Hopkins School 986 Forest Road New Haven, CT
Vol LXV, no. 3
February 14, 2019
Hopkins Introduces New Courses Zoe Kim '20 Assistant News Editor This February, Hopkins released the 2019-2020 Course Guide. As Hopkins students prepare to start planning their course schedule for the upcoming year, many know little of the actual process that goes into adding new courses. Although students begin their course selection well into the second term, the actual process of creating a new course begins long before that: all the way back to the summer before. Ideas don’t only come from the teachers and faculty. Hopkins students also have a large influence in the process. History Department Chair Elizabeth Gleason jokingly said, “Student input matters quite a lot, especially for electives, because if students aren’t interested, they don’t run.” In addition, students often have new creative ideas for potential classes. “Sometimes students will come to us expressly to ask for or very strongly hint at the fact that they wish we offered something that we don’t,” Gleason added. History teacher Zoe Resch noted the influence of research papers and other projects: “Topics that we see people wanting to do over and over again are strong indicators for us in what students are interested in and the potential classes we can create from that.” Resch went on to state that often in electives, teachers who teach related topics notice a certain unit or specific questions in which stu-
dents continue to show interest. The idea for the new history course of Asian Studies: Buddhism, came from History teacher Ian Guthrie’s Comparative Religion class. Guthrie noticed the popularity of the Buddhism unit and how students wished it were longer. Resch stated is meant to “replace the previous course of Asian Studies with a narrower approach." It will dive into the narratives of countries such as India and Tibet, and examine the changing nature of ideas, communities and cultural traditions from a global perspective. Once a new course idea solidifies, it then goes through a series of steps in order to make it onto the guide. The idea is first discussed within the department. Once it receives departmental approval, it must go through Director of Academics David Harpin. From there, it is pitched to the Academic Policy Committee. If it makes it through that, it is then brought to a full faculty vote where it is decided whether the course will run next year or not. The History Department also added a Russian History class, which will trace Russian attempts at enlightenment, rapid industrialization, and modernization in Imperial Russia and the USSR. The Art Department is adding two new courses. Acting II is a new name in the course guide. Art Department Chair Bobby Smith stated, “The class, in essence, is replacing the old course of Acting for Film.” (Continued on Page 2)
George Wang '20 George and Jake Wang '20 mercilessly beat elementary school children 11-0 in a chess exhibition
Check Mates Host Chess Tournament While most of Hopkins spent the weekend after exams sleeping in and recovering before the second term, the Hopkins Chess Club hosted the third annual Connecticut State Grade Chess Tournament on January 19. Hundreds of eager young chess players filled the tables lining upper Heath and spent the day playing chess. The tournament was organized by George and Jake Wang '20, who, along with Cole Markham '20 are the heads of the Hopkins Chess Club. The tournament has grown considerably since Hopkins first hosted it in 2017. In the inaugural year, there were 120 participants, and that number has since grown to over 400 players from schools all over the state. Some Hopkins students also participated in the tournament. The Hopkins Junior team won the Eleventh Grade Connecticut State Chess Championship title with a standout performance by Cole Markham '20, who got second place. Ian Dalis '20, tournament participant, said playing chess “really challenges me to have unwavering focus for hours at a time.” The Wang twins, who organized and ran the tournament, did not compete. After the tournament, they held a chess exhibition, where the (Continued on to Page 2...) duo simultaneously played against eleven of the competitors.
Hip-Hop Activist Jasiri X Launches Black History Month
Sarah Roberts ’20, News Editor Sophia Cerroni '22 “They say Jasiri X you preach too much, I'm like Black people we asleep too much, A Black President but he doesn't speak for us, Another Black body lynched is not unique to us.” Jasiri X is a hip-hop artist and political activist who uses his platform to speak on racial inequity in the United States and around the globe. At Assembly on February 1, Jasiri shared his journey with the Hopkins community, from explaining his mother’s profound influence on his path as an artist to the creation of 1Hood, an artist and activist collective that he co-founded in Pittsburgh to promote peace. As Rehab Senanu ’20 put it, “He spit nothing but facts, and not everybody can do that.” "As a young Black Muslim man, Jasiri uses his art to interact with his community and I thought he
Jemma Williams Jasiri X Opens Up Black History Month in Assembly Inside This Issue: News.........1-2 Features......2-3 Op/Ed......4 Arts......5 Voices..........6 Sports........7-8
Features, Page 3: Faculty Profile: Learn Mrs. Gerstenfeld's past as an architect.
would be a great person to show us what that back and forth between the individual and their community is like,” explained Becky Harper, the Director of Equity and Community. Mikiko Coakley ’23 was amazed to hear how Jasiri connects with his community and realized “since most of us don’t have his background, it was eye-opening to hear about his experiences and how they can apply to us.” Other members of the community appreciated this change of pace as well. Elizabeth Roy ’20 said: “Although Hopkins alums can be incredibly interesting people, I tend to be less engaged in their presentations. It feels more productive to listen to people who have had different experiences than us, like Jasiri X, and to appreciate their stories.” In the opinion of Jamie Donovan ’19, “he’s the best speaker we’ve had all year.” Jasiri explained that his message to students is twofold: “One: follow your passions, your dreams, your conviction. Two: tell your own story and don’t let anybody else do it for you. Do it for yourself.” The presentation from Jasiri X was the first of many initiatives to kick off the celebration of Black History Month at Hopkins. In an effort to strengthen the celebration and collaboration of Black History Month at Hopkins, Students United for Racial Equity (SURE) and the newly reinstated Black Student Union (BSU) came together to plan an even more comprehensive month of events. This planning committee consists of BSU heads Lizabeth Bamgboye ’20 and Michael Christie ’19 and SURE heads Sana Patel ’19, Elena Brennan ’20, and Rayane Taroua ’20. Bamgboye explained why she pushed to revive the BSU, which had been dissolved a few years ago, “While we all appreciate that space and discussion that SURE provides. Michael Christie and I believed that the Black students on campus deserved a space to discuss experiences relating to them.” Last year, Bamgboye and Christie sent out a survey to members of the Black community asking Op/Ed Page 4: Diversity at the University? - Exploring the lack of political diversity at college institutions.
Voices Page 6: Every Meter Earned: A personal essay about the satisfaction of rowing.
if they would want a support system at school and the response was a resounding yes. This lead to the reformation of the BSU, as well as the Black Alumni Network. The next Black History Month speaker will be Sylvia Chan-Malik, a professor of American, Ethnic, and Women's Studies at Rutgers University, on February 21. February 21 is Martyr’s Day, the day Malcolm X was assassinated. Professor Chan-Malik is of Asian background but married a Muslim man and converted to Islam. “Through personal stories, Professor Chan-Malik will be able to speak on American Islam through the eyes of women of color,” shared Dante Brito, another adviser in the Office of Equity and Community. Her presentation will focus on Malcolm X, his life, and his importance. Although the knowledge and experience these speakers bring to campus seem immeasurable to some members of the community, the BSU and SURE recognize the importance of looking inwards. “Bringing outsiders in is extremely valuable, but we also want to stimulate intimacy in our own community and to understand how students on our campus feel,” commented Taroua. To accomplish this, Taroua and the rest of the Black History Month committee have organized a fishbowl discussion for February 27. It will take place in upper Heath during Activities Period. The discussion will be very informal, with the primary goal of creating an open space where students can feel comfortable asking questions and understanding how their peers feel. In addition to the fishbowl discussion, there will be a Black History Month Showcase on February 20 to “spotlight both Black artists within our community and the United States in general,” said Brennan. “The showcase will strive to show the emotion and heart of Black History Month through all types of art.” The showcase will feature a performance from Dance Crew, Jam Club, and (Continued on Page 2) couple of individual songs. Sports Page 6: Team Chemistry in Sports: A Valentine's Day tribute to all teammates.
