New Meramec Principal Patrick Fisher shares how he found his way into education.
Volleyball captain Sophia Boyd is a standout after transferring from MICDS.
A CHS graduate debuts her new film, Big Sonia. Editor Richard Cheng reviews the documentary.
globe. Why do we still play football? page 22
Clayton High School. Clayton, MO. November 2018.
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3 | CONTENTS
November 2018 14 OVERPRESCRIBED A study of the effect of overprescription of opioids for minor procedures.
9 ICE RINK UPDATE A look into the new addition to the Clayton Shaw Park Ice Rink.
22 WHY DO WE STILL PLAY FOOTBALL? An in-depth investigation into the effects of football and whether the risk is worth the reward.
40 AFFIRMATIVE ACTION An opinion piece on how affirmative action is impacting the lives of Asian college applicants.
EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Michael Bernard and Jacob LaGesse
CHIEF DIGITAL EDITOR
Louis Vanâ€™t Hof
CHIEF PHOTO EDITOR Michael Melinger
CHIEF VIDEO EDITOR Sean Kim
COPY EDITOR Anna Sturmoski
SENIOR MANAGING EDITORS Richard Cheng Grace Snelling Lila Taylor
SECTION EDITORS David Higuchi, NEWS Sara Stemmler, FEATURE Daniel Cohen, SPORTS Ashley Chung, OPINION Hongkai Jiang, REVIEW
PHOTOGRAPHERS Isabella Clark
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5 | editors letter
from the editor As the recent homecoming week at CHS came to a close, I found myself constantly drawn back to the same question: why, in 2018, do we still play football? A study conducted by the Institute of Medicine and funded by the NFL concluded that largest percentage of head injuries in high school sports can be attributed to football. In 2017 alone, 281 professional football players were reported being concussed, an all-time high for head injuries in the NFL. Repeated blunt-force trauma to the head, which is common in football, has been proven to lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease which kills brain cells and, with current technology, is untreatable. The study showed 110 out of 111 former professional football players who donated their brains to science postmortem were diagnosed with CTE. As science progresses, research continues to reveal, by increasingly staggering degrees, the lasting negative consequences of head injuries. Especially for athletes who develop CTE, these consequences can become life-threatening. So what is it about football that makes us willing to overlook these risks? The answer, in large part, is not that football is exceptional compared to other sports, nor that it is somehow more entertaining to
watch or participate in. We play football because it is no longer just a sport; it has become an integral part of the American psyche and a cultural symbol. For many Americans, their football team’s success is incredibly important; it is a natural human instinct to want to be a part of a unified group and to support a force that one considers to be “good” as opposed to the plethora of antagonists that exist outside of one’s team. However, the deep bonds that can develop between a fan and a team extend far beyond these bounds. According to David Ezell, clinical director and CEO for therapy provider Darien Wellness, neurons in the brain called mirror neurons are activated when one watches football. Essentially, these are empathetic pathways which somewhat convince your brain (and your body) that you are actively participating in the game. So, when we root for a team, we aren’t just invested in the players’ success: we see their achievements as our own. Though many may argue that the brutality of football has a negative impact on the mindsets and the physical health of young adults, its power to bring people together and cultivate school spirit is grounded in science and has the ability to be exceedingly valuable. One of the memories that I can recall most clearly from my childhood is attending
a fall football game with my cousins in sixth grade. While the plays of the game itself and the hours that we spent watching it together have faded into obscurity, the image that remains imprinted in my mind was a moment that occurred after it was over and the game was won. As thousands of University of Illinois fans poured out of the stands and onto the massive concrete ramp that led down to the first floor, a loud victorious chant broke out, which everyone quickly joined in unison. Something about the magnitude of these combined voices, as well as each individual’s sense of perceived triumph, made me feel as though I had a deep connection with the body of strangers surrounding me. I may not be the biggest football fan, but I think that this further proves my point. Everyone, in some capacity, has the ability to be caught up in the spirit of a crowd, and that spirit breeds feelings of unity. Perhaps this is something that we, as an academically-oriented school district, forget. Many at CHS will inevitably get caught up in the competition for intellectual success, which can create an environment in which each student is striving only for personal gain, sometimes even at the expense of his or her peers. Sports are the perfect vessel to, maybe only for an hour or two, dismiss these differences and bond under the pursuit of a common goal.
GRACE SNELLING | SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR Photo by Michael Melinger
Photo by Michael Melinger
SOCCER STAR The CHS soccer team (21-3-1) is currently the number one seed in their district. The hounds are ranked number eight in Missouri. Senior forward Max Boeger dribbles past a defender in a home game against Maplewood Richmond Heights. The Hounds won 8-0.
ANNIKA SANDQUIST | PHOTOGRAPHER
news & notes DAVID HIGUCHI | NEWS SECTION EDITOR
“What the Arab world needs most is free expression” Jamal Khashoggi, From the last column of the dissident Saudia Arabian journalist before he was reportedly murdered by state assassins in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.
WOW, THAT WAS FAST
bike rack slot, the award the University of Missouri is giving to Professor George Smith for winning the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Other schools have recognized their Nobel laureates with a dedicated parking spaces, but because the 77-year-old professor bikes to work everyday the university decided a bike rack space would be appropriate.
WOW, the Icelandic budget airliner which just started operations in St. Louis this May announced that it would end service at the end of this year. The airline known for it’s cheap nonstop fights to Europe, including $99 flights to Iceland, will have operated in St. Louis for just five months. In a statement released, WOW called St. Louis a “disappointment” with ‘‘load factors not achieving the targets that were set for the route in the beginning, and compared to other markets in our network.” This contradicted a statement released earlier by Lambert Airport which described St. Louis flyers’ response to WOW’s arrival as “strong” and called their decisions to leave a disappointment. WOW airlines also announced it would also be ending service in Cincinnati and Cleveland as part of an overall shift in the airline’s strategy to focus more on newer routes including its upcoming service to India. The last WOW flights will leave from Lambert on January 7th.
Globe journalists nominated for 2018 National Scholastic Press Association Individual Awards of the Year.
ST. LOUIS PRO SOCCER DREAM REVIVED
A new majority female-led ownership group consisting of members of the Taylor family, owners of Enterprise Holdings as well as Jim Kavanaugh, CEO of World Wide Technology, has launched a new bid to bring the MLS to St. Louis. The proposal calls for no public buy-in and will be “overwhelmingly privately funded” unlike the previous failed attempt back in 2017 which asked for $60 million dollars in public funding.
Rendering of proposed stadium by HOK
0.097% to 1.562% The percent Native American Sen. Elizabeth Warren is following a DNA test she released in an attempt to prove her Native American heritage which ultimately ended up backfiring on her. The Cherokee Nation released a statement condemning the test: “Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong [...] Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”
on the bRINK
9 | NEWS
SARA STEMMLER | FEATURE SECTION EDITOR
The dream of a renovated ice rink is in danger of fading away
As of late, any mention of construction in the Clayton area is enough to make one grind their teeth. The Wellbridge and Centene projects have caused bouts of frustration and closures, leaving many to question the benefits of such projects for the community. Plans arose at the close of the last winter season to renovate the Shaw Park ice rink; however, the community was, at large, more willing to jump on board to improve the site of one of Clayton’s defining pastimes. CHS Junior James Breckenridge, ice rink guard and avid skater, agrees with the majority of frequent skaters when he says the rink has many obvious areas for growth, even when it comes to the corresponding building where skaters can grab their skates or a quick hot cocoa at the concession stand next-door. “I still think [the renovation] is pretty necessary because especially towards the end of the season after all of these people had been through there, the carpet just didn’t look as clean as it should have been, and all the technology and pipes in there are almost seventy years old,” Breckenridge said. While the building is in obvious disrepair and has been for the last decade, many would argue that renovations to the rink itself are more desperately needed. Not only would these renovations include improvements to the physical quality of the ice, but these changes may lead to an increased revenue that could provide beneficial funding to the department to decrease future shortcomings. “I’d say the most important parts [of the renovation] are making the rink bigger so we can host more hockey games or hockey activities and just have a bigger ice rink for people to enjoy. I’d also say the cooling system, because if we can get a bigger rink and a bigger cooling system, the ice will be good-quality ice and it will attract a lot more people and we can hold more people,” Breckenridge said. CHS Sophomore and varsity hockey player Matthew Schroeder agrees that the facilities need to expand, identifying the main issue as a lack of
locker rooms for the team, which starting in November will practice at Shaw Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. The shabby quality of the indoor facility, the shortcomings of the cooling system that frequently leaves one end of the rink watery, and issues related to parking and drop-off have served as substantial evidence that renovations are necessary, though many others have arisen. And this realization was reached in August of 2017, with plans to begin renovations as early as May of 2018. So what happened? Although renovation plans were still just a theory at the close of last winter season, rink staff members and the rest of the Clayton community were ill informed about the changes that were supposed to take flight this year, and it became clear early on that plans were falling through. “There was never technically an email that went around or anything, but as time went on, our managers figured out more from their bosses, and we would ask questions to our managers and learn more that way. It seemed like it was changing a lot during the middle of the winter last year as they were trying to get their plans together, but there was no official memo, you just kind of asked around to all your managers and that became what they were doing as time went on,” Breckenridge said.
“This ended up being a bigger project than anticipated, so we’ve pulled back and have been spending the last six months evaluating the project itself and how whether or not we can fund it moving forward”
As far as the plan’s failure, Breckenridge sought out information on his own from the Clayton Parks and Recreation Department at the end of last season. “I was never told of any specific issues [with finance], and I don’t even think our managers were, because even on our last shift on the last day, even by that point, they didn’t tell us about any problems. It wasn’t until this summer around early July that I was talking to one of the Center of Clayton people asking about when they would start the renovations and they said they were actually going to be open for one more season because they couldn’t get prices right and they weren’t able to come to an agreement on that.” The postponement of the renovations was largely due to financial setbacks, with the two partial facility bids arriving at approximately $2,000,000 over budget. Commission members plan to compensate for this lack by hiring a construction manager who would work with the city to amend the bid in a way that appears more attractive to bidders. As far as this year, the rink is expected to stay open one more season as-is as the Clayton Parks and Recreation Department work to get the project back within the budget of $8.5 Million. “This ended up being a bigger project than anticipated, so we’ve pulled back and have been spending the last six months evaluating the project itself and how whether or not we can fund it moving forward,” Patty Deforrest, director for parks and recreation for the City of Clayton said. Despite financial complications, the extended planning time should allow for the project to move forward, and if new bids come in under budget, construction is expected to begin during the spring of 2019 to wrap up for the fall of 2020. “We are currently waiting to get the results of the study we commissioned with S.M. Wilson. Then the Board will have further discussion about existing funding - what we have available - whether we want to make some of the changes that may result in the price being reduced. Hopefully within the next month, we will get that back on track and back out to bid.” The new facilities will include a 200 foot icerink, standard size for high school hockey, and accommodation for the tennis center. They are also expected to be able to house events such as farmers markets, art fairs, and movie nights to increase activity year-round. “I think it’ll be wonderful to have a site that’s active and vibrant year-round. I think that’s what we’ve always heard that this is a key place in the park and three months it’s really active, but the rest of the year it’s empty,” Deforrest told The Clayton Times. “I think the fact with increased activity and usage of the park is what we’re shooting for. I think it’ll make people happy to have a much more utilized park moving forward.”
