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2020-21 EDITORS Téa Fortune - Editor in Chief Molly Chapin - Visuals Grace Chinowsky - NFO Annabelle Frockt - NFO Khassim Diakhate - Sports Simone Cielos - A&E Ria Maisano-Torres - Business STAFF Adam Friesz Alwin Ma Audrey Abrahams Autumn Henson S. Avalon Leonard Benjamin Thomas Griffin Hintze Izzy Lamola Julia Wartman Kai Vennemann Kien-Binh Vo Lakelle Bridges Liana Moore Lizzie Carroll Matt Lord Maya Shelton Mika Ichikawa Nat Beaumon Nhu Tat Nikita Landfield Oliver Hyman Riley Perteet-Cantu Rylee Bundesmann Tyrail Minor Zac Meyer

These students contributions and hard work help make the production of The Garfield Messenger possible. If you would like to support The Messenger, please contact us at garfieldmessenger@gmail.com



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DEFANG SPANG S. Avalon Leonard




GOV AT GARFIELD Rylee Bundesmann



9 9



BLACK AND BLUE Simone Cielos



12 13







THE YEAR OF COVID Audrey Abrahams, Nikita Landfield, Griffin Hintze

Cover by Ilah Walker


















2021 GRAMMY FAILS Nikita Landfield





20 2020-2021 FOOTBALL RECAP Nat Beaumon




FRESHLETES Benjamin Thomas









Garfield’s new class is three years, and two petitions, in the making. By Benjamin Thomas


hree years, two petitions, and one finalized class—establishing Garfield’s psychology elective has been an odyssey that most of the signees, including Class 2020 Secretary Linda Phan, the class’ loudest advocate, didn’t get to see. However, the product is well worth the wait. “I taught sociology for ten years prior to coming to Garfield… so I was ready to dive in, and Mr. Howard said ‘it looks like this thing is going to happen, so I hope you’re willing to teach it,’ so I jumped on it,” said Alfred Snyder, who is wrapping up his first ever semester as Garfield’s sole psych teacher. Although Snyder never planned to teach the psych class, it’s an opportunity he doesn’t regret seizing. Not only does he personally enjoy teaching the content, but the reception of the students to this new kind of class makes it the highlight of Snyder’s day. “By definition, [psychology] is content that everyone is unavoidably connected to because you are human. You have a psyche. It’s very different from a history class—it’s really talking about now,” Snyder said.

While teaching the class, Snyder realized that the personal connection which every student has to the topics in class created an especially valuable community where students could support each other. “One of the coolest things has been the openness of Garfield students to share out— sometimes with a lot of levity and with a lot of humor—their own stories,” he said. “I’m not asking for that stuff, it’s coming out.” After a cursory unit on Freud and psychology’s more outdated foundations, Snyder opened up the next units to a class vote, a move he hoped would continue to foster that community. In this trial run, the class selected sleep and dreams, and then love and relationships. “I was a little underwhelmed at first. Like, uhhh, okay, I guess it’s cool… but at the same time it was great. I felt like it was super engaging for students and there’s legitimate brain science research around sleep,” Snyder said. His initial disappointment didn’t stem

from what the students picked—an exploration of the best third of our day which required each student to keep a dream journal—but from what wasn’t picked: the psychology of racism unit. In order to craft a unit not included in traditional textbooks, Snyder reached out to Bellman, a historically black university, who offered to help adapt their course for the high school level. Hopefully, Snyder will get a chance to teach the unit this spring, if he’s not foiled by even sleepier seniors picking love and relationships again. “Love and attraction are really important for all of us, especially teenagers, to think about. What are the influences on the kind of relationships we seek out? It was a heavy topic to teach,” Snyder said. “There’s a real serious level when you get into love and relationships. That was our question when we first developed a psych class: how do we deal with the seriousness and the triggers in so much of the content?” Snyder credits trainings lead by Garfield’s

Sexual Assault Awarness Club and feedback from students with helping him cover such heavy topics in a way that felt safe for students. In particular, Snyder noted the value in appropriately using trigger warnings. His biggest regret, however, is that he couldn’t teach the class in person. “[Psychology] is not all talk. There’s hard science involved. Natural science, labs: there’s a tangible side that’s lost in the virtual setting,” he said. Just like in chemistry or physics, the content of the class is phenomena we can test ourselves, an element of science Snyder tried to incorporate with the dream journals. Snyder said that psych is for “students that are curious about why people think the way they do, process the world around them the way they do, why people behave the way they do.” If that’s you, then maybe you’ll be psyched for psych! Art by Ria Maisano-Torres Originally published January 21, 2021


Taking a deeper look at one of Garfield’s veteran teachers. By S. Avalon Leonard


hen asking someone what they first think of when recalling their Garfield experience, they may have several different answers. The many sports and clubs that Garfield exceeds in, or the numerous STEM classes offered may come to mind. They might even recall the cafeteria that no one actually uses. Today, we focus on one teacher who has been part of the Bulldog community for almost three decades, and whose impact has been as multifaceted as Garfield itself . Mr. Spangenberg ( Mr. Spang) is what some would call a jack-of-all-trades. Teaching science to PE, Spang is an educator that seems to know it all. One would expect a multifaceted teacher to keep a pretty dynamic life outside of school. Spang lives up to this by doing just about everything a person can do: volleyball, scuba diving and


hanging out with friends. But it doesn’t end there. Spang describes himself as “a voracious reader” and even dabbles in fiction writing too. Spang started teaching science for Garfield in 1991,resh out of a southern California marine institute and a stint traveling around the west coast. When asked what drew him to Garfield, he could not quite recall how he found the school. Regardless, he was attracted to the outdoor education programs the school ran, and the fact that it was a STEM magnet school that had “fun, unique” classes. It seemed like a perfect fit. “When I hit Garfield I said ‘pretty cool’ and I worked with some really fantastic people… The years just peeled off [after that],” Spang said. During that time, he developed a passion for the PhysicalEducation department, ”I wanna see it be [accessible] to all of our

kids,” he said. “[P.E. is] something we need.” About a month ago Spang returned to Garfield after a short sabbatical. The reason for his comeback? ”Because it’s what [becomes] home once you have 30 years in.”

Photo by Lakelle Bridges Originally published May 8, 2021



The mechanisms for racial equity within SPS. By Adam Friesz


tudents, community members, and local NAACP chapters have called for the termination of Seattle Public Schools superintendent Denise Juneau’s contract, which is set to be voted on renewing in December. In a press conference held by Seattle’s NAACP chapter, many brought up the lack of implementation of ethnic studies in schools, the removal of seven AfricanAmerican men from leadership positions, and a disregard for community voices. One of the main systems for community input is the Student Advisory Board, a group of students from each high school that meet monthly with the superintendent. Tylor McClure, a sophomore and one of Garfield’s two representatives, noted that, “There are mostly students of color on the board and it’s really focused on getting our input on things, which is one of the reasons I really wanted to join because I wanted to have more of a voice as a POC woman.” The advisory board application highlights this as well, encouraging “students furthest from educational justice” to apply. The advisory board faced criticism from

former member Reana Mateja Walker Burr at the October 20th press conference held by the Seattle King County NAACP, stating, “Nothing would get done, I felt like we were checkboxes to her so she could say she had student representation.” McClure acknowledged that she has only been to one meeting so far but said that, “In our first meeting we talked about students’ voices and them being heard,” and noted that in the past, the advisory board made a large impact in the rescindment of the school dress code. Dr. Keisha Scarlett, who works to increase equity in SPS, said that she met with the NAACP youth council and discussed recent hires in the ethnic studies program. “One of the things we are really working on is the newly established office of

Since the original publication of this article in November 2020, Superintendent Juneau has resigned and Brent Jones has been appointed interim superintendent.

African American Male Achievement that Superintendent Juneau established in the 2019-2020 school year,” Scarlett said. “They are out in the field doing interviews, they have plans to do 500 interviews...with our young Kings, our African American boys and young men, on asking them what are their values and interests… and what needs to change in order to help them be successful,” Scarlett said. On the issue of staff diversity in SPS, Scarlett said,“There are multi-departmental efforts to increase recruitment, hiring, and retention of staff of color, particularly teachers of color,” said Scarlett. One such effort is the Academy of Rising Educators, which works to funnel SPS students to become teachers. In 2020, 89 candidates were people of color.

36 percent of all new classroom teachers hired from 2020-2021 were educators of color, a nine percent increase from 2019. This year, five Seattle high schools offer an ethnic studies program, a far cry from the mandatory ethnic studies that the Seattle NAACP called for in 2017. “There are a lot of people who are investing a lot of time in advocacy and seeing very little return in investment,” Scarlett said. “If we say we are starting classes for ethnic studies or black studies or we are going to have these different programs, then people shouldn’t have to look to us and say why haven’t these things started.” Scarlett is working with the chief academic officer to move the program forward. “Our biggest challenge and unpacked potential is unleashing the brilliance of our young people,” Scarlett said. “You are actually a lot smarter than us adults about what needs to happen in our schools every single day.” Graphics by Molly Chapin Originally published November 19, 2020


Another step towards desegregating classes at Garfield. By Rylee Bundesmann


arfield High School has a long history of segregated classes as a result of the AP program. In 2017, 9th grade teachers implemented the “Honors for All” program, having all freshmen take honors language arts and history classes. De-tracking efforts continued last year with all sophomores taking Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography instead of choosing between regular World History and AP World History. Junior course offerings were also revised, eliminating regular United States History in favor of having just two history classes: Honors US History and AP US History for students to choose between. Next year, senior year US Government and Politics classes will follow suit to further decrease the disparity between nonAP and AP classes. In the past, seniors chose between regular semester-long Government, semester-long AP Government, and year-long AP Government. The AP and regular classes have a huge discrepancy

in demographics, with white students making up 56% of AP students while only 24% of non-AP students. “[The course offerings for next year] will be AP for everybody or AP for nobody. Everybody is going to get put in one and we’ll dissolve the other class,” long-time Garfield history teacher Jerry Neufeld-Kaiser (NK) said. Dr. Hart, the next principal replacing acting principal Ms. Shareef, is making that decision with the current administration. He credits the ease of this change to the success of the Honors for All program. Before its implementation, many parents and students in the Highly Capable Cohort program (HCC) feared that combining the classes would decrease the quality of education for students. “What [Honors for All] has done is softened up the parents and the students so there’s less resistance from both of those groups. The parents don’t fight us anymore. They fought us hard about 9th grade, but now it’s just complete non-

Demographics of Gov Classes controversy, which I think is huge. I think there’s been a shift in the culture that they’ve been part of,” Mr. NK said. With all seniors taking the same class regardless of their participation Until the school budget is finalized for in HCC or previous AP classes, teachers the 2021-22 school year, teachers won’t expect a more positive experience for all know if they will be offering both semester students. and year-long AP Government to seniors. “Our goal was the desegregation that “I think it would be a real loss to lose this would come from detracking. The demo- class [year-long government]. I personally graphics of the AP class and the non AP would grieve if they took it away cause it’s class are so skewed and both are segregated been such a rewarding thing to teach and and it’s just icky. We felt like we can’t be a I think the students like it,” Mr. NK said. part of that–we really need to make that “You can do so much in a year that you can’t change,” Mr. NK said. “The social benefits do in a semester.” of mixing everybody together are so important.”




