February Issue

Page 1


What’s Trending: Pet Edition


New clubs started at Libertyville High School

This explores the most common pets among LHS students and staff, highlighting a few unique pet stories.

Four new pilot clubs ­— Cubing Cats, Change My Mind, Power Lifting and German Social Club — are now options for students at LHS.



Setting Goals for the Right Reasons


The Un-United States of America


The Phenomenon of the Instagram Highlight Reel

In this staff editorial, Drops of Ink focuses on goal setting and why people feel the need to set goals. Ben Mayo argues that extreme party loyalty is causing the government to have too much power, resulting in division between people.

Red for Ed movement supported by LHS teachers

Social media’s fake nature harms people’s perception of others and the world around them according to writer Kirsten Townander.

At LHS, teachers have taken part in a union to advocate for better pay as well as more resources for students in school.


Let’s See What’s Brewing

Explore student coffee consumption at LHS as well as students’ reasons for visiting coffee shops. Also, learn about the new Hansa Coffee opening in Barbara’s Bookstore in Vernon Hills.


Student Styles


Memes and Depression


Behind the Counter


Statistics on New Year’s Resolutions

Clothing can be a way for people to identify themselves. Hear from some students about how they define themselves with their clothes.

SPORTS 28-29

Not Just a Game


Emma Gleason: Free of Sugar, Full of Talent

The typical laid back nature of intramural basketball doesn’t hold true at LHS.

Junior Emma Gleason has been competitively swimming since fifth grade and has since fallen in love with the sport.

This feature explores the relationship between memes and depression, especially among teenagers. Various business owners and their respective backgrounds are featured in Libertyville. Look into the data behind New Year’s Resolutions.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Contact us at doi@lhswildcats.org Contents by Ella Marsden Cover photo and design by Ally McLean 2

Drops of Ink | Contents


S TA F F L I S T I N G Editors-In-Chief Maggie Burnetti Savanna Winiecki Matt Smith, Online Editor Molly Boufford, News Editor Olivia Gauvin, Features Editor Jacob Kemp, Features Editor Rachel Benner, Opinion Editor Maggie Evers, Sports Editor Ian Cox, Layout Editor Claire Salemi, Social Media Editor Faculty Adviser Michael Gluskin Anya Belomoina Andrew Benoit Liv Bertaud Annika Bjorklund Amanda Black Ariella Bucio Sayre DeBruler Moira Duffy Thomas Evans Kate Felsl Jade Foo John Freberg Stephanie Gay Aliya Haddon George Hayek Grant Herbek Rowan Hornsey Benjamin Kanches Ella Marsden Benjamin Mayo Allison McLean Charlotte Pulte Kirsten Townander Carly Wagner




Libertyville High School

Visit us at lhsdoi.com

Drops of Ink



ONLINE STORIES Their Happiest Moments

What is up, everyone! Welcome to another semester full of DOIs; we as a staff are stoked to share our work with you. For this cycle, we have decided to throw it back a bit and not have a focus. This means that our stories don’t all relate to a single topic. For example, in the past we have had focuses such as Safety, Sports and Politics. During our story discussion, the staff was able to propose any idea to write an article about or take photos for, or design the page. As the Online Editor, I have been working on revamping our website to make it function more efficiently and look aesthetically pleasing. So, make sure to go check out our website (lhsdoi.com), not only to see the fresh new look, but also to read recent event coverage that is posted. Some of the stories that can be seen are on the right side of the page. Okay, now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…me talking about what to look forward to in this magazine. Like I said before, in this month’s DOI, we have a variety of coverage on things happening in and around LHS. Staff member Charlotte Pulte highlighted new clubs being added to LHS, including Cubing Cats and Change my Mind (page 6). Also, it’s intramural basketball season; read writer Katie Felsl’s story on the teams and games (pages 28-29). Relating to politics, staffer Ben Mayo wrote an opinion piece on how partisanship is harming America (page 26). Our features section covers many things as well: Features Editor Olivia Gauvin and Social Media Editor Claire Salemi wrote an article on coffee consumption at LHS and how it can affect students, alongside a story about a new Hansa location opening in Vernon Hills (pages 8-11). In addition, junior swimmer Emma Gleason has broken numerous records in the LHS pool, read all about her swimming success (pages 30-31). So, what are you doing still reading this? Go and read the awesome work by the DOI staff. Enjoy, Online Editor, Matt Smith


Drops of Ink | Letter to the Reader

Boys basketball falls to Warren in close conference matchup

Opinion: White Feminism is not feminism

Scan the QR code below to check out more stories and pictures like there on our website!


By Kirsten Townander Layout by Jade Foo

Welcome to the What’s Trending: Pet Edition! A recent, non-scientific survey responded to by 216 students and staff revealed there is a wide variety of pets — including horses and chinchillas — among the school population. Of the nearly 200 survey respondents who said they do own a pet, almost threefourths of them have a dog; cats and fish were the next most popular pets, but are significantly less common. Here are a few unique pet profiles:

Photo courtesy of Bella Perkins

Photo courtesy of Chloe Wilson Senior Chloe Wilson and her family are no strangers to pets. Throughout the years, they’ve had dogs, cats, bunnies, guinea pigs, an iguana, a turtle, hamsters, rats, hermit crabs and tropical fish. At one point, the Wilsons owned 14 guinea pigs and have even had nine hermit crabs — one for each kid. While many of their pets have been given a new home or passed away, they still have Luna, a yorkie, and Lady, a black rat terrier mix. Pictured above is Iggy the iguana.

Freshman Bella Perkins has a special story to tell about her pet. Her dog, Rio, is a miniature Australian shepherd and show dog. Together, they participate in competitions all over the U.S. According to Perkins, Rio knows more than 30 tasks and commands. They can compete in “agility, disc freestyle, flyball, barn hunting, lure coursing, and so much more,” said Perkins. Receiving their first trick dog title last fall in Michigan at the Novi Pet Expo, this dynamic duo hopes to one day perform in the Netherlands at the European Open Juniors competition.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Koulentes LHS’s very own principal, Dr. Tom Koulentes, is a seasoned pet-owner. He currently has nine chickens, two dogs, a hamster and a tortoise named Truman. While only 13 years old right now, Truman “will live to be about 120 years old,” according to Dr. Koulentes. During the summers, he lives in the garden, but he lives inside the house during the winters. Truman is even in Dr. Koulentes’s will, so when he dies, Truman will be passed down to members of the family. Pictured above is Tulip, the chicken.

Photo courtesy of Kate Gerber Freshman Kate Gerber’s cat, 2-year-old Ernest, has a unique trait: six toes on each paw. He’s named after famous American writer Ernest Hemingway, who was actually known for owning multiple six-toed cats. Ernest’s personality is distinctive as well. He has trouble with stairs — hopping down them “awkwardly” instead of walking — and sometimes tries using “his ‘thumbs’ to grasp certain objects, particularly pencils,” said Gerber. Drops of Ink | News


New clubs started at Libertyville High School By Charlotte Pulte


Members of Cubing Cats bring their own Rubik’s Cube collections to every meeting to share their cubes with people and experience solving different types of cubes.

t Libertyville High School, there are around 70 clubs that students can choose to participate in. This year, four new pilot clubs have been created: Cubing Cats, Change My Mind, Powerlifting Club and German Social Club. These clubs, however, are not official yet. All new clubs at LHS start as a “pilot club” for their first year, and may or may not get official approval for the following year from the Student Activities Director, Mrs. Jennifer Uliks. To start a new club, students must have an LHS staff member sponsor the club and fill out the prerequisite paperwork, which can be picked up at Mrs. Uliks’s office, located next to the main office.

Cubing Cats

Cubing Cats, a club for students who enjoy solving Rubik’s Cubes, meets every Thursday after school, and now has around 10 to 20 members per meeting. Cubing Cats meets in room 214 and is always looking for new members, whether students have experience cubing or not. Sophomore Richard Xiao explained the club has a very inclusive nature and it “doesn’t matter if you’re just playing with the Rubik’s Cubes or just there to hang out.” The club’s sponsor, Mr. Jonathan Kim, a social studies teacher at LHS, also enjoys Rubik’s cubing, but is not as enthusiastic about cubing as the club’s founder, sophomore Jack Regan. During their meetings, Regan brings in many different cubes, all of which he has collected himself, ranging in different shapes, sizes and solvability. At past meetings, the group has raffled off Rubik’s cubes to be assigned for the week and they frequently have competitions to see who can solve a cube the fastest.

