Drops of Ink -- March

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What’s Trending: Eco-Friendly Edition


LHS implements Tandem app into curriculum


Success: A Libertyville Standard


Make Me Believe That You Care


If a Tree Falls

Can you still be a good person in the 21st century?

Some companies and resturants are making an effort to be eco-friendly.


The app, Tandem, was implemented into the Spanish IV Honors curriculum and has raised some concerns.


Libertyville’s Environment: Making The Change

The Drops of Ink staff explores the morality and power of one’s actions in 2019. What is the root of the competitive nature at LHS, and is this a good thing?

Features Editor Jacob Kemp explains why, solely, recycling just won’t cut it. Climate change disproportionately affects poorer areas like Nuatambu Island and the Philippines, and Features Editor Olivia Gauvin wants us to pay more attention to this.

Sophomore Jake Short, LEAF and the AP Environmental Science classes are all helping in different ways, but share common goals to sustain LHS’s environment.


Behind the Scenes at LHS

An in-depth look into some members of the LHS building and grounds staff and what their jobs entail.


Life Without Meat


Plastic Waste Statistics


The Past, Present and Future of Conservation: State Parks and Forest Preserves

Students who are vegan or vegetarian share their motivations behind that decision.



Crosstown Classic

With baseball season around the corner, get ready by reading about the rivalry between the Chicago baseball teams: the Cubs and White Sox.

Plastic waste is a continuous problem around the world; see graphics as to how it impacts our environment.

This feature explores local state parks and forest preserves.





Libertyville High School

Visit us at lhsdoi.com

Drops of Ink

Food Waste: Chew on This

Learn about the tremendous impacts of food waste and find out what LHS (and you) can do to help prevent it, including some insight on how Ms. Holtsford does her part!

Waste Size: The consequences of the modern-day fashion Industry

Understand the environmental consequences of the modern fashion industry and which stores cause much of the pollution.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Contact us at doi@lhswildcats.org Contents by Sayre DeBruler Cover design by Annika Bjorklund Focus Cover design by Ian Cox

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STAFF LISTING 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 Belomoina, Anya Benoit, Andrew Bertaud, Olivia Bjorklund, Annika Black, Amanda Bucio, Ariella DeBruler, Sayre Duffy, Moira Evans, Thomas Felsl, Kate Foo, Jade Freberg, John Gay, Stephanie Haddon, Aliya Hayek, George Herbek, Grant Hornsey, Rowan Kanches, Benjamin Marsden, Ella Mayo, Benjamin McLean, Allison Pulte, Charlotte Townander, Kirsten Wagner, Carly

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Good day, friends!! We are excited to bring to you the fifth Drops of Ink issue of this year: The Environment Issue. Covering everything from veganism and vegetarianism (page 18) to fast fashion (pages 28-29), the issue has something for everyone to enjoy. In our What’s Trending page, Opinion Editor Rachel Benner and staffer Anya Belomoina talk about environmentally friendly products and great places (page 5). Sports Editor Maggie Evers and staffer Charlotte Pulte discuss the Libertyville environment and what some in our community are doing to make it better on pages 10-13. Ella Marsden designed an infographic on page 19 to showcase how much plastic waste is put in landfills and oceans. You’ll find that in this issue, we switched things up in the opinion section and have two staff editorials, as opposed to the typical one, which allowed our staff to voice their thoughts on two important concepts: the definition of a “good” person in the 21st century (page 30) and the competitive environment at LHS (page 31). To match with the environment theme, some of the magazine’s design includes natural colors like green. The cover, illustrated by Annika Bjorklund, represents an LHS student reflecting and thinking about life and the environment while enjoying the consistency of nature. The focus cover (pages 8-9) is a collection of icons and terms which connect with the environment and the stories within created by Ian. As layout editor, Ian helps ensure the magazine is consistent and coherent throughout, featuring modern templates and colors. Many behind-the-scene elements are added to make the pages what they are. For example, by increasing spacing between visual elements and story text, the pages become more readable and appealing. Our designers start with a sketch and an idea of the layout for their specific pages. Drops of Ink designers find inspiration in day-to-day items, as well as magazines from some of the top publications. Even items as simple as logos, websites and something you see at the grocery store can all lead to inspiring and creative ideas for the next layout. Hours are put into perfecting the layouts to ensure the design complements the story in a positive and connective way.

‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’: A beautifully flawed film

Why So Upsetting?

We hope you enjoy this issue!

Layout Editor Ian Cox and News Editor Molly Boufford

Correction & Clarification: The article “Memes and Depression” published in our February issue misquoted and incorrectly paraphrased Dr. Brenda Nelson when mentioning the different severities of depression. It should have referred to these as “big D” depression, the more concerning of the two, also known as “clinical depression,” and “little D” depression, which is when someone is going through a rough time. Further, the illustration of “Pepe the Frog” included with that story was not intended to reflect any political, racial or gender connotations or viewpoints; the use of the illustration was intended to represent memes that discuss depression and mental health, as was discussed in the article.


Drops of Ink | Letter to the Reader

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


photo ourtesy of @theveggiemarine

1. From their mission statement, Native Foods guarantees delicious food without using any animal products. They also aim to only use organic food, biodegradable and recyclable packaging and build energy-efficient restaurants. The Chicago cafe offers soups, salads,and plant-based burgers. 1484 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622


BY ANYA BELOMOINA AND RACHEL BENNER photo ourtesy of Erin and Emily Phillips, @empty_platez


2.Uncommon Ground, a Chicago restaurant, features the first certified rooftop farm in the U.S. The rooftop garden — complete with planter boxes and beehives — is the main source for their produce. They offer American-style food options for brunch, lunch, and dinner. 1401 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60660

1. United By Blue, a brand that sells outdoor apparel and accessories, focuses on ocean conservation by removing one pound of trash from the world’s oceans and waterways for every product they sell. Purchase this mug — or one of their many other products — at www.unitedbyblue.com to start helping clean the ocean today. 2. In efforts to support the environment, the footwear company Timberland has been striving towards a list of goals to meet by 2020, including using recycled materials in shoes, planting 10 million trees and becoming fully waste free. Learn more about their environmental impact and buy their shoes at www.timberland.com. 3. Pacifica is a vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand that guarantees discount loyalty points if you recycle their product’s packaging. Buy this facemask and sign up for the recycling program at their website, www. pacificabeauty.com.

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4. REI, an outdoor supplies and clothing retailer, takes an eco-friendly stance by requiring all 1,000 brands sold at their stores to meet a set of sustainability requirements in efforts to eliminate their environmental footprint. The closest REI outlet is located in Mellody Farm in Vernon Hills. Drops of Ink | Feature


LHS implements Tandem app into curriculum By Molly Boufford

The app Tandem has been used by Spanish IV Honors classes and has raised some concerns from parents and students.


ibertyville Spanish IV classes have introduced a new element to the standard curriculum to connect with native speakers from Spanish-speaking countries through an app called Tandem, which has been around since 2014. The idea of using Tandem was brought to the attention of Spanish IV teacher Mrs. Emily Koerner by one of her students during first semester. The app allows people to connect with anyone around the world who also has an account on the app; its stated goal is to help users practice their language skills with native speakers.”You make an account and specify what language you are fluent in and what language you are trying to become better at. You can then talk with someone by texting, calling or [video chatting] all through the app,” explained senior Brynn Miller, over email. The app had to get approved to be used by the LHS administration, as standard protocol calls for. All profiles made have to be reviewed and approved by Tandem itself, which is based in Berlin, Germany, and the Spanish IV teachers checked all profiles as well. During class periods when the app is used, the teachers bring the students to an innovative learning room in the school or to the language lab, a place at LHS where students in foreign language classes usu-


Drops of Ink | News

ally spend one day a week doing cultural and speaking-based activities, to talk with their partners on the app for 30 minutes. In those 30 minutes, they speak Spanish for the first half and English the second half. LHS students want to learn more Spanish and the native speakers want to learn English. “[The app] doesn’t change our curriculum, but it enhances the curriculum and brings it to life,” explained Mrs. Koerner. The Spanish IV teachers want LHS students talking with the same person on the app as much as possible to build the relationship between the two people but know that because of the time differences and not all of the speakers being in school, that’s not always going to work out. “The relationship between the students and their partners are mutual, which is why the app is called Tandem because it’s always going back and forth,” LHS Spanish teacher, Mrs. Schreck said. Mrs. Koerner and Mrs. Schreck explained that when the classes first started to use the app, some students reported inappropriate activity to their teachers. Specifically, there were inappropriate photos being sent from some native Spanish speakers of themselves to LHS students. These accounts have been since blocked and no more inappropriate messaging has been sent to LHS students said Mrs.

Photo by Katie Felsl

Koerner. The Spanish teachers have acknowledged that parents have shared their concerns with the administration and teachers about the usage of the app. Teachers have talked about the same concerns and want the students to be as safe as possible. The students have to send in screenshots of all conversations they have with their native-speaking partners in their weekly log, in case there is inappropriate behavior. To avoid any other mishaps on the app, it has a block and flag feature that allows any user on the app to be reviewed by Tandem. The person can be blocked in the settings of the app and it automatically sends a notification to people at Tandem for the flagged content or user to be reviewed. The content could be inappropriate verbal or visual content. In addition, the Spanish IV classes all received lessons on how to stay safe on the internet before the app was introduced. Despite the issues that have arisen, the Spanish IV teachers are happy with the results they are seeing. Students are more excited to integrate the words they are learning and are getting a sense of how people speak Spanish on a day-to-day basis. “It has helped me learned some Spanish slang and become more comfortable talking in Spanish,” Miller said.

