Hopkins School 986 Forest Road New Haven, CT
Vol LXVII no. 2
October 30, 2020
Students and Faculty Adjust to Hybrid Model Melody Cui ’23 Assistant News Editor Aanya Panyadahundi ’23 Assistant News Editor
Through the implementation of new technology and approaches to teachers are striving to make the most of the hybrid learning environment. An integral part of the hybrid learning model is the Meeting Owl, which has been added to every classroom. Some tools of the Owl include smart mics, a 360° tri-speaker, and a 360° camera that tracks the current speaker. The Owl is connected to Zoom to provide virtual students with an in-class feel. Reception of the Owl has varied from teacher to teacher. Science teacher Kellie Cox reports that the Owl is “actually working quite well!” On the other hand, Math teacher David McCord remarks that the Owl feels like “a useless appendage.” McCord elaborates, “I now just point it at the class and forget about it.” Meanwhile, fellow Math teacher Adam Sperling concludes “The Owl has been ok. I'd love to say it is amazing, but it's just ok.” ties from the Zoom side of things. A survey taken of Hopkins students found that the majority of students found the video quality of the Owl to be a 3 out of 5. Josie Lipcan ’24 explains, “I feel like the Owls don't really focus on the teachers, students, or on
things like white boards that well.” Similarly, response to the audio quality was subpar. Zacchary Edwards ’23 states, “Aside from the teachers […] you can barely hear anyone through the Owl.” In addition to the Owl, many teachers are using other personal technology in order to further facilitate a normal
Administration Rolls Out Reopening Plan Anushree Vashist ’21 Lead News Editor
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge America, schools across the nation have adapted to new
Math teacher Abraham Kirby-Galen teaches both his students in the classroom and those at home with the help of the Owl. classroom. Drama teacher Hope Hartup “[connects] an iPad on a tripod to show the class” and “[her] phone on another tripod just for [her] face.” In his English and Video courses, teacher Ian Melchinger employs the use of “two webcams on separate Zoom IDs” and “a studio Continued on Page 3
learning environments. While most of the nation’s largest public school districts are continuing fully remote instruction, many Connecticut schools have reopened to some extent. Hopkins has started the 2020-21 school year with a Hybrid Model; students are divided into maroon and grey cohorts, with each group spending a week at a
time on campus. In order to implement such a plan, the administration made multiple health and safety accommodations. Head of School Kai Bynum created eight task forces to plan and maintain safety and learning challenges alike. According to Director of Medical Services and Head Athletic Trainer for Sports Medicine Don Bagnall, “The tasks forces look to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], Science Journal, State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, medical contacts, and consulting school physicians.” Bagnall also says that Task Force chairpersons continue to meet regularly about every two weeks. Plans for Reopening commenced at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. Assistant Head of School John Roberts notes that “the premise coming out of Memorial Day Weekend was that we were going to try to do a hybrid, a population reduction strategy.” After considering the feedback of parents, students, and faculty alike, the administration determined that while the entirely remote strategy of the Spring provided a “good basic academic experience,” students missed the human connections of being physically on campus; thus, administrators sought to bring the community back on The Hill. The resulting hybrid model took into consideration the advice of epidemioloContinued on Page 2
Hopkins Students March in Protest for BLM Anjali Subramanian ’22 News Editor
ing in New Haven. I thought: ‘why can't West Haven have protests like these?’” Dondorful-Amos says that she “decided to take the initiative.” Along with her sis-
reach out to us. It’s a little ironic because we’re marching to defund the police, but the police are asking if they
is planned, the group advertises it by posting on social media. Each protest begins with protesters gathering at Many Hopkins students are particisome location in the center of the city. From there, they pants and leaders in the protests and events for the Black march to either the local police department or governLives Matter [BLM] movement that have swept ment building, making frequent stops to chant through New Haven and West Haven since May. and hear speeches from Black people. In one protest, on May 31, in addition to marching to on May 31, followed by protests on June 1 and the New Haven Police Department, protesters June 5, an Anti-Fourth of July protest, and a prowalked onto the highway. Alexis Chang extest for Breonna Taylor on September 28. Jasmine Simmons ’21 attended some of these protests way because so many people that cared about because she “needed an outlet for [her] frustrasomething came together. I’ve never seen anytion and hurt.” She continues, “I felt hopeless at thing or been a part of something like that.” times, and I saw the protests as an opportunity Speeches at the protests included “stufor me to feel community and hope for change.” dents describing their struggles of being a person Similar events were held in West Haof color in their academic setting,” Dondorfulven, such as a protest on June 6 and July 5. Amos explains. She also recalls listening to Nana Dondorful-Amos ’22 went to these events “Mubarak Soulemane’s very own sister speak,” because “West Haven [was] so silent on raand “hearing the heartbreak in her voice” at the cial issues, though their police department is West Haven protest on June 6. Alexis Chang guilty of the death of Mubarak Soulemane.” Talia Chang gave her own speech on the racism Black artMubarak Soulemane was shot seven times by ists face in the music industry. She elaborates, State Trooper Brian North in West Haven while During the May 31 BLM protest, activists march onto the highway. hop or R&B. And whenever a Black artist [works Most of these protests were organized by the its protests. She details the planning process, “We pick a in] any other genre, everybody gets confused. I rememNew Haven chapter of BLM or by CT Against Brutime and a place, we see if anybody wants to speak, and tality, an organization founded by Dondorful-Amos and her sister. Dondorful-Amos explains, “It was the we get people to bring resources like water, granola bars, Continued on Page 3 beginning of June, and I saw all the protests happen- and masks.” She also notes that “sometimes the police and have continued to organize more protests since. Alexis Chang ’21 joined CT Against Brutality soon after its founding, and has helped organize many of
Administration Reopening Strategy Continued from Page 1 gists; it created what Virologist Ian Mackay calls “The Swiss Cheese Respiratory Virus Defence” in which multiple precautions like mask wearing, distancing, disinfection, and hand-washing come together to limit disease transmission. Making physical adaptations to the campus is essential to reopening a school. According to the Keeping Hopkins Healthy website, “Student and faculty work spaces have been redesigned to provide for proper distancing. Furniture in classrooms has been reduced been moved to storage and replaced with that this separation reduces the need to contact trace community members adhering to community health guidelines. To quote Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health Ashish Jha, “If an organization does ‘deep cleaning’ as a primary strategy to keep people safe, they aren’t being serious. Sure do the basics. measures to limit transmission. Thompson Hall, Heath Commons, Malone Science Center, and Calarco Library, have central HVAC systems, which contain Minimum
The Razor: News
