The Great Lakes Platform | 2020

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a s e r ie s of ac a d e m i c a n d c r e ati v e w or ks fr om h igh s c h o o l s t u d e n t s T h roug hout the g r e at la ke s r e gion

the gre at lake s p lat f o r m spring 2020 volume Two

c o m p i l e d a n d p u bli she d by th e c e n tr a l m ic h i ga n u n i v e r s i ty h on or s pr og r a m

editorial staff CMU Student Review Team Grace Ludwiczak, Lead Editor, is a Junior at Central Michigan University majoring in Psychology with a business concentration and minoring in English. When Grace is not studying in the library or working as a consultant in the Writing Center, she can be seen fueling her caffeine addiction at Ponder or spending time outside. Kayla Szymanski, Lead Editor, is a sophomore Honors student majoring in Secondary English Education from New Lenox, IL. This is her second year editing for The Honors Platform. On campus, Kayla is the Larzelere Hall Vice President, a Front Desk Receptionist, and Honors 100 teaching assistant. She enjoys helping mentees, committee members, and high school students find meaningful ways to express their passions. Ashley Alford is a freshman at CMU. She plays volleyball for the Chippewas and enjoys being a part of her team as well as the CMU honors community. In her free time, she likes to go home to see her dogs, read, or watch TikToks. Julia Amting is a storyteller and aspiring public relations professional with an end goal of using media to share important messages in a publishing, ministry, or non-profit setting. She writes her own blog, maintains an art business, and volunteers weekly at LifeChoices of Central Michigan. She loves the impact of words and has enjoyed seeing the publishing process behind the scenes through work on the Honors Platform. Jade Androl is a first-year Honors student at CMU from Sebewaing, MI. She is currently pursuing Psychology and Child Development, with the eventual goal of being a child psychologist. Her biggest passion is helping others. In her free time, Jade enjoys reading, volunteering, and hanging out with friends. Kristen Brennan is a third-year student at Central Michigan University. She is double majoring in English and History and minoring in Anthropology. Kristen works as a consultant for the University Writing Center and is also involved in several on-campus organizations, including Sigma Tau Delta and the judo club. Alexis Briggins is a sophomore from Port Huron, Michigan. She is double-majoring in family studies and psychology. On campus Alexis is very involved, she is an inclusion assistant at Northwest Apartments, a photographer for a fashion organization on campus and is active with the Honors program.

Sara Daniels is a first-year student studying English Education with a minor in English as a Second Language. Her other involvements include the Organization of Women Leaders, Central Gives, Adopt-A-Grandparent, and Planned Parenthood Next Generation. She is passionate about creative writing, literature, and youth education and empowerment. Paige Dombrowski is a sophomore at CMU studying English Literatures, Language, and Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. She spends her free time reading, writing, doodling, watching spooky movies, and hiking with her dog. She hopes you enjoy this edition and consider contributing to the platform in the future! Noelle Gray is currently a junior Journalism major and Broadcast and Cinematic Arts minor from Oak Park, MI. She hopes to become an Investigative Reporter one day. Noelle enjoys reading, researching, overthrowing the patriarchy, listening to new music, watching the imminent fall of capitalism and spending time with friends and family. Justin Lyle is a sophomore from Dowagiac, MI. Justin is majoring in broadcasting & cinematic arts. He has a passion for visual arts. When not in the classroom, Justin can be editing or shooting pictures and videos, or binge-watching older classic films. Chloe McKinley is a first-year student studying music and philosophy. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in international law, and become a multi-dog owner.

Megan Peterson is a freshman Honors student double-majoring in English and Public and Nonprofit Administration. She hopes to become an academic advisor in the future. Her interests include reading, writing, and binge-watching the Harry Potter movies with her friends. Brooke Ray is a sophomore from Mecosta, Michigan, studying Clinical Exercise Science with a future in Physical Therapy or Exercise Physiology. She is passionate about sharing Love everywhere she goes and highlighting individuals who contribute goodness, truth, and beauty into the world. Eva Steepe is a sophomore majoring in English Literature and minoring in French and Leadership. She is a Resident Assistant for Thorpe Hall, a consultant at the Writing Center, and a Campus Ambassador. She loves trees, good coffee, and magnet poetry.

Graphic Designers Sarah Heck, Grace Ludwiczak 2 | The Great Lakes Platform

Volume 2

from the editor It is my absolute pleasure to welcome all of you to the second edition of the Great Lakes Platform! Throughout the past year, undergraduate Honors students at Central Michigan University have been working tirelessly to showcase some phenomenal student work from around the Great Lakes, and to share these pieces with you is the culmination of one of the greatest experiences I’ve had in recent memory. So thank you, first and foremost, for reading this. If you aren’t reading this, please disregard this message. This Platform began with the belief that high school students are incredibly capable and deserve their work to be seen and appreciated on a wider scale, and every year has us championing that belief more and more. In these unprecedented times, editors, writers, teachers, and readers alike have all been pushed to our limits. We have faced unparalleled challenges and have had to adapt and overcome more than ever before. But that makes it all the more important to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of students across the region who created incredible poems, methodical research pieces, and eye-catching artwork for the world to enjoy. The future is bright with these students, and we cannot wait to see how they impact the world around us. I can’t read through these pieces without feeling incredibly happy and immensely proud of all the hard work that went into this, whether it be from the students who wrote these pieces or the editors who put them all together. Each page showcases the voice and the determination of students all around the Great Lakes, and the different stories and ideas throughout is mesmerizing. It’s powerful. It puts a smile on my face every time. We hope you feel the same way.


We would like to thank Dr. Mary Wendt for her constant and passionate support and assistance throughout every step of this process. This could not have happened without her, and she deserves all the appreciation we can give and more for all the work and all the hours she’s put into this publication. This journal also owes its creation to Dr. Phame Camarena of the Honors Platform. The Platform simply would not exist without him, and the support and assistance he has offered throughout each year is completely unrivaled. No matter the idea, no matter the problem, Phame has a solution, and it’s those solutions that created such a phenomenal final product. The amazing Editorial Board and every member of the Student Review Team deserve all the praise in the world for the work they have put into this. The level of commitment each student had for this journal created a product that I could not be happier with. Simply put, they are all incredible, and it has been an absolute joy to work with every single one of them. And we’d especially like to thank the teachers and the students who had sent in their pieces this year. With the hectic nature of everyday life right now, teachers have had an immense challenge ahead of them, yet have handled it incredibly well and have given everything they could for their classrooms. To everyone that sent in student work, thank you so much for all you’re doing. And if you’re a student that had your work submitted, thank you. Whether you were accepted or not, you have so much to be proud of, and we can’t wait to see what you do next.

Connor Thatcher is a senior at Central Michigan University studying English Education and Creative Writing. He’s incredibly fortunate to be working with an amazing team of editors for the Platform this year. If he ever had free time, he would enjoy writing, reading, listening to music, and saying really bad puns.

Sincerely, Connor J. Thatcher Editor in Chief The Great Lakes Platform COPYRIGHT. 2020 CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY HONORS PROGRAM ISSN. FORTHCOMING

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contributing high school staff Big rapids high school Jessica Haist

mount pleasant high school Andrew Schoenborn

petoskey high school John Lennon

wAlled Lake Northern high school Mindy Ritter

Reeths-Puffer High school Aaron Skrenes

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Volume 2

table of contents Uncharted................................................. 22 Darth vader: an icon in 34 minutes....................................................... 6 Lucas Ashby

How do mental illnesses affect the ruling of a court case............... 9

Emma George-Griffin

We need to read: America’s Stance on reading and why it matters ........................................................ 23 Paige Harris

Ella VarnHagen

Illustrations........................................... 26 My Greatest fear................................... 12

Jaidan LaCoe

Ariana Dockham

This side of Eternity............................ 27 UntitleD...................................................... 13

Kaitlyn Bootz

Kyra Larsen

Nutrition in Running............................ 14

how does society affect beauty standards.................................................. 28

Emma Squires

Molly Andserson

Il vero immortale È l’amore............. 17

hey siri........................................................ 30

Jessica DiMaria

Roman Damer-Daigle

The Future of Food Allergies.......... 18

is standardized testing effective?.................................................. 32

Hailey Paulsen

Skin............................................................... 20 Swaney

Tristan Werdan

Do You Know How fall smells?....... 34 Swaney

Self-Portrait........................................... 21 Brandon Achenbach

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Ashby Darth Vader

Darth vader: an icon in 34 minutes Lucas Ashby

Big Rapids High School

The original Star Wars trilogy, today recognized as Episodes Four, Five, and Six, have a run time of just under six-and-a-half hours (six hours and 28 minutes). Each movie hosts roughly the same cast of characters, interspersed with other guest appearances. Each movie is roughly the same length, just over two hours. Each movie follows a continuous story arc, the quest of the Rebels to overthrow the Empire. But, a commonality often not discussed/realized, is that they all feature the story’s antagonist, Darth Vader, for roughly the same amount of time. Although Vader is a decade-defining villain, he gets surprisingly little on-screen time. In fact, he spends merely 10 minutes physically present in each movie. The minimalist approach the directors took to Vader’s featuring offers peculiar contrast to his resounding impact and lasting legacy. In total—with all three movies—Darth Vader, who is undeniably cinema’s most iconic villain, “if not character in general,” is flashed across the screen for a total of 34 minutes (Puschak). Although Vader is in so little of the movies, the visual, auditory, and symbolic footprint he leaves has culminated to the creation of the most iconic movie character of all time. Although it is not until Episode Five where the imagery that makes Vader iconic is seen, Episode Four does not disappoint in Vader’s visual prowess. Released in 1977, Episode Four became, and still is (adjusted for inflation), the second-highest-grossing movie of all time (Thompson, Harding). George Lucas was notorious for wanting a naturalistic, documentary feel to his sci-fi space epic—he wanted the movie to feel “real and used” (Christian). In Episode Four, almost all of the shots depicting Vader are in the imperial warship: The Death Star. John Barry and Roger Christian, on the behest of Lucas, made their set dark and gloomy; consequently, Vader, in his all-black, achromatic suit (designed by John Mollo), almost disappears against the murky grey backdrop. But cinematographer Gilbert Taylor does have the ingenious idea to shoot Vader angled above the audience, a feature carried on throughout the following films. Taylor turns Vader’s already commanding form into one which imposes upon the space of all those around it. People don’t lead him, they follow him in every regard. Taylor, working with Mollo, accentuates Vader’s size with a billowing black cape and a thick, clunky suit devised to enlarge the giant of a man. Every angle of every shot, every standing position, every aspect of the costume is designed to make Vader bigger.