10 | NEWS
a great catch The new principal of Meramec Elementary, Patrick Fisher, discusses his unconventional path to education ELLA CUNEO | REPORTER
atrick Fisher, who is certified in elementary education with a philosophy degree, masters degrees in school counseling and education administration and who is currently working on his doctorate in educational leadership, is a college dropout. During his time at Illiopolis High School, Fisher, the new principal at Meramec Elementary School, was only motivated to attend classes every day because he knew that he would not be allowed to play sports if he did not attend class. Throughout high school, Fisher didn’t enjoy learning. He felt as though teachers would ask him to jump through hoops over and over again until he would comprehend the material, but he never understood why the material was important.
“For me as a learner and for me as an educator, we can’t forget that it is really about ‘why’ we ask people to do things that motivates them to do it,” Fisher said. Fisher attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIU-E) to play basketball. During his sophomore year he injured his leg and was no longer able to play sports. Fisher discovered that without sports he did not know where he wanted to go with his life and began giving up on his school work. “[I loved] having a common purpose and common goal that being on a team gave me,” he said. After failing in college, he began to notice himself caring less and less about his life. Fisher recalled sleeping on a pool raft in his friends living room and working a temporary job at Rent-A-Center. He decided he needed
Photo of Fisher with students from Meramec Elementary School from Robin Fultz
to move on and go back to college. He says one of his biggest motivations was his parents. “[My dad] would tell us that he wanted us to have a profession, a career, something that gave us more than just a paycheck,” Fisher said. With newfound inspiration, Fisher attended Lewis and Clark Community College to retake certain classes, then continued his learning at SIU-E to get his philosophy degree. He then advanced to the University of Missouri-St. Louis to get the rest of his degrees. Throughout Fisher’s unconventional path of education he realized that educators need to focus on the why of what students are learning. “The biggest thing I got from [high school was] that I think we have to do a better job as educators of making sure that we are engaging all students and letting them see the purpose and the relevance of what they are learning.” Fisher’s new role at Meramec Elementary comes with more than just managing a school; he has to connect to the Clayton community. He expressed that his biggest worry about being a new principal is being accepted into the Meramec family. Being at a new school can be challenging. He has to learn everyone’s names, and connect to the parents and students. But, Brooke Ray, a parent of three Meramec students, has no concern. “Mr. Fisher is doing a great job. I like the way he is communicating with parents through emails, video blogs, and making himself available on the playground after school,” she said. “I find him to be forward thinking and approachable.” Fisher is trying to give students the opportunity to love school in a way he didn’t and the parents of Meramec students are loving it; and admire the way Fisher is changing being called to the principal’s office to a positive reward. “I got a call from Mr. Fisher a few weeks ago. Of course my first thought was: what’s wrong? But he was calling to let me know that my first grader had done an exceptional deed and she was standing with him on speaker phone to let me know,” Ray said. “I think he is focused on kindness, positivity and shining a spotlight on good deeds so that others can emulate that behavior.”
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12 | NEWS
a camper’s conundrum
Clayton students often must choose between athletics and particpation in Sixth Grade Camp CECE COHEN | REPORTER
Photo courtesy of Terri Lawrence
very year, the sixth graders from Wydown Middle School travel to Sherwood Forest Camp for Sixth Grade Camp. The camp serves as a bonding experience for the students, as well as a basis for the year’s curriculum. Around 30 CHS students accompany the middle schoolers as counselors during the four-day trip. In ordwer to receive essential training, the counselors have to arrive a couple days before the students and, consequently, end up missing almost a week of school. Clayton students who attend Sixth Grade Camp have found themselves at odds with their athletic coaches. In addition to missing their classes, counselors who participate in fall sports also miss essential practices and games. For high schoolers competing on the varsity level, it can be difficult to miss these practices and games. Not only are they missing valuable training, but missing game and practice time may also come with other consequences such as being benched or losing playing time. As a result, many CHS students choose not to go to camp because they are afraid of these, and other potential consequences, or because they are told by their coaches that they cannot attend camp.
CHS junior Rachel Markenson was a Counselor-in-Training at Sixth Grade Camp when she was in eighth grade. Markenson, a starter on the varsity volleyball team, was going to apply to be a counselor at camp this year, but her coach told her to make a choice
“I’m glad that I chose volleyball because I love the sport, but I feel that I missed out on some good memories that could have benefited me just as much or even more than volleyball does,” - Rachel Markenson
between maintaining her starting position or going to camp. “I’m glad that I chose volleyball because I love the sport, but I feel that I missed out on some good memories that could have benefited me just as much or even more than volleyball does,” Markenson said. The camp’s directors also feel the effects of this dilemma that many student-athletes face in deciding whether to apply to be a counselor. Because many are reluctant to miss almost a week away from their teams, camp organizers typically receive a low number of applicants each year. Christopher Chisholm, the WMS Sixth Grade Camp director this year, said, “It was always difficult to recruit and secure student-athletes, especially in-season with their sport. Sixth Grade Camp is a pretty big commitment and missing that much time is never an easy thing. Plus, the pool of students this kind of opportunity attracts are usually involved in many different activities, so it is also a problem for students in other activities.” Sixth Grade Camp organizers and the hope that there could be a compromise with the athletic department that accommodates the needs of both the camp and of CHS ath-
13 | NEWS letic teams. “I think they could have come up with a solution, because taking on the camp counselor leadership role is very beneficial to students in ways that sports may not be. Clayton High School strives to make us all well rounded students and this seems to be a flaw that I think is fixable,” Markenson said. One proposed solution is for the athletic department to plan around the dates of Sixth Grade Camp. When scheduling games and meets, the athletic department could avoid the days of Sixth Grade Camp as much as possible. This way, student athletes would miss a minimal number of games. Terri Lawrence, the Sixth Grade Camp director for the past 15 years, said, “I wish that since the week of camp is known a year in advance, that when possible, the number of athletic competitions be limited that week.” CHS Sophomore Sarah Centeno wanted to apply to be a counselor at Sixth Grade Camp this year; however, because of the tennis season, she could not. “Sixth Grade Camp also happened to fall on the last week of the season for me, so I would’ve missed an important chunk of our season,” Centeno said. Another solution is for the Sixth Grade Camp organizers to change the dates of camp. If it was instead help over a three-day weekend, then students would only miss two or three days of practice and games, rather than four or five. Counselors could also do much of their training at school before they leave. “We could maybe have better timing when we have Sixth Grade Camp,” CHS Athletic Director Bob Bone said. “It puts a real hardship on some of our programs, and I know in some sports you may have three or four or five kids off of a team to go to Sixth Grade Camp.” It is possible with greater communication and collaboration between the athletic department and the Sixth Grade Camp organizers, more student-athletes could apply to be camp counselors, while athletic teams remain intact for competitions. “I have not thought about structuring camp to have high school students miss only two school days instead of four,” Chisholm said. “But it is something I would consider, if it meant more students would apply and try out the camp program.”
Photos from Sixth Grade Camp courtesy of Terri Lawrence
“Sixth Grade Camp is a pretty big commitment and missing that much time is never an easy thing. Plus, the pool of students this kind of opportunity attracts are usually involved in many different activities, so it is also a problem for students in other activities.” -Christopher Chisholm
overprescribed over Photo by Whitney Le
broke my nose playing basketball when I was 15 and I was prescribed tylenol-3s, which are codeine. I remember I just took them and I liked the way they made me feel. It was a different high than weed, and when I put the two together it was exactly what I’d been looking for, so that started [my addiction]. If I put myself in my shoes while I was in high school, there was nothing anyone really could’ve said to stop me from doing what I was doing, because that just seemed so far from reality. If someone were to tell me that by the age of 21 I’d be shooting meth and heroin, I’d tell them like, ‘No that’s ridiculous, I just drink lean and smoke weed, I know my limits, I would never,’” said CHS graduate Jack Bernard. Bernard’s experience with illegal substances began in middle school, when he first tried smoking marijuana and enjoyed the high that resulted from it. However, his drug use escalated after he
by grace snelling and lila taylor
was prescribed opioids at the age of 15 and discovered that the euphoric feelings produced by this medication were preferable to those generated by the THC in marijuana. Throughout the following six years, Bernard spent copious amounts of time and money searching for his next high, which, he contended, was not very difficult to find. “I had multiple dealers, I already knew where to get these drugs, and it wasn’t too hard. Honestly you could drive into the city and find them on just about every corner of a bad neighborhood. But it wasn’t tough. I was broke all the time. It continued for years,” Bernard said. Substance addiction put considerable strain on Bernard’s relationships with friends and family. Even those that he got high with began to worry for his health and safety. “People told me to stop all the time, there were all the warning signs. Like even my close friends, even the people I got high with in high school were telling me to stop, you know. And it’s like, when the people you get high with are telling you that you have a problem then you probably have a problem,” Bernard said. Bernard began to seek out treatment when he realized that his substance addiction controlled
his life and sidetracked him from his ambitions. “I was just doing really bad and I had been introduced to recovery on and off for a while,” Bernard said. “I mean I didn’t just go to treatment one time and get better, I had been in and out of treatment centers for two years, so I already knew it was out there and I was in a really bad place at the time. I never had any money, I was always sick, I didn’t really have any relationships with friends or family. My life sucked. I didn’t really have anything to live for. That’s when I reached out for help and started down this path of recovery.” Currently, Bernard works as a director of operations for a string of sober living facilities in Austin, Texas, a job which was offered to him after recovering in the facilities himself. Sobriety has allowed Bernard to live a less chaotic life and to rebuild relationships with those close to him. “For my family, it was a very strained relationship when I was getting high. Now that I’m sober, it’s better than it ever has been,” Bernard said. To current high school or college students, Bernard cautioned against experimentation with drugs, especially because of their degenerative effects on the brain during such a crucial period of
15 | FEATURE growth. Yet, he also stressed the fact that substance use of some kind is normal in teens, and does not always lead to long-term negative consequences. “I mean, it’s tricky, because not everyone who does these drugs is going to get addicted,” Bernard said. “Like someone in high school could take the xanax or opioids or whatever it may be and they could go to a party, have fun, and wake up the next morning and do their homework and go to school on Monday. But there are some people who can’t control it, like they’ll go out and have a few drinks and go do some coke. Or take some xanax and then have to keep doing it and feel like they have to keep taking more and more and more. That’s what separates the addict from the normal user. It’s not abnormal to use drugs and drink alcohol. That’s not something that’s necessarily wrong to do either, in my opinion. Most kids under 21 have taken a drink or a drug; it’s just the fact of the matter. Not everyone is going to become an addict, but if I did have something to say I’d want it to reach that 10 percent who does.” As a recovered addict, Bernard feels that his genetic predispositions and neurochemistry would’ve led him to substance abuse with or without the opioid prescription that he received at the age of 15. Yet, he also contended that those medications were not necessary to manage his pain. For the few teens with a similar predisposition, prescription opioids could act as a gateway for more destructive drug
use. CHS AP Biology teacher, Adam Bergeron, has had his own experience with opioids. He was prescribed the medication after an accident that occurred in his own classroom. “I was here at school,” Bergeron said. “It was the day of the eclipse in 2017. I was in the prep room, right next to my classroom, preparing some materials for a lab experiment inside of a pressure cook-
fore seeking medical attention. “The long story short, I stayed here at school the entire day, stupidly, and went to an urgent care after school. Urgent care checked me out and told me to go to the emergency room. I went to the emergency room and that night I left with a small prescription––about 15 pills––to get me to an appointment with a dermatologist. I believe that opioid was Oxycodone, which is a combination of oxycontin and
“If someone were to tell me that by the age of 21 I’d be shooting meth and heroin, I’d tell them like, ‘No that’s ridiculous, I just drink lean and smoke weed, I know my limits, I would never. ’” er. I grew impatient; I did not wait for the pressure cooker to vent pressure appropriately. I began to open the release valves and liquid that was above the boiling point of water quickly escaped out of the pressure cooker and landed on my arms, and my back and my face and just about instantly caused second and third degree burns all across those parts of my body.” Instead of rushing straight to the emergency room, the injured teacher waited the whole day be-
acetaminophen,” Bergeron said. With his background in biology and science, Bergeron was wary of the highly addictive pain medication that had been prescribed to him. “I had a pretty deep seated fear of the molecules, of these medicines,” Bergeron said. “I was very hesitant to take any of it, unless I knew I was going to sleep. At this point, that night and a couple days in, I was incredibly uncomfortable. I couldn’t roll over to my right side, which is usually where I sleep. My
16 | FEATURE
In 2015 Missouri experienced a loss of
122,573 total years of life due to opioid-involved overdoses.
