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March 2018 • Estd. 1892 • Vol. 125 #7 • Published Monthly • www.ihstattler.com Ithaca High School, 1401 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 • FREE

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Editorial

Students Pay the Price for Teachers’ Inconsistent Grading Policies BY THE TATTLER EDITORIAL BOARD

I

t’s no secret that teachers have their own, distinct styles of teaching. The same course with the same content can feel drastically different when taught by another teacher. As a result, students at IHS often discuss and compare their grade averages with one another because they differ based on their teachers’ grading policies and expectations of work quality. A system to ensure uniformity in the grading policies and the courses themselves already exists, but it fails to address certain glaring differences between classes that may put some students at a disadvantage. In order to combat this problem, teachers must investigate new ways to ensure that grading is fair for all students. Teachers at IHS attend regular Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings in which teachers of the same course work together to standardize their classes and policies as best as possible. Ms. Augustine, one of the three Participation in Government (Gov) teachers, said that the goal of PLC’s is to make each class “uniform so that it’s not harder if you end up with one teacher.” During these meetings, teachers determine what they want their students to know and how to assess their knowledge.

In terms of class participation, some social studies teachers are satisfied with students simply getting to class on time and not being disruptive, whereas others require students to raise their hands a certain number of times. All Gov classes follow the state’s standards for its curriculum and have the same units, projects, and classwork, as well as the same rubrics and point values for each. The three classes are most aligned in terms of homework and the final paper. That is to say, most of the skills and expectations are the same, but each teacher can still maintain their autonomy by choosing the topics for each unit; certainly, they don’t teach the same exact things on the same days. Standardizing a single-level course that all students are required to take in order to graduate such as Gov is especially important, but despite the efforts to standardize the classes, some variation in grading persists. “A certain wiggle room exists when you’re assessing things like participation, writing, or debates,” Ms. Augustine said. While this is true, there is a clear problem when one student in one class adequately completes all of the expected work and receives a mediocre grade, while another student in a different class doesn’t put in as much work, yet receives a free 100. It seems that despite the PLC’s, teachers may not have the same standards for quality after all. One Gov student said, “I do all of my work and my teacher still refuses to give me full credit.” Another student with a different teacher said, “Our assignments were graded based on completion.” 2

In some cases, teachers have not been able to attend PLC’s. One such case is AP English Language, where the two teachers have not had opportunities to formally communicate with each other. As a result, clear differences in grading standards between the two classes have emerged. The subjective nature of the requirements lead to different grading standards that impact a student’s grade on an assignment. Minute distinctions in the language used in rubrics, such as “flawlessly” and “successfully” analyzing a work, or the difference between using “precise” and “appropriate” language, lead to teachers placing more emphasis on different skills. With subjective assignments like these, a clear issue emerges as differences in how a teacher wants to approach a skill interfere with creating a level playing field. Assigning numbers to students and coordinating them across teachers is difficult, but some teachers have very inconsistent standards that could be easily resolved with a little more communication. For instance, in terms of class participation, some social studies teachers are satisfied with students simply getting to class on time and not being disruptive, whereas others require students to raise their hands a certain number of times. Similarly, some English teachers do not give full credit for student work such as silent reading due to their belief that students cannot perfectly read silently. Some math classes at IHS follow the flipped-classroom model where students do most of their learning outside of class, while others at the same level follow a conventional teaching style. Classes with a fundamentally different structure may significantly impact how students learn, as well as their grades. Other factors that may contribute to noticeable differences in grade averages between classes include substantial extra-credit opportunities provided by one teacher but none by the other. Some students have also pointed out that within the same math course, one teacher assigns takehome tests whereas the other teacher does not. These result in unequal advantages that impact students’ grade averages. A first step that teachers could take to assess how students perceive their class would be to conduct surveys in which students rate the difficulty or the fairness of the grading. Teachers could also find the average of all of their students’ grades and compare them with those of other teachers of the same course, which would help them identify problems with inconsistent grading, and if there are, to consider what may be their causes. Some actions that they could take to collaborate on grading would be to randomly swap student work between the two teachers for larger assignments to ensure that teachers are not biased toward or against their own students, and to make up for drastically different grading approaches. While considering these solutions, it’s important to recognize that teachers want some independence and the right to teach their class how they want to. However, they must strike a balance between autonomy and regulation. Although allowing teachers to have a sense of autonomy in their curricula allows them to maintain an engaging and productive classroom environment, better communication between the teachers will minimize the disadvantages created by the existing system.


ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO TATTLE

Staff 2017 – 2018

Community Reacts to ICE Arrests

News

By Chloe Moore Editor-in-Chief

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L

ast May, an undocumented immigrant named José Guzman-Lopez was arrested by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in Ithaca. Although it was the first such detainment in recent Ithacan history, local politicians and policemen had predicted that it was not the last. This January, a series of arrests and detainments were made, less than a year after both the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County passed Sanctuary City legislation to restrict aid to enforcement of federal immigration law. First, two men were arrested from their jobs at Taste of Thai. Somkiat Wandee was detained for “unknown reasons,” according to The Ithaca Voice. His coworker, Tatithan Maiyodklang from Thailand, allegedly missed an appointment with immigration officials, said the same report. Khaalid Walls, regional director of ICE communications, confirmed that “two [people] were arrested as part of ongoing enforcement activities in the region by the agency,” but he could not elaborate further. One report from The Cornell Daily Sun quoted a claim from the Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition that the men had been arrested by undercover ICE officials posing as IPD officers, but neither ICE nor the Coalition has elaborated on that claim or provided evidence for or against it. To some of those who had known them, the arrests were a shock. “I knew the detainees. I was friends with both of them, and I really liked them,” said Luke Monaghan ‘19, who had been a coworker of the two at Taste of Thai. He described them both as “very kind,” having “done nothing but be helpful and generous since I met them,” and in his mind “in no way harmful to the United States.” Monaghan said he was “fairly surprised to find out that they had been arrested.” A week after the arrests and detainments of Wandee and Maiyodklang, an unnamed man was arrested for being an “unlawfully present foreign national.” The man is currently in custody, but no further information regard-

ing him or the details of his arrest have been released. The reaction to these arrests was swift and angry. The Coalition released a statement saying that “the ICE arrests of immigrants working in Ithaca are part of the Trump administration’s strategy to divide our communities between those who ‘deserve’ human rights and those who do not.” It continues, “the [coalition] calls on our community to deepen our support to those living and working with us, whether or not they have been granted official documentation.” On Tuesday, February 6, a protest was held on the Commons against detainment of immigrants, as well as to discuss other prominent issues. That same evening, Somkiat Wandee was released on a $7,500 bond, and is no longer listed as “in custody” on the ICE website. Mayor Svante Myrick has been vocal in his opposition to these arrests. He cited the fact that ICE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) do not inform the Ithaca Police Department (IPD) when an immigration-related arrest is being made. The DHS alerts the IPD to their presence, but not the nature of the arrests. The sanctuary city status of Ithaca means that the IPD is not permitted to inquire about an individual’s immigration status in the event of an arrest, unless it pertains directly to a criminal investigation. However, that does not apply to arrests made within the DHS’s jurisdiction. In public statements and in tweets, Mayor Myrick has repeatedly said that federal officials would have to put him “under the jail” before he would remove Ithaca’s sanctuary status. He also said, “I don’t like ICE coming into town, taking someone away, and not explaining who, what or why they did what they did.” Myrick continued to explain that the absence of information after Tuesday’s arrest, “breeds rumors, rumors create fear, and when people are afraid . . . bad things happen.” Myrick has continued to urge people, regardless of documentation, to call on the IPD if they feel that they have been a victim of a crime.

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The Tattler is the monthly student-run newspaper of Ithaca High School. All currently-enrolled students at Ithaca High School are welcome to submit writing and photographs. As an open forum, The Tattler invites opinion submissions and letters to the editor from all community members. Email submissions to editor@ihstattler.com or mail letters to:

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Send submissions by March 6 to be included in the April issue. The Tattler reserves the right to edit all submissions. All articles, columns, and advertisements do not necessarily reflect the views of editorial staff. To read The Tattler online, visit our website at www.ihstattler.com.

