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Hopkins School 986 Forest Road New Haven, CT

December 18, 2020

Vol LXVIII, no. 3

Hopkins Reacts to Biden-Harris Win

www.therazoronline.com

Resch Reflects on 1918 Flu Pandemic

sional districts occupied by very progressive Democrats, Biden consistently outperformed them.” He continues, “In House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-

a Democrat, and he won the Melody Cui '23 same number of electoral votes Assistant News Editor as Trump did four years ago.” In addition to Presi“No one pretends democracy is History teacher Zoe dent-elect Biden’s win, the 2020 perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has Presidential Election was also Resch's lecture on the Spanish been said democracy is the worst Flu of 1918, an annual installform of government except for voter turnout. There are sev- ment of the History Department's all those other forms that have eral contributing factors that Evans-Rood lecture series, takes been tried from time caused lower voter on a new tenor as we live through to time” -Winston turnout in previous the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. Churchill, November Although the place of years. Amnesty In1947 ternational Club head origin of the Spanish Flu, an avian The battle Kian Ahmadi ’24 between incumbent explains that, “Ac- Resch states that it likely origiPresident Donald cording to the Poor nated in the “very early months of Trump and former People’s Campaign, 1918…probably among wild boar Vice President, now the most common [and] domesticated birds on the President-elect, Joe reason people give farmland out [in Kansas].” Resch Biden in the 2020 for not voting is that continues, “There was a big war Presidential Electhey are ‘disillusioned camp nearby where soldiers were tion was, at the very with their voting preparing to go overseas, because least, a historic and prospects,’” mean- the US had joined [World War monumental event ing “they either don’t for many Americans. like their candidates, and then the men leaving the As Arts teacher and aren’t interested, or camp spread it to other camps.” March for Our Lives After an initial spike in feel that their vote Club faculty advisor won’t change things.” Peter Ziou sees it, Young Repub- ple of months until it reappeared “Biden represented licans club faculty in Europe late in the summer. This Forbes Magazine order, Trump repreadvisor and History time around, however, Resch exsented chaos. This is President-elect Joe Biden gives acceptance speech at teacher Scott Wich the classical battle as a believes political redrive-in victory rally in Wilmington, Delaware metaphor through the alignment - “where terms of its lethality.” This strain history of our world.” But he be- Cortez’s district, Biden got political ideologies are shifting was ultimately responsible for the lieves this is not the end: “Reason more votes, whereas in districts and polarizing, and the political 50 million deaths that would follow. was the winner in the selection, occupied by moderate Demo- parties are adjusting the policies chaos still wants to take over crats like Abigail Spanberger they support and amplifying the turned to the United States, hitting the battle: this still will go on.” and Conor Lamb, they usu- messages that they send to vot- port cities like Philadelphia espeWas the election out- ally got more votes than Biden.” ers in response to those changes” cially hard. Fort Devens, a small come a mandate for Biden? HisJewish Culture Club - played a large role in the turn- army camp outside of Boston, was tory teacher Megan Maxwell head Evan Migdole ’22 looks out. According to Wich, a sympresponds, “Not even close. The at the election results from a tom of political realignment is a election of 2020 was a refer- higher voter turnout, in addition place...hundreds of soldiers died in endum on President Trump; he lieves Biden’s win was indeed to cultural changes surround- that camp in a week or two.” Resch lost.” After carefully observing ing voting. “National politics, describes the soldiers’ bodies as and studying the data from this and not the current president and the presidency in particular, being “stacked like cordwood election, Model UN head Finn as “Biden won Georgia and all over the camp because they Continued on Page 2 Kiely ’22 agrees: “In congres- Arizona, which is very rare for didn't know where to place them.” Part of the peculiarity of the Spanish Flu lies in its at-risk Aanya Panyadahundi '23 Assistant News Editor

Students and Faculty React to Local Elections Anushree Vashist '21 Lead News Editor Shriya Sakalkale '24 Campus Correspondent

In addition to a historic presidential race, the 2020 electant campaigns at the local level. In Connecticut, all 151 seats of the state House of Representatives and all 36 seats of the State Senate were up for grabs. Constituents also had members of the U.S. House of Representatives, making it an active political year for both students and faculty on The Hill. Although most Hopkins students are too young to vote, many are actively involved in political discourse. One such student is Carly Slager ’21, who is enrolled Inside: News........1-3 Features....4-5 Op/Ed.......6-7 Arts...........8-9 Sports.......10-11 Wishlist....12

in the 21st Century Democracy elective. When asked about the importance of local elections, Slager remarked, “You can [not] overstate the importance of local government in times like these. This last presidential election was such a dramatic, all-consuming event that I think it’s easy to forget that many of people’s day to day lives are decided on a municipal level.” Slager is hopeful that, because local elections tend to be less “personality-based,” constituents will “focus on the policies and issues that impact their lives.” Reform in regards to systemic racial injustices and policing was a key issue this year. Slager noted: “Across the country, in red states and blue Features Page 4: Student Council AdaptsWinter Holiday Traditions

ing those infected with their

immune

system.

Resch

somebody's lungs, [and] it turned to pneumonia, they were gone.” Despite the lethality of government, preoccupied with the ongoing war, did little to stop its spread. Resch emphasizes that “the government was conducting a desperate war. And so there was no way that President Wilson or the military felt like they could war.” Resch explains that the government was worried that speaking the public. Why cause panic? And most importantly, why cause panic At the local level, pubaccomplish much due to a lack of trust from the public. In 1918, public health was still relatively new and seen with suspicion by Americans. Resch stresses that “Americans have always valued their freedom,” resulting in “a lot of pushback” from citizens that included: “You can't tell me to quarantine. You can't tell me to wear a mask. You can't tell me not to take public transportation.” Public health services also As Resch puts it, “[public health] is not glamorous … if you’re the public health department, you're [fairly] invisible until there's [an emergency]. And then everyone's like, 'Where are you public health?' 'Why haven't you done anything?'” In order for public health services sizes that “we have to give them the resources [they require].” Thus, citizens did little to -

states, candidates for city council are most deadly to young children and the elderly, Resch notes that cities held big parades to sell liberty forgiveness, police reform, and the Spanish Flu “killed people in bonds to fund the war, after which ending the carceral state, just to the prime of life (20's, 30's, 40's) the infection rate would skyrocket. name a few. These policies can more than any other age group.” Resch details, “These huge parades change lives on a local level, Continued on Page 3 but they also plant the seeds had not yet been invented, leavfor reform on a larger scale.” Rose Robertson ’24 Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine agrees with Slager, adding, “It’s critical that we realize that some people do have advantages over other people in life just because of the color of their skin and that’s absolutely unfair and as a nation not only need to recognize this but we need to address this important issue of systemic racism which has become far too normalized and allowed in today’s society.” Nana DondorfulAmos ‘22, a right-leaning IndeContinued on Page 3

Soldiers on an emergency hospital ward at Camp Funston, Kansas.