Change My Mind

The Change My Mind club was started by senior Jack Muraoka. They meet after school on Thursdays in Ms. Amy Holts-


Photo by Jade Foo

Drops of Ink | News

ford’s classroom, room 242. At the meetings, they build arguments about controversial topics or things that the members are passionate about and discuss them with each other. “[The Change My Mind] club is place where students can come in to just talk and bounce ideas off of each other, while still being respectful. And it’s not necessarily getting into political issues, but just having some fun exchanges of ideas,” stated the faculty sponsor, Ms. Holtsford. A topic that they have discussed in the past is Muraoka’s belief that hot dogs should be considered sandwiches, and it is up to the rest of the club members to change his mind. “My favorite thing about the club is the openness of it. I’m trying to make my club as open as possible,” said Muraoka. Ms. Holtsford, having worked at Libertyville High School for more than 30 years, is retiring this year as a teacher but is continuing to coach girls basketball, while Muraoka and most of the students involved are graduating this year. Ms. Holtsford stated that “if there are students who are underclassmen that want to continue the club, then I would totally encourage them to do so, and I don’t think it would be very difficult to find another teacher to sponsor it.”

German Social Club

German Social Club, started by sophomore Sofya Karpicheva, holds events related to German culture. They meet most Thursdays in room 132 after school. “I started it because I am very passionate about German and the language and the culture,” expressed Karpicheva. So far, the new club has held three events: A cooking adventure, where they learned how to make typical German meals; a trip to Christkindlmarket in Chicago, a traditional German holiday market; and a gingerbread house decorating party to reduce stress the week before finals.

“There’s a Spanish club, there’s a French club, but [there was] no German club!” said Karpicheva. Mrs. Heidi Lechner, the club’s sponsor and german teacher, stated that they “have not determined the rest of the semester’s events, but we have talked about an outing to a German restaurant and possibly a laser tag competition against the other language clubs.” When German Social Club meets depends on when Karpicheva and Mrs. Lechner are free after school, and the meetings have been announced periodically in class to Mrs. Lechner’s German students.

Powerlifting Club

Senior David Serrecchia’s love for fitness and weightlifting led him to start the Powerlifting Club. This club meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the weight room after school for about an hour. They do all powerlifting, which includes the three types of lifts: squat, bench press and deadlift. “I was working out down there all the time with those guys anyway, so I thought I might as well make it into a club,” explained Serrecchia. The club’s sponsor, Mr. Dave Fowkes, also lifts with the students in the club. Mr. Fowkes is a locker room monitor at LHS and has experience lifting from his high school and college sports teams. Mr. Fowkes emphasized that Powerlifting Club is open to both male and female students and, while they’ve had a majority of male membership this year, the club encourages girls to come and participate in their workouts. “All of the people down there are just focusing on working out and they love working out as much as everyone else,” said Serrecchia. The club eventually hopes to organize competitions and compete against other nearby schools’ powerlifting programs.

By Molly Boufford Ms. Dana Brady, the building representative of the teacher’s union (second from the right), poses with fellow teachers in their Red for Ed shirts.

Photo by Carly Wagner

Red for Ed movement supported by LHS teachers


t Libertyville High School and other schools around the county and country, teachers unions are taking part in the national Red for Ed movement, which advocates for better pay for teachers and more resources for students, among other specific needs relating to each individual school contract. The Red for Ed movement started last year in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky and North Carolina and has since spread nationwide, including in Illinois. According to the national Red For Ed movement website, the main goal of the movement is to raise educators’ voices together to benefit students, schools and teachers alike. While the District 128 teachers’ union is not directly tied to the national movement, the teachers still show their support for fellow educators around the country by periodically wearing Red for Ed shirts, which were created last fall. “The idea [is] that I wear my red shirt to support even those people who don’t know me just as a gesture that we are all fighting for the same things to help students,” explained Ms. Dana Brady, AP biology teacher and building representative. Ms. Brady further explained that since the shirts have been worn, it has brought more awareness and attention to the existence of the union and created a positive conversation between students and teach-

ers about what the union does. Prior to the 1980s, teachers in Illinois were not allowed to unionize as public employees. Once the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act was passed in 1984, teachers were allowed to unionize, and educators at LHS formed a union shortly after that and have had one ever since. The first teacher union at LHS was started in 1986. “The reason that unions and teachers come together is because there is strength in numbers and solidarity,” said Mr. Dennis Duffy, the union president, illustrating that prior to unionization, educators were often paid individually by the principal based on likability. The district’s teachers came out of a fiveyear contract at the end of the 2017-18 school year and negotiated with the Board of Education for a one-year deal for this school year; that contract expires on June 30. The union right now is looking to make a multi-year deal for future school years. There are around 280 district teachers in the union and two teachers who are not members. Last year, there was a Supreme Court decision that stated that any worker who did not want to pay union fees could not be forced to do so. The teachers who chose to leave the union are still represented by the union and get paid by the union contract. However, they do not have to pay dues into the union.

“[To not be part of the union is the two teachers’] right and if they were to need any assistance, we certainly have a duty to free representation towards them and we’ll represent them,” Mr. Duffy said. The union is made up of different groups and committees that meet throughout the year in between the bimonthly full-member meetings where all 280 members meet together. The negotiations committee meets with the Board of Education every couple of weeks. These two groups go back and forth discussing potential contract topics, which cannot be revealed due to confidentiality, Mr. Duffy said, until a decision that both sides are satisfied with is agreed upon. While teachers in Lake County at Warren Township High School and District 211 have gone on strike recently, Mr. Duffy is confident that Libertyville High School will not need to strike, nor is it possible under the current contract. It is state law that every contract has a no-strike clause in the document, meaning that all teachers agree not to walk off the job during the time that the contract is running. “I’m confident we’ll strike a deal because we have all the pieces in place to do so and now it’s just a question of whether or not the two sides can broker a deal. [It] might take a while, but we can do it,” Mr. Duffy expressed.

Drops of Ink | News


Let’s See What’s


Drops of Ink | Feature

By Claire Salemi and Olivia Gauvin Photos by Ally McLean Layout by Jacob Kemp


hether it’s the Starbucks on the corner, the drive-thru Dunkin’ that’s just a block away or the local coffee shop down the street, coffee is deeply embedded in America’s food-and-drink culture. In fact, in 2018, Starbucks reported that they have more than 14,000 stores in the United States, not even including the coffee that they sell to college campuses, catering, corporations or kiosks. Dunkin’, another dominant coffee corporation, reported having more than 9,100 stores in 2017. Furthermore, looking closer at coffee drinkers themselves, what are the driving forces behind today’s coffee consumers in America? Why do hundreds of students at Libertyville High School walk into class each morning with a Dunkin’ cup, a Starbucks mug, or even a thermos from home? What is the appeal to studying or even just relaxing with friends at local coffee shops as opposed to other locales? Let’s take a sip and find out.

Coffee Culture

A 2013 study by the National Coffee Association stated that a coffee drinker from the United States will drink, on average, three 9-oz. cups of coffee every day. So why is 53 percent of the U.S. population drinking so much of this beverage? Some reasons may be the caffeine kick, the bittersweet taste or potential health benefits. Sophomore Lily Hieronymus, an avid coffee drinker, believes “that a big reason we drink coffee is to feel more energized throughout the day. Even though the [LHS] start time is later, we’re still up late doing homework or at practice.” Hieronymus’s assessment is true; according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), caffeine, a molecule found in all coffee, is a drug stimulant specifically because it stimulates the central nervous system, causing increased alertness. Thus, coffee is commonly consumed by individuals who feel fatigued or require alertness throughout their day. Moreover, coffee also has substantial benefits to frequent consumers. Medical News Today, a news outlet focused on medical advancements, indicates on their website that “the potential health benefits associated with drinking coffee include protecting against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer and promoting a healthy heart.” The FDA further notes that “caffeine can be part of a healthy diet for most people, but too much caffeine may pose a danger to your health.” In fact, senior Elizabeth Chapin “started drinking [coffee] to stay [awake] and get homework done.” Yet, despite coffee providing her with the energy to finish assignments, Chapin did explain that some nights, with too much coffee in her system, she struggles to fall asleep. It’s important to note that some individuals don’t only drink coffee for the caffeine boost. Chapin even noted that drinking coffee can have a “sophistication element” for coffee drinkers. Specifically, when asked about individuals who are particular about their drinks, Chapin jokingly cited herself, explaining that “at Dunkin’, if they are out of the specific flavor I like, I go to a different Dunkin’ because I don’t want to waste my money if it’s not my favorite coffee.” While coffee can be beneficial for some due to its energy-boosting effects, there are also negative implications to consuming large amounts of caffeine, as mentioned prior. A 16-oz. latte