1 out of every 65 deaths in Missouri in 2017 were due to opioid overdose.
*Statistics sourced from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
17 | FEATURE wife is a nurse practitioner and she made it clear that these medicines would help me sleep. I think I took one every thirty minutes before I would go to bed.” Additionally, he refrained from taking the opioids during the day. Instead, he chose to ingest lower risk, over-the-counter pain medicine. “I didn’t usually feel like I was in pain during the day. If I was uncomfortable, I would just take ibuprofen.” Despite taking this strong medicine, Bergeron found himself without any addiction to Oxycodone. “I never noticed a dependence [on the opioids],” said Bergeron. “The only dependence I can begin to describe was when I did go to see the dermatologist, and he recommended that I had to shave my arm where the burn took place. Because that skin was so new and so sensitive, the idea of scraping a razor across it would be incredibly painful. The dependency came in where before I attempted that, I had to take the medicine before. Again, about thirty minutes prior and before I went to bed. Otherwise that task would’ve been incredibly unmanageable.” He was able to use the potentially dangerous and potent drugs carefully and as needed. This is usually the case––but not for all. According to WASHU professor of emergency medicine and Barnes Jewish Hospital Section Chief of Medical Toxicology Evan Schwarz, opioid prescription is unlikely to lead to addiction in most people. However, he additionally pointed out that for those with a genetic predisposition to an addictive personality, these drugs can cause a euphoric feeling that leads to that small percentage of users becoming dependent on opioids. “Generally [addiction to opioids] starts with some type of exposure and the person really likes the feeling that they get from it. And they start using it more and more and more. With opioids especially you develop a tolerance, so you have to use more to get that type of euphoric feeling. Then over time there’s some changes that occur in the brain that cause a shift from the person feeling normal and using the drugs to get high and euphoric to using the substances so that they just don’t feel bad anymore. In particular with opioids, they’re using because they now feel very depressed and the only way that they can start feeling normal is by using. With opioids above other things they keep using because they don’t want to experience the symptoms of withdrawal,” Schwarz said. Although it is difficult to determine who might be more susceptible to opioid addiction, there are tangible steps that can be taken to prevent patients from becoming reliant on their pain medications, especially teens. Opioids
should only be taken for the minimum amount of time possible, and within that time-frame patients can attempt to ease pain with Tylenol or ibuprofen before turning to their prescription. Additionally, parents with teens should pay close attention to their child’s consumption of prescribed opioids and make sure to dispose of any extra pills as promptly as possible. “Especially talking about a patient who is under 18, the parents should be very involved in all of these types of things and they can also
months ago now, I haven’t opened that bottle, and I still have 30 or 40 [pills]. In terms of overprescribing, if you can handle the pain and you don’t take all of the medicine, you’re left with a lot of medicine. And what do you do with it when you have the extra medicine?” This excess of medicine trickles down into the system of drug misuse. But what or who is responsible for opioids taking hold in society? “There’s clearly some evidence that the manufacturer of these medicines advocated for their
In 2014 1,067 Missouri citizens died due to drug overdose, a 400 % increase from 1999. 2014 make sure that they’re monitoring very closely how many pills are being taken,” Schwarz said. “There was legislation that was passed this year in Missouri that a lot of pharmacies are required to take back the pills. There are also little disposal kits that you can get at pharmacies to get rid of extra pills. You can’t just throw them in the trash because then anyone could just pick them up out of the trash. There are also national take-back days for patients to get rid of any extra medication.” The overprescription and disposal of these opioids is another problem that needs to be addressed. 40.5 percent of people who misused prescription pain relievers in 2015 reported that they got the drugs from a family member or friend who had the unused medicine on hand. After all of this time, Bergeron still has a large quantity of his opioid prescription, despite no longer having a need for it. “It’s over a year later and I still have two prescriptions. One for Oxycodone and one for a slightly higher dose of Oxycodone. They still sit in the drawer where I keep all of my toiletries. I asked my wife, ‘Can you bring these into your office so we can dispose of them?’ and she said, ‘Well, we can put them in the sharps box where needles and syringes go.’ She also shared with me that you can bring them to a police station or a fire stations and there’s ways to have them disposed of. I have not gone to that level of doing it. Other than an extreme headache about two
prescriptions and rewarded physicians who prescribe them. We have, as a society, really bad pain medicine. We don’t really fully understand pain. We understand the molecular basis of pain. But because pain is subjective, what one person experiences can be entirely different from what another person experiences. My wife can attest to that fact. When she meets with patients and they say they’re in pain, it’s one of the hardest things she has to chart. I think a lot of physicians have over prescribed these medicines because it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s better to alleviate and treat, rather than leave somebody miserable and in pain,” Bergeron said. “We are in dire need of medicine that works, is less likely to be abused, but is still available to people who need it.”
18 | FEATURE
Thurmon Stubblefield, a maintenance employee for the Clayton School District, builds a community with the children at the Clayton Family Center. ANGELA XIAO | REPORT
Thurmon Stubblefield and Family Center student Paul Castellano share a story in the Dogwood Room. (Erin Sucher-O’Grady)
s Mr. Thurmon Stubblefield approaches the green room of the Clayton Family Center, the preschoolers inside immediately flock to the door. Once Stubblefield, known simply as Mr. Thurmon to those at the Family Center, enters their room, his presence is immediately known. Toddlers’ shouts fill the air, and they excitedly begin filling Mr. Thurmon in on their day. Some of the preschoolers scramble for a spot on his lap, vying for his attention. After a quick visit and the occasional story, Mr. Thurmon waves goodbye and assumes his regular duties as a Family Center janitor. This is a job Stubblefield knows well, as he has performed it for more than seven years. He has worked in the Clayton School District for a total of 16 years: two years as a district substitute janitor (filling in at any of the Clayton schools), then seven years at the high school, and seven years at the Family Center. After working for so long at the high school, there was some adjustment to be made.
“When I first got over here, it was different because I wasn’t used to working with little ones. It was something I had to get used to because the way this building is cleaned is a lot different than the other schools. There’s a lot of detail work. But, I really love working here,” Stubblefield said. It didn’t take Stubblefield much time to adjust, and he quickly became an important part of the success of the Family Center. “He is responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of the whole building. He does everything inside and then works to make the outside look great too. He does repairs, ensures the playground is safe, and works with the security system. He keeps everything running smoothly. If there’s any kind of problem, he’s our go-to person,” The Clayton Family Center Director Debbie Reilly said. Stubblefield has also become somewhat of a celebrity at the Family Center. The Family Center hosts an auction for fundraising with parents. The idea, Lunch with Mr. Thurmon, got its start a few years ago. Reilly explained, “Families pay a fee to
have their kids eat lunch with Mr. Thurmon. A lot of kids buy a ticket and have lunch with him. It has become our number one fundraiser.” Stubblefield added, “The first year we had maybe eight or so kids that signed up. The next year, I don’t know what happened, but it just grew. This past year we wound up having 18 kids signed up.” After all his years as a janitor, Thurmon’s dearest memories are simple. They are seeing the little, timid toddlers that first enter the Family Center emerge as talkative kids about to enter kindergarten. The preschoolers are also Thurmon’s favorite part of his job. “I could be having a bad day and when you get a little one to come up to you and thank you for doing something, that makes it all better,” he said. To sum up Mr. Thurmon and his contribution to the Family Center, Reilly said, “He just adds to the overall joy of the building. All the kids absolutely love him.”