Op/Ed Page 7: The Razor x RealTalk Collaboration

Arts Page 8: Artists Impact the 2020 Election


The Razor: News

Page 2

December 18, 2020

Seniors Apply to College Amidst Covid-19 Anjali Subramanian ’22 News Editor With college campuses shut down and limited standardized testing opportunities, the college application process has been upended by Covid-19. Virtual tours, consisting of pictures and 360-degree videos, have replaced in-person campus visits. Isabel Melchinger

self there, and you can’t do that online.” The lack of students in virtual tours also poses a challenge to seniors. Chase Harrison ’21 explains, “[The virtual tours] lack any sort of human component and ability to see how and where students gather.” Yash Thakur ’21 shares sentiments similar to Harrison’s, saying that virtual tours “show you what [colleges] want you to see.” Thakur elaborates, “You aren’t able to see students on campus and get the actual vibe of the college.” Drew Williams ’21 adds, “Virtual tours don’t replicate the experience of a community.”

in visualizing college campus layouts from virtual tours: “It was super hard to tell where things are in relation to each other.” Williams explains, “It is hard for colleges to make huge distinctions when they are limited to 360 cameras.” Abigail Fossati ’21 notes that the virtual physically walking around campus.” Along with campus tours, information sessions have also moved online. These typically feature an ad-

able to go through a slideshow and talk about the school as they normally do.” Without being able to attend inperson tours and information sessions to facilitate choosing which colleges to apply to, seniors researched colleges on their own. David Zhou ’21 looked for colleges that “have a strong department for [his prospective] major” and “undergraduate research opportunities.” Melchinger decided which colleges to apply to based on “reputation.” Yorke says she has “a list [of colleges] lined up based on where [she] wants to live and if they have [her] major. From there it’s just a guessing game.” Several seniors turned to social media to learn more about their chosen colleges. Geneva Cunningham ’21 used YouTube and searched “day in the life of a (name of college) student.” Cunningham believes those videos “were more interesting and true to the college” than virtual tours. Juliette Henderson ’21 used “forums, Reddit, [and] YouTube” to “grasp how people felt at each college.” She explains: “I felt I could understand the general community better by seeing per-

my Common Application and college applications.” Because of Covid-19, Chang “had to take [her] ACT in September and October.” Chang continues, “Basically I had to study for my ACTs while doing my college applications and it was just a lot.” Craigin Maloney ’21 was also impacted by the cancellation of ACT exams: “I didn’t ing to get recruited for a sport, so I was submitting early materials and couldn’t retake [the ACT] because of Covid-19.” To accommodate students unable to take the SAT and ACT, hundreds of colleges became test-optional for the 2020-2021 year. Chang, like most Hopkins seniors, likes having the option to decide if she wants to submit her standardized test scores: “I can use my scores for the schools where it will look good and then I don’t need to [send my scores] where they don’t look as good.” Fossatti thinks test-optional policies “remove most stress while still allowing those able to take the tests to show their scores.” Yorke likes test-optional policies because she believes that “standardized testing is pretty dumb.” She continues, “Now students will actually get judged on what matters rather than a single test.” Though Covid-19 gave rise to several challenges in the college application process, some seniors focused on the positives. Mettler notes that “a lot of students around the world don’t have the money to visit schools and they already have to rely on online resources.” She says, “Although this situation is terrible, it really puts our privilege into perspective, and thankfully provides more online resources for those who cannot visit