These newer buildings also have Basic Automatic Systems (BAS) that, according to Director of Facilities Liz Climie, are “programmed to perform air purges at night after the cleaning company leaves campus.” She continues, “When everyone comes onto campus in the morning, the air in those Throughout the day, the grounds crew opens outside dampers on the ducts to alBaldwin Hall do not have central HVAC keep doors and windows open throughout the day to allow air to circulate. Furthermore, “almost every room on campus has these units should be turned on each day and run for eight hours at medium speed (high if the noise can be tolerated).” Mask wearing is generally required at all times on campus. The Hopkins mask-wearing policy says: “Only 2-ply (or higher) cloth or paper masks with loops will be permitted, and all masks must valves, and single-ply masks may not be used on campus.” Not published on the emptions that select faculty receive from commodations are made “via the proper channels” and that “barriers are available for use [and] additional social distancing in the classroom and mask use for others
add a layer of protection.” The reopening schools guide from the Connecticut Department of Education goes as far as to say that “for
October 30, 2020
any of these underlying conditions, the strong recommendation would be for that person to remain at home and engage in fully virtual learning due to their risk of develMelody Cui oping severe complications if they did become Arrows in front of Thompson Hall direct movement infected with COVID-19.” across campus. Before arriving Haven Department of Health. Bagnall on campus, all students and adults em- says, tracing happens by “using schedployed at Hopkins must complete an eight ules, and gathering [information on] close question medical screening through the contact by the positive individual (within Magnus App. According to Bagnall, the 6 feet and for more than 15 minutes).” school selected Magnus because it is part While the school can monitor stuof the school system (students health re- dents’ behavior on The Hill, it has limited cords are in the same platform) and is “a jurisdiction in supervising their adherence useful check-in to ensure a person is in general good health prior to coming to Roberts admits that, “every holiday, every weekend, everything is a concern so on the app keeping “individuals who are we’re absolutely holding our breath and feeling unwell home for non-COVID-19 hop[ing] people are smart and careful.” reasons” and “pick[ing] up on some These concerns are evident in the plans travel issues, which resulted in conver- for the Thanksgiving and Winter Holisations to keep our community safe.” days released on October 16; after each Contact tracing is also key to holiday, one week of fully remote instruclimiting disease transmission once a com- tion will occur to allow for isolation after munity member has tested positive for the travel. When students are not at school, - Bagnall urges them to, “wear a mask as unteered to perform this crucial service; much as you can when outside the home they completed the Johns Hopkins Univer- [and] keep socially distant. You are not sity COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program only protecting yourself, but your friends, and work with contacts at the City of New
The Past, Present, and Future of Sustainability at Hopkins Aaron Gruen ’21 Campus Correspondent “Climate pledge.” “Carbon neutral.” “Green energy.” Over the last few years, companies and organizations have publicized terms like these in their plans to reduce carbon emissions. More and more organizations responsible for producing large amounts of carbon emissions are setting deadlines for their emissions to reach net zero. The topic of climate change is also a key issue in the upcoming election; former Vice President and Democratic Nominee Joe Biden’s plan has promised “net-zero emissions… by no later than 2050,” while President Trump’s administration has rolled back dozens of regulations on clean energy and air. With the United Nations giving the world’s countries just years to prevent irreversible damage to the planet due to rising sea temperatures, climate change weighs heavier by the minute. However, at Hopkins, conversations sur-
to avoid, but seeing the piles of plastic and styrofoam we go through daily is painful,” says Sophie Sonnenfeld ’21. Apart from the recent changes to waste management prompted by COVID-19, the school has not updated the sustainability page on the Hopkins website. The page mentions measures to recycle, compost, reduce paper use, and make reusable water bottles more popular. Hopkins last overhauled its sustainability policies in 2008, when former History Department Chair and Head of the Sustainability Committee Cilla Leavitt published a report on the school’s Board of Trustees. “I was granted a sabbatical for a semester in 2008 and part of the ‘gift’ is to choose a project. I came up with the idea for an ‘Environmental Plan,’” said Leavitt. “I did make a presentation of my plan to the entire Board after I wrote it. Probably in the spring of 2009. It was warmly received.” Many of the changes we see on campus today, such as recycling, composting, and reusable water bottle fountains were inspired by Leavitt’s report. Another lasting result of Leavitt’s environmental report was the creation of the Sustainability Committee (SusCo). Head of SusCo Julia Kosinski ’21 says the committee met last spring with Chief Financial and Operation OfManager Marc Paradis to “discuss Hopkins’s current energy consumption and emissions, lessen the school’s environmental footprint.” As for Hopkins’s energy sourcing, Connecticut law requires all energy providers to source 29% of their energy from renewable sources, but Hopkins’s energy usage is ambiguous. Hopkins hopes to install solar panels on campus in the
logistic issues that come with panel installation: “Hopkins has investigated solar over the year... Unfortunately, the two primary candidates for soSophie Sonnenfeld and Jack Kealey ’21 advocate Meatless Mondays. lar are also the two buildings in the Master Plan New Haven Register
rounding carbon emissions have subsided without having illuminated the institution’s environmental practices. Last fall, Hopkins installed composting bins around campus and asked students to compost food waste, but all composting bins have since been removed from campus. Additionally, school lunches are now packed in non-recyclable styrofoam containers, and water is now distributed in low volume plastic bottles. “Due to COV-
Hopkins simply cannot contractually commit now that say, however, that “When actual capital project planning/ tion of solar, geothermal and other sustainable elements.” At universities around the country, students are recognizing their institutions’ investments in the fossil fuel Fossil Free Yale, a part of the Endowment Justice Coali-
tion, which made national news in the past year after stormSchroth-Douma ’19 represents Fossil Free Yale. “Workers can leverage their labor by organizing a strike, people can leverage their capital by boycotting a company, and students Fossil Free Yale promotes divestment and redistribution of Yale’s investments by organizing sit-ins, large protests, petitions, and other events. Fossil Free Yale also brings awareness to predatory investments in Puerto Rico’s crippling debt. In an article published in 2018, representatives for Fossil Free Yale said the movement “demands that Yale pressure its hedge fund managers to stop the predatory debt collection they are currently pursuing against Puerto Rico.” Plus, Puerto Rico’s debt has only by warmer ocean temperatures, devastated the island. nuscule in comparison to Yale’s hundreds of millions held in the fossil fuel industry, Hopkins currently holds $4.1 million- equivalent to around 2.5% of the school’s ter, the investment is split between two funds- one “takes passive investment interests in oil and gas properties,” and the other “invests in natural resources more broadly ucts, food and agriculture and other basic commodities.” Though concerned about the school’s climate “The best ways to try and combat climate change aren’t on a personal, day to day level. There have to be systemic changes,” said Sawyer Maloney. “However, as a member of the greater New Haven community, and the global community, I think Hopkins has a responsibility As a solution to make the school friendlier to electric vehicle owners, Bennitt suggests the school install electric vehicle charging ports in the Forest parking lot, which she says “would send the message that we value broadening the EV community by placing the appropriate importance on environmental ethics, and might help convince buyers on the fence that school is supporting them to go with fully electric vehicles.” Sonnenfeld has been conscious about Hopkins’s environmental impact for a while; before COVID-19, she promoted Meatless Mondays weekly in Heath with Jack Kealey ’21. From recycling to protesting, Hopkins students, alummentally conscious- and inform others along the way.
