long hours beside it, raking leaves and carefully avoiding fire ants. I know the neighborhood cats, the rusty and faded old gas pump, the cacti inhabiting the windowsills. But I haven’t been there in nearly a year, and at this point, it’s apparent that I’ll never return. My granddad worked for the Shell Oil Company; my grandma was a Home Economics major. The two of them met at Oregon State University, as they were both working for the school paper. They got married, had two children, and moved around the country until they finally settled in the house that means so much to me: a house on the outskirts of Houston, backing Buffalo Bayou, and nestled near a small elementary school. A house which, over the next 43 years, would become a home — for my grandparents, for my mom and uncle, and even for me. All my life, I’ve heard stories about the Houston house. I’ve heard tales of the baby alligator in the backyard, of summers so hot my mother and her brother jumped into the pool fully clothed, of April Fool’s Day pranks played on my grandma. Time and time again, I was told the stories of the house, and every word brought me closer to my family. As I grew up, more and more of my own memories began to involve the Houston house. I spent countless Christmas mornings sitting with my cousins at the top of the stairs, waiting impatiently to see what Santa brought and complaining that everyone else was allowed to go downstairs before us. So many evenings were spent

around the kitchen table, playing cards and eating key lime pie while the old clock in the dining room chimed on the hour. Every chance I got, I would run outside and chase lizards. As I tried to sneak up on them and their shimmering green bodies, sun beamed down upon me, both from the sky and the bright landscape painted on the wall of the garage, its golden sun overlayed on the bluest of skies and shining emerald grass. And when I saw the house and its giant magnolia tree disappear down the street on Dec. 30, 2016, I never would’ve expected it to be my last memory of Houston. Living in Texas comes with risks, of course, but in my head, none of the risks would ever affect us. Hurricanes and floods were always things I heard about in the news, things that were relevant, yet detached from my personal life. There were scares, times when houses in my grandparents’ neighborhood flooded, or trees fell down, but in the 43 years my grandparents lived in their house in Houston, only one hurricane caused true devastation to them — Hurricane Harvey. As a native Michigander, I never understood how truly destructive hurricanes and the following floods were until I saw the way it affected a place I knew so well. I didn’t understand how the mildew set in, how the furniture floated away. But when I saw pictures of my 82-year-old grandmother standing knee-deep in water in the family room, trying desperately to put their belongings on high shelves so they could be salvaged, I started to understand. The realization intensified when my grandparents evacuated across the street to a neighbor’s house, and when days later, they were rescued by a boat after the water had risen to five feet. The final knowledge set in on Dec. 5, 2017 — when the house was torn

down. I never got to say goodbye to the house in Houston. Nearly a year ago, I had been oblivious to the fact that it would be my last time sprawled on the floor playing Life with my cousins, my last time going for a run on the bayou. I didn’t know it would be my last time visiting the elementary school and scorning the fading map on the blacktop for having Michigan painted backwards. I didn’t know it would be my last time seeing the tall painted giraffe in the dining room, a giraffe who bore the unfortunate and ironic name of Harvey — Harvey the giraffe, stolen away from my family by Harvey the hurricane. Mostly, I didn’t know it would be my last time in Houston. Despite the fact that I never lived in the house, it felt like home. Home was lying in the dark with my cousins on Christmas Eve, straining our ears to try to hear reindeer landing on the roof above. It was wading in the pool with my cousins when it was too chilly to swim. Home was the entire family squeezed in front of the TV, watching Jeopardy and hearing my granddad know what almost every answer was. Home was Houston, but more than that, home was being with my family. My idea of “home” is different now, but the change has a lot of good to it. Having my grandparents living 10 minutes away from me is, after all, a huge shift from the three hour airport ordeal I had to go through previously. I can make new memories now, more frequent ones, memories of listening to Johnny Cash with my granddad, or of sitting with my grandma while she pours adoration upon my cat. The new memories may not be in the same house, not even the same state, but they’re with the same people and, I’ve begun to realize, the people are what count.

Previous page, upper left: A lizard sits atop a garden hose, basking in the warm afternoon sunlight. It then proceeded to scurry away, hiding in the bushes a few feet away. Previous page, upper right: Pots of cacti line the windowsill of the family room. The interior of the house was filled with plants, their greenness brightening nearly every room. Previous page, middle right: A bright plant stretches towards the sun. In the background, a cement shell can be seen leaning against a brick fireplace. The shell, the large and rusting gas pump, and many other shell-themed items within the house were all homages to my granddad’s job at Shell Oil. Previous page, bottom right: Beside my grandparents’ pool stood a stone lion. During Hurricane Harvey, I remember seeing photos of the pool area and being startled to find it unrecognizable. The uniform brown of flood water was so different than the image of the pool in my mind; one of bright blue water and leafy green bayou plants contrasting the red metal bow hung on the fence gate. Previous page, bottom left: A cactus sits outside near the pool. My grandma was always very proud of her plants, but lost them all in the hurricane. For Christmas in 2017, my cousin gave her a special gift ­— a clipping from one of her cacti, the only remainder of the once-sprawling flora that had occupied the Houston house. Left: Cats often found their way into my grandparents’ yard, entering through a hole in the bushes and leaving through a hole in the fence. This cat was a common visitor, and often stayed for nearly a half hour, purring loudly while my cousins and I fawned over it. By the time I was born, my grandparents had no pets themselves, but they had previously had cats named Kitty and B.J.

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63


On Depression By Camille Konrad

I didn’t know the extent of my mother’s postpartum depression until I finally asked about it.