Recycling specialists urge Seattle residents to use their resources wisely. By Lizzie Carroll


fter running your recycling bin up to the curb in your slippers every other week, you don’t think much about where it goes, or how much of it goes where you expect. Seattle has recently been improving their recycling methods, mostly pertaining to the contamination in individual recyclable items. Seattle has upheld a mandatory recycling ordinance since 2003 as the first step of the city’s path to zero waste. Since then, there have been multiple revisions and additions to the ordinance to reduce waste, the most prominent being “Seattle’s Solid Waste Plan 2011 Revision,” which strives to recycle 70 percent of municipal solid waste by 2022. This plan was forced to move forward quickly in 2018 when China implemented the “National Sword” initiative. Globally, 7 million tons of U.S. plastic waste is sent to China per year for recycling purposes – 70 percent of total recyclable materials accumulated worldwide. The “National Sword” initiative drastically cut down the foreign recyclable materials that China takes in. Twenty four types of

waste were banned, and the contamination levels accepted dropped from 1.5 to 0.5 percent. The original standard of cleanliness was difficult to achieve, and the new one is nearly impossible, according to recycling firms. Seattle’s local regulations on recycling contamination had to adjust to comply with the initiative’s criteria. Much of what we consider to be “recycling” won’t actually get recycled because of these new standards. Contamination on plastic containers doesn’t magically disappear on the way to rec ycling centers. The United States has been sending too many

unrecyclable recyclables off for other people to deal with, which is why China tightened their restrictions. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 56.9 percent of solid waste in Seattle was recycled in 2017. This percentage, though remarkably high compared to the US rate of 32.1 percent, is still far from the 70 percent goal. While many areas of the country struggled with these new practices, King County worked to maintain and improve upon previous recycling habits. This started with providing conservationist education in schools under the King County Green Schools Program. The Natural Resources and

Parks department of King County reported a record 306 schools that participated in this program, through which students were taught waste separation, environmental awareness, and garden tending. The program set up green teams in schools, encouraging students to partake in resource conservation, including access to separate garbage, recycling, and food waste bins. Another local disposal plan prioritizes the recycling of electronics. Called “E-cycling,” Washington has offered free disposal of computers, TVs, and more at designated sites for over a decade. There are dozens of these collection sites in Washington, most of which are located in King County and discoverable by a quick Google search. Currently, twenty five states have some form of electronic recycling program. Although it is easy to passively praise Seattle’s recycling system, understanding resource conservation and practicing clean Art by Molly Chapin Originally published March 19, 2021

NASA LAnNs DofSyeYaErTs wAoNrOthToHfEhRistMorAy RonS ROVER

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he National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) landing of a fifth Mars rover in February gained widespread media attention. Landing the rover, however, was only the first of three missions, which aim to find signs of past life on Mars. But could the Red Planet ever have sustained life? Scientists seem to think so. It is possible that Mars’s lakes housed microorganisms before drying up billions of years ago. To test this theory, NASA decided to build and launch another rover, more capable than the ones already situated on Mars, which would search for biosignatures (signs of life) on and just below the surface of Mars.


By Kai Vennemann

The rover is named Perseverance and was launched from a station in Florida in July 2020. On February 18th, 2021, after traveling for half a year, Perseverance successfully touched down on our neighbor planet in a location known as Jezero Crater, which used to host a lake. What sets this three-mission project apart from previous Mars missions is the fact that NASA plans to bring samples from Mars back to Earth. Perseverance will drill out samples that may contain microbial fossils and store them in sealed tubes. Those tubes will be left on Mars’s surface in preparation for the next two missions, which will bring the samples to Earth, possibly by 2031. Subjecting the samples to the sophisticated analysis permitted by Earth-based examinations will allow scientists to unveil the mysteries of Mars’s past. Perseverance, although similar in design to its predecessor Curiosity (which landed on Mars in 2012), is equipped with a whole

the Red Pl anet.

new arsenal of scientific instruments that will aid it in its mission. For example, it has a tool known as SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) which will work together with WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) to study and photograph rock surfaces. Moreover, for the first time, we will be able to hear the sounds of Mars due to the microphones built into Perseverance. To high-schoolers, talk about space travel may seem rather remote and intangible. However, for those interested, there are various programs that allow students to get involved in space exploration. One such program is Western Aerospace Scholars (WAS), a two-phase educational opportunity for high school juniors who live in the Pacific Northwest. The first phase of WAS consists of a four-month distancelearning class taken through the University

of Washington (UW). Created jointly by NASA and the UW, the course curriculum focuses on space exploration and Earth and Space Science, and participating students can earn UW college credit. The second phase is especially exciting: a six-day hands-on summer residential experience at Seattle’s Museum of Flight during which students get to tour the Washington aerospace industry and meet NASA scientists and STEM professionals. Incoming juniors are encouraged to apply in the fall. Applications will be accepted starting September 1st, 2021, and the first phase will run from mid-November to the beginning of March 2022. More information can be found at museumofflight.org. Originally published March 19, 2021



Student organization helps homeless during pandemic. By Maya Shelton


veryone has struggled during the pandemic, but Seattle’s homeless population is an exceptionally impacted group, and one that doesn’t often receive as much attention. Project Prevent is a student-run, non-profit organization focused on providing COVID-19 prevention supplies for the housing insecure. The fifteen project members create and dispense kits to prevent the spread of the virus. So far, they have distributed over 5,500 kits and raised over $25,000 in donations. In March 2020, John Schwartz-Torres founded Project Prevent to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst the homeless population in Seattle, since they are an especially vulnerable group. “There’s obviously a huge problem here with housing insecurity, it’s very clear to everyone who lives in the city,” SchwarzTorres said. Originally, the goal was to make a hundred kits. “We didn’t really expect much at all. Our expectations have been blown away,” Schwarz-Torres said. As the project continued, expansion was necessary to accommodate the amount of kits being produced. “We reached out to some people we knew first, and then they reached out to people they know, and it grew from there,” Schwarz-Torres said. “The support that we’ve got from the community is really uplifting and it really shows how strong the Seattle community is.” In recent months, Project Prevent introduced a new ambassador program to expand their team and increase production.

Asha Budge, who joined as an ambassador, explained that in addition to assembling kits, she is also responsible for picking up supplies and delivering them to other members’ houses. Each kit is composed of items necessary for preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This includes disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, latex gloves, disposable and reusable masks, and information pamphlets, which provide information about the virus and list important resources such as food banks. The kits also include socks and menstrual products. “[Socks are] really important, mostly just for warmth, and you would think most people have access to that, but they don’t,” Budge said. “It’s hard to access menstrual products too, and they’re expensive.” Supplies for the kits are kept in a storage locker, which is visited weekly. “We have an estimate that to make a hundred kits would take about an hour, so...I do spend a lot of time on the weekend because you have to go to the storage locker and count out a hundred pamphlets and a hundred menstrual products,” Budge said. During the week, team members put together kits on their own time, which are all

collected and delivered to the homeless the following weekend. On top of helping those in need, group members have enjoyed the social aspect of the project. “I’m not seeing other people in person, so it’s nice to have another form of community,” Budge said. The group holds regular game and movie nights, during which members can make kits and socialize at the same time. The project is financially supported by online fundraisers and donations. “There’s a spot to donate right on our page,” Budge said. “We mostly rely on donations, but they don’t have to be monetary. I have a bunch of socks on my porch right now that my neighbors have donated.” Recently, Project Prevent began a partnership with Garfield’s chapter of PERIOD, a global non-profit organization focused on fighting period poverty and stigma. “They’re holding a menstrual product drive over the next few months, and then they’re going to give their products to Prevent...to use in our kits,” said Budge, who is also a member of PERIOD at GHS. Project Prevent was founded by seniors, so the future of the project after graduation is still unknown. “We have a couple freshmen and sophomores, so hopefully they’ll be able to carry it on,” Budge said. It is possible that the project could continue even after the pandemic, since the housing insecure could always use more support. “I assume that we could keep driving and making these kits, but the materials would


just be different,” Budge said. “It is something that’s been very rewarding to do and we’ll look to continue it,” Schwarz-Torres said. “I think we could find another way to help.” According to Budge, the most important part of the project is who they are helping. “It’s people that really need it,” Budge said. “I’m in a bad situation, because it’s a pandemic, and they’re in such a more difficult situation, and I think that’s really where the heart of this project is.” “It’s just really rewarding to do, and it feels good to really affect your community, especially on a scale that you never thought was possible,” Schwarz-Torres said. For Budge, working with Project Prevent has helped her recognize her own privilege and find ways to share that with others. “[I’ve learned] really just how lucky I am, to have this beautiful house, and all my family around me, and what I can do to make a difference,” Budge said. Project Prevent is still looking for more members to help make even more kits. “The ambassador program is really easy... and I think everyone should want to get involved,” Budge said. “I really just think the more people we have the more we can help.” For more information or if you are interested in joining Project Prevent, visit projectpreventseattle.org!

Photos by Melanie Blair Originally published March 18, 2021



12 Months of absence, change, and hope at Garfield. By Audrey Abrahams, Nikita Landfield, and Griffin Hintze


uring lunch on March 11th, 2020, news started to spread through Garfield’s hallways that school had been canceled for two weeks to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19. The two weeks soon became a month, then the month became the rest of the school year. Now, this March marks the first full calendar year of virtual learning. This experience will have permanent impacts on this generation of students, and the school system as a whole. Amidst all of the hardships that Garfield has felt this year, students and staff reflect on their favorite memories of in-person learning, the changes they’ve experienced, and their hopes for the future.