speak to prospective applicants. Yorke thinks virtual information sessions are Some seniors contacted alumni “robotic.” She explains, “If there aren’t Prairie Resch ’21 students leading it through Zoom, I get Prairie Resch ’21 watches virtual tours on lost in the statistics.” Prairie Resch ’21 who visited Hopkins virtually.” Thakur feels that “it’s pretty much impossible to ’21 “talked to alumni from colleges or stuYouTube. gauge the tenor of a school when all you dents who [he] knows go there and asked ’21 details the challenges stemming from get is one admissions counselor and may- them what they honestly thought of their virtual tours: “It’s really hard to get the be a current student staring at a screen.” college.” Thakur notes that he got “some feel of colleges without physically beLola Panagos ’21 says that all sessions pretty honest answers” to his questions. ing on campus.” Milan Yorke ’21 agrees: “feel the same and cover the same topAnother major Covid-19-related “I think that the feeling you get stepping ics: holistic review, truly test-optional, barrier to the typical college applicaa lot of clubs, and unsure of the future.” tion process includes the cancellation of thing. Without that, it’s kind of like takUnlike most of her peers, Alexis most spring and summer SAT and ACT ing a shot in the dark.” Comparing inChang ’21 prefers virtual information sesquarantine: “While many things have been person tours to virtual tours, Madison sions over in-person because she “can sit her: “I had planned to take the ACT in Mettler ’21 says, “On the few in-person and take notes and [her] legs don’t hurt April of my Junior year so I could get it at home more often certainly gave more visits I did go on before schools started from walking around.” Evan Alfandre out of the way as soon as possible. That time for writing college supplements!” shutting down, I decided which schools ’21 also likes the virtual model because way, when fall came, I could just focus on I liked based on if I could really see myimmigration, health care, taxes, and racism, Gerstenfeld’s strongly against it and states “The Electoral College was a personal values and the current president’s also played corrupt bargain when it was instituted,” as “a vote in Mona large factor in her views in this election. “As a Jewish tana or Wyoming is eventually worth more than my vote now woman, his infamous insight ‘there are good people on and, when I lived in California, New Jersey, or Maryland.” both sides’ was extremeNew York Times ly hurtful,” she explains. “Moreover, every derogaContinued from Page 1 tory term he used against has pervaded every component of and institution reporters and Congress men within our society, raising the stakes of our poli- and women, was intolerable. tics (‘This is the most important election in histo- The normality of his abnorry!’) and the social stigma of choosing not to vote.” mal behavior has been what Head of School Kai Bynum applauds the matters the most for me.” younger generation’s activity in this election and Jewish Culture Club head sees it as an act of patriotism: “I can only hope that the energy and enthusiasm displayed by the young “to hear Biden’s thoughts voters sets the tone for a future generation that ac- about establishing peace knowledges and owns its civic duty in this country.” between Israel and PalesMarch for Our Lives club head Julia Mur- tine,” but was disappointed phy ’23 also praises Generation Z and cites “a Tuft’s when it was not addressed. poll taken before the election [where] 79% of people The two-parages 18-24 said that Covid-19 helped them realize ty system has become a President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris meet with their newly very controversial topic assembled coronavirus task force. said they think young people can change the country.” across the country and Students United for Racial Equality head Jasers, Asian-American Students Association head Jas- bia faculty advisor Daniel Drummond believes, “The mine Simmons ’21 believes “we’ve moved past a time mine Shah ’21 explains that “Older voters are some- two-party system has become so polarized that it feels where the electoral college is needed.” She goes on what more evenly split between Democrat and broken to me.” Drummond argues the only positive to explain how the current system has become quite Republican, whereas younger voters tend to lean more part of the two-party system now is “both sides feel so “undemocratic. Under the electoral college, as we’ve strongly that we have galvanized the vote and moved seen, a few votes in certain states can determine an With the events of 2020 ranging from protests for us away from some of the lethargy of past elections.” election and I don’t think that should be the case.” racial justice to a worldwide pandemic, the topics people Gerstenfeld brings up how the two-party sysWich, on the other hand, sees the electoral colwere concerned about in this election were extensive. Mod- tem was not very popular historically either. “George lege as “fundamental to our republican system of govel Congress head Christopher Ruano ’22’s emphasizes the Washington was against a two-party system for the ernment and the stability of our confederation.” He beimportance of political messaging from the White House reasons that are playing out today - setting up for a di- lieves, “The electoral college forces candidates to focus to the public when addressing issues like the coronavirus. vided nation.” She elaborates,“I think it continues to on building support in all areas of the country rather than “I’m not sure that a Biden administration would have made hurt our nation and I hope we can develop more di- just a particular region or set of cities, it usually creversity moving forward. This is like Harvard vs Yale ates more decisive election results and a clearer mansituation certainly would have been made better with a all the time...or ketchup vs. mustard...it’s just dumb.” date for the victor, and it retains the stability-producing mask mandate and clear messaging from the White House.” The Electoral College has also been a topic of elements of our republican system of government.” Young Democrats faculty advisor Gabriela Ger- controversy in the past few election cycles, especially with The Young Democrats and Young Repubstenfeld also took issue with the Trump administration’s President Trump losing the popular vote but winning the licans heads could not be contacted for comment. communication throughout the pandemic. In addition to electoral vote in the 2016 Presidential Election. Maxwell is

The Presidential Election


The Razor: News

December 19, 2019

Page 3

We’ve Been Here Before: The 1918 Influenza and America Continued from Page 1 would involve hundreds of thousands of peo-

-

a mask.” People also worked at wartime factoing ships, munitions, armaments, etc. All of

anniversary of the pandemic, the Spanish Flu had that “there really wasn’t that much [written on the such a painful event that we sort of wrapped it up into our national memory of the war and moved on.”

pages and sort of … started the forgetting pro-

For additional information about the 1918 Spanish Flu, In 1918, Philadelphia threw a parade to bolster morale and promote Resch recommends checking out stresses that it “really was a situation where the Liberty Loans. Thousands contracted, and died from, the Spanish Flu The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History” by during the superspreader event. John M. Barry.

2020 Election Participation and Turnout: Hop No Exception Connecticut’s Fifth District. Hayes is a supporter of social equity and has voted for and introduced legislation that

Continued from Page 1 -pendent student, emphasized that “[systemic racism] was prevalent in the topics that candidates discussed [and] peoish systemic racism and have equal opportunities for all.” Race relations were also a central part of the involvement of 21st Century Democracy teacher and School Archivist Thom Peters. Peters’ State Representaing Jim Jinks–a local Democratic politician who had previously served on the Cheshire Town Council, Cheshire Planning and Zoning Committee, and the Cheshire Democratic Committee–to run fairly last-minute. According -

walk.” As he campaigned for Healy, she appealed to him

the impact Covid-19 is having on African-Americans and other minority communities. During her campaign, Hayes where Peters notes that Hayes was attacked lies.” Hayes’ own experiences is why Peters feels that“[h]er attention to issues of education as well as her role as an African-American voice in our democracy were important.” ing that Second District Congressman Joe Courtney “stands for racial equality” was a sentative. Courtney is no newcomer to the

Hartford Courant

2007. Since then, Courtney has helped pass legal uses of police force, capping the price of insulin at $25, making climate change education a necessary part of

save families thousands of dollars each year.

additionally, he–along with Representative Dough Duof face masks in schools. Peters says, “This unwillingness to work with others in pursuit of the common good a result, Peters supported Jinks. The race was initially de-

ally I guess appealed to me and my parents.” Vote-by-mail ballot boxes for the 2020 elections outside of West Hartford Town Hall. According to exit polling, the coronavirus pandemic was another key issue for voters, and Hopkins students felt she was, something I did not expect from a politician.” While Healy lost, Stanley does “respect how she noting, “the [issue] that is most on the foreit’s wrecked so many families in America and around the world, and it’s done so also an emotional and psychological one.” Dondorful-Amos, also commented on the -

Democratic Congressional Representative Rosa DeLauro gives victory speech after being elected to chair the House Appropriations Committee.

level] candidates attack each other and try to do all they On the contrary, in local elections there’s no ruthless atmate.” While realizing as a historian that “[i]t’’s not the

ever can have good policies so we can have

votes from one polling center in Wallingford. After the re-

-

17 votes (out of roughly 14,000 votes cast!),” Peters says. Peters also supported Jahana Hayes,

for State Senator of Connecticut’s 26th District was un-

in regards to partisanship than the nation at large, there are clearly some strong tendencies even within Connecticut to engage with rage rather than reason. Let’s hope those forces do not win out in the years ahead.”