Laura Konrad sits looking out at the city of Toronto. That night she was celebrating her daughter’s 16th birthday. PHOTO BY CAMILLE KONRAD

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Column

One day, I asked my mom if she had ever faced postpartum depression. We were sitting in her bed, and she seemed reluctant to tell me. Finally it all came out, and she talked for a long time with many emotions flowing out. She responded with a deep sigh, and continued. “I can describe exactly how it felt,” my mom said. “You were born and everything was normal, brand-new baby making your way in the world, and a three-and-halfyear-old other daughter. Then, there was a time where you were right around six months old that I felt this change in my brain and it was sudden. I don’t know if there was an exact day, but I know that all of a sudden, I felt like I just couldn’t be happy.” Being her daughter, it was very hard for me to hear that she was so sad for so long. What I didn’t know was that my mom still faces depression today. The change that happened when I was about 6 months old still affects her life. My mom has always been one of the most happy, bubbly, and positive people I know. She made it important that I knew that, with or without medication, being that happy person is who she really is. “I didn’t understand why I felt like that, because my life was so good, and I pretty much couldn’t ask for a better dad, husband, partner, and both of my children were completely healthy, perfect, thriving,” she said. “I had a fantastic family, supportive parents, a wonderful network of friends, a good job. I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t feel happy.” I didn’t understand it either. Why did my mom deserve to have this weight put on her? I realized later when we were talking that sometimes depression is something that just happens, whether there is something that causes it or nothing at all. When I was about three years old, she decided to go talk to her doctor. After three years of sadness, she realized that this shouldn’t go on anymore. “My family is wonderful, and my childhood was pretty much perfect, no kind of sexual assault, not any kind of abuse or assault,” my mom explained. “That’s when the doctor said ‘Listen, it is possible it’s just purely chemical. Just neurotransmitters in your brain not functioning the way they should.’ So, she prescribed some medication, and within like four days, it was like the clouds parted over my head, and I felt so much better.” My mom still takes medication to help with her depression, but she has never thought that it has changed her as a person or affected her true emotions. Although my mom’s depression has lasted this long, she has found ways to cope with it and make the best out of every challenge she faces. She is a strong, happy, and most importantly, a positive woman.


The Value of Sex-Ed The importance of comprehensive Sex-Ed in our schools.

BY BELLA YERKES AND SUEPHIE SAAM

G

rowing up in a primarily female household, Sabina Fall, a Planned Parenthood (PP) peer educator, feels that women’s reproductive health has always been important in her life. In Fall’s opinion, health is a subject that should be taught every year. She explained that many kids do not have access to information about their own bodies and their rights. “Health is something that should be just as prioritized as math or science or english,” Fall said. Currently, the subject of health in public schools is not a prioritized subject. In Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS), health is first introduced in elementary school, then required for a quarter of one year in middle school, and a semester of one year of high school. Sex-Ed is only a small one-unit portion of a semester requirement in all health classes. This needs to be fixated not only for the sake of education, but for the general health and safety of the students. Michigan requires that dangerous communicable diseases be taught, and Sex-Ed is allowed to be taught if a school district chooses to. Parents are also allowed to have their child removed from the class for these lessons. In the United States, 26 states do not require that Sex-Ed be taught. Of the 24

states that do, only 20 require the education be medically accurate. Because of this, teenagers across the U.S. are being deprived of an education they need. But why is teaching Sex-Ed so important? According to Advocates for Youth, 46 percent of all high-school-aged students have had sexual intercourse. When provided inaccurate information, or no information at all, students are forced to look outside their class to find the information on contraception and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). “To ignore our sexual beings and our sexuality is just to ignore a huge part of who we are,” said Robbie Stapleton, Community High health teacher. “That’s not educating, that’s just ignorance.” Five of the 10 states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy are states that do not require Sex-Ed or HIV education. This means that teaching abstinence only, or not teaching Sex-Ed at all, does not prevent teenage pregnancy or STDs. Advocates for Youth states that teaching abstinence only does not actually prevent sexual activity or delay it. However, these advocates state that an education that includes information on abstinence and contraception can delay sexual activity in teens, increase contraceptive use when they engage in sexual activity,

and have fewer sexual partners. “In fact, what we know is the better educated kids are about sex, the less risky sex they have,” Stapleton said. “In fact, the less sex they have.” Stapleton explained that a comprehensive Sex-Ed is necessary in today’s society. What works in one school does not work for all schools. A flexible curriculum can allow students to benefit from real and current information. Furthermore, Stapleton states the significance of allowing herself freedom and flexibility within her teaching. “That’s just what the kids deserve,” Stapleton said. Along with her lessons, PP peer educators go into a health classroom to teach once a semester. Peer educators such as Fall and Catherine Nicoli, another Community High senior, act as a knowledgeable source students can talk to about problems with their sexual health. These peer educators also teach classes around Washtenaw County. “It’s shown that what students learn from other students, they retain it more, and they learn more, and they pay attention more, and so when there are students that are equipped with the right knowledge and the right tools, it’s just much more effective,” Nicoli said.

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Please Don’t Tell Me Everything Will Be Fine. You don’t know that. BY MAZEY PERRY

My mom Elllen (left), my dad (right), and I (center) are standing on a pier at the Homestead, in Northern Michigan. We were on vacation for one of my dad’s annual work conferences.

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My dad (left) and I (right), pose for a homecoming photo on the front porch of our house. It was my first homecoming; my dad and I wanted to take a photo to document the special moment.

