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devil’s advocate stanton college preparatory school

State of the Arts The challenges and benefits Stanton’s student artists experience while pursuing their craft.

By Bettina Huang

number 4

march 2017

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devil’s advocate

volume xxxiii

number four

Stanton College Preparatory School

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Sports

Journey to Deland A profile of the hard work and camraderie that it took for the Girls’ varsity soccer team to reach the state championships.

By Likhita Manchikanti and Emmett Gideon

Student Life

Open for Business Sudent entrepreneurs speak about their economic endeavors and efforts to succeed outside of the classroom.

By Rohini Kumar

Student Life

More than a Sponsor This story explores the experience of club

By Brandon Deda

sponsors and coaches and why they pursue extracurricular involvement.

Photography

New Growth A collection of macro photography featuring various thriving flowers and plants.

Features

State of the Arts An examination of the challenges and benefits of pursuing an artistic talent as a Stanton student.

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Opinions

By Bettina Huang Cover Photo By Dani Brewer

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Opinions

By Mary Allison Kane, Chloe Giroux, Maya Lee and Dani Brewer

Editorials Two editorials from the Devil’s Advocate Editorial Board and

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By the Editorial Board

an editorial cartoon from Stanton artist Alivia Davis.

Columns This issue features columns written on a variety of topics, ranging from a burger review to a social commentary on makeup.

Photography

Passionate People Several Stanton students are photographed showcasing their passions and talents.

By Zahra Casado, Valerie Starks, Vince Duarte, Sydney Lewis, Micah Robinson and Matthew Creegan

By Chloe Giroux, Maya Lee and Dani Brewer

Editor’s Letter

Lily Tehrani Editor-in-Chief

iiiiiWhen most individuals think of Stanton College Preparatory School, they are reminded of the rigorous academia and prestige the school holds. Being a school that is ranked so high in the nation, it is not uncommon for people to assume the main focus of many students is to pursue a major in one of the STEM fields. What many people do not think of are the countless students who aspire to have a career in the arts. iiiiiwThese students have to overcome several obstacles, one being a lack

of resources and funding. Mastering one’s skill while balancing Stanton’s coursework can extremely difficult at times, preventing young artists from honing their craft. However, in our cover story, “State of the Arts,” written by Bettina Huang, we discuss the challenges faced and overcome by Stanton’s student artists. iiiiiOur cover story discusses many of the challenges young artists at Stanton deal with, one being the risk of pursuing a major in the arts. Developing an artistic career can sometimes be

Contributing Advocates: The Devil’s Advocate is searching for contributing writers, photographers, artists and filmmakers. Contact Editor-in-Chief Lily Tehrani at lilytehrani99@gmail.com, Managing Editor Valerie Starks at vmstarks@gmail.com or Digital Media Editor Shriya Gupta at guptas2626@gmail.com. Ads and Sponsorships: The Devil’s Advocate is dependent on our advertisers and our sponsors. When you purchase an ad with us, it reaches a diverse student population that can help your business. We can also design your ads. Our prices are: $35 (1/4 page), $60 (1/2 page), $75 (insert), $100 (full page b/w) or $150 (back page color). Contact Business Manager Shruti Murali at shrutiusa99@gmail.com or our adviser, Mr. Knight, at knightl1@ duvalschools.org

march 2017

viewed as unpredictable and difficult, iiiiiWe sincerely hope you enjoy the as it is not as stable as STEM jobs. fourth issue of the 33rd publication year Among other obstacles are budget of the Devil’s Advocate! cuts art departments nationwide have received. Most art students are now required to buy their own supplies, posing a serious issue for individuals who cannot afford this luxury. Despite the demands of Stanton’s curriculum and funding limitations, passionate student artists continue to seek fulfillment through the arts and use them as an outlet of expression and relaxation.

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Printed at Florida Sun Printing Callahan, Fla. Please recycle this newspaper.

Adviser: Larry Knight Editor-in-Chief: Lily Tehrani Managing Editor: Valerie Starks Layout and Design Editor: Sarah Page Senior Photography Editor: Mary Allison Kane Digital Media Editor: Shriya Gupta Managing Digital Media Editor: Grace Trombley Business Manager: Shruti Murali Features Editor: Walker Miller Opinions Editor: Trystan Loustau Sports Editor: Liam Ngo Student Life Editor: Chisom Ukoha Staff Writers: Zahra Casado, Brandon Deda, Vince Duarte, Emmett Gideon, Bettina Huang, Rohini Kumar, Likhita Manchikanti Photographers: Dani Brewer, Chloe Giroux, Maya Lee

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Sports A look at the historic State Championship Finals run by the 2016-2017 Stanton Girls’ soccer team and the aftermath of the defeat.

By Likhita Manchikanti and Emmett Gideon, Staff Writers The air is heavy with anticipation as the FHSAA State Championship girls’ soccer game between the Stanton College Preparatory School Lady Blue Devils and the Merritt Island Mustangs goes into overtime penalty kicks. After 90 minutes of a 0-0 game, the atmosphere becomes chaotic as students nervously wait for the scoreboard to change. The bleachers at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium vibrate with the strength of the fans’ enthusiastic cheers. The penalty kicks begin. A Merritt Island player steps up first and Stanton’s goalkeeper defends. The audience watches with bated breath. Merritt Island’s ball flies between the goalposts. A Stanton player kicks next and scores. A Merritt Island player returns to the penalty mark and scores again. Kickers make last-ditch efforts to score, goalkeepers defend their goals with resolve and the stadium is alive with

I think it was much easier for all of the girls to work together because they all mainly wanted to be there to play soccer. —Coach Brian Heggood excitement. The crowd becomes restless as Stanton players begin to miss and Merritt Island players continue to score. At the end of the penalty kick period, a Merritt Island player scores the final goal. Just like that, the long-awaited game had ended. For the players of Stanton’s Lady Blue Devil team, both the game and the hopes of a first place championship title ended on Feb. 17, 2017. Although Stanton’s athletes were faced with this unfortunate defeat, their participation in the game also marked the first time the school’s girls’ varsity soccer team reached state finals. Such an achievement by the team can primarily be attributed to the camaraderie within it, as the strength of the bond between the soccer players played a major role in contributing to the journey that led up to them participating in this historic game. “The girls are always motivated to be successful, but one of the advantages of having so many young players this year is that they are not burdened by the anxiety of whether or not they’re going to do well,” said girls’ varsity soccer coach Mr. Brian Heggood. “The leadership we had from the veteran players helped them become so close, but I think it was much easier for all of the girls to work together because they all mainly wanted to be there to play soccer.”

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In addition to a large number of freshman players and effective leadership, a mutual respect for the sport provided the girls on Stanton’s varsity soccer team with a starting point from which they could become closer. While a common motive for being on the team helped establish the team’s friendship, the athletes formed such a tight bond by utilizing various other methods. “We had people sign up to host the team for dinner before each game, so we were always together after school,” said senior Lauryn Harold, starting goalkeeper on the girls’ varsity soccer team. “We’ve also had two team sleepovers at my house. They’ve both been great bonding experiences where we’ve gotten to know each other to the point where we are basically a family.” The development of such strong ties within the girls’ varsity soccer team allowed the athletes to be more than teammates—they became sisters. As the athletes’ bond improved throughout the season, the presence of teamwork increasingly became evident as one of the team’s assets. “One strength of the team is how well we work together. We communicate well and always have each other covered in case we get beat,” said junior Lindsay Schmitt, starting defensive midfielder. “We are also good at double teaming another player, which increases our chances of winning the ball. Another advantage our team has is that we all play very physical, which helps us win the ball and dominate the other team.” With all of its strengths, Stanton’s girls’ varsity soccer team consistently gained the upper hand this season. Although the team appears to have been unstoppable, a great deal of resolve was needed this year in order for them to be so successful.