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On February 27, community members attended a Board of Education meeting to ask the district to implement an anti-racist curriculum and to provide more protection for ICSD students. IMAGE BY FRANCESCA CHU

From

Casting Controversy to Call for Anti-Racist Curriculum By Francesca Chu

B

y 7:00 pm on Tuesday, February 27, ICSD’s Board Room was overflowing with community members waiting to speak during the public commentary section of the Board of Education (BoE) meeting. Most of them had come to talk about race or safety, prompted by IHS’s casting controversy over The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the subsequent national response. Many people, including the five leaders of Students United Ithaca (a group that had called for the production of a different musical), lined the walls. Others sat on the floor at the board members’ feet. Over the course of an hour, community members stepped forward to give testimonies about their experiences with race in ICSD. Through their three-minute statements, community members shifted the focus of the BoE meeting from the casting controversy to a broader discussion about ICSD’s treatment of race, and of the importance of keeping its students safe. First, several members of Students United Ithaca spoke about their experiences receiving racist threats after their story received national news 4

coverage. For example, Eamon Nunn-Makepeace ’21 said that when he was out jogging, some white people recognized him as involved in the casting controversy and then referred to him using the n-word. His mother, Dr. Nia Nunn-Makepeace, read aloud a threat that Eamon had received on social media: “After I’m done with you, you’ll be swinging from a tree.” Later, Prachi Ruina ’19 read aloud multiple comments that had been addressed to her on social media, including one telling her to “go back to s***** India and stop crying about whites in this white country.” Throughout the evening, a common refrain was that the district was not responding appropriately to these threats and racist comments. Many community members expressed the belief that ICSD was trying to downplay the effects of the casting controversy by ignoring the issue and failing to inform students about what was going on. Some said that ICSD had not done enough to protect the students’ safety, and some stated that many students at IHS were still unaware of what was going on. Maddi Carroll ’18, a leader of Students United Ithaca, said, “Every single time we try to have a conversation [with ICSD], it is extremely vague


and people are left confused, wondering what is going on in our district. . . . It seems that our teachers have been told not to talk about this. Some of them whisper their support to us when no one else is watching. . . We asked for more protection because we were afraid. We asked for an open and educated conversation about race because we were afraid.” Additionally, some speakers connected the threats and hate speech to the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Ari Cummings ’19 said that though he is a junior at IHS, he has never experienced a lockdown drill at IHS. He called on educators to do a better job educating their students about safety. For many people at the meeting, the importance of race education was the common tie between the school shootings and the national response to the casting controversy. Eamon Nunn-Makepeace attributed the racist threats he received in part to a lack of race education across the United States. His mother said that the Parkland shooter was “nurtured by a culture of sickness—a culture of white supremacy.” Eliza VanCort (the mother of Ella Mead-VanCort ’18, a leader of Students United Ithaca) cited an Atlantic article with the statistic that 71 percent of all murders in the US in the past decade were carried out by right-wing extremists. For the rest of the public commentary period, many people commented on their own experience with a lack of race education in ICSD. Community members and parents called for more anti-racist curricula to be taught in classrooms. Teachers asked the Board for guidance for teaching about race. Adults from the community, who had graduated from ICSD schools, described instances in which they had failed to learn about race, or had witnessed racism. Some community leaders, both white and black, said they could provide resources and support for anti-racist educational programs in ICSD. The members of the BoE responded differently to the public commentary. Board member Moira Lang, the leader of the ICSD Secondary Language Arts Curriculum Committee, asked the community to contribute “specific action steps” toward implementing anti-racist curricula in grades K–12. Board member Eldred V. Harris, JD, stated that it was time to stop whispering about race, and thanked the members of Students United Ithaca for shocking the Board into action. Board member Nicole LaFave said it was “highly irresponsible” of the district not to address the threats to the students more directly, though she cautioned that the Board and community should think about whether the culture at ICSD is ready for a curriculum about race. Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown said the district would be re-allocating resources in the coming weeks to address equity in terms of race, and that the district would work on developing an anti-racist curriculum. However, he asked the community to be patient, and warned against asking teachers to teach about race without giving them the necessary tools and training to do so (something he said could take “a year of planning”). Finally, he suggested broadening the discussion to include gender and class in addition to race because “we’re living in a culture that is oppressive.” The district has taken some measures to promote school safety as well. On February 28, ICSD published a brief article about how Superintendent Brown recently met with Ithaca Police Chief Pete Tyler to discuss safety in the wake of recent violent events. Also on February 28, IHS held an all-faculty meeting to discuss safety protocol. The following day, IHS held a lockdown drill. For many people in the community, the casting controversy was a much-needed impetus to open up a discussion about race and safety in our schools. Many of the speakers remarked that they had long been fighting to be heard, and that they were glad ICSD had finally reached a point where it was possible to have a conversation about race. As Board member Harris said, the conversation may be painful to have now, but “it’s because we can finally actually have it.”

PRODUCTION OF NEW SPRING MUSICAL TO BEGIN FOLLOWING CASTING CONTROVERSY By Julian Perry

In January, following criticism from students and community members of casting choices, ICSD canceled IHS’s spring musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Earlier in the month, two letters to the editor of the online publication Tompkins Weekly criticized ICSD’s performing arts program for casting choices unsupportive of students of color. The most notable example was the decision to give the part of Esmeralda, Hunchback’s Romani lead female role, to a white girl. Following the publication of these letters, students under the title Students United Ithaca rallied students, parents, and community members to attend a Board of Education meeting where they demanded the production of a different musical, with racially conscious casting in place of the “colorblind casting” used in previous ICSD theater productions. Not long after, the musical was canceled, but the district initially did not specify what would happen as a replacement beyond the fact that a “collaborative project” was being discussed. The cancellation began to make national news once Fox News released a story on it, which was soon followed by articles on other conservative new sites including Breitbart. The students who had protested the musical and some of their parents began to receive thousands of angry messages, as well as some threats in the comments on the Students United Facebook page and on online forums such as 4chan. The cancellation of the musical and the threats following were covered by The New York Times, which reached out directly to people in the community for comment. The district released a statement condemning threats to people in the community, and affirming that there would be a spring musical. According to David Brown, ICSD’s Director of Fine and Performing Arts, the new musical will still be performed on the original dates of April 13, 14, and 15, and auditions will be taking place over the two weeks following February break. In an email to all IHS students, Brown stated that the new production will be Hairspray, directed by Joey Steinhagen. Students interested in expressing their views to The Tattler on the controversy surrounding the musical can do so anonymously by writing responses on cards to put into designated boxes in the library and the main office. 5


News

Candidate Tracy Mitrano, the former Director of Information Technology Policy at Cornell, won the straw poll on February 12. During the discussion, she described ways to bring economic opportunity to New York’s 23rd Congressional District. IMAGE PROVIDED

Tompkins County Democrats Gather as Candidates Vie for Congressional Nomination By Julian Perry

O

n Monday, February 12, an estimated 700 people gathered at the State Theater to attend a round table among candidates competing for the Democratic nomination for the November congressional election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. The discussion, which was attended by six of the seven Democratic candidates, was followed by a straw poll, voted by 571 attendees. The next day, it was announced that the poll was won by Cornell’s former Director of Information Technology Policy, Tracy Mitrano, who received 297 votes, just above half of those cast. In the discussion, hosted by former Tompkins County Legislator Barbara Mink, candidates discussed a range of issues, including gun control, the opioid epidemic, and strategies to defeat incumbent Republican representative Tom Reed. Although the candidates shared similar views on most issues, what they chose to emphasize differentiated them. For instance, Lawyer Eddie Sundquist of Jamestown highlighted the extent his own campaign setup as something other candidates lacked: “We will knock on more doors, we will make more calls, we will work later nights than anyone else in this race,” he said in his closing remarks. Speaking next was Ian Golden, owner of the Finger Lakes Running and Triathlon Company, who brought up his rural upbringing as something that had shaped him and given him an understanding of the struggles faced by people throughout the district. Retired cardiologist Linda Andrei used her closing remarks to discuss what she saw as the social contract that had historically supported Americans, as well as the importance of expanding healthcare. Fourth to give closing remarks was Tracy Mitrano, the eventual winner of the night’s straw poll, who listed ways to bring economic opportunity to the district: through supporting education, expanding infrastructure, and reforming labor laws. Max Della Pia, a retired Air Force Colonel, brought up his own back6

ground in the military as well as challenges faced by his own family members which led him to support issues such as universal healthcare and transgender rights. Finally, former Congressional Budget Office economist Charles Whalen, who has since dropped out of the race, brought up common goals of people across the district, regardless of their party affiliation, while criticizing the influence of Washington elites from outside the district. The seventh candidate in the race for the nomination, schoolteacher Rick Gallant, was ill the evening of the forum. A statement written by Gallant was read near the end, emphasizing his years of experience in teaching as well as in the teacher’s union. The primary that will officially determine the nominee will not be held until June, although some county Democratic Committees in the district have already endorsed candidates for the time leading up to that primary. Additionally, in late February, New York’s Working Families Party made the decision to endorse Mitrano in the race. In addition to endorsements, candidates may have been seeking to catch the eye of potential donors. So far, fundraising efforts from Democratic candidates have been dwarfed by those on the side of incumbent Tom Reed. According to The Buffalo News, at the end of 2017, the Democratic campaign with the most cash on hand was that of Linda Andrei, with $131,231. On the opposite side, Tom Reed, who faces no primary challengers, has raised over $1 million for his 2018 campaign. This election season marks a substantial change from previous ones in the district, with Democratic primaries in 2014 and 2016 having been uncontested, with only one candidate running for the nomination each time. The Democratic party is bolstering its efforts, both locally and nationally, in their effort to retake the Senate and House of Representatives in this year’s midterm elections.