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The best scene in the movie to feature him in all his insurmountable terror is the opening—where both he and the conflict are simultaneously introduced. After the camera pans over the galaxy in the opening shot, it settles on a view of the horizon of a planet and its moons. A spacecraft almost immediately juts into the screen at the top right and glides across. Soon after, we see a mammoth, impenetrable ship chasing not far behind. The massive vessel swiftly surpasses the smaller and captures it. In the next shot, the audience is introduced to the giant Vader standing atop the fallen bodies of his victims aboard the small ship. Vader is immediately set as the antagonist: an ink-black and menacing man who has ruthlessly slaughtered the crew of the (previously) fleeing shuttle. Here Vader is the malevolent against the benevolent; he is the bourgeoisie against the proletariat. Episode Four is brilliant in its intruding Vader imagery and costume design, and this first shot sets the stage and sears Vader as an engine of malevolence into the audience. In Episode Five: the Empire Strikes Back, the imagery which makes Vader not only a towering force of evil, but the most iconic villain ever created, is brought to the forefront. Vader’s helmet in each scene of the movie is polished and smooth as “volcanic glass,” always spotlessly clean, so it features “fat, white reflections” (Puschak). Illuminating reflections, variations in texture and shape, and light are manipulated throughout the movie to define Vader in the times where, as in the previous movie, he disappears into the set. Although the cinematographers work vigorously to show where Vader is, there is always the knowledge that he could easily disappear, leaving the audience in the suspense of not knowing whether or not they will be able to see when he strikes. Throughout the movie, Kershner and Suschitzky employ “elemental” and transcendental imagery to evoke Vader as an “archetypal representation of evil” (Puschak). In the most prominent scene following this objective, the audience sees Vader being disturbed from his meditation chamber with the news of the sighting of the Millennium Falcon. The unfortunate officer who infringes upon him is visibly shaken with dread at the thought of doing the act. He first looks curious at the rare sighting of Vader unmasked; however, his curiosity quickly changes to fright as he sees Vader’s bald, calamitous, and undeniably wicked head just before the pristine mask descends. This second long glimpse of his disparaged body leaves the audience desperately

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understanding that they do not wish to see the monster that lies beneath the opaque suit which adorns him. With only 12 minutes of film time, Kershner and Suschitzky do a lot to fill every second with the imagery that adds to the mystique of Vader. They created images that engraved Vader into the world, in the eyes of all those who watched it originally and all those who now live in its aftermath. The dialogue of the heroes derives much of Vader’s power, thus creating the foundation of his symbolism. Because he is on screen for so little time, the writers and other actors must do much of the work; for what would a sci-fi epic be without a prodigious villain? The dialogue of the heroes is all too often filled with fearful recounts of Vader; they portray him as the embodiment of pure evil: “he’s more machine now than man” and “a master of evil.” Even while not on the screen, the audience learns that he is one to be regarded with fear, and fear is what makes Vader abominable—fear is what makes him memorable. The supporting characters spend much of each painting him as the omnipresent of evil. Like dialogue, the music of Star Wars lends to the increase of Vader’s overwhelming vastness. While he is off-screen, the Imperial March, composed by John Williams, plays softly in the background in these foreboding moments of dialogue. Yet when Vader is on screen, the leitmotif comes strident out, deafeningly loud and reverberating with power. The music of Star Wars, iconic in its own right, is crucial to the depiction of the power of Vader. The movie creates a “soundbased psychological reaction” involving Vader; the ingrained emotional response creates a physical reaction after only a few notes of the piece (Leeds). The sound of Star Wars is one of the most influential parts of the movie as it builds suspense and introduces the audience to the thematic elements. Although Vader is only in seven percent of the movies’ run time, he is always there; whether it’s in the dialogue or the music, or physically on the screen, Vader is always present. It is work done in episode five that crafts the symbolism of Vader out of the imagery of silhouette and sound. The menacing man’s form has been purposefully engraved into the audience, so when he disappears to shadow, he is still easily recognizable. In many shots of Episode Five, Vader is a silhouette, yet with the deepening music and his signature reverberating ragged breath, Vader is easily recognized. The most iconic images, sounds, and people of our culture are the ones who represent something greater than themselves. We see Vader, in true menacing form transcend his role as the series’ villain to becoming a symbol for something more, something deeper, something universal. Vader most mundanely represents the overarching struggle between good and evil, the pull and sway which never quite lands on one forever. Although Vader commits abominable acts, the twist between his past and his present deeply represents the struggle between morality

and materialism. Yet Vader is not simply a symbol for good vs evil, no, as Vader is also equally representative of the never-ending battle of Man vs. Machine: the life-saving machinery soldered onto his body both allow for his continued existence and dehumanize/demoralize that existence. But perhaps the most applicable symbol Vader represents can be seen in the relationship between himself/the Empire and the Rebels. To see the struggle, we need only look at the news: France, Spain, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, Sudan, Hong Kong, India, Italy, South Korea. In 2019, the world was “witness” to a new wave of “demonstrations” (Guterres). All over the world, the people of every nation rose against their governments in protest. As Antonio Guterres puts it in his address to the United Nations Security Council, it is “clear” there is an ever-growing “deficit in trust between people and political establishments” (Guterres). For various political, discriminatory, religious, societal, and environmental reasons, the people of the world took to the streets to make their voices heard. The people of Italy sang Bella Ciao against hate; the people of Hong Kong filled every street, unified under the slogan “Do You Hear the People”. The teens of the world started the Friday’s for Future campaign, the largest climate change strike ever. They gave up periods of their education to dissent against the belligerent degradation of their home. The thematic choices of sound, silhouette, and imagery made in Star Wars derive symbols that are applicable in a not-so-far-away galaxy today, as countless citizens in countless countries of the world are choosing to rise against their tyrannical, Vader/Empire-esc leaders. Although there are many other contenders for the most iconic villain, none can compete with the visual and auditory success of Darth Vader. The features that were first used to make Vader evil, to make him feared, and to show his terror are the ones that are now cited as what makes him memorable. Vader’s figure is unique in that it derives unparalleled recognizability from anyone. Even the people who have never seen Star Wars know that he is the archetypal villain. They know what his mask looks like; they know how he sounds. The imagery, dialogue, music, and symbolism have blended together to derive a character who is unparalleled today. The work Peter Suschitzky and Irvin Kershner, Gilbert Taylor, John Mollo, John Williams, the creative mind of George Lucas, and all the other people who worked so hard to make such an amazing film have culminated in the creation of cinema’s undeniably most iconic villain: Darth Vader.

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Ashby Darth Vader

Works Cited Guterres, António. “UN Chief Reacts to the Wave of Protests around the World.” YouTube, United Nations, 25 Oct. 2019, watch?v=oRyGB9PGtY4. Leeds, Joshua. “Psychoacoustics, Defined “ The Power of Sound.” The Power of Sound RSS, ShadowBox/ WordPress, Lucas, George, director. Star Wars. Lucasfilm LTD, 1997. Lucas, George, director. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Lucasfilm LTD, 1983. Lucas, George, director. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Lucasfilm LTD, 1980. Puschak, Evan. “Darth Vader: An Icon In 34 Minutes.” YouTube, YouTube, 26 July 2019, watch?v=y5NhHBjyJe4. Redfish. “Italians Sing Bella Ciao Against FarRight Hate.” Facebook Watch, Redfish, 22 Nov. 2019, videos/620675672073437/. Singer, Jeremy. “The Man Who Literally Built ‘Star Wars’.” Esquire, Esquire, 7 Oct. 2017, www.esquire. com/entertainment/movies/a28570/star-wars-rogerchristian/. Thompson, Austin, and Haley Harding. “America’s 20 Highest-Grossing Movies of All Time (Adjusted for Inflation).” Mental Floss, MentalFloss, 5 May 2019,

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Volume 2

How do mental illnesses affect the ruling of a court case? Ella VarnHagen Petoskey High School Abstract Mental illnesses have always been present throughout human history, but when someone with a mental illness enters a court setting, the court is often unsure of how they should handle the sentence of the individual. With very little information on mental illnesses, how should a mental illness be classified, and how should they be taken into consideration when they are presented in a trial? Introduction In the spring of 2016, Vernon Madison found himself on death row for a crime he does not remember committing. Madison suffers from vascular dementia. According to the Mayo Clinic (2020), vascular dementia is a rare condition that affects the brain’s ability to plan out situations, reason with other opinions, or remember. Madison challenged their ruling in the Alabama circuit court; unable to appeal, the state of Alabama moved the case to the federal court. The ruling of the eleventh circuit found that Madison had no recollection of the crime at all, and for this reason, Madison was removed from death row. However, Alabama continued with an execution date for the 25th of January in 2018. Once again, Madison petitioned for the mobile county circuit to reevaluate the case. But just as before, the Alabama court denied his request, bringing the case to the federal court once again. This time, he has two questions on his mind: 1. Consistent with the Eighth Amendment, and this Court’s decisions in Ford and Panetti, may the State execute a prisoner whose mental disability leaves him without memory of his commission of the capital offense? 2. Do evolving standards of decency and the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment bar the execution of a prisoner whose competency has been compromised by vascular dementia and multiple strokes, causing severe cognitive dysfunction and a degenerative medical condition, which prevents him from remembering the crime for which he was convicted or understanding the circumstances of his scheduled execution (Madison v. Alabama, 2019)? The case that was previously mentioned is among the extremes of any crime that involves mental illnesses. However, there is still an overwhelming number of mentally ill cases on a much lower scale that flood into

the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system. The two questions above focus on the fairness of cases that involved mental illness. Anyone with a mental illness should make these questions their main focus, only to be revised to fit their situation. A more typical case would look like this: a schizophrenic man disrupted the peace and slightly assaulted a police officer. He was sentenced to thirty days in jail. While being imprisoned, he was given medication that benefits his health, but at the same time he was taken off the social security disabled benefits list and evicted from his apartment. When he was released, he slept in alleyways, panhandled for money, and forgot to take his medication. He was then found days later in the middle of a street arguing with the voices in his head. Once again, he was arrested and given a court date. His lawyer does not want him to receive a psychiatric exam to keep him out of jail while the examination was being processed. So instead, he pled guilty and received ten days of community service. His lawyer told him where to go for treatment, but he forgot and is found days later, sleeping in a store front. For a third time, he would be arrested and charged with trespassing. These three arrests prevent him from finding a stable job and send him into an infinite loop in and out of jail cells (Harvard Mental Health, 2003). There are millions of people all around the world that suffer from mental illnesses, but when presented in court setting, the judges are unsure of a suitable sentence due to this fact. It is one thing to sentence a man to death row for first degree murder, but it is another thing to sentence a man who has no recollection of the crime to death row. But if not death row, then what is the appropriate choice to pay for the crime? How are these issues decided when they come up in a criminal case, and what is the difference of walking away free to being locked behind bars for the rest of your life? What Classifies as a Mental Illness? Emotional instability, insanity, mental disability, personality disorder, an unsound mind: all of these

