Where does the future of Greek life lie? Alena Rubin
#The Struggle is Real: the “white savior” complex Jenny Li
Dynamic Duo: Our Conversation with Jocelyn Medawar and Jeremy Michaelson Noa Schwartz & Anthony Weinraub
Volume 1, Issue 2
Art over Artist? What are the moral implications of watching TV and movies involving people accused of sexual assault? Sofia Heller on the cover
J’aime LaCroix: a love letter to sparkling water Indu Pandey
Street Styles: documenting streetwear in Los Angeles Nicole Kim
2 COVER ILLUSTRATION BY SOFIA HELLER
4 Where does the Future of Greek Life Lie?
Art over Artist?
By Alena Rubin
By Sofia Heller
# The Struggle is Real By Jenny Li
18 Street Styles By Nicole Kim
23 J’aime LaCroix By Indu Pandey
Capturing the Past: How photographer Emma Spencer commemorates the Vietnam War
By Kaitlin Musante
Ignorance isn’t Bliss By Saba Nia
17 Divorcing from the Stigma By Kristin Kuwada
24 Dynamic Duo: Sitting down with Jocelyn Medawar and Jeremy Michaelson By Noa Schwartz and Anthony Weinraub
Panorama Magazine is a space for: in-depth stories stories that extend beyond the bounds of our campus human-interest articles powerful design This issue, we’re covering stories ranging from the culture of street style to the #MeToo movement. Our goal is to uphold the truth, share narratives that matter and document the spectrum of human experiences. We hope our articles inform you on topics you hadn’t thought about before and make you think about issues in a new light.
Behind the Cover: What is Hollywood hiding? The industry has protected long-celebrated actors, directors and producers who have exploited their positions of power to commit acts of sexual violence. Now, these victims are speaking up. Woody Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow has used the momentum of the #MeToo movement to remind us of Allen’s predatory behavior. Our cover aims to highlight the peeling back of excuses and lies that people like Allen have hid behind. Since their crimes are now public knowledge, it’s up to viewers to decide: is it still okay to appreciate their art?
Editors-in-Chief: Nicole Kim Alena Rubin Senior Editors: Josie Abugov Eli Adler Maddy Daum Kitty Luo Noa Schwartz Danielle Spitz Anthony Weinraub
Junior Editors: Ryan Albert Kaelyn Bowers Sophie Haber Sofia Heller Samantha Ko Jenny Li Kaitlin Musante Saba Nia Alison Oh Alexandra So
Adviser: Jim Burns
Panorama Magazine is the student magazine of Harvard-Westlake School, and is affiliated with The Chronicle, the student newspaper. It is published four times per year. Letters to the editor may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to 3700 Coldwater Canyon, Studio City, CA 91604. Letters must be signed and may be edited for space and to conform to Chronicle style and format.
WHERE DOES THE FUTURE
OF GREEK LIFE LIE?
By Alena Rubin
PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALENA RUBIN 16 PANORAMA MAGAZINE
With the increasing number of fraternity hazing related deaths, college administrators nationwide have begun to crack down on Greek institutions, leaving parents, administrators and students wondering: what happens next?
t was summer when Wilder Short ’18 first visited Bowdoin College. He had already visited a handful of schools, but when he toured Bowdoin’s campus in Maine, it felt different. As his student-led tour wrapped up, he locked eyes with his mom. They didn’t need to say a word—they had read each other’s minds: this was the college he belonged at. Come December, he would be admitted early decision. Bowdoin had every element of his dream school. It was a small liberal arts college. Its curriculum struck the right balance between structured academics and freedom to different explore subjects. Maine had four seasons. Having grown up in California, he wanted to finally experience weather. Another perk? Bowdoin is one of few schools in the country that has banned Greek life. Never seeing himself in the fraternity scene, Short said he would not have joined a fraternity at any school. He welcomed the absence of Greek life, an institution he felt could divide the community and make some students feel left out at a small school. Bowdoin banned Greek life in 1997, one of several schools to follow Williams College’s lead in disbanding the organizations in 1962. The main factor in Williams’ decision to end fraternities—it was an all-male college at the time—was discrimination. When John Chandler, president of the school, found out about the “system of blackballing and secret agreements between
some fraternities and their national bodies to exclude blacks and Jews,” he decided to end the institutions for good, according to Newsweek. Along with Bowdoin, Amherst and Middlebury followed suit, citing hazing rituals, alcohol abuse and sexual assault as reasons the bans were implemented. Half a century later, these problems persist. Reports have repeatedly reaffirmed the correlation between fraternity culture and college sexual assault (fraternity members commit rape 300 percent more than non-fraternity members, according to The Guardian). Headline after headline details the latest in a string of hazing-related deaths, most recently that of Timothy Piazza, a 19-year old Penn State University student who was given 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes during a pledging event and tumbled down stairs, losing his life in February 2017. Former Sports Section Editor Jake Liker ’17 always knew the fraternity scene wasn’t for him. One of the main factors that deterred him from joining Greek life was the dangers of hazing rituals. “If you join this organization, you may die,” Liker said of fraternities. “You will most likely be mistreated as a right of passage. There are not many reasons not to join a fraternity in the grand scheme of things. Rather, the reasons that do exist to not join a fraternity are very very impactful.” Penn State president Eric Barron wrote an open
letter following Piazza’s death, acknowledging that Greek life is responsible for excessive drinking and high rates of sexual assault and detailing reforms previously and newly implemented to bring those rates down at Penn State. But he also acknowledged that more extreme changes may need to be made: “the stories cited above cannot continue. If they do, I predict that we will see many empty houses and the end of Greek life at Penn State.” What Barron is considering—the abolishment of Greek life on his campus— is something parents and administrators are advocating for nationwide. Many universities took action against Greek organizations this year in response to the hazing deaths that rocked the country in 2017. Hank Nuwer, a Franklin College professor who has researched hazing for over 40 years, said that this year’s retaliation against fraternities is the biggest he’s ever seen, according to Time. Several schools, including Ohio State and University of Michigan, temporarily halted Greek activities this school year because of hazing and alcohol violations. The University of Southern California announced new GPA and unit requirements to join Greek life, which means students are only eligible for Greek recruitment later in their college careers. Still, some colleges are considering taking bigger steps towards eradicating the problem. At Harvard College, a proposal sits on
President Drew Faust’s desk, detailing a ban on Greek life that could be implemented as soon as Fall of 2018. Liker questions the importance of Greek institutions in light of recent hazing incidents. “Hazing is obviously different at different universities, but I’ve spoken to people who were basically tortured,” he said. “Like, I can’t, it’s bad. It just feels like fraternities and sororities, especially fraternities, their days are numbered in society.” So, what does life at a college free of Greek life look like? Paul Leclerc ’18, who is attending Williams next fall, said that he appreciates the absence of Greek life because he feels it allows room for students to focus on building I think [being in a g e n u sorority] has opened my eyes ine connections to a lot of problems Greek life with their has, and it’s made me want peers. “Peoto change Greek life to make ple are it more accessible to more much less people, just because I’ve had focused on ‘what such a good experience.” fraternity —Simone Woronoff ’16 am I going to join? What fraternity is good or bad?’” Leclerc said. “It’s more focused on just meeting people. I think it’s a bit more of a personal experience between kids.” Leclerc, who was recruited by Williams’ swim team, expects the members of his team to take the place of his “fraternity brothers.” He said that one reason he chose to attend Williams over other schools he was considering was that he felt swimmers prioritized their fraternity brothers over their teammates at other schools where Greek life is an option. “I wanted it to be like the swim team is really my second family,” he said. “In high