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20 | FEATURE
sonia’s story DISHA CHATTERJEE | REPORTER
CHS Graduate Leah Warshawski discusses her new film Big Sonia, which revolves around Sonia Warshawski, one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors. DISHA CHATTERJEE | REPORTER
n Thursday, Oct. 4th, director, producer, and CHS class of 1996 alum Leah Warshawski came to visit Clayton and speak with sophomore World/U.S history classes. Later that night, a community screening of “Big Sonia”, a film Warshawski directed, was held at 7 p.m. in the CHS auditorium and followed by a Q&A session. The day before, students watched the 45 minute educational package for the film and came up with questions about it, which were answered at the sessions on Thusday. The film screened at Webster University a few months ago in early June. Warshawski reached out to CHS Principal Dan Gutchewsky on the graduation weekend of the 2017-2018 year to ask if he was interested in seeing the film. The two connected over email, and Gutchewsky attended the screening with his wife. “I was really moved by the film. I thought it was really well-done. I thought it was really cool that it was a Clayton graduate that directed and
Photo by Areeba Khan produced the film,” Gutchewsky said. The film itself revolves around Sonia Warshawski, one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors in Kansas City, as well as one of the only survivors there who speaks about her experiences publicly. Sonia has endured unthinkable torture and suffering, beginning the day she watched her mother vanish behind gas chamber doors at the age of 15. She was shot in the chest on liberation day and miraculously survived. Animated drawings throughout the movie demonstrate Sonia’s personal story. Sonia Warshawski also shares her story with teens and inmates, and has a profound impact on everyone she talks to. Although she is only 4’8”, her giant personality, big heart and every other aspect make her Big Sonia, a term one of the team members of the movie coined which stuck. Gutchewsky as not the only one moved by the film; Seattle Times critic Moira MacDonald wrote of the movie, “Filmed with great respect and palpable love for its subject, ‘Big Sonia’ is one
of those documentaries that seems to bring its own light - just like the woman at its center.” Inspiration for this light-bearing film struck for Warshawski and her husband Todd Soliday when they realized that within their lifetime, all the survivors of the Holocaust would be gone. Added time pressure due to Sonia’s age of 85 motivated them to take action. “Because I’ve been in the film industry for a long time, I honestly felt like Sonia is the kind of character that can actually reach many, many people,” Warshawski said. “Sonia is a woman that regardless of whether you care about the Holocaust or not, if you see her leopard print steering wheel, or her big hair, or you like the shop… she’s so engaging that we couldn’t help ourselves. We knew, if nothing else, she’s a character who can get people to pay attention.” The film took seven years to make and the most challenging part for the team, as is for any filmmaker, was raising the money. Although finance was an issue, many other challenges were present in the making of “Big Sonia.” Warshawski felt pressure to make her family really proud, as making the film was a much heavier responsibility. “There’s a lot of added pressure-- pressure to finish the film on time, while Sonia’s still alive, so she can be a part of it… pressure to make a really good film, which we did, ultimately, and just… anytime you make a documentary, you’re in charge of telling other people’s stories, and you want to do the stories justice. There’s a lot of anxiety about not doing justice to the story and letting somebody down,” Warshawski said. Despite the obstacles, there were several high points and rewarding moments throughout the process. Warshawski grew closer to her grandmother than ever in the process of filmmaking, forming a bond which they lacked before. “We have a relationship now… we had an obligatory relationship before, where we would talk, see each other a couple times a year maybe, because I never lived in Kansas City, but I don’t feel like she knew who I was at all... we just hadn’t spent any time together doing fun things. I’d see her at work, we’d go eat, then she’d want to take us shopping. And that was it. We didn’t have experiences-- the film gave us experiences… the whole experience has given us something to bond over,” Warshawski said. Another high point was finishing the film and premiering it. The premier occurred one week after production was finished, the same week as Sonia’s birthday. There was certainly a rewarding
21 | FEATURE feeling that Sonia was able to be there to see the effects of the movie in action, and that the film won two awards. It was a culmination of everything the team worked so hard for, and a great experience overall. Sonia was treated like a movie star, and fit quite well into the role. She enjoys being on the big screen as she is anything but camera-shy, unlike other family members who were reluctant to be part of the movie. Although the family was initially resistant to participate in the film, after seeing the end product and the impact it had on others, they were proud to have participated. “I really felt pressured to do the interviews... but what’s been interesting is that so many people seem to relate to us, because of how her trauma affected us, and all families have problems, or something going on in your life, so it’s been extremely rewarding, which I really wasn’t anticipating,” Sonia’s daughter Regina Kort said in a Q&A. Sonia’s son, who was at first disinclined with the prospect of being featured in the film, was actually featured in a powerful segment of him crying while reading a poem he wrote about being the child of a Holocaust survivor. This clip moved many audience members, especially those who could relate to the idea of intergenerational trauma, a motif seen frequently throughout the movie. For Sonia’s granddaughter, her experience
growing up differed from others’. “I always felt like, unique, that we had this history in my family, but also it made me feel really different, and not always in a good way… I always felt kind of embarrassed that I was Jewish, because I only remember a couple of other Jewish people in my class... When you’re in the minority, it’s really tough to feel like you fit in, so I always felt different. And I know my dad, and his sisters felt that way… things felt more serious because of this history,” Warshawski said. Sonia now has great-grandchildren, who found out about their history from watching the movie when the family decided they were old enough to embrace their painful past. War-
“I honestly feel like Sonia is the kind of character that can reach many many people” - Warshawski shawski herself was always aware of Sonia’s story, but not the details, as it was a topic too painful to ask about. She became more curious, however, as the film process commenced. Most importantly, “Big Sonia” has deeper messages for any audience and a universal theme that goes beyond Sonia’s story itself. Major takeaways include the message of love over hate, a message of empathy and compassion, and the idea that you are unaware of what someone is going through until you’ve stepped into their shoes. “That’s the one thing, no matter where we go, no matter who we screen it for, no matter what you believe in or what your religion is or what your politics are, the one message that everybody gets behind is this message of love over hate. You can’t deny that we could all use more love and kindness, and that’s really the biggest message we want people to take from the film,” Warshawski said. The film is designed to be accessible to younger audiences and to reach a wide audience. The animations
are a distinguishing feature that differentiates “Big Sonia” from other Holocaust films, as most tend to use black and white videos during the time period. The drawings also resemble something Sonia herself might doodle. “From the beginning, we wanted to do something different, we wanted to not go the typical archival footage route, and reach perhaps a younger audience in a different way. We felt also that Sonia is such a vivid storyteller, you almost don’t need a picture the way she describes some things, but to have her horrible experiences and kind of silly, funny experiences seen and reenacted in a way that are her childhood memories would be more powerful than seeing disconnected history images, it’s her history and her storytelling,” Soliday said. Overall, the film strives to be funny, engaging, and to affect a much younger audience than most Holocaust films can. Although Warshawski and Soliday are working on new projects currently that do not relate to the Holocaust, Big Sonia’s journey is far from over. They are both still working to reach students, marketing and promoting it to schools all over the U.S. They’ve had more than 200 community screenings for the film in two years. Ironically, St. Louis has been the most difficult place to get screenings, and it will be the last big theater the team will do. Warshawski knew when they got it to St. Louis, Clayton had to be involved. “In general, Clayton is really respectful and they know that they’re supposed to be paying attention and it feels good as a speaker, like as somebody who’s coming in to talk about your own family and to talk about something that’s not comfortable, and making yourself vulnerable... it’s really difficult. It helps when people are respectful, it helps when people ask questions,” Warshawski said. Gutchewsky also believes the film was a learning experience. The screening marks the inaugural Clayton Filmmakers Showcase, which he hopes will become an annual Homecoming tradition. It adds an educational aspect to the bustling spirit filled week, and he hopes it connects the community in another way, especially to those who are not as interested in the parade or football game. He is aware there are other former Clayton students who have delved into the film industry, and hopes to invite them as well. As for choosing to screen “Big Sonia” at CHS, he feels it’s an important tale for members to listen to. “I think it’s important that we remember those stories and we hear those stories, and I think the reason that we picked the sophomores too is because they study World War II, and that’s part of the curriculum... it’s a very important example but it’s a very real example... on a local level, it really personalizes the story,” Gutchewsky said. “Just her grit and her compassion and what she demonstrated through her life is a good story for all of us.”
Why do we still p
By Jacob LaGesse, Shane LaGesse and Michael Meli
ill play football?
chael Melinger, with reporting by Jimmy Malone
â€œEverybody just thought that the helmets would protect you.â€? - Ben Holman, CHS graduate
photo by Michael Melinger
1. Intro On Sept. 30, during the third quarter of a Pike County High School football game, 16-year-old linebacker Dylan Thomas was carried off of the sidelines on a stretcher. According to a CNN article, Thomas was wearing a new Safety Equipment Institute-certified Riddell SpeedFlex helmet, and after reviewing game footage, the Georgia High School Association determined there was no evidence he had sustained a major injury during the game. Yet two days later, Thomas died of cardiac arrest caused by brain trauma in an Atlanta hospital. Thomas’ story is not unique. A study by the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research found that of the 20 high school and college-level football players who died in 2017, four deaths were directly attributed to injuries sustained during practices and games. Three of these injuries occurred to the brain. Despite the research pointing to potential dangers of the sport, for many, it remains an integral piece of the American experience. Football’s influence in the nation’s culture is significant. However, at CHS, football participation has been steadily decreasing over the last decade, and the team is currently almost half the size of what it was during the 2014-15 season. Many athletes are turning to other sports, such as soccer–which has over 90 players this year– where there is less stigma about the dangers and potential for injuries. With 12 graduating seniors this year, there is concern that the athletic department will not have the numbers to support a football program into the future. The varsity team has no feeder program, like the JV and freshman teams other sports have - Clayton football is appearing to have a dim future. “Across the country, football participation numbers are down,” CHS athletic director Bob Bone said. “If there are things we can do to increase the safety level, then that’s what we’re going to try to do. And so long-term we hope it makes people feel better about participating in football.”
2. Safety “Football is a violent game. There is no way to get around that. But if there are things out there that we can due to increase the safety level, that’s what we are going to do,” Bone said. For several years, the athletic department at CHS has been brainstorming and researching ways they could increase the safety of high school sports, with a focus on football. Last year, the department found the Riddell Insite Training Tool, technology with helmet inserts that measures the impact a player receives every time he suffers a hit to their head. The athletic department conducted more research regarding the Insite Training Tool and talked with local high schools that already had the technology. Head coach of the CHS varsity football team, Linwood Barnes, also knew about the tool and began discussions with the athletic department and administration about investing in the helmet inserts. “The product was going into its second generation this year, which we felt was important because [Riddell] has gotten a lot of the bugs and kinks out of it,” Bone said. “And we felt like for the safety of our kids, this was a good safety factor for them.” There are three parts of the Insite Training Tool. First is the helmet sensor pad, which is an insert inside the helmet. There are four sensors in each helmet, one on each side, the crown and the back of the helmet. Whenever there is a strong impact, or the force of an impact exceeds the pre-set threshold value on a sensor, the technology will signal an alert to the alert monitor, the second part of the Insite Training Tool. The alert monitor is a remote that Kristen Saunders, the CHS athletic trainer, holds during practices and games. When the remote
receives an alert, it will show the name of the player and the time that the impact occurred. Before the program had this technology, Saunders tried to watch every hit during practices and games, which was a difficult task for a single person. “Being by myself [on the field or sideline] is hard, especially when there’s different tackling drills going on. The linebackers practice one side of the field, the D-lines are on the other side and the safeties are elsewhere. So when the players are all spread out on the field, it’s hard to watch each drill, so the new technology is just another tool to help us,” Saunders said. The third part of the Insite Training Tool is an online computer software that allows coaches to analyze the hits each player receives or takes to the head. After each game or practice, the coaching staff will plug the remote into a computer, and the computer will show the coaches each impact that happened that day, what drill it happened in, where on the helmet the impact occurred and the intensity of the impact. By implementing this technology into the helmets, the Clayton football program has been able to increase safety and enforce better tackling and hitting techniques. “It gives me more insight,” Barnes said. “If someone gets a head injury during tackling, I know we need to change that up and try to figure out what we were doing wrong. Instead of having two sets of eyes, I have 30 or 40 sets of eyes because it monitors everybody.” Bone has also expressed his appreciation for the Riddell Insite Tool’s role in improved tackling technique. “If a kid hit somebody and he has lowered his head and the impact is on the front part of the helmet then that will show up on on the readout. We’re then able to make adjustments in the coaching. So when you put everything together, [the Riddell Insight Training Tool] increases safety and acts as a teaching tool,” Bone said. However, the helmets are not capable of reporting the severity of an injury a player receives as a result of a hit. “Helmet accelerometers give you useful information but they don’t tell you if you have a concussion,” Dr. Roseanne Naunheim, associate professor of emergency medicine for Washington University in St. Louis at Barnes Jewish Hospital said. “They tell you how hard you’ve been
Head injuries per sport in 2017 data from MSHSAA
Wrestling Basketball Basketball Volleyball Girls Boys Girls
hit, but don’t tell you what’s going on inside the brain.” Because of this, when she recieves an alert, Saunders will pull that player out of the game or practice and will conduct an examination to determine if the player has been injured by the high impact hit. She receives on average two-to-three alerts per game and one-to-two each week of practice. If the player is suspected of having a concussion, he must be cleared by a physician before they can return to play. From there, a player must be symptom-free for a full day before he can begin the five-day procedure for returning to the field. On the first day, the player undergoes a light cardio workout, which increases to a more strenuous workout on the second day. By the third day, a player can participate in half of a non-contact practice. After four days, he can once again fully participate in practices, and by the fifth day, can return to the field during games. According to Saunders, if at any point during the process a player shows symptoms, he must return to step one. Even at the national level, the NFL has made efforts to make football a safer game. In March, before the 2018-19 season, the organization instituted a rule that would penalize a player for lowering his head to initiate a hit with an opposing player. This sets a precedent for safer tackling across all football levels. “Whenever there are rule changes in the NFL, the changes will trickle down to college football and then the high school level,” Saunders said. Initially, the team experienced an adjustment period with the new helmets. At the beginning of the season, Saunders was getting many more alerts than she does now. However, this new technology has helped the players develop safer tackling techniques. “The guys were made more aware they need to stop leading with their heads. So now they’re just more aware of how to tackle and they’re not leading with their head anymore,” Saunders said. Although Clayton is using the second generation of the Insite Tool, Saunders has noticed some faults in the technology. She said, “I’ve had alerts and then the player comes off and they’re fine. And then I’ve also had a player come off on the sideline saying that he has a headache and I didn’t have an alert.” Even though high school and college football programs across the country use helmet accelerometers, there are some medical experts who do not think the Insite Tool technology is worth the investment. “In an accelerometer helmet, the accelerometer is just an extra bell and whistle that is unnecessary at this point and may led to more confusion and worry than help for a lot of people,” Mark Halstead, director of the Washington University sports concussion program, said. “I would not recommend [accelerometer helmets] at this point ... They are more utilized in a research setting than they are to help someone on the field right now. Helmets still serve a purpose, like preventing bleeds in the brain or skull fractures, but they don’t do a very good job reducing concussions.” “We really hope that our students and our parents too understand that we’re trying to do everything we can to be as safe as possible. I think a big concern is the concussions. Obviously we can’t take that concern away, but maybe we can soften that a little bit. We’re doing everything we can,” Bone said.