October 30, 2020
Adjustments to Hybrid Continued from Page 1
The Razor: News
dents have to place a high value on academic integrity.” Teachers are also coming up with new opportunities to provide extra-help. McCord points out that “the schedule actually feels more conducive to extra help.” For instance, Melchinger is able to engage in “‘scholarly walks’ with students during the two-hour middle-of-day event.” For virtual students, one-on-one Zoom meetings are another option. Despite the numerous adjustments students have had to make, the hybrid model is considered much better than a completely virtual school in their eyes. A great portion of students prefer being on campus when it comes to socialization, and similarly so for academic learning, according to a school-wide survey distributed by The Razor. Reasons for such opinions vary from staying more productive during free time, engaged during classes, and socializing more with friends
in Thompson Hall, Madison Mettler ’21 who hangs out at the tables in Malone, and Yash DiMauro who
people focus on the damage a few protests have caused. I do not condone violence, but focusing on the small damage a small number of protests [led to] shows that you are completely missing the point. Some people may have protested violently, but can you blame them? Living in a country built to oppress you with clear systemic racism is not easy.” In addition to attending protests, Lionel Louis ’18 met with the West Haven Police Department (WHPD). Before meeting with the department, Louis called out the WHPD in numerous protests and speeches. Louis says, “The biggest motivating factor in my choice to engage in activism and call for police reform was the story of Mubarak Soulemane and the fact that he was murdered in West Haven by a state trooper.” Louis continues, “He and I are very close in age, and through protesting in Connecticut, I’ve become friends with many people who knew him personally. His family and loved ones all deserve justice, and West Haven deserves much better from its police force.” Louis explains that the meeting between himself and the WHPD was arranged after he and a friend went
erate, and we encouraged them numerous times to be more transparent with the community about the things they’re doing to reduce speculation and suspicion from residents.” Outside of protesting the police, Black people have come together to celebrate and support each other. On August 28, a Black Arts Matter event took place in New Haven. Alexis Chang recounts that there were “Black bands, Black vendors, a woman who made energy crystals and jewelry, people making shoes and clothes, and all types of performers, including rappers and singers.” Alexis Chang performed at this event along with her band, Omnia, and fellow singer Kaila Spearmen ’21. Alexis Chang elaborates, “We performed songs by all Black artists, such as a song by Bill Withers, TLC, and Steve Lacey.” Talia Chang ’22 also used art to support Black people through a fundraiser she led. Talia Chang explains, “I’m a huge fan of Harry Styles. Not only do I love his music, he’s my fashion inspiration. A couple of his fans and I decided to take on the project of learning how to crochet to recreate a cardigan by JW Anderson that Harry wore
ribbons” that “some people had hung up.” Louis continues, “Some of the people who hung it up saw us and we engaged in a constructive conversation. In this other group was a Black man, Commissioner Steve Mullins. Though I personally believe he’s on the wrong side of this movement, it was actually his idea to have a meeting with the Chief [of Police] and some of the higher-ups in the department.” After the meeting was scheduled, Louis was “asked to be one of the three people in attendance.” During the meeting, Louis says they talked about an “incidence of violence that occurred at a BLM protest in West Haven on July 5. A woman drove her car through a crowd of protestors. The aftermath of that shocking moment -
Chang posted a picture of it on her Instagram and noticed that “people loved [her] cardigan,” so she “saw it as an opportunity for good.” She elaborates, “There is always a constant need for donations to support The Black Lives Matter movement, so the day after posting my picture, I Kickstarted my fundraiser Crochet for Change. My plan
Hopkins fall traditions like Homecoming, the Female Football game, and Pumpkin Bowl are cancelled for the 2020-2021 school year. Student Council President Ella Zuse ’21 reports that the two main events being modi-
mic and a directional movie mic, mixed together.” Laila Samuel ’23, a student of Melchinger, comments that all of the technology “really helps make the Zoom kids feel like they’re actually in the classroom.” In place of Homecoming, Zuse explains that “spirit week Despite new technology being used to simulate will involve normal dress up days like pajama day and maa normal learning environment, class work still needs to roon and grey days and [they] will also show videos made be altered. With courses meeting six times, rather than by the fall varsity sports teams in our Virtual Assemblies. seven, in a two week cycle, teachers have less time to Each cohort will have its own spirit week while they are cover the same amount of content from previous years. on campus.” She continues on, describing the “‘Hopkins Math teacher John Isaacs comments, “The core is steadHalloween’ which will occur during whichever Friday fast, but the content that augments the learning is subject students are on campus. They will dress up, [StuCo] will to change.” English teacher and Director of Community decorate Upper Heath, and have some fall activities like Service Alissa Davis adds, “I can see myself hitting all pumpkin painting available outside for students.” The the same units but going into less detail.” Connecticut Food Bank Fundraiser (CFBF) Social distancing in the classroom will also look quite different this year, but and technological barriers between cothe details are not yet determined. “It is suhorts are negatively impacting collaboraper important to me that we maintain our tive work. Christopher Hwa ’24 explains, partnership with the CT Food Bank as well, “In person, everyone has to speak up to be so I am working to arrange some virtual funheard through the masks and over six feet, but when everyone in the classroom does it, In order to try and engage students, Stuit makes it even harder to hear and engage.” Co is coming up with new and innovative He continues, “breakout rooms are also ways to unite the different classes, and by hard, because if you have to look at a differextension Hopkins community. According ent tab, it’s like your group isn’t even there.” to Class of 2022 President Albert Yang, stuStill, teachers are coming up with dents will be “seeing more and more games new approaches to group work and discusduring free time: cornhole, kanjam, soccer sions within and across cohorts. In Davis’ tennis, etc. [StuCo] really wants to take adclasses, for instance, students are able to go vantage of the large chunk of time in the “outside so that they can actually turn to face middle of the day, and having some fun with Joy Xu each other in socially distanced triangles or your peers is one way to do so”. Class of squares.” In order for students across co- Students participate in a socially distant cornhole tournament organized by the Student 2024 President Kian Ahmadi explains one of horts to work together, Orly Baum ’22 notes Council on the Thompson Quad. his most recent ideas to help get the new freshthat “[teachers will] ask all of us to log onto at school versus inertia and “zoom fatigue” at home. man class to socialize more with one another: “One of the zoom so we can split up into breakout rooms that way.” This year, instead of hanging out on the Heath things I did to try and accomplish this was to create an onIn regards to assessments, more and more teachcouches or scrimmaging basketball in the Athletic Cenline event where students could get together on Zoom and ers are opting for formats other than the classic, in-class ter, students have to adapt to the new protocols. Out of play a game called Among Us.” Class of 2023, President paper handout. A survey of Hopkins students found that a majority of tests are being taken via the LMS 70 responses, most student respondents report spend- Dev Madhavani says they are in the process of “planning and Google Forms. Take-home tests are also becom- ing their free time on the Thompson Quad when they are an advisory Olympics, have already set up an interactive ing increasingly prevalent. The new forms do not have on campus. Students are being creative with activities class Spotify playlist, and are coming out with some new the usual amount of surveillance tests had in previous and new locations on campus. Examples include Sarvin class merch”. On October 16, 2020, “all seniors [were inyears. As a result, Science teacher and Director of Op- Bhagwagar ’24 who heads down to the Squash cen- vited] to come to campus after school on Friday to enjoy a ter, Edwards who passes his time in the practice rooms cookout and lawn games on the quad,” as stated by Zuse.
BLM Protests Continued from Page 1
-elt like some people were a bit surprised that I was playing alternative music. I’m black, so maybe people didn’t expect that.” says, “They’re an opportunity to get attention towards issues and amplify voices and experiences that have historically been ignored.” Dondorful-Amos agrees, “I would like to see, as a result of these protests, people of color in the light rather than in the shadows.” Michael Imevbore ’21 hopes the protests will “act as the Kickstarter for change to occur.” He continues, “It makes me sick and tired to hear
Talia Chang ‘22 wears the cardigan she crocheted for her fundraiser “Crochet For Change.”
woman [driving the car] endangered nearly 60 people’s lives and was allowed to drive home without being detained.” He continues, “We also talked about the Connecticut Act Concerning Police Accountability Bill, WHPD’s lack of total police accreditation, some new programs the department has been trying to implement to increase positive community engagement, and the process one would notes that “not much action was taken as a direct result of the meeting, but we learned a lot about how the police op-
People had to Venmo me $5 in order to put their name in their chances of winning.” In the end, Talia Chang raised $1,650 for the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization that supports black LGBTQ+ people. Hopkins students, Milan Yorke ’21 hopes that it will encourage people to “stand with us.” Alexis Chang believes that it will show “Black resistance.” She explains, “When white supremacists see that Black people are coming together, that is resistance. It’s something some people don’t like to see.” Imevbore thinks it will show the Hopkins community that police brutality can happen to any Black person: “Police brutality happens to Black people all across the country, but having an instance occur merely 20 minutes from where I go to school heightens the notion that truly anybody could be next to fall victim to incompetent police of-
October 30, 2020
Election 2020 Discussions Take Over The Hill -
A pie chart showing the political alignment of 440 Hopkins students, faculty, and
Presidential Candidares Joe Biden (Left) and Donald Trump (right).