school, you’re competing for yourself to get into college, but in college you’re competing for the school, for the team, for that family.” Short said he is not concerned about meeting people and finding his niche in a new environment without the comfort of making immediate friends in a fraternity. Between being on the club soccer team, writing for Bowdoin’s satirical newspaper, staying involved in student government and joining film groups on campus, Short is confident he will find communities he belongs in on campus. Both Williams and Bowdoin have made concerted efforts to ensure that students would have plenty of opportunities to find communities and make friends in lieu of fraternities and sororities. Both schools preserved original Greek houses on campus and repurposed them to serve as physical spaces for other student groups. Residential houses were implemented as replacements to Greek houses, which offer a similar sense of community but bring their own, new traditions. There is also an effort to ensure that groups on campus are not exclusive, so that students have many opportunities to meet one another. While several schools’ decisions to ban Greek life have been met with success, others are hopeful that reforms and tighter regulation of fraternities and sororities will be enough to prevent future tragedies from occurring and change the culture of Greek life on their campuses. Following Piazza’s death, Penn State launched an aggressive crack-down on its campus’ Greek organizations, announcing a set of 14 reforms that include the implementation of new positions in Student Affairs, random checks and monitoring of Greek houses to ensure compliance with
school policies, stricter rules on serving alcohol and a revised pledging process, according to Penn State News. Liker said although he would never join one himself, he does see the benefit of fraternities. While he wouldn’t be opposed to an outright ban, he supports attempts at reform as well. “I think reforms can be made,” he said. “I’d like to be hopeful. My initial reaction is to be like ‘fraternities are bastions of toxic masculinity, sexual harassment and they should be shut down for the good of us all,’ but I do know people who have found fraternities to be very fulfilling parts of their college experiences, there is no denying that they do support charitable causes, and they try to instill certain values.” Simone Woronoff ’16, a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, or TriDelta, at Northwestern University, recognizes that Greek life has many issues, but said her personal experience in a sorority has been overwhelmingly positive. “I think [being in a sorority] has opened my eyes to a lot of problems Greek life has, and it’s made me want to change Greek life to make it more accessible to more people, just because I’ve had such a good experience,” Woronoff said. Although she’s only been a member of TriDelta for less than two years, she has already been involved with developing crucial reforms for her sorority. She said her chapter of TriDelta is starting a scholarship to mitigate the economic barriers of joining Greek life, and that other fraternities and sororities on campus offer subsidies to students as well. Her sorority was also the first chapter on campus to implement a Chair of Diversity and Inclusion. Her sorority sisters and she are constantly think-
// ing about ways to be more inclusive and ensuring students on campus know that Greek life is an option for them, she said. Woronoff initially went Greek for the opportunity to connect with older students, something she felt she missed during high school. What she got out of it, she said, was a group of best friends. She also said being in a sorority makes her feel safer on campus. “I definitely think, at least personally for me, as a woman and in this time period, it is incredibly nice to have 100 women watching out for me when I go out,” Woronoff said. “Say I didn’t come home—there’s always someone watching out for me. Not only is it friendship, it’s also sort of safety, and I definitely feel like I have a huge support system here.”
Certainly not every Greek institution is the same. Sororities may have some work to do with regard to inclusivity, but the most disturbing problems emanate from fraternities. If more schools began to ban fraternities, would sororities come down with them? Would students like Woronoff be barred from an experience that has been wholly healthy and positive for them? However, banning Greek life has historically yielded excellent results. According to Newsweek, students at Middlebury felt that once Greek life was gone for good, their lives improved. Women felt more comfortable on campus. Students felt more included, and they appreciated a new sense of equality. Outright bans on Greek life have worked—and worked well—for some schools, but reforms may
be the solution at others, especially at those where Greek life is considered to be less intense. One thing is certain. University administrators from colleges nationwide are beginning to come to the conclusion that the culture of Greek institutions, particularly fraternities, cannot go on the way they have been. The president of Penn State is leading a conference in April to discuss how to better control Greek life on campus with administrators of other schools nationwide, according to The New York Times. “There are no easy solutions, and we do not claim to have all the answers,” Barron said in a USA Today column. “We will adjust and learn, and explore new ideas and best practices as we forge ahead.”
By Jenny Li
uperhero movies are always the same. Powerless, struggling characters are in trouble and only the superhero has the ability to save them. The protagonist defeats the villain, saves the helpless characters and maintains good in the world. In reality, this is not where the movie ends. Our superheroes are the white saviors, and though they may not wear capes, they do envision it to be their duty to spread their culture and wisdom to the rest of the world. The white savior complex is a term encapsulating the cultural practice of Western people traveling to foreign areas with the notion that they can and will save entire communities from all problems, even those unfamiliar to Westerners themselves.There might be good intentions behind such endeavors, but we must ask ourselves: at what cost are we doing this, and for whose benefit? Promoting which stereotypes? Playing into what narrative? The satirical Instagram account @barbiesavior documents a Barbie doll on “voluntourism” missions in Africa, posing with children in run-down classrooms and posting photos with captions like, “This little one’s greatest joy in all her life is sitting on my lap and drinking Coca Cola!” or “It’s so sad that they don’t have enough trained teachers here. I’m not trained either, but I’m from the West.” The story often goes something like this: “We want to travel to far-off, dreamily exoticized lands and bring the light of truth to the people there,” Anne
Theriault writes in a HuffPost article. “Like the missionaries, we assume that we will bring wonderful, life-changing revelations to these people. We imagine ourselves standing before a crowd of dark-skinned women, their mouths little round Os of amazement.” We are incredibly privileged to have access to higher education and the range of opportunities our community provides, but it is easy, as a result, to cultivate a false sense of superiority and self-righteousness from these experiences. This creates an underlying mentality that there is less suffering and less oppression as a whole, and as a result, any one of us can help those that are oppressed. Theriault warns of the consequences of this perspective: “When we take a closer look at these statements, however, their core message becomes clear: our culture is better. We are more enlightened, more rational, and more civilized. Other cultures should strive harder to be more like us.” The concept of the “white man’s burden” as justification for Western imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th century is mirrored in many of our foreign policies and actions today. The idea of the Western savior figure is reinforced through media, from classic novels and films (To Kill a Mockingbird, Lincoln, the Indiana Jones series), to foreign policy, which perpetuates the sense of a more superior and accomplished West that furthers the assumption that we are more qualified to aid those who are considered less capable. 2015 CNN Hero of the Year Maggie
Doyne exemplifies this theme’s pervasion into volunteer work. Although building a school, women’s center and children’s home in Nepal is extremely commendable, her photos easily provide a visual and perpetuate the stereotype for the “white savior”: a lone, Western figure surrounded by darker-skinned, beaming children. Immediately, the children are reduced to an exhibition-like representation of oppression, helpless and dependent upon the volunteer. A side-effect to the age of viral TED Talks and social media activism is what Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole calls the “banality of sentimentality,” claiming that society’s normalization of sentimental acts causes those same actions.