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environment ECO FRIENDLY













environment GREEn t GREEn


Our environment is ever-present, whether it is the natural world outside or the atmosphere created by our experiences. Our physical environment is undergoing climate change as a direct result of human interaction. There are ongoing initiatives amongst LHS students and staff that aim to contribute positively to all sorts of environments that exist in our world, including social environments. Whether actions are large or miniscule, all impact the environment.

Libertyville's Environment: Making the Change By Maggie Evers and Charlotte Pulte Cover Photo by Grant Herbek Photos by Jade Foo Layout by Jacob Kemp When walking through the halls of Libertyville High School, orange and black dominate the building, but many Wildcats have begun taking the extra step to make a difference, evoke change and help LHS go green. From recycling to planting native species, these students and staff are doing their part to leave a positive footprint on the environment.

Jake Short

Sophomore Jake Short, a prospective Eagle Scout and football player, who is also involved in both Wind and Jazz Ensembles and the Symphonic Orchestra, hopes to remove invasive species behind the beach volleyball courts off of Route 176 next to LHS later this spring. The effort is Short’s Eagle Scout project, a service project showcasing leadership that must be done in order to achieve the Eagle rank, one of the most prestigious recognitions to earn in the Boy Scouts program. “I knew I wanted to do something for the school to help better the environment [and] better the community,” said Short, who has been discussing this project with Principal Dr. Tom Koulentes since August. Eagle Scout projects must be approved by a Boy Scouts of America council before beginning, and to be approved, they must prove one’s capability to organize and communicate with people. “It’s not necessarily the size of the project, but it has to demonstrate your leadership abilities, so how you can assemble a group of people and give them instructions on how to complete the project,” explained Short. Currently, the area near the volleyball courts is overgrown with Buckthorn, an invasive plant not native to Illinois, which Short will be removing in order to allow indigenous species in the area to flourish. “[Buckthorn] is so aggressive that it’s actually illegal to have on your property in some areas of Lake County because it just chokes out all of the native plants,” said Mike Graham, owner of Landscaping Concepts, who will be teaming up with Short on the project to clean up the land. Short explained that they plan to “clear it all out and make a nature walk with some benches where teachers can take their classes or students can go out there for study halls and hang out or do homework.” He added that the benches will be made out of recycled composite boards and the woodchips for the nature walk will be made from the roots of the Buckthorn that is removed. Short will also receive help from the LEAF club, the AP Environmental Science classes and his Boy Scout troop. “It’s always kind of nice to know that there are some spots on campus that are just nature, no artificial or man-made stuff, and so once we clean this up, it can become a really beautiful spot,” expressed Short. Added Graham, “It’s a very small section [of land] that we will be restoring but it is abundant with plants that, given the opportunity to grow and getting rid of the invasives, it can be like a mini nature preserve back there.” Before breaking ground on his project, Short must still receive approval from the Boy Scouts committee and the Village of Libertyville, even though he and Dr. Koulentes have agreed upon a budget and timeline. Since his project is visible from Route 176, it affects the community and must have approval from the village and from homeowners in the area before starting any construction. Short hopes that the community thinks the project will benefit them as well as the environment, and he hopes to start removing the Buckthorn in late March and complete the project in May. After that, the AP Environmental Science classes and LEAF club will help to maintain the native species.


For more than 30 years, the club LEAF -- Libertyville Environmental Action Force -- has been promoting eco-friendly habits to LHS, along with the community. Many know LEAF for the recycling process they organize every other Monday, but their role has expanded from when it first started. According to the LHS website, “LEAF’s objectives are to promote environmental awareness and encourage environmental activities at LHS while networking with existing programs locally, nationally and globally.” The group has become more innovative in creating different ways to help the environment while being under the advisement of English teacher Mr. Dave Lapish for the past 15 years. He’s a believer in the idea of doing “any little thing to make something better” and often encourages his own students in class to join LEAF. One of those members is junior Megan Higgins, who has been in LEAF since her freshman year. “I always thought [environmental efforts] were important but I never really got into it [before LEAF]. Mr. Lapish was my teacher [at the time], so he suggested that I join,” Higgins explained. “Once I joined, I actually really enjoyed it and ... I found my love for [the club].” Higgins is now one of the four co-presidents who help lead and organize the club’s activities. The leadership roles allow the students to contribute by researching potential projects or heading up fundraising opportunities. Currently, LEAF is responsible for collecting the school’s recycling bi-weekly either during second period or after school. “Actually, one of our concerns is [if] people [are] putting the right stuff in the right place. People don’t realize that somebody [at the recycling center] needs to separate the bad stuff out [of the recycling],” Mr. Lapish explained. Drops of Ink | Feature


Last year, LEAF created posters that were hung in a majority of the classrooms that highlighted items that shouldn’t be recycled as a way to raise awareness of the issue. According to Mr. Lapish, many items that are put in the bins could potentially elongate the process down the road by forcing workers to sort out what isn’t feasible to reuse. “I feel like the trash keeps building up and even at lunch people have empty bottles … but they don’t think about [recycling],” Higgins expressed. “It’s just things like that where people should find it simple because there are lasting effects.” Those involved in LEAF care about making environmentally-friendly changes in and around LHS but also strive to continue spreading awareness that will allow others to better understand our planet and its needs. “I’ve always just felt like, wherever I am, I live — and wherever we are, we live — and that place should always be as clean as it can be,” Mr. Lapish said.

AP Enviro.

During a meeting, members of the LEAF club work together to prepare sucA global and local awareness of the environment can be culent plants to sell to the students and staff during lunch periods. critical to high school students as they shape their personal cause it’s not only science. We do politics and we look at philosoviews. A new class at LHS this year ties these ideas together phy so [the topics] are very broad and it extends certainly beyond in order for students to examine how humans interact with the the sciences.” environment. Mrs. Kahn explained that environmental science and the social AP Environmental Science focuses on solving environmental sciences have a lot of naturally integrated overlap and affect each problems around the globe while sharpening students’ scientific other directly, which is why the class encourages looking at issues thinking and application of knowledge. from multiple perspectives. “I love teaching [AP Environmental Science] because it really “There are many ethical dilemmas that we run into when we ask does combine all of the sciences together. Plus, the ethics and ourselves, ‘What are the needs of humans?’ versus ‘What are the social sciences I’ve really enjoyed teaching as well because it’s a needs of the environment?’ and then, ‘Where are those overlappart of our curriculum to teach what our ethical obligation to the ping?’” said Mrs. Kahn. environment is,” stated Mrs. Jennifer Kahn, the class’s teacher. She emphasized that as the next generation inherits pressing enShe added that environmental science is a “unique science bevironmental issues, it’s as important as ever to be able to filter through misinformation in order to address some of the environmental problems being faced. Senior Sophia Fisher’s passion for the environment is what enticed her to enroll in the class, but it is through the curriculum itself that she has really come to grasp the current situation of the environment. “I thought the environment was in trouble, but I didn’t know how much in trouble it was until I took this class,” explained Fisher. “I think it’s really important to know about our environment because we’re the generation that’s going to see the most dire effects … we need to be prepared to know why and how [climate change] is happening so we can try to prevent it, [along with] creating solutions to reverse or prolong the effects of it.” Mrs. Kahn explained that the course is very lab-intensive and her students enjoy using Butler Lake as their “backyard laboratory.” She added that “since our property really lends itself to being an outdoor lab, we really try to take advantage of that.” Mrs. Kahn also emphasized that the term “environmental science” is separate from environmentalism. “Environmental science looks from a scientific method standpoint at what are causes and effects of differStudents in Mrs. Jennifer Kahn’s AP Environmental Science classes are encour- ent interactions with humans and the environment,” whereas environmentalism “conjures kind of a thought aged to focus on solving environmental issues all around the world. of activism.”


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taking action Many of the previously mentioned individuals and groups at LHS are collaborating together in order to broaden their spectrum of influence. One of the ways that LEAF is attempting to expand their influence is by adopting larger projects that will impact more aspects of the school and community. They began by joining forces with the AP Environmental Science classes to work together with the hopes of creating outdoor classroom environments. LHS has four courtyards on campus, but most don’t get utilized by students and staff members often. “There are several courtyards here that are not really developed and they’re kind of mangey as far as what’s in there, with a lot of weeds,” Mr. Lapish explained. “The courtyard that has the gazebo in it is the one that is going to be our first focus as a club, where we will be getting rid of all the grass, most, if not all the plants in there, and replanting them with native [plant species].” Mrs. Kahn also added that the courtyard across from the gazebo is currently a memorial garden, and they are looking to make it “a more peaceful area of reflection but still as a memorial for students that have passed.” The groups hope to start the reviving process this summer by first killing the grass and invasive species, then replanting throughout the fall, although timing is still tentative. Members of LEAF and AP Environmental Science are also striving to help more than just the humans at LHS have comfortable nature environments. “We would like to have a monarch butterfly sanctuary. We plan on planting a bunch of milkweed and other plants that would be a habitat for monarchs to come eat and lay their eggs,” Mr. Lapish explained.

Fish tanks in Mrs. Kahn’s classroom were previously used for a project to examine how different elements of an ecosystem affect each other.