ImPACT Testing Second impact syndrome, or SIS, occurs when a concussed person receives a second impact to the brain and can result in rapid swelling and potentially lifelong negative effects. This commonly occurs to athletes who are released back into play before they fully recover from concussions. “When you’re doing an evaluation for a concussion, you ask when their last concussion was, if they’ve had one, and another big question is to ask how long it took for them to recover from that concussion, because once you do sustain a concussion, each time after, the recovery time is longer,” Saunders said. ImPACT (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive) testing was developed in 2002 and is the most widely-used computerized concussion evaluation system in the nation. It is designed specifically for use alongside other tests, and never alone. The test is administered to student athletes at the beginning of their season, where it determines a baseline for their cognitive ability. It is administered again after a concussion has been diagnosed, and given time to recover to determine if the athlete has returned to their baseline. If they have, then they are allowed to return to play; if they are not they remain on the sidelines. The test itself cannot determine if an athlete has a concussion, or diagnose it. According to Saunders, it is more useful for determining when an athlete can return to the field. “Of course [ImPACT testing] is a tool, so it’s not like the end-all be-all, it doesn’t mean that if you’re even with your baseline then you’re good to go. We use it as another tool for helping assess when [players] are ready to return to play,” Saunders said. Impact testing costs $15 per individual test to administer before the season. After a diagnosed concussion, retaking the test costs another $30. The tests can also be bought at a group rate for a slight discount. A study conducted in 2007 by the University of Illinois determined that the test had less reliability and usefulness than what would be accepted. Out of the 100 people who they tested, and then retested using the ImPACT test, the correlation between initial and final scores ranged from 0.15 to .39, where 0 represented no correlation and 1 represented complete correlation. This compares to the usual accepted correlation, a minimum of 0.75. Other reports show that there have been cases where ImPACT testing failed to detect concussions. Unfortunately, the tests to diagnose and determine the severity of concussions are widely unreliable. Baseline testing has been accepted as one of the most reliable and useful tools when determining return to play, although no test can give an accurate diagnosis every time.
3. Medical “Some kids never return to normal,” Naunheim said. Concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI) have become synonymous with American football. After a player’s first concussion, he or she become three times more likely to receive a second and eight times more likely to receive a third. A concussion, a mild TBI, is the result of blunt trauma, occurring when someone receives a blow to the head. The rotational movement of the brain inside of the skull during this period causes the brain to hit the interior of the skull, bruising at points of impact. The brain experiences a shearing of axons that contributes to decreased cell function and can cause loss of consciousness. “There are about 2,000,000 visits for concussions in pediatrics per year, but we don’t actually know how many occur because most people don’t come in,” Naunheim said. While these cannot be solely attributed to football, according to the Brain Injury Research Institute, 20 percent of high school football players will suffer a concussion at some point during their careers.
Players who suffer concussions typically experience post-impact symptoms. In the short term, these include headaches, loss of memory and confusion. “If you talk to someone with a concussion, they will ask ‘what happened’. You’ll explain it to them, but then five minutes later they will turn and ask ‘what happened’ again.” Naunheim said. However, long term post-impact symptoms can be severe, with the potential to leave lifelong impairments. Treatment and management of these symptoms have evolved significantly as neuroscience in this field has developed. “When I was doing my training it used to be that we would actually allow athletes to go back to play after 15 minutes if their symptoms went away,” Dr. Mark Halstead, director of the sports concussion program for Washington University said. Currently, the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) requires a standard five-day return-to-play procedure following the diagnosis of a concussion. Clayton not only follows the MSHSAA procedure, but uses Riddell’s InSite accelerometer technology to keep players safer. “There’s actually some very sophisticated monitors that they use for research for concussions that they put into helmets to determine if there is a certain g-force when a hit happens that causes a concussion,” Halstead said. “The problem is that there’s not a high level of a g-force when a concussion occurs.” As a result, this presents limitations to Riddell’s technology. The g-force measured can not be a conclusive factor in determining a brain
Fatalities directly due to football High school
data from NCCSIR
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
'97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11 '12 '13 '14 '15 '16 '17
image from the Boston University Center for Study of Traumatic Therapy
who had played football in high school when compared to non-football injury because TBI can be present at a hit that does not necessarily playing colleagues. reach the sensor threshold. However, electroencephalography can be Although often overlooked, non-head injuries can greatly impact a used to better determine if a player has a concussion. Electroenclephlastudent’s health and performance in the school environment. Broken grams (EEG) measure electricity in a brain to predict if someone has a bones and sprained ankles often require time away from school to deal TBI. with, thus potentially causing a student to miss valuable educational According to Naunheim, who works with a company called braintime. A student could also receive an scope to compare thousands of EEGs, injury that could more directly impact the measurements produce a number on a scale of 0-100 correlating to the a student’s schoolwork, such as a brolikelihood of a concussion. ken hand that could hinder notetaking or testing. “When you are asleep, or if you are “There’s a chance that someone using drugs, those waves change. And could go out there and they could also if you’re concussed, your brain have a really serious injury to their waves slow and the difference in connection between one electrode and the chest and they can die from that. Or there’s a risk that they tear their ACL next takes longer,” Naunheim said. - Dr. Roseanne Naunheim, and maybe never get back to sports,” One of the biggest health concerns Washington University in St. Louis, Halstead said. in football at the professional level is According to Naunheim, there is chronic traumatic encephalopathy Barnes Jewish Hostpial (CTE). This degenerative disease still much that medical professionals results from repeated concussions, do not know about the impact football has on players. However, new research TBIs and blows to the head in general. continues to bring new issues to light. A brain suffering from CTE will lose “It’s like smoking when my parents mass over time, leading to memory were growing up. You learn a lot over time, and what seems fairly loss, erratic behavior and impaired judgment in a player. However, there is little evidence this disease has an impact on high straightforward and matter-of-fact now, there was a learning process school football. A study by the Mayo Clinic revealed that there was no that went into that,” Holman said. “Everybody just thought that the helmets would protect you.” increased risk of dementia, Parkinson disease or ALS among adults
“Some kids never return to normal.”
“The helmets give you confidence that you’re being taken care of.” -Ty Sucher,
Clayton Varsity Quarterback
photo by Michael Melinger
sport solely out of love of the game and the sense of community it builds. Until he entered as a freshman, CHS class of 2014 alumnus Paul Kodner had only ever known education in the setting of a private Jewish day school. The switch to a larger public district like Clayton was difficult. However, Kodner began practicing with the football team over the summer and found refuge in the tight-knit bonds he formed with his fellow players. “Before school even started, I had an entire team of friends who would become my brothers,” Kodner said. CHS class of 1990 alumnus Ben Holman shares a similar sentiment with Kodner. Holman played four years of football at CHS, then went on “I grew up in a small community where football was everything,” to play another four at the University of Pennsylvania as a tight end. Jason Julian, Clayton parent and former division 1 football player said. Throughout his career, Holman sustained six concussions; three Julian started playing football when he was eight in Knoxville, Tennesduring his time at Clayton. Despite his injuries, Holman never thought see. He came from a football family: his two older brothers both played, about quitting. and his mother was an athletic trainer. In high school, Julian’s team won “There is a sense of brotherhood, any time you work hard together the state title, and he went on to play for the University of Tennessee. towards a common goal, not exclusive to football,” Holman said. “When There, he won two more championships. you are forced through good times and bad together you form a bond Julian stopped playing around the age of 23, but has stayed close to like no other.” the game since. For the past 18 years, Julian has coached football at both The physical and mental value the players see in football is mirrored a college and high school level, and now his son, a freshman, plays for by the financial benefit colleges and NFL teams receive. According to the Clayton’s team. He has seen how the attitude toward the dangers of the U.S. department of education, in 2017 football was the most profitsport has changed and evolved since more research has been done into able NCAA program, netting over $1.7 billion across all schools. This the long-term effects. number is over five “I can hontimes times the estly say that I profit of the next never remember highest-grossing a discussion sport, men’s basoccurring about ketball, which only a concussion,” garnered $329 milJulian said. “I lion. Other sports don’t think people such as soccer and avoided talking baseball result in about it, but net negative profyou understood its, costing more that getting hurt than they earn. was something College sport that happened culture revolves in football. The around football. concern about that The sport is aspect of the game idolized through has changed so homecoming drastically that it’s games, tailgate actually changing parties and large the entire culture parades and is of the game.” central to the Despite decollege experience. creasing particiUnified students pation in Clayton’s Data from the CHS Athletic Department inundate stadiums program, football in support for their is still the most popular high school sport in the nation, with over one team. Football has influenced educational institutions in America more million participants each year. For many students like Julian, football than any other sport. is deeply ingrained in their own family history and culture. Many who This trend is reflected at a national level. According to marketwatch. do play would not consider giving up the game, despite knowledge of com, the NFL generates over $13 billion a year, followed by MLB at $9.5 potential dangers. billion. Football is the truly “American sport.” But this leaves an unan“It requires a physical, mental and emotional toughness that other swered question: why? [sports] don’t,” Julian said. “Young men to have to dig down, persevere Maalik Shakoor, CHS class of 2014 alumnus, played football throughand endure through pain past the level that they ever thought they could out high school. He believes that our society drawn to football because go.” of the reason it is now controversial: the violent nature. To some players from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, football “It’s a gladiator sport, it’s primal, that’s why we watch it,” Shakoor offers the chance at scholarships and the pursuit higher education. For said. “The culture of football has changed a lot, but at the end of the day, these students, given their economic situations, a college degree would it’s like trying to make a gun fight safe. It all comes down to technique, not even be in consideration if football had not given them the opportuproperly hitting, keeping your head up and being safe.” nity. However, Julian believes that the majority of players commit to the
34 | SPORTS
spiking sophia Sophia Boyd, a CHS sophomore, is an essential player on the varsity volleyball team. SOPHIA ERLIN | REPORTER
Photo By Anna Walsh
he stands watched silently as the Clayton and Ladue varsity volleyball teams battled for the winner of Volley for a Cure. The rally went on for a few minutes before the ball was set outside. CHS sophomore Sophia Boyd leaped up and slammed the ball down, scoring another point for Clayton. While Clayton was ultimately defeated, Boyd stood out in the match with several strong plays. Boyd transferred from MICDS to Clayton this year. While she is new to Clayton’s volleyball program, she has already had an impact. Boyd is the team’s strongest front row attacker and an energetic leader on the team. As an underclassman, Boyd was elected to be co-captain of the varsity squad. Varsity head-coach Kyle McCord describes Boyd as “[Boyd] has a killer instinct as an outside attacker that definitely is lacking in other places. She brings a lot of leadership skills. After games, she’s the first person in the huddle talking about the game, recapping the game, talking about the next game - so she brings a lot of leadership as far as those rules goes.” Besides her influential attitude, Boyd brings a level of play to the team that has not been seen in many years.