This perception results in the belief “I’m a Muslim feminist...FEMEN does that “the world is nothing but a problem not speak for Muslims or feminists,” to be solved by enthusiasm,” Cole said in “Nudity does not liberate me and I do a tweet. The issue with the drive behind not need saving” and “I don’t appreciate actions guided under the myth, Cole being used to reinforce Western imperiwrites, is that it does not come from a alism. You don’t represent me.” desire for justice but from the need to Intended to empower Muslim womhave “a big emotional experience that en, the protest only marginalized them. validates privilege.” Even something small as texting 90099 Before we educate others, we must to donate $10 to the Red Cross should educate ourselves. We cannot rely on be done with what Cole calls “awareness our background in living in our “mod- of what else is involved. If we are going el” society and use it as the standard for to interfere in the lives of others, a litthe rest of the world. We must consider tle due diligence is a minimum requireif people in other societies truly want to ment.” be “saved,” and if so, how best we can Falling into the savior mindset reinconstructively help. forces a cycle of supe“There is much more riority. The image of “When we take a closer to good work than non-Western oppresmaking a difference,” look at these statements, sion promotes “volCole writes. “There is however, their core cul- untourism,” which in the principle of first do turn furthers the perture becomes clear: our no harm. There is the ception of inferiority. culture is better. Other As a result, these acts idea that those who are being helped ought to culturers should strive become more about be consulted over the ourselves and our to be more like us. ” matters that concern privilege than those them.” we really are trying to Anne Theriault Uninformed but help. Instead of perHuffPost Writer well-meaning actions petuating this superieasily backfire and ority myth, we must cause more harm than good. In 2013, really understand the ramifications of the radical feminist group FEMEN, orig- our actions; instead of raising ourselves inally created in protest of the Ukrainian on a pedestal, we must empower and sex industry, organized International amplify the voices of others. Topless Jihad Day, a topless protest in There are atrocious acts occurring infront of mosques “on behalf of Muslim ternationally that do need attention, and women.” Activists inflamed Muslim ste- humanitarian aid is absolutely essential reotypes with slogans scrawled in pen and should be encouraged, but we must on their chests, reducing women and redefine our own role in providing aid their experience to their headscarf and beyond simply mirroring our own culclothing--an image of oppression to ture. The emphasis on continuous and many Westerners. sustainable actions and results ought Many Muslim women struck back, to be a major prerequisite of non-white forming a Facebook group called “Mus- savior work. lim Women Against FEMEN” with picDomestically, Robert Egger demontures of them holding signs that read strates this work through L.A. Kitchen, a
social enterprise committed to reducing local food waste, combating unemployment and aiding seniors in poverty. The culinary training program offers foster care youth and parolees a means to support themselves, which in turn combats issues of homelessness and recidivism, while fulfilling its main goal of feeding the food-insecure elderly. This leads to positive effects such as a decreased dependency on medical care and a reduced financial burden on society. Egger brings an energy that breaks through pre-existing notions that low-income seniors can’t be well-fed or that parolees won’t make good employees. His favorite moments, he says, are when these transformations occur, when “someone who’s like fifty, [is] excited because this is the first paycheck they’ve ever gotten in their life.” He doesn’t establish himself as a savior figure. Instead, he works among the community and creates opportunities for disadvantaged people to reinvent themselves and the status quo. Egger understands that problems cannot be solved with enthusiasm alone and stresses the importance of “marrying a social mission with proven, business-driven strategies,” fortifying L.A. Kitchen’s sustainability by seeking the advice of restaurant founders, legal advisors and community leaders. “I just think that everyone and everything has value,” Egger said. “I would like to see my project redefine the world of elders, parolees, foster youth [and] culinary experts in American society.” Egger is able to work with his community to challenge the traditional narrative of what is accessible to whom. We should take this concept to heart when we do volunteer abroad and challenge the savior, “superhero” structure by empowering others to wear their own capes--or better yet, not wear one at all.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JENNY LI
ART ARTIST? OVER
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY RYAN ALBERT AND SOFIA HELLER
What are the moral implications of watching TV shows or movies that involve people who have been accused of sexual violence? Is it possible to separate the art from the artist? 10
BY SOFIA HELLER
arvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Woody Allen, Ed Westwick, Dustin Hoffman, Matt Lauer. Before those names filled our news feeds, their movies and TV shows monopolized our screens. Today, in the wake of the troubling sexual violence allegations against these men, the question emerges of whether or not it is morally permissible to continue to watch their movies and TV shows. I first grappled with the question in October of last year when I read actor Anthony Rapp’s harrowing account of Kevin Spacey’s inappropriate sexual advances on Buzzfeed. Usually a source of lighthearted articles and quizzes, Buzzfeed instead detailed the twisted behavior of a prominent and long-celebrated actor. Although it was Spacey’s sexual assault that angered and disturbed me, I admit I also thought of how I hadn’t finished season five of House of Cards––would it be okay to watch now? Upon some self-reflection, I decided that I would not be able to watch the show. I couldn’t separate the art from the artist because Frank Underwood and Kevin Spacey were one and the same. His depravity transcended a fictional script. However, what would the moral implications be if I did watch the show?