The Razor: News
February 14, 2019
Students Travel to NAIMUN Check Mates Host Chess Tournament Julia Kosinski ’21 Assistant News Editor On February 14, a group of twelve Hopkins students will leave for Washington DC to represent Hopkins at the North American Invitational Model United Nations conference (NAIMUN). Founded in 1963, NAIMUN is one of the oldest Model United Nations conferences. NAIMUN draws many top schools from around the globe to compete each year, exploring real world problems and negotiating to find solutions. When asked about how NAIMUN differs from other model UN conferences, History teacher and Faculty Advisor for Hop MUN Dave DeNaples responded that “this conference is very large and international. Brown, for example, draws about 600 delegates mostly from New England, while NAIMUN hosts 3000 delegates from all over the U.S. and the world.” Students attending NAIMUN are assigned to one committee as well as a delegation to represent within that committee. When asked why she chose the Organization of Islamic Cooperation committee, Rayane Taroua ’20, who will represent Djibouti, responded, “The two topics we will discuss, Youth Unemployment and its Impacts on Political Stability as well as Islamic Financing and Public-Private Partnerships are both new to me. I am Muslim and I am currently taking Islam in the Middle East so this committee felt like the right fit. I want to learn more about Islam and the Middle East in the 21st century and this is a great way to do it. ” Julia Tellides ’20 chose her committee, the Crisis Provisional Government of Cuba in 1898, because she plans to use her extensive knowledge of the subject to gain an edge in negotiations. She explained that she not only “wrote my term paper on the aftermath of the Spanish American War” but also chaired a committee at HOPMUN last year focusing on the outcome of the Spanish American war. Although she has considerable background
knowledge, Tellides elaborated on how this committee will still present challenges: “My committee is bilingual so debating can be in both Spanish and in English. I have never heard of a committee that is bilingual. I think the committee will be a challenge, but I also think it will be fun to practice my Spanish.” In order to represent their delegations accurately and to negotiate and debate successfully, students must prepare prior to the conference. Lily Meyers ’20 will represent Kenya in the Peaceful Use of Outer Space committee. Meyers described how she will, “prepare for the conference by reading articles, watching news videos, reading the background guide that the committee chairs write, and writing a research paper.” When asked about how she plans to apply what she has learned from previous conferences to NAIMUN, Taroua remarked, “In my experience with Model UN, every conference is what you make it. You can definitely slide into a conference with minimal effort and limited research but then you would not get as much out of it. Model UN is really about personal passion and drive.” Katherine Takoudes ’20 will represent Pep Guardiola, the Former Manager of FC Barcelona in a crisis committee that is unique in that each delegate represents a prominent political or cultural figure rather than a country. “The main lesson I’ve learned from my past MUN experiences is that you should not be afraid to speak up and share your ideas. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people as well as learn about history and current events in a completely unique atmosphere,” explained Takoudes. While NAIMUN serves to simulate rigorous negotiations of the UN, it also provides students with a welcome break from the stress of school and a chance to explore new cities. Taroua commented, “I have never been to Washington so I am really excited to explore the city. There is a great group of students going so I am really excited to relax and enjoy time away from the Hill.”
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k Outside of school, the Wang twins are very involved in Chess Haven, a 501 non-profit organization dedicated to putting chess to use in the classroom. They founded the organization in 2012. George Wang ‘20 described this work as “a full time job outside of school.” During their three years at Hopkins they have formed the Hopkins Chess Haven Alliance in order to increase the school’s involvement with the organization. Over the past three years the tournament has donated all of its proceeds to Chess Haven, totalling over 20,000 dollars. George elaborated on the program: “100% of the funds will be used to continue our development throughout the New Haven community, as we have already outreached to over 400 students from New Haven public schools such as the Elm City Mon-
tessori School. We have already provided $7000 in funds through chess equipment and through grants to start new chess programs.” Chess Haven plans to use this money to create a chessbased curriculum for elementary school students. “The money will also be used to expand our affiliation with the Common-Core Standards Initiative. We designed and published a common-core aligned chess curriculum, which is currently being piloted in over 250 schools across 30 states.” The Wangs plan to continue to support Chess Haven through events like the tournament. George Wang said “I think that it is important to give back to the New Haven community”The next step for the Hopkins chess club will be a trip to the World Team Chess Tournament (U.S. Team East) in Parsippany, New Jersey. Beginning on Saturday, February 16, Hopkins will have multiple teams of four competing for the title.
Black History Month
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In the span of the month, SURE and the BSU have three separate movie screenings planned. The first will be a special screening for the Junior School of Hidden Figures, a movie about three AfricanAmerican women working at NASA during the space race. On February 22, there will be an all-school movie night screening The Rape of Recy Taylor, the story of an African-American wife and mother who was gang-raped by six white men in 1944 Alabama. The screening of the documentary will be followed by a Q&A session with Professor Crystal Feimster, a professor of African-American studies at Yale University who worked on the movie. “This is an amazing opportunity open to the entire Hopkins community, including parents. Professor Feimster had a large contribution to the film as her academic focus is on racial and sexual violence,” emphasized Brennan. She will be following up with the Hopkins Community during Activities Period on the following Wednesday to continue to unpack the documentary.
To close out the month on March 1, there will be a High School only screening of The 13th, a documentary exploring the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the nation’s racially disJemma Williams proportionate prisons. Jasiri X answers questions during a Q&A session I n and the other members of addition to these larger-scale the Black Student Union and activities, the committee hopes SURE urge the community to to send out Black history facts do more: “Listen. Welcome disevery week, and with the help comfort. You may not know the of Chris Jacox, “we will be putright words or facts and that is ting out poems on Fridays by okay. Go to a movie night. ParAfrican-American authors,” ticipate in the showcase. Ask a said Brito. In truly talking about question burning on your heart Black History for a month, “we during a Q&A. Learn with us. are generating conversations Celebrate with us. Most importhat will continue to remain reltantly, carry this attitude not evant,” indicated Bamgboye. only this month of February As Black History but every single day hereafter.” Month continues, Bamgboye
New Courses Offered at Hopkins
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Coinciding with the new Drama class, Design and the Art of Making has been added to the list of 3d classes now offered at Hopkins. Stemming from the popularity of Design Engineering, Smith said “we knew the idea of having hands-on art of making prototypes was popular with students, we wanted to provide another way for them to take a course that did not have any prerequisites.” By adding this class, Smith hopes to “create a track of study for students whose interests are geared towards engineering, science, and the three-dimensional arts.” The English department experienced the biggest change in the Course Guide. What was once called The Masters Works: Mark Twain, was charged to Legends of Literature: Virginia Woolf. When asked about the name change, English Teacher Alex Werrell stated, “We thought the word ‘master’ was a problematic word in general, regarding race and gender. Legends of Literature seemed a much better fit.” As for why the course changed from focusing on Twain to Woolf, Werrell stated: “She is a pivotal figure, at once conversing with an older tradition and introducing a brave new world of literature.” The class will not only explore the novels of Woolf, but also read her letters and criticism which contain illuminating insights to her life. Magical Realism and Native American Literature are also new English courses. The Magical Realism class will read literary classics rooted in the Latin American genre. Students will study works of literature from Marquez, Allende, Rushdie, Morrison, and Ward.
Similarly, Native American Literature hopes to foster discussion about American identity through works
verge. Werrell added, “a core of the course is a fundamental belief that creolization is a rich process that influences both colonizers and colonized.” Students now selecting their schedule for the next school year were excited by all the new choices. Emmet Dowd ’21 explained why he signed up for Magical Realism: “I like how it’s about magic and fantasy but also “mundane” and grounded in society. For a while, in English classes we only read the classic American important novels so it is interesting to read other works of literature that are big parts of other cultures; magical realism seems like an attempt to diversify.” Some students were left wishing for more. CC Rocco ’20 who is planning on signing up for Asian Studies: Buddhism commented, “Hopkins doesn’t really teach too much about Asian History. It seems like it’s less than “straight history” and more focused on religion. It’s a whole half of the world that we don’t learn about. And I feel as if its a big gap in our core curriculum regarding the diversity of the History Department courses.” Rocco added that she still is excited to take the course: “The course, in general, seems to be a more abstract approach to learning and more open to conceptual discussions and conversations which catch my interest in regards to History electives.” Mr. Wich explains to Juniors how to sign up for next year’s courses The Hopkins course guide is constantly exof novels, short stories, poetry, and primary sources. panding and open to feedback from students. Smith Writing at the Crossroads is another new class summed up this sentiment, “We want to keep evolvexamining the theme of creolization, while also in- ing as a school, as well as diversify the experivestigating the literary moments where cultures con- ences that students have in an educational setting.”