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Orhan A Pain Off the Scale

terms mean the same thing. They are all synonyms for the mentally ill, but what does that term really mean? According to the New York State Mental Hygiene Law defines mental illnesses as: an affliction with a mental disease or mental condition which is manifested by a disorder or disturbance in behavior, feeling, thinking, or judgment to such an extent that the person afflicted requires care, treatment and rehabilitation (section 1.03). However, this definition tends to come across as blurred or unclear. It fails to explain why some disorders might be considered as mentally ill and others as natural human traits. For example, could a person be avoiding social interactions because they are an introvert, or are they suffering from a severe anxiety disorder? Does a person stutter and shake when giving a speech because they have glossophobia, or is it because they have posttraumatic stress disorder? This definition also seems to cover only extreme cases of mental illnesses and ignores more mild cases. There is no actual written test that qualifies if a person has a mental illness. The Feather Thief, a nonfiction true crime book, written by Kirk Wallace Johnson, explains the psychiatric exam that Edwin Rist took to prove if he had Asperger’s disease. The test mostly consisted of questions that had answers chosen based on a one to four scale. “... Edwin stared at the stack of forms before him. One of them asked him to rank between 1 (definitely agree) and 4 (definitely disagree)... How on earth was he supposed to respond...”(Johnson, 2018, p. 137)? So then what really qualifies as a mental illness, and how is it determined? A mental illness could be determined on how an individual reacts to certain events or actions that occur. Whether it is their behavior, feeling, thinking, or judgment that reacts, these are all important qualities to look for. A person suffering from a mental illness also does not always require an aid or nurse to watch over them. It all depends on how mild or severe the case is and depends on the type of disorder (Hall, 2011). However, this definition only seems to make finding a mental disorder harder. The definition of mental illnesses is constantly changing, and it will continue to change in years to come. How do Mental Illnesses Affect Court Cases? When someone with a mental illness enters criminal law, it is often hard to tell whether that illness should be taken into consideration when deciding a ruling. When a mentally ill person enters the courtroom, it is unclear whether they were aware and solely responsible for their actions or if they have no recollection of the crime at all. If the defendant’s lawyer uses the insanity defense or a mental disorder defense, it tends to make the case harder for the judges to act upon. The insanity defense argues that the defendant was unaware of his or her

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actions and had acted because of an episode or a lack of medication/treatment. The insanity defense is not in any way a medical diagnosis, but it is instead a way to help curve the trial into the defendant’s favor. “I don’t want to say I’m grateful for it,” he continued, “but I am grateful for it, because without it, I probably would’ve spent two years or more in prison” (Johnson 2018, p. 204). The insanity defense has helped a lot of people, but it does have its restrictions. For example, it cannot be used for repeated offenders, or for “any abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct” (Smith 2019). In other words, it cannot be used for a psychopath. A defendant’s lawyer could also suggest that a psychological examination be taken in order to prove that the defendant suffers from a disability. However, psychological examinations can take anywhere from days to weeks to determine if the individual has a mental disorder. Within that time frame, the defendant may be kept under supervision or allowed back into society until the next court hearing. But, as previously stated, there is no actual written test that proves someone suffers from a mental disability. It is only an educated guess based on a series of reactions; there is no guarantee of being right or wrong, as one could see here: He didn’t seem to exhibit the classic symptoms of the disorder. In fact, he struck me as quite intuitive and empathetic… “It’s weird to say it in front of you,” I ventured, “but it doesn’t seem like you have Asperger’s. You’re making eye contact, for example.” (Johnson, 2018, pp. 203-204). If a mental illness does happen to be present and does happen to be proven by a trained doctor or psychologist, the next question would be finding what course of action the court should take. The truth is that there is no right answer. In 2012, James Holmes committed twelve charges of first degree murder, but as the trial progressed, his mental health became a huge vocal point for the case. The defense plea of insanity was denied. The State wanted the death penalty, and it was considered that he did know right from wrong, but the defense held out, pointing out the fact that he was considered mentally ill. The court finally decided on life in prison with no parole (Sandys, 2018). With each new case concerning mental illnesses, the court will often look to precedent cases and the eighth amendment, which details that “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted” (United States Constitution, 1791), for advice on how to proceed. Another example of this is mentioned in The Feather Thief; Edwin Rist’s case is compared to Crown v. Gibson, because they both share the same classified mental illness. Both of these rulings ended with the defendants paying a small fine to the prosecutors as well as settling the court fees. The eighth amendment also prohibits the death sentence from being used on juveniles and the intellectually disabled. Many people also consider the

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mentally disabled to be a part of this group of people as well (Sandys, 2018). Some states in the United States of America have a separate court for those of mental illness. This court is called the Assessments and Referral Court (ARC). The ARC is a court created specifically for those with mental illnesses. “The Assessment and Referral Court aims to help people [with mental illnesses] address underlying factors that contribute to their offending behaviours” (Magistrate Court of Victoria, 2018). Even though the ARC takes the ruling into careful consideration, the punishments remain the same as they would if they were in the mainstream court system. Once again, there is no right answer to determine how a case dealing with mental illness is supposed to be dealt with in the court system. Whether there happens to be a proven mental illness or not, the mental health of an individual should be taken into consideration when the court is coming to a ruling on the case. The Assessment and Referral Court’s main goal is to provide a fair and equal ruling for all parties involved in the case.

It is in everyone’s best interest to have a fair and speedy trial. However, mental illnesses often become very confusing and unsure in a court setting. There is no right or wrong answer, but several very strong opinions on what is considered a mental illness. Mental illnesses are very hard to classify and diagnose, and it makes it even harder when the ruling of a court case is dependent on the presence of a mental disability. Although mental illnesses linger in the unknown, future court decisions will look at the precedents of today’s court rulings to find a fair and equal sentence.

The Assessment and Referral Court

Johnson, K. W. (2018). The feather thief. Penguin Publishing Group.

With so much depending on the unknown of mental illnesses, many people are often skeptical of how to deal with mental illnesses when they enter a court setting. However many courts go to extra lengths a court goes to make a fair sentence with an unfair use of resources. The Assessment and Referral Court (ARC) is a court system specifically designed to deal with mental illnesses. This system has helped many people receive fair and equal sentences. However, there are still those who believe that this court is a waste of time, money, and resources. They believe that the ARC only deals with small crimes and misdemeanors, where more violent crimes are rushed to a bigger court (Schetzer, 2016). The ARC has also been thought to have crossed lines and have given unfair punishments. Of course, this line of thinking often comes from those opposing the ARC. The ARC is a court dedicated to serving justice at a reasonable price, but is this subsection to the criminal legal system worth the time and money it keeps to uphold? The answer to that question is “yes”. The ARC is just like any other sub court (such as a veteran’s court or a drug court), and it helps find alternative ways to pursue legal action for those with a mental disability. The ARC has helped aid the legal system with the increasing number of cases that involve mental illnesses. They have developed a list of rules and rights that the defendant can use if he or she is being prosecuted with a known mental illness. Although this court does cost extra time, money, and resources, it is a way to help those who are mentally challenged in a fair and legal way. Conclusion

References Hall, D. L., Miraglia, R. P., & Li-Wen, L. G. (2011). The increasing blurred line between “mad” and “bad”: Treating personality disorders in the prisoner setting. Albany Law Review, 74(3), 1277-1300. https://www. Harvard Mental Health. (2003). Prisoners of mental illness. Harvard Mental Illness, 20, 5-7.

Madison v. Alabama, 17-7505, 586 (U.S. 2019). Magistrate Court of Victoria. (2018, November 20). Assessment and referral court (ARC). https://www.mcv. Mayo Clinic. (2018, May 9). Vascular dementia: Symptoms and causes. diseases-conditions/vascular-dementia/symptomscauses/syc-20378793 Mental Health America. (2019, June 13). Position statement 53: Mental health courts. https://www. New York State Senate. (n.d.). Section 1.03: Definitions: Mental hygiene (MHY). legislation/laws/MHY/1.03 Sandys, M., Pruss, H., & Walsh, S. M. (2018). Capital jurors, mental illness, and the unreliability principle: Can capital jurors comprehend and account for evidence of mental illness? Behavioral Science and the Law, 36(4), 470-489. pubmed/30004140. Schetzer, A. (2016, May). Call to end ‘postcode injustice’ in court system. The Age. au/national/victoria/call-to-end-postcode-injustice-incourt-system-20160503-gokn68.html Smith, J. R. (2019). Invested with a strange authority: A guide to the insanity defense in Tennessee. Tennessee Bar Journal, 55(2). 21-30. https:// cgi?article=1095&context=lmulrev United States Constitution. Amend. VIII.

The Great Lakes Platform | 11

My greatest Fear Ariana Dockham Mount Pleasant High School

My greatest fear Is to one day realize That I have surpassed The point of possibility. That I had, Somewhere long in the past, Hit my stride And I allowed my life to pass me by In dull streaks Of grey and beige. I fear that I will, One day, reflect upon my life And see only 9:00 P.M. bedtimes, And 4th of July barbecues With people Who did not care to know What the fireworks Would look like. I fear that I will Watch as my hands wrinkle, And that I will simply allow my eyes To resign from unaided sight. For I will understand, Better than most, That the days Of perceiving wonders Have long passed them by.

I fear that An endless string of Early nights Will erase from my memory The image of crackling lights Cutting through thick darkness; And the feeling of lake water When shrouded in moonlight And secrecy And adventure. I fear that Consistency Will replace curiosity. That 4th of July barbecues And beige conversations And the possibility of failure Will keep me from experiencing Passion And hunger And excitement. I fear That I will forfeit My only life For the sake of Conventionality. And that I will be remembered, Even by those who loved me most, In only hazy hues Of black-and-white. My greatest fear Is that, One day, I stop demanding That the world Let me see The fireworks.