“Obviously, she’s an incredible player. When she gets a huge kill, it hypes all of us up. So that’s really exciting,” said teammate freshman Sarah Taylor. Boyd’s skill is unmatched by other players at both Clayton and the surrounding area. Besides playing for one of the most elite volleyball clubs in St. Louis, she has what can only be described as killer instinct. When most players play an out of system ball, they just try to get it over the net. Boyd putting an out of system ball into play is still a formidable attack. “Sophia Boyd’s playing it safe ball, even if
you’re in position, it’s still a tough ball to dig up,” McCord said. Boyd has played volleyball for 8 years. This fall season is her 15th season playing volleyball. This level of experience means that Boyd understands volleyball on a different level than other players. “Talking to her about volleyball is a totally different level,” McCord said. Because of her experience and skill, Boyd is changing the mindset of the volleyball program. “She’s helped to change the culture a lot. I think on the varsity level we have not had a very big winning culture and having someone coming from the outside having won a lot in places she’s been has helped change that culture,” McCord said. Sophomore Angela Xiao agrees, “Her positive energy always keeps the team up no matter what the score is. She knows what it’s like to be successful and how her previous teams got successful so she brings that to the team.” Boyd is excited to be able to play for Clayton this year. “I think this team is awesome. There’s a really big sense of community all around the team. Everyone’s always supportive, even when we get into ruts, you never feel down and there’s someone there who’s always there to pick you up,” Boyd said. McCord believes that Boyd’s skill, leadership, and character will help the team flourish this season and in future seasons. “She’s an overall awesome person, we’re happy to have her. Her play speaks for itself, those are things that anybody can watch her play you’re going to be able to see what she can do,” McCord said.
Boyd celebrates on the CHS court with a teammate. Photo by Natalie Ashrafzadeha.
35 | SPORTS
Senior Ray Wood has changed sporting events with his bold personality. MICHAEL BERNARD | EDITOR IN CHIEF
’ve probably made a little bit over $1000 this season and probably a little bit over $1000 last season,” CHS senior Ray Wood said, as he added up his earnings from his unique job at the high school. Wood is the current boys soccer and lacrosse announcer, former football announcer and is in charge of the scoreboard for field hockey and other JV sports. Wood receives $30 per junior varsity game and $40 per varsity game from the CHS athletic department. “I actually started off doing lacrosse my freshman year because they needed somebody to do it and I thought why not me because I wasn’t really doing anything else. I did that for my freshman [and] sophomore year,” Wood said. He was hesitant at first, but after his friends encouraged him to give it a shot, Wood found his new passion. However, his skills did come with some practice. “Before every game I have to do the starting lineups. And for the first couple games I didn’t really know what to say. And I had to have a script with me and read off of it. And it was like, I was [messing] up a lot with my words,” Wood said.” “It was kind of hard to talk smoothly with it. But as I got more confidence and more comfortable with it, I could do it on the fly, and I don’t have to read off a script at all.” After football announcer and CHS physics
Ray Wood in the Centene Stadium press box. Photo by Madalyn Schroeder. teacher Rex Rice retired in 2017, the school was in need of a new announcer. Athletic Director Bob Bone had heard Wood announce at the lacrosse games and gave him the opportunity to expand to football and soccer. Wood accepted the position. Wood began announcing his junior year for the Greyhounds football team. The team finished with a record of 1-5 at home. As a result, Wood mostly announced for the opposing teams. However, the Greyhounds began their 2018 season with four wins and zero losses. Wood, who announced only at the beginning of the season as he was willingly replaced by CHS graduate Nate Gatter, had a completely different experience. “It was a lot more exciting to do it because we would actually be winning games and scoring a lot of touchdown. So [there was] more enthusiasm in it. Because like last year when I was doing it, it was a lot of the other team scoring and announcing for them,” he said. “It was pretty fun to announce touchdowns for our team more than other teams and kind of like get the crowd hyped up.” CHS senior and co-captain of the football team Jeremiah Austin has noticed Wood’s enthusiasm from the field. “It was great knowing that one of my friends I grew up with was representing us we we were on the field. [He] made everyone go wild,” Austin said. “His energy [was] great.”
Wood has been able to showcase his personality more with varsity soccer too, as they have also performed better this year. They are currently ranked 9th in the state, and 136 in the country with a record a 19-2-1. CHS senior and varsity soccer player Kilian Zindell has appreciated Wood’s announcing. “If you score and there’s no announcer to announce it, it’s just not the same,” Zindell said. “You don’t feel satisfied with your goal unless Ray is there to announce it.” Wood does not plan to pursue announcing as a career. However, he does not want to give it up completely. “I would definitely like to do it in college,” Wood said. “If I could do like, for fun on the side.” Since Wood is a senior, he is currently searching for a replacement. “We might need to find somebody for next year,” Wood said. “So if anybody was interested, please contact me.” Although Wood is concluding his final season with the varsity soccer team, he will continue to announce in the spring for the Varsity lacrosse team. “Ray Wood is a very motivational announcer,” Zindell said. “He really gets up hyped up for all our games, and he hypes up the crowd.”
REVIEW | 36
big sonia The Globe reviews Big Sonia, a documentary directed by CHS alumnus RICHARD CHENG | SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR
very morning, Sonia Warshawski wakes up early to work in her husband’s tailor shop in Kansas City, Missouri. Each year, Sonia prepares gefilte fish for family get-togethers, making sure to scoop fish jelly over large tubs of the poached seafood. She has three children, all of whom are adults now. At 91-years-old, Sonia’s life seems rather typical; however, her story is anything but mundane. When Sonia was 15, she watched an SS guard direct her mother to the gas chambers while she herself entered the labor camp. Big Sonia retells Sonia’s lifetime: a road full of violence, pain and incredible luck that lends to an engrossing, emotional film. Now, decades after her horrors from the Holocaust, the documentary discusses Sonia’s life after the war and the influence her personality has on others. The film begins with Sonia’s present life, where she devotes herself entirely into her late husband’s tailor shop. She works in an abandoned mall in Kansas City where the only activity is located in her store. When the
mall closes down on the shop and evicts her, Sonia feels as if the center of her life has been removed. Big Sonia also recounts her experiences in Auschwitz and death camps during World War II through the form of cartoons. The stories chronicle her grossly indecent treatment under Nazi guards and the sheer miracle that she escaped alive. Fellow prisoners were amazed when Sonia survived a furious beating from an officer. On the day of liberation, a stray bullet entered Sonia through the chest. Even that did not stop her from living. Even despite the weight of Sonia’s past, the movie stops to lighten the atmosphere. From focusing on Sonia’s eccentric lifestyle to a final plot twist that will leave audiences chuckling, Big Sonia uses fun to keep the story engaging and playing with both extremes of the emotional spectrum. Another one of Big Sonia’s objectives is to capture Sonia’s massive influence. Despite her 4’8’’ frame, Sonia’s impact is huge; from her inspiring conversations with teenagers to her emotional connections with American
prisoners, she succeeds in touching the hearts of everyone she meets. The film features one particular eighth grader, who after talking with Sonia, now leads discussion and forums about her life story and its implications on modern society. However, the film is not just critically acclaimed. It’s particularly special because the director and granddaughter of Sonia, Leah Warshawski, is a Clayton High School alumnus. Leah Warshawski, who now is a director and producer, has embarked on multiple film excursions after her time at CHS. She’s released another feature, FINDING HILLYWOOD (2013), which has received 6 awards including multiple accolades from film festivals and has been screened at more than 65 festivals. The director has also worked on rwandafilm.org, a resource for Rwandan filmmakers that’s been lauded by Bpeace, a business-skill nonprofit. Nearly a decade after the film’s inception, Big Sonia is now receiving waves of praise. Scoring a 97% approval rating from critics on
37 | REVIEW
Kaitlin Bates reviews Levant, a Syrian food concept in Central West End
KAITLIN BATES | REPORTER
Rotten Tomatoes, a movie critique website, the documentary has also received comments from IMDb and renowned film critic Roger Ebert. Leah Warshawski attempted, through Big Sonia, to bring Sonia’s words to others outside of Kansas City. She hopes the film translated the powerful story on screen to a much wider audience, especially teens. “Kids from seventh grade and up were our targets,” Warshawski said. Big Sonia appeals to all audiences. Her gripping tale is entirely universal and will retain moviegoers for the entirety of its 93-minute runtime. With Holocaust survivors slowly disappearing from this generation, Big Sonia captures the rare, magical story of a tiny woman with a massive sphere of influence. Viewers will leave the theater touched and smiling.
n Euclid Avenue in the Central West End, you will find one of the few Syrian-inspired restaurants in the city. Levant, started by Chef Ahmad Hammed, is named after the region Levant in the Middle East, which contains Syria, Palestine and Israel. The restaurant opened earlier this year and strives to serve authentic, home style Syrian cuisine. Hameed’s family owns another restaurant, Ranoush, in the loop. I came around mid-day and was surprised that I didn’t see many other customers. The gold and black decor, the small VIP lounge, the extravagant DJ table and dance floor and the enticing, glimmering hand of Fatima facing out to the world didn’t seem to interest many people. My friend and I were immediately seated and ordered falafels to start The rich falafel, with a crunchy outside layer, paired perfectly with the tzatziki sauce (Yogurt-dill sauce) and pitas with which they were served. For the main course, I ordered beef kebabs. The minced beef seemed to be fried but had none of the fatty grease that was to be expected. The kebabs were served over a serving of rice, with a side of mayonnaise and the same tzatziki sauce that the falafels were served with. It all complimented each other very well and did not taste nearly as rich and fatty as I was expecting. My friend ordered a small olive salad. The olives really overpowered the diced tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, and parsley. It was extremely acidic and not the best combo. We also ordered the jarjeer salad, a mix of arugula, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. It is a basic mix, but tasted great. The service was outstanding. Our waiter offered
Photo by Izzy Clark
great suggestions, checked in regularly and had a very positive attitude. The service time during Saturday lunch hours was great, but may differ during dinner hours as the restaurant seemed to have a stronger nighttime ambiance. The appetizers, soups and salads were about $5-$10, while many main course, vegetarian, or ‘From the Grill’ dishes were about $15-$20. All items on the menu seemed very appetizing. To anyone searching for delicious, authentic Syrian/Levantine cuisine, Levant is a great choice. It is located in an active, convenient area, has flavorful, savory food, and friendly, caring servers. I will definitely be coming back to try more dishes.