February 14, 2019
Hopkins Community Reflects on the Legacy of Presidents Lily Meyers ’20, Assistant Features Editor Emmet Dowd ’21 In honor of President’s Day, students and teachers share their views on the complex legacy of presidents. Many agree that when determining how a president should be remembered, context is crucial. History teacher Zoe Resch said, “As an historian, I believe that we cannot ignore context in evaluating why events occurred and why people acted as they did, but neither should context be used to erase the actions that we see as wrong today, such as slavery, Indian removal, and the treatment of victims of deadly diseases.” Simon Bazelon ’21 suggests that one way to account for the context of a presidency is to consider where a president’s beliefs fell in relation to his contemporaries. He explained that, “Abraham Lincoln had some views that would now be considered racist. But at the same time, Lincoln’s views were more progressive than most politicians of the 1860s, and he deserves credit for that.” Lilly Delise ’20 warns that peo-
ple can lose sight of the complexities of a president by viewing them in a polar lens, “There are good presidents who have made morally wrong decisions, but are remembered as heroes due to one or two actions that shaped the country. For example, Thomas Jefferson is known for the Declaration of Independence and the Louisiana Purchase but infamously owned slaves. In other cases, like Lyndon Johnson, a president is only known for his bad actions, but he had the most productive presidency in US history in terms of passing legislation, passing core pieces like Education Funding, Food Stamps, Expansions to Social Security, and the Civil Rights Act. All his hard work was forgotten because of the Vietnam War.” History teacher Ian Guthrie agrees that presidents should not be simplified. He explained that, “any figure, contemporary or historical, should be remembered as the complex, multidimensional figures that they are and were. We do a disservice to the memory of individuals and to our collective capacity for critical thinking when we attempt to reduce any individual to any singular event, personal-
ity trait, deed, political position, campaign promise, personal failing, or public glory. Human beings are complex and multifaceted, and we would do well to learn to how to collectively hold complex thoughts and
Teachers Ian Guthrie and Richard Thornburgh kick off their campaign in custom T-shirts.
feelings about them.” There are times when presidents can be glorified without simplifying their
presidencies. Delise believes that, “For the sake of the unification of our nation, I believe that the earlier presidents can be glorified.” However, relying on emotions to define a presidency can wash out the complexities of their term. Sana Patel ’19 thinks that the way society usually remembers presidents is different from how they should be remembered: “I think a president should be remembered by how they actually impacted the country as a whole, but I don’t think that is the case. When you live through presidents you see how they interact with the community and that creates emotions within you, either positive or negative, and we typically remember instances of a president being charismatic or kind, or horrific and socially harmful.” Guthrie suggests that when determining how a president should be remembered, “we should first try to sort out our own feelings about our collective national history. I think we should engage in dialogue with those in our communities, and we should endeavor to be comfortable with different opinions. We should never submit to group think.”
Students Reflect on Political Faculty Profile: Gabriela Gerstenfeld Discussion Series Connor Pignatello ’19, Features Editor Veronica Yarovinsky ’20, Assistant Features Editor Spanish teacher, architect, math teacher, or linguist? Gabriela Gerstenfeld, a Spanish teacher on The Hill, gives us an insight into her adventurous life of teaching, designing, and travelling.
came an architect, I used to be a math teacher, because I liked it. Then I got my degree and I didn’t go back to that kind of teaching. We [my husband and I] were about to move from New York to Connecticut, and my husband told me ‘Why don’t you teach Spanish?’ I sent some resumes, and the day after, Hopkins called me because they needed a substitute for a couple of weeks, and I commuted in from New York [each day], and I loved it. Then I went to Spanish Literature, and I loved it the most.
Could you tell us about the hotel you built in Uruguay? I’ve built two hotels. I used to build buildings, like apartment buildings mostly but also other projects. And then came the idea of a hotel, and I say ‘Yeah, why not’. So we go to a hotel, and find land, and a group of people that wanted to invest, and it’s a small hotel, but it’s a four-star hotel with ten floors plus a lobby. It has done well, it’s in a nice location, it’s not downtown but it’s very close to the river and the ocean. This was my own company, I was the architect, the designer, and the builder. I still work as an architect in the summer. One project [since I moved to the U.S.] that I did in Uruguay is a place for parties, called La Hacienda, that was the Gabriela Gerstenfeld last big project I did. A lot of summers here I buy a house and I flip it. Gabriela Gerstenfeld has taught at Hopkins for fourteen years. I always need to be doing something. My mother is a stay-at-home mom, but I can’t do that. When did you move to America from Uruguay? I moved here eighteen years ago. That morning I went to my hotel where the construction was finished but the furniture was arriving. Until noon I was still receiving furniture, because a hotel is different from when you build a building -- you need to furnish it. I was moving [furniture] but I hadn’t packed. I brought one suitcase, and whatever fit inside, that’s what I brought. Why did you decide to teach Spanish? So I worked in New York, in an office with long hours, and I worked until the very last week of my pregnancy. After that, it was hard to go back to an office with long hours when I had a baby. I didn’t know what to do. I took a break of maternity leave. Meanwhile, I couldn’t do being without work or doing something. I offered the city to teach some courses during the afternoons just to do something. I started with art courses, because it was what I knew the most. In addition to that, before I be-
What do you like better: being an architect or teaching? I miss being an architect and working through the whole project. I got a little tired and bored when I would work on a project and only do one thing, so every day becomes the same. I used to do the whole thing, from materials to workers -a little bit of everything, not just sitting behind a computer. When I started as an architect, we would do all of the drawings by hand. When we started using computers, the work turned into many hours behind a computer. I miss the back and forth of being in the construction site, physically with the material.
What’s one thing that people should know about you? I received a notification for deportation in the US one time and I was shocked. It said that I have three months to leave the country, and it was obviously a mistake because I was a legal resident. So whenever I see children being separated from parents, I remember myself. All of a sudden, my life was flipped upside-down. I didn’t know how to explain that it was a mistake, but the government is huge and I didn’t know who to go to and explain that it was a mistake. Finally someone gave me the idea to call the local senator and that person called immigration in New York. That was a very scary moment: I had a son born in New York, a husband from Israel. The other thing that people should know is that my father, my step-father, my mother, my husband, my son, and I were all born in different countries. My family travels together and the passports are from everywhere: different colors and languages. And they look at us and say: “Is this a family?”