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Volume 2

Untitled Kyra Larson

Port Huron High School

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Squires Nutrition in Running

Nutrition in Running Emma Squires Petoskey High School

Abstract This paper explores the importance of nutrition, specifically in endurance sports. Using running magazines, peer-reviewed studies, and in-person interviews, this paper talks about different sections of this topic, exploring everyday nutrition, pre-race/workout nutrition, and post-race/workout nutrition. A conclusion was found determining the optimal type of food to eat every day and in all times surrounding the practice of endurance sports in order to maximize potential. Running magazines used in this paper include Runners World and Runtastic. Multiple articles from these are used throughout the paper to fully explore the idea of running nutrition. Several peer-reviewed studies were also used throughout to guide the paper to the conclusion. In this paper, a personal interview was also used to gain insider information and further build to the conclusion. Introduction “Go faster! You can do it!” say my coaches on the sideline as I struggle to stay with the teammates I have once beaten by minutes in previous races. I started to think to myself, “What is wrong with me? Why do I feel so slow?”. After two races of slow racing and puzzled coaches and parents, I was tested. The results revealed I was low on vitamins, including iron, in addition to being underweight from lack of nutrition. With states, the final and most important race of the season, only a month away, I had to turn my food and supplement intake around quickly. The next day, I started to eat twice as much and 900% the normal amount of iron as well as other supplements. After four long weeks of hard work, my 5K time dropped 3 minutes from the previous race four weeks ago. Along this journey, I personally experienced what happens when the body doesn’t get enough food when participating in taxing physical activity. I learned a lot about how a runner should fuel themselves and how important it is to listen to the body signs. Along this journey I learned key methods endurance athletes use to keep on top of the competitive fields and training. Endurance sports - when main muscle groups are exercised at lower intensities for longer periods of time - play an important role in the conversation of nutrition. These sports include swimming, biking, running, etc. Endurance sports often require more effort in training and a hyperawareness towards nutritional needs to allow athletes to perform at their best. The running community, however, is talking about this issue of nutrition more than others. A former Oregon Project runner, Mary Cain, recently came out and admitted to being ashamed about her size because of her coaches. She was forced to lose weight until she “had lost the race before it even started”. After this, the running community started to step up and

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talk about the importance of nutrition. Because of this, many big magazines and runners are participating in the conversation about everyday nutrition, pre-race/workout nutrition, and post-race/workout nutrition. The Importance of Nutrition Why should the average person eat healthy? For nonathletes, what’s the point? Medical News Today, written by Leslie Butler, states that beyond losing weight, the normal person can enjoy an improved mood, better sleep, and even better memory (Butler, 2019, para. 4). Along with this, Butler lists many diseases and health issues healthy eating can solve. This includes diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks (Butler, 2019, para. 4). According to the World Population Review, more than 35% of the United States population is obese. (World Population Review, 2020). This suggests that eating healthy would greatly impact the country as a whole and possibly even result in a happier population. The book, Essential Sports Nutrition: Guide to optimal performance for every active person written by Marni Sumball MS RD CSSD, is about the importance of nutrition. Her book talks about different nutrition groups as well as how to use them and why they are important. This book is for active Americans, as well as those who aspire to be active, to take that next or first step towards a healthier life (Sumball, 2020). For endurance athletes like runners, this becomes even more important. A new study found that “human endurance does have a limit — and it’s likely similar for everyone. The long-term cap is about 2.5 times the body’s resting metabolic rate, or 4,000 calories per day for an average person, scientists reported” (Saplakoglu, 2018). In other words, the maximum amount a person can burn is about 4,000 calories. This is not so high for

Volume 2

an endurance athlete performing and practicing at a high level. They can reach this very quickly. Therefore, the need to consume more calories can become emergent to ensure they don’t run a caloric deficit. Everyday Nutrition It is important for endurance athletes to eat, but what exactly? Many well-known running magazines including Runners World and Runtastic have written numerous articles regarding this topic. In Runtastic, Julia Denner writes about bananas and coffee as a good quick energy source. She also talks about oats, peanut butter, broccoli, and whole grain pasta as good foods that will both hold long term energy and help the recovery process after a run (Denner, 2018, para. 5). Runner’s World had an article written by a runner, Peter Sagal, which is not only about what to eat, but also how to manage the challenges of eating healthy. Sagal’s main advice on this topic is, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants” (Sagal, 2017, para. 1). This simple quote gets runners thinking about what to eat and how to do it manageably. By “eat food” Sagal simply means to eat different types of foods, flavors, and textures in order to keep your brain and taste buds “excited”. When Sagal says “not too much” he is saying to have everything in moderation. When Sagal says “mostly plants” he means that fruits, vegetables, and really everything that grows has the best ability to boost a runner’s performance and anyone’s general mood and energy level (Sagal, 2017, para. 1). A former BIG 10 cross country and track runner from Purdue, Jenna Hallderman elaborated on this quote when talking about her experiences with everyday nutrition. She speaks a lot about not thinking about it too much and “taking everything in moderation.” On the topic of everyday nutrition, Hallderman stated, “I would eat 3-4 servings of fruit/day, 2-3 servings of veggies/ day, 3-4 servings of protein/day, and 2-3 servings of dairy/day” (J. Hallderman, personal communication, 25 February 2020). This follows Sagal’s quote about eating several different types of foods, manageable amounts of everything, and plenty of plant-based food items rather than processed food. However, Hallderman did stress that an endurance athlete should not worry too much on keeping the diet “clean”. She says, “I did not stress over food and did not count calories or track my servings. I did not eliminate sweets/desserts either. Everything in moderation” (J. Hallderman, personal communication, 25 February 2020). This goes along with a point Denner made in her article on everyday nutrition. She stated, “Dark chocolate (with at least 70% cacao) is the perfect sin because you don’t have to feel guilty afterwards” (Denner, 2018, para. 5). Denner also stresses moderation, stating “it always comes down to portion size. Two or three squares [of chocolate] are plenty” (Denner, 2018, para. 3).

A review article responding to a study on the PRISE protocol gives runners insight on ways to better fuel their bodies for training. One section focused on energy metabolism. In other words, foods that give athletes the optimal amount of energy. The first was the obvious one, caffeine. However, it was also found that consuming caffeine can increase the consumption of fat, making tea or gum a better way to get this source of energy. (Arciero et al., 2015). Another category listed in this article was dietary fiber and starches. Even though these are known for their weight loss properties, they can be favorable for athletes due to easy digestibility (Arciero et al., 2015). With the right combination of these two food categories, endurance runners will be able to get the maximum amount of energy for the upcoming race. Pre-race Nutrition Another focus for an endurance athlete includes the nutrition the night before and hours leading up to toeing the line. This part of nutrition is vital for the success of these athletes. It is important to gain a full stomach of nutritious food to obtain the optimal amount of energy while being easy to digest. For endurance events, the body needs to rely on food that will continue to give quality energy for long periods of time. During her interview, Hallderman stated, “I would go to an Italian restaurant with my teammates. I would order spaghetti (carbs) with grilled chicken (lean protein), a salad (veggies)” (J. Hallderman, personal communication, 25 February 2020). She said this ensures she gets every food group necessary for optimal energy. As for the day of the race, Hallderman says she likes to eat eggs and toast for breakfast as well as a NutriGrain bar closer to the start of the race (J. Hallderman, personal communication, 25 February 2020). Both the toast and Nutri-Grain bar contain carbs. This was smart on Hallderman’s part because a study conducted in New York concluded good reports regarding carbs and prerace nutrition. This study observed different types of runners, all planning on running a particular marathon. The amount of carbs consumed both the night before and the morning of were randomly assigned and tracked. Based on this, the study found “the reduction in running speed was less marked for the runners who consumed >7 g/kg of carbohydrate so that the greatest difference in running speeds between cohorts was observed between 35–40 km” (Atkinson et al., n.d., p. 20). This leads to the conclusion that consuming more carbs before a race allows the human body to keep at a higher speed for longer, an ideal combination for endurance athletes. Recovery Nutrition When a runner finishes a run or a race, they are in instant need of more calories. When the body works for this long

The Great Lakes Platform | 15

Squires Nutrition in Running

of a time, it can often create a calorie deficit. In Runner’s World, Leslie Bonci, an experienced runner, talks about the importance of recovery meals. She says runners must “refuel 15-20 minutes after a run” (Bonci, 2012, para. 2). Amy Marturana Winderl, a personal trainer certified from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), elaborates on this fact: “after using up its available energy, [the body] needs to be refueled, specifically with carbs and protein, for energy and to repair the microdamage that exercise does to your muscles” (Winderl, 2019, para. 2). Winderl also states the dangers of putting recovery nutrition on the back burner and treating it as an “if I get to it” type of priority. Winderl says skipping this step in nutrition can lead to fatigue and even overuse injuries due to low caloric intake. She also says skipping this step can lead to loss of body muscle due to the body trying to compensate for the calories lost in the workout (Winderl, 2019, para. 3). With this information, it can be concluded that recovery nutrition is the most important for doing an endurance sport long term and preserving the motivation and drive for the sport. A study conducted by NRC Research Press focused on the importance of protein in a runner’s diet. Although protein is important to gain energy, there is new information suggesting there may be a better alternative. This study found that although “a loss of lean tissue on training is obvious...this reduced energy intake [protein] does not replenish muscle” (Moore et al., 2014, p. 986). Because glycogen is lost during a workout, it is suggested that oxidized amino acids are more beneficial to an endurance athlete’s recovery. Although this is not a food an athlete can simply go pick up, different types of oxidizing amino acids, including methionine and cysteine, can be found in various foods found to be more beneficial than protein when it comes to recovery. Conclusion With the running community currently very involved with this issue, nutrition has a lot more meaning as far as how important it is to an athlete’s performance. Athletes including Emma Coburn, Colleen Quigley, and even Mary Cain herself have stepped up to share their experiences with nutrition and how runners around the country can better themselves from knowing how nutrition can increase their speed and endurance. These professional runners are writing blogs and keeping current on their social media to keep young runners, like myself, safe from dangerous caloric deficits. They emphasize the main tactics against caloric deficits include eating more volume and eating healthier options. They show examples of their meals in order to encourage others to make healthy alternatives and give everyone the optimal energy to compete at the highest level possible. As a runner, I closely follow these runners’ advice as well as the eating habits of Jenna Hallderman. This allows me to maximize my energy and keep the love for the sport as

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well as endurance athletics as a whole. With the physical strain endurance sports take on the body, keeping a caloric surplus is vital as well as fueling the body with energyfilled foods prior and after a race. Doing all this ensures the athlete reaches their full potential and runs fast! References Arciero, P.J., Miller, V.J., & Ward, E. (2015, March). Performance enhancing diets and the PRISE Protocol to optimize athletic performance. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, pp. 1–39. https://doi. org/10.1155/2015/715859. Atkinson, G., Taylor, C.E., Morgan, N., Ormond, L.R., & Wallis, G.A. (2011 August). Pre-race dietary carbohydrate intake can independently influence sub-elite marathon running performance. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 32(8), 611–617. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1273739. Bonci, L. (2012, August 7). What foods help speed up recovery? Runner’s World. https://www.runnersworld. com/nutrition-weight-loss/a20794117/what-foods-helpspeed- up-recovery/. Butler, N. (2018, June 26). The top 10 benefits of eating healthy. Medical News Today. https://www. Denner, J. (2018, May 16). Optimal performance: The 9 best foods for runners. Adidas Runtastic Blog. Retrieved May 12, 2020, from en/optimal-performance-the-9-best-foods-for-runners/. Moore, D. R., Camera, D.M., Areta, J.L, & Hawley, J.A. (2014 September). Beyond muscle hypertrophy: Why dietary protein is important for endurance athletes. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 39(9), 987–97. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2013-0591. Sagal, P. (2017, March 10). A runner’s guide to nutritional sanity. Runner’s World, https://www.runnersworld. com/runners-stories/a20849886/a-runners-guide-tonutritional-sanity/. Saplakoglu, Y. (2019, June 7). Scientists just found the limits to human endurance. Livescience. https://www. Sumbal, M. (2018). Essential sports nutrition: Guide to optimal performance for every active person. Callisto Media. Winderl, Amy. (2019, January 2). This is what happens when you don’t eat enough after working out. SELF, -after-a-workout. World Population Review. (n.d.). Most Obese Country 2020. most-obese-countries/.