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, I came home from dance to find my parents sitting at our kitchen island. I came in and hung up my bag just like I do everyday. They looked at me in a way that I had never seen before. My mom’s eyes were puffy and soft, my dad’s were slightly sad but hard at the same time. I sat down to ask about their day, like usual, but that’s when my mom cut me off. She said she and dad had something to tell me. I asked what it was, concerned but not especially worried. What came next was something that I never could have expected. My dad was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. I kept asking myself how this could be happening. My dad, the athletic, healthy-eating, non-smoking man I knew, had cancer. I couldn’t piece it together. For days my head was clouded with a gray haze. Within the first week of my knowing, I recieved texts and calls from relatives telling me they were sorry, and that they would always be there for me. For a while that was enough. The constant support each person gave me made me feel like everything was going to be okay. Four months into his chemo treatment, I hit a wall. I couldn’t handle watching someone who had always been so strong be beaten down by the chemicals the doctors prescribed. Every other week, the chemo would take over his body, and my dad disappeared into the void that was his dark bedroom. Nobody could understand what I was going through, and every time I would voice how I was feeling, I was met with a “don’t worry Maze, everything is going to be fine.” In those early months of treatment, the words “everything is going to be fine” were enough. They made me feel better. Now though, those words are numb. They lost their meaning. I just kept thinking, “How can you tell me everything is going to be fine? You have no idea what’s even going

on with my dad.” Yet, still, deep down, they gave me the smallest glimmer of hope that maybe, he would be okay. That at the end of these six months of hell, he would come out clear and this nightmare would become a distant memory. The memories are what made those six months so difficult. The cold was too much for my dad; skiing, sledding, and all the other winter activities we used to do were gone. The carefree afternoons we would spend together became less and less frequent until they were almost non-existent. After half a year of missed dance recitals, half-tried holidays, and no winter activities, he made it. In June, we got the all clear. The cancer was gone and I had my dad back. All summer we went up north and did all the normal things my family does in those three easygoing months. The school year started, and I was ready to have a normal year. Everything was going as planned until Sunday, Dec. 16. My parents called me into their room and had me sit on their bed. They told me they had to talk to me about something. I again, could not have prepared myself for what was about to come. My mom didn’t even try to hold it in this time. Tears filled the bottom of her eyes as my dad told me it was back. It was back. I always wondered what dying was going to feel like. I’m pretty sure I can tell you now. My body just collapsed and the sound of my heartbeat filled my ears as I tried to get the words that just came out of my dad’s mouth to be taken back. Make it stop, take it back, please, were the thoughts that flooded into a never-ending whirlpool inside my head. I couldn’t breathe. “Okay” was all I could manage to squeeze out of my dry throat. I was asked if I had any questions. Did I have any questions? I had endless questions. How did this happen? Why did this happen?

How are we going to go through this again? These were just a few of the thousands. This time it was different. I didn’t want to tell anyone the news. I didn’t want to talk about it. Eventually my mom made me tell some of my friends just so that they could be aware of what was going on. People were nice, and I got those same texts and calls from relatives. “Don’t worry, everything is going to be fine.” Over and over again. The first time those words were numb, but now I knew they weren’t true. The cancer came back, so everything wasn’t fine, and now, I still question if things will be fine. This time, the doctors don’t have a set length of time for treatment. It has been six weeks, and we don’t know how many more there are to come. I get asked if I’m scared or worried about my dad. The first time he was diagnosed I would have answered with yes, but that I was sure he would be okay in the end. Now when I get asked that question I say yes, but I don’t have the reassurence in the back of my head anymore. I sat down with my dad a few weeks ago and told him that if he thought he wasn’t going to make it, that I wanted him to tell me so that I could prepare myself. That conversation was one that I never want to have again. The thought that the cancer could eventually win is one that is constantly there, and until he has been clear for five years, it always will be. Bad news is something that I can deal with now. As hard as it is to have the thoughts of cancer in my head all day, every day, it’s now just part of me. I have the sad, happy, funny, and loving parts in my head, and my dad and I have always shared those. But now, we both have a cancer part, and it is just something that we live with and deal with. Knowing my dad has it too gives me a sense of comfort because I know I’m not alone. |

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Secrets of the Justice System BY ATTICUS DEWEY

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he justice system. It governs our lives and keeps us from becoming mindless beasts. However, the justice system also holds secrets that can change how people view the courtroom and prisons. The Power of Privatized Prisons The United States prison and justice system is a failure on many levels. Many purposes prisons are meant to serve, are simply not attained. The statement that the point of prison is to reduce crime is false. With over 2.2 million people incarcerated in the United States — which is almost 10 times more than there were 50 years ago — the statement simply cannot be true. Despite this massive increase in prison population, a study conducted by the New York University School of Law found that the effect of prisons on crime rate has been essentially zero. This is because the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) makes profits off of the inmates that prisons hold. It all started in the ‘80s, when the “war on drugs” meant state and federal prisons were bursting at the seams. It was during this time that the CCA offered to begin paying for the construction and management of prisons, instead of the government. As Thomas Beasley — one of the co-founders of the CCA — once said, “You just sell [prisons] just like you were selling cars, real estate, or hamburgers.” The CCA can bring in up to 1.6 billion dollars a year, and data shows that private prisons cost taxpayers just as much as public prisons. Nearly one-fifth of today’s prisoners are held in a money-making facility. Another downside to private prisons is the amount of infractions that inmates receive. One study by the University of Wisconsin showed that private prisons deal out twice as many infractions as government prisons. These penalties can lengthen prisoners’ sentences, allowing the prisons to make even more money. Finally, private prisons sneak occupancy clauses into their contracts, which require states to keep their prisons full. In 2014, a prison in Arizona didn’t meet their 97 percent occupancy quota, forcing the state government to pay them a $3 million fine. Fines like these encourage cash-grabbing states to keep people in prison for as long as possible.