holds around 100 milligrams of caffeine, which is the maximum amount a teenager should have in a day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Moreover, medical research from the Mayo Clinic has shown that an excessive amount of caffeine can cause rapid heartbeats, jittery limbs, upset stomach, as well as migraines and even insomnia. Megan Higgins, a junior at LHS, can attest to those symptoms, as she explained that when she drinks too much coffee, “my heart rate dramatically increases and I get very sweaty.” To avoid those symptoms, however, Higgins emphasized how she “tries to drink more water than coffee” to maintain a healthy balance. Starbucks barista Emilie Henning noted her occasional worries when she sees customers, particularly younger customers, consuming large amounts of coffee or caffeinated drinks in the downtown Libertyville store she works at. “Sometimes I get concerned when I see kids come in and consume a little too much [coffee] … because it does happen and you don’t realize until it happens and then they need water, fast,” Henning explained. Looking closer at the taste of coffee itself, both Chapin and Higgins mentioned that they genuinely enjoy the taste of coffee, which also heavily influences the amount of coffee they purchase per week. Though she began drinking coffee to keep herself awake Drops of Ink | Feature



Hansa opens additional location in Barbara’s Bookstore On Nov. 1, 2018, Barbara’s Bookstore took over Barnes and Noble’s previous location in Hawthorn Mall. On Nov. 27, Hansa Coffee Roasters opened their third shop in Barbara’s Bookstore. The new Hansa location replaced the Starbucks Cafe that was once in Barnes and Noble. Although one out of every four malls are predicted to close in 2022, according to Time Magazine, Hansa’s co-owner Tom Maegdlin explained in a phone interview that Hansa decided to open a location inside Barbara’s Bookstore after being approached by Hawthorn Mall and meeting with Barbara’s Bookstore’s executives. “We just really like what Barbara’s stands for. They are a locally owned, Chicago bookstore that has done very well for themselves in the age of Amazon because they are focused on customer service … it was just a really good fit,” stated Maegdlin. Barbara’s Bookstore’s largest location has also enjoyed their partnership with Hansa. The assistant manager of Barbara’s Bookstore at the Hawthorn location commented, “the thought of having a local coffee shop in our store really appealed to us… Hansa has definitely affected our customer base by bringing in a younger crowd. We see a lot of Vernon Hills High School kids come here after school to study or just hang out.” Maegdlin expanded on this, noting the times of their customer flow: “Our busiest time in that mall is from 3-9 p.m., while in our other stores, our busiest times are 9 [a.m.] to [noon.]” With other stores throughout the mall surrounding the new Hansa location, Maegdlin emphasized that “Hansa has also been able to educate the current employees of the mall what our speciality coffee is and why locally roasted coffee is different.” Hansa roasts their coffee next to their Libertyville location. 10

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throughout the day, and even during evenings, today Chapin does “really love the taste of coffee. A lot of people don’t really like it,” she noted, “but I really just like the taste.” Like others interviewed, Hieronymus enjoys the flavor of coffee, but she specifically drinks lattes without the added sugar. Many specialty drinks at coffee shops have high caloric and glycemic content, which can be harmful to consume in large doses within a small duration of time. Junior Van Shannon, who drinks his coffee black, believes that “[coffee] keeps you from not eating throughout the day, and I am a wrestler, so I am trying to cut weight or keep it where it is.” Henning expressed that, not only does she enjoy drinking coffee, she also enjoys serving coffee to customers, and particularly likes the diversity of coffee in the world today. “There’s always going to be a niche for high-end or rarities or uniqueness in everything in the world. That’s human nature, that’s what we love, we love exploring things. I think in the coffee world, it’s no different. There’s going to be explorations and new drinks and unique things and all are welcome,” she concluded.

Grab a Coffee, Take A Seat If you stroll into a Libertyville coffee shop, like Starbucks or Hansa, after 3:25 p.m., chances are you will see a fellow LHS student with a group of friends, studying or just enjoying coffee. Maybe on the weekends you even meet for a cappuccino or iced coffee with your study group to prepare for this week’s psych project or geometry test. According to research conducted at the University of Illinois, this is not just a coincidence — a reason why you may see your peers is due to “a level of ambient noise typical of a bustling coffee shop … [which enhances productivity] performance compared with the relative quiet of 50 decibels,” the recent study concluded. LHS junior Bridgette Wilson’s studying habits reflect those seen in the university’s study. Wilson often goes to Hansa since she feels that “it’s a really good environment; it’s very peaceful, and [she] can actually sit down and get work done.” Higgins often studies at Hansa as well for similar reasons to Wilson. Hansa’s intention in opening the store was to create a shop centered around coffee, according to co-owner Tom Maegdlin. The store intentionally plays upbeat music so consumers will be energized while doing their stuff. “We aren’t a library. We want people to talk,” Maegdlin said over the phone. Furthermore, as many of the students interviewed commented, Hansa has an artistic, independent interior design, which

often attracts a diverse group of customers to their stores. Higgins particularly enjoys Hansa’s atmosphere because “it’s very open. At the library, there are low ceilings and the tables are very close, but Hansa’s is more open and bright.” Coffee shops, big or small, often prioritize that same inviting, productive atmosphere to welcome their customers. One of Starbucks’s corporate goals is to create a “home away from home,” Henning, the Starbucks barista, emphasized. “We want customers to grab a coffee, share a table with someone they don’t know, or study or just hang out and talk for hours,” she explained. “Especially within the last five years, [Starbucks] has absolutely tried to reach out and tried to make [their stores] more comfortable for anybody and everybody.” Moreover, Henning detailed her goal to be a welcoming and familiar face as a Starbucks barista, and explained her efforts in learning her customers’ names and even their popular orders to ensure they feel valued, as opposed to just another customer. The homely coffee shop atmosphere even reaches all the way to Libertyville High School with the Wildcat Warehouse. Despite the fact that it is not just exclusively a coffee shop, the Wildcat Warehouse has also tried to incorporate an environment where staff and students can spark conversation, with smooth jazz music and high tables, Mr. Bill Reichert, one of the store’s founders, emphasized. As a business teacher at LHS, Mr. Reichert explained how, to attract business, “we keep prices low so that everyone can benefit.” Wildcat Warehouse also stresses the importance of serving high-quality coffee. Before opening, the shop held a taste test to find the best brand. “Why should we give [customers] mediocre coffee, when we could give them Starbucks coffee for a dollar?” Mr. Reichert commented. However, not every coffee shop focuses on the same atmosphere. While Hansa, Starbucks and even the Wildcat Warehouse may encourage their customers to stay and interact with

one another, or potentially find a quiet place to focus and study, Dunkin’ employee Diego Lara explained that that’s not the case with Dunkin’. Dunkin’ offers similar amenities as Starbucks, Hansa and Wildcat Warehouse, such as free Wi-Fi, seating or standing areas and even food options, however Lara explained that “not many students are here to do homework. If they come in to do homework, they don’t normally stay long.” Lara also explained that while he doesn’t exactly know why students prefer to meet and spend long amounts of time at other coffee shops, “more tables and more seating” at Dunkin’ could attract more study groups. Chapin noted that, despite the fact that Dunkin’ coffee is her favorite, she has never gone to Dunkin’ to study. She explained how “Starbucks has more of an environment to study and I feel like in Dunkin’, no one really sits in there; people just go through the drive-thru.” And as Henning explained, that productive environment is unique to the Starbucks in downtown Libertyville. Working at different Starbucks over the past 10 years, Henning underlined how a comforting, study-friendly environment “only works if the community wants it and if that’s the environment they want to have.” Therefore, Henning feels Libertyville’s Starbucks is special to her. “What I love about this [Starbucks] is that, at 7 o’clock at night, there’s just people in here, working, hanging out, meeting up with people, which is nice,” she concluded. Whether it be global coffee chains, or local, independent coffee shops, there is an undoubtedly diverse coffee culture. Maybe you prefer to find your favorite shop and stop on by, take a seat, or order through the drive-thru. Your favorite drink may be iced, steamed, big, small, sweet, bitter, creamy or anywhere in between; either way, in the world of coffee culture, there’s more to the classic “cup of joe” than we may realize.