DiMaria Il Vero Immortale è l’Amore

Volume 2

Il Vero Immortale È l’amore Jessica DiMaria Mount Pleasant High School

This year could bring joy The countless words To fill the empty space Blank No pain Back to the days When we were still So close to bliss This year could bring peace Time to spend together Like when we were young We run Through the back garden Meeting up to play No conversation about the future Unstopped by uncertainty This year could bring comfort The unsettling fear Of losing you Vanquished Back to the days When all you spoke was truth When your reflection was As familiar as my own This year could bring love Instead of suffering Yet it is falling apart No longer sitting Side by side Unknown horrors of loss Sinking into our souls Il vero immortale è l’amore.

The Great Lakes Platform | 17

Paulsen The Future of Food Allergies

The Future of Food Allergies

Hailey Paulsen Petoskey High School Abstract

In recent years, food allergies have dramatically increased, and there is currently no set cure for these allergies. This paper dives into the 3 current immunotherapies being tested and their strengths and weaknesses as well as the importance of bringing awareness to these therapies. It also gives a specific example of one of these therapies as it dives into the Southern California Food institute and their specific allergy treatment plan. Introduction As someone who has a severe allergy to tree nuts, I experience the annoyance and fear of food allergies every day. Growing up, I was never able to eat the cupcakes and cookies that were brought in for kids’ birthdays at school or at weekend birthday parties. I had to give up half my Halloween candy to the other kids who were able to eat things like Reeses and Snickers. My older brother hated me for the fact that he couldn’t have simple things like Nutella in the house and that we weren’t able to go to certain restaurants that used peanut oil. Nowadays, I check the labels of every food I eat, even if it is just “may contain” or “processed on the same equipment as…” it is a no. Every restaurant I go to, I feel so high maintenance after asking the waiter 50 questions about cross contamination and ingredients. Sometimes this is not enough, food gets cross-contaminated and no matter how careful people are things can happen. There is a constant fear every time I try a new food and I just have to take a bite and wait so see if I am still breathing in 10 minutes. There is currently no treatment for food allergies like mine, other than epinephrine which really only gives the extra time needed to reach medical help. I carry Epi-pens with me everywhere I go and I have to have 2 at all times because of the severity of my allergy. I luckily have not had too many scares, only one reaction when I was younger, but as nice as that is, the hundreds of dollars we spend on Epi-pens that expire and are not used adds up, and the daily fear and annoyance of the allergy takes a major toll on the lives of those affected. I’m not the only one who has to deal with this fear every day. In recent years, food allergies have surged. According to Miller (2019), around 32 million Americans have food allergies, which is nearly 10 percent of the population. This is 10 times more than what was reported 35 years ago (Miller, 2019). Kids and adults suffer with the fear of what seems to be normal everyday foods and have to pay the tax of hospital visits and Epi-pens, which are needed to save our lives. Fortunately for some children, they are able to grow out of their allergy. For example, about 80% of children with milk allergies and 15-20% of peanut allergies are out-grown by adulthood (RA Wood, 2017). However, the other percentages of the food allergy population do

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not have this luxury and need a different approach to an allergy-free life. “Each year in the U.S. 200,000 people require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food” (FARE 2019, p. 4). This is a substantial number and it does not take into account the minor reactions that do not involve medical help. Allergic reactions usually occur in 1-60 minutes after exposure, and can last hours to days (Khoriaty, 2012). Luckily, scientists and physicians have been working to find a cure. Places like the Southern California Food Allergy Institute have advanced their research and started trials with tolerance induction. There are 3 main types of potential therapies to reduce or cure most food allergies: food oral immunotherapy, food sublingual immunotherapy and epicutaneous immunotherapy (Michael H. Land, 2019). It is crucial that we bring awareness to these programs that are furthering their research on food allergies and educate people about them. Possible Therapies “Food oral immunotherapy (OIT)... involves a very measured specific introduction of the allergenic food to the patient in an orderly manner” (Land 2019, p. 7). As time goes on, the amount of the food is increased until the target amount is reached (Land, 2019). The long-term results are unknown for the most part as of now but physicians have seen that this has worked to desensitize many patients. Scientists have seen results of 60-80% in their trials with peanut, egg, and milk allergies (Moore, 2019). OIT seems to be the most effective and popular therapy so far, but scientists are still looking for other options. The main limitation of OIT currently is the likelihood of allergic reactions, although they usually less severe they still can occur. Studies have shown that 10-35% of children being treated with OIT have to be withdrawn due to significant or repeated reactions (Vazquez‐Ortiz, 2015) Like OIT, Food sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT involves placing tiny drops of liquid containing the allergen underneath the patient’s tongue and having them swallow the drop. Like OIT, the dose is gradually increased over time until the desired amount is reached. The results are not as attractive as OIT’s results but SLIT has had fewer reactions occur (Land, 2019). The final type of therapy is Epicutaneous immunotherapy also known as EPIT.

Volume 2

EPIT is similar to a nicotine patch for the patient; “It is placed on the skin and releases small amounts of the allergen into the skin,” (Land 2019). This theoretically leads to the desired change in the immune system (Land, 2019). The Southern California Food Allergy Institute is one of the largest institutions for food allergy immunotherapy. They currently have a 99% success rate and have had over 40,000 successful challenges completed in their clinic. Only .004% of their patients have needed to use epinephrine (SoCal Food Allergy, 2019). They use the Food Oral Immunotherapy tactic, and collect millions of data points to allow them to use math and analytics to better understand their treatments and ensure they do it safely. Each child’s treatment differs from another. There are 4 major steps to their treatment: Intake and Diagnostics, Review and recommendations for treatments, Tolerance induction, and Long term monitoring and follow up care. The first step is Intake and diagnostics. This entails a 90 minute consultation with one of the physicians, where they discuss the patient’s history, lab work and conduct some tests. The tests may include the skin prick test, immune function analysis, GI testing, and blood testing (SoCal Food Allergy, 2019). The second trip is dedicated to reviewing the information and testing from the first visit and coming up with a treatment plan. The physician starts by classifying the patients allergy phenotype and categorizes their allergy into sectors of “allergic” “sensitized” or “tolerant” along with diagnosing any other connected or underlying conditions such as immune deficiency (SoCal Food Allergy, 2019). The physician then begins treating any of these minor underlying conditions. They finish the visit by presenting the patient with their specific plan for their tolerance induction, that is based on their personal immune system. After these first two visits, the patient finally begins the process of tolerance induction. Most of the process is done at home on a plan of incremental doses with occasional clinic challenge visits, where the patient may up the dosage or increase the difficulty of their treatment. Patients first start with treating foods they are said to be “tolerant” with meaning they have a minor allergy. They then move onto foods they are determined to be “sensitized.” This begins with the first dose being given in the clinic. They do so until they reach an adult passing dose, which for example is 10-12g for most tree nuts and are able to consume a regular maintenance dose comparable to a regular US diet. The patient then moves onto treating the foods they are categorized as “allergic.” They start this in the clinic with emergency medical staff on site. They then repeat the home dose process for 6 weeks before returning back for the larger dose. Patients have 24 hour on call support at all times, which relieves some of the stress (SoCal Food Allergy, 2019). It is a long vigorous process, but the end results have been shown to be worth the wait.

The final part of the tolerance induction process deals with the long term monitoring and follow up care. This may require the patient to do less frequent large maintenance doses to increase the safety and results of the process and improve the compliance, as well as allowing the patient to consume as much of their former allergen as they would like (SoCal Food Allergy, 2019). The Southern California Food Allergy Institute continues to follow up and monitor their patients over a long period of time and continue to collect data points to help them with future treatment plans. Conclusion Some people may argue that treatments at places like the SoCal Food Allergy institute do not have enough successful cases to prove effective but the opposite is true. OIT especially has had very pleasing success rates of around 70%, and SoCal Food allergy has a 99% graduation rate. Although some treatments don’t end up completely curing the patients’ allergies, these patients are now desensitized and will have less severe reactions, which is life-changing in itself. It is very important to draw awareness and inform people about these treatments, as they can be life-changing. Without the support from other people, these organizations will not be able to further their work and find a 100% cure. The future of food allergies is looking up, and we have to give allergy institutions, like the SoCal food allergy institute, the opportunity to create a solution.   References Facts and Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www. Khoriaty, Evelyne, Umetsu, & T., D. (n.d.). Oral Immunotherapy for Food Allergy: Towards a New Horizon. Retrieved from https://synapse.koreamed. org/DOIx.php?id=10.4168/aair.2013.5.1.3 Kids with Food Allergies. (n.d.). Retrieved from https:// Miller, K., Miller, K., Miller, K., Miller, K., Miller, K., Campbell, K., & Peikoff, K. (2019, May 6). Why Food Allergies Are Surging. Retrieved from https://leapsmag. com/why-food-allergies-are-surging/ The Current State of Oral Immunotherapy: AAAAI. (n.d.). Retrieved from conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/oit We transform lives from fear and isolation to hope and freedom. (2019, September 23). Retrieved from https:// Wood, R. (2017). Oral immunotherapy for food allergy. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2017, 27(3), 151–159.