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The Problems with Juries While having a jury is the cornerstone of our democracy system — citizens’ fates being decided not by a dictator or king, but by a jury of fellow citizens — the people serving in it are bound to make mistakes. It is a testament to democracy that our justice system gives such overwhelming powers to average citizens. However, that also means that our juries are subject to the same biases people have in everyday life. One study of behavioral sciences and the law stated that jurors are more likely to give lenient sentences to attractive defendants, and on average, juries find defendants less guilty if they are wearing glasses. These biases are so powerful that there is an entire industry of highly-paid trial consultants who help lawyers learn and exploit them. In some cases, consultants even scan potential jurors’ Facebook pages to help decide who to keep and who to send home. While these biases may sound trivial, the effect they have on cases can be devastating. “There are many biases that can determine the outcomes of trials,” said Adam Benforado, a professor at Drexel University of Kline School of Law. “For example, political biases can be far more influential on the outcome of a case than what the law actually says. So, in date rape cases, older, more conservative women are far more likely to acquit than those of younger, more liberal women. Regardless of how the law actually defines rape. “Sadly, our juries all see the world through the tinted lenses of their own biases, which is one of the reasons why black defendants fair so much worse in our system than white defendants. We have all been exposed to damaging stereotypes that link blackness with crime and violence. This can lead juries to assign black defendants to longer sentences than white defendants, because we implicitly see them as more of a threat. “Finally, lawyers pay trial consultants huge sums to ensure they have the most bias juries possible in their favor. This means that a case can be won by the selection of the jury before the trial even begins.” With jurors being paid as little as four dollars an hour in some states, they have little monetary reason to take trials seriously. The pay is so low that we treat jury duty as if it is some sort of punishment. Some

Opinion

cities have had such a poor turnout for jury duty that they have had to postpone murder trials. Think about that, people’s fates being decided by people who get paid poverty wages, and would rather be doing anything else. So is it any wonder that they fall back onto their irrational biases? The Horrors of Solitary Confinement Solitary confinement has many devastating effects on prisoners’ mental health. In solitary confinement, you’re left alone in a room for 23 hours a day, with nothing more than a king-size bed. It’s an archaic and cruel form of punishment that started in the 1800s. Solitary confinement was conceived by Quakers who thought prisoners would spend the time reflecting and using the Bible; but eventually, even they decided that it was too cruel to use. The Supreme Court at the time declared “Prisoners subject to solitary confinement became violently insane; others still, committed suicide.” Solitary confinement fell out of use in the United States for over a century, and has only come back into use in the past few decades, and it’s been ruining minds ever since. Humans are social animals, and when there is prolonged denial of social contact it can cause serious and permanent brain damage. People held in solitary confinement often hallucinate, fall into depression, and lose the ability to tell how much time has passed. Solitary confinement isn’t just used for the worst of the worst either; it is routinely used in our prison system. It is given to anyone that the guards don’t want to deal with: the mentally ill, those who are LGBTQ+, and even prisoners that refused to eat dinner have all been thrown into solitary confinement just because the guards found them “difficult.” Solitary confinement is administered to 80-100 thousand prisoners a year. In fact, there are some prisons that are completely made up of solitary confinement cells. These prisons, called “Supermax prisons,” are enormous complexes, full of people in tiny cells like animals, slowly being driven insane. They may be criminals, but it is immoral and cruel to subject them to this kind of torture. Research shows that solitary confinement causes a syndrome called deliri-


GRAPHIC BY ISAAC MCKENNA

um. People with this kind of disease don’t just hallucinate, but also have difficulty thinking, panic attacks, and overt paranoia. Once they’re finally released from solitary, the outside world can oftentimes be too much for them to handle. For example, one teenager that was held at Rikers prison, named Kalief Browder, was accused of stealing a backpack. He was held in solitary for almost two years before his case was dropped. He didn’t even go to trial and he had to spend two years in solitary confinement. When he got out, his family said he would stay in his room for days, before finally committing suicide. Some prisoners are kept in solitary for decades before being abruptly shoved back into society, often in a worse mental state than when they arrived. When you put all this information together it’s hard to escape the conclusion that solitary confinement is a form of punishment that should be considered torture. Public Defendants, the Unsung Heroes of the Courtroom Of course the system is not perfect, and no one knows this better than public defenders. When a person cannot afford council with a lawyer, the public defenders are there to help them. Over 80 percent of people charged with a crime require the help of a public defender. The fact is, the deck is stacked against both public defendants and their clients in every case they take on. First of all, there are just not enough public defenders taking on the load, because taking the job means turning down a lucrative career. On average, lawyers of big private firms earn up to double what public defenders make. Public defenders earn peanuts in comparison, and take on over 2,000 cases a year. At that rate, it is impossible to spend enough time on each case. One public defender in Minnesota only had about 12 minutes to work on a case, per client. In another case, one public defender, who had just passed the bar exam, had to represent multiple people facing life sentences in the same week. Public defenders are not only understaffed but under-funded as well, especially when compared to private firm defenders. In California, for every one dollar spent on a prosecution, only 33 cents is spent on defense. In 2007, prosecutors earned $3.5