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“During the post-season game against Ponte Vedra, the score was 0-0 for the majority of the game. We had to work together to keep them from scoring as well as try and score ourselves,” said Schmitt. “We were working very hard for each other, trying to win every ball and cover for each other if one of us got beat. Eventually our hard work paid off and we moved up the field as a team and were able to defeat Ponte Vedra for the first time in years.” Throughout the season, the students on Stanton’s girls’ varsity soccer team relied on the abilities of their fellow athletes in order to succeed. By doing so, the team was able to reach goals to an extent previously unheard of in the world of Stanton athletics. “Beating Land O’Lakes felt incredible. Our team had worked so hard the whole game and it was such a great feeling to get the outcome we deserved,” said senior Alyssa Mahar, starting midfielder. “Getting to state finals exceeded all of the expectations I had for the season and I was so proud of the team for what it had accomplished. I was absolutely elated.”

I wasn’t able to watch the penalty kicks because I was so nervous that I was just praying for a win.

—Imani Ashman, 9th

After weeks of persistent victories, Stanton’s girls’ varsity soccer team made it all the way to the Girls’ 3A Varsity Soccer State Championship at DeLand. Unfortunately, the team’s winning streak did not continue into the state championship game, and opposing team Merritt Island was given the ball during penalty kicks. “I wasn’t able to watch the penalty kicks because I was so nervous that I was just praying for a win,” said freshman Imani Ashman, starting forward. “After our defeat, I was more mad than sad, but then I remembered that we have a lot of freshman players, so we could still be a really good team next year.” Losing the championship game was not an ideal outcome for the team, as the athletes

The loss has made me appreciate my teammates more than ever, and I couldn’t have wished for anything more. —Christina Rushing, 12th spent all season working toward the state finals. However, the game signified more than a possible victory. “After we had lost, it was more of a bittersweet feeling than anything,” said senior Christina Rushing, defensive midfielder. “Even though we didn’t win, I was so incredibly proud of our team for getting that far and found that I was more happy than sad. We had fought our hardest in that game and kept pushing until the very last second. The loss has made me appreciate my teammates more than ever, and I couldn’t have wished for anything more.” Though the athletes did not leave DeLand with the winning trophy, reaching state championships was a monumental feat in itself. Rather than disappointing the athletes on Stanton’s girls’ varsity soccer team, the defeat at DeLand only made them stronger. As most of the team’s athletes will return to Stanton next year, the effects of such a tight bond will likely lead to future successes as well.

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Photo Captions Photo 1: Lindsay Schmitt, 11th, kicks the ball. Photo 2: Camille Prosswimmer, 9th, attempts to land a touch on the ball against Merritt Island High School. Photo 3: The team takes a picture together before heading off to play Land O’ Lakes on Feb. 10. Photo 4: Alyssa Mahar [left], 12th, and Imani Ashman [right], 9th, fight for the ball in the championship game. Photo 5: Alyssa Mahar [left], 12th, and Lauryn Harold [right], 12th, wave to the camera before the championship game begins. Photo 6: Imani Ashman, 9th, attempts to get into position to score against Merritt Island High School. Photo 7: Lauryn Harold, 12th is scored on during the game-winning penalty kick against Merritt Island. Photo 8: Lauryn Harold, 12th, is emotional after an overtime loss against Merritt Island High School.

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Student Life

OPEN s s e n i s u B r fo iiiiiStanton College Preparatory School students are renowned for going the extra mile—aside from a rigorous academic schedule, the typical undertakings of a Stanton student may include sports, clubs, part-time jobs, volunteering requirements and other extracurricular activities. Within the limits of the educational environment, these activities tend to stand out the most. However, a small group of students at Stanton have chosen to venture into a particularly unconventional field of personal development— the business world. iiiiiThe limitations imposed upon student entrepreneurs far outnumber those of their adult counterparts, potentially hinting at a reason for low numbers of student-operated businesses and companies. The assumption that teens are disorganized, careless and frivolous has become embedded into the adolescent archetype, and as a result, established business platforms, potential investors and consumers tend to dismiss their efforts. Additionally, most high school students have less resources to work with, paradoxically giving them more to lose. Nevertheless, students at Stanton who have started their own enterprises have found the motivation necessary to overcome these hindrances.

A few Stanton students must find a way of balancing academic demands and entreprenuership. By Rohini Kumar, Staff Writer

wealthy, but impact those who are not the typical trend followers. It’s a brand encouraging everyone to do what makes them happy.” iiiiiMartin invested considerable time and effort into her vision in order to turn it into a reality. Though the process of establishing Wanted was demanding at times, her ability to embrace both successes and difficulties proved beneficial. iiiii“I like the challenge and the uncertainty, but most of all the experiences that come with it,” said Martin. “For the most part, Wanted requires a lot of scheduling and rescheduling.

The goal for the clothing line is not to become wealthy, but impact those who are not the typical trend followers.

Finding a manufacturer, deciding how I wanted to produce the clothing and establishing the website were all steps to manage in order to make the store come to life.” iiiii For now, Wanted remains an online store, distributing products exclusively to online shoppers. Martin is not short on ambition, however, and hopes to turn it into a brick and mortar business once she has the resources. As for herself, Martin plans to integrate business into her prospective career choices. iiiii “In the future, I want to go further into accounting to allow my managerial skills to expand,” said Martin. “When I can, I will open a store for the line.”

—Natasha Martin, 11th om Ukoha

graphic by Chis

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iiiii“My brand is called ‘Wanted.’ It’s an American clothing line,” said former Stanton junior Natasha Martin. “I’ve always I had an interest in business and making an impression on the modern world. My aunt also models in New York for a bridal magazine and ever since I was ten, I’ve wanted to be associated with the industry some way.” iiiiiFrom a young age, kids are often taught the importance of “realistic” career goals. Though the fashion industry is a career field deemed inaccessible and impractical, Martin’s personal aspirations and familial influences provided her with the inspiration necessary to start her own clothing line. However, these factors were not the only ones influencing Martin’s decision to start a business—prior to starting the entrepreneurial process, Martin developed a detailed vision for the brand that further motivated her to get the company up and running. iiiii“I wanted to produce something that made an impression, so I decided to introduce a clothing line where people could express their uniqueness and love what they wore,” said Martin. “The goal for the clothing line is not to become

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photo courtesy of Natasha Martin

In this photo, a pair of models don examples of fashions from Natasha Martin’s American clothing brand Wanted.