The open area where they hope to create the butterfly habitat is by the tennis courts and JV softball field, though no official plans have been set. “Having a property that’s this size, we have some kind of obligation to manage it in a way that’s sustainable and in a way that incorporates native plantings,” stated Mrs. Kahn. She explained that native plants help to sustain biodiversity in local ecosystems and help to sustain native organisms that rely on these systems. “With all of these [projects], it gives my students an opportunity to apply some of the skills that we have learned and to collect real data to use on these projects,” explained Mrs. Kahn. Fisher has found some of her daily habits have been revised after spending time learning about environmental science. “I used to be really lazy with recycling … but now I walk around school with my empty water bottle waiting to find a recycling bin because I don’t want to throw it away, because now I’ve seen the impact it has on the ocean ecosystems and the world as a whole,” stated Fisher. Through teaching this class, Mrs. Kahn has been reflective on her own environmental practices as well as the importance of teaching subjects like this. She explained that teaching environmental science helped her appreciate “the importance of passing this information down to the next generation and making sure that, as a member of society and one day as a voter, students are given the appropriate depth of knowledge in order to understand some decisions they’ll have to make as consumers and as voters.” LEAF also has its sights set on helping LHS become more eco-friendly in other areas, such as water usage and energy conservation, along with pairing with an outside group called Destination Imagination -- a volunteer educational group that, as its website states, teaches “‘21st century’ skills and STEM principles to students through collaborative problem solving challenges” -- to add recycling into our cafeteria. If and when some of these changes are implemented, LEAF promotes and encourages the LHS community to be more environthey have the potential to greatly impact LHS’s environmentally aware. The club does a lot of fundraising for taking care of the ment and possibly even make green one of the official courtyards and fixing them. school colors. Drops of Ink | Feature


Behind The Scenes At LHS r. Chris Stancil, the building and grounds supervisor, wakes up at 4 a.m. every morning. He takes care of his son and dogs, then he’s out the door. His son, Jack, was recently involved in a traumatic motorcycle accident where he suffered severe injuries to his brain and leg. “He was on life support for about seven days. We didn’t know if he was going to live or not,” Mr. Stancil said. Jack, who is a senior in high school, had eight surgeries performed, including a brain surgery and four surgeries on his leg. Jack also had a couple of strokes, so the right side of his body is not fully functioning. Mr. Stancil took 51 days off work, over the summer and at the beginning of this school year, to spend time with his son in the hospital. The drive to LHS from the north side of Chicago takes Mr. Stancil about an hour depending on the traffic. He speaks with what he calls “a Chicago biker accent,” and he carries a certain joviality to his voice. During his drive, he listens to “old time rock and roll” to pass the time in traffic. Mr. Stancil takes pride in his work, and he has a map of the school prominently displayed on his office wall that he proudly shows visitors. Mr. Stancil feels that he has a special relationship with the school. “I have 2,500 bosses,” he said. He considers everyone in the building his boss, including “administration, front office staff, coaches and kids.” Half an hour after Mr. Stancil wakes up, Mr. Ron Curtis is up and about, getting ready for work. Mr. Curtis, the first-shift supervisor, is a soft-spoken man who enjoys his job and thinks that the lack of a routine schedule, due to the job’s unpredictability,



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By Drew Benoit Photos by Aliya Haddon Layout by Ian Cox

“makes it interesting.” However, whenever possible, he does try to end every day with a routine: putting away his tools and making sure that everything is neat and orderly. More often than not though, Mr. Curtis’s day consists of odd jobs and doing whatever is needed of him. Mr. Curtis has been working at LHS for 27 years and has experience in both maintenance and plumbing. On the morning that an interview was conducted with him, he had just cleaned a smoke detector, which may sound like a simple job but actually is quite an ordeal. First, Mr. Curtis said, you have to identify the individual ineffective smoke detector; since there are at least 1,000 smoke detectors in LHS, finding the right one can be a challenge. Once he finds the right detector, he calls the fire department and renders it out of service. Then he has to manually turn it off. Next, he uses a clean rag and canned air to clean the detector. “You do all this,” Mr. Curtis said, because “when you’re putting it back in, the electric current [can be enough to] put the whole building on fire. That’s why we go through the process. You don’t want to empty the building to clean a smoke detector.” The staff often has to go out of their way to make sure not to disrupt the day-to-day life of the school. This means taking extra steps to keep the students safe and being extra careful when doing potentially dangerous things. Half an hour after Mr. Curtis wakes up, Mr. Bernarve Ramirez gets out of bed and drives 10 minutes to his job here at LHS. He enjoys cracking jokes and often laughs at them. On nice days, Mr. Ramirez will ride his bike to school, but recently, the cold has forced him to drive. He has worked here for 13 years and after working the third shift for a couple years, is now on the first shift from 7 a.m. to

Pictured, from left to right, is the Building and Grounds crew: Roy Sims, Lewis Jones, Allan Engresso, Bernarve Ramirez, Danny Bennett, Ron Curtis, Gary Miller, Sinthia Zurek, Ruth Vasquez (secretary), Dan O’Connor, Marco Piacenza, and Chris Stancil.

3:30 p.m. He said he loves his job and likes seeing students as well as working with his peers. He mentioned how much he enjoys working with people, even if sometimes they can get on his nerves. Unlike Mr. Stancil and Mr. Curtis, Mr. Ramirez doesn’t actually work for District 128. He works for a company that District 128 subcontracts out to called Aramark. Aramark is a food, facilities and uniform services provider based in Philadelphia that often provides services for correction facilities and schools. For Mr. Ramirez, it doesn’t matter who is signing his paychecks, this job means feeding his family and putting his four kids through college. He and his wife work full-time to make ends meet. To Mr. Ramirez, everything he does is for his family. “That’s why I gotta work every day. I gotta work... [the district gives] me weekends, I go weekends,” Mr. Ramirez said. One thing Mr. Ramirez does notice is how little time off he gets compared to his district counterparts like Mr. Curtis. “The district has more holidays than us,” he said. “Sometimes the district is not here but we have to [be] here. Sometimes the district lets them go home early, but us? No, we gotta stay the eight hours.” He mentioned that sometimes it makes him feel like he’s not a part of the LHS family and that he thinks “it’s not fair ‘cause [they’re] working for the

same school.” Despite how he feels, Mr. Ramirez needs the job and he enjoys it, so he does the work. Mr. Stancil, a D128 employee, echoed his sentiment, saying that the staff “would feel more like a family if they were district employees.” He also dislikes the fact that part of his staff is subcontracted out. He wishes that he could hire all his employees because it would give him more freedom over who he hires. Both Mr. Stancil and Mr. Curtis mentioned that more employees would be beneficial for the building and grounds staff. Mr. Curtis joked, “I don’t know if we’re understaffed or overworked,” when asked about the number of staff members in relation to workload. However, despite that, the staff members interviewed said the district helps them every step of the way and has always stood behind the building and grounds team. The Building and Grounds Department is made up of multiple teams. Grounds employees take care of the exterior grounds, sports fields and makes up part of the LHS Snow Command, which is in charge of keeping the school safe during the winter season. Maintenance also makes up a significant part of the staff; they are in charge of facility upkeep, both on the interior and exterior, which includes all the equipment in the building, like lighting, plumbing, locks and windows. The third team is the custodial staff, which, according to Mr. Stancil, “is an integral part of building and grounds.” They are in charge of the cleanliness of the building. The custodial staff is made up of three shifts. The first shift takes care of all the bathrooms, locker rooms and the cafeteria all day. They also clean up spills, bloody noses and the occasional throw up. The second shift is in charge of setting up for after-school and athletic activities. Setting up is more than just cleaning, but the team usually ends up cleaning most of the classrooms as well. They also prep wherever the activity is going to take place. Finally, the third shift is in charge of athletic facilities and keeping those clean. Drops of Ink | Feature


The Supervisor for Building and Grounds at LHS, Mr. Chris Stancil, takes pride in his work and believes in team effort. Mr. Stancil wakes up early to take care of his son and dogs before driving to work from North Chicago.

For 13 years, Mr. Bernarve Ramirez has been at LHS, where he works hard and enjoys making jokes, working with his peers and seeing the students around school. This job is most important to Mr. Ramirez because he is able to provide for his four kids.