Drops of Ink | Feature


12 Drops of Ink | Advertisement

alking down the hallway, you might see a variety of clothing: sweatpants, overalls, jerseys, dresses, glasses, beanies, boots and sneakers. Students might take fashion seriously­­­­— trying to say something with what they wear — or they might just be throwing on the first thing they see in their closet. Whatever they choose, a piece of clothing or an outfit can convey details of one’s personality in a way that’s difficult to express without it. Here are six students that have developed their own unique style.


Luke Niemann, sophomore: “I kind of just wear whatever I think looks cool; I guess it fits in that ‘indie’ genre ...Initially, definitely my brother Max [was an inspiration]. I always grew up looking up to his style and trying to copy it, and then I kind of just did my own thing. Also skateboarders are another inspiration because I skate, and I see all these pro skaters and I try to dress like them...I get a lot of stuff from my grandpa, actually, just him getting rid of stuff. But at least a few times a month, I go to Goodwill or Salvation Army ... Sometimes I will just wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt, but I still want to make it look cool … [My clothes] makes me stand out I guess. And I don’t really like being the center of attention, but I definitely think -- and this sounds cliche -- but I don’t, like, fit in with everyone else. I feel like the clothes you wear show that ... I feel like a lot of people are afraid to dress cool, but nobody really cares about what other people are wearing. People aren’t going to be like ‘can’t hangout with that kid now’ or something like that. That’s how people always look at it.”

Greta Dean, senior: “I would say [my style is] trendy, I guess. I love going with the trends, but I also love putting a spin on it. I think it’s so fun to go outside the box because there are no limits with it … Obviously what you wear doesn’t define you, but it gives you confidence. I don’t know if you can relate, but whenever you dress up, you feel better about yourself. Like I’m all for wearing sweatpants, but dressing up sometimes gets you through the day ... I think [some] of the biggest advice that people give you is ‘be yourself,’ and I really take that with clothing, because you obviously can’t go wrong. I feel like you are what you wear. It expresses who you are, and I think that’s really important.”

Ethan Neir, senior: “[My style is] very Canadian ... my style is I decided to wear hockey jerseys one day … It kind of feels like I’m an Inuit out in the middle of California. Sometimes [it’s] in the middle of August and it’s 90 degrees, and I’m still wearing a jersey. But times like now, when it actually feels cold out, it’s great. [This tradition] started [in] seventh grade. I did it halfway through sixth grade but I don’t count that, so [it’s been] six years ... I figure I made a name for myself. At this point, if people are going to know me by anything, they might as well know me for this … It’s important to me because I just want to see how long I can take this. I assume eventually I’m going to get a job and they’ll tell me I need to wear something and that will be the end of it, but until then, I want to see how far I can have this go -- into college, adulthood, just because it’s fun ... It’s just a love of the game. Like I’m known as the ‘hockey guy’ now and because of that, I’ve shifted into broadcasting for the IceCats and every game that they do ... [Wearing jerseys is] just showing something that I love on my sleeve.” 14

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Emma Bleck, sophomore: “I feel like my siblings really inspire [my style] and my family in general. Because my family always inspired artistic sides and supported all the arts -- even though they knew my sister and I were STEM people -- they always supported doing art and dance and that kind of thing. And they all have their own style, so they kind of inspired me to have my own … I think [fashion] is something that’s important to me because I feel like I define myself and the more artistic side of myself, so it is important to me, but at the same time, it’s not like it takes me hours to get dressed ... Most of [how I dress] is setting myself apart from other people. I feel like a lot of times, people will ask me, ‘how do you do it? How do you wear stuff like that?’ And I don’t know, I just do it … When I was in middle school, I was making terrible decisions about fashion, so by the time that I’m a sophomore now, I’ve established [my style] more.”

Jay McClendon, senior: “I really like the ‘90s aesthetic, just like the neutral colors. Not like the ‘80s or the ‘70s where everything is bright and flamboyant, but kind of neutral, but still not something that people would normally wear today ... I think [fashion] is more of an important thing to me. I’ve always liked putting together outfits. Like sometimes, I joke around with my friends and I’ll have 3 a.m. fashion shows with myself. I’ll just put together a bunch of outfits for the weekend on Saturday at like 3 a.m. and it’s just really fun. And I send my friends the photos and they’re like, ‘This is amazing, thank you.’ I don’t know if I’m trying to say something, but I’m just trying to put an effort into how I look and how I present myself.”

Alex Tang, junior: “Well, I like to think that [my style] is kind of preppy, but also casual. You don’t want to show up in a suit every day to school, but I think [my style is] not super casual but it’s not over-the-top fancy … For the most part, [I care about what I wear], like that’s what everyone’s first impression of you is when they’re first meeting you, so you want to represent yourself well. I kind of want to have something that makes me stand out a bit and I want to present myself well because if I don’t, it kind of makes me look bad. I’m not trying to say something [with what I wear] per se because I think there’s more to me than my style, but I think it just compliments my personality … It doesn’t exactly make me who I am, but it definitely adds to my identity, I think.” Drops of Ink | Feature


Memes and Depression Written by George Hayek


n recent years, memes have become a large part of popular culture. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines memes as “amusing or interesting items (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media.” They’re found on nearly all social media platforms in a variety of forms, from text posts on Tumblr and Twitter to images or graphics on Instagram. These posts cover a range of different topics, such as feel-good commentary about loving dogs or more serious concerns about corporate corruption. Darker topics that memes can cover are depression and suicide. Freshman Bella Perkins recalled seeing an example of one of these memes over winter break: a text post that read along the lines of “should I hang the decorations or myself?” Given that memes such as these exist, what connections, if any, are there between memes and depression?

“Memes are not providing the type of information needed to end the stigma.” Firstly, Dr. Brenda Nelson, the prevention and wellness coordinator for Libertyville High School, stressed the importance of differentiating between “major depression” (or “clinical depres-


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Layout by Liv Bertaud

sion”) and the more common “minor depression.” As Dr. Nelson explained, major depression (or major depressive disorder) is a mental health disorder that is characterized by symptoms such as changes in appetite, loss of interest, changes in sleep patterns and a constantly depressed or agitated mood. She further noted that in teenagers, an irritable mood is more common than a depressive mood for those suffering from major depression. While “causes for major depression are hotly debated,” in Dr. Nelson’s words, she suggested that it is probably caused by a combination of a person’s environment and genetic tendencies toward depression. However, minor depression is caused by saddening events in one’s life and is typically not as difficult to resolve as a mental health disorder, Dr. Nelson said. Furthermore, coping with a mental disorder such as major depressive disorder is no easy task, according to Ms. Kara Bosman, a psychology teacher. “While society is very comfortable talking about physical health, we shy away from conversations about mental health. Because of the stigma (the label of being ‘unacceptably different’) [for depressed people], it may be difficult to express struggles and get help,” she stated in an email. She added that our language can unintentionally extend the stigma when people with depression hear things such as “snap out of it” or “just try to smile.” Even though memes can make people aware of depression as a problem in the world, their primary purpose is to be amusing or interesting, and not

necessarily to be informative. Ms. Bosman stressed the importance of awareness and ending the stigma around depression in order to allow depressed people to find help, however she does not believe that memes are enough: “Memes are not providing the type of information needed to end the stigma.” She did note that she had seen a few memes that included information about chemical imbalances in the brain that could lead to depression, but that’s not the majority of them. Despite the different effects that depression can have on a person’s life, Dr. Nelson emphasized that it’s neither easy nor definitive enough to judge someone’s mental state solely from what memes or posts they put on the internet. She explained that it would be difficult to assume that a person has depression judging solely from their activity online. Though both Dr. Nelson and Ms. Bosman said that posts about suicide should always be taken seriously, jokes and memes about depression are not as easily figured out; they’re not concrete signs of a mental ailment in every case. To be medically diagnosed with depression, one must have five of the symptoms previously mentioned, according to Dr. Nelson. While memes may not be definitive

“While society is very comfortable talking about physical health, we shy away from conversations about mental health. Because of the stigma (the label of being ‘unacceptably different’) [for depressed people], it may be difficult to express struggles and get help” Pepe, pictured above, is a popular meme character who represents many things, his most prominent representation being his frequent apperances in depression based memes.

signs of depression in individuals, they may serve another role for people suffering from depression. According to a 2011 study by the Stanford Psychophysiology Laboratory, comedy is a more effective coping mechanism than being serious in the face of stress or sadness. Subjects were shown negative imagery of things such as car accidents and corpses and were then asked to “reappraise” the images by making jokes about them. The subjects that made positive jokes about the pictures saw the largest increase in positive emotion. In some students’ opinions, memes can serve a similar purpose. Rather than trying to deal with depression solely internally and seriously, making memes and jokes about it could

help alleviate the negative emotions it causes. Perkins, who enjoys looking at memes every day, stated that “memes are like a mask used to cover up.” While it can’t quite make problems like stress or depression go away entirely, looking at memes can temporarily improve a person’s emotional state. Anika Misra, a senior, who also looks at memes every day, supported this position: “[Memes] can kind of take your mind off of things, and for a lot of people, they’re a way to get your feelings out.” In Perkins’s words, which correspond to the findings of the Stanford study and Misra’s opinion, “people use humor as a way to cope.” She further pointed out that the

relatability of memes about depression adds to the humor of the meme, so these memes can be even more effective for people trying to cope with depression. Perkins added that she doesn’t think that jokes about suicide are in good taste. While the relationship between memes and depression is not easily defined, they might be able to help people suffering from depression cope at times, and knowing that others suffer as they do may help them to feel better about their state. *Note: If you’re feeling depressed or have suicidal thoughts, please reach out to friends, family, your counselor, your social worker or another trusted adult.