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! With love, The Razor Staff


The Razor: Features

Page 4

December 18, 2020

Student Council Adapts Winter Holiday Traditions cusing on terms related to food insecurity, and an empaAssistant Features As the holiday season approaches, in the midst of a pandemic, Hopkins continues to uphold its winter traditions. This year, Student Council (StuCo) decided to organize a completely new fundraising plan for their annual Connecticut Food Bank Fundraiser (CFBF) in order to adjust to Covid-19-related regulations. In previous years, students raised money by fundraising outside of local businesses and attending events like the Haunted House, Yule Ball, the CanJam concert, Female Football, and that “a lot of our events relied on bringing lots of people raisers that are contactless or can take place remotely.”

Raising awareness and educating the Hopkins community about food insecurity is just one of the this ulty Adviser Anna Robinette says, “We brainstormed a few ideas together for events like the Columbus House Fundraiser that [Maroon Key Board] ran on campus earlier this fall–one being the mask tie-dying, another being a virtual Among Us tournament.” Although the tions that StuCo planned “to host an Insomnia Cookie Fundraiser if we are back in school the two weeks be-

Rings I wrote follows the same model I have observed for my past three years at Hopkins: an over arching story line with comedy sketches sprinkled in the middle. Since we are not watching it live in the gym this year, Sophie and I decided that we would break away from the trathe show and instead make ours more like an episode of am crafting the moments through editing. With movies,

As an alternative to the canceled fundraisers, Margaret Toft

merchandise store. All proceeds went to the Connecticut Food Bank. Yang states that “all the designs are set up and ready to go,” and encouragesd Hopkins students to visit the store since “every purchase will go to a truly great cause!” Yang ran into some issues in the process: “Finalizing all of the money-related concerns [was] as intense of a fundraising season this winter, [however] our plan to continue supporting the CT Food Bank in January, hopefully, will allow us to design more fundraisers once we have a better idea of what is safe to do then.” outlook: “I hope students will participate in our virtual and perhaps in-person activities and fundraisers in the future.” Another long-held tradition at Hopkins is the Winter Holiday Assembly, the highlight of which has been the Five Golden Rings program. Traditionally, Five Golden Rings includes comedy skits and musical performances performed by members of the senior

surplus food from farms to families in need as a response to the increased food insecurity caused by Covid-19. introduce more education about food insecurity this year.” To continue spreading awareness, StuCo designed three lessons for adviser groups to complete over the course of the CFBF. Advisers led their advisees through the lessons, which included an introductory Kahoot game and Budget Activity, a customized Skribbl.io game fo-

event months in advance and then rehearse all day Friday and perform during the end of the day in Assembly. responsible for this event, says: “This year, Five Golden Rings will be in a video format as part of the virtual Winter Holiday Assembly. Sonnenfeld continues: “In September or October this year, the incredible Margaret Toft senior performances, a few fabulous faculty cameos, and

been looking forward to the Five Golden Rings skit since they started at Hopkins. There are some classic skits that are not taking place their year, and some seniors have come asking me if it would be possible to still make them about not being able to be involved in the planning or have to involve more of the senior class. “We hoped to include and senior celebration at the end of Assembly that we cannot have this year do to Covid-19,” said Sonnenfeld.

to gather the entire Hop community together and celebrate with the whole senior class before our winter ter and holiday joy with the Five Golden Rings movie!”

Students Volunteer for Local and Statewide Elections Campus Correspondents In an election where more voters than ever got out to the polls and mailed in ballots, many Hopkins students chose to get involved in local and statewide paign. “I interned on the re-election campaign of my State Senator, Will Haskell. It actually was a pretty solid time commitment, I had at least three hours of work to do during the week, and that number ramped up towards the election,” he says. “The internship really helped [me] understand just how much our state government actually shapes the issues we care about. Legislation regarding social issues, climate change, and wealth are more likely to pass [at the] state [level] than through tant that we [as citizens] are involved in local elections because this can be one of the best ways to see real change get implemented,” continued Meyers. year I continued to work on State Senaelection [as I had in the past].” Senators Haskell and Cohen are both members

Both won their reelection campaigns. elective, available to juniors and seniors every fall term, prioritizes active engagement in the American electoral politics: “... students will volunteer on national or state

number of people willing to write letters. I felt a really strong sense of community and am very proud to say that I was a part of it.” Letter writing and phone-banking were two of the key ways Hopkins students could get involved while staying

[on the election process]” reads the Hopkins Course Guide description. The limitations on campaign participation posed by Covid-19 led students enrolled in the elective to get creative with ways they could get involved while also staying safe. this as an opportunity: “Because of Covid, we had a lot more options as to what we could actually do to count towards our ing. I spent probably eight hours working on the Vote Forward campaign, which is a campaign aimed at encouraging Americans to vote!” ration for letter-writing events that took place socially distanced in New Haven. I wrote letters to people in swing states and

callers who resented the whole concept of phone banking and were not shy to let me know. I called one woman who promptly told me she was a Republican and should really rewarding, and I felt like I was

erything

we

were

doing

counted.”

with phone-banking. “[I] phone banked

banking. I was able to send hundreds of swers for any response I received back It was a little disappointing to see the electorate is in those areas compared tual campaigning and the polarized nature of current American politics, Williams found the work to be powerthink I talked to about twelve people total. Most of them said I had the wrong numget to the phone right away. I had a few