Students like Martin who use entrepreneurship to lay the foundation for their future careers often set out to accomplish their goals with certain concrete plans in mind. However, other students, like senior Gavin Mattiace, have taken a more casual approach to entrepreneurship. “I give tennis lessons to people who ask and have a genuine desire to get better,” said Mattiace. “It started as me randomly showing people some stuff on the tennis court, and somebody offered to pay me for my time.” The establishment of Mattiace’s business was evidently a spontaneous venture. The benefits he has received as a result of his services have been a significant source of motivation, but he already has plans for his future career that do not involve the sport. “I get to learn more about tennis, how to work with people and how to be patient,” said Mattiace. “My career is already fixed though, and it’s military, so right now, business isn’t high on the list. I’d rather serve my country first.” Mattiace’s decisive plans to go into military service only allow him a limited amount of time to continue giving tennis lessons. His genuine interest in the sport, however, has provided him with the enthusiasm necessary to keep the business running for the remainder of his high school career. iiiii“My favorite part about what I do is that what I teach people is also what I teach myself day in and day out, just in a different way,” said Mattiace. “Since I’ve only got four months left before I start training up in Annapolis, I don’t really have any formal plans to expand. As far as time allows, I’ll keep doing it until then.”

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om Ukoha

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iiiii Junior Alex Slupski has channeled his passion for the camera into the establishment of a service-based business. Slupski was always interested in filmmaking and editing, and regularly filmed content for family members and friends. He later realized he could expand upon his talents and started charging for his work. iiiii “I create high quality commercial video content with drones both on the ground and in the air,” said Slupski. “I got the idea when I realized that I could make money from one of my hobbies. Family and friends started to ask

Clients love to see their business or event in a video, so I think I can make the world a little bit happier every time someone watches a video and remembers the good times they had.

me to make videos for them, and I eventually started to charge them.” iiiii Slupski has reaped many benefits from his business, especially in terms of self-fulfillment and finances. Though the risk-taking and sacrifices required to start one’s own enterprise may appear too overwhelming to commit to, completion of the final product seems to be a point of pride for Stanton’s student entrepreneurs. iiiii “Clients love to see their business or event in a video, so I think I can make the world a little bit happier every time someone watches a video and remembers the good times they had,” said Slupski. “Making money is also a pretty great part of running my business, and it helps me get better at making videos.” iiiii Aside from emotional satisfaction, the financial benefits of running one’s own business are often one of the most appealing points of the entrepreneurship for high school students. Many adolescents find a steady source of income conducive to both financial literacy and their transition into the independence of adulthood. For Slupski, being able to make money while doing something he loves has been the driving force behind his work. iiiii “My favorite part of running my own business is that I get to practice a hobby that I love to do and make money doing it,” said Slupski. “Try to turn something that you love to do into something that can make you money—there are more opportunities than you think out there.”

‘Ordyr.’ We are currently developing a mobile app that allows for in-restaurant food ordering and paying at any restaurant in the user’s city.” iiiii Garg’s aim was to create a business that would enhance the consumer experience through practical means, as many modern companies are attempting to use recent technological advances in order to enhance the functional practicality of their services. To garner ideas about what services Garg’s particular company would provide, she polled the masses. iiiii “We got the idea through primary market research,” said Garg. “My co-founders and I interviewed random people in malls and nearby offices about problems they faced frequently. One of the problems was the wait time during in-restaurant ordering and paying.” iiiii Consulting the consumer population proved beneficial to Garg and her co-founders, as doing so helped them come up with an original, useful service for their company to provide. Throughout developmental process, the Ordyr team continued to use potential customers as a source of feedback in order to fine-tune other aspects of the app. iiiii “We have had to step out and talk to a lot of people in order to figure out what features would and would not be desired by potential customers,” said Garg. “We have done a lot of planning with product design, target market and finances.” iiiii In accordance with all the work Garg has put into Ordyr, she has undergone considerable personal change. The experiences accompanying the entrepreneurial process have opened many new doors for her and encouraged her to change the way she approaches challenging situations. iiiii “Above all, it has really changed my attitude. I used to feel like I have limitations as to what I could accomplish as a high school student,” said Garg. “Now that I have done

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—Alex Slupski, 11th iiiii Alongside co-founders Aryaman Khandelwal and Akshaya Dinesh, junior Maanasi Garg has launched an innovative company providing services aimed specifically at restaurant consumers. Garg’s decision to start her own company was backed by her desire to take advantage of opportunities beyond the scope of her academic environment. Students at Stanton have numerous chances to pursue leadership roles and step out of their comfort zones, but some students’ interests follow a path separate from their academic endeavors. iiiii “I have founded quite a few clubs since starting high school, so I decided that I wanted to take my passion for entrepreneurship to the next level by trying to start a company,” said Garg. “The company I cofounded is called

I have founded quite a few clubs since starting high school, so I decided that I wanted to take my passion for entrepreneurship to the next level by trying to start a company. photo courtesy of Alex Slupski

Alex Slupski is shown in action taking photos with his Panasonic GH3 on a tripod.

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—Maanasi Garg, 11th

photo courtesy of Maanasi Garg

Maanasi Garg (right) stands with one of the original founders of Ordyr Aryaman Khandelwal (left), an inrestaurant ordering app. primary market research, run a pilot version of my product in a real restaurant and presented a pitch deck in front of real professionals, I don’t feel like I have any limitations.” In spite of the rigorous curriculum at Stanton, students like Martin, Mattiace, Slupski and Garg have exceeded the usual expectations placed upon high schoolers and entered the entrepreneurial world as adolescents. Though student entrepreneurship at Stanton may not be as prevalent within the student body as other activities, the diverse ambitions and experiences of student entrepreneurs can provide the rest of the student body with a unique look into the business world.

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Student Life

More Than a Sponsor

Through the process of sponsoring and coaching various clubs and sports, teachers and faculty form bonds with students that transcend sports or academia.

By Brandon Deda, Staff Writer

iiiiiThe standard expectations for the teachers and faculty in a school campus generally do not surpass regular school hours; once the bell rings to signal the end of the day, it is assumed that teachers and students go their separate ways until the beginning of the next school day. However, many teachers and faculty members at Stanton College Preparatory School work with students after school through the various sports teams, clubs and organizations the school offers. iiiii“I initially didn’t seek out to be the head coach for the girls’ soccer team, but when there was an opportunity to be the assistant head coach, I took it,” said Advanced Placement European History teacher Mr. Brian Heggood. “I enjoy soccer and I used to play in high school, so I liked the idea of being involved with coaching.” iiiiiMr. Heggood has coached Stanton’s girls’ soccer team for 18 years. As time was spent working with the girls’ soccer team, Mr. Heggood saw a passion for soccer in many of the players that was similar to his own, a shared interest that serves as the basis for a more meaningful dynamic. iiiii“What keeps me coming back is spending time with the players, whether through practice or at a match,” said Mr. Heggood. “With any of these activities like soccer, you do it because it’s enjoyable to be with people who share a similar interest as you do. Almost all of the girls who play soccer have already had that interest and we are working together towards winning as a team.”

photo by Jill Responte

Stanton’s Lady Blue Devils and Coach Brian Heggood accepting a trophy after their loss to the Merritt Island Mustangs at the FHSAA State Championship Finals in Deland, Fla. iiiiiTeachers are not the only ones who become involved in Stanton’s extracurriculars, as some of Stanton’s faculty are also involved in these organizations. Guidance counselor Ms. May Ibasco is now in her fifth year as the sponsor of Stanton’s Multicultural Student Association, commonly referred to as “Multi,” and she has enjoyed sponsoring the club since she first started. iiiii“After the first year, I ended up staying partly because the current sponsor at the time decided she was not going to sponsor Multi anymore, but more so because I was drawn to the students’ passion for the club,” said Ms. Ibasco. “It was their passion that got me interested in the club and made me equally passionate; the students and officers are very dedicated to Multi’s cause.” iiiiiAs a result of working with Ms. Ibasco, many students of Multi enjoy the atmosphere that surrounds them as they practice and work with each other. Senior Anusha Ketepalle is Multi’s secretary and has been a member of the club since her freshman year. As a result of being in Multi, Ketepalle interacts more with Ms. Ibasco than others who aren’t involved in Multi.