Jess Grody ’19 said she thinks it is a question people must answer for themselves based on their own moral codes and how they interpret art. “I feel caught between separating the art from the artist, but also not wanting to support people who have behaved in horrible ways,” Grody said. “I disagree so strongly with what they’ve done, and yet I really enjoy their art. I don’t know where I draw the line yet. I still have to figure it out.” Concluding that the crime of sexual assault takes precedence over the art of film, Co-president of La Femme Ashley Starr ’18 said she will no longer watch movies or TV shows that involve people who have been accused of sexual violence. “By watching their movies and continuing to support them, then that sends the message that it’s okay, and they can get away with those things without consequences,” Starr said. “In order to prevent the problem from continuing in the future, we should stop supporting people who have sexually assaulted. If we stop supporting them, then people will stop [sexually assaulting and harassing], hopefully.” Since she believes the predators would gain notoriety regardless, Starr said that it is irrelevant to her whether or not the predators would financially benefit from viewership. Ethics Bowl team member Jenna Wong ’19 also said she would not feel comfortable watching movies or TV shows with sexual predators, believing it to be immoral to continue to do so with public allegations made against them. “You have an obligation to act upon your knowledge; that’s the whole point of know-
ing something,” Wong said. “To act on that knowledge means you would have to boycott that movie.” Adrian*, on the other hand, said she thinks financial benefits dictate the moral implications of watching movies or TV with people accused of sexual violence. Adrian said she ardently condemns the men accused of sexual violence, but she said she feels that she can still enjoy their work, as long as she watches on a pirated website where the actors, directors and producers do not profit. “If I were to pay to watch a movie with someone who had been accused of sexual harassment, I’d be financially supporting them, and it’s specifically important that the behavior of those who sexually harass people is not supported,” Adrian said. “It feels morally wrong to support them because I don’t think people who sexually assault people should be paid for a job they’re doing. I think they should be out of a job. If I were to watch on a legal website and pay for even a small portion of their profits, even if it were a drop in the bucket to them, I wouldn’t feel morally justified in doing it.” Emmanuel Zilber ’19 said he does not think taking away profit from each person involved in a project is the right answer. Seeing it as a form of collective punishment, Zilber said he believes that people should still be able to appreciate a movie or TV show even if it involves someone who sexually assaulted or harassed. “It’s something more than what that one person has done,” Zilber said. “It’s a collaboration between many different people and their art, and I think it should still be treated as such. I don’t think all the hard work
all those other people put into it should be thrown away because of one person’s bad actions.” Zilber also said he does not have trouble separating the art from the artist. “When I’m appreciating a work of art, I’m not condoning the artist or what they’ve done,” Zilber said. “I’m more appreciating what they’ve contributed to their specific field. I don’t think that makes me a bad person.” Similarly, Ethics Bowl advisor Malina Mamigonian said she believes that an artist’s actions should not influence an interpretation of the art. “Everyone has the right to expression,” Mamigonian said. “We have to take the artist’s culture, his or her context into account when we experience any work of art. That gives us a much deeper, richer experience, regardless of the mixed feelings that may arise as a result, because we learn from that as well.” Although separating an artists from their art may be justified when looking back upon artists who reflected the public opinion of their time, is it still substantiated when discussing the artists of today? Starr said she believes we need to set a firm boundary for artists today that makes it clear sexual violence will not be tolerated. “When you watch a movie with someone who has been accused of sexual [violence], you, all around, are supporting them as people, giving them a financial boost and an ego boost that they don’t deserve,” Starr said. “Continuing to support them sets a precedent that they can be successful in Hollywood, and that their crime won’t affect their life or success. Especially now, we
need to act so they know that their crime will impact them. It’s not okay, and they won’t be able to get away with it and still be successful.” Woody Allen is one actor and director who is facing new criticism for his past predatory behavior. Actors and actresses who have worked with Allen in the past, notably actor Timothée Chalamet, are expressing regret for working with Allen. Even though actor Chalamet worked with Woody Allen in his upcoming movie “A Rainy Day in New York,” Starr said she thinks Chalamet’s expiation afterward did help hold Allen accountable for his acts of sexual violence. Chalamet explained in an Instagram post that he has learned that standing up to injustice is more important than a movie role. He said he was going to donate his earnings from Woody Allen’s “A Rainy Day in New York” to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, the LGBT Center in New York and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. In 1992, Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow accused Allen of molesting her when she was seven years old. The year before, Allen also began an affair with his wife’s adopted daughter. Despite Hollywood and the public overlooking Allen’s predatory actions for the past 25 years, the #MeToo movement has given Farrow a new opportunity to shed light on Allen’s sexual abuse. Farrow revealed more details of the abuse in an interview with journalist Gayle King on Jan. 18. Farrow also pointed out the hypocrisy and complacency of the actors and actresses who both acted in Allen’s movies and claimed to support Time’s Up, an organization created to
stop sexual harassment in the workplace. In an effort to no longer participate in a paradigm in which sexual violence goes unpunished, studios in the entertainment industry have also started implementing zero tolerance policies for sexual misconduct. Shannon Johnson, Vice President of Legal Affairs at ABC, said that contracts throughout the entertainment industry now include enhanced morality clauses so that studios can terminate actors, producers and directors who behave inappropriately toward other employees within the company. “Sometimes, there is a gray area, or it doesn’t rise to the level of sexual assault, but it’s still improper and it’s still violative of another person in the workplace,” Johnson said. “In addition, when you say in a contract ‘violating a law’ or ‘committing negligence,’ that goes to finding a fact to take them to court to prove that they violated the law. In some cases, there isn’t enough evidence to do that, so we still need the right to be able to terminate their agreements.” With this morality clause in mind, Adrian said she is optimistic that in the near future she will not need to turn to illegal websites in order to avoid financially supporting people in the entertainment industry who have committed sexual violence. “I really do hope that the structure of our society is shifting,” Adrian said. “I don’t want to have to choose between watching movies I enjoy or condemning predators. Predators should not be involved in making TV shows or movies. They should not have any sort of platform, and I hope this new [clause] and Time’s Up put an end to that.”
“I really do hope that the structure of our society is shifting. I don’t want to have to choose between watching movies I enjoy or condemning sexual predators.” Adrian*
*Names have been changed.
Capturing the past: How photographer Emma Spencer commemorates the Vietnam War By Kaitlin Musante
choes of the Vietnam War lingered inside the crumbling walls of the Veterans Administration as Emma Spencer ‘18 stepped through the overgrown grass of an empty lot, camera in tow. “It felt like I was in ‘1984,’ being watched,” Spencer said. “I felt incredibly uncomfortable and out of place.” Her discomfort continued to grow as she stumbled across a red, white and blue trailer, converted into a barbershop. Inside, she found Dreamer, a veteran so traumatized by the psychological pain of warfare that he had convinced himself that the war had been nothing but a mass of spirits. “As we talked, I just kept thinking, ‘Here is someone who is so damaged by warfare that [he is] unable to even admit that it happened,’” Spencer said. “[Dreamer] pretends that he is so strong and that he has figured everything out in his life, but in reality, his life kind of stopped after the war and he hasn’t figured out how to
ALL PHOTOS PRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF EMMA SPENCER
move past it.” The overlooked struggle of many veterans like Dreamer was something Spencer aimed to highlight in her showcase, “The Vietnam War: 50 Years Later, Then and Now,” which premiered in the Feldman Horn Gallery on Jan. 22. “I was determined to make something larger than myself to let the veterans know that they are being remembered right now,” Spencer said. Since spring of last year, Spencer has worked to accumulate information on the war by researching its history, compiling newspaper clippings and interviewing protesters, Vietnamese soldiers and American veterans. Spencer said that as she interviewed her subjects, she tried to evoke the emotions they felt towards the war and mirror them in her photographs. “I tried to showcase people in their own environments now, reflecting on their time in the war,” Spencer said. “Everyone experienced it differently; that’s why some of them look prideful, some look happy [and some] look really somber.” One of the men she photographed was her grandfather, Scott Wilson, who served as a lieutenant for the U.S. Navy during the war. Spencer said that hearing her grandfather recall the pain and struggle of warfare served as her inspiration to push through the challenges of curating the show. “This project easily could have just fizzled out and become a personal project that I did, but one of the motivations for making this a showcase was to show [my grandfather] that he was being recognized for what he did,” Spencer said. “Vietnam has become the forgotten war and most people pretend like it never happened. I wanted to change that.” Her determination to educate a new generation began within the walls of the Feldman-Horn Gallery. Spencer said that showing the exhibition to the student body was especially important to her, as she hoped it would ground in reality the
tragedy they had read about only in history books. “I think it is especially important for high school kids to understand the war because most of the men we interviewed were going to Vietnam when they were graduating high school, which is about the age of the seniors now,” Spencer said. “It is crazy to have to think about what I would have done if I had been here 50 years ago and all my friends had been scared that they were going to have to go to war.” Although the photos are no longer hanging in the gallery, Spencer said she hopes to find a more permanent home for them and continue to bring the stories of the forgotten ghosts of war back to life. “I want the veterans and their family members to see [the show] and be reminded that people are still thinking about them and all the trouble that they went through, all the PTSD from their haunting experiences as teenagers that they have to live with for the rest of their lives,” Spencer said. “I want them to know that people are recognizing their sacrifices and that we still care.”