December 18, 2020

The Razor: Features

Candidates Aided by Hop Students Continued from Page 4 the history of voter suppression in our country. Simply having a conversation with someone, even now as we are so polarized, has been proven to be incredibly important.” Caroline McCarthy ’21, who volunteered for State Representative In addition to phone-banking, canvassing, and organizing new volunteers, McCarthy “spent most of Election Day at a polling location standing for Josh and other local Democrats.” After hours of hard work, McCarthy “learned that reDrew Williams ‘21

ally, only the local candidate themselves is able to sway a voter’s opinion, and based on the polarity of the nation, the [local] candidate likely [won’t] be able to sway a Republican vote to a Democratic one, so they mainly focus on undecided voters and securing the base.” Sawyer Maloney ’21 attempted to gain a better understanding of two cal system as a whole, by campaigning He shares, “I did campaigning for both a Democrat and a Republican - [Senator] Cohen and [Connecticut State Representative] Kathy Kennedy. I did a fair amount of calling for Cohen and then did literature drops [leaving campaign materials at doorsteps] for Kennedy a couple [of] days before the election. In my opinion, both candidates had a big incumbency advantage, so I probably at all; however, campaigning for a Republican was a helpful way to humanize someone[’s] ideology.” For each student, working on the local campaign trail had its ups and downs. Mc-

stories she will keep with her: “One woman had a long conversation with Josh’s opponent, and then walked over to me and told me she would pray for me. I had lots of people shake their heads at me. One man told me he’d ‘never be caught dead voting for a Democrat’ and someone Drew Williams ’21 and John Aslanian ’21 bundled up to campaign for local politicians. else told me to go shoot myself.”

Page 5

Senior College Essay Hooks The Class of 2020 shares a glimpse into their essays as they near the end of the college application process:

On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union made an announcement that blew my three-year-old mind. - Hannah Szabo - Fiona O’ Brien - Ella Zuse A girl with eyebrows slightly misaligned, a nose a little crooked, hair never cut, and dirt lacShadows encircled her body. - Ava Pfannenbecker Steam rose from the griddle and surrounded Bill in a thin veil as he cooked his banana pancakes. The nutty aroma of browned butter overtook the house, as did an overwhelming feeling of joy. - Juliette Henderson beneath my skin. - Abby Fossati On a fourth-grade visit to my Egyptian grandmother, my Teta, in California, I brought along a pot of mint. - Dania Anabtawi usual in my room over the week. - Joey Rebeschi When I was little, I liked to tell adults that “cooking is my sport.” - Aaron Gruen Shaquille O’Neal sucked at free-throws - Craigin Maloney - Nick Wilkinson When I was four, my parents forgot me in a pub. - Riley Tooker

Home for the Holidays: “A Thanksgiving Meal Sans the Extended Family” to bunker down for just a little while longer and hold on. Even if you are still going to travel, follow all the while working on college essays, which he referred to guidelines and make sure you are as safe as possible.” as “A Thanksgiving meal sans the extended family.” Marcus thinks it is necessary for people to stay As health experts worry about a surge in coronavirus cases Pearl Miller ’22 stayed home and cooked Thanks- home this holiday season. “I think this year it’s importhis holiday season, members of our Hopkins community giving dishes with her parents and sister all day, as they do tant for people to stay home because if we’re doing our have adapted traditions to hold onto valuable family time each year. After the meal, her family usually goes Black best to limit the spread of disease, we can’t make oththat usually comes with the Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Friday shopping which they were unable to do because of ers vulnerable, even in our own families, and none of us Hopkins English teacher Rebecca Marcus, un- the pandemic. “It made the day feel a little bland after we can be sure that we will not contract it traveling to other able to have a large family gathering in New Jersey due people’s houses.” Marcus added that one of her friends to the pandemic, explained her plans for break. “I read, Harper-Mangels, meanwhile, is working on ways has experienced false negatives with Covid-19 testing, and [did] some curricular planning for my second semes- to maintain winter break traditions. His family always and thus believes it’s also key to keep those with sensiter elective, which is Dangerous Books, so I tive health conditions isolated. “If we’re [was] doing a little bit of work over the break. going to keep people safe it’s really imI [tried] a couple new recipes for Thanksgivportant to treat ourselves as potential vecing because I love cooking and baking, and I tors, even over being [with] people.” [did] not go anywhere because of Covid-19.” To limit exposure, Rob Lawler ’22 One idea Marcus had to stay conbelievs people should embrace spendnected with family was scrapped due to the ing time with their immediate family. “If general uncertainty that the pandemic has you are with anyone, enjoy their pressown. “I had an idea for a new Thanksgivence and experience the holidays with ing tradition which was to make a t-shirt for them.” He added that people should also feel free to express their frustrations about here, but I got scared and thought that was plans changing due to Covid-19. “Don’t tempting fate if I ordered t-shirts, and then leave yourself angry until you explode. the pandemic prevented us from getting toFeel upset and angry, but then set up plans gether.” When asked about what solutions to allow yourself to be happy, and safe.” to this uncertainty her family employed, This holiday season, Lawler is most Marcus said, “We got together, and we looking forward to seeing his uncle, who Zoomed in with the rest of my family, and was recently diagnosed with cancer and is we’ll see what traditions arise anew out of undergoing treatment. “It will be great to see Many Hopkins families opt to gather with relatives over Zoom this year. the situation we’re all working around.” . him and his young kids to see how they are Despite Covid-19 disrupting plans, Hilltop- makes lots of baked goods and munches on popovers doing.” Marcus cherishes the time that she spends with her pers like Shriya Sakalkale ’24 have found ways to for breakfast on Christmas Day. After breakfast, Harper- grandparents every year, but she said that this year there is hold on to the traditions of Thanksgiving break that are Mangels heads up to his grandparents’ house which he one family member that she is most thankful to be reunitmost important to them. Sakalkale detailed her family’s said is up in the air this year. While it’s likely his family ed with. “I would say I’m grateful to see my grandfather, choice to go virtual with the Thanksgiving celebrations will stay home, Harper-Mangels said they might be able because he survived a really aggressive cancer this past this year, “I [was] at home, hanging with my family year and Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday, so I loved and Facetiming friends. Normally, we’d probably invite Even with family quarantines and testing, [watching] his face light up when he [gave] his speech.” some family members over and get together and have many Hilltoppers are urging their peers and colleagues In terms of next year, Sakalkale is hopeful for Thanksgiving dinner, but we clearly [didn’t] do that this to stay home for the holidays this year. Miller said that a vaccine and expressed the wish to see her whole famyear because of Covid-19.” Ramey Harper-Mangels ’21 while it’s hard to miss out on family gatherings, it is ily reunited for Thanksgiving. “I think that the true also usually spends his Thanksgiving breaks with fam- imperative that people refrain from traveling. “Espe- spirit of Thanksgiving is just to be thankful for one anily at his grandparents’ house in Massachusetts or in cially since a vaccine is just on the horizon, we need other, for our families, for our friends, for our lives.” Rose Robertson ’24 Campus Correspondent