News

Donald Trump gave his State of the Union address on January 30, prompting divided responses. IMAGE PROVIDED

Divided Responses to State of the Union By Karuna Prasad

T

he State of the Union Address (SOTU) was given by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, January 30, and its format stuck to tradition. Past presidents have used the address as a call for togetherness and as a venue to promote the spirit of American unity. Trump launched into a similar theme, but wanted to especially promote his idea of “America First,” while congratulating his own administration’s successes and justifying his planned policies for protecting the country. Trump first restated his “Make America Great Again” ideals, and highlighted his plans to rebuild America’s “crumbling” infrastructure quickly. The Trump administration claimed to have created 2.4 million new jobs, implemented the biggest tax cuts in history, and been responsible for rising wages and employment rates throughout his first year in office. These claims were derided by Democrats responding to the address, who claimed that he had inherited a good economy from the Obama administration. As in previous years, throughout the speech, he featured Americans in the audience whose backgrounds complemented his administration’s goals. He sought out a family that had been victims of gang violence from the MS-13 gang, and a Homeland Security special agent named Celestino Martinez, who had been a target of the gang and was successful in arresting some of its members. He also integrated the

discussion on opioid and drug addiction into his speech, and incorporated a human element by acknowledging a family who had adopted a child from a mother suffering from a heroin addiction. He commended the bravery of soldier Justin Peck, who saved an associate from an ISIS attack, and using it as an opportunity to congratulate his administration’s efforts with combating terrorism. Trump then mentioned the deal to keep open the penitentiary system at Guantanamo Bay, a clear deviation from the Obama administration’s efforts to scale back use of the facility. In terms of foreign policy, he emphasized his pride in the administration’s steps to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital by moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, a controversial decision that met heavy criticism from Arab countries. He finally told the story of Ji Seong-ho, who escaped from North Korea after a gruelling escape that included surviving a train accident as well as severe torture from the Kim Jong-Un regime. He used this as an opportunity to stress his administration’s commitment to destabilizing the North Korean government. After the speech, which concluded with a positive and inclusive tone,the Democratic rebuttal to the address was presented by Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III from Massachusetts. In his response, Kennedy defended the rights of Dreamers, or beneficiaries of the DACA program (Deferred Action for Child-

hood Arrivals) from the Obama administration. Kennedy highlighted the positive influence of immigrants on Fall River, Massachusetts, the town where he spoke. He also spoke about transgender individuals, people of color, and others who he felt the Trump administration did not protect. On a final note, addressing the unprotected migrants he stated in Spanish, “We will fight with you, and we will not walk away.” Following the speech, the media was divided over what to make of it. Most notably, Trump was criticized for not mentioning Russian interference in American elections, a contentious topic at the time. Division also ensued from his decision to call out the NFL players who were not saluting the flag, remarks which some saw as going in the direction of being an attack on free speech. Democrats were also skeptical of his stated achievements on immigration, believing that the focus on MS-13 was only successful in inflaming racial tensions, and also that his implications that dreamers were gang members creates further racial divides. The media on the right was more congratulatory, and agreed with his emphasis on tax cuts and tighter rules on immigration, with several sources stating the speech was a success that would win even more support for his policies from Republicans. Overall, the speech fit in the trend of recent partisan addresses, and was seen as insignificant in altering the political landscape, with opinions about the speech split along partisan lines. 7


Opinion

The U.S. Drone Program

AND ITS PROBLEMS

The United States has conducted more than 27,500 drone strikes in the fight to expel the Islamic State from Iraq and Syria, according to a report from The New York Times by Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal. The American-led coalition keeps a record of civilian deaths that it deems credible, but the findings of Khan and Gopal in the report called “The Uncounted” suggest that the real number of civilian deaths is far higher than what the government reports. The report, conducted over 18 months, found that in the over 150 strike zones and 103 strikes studied, one in five strikes had resulted in civilian deaths. These figures, gathered from on-theground sources, eyewitnesses, local news sources, and analysts, found that the number of deaths is a staggering 31 times higher than the government has been reporting, leading Khan and Gopal to write that, “this may be the least transparent war in recent American history.” These numbers are further proof that in this system, Iraqi suspects are considered guilty until proven innocent. The information used to identify ISIS fighters is often unreliable, and too often leads to the deaths of innocent civilians who fit the criteria of certain behavior patterns that make them a target. The most heavily relied upon type of information is SIGNIT, or “signals intelligence”, despite officials admitting that it is “poor” and “limited,” according to The Intercept. Furthermore, information is sometimes gained from single sources that may or may not be credible, such as people local to an area who see opportunities for personal gain if they hand over certain information, regardless of its credibility. One result of this misinformation was a 2013 drone strike in Asadabad, the capital of the Kunar province of Afghanistan, which was recently covered by The Intercept. The blast took out a red pickup truck driven by 26-year-old Abdul Rashid. Rashid, a taxi driver, was also carrying seven other men, two women, and four children, including his 4-year-old daughter, Aisha, and her 18-month-old brother, Jundullah. Around 5:30 pm, about an hour into the journey and just after entering the district of Watapur, a total of five strikes in 20 minutes killed everyone in the truck except 4-year-old Aisha. On September 8, 2013, the day after the strike, the International Security Assistance Force reported that “10 enemy forces” had been killed, but the report made no mention of civilian deaths, according to The Intercept. A final memo from the United Nations reported that ten civilians and six enemy forces had been killed. However, villagers said that no one with the names of the supposed enemy forces had been riding in the truck on that day, and furthermore, that the names were entirely unfamiliar. Former Afghan leader Hamid Karzai, who was also interviewed by journalist May Jeong for the report, said of the confusion regarding the death tally and the lack of investigation into what happened, that Americans thought, “well, this is a poor country, so why care?” He added, “We were numbers 8

By Chloe Moore

and not treated as humans. We need [America], but that doesn’t mean they have the right to kill us.” The fact that it takes in-depth, multi-year reporting to cover a single strike is proof that this drone war is not nearly transparent enough, and that it is not even close to being as precise as the US government claims. Human lives have been turned into statistics, and ordinary citizens have been turned into suspects because they are men above fighting age with a regular behavior pattern. On the firing end of the drone war are another group of young men, chosen for their video game talents. A 2014 documentary, Drone, uncovered many of the secrets of the drone war, including the psychological damage to the young operators, who the documentary said had to learn to “come to terms with killing through joysticks.” In short, the drone war has gross dishonesty on the side of the perpetrators and devastating losses for the largely innocent victims (only 17 percent of the some 200 people killed in drone strikes between January 2012 and February 2013 were intended targets). To continue the drone war in this manner is to blatantly disregard the inherent humanity of innocent, non-combatant civilians. The use of unreliable information and imprecise strikes is an underreported problem. Instead of acknowledging and working to fix our problematic air strike campaign, we bury the stories under layers of nationalism and supremacy and a few success stories. Until the drone war ends or, at the very least, is reformed so that civilian lives are valued and protected, the United States cannot possibly be the greatest nation in the world.


Opinion

IMAGE PROVIDED

Democrat Amy McGrath is running for Congress in Kentucky.

IMAGE PROVIDED

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is running for re-election in New York.

The 2018 Midterm Elections: A LOOK AT TWO FEMALE CANDIDATES By Chloe Moore

T

he 2018 midterm elections are coming up, and the Democrats need to flip 24 seats in the House of Representatives to swing the majority. Given the way voting districts are drawn in many states, this will be a hard battle to win. Women, however, are used to fighting hard battles. Since Trump’s election, there has been an increase in women running for office, accompanied by an increase in women winning seats in all levels of government. In New York State, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is the incumbent Democrat. Gillibrand was appointed to her seat in 2009 when former Senator Hillary Clinton left to become the Secretary of State under President Obama. Gillibrand’s current focus is on ending sexual assault in the military, with a bill to give legal power to military prosecutors in cases of sexual misconduct, instead of to commanders with no legal background. Gillibrand has also worked extensively on rebuilding the economy post-2008, and has fought for paid leave, equal pay for equal work, helping working families, keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, providing funding for 9/11 first responders, providing protection for seniors, and helping New York farmers. She has been the author of many important pieces of legislation, and is a crucial negotiator in the Senate, with an impressive record of reaching across the aisle to pass bipartisan bills. Gillibrand is an overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic primary election on June 26, and the Republicans running to secure their party’s nomination are Pat Hahn, Rafael Jones, Jim Samsel, and David Webber. Looking away from New York and incumbents, Amy McGrath is run-

ning for Congress in Kentucky as a Democrat. McGrath is a proud Kentuckian, and has an impressive history. In her campaign announcement video, she describes when at the age of thirteen, she was told in a letter from her Senator she could not be a fighter pilot because women were “precious commodities.” In response, she wrote members of Congress until the law banning female fighter pilots was changed under the Clinton administration. In subsequent years, she graduated from the United States Naval Academy, and she was the first woman to fly an F-18 fighter jet in combat. In her illustrious military career, she flew over eighty combat missions, dropping bombs on Afghanistan and Iraq, and completed three victory tours. In addition to McGrath’s military accomplishments, she also has a degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins. Her primary concern is healthcare and the Trump administration’s decision to take it away from almost a quarter of a million Kentuckians by repealing Obamacare, as she said in her video. McGrath faces extreme challenges, as an insurgent, a woman, and a first-time candidate without major financial backing from her party. However, she is clearly committed to fight on behalf of everyone, and appears willing to dig her heels in. With her strength, patriotism, and perseverance, she embodies American values and will hopefully be able to uphold those values in Congress. Her campaign video ends with a message that rings hopeful for all of the qualified women running: “They said a Democrat couldn’t win [in Kentucky]. We’ll see about that.” 9


Opinion

Be warned: doing your homework in bed can make it harder for you to fall asleep later. IMAGE FROM PEXELS

THE BEST

Way to End the Day By Fiona Botz

A

lmost everyone has a morning routine, whether they realize it or not. How one starts their morning sets the tone for the rest of their day. For instance, if you wake up early and have ample time to eat breakfast and get dressed, the rest of the day can be approached from a stress-free state of mind. On the other hand, if you get up at 8:20 and only have 15 minutes to get out the door, the remainder of the day may seem more hectic and not as fulfilling. What some people may not realize is that the way in which they end their day also has an impact on their stress and happiness levels. Here are the top three ways that I’ve found to get the most out of my “night-time” routine.