The green ribbon is one of many ribbions that use color to raise awareness for various causes. The green ribbon represents mental health awareness and is geared specifically towards depression awareness. Drops of Ink | Feature



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year is deemed successful for an Indian Motorcycle dealership when around 300 motorcycles are sold; this is comparable to a motorcycle being sold nearly every day of the year. In order for the business to achieve those results, co-owner Don O’Shea, said that they have to individually stand out from other dealers. “It’s important to differentiate yourself and to have products that other Indian Motorcycles don’t have: custom paint and performance pieces. You have the tendency to attract people that could go to another dealer,” O’Shea said. The dealership, located at 416 N. Milwaukee Ave., was opened in June 2015 by the current co-owners, O’Shea and Todd Gaines. Opening this business was not the first accomplishment in O’Shea’s life. A former



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college football player and executive for a multitude of information technology firms, it was only after retiring from the IT field that O’Shea decided to open a Co-owners Don O’Shea and Todd Ga in 2015 afte business. Although ines opened r renovatin g an old fu he lp s to attrac owning a busirniture stor Indian Motorcycles t customers e. This prim from the st as the cust e location reets of Libe ness comes with om motorcy rtyville. cles can be seen responsibility, O’Shea said that it still allows him more freedom than he previously had; the company’s history. this freedom allows him to spend more “[Indian has] gone through bankruptcy time with his family and two sons, one of and problems, but Polaris bought [the whom is an Olympic pairs figure skater. company] in 2011. They put a lot of monWhen O’Shea considered opening a ey into the product and came out with a franchise, it wasn’t the concept or prosbrand-new, re-engineered product that’s pect of riding a motorcycle that appealed high quality and has that iconic look like to him but the quality of the product and the old Indian,” O’Shea said.

Before opening in Libertyville, the business partners renovated the building, which was previously a furniture store, from the inside; they added productivity and business improvements, as well as Indian branding and marketing. It was the Libertyville community and potential for high customer traffic that

drew the co-owners to the location. “A lot of motorcycle people like to ride to a destination and [the store’s location] was perfect because you have other reasons to come here,” O’Shea said, expanding upon the different restaurants and shops in the store’s proximity.

riginally intending to make her impact on the world with a law degree, Heather Fahrenkrog practiced law as a prosecutor for 19 years before retiring to follow different aspirations. Those aspirations were in fitness, and Fahrenkrog chose to pursue that by opening multiple gym locations in the Libertyville area. “I like to have fun, but I’m also very disciplined and organized. I feel like all of my best attributes shine here,” Fahrenkrog reflected on her career change. Although Fahrenkrog opened her first studio in June 2016 and another in September 2017, she has prioritized fitness throughout her entire life. Fahrenkrog’s parents were involved in the fitness industry themselves. Her father, a bodybuilder, claimed the title of Mr. New Jersey, and her mother taught at one of the earliest aerobics gyms. This exposure from a young age provided her with the experience to teach impromptu classes

for After practicing law knowledge and fowhile in college and purcould share her fitness open a gym where she d. suing her career in law, as ere pow em feel cus on making others what she described as a fun side job. “I’ve surrounded myself with smart, Despite starting on a hard-working, creative women who work completely new path just a few years ago, for me, but they’re also members. I trade Fahrenkrog intends to accomplish even them, their classes are free and I pay them more than just her fitness studios. While on top of that, depending on what they teaching multiple classes a day, on top of do,” Fahrenkrog said. running a business and having responsibilAlong with her instruction team, Fahrenities as a parent, Fahrenkrog has set time krog also employs someone who controls daily for personal growth and developthe business’ marketing. This employee ment. works on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter “You’re always going to be learning and to promote and spread the word about the growing. You’re not going to reach some gym and its various events. point and be like, ‘I’m done, I achieved it.’ Some recent marketing of the business You’re always going to be looking at the was a collaboration on Facebook with next thing,” Fahrenkrog said. Pizzeria DeVille, a local restaurant. This In that same mindset, Fahrenkrog was a video that introduced a raffle that expressed that, in the future, she would customers who were dining in at Pizzeria like to write a book and host a podcast to DeVille could enter to win a six-month inspire and empower women alongside membership to Heather’s Gym. speaking opportunities outside of her Fahrenkrog expressed that she remains classes. content with her career change. Fahrenkrog instills these same goals for “I’ve found my dream [and] I’m living it. her 12 instructors by investing in them. Working harder than I ever worked as a lawyer, that’s for sure,” Fahrenkrog said.


O’Shea further described that with maintaining the business comes maintaining relationships, which sometimes even turn into friendships. “You have to build a positive reputation with customers and to us, customers are everything. That’s how we pay our bills,” O’Shea said.

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Carley Matya s, the owne r of Singalila nity to open Gallery, seize a business after living d the opport focuses on in Kolkata, In ubuilding a dia, for a ye connection growing he ar. She w ith her cust r own family omers while ; she recent Becham, in ly welcomed al to the world her newborn so . son,

or the year prior to opening Singalila Gallery in November 2011, owner Carley Matyas, a Madison, Wisconsin, native, traveled throughout Asia while living in Kolkata, India. The inspiration for the clothing and jewelry store, which occupies a storefront on Libertyville’s Milwaukee Avenue, came from a national park in India. The store opened just three months after Matyas and her husband, Kevin Matyas, returned. “When we came back from India, [I] felt empowered because there are just so many opportunities here. I think as women, we don’t take advantage of them sometimes,” Matyas said. The couple found themselves in India because of Kevin’s job. During their time there, Carley described the humbling


experience of witnessing areas of intense poverty amidst the city of 15 million people. “You just can’t ignore it. It’s everywhere you look,” she said. Being open for the past seven years, Singalila has evolved from selling home decorations to more clothing and accessories alongside their own jewelry brand: Sparkle For The Soul. Sparkle For The Soul started with Matyas as designer and her mother, Jen Laufenberg, as jeweler; they co-own both Singalila and Sparkle For The Soul. For Matyas, the success of her business is directly related to her love for her work, the business and her relationships with customers. “I do everything with love. If you love something so much, it’s only going to succeed,” she said.

Singalila is open five days a week and specifically not on Sundays so that Maytas and her employees can spend time with their families. With a newborn son, Beckham, the work-life balance is important to the Matyas family. Looking forward, Matyas expressed how she would like to expand the business online. Currently,the only way to purchase from Singalila is either in store or over the phone. “The community is what makes us. It’s why we’re here. Without that, we would have nothing. I wouldn’t want to be in another location. The people are amazing and it’s just a really good vibe,” Matyas expressed.

t’s welcoming value Picnic Baske d Steve Goumas turday. Foran Sa rah ery Sa , ev ron re Shar t the ke an effort to ea med Amin ma Ah d t, an ske ity Ba un comm of Picnic r and co-owner me im sw rs. ic me mp mer Oly with his custo s sure to interact (far right), make

Read about two additional Libertyville businesses, Serendipity and Luminous Nails, on our website lhsdoi.com.