The Great Lakes Platform | 19

Swaney Skin

Skin Swaney

Mount Pleasant High School

It’s creeping up my throat Comes from between my ribs And now the eyes, no longer mine, Do not see what they get It’s clawing up my throat Bursts from between my ribs The wounds will heal, they’ll disappear In a year Or two Or five Or ten But I’ve outgrown this body I’ve worn out this skin I’ve outgrown this body And these bones are wearing thin And don’t you love the summer Each one like all the rest Like back in time, when they remind you You’re not yourself yet Don’t you love the summer Your family knows you best You think they’ll hear, you can let them near In a year Or two Or five Or ten I have to tell you again And again and again That I’ve outgrown this body I’ve worn out this skin I’ve outgrown this body And these bones are wearing thin Truth is, I don’t know who I want to be The scariest thing is that I am free But every time you say the words I feel them stick to me She says that I’m not who I am I’m what you see

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Achenbach Self-Portrait

Volume 2

Self-Portrait Brandon Achenbach Reeths-Puffer High School

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George-Griffin Uncharted

Uncharted Emma George-Griffin Mount Pleasant High School

I’m sailing on uneasy waters and it’s raining. Hard. All of the time. My sails are ripped and my boat is off course, drifting away. I can’t stop it; the water is too powerful and the wind is too strong There’s nothing I can do except wait until the boat reaches a shore or the water consumes me. The wind howls in my ear and I wish that I could go back. Go back to that year before You drifted away. The Storm consumed You before I could say goodbye. Now I’m here, sailing these waters, just to find You. I want the sun to come out again and feel the breeze through my hair and my toes, because when there is a storm nobody knows, nobody knows where uncharted waters will take you.

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Harris We Need to Read

Volume 2

We Need to Read: America’s Stance on Reading and why it matters Paige Harris Petoskey High School Abstract This paper explores multiple benefits of reading and America’s view of the activity. Reading is increasingly being regarded as a thing of the past, and America’s stance on reading is one that is progressively becoming negligent. The rewarding aspects of reading have been extensively researched: reading increases academic success, enables empathy, and reduces stress. Furthermore, reading is extremely accessible and affordable, with the United States holding over 100,000 libraries. Despite its benefits and accessibility, America is quickly falling out of love with the timeless activity. America holds a paradox: Americans want to be well read and want their children to read, but they simply We Need to Read: America’s Stance on Reading and Why it Matters “Paige, it’s reading time!” my mom would say with a wide smile plastered onto her face. My seven-year-old self was not excited. “NO!” I would exclaim and run to my room. Up until I was about seven, like many my age, I did not like to read. I saw the experience as boring, hard, and unengaging. My parents had to force me to finish the reading charts my teacher would send home as homework. This mentality continued until I found The Magic Tree House books. This series was a big turning point in my life: I was not just turning pages; I was turning over a new leaf in my life. The wild, unrealistic adventure and animated pages fostered a deep love in me for the series. Ever since The Magic Tree House books, I have been obsessed with reading. Fantasy, adventure, nonfiction, romance, you name it! While my love of reading has produced many late library fees, it has also produced something not as expected. Reading has made me a more empathetic leader. It has made me a more diligent and motivated student. It has made me a hardworking team player. Every character has offered a lesson or some takeaway to apply to my own life. When I began reading more and more, I was just doing something I loved. I was completely oblivious to how it would help my academic and personal life. My reading comprehension, writing, and grammatical skills have soared through just doing an activity I find fun! These are the effects I have witnessed in my own life. Reading has astounding effects on people, as backed by science, which makes America’s overall disinterest in reading baffling. Reading is a skill often neglected, yet it is one that needs to be nurtured in order to feel its full positive effects. Reading improves memory, concentration, and vocabulary. It fosters empathy, understanding, and acknowledgement in its participants (Winter, 2020). If the positive effects of reading are heartily researched and widely acknowledged, why aren’t people reading? What are the repercussions of America’s lack of reading?

America On Reading According to the Pew Research Center (2019, para. 2), “27% of American adults say they have not read any books in the past year, up from 19% in 2011.” America is facing a crisis: less and less people are reading. Libraries across the nation are receiving fewer visitors, perpetuating generational disinterest in reading. Reading is important for adults, but it is even more critical for the future leaders of the world: kids. Renaissance, an educational software company, conducted a study regarding youth reading habits and the effects. Renaissance published, “A longitudinal study of nearly 4,000 students found that children who read proficiently in third grade were four times more likely to graduate on time than peers who were not proficient in reading in third grade” (n.d., para. 11). This is a key indicator of how reading habits, developed at a young age, can have impactful effects on the lives of youth. In synopsis, the study found that third graders who fell in the top 25% of reading achievement were “nearly three times more likely to enroll in college than peers who struggled with reading and were in the bottom quarter of reading achievement” (Renaissance, n.d., para. 14). America needs to keep reading—if reading is not a focus for adults, how can a good example be set for children? America is facing a paradox: American adults want to be well read and want their children to read for fun, but American adults simply do not want to read. Research produced by Baker and Scher (2002) has concluded that “parents who believe that reading is pleasurable convey a perspective that is appropriated by their children” (p. 1). Regarding factors that influence a child’s reading habits, a report by Rankin (2012) has concluded that “a print-rich environment and access to a variety of texts” (p. 80) is a helpful way to prompt children to become readers. Furthermore, according to the Scholastic Organization (n.d.), parents who read out loud to their children throughout elementary school have a higher chance at igniting a love of reading. The research clearly indicates that, as previously mentioned, Americans respect and acknowledge reading and the values of books.

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Harris We Need to Read They want to see these values reflected in their children, but hypocritically they do not want to read themselves. American adults, when offered free time, do not pick up books or go to their local library. With social media and TV usage on the rise, American adults turn to their smartphones or TV remotes. According to a study published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Americans aged 15 and older spend 3 hours and 15 minutes, each day on average, watching TV, playing games, and using computers for leisure” (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015). This is compared to 19 minutes a day spent reading. This indicates that American adults are spending much more time utilizing technology rather than books. In her book, Reader, Come Home, Maryanne Wolf discusses the intricacies behind America’s decreased reading habits and its potential effects on younger and future generations. Wolf (2018) writes regarding her own opinion, as backed by studies and others’ opinions, that there are prevalent “worries that there is a diminishing desire among our young people to expend such effort (effort regarding the internal dialogue that requires the reader of both time and desire)” (p. 75). Maryanne Wolf also published Proust and the Squid, a book regarding how the reading brain has evolved across time. In Proust and the Squid, Wolf (2000) writes: “Decade after decade of research shows that the amount of time a child spends listening to parents… read is a good predictor of the level of reading attained years later” (p. 82). Throughout the book, Wolf emphasizes the criticality of a child’s reading environment growing up and how much of an impact it makes on future reading levels. Across the US, reading for pleasure is frankly an ancient pastime. People, busier than ever before, choose to spend their limited free time on social media or watching TV rather than picking up a book. Reading has so many personal and academic lifelong benefits. What are Americans really missing out on? Academic Achievement Jim Rohn, a former American entrepreneur, has put reading and its correlation to achievement in this concise quote: “Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary” (Rohn, 2018). A 2016 study was conducted by university students in Texas, hypothesizing that across the high school level, and subsequently other age groups, pleasure readers scored higher on standardized tests than non-pleasure readers. The study examined sixty-five high school juniors, focusing on scores beyond the predictable English class. This expansive study regarded English, as well as history, science, and math. According to interviews conducted by the authors, high school teachers at the school reported that “encouraging students to engage in self-selected pleasure reading was beneficial, even essential, to ‘developing successful learners’” (Whitten et al., 2016, p. 57). While the educators in the study unanimously agreed

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that reading is beneficial for students, 71% of students interviewed reported that they did not value reading (Whitten et al., 2016). The study showed, as predicted, that the activity of reading is closely correlated with academic success. The authors reported that, across all sections—science, math, English, and history—pleasure readers scored higher than non-pleasure readers. This study was done at the high school level where the numbers can be measured quite clearly, but how these results would transfer over to adult life is quickly inferred. Readers achieve more success in high school, allowing them to gain self-confidence and personal achievement at a critical point in their life, which creates a stepping stone for college, and later, the workforce. An Empathetic Nature New York Times number one bestselling author George R.R. Martin put the relationship between empathy in people and reading into words when he stated: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one” (Martin, n.d.). Books transport readers into the place of the characters. Oftentimes, characters in novels undergo different life experiences, circumstances, and outlooks than the reader does. By reading, empathy and understanding is gained through an acknowledgment of actions by the characters discussed. Research has indicated that “neuroscientists mapping the brain have discovered that reading fiction taps into the same brain networks as real-life experience” (Bergland, 2014, para. 1). This means that, while reading, the human brain is “living vicariously through the characters at a neurobiological level” (Bergland, 2014, para. 1). Diana Tamir, a scientist at the Princeton Social Neuroscience Lab, has indicated that social cognition is found to be increased in people who read fiction as opposed to those who do not. Through her research, people who read fiction were found to be very “skilled at working out what other people are thinking and feeling” (BBC Future, 2019, para. 10). Tamir’s research shows a direct correlation between reading and empathy. As an article in BBC Future explains, “Using brain scans, she [Tamir] has found that while reading fiction, there is more activity in parts of the default mode network of the brain that are involved in simulating what other people are thinking” (BBC Future, 2019, para 10). The University of Amsterdam published an article on whether fiction reading influences empathy. Sixty-six Dutch students took part in this experiment; each were asked to read a section of author Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Adventure of the Six Napoleons.’ By experiencing a feeling of being ‘transported’ into a character’s life, the reader gains perspective (Matthijs Bal, 2013). Such perspective allows society to connect, relate, and communicate in empathetic and insightful ways. The empathy

Volume 2 offered to society through literature and reading is astounding and impactful, and when overlooked, has a detrimental effect on today’s increasingly polarized society.


Stress Reduction

6 more minutes: Struggling readers, daily reading practice, and growth. (2018, March 22). Retrieved from https://

Fernando Pessoa, an influential Portuguese poet, stated this: “Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life” (Pessoa, n.d.).

Baker, L., & Scher, D. (2002). Beginning Readers’ Motivation for Reading in Relation to Parental Beliefs and Home Reading Experiences. Reading Psychology.

Reading transports people into another state. Through focusing on the words and pages, readers gain a deep state of relaxation. As previously mentioned, people today are becoming busier and busier. Stress is on the rise in all age groups, particularly adults and teenagers (American Physiological Association, 2015). For an article published online on Telegraph, “Dr. Lewis, a Cognitive Neuropsychologist has stated: ‘Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation. This is particularly poignant in uncertain economic times when we are all craving a certain amount of escapism’” (Telegraph, 2009, para. 5). The University of Sussex has discovered that “reading can reduce stress by nearly 70%” (University of Sussex, 2009, p. 47). Also, according to the University of Sussex (2009), “Only six minutes of reading can slow down the heart rate and improve overall health” (p. 51). Reading offers a swift relaxation method. When a book is opened, the mind is invited into another world, the world of literacy, and the reader is offered a break from the taxes and stresses of daily life. Conclusion Reading heightens academic achievement, reduces stress, and increases empathy in its participants. It is also an affordable and accessible activity to partake in with over 100,000 libraries located across the United States (American Library Association, 2019). Despite its benefits and accessibility, reading for pleasure is experiencing a steeply sloping downward trend across American teenagers and adults. Learner’s Edge, an educational blog, has written that, in order to encourage kids to read, adults need to read more, and houses need to have more books in them (Learner’s Edge, 2016). America’s paradox around reading is one that is interesting and prevalent: American adults want to be well read and want their kids to read, but they increasingly do not want to read themselves. For future generations, it is critical that reading is not viewed as an ancient pastime. As technology popularity and dependence continues to rise, the stance of viewing reading as a thing of the past may be the one youth take. In America, this devastating reality can be shifted. Reading can be viewed as a beneficial, rewarding, and enjoyable activity for all Americans. To neglect our libraries, to neglect books, is to accept ignorance and stagnation. For America, William Faulkner concisely put directions into simple words: “Read, read, read” (Faulkner, n.d.).