There are many little normalities from last year, that we now look back on as cherished memories. After it was announced that students would be sent home for two weeks, many thought that life would quickly return to normal. “We didn’t know how serious it was yet we thought we just had 2 weeks off,” Avalon Leonard, a Garfield student said. “My friends and I talked about going to Hawaii since ticket prices were down.” At the time, the possibility of an extra break from school seemed like a blessing for students, as most were unaware of the seriousness of the situation. “Mr. Young let us watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail because he knew no one would be able to focus on work,” said Aviv Pinker, a current Garfield senior. “We all left buzzing and full of energy, weirdly thrilled by what was happening.” As reality set in, and the last year became a blur, many have begun to reflect on what they have missed in the Garfield community. For students, this has meant missing traditions that define the Garfield experience. “[I miss] going to sports events, seeing people at school, lunchtime; something people don’t really appreciate until it’s gone,” said junior Jack Jassy. “When you can just chill out with friends, just being able to talk to more people that aren’t necessarily my best friends, because right now we can only see a few people.” From the random conversations in the halls to chaotic assemblies, and the craziness around Purple and White—the spontaneity and oddity of being in the building are greatly missed. But for underclassmen at Garfield, the opportunity to have these experiences has been erased this past year. “I’m doing full-time running start, so this was gonna be my last year at Garfield so I’m kinda sad that I can’t finish it,” said Mya Spady, a sophomore. Building relationships around the Garfield community online has been difficult,


and not just for students. “I die a little bit every day, not being able to see students and not being able to do the things that I really love to do in the classroom,” said Dr. Finley, a science teacher at Garfield. Apart from the obvious dip in participation and the lack of faceto-face interaction that comes with virtual school, the loss of the class environment and freedom to teach has been a massive blow to the connection between students and staff. “Going to all online and not being able to do any science experiments has been so hard,” Finley said. “ but what keeps me being a teacher is being able to build relationships with students.”


The contrasts between March of 2020 and March of 2021 are immense. Social distancing and virtual learning has been implemented, but beyond that, curriculums and relationships have also had to fit into the pandemic’s demands. “[Virtual learning] is definitely way more structured than last March,” Spady said. “There weren’t nearly as many assignments so now it’s a little more stressful but I would say that in general teachers are pretty understanding about workloads and stuff like that.” Last winter, Garfield students were preparing for tropical vacations, family time, and the winter ball. This year, many students spent the holidays staring at a computer screen and wishing for a few more hours of sleep. “I remember being excited because I

thought we would be getting a week or two off of school,” Jassy said. “Which is normally associated with positive thoughts, but [it] wouldn’t have been if I had known what it would have entailed.” This shift in school routines has taken a toll on student’s mental health. “I would say [what I miss most is] just running into my friends in the hallway,” Spady said. “ It’s hard when you’re in your Teams classroom and you’re kind of by yourself ”. Students and teachers have had to work hard to come together and find a comfortable middle ground where students can proficiently absorb the material. “Every single thing I do is brand new. This is definitely the hardest year of teaching that I have ever taught,” Finley said. Though the uncertainty of teaching may transfer over into the next school year, Garfield students still have optimism and have even found upsides to virtual learning. “I was homeschooled in 8th grade, and people kind of looked down on that,” Spady said. “I feel like there’s gonna be less of a stigma around [online learning] now cause we’ve all experienced that and I feel like our generation will probably just be more appreciative of going to school and not view it as something that’s so dreadful.”


Hope has played a complicated and crucial role throughout this pandemic. Last March, it was almost unfathomable that there could be an entire year of virtual learning, yet as people adapt to the pandemic’s restrictions, expectations and hopes for a return to normal have changed. On top of this shift, the concept of “normal” itself has changed. With

in-person learning finally getting closer, Garfield’s students have mixed hopes for the future, and what a return to “normal” would mean. On March 12th, Governor Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation requiring all K-12 schools to offer at least 30% of learning in-person by April 19th. This proclamation came after many signs that Seattle Public Schools would not be reopening this school year, including the Seattle Education Association’s vote to continue teaching most students entirely online, and the announcement that AP tests would be offered virtually. While most students have hoped to return to class, the suddenness of the return can also be a source of anxiety. “Honestly, as much as I would love to see my friends and my teachers I don’t really feel comfortable going back until everybody’s vaccinated,” Spady said. On top of safety concerns, many students didn’t expect their routines to be uprooted by a return to campus. “I think it will take getting used to for a lot of people because students are getting used to only having class for a couple hours,” Jassy said. There are many valid concerns about returning to school, however, virtual learning has also been extremely hard on many students, as well as teachers. “I spent almost every day up until winter break convincing myself to come back to school and to not quit my job,” Finley said. For anyone struggling with virtual learning, going back to school can be a great source of hope. Garfield will need to learn how to blend the experiences missed from in-person learning with changed mindsets and routines. Everyone’s hopes are different, but the new perspectives gained from living through the pandemic will shape a new era for Garfield as we transition back to a redefined “normal”. Art by Molly Chapin Originally published March 19, 2021



AP classes are divisive and exclusionary.

By Izzy Lamola sk yourself: what is your classroom really like? Is it a welcoming environment that encourages peer support and vulnerability? Or is it full of judgment and hostility towards making mistakes? For students in Advanced Placement classes, the latter is often true. “In an AP class, the culture isn’t just to do well but to outcompete,” said Mr. NK, who teaches AP Human Geography and AP Project Based Government. While not all AP classes are hostile, with heavy workloads, AP environments tend to be contentious. “For students in Honors and AP classes, I commonly see a lot of anxiety and pressure to perform at a high level,” said Garfield counselor, Mr. Lee. A majority of the students who take Advanced Placement courses were part of a Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) in middle and elementary school. Getting into HCC programs depends on environmental factors, like parental influence and socioeconomic status. Students can be tested multiple times if their parents have the money to pay. “The first time I took the test, I didn’t make it in, and they had to pay for a second test for me to get into the program,” said senior Tate Linden “Which a lot of families wouldn’t be able to afford in terms of time and money.” This socioeconomic divide has turned into a racial divide, leaving general education classes majority Black and Latino while HCC classes are majority white and East Asian. This racial divide has historically carried over into Garfield’s AP classes. Even as these classes become more desegregated, there continues to be exclusivity in the classroom. “A lot of our African American and Latino students feel that maybe they’re not acknowledged as much in those classes,” Lee


Spring is stupid if you’re an athiest who hates the rain. If you don’t celebrate Easter and don’t like basketball there’s basically nothing to look forward to except weather that changes at the drop of a hat and ruins your picnic. – AL

said. “I’ve had a lot of students say that their classmates aren’t welcoming of them and that they feel ostracized in the classroom.” HCC students have grown up learning in an environment with a

out of place. In middle school, I was a focused student but this was a rude awakening for me when coming to Garfield. I had to come up with my own definition of success because taking AP

lack of diversity among learning styles and abilities, bringing classroom expectations and learning ideals into their AP and honors classes. “With any type of Honors system, I think there’s this expectation that everyone has passed a certain point and is already at a specific level already.” says senior Emily Wills. Like Emily, I assumed that I was the only one in my Honors classes that was falling behind. I am not from an HCC background, and while taking Honors Algebra 2 Freshman year, I felt completely

classes and getting a 4.0 didn’t give me fulfillment. Many HCC students never reach a point of satisfaction in their education, mostly a result of their early HCC schooling. High pressure, education-focused parents put their kids in HCC classes, teaching kids that learning is about getting ahead. “It seems like students have internalized this pressure to be successful and to achieve… They don’t know a different way.” NeufeldKaiser said. Students in HCC are trained to constantly prove themselves, specifically over their fellow classmates in order to demonstrate they’re “gifted” and not at the level of the

Spring means allergies Walk outside and face your doom All hail Claritin! -GC

Spring is the Friday of seasons. If that doesn’t make sense to you, just sit on it for a minute. Enough said. – AF


kids in non-HCC classes. “The social dynamic was really competitive at times.” said Linden, “A lot of people in HCC classes, even in early elementary school, looked down on people in general education classes.” This social hierarchy further results in a racial divide among the students, whether they are aware of it or not. “When we start by segregating our classes by race, and then we tell everybody in AP classes that they need to be relentlessly achievement oriented to always be better than everybody else, it doesn’t just make the kids competitive in their class,” Neufeld-Kaiser said, “It also is exacerbating the racism.” While internalized racism does create a social divide among the “gifted” and “nongifted” students, the root of the issue lies in how we think about education. We can’t push students into high level classes without expecting consequence. Instead, we need to work to create learning environments where full integration can happen. wAP courses move at grueling paces, but combined with a lack of social acceptance and peer support, kids who didn’t grow up in gifted programs face more disadvantages. De-tracking AP classes, or AP classes for all, is a step in the process of desegregating our classrooms, but the issues are much deeper. Learning to collaborate with our classmates, instead of beating them in an endless game, will create a better space for everyone to succeed.