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iiiii“Being in Multi definitely allows you to be closer to Ms. Ibasco because there is more to talk about with her,” said Ketepalle. “Ms. Ibasco also keeps us on track with school and our college plans while also supporting us as when we tried new things for the club this year.”

What keeps me coming back is spending time with the players, whether through practice or at a match. —Mr. Brian Heggood iiiiiLike the students in Multi, Ms. Ibasco enjoys interacting with the members, as it allows her to do more at Stanton than just help students out as a guidance counselor. iiiii“I feel more connected to Stanton as a result of Multi. I cannot picture my experience here as a counselor without it,” said Ms. Ibasco. “I think it does add a different richness because I get to know those students better.” iiiiiDespite the ways coaches and club sponsors benefit from extracurricular involvement, some have felt the need to step away from such positions for a variety of reasons. International Baccalaureate Spanish teacher Mrs. Norma Crespo-Lowery was Multi’s former sponsor, but has since moved on to sponsor National Spanish Honor Society. iiiii“In 2004, I decided not to sponsor Multi anymore because my son was born,” said Mrs. Crespo-Lowery. “Multi was such a huge undertaking and there is a lot of commitment involved. Once my son was no longer a young baby anymore, I was looking for something else to sponsor, so I took on the National Spanish Honor Society.” iiiiiStudents who join clubs like NSHS can learn more about the respective culture the club focuses on. But while the students learn from Mrs. Crespo-Lowery through the club, she also learns from them. “With National Spanish Honor Society, we have students from all different cultures who participate and they get to a know little bit more about the Spanish-speaking culture,” said Mrs. Crespo-Lowery. “Not only do they learn from me as a teacher, but I also learn from them, whether it is a different culture they are growing up in or something unique from another language.” iiiiiSome students can form strong bonds with the teachers they interact with through extracurriculars, and as they continue to spend time with those teachers, the connection they share can grow. That is the case with senior Dahlia Sarmiento and Mrs. Crespo-Lowery. Sarmiento joined NSHS during her sophomore year and since junior year, she has been the vice-president for NSHS. Being a part of the club has allowed Sarmiento to continue forming a close bond with Mrs. Crespo-Lowery, which has made an impact on her experience at Stanton. iiiii“Mrs. Crespo-Lowery is like an in-school mom to me and I think without that, school would be less enjoyable. Not only is she my favorite teacher, but she has really made me more open to teachers and build better relationships with them,” said Sarmiento. “Mrs. Crespo-Lowery and I also share a similar heritage, since I am Dominican and she is Puerto Rican. We have a lot of things in common from

a cultural perspective. I speak Spanish as well and I feel like we have a lot in common, which is why we’ve bonded so much.” iiiiiThere are a variety of organizations and clubs that only work on-site at Stanton, but some of them conduct activities outside of school, as well. Physics teacher Dr. Rajasekhar Narisetty has been sponsoring Stanton’s Physics Club since 2005, the second year of his teaching career. He sees the club as a way to bolster the interests of the students who join the club. iiiii“Students who are focused on their academics should have something to supplement their areas of interest,” said Dr. Narisetty. “If students want to be future scientists, engineers or physicists and want to gain exposure to what goes on in physics, they can all come together. That way, this can foster an environment where students help each other.” iiiiiWith Dr. Narisetty, his passion for physics has made an impact on the members of Physics Club. Senior Sam Goldstein is the president of Physic Club and like other member, he is much more eager to become a physicist as a result of being a part of Physics Club and interacting with Dr. Narisetty. iiiii“I joined Physics Club because I wanted to be a physicist,” said Goldstein. “Physics is my favorite subject and Physics Club allows me to study it outside of class and be close with Dr. Narisetty.”

photo courtesy of Samuel Goldstein

The Physics Club at the Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Fla. for the Florida Student Astronaut Challenge. iiiiiIn early February, the Physics Club went to the Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Fla. to take part in the Florida Student Astronaut Challenge. iiiii“This year, the team finished in second place overall in the Astronaut Challenge, which means we did really well,” said Dr. Narisetty. “They are great students because their motivation is amazing. The more the students are dedicated and make great contributions to the club, the better it is for the club and I hope that next year, we can do it again.” iiiiiSeveral teachers and faculty members at Stanton enjoy working with students, especially as some sponsor afterschool clubs and coach school sports teams. By interacting with the heads of these extracurricular organizations, students are able to revel in the same atmosphere of passion and enthusiasm as their sponsors. Many students have gotten much more enjoyment from their Stanton experiences as a result of being under the wings of their coaches and club sponsors, as their amity becomes something neither party will forget.

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photo by Maya Lee

photo by Maya Lee

photo by Mary Allison Kane

photo by Mary Allison Kane

A collection of macro photography featuring various thriving flowers and plants.

New Growth photo by Chloe Giroux

photo by Dani Brewer

photography by

photo by Dani Brewer

photo by Mary Allison Kane

Dani Brewer, Maya Lee, Mary Allison Kane and Chloe Giroux

photo by Chloe Giroux


The challenges and benefits Stanton’s student artists experience while pursuing their crafts. By BETTINA HUANG, Staff Writer

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hallenging schools, such as Stanton College Preparatory School, are known across the country for their academic rigor, affirmed by their consistently high national and statewide rankings. However, despite the positive acclaim garnered over the years for scholastic achievements, their arts programs receive comparatively little recognition and support, both financial and otherwise. In the high-pressure environment of a school like Stanton, a passion for art can often become sidelined. For most students, studying for an upcoming test, maintaining a high grade-point average or completing that night’s workload often takes priority over honing an artistic skill. Rigorous curricula impede on the time needed to practice or take lessons, complicating the development of young artists. Despite the challenges, dedicated students continue to develop their talents and follow their artistic aspirations. Attending Stanton is an unconventional and sometimes daunting choice for students devoted to the arts. Though creative opportunities are offered at Stanton, its curriculum is nonetheless more academically inclined in comparison to an artistically focused school such as Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. photo by Mary Allison Kane

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The challenges and benefits Stanton’s student artists experience while pursuing their crafts. By BETTINA HUANG, Staff Writer