The building and grounds staff is in charge of most behind-thescenes work that makes LHS run smoothly. One of the main difficulties the staff faces is how old certain parts of the building are. The building and grounds staff has to maintain some equipment that is up to 67 years old according to Mr. Stancil, and often the compatibility between old equipment and new equipment is difficult. The campus is large. It has 55 separate roofs, 46 entrances and 16 seperate canopies, Mr. Stancil said. The LHS facility is only going to get bigger with the new addition of the pool, which is scheduled to open sometime this spring. Mr. Curtis noted that “there is always something that isn’t working right.” Similarly, Mr. Ramirez noted that the older parts of the building are more work. The older things get dirtier and break down easier, he said, so the staff has to work harder to maintain everything in the building. One of the ways that the staff keeps up with all the issues is a preventative maintenance program that ranges from checking the fire extinguishers and smoke detectors to roof cleaning and replacing motors. Mr. Stancil remarked that “when everyone is off on breaks, that is when my staff gets most of the large work done … deep cleaning, preventative maintenance. Things that we can’t do when the students and staff are here.” He let out a little chuckle and added, “so I think when the students and staff come back, it makes it easier on us.” Even after school it’s hard for maintenance to get done because, as Mr. Stancil put it, “It’s a madhouse!” After-school activities prevent any meaningful preventative maintenance or routine cleaning from getting done because of the amount of people and the activities occurring in the building. During the summer there are a large number of projects that disrupt many aspects of the building. Parts of the building are replaced, and other parts get massive updates. According to Mr. Stancil, it always comes down to the wire on summer construction completion, but the school is always ready to open. A preventative maintenance project the staff has been working on is replacing a 75-horsepower motor and pump at their chiller plant. A stand-alone building outside the fieldhouse, the chiller plant houses 16

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the hydronics system that heats and cools the building. Three years ago, the district added the system, and now, according to Mr. Stancil, “[the school] is saving money hand over fist.” The system works by not using steam to heat and cool the building, but instead using just water. The staff only has so much money that they can spend on projects like this, otherwise they have to open them up for bids. This means that they tell companies what they’re looking for, and these companies give them price ranges and estimates on how much it will cost. Then the district picks the bid that they find the most cost-effective and beneficial for the school. This particular motor project was small enough that there was no need for it to go out to a bid, but

It’s the small tasks that take up the most time. because of the benefits of the bid process, they did open it up. Mr. Stancil said they use this process to make sure they aren’t over paying for a product. Although big projects like this can be time-consuming and difficult for the staff, they are few and far between. Most of the jobs that the staff does aren’t so big. They’re smaller, like moving tables around in the cafeteria or prepping for a basketball game. The polar vortex in late January caused extra work for the staff. With wind chills reaching down to -30 degrees and below, the weather became an around-the-clock undertaking for the staff. The building and grounds staff was on the campus braving the cold during this time. Regarding the work on days that the school ended up being closed, Mr. Stancil remarked that “I had guys here [at] 11 p.m., 12 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m., and stayed all

day to keep the school open.” The school has Kubotas, which are smaller utility vehicles, that they use help keep all their facilities clear from the snow or other weather. They have to clear the Brainerd parking lot, Dymond parking lot and the walkways leading from both of those to the high school. They also clear the path to the parking lot across Butler Lake, even though they aren’t required to. While the staff sometimes faces much larger tasks, like snowstorms and the polar vortex or replacing the chiller plant’s motor, for most of their jobs, it’s the small tasks that take up the most time. Whether it’s salting the sidewalks, replacing a smoke detector or setting up for after-school activities, the LHS building and grounds staff is always working just behind the scenes.

Mr. Ron Curtis has been on the Building and Ground staff here at LHS for 27 years. Although he has the most experience with maintenance and plumbing, he enjoys the unpredictability of his job.

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rom arguments about the political beliefs of vegans and vegetarians, to whether honey is vegan, to hate over social media, both the vegan and vegetarian diets have been hotly debated in recent years. Despite the criticism, the number of vegetarians has stayed unchanged since 2012 at five percent and vegans has increased from two to three percent according to a Gallup News poll. Included among those numbers are some LHS students who are vegans or vegetarians due to either personal beliefs or dietary restrictions. Where vegetarians restrict meat from their diet, vegans don’t eat any animal products. Merriam-Webster defines the vegan diet as “a strict vegetarian who consumes no food (such as meat, eggs, or dairy products) that comes from animals.” Four of the five students interviewed for this story mentioned that one of the reasons they follow a vegan or vegetarian diet is because of their love for animals. According to PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, almost 29 million cattle are killed each year to feed the humans of the world. Others will alter their diets due to environmental concerns; this is because, as The Guardian reported, with each 100 grams-- which is comparable to the size of a quarter-pound patty-- of beef produced, approximately 105 kilograms, which is about 231 pounds, of greenhouse gases are emitted into the air. A common counterpoint is that nonmeat eaters’ food is usually imported in from a different country, thus creating more pollution due to the transportation. But senior Helena Janczak, a vegetarian, believes that “environmentally and economically, [eating meat] doesn’t make sense … because it takes so many resources to grow and produce [meat].” Similar to Janczak, senior Julia Sahagian, a vegan, and sophomore Abby


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Gourley, a vegetarian, were influenced to stop eating meat because of its environmental impact. Sahagian also commented, over email, that “watching the ‘Food Inc.’ documentary inspired me to go vegan.” The documentary is about the American diet and shows the large-scale processing of meat. On average, each American eats 222.2 pounds of meat a year, Forbes stated. Given this, for some new vegetarians or vegans, giving up meat is hard. “I have weird dreams sometimes where I eat meat, and I wake up feeling super guilty,” explained Janczak. Cole Gebert, a vegan, has a similar outlook on making the switch. The junior stated, via email, that “transitioning is really hard. You try to become a vegetarian first, but after a month or two, you start to lose cravings...you may recognize that you didn’t really need to eat [animal products] in the first place.” Some other non-meat eaters also have difficulties eating with friends and family. Gourley emphasized the struggle of finding options that suit her vegetarian and lactose-free diet: “Whenever my friends want to go out to eat, they can get fast food, but I can’t because there’s not a lot of options for vegetarians.” Senior David Lee frequently gets asked about the difficulty of being vegetarian: “It’s hard … but honestly it’s just a commitment and you have to [be] a hundred percent into it.” Gebert also mentioned that his friends make jokes about his diet, but it doesn’t bother him. Both Lee and Sahagian emphasized the importance of choosing the right diet for your health. “I feel like it should be more of a personal choice, but I think it’s important that people consider it,” Lee stressed.


150 million About how many tons of plastic are currently in the ocean

China produces the largest amount of plastic: 60 million tons

8 million About how many tons of plastic are added to the ocean each year

1 million About how many plastic bags are used worldwide every minute

100 thousand The number of marine mammals killed annually by plastic debris Information from Our World In Data S tanford Earth Ocean Conservancy Coastal Care

The United States follows, producing 38 million tons every year

The world produces 381 tons of plastic every year (roughly equal to 2/3 of the population’s mass) Only 14% of plastic is recycled

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n March 1, 1872, Congress passed an act that established Yellowstone National Park as a “public park ... for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Since then, the national park system has grown to include thousands of locations in an effort to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner … [and] leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations,” as described in the Organic Act of 1916 that created the National Park Service (NPS). While state parks and forest preserves aren’t regulated directly by the NPS, their purposes align with those of national parks. The main difference between the two is that state parks are managed by the state governments. Forest preserves are managed even more locally, at the county level of government. Forest preserves in Lake County began in 1957. According to the Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD) website, the LCFPD was founded in a referendum started by homemaker Ethel Untermyer and her son Frank. In 1961, the first preserve in Lake County, Van Patten Woods, was created. Similar to the Organic Act, the mission statement of the LCFPD notes that their purpose is “to preserve a dynamic and unique system of natural and cultural resources, and to develop innovative edu-

By George Hayek Photos by Grant Herbek Layout by Ian Cox

The past, present and future of conservation

cational, recreational and cultural opportunities of regional value, while exercising environmental and fiscal responsibility.” Jennifer Clark, a member of the Lake County Board that presides over all county government departments, said that the board is redoubling its efforts to preserve the indigenous wildlife of Lake County through programs like “Healthy Hedges.” This encourages people to replace invasive species of hedges in their yards with plants that are healthier for the soil. The board is also carrying out multiple efforts to recover dwindling or endangered species, such as the smooth green snake and the Blanding’s turtle. This is accomplished by tracking females of the species and bringing them in when they are nearing the end of their pregnancies, Clark said. Once their offspring are born, they are raised in sanctuaries until they are strong enough to survive in the wild, and they are then released. This process continues until there is enough of a population of the species in the wild that they will continue to grow stably and out of endangerment. An additional effect of the board’s efforts to preserve land is the reduction of flooding. As Clark said in an email, “Much forest preserve land serves as a reservoir for flood waters during rain events and during season flooding. Wetlands, open lands and land with native plants and trees are essential for absorbing extra water.” On the board’s management of the pre-

serves and trails, Clark stated, “We try to use the very best environmental practices possible…we really hire people that are educated in proper land conservation and management.” Here’s a look at four forest preserves and state parks that are near Libertyville.

Independence Grove


ndependence Grove Forest Preserve is a 115-acre forest preserve that includes a beach on a man-made lake, playgrounds and trails that wind around its perimeter. According to the LCFPD website, “surrounding prairie and woodlands provide a picturesque backdrop for hiking, biking, picnicking, and other fun activities.” There is also a dog park located on Milwaukee Avenue that is part of the preserve. Independence Grove used to be a gravel quarry, as explained by the LCFPD website. The preserve was opened to the public in 2001 after a community advisory committee developed the blueprint for what the defunct quarry would become in the 1990s. About 6.25 miles of trails run through the forest preserve. These include a gravel

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trail, a paved trail and trails that are a combination of both. The Des Plaines River Trail also runs through Independence Grove. While visitors can swim at the beach, the marina there also rents fishing boats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and pedal boats for use on the lake. A survey was sent to students asking about which state parks and forest preserves they frequented and what they did there. About 54 percent of the 120 students who responded to the survey reported going to Independence Grove at least once every few months. Some popular activities that students documented were picnicking, bike riding, kayaking, canoeing, hanging out with friends and running. Braeden Long, a junior, said that he likes to hang out with his friends and family at Independence Grove. He also occasionally goes canoeing when the weather is warm enough to allow it: “During the summer, when my friends have their cars, there’s so much possibility…we’d go kayaking, canoeing; anything outdoors, I really enjoy.”