Izabella Lopez-Kalapir ’20 Features Editor On January 4, 2019, the Young Democrats and Young Republicans combined forces on a new project: the Hopkins Political Discussion Series, where the two clubs hosted a collaborative discussion on the topic of gun violence and methods of prevention. This, however, did not mark their first joint meeting, as they held two previous meetings in late November and mid-December on the topics of the Constitution and immigration policy. Noah Giglietti ’20, co-head of Young Republicans and one of the organizers of this new program, said their mission “is mainly based in awareness. We’re trying to remove that ‘us versus them’ mentality and realize that people from all across the political spectrum are looking to solve these hot button issues. It’s a matter of making it clear of each other’s intentions and find a common ground.” Ella Zuse ’21, co-head of Young Democrats, said that this discussion was “really different from ones we have had in the past because it was focused around three articles we sent to everyone. We focused on the specific arguments that had been presented [in the articles] which then expanded into a more general discussion.” Co-head of Young Republicans, Alessandro Amoedo ’20, commented on the quality of conversation: “The discussion was generally civil; I would not say anyone argued with each other but of course there was a back-and-forth about the interpretation of free speech and the right to bear arms. In regards to participation, the floor was open for anyone to put in their input and it was generally quite balanced.” Ben Nields ‘19 spoke on the nature of important, yet polarizing, debates such as these, saying “Typically conversations about gun control devolve into a volleyball match of weak talking points. While there was some of that, I think our focus was on the more complex aspects of the issue.” Glover also noted: “The dialogue was respectful the entire time, and I felt like everyone listened to the points the other side made in an effort to foster more productive discussion.” Madeleine Walker ’19, co-head of Young Democrats, urges all to take the opportunity to “reach across the aisle” and join in the discussion. Amoedo added, “It was very productive for both clubs. That’s why we decided to do the Political Discussion series at Hopkins, so people could share their opinions regardless of what party they belong to. It is important for both sides to learn what each other is thinking and that joint meeting helped with starting it.” Nields assessed the meeting’s end, saying, “There wasn’t a consensus over any one solution. I think what’s important is that everyone left the discussion with a greater understanding of all the different perspectives involved with the gun control debate.”
February 14, 2019
Outstanding Legislators Connor Hartigan ’19 Op/Ed Editor Are you ready? If you’re reading this, I have a special request. On the count of three, I want to hear three cheers for Martin Looney and Josh Elliott. One...two…Who? If you had that reaction, you’re not alone. Most politically engaged Americans -- and even those who generally don’t care for the civic arena -- could likely name their U.S. senators and Congressional representatives. It’s probable they could name their Governor as well. But state legislators too often fly under the radar of public consciousness. We tend to gloss over lowerlevel officials in our imagination of the political world, and even ridicule them for their perceived insignificance. On The Office, one fictitious legislator in the Pennsylvania Senate is belittlingly referred to as “the state senator,” as though being a state (as opposed to a federal) senator were a mark of inferiority or irrelevance. Perhaps the belittlers could have learned from sister show Parks and Recreation, centered around the passion and dedication of local public servant, Leslie Knope. While the influence of State Senator Martin Looney (New Haven/Hamden) is obviously more limited than that of U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, his work may more profoundly affect the day-to-day lives of Connecticut residents, and he is an indefatigable force for good. In the early 1980s, Senator Looney sponsored the legislation that incentivized employers to create onsite daycare for workers’ young children. A decade later, he ensured the passage of Connecticut’s assault weapons ban. And in May of last year, he led the successful effort to pass the Time’s Up Act, a rigorous statewide crackdown on sexual misconduct, in response to the #MeToo movement. I keep up correspondence with Craig O’Connell, my first-grade teacher and a fellow Hamden resident, who tells me, “Martin is a hard-working, intelligent, articulate progressive representative...an exceptional human being...and we, in Hamden, are fortunate to have him.” This past fall, as part of the coursework for Twenty-First Century Democracy, I had the pleasure of work-
ing on the re-election campaign of Josh Elliott, my Hamden state representative. In 2016, Elliott, inspired by Bernie Sanders’ progressive campaign for the presidency and backed by the pro-Bernie organization, Our Revolution, challenged an establishment-backed candidate for the General Assembly seat, and rode to victory in the primary and the general. When we met, we immediately bonded
“Martin is a hard-working, intelligent, articulate progressive representative... an exceptional human being...and we... are fortunate to have him.” over our shared love of Senator Sanders. On the October afternoon when I spent hours knocking doors with Elliott in Spring Glen, he told me that, although his victory in safely blue Hamden was a foregone conclusion, he was actually glad that he had a challenger. “They absolutely should run someone against me,” he said. “It’s not right if I don’t have any competition...I wouldn’t have much incentive to go out and make personal connections with voters, would I?” I’ve observed many politicians who pretend to care about the human beings who vote for them, but from my experience as a constituent of Representative Elliott and Senator Looney, they truly think that their purpose as representatives of the people is to look out for them. It is possible to engage with genuinely good politicians, and they’re right here in our backyards. Those of us who devotedly follow national politics might carry a crushing sense of cynicism after the past several years. Everybody has something to be weary or angry about. A great deal of our national discourse has become confrontational, aggressive, and hostile. It is easy to dismiss politicians as corrupt, out of touch, or coarse. There are, without a doubt, federal politicians with hearts of gold and local politicians who couldn’t care less for their constituents. But I wonder whether the more focused and intimate nature of local campaigns—fewer online broadsides, more knocking on doors—helps them to rise above the manic climate. Their work is more important than the overwhelming outrages that too often consume us.
Editor-in-Chief: Theodore Tellides Managing Editor: Katie Broun News.......................................................................................Sarah Roberts, JR Stauff, Zoe Kim, Julia Kosinski Features..............................................Izzy Lopez-Kalapir, Connor Pignatello, Lily Meyers, Veronica Yarovinsky Op/Ed..........................................................................................Connor Hartigan, Saloni Jain, Simon Bazelon Sports....................................................................Audrey Braun, Alex Hughes, Teddy Glover, Anushree Vashist Arts..........................................................................................Ellie Doolittle, Katherine Takoudes, Leah Miller Voices........................................................................................Sara Chung, Saira Munchani, George Kosinski Editor-at-Large................................................Olivia Capasso, Noah Schmeisser, Ziggy Gleason, Casey Gleason Cartoonists................................................................................................Melody Parker, Arthur Masiukiewicz Webmaster.................................................................................................Nina Barandiaran, Arushi Srivastava Business Managers...........................................................................................Caitlyn Chow, Sophia Fitzsimonds Faculty Advisors..................................................Jenny Nicolelli, Elizabeth Gleason, Sorrel Westbrook-Wilson The Razor’s Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
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Diversity at the University? Noah Schmeisser ’19, Editor-at-Large & Brian Seiter ’19 Colleges pride themselves, as they should, on creating a diverse and well-rounded class of students. Ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and even geography come into play in college admissions as colleges try to create a diverse, interesting class. Diversity is undoubtedly important—college classes should be melting pots, filled with unique backgrounds and dynamic personalities. This focus on diversity is vital — homogeneity is both boring and detrimental to education—and diversity in all its forms should be celebrated. Which is why it is so painfully ironic that our country’s best universities are completely homogeneous. Ethnic, social, and geographic diversity, to name a few, are vitally important in creating a representative and interesting class in the dorms and on the quads. This variety is essential to a well-rounded institution. But in the classroom—the ultimate center of collegiate life—no diversity can be more important than diversity of opinion, and not just political opinion. Diversity of identities, cultures, and experiences are still important, but that value comes from the fact that these differences lead to different thoughts and opinions. College is made for the exchanging of ideas and the changing and challenging of personal views. Political diversity—variety of opinion and social worldview, both within a student body and among faculty—is vital for this process. It is crucial for a truly educational experience. Such diversity is, simply put, a necessity.