Chicago. This year, Harper-Mangels enjoyed turkey,


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OPINIONS/EDITORIALS

December 18, 2020

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Religion and the Constitution: ACB on the Supreme Court Continued from Page 6

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ARTS

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December 18, 2020

Virtual Music Rehearsals: Hopkins Does Hybrid! Assistant Arts Editor With Covid-19 restrictions, the sense of community formed in Hopkins’ musical groups has declined. From incoming freshmen in Concert Choir to the returning members of the Orchestra, everyone has been unsure of what to expect with virtual Zoom rehearsals. With an altered curriccommunity, the Hopkins Arts Department has stepped out of its comfort zone to create music in a safe environment. A normal pre-Covid Orchestra class for Art Department Chair and Director of Instrumental Music Robert Smith relied on “students being able to listen to John Galayda

ups that focus on rhythm, sight reading, and solfege.” After students have learned the fundamentals of music she would typically help them “apply this knowledge to the different pieces as we break them down.” With virtual Choir rehearsals, Schroth “can’t hear the students’ sound coming back, [so] I have to trust the singer a little bit more to let me know when they have questions or need to go been “hard to match the powerful sound we’d have in a normal year. Over quarantine, we’ve

Students in Erika Schroth’s virtual Conert Choir class rehearse on Zoom during C block.

how to mimic a normal choir feel, which helps us sound great and still be proud of the work we produce.” Schroth sees this as a positive, though, with sing-

a nice sense of independence that can grow out of that where people are sort of forced to be honest about where Orchestra performs for the 2019 Winter Concert.

sounds coming from the person next to them.” Working as an ensemble, the Orchestra is able to build a community of trust and mutual reliance. It’s usually a “very pieces of music. “I’m able to listen to everyone in real time and help them blend, help them maintain a steady In the Hybrid Learning Model, the relationship between the musicians and the conductor is one-way. Smith has to “imagine what they’re doing based on what they look like they’re doing, which is challenging.” Students at home play alongside the students in person but stay muted because of Zoom’s latency issues. If Hopkins decides to go fully virtual, Smith is worried about not “even hav[ing] the in-person rehearsals, so I have to make guide recordings of the pieces we’re doing in class. These are perforwhich, overall, I think are appropriate for our students.” Director of Choral Music Erika Schroth’s Concert Choir course usually starts with “a series of warm-

time limitations, Smith can’t include all of his repertoire, so he chose a couple of pieces that he really wanted his students to focus on and make as if they were p e r f o r m a n c e - r e a d y.

skill set. When you’re in the room with a lot of people, it can be easy to lean on the people around you.” Schroth continued, “It’s both a wonderful thing to have a sense of community and bonding but can also make you a little bit lazy if you take it for granted that somebody next to you is going to know your part. If you’re singing alone, it can be much clearer to see where the problem areas might be.” Smith and Schroth are both utilizing a digital, cloud-based audio workstation called Soundtrap in which students can record music from their homes directly into the website. The students’ work will be accessible to all of their peers also working on the project. Schroth said, “It’s a good skill for students to learn. Along the way we’ll add to that sense of independence because you can go back and listen to a recording you’ve made and tweak it to your liking. As opposed to a concert, which is a onewonderful but also stressful for students. It’s a valuable learning and growing experience regardless.” The recordment has come up with a Winter Festival video in place tell Chapel, the concert is a culmination of everything

Schroth are having their students make separate audio and video recordings. Smith says that after he mixes the audio tracks from Soundtrap, “students will record a video of them playing their instruments to the audio that they just recorded. This way I’m able to use a better audio. Usually when you

of them is bound to be worse than the other. If we can really focus on the audio and get that right, and then focus on the video and get that right, it’s authentic.” He continued, “It’s a little trickery, but this is what virtual orchestras are doing all across the country. We’re trying to make the best of it but it’s mostly online recording and track so you lose a lot of that teamwork which usually happens in an ensemble.” Winter Festival viewers are able to hear a wide range of music from both the Orchestra and Concert Choir. Smith elaborated, “Dvorak wrote a group of dances and we’re doing the eighth dance which is a Furiant. It’s very fast and really cool. We’re also doing the opening music to Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky. It’s a beautiful melody but also haunting. It ends in a major key so it’s very transformative and uplifting at the end. We’re also going to be practicing Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’ from The Four Seasons,” said Smith. called ‘The Road Home’ by Stephen Paulus which I’ve loved for years. It was actually the piece I brought to Hopkins when I interviewed about six and a half years ago. It’s very dear to me and has a message of trust and hope and joy and comfort. I thought that was appropriate for this year.” In a time of uncertainty, trust is essential. Workmeans to be a community. Not only do they lean on each other for support and encouragement, but they are also willing to show their personal connection to the music. As Schroth

ARTISTS IMPACT THE 2020 ELECTION Arts Editor proved to be both one of the most divisive and important in the history of America. al conventions and taboos around discussing politics have shrunk, which allowed for more open discussion in a wider variety of settings, leaving silence as a decreasingly viable option. Rather than run from this responsibility, the visual art community has to send important messaging to Americans. In years past, the art community has played an integral role in spreading the Center for Contemporary Political Art launched a project in which it invited artists from all across the country to try to represent what was at stake in the elecCity CVA Chelsea gallery curated a similar project, in which he collected more than