Old School Forest Preserve


ld School Forest Preserve is one of Lake County’s most popular sites, according to its description on the LCFPD web page. It contains 6.4 total miles of trails, consisting of both gravel and paved trails. Like Independence Grove, the Des Plaines River Trail runs through Old School. Dogs are allowed in Old School, unlike Independence Grove, as long as they are kept on leashes and on the trails. Long also canoes at Old School as well as in the nearby Des Plaines River. “Just being in the presence of nature makes me happy,” he said. “It’s a euphoric feeling being a part of a working ecosystem.” Sophomore Chad Matulenko said in an email that he often goes to Independence Grove and Old School in the summer, once or twice per week. He goes “mainly for biking, both for exercise and enjoyment.” 11 percent of respondents claimed to go to Old School on the survey, but given the small sample size, it’s possible that more students visit this preserve. Some of the most popular activities for students to do at Old School are bike riding and running along their trails, sledding in the winter, hanging out with their friends, kayaking, canoeing, bass fishing in the lake and having picnics in their “secluded picnic spots in the heart of Lake County,” per the description of Old School on the LCFPD website. The land that became Old School Forest


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Preserve was acquired by Lake County in parcels from 1974 to 1976. Old School was designed to resemble what Lake County looked like before it was completely settled. Large oak trees and indigenous flowers plot the land, and the parking lots that do exist there are kept small and secluded among trees in order to maintain this natural scene.

Illinois Beach State Park


llinois Beach State Park, officially known as Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park, stretches 6.5 miles along the coast of Lake Michigan and “offers a full range of recreation opportunities at one of the most unique and beautiful natural settings in America,” per the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website. The park spans 4,160 acres — split into northern and southern units — and more than 650 species of plants have been recorded inside. The park is located in Zion, about 30 minutes from Libertyville. The DNR website describes the park as having “ample opportunities for swimming, boating, picnicking, hiking, fishing, camping and simply appreciating nature.” There is also a resort there available for visitors to stay at. On September 21st, senior Emma Chandler and her AP Biology class went on a field trip to Illinois Beach State Park to collect data points, such as levels of sunlight and soil samples, at different parts of the beach. Though she described the trip as “a little bit stressful” because the students needed to gather accurate data in a “short amount of time,” she noted that they had “a little bit of time at the end to walk along the beach and chat a little bit.”

Volo Bog


olo Bog, formally named Volo Bog State Natural Area, is the only quaking bog in Illinois, which means that the bog “quakes” or shakes when walked on due to its forming over water and soft mud. As described by the DNR website, it is a place to go for a “truly unique outdoor adventure.” The National Geographic website defines a bog as a “wetland of soft, spongy ground consisting mainly of partially decayed plant matter.” A mat of sphagnum moss, or “peat moss,” floats on top of the water, and cattails and sedges surround the bog. Per the history provided by the DNR

online, citizens of the area around the bog rallied together to raise funds to purchase the bog in 1958 and granted the deed to the University of Illinois. In the 1960s, they advocated again to have the bog protected from proposed development and to have it transferred to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which was known as the Department of Conservation at the time. Volo Bog was declared an Illinois Nature Preserve in 1970, and three years later, it was registered as a National Natural Landmark. More than 1,100 additional acres of land have been purchased since then to “protect and enlarge the state preserve, which now includes marshes, prairie restoration areas, woodlands, two other bogs, and scenic trails.” Bridges allow visitors to walk across the bog and view the wildlife that lives there, such as the sandhill crane. There is also a visitor center that houses a program room, a shop, a hands-on discovery area and a library. Furthermore, there is a picnic area available outside, but ground fires are strictly prohibited on the grounds. The AP Biology classes also went to Volo Bog on their field trip. Chandler said that the group went on a tour of the bog and explored an exhibit at the visitor center that detailed what the bog was. She described the trip to Volo Bog as being “pretty relaxing.”

Covering about 6.5 miles of the Lake Michigan coastline and home to more than 650 species of plants, Illinois Beach State Park is a thriving ecosystem and a popular place for people to go.

Independence Grove Forest Preserve, a frequent destination of many Libertyville students, is a popular place throughout the whole year; Summer activities include hiking, running, kayaking, among others; while during the winter, the preserve opens for ice fishing, snow shoeing, and more.

With picnic locations, a combined 6.4 miles of trails, and multiple bodies of water, Old School Forest Preserve is another popular destination for students and community members alike. From above, it’s easy to spot its grand oak trees which were exemplify what Lake County looked like before it was settled. Drops of Ink | Feature

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Food Waste: Chew on This By Kirsten Townander — Photos by Ariella Bucio Layout by Savanna Winiecki


hen we finish a meal and decide we’re full, we simply walk over to the trash can, scrape off our plate and continue with our day. Simple, right? But when we throw our food “away,” what does that truly entail? Where is it going and what does that mean for our planet and the people living on it? Every year, 1.3 billion tons of food are thrown away across the globe. This is equivalent to one third of all the food that is grown each year, according to The New York Times. Along with this statistic, one may consider the issue of hunger, as the two go hand-in-hand. In the U.S. alone, one in every eight people have trouble putting enough food on the table, according to the Natural Resource Defense Council, yet 40 percent of the food available in the country is never even eaten. The New York Times also highlights how privilege furthers this crisis. It is in wealthy

countries like the U.S. where nearly half of the food wasted is tossed out directly by consumers. Conversely, the paper reports that “very little food in poor countries is thrown out by consumers” because “it’s too precious.” People with higher incomes are prone to purchasing too much food and leaving plates unfinished. For less fortunate families who spend a larger portion of their income on food to survive, this is not something they can afford to do. With the growing global population projected to reach almost 10 billion people by the year 2050, according to research from the United Nations, looking at waste and discussing ways to prevent it are becoming more important. Prevention can mean taking action on a personal level, but it can also happen on a larger scale, by way of systematic action in restaurants and grocery stores, to name a few. In 2015, the U.S.’s “first-ever food loss

and waste reduction goal” was announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency, which called for a reduction of 50 percent by 2030. Participating companies, referred to as “Champions,” publicly pledged to make efforts to cut back on their waste “in their own operations and periodically report their progress on their website.” These include Walmart, Campbell Soup, Unilever and Kellogg’s. Steps to prevent excess waste also occur at our school. One main place this begins is obvious: the school cafeteria, where hundreds of students dine every day. Mr. Daniel Lyon, the school’s food service director, described what goes on behind the scenes in the kitchen, explaining how each food line has different disposal steps. The Origin line — where the entrees switch every day — typically sells out, so there isn’t waste. If there is not a sellout,

the kitchen staff takes the leftovers and uses them in other foods, like sauces, Mr. Lyon said. Sometimes, faculty members simply eat the leftovers. The sandwich line doesn’t produce much waste either since toppings are stored and reused the next day, he added. Conversely, any pizza or other foods in the Grill line, such as burgers and sandwiches, are typically sent off to landfills. Mr. Lyon explained how he’s attempted setting up a donation system with local shelters, but high-protein items — chicken, beef or foods containing egg or dairy — aren’t accepted.

This is because of issues with food safety; temperature requirements make them difficult to transport, as they cool down and need to be reheated. In terms of anticipating and preventing waste, Mr. Lyon said that “we have prep guides that help us with actually not over-prepping on certain items…I give [the kitchen staff] a week’s worth of recipes.” They then look them over and proactively decide on the necessary quantities of each food to order so there isn’t too much left over. Highlighting a struggle, he said that “sometimes we have a great-selling item and we run out, so we have to bump [the amount of food to make] up…[and] next time it doesn’t sell as well, so we have to bump it down.” He concluded, “it could be a hit or miss.” One way that both businesses and individuals can help reduce food waste is to compost (read more about Ms. Holtsford’s composting efforts in the sidebar on the next page). There are different ways a person can choose to compost, explained foods teacher Mrs. Katie Gallivan: “You can have a crank system, where you would put all your scraps and…layer green, brown, green, brown.” These consist of natural materials, like leaves, and food scraps, banana peels or potato skins, for example, that get mixed in on a regular basis. Another form is called vermicom-

posting, where worms directly break down food and release the nutrients. Both styles turn leftover food back into lush, rich soil and aren’t difficult to perform. AP Environmental Science teacher Mrs. Jennifer Kahn emphasized how “you don’t have to be this huge mega-composter…it’s something that’s doable for an average person.” With the help of Mrs. Kahn, as well as Mrs. Alice Leafblad and her special education classes, who’ve aided with in-school transport, food scraps have recently been brought upstairs from Mrs. Gallivan’s foods classes to Mr. Peter Olszewski’s classroom, where a bin is housing some worms for vermicomposting. He described it as a “way to open up conversations with kids,” since “just having it here, [they] ask questions.” While individual efforts like these are helpful, concerns about the implementation of a more formal, schoolwide composting program were expressed by Mr. Lyon, which include the financial affordability of setting it up as well as difficulty maintaining it, as the school would have to designate both physical space and people to take care of it. Despite these worries, these obstacles can be overcome. Mrs. Kahn stressed the importance of education as a means of sparking change. It’s vital to inform people how to compost, for “when we throw

Mr. Peter Olszewski keeps a vermicomposting bin in his classroom. This composting process uses various species of worms to make a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste and vermicast. 26

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something ‘away,’” she explained, “it’s being transported to a hole in the ground, essentially, where it’s covered up and those resources aren’t really recoverable.” Composting instead allows the foods’ nutrients to be returned back to the ground, but it needs to be done right, since the smallest “amounts of contamination of the wrong kind of food can lead to consequences that become difficult…[and] might attract pests, for example,” she said. Mrs. Gallivan proposed that in order to educate everyone, she could perhaps help put together a Wakeup Wildcat video explaining how to compost and the reasons behind it, teaming up with “somebody else who had the same vision, like the science department or the special services.” There are lots of other ways individuals can reduce their personal food waste. An article by the Food and Drug Administration lists actions to be taken at home, in stores and at restaurants: • Utilize your freezer to preserve uneaten food. • Learn about food safety precautions to take at home. • Only buy as much meat and produce as you know you will consume. • Don’t be afraid to purchase “ugly” fruit--while it looks different on the outside, it’s just as tasty inside as any of the others on the shelf. • Take your leftover food home in a box or ask for a smaller portion size to begin with. • Ask a friend if they want to finish the last couple bites for you. So, next time you’re carrying your plate to the garbage, you may want to pause and think: Is a landfill really the best place for this?