“College is made for the exchanging of ideas and the changing and challenging of personal views. Political diversity—variety of opinion and social worldview, both within a student body and among faculty—is vital for this process.” And it is completely lacking, especially among the college faculty at our country’s best institutions. Over the last two decades, our universities have become increasingly politically one-sided, and this lack of political diversity has become so pronounced as to be the subject of scientific studies. Last April, Mitchell Langbert, an associate professor at Brooklyn University, released a study of 51 of the top 66 liberal arts colleges, as ranked by US News and World Report. The ratio of liberal or Democratic professors to conservative or Republican professors, taken across the 51 colleges, was 10.4 to 1. Within the top tier of those 51, as ranked by the same publication, the ratio grew to 21.5 to 1, meaning that for every two right-leaning professors at America’s best liberal arts colleges, there are 43 left-leaning ones. At some of our country’s best liberal arts colleges—Wellesley, Williams, and Swarthmore, for example—the ratio of Democratic to Republican professors exceeded 120 to 1. And a full 39% of colleges surveyed had no right-leaning professors at all. Liberal arts colleges, as the name suggests, tend to lean more to the left than other institutions, but the point remains. Other studies estimate the ratio of liberal to conservative professors across America’s higher-ed campuses to be somewhere between 6:1 and 12:1. Most estimates skew toward the higher end of that spectrum. And these gaps become
“As John Stuart Mill said, “It is hardly possible to overrate the value ... of placing human beings in contact with persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar. Such communication has always been...one of the primary sources of progress.” even larger for college and university administrators. Samuel J. Abrams, a politics professor at Sarah Lawrence College, published a study where 900 college and university administrators were interviewed for their political opinions. 71% of these administrators identified as “liberal” or “very liberal” and only 6% identified themselves as “conservative.” These numbers understandably vary among different areas of study. In STEM fields, the gap between right and left is much smaller— Langbert’s study found that within the field of engineering, the ratio is around 1.5 to 1. But in subjects such as law, psychology, political science, and history, there are considerably more liberal professors than conservative. College campuses are filled with hopeful, forward-thinking students and are designed for pushing the envelope toward change. College academia will always tend to attract progressive politics, and that is not a bad thing. But what is scary is this disparity in political opinion. As John Stuart Mill said, “It is hardly possible to overrate the value ... of placing human beings in contact with persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar. Such communication has always been...one of the primary sources of progress.” The exchange of differing ideas should be a defining feature of a college education. College should be a time of debate. It should be a place where opinions get challenged and changed, where we learn how to deal with opposing opinions. Political diversity is indisputably crucial to that process. And, regrettably, that diversity of opinion is becoming ever harder to find on American college campuses.
February 14, 2019
Jazz/Rock Ensemble Performs at Berklee Festival precision of the ensemble, and it also shows off some incredible soloists.” Trumpeter Felipe Perez ’22 also said “Puente Arriba” was his faOn Saturday, January 26, the vorite song: “It begins with an excelHopkins Jazz/Rock Ensemble traveled lent trumpet solo from Sophia Colodto Boston, Massachusetts for the annual ner ’19 and goes on present a lively Berklee College of Music High School and intricate tune scattered with soJazz Festival. Along with nearly 200 los from all across the ensemble.” other bands from around the country, the Jazz/Rock gained 29 points Jazz/Rock ensemble played three songs over last year’s score and Steven Broun for a judge’s panel and audience of re’21 won the Judge’s Choice Award nowned jazz musicians. from the Hopkins ensemble. Last year Beyond Jazz/Rock’s was the ensemble’s own performance, the festival first-ever participaoffered the opportunity for tion in a competitive Hopkins musicians to intermusic festival. Jazz/ act with other ensembles and Rock Conductor Chris jazz musicians from schools DeVona explained why all over New England. “It was the ensemble returned great to play with so many this year: “[Jazz/ talented musicians at such Rock] had a great time a well regarded event. All last year and it was a the bands are all so incrednice experience. We ible, and I learned so much got a lot of feedback about music just by watchfrom the adjudicaing them play,” said Davis. Jazz/Rock is all smiles at the Berklee College of Music. tors and clinicians that Others also enjoyed work with us at the festival and we performance based on both a criteria the festival as a bonding experience took strategies back to Hopkins and from the festival and his own knowl- for the group. Alex Schuster ’20 said, our rehearsals for the rest of the year.” edge of the ability and talent of Jazz/ “When we weren’t performing, we went Returning for the second year, Rock. DeVona said, “[the ensemble to watch other bands perform and spent the group was able to enter this year’s had] to prepare a swing chart, a more time with each other as a group. The fesfestival with more confidence and ease. traditional chart, and a slow ballad. We tival was a perfect opportunity for us to “Jazz/Rock improved so much after also had to perform a variety piece, so see what other high school bands are like another year of playing together and we chose a Latin piece called ‘Puente and to become closer as an ensemble.” knowing what the judges were look- Arriba’ by Robert Skiles.” Jazz/Rock After the festival, members of ing for,” said Sophie Cassarino ’20. also performed “Misty” by Erroll Gar- Jazz/Rock hope to echo the energy and Unlike a typical Jazz/Rock ner and “Giddy Up” by Rich Hirsch. passion from Berklee in their upcoming concert, the festival features a panel of Many members of Jazz/Rock performances. Trumpeter Alex Weisman judges, who score their performance, enjoyed the upbeat and swinging tune ’20 said, “Going forward, Jazz/Rock can and a clinician, who offers critiques of “Puente Arriba.” Auxiliary percus- take what we learned at the festival—both and suggestions. While baritone saxo- sionist Jacob Ragaza ’22 liked the from our own performance and from lisphonist Arthur Masiukiewicz ’20 said song’s “groovy Latin feel and fantastic tening to other ensemble—and apply it that “the judges were not intimidat- soloists.” Guitarist Connor Davis ’21 to our pieces and rehearsals. I’m excited ing and are just there to observe,” agreed: “It really displays the talent and to see what the rest of the year brings!” Katherine Takoudes ’20 Arts Editor Zach Williamson ’22
pianist Henry Fisher ’20 noted how “[the judges’] scrutiny added a degree of pressure to the performance.” The festival and anticipated feedback from the judges was the culmination of months of individual practice and ensemble rehearsals. Fisher explained: “We’ve been working on the same five or six songs for most of the term, with performances at concerts and Assembly scattered throughout.” DeVona chose the songs for
The Sixth Show: Hilarious One-Acts Dazzle Abby Regan ’22 On February 7 and 8, Hopkins Drama Association (HDA) began The Sixth Show: An Evening of Comedy One Acts, directed by Hope Hartup. This show was comprised of four oneacts: “Sixty Second Singles,” “Cut,” “This Is A Test,” and “Competition Piece.” “Sixty Second Singles” was a speed-dating TV show, where contestants had just sixty seconds to decide whether they wanted to get together. Hosted by Crystal (Ayelet Kaminski ’22), the show was full of unique characters looking for love. Emerson DelMonico ’21 commented, “I play a few different characters and I like how diverse they are. For example, one character is really shy while another has to beat up another character on stage. It’s both fun and challenging to play people with different personalities.” “Cut” was a chaotic play folded into another play. Characters be-
gan the act as one person ed to the repertoire of HDA and became more complex performances this year. Dias the story progressed. rector Hope Hartup said, “I In “Competition haven’t done any one-acts Piece,” three groups of the- for quite some time and so ater kids got together to pre- for me, I’d forgotten that they pare a show for a competition. The cast was mainly from the senior class. Finally, “This Is A Test” highlighted the anxieties of taking a test. In this one-act, Alan, played by Peter Graham ’20, took a test that he had not studied for. Graham shared: “My teachers can attest that I’m a Peter Graham ’20 and Griffin Congdon ’20 pretty wild test caught in character during rehearsal. taker, so when I play Alan I’m barely act- could be so much fun…It is ing! The last couple shows a very inclusive event when I’ve done I’ve played seri- so many kids can get toous parts, so playing Alan, gether and create something.” a comical character, was Most actors in this a nice change of pace.” show played multiple charThis show was add- acters in different scenes or
one-acts. Cast member Drew Slager ’21 said, “I’m in three of the four one-acts, so I play a wide range of different characters. Normally you only create one character’s story for the show you’re in, but creating multiple stories at a time is really interesting because you get to see how the characters overlap.” This show strayed from the typical theater experience because it wasn’t performed in the Lovell auditorium, or even on a stage. Instead, while the cast and crew of Into the Woods were working in Lovell, The Sixth Show was performed in Upper Heath. Kaminski said, “It’s an intimate experience and it adds some of the comedy because there’s no real division between the audience and the actors.” The Sixth Show was put together quickly, with only a couple of weeks of rehearsal time. Haniya Farooq ’22 said: “The group of people is really nice and it was a fun show to rehearse because it felt like a real community show.”