REVIEW | 38
first man The Globe covers First Man, a film that tells the story of the Moon landing SEAN KIM | VIDEO EDITOR
Photo from First Man press kit
irst Man is a triumph. Damien Chazelle returns with a American classic starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy, Chazelle’s dazzling film about the events leading up to moon landing is an intimate tale of failure, success, and a reminder of what our country once stood for. The film opens with a Armstrong pilots an X-15 rocket plane, almost bouncing off the atmosphere. In a claustrophobic, head-spinning sequence, Armstrong frantically brings his plane crashing back to Earth. With NASA displeased with his performance, Armstrong is grounded. In addition to career struggles, Armstrong’s daughter, Karen, dies from a brain tumor. With enough turmoil behind him, Armstrong applies to the moon-landing project, project Gemini. However, what the film does well instead of detailing the events is an examination into Armstrong’s psyche. Paired with Gosling’s reserved performance with his eyes and writer Josh Singer’s formidable screenplay, the movie delves into the internal struggles behind Armstrong’s journey to prepare for landing on the moon while dealing with his daughter’s death. With so much to cover logistically outside of Armstrong’s personal
life, Chazelle and Singer’s choice to focus on solely Armstrong’s perspective makes the film intimate and lets the audience get to know Armstrong as a human being rather than just “a man on the moon.” Claire Foy is a pleasant surprise as well. You would expect First Man to shine the limelight on Armstrong, but a good bulk of the film focuses on Armstrong’s wife, Janet Shearon. Exploring the stress behind the possibility of having a husband die in a freak accident every day to taking care of two kids, Foy displays the anxiety, the pressure, and the preparation for the worst in an outspoken yet concerned manner. It’s nice to see the homefront in comparison to the moon landing. Outside of Gosling and Foy’s stellar performance is the phenomenal way Chazelle and cinematographer Sandgren craft space sequences. Rarely do the shots venture outside of the shuttle, but the majority are close and intimate with the astronaut. The camera movement is frenetic, shaky, and claustrophobic. The daunting sounds of fragile spacecraft. The sweat and genuine fear in Gosling’s eyes. The mounting stress and the constant roller-coaster ride of flashing shots is enough to turn away from the screen
for a couple seconds; it’s frightening how real it feels. Even during non-space scenes such as in the Armstrong home, Chazelle manages to build the emotional stress from Armstrong as a family man and an astronaut. Sandgren goes close up; there never seems to be a wide shot to establish any peace. The film rarely slows down. However, what makes the film beyond just a good movie is it’s deep American understanding behind the efforts to land on the moon. The sacrifice families make, the countless number of perilous trials, the growing pressure from society to stop wasting tax dollars. And despite so, the film understands that it wasn’t just an engineering feat or a politically motivated attempt. Chazelle and Singer know it was a human achievement, a call back to a time when America served as the leader for possibility. Knowing the state of the country now, Chazelle delivers a film telling what America used to be and what Americans used to stand for. The film about the moon landing, but a look behind the people who made America what it is today. First Man is a glorious achievement telling a story of a time when we could proudly say we were Americans.
FRESH FRESH DINING DINING IN STL
Sofia Puerto reviews a new religious, paranormal thriller
Recent editions to the St. Louis dining scene worthy of your attention.
SOFIA PUERTO | REPORTER
CINDER HOUSE Gerard Craft’s latest restaurant hosts South-American focused fare at the downtown Four Seasons. 999 N. Second
THE FRISCO BARROOM Photo from The Nun press kit
aranormal horror movies tend to fall under the same pattern. You get the backstory, the main characters meet and someone has a skeleton in his/her closet. They encounter the evil, realize they have to stay together to fight and it generally works ouWt to have a happy ending. You could also get something mysterious happening at the end, leaving room for a sequel or connection to a prequel. This is exactly what happens in The Nun. In The Nun, from the series of The Conjuring, Sister Irene isn’t yet a nun. A sister at an Abbey in Romania has recently taken her life, her body found by the witty and local vegetable grocer who goes by the name of Frenchie. Father Burke of the vatican with a haunted past brings sister Irene with him to the Abbey, as Frenchie leads the way, and he decides he will not have an overnight stay here with the others. They encounter the evil spirit that takes the form of a nun, and it speaks and tells them where they can make their stay. Throughout the movie, this presence continues to torment them in many forms as they find a way to defeat it with the help of Frenchie and the other “nuns” that live in the Abbey. Director Corin Hardy recruited Director James Wan to help him work on The Nun while Wan was busy directing Aquaman for the Warner Bros. He also had Gary Dauberman as a screenwriter for this film. They view this movie as a better con-
nection to The Conjuring than Annabelle, because of the plot line connections as well as having some of the same people working on this film. Though this movie falls in line with the patterns of most typical paranormal horror movies, it does have quite a few scary elements to it. There are a lot of jump scare moments, and a few increments of two to three minutes where the director has chosen to implement some adrenaline chase scenes. The best part of the movie in my opinion, is watching how it all connects around to the beginning of the series, and shows part of The Conjuring to help link the ideas. One of the things I might change for this particular movie is the makeup and/or props. I think that the nun her/itself resembled Bathsheba a little too closely from The Conjuring. The may be is too similar to other horror characters, it’s been done before. There were also some graphics did not that look realistic. It seems as though there wasn’t enough effort put into the design. Overall, I think it was a great movie that caught the eye of a lot of thrill seekers. The connections to its prequels were great. The actors did an amazing job portraying these characters and really committing to the moment. I personally loved the movie and really enjoyed the thrill that came with watching the scares in this movie. It’s a great fright, best with a friend, that will give you a good time.
American style food in a beautiful space located in Webster Groves. 8110 Big Bend
THE BAK ED BEAR Cookies made from scratch and excellent ice cream are the stars at this new spot on the Delmar Loop. St. Louis marks the 29th location for this San Diego chain. Prefer brownies? The Baked Bear also has you covered. Order a brownie ice cream sandwich with one of the dozen ice cream flavors offered. 6140 Delmar
CLAY TON CLOSING Ben Poremba’s French-Italian restaurant in Clayton, Parigi, announced on Oct. 23 that it is closing.
40 | OPINION
affirmative action Vivian Chen argues against the Affirmative Action program in light of the discrimination lawsuit underway against Harvard University VIVIAN CHEN | REPORTER with EMMA RAINE | REPORTER
Graphic by Sean Kim “Most Americans don’t want race to be part of your application to college. They don’t want the police to use race as a profiling tool to prevent crime. They don’t want prosecutors to use race in the makeup of a jury. Your race and your ethnicity should not be used to help or harm you in your life’s endeavors,” argues Edward Blum, the founder of the organization Students for Fair Admissions. Usually when we hear the word “racism” being used, we think of the KKK, white supremacy, or some other example of white people oppressing African-Americans. While these examples definitely fit the definition of racism, these aren’t the only forms of it. Have you ever heard the term “reverse-racism” being used?
There is actually no such thing as “reverse-racism.” It is simply racism, since it is still the belief that one race is superior to another. This “reverse-racism,” as many people call it, can be shown with the Harvard Admission Scandal, a policy of Harvard requiring Asians to score higher on the SAT’s than other races to get admitted into the school. The purpose? More diversity in the schools. Justice Anthony Kennedy in response to Gregory Garre, an attorney for Harvard University said, “So what you’re saying is that what counts is race above all ... You want underprivileged of a certain race and privileged of a certain race. So that’s race.” Anthony Kennedy is correct when he says
that this act is all about race. To be racist is to judge someone by their skin color, and that is exactly what is happening. And even though race doesn’t play the primary role in admitting college students, it still has some sort of role, which is still absolutely wrong, and nevertheless, racist. Supposedly, the goal of affirmative action is to help minorities, and Asians are a minority, so if that was the case, why should affirmative action hurt them? When applying to colleges, race should not be a factor. Race may affect people’s performance in school and work, but other factors impact a student’s trajectory in life much more. Mental illness, for example, affects people of
41 | OPINION
all races and can prevent students from performing well in school much more than their race. One in every five teenagers cope with mental illnesses severe enough to impact their daily life. So shouldn’t other factors matter more than race when it comes to getting into college or getting a job? Poverty, abuse, and mental illness influence success in school much more than race, so shouldn’t that count as well? If the concern is that minorities will not be accepted into colleges because of their race, then information other than qualifications should be blocked out. Not all white or Asian students come from ultra-privileged homes. The truth is, no matter your race, everyone has to work hard to get into good schools. My mom is a first-generation Chinese immigrant and she worked hard to migrate here. “So for American college students, if they need to get to graduate school, they need to put in a lot of effort, right? They cannot go to parties everyday and still learn stuff that they need to learn and go to graduate school … you need to maintain a good GPA and that requires a lot of effort … And then if you think about the effort [Asians have]
280 that’s how many
an Asian-American applicant has to score on the SAT (1600 scale) than their African-American, Native American and Hispanic classmates to recieve the
same recruitment letter from Harvard University.
Harvard Dean of Admissions William Fitzsimmons released the information during his testimony in the ongoing lawsuit case.
to put in, it’s a lot more because it’s not just about your college studies that you have to do well in, but on top of that we have to spend extra time to study English, because English is not our first language,” she said. However, for these immigrants, the work has just begun. “My grandparents and my parents both migrated from China to here … My maternal grandpa, he was working on a farm … and he worked in a restaurant. And then he had to get my mom over here, and then he had to borrow a lot of money to open up a restaurant, and even after that, he took [years] trying to pay back the debt,” says freshman Jessie Lin. Lin also regularly attends the Chinese school in Richmond Heights every weekend, and this year will be her fifth year of attending. “I mean, I complain about extra work, but I know that it’s necessary for me to do all of the work if I want to pursue my dreams,” she says. The whole purpose of the Harvard Admission is for diversity and racial equality. But is equality defined by the results or the opportunities? Is being equal everyone getting the same outcome, or the same starting point?
42 | OPINION
where in the world? a look into the consequences of a lack of a geography class LUKA BASSNETT | REPORTER
A map of where the students thought the meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un took place. 19 students gave the correct answer: Singapore. (Graphic by Bassnett).
he high school experience is designed to prepare students for the future. High school students are educated in core subjects like mathematics and history, and are required to take classes of particular importance, like American Government and Personal Finance. Strikingly absent is education in geography. At Clayton High School, a dedicated geography course is available only at an AP level. At Ladue, classes tailored to the study of geography are not offered at all. In these schools, as in much of the United States, students are expected to learn geography in their social studies and history classes, and separate geography classes are rarely required. In the US, geography is deemed to be of secondary importance, and as of 2013, 30 states do not require a geography class at either the middle school or high school level. At face value, grouping geography into social studies doesn’t seem to be a bad idea. However, nationwide, the practice of teaching geography in social studies class is not effective. The 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that 80 percent
of American 12th graders lack proficiency in geography, and even with a rapid development in educational technology over the past few years, the percentage of seniors ranking as ‘Proficient’ has remained level since 1994. Additionally, the NAEP found that almost a third of high school seniors have a below-basic knowledge of the geography. This national lack of knowledge can be attributed to the perception that geography is not as important as other subjects, and the practice of burying geographic study inside of social studies class. While the NAEP found striking deficiencies in geographic knowledge around the country, it could not provide data at the state or local level. In Missouri, the Clayton School District is regarded as an excellent school district, and CHS is ranked as one of the best in the state, with a diverse student population. These factors might suggest that Clayton students should have a better knowledge of geography than the average high school student. To gauge the geographic knowledge of CHS students, a survey was conducted through a Google Form. Generally, the 49 students surveyed had a reasonable knowledge of geography. The average Clayton student was
able to name 3.6 of the eight countries that share a land border with France, and 5.2 of the eight states that border Missouri. Only 40 percent of students could find Thailand on a map, but 88 percent could locate North Korea, and 61 percent of the students could pinpoint Pakistan. Surprisingly, however, almost a fifth of the students could not find the state of New York on a map of the United States. Clayton high-schoolers have a decent general knowledge of geography. For example, 88 percent of Clayton students can find North Korea on a map, while according to a recent New York Times study, only 36 percent of American adults can locate the country. However, Clayton students have only a limited knowledge of global events. Little more than a third of Clayton high school students knew that the historic meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un took place in Singapore, and only 65 percent of students knew that ‘Brexit’ refers to the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union. Most surprisingly, a third of Clayton students believe that American troops are stationed in Iran, a nation hostile to the United States. One might ask, however, if today’s high schoolers truly need a knowledge of geography and global events. The United States is the world’s most powerful country, they might argue, and surely high school students don’t need to know the difference between Thailand and Taiwan, or Iraq and Iran. However, it is necessary to have some knowledge of geography in order to have informed opinions about the world. Also, geographic knowledge is able to influence political opinions. The New York Times study mentioned earlier discovered that Americans who could find North Korea on a map were more likely to prefer a diplomatic approach when dealing with the country, and were much less likely to favor doing nothing. As the current approach to teaching geography does not give students the knowledge they need, students should be required to take at least one semester of geography while in high school, just as they are required to take classes in civics, personal finance, and health. Another option might require history teachers to spend at least 20 percent of class time teaching geography. Such requirements would ensure that students enter adulthood with a grounding in geography and the ability to make informed decisions about the world.