Art by Izzy Wang Originally published May 8, 2021

Spring is like summer but more pleasant and prettier. There’s warmer weather and longer days without sweaty summer heat. Pretty flowers start blooming, birds start chirping, bees start pollinating. Summer trees? Just green leaves. BORING. Fall trees? Balding. Winter Trees? Bald. Spring trees? Cherry blossoms! – NT



There is no free America where police exist. By Simone Cielos Content Warning: Police brutality, Death.


ears of oppression do not lie to the face of the oppressed, nor does the memory fade from a traumatized mind. The police are not just a weapon of the government, knocking any heads that rise up. They are the weapon, the wielder, the decider, and the Grim Reaper. The average upper-class white American can live in this lie we call the “Justice System” because they will never see that weapon pointed at themselves. I do not use the words gun or taser in place of ‘weapon’, because the average police have never had a hard time finding the closest weapon possible, whether it’s a knee or a knife. The concept of a Police Department was not present in years previous to the Emancipation Proclamation. The Polices initial duties derived from slave catchers, working for wealthy plantation owners to return “property”. When the civil war ended and the call for Emancipation came, it was these same Wealthy White People who looked to previous slave catchers and provided them with the power and resources we associate with the Police Force today. At the time, arrests were made for any minor crime such as loitering and homelessness: common struggles for newly “freed” Black folks who were displaced and unable to get jobs within white society. Those afraid to be arrested or brutalized by the police would have to turn to sharecropping, a deeply racist and exploitative practice that allowed White landowners to financially hold control over generations of black families. All the while, these “police” worked under their wing. From the start, the police were protectors of property, not lives. From slave catching to mass arrest, oppression adapted to its environment. This trend has continued today. In an overview of the approximately 900,000 Seattle Police arrests made between 2008 and now, over 90 percent

can be labeled as crimes against property. In most cases larceny and theft–victimless crimes which send poor whites and people of color away for years of their life, only to return as a “burden to society” with many basic human rights such as voting taken away. Anyone who has been to the countless protests against police can attest that human life is not more valuable than wealth in the eyes of the police. A broken window will end a life, and the killer would be commended for doing their job. The culture within the police force makes sweeping misconduct under the rug easier than committing the crime itself. Although transparency laws have been put in place, such as those in Seattle, a quick trip to the Seattle Police Department. gov will show the information provided is basic and vague. When the police control who and what gets investigated it stands without question that a slew of criminal activity would go unreported. The power given to the police is entirely disproportionate to any other profession. Despite cases being raised, the police’s financial backing and control over the justice system gives officers inherent immunity. It took months just to get an officer who committed a senseless act of murder on video to be convicted, a sentence that has since inspired a spike in hate crimes and brutal violence against black Americans by police and citizens alike. The words “serve and protect” have done



nothing for the marginalized, and everything for the police. These words shield their honor and their track records, and police unions cover most court costs not paid by the city itself. When the police commit crimes, it is their own friends and colleagues who oversee their punishment. No wonder the majority of police incident reports end in little to no penalization, let alone imprisonment. Even in the case that a police officer is convicted in court, the likelihood of the court ruling against them is shockingly low: a 2006-2011 study done by Professor Joanna Shwartz M.D showed that in over 40 major police departments, only approximately 0.41% of civil rights cases against the police ruled in favor of the plaintiff. In these rare cases, officers would be expected to pay less than 1% in legal dues and fees leaving 99% or higher to be paid by City and County governments, a finance taken from tax dollars. Over 730 million taxpayer dollars were spent to cover these costs. The irony of this situation is that a larger percent was paid by lower-class white people and POC, both of whom are consistently targeted by the police. In the year 2018, more than 17% of police shooting victims in Seattle were unarmed and 85% were black. This becomes extremely worrying when one compares that with Seattle’s population of 3.4 million citizens, 50,000 of which are black and 2% of the total population. When talking about police abolition, the



“what’s next?” is often forgotten in popular media. Sensationalized titles and quotes further miseducate the public on what police abolition really means. Many white Americans claim police abolition will cause chaos, but in reality the job of the police is largely to ticket and fine people for minor offenses. The most common situations in which police are called are domestic disturbances, worries of suicide, and nonviolent offenders. Police are nowhere near equipped to de-escalate and handle these situations. In most cases, the average social worker handles more high intensity situations than police. Social workers also are not given the power of weaponry, specifically deadly weaponry, making death a statistical anomaly rather than an expectation. In many places such as Baltimore and Philadelphia, the rise of Covid-19 has inspired the cities to halt arrests for non-criminal offenses and encouraged the greater use of social workers and mental health specialists. As a result, crime rates dropped dramatically. In Baltimore alone, violent crime rates have dropped 20 percent and property crimes dropped to 36 percent. This evidence demands not just reform, but removal. When a system is built on racism and oppression, how can we expect it to work for those it oppresses? How can we live within an anti-racist society when we rely on so many foundationally racist systems? We simply cannot. Abolition is the only option which guarantees a change in our criminal justice system for the better.


Originally published May 7, 2021





By Benjamin Thomas


By Mika Ichikawa

Originally published April 9, 2021

By Kien-Binh Vo



Exploring South Seattle’s gentrified Just a thirty-minute bus ride from Garfield sits a group of neighborhoods that are becoming unrecognizable. South Seattle, or, the Southend, is a historically diverse area with a rich culture, welcoming many immigrant communities This group of neighborhoods

includes the Rainier Valley, Rainier Beach, Seward Park, Mount Baker, Beacon Hill, and other southern parts of Seattle. For decades, its streets have been lined with family-owned POC businesses and restaurants. However, factors such as the Light Rail and housing development projects in South Seattle have led to its gentrification. As more white, affluent, and highly educated people move into historically diverse neighborhoods, low-income POC individuals are priced out. According to the 2020 US Census, South Beacon Hill/New Holly has seen a 1.45 percent decrease in POC population and a 1.45 percent increase in the white population from 2010 to 2018. This overall trend of POC populations decreasing while white populations increase is consistent through most of South Seattle. In particular, the Asian & Pacific Islander population has decreased by 4.67

percent in South Beacon Hill. The Black population in Rainier Beach has decreased by 4.5 percent. Despite Seattle’s overall population becoming more diverse in the last decade, Southend neighborhoods have only become whiter. The landscape of those aforementioned familyowned businesses is now surrounded b y modern, boxy apartment complexes and construction sites. The signs of gentrification in South Seattle are a visible and bitter reminder of change for many residents such as Julien Luu. Luu is a Vietnamese-American junior at Garfield and has lived in Rainier Beach for her entire life. “Honestly, I feel disgusted because they’re tearing down all these familyowned businesses, these places that have been here for years and serving the community, just for some apartments,” Luu said. “The apartments aren’t even going to be affordable.” She mentioned Hong Kong Seafood, a dim sum restaurant in Rainier Beach that recently closed down. In its place is the


d apartments through photography. construction project for the new “Polaris at Rainier Beach” apartment building. “The architectural contrast is really something else. You go up Rainier and you see run-down houses and next to it are apartments for lease.” Luu said. In addition to these new apartments, “trendier” businesses in South Seattle seem to signify gentrification. “I know PCC isn’t necessarily a trendy business, but it’s definitely a marker of gentrification, in my opinion, seeing as stuff there is expensive,” Luu said. “Mostly white communities can afford organic and fresh foods.” Some of these new apartment projects claim to have goals to help South Seattle’s diverse community. Othello Square, located near the Othello Light Rail station in South Beacon Hill, is a project developed by HomeSight. According to HomeSight’s website, “Othello Square will be a culturally relevant and welcoming place where people in Southeast Seattle and beyond can access opportunities for higher education, goodpaying jobs, and support to start and keep a business. Integ r at i ng shared space for cultural organi-

zations and workforce housing will help stabilize communities at risk of displacement and engage diverse residents.” However, other apartments constructed in South Seattle do not have explicit affordable housing and inclusion initiatives. The Assembly118 Apartment at Othello is across the street from Othello Square and the Othello Light Rail station. According to Assembly118’s website, “We named our building Assembly118 to help represent Seattle’s most diverse zip code, 98118.” Yet their goals are not aimed towards maintaining this diversity. Rent at Assembly118 ranges from $1,399.00 to $2,044.00 as of 2021, according to Zillow. South Seattle is undoubtedly transforming before our eyes. But who are these new apartments serving? South Seattle’s historically diverse residents or prospective renters? “Do your research and think of the implications that may arise from this. It’s fine to build apartments as long as you’re bettering the community by doing so and not making it more expensive to live here.” Luu said. Written and photographed by Nhu Tat Originally published March 18, 2021


ART 14

Art by Ria Maisano-Torres (top left), Audrey Abrahams (top right), Nhu Tat (center left), Kien-Binh Vo (center right), and Molly Chapin (bottom left)



Pixar’s heartwarming film that explores purpose and existence. By Lakelle Bridges


isney-Pixar’s Soul is a brilliantly inspiring film that takes its viewers on a journey towards self-discovery and purpose. The film is a reminder to live in the present while we still can, and could move absolutely anyone to tears. It follows the life and almost immediate death of Joe Gardner, voiced by Jamie Foxx, a part-time middle school band teacher with dreams to be a successful jazz piano musician. Joe is offered a full-time position as the band teacher but couldn’t be more disappointed with how his life is going. He had dreams to play with the greats, not teach ungrateful middle-schoolers how to carry a tune. Just as Joe thinks he’s trapped in this underwhelming lifestyle, an amazing opportunity arrives to play alongside famous saxophonist Dorothea Williams. Things start to look up, and then promptly down when he falls into a manhole to his death. This could have been his big break as musician, but his life was cut short before he was given the chance. Afraid of the “great beyond,” where all souls go when they die on Earth, Joe runs away and finds himself lost in the “great

before,” the place where souls get their personalities and sparks before going to be born on Earth. There he meets soul number 22, who is different because she doesn’t desire to be on Earth. These two are willing to help each other get what they both want: for Joe, it’s getting back on Earth and for 22, it’s staying in the “great before.” Things (of course) go wrong and they end up trapped in the wrong bodies. Now Joe and 22 have to learn about life, each other, and themselves in order to return things back to normal. The music is the main theme of the movie and it’s such an important aspect. Not only does it add literal “soul” to the film by putting the viewer right into New York City’s jazz scene, but it offers new

perspectives about success, life, and purpose. Joe knows that playing the piano is his passion, but he also believes it’s his purpose. He thought that if he could make it big as an artist, his life would be fulfilled. But Soul tells us that success alone isn’t what gives life meaning. It’s living in every moment, enjoying the beautiful and the ugly. Both Joe and 22 are relatable characters. Like Joe, we may have a trajectory for our lives, and any sort of diversion appears to be failure. Like 22, at times it can feel like we are constantly searching for the meaning in our lives, but there are other times where we can clearly see why life is so worth living. Soul received some criticism for not letting their Black lead character stay in human form long enough. Similar to Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, where the main

characters are frogs for the majority of the movie, it seems that animators have a trend of robbing the main protagonists of color of their screen time. Peter Bradshaw, a British critic wrote about Soul that, “Disney may wish to reach out to people of color–but the color green wasn’t what we had in mind.” Even still, the characters are animated elegantly with very prominent attention to detail. The barbershop scene is strikingly memorable for its realistic dialogue and cultural significance. Lead Jamie Foxx was reportedly adamant about getting this scene right because of how it would make black communities all over the world feel recognized and represented. Pixar has a way of fitting mature themes into their films that are mostly targeted at kids. In the case of Soul, these mature themes were amplified to the point where adults can relate to the movie and its messages on a deeper level. However, it still manages to keep that Pixar magic alive for all ages can enjoy. Art by Kien-Binh Vo Originally published January 22nd, 2021