Hopkins Attends CMEA Regionals Katie Broun ’19 Managing Editor On January 11 and 12, 21 Hopkins musicians traveled to Platt High School in Meriden for the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) Southern Regional Festival. These musicians represented Hopkins in one of the five ensembles: Mixed Choir, Orchestra, Concert Band, Treble Choir or Jazz Band. After auditioning and learning pieces for their respective groups on their own, the musicians traveled to the festival for a weekend of music. Lily Meyers ’20, a soprano in the Mixed Choir, said she “enjoyed Regionals because it was a completely different experience than singing in a choir at Hopkins.” Meyers continued, “Normally, we will learn pieces all together at school, but at Regionals it was exciting to be able to start rehearsing and quickly start focusing on how we would perform the pieces.” Noah Stein ’21, a first violin in the Orchestra, was also one of the concert masters of the Orchestra. He said, “Since there were four concert masters and three pieces, the other three took turns as first chair during each of the pieces while I played a solo with the mixed choir. I got the solo
Emily Dell’Orfano Hopkins vocalists in the Regional Mixed Choir pose for a photo before their concert.
music the day of the performance and I had about fifteen minutes of rehearsal with them and I think I played well for the amount of preparation I had.” The Regional Festival draws high-school students from all of the southern region of Connecticut, which allowed Hopkins musicians to meet other students who study music at their schools. Sam Brock ’21, a bass in the Mixed Choir, “met many friends” and found common interests outside of the music. Brock said, “I met people who liked to sing and also liked math. I plan to see some people I met at a math team meet in the future.” Alex Weisman ’20 was the only musician from Hopkins in Jazz Band and he said, “When I first got [to Regionals], I was intimidated by the other musicians, but, as the weekend went on I became much more comfortable.” He said: “Being around elite musicians allowed me to expand my abilities as a musician.” One of the Hopkins Arts faculty took on an administrative role in the festival as well. Erika Schroth, Director of Choral Music, was one of the Co-Chairs of the Treble Choir. She described her view of the festival: “After spending a few years just bringing students to the festival, I think I just started to be more concretely aware of how valuable [the experience] is and how much our students get out of it. From the students who are experienced to the students who are just beginning, it is a huge growing experience for everyone.” When looking back on the musical experience, Meyers said, “I loved singing in a much larger group. It felt powerful and it reminded me of the importance of listening to the group as a whole while singing, instead of just focusing on one part.” Schroth agreed, and said that the festival “was great because I felt as though I was able to contribute to this thing that has been so wonderful for my students.”
The Environment of Illness at Hopkins Rayane Taroua ’20 During her first game of the season, Varsity Girls Soccer captain, Zoe Kim ’20, tore her ACL. Tied to the bed after surgery, still drowsy from the anesthesia and pain medication, she frantically called her classmates, hoping to catch up on a day’s worth of classes she missed. Although she would be bed-bound for the next eight days with nothing but her ice machine and a bloody knee, she was still stressed about every math as-
tion of students is not to come in having done all of the work if they are sick. I feel like this is an expectation the student have put on themselves.” The time period in which students have come to school feeling ill ranges from three days to three weeks. “Absences at Hopkins are so hard to make up, and the added stress to our daily load of homework and commitments is very hard to manage,” said Mika Kendall ’20. She has been absent for a total of 22 days so far this year. Students still feel as though they can not miss a day of school because the repercussions are just too large.
February 14, 2019
Every Meter Earned Theodore Tellides ’19 Editor-in-Chief
I slap my legs a few times. I stare at my monitor watching a few of my teammates furiously slide back and forth on the horizons of my vision. My heart is racing and I loosely grip the handles of the rowing machine. Here I go again. There exists an odd community around erging (an erg is the technical term for rowing machine.) Even though erging can be seen as just a training tool for rowing, an entire cultish subculture exists around this one machine. This community sprung up because of the competitive nature of rowing. There are only a few seats on the top boat and a rower’s strength is measured on the erg, thus those who have the fastest times often are starters. I enjoy erging because I can see exactly how hard I am working every stroke. I know what my limits are and I know when I am pushing myself. Every workout is a challenge and I can set small goals to get marginally better every week. The constant feedback of the erg allows me to track my progress; howIan Dailis ’20
Rayane Taroua ’20 and Zoe Kim ’20 enjoying a soccer game looking as healthy as ever! signment and history reading she had missed. The pressure to power through sickness is nothing new to our generation. When Assistant Field Hockey Coach Wendy Parente ’75 recounted her time on The Hill she stated, “I felt like I had to push through [illness].” Parente believes the stigma of pushing through illness existed at the time, but not to the extent that it prevails today. “The word ‘stress’ wasn’t around during my time,” she says, “I never felt like I was that far behind.” In the 1970s, students had the same classes every day. If a student missed a class, they simply took the day off to rest and sleep. They did not frantically email their teachers to ask for an extension the night before an assignment was due or request a last-minute test reschedule. Math Teacher Michael Gold ’10 felt similarly: “today there is an immediacy to the communication between students and teachers. Before email, it was probably more okay to be sick because there was less of an expectation to have [everything] done the next day.” With today’s technology and the advanced use of email and tools like Google Classroom and the Hopkins website, the stress of students to be completely caught up on their work has grown. In an anonymous online survey, 38 Hopkins students shared their feelings toward taking sick days. Even when they do take the day off, students feel that “there is no time to rest when [they] are sick, there is no time for you to sleep.” When asked how they recuperate from sick days, a student replied in the survey, “I don’t….I have to catch up on work.” Another student stated, “I hope and pray I can make up all of my homework.” Kim, replied, “I die. Then die some more. Then eventually cope with the fact that I will never catch up.” In the survey, students described days when they would lie in bed next to a pile of used tissues trying to catch up on their work as fast as possible. They often disregard the sleep and proper rest they needed to get better. Gold stated, “my expecta-
Furthermore, teachers feel very passionately about the health of their students. “I want my students to know that the number one concern in the course is always their well being,” said Gold. But where does the discrepancy lie between what the teachers say and how students feel? When asked this question, Gold replied, “students possibly think it is a sign of weakness. They may be worried about how it appears to teachers and other students if they take the day off.” Dean of Students Lars Jorgensen ’82 wants students to “make the assumption that their teachers want to help [them] through” their absence. Even so, Kim “felt very rushed to finish things” when she returned from her eight-day absence, “I ended up not turning in my best work,” she said. This is a relevant fear in the lives of many students on The Hill, “it can be difficult with our rigorous workload to stay up to date on assignments while also taking the time you need to rest,” replied a student to an anonymous survey. Another student stated, “literally nothing [will make me take the day off], I will come to school regardless of how I’m feeling.” The necessity to muscle through illness is found beyond the students at Hopkins. Biology teacher Dr. Kellie Cox stated, “I don’t miss any days, I just can’t. If I miss a day then five of my classes come to a halt.” Mr. Gold also commented,“If you are sick, you just made someone else’s day a lot busier. Teachers don’t want to cause a big turmoil for their colleagues.” How can we help our community prioritize health? Many teachers agree that there is a problem. “Obviously we can improve,” said Cox, “if that is the feeling [that students think it is better to come to school sick than to miss a day of class], that means we are not doing it right. I think by definition we should be doing better.” As a community, we must open the channels of discussion to create an environment that allows students to value their health and well-being.