Ms. Amy Holtsford has a compost bucket in her classroom where students can throw away things like vegetable peelings and fruit waste which she later empties once it fills up.

Composting in the Classroom By Ben Mayo

Ms. Amy Holtsford, who teaches government and law, allows students to eat in her class. But this comes with a catch: if a student eats something with organic leftovers, they must compost it in a small bin that sits atop her 80-year-old desk (which she said served as the principal’s desk at the Brainerd campus for decades). The bin was given to her by a former student about 10 years ago and is used every day. When it is filled to the brim with discarded food, such as old apple cores and banana peels, Ms. Holtsford says it “makes her day.” She sincerely cares about composting, adding, “I’ve always thought it was important to save that organic material. We just waste far too much.” Composting, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land.” Ms. Holtsford believes that more people should start composting at a young age and hopes to make an impression on students with her bin. “One of the first things I do in the first week of the semester is I will mention the compost [bin] and say, ‘Any time you eat in the classroom, it’s fine, but if there’s anything that can be put in the compost bin, please do,’” she explained. Many people, including Ms. Holtsford, believe in a common responsibility of humanity to be “good stewards of the earth.” To her, composting is an important component of this. “Part of [our responsibility] is to be mindful of food and food waste...so we can do the best we can to minimize our [carbon] footprint,” she stated. Last April, The Guardian reported that 150,000 tons of food is wasted in the United States each day. It’s hard to say what things will be like in the future, but Ms. Holtsford has a few thoughts: “Often times I think about us living in 2019, thinking back to prior generations and saying, ‘How did those generations make such a major mistake?’...With that in mind I think about what future generations will say about us living in the early 21st century...they’ll look back and wonder how we could waste so much, not only food, but also water...they’ll think back and criticize us.” Ms. Holtsford encourages her students to consider composting, as it is a simple way of going green. “It’s not very difficult...and the Earth will thank you for it,” Ms. Holtsford said. But if students don’t want to take up the task themselves, she implores them to drop off their compost at room 242. Drops of Ink | Feature


Waste Size:

the consequences of the modern-day fashion industry By Olivia Gauvin

Photos by Ally McLean

Today’s fashion industry is often consuming: Instagram models, Twitter clothing threads, online shopping, eye-catching advertisements — shopping is more saturated with choice and accessibility than it has ever been before. In fact, in 2015, the U.S. Congressional Joint Economic Committee reported that “consumers spent nearly $380 billion on apparel and footwear.” America is, as some would say, a fashion empire; in New York City alone, “fashion is a $98 billion industry, employing more than 5 percent of the city’s private-sector workforce,” the J.E.C. further reported. Yet beneath the layers of sweaters, flowing sundresses, classic button-ups and denim jackets lies the question: How is all of this clothing made? Woven into every piece of fabric are the effects of the modern fashion industry, starting with designers and continuing all the way to checkout counters. The clothing that you’re wearing right now may have trekked across the world, being sewn and stitched by hundreds of people or machines in handfuls of countries. This is the modern fashion industry many Americans are consumed by today, and whether it be high-end retail or inexpensive apparel, there is, undoubtedly, a lot to undress. Fast fashion. As a rapidly growing trend right now, fast fashion has made a name for itself. “[It’s] an approach to the design, creation and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers,” defines Merriam-Webster. These styles stem from the major runways and collections during each season, so something that, for example, designer Marc Jacobs fabricates in his spring 2019 collection will be copied, mass produced and sold in major stores just months after. A simple Google search of the term “fast fashion” will produce thousands of results highlighting stores like Forever 21, H&M, ASOS, Zara, Mango — clothing stores that produce bulk amounts of clothing at extremely cheap prices. “Fast fashion, to my understanding, is something that started in the last two decades, or has really increased significantly,” explained Ms. Dana Brady, the AP Biology teacher at LHS, as well as a passionate environmentalist. “Companies, or fashion magazines, are coming out with the new trends and they become very expensive for the layman, so [inexpensive fashion producers] crank out cheap material that is not good for the environment.” 28

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Layout by Jade Foo

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this mass production of clothing causes major increases in textile waste, “material that is deemed unusable for its original purpose,” such as fashion and textile industry waste that is created during clothing production, as well as consumer waste. Because these specific forms of clothing are purchased in bulk by millions of consumers, the consequences are felt across the world. “A lot of petroleum-based products are used to make t-shirts, pants, etc.,” Ms. Brady further emphasized. “[The clothes] are poor quality. They’re not meant to last. They’re using materials that, when they’re produced, are harmful to the environment, and the production itself is [harmful] too.” These fabrics, such as nylon, polyester and acrylic, are some of the most commonly manufactured petroleum-based fabrics in the fast fashion industry. According to the University of Queensland’s sustainability project, “the clothing and textile industry is depleting non-renewable resources, emitting huge quantities of greenhouses gases and using massive quantities of energy, chemicals and water.” Junior Mark Plunkett and senior Jessica Mehra both expressed the importance of higher-quality fabric and manufacturing for their clothing purchases. For example, fabrics such as cotton are often considered more energy efficient, as cotton depends on water and sunlight for growth as opposed to chemicals and manufacturing, the Australian Energy Exchange outlined. Plunkett explained how his clothing “is like an investment,” and he’s more willing to buy a more expensive item if he knows it’s higher-quality in material as well as manufacturing. As many of those interviewed explained, much of their clothing purchased from fast fashion outlets like Forever 21 or Zara may rip or unravel easily, which can prevent them from donating their clothing, and thus they instead resort to discarding the clothing altogether. In fact, in 2015, the EPA reported that “landfills received 10.5 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste [in] textiles.” These textiles made up 7.6 percent of all MSW in that one year alone. Ms. Brady even commented on how the fast fashion industry can often be cyclic: “People purchase [the clothing] at very reduced costs, wear them maybe once or twice and then throw them away.” The environmental impacts expand even further — the fashion

industry, particularly the fast fashion industry, hurts marine life as well. In a report by Forbes, they stated that “the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter of freshwater resources on the planet.” These accumulated concerns inspire students like senior Linh Tran to make an effort towards buying recycled or second-hand clothing. “I try my best to always buy things with the intention of being eco-friendly,” Tran explained. “I don’t like to shop at fast fashion stores. I buy the majority of my clothing second-hand or from ethical brands.” Mehra and Plunkett both noted they occasionally shop at thrift and consignment stores. However, Tran noted that she will shop at thrift stores more often than buying directly from recognized ethical brands, as the more popular ethical brands, such as Patagonia, Everland and American Apparel, are often quite expensive. For some, fashion is an extremely distinct statement, and many brands deemed fast fashion outlets produce According to Business Insider, H&M outsources most of its labor overseas, to countries like apparel that fits to wide ranges of styles Bangladesh, where the working conditions are difficult to oversee and are often dangerous. and personal aesthetics. Junior Shea Brennan shops often at Forever 21 “because there’s a wide That affordability in fast fashion apparel can be a large selling spectrum of clothes that you can choose from…it’s cheap too, it’s point for individuals, as many interviewed noted that not evreally cheap, and if I spill something on a shirt, I wouldn’t be that eryone is able to afford more eco-friendly alternatives, such as mad with spilling [something] on a $10 shirt compared to a $50 ethically sourced clothing brands. shirt.” “You have to consider people’s incomes, and how much they’re able to spend on certain things,” Brennan noted, adding that eco-friendly shopping should be more encouraged for some people. Tricia Regan, co-owner of the Libertyville consignment store ReNew, noticed the vast amount of thrift shops and consignments stores for just clothing in the area, and established ReNew for the resale of used textile products such as “recycled handbags, home decor, jewelry and furniture.” Regan noted how much of their inventory is higher-end, thus allowing customers to purchase more luxurious, used goods at a reasonable price. Resale of recycled and reused textiles, especially clothing, can be extremely beneficial to ecosystems on both a local and global scale. According to a study conducted by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, in 2014, reused or recycled clothing from the major Swedish second-hand, nonprofit organization Emmaus Björkå saved an estimated 947,000 cubic meters of clean water, roughly equivalent to a 300-year-long shower. When more clothing is donated and purchased through resale, that lessens the environmental impact through recycling, the report further explained. As the global market expands, so does a consumer’s access to various fashion brands. And there are many layers to fast fashion: styles that are sold at cheaper prices benefit individuals that can’t afford expensive retail though the environmental pollution is felt across the world. However, the understanding of the consequences of the fast fashion industry inspired many of the students interviewed to take a closer look into the clothes they buy and the stores they buy them from. Brennan concluded that the next time she steps into stores such as Forever 21 or H&M, “I’ll be thinking about the pollution. I’ll buy the clothes I need to buy, but the pollution will be in the back of my mind.”