billion more than public defenders. While private defenders may work a few more cases, it does not justify the fact that private defenders have five times the amount of staff than public defenders have. Furthermore, trial consultants are nowhere near public defenders’ price ranges, some trail consultants charging $300,000 just to work one case. Public defenders are so under-funded that New Orleans had to start refusing new cases. As well as in South Dakota, people have to pay for a public defender. People who are guaranteed attorneys because they are too poor to afford them are then charged for those very attorneys. This problem dwarfs other problems in the courtroom. The government set up a system where the prosecution and defense compete to win cases, then systematically provided one side with massive resources, while starving the other. The entire game is rigged against them. Defenders are some of the hardest working people inside the system. They try their best to give the defendant as much of a chance to win as the prosecution. Re-education is Not an Option Rehabilitation should be the main priority of our prison system, which is why the fact that it does the opposite is deeply concerning. It’s been years since the “prison education dream” has been a reality. Back in 1847, prisons had programs of reading, writing, math, history, geography, physiology, and even physical education. But government budget cuts have systematically eliminated any opportunities for people to educate themselves while in prison. In 1994, being “tough on crime” was all the rage. American politicians hated the idea of prisoners receiving anything. Since then, we’ve gone from 350 college degree programs for prisoners across the country to only 12. The largest college training program in the country, the Michigan Department of Corrections, has a waiting list of 10,000 people, so the chance of getting into one of the programs is slim to none. This is truly upsetting, especially considering that many studies have shown that education is the easiest and cheapest way to reduce recidivism. Right now, 40 percent of federal prisoners are back behind bars in just three years. Instead of trying to reduce that number, the system does everything in its power to make sure the inmates

end up back in the prisons again. “In 1996, I was convicted of a first time, nonviolent drug crime,” said Daryl Atkinson JD, Second Chance Fellow of the US Department of Justice. “I was sentenced to ten years in prison where I did my time, got out, got an education in my law degree, now here I am. But people that leave prison face a littney of barriers. Their rights are stripped away, and it impacts every aspect of their daily lives. “They have no money, but they have to pay for their own ankle monitors and other fees associated with their incarceration; when they apply for a job, they have to check the box of ‘have you ever been convicted of a felony,’ which immediately disqualifies them from even being considered and is one of the requirements of their parole; they cannot find a place to live, because they are discriminated against by landlords; they have no support from themselves, or from society. Instead of truly rehabilitating people, the system keeps setting them up to fail. “America is supposed to be the land of second chances, but we continue to punish millions of American citizens again and again for this that they already paid their debt to society for. It’s just wrong.” 60 percent of the prison population is made up of people of color: black men are six times more likely to end up in prison than white men. Two million Americans are stuck in prison, two million trapped in a system that profits off of them being there, shoves them into tiny boxes where they go insane, and does everything it can to make sure they come back. In the end, it almost seems as if the point of prison is to take the people we’re scared of and lock them away, as far away as possible, just to forget about them. But, this system, while flawed, is a system that we can work to change. There are incremental steps that we can take to make the system better. Campaigns such as “Ban the Box” give previously incarcerated prisoners a fair chance at obtaining a job after their release. But if we really want to overhaul the system, we need to eliminate mandatory minimums — which is the minimum amount of time a judge can sentence a prisoner for — as well as all the harsh laws that turn people into second-class citizens after their release.

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Our Land is Suffering Here is why there is no better time than now to experience it. BY MARY DEBONA

I remember sitting in a dark theater with 3D glasses while footage of U.S. National Parks and “This Land is Your Land” played. I wasn’t sure why at the moment, but I was filled with sadness. I felt like crying, so I did. The videos of beautiful parts of our country should have made me happy, but all I could think about was their effect on me: the way that they shaped me when I was going through those awkward middle school and high school years of “finding myself.” If it hadn’t been for summer camp trips backpacking on North Manitou Island, and later on the Klondike Gold Rush trail, vacations spent on road trips with my family — out west through the Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier, or out east to Acadia — I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. I couldn’t get over the fact that all of these places are experiencing the negative effects of climate change, which is already transforming them into different places than they were a hundred years ago: coastal parks are shrinking as ocean levels rise, glaciers are melting as temperatures increase and seasons of snowfall shorten, and animals are vacating parks because they have become too warm. The thought of some people never getting to experience them — since we are failing to preserve them for future generations as promised — made me feel sick. At the time that I was watching this short film, Donald Trump was yet to be elected president. Therefore, the budget of the National Parks Service hadn’t been threat-

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ened either, but it was something about the thought of these beautiful public lands that make up the National Parks Service, no longer being public that got to me. When I was watching the movie, the current president had designated more land to the National Parks Service than any other president in history. One of Barack Obama’s many legacies while in office was his contribution to our public land. Soon after Trump entered office, he began to propose the destruction of them. He has shrunk the size of both Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by a total of two million acres; he aims to allow drilling for oil in these monuments as well as others, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. According to the National Parks Conservation Association, oil drilling is already taking place in 12 different units that are part of the National Parks Service. At the same time, 30 additional are under agreements that make them potential land for oil drilling by private companies. The fact of the matter is, if this goes through, it won’t be long before we won’t be able to enjoy these currently public lands anymore. The whole idea of the parks being preserved for future generations will be forgotten and become obsolete. Oil drilling poses a giant threat to the national parks, which is why many of them are currently protected under the 9B rules. The 9B rules exist to preserve the parks as perfectly as possible for future generations and were created in 1978 to protect national parks from drilling. And

Opinion

Trump wants to repeal them. These lands are symbols for cultural, environmental, and patriotic values — some things which Trump claims to “value,” despite the fact that he isn’t hesitating to rid us of them. This is why there is not better time than now to experience them. As Trump continues to propose cuts to the organizations that protect our environment and allows the most beautiful places in our country to be open to the public, for anyone to experience, and suggests that we extract minerals from these places, we are slowly losing them. I don’t think that we should give up on attempting to change Trump’s mind, but regardless, we have already failed to preserve our national parks: glaciers have retreated, migration and weather patterns have changed, sea levels have risen, species are dying out… There’s no way to reverse this, and there’s no way to stop climate change from continuing to take place, even though we can attempt to slow it down. Furthermore, Trump’s drilling proposals aren’t going to help the situation. This is why there’s no better time than now to experience the national parks. It’s sad, but it’s reality. If we don’t visit these parks now, we might never get to see them, or at least not the parts of them that are threatened by our changing environment. I urge you to explore these lands while they’re still public and before it’s too late. They changed my life for the better, and I believe that they can change others’ too.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAITLIN MAHONEY