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hallenging schools, such as Stanton College Preparatory School, are known across the country for their academic rigor, affirmed by their consistently high national and statewide rankings. However, despite the positive acclaim garnered over the years for scholastic achievements, their arts programs receive comparatively little recognition and support, both financial and otherwise. In the high-pressure environment of a school like Stanton, a passion for art can often become sidelined. For most students, studying for an upcoming test, maintaining a high grade-point average or completing that night’s workload often takes priority over honing an artistic skill. Rigorous curricula impede on the time needed to practice or take lessons, complicating the development of young artists. Despite the challenges, dedicated students continue to develop their talents and follow their artistic aspirations. Attending Stanton is an unconventional and sometimes daunting choice for students devoted to the arts. Though creative opportunities are offered at Stanton, its curriculum is nonetheless more academically inclined in comparison to an artistically focused school such as Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. photo by Mary Allison Kane

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Features “Being at Stanton, I’ve had to find my own ways of working in ballet,” said junior Anna Villena, currently a dancer for The Florida Ballet. “Sophomore year I started the French Ballet Multicultural group with my friend and joined the Stanton dance team, and I’m definitely going to continue dancing in college.” At Stanton, many students have artistic interests, participating 1 in activities such as the annual theatre production of Night of Student One-Act Plays, Winterfest and the Multicultural Extravaganza. But only a small fraction of these students aspire to a professional career in the arts. In a survey conducted by the Devil’s Advocate, out of 50 students, just 6 percent of respondents planned on pursuing an arts major in college. Amy Lao, a former Stanton sophomore, is one student who plans to pursue an art beyond high school. An aspiring and accomplished pianist, Lao won the 2016 National Edvard Grieg Pre-College Piano Competition. She feels the lack of artists at Stanton is due to its focus on college preparation, rather than art. “There are so few artists at Stanton because the school focuses on a rigorous academic path, which is quite unnecessary for artists who wish to pursue a future in their field,” said Lao, who recently transferred from Stanton to become home-schooled and focus on piano full-time. “Stanton doesn’t embrace the arts, they just have them.”

There are so few artists at Stanton because the school focuses on a rigorous academic path, which is quite unnecessary for artists who wish to pursue a future in their field. Stanton doesn’t embrace the arts, they just have them.

Society and the Stanton Drama Club to see the support the school gives — and the excitement the students have — for these programs.” Despite all that Stanton has to offer, for many dedicated young artists, attending an arts school, conservatory or turning to homeschooling is an appealing decision to further hone their artistic abilities. An arts education is generally geared toward creative, often deemed “soft,” subjects, such as art, design and photography. While these skills are essential for an artistic career, they appear less often in traditional industries than “hard” subjects, such as math. “You’re more likely to be successful in the workforce if you have an academic background,” said junior Jonathan Woodbine, an aspiring singer-songwriter and member of Stanton’s chorus. “There’s no guarantee that you’ll gain traction with your art, that you’ll be able to sustain yourself financially; there’s the element of chance.” Due to the creatively focused curriculums used to rear thousands of talented young artists towards a specialized career, coupled with the limited number of jobs in creative professions, unemployment is not an uncommon outcome in the fine arts. According to a 2017 Federal Bank of New York analysis of college majors, miscellaneous fine arts majors have one of the highest unemployment rates at 6.6 percent and the lowest starting median salary at $30,000. The high stakes of an art career cause many young artists and their families to reevaluate their education and ani

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career choice. Pursuing a career commonly stereotyped as unstable is a difficult choice, often due to familial impact. Especially for artists, earnings are often unreliable as the bulk of one’s salary relies upon unpredictable sales and commissions before a breakthrough, a goal very few will achieve. Thus for many students, including those without artistic aspirations, their decision to attend and stay enrolled in Stanton is driven by the positions of their parents.

I came to Stanton because my parents preferred for me to go to an academically focused school instead of an arts school. Throughout the years, I’ve had to negotiate with them to take art classes, as well as something they view as sustainable, like STEM subjects. —Joyce Hu, 12th

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“I came to Stanton because my parents preferred for me to go to an academically focused school instead of an arts school,” said senior Joyce Hu, a future visual arts major and president of Stanton’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society. “Throughout the years, I’ve had to negotiate with them to take art classes as well as something they view as sustainable, like STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.” The rigor of Stanton’s diverse curriculum is a compelling draw, even for students who plan to pursue an art career. Though Stanton is a challenging environment for a

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—Amy Lao, 10th Lao’s view is not shared by everyone. Many believe Stanton’s numerous clubs and honor societies emphasize the arts and give students ample opportunities to participate in creative activities, even without the quantity of formal art classes offered at an art school. “I definitely think we embrace the arts here. By the nature of Douglas Anderson being an arts school they can offer more arts electives, but I always felt supported [as a former Stanton drama teacher],” said Mr. David Hemphill, an assistant principal at Stanton. “Just look at the number of students in National Art Honor Society, National Film Honor

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photo by Dani Brewer

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developing artist, its courses allow for a more well-rounded education. Despite being an academicallycentric school, Stanton provides numerous courses in the visual arts, theatre and music departments. “Stanton’s academic program would help me be more wellrounded in the long run, whereas arts schools just 3 focus on one art area,” said Lao. “I had the opportunity to take visual arts classes at Stanton alongside my music theory class, which would not have been allowed at an arts school like Douglas Anderson.” However, the difficulty of pursuing an art alongside challenging courses at a nationally ranked college preparatory school is undeniable. One of the most pressing issues is the lack of resources. For many years, financial constraints have been a constant source of concern for art teachers and students. In 2011, the economic recession caused struggling school districts, such as Duval County Public Schools, to make large budget cuts. In order to protect core class funding, one of the first programs cut was visual arts. The effects of these cuts impacted elementary, middle and high schools alike, thus changing the dynamic of the class. “After the budget cuts, we had less to work with as we had less money to spend on art supplies,” said Stanton visual arts teacher Mrs. Carrie Santa Lucia. “It’s an elective

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course, so when the budgets are being cut they go back to the basic core classes. However, we need a balance of everything.” The change was widely opposed by parents, teachers and students alike, who championed the need for a creative outlet in schools. After two years, the funding for art was restored in Duval County for the 2013-2014 school year. Despite the reinstated funding, economic resources still remain low and continue to limit public school art, music and theatre programs. “I just saw a show at Duncan U. Fletcher High School the other day, which really made all the problems we have at Stanton more apparent,” said senior Andy Ratliff, a future theatre major and the lead of last year’s drama club productions 13: The Musical and It’s All Greek to Me. “They had a theatre specifically for theatrical productions and large spectacle productions, while at Stanton, we just don’t have the facilities that we need to do what other schools can.” Adequate resources are crucial for the development of young artists. However, due to consistently limited budgets for art programs, students often have to purchase their own supplies, making art an inaccessible luxury for those who cannot afford it. “Every year we have to pay for our own supplies, like a journal, paintbrushes and paints,” said Hu. “School sets are provided but they aren’t the best quality because they’re shared by everyone in the visual arts program. As a result, I end up paying for most of the supplies myself.” The issue extends beyond the school district at a national level. According to a Mar. 16 report from The New York Times, President Donald Trump is planning to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts in his proposed budget. The National Endowment for the Arts distributes its funds to regional and local agencies across the country and provides a large portion of funding to state arts budgets. This impending national deficit in arts funding has the potential to negatively impact school programs as well as public cultural institutions, affecting students and citizens alike. “Any cuts to art and culture funding are misguided. The valuable return on investment in the arts stands up against nearly any investment we pay for,” said Tony Allegretti, the Executive Director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. “[Art is often the first to get budget cuts] because it’s thought of as a luxury to some. It’s not. It’s crucial infrastructure.” Budget cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts will affect funding for the many programs they support, including the Cultural Council’s “Any Given Child Jacksonville” partnership which works to ensure art education in every school. For many developing artists, school is the only setting where art classes and resources are readily available, making the possibility of further budget cuts a serious issue for student artists. “It’s saddening because art encourages students to express themselves in a time of their lives where they’re put under huge amounts of stress,” said Ratliff. Due to the demanding nature of Stanton, students turn to art as a source of stress relief and relaxation. my