You have to consider people's incomes, and how much they're able to spend on certain things. - Shea Brennan

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can you still be a good person In The 21st century? Warning: “The Good Place” spoilers ahead NBC’s “The Good Place” is an American comedy-fantasy series about a group of recently deceased people navigating a highly selective Heaven-like utopia. Its plot is centered on the fact that there is a type of heaven as well as a version of hell, respectively named the “Good Place” and the “Bad Place.” Every action a person makes during their life on Earth is assigned a point value, either positive or negative; these points are totaled when they die and serves as the deciding factor as to whether said person goes to the Good Place or the Bad Place for all of eternity. The point system is designed to work flawlessly—that is, until one character, Michael, notices a glaring error: the fact that no one had gotten into the Good Place for nearly 500 years, which leads him to believe the system is being tampered with. Michael accesses the records of two people’s lives measured in point values and compares two identical actions—selflessly cheering someone up by giving them roses—from two different time periods. Seeing that a man in the year 1543 received 143 points while a man in 2004 was docked four, Michael concludes that it’s not the Bad Place hijacking the system at all, but rather the fact that as the world has become more complicated, industrialized and interconnected, every action, no matter how well-intentioned, drags with it a damning set of moral anchors. The 2004 man bought his grandma flowers, sure, but the cell phone he used to order the flowers was made in a sweatshop, the flowers he bought were grown with harmful

pesticides, and the CEO of the flower business is morally corrupt. Bingo. This dilemma has raised the following question: given that the world has become increasingly complex and with each action a person takes comes an array of consequences, can you still be a good person in the 21st century? Tackling this query begins with defining what a “good” person is, what they do and determining the motives for their actions. Most people can probably agree on what makes a person “good.” Good people As our culture continuously modernizes, it becomes harder are honest, reliable, kind, to be a good person in the 21st century. In this example generous without expectapictured above, a flower is shown dead to represent the tion of repayment. But in harmful pesticides that are being used in this century. reality, the requirements moral dilemma. for a truly “good” person So if every action one takes, no matter are more complicated than all that. The the intention, results in negative conseanswer is multifaceted. A good person is someone whose behavioral and psycholog- quences, then why even try to be a “good” person at all? The answer: for the starical profiles perfectly match up. Not only fish. “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley must the person show virtuous tendencies describes the narrator coming across — the world’s hallmarks for “good,” such a man on the beach picking up starfish as honesty, compassion, kindness, generand throwing them back into the sea. He osity, temperance, fortitude, justice and explains that if the starfish are not thrown the like — but the person must act upon back into the ocean, they will die as the these virtues consistently and for the right tide retreats. The narrator questions his reasons. Someone “good” is, for example, logic, explaining to him that there are miles honest not just in a courtroom under oath of shoreline and thousands of starfish and but at home, at work, and while telling that he can’t possibly throw them all back their friend what they really think of their before the tides change. The man is aware. outfit. He knows that he can’t save them all, but Leading the life of a “good” person to the ones he can save, he has made all may sound easy in practice, however, the difference. that damning set of moral anchors easily Although this world grows increasingly catches up with one’s lifestyle. Take vegmore complex by the day and contains anism for example— a seemingly morally more starfish than could ever be thrown superior diet that aims to eliminate the back to the ocean, we must try. Regardless suffering of animals for human consumpof all that we cannot help, we must actively tion. Certainly this couldn’t produce negchoose to put good into this world, reflect ative impacts! Well, due to recent spikes upon our past mistakes, and strive to be in the diet’s popularity, multiple countries better for others, for ourselves and for the have fallen short on the vegan staple of starfish. avocados and, in turn, the price of the fruit favorite has greatly inflated. Even a lifestyle thought to be environmentally conscious can adversely affect the lives of others. “There are so many unintended consequences to well-intentioned actions, it feels like a game you can’t win,” claims a Good Place character, summing up this

STAFF EDITORIAL Photo by Amanda Black Layout By Ian Cox

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 of this piece did not place their personal opinion in the story; they merely reflect the staff’s thoughts. 30

Drops ofDrops Ink | Feature


a libertyville

standard Photos by Katie Felsl

Layout by Liv Bertaud

Written by Ella Marsden


ibertyville High School is known for its outstandingly competitive nature, and the Drops of Ink staff dug into the roots of this competition and the effect it has on students.

The largest influencer of competition at LHS is the money surrounding our community. In the village of Libertyville, families have an average household income of $119,125, according to DataUSA. With money comes opportunity. Most LHS students are aware of the school’s wealth but don’t recognize the boost it gives us in our learning. With so many factors aiding in our success, we can become blind to our personal achievements when we only compare ourselves to others with similar opportunities. The school’s innovation rooms are a great example of a boost LHS students have over others. These rooms allow students to stay comfortable, which makes it easier for students to remain engaged in their work. Along with comfort, these rooms provide an abundance of technology, like touch-screen TVs that encourage collaboration between students. Not only are we given a step up in high school, but we are provided with the resources needed to plan our post-high school lives. Our school’s wealth plays a significant role in the pressure students feel to attend college after high school. Since college is so expensive, the fact that

most Libertyville families have the money to send their kids to college fuels students’ desire to attend one. In reality, there are so many options other than college, but it has become an expectation for LHS students. Vocational and trade schools should be more emphasized as viable options for students post-graduation. This shouldn’t be presented with the idea that a student won’t get into or succeed in college. Instead, it should be associated with the concept that college debt is so significant while college is not the only path to take. With college as a significant incentive for students to succeed in high school, this emphasis can take away from what high school is supposed to be. Instead of trying to figure out who we are and what we’re interested in, we’re trying to figure out the steps we need to take to get into our top college. Instead of searching for knowledge, we simply search for points that will boost our grades and possibly enhance our chances at college admission. Another root of LHS’s competitiveness is its students. Blindly comparing grades without thinking about someone’s personal experience in a class further deepens the competitive nature. It’s important to take into account someone’s personal interests and academic ability when comparing scores. Whether purposeful or not, this frequent interaction can make someone feel bad about themself. LHS students tend to have insanely high expectations for themselves. Here, students may view a “B” as a “bad grade” when in reality, a “C” is technically average. For someone to display their unhappiness with an above-average grade like a “B” can be degrading to students who get “B’s” and “C’s” and are okay with it or have to work hard to achieve those levels. Being surrounded by academic excellence, it’s hard to see ourselves as above average. But, if we compared ourselves to other schools in our area, we’d find that LHS students outperform them. According to NBC Chicago, LHS is ranked as number 66 on a list of the top 100 public high schools in the country based on academics, culture, diversity, health and safety. Regarding athletics, though sports are competitive by nature, LHS manages to deepen the competition. There’s an unwritten expectation that if someone plays a sport, they’ll be excellent. And if a person plays only one sport, it’s expected

that they are a star. It’s impossible and unnecessary to eliminate competition altogether, but it’s important to keep in mind students’ mental health. An important step LHS needs to take is creating a more supportive atmosphere. Understanding and expressing that every person is different and every person has different experiences, thoughts and abilities is vital to creating a more encouraging setting. Maybe... When it comes to social competition, we were more split in our view. On the one hand, some feel that yes, a social hierarchy is present. The popularity formed in middle school naturally carried into high school, but it is not as evident today as it was then. On the other hand, some believe there is only social competition until one finds their group of friends. It’s common to feel pressure to find your clique, but once you do, any pressure or competition mostly diminishes. For the few of us who moved to Libertyville at some point in their high school career or slightly earlier, there was not much of a social hierarchy. They noticed that it’s not uncommon to see friendships between people from different cliques or social groups.

Drops of Ink | Staff Ed 31

by Jacob Kemp photo by Stephanie Gay layout by Annika Bjorklund

The rewarding clatter of the plastic water bottle into the green recycling bin seems to be the best feeling. Look at you. You consciously made the choice to help the environment. And it feels good. You could have tossed it in the trash or littered it on the side of the road, but no. You care about the environment. Kudos. You walk away from this seemingly rewarding moment, from the clear bottle in the green bin, with a sense of pride. You’ve done your part. But in a world where the United Nations predicts we have only 12 years to make widespread, dynamic, massive policy changes before the effects of climate change become irreversible, recycling one little thing to fulfill your “environmental action” quota just won’t cut it these days. I don’t even need to go into the obvious importance of recy-

cling over trash, but the amount of resources, time and effort that goes into the actual recycling process means it shouldn’t be the bare minimum. Never mind that, according to National Geographic, a whopping 91 percent of plastic isn’t recycled, and a large percentage of what is ends up dumped in toxic,


Drops of Ink | Opinion

immense landfills. It simply isn’t profitable enough for companies to recycle plastic, due to the cheap costs of buying new plastic products and of burning plastic. What do we know for sure, though? The environment is dying. The planet is falling apart. The last four years have been the four hottest since global temperature records began. By 2030, as denoted by the United Nations Environment Programme, half of the world’s population will live in areas of high water demand or need. Of course, it’s easier right now to just keep living your life. But will it be easier, according to UN environmental research teams, when oceans continuously rise, when coastal communities are displaced, when plastic is in every piece of food you eat, or when the demand for crops far surpasses the supply? I understand how easy it is to recycle, to feel that bit of euphoria when you feel like you’ve done something. I get it. It’s easier to just do that. But it’s also incredibly frustrating to me to see our resources being rapidly depleted and feel as if everybody is just ignoring it. And we are. We go about our daily lives, leaving the issues of the world just as forgotten as that clear bottle in that green bin. What the planet needs from you is reduction. We have a finite set of resources with finite land and finite time, yet explosive population growth. We need active awareness among consumers in what they choose to buy and what businesses they choose to support. We need metal straws, paper or reusable bags, recyclable containers, biodegradable materials and compost piles. We need a reduction of food waste. We need fewer people eating beef; raising cows is estimated to cause about one-fifth of all global greenhouse gas emissions and use 10 times more resources than poultry, eggs, pork or even dairy, as reported on the Smithsonian’s website. I’m not here to say that recycling isn’t important. But I feel that it’s colloquially touted as this end-all, be-all solution to an end-all problem that is actually continuously exacerbated due to this mindset. Please, take a chance on taking action; don’t let the plastic bottle in the green bin be our legacy.