His goal was not only to get out the vote, but also to bring some comedy to a stressful election cycle. Another mode of activism was fashion and wearable art. Artist Michele Pred partnered with, among other organizations, the National Institute of Reproductive Health, to debut a series of handbags with slogans such as “Vote Femenist”, “Me too”, and “Times Up.” Drawing inspiration from the Women’s Marches in New York, Pred also led a series of performative protests both to launch her brand and to send a message that the art world “needs to work hard at bringing the political world into better alignment with our social and cultural realities and aspiration.” The ability of artists to increase voter turnout goes beyond simply their duty as creators. High-end galleries often have

cause because of the wealthy clientele they attract. Organizations such as Artists for Zwirner Gallery, held dozens of fundraisArtists and estates donated over one hundred paintings and sculptures to help raise

voter engagement. It even has outlines that specify what employees of polling stationmuseums can and cannot do in terms of election activities to counteract any biases within the art c o m munity. The polling center. art comIn Atlanta and munity New York, the has also High Museum ramped of Art and New up their York City Muengageseum opened as “The Trump Gang” by Steve Broner depicts Rudy Giuliani, m e n t polling locations Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and Mitch McConnell in w i t h cahoots. on November 3 politics respectively. In in their Los Angeles, the Institute of Contempo- works, with more pieces than ever berary Art San José, despite being closed to fore centered around getting out the vote. the public, opened its doors for voters on Yet, artists haven’t shied away from makElection Day. Many raised concerns about ing their views about candidates clear, the admittedly strong lean towards liber- however controversial they may be. alism in the art world, but The American Paintings, illustrations, and cartoons cenAlliance of Museums is committed to en- tered around the phrase “U DECIDE.” but also to help address issues such as racial justice and COVID economic relief. Another way the art community is helping do their civic duty is to volunteer their gallery or muse-

Continued on Page 9


The Razor: Arts

December 18, 2020

Page 9

Artist of the Issue: Noah Stein ’21 Artist of the Issue: Sam Brock ’21 Eli Ratner ’24 Campus Correspondent From experimenting with musical notations as a child to getting national recognition for his composition, “Riparian Reeds,” Noah Stein ’21 has spent nearly his whole life developing as an artist. Stein started playing music because “When I was younger, I used to constantly watch The Sound of Music, which I’m totally obsessed with.” He has maintained a passion for music ever since: “I started on toy pianos, then I began taking vithe violin now in the orchestra at Hopkins.” With his growth as a musician, Stein has evolved as a composer. He described his earlier work as “totally incomprehensible” because “it doesn’t make any sense if you actually try to play it.” After many years of practice, Stein’s composing prowess has grown tremendously. His piece Riparian Reeds was recently selected as one of two high-school winners of the National Association for Music Education’s reed quintet 2020 Student Composers Competition. “To me, this honor is really special because of the reward of getting my piece professionally performed, which is a lot better than any computer rendering I could get my hands on,” Stein commented. Stein explained that real orchestras, unlike computer renderings, involve “the presence of individual interpretations - in a Stein elaborated on his music-generating process. Usually, Stein composes his work by centering it around a singular feeling or focus. He spends several weeks writing his pieces, though he mainly just “messes around until the moment of inspiration hits.” Stein added, “When I write music, it’s most important to be able to connect with the audience, and having music creates some feeling or idea within them rather than pushing the limits of music theory,” He continued: “I think it’s important to put feeling and conaward-winning piece Riparian Reeds with a new approach. It was “written with less of a focus and more of a music-theory apwhere I stretched myself harmonically.” Unlike his composing, Stein’s love for the violin has been challenged by the limitations of Covid-19. “When I’m playing [the violin] with other people, I like it more than, or as much as, composing. I like that feeling of a community, but with the

pandemic and everyone being at home, you don’t get that same feeling over zoom.” His lessened. Stein still enjoys composing during Covid-19 “because it’s more introspective, and I enjoy the process of writing music Highpoint Pictures

Noah Stein ’21

more than just playing the violin by myself.” Covid-19 has also impacted Stein because his works are meant to be played collaboratively. “My pieces can’t be performed anymore... I haven’t had a steady group to play with since the pandemic started and it is unclear when we will be able to get back to normal.” Although Stein and many other musicians have not been able to rehearse together, they are still music. Stein has found success with “having each person send in a clip of their piece, which I then put together and form an orchestra. Although this isn’t as good as the real thing, it is the best we can do.” Stein hopes to bolster his musical reputation by “[entering] two more competitions this year. One of them is for a choral piece, which I haven’t done before, but I’m excited to try.” Stein was especially interested in this genre of music because “it is probably the best way to make money through writing music. When you make a reed composition, that’s great, for all the reed quintets out there to play, however few of them there are. But when you create a choral composition, it is played by orchestras everywhere.” Stein says he’s planning to “pursue music as my major in college.” He doesn’t know what he plans to do musically after college, but he “might try to get a job writing music for video games or movies.” eted musical interests, Stein said, “Music is everywhere, so if you don’t love much

more

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do!”

Sam Cherry ’23 Campus Correspondent Sam Brock ’21 started his career as a choral singer at his old high school in Barrington, Rhode Island. Since then, he has poured hours into perfecting his craft, and now performs in the Hopkins Concert choir as its co-president. Brock attributes the start of his musical career to a choir class he took during his freshman year at Barrington. “I got accepted into their choral ensemble which is a big step up from the choir. In middle school, I was in the band and chorus but I barely tried because it was very easy and we only played three pieces per concert. Once I got into this new program, we started doing Christmas carols, singing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ at assemblies, and performing ten songs during concerts instead of three, which was really challenging and exciting.” When Brock arrived at Hopkins at the beginning of his sophomore year, he immediately joined Concert Choir, where he met one of his favorite teachers, Erika Schroth. “When I was new to choir, she realized that I wanted to do even Highpoint Pictures

you’re more likely to spread aerosols, which stick around in the air and infect people even after you leave the room.” Another issue arises from the hybrid model Hopkins is currently following. “On Zoom, signals take time to travel so if you and I are singing together, to you, it sounds like I am singing two seconds late, so Zoom isn’t really a reliable option.” Currently, Schroth has each member of the choir record themselves singing and submit a video to her. The videos are combined to form a single video. When asked how he feels about the videos, Brock said, “If there is a silver lining of COVID powerful the videos are. Even though they’re a hundred times harder to put together than a typical performance, the experience of watching them can really lift people up during the pandemic. The fact that a group of singers is willing to put lift up others, even when it’s done through a computer screen, is really inspiring.” With winter break around the corner, Brock said that he is still looking forward to singing Christmas carols, even though they recently got moved online. He said, “This winter break is and I think normally it’s such a blissful time of the year for everyone. At the end of the Five Golden Rings Assembly going to be a low point of this year.” In selecting his preferred repertoire, Brock said that he is inspired by the

Sam Brock ’21

more singing and she researched extracurricular opportunities to get me into my church choir, which I really love,” said Brock. “Ms. Schroth also got me involved with CMEA, which stands for Connecticut Music Educators Association and is connected to All-States.” Brock also says that his involvement with the CMEA introduced him to many new friends, some of whom also attend Hopkins. Brock believes that COVID-19’s impact on choir has been “devasVID and singing is that it’s actually extra dangerous because, when you’re singing,

and other classical musicians. “I think the main reason I am more attracted to classical music rather than pop is because pop music puts more emphasis on a soloist and the lyrics that they are singing. While I think that is cool, I prefer classical music for the chords and when you have S.A.T.B. (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) music, which is much more common among choirs, there’s a lot more to look at in terms of how the parts interact with each other.” Brock loves to make people happy through music: “When it’s time to perform, I really like it when people in some way or made them happy. It’s what I live for.” He hopes that he will be able to share the joy of music with others in person come springtime.