THE CHANGING FILM AND TV INDUSTRY AMIDST THE PANDEMIC How the film and TV industry has changed and adapted to pandemic life. By Julia Wartman he entertainment industry has been forced to adapt to restrictions brought on by the pandemic. Big releases known to generate massive revenue have slipped away as viewers have transitioned to streaming platforms for remote viewing experiences. Businesses like the Central Cinema and the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle closed due to COVID-19. “In terms of the number of people we are


reaching per year, it’s not even close,” said Vivian Hua, the executive director of the Northwest Film forum. Businesses that revolved around audience presence have found it hard to maintain viewership, as more people gravitate towards the online streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. “All these people are watching at home now, so all these films that would normally be providing money to movie theaters, people can just watch whenever they want to,” said Aubin Spitzer, Garfield sophomore and child of Kevin Spitzer, one of the owners of Central Cinema. This shift has had both negative and positive effects on the communities surrounding the film industry. “A lot of the experience of going to a movie theater is missed,” Spitzer said. “They have really high quality of colors, and a full surround sound

system... even just sitting in a room full of people laughing at the funny moments, or scared at the scary moments, you miss that whole experience.” Despite these drawbacks, the industry has seen positive sides to this remote shift. “The switch to going online creates a lot less cost because the whole aspect of having to actually put the film on a hard drive and send it to movie theaters is eliminated,” Spitzer said. For smaller filmmakers, this makes audiences easier to obtain. “It allows people to put their films online that maybe before couldn’t,” Hua said. Yvette Dubel, director of the online “Freedom Film Festival” confirmed this: “Doing [the film festival] virtually reduced the cost of getting an audience, so that was sort of the trade-off.” Looking forward, the effects of the pandemic on the film industry are long-term. For many, the ease of viewing entertainment by logging onto the computer is a much more appealing alternative to going out, indicating a potentially permanent

shift. “Cost is lower, you don’t have to pay for parking, you don’t have to get dressed up, it makes it a lot more likely that you would want to do that on a Saturday night,” Dubel said. Though this is true, many still think that the traditional in-person experiences essential in the film industry prior to the pandemic, still have hope. “There is still a social need for shared experiences as well as getting out of the house,” said Kevin Spitzer, owner of Central Cinema. “Both will exist in the future as they both have their places in our lives. The hard part is going to be how the shut down businesses can survive through to the other side of the pandemic.” Art by Kien-Binh Vo Originally published January 22nd, 2021




A reflection on the death of one of pop music’s most influential figures.

By Matt Lord


n January 30, 2021, Scottish musician and producer Sophie Xeon, a.k.a. SOPHIE, passed away after a tragic accident in Athens, Greece. The Grammy-nominated artist slipped and fell from a three-story balcony while trying to take a picture of the full moon. SOPHIE was 34 years old. SOPHIE’s experimental take on pop and dance music has been foundational in the hyperpop movement. Hyperpop has blown up on streaming services in recent years, but the genre has its roots in the work of art collective and record label PC Music. PC Music was founded in London by A.G. Cook in 2013, and SOPHIE was an early collaborator. “I met SOPHIE by chance,” Cook said in a 2015 interview with SOPHIE for Rolling Stone. “I emailed [SOPHIE], and it was very much like, ‘Wow, no one else in London is doing this kind of music.’ Everyone else was in this quite serious, bass-y, U.K. club scene, and we were both into pop music. So I realized I wasn’t alone … Then I started to meet a few other people in London and suddenly discovered that there was a group of people who were all interested in this way of moving forward.” The futurist vision of PC Music incorporates elements of internet culture, hyper consumerism, and the most extreme elements of modern pop. In the interview with Cook, SOPHIE said “I think all pop music should be about who can make the loudest, brightest thing … And I think it’s a very valid challenge – just as valid as who can be the most raw emotionally … The challenge I’m interested in being part of is who can use current technology, current images and people, to make the brightest, most intense, engaging thing.” Enter hyperpop. The term was popularized by a Spotify playlist of the same name


that was created in late 2019, featuring longtime PC Music artists and collaborators such as Charli XCX and SOPHIE as well as newer ones that built on the framework of boundary-pushing pop. 100 gecs brought elements o f

MySpace-era internet culture and sh*tposting to their debut album 1000 gecs (2019), while Dorian Electra adopted a glamorous and over-the-top persona on their 2019 LP Flamboyant. Hyperpop became defined by chaotic maximalist production, heavy use of pitch shifting and Auto-Tune, and a spastic, unpredictable sound that could jump from candy-sweet

pop melodies to kinetic rave music to heavy metal all in the span of a single song. It should be noted that hyperpop is undeniably a queer art movement, and that SOPHIE laid the

groundwork for this. SOPHIE came out as a trans woman in 2017 in the music video for “It’s Okay to Cry”, marking the first time SOPHIE’s voice and image appeared in an official release. SOPHIE’s debut album Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides was released in 2018, featuring

“It’s Okay to Cry” as its opening track. The album touches on themes of sexuality, gender nonconformity, body modification, and transhumanism. SOPHIE preferred to not use pronouns of any kind, and generally opposed norms surrounding gender. In a 2018 interview for PAPER Pride, SOPHIE said, “For me, transness is taking control to bring your body more in line with your soul and spirit so the two aren’t fighting against each other and struggling to survive. On this earth, it’s that you can get closer to how you feel your true essence is without the societal pressures of having to fulfill certain traditional roles based on gender … There’s no more rules here. The point is you are given the authority to choose yourself what feels right — what’s going to allow you to live your best life.” For hyperpop, pushing musical boundaries goes hand-in-hand with pushing gender norms. Heavy use of vocal effects such as pitch shifting can completely change the perceived gender of a singer. Stereotypically hypermasculine and hyperfeminine musical elements are blended frequently, as a challenge to gender roles in music. Lyrics, fashion, and public personas of hyperpop artists are frequently subversive towards gender and social norms as a whole. Hyperpop is what SOPHIE saw as the future of pop music. It is divisive, abrasive, and forward-thinking. It is the “loudest, brightest thing” that SOPHIE envisioned, and it is not going away any time soon.

Art by Molly Chapin Originally published March 19, 2021



Record labels’ actions have stereotyped women into something they’re not. By Liana Moore


iscussing the disparities between men and women in the music industry is a priority in today’s society. More specifically, talking about the degradation of women in the industry. Often music references sexual interests, desires, feelings, love, and passion, whereas some songs include misogyny, objectification, and sexual violence against women. The impact of these messages have already been examined by universities such as the University of North Carolina and Illinois and they’ve noticed the repeated amounts of stereotyped behavior in lyrics. “Research has found that exposure to sexualized music is related to self-objectification among adolescent girls, which is then related to the development of beauty ideals, body surveillance, body esteem, dieting patterns, anxiety levels, and mathematical performance.” - Sexualization of Popular Music As of today, many female artists have spoken out about the sexism within record labels and objectification that female singers undergo. One of which has been actress and pop star Ariana Grande, “It’s just so male-dominated,” Ariana Grande stated during a 2018 Billboard in-

terview. “It’s so easy for them. There are so many unbelievable female artists out there that try so much harder. I feel like there are certain standards that pop women are held to that men aren’t.” Ariana closes. This shows in many ways, but most glaringly in Women’s fashion in the pop industry. For example, at the 2021 Grammy’s there were female performers such as Dua Lipa and Megan Thee Stallion who both wore shiny and high-waisted boy shorts complemented by matching bras and seethrough tops during their performance. This is not at the fault of these women, but rather the industry, an industry that does not expect the same of men. Most record labels and sides of the media have assumptions about women that label them as an easy target for exploitation. Which leaves listeners and the overall publicity to believe that this is what every

woman in the industry should do. The wave of female artists turning to baggy clothes to avoid objectification has been active for many years. Artists that have used this method include H.E.R, Ella Mai, and Billie Eilish. Eilish especially has dodged the temptation of fitting into hypersexualized standards by using this individual style as a “security blanket”. Although unique and clever, some individuals have used this security method as a reason to body shame. Whether Eilish wore tight clothing or not, she would get rude remarks due to how her body didn’t fit the bill of a Woman in Pop. average female celebrity stereotype. In 2020 when Eilish was found by a photographer wearing a camisole top displaying most of her upper figure. In resp ons e, opportunists jumped to Twitter only to body shame her. Ac-

knowledging the tweets, Eilish shared a short video from Chizi Duru, in which the YouTuber encourages fans “to start normalizing real bodies.” In no way does this mean we have to bring down any male artists and stereotype them as “lazy performers”. It is about understanding that women in the industry do not owe their audience public exposure. Female singers and rappers deserve more than objectification and stereotyping. The sexist and biased actions of record labels that support the degradation of women only worsen the situation. The struggle of upcoming women in the music industry has existed since the origin of the pop genre. Society has taught these women that they have to physically reveal themselves in order to be successful. Along with that, teaching youth that self objectification is better than self love.

Art by Nhu Tat Originally published May 8, 2021


The disappointing and cringe-worthy moments of music’s biggest night. By Nikita Landfield


n March 14th, viewers tuned in to watch the 63rd annual Grammy awards hosted by The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah. The socially distanced show was speckled with performances by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, BTS, and Taylor Swift. However flashy the attendees were, the internet was quick to give its opinion on some of the more memorable moments. First to perform was Harry Styles, delighting many viewers as he took the stage in a black leather suit and a green feather boa, purposely displaying his large moth tattoo across his abdomen, in place of a shirt. His performance of hit single “Watermelon Sugar”, paired with his rockstar get-up, was well-received. However, his red carpet outfit was not as appreciated. Styles took the carpet in a Clueless meets English grandfather meets Britney Spears outfit, including a yellow plaid jacket, over a knit sweater vest, all wrapped up in a purple feather boa. Obviously, his leather and abs outfit was more popular.