If a Tree Falls

Captions by Thomas Evans


f a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? In May of 2016, Nuatambu Island, an island in Choiseul Province of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, sank. Not a portion of an island, not a beachfront nor a peninsula, no. This sinking wasn’t caused by a hurricane or devastating tropical storm. In May of 2016, an island of 25 families, 11 homes and one local church vanished off the face of the earth because of rising sea levels, according to the Associated Press. In fact, conduct a simple search of “Nuatambu Island” on Google and you’ll find a Wikipedia page that reads “Nuatambu was an island in the Solomon Islands.” Nuatambu Island no longer is; it was. And it did make a sound — but no one said a word. Barren rainforests, rising tides, warming waters and extreme temperatures: All of our lives, we have known these consequences to be the hard and ugly truths of global climate change. However, the harder, and arguably uglier truth, is that global climate change will likely never impact who we are or where we live. An entire island sank within the Solomon Islands just under three years ago and people still today have never even heard a ripple of its existence. We live in a country that, for decades, has maintained the privilege of environmental adaptation. Simply put, the United States has the economy, the industry, the innovation, the ability to adapt to environ-

By Olivia Gauvin

Layout by John Freberg

mental crises. Nuatambu Island, and handfuls of islands like it, did not. Yes, it’s ugly and it’s true: Nuatambu Island is not the only island to sink due to rising sea levels. According to The Guardian, islands with and without inhabitants have been sinking since the early 2000s, and they have made sounds. Ever since the 20th century, millions of Carbon emissions are proven to be one of the leading causpeople across the es of climate change; they are part of the reason why sea world have been levels have risen over Nuatambu Island. kicking and screaming for environmental justice. However, pines, Indonesia and islands like it, have it is the countries that have polluted our little to no impact on the American econoceans, destroyed our atmosphere and omy, nor the Chinese economy, the Arab melted our glaciers that ignore them. League and the list goes on. One cannot deny the significance wealth When another “miniscule” country plays into safety from environmental succumbs to the horrific effects of global crises. For two years, the Philippines have climate change, the U.S., and powerheads been reporting substantial land loss due to like it, do not have to do anything. rising sea levels, according to the PhilipThroughout my life, I have always pine Statistical Office, yet countries across wondered what I would do in the face of the world have done next to nothing to aid international crises. Yet, heartbreakingly them, nor address the rising tides — why enough, I don’t have to wonder anymore would they? The presence (or lack therebecause here and now we are living in a of) of the Solomon Islands, the Philiptime of crisis for our climate. This is the movement of our time, the soon-to-be passages in our history books, telling future generations that yes, an island sank; we destroyed our forests; our ecosystems; we put oil in our oceans and trash in our parks. But we have the power to add to history books, to tell about how maybe millions of children, teenagers, young adults stood up because their governments wouldn’t. We have the power to nurse our environment back to health. We have the power to produce change. If a tree falls, and everyone hears it, and everyone knows what it means, what it symbolizes, what consequence it brings, then maybe we should stop wondering if it merely makes a sound. Maybe it’s time to start listening.

Slow-rising sea levels have caused the people of Nuatambu Island to relocate without much acknowledgement from other countries.

Drops of Ink | Opinion 33

Crosstown Classic


By Matt Smith Photos by Aliya Haddon Layout by John Freberg

pening day in Major League Baseball is in less than a month, which means both White Sox and Cubs fans believe this is their year. It also means heated conversations in the halls about which team is better and fans getting annoyed when their team isn’t doing as well as the other. This rivalry goes all the way back to 1900, when a man named Charles Comiskey moved the then St. Paul Saints to the city of Chicago. The Cubs owner at the time, Albert Spalding, was unhappy and filed suit against Comiskey. Comiskey won and moved the newly named “White Stockings” (the former name of the Cubs) to Chicago, south of 35th Street (this location is where the nickname “south siders” is derived from). Then, in 1906, the two teams met in the World Series; the White Sox, known as the “Hitless Wonders,” won in six games. The teams played only exhibition games until 1997, when interleague play began. From then until now, the series has brought out a lot of memorable moments, including in 2006 when AJ Pierzynski of the White Sox rammed into Cubs catcher Michael


Barrett at home plate. This caused a massive brawl on the field, resulting in four players being ejected. In 2008, the last time the two teams both made the playoffs in the same year, they both swept each other in their respective ballparks during the regular season. However, the rivalry goes deeper than that: “You go deeper and see that the Cubs are perceived as the team that everyone likes. They kind of have done something very strange in that they have become very popular in their losing ways up until 2016,” said Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, who covered both the Cubs and the White Sox during their World Series runs. He plans on covering the Cubs this season. According to Gonzales, most fans of each team didn’t feel the need to root for the other team when they were in the World Series, even though they are from the same city.

“Wrigley Field Scoreboard” by chasepeeler on Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

34 Drops of Ink | Sports

On the North Side: For years, the Cubs were known as the “lovable losers,” and they were able to build fans despite their losing ways. However, this nickname came to an end in 2016, after the Cubs broke their 108-year drought, winning the World Series. According to LHS senior and lifelong Cubs fan Andrew Zemeske, the Cubs have more of a family feel to them. His grandfather watched the Cubs ever since Wrigley Field opened in 1914. His dad was then born a Cubs fan and so was he. He continues to go to Cubs games during the season and tries not to miss a game on TV. Unfortunately, Zemeske’s grandpa passed away before he could see the Cubs win it all. “The Cubs are just better, in terms of their ballpark, the fans [and] culture. I feel like the Cubs are the older, more classic franchise,” said Zemeske. In regards to the Cubs actually playing the White Sox, “it’s always a lot of fun when they play, and I always get into the series more than the normal series. I also got very upset when the White Sox won the Crosstown Cup a couple years back,” said Zemeske. With the Cubs and White Sox both having championship runs in the first couple decades of this century, there were times when some fans would root for the opposite team. “I don’t blame people for rooting for the Cubs in 2016 because, to be honest, I would probably root for the White Sox if they were in the World Series because it’s better for the city of Chicago,” Zemeske explained.

On the South Side: The White Sox have a different story. They made three playoff appearances in the first decade of the 2000s and won the World Series in 2005; however, the roles have switched, and now the White Sox are using the tactic the Cubs used to build their recent championship team, focusing on building their young players. With the White Sox, many fans believe that not all Cubs fans have been fans for life. “I think some of the Cubs fans at our school jumped on the bandwagon after 2016,” said lifelong Sox fan and senior Matt Chyna. Similar to Zemeske, Chyna’s allegiance to his team comes from his family. His dad was a big White Sox fan and that was passed down to him as he got into baseball growing up. The Chyna family used to have season tickets to the White Sox. “I was there for Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in 2009; that was

pretty cool to experience,” explained Chyna. “I tend to just ignore what the Cubs are doing as an organization. Sometimes the [organization] can be annoying, but a lot of the time, I just think they can do what they want,” said Chyna when asked about the Cubs’ tactics. Similar to Zemeske, Chyna believes that it is better for the city of Chicago if one of the teams has a deep playoff run and that both sides root for the city.

This Season: Looking into this season, the Cubs look to rebound from their back-to-back losses in the NL Central tiebreaker game and the Wild Card game to end last season. Right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish is coming off an injury and will try to boost a starting rotation that includes Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks. As for the Cubs offense, minimal moves were made in order to help the offense that struggled down the stretch last season. Kris Bryant comes into the season healthy, which is key because he battled ankle and shoulder injuries during the later part of last season. Last year’s NL MVP runner-up Javier Baez looks to continue his hot hitting. The Cubs will look to overcome a busy offseason, which included shortstop Addison Russell being suspended late last season for 40 games due to domestic violence allegations. He will serve the final 28 games of the suspension this season. In addition, emails with racist content sent by Joe Ricketts, the father of the Ricketts family, the team’s owners, pay for the Cubs, recently emerged. As for the White Sox, missing out on the Manny Machado sweepstakes will most likely take a big toll on their chances to contend in the AL Central. Instead, the White Sox will look to continue to grow their farm system and their young prospects. Michael Kopech will look to recover from Tommy John surgery that he underwent last year; in Kopech’s absence, Reynaldo Lopez will look to boost the starting rotation. The White Sox hope second baseman Yoan Moncada will continue to grow as a prospect and into the player the fans hope he will become. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez, who may start the season in the minor leagues, is a candidate for Rookie of the Year. Shortstop Tim Anderson and first baseman Jose Abreu are other key parts of the team’s offense. With Machado signing with the Padres and Bryce Harper most likely signing elsewhere, the Sox will look to grow their existing talent, in order to continue rebuilding their team.

Drops of Ink | Sports 35

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