Awareness Counts “Screenagers” is important, whether we like it or not. BY LOEY JONES-PERPICH

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hen I was young, my parents set up a rule that regulated the amount of screen time my brother and I could have per week. They gave us six poker chips, each representing 15 minutes. We only had six per week, and it was up to us to use our time wisely. Over time, the methods have changed, but we’ve always had limits on screen time. I would protest the rules, but with a television and my mom’s computer as my only opportunities to be on a screen, they were pretty easy to follow. Now at 15 years old, I’ve got the whole world in my pocket, just two taps away. I always have one earbud in, and I spend a large amount of my recreational time on my phone. I’ve noticed the increasingly isolationist tendencies that come with my constant listening to music and the anxiety that Instagram induces, both with me and with

other people, but I’ve never cared enough to do anything about it. My moms have noticed it too, and we all acknowledge that it isn’t just me. It’s my brother, my peers, his peers, my parents’ peers, and so many other people we know. It only seemed right that my parents would take us to see the movie “Screenagers,” which was playing at Skyline and Forsythe. I expected it to be all about how we, the teens, are at blame for the screen addiction that many possess. I was pleasantly surprised. It presented the issue of screen addiction as an epidemic. It showed many different types of people in many different situations, all revolving around screens. It acknowledged the good things that screens can do for us, while also putting emphasis on the downsides. A reoccuring voice throughout the movie was Delaney Ruston, a physician and

mother. While trying to regulate her own daughter’s cell phone time, she took viewers through many people’s stories, including a boy in rehab for video game addiction, kids with violent tendencies learned from violent video games, and how people overcame their screen-related challenges. After seeing this movie, I didn’t change any of my behaviors. However, I’m consciously aware of screens and their effects. I often tune in to my brother’s use of violent video games, and I acknowledge my own screen usage. It hasn’t made me want to eradicate all forms of screen from the earth. I love my phone, and I know many people who would agree. It’s the fact that I am conscious of myself that makes “Screenagers” meaningful to me, because it’s being aware that lets me know that someday, if need be, I will be able to make a change.

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“I’m Not Listening” How a Republican feels in a liberal school. BY AN ANONYMOUS WRITER

I am a Republican. It feels liberating to type that out; however, I want my name to remain unattached to this. I know I would lose friends and be targeted for that simple sentence. I live in a very liberal town, and attend a very liberal high school. For four years, I have kept quiet; I know the reaction people would have if they found out my political views. Even my close friends don’t know much about what I think of politics. I avoid getting into conversations related to “sensitive” issues, and if I am stuck in one, I keep my answers vague and my tone neutral. I am fearful of slipping up and having those around me realize my true opinions. People at Community High School and in Ann Arbor hear the word “Republican” and have a visceral reaction. In my experience, they immediately jump to the stereotypical image of a white, southern “redneck” sitting in his worn armchair, drinking beer and polishing the scope on his rifle while his repressed wife cooks him a roast in the kitchen. They characterize all Republicans as old, white, sexist, racist, homophobic, religiously-intolerant men. This, however, is not true. I am for gay marriage; I am for women’s rights; I respect religions other than my own; and, although I know it’s impossible not to notice the color of someone’s skin, I do not make binding judgments about people based on that. Perhaps some of you reading this are thinking, “Then you aren’t a Republican.” You would be wrong. Fiscally, I am conservative; I do not believe increasing the taxes on the wealthy will solve our nation’s money problems, and I do believe in limiting government spending and resources on social programs. I know some of you may be tempted to stop reading at this point, and that is the problem I’m bringing to light; the biggest reason I call myself a Republican is 72

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because I believe in the governmental system of a republic. I urge you to read to the end of this before dismissing my argument as being less than worthwhile because I am a Republican. Going to a school like Community makes me feel more “right-sided” than I actually am, and that is part of the problem. I feel ostracized, despite having similar views on social issues as a lot of people at my school. At Community, students are encouraged to find themselves. I am so proud to go to a high school that cares about its students, and gives them the opportunity to discover themselves. And yet, I have personally felt the lack of this acceptance when it comes to politics. In fact, I have felt the complete opposite. I have been fearful to express myself. This is, in large part, due to the fact that most people at Community stop listening after they hear something even slightly different from what they believe. There is no discussion despite it being an integral part of democracy. The art of disagreement — hearing out your opposing side’s argument and reasoning, then responding — is dead. I have witnessed students at Community approach conversations with strangers ready to shut them out. I have seen them walk up to someone, ask a probing question meant to yield an answer suggesting their personal political views, and then — when they don’t receive an answer that perfectly aligns with their own — ending the conversation abruptly. I would never say that assuming a person’s stance on several political issues is equivalent to assuming something of a person’s character based on their religious beliefs or skin color. That being said, some CHS Democrats and other “left-oriented” people are stereotyping Republicans while they accuse Republicans of being bigots for stereotyping others. How is this fair?