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A 2016 study by Drexel University found a significant reduction of stress hormones after just forty-five minutes of art making. Thus, for many, the escape art offers is a key reason why they continue in their discipline. “Doing a show helps alleviate what high school, especially one as rigorous as Stanton, does to a person,” said Ratliff. In an environment guided by rules and formulas, the opportunity for creativity is a refreshing break for gifted young artists amidst the stress of school. Their motivations are as varied as their talents, but it is clear that art is an essential part of who they are. These students who pursue creative outlets at Stanton must contend with a multitude of obstacles, but they continue to find a path to cultivating their passions. “If I didn’t dance I’d go crazy,” said Villena. “It’s the one thing I absolutely love and I’m so passionate about it. Despite everything, dancing keeps me happy.” Photo Captions Photo 1: Andy Ratliff, 12th, acts in Stanton’s production of “The Safe House” alongside Mary Belichis, 12th, at the Night of Student One-Act Plays. Photo 2: Jonathan Woodbine, 11th, rehearses his original song “Fly With Me” in Stanton’s band room. Photo 3: Amy Lao, 10th, at her home, practices the piano piece Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 3 “Apassionata”, Op. 57-Allegro assai. Photo 4: Joyce Hu, 12th, works on her painting “Plant Frames” in Stanton’s art room. Photo 5: Anna Villena, 11th, strikes fourth position arabesque in the Stanton courtyard gazebo.

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Opinions Reflection By Numbers iiiiiHuman complexity is not quantifiable. While it may be easy to judge people based on their appearance, actions or test scores, these factors do not define who they are as individuals. Often, students are asked to report their SAT or ACT scores on college applications, scholarship forms or resumes as reflections of their abilities. In reality, though, they are merely numbers. iiiiiAs aptitude tests, the SAT and ACT are designed to assess one’s ability to be competent at a certain job. However, being able to memorize special right triangles, idioms or other trivial concepts does not equate to success. Although the SAT and ACT seem key in testing spacial skills and creative thinking, they are overall inefficient. This may be the result of the economic and educational factors. iiiiiGiven the differences in the quality of public school systems, educational disparities are inherent. In addition to this, multiple students and parents go through many lengths to purchase the necessary tutoring, books and programs to achieve a desired score. Such preparation may pay off in the short-run, but it is difficult to determine how effective it will be in the future as knowledge is not always retained. Thus, it is not fair to compare individuals who do have the financial resources to obtain such training to those who do not.

It is evident that the SAT and ACT do not accurately represent a student’s capacity for success, yet many continue to emphasize their importance. iiiiiIt is evident that the SAT and ACT do not accurately represent a student’s capacity for success, yet many continue to emphasize their importance. A common misconception people have is that these numbers are indicative of one’s success in the future. However, in a study of 123,000 students reported by Public Broadcasting System, researchers found no correlation between success in college and test scores. Still, such misconceptions are reinforced by the college application process, in which test scores continue to play a large role in determining if a student is admitted. On paper, these scores are considered reflections of an individual’s ability to think, function and perform in school. A student’s future—these pieces of paper—rests in the hands of admission officers. Without even meeting students, the admission office tends to make generalizations about them. iiiiiUnfortunately, these false beliefs often have negative consequences, impacting students’ self-esteem. Because many students attribute their abilities to these test scores, they are frightened when their scores are not high enough in comparison to those of others. Success is not dependent on a score; it is dependent on one’s motivation to reach his or her potential. However, motivation is something that cannot be measured, which is why success is unquantifiable. iiiiiWhen it comes down to numbers, it appears one person is better than another. In society, statistics continue to divide people, and test scores are no exception. However, it is time to look past the numbers and look at people holistically. In a few years, these seemingly important numbers will become trivial. A number should not and never will define who students are as individuals.

devil’s advocate established 1983 I Stanton College Preparatory School

2016-2017 Editorial Staff Lily Tehrani Valerie Starks Sarah Page Shriya Gupta Mary Allison Kane Shruti Murali

Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Layout and Design Editor Digital Media Editor Senior Photo Editor Business Manager

The Devil’s Advocate serves as the official newspaper of Stanton College Preparatory School. It is produced monthly by members of the Journalism class. The editors reserve the right to edit any material submitted to the paper for content, grammar, length and accuracy. The Devil’s Advocate is a public forum for student expression, which encourages free exchanges of opinions concerning controversial and non-controversial community and school related issues. The ideas and advertisements expressed within the newspaper are not necessarily those of the newspaper adviser, school administration or the Duval County Public School Board. The Devil’s Advocate accepts advertisements from all businesses in the Stanton community. The ad format can be given to the staff or the adviser, Mr. Larry Knight. Students, faculty, and parents may contact the staff and adviser at (904) 630-6760 ext. 143 or at knightl1@duvalschools.org.

march 2017

Student Caffeine Usage iiiiiMany Stanton College Preparatory School students wake up each morning to the savory, earthy aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Perpetually sleep-deprived, they prepare to face the day with the sweet taste of a hot cup of joe. A feeling of alertness begins to wash over them as they take sips of the beverage throughout their morning routine. Needless to say, coffee is one of the best solutions for an exhausted Stanton student. But, the constant caffeine intake also underlines a much bigger issue: the fact that worn out students feel the need to turn to coffee to help them wake up before, during and after school. iiiiiNot only is coffee delicious, but it also has caffeine, a stimulant which shocks the nervous system. Caffeine can be essential to the focus of a student who has only had a few hours of sleep. For many students, it is often used as a crutch to help them make it through the school day without falling asleep. It is more advantageous for some Stanton students to rely on the drink after they have stayed up too late doing schoolwork than it is to simply go to bed earlier and receive failing grades. To those students, the temporary, artificial sense of alertness which can be obtained from drinking coffee is much more appealing than unrelenting exhaustion. iiiiiMultiple Stanton teachers are also aware of the energizing effects of coffee. Some even provide coffee for their students in class in an effort to enable them to pay more attention. A few hot cups can mean the difference between a drowsy, apathetic class and an engaged, attentive one. Coffee is therefore not only appreciated for its delicious taste, but also its usefulness in aiding the learning process. iiiiiDespite the rejuvenating aspects of coffee, however, a love of caffeine should not always be considered a positive attribute. The repetitive intake of caffeine in response to feelings of drowsiness can lead students to the develop a physical dependence on it, and may even become addicted. Many Stanton students feel they are not fully awake until they have their daily cup of coffee. Such feelings are early indicators of the development of dependence on what may seem to be a small, necessary aspect of one’s morning routine. iiiiiWhile it may seem completely harmless, caffeine is still classified as a drug, and caffeine addiction can be the cause of withdrawals which students may experience after they slow or stop their regular consumption of coffee. However, the symptoms of these withdrawals are often exaggerated for humorous effect in media and popular culture, and the issue is generally downplayed. It is true caffeine withdrawals are nowhere near as dangerous or miserable as withdrawals from other, more intense drugs, so many doctors do not classify caffeine addiction as being dangerous. iiiiiStill, no one should be reliant on any sort of stimulant, especially in high school. It is important that Stanton students know their limits and do not let themselves grow completely dependent on caffeine. As long as they do this, they can confidently and safely continue drinking their favorite beverage.