ALL PHOTOS PRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF EMMA SPENCER
By Saba Nia
Ignorance Isn’t Bliss
am a hypocrite. I try to remain firm as I explain to the blubbering child how he has broken camp rules, but I can’t help feeling a twinge of sympathy and even a little guilt. Though the boy has clearly instigated an argument with another camper, he certainly doesn’t deserve the fight that ensued. And as I repeat that the boy should not call others mean names and treat everyone with respect – like a real grown-up, I add – I feel like a complete liar. Because it wasn’t too long ago that the newest insults that national leaders hurled at one another had flashed across the TV. And it had only been a few weeks since I witnessed classmates allow the stress of finals make them bitter and petty, verbally undermining their peers or feigning ease and condescension. Who was I to discipline a child about acting mature and not stirring up squabbles when people decades his senior weren’t even doing the same? We tell children that the world is governed by rules and that these
rules are black and white. You treat others the way you want to be treated, my teachers used to tell me. You should be respectful, my parents would advise. Just do the right thing. I think the hardest part about growing up is realizing that the world isn’t black and white, and that under the right circumstances, you can convince almost anyone to step into that murky world of gray, that place where morals can be compromised for the right excuse. I guess you can say that with such a cynical truth in mind, a return to that innocent age would be nice. Ignorance is bliss, after all. But I’d like to disagree. Childhood isn’t blissful because we’re inexperienced and naive. It’s blissful because we were unaware of all the nuances of life that make even the simplest decisions miserably complex. When my classmates and I were children, we owned who we were. We didn’t second guess ourselves. We trusted our conscience, trusted our gut and most of all trusted our heart. Yes, sometimes when we indulged in our childish whims. We got into some rather
unfortunate situations, but we always realized our errors and apologized. We didn’t stubbornly try to defend our pride. We were rather cocky at times, but also a whole lot more open to admitting our faults. We made a lot of mistakes. But we also learned from them. Now that I’m older and more “mature,” I’m going to stop telling myself that I’m still doing the right thing when I’m not. I’m going to admit my mistakes more often and try to look at the world like we did before, simply and without excuses. I know I’m woefully idealistic. I know it’s ridiculous when I say we wouldn’t have as many problems if we just treated each other with dignity. But it’s also pretty ridiculous that we tell our toddlers to use their words, to be polite, to be considerate, to not hurt one another, to be strong and brave and kind when the “grown-ups” – our elected officials, our high-profile celebrities, our leaders and most of all, ourselves – can’t even follow that advice. Despite all of the things we’ve seen and learned, if we still think that the way we act now is how role models act, it isn’t the children who are ignorant, it’s us.
Divorcing from the Stigma
By Kristin Kuwada
motionally drained from the previous night, I deliberated whether I should really go to school such a fragile state. But anything was better than staying at home. Walking into school with my earphones blaring music, I did my best to cover my puffy red eyes and disguise the helplessness I felt. Even so, I felt a fuzzy numbness overtake me. It was as if I had been imagining all the ugliness that laid waiting for me back home. After my parents’ divorce, I switched back and forth between my parents’ houses. There was always fighting. I felt constantly trapped in a toxic cycle: I didn’t feel safe in either house, and I desperately wished there was some escape. I was fearful in the brief moments of quiet. The years during and after the divorce followed a familiar pattern: fighting, yelling, threats, lies and ultimatums. I didn’t see an end or any way out, and I began to accept that this was my life. That irrefutable fact became debilitating to every aspect of my life, including my academic success. I felt drowned by the chaotic environment at home that prevented me from reaching the level of
focus and attention that school required. When I was younger, I felt like I was the only one going through this type of traumatic experience, which made me feel even more ashamed and isolated. Although I know now that this is definitely not the case, divorce remains a taboo topic and talking about it is somehow “forbidden.” I never heard anyone discussing divorce when I was younger even though it has become such a common occurrence. Other kids talked about the technicalities of being a kid with divorced parents: having to lug around a duffel bag filled with their necessities back and forth between their parents’ houses or getting an extra set of presents on Christmas. But for the most part, it became an issue that was merely a statistic. It’s such a private and intimate experience that kids with divorced parents tend to turn to the little things we hold in common, as what we really have in common can be just the fact that we barely contribute to the infinite pool of cases. According to a 2009 study done by the National Center for Health Statistics, in the United States the divorce rate was 3.4 per 1,0000 people. This shallow representation of
divorce as merely a recurrent incident undermines the countless experiences held behind closed doors. The more complex the situation becomes at home, the harder it is to accept the truth of the position you’re in and to reach out for help or support. This doesn’t just apply to kids with divorced parents, but to any situation in which there is an unhealthy family dynamic that consistently interferes with one’s life. My parents’ divorce distorted my view of what was normal and expected, and it left me disillusioned with the reality of the situation. It was easier to hide and repress these memories rather than openly acknowledge them. It’s important for others who struggle with a circumstance similar to mine to recognize the seriousness of their situation and seek a support system. Talking to someone, whether it be a close friend, counselor, or therapist, can make the situation more manageable. The influence divorce can have is something that cannot be quantified or necessarily diagnosed, yet it has the ability to completely consume the lives of those affected. We should also all be more empathetic and open to listening to the stories of children of divorce, stories that are so often hidden or overlooked.