Opinion

People do not even give me the opportunity to explain my thoughts fully, and instead, they just stop listening. I remember one instance in particular, I stated my agreement with one of our current laws. One of my peers overheard me say this to a close friend, and I followed with saying I agree with a lot of laws in effect today. It was out of context, and I even attempted to amend my statement afterwards to be more clear, that I was only referring to laws in this specific area. Unfortunately, this person started saying that I was not allowed to talk about political issues because I was financially “of privilege.” I was attacked with no ability to defend myself. This person did not give me the opportunity to correct myself or provide reasoning before assuming I was saying something unforgivable and shouting me down. Just because someone is more privileged than another does not discount their opinion or voice. Privilege is a relative term; you are more privileged than others. Should those people of less privilege not listen to you because of it? I am not the only student at Community that has dealt with this. “[I don’t feel ostracised by] my closest friends,” said Max Resnick, a senior at Community and well-known conservative within the building. “But some people who I was acquainted with, they found out that I was a conservative, and they just stopped talking to me.” I have seen this happen to others as well, and knowing that this would happen to me is why I’m choosing to remain anonymous. “I just keep my mouth shut,” an anonymous source said. “I try not to get involved. If [a teacher] calls on me, I just give a neutral answer. I would never give my actual opinion in a class because 95 percent of Community is liberal, I would say.”


“[If I were to share my opinions I would] probably get publicly humiliated, across the entire school,” the same anonymous source said. “And people would look at me like I was a conservative. I think I would get looked at differently, and a lot of people wouldn’t talk to me anymore, just because of my political views.” I have heard liberals at Community explain that they are always in defense of those voices that are silenced. But their actions are actually doing the silencing. This contradiction cannot be ignored. Despite everything I feel, I have experienced effective conversations with people at Community who hold differing opinions from me. During these conversations, we have talked amicably about our opposing views by explaining our evidence and thought processes behind them, conceding points to the other person when necessary, and then responding with our own ideas. When I admitted the other person made a good point, we continued with the discussion. They did not shut down and declare that they had won, or begin dismissing everything I said as me not accepting defeat, a fact I was very grateful for. I want to be able to ask questions and not fear being attacked. Recently, I didn’t understand the point of the student walkouts, so I asked a person whom I trust, someone who I knew was liberal, but also would answer my question without overreacting. They did, and we had a conversation where they clarified the reasoning behind the walkouts. We listened, we talked, and we learned. How can we ever hope to further someone’s understanding of things if they are afraid of asking questions? I have also been in conversations with people who are not willing to admit when I state something worthwhile, and take my acknowledgement of their good point as me conceding the entire discussion. This

makes me want to dig in my heels and never agree with any part of an argument, so once again, the discussion becomes unproductive and dies out. Because people with the same views are the only ones who ever speak out, classrooms become echo chambers. Students only ever reiterate ideas. This furthers no one. I love Community. It’s an amazing school that has given me so much. Still, I think it earns criticism for the way it treats the minority of students who “lean right.” At Community, people are often bullied for their political opinions. “I was wearing my Trump hat, and I won’t name his name, but there was a kid who would keep hitting my hat off,” Resnick said. “One day, I was waiting for the homebuilding [bus], and he went [down] in the grass and started crawling up behind me, and right as I was about to get on the bus, he grabbed the hat off my head and threw it under the bus.” How can we, as a student body and school as a whole, claim that Community is fostering a culture of acceptance, freedom of expression, and freedom from judgment when students are bullied for speaking their mind? I would never condone someone saying racist comments or other targeting statements, but just because someone doesn’t believe in the current welfare system does not give anyone an excuse to bully them. Another issue at our school that only contributes to the overall problem is that some teachers at Community don’t keep their own politics out of the classroom. They are just as guilty of targeting students for disagreeing with them on political issues as the student body. When the presidential election results were announced, I was afraid to go into my history class that day. I knew the only thing we would be talking about was the election results, and

I knew how the “discussion” would go. It would be very one sided, grouping all republicans together as supporters of the then-president elect, and blatantly stereotyping them. I also knew my teacher would not step in and moderate, because he held the same opinion. “It depends on the class; it depends on the teacher,” Resnick said. “So, in some classes it’s fine to speak your mind, and in other classes it’s not. One time [a teacher] had one of his students who is now at U of M — he’s a black student — and I was sitting down on the first floor. He introduces me to his student, and he says, ‘Max doesn’t want you to be at Michigan, because he hates affirmative action.’ So yeah, sometimes, it is pretty rough.” “I’ve definitely felt it,” an anonymous source said. “I’ve been judged when, in class, we are talking about politics, like [in] government class specifically. There’s a lot of politics in that class, and I’ve felt like I’ve wanted to share my opinions, but I couldn’t because then I would just get persecuted by everyone.” “Yes [I’ve seen Republican students speak up in class and when they do] my heart just sinks,” the same anonymous source said. “Everybody in the class just attacks that person, and I would never want that to happen to me.” Being afraid to speak up in class for fear of social ostracism and persecution is wrong, especially in a place that bloviates acceptance and freedom of expression. We as a school are to blame for this. We need to actually practice what we preach and allow all students to speak their thoughts. There is a difference between speaking out against someone saying hateful targeting statements and someone who is attacked for simply disagreeing with your political views. |

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Nicole Coveyou talks about her plans for the future and her time at CHS.

I want to do, and make some new friends. I just accepted my admission to DePaul in Chicago, and the fact that I am going to Chicago is the most exciting part. I am excited to be in a big city.

What do you think you’ll miss about Community the most? Probably the teachers and just the general vibe here, because it’s so laid back and everyone is so helpful.

What teachers are you going to miss most after you graduate? Judith. I had her freshman year and now this year, so it’s full circle, and I will miss her a lot. I will miss Cindy a lot because she has helped me start up my club “Feminist’s Voice for Action” and has been there to help me a lot. I am also going to miss Moe because he is just so awesome. And Brett, because he is my forum leader.

BY GRACE BRADLEY, ELLA ROBERTS, AND CAMMI TIRICO

What is your advice for underclassmen?

PHOTOGRAPHY BY EBBA GURNEY

Use your teachers to your advantage, ask for help, and put yourself first in life and in general. Just make sure you’re healthy and happy.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully, figuring out what I want to do. Maybe own a business of some sort. I’ll be living in Chicago in the fall, so something there.