Bal, P. M., & Veltkamp, M. (2013). How does fiction reading influence empathy? An experimental investigation on the role of emotional transportation. Retrieved from PMC3559433/ Can Reading a Fictional Story Make You More Empathetic? (n.d.). Retrieved from Charts by Topic: Leisure and sports activities. (2016, December 20). Retrieved from charts/leisure.htm Edge, L. (n.d.). 5 Ways to Encourage Students to Read. Retrieved from Hammond, C. (2019, June 3). Does reading fiction make us better people? Retrieved from future/article/20190523-does-reading-fiction-make-usbetter-people LibGuides: Number of Libraries in the United States: Home. (n.d.). Retrieved from numberoflibraries Perrin, A. (2019, September 26). Who doesn’t read books in America? Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch. org/fact-tank/2019/09/26/who-doesnt-read-books-inamerica/ Rankin, C., & Brock , A. (n.d.). Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Age . Library Services for Children and Young People. Reading ‘can help reduce stress’. (2009, March 30). Retrieved from news/5070874/Reading-can-help-reduce-stress.html Stress in America: Paying with our Health. (2014). Retrieved from stress/2014/stress-report.pdf Tamir, D. I., Bricker, A. B., Dodell-Feder, D., & Mitchell, J. P. (2015). Reading fiction and reading minds: the role of simulation in the default network. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(2), 215–224. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsv114 Whitten, C., Labby, S., & Sullivan, S. L. (n.d.). The impact of Pleasure Reading on Academic Success. The Journal of Multidisciplinary Graduate Research, 2, 48–64. Wolf, M., & Stoodley, C. J. (2007). Proust and the squid: The story and science of the reading brain. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

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LaCoe Illustrations

Twin Towers

Jaiden LaCoe

Walled Lake Northern High School Bubble Gum

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Bootz This Side of Eternity

Volume 2

This side of eternity Kaitlyn Bootz

Mount Pleasant High School the seams unravel and fray as i fall apart sodden in this river that no man could dream of overcoming is there a light at the end? i cannot tell. my reach only extends so far i try to phase back into present tense but the incessant forward motion of my feet just draws my attention back to the inescapable and ever-present realization that things end.

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Anderson How Does Society Affect Beauty Standards?

How does society affect beauty standards? Molly Anderson Petoskey High School

Abstract Women are expected to look a certain way―a way that society has shaped for centuries. Extremely skinny, perfect skin, long, beautiful hair, and even a poised personality. Anything different is deemed unattractive. This belief has been crammed into the vulnerable minds of young women and girls, affecting their self-perception of their own “beauty” and self-confidence. But how do these standards become the norm and what is the aftermath for women surrounded by these beliefs? How Did it Start? Since the beginning of successful human civilization, there has always been an ideal beauty standard set by society. In 500 B.C. Ancient Greece, the “prettiest” women were full-bodied and had light skin. During the Roaring Twenties it was beautiful to be flat chested and have a boyish figure. Now, women are desired to have flat stomachs and skinny bodies or fit bodies with big chests and butts (Yang, 2015). People like Kendall Jenner demonstrate the typical slender body type almost all models have, while people like Kim Kardashian demonstrates the curvy look. In today’s culture, people go as far as turning to plastic surgery to obtain the stereotypes that are so strongly worshiped. With technology continuously improving, the stereotype of beauty changes with it at a much faster rate. This is called technological determinism, a view that has a huge impact on beauty standards (Carrigan, 2017). Technology allows a widespread of opinions to expand to every part of the world in order to form a unanimous decision of what is accepted. As social media use has skyrocketed, exposure to these opinions has also increased, turning into the biggest influencer in beauty standards. Instagram is one of the main platforms for these opinions to be expressed by society. It provides the opportunity to follow and have access to the people who they see as inspirational. Society picks who they want to idolize by giving support through these varying platforms of social media. People with a lower following count see their lack of praise from society and perceive themselves to be “ugly” or “unpopular.” That is because individuals with the highest following usually look the same or act the same- the way that is expected from society. How does this affect the people who don’t fit society’s standards?

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The Effects Studies say that if adolescents don’t believe they fit the standards, it can lead to body dissatisfaction and lower self-esteem (Uchoa, 2017). Body dissatisfaction can then lead to other issues, such as eating disorders and high-risk behaviors. This seems to be a growing problem worldwide, once again thanks to the rise of social media. Another study showed that “44% of adolescent girls believed they were overweight, while 60% said they were actively trying to lose weight even though a majority of the girls were in normal weight ranges,” (Morris 2003, p.8).With prolonged exposure to television, social media, or other media, these issues have a higher probability of affecting the viewer. It doesn’t matter what gender, race, or socioeconomic class you are- everyone is affected by these standards established by society. Positive Influences and Actions Even through all of the negatives that come with society’s toxic standards, there are still role models in the media who promote self-love and confidence. “Young women are dangerously “unmothered”-unprotected, unguided-institutionally and need role models and mentors,” (Wolf, 2002). In order to ignore these “rules” that society has made for others to believe, women need to work and support one another, especially during these destructive periods in our culture. Older women who have been in the music and movie industry for a long time have consistently rebelled against this desired body image. For example, Madonna refused to “shave her legs or wear makeup, not wanting to conform to the girly girl ideal” (Croll, 2016). Since then, she has continued to perform and wear what she wants, often to prove a point. Younger female role models, such as

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Lizzo, have significantly helped promote self-love to today’s generation, similar to that of Madonna. Lizzo is well known for her body positivity filled lyrics in her music and expressing a confident mindset across the media. “I know I’m a queen but I don’t need no crown” (Lizzo, 2019) is just one example of her empowering lyrics. These role models challenge the typical beauty standards, which can help the public raise their selfconfidence.


In order to change the negative mindset, you have to be willing to change simple thoughts and actions throughout your daily routines. Although it is hard to fully be free from society’s standards, repetition of mental steps can start to increase your personal outlook on your own beauty. Doing things such as surrounding yourself with positive people, making lists of what you like about yourself, or even being more aware of the unrealistic media are healthy ways to ignore the ideals (NEDA, 2018). Another step towards “freedom” can be seen through the involvement of organizations. Organizations such as, The National Organization for Women, have created campaigns and social movements to take back oppressive norms. They started the “Love Your Body” movement which has spread across social media advocating support between women in society (NOW, 2020). However, even with all the positive influences, they can’t make as big of an impact on someone, if the people don’t understand how these beauty and body standards are not ideal.

Morris, A. M., & Katzman, D. K. (2003, June). The impact of the media on eating disorders in children and adolescents. Pediatrics Child Health. Retrieved from PMC2792687/

Conclusion In hindsight, media and society have always influenced what beauty is. As a result, society tends to idolize the people that fit those standards and it is only human nature to want to emulate what you see on tv or social media. The only issue is that the people that are idolized aren’t good advocates for realistic body images. They all look the same- lean and unflawed. But the public doesn’t realize we are all made to be different and beauty comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Women especially are affected the most by these desired criterias and it can lead to dangerous results. The only way to combat these expectations is to have an open mindset towards your own idea of beauty, as well as others. If all people would have this mindset, our toxic society could finally break free from the harsh stereotypes that consume our culture.

Carrigan. (2017). Beauty Standards: What Society Says is Good Enough. In Hastac. Retrieved from https:// beauty-standards-what-society-says-good-enough Croll, J. (2016). Bad Girls of Fashion. N.p.: Annick Press. Lizzo (2019). Soulmate[Song]. On Cuz I Love You[Album]. Nice Life Recording Company

National Eating Disorders Association. (2018). 10 Steps To Positive Body Image. In . (Ed.). Retrieved from National Organization for Women. (2020). Love Your Body. In . (Ed.). Retrieved from Uchoa, F. N., Lustosa, R. P., Rocha, M. T., Daniele, T. M., Deana, N. F., & Alves, N. (2017). Media influence and body dissatisfaction in Brazilian adolescents. Wolf, N. (2002). The Beauty Myth (pp. 283-291). New York City, NY: Harper Perennial. Yang, E. L. (Producer). (2015). Women’s Ideal Body Types Throughout History [Online video]. Buzzfeed. Retrieved from eugeneyang/womens-ideal-body-types-throughouthistory#.avw4wZpn6o

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Damer-Daigle Hey Siri

Hey Siri Roman Damer-Daigle Mount Pleasant High School

“Hey Siri, turn on my writing app Truth Detection. I need to write my college admissions essay, and I want to be sure I don’t lie in it.”

“No, Roman. You do not know what idyllic means.”

“Truth Detection activated. Begin writing, and I will check for dishonesty.”

“The Honors Program offers an opportunity to engage with similarly motivated students within a smaller classroom and with greater interaction with faculty. Being accepted as a student to a number of small liberal arts colleges and also to a Division III soccer team as a star recruit, I…”

“Dear Admissions Committee, I want to attend the University of Michigan because of the breadth of opportunities across all academic disciplines. I could participate in a number of different areas of interest from the fine arts and humanities to engineering. I am interested in the humanities becau…”

“Apparently, not. Ok, thank you, Siri.”

“Excuse me, Roman. A review of your soccer statistics indicates that you were a good player but hardly a star.”

“Excuse me, Roman. Our database of your interests indicates that while you enjoy reading, you have not expressed an interest in studying humanities at university.”

“Ok. Thank you, Siri.”

“Ok. Thanks, Siri.”

“… you misplayed or were dispossessed…”

“While I appreciate reading and humanities, my primary interest is in the sciences. I like addressing problems in a manner that can be tested and explored objectively. While I do enjoy open debate…”

“Ok. Thank you, Siri.”