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Setting Goals for the Right Reasons STAFF EDITORIAL Photos by Rowan Hornsey Infographic by Savanna Winiecki Layout by Ian Cox he start of a new year isn’t the only time that people vow to make resolutions. They happen every day, year-round and take shape in many different forms: lose weight, make the soccer team, save more money. Every person wants to be better at something, but many don’t see it out. We live in a society where goal-setting is the norm and improvement is considered necessary. It is enforced that every individual should hold the desire of getting better in all aspects. The DOI staff was split on whether competition is a detrimental aspect to objectives that are bigger than ourselves or if they form a healthy push that ensures our lives improve. While some believe that a competitive nature instills a selfish mindset that puts individual improvement before society, others feel that each person must be willing to improve themselves first before contributing to the larger whole. Staff members discussed that the pressure to set goals isn’t the problem in our world, but it’s the pressure to set the wrong goals that leads to the ample amount of failed mindsets and resolutions. Cornered into an ideal standard, many people attribute cultural expectations for allowing outside influences and opinions to sculpt their goal, instead of what they want it to be. For high schoolers specifically, some students expressed how the struggle to look a certain way has led many to strive to be someone they’re not, solely to make others -- not themselves -- happy. As much as social media can serve as an inspiring platform to showcase success stories and create a community to display that you aren’t alone in the process, it also promotes advertisements that promise to help you achieve your goals for $9.95 a



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month. The temptation to do anything at all costs to reach goals has caused many to resort to short-term solutions instead of long-term changes. Staff members launched into the idea surrounding success rates, and a majority of us claimed it all goes back to the original motive. If it’s really what the person wants, they will have more dedication to follow through as opposed to setting a goal influenced by others. The DOI staff believes that too many people focus on the wrong aspects to reach their goals, looking at results instead of change. When people don’t see the desired end result right away, they become discouraged and driven away from their goal, which many staff members described as the guilt and shame we feel after. When morale is low, many people struggle to bounce back. The common human procrastination of “I’ll start Monday” -- or why many decide to start at the new year -- is because of the believed need to have a definite beginning and end. Yet some DOI members’ opinions vouched that time restrictions might be one of the most limiting factors one can have while working towards a resolution because sometimes, no matter how hard one works, results peak at

different times. All in all, the staff agreed that goal-setting -- if approached for the wrong reasons -- can be harmful to one’s improvement. Progress is a journey filled with ups and downs, and you must be accepting of both sides to have success. The planning of a goal must be a priority before taking action. The “why” of your goal must be for yourself and not others, or the personal motivation won’t be there. The “how” you are going to break old habits and invite change into your life needs to be planned, yet allow for flexibility. Life happens, and we can’t always be on our game all the time. Some staffers emphasized the importance of a support system through times of struggle and temptation. So grab a friend or family member who wants to achieve similar goals and attack the challenge together. Make 2019 the year you make a goal for yourself. Focus on the change, not the results. Celebrate the small victories and build them upon each other to tower towards the big obstacles. Don’t let outside sources influence your progress. The DOI staff isn’t telling you that it’s going to be easy; we’re telling you it’s going to be worth it.






six months

ONE year

information from fox news



diet or eating healthier


exercise more


lose weight


save more & SpeND less


learn a new skill or hobby information from statista



45% ame of r typicicans ally mak e reso lutio ns data from the paw print

Note: As this piece is a staff editorial, it is representative of the opinions of the Drops of Ink staff as a whole. The staff is comprised of LHS students from each grade level and spans a wide range of opinions from one class period, with 34 students total. The author(s) of this piece did not place their personal opinions in the story; they merely reflect the staff’s thoughts.

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n the corner of Milwaukee and Cook Avenues lies The Picnic Basket: a corporation founded in 1980 by Catherine and Ahmed Amin with the help of their friends and family members, who made up their original stockholders. The Purdue alumnae and then-newly married couple bought the business, which previously held a Sicilian bakery. After briefly being a bakery, Picnic Basket was rerouted to be a deli and sandwich shop. Both Amins expressed that the first days, months and years of the business were a challenge. The difficulty level of owning a business even drew parallels for Ahmed to the Olympics, as he was an Olympic swimmer who competed for Egypt in the 1972 Olympics. “When I do something, I have to do it right, and I have to do it perfect, and I can’t sleep unless it’s done right,” Ahmed said.


I’m 59 years old. Maybe I waited too long to do this, but then again, I would’ve lacked the experience to do this when I was younger,” Sergio Casillas, the owner of Dos Amigos restaurant, recently reflected. That experience he gained spanned from when he first started working at 13 years old as a dishwasher, to nearly two years ago, when Casillas and the restaurant’s co-owner, Oscar Garcia, opened Dos Amigos on Rockland Road. Casillas and Garcia knew each other for 20 years prior to Dos Amigos’ opening. They met through working at a bakery-deli restaurant called Once Upon a Bagel, located in Highland Park. The inspiration for the restaurant’s name stemmed from the relationship that the co-owners have. “Dos Amigos just represents me and him: two friends,” Casillas said. Casillas described the importance of having his 15 full-time employees; he expects his employees to positively interact with the customers, as they represent the

When training for the Olympics, Ahmed would swim in the Lyon River because of the strong current and mud, which helped him form into a stronger athlete. He went on to earn three gold medals, two silver and one bronze in his career. Alongside those awards, he set the world record twice (in a row) for marathon swimming in 1974 and 1975. A professional circuit career allowed Ahmed to travel the world to places throughout Africa, Europe and North America. Because of the fact that his only pace was his fastest, his teammates nicknamed him “bizerk”. It wasn’t until 1978 when Mr. and Mrs. Amin met that he ended his competitive swimming career. The couple described that they worked constantly to improve and grow their business for the past 38 years. “Now we’ve been here long enough that we’ve established things. With that said, we have to be on our toes 24/7 with everything because things can change like

that; a reputation can change so quickly,” Catherine said. In 2010, Picnic Basket expanded into the building next door, now increasing their space with two store fronts. Catherine explained that they never used to have seating, which they now do, because of the renovations. There is also a better flow, traffic pattern and a larger kitchen that helps with their catering business. The couple has three children, all of whom grew up working and spending time at their business; Mr. and Mrs. Amin described that because of this, their children learned how to budget their money and the value of a dollar. As for the exact future of the 38-year-old business, that’s undecided. “I don’t know what I’m going to do but I don’t plan to work forever -- three, four or five more years. But it’s really an institution in town. I think we’re about the longest, single-owner business in town, and I’d like it to continue,” Catherine said.

Sergio Casillas (center), co-o wner of Dos Amigos, plac es a large emphasis on his staff interacting well with customers and repr esenting the business in positive way. One of the a unique aspects of his bus iness is the open kitchen, where customers are able to see, smell and hear wha t is happening.

business. Casillas and Garcia carry these expectations into all of the employees, especially those who work in the kitchen and prepare food. Mr. Casillas said that a customer getting sick would be caused by a careless cook, adding, “it will ruin the business.” Procedures and sanitation are among Casillas’ greatest concerns. Casillas starts almost every day at 5 a.m. to prepare the kitchen. Casillas stated that he cares deeply about that part of this business, not only because it is important to conform with the health code, but also as it is the proper thing for a restaurant to keep its customers who eat there safe. “When you drive through the neighborhoods [in Libertyville], you can see the architecture, how old they are and how well-maintained they are. You also see new construction that matches up with any other places of the North Shore. To me,

this is a good mix of people -- nice people, hard-working people. Being here, I see that in the customers,” Casillas said. Casillas and Garcia dream of owning a bigger and more efficient restaurant while keeping the current location. More efficiencies include a double door so that the restaurant and customers will be at a more comfortable temperature during the winter months. A separate work station for parties and catering is also a priority in another location. While they would like to have those aspects of a restaurant, they would also like particular things to remain the same, including an open kitchen. “I like that people can hear when I throw the meat on the grill and people can sometimes see the smoke coming up. When you walk in the door, you can smell it. Importantly, you can see the cooks working their butt off to get the food out,” Casillas stated.