Make the Bed a Place of Rest and Relaxation Doing homework and other potentially stressful activities on the sack can harm your ability to fall asleep later in the day. According to a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), “43 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights. More than half (60 percent) say that they experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night (i.e., snoring, waking in the night, waking up too early, or feeling un-refreshed when they get up in the morning).” This survey shows that if you experience sleeping issues, you are not alone. Using the bed solely for relaxing purposes, such as lying down or taking a nap, will help you fall asleep later. This is because your brain will associate the bed with sleep, and will dissociate it from work- or school-related feelings. As a result, it is important to promote a relaxing state of mind when going to bed. 10

Power Down The blue light emitted by our phones, TVs, and computers can seriously interfere with the body’s productions of sleep hormones. Production of melatonin, a major sleep-inducing hormone, is greatly reduced when we use our devices late at night. This hinders our ability to fall asleep because the artificial blue light coming from laptops and phones tricks the brain by essentially telling it: “No, don’t feel tired—it’s still daytime; it’s light outside!” Charles Czeisler, PhD, MD, from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital also states that usage of electronics “enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour—making it more difficult to fall asleep.” To fix this, turn off phones and computers at least one hour before hitting the hay.

Establish A Night-time Routine A key factor in creating a successful night-time routine is to go to bed at the same time every night. This is easier said than done, so going to bed at a similar time each night will suffice. For example, if you usually go to bed at 11:15, and the next day you hop into bed at 10:45 and fall asleep within about 15 minutes (the average amount of time it should take to fall asleep), it may be a sign that you are in a good sleeping pattern. Something else to be cognizant of when creating a night-time routine is that it takes a while to truly get into a sleep schedule—it doesn’t happen overnight! If you go to bed at a similar time each night, make a habit to power down devices, and perform similar activities like brushing your teeth right before bed, you can craft your perfect winding-down routine in a few slumberous months.


RESTAURANT REVIEW:

Bol By Vaynu Kadiyali and Julian Perry

IMAGE FROM BOLOFITHACA.COM

O

ne Friday night, after a long week of school, we decided to treat ourselves by eating out at one of Ithaca’s newest restaurants. Bōl, a self-described “fast casual Asian-inspired restaurant,” opened in December 2016 next to Simeon’s. As soon as we entered, we were pleased by Bōl’s tastefully minimalist interior, with a few tables and red chairs located near the open-air kitchen, and stairs to an upstairs loft with more tables. Ordering at Bōl is a fairly intuitive process. At the head of the line, customers pick up a clipboard with one of three menus attached. Customers can choose between a Soup Bōl, with choices of ramen, pho, dumpling bowls, or a Thai butternut squash bowl with a choice of broth and proteins; or a Salad Bōl, with a choice of greens, noodles over greens, or a grain over greens, with additional pickled and fresh vegetables, dressings, proteins, and other toppings. Customers can order steamed dumplings as an appetizer, and there is a dessert menu. Customer service at Bōl was excellent— the cashier was very patient in explaining the restaurant’s concept. We decided to get a noodle salad bowl topped with tofu, pickled mushrooms, cabbage, and a cilantro lime dressing, and a dumpling bowl with pork dumplings in a chicken and pork broth. Another friend who joined us ordered a ramen bowl with eggs, also in the chicken and pork broth. The total came out to around $40, more than we would have liked to pay for casual dining in Downtown. While we waited, we helped ourselves to complimentary green tea. The tea had a mild, somewhat nutty flavor, and was perfect for the cold weather. Our food was ready within five

minutes—we took the stairs to the upstairs loft, a nice seating area with lots of natural light from its large windows. We first tried the salad bowl. It was a perfect portion, with perfectly cooked Yakisoba noodles and satisfyingly crunchy pickles. The dressing was light and sour, and complimented the dish well. But the dish did lack some flavor, so we decided to add some of the complimentary hot oil to the salad. Bōl’s dishes can be customized to adjust for spice level and flavor, so there are many sauces at each table, including a variety of hot oils, sriracha, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce. The dumpling bowl was a bit disappointing. Although the dumplings were large, the dish only came with four, and we quickly finished them, leaving only the broth. Bōl could have included a few more dumplings, and perhaps decreased their size. The broth, although flavorful, monopolized the flavor of the meal such that a flavor not to one’s personal taste could spoil the morsels within. We decided to add chilli oil to mitigate this issue but went a bit overboard, making the dish almost inedible (whoops). We encourage you to add sauces in moderation to avoid this problem. Overall, Bōl is an interesting concept that is still under development. The dishes, while unique and portioned well for the most part, are priced significantly higher than their competition, meaning that the restaurant may be inaccessible for many downtown eaters. That being said, we encourage you to try Bōl for yourself, and to give them feedback about your experience. They welcome your suggestions, and their willingness to listen to feedback should position them well for the future.

Bol, a “fast casual Asian-inspired restaurant,” opened in December 2016 next to Simeon’s.

Ratings: Ambience Customer Service Price Food

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Features

THE HALL MONITOR By Justin Heitzman

What do you think of when you hear the word compassion? “Nothing.” —Jeremy Sauer ’20

“Ms. Craig.” —Shannon Loehr ’19 and Tilden Chao ’19

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“Spreading kindness.” —Diva Shrivastava ’21


Features

What do you think of when you hear the word integrity? “Mr. Trumble.” —Shuah Jang ’18

“JFK.” —Dylan Myler ’20

“It means how you carry yourself and how you see yourself . . . keeping an eye on how you are as a person.” —Tony Kinchen ’20 13


Features

THE HALL MONITOR (cont.)

What do you think of when you hear the word ownership? “Power.” —Matthew Guo ’18

“I think about all the times I’ve messed up in my life (there’s been plenty), and about the times when I’ve taken ownership of those mistakes, which is what makes them experiences from which I can learn.” —Karina Burbank ’18 14

“Being responsible for your own actions.” —Gigi Galanthay ’20


Features

What do you think of when you hear the word tenacity? “When you get kicked down, you’ve got to get back up somehow, and that’s what tenacity is to me.” —Aidan Foley ’20

“If you want to procrastinate, you’re going to need a lot of tenacity.” —Aidan Uckun ’20

“Being tenacious is being hardworking. I think of being determined when I think of the word tenacity.” —Norbu Naftel ’21 15


Features

FROM THE ARCHIVES

By Thea Clarkberg

Excerpts from the Tattler Issues of Yesteryear There are about four people at school who know of a very small, very pink room at the very end of E-building. This room is the deepest one can go into the bowels of IHS. In that room, there are four filing cabinets that contain the annals of IHS Tattler history, going back 125 years. Here follows a selection. Read more online at https://tattlerarchive.wordpress.com/ Note: The current Tattler does not necessarily endorse the opinions published in historical Tattlers.

1

March 1893

MARCH By W.C. Bryant The stormy March is come at last, With wind, and cloud, and changing skies; I hear the rushing of the blast, That through the snowy valley flies Ah, passing few are they who speak, Wild, stormy month! in praise of thee; Yet though they winds are loud and bleak, Thou art a welcome month to me.

2

March 1898

WHAT IT’S COMING TO By W.K. Stanley in Cincinnati Times-Star Two girls stood on a corner, Engaged in a hot debate Upon the war in Cuba, The Maine, and sailors’ fate. The argument waxed warmer, Attracting quite a crowd, Who gathered round to listen To war-talk fierce and loud. But still the girls continued, Their views of war to vent, And for the hated Spaniards The hot and heavy went. A copper interfering, They turned their fire on him, And silenced him with broadsides Of red-hot female vim. A car at last appearing, They boarded it for home, Resolved to take Havana, And execute DeLome. Then send a million women, Who’ll shaky Madrid take, And o’er the heads of Spaniards A million broomsticks break.

The year’s departing beauty hides Of wintry storms the sullen threat; But in thy sternest frown abides A look of kindly promise yet. Though bring’st the hope of those calm skies, And that soft time of sunny showers, When the wide bloom, on earth that lies, Seems of a brighter world than ours. 16

ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE BOOL FLORAL CO., MARCH 1918.