Theo Tellides’19 put in hard work erging, which transferred to his success on the water.
ever, my reasons for erging extends beyond my satisfaction of completing a hard workout or breaking a new PR. I enjoy erging because it is a constant in a life of many arbitrary variables. When I pull on the flywheel, my score reflects exactly how much power my legs are exerting. The disappointment of studying five hours for a math test only to do subpar does not exist. I never experience the pain of training and cutting for wrestling only to get pinned in the first minute of my match. Gone are all the stupid mistakes that render hard work meaningless. No longer do I have to wonder if my painstakingly crafted words were rejected by an English teacher who doesn’t agree with the premise of my essay. I just pull on the erg and can forget about everything else. In most applications hard work only correlates with success. Studying for a math tests helps you improve your score, but it does not ensure anything. In erging every meter is earned. Every single rower needs to exert the exact same amount of work in order to attain equal times. Like anything in life there are factors I can not control. I am only 5’7” and 145 pounds. I will never pull times as fast as men with Olympian physiques. I will never be truly amazing at the sport, but at least I know I can reach my full potential as long as I pull hard enough. I do not have to doubt myself and wonder that if I studied a different way or just remembered one more formula I would have achieved success. When I erg, my best is truly enough. When I step off the erg I feel fulfilled. Erging is an escape from the constant disappointments of life. All my questions, all my anxiety and regrets seem to slip away. For once I can truly feel proud of myself. Maybe the constant sinking feeling that plagues me can be attributed to unrealistic expectations. I feel at Hopkins that I have to perfectly succeed even if it is impossible. Like most Hopkins students, I have flown through my high-school career with flying colors, but now as I am taking the hardest classes and burnt out from years of hard work, I can see myself faltering and I am disturbed by it. I guess I should come to terms with this harsh reality, but in the meantime I can forget about the stress of sustained perfection. The distracting and upsetting noises of life are drowned out as my heart pounds during the final five hundred meter sprint and Ben Washburne yells in my face to row harder.
Corrections to Past Issues of The Razor November 2, 2018 Issue: In Theo Tellides’ article “John Huggins: A Hopkins Black Panther,” the year of graduation was incorrect for John Huggins. John Huggins was Hopkins Class of ’63, not Class of ’61. December 13, 2018 Issue: Alex Harrison’s senior wish should have read: “For people to not be afraid to care for, and lean on, one another.”
A cartoon by Arthur Masiukiewicz ’20 depicting the majesty of erging
February 14, 2019
Athletes of the Issue
Abby Mills: Star Shooter Anu Vashist ’21 Assistant Sports Editor Girls Varsity Basketball Captain Abby Mills ’19 has managed to single-handedly lead her team this season, as her coach, Casey Blake, explained: “Abby plays an important role on this team- as a captain and as a player.” Mills has been on the team since her freshman year; however, her love for the game began much earlier. She explained, “I first got into playing basketball when I was really young, like around five years old formally, but we had a mini basketball hoop in our backyard when I was a toddler. I played for my town travel and school teams before Hopkins.” Mills’ diverse basketball experiences have taught her to balance being a compassionate teammate with being a competitive player. According to teammate Charlotte Yin ’20, “She’s the nicest person off the court but a beast on the court.” Casey Dies ’20 expanded: “The balance between her humor and seriousness is what distinguishes her from everyone else. She knows when it’s game time, but she always has fun and finds a way to make sure everyone else is having fun too.” Mills, the team’s only captain, admitted to some of her initial concerns: “The experience is really different from previous years. I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve learned the most important thing for me to do is keep the team’s energy level up during practices and games. I prefer to lead by example instead of just talking a lot, so that can be difficult sometimes. Being captain is fun but it’s also a lot of work.” Blake suggested that Mills’ overall willingness to improve makes her an ideal captain: “She is never satisfied with her play and is always working to improve. She provides a solid model for the team in terms of what a good teammate looks like and work rate.” Dies recognized Mills’ transition after becom-
ing captain: “She’s always been a leader on the team but has really stepped up this year as captain. People are always confused when we say that our team has one captain, but she’s all we need. She’s an extremely important
able experiences: “It’s also been really cool to see kids in the grades below me grow. I have a lot of other memories that happened off the court at team dinners or at the tournaments. I wouldn’t want to play this sport with
Walter Erenhouse: Furious Fencer Kallie Schmeisser ’22
Walter Erenhouse ’19 has been a skilled and passionate power be-
Peter Mahakian Captain Abby Mills posts up under the hoop during a home game against Rye Country Day School. part of our team.” Ella Zuse ’21 agreed: “Abby leads the team through both her hard work in every game and her helpful pointers at practice.” Mills recognized some of the skills she’s gained throughout her time on the team: “The most valuable things Hopkins Basketball has taught me is mental toughness– how to get out of my own head and do what needs to be done to win, how to stay focused at all times, whether that’s at the start of practice or 30 minutes into a big game. I’ve learned discipline from our conditioning practices over break (and from fouling out a few times over my career). I’ve also learned to laugh at myself.” She noted that while basketball at the Varsity level is rigorous, the team has provided her with many enjoy-
any other group of girls.” She shared some advice for younger players aspiring to play basketball: “There have been so many games where made or missed foul shots wind up being the reason we won or lost. For JSchoolers thinking about playing in high school, they should be aware that it’s a big commitment and we are expected to give 110% everyday, and no one should take that lightly.” Mills, who is hopeful for the upcoming season, shared some of her goals for the team: “As a team, we have several goals this season–we’d really like to beat teams we’ve been competitive with the past few years.” Mills hopes to stay with basketball: “I want to play club basketball at whatever college I attend next year.”
ditional high-school sports and fencing seemed different and unique,” he discloses. Erenhouse’s teammates describe him as driven, passionate, welcoming, and supportive. One of his
Peter Mahakian Sabre squad leader Walter Erenhouse scores a touch against North Haven HS during Hopkins’ first home meet.
hind Boys Varsity Fencing for two-and-a-half years. Erenhouse started fencing as a sophomore at Hopkins because he saw the sport as an interesting and unique opportunity: “Fencing is unlike any other sport on the planet and if you’re just starting out, you have to be ready to change the way you think and start completely from scratch, even if you’re an experienced athlete.” Although Erenhouse was drawn to fencing in an unlikely manner, he quickly grew to love the sport and enjoy the competition of it. “I probably wouldn’t have tried fencing if there wasn’t an athletic requirement at Hopkins, but I chose fencing out of all the other choices I had because I never liked tra-
co-captains, Lizabeth Bamgboye ’20, said, “This year we welcomed so many new fencers. He was great at making them feel at home. I feel I speak for the team when I say that he has helped create an environment in which both new and returning fencers feel like they have a place on the team.” She continued, “Since I began fencing, he’s been there with his great attitude and work ethic. Cocaptaining with him has been the greatest experience ever. He brings a certain attitude that rounds the captains out.” Lucas Alfaro ’22 agreed “As a captain, Walter makes everyone feel welcome. He comes up with new ways to make working out fun and he leads Sabre by encouraging everyone
and giving them a chance.” At first, Erenhouse said he thought captainhood was unachievable but now he realizes, “all a captain needs is passion, and that passion is what drives the rest of the team forward.” Erenhouse has definitely achieved this. Caroline Asnes ’21 describes him as, “a great captain[,] he’s easy to talk to, funny, and kind...he keeps us focused and helps us improve.” Erenhouse is not only a successful captain but also a successful fencer. He has had multiple podium finishes outside of Hopkins and even earned a national rating of E18. Erenhouse said, “winning 3rd place at the team state championships last year is one of the best memories I have, but I also love just hanging out and training with my team everyday.” Even with success Erenhouse remembers to stay modest: “I’ve learned confidence but I’ve also learned how to be humble because even though my hard work has given me great results, I’ve also seen how much more I have to improve.” He relies on teammates and their positive encouragement as much as they rely on him: “Seeing my teammates get better helps me push myself, and the fact that they’re relying on me helps motivate me to do my best.” With Erenhouse’s passion for fencing, he knows he will continue to fence after high school: “I will definitely be fencing after Hopkins, whether that means fencing on a college team or for a local club.” But he does not want to move on too fast: “Right now, Hopkins fencing is definitely one of the strongest teams in the state, but we also have an amazing opportunity right now since over half of our team is new this year. So right now we’re focusing on our dominance right now and making sure we stay dominant for years to come.”
The Razor Staff Predicts the Super Bowl Outcome Op-ed:
Editor-In-Chief and Managing Editor:
Patriots 70-Rams 0
Rams 23-Patriots 19
Patriots 30-Rams 27
Patriots 30-Rams 27 “The Halftime show will be amazing!”
Patriots 50-Rams 0
Patriots 60-Rams 0
“The Halftime show will be terrible.”