Hop Admissions Process Adapts to Covid-19 Features
Continued on page 6
The Razor: Features
October 30, 2020
NEW STUDENTS ADJUST TO LIFE ON THE HILL Assistant Features Editor With the fall semester underway, students who are new to Hopkins are adjusting themselves to a new school environment, along with the hybrid learning model students were getting accustomed to their schedules and workload expectations for the year. Locating classes around campus and following the block schedule system were new tasks for the new students. Jack Laganza ‘24
notes that he is “not used to having free periods” during the school day but is using that time slot to “learn how to manage [his] time better.” All classroom assignments and announcements have been moved online, and Head Advisor for Class of 2026 Jocelyn Garrity points out that “learning how to manage a school email account or how to submit homework electronically are new tasks to master.” New Hopkins students are also meeting their peers and adapting to a new community of people. Cecilia Anderson ‘26 mentions, “I have had a very nice time with making friends...in advisory and in my classes.” Along with meeting the other students, Anderson continues, “the teachers are all incredibly supportive and understand that we are all getting used to this new way of learning.” New or not, when attending class in-person, students have to comply with and become acclimated to the sanitization and social distancing policies, which Garrity believes “are all part of this fall’s reality,” and the new seventh graders “have done a really good job navigating
those issues.” Head Advisor for Class of 2024 Scott Wich also acknowledges how well the new ninth graders are following the mask policy, however, complying with the
This year’s new students are also adjusting to activities outside of their academic studies at Hopkins. Isabel Cheng ‘26 joined Hopkins Girls Field Hockey this season, which she says that “so far, it’s pretty fun” and was excited hope that it improves, and that we get even more vigilant to “see my locker and do some exercises.” Athletics also about it now that have to follow the Kate Horsley Hopkins health and to a safe start, safety protocols, and as the weathand sports practices er starts to make are limited to the things more diftypes of activities athletes can perIn a form this year. Lagshort period of anza, who joined experiencing Hopkins Football, learning in-perexplains that “not son and virtuhaving pads and ally, students are having to socially already develdistance limits how oping their own much football we preferences. can play, but the After receivcoaches are trying ing feedback their best and we’re from the Class making it work.” of 2026, GarNew stuStudents in Kate Horsley’s seventh grade advisory adapt to socially disrity noticed how dents will continue tanced learning on The Hill. “most 7th gradto integrate with the ers seem to preHopkins community and have more opportunities to become involved weeks, although some students admit that they appreciate in activities- particularly joining clubs, participating in getting a little more sleep and being more relaxed dur- school-wide events, and even the possibility of returning ing their home weeks.” Anderson thinks being at home to campus full-time. Garrity “look[s] forward to being able to have an in-person class meeting so I can see [everyone] at once and also running in-person, on-campus mentioning that she is “able to get [her] work done in class events that are social and fun so we can celebrate the middle of the day” when attending class from home. being together once all of our restrictions are lifted.”
Clubs Transition to Online Meetings Evangeline Doolittle ‘23 Assistant Features Editor The coronavirus has impacted the way Hopkins clubs and student-led activities run, causing most clubs to transition to an entirely online format. Student Activities Coordinator Teresa Picarazzi explains, “Over 100 activities and clubs were proposed and accepted last Spring for the 2020-2021 school year!” tract members. According to Picarazzi, “Many clubs are running! Most clubs will be virtual. We have asked all club heads (whether virtual or live), in consultation with their of their activity’s meeting, a Zoom room address, and a brief description of the activity. Unlike previous years, any activity that meets live must have a faculty adviser present. There is an evolving list of clubs that will meet live/hybrid. These include Yearbook, The Razor, Math Meets, Peaches, Community Service, and some music-related clubs.” Most clubs switched to virtual meetings and are looking for ways to continue operating. Chair of Maroon Key Board Jacqueline “JJ” Drummond ‘22, describes her experience with online meetings, “Being online and all the safety precautions made some of our service projects a lot harder to plan and imagine. Although there are many things we can’t do this year, we have worked very hard as a board to come up with new ways to serve the community and achieve our goals for the year. Personally, I’ve found Zoom meetings to be very productive. Even though it’s not the same as meeting in person, we have all the resources we need right in front of us and can
ings. Amnesty is an organization that does a lot of advocacy online, but club meetings over Zoom are complicated by the same issues that impact regular class.” will change. Co-head of Science Bowl Joy Xu ‘23 speculates, “Now that not all clubs meet at the same time, we hope that more of our peers will be available to join us.” Finnbar Kiely ‘22, co-head of Model United Nations, agrees, “Not having an activities
Online competitions are allowing for more participants. Kiel explains, “In previous years, participation opportunities for Model UN have been limited to a handful of conferences provide a unique opportunity, as we can include more students and create more chances for participation.” According to Xu, Science Bowl is experiencing increases in competitive opportunities, “We are participating tions this year to make up for in person practice, such as the Science Bowl League, a six-weeklong showdown, over Discord.” Other clubs that usually meet outside of school, on the weekends for
Evie Doolittle ‘23
ways to continue working. Drummond details, ‘So far, we’ve met every week instead of every other week for one hour after school. Along with that, we’ve split up a lot of tasks that we usually could get done in board meetings to individual out-of-meeting projects. I’ve
dedicate our meetings to discussions and planning, rather than Students participate in Virtual Zoom Meeting for March for Our Lives, Hopkins Chapter. Without an activities peexecuting our events or projects.’ riod, normally 12:30 - 1:30 on Wednesdays, clubs struggle to schedule meetings. Although Hopkins students are still unsure about how clubs will run in the Co-head of Amnesty International, Hopkins Chapter Kian Ahmadi ‘24 lamentsv“Not spring, they hope to continue and while attracting new members. Picarazzi reminds us having a designated activity period has made our schedule a little uncertain and has that “there is an Instagram account called Activities at Hopkins.” The account @hopcomplicated planning. However, in response to these changes (no designated ac- kinsactivities is run by Student Council President Ella Zuse ‘21 and Milan Yorke ‘21.
The Razor: Features
Welcome to The Hill!
October 30, 2020
The Razor welcomes new faculty and staff to Hopkins. Here are some personal introductions and tidbits. Be sure to give them a warm welcome!
A: This year, I will serve as Math Department Chair, teach Accelerated Algebra 2, and advise a group of juniors. Q: Who or what has inspired you most in life, and why? A: I’ve been continually inspired by my students; sincerity, creativity, humor, and commitment are on display in the young people I get to work with.
Q: Where did you grow up? A: I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Q: What is your academic background? A: I studied mathematics at Brown University for my undergraduate degree. My master’s in educational leadership is from Teachers College of Columbia University. Q: What are you teaching/coaching/ advising/etc. this year?
Q: Are you a sports fan? Sport? Team? Participant in? A: My favorite sport is basketball; I’ve been a fan of the Marquette Golden Eagles since I was a small child going to games with my father. My knees are pretty crummy, so I don’t play so much these days. sion program, performance, etc. that has impacted you and why? A: I’ve deeply enjoyed the soundtrack and show for Hamilton, even though I haven’t seen the live production. Seeing hip-hop take this form was exhilarating, and the second act regularly brings me to tears. The show also reminds me to consider the huvolved in founding this country.
Q: Where did you grow up? A: I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I lived until I was about sixteen years old. In 1995, I moved with my family to South Florida where my international adventure began.
Q: What is your academic background? A: After graduating from High School I wanted to pursue a dream of becoming a professional soccer player in the UK. So I contacted a few clubs via e-mail asking for the opportunity to try out during the summer of 1998. After 2 years playing in Northern Wales (semi-professional), my desire to continue my studies in History spoke louder than the pleasure of pushing my body to its physical limits (this was a nice way of saying I was a bit lazy to continue), and I moved back to America where I earned a BA in History from St. Thomas University. I started my teaching career immediately after graduating college, and this has been my life’s work ever since. In 2016 I had the opportunity to rekindle my connection with the UK, where I earned a MA in International Education from King’s College London. At the end of last school year, I decided to move to Connecticut with my family and here I am on top of the hill!
racy, and Economics. I am also a ninth-grade advisor and JV Girls Soccer coach. Q: What are you most excited about for this year at Hopkins? A: I am very enthusiastic about being a part of the Hopkins community. In my 13 years of teaching I can honestly say, this is the most welcoming, vibrant, and engaging community of lifelong learners I have ever had the pleasure of working with. My wife Dawn is a Connecticut native and we have two children, Joe (6) and Sophia (8), who are already counting the days until they are able to join this amazing school community as they witness my daily excitement.