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March 1899

Features

NARCOTICS Tobacco is a poison and narcotic which was unknown to Europeans until Columbus discovered America. . . . The most poisonous ingredient of tobacco is nicotine, a dark liquid with pungent taste. This is very deadly in its effect as five drops placed upon the tongue of a dog have been known to produce death. Besides the fatal nicotine of tobacco there are poisons added while it is being prepared for use and opium is sometimes sprinkled over it to soothe the brain and nerves of the user. . . . The practice of smoking is now one of the greatest curses of the age, and is enslaving its victims by the thousands and leading them to early graves. . . . The ordinary cigarette, although attractive in form, is a great deception. It is made of refuse of tobacco of the cheapest quality and of cigar stubs picked up from the gutters. These are soaked in liquor and then neatly wrapped in white paper which has been previously bleached in a preparation of arsenic to give it a clean appearance. It is now a very common occurrence to see children of tender years smoking, and in many instances they have permanently stunted their bodies and impaired their intellects as a result of this indulgence. The memory is often weakened so that it seems impossible to retain that which has once been learned, and the hand is so unsteady that it is unable to draw a straight line. . . . After a continued use of tobacco, the victim is afflicted with a loss of appetite, great restlessness, inflamed mouth and throat, impaired vision, weakened heart and paralysis of the nerve centers. Hundreds of its users would gladly free themselves from it but find they are bound by shackles they are powerless to break.

March 1899

A TRIP TO CHINATOWN By Kappa Sigma The next great place of interest was the theatre. Here our guide procured tickets for us and we entered by the stage entrance, descended ten feet underground through horrible passages to where the actors lived. A Chinese troupe received board and lodging aside from salary. The quarters they lived in were something terrible . . . [The performance] was very funny. In the first place, no woman ever acts on the Chinese stage, but you couldn’t have told the men taking female parts from females. . . . They never shift the scenes in a Chinese theatre. If an actor is too lazy to go off the stage, he simply turns his back on the audience, then he is supposed to have left it. The highest salary attained is about $16 a week. This is given to those actors who can play a woman’s part best, but if their voice should happen to break even once, the salary drops down half immediately. The audience was of more interest to me than the performance. To see that crowd of Chinese men all together, all with their hats on, and watch the different expressions, was full of interest. There was not a woman in the body of the house, they were all on one side of the gallery, and smoked too, as just the men did. . . . After leaving the theatre we went to an opium den. It was a tiny place like a ship’s cabin lined with bunks. On these were men in all stages of the opium feast, one fast asleep, another just going off, etc., each with his pipe and lamp to heat the opium. The man who kept this den smoked nearly a hundred pipes a day for the benefit of visitors . . . on the receipt of money from our guide he smoked for us . . . More horrible than this sight to all of us was, I think, the morphine eaters. We saw one who was an American, and such a low face I have never seen. He also on receipt of money injected some morphine in his arm, which was all lumps from previous injections. In China they have the superstition that if a blind person is allowed to go around, everyone who comes in contact with him will also be blind, and so they shut these poor unfortunates up in an alley; they are never allowed to come out of their rooms and have keepers to take care of them. We went in one room where a poor blind man sixty-eight years of age had been kept thirty-two years; never been in the air even. Quite the swellest thing we visited was the restaurant. This was, of course, the finest of its kind in Chinatown. Here Gen. Grant once banqueted. A dinner in this place cost $25 for ten people and just the same price for one. It consists of seventy-five courses. and takes eight hours to eat it. The only dish that an American would recognize of this whole dinner would be the duck. The banquet hall was magnificent, finished in ebony decorated with gold. The chairs were worth $75 a piece. We saw a table set for dinner, chopsticks and all, and it certainly looked very tempting. What would correspond to our dessert was the only food on the table; this is the Chinaman’s first course. Of the 30,000 inhabitants in Chinatown only 175 are voters, these being people born on American soil. While there were a great many other places of interest that we visited, it would take too much time to write of them and I think all who read this will agree with me, that they have had enough of Chinatown for a while.

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Weird math::

Interesting Terms and Concepts in Mathematics By Joseph Yoon

1. Ham Sandwich Theorem The Ham Sandwich Theorem states that given n n-dimensional objects, an (n - 1)-dimensional hyperplane1 can be used to bisect all of the objects. This theorem was initially proposed by Hugo Steinhaus and was proved by Stefan Banach in three dimensions. This theorem can be modeled with a ham sandwich, three objects existing in a three-dimensional space, hence its name. In a two-dimensional space, this theorem is also referred to as the Pancake Theorem, in which two objects side by side can be cut in half using only one straight line. So, the next time you share a sandwich with someone, make sure to calculate your cut using this theorem to make it as fair as possible.

Proof:

2. Ugly Duckling Theorem

More Info:

This theorem was proposed by Satosi Watanabe in 1969. It states that classification cannot exist without bias. If a certain amount of objects were to be categorized, one cannot have any ideas of which sorts of categories are normal and which are not. This theorem derives from The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen. In the story, the ugly duckling (baby swan) is equally different to the other ducklings as the mutual distinctions between the ducklings. This is because the observation that some objects are more similar than others is subjective.

1A hyperplane is a subspace with one less dimension than the dimension of its surrounding space. For example, a line is a hyperplane in a two-dimensional space, and a plane is a hyperplane in a three-dimensional space.


3. ‘Egg-laying Wool Milk Sow’ Although not a formal mathematical term, the German phrase “eierlegende Wollmilchsau” can be used to describe something that can do everything or has many positive properties. An “eierlegende Wollmilchsau” is a pig that lays eggs, bears wool, and gives milk. This phrase was first used in a mathematical context by W. Patrick Hooper and Barak Weiss in a paper about translation surfaces, surfaces defined by translations of the sides of a polygon.

4. Hairy Ball Theorem The Hairy Ball Theorem describes the nature of vector fields on topological spheres. This theorem, first proposed by Henri Poincaré and proved by L.E.J. Brouwer, states that in an attempt to lay all of the hair flat on a topological sphere2 (e.g. a ball), there must be at least one cowlick or tuft of hair at one point on the surface. Another way to say this is that a continuous vector field tangent to a sphere must have at least one point where the vector is zero. This is why there is always at least one point on the surface of Earth with no wind. The Hairy Ball Theorem does not apply for tori and two-dimensional shapes, so if you had a hairy donut, you would be able to comb all of its hair flat.

Proof:

2A topological sphere is an object that is homeomorphic to a sphere. For example, a cube is homeomorphic to a sphere as it shares topological qualities. An object such as a mug or a straw is a topological torus, a solid in the shape of a donut.


Features

M E E Tthe STAFF By Aurora Wulff

Jamie Zervos

Aurora Wulff ’19: What is your job description? Jamie Zervos: I’m the kitchen manager for the high school. It means I help write the menu, I order all the food, and I put it away. I also manage the staff, and I do a lot of decision-making on what’s going to be made that day. AW: What is your favorite part of the job? JZ: Watching the kids enjoy eating the food. AW: What is the worst part of the job, or what is your biggest challenge in this job? JZ: When kids won’t try something, it’s a challenge because other people try it and say, “Oh, it’s really good,” but they just won’t try it and give it a chance. I think a challenge sometimes is wanting to make more than what kids are willing to eat or try. Labor sometimes is also a challenge, and sometimes we just get short-handed. You know, lunch comes pretty quick at 10:30 in the morning. AW: Do you have any funny stories about the job? What is the craziest thing that has happened? JZ: I think something that is memorable for me is when the kids come in the kitchen and they’re like, “Wow, you guys cook here?” I guess I feel like that’s a no-brainer because I feel like they should smell food throughout the school because we are always making something, but they’re like, “Wow, you really know how to do those things.” I guess for me I shouldn’t think that way because of having my kids’ friends over. I think cooking is a lost art where parents don’t cook like they used to when I was a kid. Now kids are like, “Wow, that’s not bad, but you made it?” or “Did that come out of a box?” So I think that’s enlightening for me. Or students comment on how big our kitchen is when they actually get a chance to come in here, and they’re like, “Wow, this kitchen’s really big! What do you guys do in there?” AW: What is one thing students could do to make your life easier? JZ: Instead of telling me they don’t like something, it would be great if they said why they didn’t like it, or if they would tell me things they would like to see on the menu that would be reasonable. It’s not going to be steak and lobster, but I’m definitely open to hearing things they want more of. I want to feed them what they want, and I want them to eat. 20

IHS offers a large support system for students, but too often staff members are overlooked. Meet the Staff is a way to get to know staff members who are underrepresented despite what they do for the students at IHS. Below are interviews with Branko Mrdjenovic, a bus driver, and Jamie Zervos, the kitchen manager at IHS.