Later in the evening, Dababy took the stage to perform his hit “Rockstar”, wearing a white Chanel suit. Simultaneously rapping and conducting a choir of elderly women, his performance left viewers with one request: pick a genre. Unfortunately, the confusing set designs didn’t end there. Doja Cat and Dua Lipa’s performances were overshadowed by the amount of lasers and lights used during their set; a quick way to start a migraine. The awards side of the show consisted of surprises. The Academy mentioned Beyoncé for breaking the record for most Grammys won by an artist. However exciting this announcement was, Beyoncé merely smiled and pretended to look

shocked, because no one was surprised that only she could pull off this feat. Audience members yawned as Taylor Swift took home the prize for album of the year, an award she has already won twice previously. Her cottage-core quarantine transformation was showcased in the ceremony, with Swift performing in a makeshift cabin in the woods for her set. While Taylor’s year of dancing through forests has been well received, her performance was the perfect opportunity for most viewers to use the bathroom. Most Grammy viewers seemed to agree that the obvious MVP of the night was Megan Thee Stallion, attending the ceremony in a neon orange Dolce & Gabbana gown, complimented by a diamond necklace. She performed two of her hit singles “Sav-

age” and “Body” as a remix, in a roaring 20’s themed set, complete with tap dancers. Her successful year earned her three Grammys later in the night. All in all, the socially distanced award ceremony was underwhelming. Despite Noah’s efforts to keep the audience laughing, most viewers felt like what Beyoncé looked like the entire program: bored. After a year of desperate scrolling from behind screens, viewers felt like they should be rewarded gossip and entertainment at the first big celebrity moment since the pandemic hit, but unfortunately, the Grammys did in fact disappoint. Art by Nhu Tat, derivative of “Grammy” by Colby Sharp, used under CC BY

Originally published April 9, 2021



THE GARFIELD DIET Some favorite restaurants around the city. By Mika Ichikawa


lthough it is hard to believe, our final days of in-person school were almost exactly a year ago. Online school has brought many changes, one of them being an empty campus. The absence of students at Garfield does mean that fewer students are going out to eat by the school throughout the day, but there are still any opinions on which are the best. When students were asked their preferences on Seattle restaurants, they gave a range of answers, proving some food groups to be essential. These included Thai food, tacos, pizza, and sushi. Some students have grown up eating these foods with their families, and others just appreciate the accessibility of the many dining options the Central District has to offer. Many students responded that their favorite restaurants were pizza places. The first recommendation was Pagliacci, which is widely known throughout Seattle because of its many locations. Big Mario’s Pizza was another response. “They have generous slices, so it’s the best place to grab a slice on a Friday night,”

freshman Isabel Dain said about this restaurant, which is located in Capitol Hill. “The staff are dope, service is quick, and there [are] lots of topping options. Tutta Bella was also recommended. This restaurant is a Neapolitan Pizzeria thatserves wood-fired pizzas, with multiple locations around Seattle. Another cuisine popular among Garfield students was Thai food. Cherry Street Thai, formerly known as Lotus Thai, is located within walking distance of Garfield and is a great local business to support. “It’s so delicious and my favorite thing to get is the garlic tofu fried rice! You can definitely make it back in time after lunch if you walk there,” sophomore Turner Snyder commented. The most recurring responses were places to get tacos. Multiple students suggested Rancho Bravo Tacos, located in Capitol Hill, and Tacos Chukis. “Very good tacos that come out fast,” said Sophomore Vincent Johnson on Tacos Chukis. Uncle Ike’s Taco Truck on 20th and

Tacos Chukis on 23rd and Union are two spots within walking distance of Garfield that students with less mobility during lunch hours may choose to go to. The final popular answer from students was sushi . Wabi -Sabi and Yo Zushi were two recommendations. “It has a great restaurant atmosphere and really good sushi, tempura and fried calamari,” sophomore Ellen Taylor said about Wabi-Sabi, located in Columbia City. Yo Zushi is a restaurant in Capitol Hill, located on Broadway. Honorable mentions include Dicks Drive-In, also located in Capitol Hill on Broadway, IHOP, located in First Hill on E Madison St, and Med Mix, located at S Jackson St and 22nd. The streets and neighborhoods of Seattle are filled with wide-ranging food options, and Garfield students know some of the best places around. With restaurants at 25 percent capacity and many places

Art by Kien-Binh Vo

closed, it is much harder to go out for food than it was last year. However, supporting local Seattle businesses is essential, so take-out or outdoor dining are great options for trying out new restaurants right now. As vaccines roll out and in-person school becomes a real possibility, students can only wait until the time comes to be back in line at Ezell’s. Originally published March 19, 2021


Or as my mom would say it, ME-ME’s. By Alwin Ma


emes. Pictures with short captions, or an idea that is bound to make someone laugh, no matter how stupid it is, or a concept on the internet, or maybe it could be a song. Using memes is the most popular way to communicate on the internet. The word meme was first introduced in 1976 in the book The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, in which he defined the word meme as a unit of cultural transmission. He said that anyone that sees a meme is a replicator, but since humans cannot copy one thing exactly the same, we tend to modify or create new memes. If this is his definition of “meme”, then how have they changed over the years? The first memes to ever appear were the classic top text/bottom text on the picture in the mid-2000s. These were the simplest forms, as there weren’t that many tools to create it back then. Top/bottom text memes were similar to the “One does not simply” or the Velociraptor meme. Rage comics were also popular back then. They featured a three-panel comic that had the infamous troll face reacting to a situation like playing a game,


reacting normally at the beginning, then once they fail or something bad happens, it will have the troll face raging and throwing the controller in this example. These were made in Microsoft Paint, which gave more people access to modify or replicate these memes. Then, in 2007, Youtube began to popularize the video meme format. Rick Rolling became a thing, and from there, it just took off. “Chocolate Rain”, “Numa Numa” and the Harlem Shake were some noteworthy videos, and with that, meme culture was

popularized. Vine, a very popular social media app despite its short life, popularized the short video format of memes further. These videos exploded, with notable vines such as “Deez Nuts”, “What are those”, “Weed crayon” and “Iridocyclitis.” Nowadays, platforms like Tik Tok combined vine and youtube into one, creating a new way to spread humor. Memes have changed a lot since its introduction. A good example would be to compare something like rage comics to Harambe. Rage comics had a purpose to it. It had a beginning, middle, and end. Harambe was a meme started after the death of a gorilla, and the outrage that followed. The phrase “Bruh” or “Bruh moment” had found its home into almost every Gen-Z person’s vocabulary. “Bruh” was a shortened version of brother, and was used when something stupid happened. A bruh moment would be something like, “When your wife’s boyfriend doesn’t let you sleep with her.” “Oof ” was very short-lived, in which the sound effect when you die in Roblox was used by people whenever someone done goofed.

“T-Posing” is a trend where you stand up straight (preferably above someone) with your arms in a T shape to assert your dominance. 2020 itself is a giant meme as some would say, because of what has happened. Being stuck inside your house for half a year is extremely boring, and people have found ways to quell their boredom. An example of this would be Among Us, a game that has exploded in popularity in recent months has become a meme itself. People started playing it because there was absolutely nothing to do. Karen memes have seen an influx in popularity, where Karens are seen in videos protesting against wearing masks, the infamous“LeT mE tAlk To YoUr MaNagEr” videos, or telling people of Asian descent to “get out” for allegedly spreading Covid in America, which is just racist. Memes are not a one size fits all concept. Some may find some memes offensive, while others will laugh at anything. The internet is filled with all sorts of people and things, and memes will constantly evolve every year. What will memes look like 10 years from now? Only time will tell. Originally published October 30, 2021



Why Lebron’s win doesn’t change anything. By Zac Meyer


wo weeks ago, Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat 4-2 in a best of seven series in the NBA Finals, capping off one of the most dominant playoff runs in modern NBA history. This championship win gives Lebron his fourth title and his fourth Finals MVP, bringing his career finals record to four wins and six losses. One would think that basketball fans from all around the globe would take this time to come together to accept Lebron’s greatness and enjoy having one of the best of all time play right before our eyes. But for lots of fans, the exact opposite is happening. This recent finals win for LeBron, has taken the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate to another level. But the truth is, in a conflict as tense and spirited and tense as the G.O.A.T. (greatest of

all time) debate, rings like this make little difference, and may not change anything at all. Let’s take a closer look into Lebron James and Michael Jordan. Even if you don’t watch basketball you know who these two are. From clothing lines to movie appearances, Lebron and Jordan are two of the most marketed athletes in history. But who is better? This question has been discussed nonstop for the past 10 years. From cafeteria lunch tables to talk shows

on ESPN, everyone has an opinion. A recurring theme seems to be that the older generation believes Jordan is the G.O.A.T, because they grew up watching him play, and likewise for the younger generation with Lebron. The debate has become more just based on personal preference, and with such arguable cases for both players, a clear answer seems to be almost impossible.

Although it may seem like Lebron winning a title would change the dynamic of the GOAT debate, it actually has little to no change at all. So no matter what Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers organization accomplish within the next couple years, the chances that fans' views on LeBron change are very slim. His fans will continue to say he’s the best, and Jordan fans will continue to say Jordan would be better. So in the end, it really comes down to what individuals think, and no one moment in either Jordan or Lebron’s career will separate them from each other. Art by Kien-Binh Vo Originally published October 30, 2020

TRACK, FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL, AND... ESPORTS? How the future of Esports is just getting started at Garfield. By Oliver Hyman


arfield’s first video game club last year has transformed into a pioneer of Washington high school competitive esports. Esports have been generally overlooked by most institutions up to this point because of its relatively recent rise in popularity, which left all but the professional gamers to organize competitions within communities. But that may be beginning to change. Competitive gaming is becoming more and more popular in high schools, prompting high school communities to organize competitions between each other. “It’s just competing with each other and using video games as the medium,” said Garfield senior Rohan Wallace, the founder and president of last year’s smash club, now the Esports Club. “Over the past ten years or so, colleges have started to accept scholarships and have been setting up teams [for esports],” said Wallace. “But at the high school level, this is definitely very new.” Esports Club members’ play a variety of games, like first-person shooters Overwatch and Counter-Strike Global Offensive, and the multiplayer online battle arena games like League of Legends. The club’s best performing Esport is the game that

started the original club, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Through the club, these students are able to compete with other high schools in an online setting. “This is all very new and fun for me,” said Jack Waterman, a Garfield math teacher who has been the club’s coach, coordinator, tournament host, and contact between other schools’ coaches. The club is participating in its very first tournament against other schools, competing in SSBU matches every week. So far, the team has been doing very well. “We have been playing for three of five or six weeks of it now,” said Waterman. “We’ve won the first three meets.” In the competitions, Garfield faced O’Dea, Southlake, and Chimacum high schools and managed to win with a commanding lead in all of them. While Esports Club has enough SSBU players to compete with other schools, they lack enough players to compete in any other game. “There is a League of Legends tournament that [the NASEF] are going to be hosting in January,” said Wallace. “So we’re looking for players for that.” The NASEF (North American Scholastic Esports Federation) is one of two associa-

tions that have helped connect high school teams, the other the Washington State Scholastic ESports Association. “They organize tournaments and we sign up and participate through them,” Wallace said. “They figure out rules and how things are going to run.” Both NASEF and WSSEA have been around for years, with WSSEA being more recent and connecting Washington’s high schools while NASEF makes bigger events happen, spanning high schools across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. COVID has also affected esports and the way that they are played, but in t h e case of high school esports, the virus has only increased availability. “I’m not re- ally sure what any of this would look like in a not purely online sense,” said Waterman. “Connecting inperson to these tournaments would be a challenge, so it’s actually kind of nice that

it’s all online.” Especially during COVID-19, the world of competitive gaming offers its participants more than just an excuse to show off their gaming skills. “You get a greater appreciation for the designer’s work and you can push the game to its limits,” junior and competitive gamer Kevin Ji said. “You experience more of the game.” “It’s a great way to meet new people and have experiences with friends,” said Wallace. Students can join the competitive gaming scene by researching sub-reddits and discords to find a community that competes in the game they play, or students can join Garfield’s club by emailing Rohan Wallace at fierypigz@outlook. com.