Q: What are you teaching/coaching/advising/etc. this year? A: I am teaching AC1, 21st Century Democ-
Hopkins Admissions Updated Due to Covid Continued from page 4.
to better help the Admissions Team assess the applicant, especially this year. “Many students had their grading systems changed to pass/fail or other non-graded options, and determining subject mastery from transcripts, when many students only have a remote option this fall, has made it hard for teachers to get to know them and accurately assess in-class performance. Thus teacher recommendations may not show the true ability of a student.” Higgins added that the tests will also be useful in determining how to adapt curricula for the fall of 2021. She said that many students will likely have learning gaps, delayed content acquisition, and delays in general student progress. These test scores then will be useful for the Dean of Academics and member of the Admission Committee Kristine Waters to compare with past years of testing data.
Alternatively, according to Choate’s admissions page, standardized test scores are optional, but they strongly encourage students who are unable to submit test scores to send in a graded essay and third teacher recommendation for students. Hotchkiss, too, announced on their website that they will go test-optional on their website saying “We are aware that the pandemic has made it ter and sit for administered tests. Some students may also face technology barriers to testing at home. It is our belief that standardized testing is only one component of a student’s application. Assessing whether or not a young per-
Each session was hosted by several faculty and students, and included a brief program overview with time for questions. While there was no tour component to the Virtual Open House, which was always a big part of the on-campus event in past years, Higgins said they encouraged families to try the virtual 360 tours. Similar to the normally on-campus event, the Virtual Open House also hosted a student panel on the second day. Once prospective students submit their applications to Hopkins, they are typically invited to attend a “shadow day” where they follow a current student on the broader context of each student’s academic and around to experience their classes, activities, and lunch. lived experience, and we do not want testing to be a barriThe in-person shadow days are not offered er to entry for talented young people.” this year due to Covid-19, and Higgins said Higgins said that the Hopkins that a number of legal and security issues missions practices and procedures would arise from allowing students to are generally very consistent with virtually shadow classes. “While we cannot other schools in the area. Director of host visitors on campus for shadow days, we Enrollment & Strategic Marketing remain hopeful that admitted students will Pamela McKenna is currently servbe able to have a chance to visit classes in ing as President of the Fairchester the spring.” She added that the Admissions Admission Director Group which Team is working on potential sample classes includes 38 independent schools in for prospective students in the coming weeks. All interviews for applicants will be Westchester County, New York as conducted over Zoom or by telephone call well as a member of the Greater New if a family does not have the technology to Haven Admission Group which insupport a Zoom interview. Higgins said the cludes six schools. Higgins added, Admissions Team is expanding their interview “All the directors from both groups time options to try to accommodate students meet regularly via Zoom to share and parents who may be working from home. best practices and compare what has They are also now offering some evening been successful, and what hasn’t, for and weekend times for interviews in the fall. each of us in these changing times.” Hopkins students discuss their experiences at the Student Panel during the Admissions Open Applicants are still required to Some of the virtual innovaHouse in 2018. complete standardized testing this year. Both tions from this year might become the SSAT and ISEE offer “at home” versions permanent additions to the Hopof the test for students to take in safe spaces to prevent Based on this data, Higgins said they can work with facul- kins admissions process. Higgins said the Admissions Covid-19 exposure. Both the SSAT and ISEE at home ty, particularly those who teach in seventh and ninth grade, Team will continue to assess each part of the virtual protests have the same content, length, and score reports as to address these gaps with altered curriculums if needed. cess for next year, but hinted that they will likely keep the traditional test. Both tests are also using live proctors Hamden Hall’s admissions page on their the new chat feature available on the Admission page, school website directs applicants to register for some version of the Virtual Admission Center on the The SSAT provides free testing kits for the ISEE or SSAT test and mentions the “at home” website, the 360 tour, Zoom opportunities to chat with students who are unable to access the internet or a option that both tests offer. Greens Farms Academy’s a member of the Admission Team for questions, Zoom laptop to take the at-home test. These kits include website admissions page also lists the ISEE and SSAT interviews for families who can’t travel to New Haven, a laptop and a mobile hotspot for internet access. as required standardized tests but does not mention and potentially some parts of the Virtual Open House. Higgins said that Hopkins is requiring the testing “at home” testing accommodations for the tests.
The Razor: Opinions/Editorials
October 30, 2020
Hopkins Hybrid Model Aims to Bridge Divide Sophia Neilson ’23 Assistant Op Ed Editor So, are you Maroon or Grey? That was the big question 2020 school year. When I thought about the beginning of the 20202021 school year, I thought about meeting all of my new teachers, getting to see friends, Class Trip Day, Homecoming, and so much more. What I never could have expected, was that I would only be able to see half of my friends in person every other week. In order to keep us safe right now, Hopkins must maintain a hybrid model to limit the amount of students on campus and follow social distancing guidelines. This is not easy. Some students have all of their friends in the same cohort, others have one or two friends, and others have none. This is a major challenge for students to adapt to. Whether
“Teachers have to work twice as hard to keep virtual students engaged while still maintaining a positive environment for the in-person students.” cult aspects to hybrid learning. We are forced into adapting to these new circumstances, and for some people this must be faced without close friendships. Being on campus only half of the time with half of the students is creating an inevitable divide between the two groups. There are disagreements over who is “the better cohort” and whether Maroon or Grey is superior. There also is a large divide within the classroom. It is nearly impossible to feel as connected to your peers and teachers while you are sitting behind a screen, knowing that many of your other classmates are getting to physically engage in the learning environment. Accompanying the disconnect are feelings of isolation, frustration, and stress. It is harder to keep up with the pace of the class when you frequently can’t see or hear what is going on in the room. Last spring, I thought that online learning was
In person students watch their lesson as the OWL projects the class to the virtual students at home
Teachers have to work twice as hard to keep virtual students engaged while still maintaining a positive environment for the in-person students. There are also new technological challenges and issues to deal with, on top of essentially teaching two standing of these challenges, teachers are still under a lot of stress trying to keep the class connected as a whole. When we are on campus, things are far from normal. There is no more socializing in the library, no hanging out with friends unless you are six feet away from each other, masks on at all times, silent lunches if bad weather forces us inside, and even overwhelm the fact that we are lucky enough to be on campus part-time, even if things something any of us ever wanted or expected. This makes it very overwhelming to
navigate. We all long for the times pre-COVID-19 when life was “normal.” Adjusting to the pandemic, and our new normal for the time being, is not simple.
“There is no more socializing in the library, no hanging out with friends unless you are six feet away from each other, masks on at all times, silent lunches if bad weather forces us inside, and even wearing masks while playing sports” Hybrid learning presents us with new challenges to navigate, but it also gives us the opportunity to be back on campus and see our friends and peers. It may not be what we expected or what we want, but it is an opportunity worth being grateful for. We are lucky enough to have the resources, such as the OWL, to connect us with our peers in the opposite cohort, even though we are not physically together.