AW: What are your hobbies outside of work? JZ: I own two restaurants—Simeon’s on the Commons, and I also own the new restaurant called Bol. It’s the Asian influence ramen noodle and dumpling shop right next door to Simeon’s, so I’m often working there. My daughter plays lacrosse in college so I watch all her games online if I’m not visiting her. I also have a son here who is in eleventh grade, and I enjoy watching him play sports and taking him all around town to do activities. AW: Are you involved with IHS outside of work? How else does it affect your life? JZ: I don’t do as much as I want to do. When my daughter was here two years ago, she played sports all year round so I helped out like a parent liaison coordinating some snacks, carpooling, and rides until they got old enough to drive themselves. Currently my son only plays lacrosse. I’d like to more involved, but I just haven’t found where I’m going to be most beneficial. My heart wants me to run the concession stand during sporting events but I haven’t gotten there yet. Additional Comments from Ms. Zervos: I want kids to know that we offer free and reduced lunch applications. I want them to also know that the dynamics of your family could change throughout the school year, and we take those forms at any time. I mean, there could be a death, an injury, a medical condition, a divorce—any reason could cause a child to have to fill those out. I want those children to be comfortable coming in here looking for me. The other thing is we also offer a backpack program. If kids would come and say they are hungry on the weekends, I’d give them this bag of food to help get them through the weekend. It’s maybe not the favorite or the best, but it’s something to get started. I know it can be embarrassing, but if they would tell me how to feed them with minimal invasion, it would be helpful. I want them to know that I want to meet all of their feeding needs, but they’ve got to tell me what they want. Lastly, I’m on the school listserv (jamie.zervos@icsd.k12.ny.us). I love positive, I love negative. I don’t want them to think they can rip me to shreds on the negative, but we’re looking to change anything, so we’re open here. The only other thing I’d say is about the new lunch line. I know that has caused some havoc, but I think we’re moving towards getting more farm-to-table food. So that’s why the salad bar is out there. We are trying to put new things out every day. One new item was fresh beets, and it was amusing when students were like, “What are those things?”


Features

Branko Mrdjenovic

Aurora Wulff ’19: What is your job description? Branko Mrdjenovic: I am a school bus driver. AW: What is your favorite part of the job? BM: Having good kids to drive home, and I have good kids. AW: What is the worst part of the job, and what’s the biggest challenge in this job? BM: Once in a while there is a troublemaker on the bus. And I hate to say it because generally I think that all the kids are good, so the trouble must come from the family. AW: What is one thing students could do to make your life easier? BM: Smile when they come on and leave the bus. AW: Do you have any stories about your job? BM: The best part was I used to have a little kid, and he was nice with a big smile. And one day before Christmas he came to the bus and asked me, “Are you poor? I have some money for you.” He had a couple of pennies and dimes in his hand and that was absolutely the best. And I told that story to his mom later on. AW: What are your hobbies outside of school? BM: Collecting watches and fishing.

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WHAT’S UP WITH H-COURTYARD? AN INTERVIEW WITH MR. TRUMBLE By Thea Clarkberg

Thea Clarkberg ’18: Why is H-Courtyard closed currently? Jason Trumble: Currently, we have a ceiling leak, and some tiles have fallen. That’s happened in the last three days, so our maintainers have been working on that. There’s also been some ice damage. The ice gets dammed and creates problems with drainage. TC: What caused this damage to occur? JT: Each year, when snow melts and we get new snow, it just continues to compound, much like when we have ice in the parking lot. When we get a thaw, it tends to happen. Once we get a leak, there is a potential for the tiles to get soaking wet, and they start coming down, so it’s a safety issue. TC: How long will H-Courtyard be closed? JT: I hope it will open up in the next day or two, as long as we get a good day without any dripping. Once the tiles dry up and we have pretty good assurance the tiles won’t come down anymore, it will be safe. TC: It’s kind of a funny problem to have, I have to admit. JT: Yeah, well, it’s the reality. I equate IHS to an old house. It was built back in 1960; those are probably the original tiles, and they act like sponges anytime you have a leak, so they fill up with water. Once we get the water running the way we need it to, the leak should stop. TC: Many people thought that this closure was punitive. Do you ever close H-Courtyard as a “punishment”? JT: When we get a series of days where there’s just trash all over the place, and the custodians are put in a position where they are cleaning up after us, we close H-Courtyard. We’ve been pretty clear, sitting with people each period to say that we can’t have food in there. We have this beautiful campus where we can eat in Activities, or the cafeteria. We’ve got a few places to eat; we’ve had squirrels and chipmunks in H-Courtyard . . . TC: Squirrels? No way! How do they come in? JT: Probably through the crawl-space underneath H-Courtyard. When we leave food, it attracts animals. The fundamental piece, though, is that we’re not taking care of a privilege that we have. There’s a senior lounge, and if we’re just leaving it to someone else to clean up all the time, we can’t do that. It puts me in a tough spot where everybody gets punished, but we have to take care of our community. Especially as seniors, we have to model for our underclassmen. Note: H-Courtyard has re-opened since after February break. 21


Features

T H E

A N N U A L

Tattler Readership Survey RESPONDENT DEMOGRAPHICS

We asked, you answered.

321

students responded to our survey.

Gender: 53.3% female, 42.1% male, 4.6% other Grade: 34.3% 9th grade, 31.8% 10th grade, 18.7% 11th grade, 15.3% 12th grade Race (students could select multiple): 76.1% white, 17.3% Asian or Pacific Islander, 8.2% black or African American, 5% Hispanic or Latino/a, 1.9% Native American, 4% other Academic Classes: 31.2% Honors, 29.9% mostly AP/Honors, 19.3% Regents, 14.3% mostly Regents/Honors, 5% AP, 0.6% other The survey was emailed to all IHS students.

WHO READS THE TATTLER?

57.6%

is The Tattler’s most popular section. Second is Opinion, and third is Sports.

of respondents

Tattler readers are...

Honors Students 28.8%

Male 37.0%

AP/Honors Students 41.3% AP Students 7.6%

Juniors 27.2%

Sophomores 27.7%

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Other 0.5%

Regents/Honors Students 12.0%

Other 3.2%

Female 59.8%

Regents Students 9.8%

Freshmen 21.7%

Seniors 23.4%

NEWS 65.9%

of Tattler readers read it at school, while 28.6% read it at home.

9.7%

of students’ parents or guardians read The Tattler.

25.1%

of Tattler readers read it as a relaxing way to spend time between classes.


Wh a t y o u h ad t o say: “Needs more memes.”

“More memes.”

“Don’t feel bad, the magazine is still a meh.”

“Stop.”

“Less sports.”

“More info on sports.” “Improve the writer-editor relationship. There is too much behind the doors editing for the articles. Editors should work with writers on editing the articles rather than taking the matters into their own hands and at times distorting the original intents. Also, recruit more photographers.”

“Tell everyone to use the Oxford comma, please.”

“Memes.” “You guys are doing a pretty good job.”

“It’s just a school newspaper, good enough for who it’s for.”

“The Tattler could improve by covering more pressing political and global issues that have a greater impact than smaller local content. While this is not the focus of The Tattler, I feel that it could be shifted to encompass more important events and issues other than those in Ithaca and IHS.”

“It’d be nice to see more controversial articles. While there are some that are critical, I feel like the newspaper is overall a bit one-sided.”

“Harder crosswords.”

“I miss the funny articles from last year.” “I think The Tattler is good.”

THANK YOU FOR YOUR FEEDBACK. WE’RE DISCUSSING YOUR COMMENTS AND TRYING TO IMPROVE!

Features

“The playlists are some of the best stuff in The Tattler.”

“Focus on covering IHS and community events, rather than on world news and issues. I don’t want a 15-yearold’s opinion on why Trump deserves to be impeached this month. It’s not the job of a school newspaper!”

“I’d love to see more in the Arts section about current artists!”

Yes, we have a website.

Visit ihstattler.com to save paper and find more information about our readership survey.

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Features

IMAGE PROVIDED

Justin Timberlake’s Forgettable Super Bowl Halftime Show By J.T. Stone

A

t the end of the second quarter, the Philadelphia Eagles were leading 22-12 in the epic show-off against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, setting the stage for Justin Timberlake’s Pepsi Halftime Show. He was introduced by Late Night Show host Jimmy Fallon, who told viewers around the world to prepare for a great performance. Starting in front of a traditional enclosed concert crowd, Timberlake opened with his hit “Filthy” from his new studio album Man of the Woods. This performance included nothing notable, except for when Timberlake danced his way upstairs to the live audience of thousands, showing off superb twerking skills in the process. Timberlake then paced down the walkway and successfully led the crowd of cheering fans to dance, or rather jump, in sync along with his dancers on stage. Until this point, most fans were still waiting impatiently to see who the star might bring out to perform onstage with him. The second part of the Halftime Show focused much more on bright lighting and color schemes. After singing in front of an ensemble of trumpet players arranged in a triangle formation, Timberlake paid a touching tribute to the late Prince, singing his “I Would Die 4 U” on a white piano, projecting images of the singer in his early career onto a billowing screen above the stage. For additional measure, the entire US Bank Stadium was illuminated by a bright purple light which flooded outside to parts of Minneapolis as well. The next highlight of the performance was “Mirrors,” which Timberlake sang on a glass structure while backup dancers came together all around holding mirrors facing the light to create a beautiful 24

collage of unity. The performance then transitioned into Timberlake’s 2016 catchy hit from Trolls, “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” where the singer danced up the aisles in the stadium to interact with several audience members. The end of this song also marked the end of the Halftime Show. Like always, there was backlash against the performance, but this year, it was much more severe. Viewers criticized J.T.’s Halftime Show for lacking excitement and for not featuring any other guest performers, a practice commonplace in previous Super Bowls. Additionally, many viewers, including myself, had hoped that Timberlake would redeem himself after Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction in 2004. During the controversial Halftime Show in Super Bowl XXXVIII, Timberlake pulled off too much of Jackson’s costume during their dance routine, exposing her bare breast to millions of people while onstage. It would have been respectful to invite Jackson back to the Super Bowl, and his decision to not offer her a second chance was disappointing. During other Halftime Shows in recent memory, Katy Perry entered singing her anthem “Roar” while riding in on a giant robotic tiger, and Lady Gaga jumped off the top of the stadium after belting out “God Bless America.” The root of the problem in this year’s Halftime Show was that Timberlake’s performance simply didn’t have a memorable “wow” moment like in previous years. Although Timberlake is a very talented singer and performer, this performance was quite bland, and is best described as forgettable.