Art by Molly Chapin Originally published November 19, 2020




Senior Finn Scully gives a rundown of the COVID-shortened 2021 season. By Nat Beaumon


efore the 2020-2021 football season even began, the Garfield Bulldogs had already been through a lot. Midway through their offseason training in August, it was suddenly announced that the season would be postponed until the Spring of 2021, leaving many players wondering if it would happen at all. The Bulldogs ultimately went 1-4 in the shortened 2020-2021 season, with a win over Rainier Beach in week one followed by four straight losses to Seattle Prep, Eastside Catholic, Ballard, and O’Dea. Despite their lackluster record, they still qualified for the playoffs, which were shortened to two rounds by splitting the teams into several different leagues based on performance. In the first round of the playoffs, the Bulldogs finally broke their losing streak with a decisive 48-22 victory over the Roosevelt Roughriders. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to recapture that same energy in the second round of the playoffs, and ended up losing 24-12 to Bishop Blanchet. Senior Finn Scully, who played wide receiver for the Bulldogs and was also a backup for several other positions, doesn’t think their 1-4 record is entirely reflective of their potential as a team. “We had a couple close games that we should have won but we didn’t,” Scully said. According to Scully, one of the biggest things that the Bulldogs struggled with in the 2020-2021 season was injuries, and a lot of it came down to lack of proper practice and exercise due to COVID restrictions. “We weren’t allowed to do a lot of practices together until later in the year,” he explained. “And we couldn’t ever be in the gym, which we were all used to.” This put the Bulldogs at an even bigger disadvantage when they had to compete with teams which weren’t part of Seattle Public Schools and didn’t have to deal with the same COVID restrictions. “Eastside Catholic, Seattle Prep, and O’Dea are all private schools, so they don’t have the same

rules as us, and they were allowed to work out in the gym since [the fall],” Scully explained. “So these guys had all been working out and doing conditioning, and we had just been sitting at home playing Call of Duty. We weren’t ready for that much physical exercise, so it led us to all these injuries.” Another new challenge presented by the COVID restrictions was that the band couldn’t come to the games, so the Bulldogs had no one to hype them up. “We really missed the band this year,” Finn said. “We’re used to all the hoorah. That one song, ‘Android,’ that was our favorite. It brought a whole new level to the games. But this year it was just quiet. It was rough.” For the first three games of the season there were no cheerleaders either, and no one was allowed in the stands, not even family members. “All of the energy [had to come] from us,” Scully said. “So if the energy was bad it was over. Cause when you’re down in a game, normally you have the cheerleaders, and you have your family behind you. You hear them encouraging you and you know it’s alright,” he continued. “But when you just have your own guys, and when your own guys are frustrated with you, it’s hard to come back from that mentally. So I think that definitely got into our heads a little bit.” Scully thinks that this negative mindset was the biggest roadblock to the Bulldogs’ success as a team this season. “Whenever things got bad we got down on ourselves and it was just impossible to come back. That was the biggest thing that held us back,” he explained. “Eastside Catholic has an explosive offense, and in the first quarter we shut them out, we didn’t let them do anything. It was a big thing, we were super excited. And then one punt got blocked, and they brought it back for a touchdown, and then they put up 35 more points in that same quarter,” he said.



“So they scored 42 points in one quarter. That’s way too much. But that one play got us down, and we just let it all happen. It was extremely frustrating.” The Bulldogs finished off the regular season with a 28-27 loss to Ballard and a 49-7 loss to O’Dea. Going into the playoffsm, they were on a four game losing streak. In their first matchup Roosevelt, Garfield was behind by three points at the half. “We were beating ourselves really,” Scully said. “The score was 10-7, and you’re never gonna guess how they got 10. They got two field goals and two safeties.” Garfield was missing its starting center, and the backup messed up two of the snaps, resulting in two safeties. And the lone touchdown the Bulldogs had scored had been a Pick 6, meaning their offense hadn’t put up any points. Going into the second half of the Roosevelt game, the Bulldogs knew they had to turn things around if they wanted to win the game. And that’s exactly what senior running back Quinton Jordan did. “He took off,” Scully said. “He kind of took it personally that Roosevelt, a team that should never beat us, was beating us, and he scored four touchdowns in one half.” The Bulldogs finished the game 48-22 and went on t o


face Bishop Blanc h e t in the s e c on d round of the playoffs. “ Wi t h Bishop Blanchet it was sort of a similar situation but we just didn’t dig ourselves

out of the hole,” Finn said. “The final score was 24-12, but we could have won. We were up 7-0 at the start, we had momentum, we just didn’t keep it. It sucked, man. I knew it was my last game [too] because I don’t really plan on playing football in college.” But even though the Bulldogs might not have lived up to expectations this season, Scully is optimistic about the future of the Garfield football program. “It’s gonna be a great team,” Scully said. “They’ve got a couple [seniors] coming back, and they’ve got a lot of young guys that just needed some experience, and that’s what they got this year. The biggest thing, honestly, is that there were a lot of young linemen this year,” Scully said. “Half of our starting line was freshmen. They got some valuable experience, and they’re gonna come back next year and they’ll be an all first-team all Metro line.” Only time will tell if the Bulldogs can learn from their losses this year and come back stronger next year, but Scully says he’s looking forward to watching them from afar in college.

Art by Molly Chapin Originally Published May 6, 2021.



The real reason why America’s pastime is fading away. By Griffin Hintze


aseball has been around for over 150 years and has been with the U.S. through its ups and downs. Through the World Wars, The Great Depression, The Civil Rights Era, the rise of the internet, and up to the modern day. But baseball as we know it is slowly dying, and there is no way around it. It has become an ever growing issue in the sport that is impossible to ignore. The main reasons for baseball’s decline have been heavily discussed inside of baseball’s community, and are fairly obvious to see. The increased time it takes to play a game, the rising costs of every part of the major league experience, the decrease in attendance, as well as the dwindling interest of the younger generations. But even with a progressive and forward thinking commissioner, there is little to no change occurring to solve the issues. The blame for this does not fall solely on Major League Baseball itself, but also the fanbase it tries so hard to appease. Baseball has been riding the “America’s pastime” concept forever, but the nostalgia and memories associated with this are dying along with its fans. The idea that baseball should never change from its roots is one that is shared by the majority of the fanbase but is also slowly killing the sport. In order for a league to succeed, it needs to adapt to the world around it, something


that the MLB has failed to do recently because of its conservative fans. Other major sports that are able to change are reaping the benefits of it. Take the NBA for example. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the league are constantly exploring innovative and exciting ways to change the game. Although, any proposition will have its fair share of opposition, the NBA community generally is open minded to change, even the most outrageous ideas. Unlike the MLB, basketball has found a way to not only adapt to the e ve r- ch ang i ng world but expand and thrive as well. Baseball, on the other hand, has found it hard to do any such thing due to the fear of angering its fanbase. However, last season presented an opportunity for change. 2020 was a year like no other, and that goes for baseball as well. After COVID-19 shut down the MLB season just before it was due to start, the league had to act on the fly to save the season. After an unnecessarily long process, the MLB resumed in July with many changes from a normal season. For the 2020 season, the MLB implemented highly

controversial changes to the shortened 60game season (as opposed to the normal 162 games) such as the use of a designated hitter in both the American League and the National League, expanded playoffs, and starting extra innings with a runner already on second base in order to shorten game times.

Both of these new rules were added to hopefully make the game faster and more interesting, so a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, due to resistance from fans and players alike, most of the changes reverted back to how they previously were this 2021 season. Coincidentally, baseball changed back to its usual state of lackluster

on-field action, and to an even greater extent this season. So far in 2021, the leaguewide batting average is .236, the lowest in MLB history. There have been seven nohitters this year, tying the record for most in a season only about a quarter of the way through. I consider myself an avid baseball fan. Just a few years ago I could sit down and watch a full game of my beloved Mariners and enjoy it. But as I grow up and have more commitments, I find it harder to take the time to sit through the long hours of a game over doing something more productive, or even other sports. By saying this, I would be shunned by the hardcore fans, and labeled as “not a true fan,” but the sad reality is that as people, like myself, lose interest in baseball, the sport and the MLB will have a hard time staying relevant in an uber competitive market for much longer. The MLB and baseball as a whole must take a lesson from other major U.S. sports, and continue to adapt to attract a larger audience from walks of life, so that this great sport can continue to be a staple of American culture. Art by Molly Chapin Originally published November 19, 2020

Sports are an essential social outlet for class of 2024 freshmen. By Benjamin Thomas


ack Bukovec joined Garfield’s Cross Country team the summer before his freshman year in search of an excuse to get outside during quarantine (and, of course, to get “FAST”). During middle school Zack didn’t run on a cross country team, so he stepped into the world of COVID athletics without much context. Cross Country’s social distancing policies, like forming small pods for practice or avoiding competitions, are just part of Zack’s new normal. Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it’s not disappointing, though. “Time trials are kind of like races,” Zack said, before adding

“I wouldn’t know, though, I’ve never been to a race.” Competitions won’t return until the spring, which gives Zack plenty of time to reach his goal of getting his 5K under 24 minutes, but also a long wait for the full cross country experience. In the meantime, sports like cross country serve an important social function for freshmen who aren’t able to meet other students in person. “I’ve met a lot of new people in cross country,” said Zack, “we have groups of 4-5 people. Along with

that, it’s completely socially distanced,” which while safe, is hardly the social experience of previous years. Cross country is an endurance sport, so it always takes serious motivation to make it to the end, but with quarantine and no competitions, that willpower can be even harder to summon. Zack said that when in doubt “I just tell myself that if I don’t finish the race how I want and I stop it will bother me. That makes me try.” He continued that “when I’m done


with a hard practice I feel really good.” Despite that, if things were up to Zack, he would push back the Saturday practices (because, like us all, he thinks he could use some “SLEEP”). Between school, sleep, and practice, Zack makes time to play with his new puppy Bella – but absolutely no running with her, since she would go out of control. Perhaps Bella will break the 24 minute barrier on her own.