ALL PHOTOS BY NICOLE KIM
SS TT RY EL EE TS
BY NICOLE KIM
O n e November afternoon, a few hundred people stood in line outside Undefeated, a sneaker and streetwear retailer on La Brea Avenue. August Roth ’19 wasn’t one of them: he walked out the doors of Undefeated, triumphant. In his hands were the Off-White x Nike React Hyperdunks: basketball shoes, fittingly off-white except for a black Nike Swoosh and a bright orange zip-tie attached to the shoelaces. Roth and the several hundred others were all winners of a raffle—not to get free shoes, but to stand in line for hours and buy the coveted Hyperdunks. “It’s usually not about the brands,” Roth said when I asked if he often spends hundreds of dollars on sneakers. Pointing to his black jeans, he told me he thrifted them from Goodwill. He bought his shirt, designed by an electronic music record label from Barcelona, from the resale shop Wasteland. But he was proudest of his shoes, handmade black military boots from Netherlands-based Filling Pieces, because he believed no one had heard of the brand before. “With streetwear, you can’t go all-in. You need to have something that looks nice but isn’t well-known,” he said; lest, one runs the risk of looking like a “hypebeast.” The term refers to HYPEBEAST, a website popular among those interested in streetwear fashion. Founded in 2005 as a blog about sneakers, HYPEBEAST has since diversified to produce online con-
tent on men’s fashion, both streetwear and high-end, and attracts over 3 million visitors per month. For Roth, streetwear fashion shouldn’t be an ostentation of well-known brands like Gucci, Off-White or Supreme. Rather, there’s an element of approachability that he appreciates—he views streetwear as “high-end low-end fashion.” “It’s what people wear on the street, and it’s way up there without breaking the barrier of crazy expensive,” Roth said. “If you see someone on the street and they’re wearing all black and shades, you wouldn’t want to approach them. Obviously, they don’t want to talk to you. But, if they’re wearing normal clothing and they look good, you think ‘this person dresses nicely and I can talk to them, let me talk to them.’” Yet recent collaborations between streetwear and luxury brands have blurred the distinction between the two: the 2017 Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration produced a collection of bags, jackets, and shoes where the signature monogram was conflated with Supreme’s iconic box logo. Lying somewhere in-between streetwear and luxury brands is MASON, a clothing line rife with motifs such as gothic script, skulls and serpents and worn by the likes of Kourtney Kardashian and record producer Metro Boomin. Its creator, Joe Perez, was a former creative director and art director at Kanye West’s creative collective DONDA. Regardless of how a brand may be categorized, Perez told me over the phone that he believes in the necessity of a narrative behind it. “Everything has a story and
a timeline,” he said. “From that, you can derive meaning and understand where the branding needs to come from, what kind of logo best represents the narrative [you’re] creating. Everything ties back to that original narrative so it feels like it’s on-brand. Look at something like Anti Social Social Club. Their name is so good already, that’s the story. That’s the conversation piece.” As for MASON, the narrative is inspired by Perez’s teenage years spent skateboarding around Providence, Rhode Island. He recalled coming across a derelict Masonic temple and breaking in to graffiti the temple walls with his friends. “It was just this space where the history of the Masons collided with the culture of the time—skateboarders, graffiti artists in Providence, which was back in the ‘90s a small mecca for music in its own right,” Perez said. “It’s the story of where culture collided, and that was the birthplace of the brand.” He also said he sees MASON as a platform to educate others on the origins of grunge rock, heavy metal, hip-hop and skateboarding, all of which have influenced his brand. Moreover, Perez’s past experiences working closely with Kanye West and designing notable album covers, including those of Nicki Minaj and A$AP Rocky, have made him privy to the close relationship between streetwear fashion and the music industry. “A lot of merchandise in hiphop is heavily influenced by streetwear,” he said. “Everyone is looking for fresh ideas and big creatives to work with from a music standpoint. They want to collaborate with [Off-White
creator] Virgil and anyone that has their head wrapped around culture, and especially street culture.” I asked him why collaborations in streetwear fashion were becoming a part of the mainstream. Haven’t both streetwear and luxury brands been around for a while? Why now? “I think a lot is being blurred because the new generation is redefining what luxury is,” Perez said. “There are lots of streetwear brands that have created ethos and movements that are similar to, like, I don’t want to compare them to Apple, but it sort of becomes a church. I think a lot of luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and staples that have been around for a while are noticing. Louis Vuitton is collaborating with Supreme, and we have people who are making bootleg Gucci hoodies being hired by Gucci. [Luxury brands] are cherry-picking the right people to work with at the right moment.” But for Perez, the appeal of wearing brands is more intangible than simply “looking rich.” “People subscribe to OffWhite because they put on a
T-shirt and it makes t h e m feel a certain way,” he said. “I think h i g h fashion is a state of mind. I can put on certain sneakers, and to me it can feel high fashion.” Eileen Melissa Mae is among those who best understand the appeal of streetwear. She’s a writer for the womens’ streetwear blog STREETWEARCHICK, which stands out in a scene saturated by websites geared towards men’s fashion such as HYPEBEAST, Complex and Highsnobiety; according to its website, STREETWEARCHICK aims to highlight “the unity of women in the streetwear industry.” “Streetwear is focused on men, in my opinion,” Mae said. “I think it’s because most brands are men’s clothing, and I don’t think there’s enough for women. HYPEBEAST is the top, and they really don’t cover much for girls. At STREETWEARCHICK, we cover more
than that. We cover music, food, fashion, what’s in for today.” Men’s fashion-focused websites such as HYPEBEAST rarely boast a similar variety of content, Mae said. “I think it’s because their platform is based on the hype stuff, like what’s new,” she said. “Let’s say they write an article for Louis Vuitton x Supreme. That will get a lot of views. Sometimes for us, it gets boring. We see hype stuff a lot, so I guess it’s better to see something new. That’s why we have New Music Fridays. That’s why we have certain people working on different sections of the blog, so that it’s not just fashion.” Although Mae herself graduated from college last year wearing the Yeezy Boost 350 V2, a sneaker designed by
Kanye West, she said she believes streetwear has largely become unoriginal. “It gets repetitive because there isn’t much to see besides box logos and zipper pants and Yeezys,” Mae said. In a streetwear scene inundated by Supreme hoodies and mass-marketed sneakers, as Mae described, Bianca Valle stood out to me as a striking exception. A New York City transplant, Valle has built a following of 15.8k people on Instagram and an impressive resume, including features on Vogue and NYLON Magazine. Scrolling through her Instagram page, I saw Valle wearing blue jeans with a buttoned cutoff denim jacket and Oxford shoes in one photo. In another, she paired a knee-length and flared plaid skirt with a black hoodie. “I think fashion is all about the ‘new,’” Valle said. “Fashion is very different from style though. It is funny to see all of these brands competing and copying each other. I am more of a timeless dresser. I love a good pair of jeans and a solid pair of shoes.”
She also differentiated her love of streetwear fashion from merely being a consumer of fast fashion and the latest trends. “I love wearing [streetwear] and I love buying, but I am not a consumer. I will buy something every now and then that is a staple piece,” Valle said. “One hoodie, one pair of loafers, one pair of sneakers. I do not support this crazy consumer culture that has recently reached an all time high. I don’t really understand this whole ‘I need another pair of sneakers’ thing.” Valle currently works as the Community Manager for VFILES, self-dubbed as “fashion’s first social media platform” and “mysterious multimedia conglomerate.” I found her insistence on authenticity—all the while coming into contact with the biggest names in both streetwear and highend fashion—admirable. “I didn’t ask to have a following,” Valle said. “To be honest, I really didn’t want it. But, I think it came because people have gravitated towards how ‘real’ I am and I’m okay with that. I’m just staying true to myself, which is being a funky, beauty-loving, streetwear-wearing angel, princess, painter-nerd. That’s me!”