Arts

ARTIVISM and the

Dialogues of Art and Immigration By Chloe Moore

S

ince the 1980’s and 1990’s, Ricardo Dominguez and his now-partner Amy Sara Carroll have been redefining the rules of art, activism, and the discourse regarding immigration with a practice they call “artivism,” a combination of the words “art” and “activism.” Dominguez is an associate professor at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), and Carroll is Assistant Professor of American Culture, Latina/o Studies, and English at the University of Michigan and has authored two poetry collections. Their artivism has primarily taken the form of “electronic civil disobedience,” a term coined by Dominguez in the 1990’s. In an interview, he told me that he calls this term a “burrito term,” meaning that it can be stuffed with “space and time, and filled . . . with contents that do not always match the label.” Electronic civil disobedience has taken many forms for Dominguez and Carroll, and for their three primary collaborators, Brett Stalbaum, Elle Mehrmand, and Misha Cárdenas. The five of them make up the Electronic Disturbance Theater. The principles that Dominguez works by, in his words, are “experimentation in [art] forms and placement, and questioning what art is . . . one assumes art is a thing, so from that we can create art in unexpected places.” Carroll, also present at the interview, told me that “the same is true with poetry and Javascript.” With the collaborators, she is questioning “what is the code and what is the poetry, and how to switch them.” The project that saw the culmination of these questions was the Transborder Immigrant Tool. The Transborder Immigrant Tool was an “applet” created for the open-code system of the Motorola i335 phone. The open code allowed

the group to program, with the help of various NGOs, the position of numerous water caches in the southern Californian desert area known as the “Devil’s Highway.” The Devil’s Highway is a treacherous area used by many migrants crossing the US-Mexico border, and is known for its extreme temperatures. The phones were programmed with the water source locations, and also included 24 poems based on desert survival written by Carroll and recorded in English, Spanish, and other languages spoken in Mexico. The phones, however, could not be distributed, because Dominguez and the rest of the group were put under investigation by UCSD, the FBI, and three Republican senators. The investigations were stemmed from statements that Dominguez gave in a controversial interview with Vice magazine about the project, which was picked up by Congress. The subsequent allegations of cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and misuse of university funds against the group— in addition to commentator Glenn Beck calling them “worse than Iran”—meant that the phones could not be handed out. While Carroll admitted that the project “had not manifested the way [they had] planned,” Dominguez said that “the project became part of the history of the border script of 1994.” The fact that this particular project was not physically successful has not stopped the group from continuing their work. Carroll said that the goal is to “change the aesthetics of the immigration debate.” She described the current debate as a “hyperpolarization of the ‘evil migrant’ and ‘illegal alien,’” and she wants to “humanize the current debate about the humanitarian crisis.” She points out that borders “have contradictory discourse—goods flow freely across, but

human beings are blocked.” In this same illuminating vein, Carroll made it clear that the group “is not writing as a crosser, but as people who have citizenship privilege,” who want to raise awareness on this discourse. Dominguez elaborated more on borders by pointing out how far “inland” the US-Mexico border has moved, to the point where, in order to access the Anza Borrego State Park of California from within the state, one has to cross through a Border Patrol checkpoint. He also said that “globalization equals borderization . . . soon there will be no nations or state lines, but only borders.” The Electronic Disturbance Theater is a brave collaborative of artists working to call attention to the discussion around a very real humanitarian crisis with peaceful electronic disobedience, public art installations in unlikely (non-urban) locations, and writing. Dominguez and Carroll are currently working on a series of plays to tell the story of the developmental aspect of the Transborder Immigrant Tool. Dominguez is a Society for the Humanities Fellow at Cornell, and Carroll is working with him on their current projects as they spend the year here in Ithaca. As a parting note, Dominguez offered some advice to share with all young artists: “Be fearless in working with other artists; find an ‘anarchy 5,’ because five people means you can develop a good dialogue where not everyone agrees, but the presence of the fifth wheel makes the conversation more available to everyone; to think long-term in terms of the arc of your art; and finally, to be slow and be thoughtful.” 25


Features

AZIZ ANSARI

IMAGE FROM THE ATLANTIC

and the

Case for Female Agency By Magdalena Smith

O

n January 14, 2018, Katie Way from Babe.net published a short but contentious article titled “I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life.” Way interviewed a young woman under the pseudonym “Grace,” who recounted this date and accused Aziz Ansari of sexual assault, and Way labelled it as part of the #MeToo movement. The story goes as follows: A young photographer (Grace) met Aziz Ansari at a party in Los Angeles. He became interested in how they both used the same type of film camera, they flirted a bit, and he asked for her phone number. He texted her and they arranged a date in Manhattan. She was “excited for their date” and spent a long time chatting with her friends and deciding what to wear. They went out to an expensive restaurant, where Ansari ordered red wine even though Grace wanted white. 26

Grace felt that Ansari rushed through the meal in order to get her back to his apartment. When they got to Ansari’s apartment, Grace complimented his kitchen countertops, and he then asked her to sit on top of them. While kissing, Grace reported that Ansari repeatedly pulled her towards him and attempted sex; she said that she felt uncomfortable throughout and attempted, unsuccessfully, to voice her objections. Grace said “no” for the first time during the night when Ansari suggested they have penetrative sex in front of a mirror. Ansari immediately stopped and replied, “Oh, of course; it’s only fun if we’re both having fun. How about we just chill, but this time with our clothes on?” They put their clothes back on and watched Seinfeld on Ansari’s couch. Eventually, overcome with the feeling that she had been pressured


for a hookup she didn’t want, Grace left, telling Ansari: “You guys are all the f***ing same,” and cried in the Uber on the ride home. The next day, Ansari texted her, saying, “It was fun meeting you last night.” She responded, “Last night might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me. You ignored clear nonverbal cues; you kept going with advances. You had to have noticed I was uncomfortable.” Ansari responded to the story with a public apology: “In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual. “The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said. “I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.” Some readers saw Ansari as unfairly persecuted, arguing that Grace’s account confused bumbled miscommunication with rape and the gross abuse of power. Aziz Ansari’s actions, they believed, should not be portrayed like those of Harvey Weinstein or Larry Nassar. Headline News anchor Ashleigh Banfield called Way’s article a “nuclear weapon that was wielded upon Ansari’s career.” Banfield defended Ansari, saying the conflation of his allegated behavior with the actions that brought down these other men trivializes what the #MeToo movement was meant to stand for. Others believed it necessary to define Grace’s experience as sexual assault and argued that this story belongs under the umbrella of the #MeToo movement. In “The Necessary Story of Aziz Ansari,” James Hamblin from The Atlantic wrote: “To target only the most egregious ‘monsters’ is to treat only the severe symptoms; the goal is prevention. . . . The behavior of a Harvey Weinstein is simple to condemn. The harder work is ahead, in the more common and less clear-cut moments that leave people feeling somewhere between uncomfortable and trapped.” Large numbers of young women have proclaimed their support for Grace via social media, saying that her experience was similar to demoralizing sexual experiences of their own. Some have also used the Ansari story to argue that men are socialized by our culture to persistently seek sex from women despite cues—both verbal and nonverbal—that these women do not want to have sex with them. In an article from The Atlantic, “The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari,” Caitlin Flanagan wrote: “Depending on how readers were primed to see the ink blot, it can be taken as evidence that the ongoing cultural audit is exactly on track—getting more granular in challenging unhealthy sex-related power dynamics—or that it has gone off the rails, and innocent men are now suffering, and we are collectively on the brink of a sex panic.”