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Share Your Voice RealTalk and The Razor are collaborating to create a space in the newspaper for Hopkins comWe hope this platform will promote discussions on campus that lead to powerful conversations and create meaningful change. Entries are not meant to be long essays, but rather written or artistic work on a topic of our choice. Submissions for the RealTalk x Razor Collab will be considered separately from the RealTalk Speaker Series submissions. Anyone can submit an entry at any time of the year, to be published in the next available Razor issue. You can submit an entry through the Google form linked on the Razor’s website: www.therazoronline.com, as well as on the Razor’s and the Real Talk committee Instagrams: @hopkinsrazor and @realtalkcollective. You may choose to submit anonymously or have your name published alongside your entry. Submissions will be reviewed by a small group of RealTalk and Razor members, who
October 30, 2020
Boxes and It’s a Wonderful Life! Take to the Stage Craigin Maloney ’21 Arts Editor The fall show is an important one for the Hopkins Drama Association (HDA); it sets the tone for the rest of the year and shows Hopkins how HDA will adapt to the new COVID policies. This year, Drama faculty Hope Hartup and Mike Calderone face unique challenges with socially-distant performances and the hybrid system. Their solution to these problems is to put on two productions that rehearse during each cohort’s respective in-person week. Calderone is directing Boxes during Maroon week, while Hartup is directing It’s a Wonderful Life! during Grey week. This year’s shows Talia Chang ’22
Drew Slager ’21, Rhea Ahuja ’23, and Anand Choudhary ’22 pose for a photo in their masks from Boxes. are pushing both the actors and directors to adjust how they have learned their craft in past years and to adapt to the new restrictions for a safe, socially distant performance, all while keeping the spirit of HDA alive. Boxes, written and directed by Calderone, is a commentary on the way we have all been forced to live since March: in boxes. In Calderone’s words, “we’re conwe communicate through Zoom tiles and computer
monitors; we receive food, entertainment and necessi- into a positive, as Hartup now has “been able to include ties through deliveries from Fresh Direct and Amazon some new and younger students to our roster.” Emerboxes.” Boxes is based completely on input from Hop- son DelMonico ’21 said, “Working with Hope is great. kins students, and their stories are told with only sixteen She always gives us feedback and makes sure everyone actors, eight technicians, and three white boxes. Calde- is doing the best they can, especially during COVID.” rone says this show is also unique because actor’s faces Hartup plans on having the show recorded the secare fully covered by professional grade character masks, ond weekend in November for a December airing. She along with PPE masks underneath. Calderone also chose said it is a “little up in the air as to whether or not we to make the performance a silent one, where the actors won’t be talking under the professional Zach Williamson ’22 grade masks. For actor Anand Choudhary ’22, “the biggest challenge is expressing [his emotions through physical movement. Something that might’ve been a small gesture before now has to be super big and obvious, otherwise the audience won’t understand what’s going on.” However, even with so many limitations, Calderone is still taking on some of the heaviest topics of our current political climate. Calderone is addressing what “experiences have been like regarding quarantine, the pandemic, politics, BLM [Black Lives Matter], you name it.” Calderone has also had to adapt to only having half his normal audition pool. He said that the biggest drawback is “considering the students in the ‘other’ cohort who might have been better suited Ty Eveland ’22 rehearses with a Zoomed-in Emerson DelMofor the show in the opposite week.” On the upside, nico ’21 for It’s a Wonderful Life! with one week on and one week off, he has “an intense week of rehearsing followed by a week to gather can have even a small audience attend these recordprops, write, and plan.” However, despite all of the prepa- ings,” because of “the number of people we will need ration put into creating such a unique show, Calderone just to record sound and tape the performance.” Destill recognized that, with new developments in the spread spite the virtual adaptability of this performance, of COVID or a potential second wave, his plans could Hartup also still recognizes the potential for her plans change. Calderone admitted that “we would have to do a to go awry. Her strategy? “Adapt, adjust and revise.” major shift from a live performance in Lovell to a Zoom For seniors, these shows will be some of their performance from individual homes,” but he has “about last at Hopkins. Co-head of HDA and actor in Boxes four different plans waiting in the wings ready to be re- Joey Rebeschi ’21 is thankful for all the work Caldeleased if anything changes from the plan we are currently rone has put into creating “a concept for a show that working on.” He still is holding out hope for a live per- prioritizes safety while still providing an outlet for formance, though, as he believes “so much more is com- those in the drama department.” Rebeschi added that municated when people are together in the same space.” Boxes “has been a lot of fun to be a part of” and that Hartup and her Grey cohort of actors are tak- he’s “excited for people to see the full mask work!” ing a different approach to putting on a show this year. Quarantine has been a trying time for all inHartup doesn’t need or want a contingency plan; her play, volved. Despite the trials and tribulations of, quite litIt’s a Wonderful Life!, will be in a live radio-show format. erally, living life in a box, the theater program is still Hartup said that a “play of this format would not have been what I would normally have chosen to do,” but she Wilde’s words, theater is “the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can As for challenges, Hartup’s biggest initial concern was share with another the sense of what it is to be a huthe split between Grey and Maroon week actors. She felt that “the bulk of the more experienced performers ended sage of what it means to be a Hopkins student right up in the Maroon cohort.” That, however, turned itself now and how to look for the good rather than the bad.
ARTIST OF THE ISSUE: ALEXIS CHANG ’21 Anand Choudhary ’22 Assistant Arts Editor Alexis Chang ’21 has been involved with music for as long as she can remember. From piano lessons at the age of four, to coming out with her own song “Inspired” earlier this year, she’s spent countless hours into following her passion for music. Chang said that playing piano was “the start of my music career, but I really started to love creating art when covered how much I loved creating art and how much I knew about it.” Before that, piano lessons had “felt like an obligation, but during that gap year creating art became such a huge emotional outlet for me. That’s when I really started loving music production and writing music.” Chang got myself in a way, as cliche as that sounds. on my own life and discover things about
Highpoint Pictures nease Brown ’21. “They myself that I didn’t know before. During that year, I love the same music that didn’t have much to talk I do and have similar stoabout with my friends beries to tell through music, cause they were at school so we’re making an alwhile I was at home, so I bum together next sumput a lot of those feelings mer. Music has formed into my music. Whenever some of my closest relaI’m feeling some type of tionships at Hopkins, and way and I don’t necesI couldn’t be more gratesarily want to talk about ful for that,” said Chang. Alexis Chang ’21 it, I’ll write about it or Chang thinks that the I’ll make a beat about it.” impact of COVID will When Chang arrived at Hopkins in seventh grade, she created a short-lived tends to practice after lunch in the band band as a way to get to know people. Al- room, but we’re most likely not going though it didn’t last long, it gave her inspi- to do that anymore. We’ve been practicration to create the band she is currently a ing in my garage for a concert which has member of, Omnia, in her freshman year: “ actually been so nice and works so much I just wanted people who would create and better than I expected but it’s still hard beappreciate art with me.” Chang also makes cause we’re in different weeks.” The hymusic with other students from Hopkins, brid model will affect other aspects of art including Kaila Spearman ’21 and Ra- at Hopkins that Chang is involved in. She
said, “A capella is a huge part of the art I out how to do that, but it’s tough because we have to be together to hear each other to learn the songs we’ve picked out for the year. It’s funny because this year we have to be six to twelve feet apart when, usually, we’re all huddling over one laptop togethspire Chang to make art everyday. “My parents are particularly big inspirations, my dad especially. My dad is so encouraging all the time and he’s my biggest my song ‘Inspired’ to. We were driving back from this road trip we went on and he kept telling me to replay it. He’s just my biggest supporter,” said Chang. Continued on Page 10...
The Razor: Arts
October 30, 2020
Artist of the Issue: Alexis Chang ’21 Continued from page 9. Chang is also inspired by many other music creators. She is a big “Chloe with them. Also Beyonce. Her harmonies Kaila, and Ranease are working on have a lot of harmonies inspired by her because she’s an artist we all love.” Chang explained that a lot of her music-making process is inspired by elements of music from other artists: “That’s what my art, or my element, is. Taking different aspects of things I like to listen to and modifying and bringing them together to make something I can call my style.” Chang described the process of writing her song “Inspired” as one of the fastest creative processes she’s ever expe-
rienced. “Art usually goes one of two ways for me. Either I’m in a creative block and it or I’m feeling super inspired and have all my head and I can make something in like a week. ‘Inspired’ was the latter. I had the beat done after various live streams I do on my music instagram, @changstermusic.” She continued, “This song happened because I was in a new space after being in my house for quarantine for four months. I was staying with someone in my family, ing in that space made me feel so inspired and motivated. Being in that new space made my head feel so fresh so I decided to write everything that was going on in my head down and twenty minutes later I had all the words to ‘Inspired.’ I recorded it immediately after that. I’d say about
eighty percent of the song that’s out now
to make… Also be consistent. Practice will make you so much better.”