Patriots 13-Rams 3
Patriots 31-Rams 24 Razor Online via Snapchat.
The Razor: Sports
February 14, 2019
Thoughts on The Hill: The Super Bowl Some Hilltoppers watched the Super Bowl specifically for the Halftime Show:
Maeve Stauff ’21
Many members of the Hopkins community take part in the cultural phenomenon that is the Super Bowl. The rivalry between Patriots and non-Patriots fans, the music, and the commercials have all become embedded in the Hopkins culture. Razor Sports asked the Hopkins community about their experience with the game:
On the first Sunday in February, the cultural phenomenon known as the Super Bowl brings together the largest group of television viewers in the US, for reasons more than just the football game itself. Razor Sports asked the Hopkins community about their experiences with the game: Josh Young: “In the past, I have gone to my friend’s house for half the game because my son is young and gets tired. I put him to bed and then listen to the fourth quarter on the radio because I don’t have cable.” Caroline Meury ’22: “Every year during the Super Bowl I spend time with my family and friends. During the day I play football with my brothers and the rest of my family. After it gets dark we have a buffet of food. We all put on Patriots jerseys and watch the game together.” Fiona O’Brien ’21: “I normally host a party with my family friends. My family and I hate the Patriots, but our family-friends love them. We still invite them over because we love the friendly rivalry, but make them eat last.”
Jack Kealey ’21: “I love music, and the Halftime show is one of the most celebrated pop culture music events of the year. It makes the Super Bowl a fun-viewing experience for people who don’t like the game as much.” Leah Miller ’20: “As a performer, I understand how nerve-wracking it can be performing in front of large audience and I admire them for that. I absolutely like the Halftime show most because it is exciting seeing whoever they choose. It adds to the morale and general spirit of the event.” Sara Chung ’19: “Adam Levine is my soulmate.” Theo Tellides ’19: “If Travis Scott does not go SICKO MODE on ‘Sweet Victory’ it will be a sad day for all Spongebob fans.” The commercials are also a large draw to viewership of the Super Bowl. Both sports and music fans enjoy the ads. The commercials are unique every year and Hopkins students appreciate them for their creativity and comedy: Chase Scanlan ’22: “The commercials are my favorite part because they are creative and hilarious. Last year, the M&M commercial was the best.” Saira Munshani ’20: “Commercials during the Super Bowl are my favorite part because they are often based on a story or funny joke which draws me in. They are a good contrast from the football. The ads are different and better made than normal commercials due to the funding.”
Ashley Chin ’19: “I like to see how the commercials turn out because of all the companies spending millions of dollars just to show their brand during the Super Bowl. The advertisers know there are tons of viewers, so it’s interesting to see how they capture the audience in the short amount of time they are given.” The game is a very important part of the event to fans because it serves as a source of pride that their hometown team is competing in the Super Bowl. Some Patriots fans have become so confident they have suggested changing the name of the Super Bowl to the “Tom Brady Invitational.” Many Hopkins Patriots fans were confident that they would win the game again this year: Kyle Meury ’19: “While hanging out with family and friends is fun, there’s nothing more enjoyable than watching the GOAT, TB12, walk onto the field year after year. To watch a god, disguised as a man, step foot onto the turf ready to tear apart your team’s defense is the best feeling.” Annie Burtson ’21: “I love watching the Super Bowl because I feel really close to the Patriots. Our mascot is a Hilltopper, and Tom Brady is the absolute GOAT.” And some students just hoped to watch the Patriots lose the game: JR Stauff ’19: “As a Steeler fan, I want to see Tom Brady and the Pats’ downfall.” George Kosinski ’19: “The Ravens deserve to be in the Super Bowl. Lamar Jackson is the future of the NFL.”
Team Love is in the Air This Valentine’s Day Teddy Glover ’21 Assistant Sports Editor The Boys Varsity Squash team is currently having a fantastic season, boasting an impressive 9-2 record. While the team is made up of a lot of talented individuals, Kit Illick ’21 believes that the team’s success is partially due to strong team chemistry. Think of team chemistry like a chemical reaction. A group of talented individuals is comparable to different reactants, each with the potential to react, or to win. However, if you combine those talented individuals in the right way, they can reach their full potential. So how exactly does team chemistry work to make teams better? Owen Lamothe ’22, a member of the Boys Varsity Soccer team, explained, “If a team has chemistry, they will be much more successful than a team with little or no team chemistry. Teams with chemistry commu-
sports, such as squash or cross country, team chemistry works in different ways. Hannah Szabo ’21 describes the team dynamic in individual sports: “Even in sports where you place individually rather than a team, the team dynamic is helpful in motivating everyone to try their best.” Sana Patel ’19 believes “being collaborative and understand where you are as a team and as an individual helps you maximize your strengths.” Whether in team or individual sports, team chemistry always helps to build a better team. An important aspect of team chemistry is how it is built. Burton explained, “Chemistry is not something you can achieve over night, you have to slowly build it brick by brick.” Understanding how to achieve helpful team chemistry is vital to placing said bricks, one by one. Actions big and small help teams to do so, as described by Dove: “Chemistry comes from a collective mindset, which the Hopkins Baseball Team exemplifies. Wheth-
Peter Mahakian Boys Varsity Basketball stands in solidarity with their teammates on the sidelines at a home game.
nicate easier on the playing field and act as a unit, which gives them a huge advantage in games.” Illick said, “Chemistry benefits team success because when teammates can agree and cooperate there are fewer problems.” In team sports, this reasoning applies perfectly well but in individual
er it be pushing each other to get in the weight room, emphasizing accountability during practices, or taking team trips to Chipotle, the baseball team has found success through the development of team chemistry.” Oftentimes, team chemistry is developed in non-conventional ways. Izzy
Lopez-Kalapir, ’20, recalled a fun night players into the fold. We taught each other with the Girls Varsity Lacrosse team on languages and shared what we were learntheir Florida spring break trip: “Last year ing in our departments. That built respect for lacrosse we had the opportunity to and trust, and we went onto the field every stay at Disney in Florida and take part day caring deeply about working hard for in the spring training session. We were each other.” on this special The rewards Peter Mahakian dining plan so of good team chemeach of us had istry were dema meal card onstrated this fall that allotted with the Boys Varus three meals sity Soccer team. Laand five snacks mothe, a goalie for a day, and if the team, recalled you didn’t use the season: “This them all, they fall, on the soccer didn’t expire. team, I felt the team It was our last as a whole had great night there and chemistry which led [Coach] Muelus to a winning reler told us how cord, a regular seamany snacks son championship, and meals we and a tournament had left on our Boys Varsity Soccer showcases their team chemistry after championship.” Pascoring a goal during a home game. cards and I retel goes into greater member I had detail, explaining at least 20 left. The entire team completely her view of the season from a managerial raided the market at our resort and we all point of view: “I think my favorite thing had huge plastic bags full of applesauce about managing soccer this year was the and chips and candy. I just remember we chemistry that the team had. You could were all awake all night laughing and eatsee how much people appreciated each ing and later on I actually ended up eating on and off the field. Obviously there was a so much microwave mac and cheese that I lot of talent on the team, but I would defivomited. It kind of sucked in the moment, nitely argue that the winning titles can be but it’s absolutely hilarious looking back at partially credited to the bonds between the it. We were definitely closer after that.” players; they clearly cared about growing Coach Joe Addison of the Boys as a team.” Burton also believes that chemVarsity Soccer team remembered buildistry helps win games, stating, “If you have ing chemistry while teaching and coachchemistry, you win games. It’s a simple as ing in Turkey: “When I lived in Turkey, I that.” played for the soccer team at the university While chemistry does help to where I worked. We had great chemistry, win games, Fiona O’Brien ’21 keeps in I think. Some of it was automatic: we all sight what is really important about team lived on campus and we all were there for sports, especially at the high school level: education. That automatically stripped the “Whether we win or lose, we know we’re group of a lot of ego. But everyone on the in it together and support each other no team prioritized welcoming international matter what.”