Art Effects the 2020 Election Cycle Continued from Page 8 Artists were allowed to submit work commenting on any candidate or issue they chose. In other parts of the country, there were whole communities banding together to comment on the state of the nation. One such community, in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, is renowned for its outstanding Irene Williams

“Vote,” a quilt by Irene Williams of Gee’s Bend, Alabama.

quilt artists. This summer, citizens of Gee’s Bend worked this: “As good as the win feels at the moment, my relief together to sew the face of every member of their tight- is tempered by the sobering material realities waiting for knit community onto a quilt as a comus on the other side of Michele Pred mentary on the eventual individualism of the ancestors of those brought to and inauguration. I’d America in chains. The national atlike to remember how tention this feat got the historically Saturday felt in the impoverished town inspired the Souls coming months and Grown Deep Community Partneryears as we begin to ship to establish the Gee’s Bend repositively address the source center to provide free internet pandemic, systemic access to increase voter registration, racism, and climate access to stimulus payments, and change not only in a the accuracy of the Census, as Gee’s deeply divided country, Bend is in the county with the lowbut a divided Demoest Census response in the state. The cratic party. I don’t Museum of Fine Arts in Boston also imagine the collective features a quilt made by Irene Wil- Wearable fashion from the 2018 election cycle designed by ebulation I experienced liams of Gee’s Bend, entitled “Vote.” yesterday is going to Michele Pred. The blood, sweat, and tears last very long as the that artists put into ensuring widespread voter mobiliza- da.” Artist Tanya Selvaratnam also sees the extent of ing the highest voter turnout in history. However, an art- an artist’s duties in 2020: “Artists showed up like nevist’s work representing cultural and political shifts is never er before to turn out the vote… Artists will continue to truly done. Visual Artist William Powhida recognized show up to bring people together and heal the nation.”


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SPORTS

December 18, 2020

RealTalk x Razor Sports: Sexism and Racism in Athletics

Lead Sports Editor This month the Sports section is providing a forum for students experiencing racism and sexism in athletics at Hopkins. x Razor “I came to Hopkins in seventh

jittery or someone looks at me weird and

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all-white team is in seventh and eighth grade it was hard to make my

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and in defense of me they hit him really hard. It was good to know that my team-

One

Hopkins is that it doesn’t really help people feel

ent race it is very ting in and I didn’t nior Schoolers who are playing on varsity

in a lot and tells the coaches of the other Hopkins has a lot of work to do especially for females who play a sport that is predominantly male. I think it needs to

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for academics and known for trying to ally trying to do that then there needs to

The Capital Sports Report


The Razor: Sports

December 18, 2020

Page 11

Seniors Reflect on Their Sports Seasons Throughout Hopkins Sports Editor

Peter Mahakian

As seniors are starting to prepare for a new chapter in their

hockey friends, my basketball friends and my lacrosse

athletic memories during their time on The Hill, as well great memories from the entirety of his Hopkins athletics kins squash team all four years has been the highlight of all around this team of much stronger players who were altains and older team members welcomed me and made me game.

Being part of a team also helped make the transi-

years because we are graduating six seniors, but getting the kids to do at-home workouts, and motivating

like that allowed me to improve and thrive and made my

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were able to get a lot of good work in and bond as a team

at practice, the team was ready to work hard to improve, Peter Mahakian

of Girls Cross Country, reiterated this point, saying, “The heart of the Cross Country team has not changed from last year because we all brought the same drive and de-

getting outside and playing with my teammates, even if the girls did a great job working together despite that, this year, and we were unable to have a senior day, that

with how we were able to get a lot better mentally and erything that’s come with my four years of Hopkins -

just being around my friends and also meeting some

Wilkinson added, “The Senior-year season has only just John Stanley ’21 celebrates after a touchdown.

Starting the Conversation Sports Editor This past fall season, Varsity Field Hockey read a CNN article titled “WNBA superstar Sue Bird: ‘Women’s soccer players generally are cute little White girls’” in Coaches Susan Bennitt and Jen Morgan, mutually described the purpose, in a joint email, as, “[examining] the ethos of the Field Hockey program and analyz[ing] our assumptions, philosophy, and values to ascertain whether they hinder or support its vision ticular, our goal was to articulate and elaborate a description of team culture in order to identify its role in promoting equity and socially appropriate behaviors among teammates chose to take the time and, as Coach Morgan and Bennitt stated, “honestly address their attitudes, in order to each take responsibility for contributing to anti-racist and anti-sexist

Megan Rapinoe and her wife, Sue Bird, celebrate their major athletic successes having small groups with a mix of under and upperclassmen because it was awesome

The article, written by Paul Gittings and Don Riddell, argues for the importance our behaviors to examine factors stemming from deeply rooted traditions to our everyday

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-racism, homophobia, sexism-- brought up in the article personally with Hopkins Athlet-

But what comes now? Field Hockey took the opportunity to, as the coaches described, “discuss standards through which the most inclusive and equitable experiship and a structured position on anti-racism and women’s athletics among our play-

that ‘women’s soccer players generally are cute little White girls while WNBA playgraphic of female athletes at Hopkins may not be identical to that of these professional-level teams, there are similarities that can be drawn- certain players are celebrated,

The general consensus from the athletes was that this type of conversation should be brought up more frequently and implanted into all athletic teams at Hopkins at least lowing Field Hockey’s example, the Boys Varsity Soccer Team read an article from The Guardian highlighting past issues the program has experienced in games and in practice and how


Profile for Hopkins School

The Razor - December 2020  

The Razor - December 2020