What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you at Community? It was April Fool’s Day freshman year, and Clarence Collins and Fiona Lynch took my backpack. I ended up chasing Clarence all around the entire school before first block, and then they emptied out my backpack and took all my stuff and I didn’t know that until I got into Judith’s class and I opened up my backpack and it was full of two boxes of Cheerios. And it wasn’t Honey Nut Cheerios. It was just regular Cheerios, so I couldn’t even eat them. And then Fiona convinced everyone that it was my birthday and Judith had everyone sing happy birthday to me.

What are your goals for college and after college? I want to do well at DePaul. After college, who knows where I will be. I want to be successful. I want to be happy. I want to be healthy, loving myself — who I am, what I like, my thoughts, my passions. [I want to be] able to spread that on to others and help other people find joy in life and be happy.

What’s something you know you do differently than other people? I’m very thoughtful and I am very open about things and happy and bubbly. I guess I’m able to take the things I love to do, my passions, and really express them.

What is your favorite forum memory? Forum day sophomore year. We went camping and just the entire night. I ended up having to go to the hospital because I was bit by something and my ankle started swelling and Quinn was like, “You need to go to the hospital.” Then I came back and everything was okay. A bunch of freshman were fighting each other and it was really funny.

What is the scariest part of graduating for you? The fact that high school is kind of over and I have to step into new life and be a kind of adult.

What is your goal in life right now? Just to be a happier, healthier

me and to go to college, figure out what 76

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N I C O L E ‘18 C O V E Y O U


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April 2018

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Our Turn: On Growing BY MAZEY PERRY

“One time I grew as a person was when I went on a mission trip to Alabama. I think I was 12 at the time, and it was the first time I had really done anything to help other people. It was also my first time seeing a really impoverished neighborhood. There were a ton of trailer parks, homeless people, and just a ton of people who needed help. For about a week and a half we lived in little cabins with around 20 people in them and just built houses for people who didn’t have any.”

OWEN KELLEY

“I think as humans we grow every day and all day. I think one main thing that made me grow as a person was last year, when a lot of people I knew were dying, and mental health was very prevalent in my life. When Miles Roberts died, I think that impacted me a lot. That’s when I learned that people can be upset, but there are people that need me, and you need to be able to grow up. I feel like I got a sense of people needing help and that’s what made me realize that I need to grow up. Now I’m more aware of how people are acting and what signs to look at. I think that mental illness is just a very big issue that has impacted me a lot.”

MARLEY WOLFF “In middle school for sixth and seventh grade I went to Tappan, and I went with all my friends from elementary school. We kind of all stayed together as a group, then me and my friends’ interests went in different directions. It got to the point where none of us had very much in common, and by the end of seventh grade it was hard to find my place. I told my parents I didn’t really want to go back there, so they sent me to a private school for a year and it gave me a chance to grow as a student mostly, but also I got to learn how to make new relationships and try and break into a group that had been together for eight years straight. The first few days were kind of hard, but once I figured it out, I gained a lot of skills socially in that experience and it made coming to high school a lot easier. Academically, it was a lot harder than my public school, and I grew in that way too.”

AVA MILLMAN

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Feature


WHAT WAS THE LAST COLLEGE YOU VISITED? I have visited a total of two. The last one I visited was a second tour of Michigan State. My first one was a general tour of the campus and it’s beautiful. A lot of green — not even for the school, but a lot of green like grass and trees. There’s a crazy big drag type of thing that’s awesome to walk through and seems fun to study in during warmer days with a lot of bike trails.

WHERE WAS THE LAST PLACE YOU WENT ON VACATION?

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU GOT INJURED? One time I was playing basketball and I went up for a jump and came down really wrong. I strained my hip-flexer really bad. The tendons were stretched out; I couldn’t lift my left knee up along with my leg. I couldn’t walk for two weeks. This was sophomore year. I still played basketball on it, but not in games because I couldn’t actually run. But I was still like, “You know what, I’m fine. Even if I can’t lift my leg.”

one

WHAT WAS THE LAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO? 1 Train by A$AP Rocky.

last thing ethan

I went to Ohio to see my grandparents. That’s sort of a vacation, one or two months ago. I don’t take vacations very often.

ziolek

WHAT WAS THE LAST JOB YOU HAD? I work really weird jobs. The last two summers I’ve been a camp counselor. The first year I went I was a CIT (Counselor In Training). It’s a fun program. You have to wash dishes which sucks but CIT-ing was fun. J -staff (Junior Staff) was the first year of getting paid. You’re at camp for four-to-five weeks, which is half of the summer. You start getting your own independence as a counselor and this year I’m a full summer staff. I’m excited to go back and to be able to have my own cabin.

WHAT WAS THE LAST SPOTS EVENT THAT YOU WATCHED? Definitely the Michigan-Purdue basketball game. It was a good game, honestly. Purdue fans should not be that upset even though Michigan won fairly easily. Purdue still put up a good fight and it was a good game overall. Everyone should be appreciative of a good basketball game.

BY ED LEWIS

WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The Office. I’m starting The Office now to actually watch it in order. It’s hilarious.The Office is good. But I can also sit and have The Office on and not really pay attention, but then always go back to it and know what’s going on. It’s that type of show where you can just have it on and don’t really have to pay attention and still get it.

WHAT WAS THE LAST DREAM YOU REMEMBER? The last dream I had was really exciting. I was really old and I had my own store: a country market store to myself in West Virginia. I went outside and there was an alien ship out there and it blew everything up. Then I woke up. But I think that’s how the world’s supposed to end: with me running a country market.

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Edition 4 2018  
Edition 4 2018  
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