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Opinions Brush Off the Haters

Driving Over the Bridge to Adulthood

By ZAHRA CASADO, Staff Writer

By VINCE DURANTE, Staff Writer

iiiiiThroughout history, American makeup trends have paralleled changes in gender roles and societal standards. Recent movements for gender equality have brought attention to the stigmas surrounding the use of makeup. Despite these stigmas, all individuals should have the right to use makeup without feeling judged. iiiiiIn the film and music industries, men traditionally use makeup for practical purposes, such as to ensure blemishes do not appear on camera or on stage. However, this was not always the norm; when cosmetics were introduced into filmmaking in the 1800s, they were met with strong resistance from skeptical male actors. Eventually, this taboo dissolved, and makeup became an essential aspect of the aesthetics of filmmaking for male and female actors alike. In the 1970s and 80s, the makeup trend caught on in glam rock and “hair” bands. Musicians utilized cosmetics such as eyeliner both for their visual effects and expressive qualities. Performers who adorned the eye-accentuating tool not only looked good in concert and video, but also made a statement about deviating from the mainstream. photo by Dani Brewer

iiiiiOn Dec. 1, 2016, Atlantic Coast High School student Derek George, 16, was involved in a fatal car accident. When I played in a soccer game at the school the next day, I was saddened to see flowers on the side of the road and the local news crew set up on the site. Tragic accidents such as this one remind us how dangerous the road can be for teenage drivers. For all new drivers, it is important to exercise safe driving in order to decrease the risks which stem from overconfidence. iiiiiFor many high school students, receiving a driver’s license is a thrilling experience because it represents increased freedom. With mixed feelings of excitement and fear, new drivers will approach the road with an abundance of nervous caution. Over time, however, as they come to view driving as an everyday task, this initial fear fades and they tend to overlook the numerous dangers they may face. It does not take long for teenage drivers to develop a false sense of confidence in the driver’s seat and forget they are operating a heavy, potentially deadly machine. iiiiiTraveling from all over Jacksonville, many Stanton College Preparatory School students rely on their vehicles to get to school each morning. According to a recent Devil’s Advocate poll, 84 percent of students consider themselves to be safe drivers. This may be a good sign for young drivers, but it can also represent the threatening illusion of safe driving. iiiiiWhile an adequate amount of assurance is important, too much confidence can lead to dangerous behavior. When overestimating the level of control which they have over their vehicles, for example, student drivers are more likely to think they are safe while texting and engaging in other distractions. To counter this, teenage drivers must remain focused at all times. iiiiiA steady level of concentration can only be achieved once student drivers become more aware of the social pressures which can impair their driving skills. These pressures are often due to the influence of one’s peers, who can intensify the constant urge for a driver to message friends or check social media. The risks of acting upon these urges are often downplayed, because the more drivers use distractions photo by Dani Brewer

without facing consequences, the more they feel confident in justifying distractive behavior while driving. iiiiiThe overconfidence of young drivers represents a larger, dangerous social phenomenon among high school students: the failure to appropriately respond to new responsibilities, such as the ability to legally drive, with complete maturity. Among the opportunities teenagers will gain as they approach adulthood, driving is the most serious, yet often the most overlooked one. The severity of this issue is clearly

infographic by Trystan Loustau

represented by an Injury Prevention study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control in 2015, which showed that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. With the majority of high school students reaching driving age, they face the risk of losing their life every time they are on the road. iiiiiOverconfidence poses a danger for all drivers, and teenagers are especially susceptible to this threat. Therefore, they should always remain cautious and maintain a sensible respect for the dangers of the road when driving.

infographic by Trystan Loustau

iiiiiWhile the application of makeup by male artists and performers has become almost customary, it remains controversial to see a male use it outside of these professions or as a part of cultural traditions. Men are not often popularized in the makeup world, but there are a growing number of exceptions. Recently, in fact, 17-year-old high school student James Charles became the first male spokesperson of Covergirl, an American cosmetics brand. Charles’s role encourages other males who are interested in makeup to challenge gender roles. iiiiiOne misconception which leads to genderstereotyping in the makeup industry is the idea that all males who wear makeup are members of the LGBTQ+ community. Contrary to this belief, there are numerous makeup wearers who identify as heterosexual. For instance, Youtuber Chris Oflyng has become famous for his video “I’m a Straight Male and I Wear Makeup,” which has been viewed over 3 million times since he posted it in June of 2016. In it, he explained how makeup allows him to be a more confident person despite the fact that he is not homosexual. Of course, sexual orientation should not determine who is or is not allowed to use cosmetics. iiiiiMales, whether they are a part of the LGBTQ+ community or not, should feel confident picking up the makeup brush alongside their female counterparts. Makeup is an asset that should be available to all genders. Eradicating the gender stigmas in the cosmetics industry would mean a step closer to gender equality and a more tolerant, accepting society.

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Staying Angry, Staying Sane By VALERIE STARKS, Managing Editor iiiiiIn the previous issue of the Devil’s Advocate, we published an editorial entitled “United We Must Stand.” The piece called for unity and solidarity among the American people in the wake of Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency. The editorial spoke of how, “Americans must look within themselves and their communities as they tear down the walls dividing people along the lines of race, class, religion, gender and sexuality.” Furthermore, the people of this nation must hold leaders accountable for the “safeguarding of rights secured for historically marginalized groups over the course of the past three centuries.” iiiiiTwo months after President Trump took office, I stand by those sentiments. I was proud of my city and my country as I participated in the Jacksonville Women’s March, an offshoot of the larger Women’s March on Washington which took place the day after the inauguration. I was proud of the people who stood up and fought back against the Trump administration’s ban on nationals from seven majority-Muslim countries, and I continue to be filled with a sense of pride as ordinary individuals do the extraordinary, galvanizing and mobilizing their communities to defend the human rights and liberties of our most vulnerable citizens. iiiiiProtest can be a powerful tool for resistance, and I photo by Maya Lee

applaud those who continue to organize at the local, state and national level. But I fear the very real possibility that these movements, our movements, will lose steam in the long run. I also fear an increasing number of people will become disillusioned and apathetic toward our government and political system as their cries for justice are met with lies and condemnation. iiiiiWe have four—potentially eight—long years ahead of us, and the Trump administration has already shown a blatant disregard for facts, the media and accountability. From more recent lies such as President Trump’s claims of wiretapping on the part of President Obama, to inaccurate claims about the inauguration crowd size, it can be enervating to sort through the news cycle to determine which stories are worthy of outrage and concern. As far as the media is concerned, it is also frustrating to watch as the Trump administration shuts down critiques from reputable news organizations such as CNN and The New York Times through the repeated use of the term “fake news.” And no more needs to be mentioned about the firestorms surrounding the president’s tweets. iiiiiThat said, I worry about how our movements will pan out in the long run, which is why I encourage activists to maintain a sense of awareness while also taking time to care for their mental health. Breathe. Choose your battles. And find a network of support. We need to stay angry, but we must also stay sane in the process.