ally changed over the years. I feel like I’ve come to my own sound. There was a time when I only did rock or alternative because that’s what I thought people wanted to hear, but I wasn’t really into it. Eventually, I started to change bits and pieces of the music to make it my own and
it so it’s not necessarily a rock style. ” For people that want to try their hand at creating and writing music, Chang said “Just be honest. Be authentic with yourself and what you want to make and don’t perform what- Chang s album cover for her 2020 single ever other music people want you “Inspired,” created by Anajah Williams ’21
Students Reflect on Arts Classes in Hybrid Zach Williamson ’22 Arts Editor Assistant Arts Editor Throughout the pandemic, students enrolled in Hopkins arts courses have been navigating a complicated landscape. Some of their courses look completely different in the hybrid model, while others more closely resemble previous years’ pedagogy. In many aspects of life at Hopkins, the hybrid model has hindered a cohesive sense of community. For Concert Choir, a course that normally involves students participating in group back-massage circles and close-knit rehearsals, the hybrid model presents some Erika Schroth, Concert Choir has been forced to shift location and rehearsal type, moving from the baseAs the weather starts to change, the singers are beginning to notice. Kaila Spearman ’21 remarked that a challenge of choir now was “ being cold outside!” The biggest issue, according to Grey cohort member Nala ing a lack of connection between students: “I’m somea basic level. With being in the Grey cohort, I’m bound to become better friends with people in the same group. with Zoom meetups and, now, weekend rehearsals.” are remaining positive throughout this unprecedented experience, and Schroth is working to integrate both Zoom and in-person students. “We could not ask for a better campus right now and no one could do it better than she is. Just being the person that she is, you can tell she is putyear for all of us. New traditions have started like bringing blankets to choir, Singer of the ing around
community and keep the group dynamic in the hybrid model, the visual arts at Hopkins face their own set of went a shift, with Fine Art II being split into two different courses and Fine Art III changing name and content. Students in Advanced Studio Art, the new iteration of Fine Anand Choudhary ‘22 Art III, are working intrepidly with Arts faculty members to keep making art. There are two sections of Advanced Studio Art running in the 2020-
track with the intention of going onto [Fine Art] II and then [Fine Art] III our senior year, when we would make the class
taught by Byron, had a lucky split, as Caroline Asnes ’21 -
taken Studio Art II my second term of freshman year, but there were many kids in my class that hadn’t taken two arts that year and the change made it so they could no longer go
This means no Zoom meetings! Overall, the pandemic restricts the amount of time that
As in the visual arts, the content is about the same.” Both Ziou’s and Byron’s students are working on es to be presented in the Keator Gallery later this year. Jessica Chapman ’22 described her
weeks for rehearsal and offects and individual practice. als look quite different than Talia Chang ’22 poses for a photo wearing a stage they have in the past. Students practice in one of the large mask for Boxes.
sketching, I have two acrylic paintings half done at my house, and at school, I have
into a big painting made up of everyone in my classes squares.” Asnes outlined her current plans for a piece: ing to start by covering the walls of the gallery (hope-
Zach Williamson ‘22
painted on plywood since I don’t want to get expelled!) and creating an experiential piece. I’m then going to suman form by creating a sort
a body into a piece of art. Fiwarm up (and nally, I’ll do a photography actually warm series on these two pieces.” up), and even Advanced Studio choir theraArt students are uniquely py sessions. challenged this fall, as unShe adapts Students rehearse for Concert Choir over Zoom. expected news of their methods as course’s curriculum change she tests what hit last year. “When my Fine Art II crew and I learned works and what doesn’t work with online and in-person about the course change, we were pretty upset,” Asnes resingers.” Orly Baum ’22 reinforced Schroth’s commitlifesaver. She goes into each day with such a positive attitude and mindset and always hypes us up, which is As the choral program is working to foster
up. Plus, the fact that we were kept entirely out of the loop on the whole thing and only learned about the change when we got our course choice booklets with the rest of the grade was pretty frustrating.” Chapman echoed these sentiments, remembering that she “really hated that they made such a large change and didn’t consult any of the people that would be affected by it. Being in Fine Art I last year, we were impacted the most.
with the understanding that we would enter Fine Art III in our senior year. The change bothered us less because we didn’t want a different experience, and more because we knew that the change would probably split our group
Band described the new rehearsal structure: “Rehearsals are split up, and the Grey cohort has fewer people than the cally do the same thing that we would have in the normal school year with respect to pieces and working on prob-
The drama program is also working to keep students engaged. Talia Chang ’22, who is taking Acting I, class, you have homework assignments. So when we’re on Zoom or we’ll act it out in person. It’s allowed me to work on my play acting rather than my stage acting.” rone’s upcoming production of Boxes. She described her gratitude for the experience: “Of course I would prefer to be with everyone in the other cohort, but the show that we’re doing right now is really cool. Everyone is fully mate and about our experiences. I wouldn’t change that.” strictions begin to feel trivial in comparison to the will of Hopkins’s artists to soldier on and create.
Oct. 30, 2020
Competitive Chess Continues to Thrive at Hopkins Tanner Lee ’23 Assistant Sports Editor
Hopkins has long had its own chess club both for new players wanting to learn new strategies and for advanced players looking to sharpen their competitive skills. Even with the Peter Mahakian restrictions imposed by COVID, the Hopkins Chess Club has remained vibrant and active. Hopkins Chess Club has found great success in recent years. George Wang ‘20 and Jake Wang ‘20 were “instrumental in bringing the 2019 Connecticut State Grade Championships to Hopkins’ campus, as well as the annual Greater New Haven Scholastic Championships four Recent graduates George and Jake Wang ’20 were instrumental in growing the Hopkins Chess Club. years running,” said the Chess Club’s faculty advisor, Terence Mooney, who runs the club and their biweekly meetings in Baldwin. Club co-head Graham Selby ‘21 said, “The team [also] competed in the World Amateur Team Chess Tournament in Parsippany New Jersey.” Mooney added that the club attended “the US Amateur Team East tournament the past two years, with both four-player teams placing in that national competition both years.” Chess tournaments foster a competitive but enjoyable atmosphere. Club co-head Sarvin Bhagwagar ‘24 said “[During competition,]I am focusing 100% on the game. I have to closely watch every move and think about its purpose in
order not to lose.” But, he said, “All in all, it’s a lot of fun.” Even though most sports and activities were shut down because of the coronavirus this past spring and summer, chess became significantly more popular because of websites like chess.com that allow people to play chess online against one another. In early May of 2020, the FIDE (International Chess Federation in English) held its first online chess tournament consisting of ten rounds and one superfinal. Thirty-six competitors from China, India, Russia, the United States and other nations played against each other on chess.com via Zoom. Chess.com sponsored a grand total of 180,000 dollars, with 24,000 dollars going to each of the six teams, and an extra 24,000 dollars to the first-place finisher, which happened to be China, and 12,000 dollars extra to the runner-up, which was the United States. Over the summer, Bhagwagar ran weekly tournaments on chess.com, an online chess site, where winners would receive small prizes. Mooney commended him: “Kudos to Sarvin for his enthusiastic stewardship of chess in our community at large!” This year, despite being back at school, Sarvin and club co-heads Noam Benson-Tilsen ‘21 and Selby run club meetings over Zoom, and are planning to hold a few tournaments during and outside of these meetings. Millions of new players who are just looking to have some fun in their spare time have started playing on chess.com since the pandemic hit. Nick Barton, director of business dePeter Mahakian velopment for the site said that, in April 2020, chess. com signed up more than double the amount of new players that they did in January of this year. He even projected that the site would see five years of growth in just three months. A chess board from a competition hosted by chess.com. Regarding the online competitions, Graham says, “We are trying to create opportunities for kids to come in and have fun playing chess, encouraging kids to communicate and have fun at a time where it can be hard to see others.”