Originally published December 10, 2020




States are pushing legislation restricting the rights of transgender women athletes. By Kai Vennemann


n recent months, many states have pushed forth bills restricting the rights of transgender women to partake in high school and college women’s sports. One example of this is the “Mississippi Fairness Act,” signed by Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves in early March. If this law is to take effect as scheduled on July 1st, it will ban transgender women from women’s sports in Mississippi. The bill cites “inherent differences” between men and women as a rationale for this expulsion and constitutes only one of at least 66 bills that have been brought to the legislative table this year across more than 30 states, according to the Human Rights Campaign. For comparison, in 2019 there were only two bills. Most all of these pieces of legislation base their argument on the fact that, on average, male athletes have a physical advantage over females. Thus, transgender women have an unfair edge over cisgender women in sports. There is no doubt that the former is true; men produce higher levels of testosterone, a hormone that generates higher bone and muscle masses. However, is that reason enough to disallow transgender women from competing on women’s sports teams in high school and college? The science suggests otherwise. In a recent NPR interview, Dr. Eric Vilain, a pediatrician and geneticist who has ad-

vised the International Olympic Committee as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a nonprofit that provides regulations for student athletics in all of the US, discussed the science of transgender women in sports. “[M]en have, on average, an advantage in performance in athletics of about 10 percent to 12 percent over women,” Vilain said. “But the question is whether there is in real life, during actual competitions, an advantage of performance linked to this male hormone and whether trans athletes are systematically winning all competitions. The answer to this latter question, are trans athletes winning everything, is simple— that’s not the case.” Vilain went on to clarify that at the middle and often high school level, transgender women tend to delay their puberty naturally, causing them to remain overall on par with cisgender female athletes in terms of testosterone levels. Moreover, a large portion of transgender women, even in high school, undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Such

treatments often consist of medications that suppress testosterone and boost female hormones. While HRT will reduce muscle mass and cause athletic performance to deteriorate slightly in trans women, many embrace the opportunity nonetheless. Taliah Johnson is a transgender woman and senior at Garfield who does cross country as well as track and field. She has been running for the women’s teams since her junior year. “If trans women are on HRT, you are injecting something in your body that is weakening you every single day,” Johnson explained. Current guidelines for student athletics from the NCAA state that transgender women should take one year of hormone therapy before competing officially for women’s teams at the high school and college level. “Research suggests that [HRT] in transgender woman reduces muscle mass; accordingly, one year of hormone therapy is an appropriate transitional time before a

male-to-female student-athlete competes on a women’s team,” Vilain said. Many politicians fail to realize that transgender women, after applying this treatment, do not retain any bodily advantage over cisgender women. “They do not say that in any of the bills! They do not even take note of the fact that we are taking this treatment,” Johnson said. “Besides, biological differences exist everywhere in sports.” Both Johnson and Vilain advocate regarding sports, especially at the high school level, from a broader perspective than the “narrow category of gender.” “My transgender athlete experience has been pretty positive here [at Garfield],” Johnson said. “I do want to acknowledge that trans people deserve a place in sports, that these bans are unnecessary, that they are transphobic, they are hurtful, to particularly people of color, trans people, and that these bills are unjustified and do not deserve to be into law, and that we have to fight tooth and nail to protect our trans and non-binary siblings. [...] It’s so painful for me to watch that 2021 is the year that we are getting attacked by conservative politicians.” Photo courtesy of Taliah Johnson Originally published May 7, 2021

GHS DEBATE TEAM GOES TO THE BIGGEST TOURNAMENT OF THEM ALL Garfield Debate makes history in Tournament of Champions.

By Riley Perteet-Cantu


wo members of the Garfield Debate Team made GHS history when they virtually competed in the biggest national high school policy debate tournament early this April. Their attendance being made possible after the team received a last minute notice that they had qualified to attend. The tournament dubbed the “Tournament of Champions” (TOC) hosts any debater who has received 2 bids from getting top placings at national tournaments, and this year was the first time in GHS history where a team from Garfield had secured both bids required to compete. Before they had gotten the last minute notice of qualification, it seemed incredibly unlikely that Garfield would get to compete at the tournament. “I thought it’d be amaz-


ing for Garfield to go to the TOC as this tiny school no one knows about, and I don’t get to do it after all that work,” Ben Thomas, a GHS debate team member who competed at the tournament said. “That was incredibly disappointing for me.” The qualifying team consisted of Ben Thomas and Quintin Posey, and had received one bid from making finals of the Saint George’s Invitational Tournament. The team had just placed below the threshold of receiving an additional bid from the other national tournaments they attended, however. Teams with one bid can receive an “at-large” bid that allows them to compete at the tournament from the National Speech and Debate Association. At-large bids are usually awarded sparingly and over a month in advance, however in rare cir-

cumstances they may be awarded sooner. “A week before the TOC, I get this very vague text from Jason [GHS debate team coach] being like, ‘Get on zoom we have debate news,’” Thomas said. “And he’s like, ‘Ben you got an at-large’… I still have this recording of me right afterward where I’m like ‘Huh? This can’t be happening, right?’” Thomas’ team received a last minute atlarge bid to the Tournament of Champions, a rare event where an at-large bid was awarded to a team not even publicly displayed on the tournament’s waiting list. “In a lot of ways it was almost the best of both worlds, because I simultaneously had to learn the humility part and the accepting losing part… judging yourself on the effort you put in and not whether you win,” Thomas said.

The team was able to get 3 wins out of 7 prelim rounds at the tournament, just shy of the 4 needed to progress to outrounds. Nonetheless, it was a satisfying send off for the graduating team members. “There is so much information out there to learn… I can think of dozens of articles I’ve read that I really didn’t want to read, but I read because I needed to know them for debate. And I’m like ‘wow this is actually super interesting’… bracing all the information that’s out there and making an effort to try and get yourself into it, is a really really cool experience,” Thomas said. Originally published May 7, 2021



All college athletes should be required to wear masks.

By Autumn Henson


ver a year after Washington State’s COVID-19 lockdown, WIAA highschool athletics have resumed for the first season. Seattle Public Schools has taken on the safety recommendations of both Governor Inslee and the Center for Disease Control in this endeavor and has made the decision to also enforce stricter rules, including no spectators at any sporting events. High school athletes are additionally required to mask up, socially distance as much as possible, and are only able to compete against a subset of the total number of teams in their leagues--roughly one-third of the number of games in an average season. However, college-level athletes are playing longer seasons, in many cases, with spectators, and without masks. The NCAA has left the decision of whether or not to wear masks up to each individual school’s athletic program. For example, the majority of women’s volleyball programs in the NCAA have chosen to wear masks in-game, and the majority of men’s basketball programs have chosen not to require them during play. Masking is also not required on the sidelines; it is recommended. The NCAA has additionally advised for six feet of space between the chairs that act as the team’s bench, but this is evidently not practiced, as can be seen in the recordings of games. This partial attempt at following guidelines is dangerous and sets a poor example for other athletic programs. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 73 percent of children see professional athletes as people they “look up to” or “want to be like.” Although college athletes are not professional athletes, many of them are on track for careers in that realm. Current COVID-19 rates in the United States have the age range of 18-29 making up roughly 22.5 percent of total cases, the most of any age demographic. However, people of this age account for less than 0.5 percent of mortalities. College-age individuals in-

fect those most vulnerable without facing the severe consequences of life-time ailment and death. While the NCAA has attempted to conduct contact tracing, this has been relatively inaccurate and unsuccessful for privacy reasons. The Duke University Blue Devils, one of the powerhouse teams of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, was knocked out due to a positive COVID-19 test on March 11th. The identity of the test-taker is unknown, and there is no evidence of an outbreak in the program. While there is still a chance for Duke to continue play, both coach Mike Kryzewski and Duke Athletic Director Kevin White have stated that this recent game cancellation will end their season. Programs have virtually no way to hold their athletes accountable for their commitment t o

tendance at a birthday party. Some sort of effort is clearly being made by college-level athletics to reduce the spread of the virus. Still, athletes on the sidelines of games often get up from their seats to talk to their teammates, wear their masks improperly, or do not wear them at all. There is simply no finite strategy that holds collegiate athletes accountable without mask regulation. Giving participants the option to not wear a mask will always result in someone doing just that. Children watching these games see the players that they look up to


wearing their masks below their noses and think that is alright. No one wants to put their loved ones at risk of contracting the virus. College-age athletes need to realize that they set an example for younger players, who, as they return to in-person school, put their own loved ones at risk just by attending class. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to play a sport past high school, and an even greater one during a pandemic. The players and coaches who are part of the NCAA should recognize this privilege by wearing their masks correctly, whether on the sidelines or on the court, and truly social distancing. College athletes are not the only ones who suffer the consequences of their decisions; their choices also affect everyone who watches them.

Art by Izzy Wang Originally published March 19, 2021

sports, and other activities

such as parties and unofficial matches cannot be regulated at all. A COVID-19 outbreak last year on both college men’s and women’s soccer teams in Chicago resulted in positive tests from 17 players. Although tested at the beginning of their seasons, the athletes were not required to test again and were trusted to adhere to the participation guidelines. The initial contact was made through at-



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Garfield Messenger: Volume 99, Issue 9  

Garfield Messenger: Volume 99, Issue 9  


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