43 OPINION 43 || OPINION
love, the globe a column
YIYUN XU | REPORTER
hat is music? Music, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody or harmony. When people come across the term “music”, most of them think of singers like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, and songs like Lucid Dreams and Better Now. But for me, music means composers like Dvořák and Mozart, and pieces like New World Symphony and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Music has always played a major role in my life. It introduces me to different kinds of people, provides a temporary distraction from the busy world, and allows me to express myself freely without worrying about other people’s judgments. Over the past summer, I attended Meadowmount School of Music, which was a 7-week long summer camp in northern New York. Most students, between ages eight and 30, came to this camp to pursue a passion for classical music. I was one of the few students who came from Missouri, and my friend group expanded with people from Australia and Denmark, with 8-year-old children and 28-year-old adults. Carrie, one of my best friends, and I met in Meadowmount. Since I did not really learn the violin seriously before going to this camp, my life was very different from the lives of my friends there. Most of them had performed in Carnegie Hall, and many were students at Juilliard Pre-College. Because of my excessive t-shirts from math and science competitions, I was considered a weirdo for having strong interests in STEM-related fields instead of improving my violin techniques. I am still in touch with my friends at Meadowmount and will be for the rest of my musical carrier. Music bounds different kinds of people together more than anything else. Music also allows me to take a short break from my busy life. Classes and homework packed my school days, I barely have a chance to breathe. Sitting down and practicing my violin for a brief 30 minutes allows myself to calm down, and popping up a playlist of Chopin while doing homework helps me to focus more on my task. Research has even proved
Maybe add more human cutouts this year because the lady from last year suggested it
Art by Anna Sturmoski that listening to 45 minutes of classical music before sleeping can significantly improve sleep qualities and that listening to music, in general, can effectively reduce stress. Classical music is one of the most direct tools one can have to understand and develop different emotions with different instruments, dynamics, and techniques. Since it does not have any words, the composer can only express themselves through pure melodies and harmonies. Whenever I am feeling down or need something emotional to listen to, Elgar Cello Concerto performed by Jacqueline du Pre is my go-to piece. The gloomy chords and du Pre’s tragically short musical career due to complications of multiple sclerosis blend perfectly, and being alone in the moment of
listening to her performance provides a safe place for me to express my feelings without worrying about the opinions from others. I have always felt embarrassed when people ask me what my favorite song is because my answer will not be any modern music. However, I realize now that a passion for music does not necessarily mean it has to be pop or country music, there is nothing different about loving classical music. I can confidently have conversations with people about the different styles that different composers used, and how their life stories affected their compositions. Classical music should be part of everyone’s lives, and we should all embrace it with respect.
44 | opinion
pro: cut policy Laura Parvulescu defends the merits of a cut policy LAURA PARVULESCU | REPORTER
Photo by Cicely Krutzsch
layton High School is among the few high schools in the St. Louis area that has a no-cut policy for their sports teams. The policy does ensure a supportive and inclusive environment, but does it really teach students the lesson that being on a competitive team is supposed to provide? Being on a sports team teaches young people many valuable lessons which non-cut policy interferes with. Learning how to lose is one of the most important teachings of sports teams. Athletes learn that winning is not always possible, a lesson that is very applicable to real life. If students are simply given a spot on a sports team, they are not training their minds to take losses. Additionally, students won’t feel the need to work as hard if they know their spot on the team is guaranteed. Another lesson sports teach is that hard work yields results and this lesson is hindered by the no-cut policy. Max Boeger, a senior on the varsity boys soccer team, said, “Although I do agree with
Maybe add more human cutouts this year because the lady from last year suggested it
parts of the policy, having a cut-policy would make our school’s sports better because students would be more motivated to get better at the sport by not making the team. Instead, students make the team and are happy, but either don’t play or don’t play to their full potential due to lack of motivation.” Recently at Ladue High School, a student was cut from the JV soccer team and his family sued the school for “age discrimination.” This is a good example of how a student, instead of working harder to get better at the sport, fought to be put on the team although he, according to the coaches, did not deserve the spot. Ladue does implement a cut-policy for their sports teams, and many of their teams are state ranked because of their competitiveness. Although this incident shows the cut-policy going wrong, it provides us with a perspective on how not every athlete should be automatically put on the team. Eliza Copelivitz, a CHS senior on the girls' varsity soccer team, said, “I’ve heard stories
and seen incidents firsthand in which players won’t show up to preseason training, practices, or games because of something else that is going on that the player would prefer to be doing. But because we have the no-cut policy, their spot on the team was easily earned and then taken advantage of, so he/she skips out on the commitment to the team for something like a social event. I think that the no-cut policy is definitely beneficial to those players who are dedicated to getting better and working their way up from JV to varsity, but the policy hurts athletics because those who do receive spots on varsity sometimes don’t appreciate them enough to keep their commitment.” Sports are a large part of many CHS students’ lives. If it is being an athlete, managing a team or just going to watch, our sports teams do have an influence. Implementing a cut-policy on Clayton athletics would increase meaningful participation. Students being more motivated and dedicated to the teams would increase the benefit of sports to student life in general.
45 | opinion
con: cut policy Sofia Puerto argues that a cut policy would be wrong for Clayton High School SOFIA PUERTO | REPORTER
Photo by Audrey Deutsch
aving a “no cut policy” is a great thing for Clayton High School. It gives all students a chance to partake in sports if they wish to. It also gives daily physical activity for students. At the same, it doesn’t guarantee playing time, meaning you have to work for a spot if you want to play. Not only is it a great opportunity to get out and active, but it also teaches great team building skills. Students that wish to participate in sports will always be allowed. They get in their daily activity, and have fun playing a sport. Giving students a chance to play a sport they love, and to exercise, is a great way to keep kids engaged. It is common that participating in sports and exercising can raise endorphins, which makes you happier when, and after, you play. The fact that our no cut policy doesn’t guarantee playing time is a great way to encourage hard working players to keep at it. It encourages students to keep up a bit of competition and to work hard. If you have to work hard for a playing spot on the team, then people will be more motivated. Giving more initiative to players is a great way to have fun, and have the chance to work with teammates. This also means that those
who might not be as good won’t bring down our ranks in competition when they start out, but will also be given plenty of chances to improve. A mother in the Ladue area chose to sue her son’s school after the soccer coach, Dave Aronberg, decided to cut him from the team junior year. The rule at this particular school is that if you are a junior or senior and don’t make varsity, you aren’t allowed to play. The previous year, parents of upperclassmen were complaining about their child’s playing time on the JV team. This story brings to our attention that it is important to let everyone play, but everyone has to earn their playing time. People should always be allowed to play the sport they love. This policy also states the rule that seniors are not guaranteed a spot on a varsity team. They can be on varsity if they are good enough, but seniors have to work just as hard to gain their position, and that they don’t automatically get a varsity spot just because they want it. This also keeps us competitive with other schools. Building teamwork skills is an important skill for many social situations in life, and may be one of the most important compo-
nents of playing a sport. People are always going to have to work with others, and sports are a great way of doing so. For example, at a job, people have to collaborate with co-workers to accomplish certain tasks. Playing a sport, coming to practices, games, meetings and even socials with a team builds great skills of working with other people. Not only do students get a chance to play, work hard and connect with a team, but a no cut policy also raises student involvement in school. There are plenty of students out there who wouldn’t be involved in school activities at all if they couldn’t do a sport or two. Student participation looks really good on college applications, and it builds the school's athletic program as well. Not having a cut policy is a great thing for us at CHS. The way we are running athletics, giving every student a chance and providing a good way to have fun, is exactly what we need. Exercise, play, teamwork and student involvement are excellent ways to keep students connected to school, and keep them happy.
46 | OPINION
staff ed: a better way to do homework the globe staff comments on current homework structures and possible alternatives
(Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS) h, you´re taking Honors Physics? You´re going to cry every night.” “If you take four AP classes, you can say goodbye to your mental
health.’ These are just a few of the things Clayton students hear as they start the school year, talking about the amount of homework they will get each night. Homework is one of the biggest stress factors for high school students in the US and all over the world. But why? Shouldn´t school and extra learning be beneficial to students instead of detrimental to their health? ¨[I dropped Honors Physics because] I had field hockey, I was taking two others honors classes, and I had an average of four hours of homework every day. I was up till about 11:30 p.m. each night,¨ said Ana Meyers, a freshman at Clayton who took Honors Physics and dropped it. ¨When I transferred [to regular Physics], I had an F, and I have all As and Bs in my other classes.¨ An overload of homework can cause not only stress, but a decrease in students’ GPA, and too much in one class can prevent them from doing work in their other classes. Leah Levenson, a junior at CHS said, “Often, I won’t be able to do homework in other classes because I´ll be so busy doing stuff for
classes that give more homework.¨ Although teachers in America try to solve the problem of misunderstanding in class through assigning more and more homework, it leaves the students with much more homework in every class and a lot of stress every night. Over 70 percent of Clayton students have three or more hours of homework a night, leaving minimal time for other things. The average amount of CHS students sleep each night is seven hours. (That’s two and a half less than is needed for a productive night’s rest). If you spend eight hours of your day at school, two after school for sports practice or play rehearsal, plus an hour for any other activities you might have -- whether it is a job, club or lesson, then an hour for dinner, and then have three, probably more, hours of homework, what does that leave you? Two hours. To spend time with your family? To do community service, which is required to get into NHS and most colleges? To do anything else to relax, and not be thinking about the sheer velocity of work that still needs to be done? It’s no wonder Generation Z has the most teens with anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses, standing at just one in five.
There has to be a better way to do homework. Luckily, Finland has solved that problem. They have almost abolished homework and students who do receive homework are no younger than seventh graders. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam, taken by students all over the world, showed that Finland was in the top five for highest test scores in reading and science, and in the top fifteen for math. This was a stark comparison to the US, whose highest placement was 24th, in reading. Although this might not be directly correlated to the amount of homework schools assign, other studies also show that the US is certainly falling behind the more modern countries who are working to eliminate homework. If the teachers in the US focused more on teaching and practicing in class instead of relying on students to learn material outside of class, like teachers in Finland, the amount of homework students receive could be cut drastically. Not only would this benefit students by allowing them more sleep, peace of mind and time for other things in their life, but it could also be good for teachers, and allow them to grade less and focus more on curating the best lesson plan to create less homework.
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Globe Newsmagazine, November 2018, Issue 3, Vol. 90