Athletic Trainers Respond to COVID-19 With New Roles Christina [Balsamo] and I met over Zoom once a week to discuss safety procedures, screening procedures, etc. And things changed a lot from our thoughts at the beginning of the summer to the end With regard to the global pandemic, Hopof it. I am sure some of our protocols will change kins has designed the hybrid learning model to as the world and the pandemic change and shift as give students the best learning experience poswell. We have changed so much in eight months, sible, with upgrades to facilities and technolHopScoreCT Instagram and we are learning more and more every day.” ogy infrastructure, as well as many new safety With all these new challenges and duties, the and hygiene policies and protocols. As part of athletic trainers have had to adjust to changes in the hybrid model, the athletic trainers have their daily schedules. Gleason said, “It takes a while taken on new responsibilities to enforce these to get into the swing of things. And so much is protocols and make sure everyone is safe. different! My office, which is usually located in the One of the biggest changes is the addiAthletic Training room, is now in the room that used tion of the Magnus Health Screening that now to be the weight room. It's very strange being apart takes place every morning. “Athletic trainer[s] from my department, because we all spend so much are involved in running the Magnus Health time together in a normal year. And I am definitely Screening in the morning and notifying those spending less time with students, which stinks.” faculty/staff, students, and outside contractors Although the new procedures can seem to ensure compliance. Individuals who are nonburdensome and hard to follow, they are critical in compliant are screened [by us],” said Don Bagkeeping the community safe. Bagnall said, “I think nall, the Director of Medical Services and Head they are safe and sufficient to protect us from the Athletic Trainer for sports medicine. “A good virus. However, the basic guidelines need to be foldeal of the summer was spent researching, creatlowed; wear a mask; social distance; stay home if ing the survey, speaking with Magnus, working feeling unwell and have an elevated temp; and wash with our Technology Department, and preparyour hands correctly or use sanitizer frequently.” ing the survey for the use of our whole commuGleason added, “Epidemiologists have found that nity. Every adult and student that is regularly on campus completes the survey each day they will The Hopkins Athletic Department tries to keep spirits high by cel- some of the best and easiest ways for us to remain be present. We also helped the security team ebrating Maroon Friday with the Marooon and Grey Cohorts. safe is to practice social distancing, wear masks, and wash our hands frequently. Hopkins has proset up screening procedures at the gate houses for visitors to be screened upon arrival to campus,” “A lot of our protocols were decided by looking at vided ways for all of us to do all those things, which added Jillian Gleason, Assistant Athletic Trainer. guidelines from bodies like the CDC and the CT is great.” Bagnall and Gleason remind us, “our rules The new procedures were decided, “in con- Dept. of Public Health, and figuring out the best and safety procedures can only keep us safe if we sultation with the eight Committees of the CO- way to implement them at Hopkins,” said Gleason. follow them! Sometimes they are hard, but now VID-19 Task Force established by [Head of School “A lot of the faculty and staff spent time this sum- more than ever, the decisions you make affect othKai] Bynum this past spring. We also had input from mer researching and meeting about the best way ers. We all have to stay vigilant and stay safe, so that to keep campus safe. For our part, Don [Bagnall], we may help protect the other people in our lives.” Sophia Zhao ’23 Assistant Sports Editor
our consulting physicians. In addition we are fortunate to have many Hopkins Alums who are wellconnected to the medical community,” said Bagnall. The new protocols and procedures are constantly being updated and improved upon as there is new information and the school year goes on.
The Razor: Sports
Oct 30, 2020
Homecoming is Cancelled, But Activity Days Are On! Maeve Stauff ’21 Sports Editor
With COVID-19 as the main concern, the Hopkins Athletics department, including coaches, advisors, trainers, and players, adapted to the new normal of sports seasons with no games or ability to compete for a championship. In the beginning of the fall season, following guidelines from the Athletics department, coaches strictly limited the intensity of practices, use of equipment, and amount of people in attendance. Field Hockey Coach Jen Morgan said, “Before school started we had no idea what the season would look like. We had two cohorts of students of all different playing levels, alternating the weeks they were on campus. This is in combination with the phase 1 guidelines: masks must always be worn; players must remain at least 6 feet apart at all times, minimal conditioning, players cannot touch equipment and many more necessary restrictions, which led us to have a slow start to our fall season.” As the season progressed, the Athletics Department allowed varsity athletes from both Maroon and Grey cohorts to attend practice. Although all varsity athletes are allowed to go to practice each week, many students, especially underclassmen, can’t come to campus because they have class and can’t get a ride. In order to increase school spirit and get full team participation, the Hopkins Athletics Department allowed for a series of intrasquad scrimmages for varsity athletes on October 24 and October 31. Athletic Director Rocco
grade who play field hockey, for example. The idea behind the full-team activity days is for those students who don’t get to practice or participate with the other group. Now, they can spend two full days bonding with their teammates, playing their sport, and showcasing their school spirit.” Each team has a different time slot to safely allow everyone to come to campus and social distance. Assistant Athletic Director Christina Balsamo
Fans cheer for Hopkins Football from the path above Parr Field during Homecoming 2019. Peter Mahakian
The Hopkins Athletic Department welcomes back Hilltoppers to campus.
so excited to finally be able to scrimmage. Last week was the first time we were able to play 4v4, but I’m so happy that we can play a full scrimmage with 11v11.” Girls Field Hockey and Boys Soccer are having intrasquad scrimmages. Morgan commented, “I can’t wait for a very fun competitive match for the Maroon and Grey cohorts. We are also planning on taking full team photos which is awesome.” Head Football Coach Tim Phipps explained, “I’m very excited that our whole team can compete on the last two Saturdays of the season to crown a champion [for the season].” Unfortunately, due Hopkins students show their school spirit as they cheer on their teams during Homecoming 2019. to COVID-19 and the FAA and MIFL’s cancellation of competition, said, “We’re going to leave everything DeMaio explained the idea behind up to the coaches. They can decide if Hopkins is unable to host Homecomthe full-team activity days: “Since they want to scrimmage or just have ing this year, which is the biggest athsome student-athletes can’t make it to practice, but they have to follow the letics event of the fall. Unlike a normal the other cohort’s practice, they don’t safety protocols.” Girls Soccer player year, students, alumni, and parents even know the other kids in their Jenny Alaska ’22 commented, “I’m won’t be able to come to Hopkins to
eat and raise money at the Pancake Breakfast, watch seven hours of athletic games, and dance the whole night. Hopkins students are disappointed about the cancellation. Addie Priest ’21 explained, “I’m really bummed out that we can’t have Homecoming this year. The day is full of fun activities where everyone can bond and cheer each other on. It is always the highlight of my fall at Hopkins.” Jasmine Simmons ’21 said, “Homecoming is always one of my favorite events of the year. For the past few years I’ve served at the pancake breakfast which has been really fun and a great bonding experience with my teammates. It’s disappointing that it won’t be the same this year but I’m so grateful we get to spend time together at all!” Despite the fact that Hopkins is unable to host a Homecoming, the normal festivities during the week leading up to the event carried on. Student Council organized Spirit Week for both cohorts, and all teams filmed Homecoming skits that were shown during Virtual Assembly. Even though Homecoming is not happening this year, Yahn Galinovsky ’21, encouraged everyone to scream as loud as possible at their scrimmages just as if they were at Homecoming: “If your voice isn’t dead after screaming and cheering on your teammates, then you have to take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself one thing: Do you think Dr. Bynum would’ve wanted that?” Many Hopkins students are excited for the full-team activity days despite the news of the cancellation of Homecoming. Sydney Matthews ’23 said, “I haven’t been able to go to a lot of the practices because I have class, but this idea sounds so fun! I’m disappointed we can’t have Homecoming this year because I’ve been going to Hopkins Homecomings for so many years with my mom since she’s an alumna, and I’m disappointed we can’t continue our streak, but I definitely understand why.” Tanner Lee ’23 felt the same way: “I’m obviously upset that we won’t be able to play games in a Homecoming setting, but I’m so excited that Hopkins is doing their own thing and that the cohorts can come together to play.”