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Bold City Burger Tour By MICAH ROBINSON and MATTHEW CREEGAN, Contributing Writers

Whataburger Atmosphere: Taste: Value: Overall: iiiiiFor our first outing, we wanted to choose a place which represented standard, yet quality fast-food beef, and would not intimidate a pair of novice burger critics who have not yet delved into pristine burger culture. Inevitably, that restaurant was Whataburger. Inside, the restaurant is decorated with a bright, orange and white color scheme, and adorned with nostalgic homages to the 1950s diner scene; various photographs of original Whataburger joints hang on the walls. photo by Maya Lee

Whataburger is a quintessential American fast food that holds a great value for the wallet. iiiiiWe dined on Friday the thirteenth, and the inescapable forces of superstition followed us to the sweet tea machine in the corner, which, broken, exploded all over our pants. It was sticky and cold. We laughed for ten minutes. After cleaning ourselves off, we found a small booth and waited for our food, chuckling as we recounted the chaotic scene. iiiiiOur Whataburgers were not disappointing: the buns were thin and wide, but not weak, giving the sandwich a sturdy quality which made them easy to grip. The toppings were organized well, prominently flavored with pickles and mustard. At times, the mustard overpowered the other toppings, but flavor was blended well overall. We agreed that two patties were optimal for the best taste. iiiiiBesides the broken, raging tea machine, the highlight of the experience was undoubtedly the special gravy fries. The hot gravy melded with the crispy, steaming potatoes to produce a fantastic taste, better with every bite. Altogether, the food and experience was satisfying and memorable. Whataburger is a quintessential American fast food that holds a great value for the wallet.

In search of the juiciest burger in the city, two Stanton seniors travelled to three restraunts and ordered the same thing: their best burger, a side of fries and a drink. They provide their comical, yet tasteful reviews of each entrée below.

Jimmy Hula’s

iiiiiJimmy Hula’s is a secret culinary treasure on the Atmosphere: eastside of the city, fairly new to Taste: Jacksonville. It has a bustling, Value: busy atmosphere, exciting but Overall: not overwhelming. Its beachthemed walls are decorated with every possible knick-knack imaginable, from surfboards to seashells, so that every time we looked around the restaurant we found something new. In the evenings, live bands play reggae and beach pop tunes which give customers a chance to relax while they are eating their meal—an opportunity which every Stanton student needs and appreciates. iiiiiAt first, the outside environment threatened to remind us that we were not actually at the beach, but as soon as we took our first bites of the Aloha Burgers, we felt the breeze of an afternoon wind and tiny grains of sand between our toes. The pop of pineapple and mellow blend of teriyaki sauce was heavenly. The combination of beef and pineapple might seem like heresy, but Jimmy Hula’s proves that expectation to be dead wrong. The meat was seared perfectly, thick enough to provide a satisfying portion, and the topping placement made the burger look tall, yet compact. iiiiiOn top of serving one of the most unique burgers we have ever had, Jimmy Hula’s also serves some of the best fries we have ever had the privilege of consuming. Their signature Mojo Fries were like an electrifying punch in the taste buds, with an unmistakable tang and sharp flavor which leaves you scraping the bowl to make it last as long as time allows.

infographic by Trystan Loustau

iiiiiFor the final stop on our tour, we decided to dig into some real Atmosphere: bourgeois burgers. We knew we Taste: wanted to eat natural grass-fed Value: beef so we could feel superior Overall: to everybody else. BurgerFi was recommended by another student who has never been there. A relatively small sit-down joint in Riverside, BurgerFi is situated next to the Haskell building. It has a sleek, urban feel, complemented by views of the busy parking lot and looming skyscrapers. BurgerFi caters to its clientele; the music was relatively laid-back and alternative, making the restaurant a hipster magnet.

BurgerFi

The burgers’ soft patties make other burger joints seem like bona fide meat warehouses. iiiiiThe hook for BurgerFi is, of course, its use of all-natural, grass-fed beef. The burgers’ soft patties make other burger joints seem like bona fide meat warehouses. The first half of our order included a “Breakfast All Day” burger, which is served with with one bourgeois patty, a hashbrown, a fried egg, diced onions, a special mystery sauce and maple syrup. The description of the dish on the menu alone is enough to make one salivate so much to make the cashier place a wet floor sign at the register. iiiiiNone of the other burgers we tried put off such incredible feel-good Americana vibes. The unique sensation was also well-balanced; the flavors meshed together so well that no single ingredient overpowered the rest. Each ingredient played an equally significant role, creating a communist, yet delicious concoction of flavors. iiiiiThe other half of our order was less adventurous: a conventional bacon cheeseburger. Its only criticism may be that its patties did not have quite as many genetically modified organisms as would have been preferred. When we left, we were both nearly bursting at the seams, but entirely satisfied. The masterful, creative combination of flavors made BurgerFi stand out to us. Every aspect of BurgerFi is meticulously designed to deliver quite a memorable experience.

Get Out: Horror Meets Racial Satire By SYDNEY LEWIS, Contributing Writer iiiiiGet Out is the brainchild of Jordan Peele, well-known comedian and now, horror film director. Horror is a popular genre for new directors, but Peele puts a spin on the typical jump-scare, cheap-thrill horror flick. His debut is a provocative satire of modern race relations and the stereotypes facing African-Americans. At the center of the movie is an interracial couple: Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams). Chris, an African-American, is going to meet his girlfriend Rose’s white parents for the weekend and is nervous about their reaction to his race. Rose assures him that while they may be a little awkward, they are not racist. What starts off as slightly uncomfortable comments soon escalates into fullblown violence and paranoia. iiiiiThrough his inflated illustrations of extreme racial ignorance, Peele successfully depicts the monster of racial animosity with a humorous undertone. The film doubles as photo by Maya Lee

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both a social commentary and a psychological thriller, and its numerous violent scenes leave the viewer disturbed and afraid. However, these scenes are tempered with wellplaced hilarious segments which simultaneously relieve the tension and preserve a sense of suspense. iiiiiThe characters also bring the film to life. Chris soon becomes a figure audiences can root for and care about despite his flaws, and he is far more dynamic than the helpless and oblivious horror leads so often seen today. iiiiiGet Out embodies the prejudice faced by AfricanAmericans and blends it with a fresh take on horror tropes. I left the theater shaken and contemplative. The movie made me think about my own place in society as an African-American and will no doubt stay with me long after the thrilling and unsuspected end. Peele creates a movie that is as hilarious as it is horrifying. What makes Get Out refreshing is its use of horror and humor to reveal racial hypocrisy, and drive home Peele’s main point: that racism still exists even behind the white-picketed fences of suburban America.

infographic by Trystan Loustau

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Alivia Davis, 11th, painting photo by Chloe Giroux

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Savanah Sturm, 11th, modeling photo by Dani Brewer

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Monik Mercurio, 12th, costume design

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Devil's Advocate (Vol. 33, Issue 4, March 2017)  

Stanton College Preparatory School's award-winning newspaper, Devil's Advocate, is published by student journalists in Jacksonville, Fla. In...

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