By Indu Pandey
NT HA KO
They say French is the language of love. Something about Casablanca, the Eiffel Tower and baguettes just ooze romance. I never understood the connection that so many wax poetic about. That was, of course, until I tried La Croix. Ah, La Croix. 21 flavors of joy that speak to the heart. Pamplemousse, Mango, Cerise Limón. Effervescent and delightfully fruity, La Croix taught me true love. Finally, someone understands the essence of my eclectic, old-world soul. I spent years searching for love. I’ve been burnt by fiery passion that fizzles out as quickly as it begins, drowned in tears saltier than club soda and left as frigid as the tips of my fingers when I crack open a cold one with the boys. My first love was foreign—an Italian with an effortless, vintage style. I called him Pellegrino for short. Our love was blazing at first. I was ensnared by Pellegrino’s devilish good looks and air of high IL
society. But eventually the mineral taste Pellegrino left with me grew tiresome. Indeed, there was no pop. My second love was a classic. Perry was an easy choice, entirely unoffending and placid. The bubbling in my heart was soft and delicate, but I always felt like I was missing out on something. Lamenting my monogamy, I watched as my friends experimented. They walked a r o u n d
with a different flavor can every day, leaving me as green as the bottle in my heart. Yes, that’s when I met La Croix. I guess you could say it was love at first sight. Under the cover of night so Perry wouldn’t find out, I tried my first. A lime. The next day, I left Perry in the dust to pursue the real gem of France. I haven’t returned to him since. Sometimes I see him lingering as I pick up my next six pack of La Croix. I don’t look back. C’est la vie. I can’t say that our love has been all smooth sailing. I’ve lost friendships over flavor ranking disputes. I live by a new life creed now. If you cheat on Pamplemousse, delete my number. But they don’t understand the lessons I’ve learned about love from my sparkling odyssey. The French just do it better. Something about the culture and language infuse La Croix with a fruitiness that transcends generic watery juice box. La Croix’s fizz mirrors my own soul when I spot the last can in the deep reaches of the fridge. I’ve begun to plan my— sorry, our—trip to Paris this summer. I’ll spend the days sipping my fashionable aluminum can, speaking to the locals in their native tongue while holding in my burps. Parlez-vous La Croix? They said our love wouldn’t last this long, but little did they know other brands taste like cat pee. J’aime, La Croix.
“I mean…I hear we’re pretty good,” English teacher Jeremy Michaelson said, laughing, when we asked him and English teacher Jocelyn Medawar: “You guys have to know the mutual reputation that you share, right?” Michaelson and Medawar have been friends for over 20 years, initially bonding over finishing college recommendations. Now inseparable, the duo are the creators of the popular senior elective AP English Literature: Same House, Different Worlds. We sat down with the two to discuss their friendship, their working relationship and how they hope to enrich the lives of their students.
PANORAMA MAGAZINE PHOTO BY NOA SCHWARTZ
By Noa Schwartz and Anthony Weinraub
MEDAWAR: It’s like ancient history now.
sophomores. When I moved back into the department full time, we were both teaching sophomores and juniors for a while. And then we stayed teaching sophomores, and then when we split the junior classes, I switched to [a different course]. As soon as the idea of the senior electives came up, we were all over it.
MICHAELSON: It’s hard to remember. For the longest time, Ms. Medawar wasn’t full time in the English department. I don’t even remember how it developed, but I think we just naturally kind of gravitated toward each other.
US: That’s what we want to move into because we assume you guys kinda developed Same House, if we’re not wrong. So can you talk about the evolution of that, and what your goals were with that, and how you work together?
MEDAWAR: I think it was shared anxiety over getting college recs done and then in celebration that we were done, I seem to remember.
MICHAELSON: Well, as soon as it became clear we were going to move towards a model of electives within an AP Lit and AP Lang program, four years ago I think, we kinda looked at
US: Do you guys want to start off with explaining a little bit of how you became friends?
MICHAELSON: Was that why we went to Le Pain Quotidien? MEDAWAR: Yes, because we finished our recs. MICHAELSON: That was the first time we ever socialized together outside of school. MEDAWAR: And it was because we finished our recs and we decided we needed to celebrate. US: So Le Pain, perfect! A great place to celebrate. MICHAELSON: It was more of a natural evolution than it was a moment when we realized, “Oh my god, we’re simpatico!” I wish we had a snappier story. US: No, no Le Pain is great.
“It was more of a natural evolution than it was a moment when we realized, ‘Oh my god, we’re simpatico!’” Jermey Michaelson English teacher each other and thought, “Ok, we need to teach a class together, obviously.” Going to this kind of system meant that teams of teachers were going to be very small, because there are six different senior courses, and so we knew it was a chance for us to work closely together to develop a course, and that was super exciting.
US: So what were you each teaching respectively? Do you remember which sections of English? Were you teaching the same classes at this point? What did the English classes look like?
MEDAWAR: And we were lucky. Let’s not leave Mr. Chenier out of this; he is on the team as well. And we were lucky he joined us because I think he liked our vision for the class. It was our creation, but he joined up and that’s been a good thing.