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The Un-United States of America


Illustration by Molly Boufford

n Sept. 17, 1796, the United States’s first president gave his farewell speech. George Washington was greatly revered by the American public then and is still respected by many today as one of the country’s most honest and trustworthy leaders. As he resigned from the presidency, he left his people with words of warning. He spoke of the dangers of political parties and the detriment they would bring to the nation. Now, more than 200 years later, Washington’s concerns have largely come true. As the stubborn people we are, we did not heed to the wise words of our first president and developed the very thing he sought to eliminate: political parties. Granted, at first they did not cause much trouble. In fact, the power they had was fairly limited, and third parties were easy to form. Teddy Roosevelt, another wellloved leader, formed his own party (the Progressives) in order to run for president. He even ended up winning the popular vote over the Republican nominee, William Howard Taft. It goes to show that third parties were once successful. Unfortunately, the past century has shown the true nature of parties. Although many identify as “moderate” or “independent,” come voting day, “Republican” or “Democrat” are always the two expected to win, and they are often the only party names that even appear on a ballot. It doesn’t help that several states require voters to register with either party, preventing people from voting for candidates from multiple parties during primary elections (thankfully, Illinois doesn’t fall under this category). One can clearly see


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By Ben Mayo the reign of power that the two parties have; with no competition (save that of the other), blue and red are what paint the states after each election. In this day and age, the United States’s government has become a grossly exaggerated game of “King of Capitol Hill” between our two major parties. Let’s look back to Washington’s speech. One quote in particular leaves me with an eerie feeling: “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” In modern English, what he’s saying is that parties will become so powerful to the point where those in power will have the ability to use the government to their advantage and do away with what allowed them to get there. Everywhere I look, I see evidence that Washington’s concerns have come true. Several of the ideals of the Founding Fathers have long been thrown out: Like James Madison’s words against the development of factions or how our government is structured today like a direct democracy, not the republic that the Founding Fathers intended. But what is more troubling to me is the growing lack of use for the Constitution. Both parties are at fault with this. In this era, it’s agenda over Constitution. Exemplified through non-declarative war in Iraq and the attempts to stifle the Second Amendment, our parties seem to

Layout by John Freberg

believe that they are above our Constitution. And the problem isn’t only in the government itself; it’s all around us. Our devotion to our parties, not to our ideals has caused a troubling divide in our nation. At school, church, work and even within families, it is so hard to escape the often repulsive arguments that arise because of extreme party loyalty. It’s painful to watch such a wonderful country fall into the widening hole of divide, and it’s getting worse. The past 12-plus years have seen major growth in this problem. While it has existed long before then, in my lifetime, the election of former president Barack Obama ignited this issue that is so prevalent today. The election of current President Trump sure hasn’t helped to mend this issue. But I can’t place blame on one person or group of people because the fault falls on all of us. How do we as a society fix this? Honestly, I’m not sure. In fact, I don’t think anyone knows. The best we can hope for in this case is that both parties completely readjust their platforms and new ones are put in place. Maybe the country will adopt a third major party or a proportional system of government closer to that of the United Kingdom. I can’t say this will solve our problems, however. But for now, I implore anyone reading this to be civil when discussing politics. Opinions matter; despite how much you may disagree with someone, a variety of ideas is beneficial for society. Let’s not forget that we are all part of this great country.

The Phenomenon of the Instagram Highlight Reel By Kirsten Townander

Layout By Jacob Kemp


know I’ve reached the end of another episode of “Black Mirror” when the music dies and the credits start rolling. I sit there, bewildered, imagining futuristic scenarios in which technology consumes the human race, ruining life on Earth as we know it. Insane, right? But then I wonder…how far off are we today, really? Is technology not already consuming us? Closing Netflix, I promptly answer my Snapchat streaks and proceed to open Instagram -- typical defaults of lazy mornings. I allow my thumbs to mindlessly scroll, my eyes to glaze over, and my brain to fall for a common notorious internet trap: the “highlight reel.” Glowing up at me are people smiling with their friends, dressed in their best outfits, at the most amazing destinations. They’re so happy. They have it all together. They are thriving. Meanwhile, I’m at home. In bed. About to eat breakfast for the third time today. They are better than me. While exaggerated for an attempt at comedic effect, these are actual thoughts that subconsciously run through my brain when I spend too long staring at my Instagram feed. They look ridiculous when typed out but indicate the sad truth of a phenomenon many people deal with, whether they realize it or not. We all compare ourselves to others sometimes. That’s nothing new. However, when social media is added to the picture, any previously existing self-conscious thoughts are taken to a new level. They move to the back of our brains, where we don’t completely realize they’re happening. As we analyze picture after picture of other people’s

perfect moments, our perception of the world is harmed. We begin to believe that their lives are perfect all the time. But this is not reality. Not even close. Everyone spends days off in their pajamas. Not to mention you never know what people are going through. Life is messy. Instagram places people on self-created pedestals, leading us to believe that they somehow don’t have problems, that they’re above us and all of humanity. Social media feeds are sugar-coated versions of our whereabouts, like electronic scrapbooks; we upload our best memories so we can remember, cherish and share them. It’s a literal, highly visual way of representing oneself, with filters and catchy captions. It’s all good fun, letting people stay connected and express themselves. But the blaring issue I have with it all is the toxic lack of authenticity. There’s no way a person’s life is as exciting as their Instagram leads others to believe. We all do tasks that aren’t glamorous and consequently, aren’t Instagram-worthy, just like every other human. These include breathing, sleeping, eating, studying, working and driving. Sure, these activities are publicized on occasion, but, of course, only under society-imposed limits. We post about eating, but only when our food is notably photogenic, exotic or healthy. It’s typically not an accurate representation of one’s diet on a regular basis, hence the lack of “realness.” When you put your phone down and step away from the flashy falseness of social media, you realize the majority of people’s time is spent doing mundane life activities. Exciting memories, like surprise parties and new puppies, are plucked out of the plethora of ordinary times and immortalized through online posts simply because they’re the special ones that make us happy. So, there you have it: the highlight reel debunked. It’s crucial that everyone understands this underlying truth -- that social media pages don’t accurately display reality. Don’t buy into the myth that people’s lives are perfect, because that’s never the case, no matter how true it may seem. Even Kylie Jenner gets pimples. Tom Holland goes grocery shopping. And the “coolest” of your peers even stay home in bed sometimes. Whether you’re a frequent poster, mere follower, non-Insta user or confused grandmother reading this story, I think we can agree on one thing; being human, we’re all equal, Photo by Amanda Black and no highlight reel can change Social media only gives people an idea of the perfect parts of a person’s life, that, no matter how aesthetic the hence the name, “highlight reel”. However, it is not an accurate representation of filters are. a person’s life, where there are imperfections. Drops of Ink | Opinion


Not Just a Game Story & Photos by Katie Felsl

Layout by Maggie Evers

he squeaking of shoes. The high-pitched whistles of referees. The yelling of the players. A spectator may think it’s another nail-biting varsity basketball game — but they’d be wrong. It’s an intramural basketball game. Even without a student section, the players create their own roar. With fast-paced games going on throughout the main gym, the competitiveness is felt on every court. While the teams are playing amateur games, not for a regional title or a state championship, the competitions are still treated as such. The hype is in the gym; it gets the players ready to go. The seriousness of intramural basketball is contagious from player to player and team to team.


Back to Basics hile it is unclear exactly when intramural basketball began at LHS, it has gained more popularity in the past four years. Freshmen and sophomores participate in the first half of the intramural season, which takes place in the winter months of first semester. The junior and senior players participate during the early months of second semester. This past winter, there were around 70 freshmen and sophomores who joined, creating 10 teams. About 90 juniors and seniors are currently playing, making up 11 teams. Each junior and senior team roster features eight or nine players. Teams are named after NBA teams and some teams wear coordinated jerseys. Players pick the name of their team, and a handful of teams carry on their team name from previous years. Coaches are not required in intramurals. “Players can put themselves in or pull themselves off at any time; we all trust each other,” expressed senior Zachary El Ghatit, a three-year member of Lakers Purple, over email. However, some teams, including El Ghatit’s, have a coach if a player is injured. Coaches “give [the team] a nice pep talk before the games and get [them] inspired to go out there and try to get the [win],” voiced senior Matthew Gaines, a Lakers Purple player.


The games are regulated by the basic rules for basketball and officiated by the boys varsity basketball players. Players come into the gym and shoot around to warm up before their game. They play two, 12-minute halves each game; games start every 30 minutes, just in case of issues or overtime. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, the games start at 6:30 p.m., running to 7:30. Games are commented on and run by Assistant Athletic Director Mr. Christopher Davis.

Senior Bryan Bystol of the Grizzlies calls for the ball as he posts up senior Logan Sides of Lakers Purple. 28

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In all Seriousness ntramural basketball defies the typical intramural sports expectations of laid-back competitions. It takes competitiveness to another level. “[The competitiveness] adds a lot of spice to the games, and trash talk is always fun. At the end of the day, it’s all friendly though,” voiced junior Samuel Paden, a member of the Jazz, over email. Usually, if teams are waiting to play or have already played, they’ll watch, scout and support other teams. No student section? No problem. Players keep the energy up by making their own cheers, acting as their own student section for every game. Despite what some may think, some teams practice in preparation for their upcoming games. For example, some meet a couple days


The Denver Nuggets have won the championship for the past two years and are looking to clinch their third title to finish off their high school careers. a week at Centre Club or at the Libertyville Sports Complex to fit in some time to improve their skills. Lakers Purple “usually [goes] after school to [the Libertyville Sports Complex to] just have fun and get ready for the game,” shared Gaines. Practicing beforehand gives players the energy that they hope will pay off on the court for the true competition. There are many ways players get ready for their games. Junior Aidan Holmes, a member of the Jazz, talked about his pre-game rituals: I “usually shoot … some threes and then [my teammates and I] kinda push each other around.” Most players play another sport, often with athletes from multiple grades, so a friendly connection exists between many competitors since some are familiar with each other. In part due to this, there’s no real concerning tension with players. “Besides in-game conflicts ... there [are] fights, but fights over fouls and stuff,” remarked Holmes.