“Excuse me, Roman. Our database of your interests indicates that you do not enjoy the open debate. On May 23, August 17, and October 6, you said so. Shall I search further back?” “No, stop searching, Siri. While I prefer debating interpretable results with people of similar open-mindedness, I am hoping to expand my interests by interacting with students of different backgrounds within a smaller classroom. The Honors Program, with its idyllic setting…” “Excuse me, Roman. You have not used the word ‘Idyllic’ before today. Shall I add it to your known vocabulary? Are you sure of its meaning?” “Does it mean ‘academic and argumentative’?” “No, Roman.” “Inside a small classroom?” “No, Roman.” “Without grades and lots of free time?”

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“You scored a lot of goals, but…” “Ok. Thank you, Siri.”

“…a number of your mistakes on the ball even led to…” “OK! I get it, Siri.” “Sorry, Roman.” “While soccer is an important interest to me, I value my education above all else. The Honors Program will help me to make this transition, by offering the academic intensity and class sizes I desire, while also providing the enormous amount of opportunities that the whole of U-M can offer, including sports, music, and perhaps new activities as I try to expand my interests.” “Excuse me, Roman. Our records indicate that in your nearly 18 years of life, you have shown minimal desire to expand your current interests. In fact, you’ve only ever played soccer and…” “Shut up, Siri. Things can change.” “Ok, Roman.” “Having devoted thousands of hours of my life to music…” “Excuse me, Roman. Throughout your years of trombone playing, you’ve spent approximately 1567 hours in either band class or jazz rehearsal. This is an

Volume 2

inadequate amount to label as thousan…” “Thanks, Siri.” “While not expressly, devoted to music, at U-M I could perhaps participate in a non-music-major ensemble and…” “Excuse me, Roman. While you were a competent trombone player in high school, your level of talent at the instrument is well below the standar…” “Alright, that’s enough for now, Siri. Stop Truth Detection App.” Frustrated, I took a break from writing. While the new U.S. laws about truthfulness and honesty in writing were somewhat annoying, I understood their importance. Honesty should be valued above all else. If we don’t have honesty, we have nothing. Prior to these new laws, prospective college students were able to say they did any amount of community service hours without repercussions. Students could exaggerate and distort the truth about their level of devotion to clubs, sports, and organizations they may have been a part of. I’m glad these new laws were put into place because it holds people accountable. “Hey Siri,” I took a deep breath and rested my fingers against the keyboard, hesitating. “Never mind Siri, shut off.” In a flash, I began typing. But this time, the only words that appeared on the screen were the truth.

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Werdan Is Standardized Testing Effective?

Is Standardized testing Effective? Tristan Werdan Petoskey High School

Abstract Standardized testing is a tool used by schools across the planet to gauge student performance. It can be a good way to make sure that a curriculum is hitting all of the right points or to make sure that students are getting the proper foundational knowledge in different subjects. However, the way we use standardized testing today isn’t always effective, and it has several negative impacts on the educational system. There are too many outside factors to determine a student’s worth from one test, and their scores may not be representative of their actual academic ability (Graff-Webster, 2011). Standardized testing should be used as a tool to help students grow and develop as learners, not to determine a teacher’s pay, or to determine the path of a student’s life. If you’ve graduated, or at least attended high school, then you are aware of the frustrations that followed you through your teenage years. Some of the most persistent complaints that parents and teachers have to suffer through every year revolve around one topic: standardized testing. Standardized testing is widely hated by students and controversial among school staff but treated as gospel among governmental structures and colleges. Standardized testing has been contested ever since the school reform conversation was initiated. Even after all the conversation, the question still remains unanswered: is standardized testing an effective tool, and should we continue using it? Standardized testing is, in fact, a great tool for collecting data on a student body’s understanding of a topic or set of topics. Using tests as measurements of the average understanding of a topic within a targeted group works extremely well. If 90% of a class gets one question on a test wrong, then the teacher knows to review that information and recontextualize it in a different way to see if the class responds. Likewise, if an entire class aces a test, the teacher can safely move on to another subject. It has been proven time and time again that testing can raise student performance. In a scientific article called The Effect of Testing on Achievement: Meta-Analyses and Research Summary, 1910–2010, 170 different studies performed between 1910 and 2010 were analyzed and compiled into one set of data. Results in favor of testing as a helpful tool in the classroom were supported by almost all of the evidence (Phelps, 1970). Standardized testing can also be used to get an idea of how well a class, school, or district is performing. Using data collected from these tests, states can decide how much money to send each school district (Graff-Webster, 2011). An issue with this, however, is the way that the tests are treated after the students have finished with them. The

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problem lies with the way that they are being graded. While the multiple-choice sections of most tests are graded by machines, the essay sections are checked by people. Most students, parents, and even some teachers believe that these test-checkers are teachers, professors, or at least people with degrees in education. This, however, is not true. In an article called The Loneliness of a Long-Distance Test Scorer, the author describes his experience as a test scorer. He describes the requirements for becoming a grader early on in his piece: “all it takes to become a test scorer is a bachelor’s degree, a lack of a steady job, and a willingness to throw independent thinking out the window and follow the absurd and ever-changing guidelines set by the testscoring companies” (DiMaggio, 2011). Test scoring is not done by a state or federal government group. Instead, it is carried out by privately hired companies, who work their employees day and night to turn out graded papers. Scorers are forced to grade up to 40 papers in an hour, meaning that the paper a student spent 45 minutes writing is getting a minute and a half of attention before having a number slapped on it. The test graders are asked to give out grades that hover around certain scores in order to meet predetermined guidelines and estimations set by the company, which means that any results from essay portions that are sent back to schools may be inaccurate (DiMaggio, 2011). This could affect a school’s funding or that school’s curriculum in the following years. One use of the data collected from standardized testing is deciding where resources need to be put within the school system. This could be on any level, from classroom evaluation to state or country-wide evaluation. This data is also commonly used in teacher evaluation. In 34 of the 50 states in America, a teacher’s evaluation requires the standardized test scores of the students (Will, 2019). In many places, teachers are given different

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pay based on their evaluations. This means that some teachers will lose pay if their students perform poorly on a standardized test. Setting a teacher’s pay based on evaluation has many benefits: it can increase a teacher’s drive to teach, it can help schools get rid of teachers that aren’t good at their jobs, and it can reward the teachers that already do an amazing job. The problem is that teachers cannot control their students. A teacher’s pay would be affected by challenged students, students that have no choice but to miss a lot of school, and students that simply don’t care about their education. In some extreme cases, this may prompt a teacher to try to help a student by cheating, or encourage a student to stay home on the day of an important test in order to get a better class average (Graff-Webster, 2011). Students generally hate standardized tests. This is mostly because they consider them boring or because they get panicked at the idea of such a big test meaning so much to their lives. A single test may determine if you get accepted to the college you want, if you get that scholarship, or if you are accepted for the job you’ve been preparing for over the last four years. However, there are harmful factors that originate from the tests that students don’t even know about, much less think about. Many teachers have stopped teaching in creative or interesting ways that promote critical thinking. This is because it is safer for them to “teach to the test” (Meador, 2018). While students may do better on the test and have a better chance of getting into the college of their choice, teaching to the test may hurt their learning in the long run. Once entering the workforce, the knowledge gained in preparation for the test is often unrelated to their career. The best skills for them to have in any field are creativity and critical thinking, which are not skills proven by most standardized tests. Daniel Koretz, a psychometrician, author, and Harvard professor said in his book that standardized tests “usually do not provide a direct and complete measure of educational achievement” (Strauss, 2011). He and many others believe that, while standardized tests are a good way to measure some educational skills, they are not a good way to find the cumulative knowledge that a person possesses.

on a test. It simply isn’t fair for the school system to use a single test to calculate the worth of a student. Standardized tests should be used as a tool by educators in order to create a better learning environment and a more focused curriculum. A standardized test should never be a high-stakes exam, and it should never determine someone’s future. References DiMaggio, D. (2011, March 19). The loneliness of the long-distance test scorer. Retrieved February 27, 2020, from Graff-Webster, E. (2011). Standardized testing: Good or bad for assessment of teacher performance, assessment of the education system? League of Women Voters. Retrieved from Meador, D. (2018, September 27). Performance based pay for teachers. Retrieved February 27, 2020, from Phelps, R. P. (2005). Defending standardized testing. Mahwah (New Jersey): L. Erlbaum Associates. Phelps, R. P. (1970, January 1). The effect of testing on achievement: Meta-analyses and research summary, 1910–2010. Source List, Effect Sizes, and References for Quantitative Studies, by Richard P. Phelps. Retrieved February 26, 2020, from journl/v7y2011i2p1-25.html Strauss, V. (2011, April 15). The myths of standardized testing. Retrieved February 27, 2020, from https:// the-myths-of-standardized-testing/2011/04/14/ AFNxTggD_blog.html Will, M. (2019, October 8). Most states have walked back tough teacher-evaluation policies, report finds. Retrieved February 27, 2020, from http://blogs.edweek. org/teachers/teaching_now/2019/10/most_states_ have_walked_back_tough_teacher_evaluation_policies_ report.html

Standardized tests are useful tools for teachers and administrators to find problem areas in the curriculum and within the student body, but they should not be the end-all holy grail of academic achievement. Standardized testing should not be used to make any decisions on a student or teacher’s life until they can be made truly standard. Less than 16% of parents objected to standardized graduation exams when polled, but they don’t recognize the fact that standardized tests aren’t truly standard (Phelps, 2005). There are too many outside factors that affect the outcome of tests to consider them truly standardized. Cheating, poor scoring systems, family matters, and even the amount of sleep a student gets can all affect a child’s grade

The Great Lakes Platform | 33

Swaney Do You Know How Fall Smells?

Do you know how fall smells? Swaney

Mount Pleasant High School

Do you know how fall smells to me these days? It smells like a cold, dry wind that comes in waves That washes life from leaves, or so it seems, And hits me in the face Leaving me in a haze As I remember the last time I felt this:

Stiff hands spinning flags Nearly visible breaths as I count my steps Inhale one-two, Exhale three-four Trying to put on an act I’ve never seen before.

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Volume 2

These days I dance in time and out again Surprised to find myself just having fun Wind doesn’t make me worn, not anymore And when I drop my gun I pick it up and I move on

And I remember- the last time I felt this, I felt nothing like this

More like a torrent of leaves tumbling Each measured breath, that cold dry wind The wind that, one day, Might usher in spring But the autumn fog was too thick And the calendar pages far too heavy To see that then.

So I hoped A terrible sort of hope: If the wind stops Maybe the leaves won’t fall anymore.

The Great Lakes Platform | 35

central michigan university honors program Providing high academic ability students with unique educational opportunities and experiences, the CMU Honors Program challenges students to aim higher and to achieve more academically, personally, and professionally for the greater good of our disciplines, our society, and our world.

T he Great Lakes Platfor m is a production of the Central Michigan University Honors Program in collaboration with the Colle ge of Education and Human Ser vices and the

Colle ge of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.