MEDAWAR: We were both teaching
US: Same House is about childhood
and your relationship with adults, and the legacy that it has. You were talking about your vision in creating the program; how did that come up? You know, your shared vision? MEDAWAR: It was, maybe [Michaelson’s] memory is different of it but I feel that it started with [the idea that] we wanted to teach these books, at least some of these books and what do they have in common? MICHAELSON: Yeah, we thought about the books we were already teaching that we didn’t want to give up, like Revolutionary Road, and we thought, “What do we really love about these books? What unites these books?” MEDAWAR: No, we hadn’t taught Revolutionary Road. Had we? MICHAELSON: Oh yeah, we had, yes. And so we isolated a couple of books that we loved teaching and wanted to continue to teach and kinda asked ourselves, “what do we love about these, what themes work?” And we realized where they came together and thought, “yeah, that’s an engaging theme.” We’re both interested in it, and we thought it would be a great theme from which to build a course and to explore other kinds of literature. It meant that other books had to go which we loved, which was hard, but so be it. US: What was the process of deciding which books to teach and which had to leave? Did you pick the theme and think, “Oh, these books don’t really fit the theme” and replace them? MICHAELSON: Yeah we know that when we went in this direction it would be too much of a stretch to include, for example, Mrs. Dalloway, which is a book we both love. US: Someone’s reading that right now. MICHAELSON: Yeah, in Good Grief. But we realized, we didn’t want to PANORAMA MAGAZINE
FUN FACTS stretch too far to make it work with the theme, we didn’t like that idea at all. So you know, that’s how we made those decisions. And then it came down to, “Oh, what are the different ways to approach this theme? What are the different angles to take on it?” And we used that as a guide to our thinking, so certain books deal with the legacy of one’s childhood as one moves into adulthood and other books deal with, “What is the nature of childhood as a separate state of existence?” So we thought of different sub-themes or ways to get at the theme, and I think that helped guide our choice and our structure of the class. MEDAWAR: If I remember correctly, we went into summer with the texts we knew we wanted to keep and teach like Ice Palace, Hamlet and Revolutionary Road, and then over summer, we had the theme and then it was, “Let’s just read a bunch of things and decide what we wanted,” and I think I must have insisted on Wuthering Heights. MICHAELSON: Yeah you did, good call. MEDAWAR: And then everything else just fell on the plate. US: What was your shared vision for the impact you wanted the course to have on students, especially at this point in their lives? MEDAWAR: That’s a really good question. That’s a big question. I think we definitely want, we’re very aware that senior year is your last year in the Har26
Same House Different Worlds
vard-Westlake English department, and we want you to read things that are both going to help you look back and sort of organize your experience and think about where you’ve been, but also books that help launch you into your future with some mindfulness, so I think especially the texts coming up in second semester--Revolutionary Road, Brooklyn--those are the books that I think are going to make you think about, you know, now that your college course is pretty much set, well what then? What does it mean and what do you want it to lead to? You’ve been working so hard to get in, but I think we want you to read stuff that helps you think beyond that, right? MICHAELSON: Absolutely. I mean I love finishing up with Brooklyn because it’s about a young woman emerging out of the last stages of her adolescence into young adulthood and being given a pretty unexpected and dramatic opportunity [when] she has to emigrate after World War II from Ireland to America. And I think as soon as we read it, we thought this was the perfect book to end with because it’s about leaving home, the trials of leaving home, leaving behind some kind of safe space you’ve constructed throughout your childhood and what it takes to exit that space and kind of establish one’s self beyond it. And so we knew that teaching this theme would naturally allow us to allow stories that, at least in that case, are about people and circumstances not so unlike our students. US: In discussing questions we wanted to ask, a common theme was that with
all the changes happening in our lives, Same House just felt like the perfect relevant course for what’s happening now. I can’t tell if the relevance is as intentional as it feels sometimes, or if it comes from teaching students at this moment in their lives for so long. MEDAWAR: I think it’s both. We’re always humbled to discover the impact of the texts on our students in ways we didn’t imagine. But for me, to go back to the idea of friendship, and us developing this together, what I appreciate about the texts is that as we keep revisiting them every year, I think we each discover the personal relevance of these texts to our own lives, and I’ve found those shared insights personally invaluable. I think it’s great that we get to talk about these great texts with each other. US: How would you say your teaching styles differ? MICHAELSON: Coming up with lessons is such a wonderful, stimulating, illuminating process. I mean, it’s just an absolute stroke of luck that I work with Ms. Medawar, who sees literature in similar ways to me, but also challenges me, and pushes my ideas to better places, or keeps me from making mistakes, so that’s my favorite part of our working relationship. MEDAWAR: Yeah, he’s the question master. MICHAELSON: Just putting our minds together and coming up with a lesson that we realize honors the text and sets you guys up for a good dis-
Le Pain hiking Quotidien together cussion and moves naturally from one question to another--I just think that we’re really good at creating those kinds of revelations. MEDAWAR: And we really enjoy it. But I also think that we both share the value that even with the most well-conceived lesson, you have to be ready to jettison it if the class goes in a different direction and you feel like you can illuminate the text and get to some good places, you just chuck the lesson. MICHAELSON: Sometimes the students ask the best questions. MEDAWAR: We are different! MICHAELSON: You’re a little less dynamic. MEDAWAR (laughing): I’m sorry I have nothing to say to that. It’s so absurd! MICHAELSON: Have we ever seen each other teach? MEDAWAR: I don’t think so. I couldn’t do it, I’d start laughing. I don’t think I could do it seriously! MEDAWAR: I love reading out loud, I like acting, so I think I’m a little more of a ham. MICHAELSON: You are a much more natural actor than I am…so I guess you’re a little more dynamic...is that what you’re saying? MEDAWAR: I proved it without asserting it!
MICHAELSON: I’d be surprised if our teaching styles differ all that much because the values that we share kind of drew us together in the first place. Of course I know that Ms. Medawar respects her students and hears what they have to say, and I can’t imagine that you don’t earnestly listen to your students and let them take you where they’re going and honor their ideas… that’s the kind of person you are. I’m sure that happens in your classroom. I hope that happens in my classroom. US: Why do you two do what you do? Why this age, why this moment? We’re sure you have some shared values on this too.
FIRST HUNG OUT AT:
calls upon all the best parts of yourself. You can be a great orthopedic surgeon and be, well, a total jerk. But, working with this age group, you have to be smart and have authority in the classroom and command over your material, but you also have to be creative, imaginative, sympathetic, patient and understanding. Those are some of the things you need to be in order to bridge the divide between you as an adult and your students as kids, and you have to not let yourself be narrowed by your experience and remember what it was like to be a teenager. Between working with literature and kids and everything those two demand, it’s very fulfilling because it demands all of those things of you.
MEDAWAR: I think our stories are a little different. I had my fantasy jobs, MEDAWAR: I think we can both say like a famous actress--stage and screen. that we both have off days, but the minBut practically, when I was in high ute you walk into the classroom and school, I knew I wanted to be a high you’re called on to be your best self, the school English teacher. I’ve never re- day just gets better and puts whatever ally wanted to do anything else. It was you’re upset about in perspective. my dream job. I love this age because I felt like in college, students were maybe somewhat past the level of wonder, of SCAN TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW being able to read and feel personally enlightened. I just remember that I had amazing high school English teachers. I just thought that they opened my world, and if I could do that for a few people, I wanted to do it. So that is why I do it, and I’ve never really wanted to do anything else. MICHAELSON: For me, I just love it because, first of all, it feels very natural to do. I think the classroom is a place I just want to be. But as a job, I really love teaching because doing it really well PANORAMA MAGAZINE
“I read Panorama cover-to-cover in the days after the launch and truly enjoyed it. It seemed like the perfect complement to our current offerings, Chronicle online, the monthly print, and Big Red. And it’s nice to signal that it is likely where our students will publish long-form pieces, some weighty and some more lighthearted.”
-Liz Resnick, Associate Head of School
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-Jocelyn Medawar, English Teacher
“I really like the magazine’s focus on longer, more engaging pieces. I found it very enjoyable to read and the graphics and articles worked very well together to present a publication that seemed to really express the voice of HW students rather than just news around campus.”
-Jack Borris ’18
“I loved reading it. I really liked the mix of articles - some that were specific to Harvard-Westlake itself, like the one about Grace Brown or about Jonathan and Cam, and those that were broader like the one about girls feeling pressure about dressing up for Halloween. That’s something I’ve thought about a lot, by the way, and I loved that you did an article on it. The layout and design were also both excellent.”
-Lara Ross, Head of Upper School
“I think the impact the Panorama will have on the school will be very positive because we will be hearing personal stories from students that we will relate to a lot more and longer artlics that will go more in depth about subjects we are reading about, so we can get more information and you will be able to relate it back to yourself. ”
-Carissa Edwards-Mendez ’19