Reffing the Game


he referees for intramural basketball are not the typical ones you would expect to see in a black-and-white striped uniform. Basketball shorts and jerseys are more suitable to them. That is because LHS’s own varsity boys basketball

players control the game with a whistle in hand. The referees know the rules of basketball, given that they spend a whole season playing by those rules. It gives them a different perspective on the rules and makes them understand calls referees make in their games, according to senior Travis Clark. There is no training they have to undergo because they play the game every day. For each game they referee, they earn $5. While getting paid is a part of refereeing intramurals, it is all voluntary. Intramural reffing typically takes place after a practice for the boys basketball team. So for Clark, with a night of less homework, he’ll stay and ref the competitions. Nine of the varsity basketball team’s 15 players choose to ref during the intramurals season. Some refs have friends who play intramurals. For Clark, that was a factor in why he chose to referee. Most of the referees are seniors who are reffing alongside fellow classmates. “I’ve played with some of [the intramural players] in different sports, [so] it’s fun to watch them,” voiced Clark. Having friends in the league would lead some people to think it’s a problem of favoring one player or team over another. But according to Clark, the referees don’t let bias get in the way of their job — most of the time: “I mean, it happens, because the nature of the sport,” he said.

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This year, as a junior, Emma Gleason was a finalist in the 100 fly, finishing fifth in the state. Gleason has qualified for state all three years of her LHS swim career so far, earning All-State recognition her sophomore and junior years.


mma Gleason started swimming when she was in fifth grade and has since fallen in love with the sport. She’s made countless sacrifices to compete at the level she does, including cutting sugar out of her diet. This has paid off, as she finished in fifth place for the 100 butterfly event and 12th in the 200 freestyle at the state meet this fall. As a junior, Gleason has received All-State recognition two years in a row.

Jumping In

Before she started competitive swimming, Gleason was a gymnast. Junior Anna Heard, a friend of Gleason’s, shared that “it was noticeable that [Gleason] wasn't enjoying what she was doing, which was gymnastics, and [she] always seemed to be getting injured.” In fifth grade, Heard encouraged Gleason to join the CATS Aquatic team with her. Gleason shared the moment that she knew she wanted to competitively swim: “[At a meet], just watching [Heard] swim, I remember thinking, I was like, ‘Dang, I want to be that good one day, that would be so awesome.’ Ever since then, I’ve started coming to practice more and really focusing in.” Her swimming career began with the CATS Aquatic Team, run through Libertyville and Vernon Hills High Schools. Her freshman year, she switched to Patriot Aquatic Club (PAC), which practices at Stevenson High School; she still swims with PAC and head coach Kevin Zakrzewski. 30

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In The Pool

Without fail, everyone interviewed for this story identified Gleason’s most defining characteristic as “hardworking.” “That’s easy,” Heard said, when asked. “[Gleason] is the most hardworking person that I know… when she has goals, she does anything she can to meet them.” Gleason’s sisters, twins Avery and Paige, who are both freshmen, explained that her dedication to swim never falters, as she rarely misses a practice. Gleason couldn’t recall the last one she missed, sharing that she plans her schedules around practice. Competitive swim requires its participants to make sacrifices, especially for someone competing at Gleason’s level. In eighth grade, Gleason made the decision to cut sugar out of her diet. Four years later, she’s stayed committed to that choice, explaining that eating sugar feels foreign to her at this point. Another sacrifice she’s had to make involves her social life. “Usually high schoolers go out on Friday nights,” Gleason explained. “On Friday nights, with club seasons especially, I have practice from 6-8:45 p.m. … and then I have morning practice on Saturday.” Gleason’s mom, Cindy Gleason, further explained this over the phone: “There’s not a lot of time for socializing. So when other people are having sleepovers or going to parties, she’s going to the pool.” During high school season, when swimming is a fall sport, Gleason described the atmosphere as positive and happy: “Everyone’s super close-knit, everyone’s

super happy and wants to be there, everyone always brings a whole lot of energy to the table every day.” Club season, on the other hand, brings with it an underlying level of stress for Gleason and her teammates. Being on a team with a handful of junior national qualifiers, the level of intensity and competition is much higher than that of the school team. “Everyone’s still having fun [during club season], but there’s still that stress there. With high school season, it’s that release of stress that’s nice to have,” Gleason said. Gleason doesn’t mind the sacrifices she makes because how she looks at it, the drawbacks are outweighed by benefits. The relationships she’s formed through the sport make giving up so much of her time worth it. “Everyone that I swim with, high school team or club team, you create a close bond just because of how much time you spend with them,” Gleason described. With other sports, athletes spend lots of time practicing, but she explained that swim requires another level of commitment. She’ll practice four to five hours a day, six to seven days of the week. Though this might seem overwhelming, Gleason doesn’t think so: “You create a bond with [your team], so the sacrifices, you don’t really feel it as much,” Gleason said. A three-time qualifier, Gleason has gone to state with her team since freshman year. Her freshman-year coach, Mr. Erik Rogers, who has since resigned from the

Emma Gleason: By Ella Marsden Photos by Grant Herbek Layout by Savanna Winiecki position, gave her advice that has helped her deal with the stress of competing at such a high level. She said he told her “just try to take it all in because the next coming years, this is the atmosphere that you’re going to be taking, so you want to take it and see how to deal with it and not let it crack you.” Sophomore year, Gleason explained, was more stressful. She barely qualified for the final round in the 100 butterfly race, which instilled a sense of doubt in the back of her mind. “[That] year, it was stressful, but I definitely knew how to deal with the stress just from being at those high-level competitions a lot more and having more of that experience,” explained Gleason. This year, Gleason finaled in the 100 butterfly, ending in fifth place, which is an improvement from last year, when she finished ninth in the same event. On top of that accomplishment, Gleason finished in 12th in the 200 freestyle. Gleason has been awarded the All-State recognition her sophomore and junior years. This means that the coaches in Illinois decided that she was among the top swimmers in the state.

Out of The Pool

One of Gleason’s favorite things to do besides swim is volunteer with a Special Olympics swimming team, Stars, run through Libertyville High School. She appreciates the light-hearted atmosphere, and its contrast to her intense daily life. “It’s super fun to hang out and coach [them] because they’re just genuinely happy people, and it’s nice to be around that,” she said. Heard explained that Gleason’s hardworking personality transfers to her school work, sharing that “she’s also one of the smartest people I know, and I don’t know how she does it because she swims so much.” Heard touched on other aspects of Gleason’s personality, sharing that she’s kind and always someone she can look to

Free of Sugar, Full of Talent

for a laugh. Paige and Avery backed this up, sharing that following in their sister’s footsteps is “a lot to live up to.” The pressure they feel doesn’t come from their parents, coaches, or even teachers, but instead the association that comes along with being related to the well-known name of Emma Gleason. “She’s probably one of the most modest people you’ll meet because she never wants to say anything about [herself],” Mrs. Gleason emphasized. “It’s not about necessarily winning accolades, but she wants to be better every time.” Former LHS swimmer Emma Richert was a senior when Gleason was a freshman, and she served as a mentor to the young swimmer. Over email, Richert described Gleason as “independent, caring, and always [putting others before herself. Swimming is kind of her life, but she will never hesitate to make time in her busy schedule for friends and family.” With college right around the corner, Gleason has been looking at schools with strong biology programs, as she plans to major in that subject, then go into pre-med and eventually to medical school. Currently, she is being recruited by six schools, all with strong biology programs.

“[A strong biology program is] one thing I made sure to have, just in case something goes wrong and I’m unable to swim anymore. I’d still be able to [pursue] what I want to do,” Gleason said. At this point, the extent of information she’s willing to share is she’s “confident she’ll be swimming at a Division I school”. Gleason added that her college decision will be finalized around the end of this school year.

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