Bari Weiss of The New York Times characterArts ized the exchange like this: “Put in other words: I am angry that you weren’t able to read my mind.” Katie Way said, “[Grace] says she used verbal and nonverbal cues to indicate how uncomfortable and distressed she was. Whether Ansari didn’t notice Grace’s reticence or knowingly ignored, it is impossible for her to say.” She said that Grace claimed “he wouldn’t let her move away from him.” Encoded in this statement—“he wouldn’t let her move away from him”—are, Bari Weiss argued in The Times, “new yet deeply retrograde ideas about what constitutes consent—and what constitutes sexual violence.” Ansari stated in his apology that “by all indications,” what happened was “completely consensual.” In my opinion, based on Katie Way’s original article, Ansari was the only one who acted with any agency. Grace did not verbally communicate that she was uncomfortable with the speed at which things were escalating, just as she did not voice her preference for red wine over white aloud at the restaurant (Weiss commented, “Yes, we are apparently meant to read the nonconsensual wine choice as foreboding”). The moment Grace uttered the word “no,” Ansari stopped—she charges Ansari with the crime of not inquiring her opinion The feminist solution, during his every action, of trusting she instead of criminalizing was capable of agency. It is a problem, many feminists ar- awkward, bumbling, engue, that men such as Ansari often act titled sex, is to redefine aggressively and selfishly (although they may present feminist public perso- antiquated gender roles nas), that men are socialized to pursue and empower women to sex even when women are not fully interested, that men are normalized to al- be louder, bolder, and ways make the first move, and that our more assertive about culture expects women to be accommodating, self-sacrificing, and docile. what they want. The snapshot of our culture shown through Grace’s story epitomizes women’s socialization to place men’s desires over their own. However, the solution cannot be to vilify men for failing to follow women’s “nonverbal cues.” Novelist Margaret Atwood wrote in a piece in The Globe and Mail: “My fundamental position is that women are human beings. Nor do I believe that women are children, incapable of agency or of making moral decisions. If they were, we’re back to the 19th century, and women should not own property, have credit cards, have access to higher education, control their own reproduction or vote. There are powerful groups in North America pushing this agenda, but they are not usually considered feminists.” When women are presumed to have no agency, unable to verbalize their emotions, and exist merely acted upon, they are. Grace’s story exemplifies a culture where a lack of female agency is considered normal. The feminist solution, instead of criminalizing awkward, bumbled, entitled sex, is to redefine antiquated gender roles and empower women to be louder, bolder, and more assertive about what they want. 27


Sports

NFL SEASON

Highlights

By Ewan Todt-Tutchener

With the hype of the Super Bowl behind us and the with the fans of Philadelphia done destroying their city, now is a great time to look back at the 2017 NFL season. This year had it all—incredible catches, defensive stops, spectacular teams meltdowns, and, most importantly, very entertaining touchdown celebrations. So, in no particular order, let’s look at some of the best plays of the 2017 NFL season.

28

IMAGE PROVIDED

During Week Two, Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans ran 49 yards for a touchdown.

Darting Deshaun The Week Two matchup between the Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals was a classic example of a low-scoring grudge match. The Texans offensive line looked to bounce back after letting quarterback Deshaun Watson get sacked ten times in the previous game. Their offensive line still failed miserably, but this time, Watson was prepared. On 3rd and 15, with one minute left in the first half, the offensive line for the Texans collapsed, but Watson did not panic. Running through the middle of the collapsing pocket, Watson avoided two tacklers and, with a key block, was able to run 49 yards for a touchdown. Not many quarterbacks can run, and only a select few can run as fast and as well as Watson did on that play. Watson was unable to continue to demonstrate his versatility as a quarterback due to a season-ending injury he received in a subsequent game, but we should look for more excitement from this quarterback next year.

Field Goal Fiasco Ah, Week Three, or as I like to call it, opposite week for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears. This game featured a great Steelers team failing in almost every aspect of football while the Bears actually looked like a good football team for once. However, that doesn’t mean the Bears played a completely clean game throughout. With five seconds left in the first half, the Steelers attempted a field goal, which was blocked and picked up by Bears player Marcus Cooper. Cooper immediately started running the other way and it looked like the Bears would get another touchdown before the end of the half, but things didn’t work out that way. For some reason, Cooper slowed down and stopped at the 3-yard line, and Vance McDonald of the Steelers knocked the ball out of Cooper’s hands and out of play, preventing a touchdown. What was Cooper thinking? We may never know. But let this be a lesson—don’t celebrate until you’re in the endzone.


Sports positive play. In their Week 13 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, both teams were playing for what little dignity they had left. The 49ers punted the ball to Tarik Cohen, who caught it at the Bears’ 39-yard line. Instead of doing what most players would do in a return situation, Cohen tried something a bit different. Rather than running forward, he ran backwards, toward his own endzone. With the whole stadium wondering why he was running 20 yards away from his endzone, Cohen turned the corner and ran the correct way. Now, however, all the 49ers players were behind him and he somehow managed to score a touchdown. While it will only go down as a 61-yard touchdown return, he unofficially ran over 90 yards in total to get the score.

Clutch Catch

IMAGE PROVIDED

Marshon Lattimore of the New Orleans Saints managed to perform a “buttception” in a game against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Butt Catch If there is a single part of the human body that a player is least likely to catch the ball with, it would be the gluteus maximus. Yet, somehow, Marshon Lattimore of the New Orleans Saints managed it in a Christmas Eve game against the Atlanta Falcons. On 3rd and 10, Atlanta QB Matt Ryan’s pass went off the hands of his intended receiver, Marvin Hall, and landed perfectly on the backside of a fallen Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore managed to keep it there, maintaining possession and giving him credit for the interception. The term “buttception” was conceived on Twitter to describe this play. It may not be as good as Mark Sanchez’s infamous “butt fumble” in 2012, but it does go down as one of the most impressive plays of the year.

Card Controversy Week 15 saw the Dallas Cowboys playing against the Oakland Raiders. On 4th and 1, with only a few minutes left and the game tied up, the Cowboys’ playoff chances were at stake. The Cowboys’ Dak Prescott lined up to receive the snap with an empty backfield. He got the ball and made it almost to the first down line. Cowboy fans will say he made it. Raiders fans will say he didn’t. No one may ever know for certain, but Dak is not the reason this play is on the list. It’s what happened after that which makes this play so controversial. The referees spotted the nose of the football slightly short of the 40-yard line, the yard line the Cowboys needed for a first down. The referees then called for the measurement. NFL rules state that if the ball is at a 90 degree angle with the measurement stick then it is a first down. So how did Head Referee Gene Steratore decide it was a first down? With an index card. He placed the index card against the nose of the football and determined it was perpendicular with the measurement stick and thus a first down. With a giant smirk on his face, Steratore gave the first down to the Cowboys. The announcers were dumbfounded that an index card had been used for the measurement. What made it even more controversial was that the index card was double folded, and, therefore, made the ball seem closer than it actually was to the measurement stick. The Cowboys would go on to kick the game winning field goal and the Raiders were left wondering what had happened. Rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, but paper beats the Raiders.

Tedious Touchdown The Chicago Bears’ special teams make the list again, but this time in a

The Texans were blown out more often than not in every game this season. Their Week 16 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was no exception, but it did give fans arguably the best catch of the last decade. On 1st and Goal, TJ Yates of the Texans lobbed a pass to DeAndre Hopkins in the corner of the end zone. While being covered, Hopkins jumped up and attempted a one hand catch with his right hand. The ball deflected off his right hand, but he then turned around while still in the air and caught the ball with his left hand, somehow managing to get both feet on the ground before falling out of bounds. The catch was masterful. Now only if the Texans played like that more often . . .

Solo Score Wild Card playoff games are called “wild” because they are unpredictable. That statement is also completely false because Wild Card games usually pit a team with a convincing winning record against a team that barely made it into the playoffs. But, man, was this Wild Card game actually wild. With the Kansas City Chiefs dominating the first part of the game, it looked like the Tennessee Titans were out of it. Then against all odds, the Titans started mounting a comeback. The comeback began with an amazing combination of skill and luck from Titans QB Marcus Mariota. On 3rd and Goal, Mariota’s pocket collapsed around him and he was forced to scramble. Running towards the line of scrimmage, he tried to throw the ball to what he thought was an open receiver. That receiver was completely covered, but it didn’t matter because the ball deflected off the hands of a Chiefs defender and right back into the hands of Mariota as he fell into the endzone. The Titans would go on to win the game because Mariota had passed it to himself.

Celebrations With the NFL relaxing its celebration rules for the season, we saw no shortage of great touchdown celebrations. The Detroit Lions performed their version of the Rockettes, the Pittsburgh Steelers played hide-andseek, the Kansas City Chiefs had a potato sack race, and the Philadelphia Eagles played baseball and went bowling. While all of these celebrations were entertaining to watch, the best celebration would probably have to go to the Minnesota Vikings for sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal during their Thanksgiving Day game. They all sat down and pretended to have a nice meal of football turkey, reminding us that Thanksgiving isn’t all about football, just mostly football with some family time. Every NFL season gives fans outstanding and occasionally humorous highlights. Perhaps the during the off-season, teams will develop even more creative touchdown celebrations. And while next season will bring its own highlights, one thing we do know for certain is that index cards will no longer be used to determine first downs. 29


Sports

The Problem with All-Star Games By Isaiah Gutman

In the US, each major sport has its fair share of unique rules. The number, length, and intensity of games differ greatly between the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, but the rules seem to agree on at least one thing—the inclusion of an All-Star game. However, no matter the timing or format of All-Star games, leagues just can’t get people to watch. Each league has taken at least some steps towards fixing the lack of competitiveness plaguing their games, but current formats are not perfect and must be further scrutinized. Looking at the games as a monolith, the leagues must somehow institute fair incentives for competitive play, or else All-Star games will continue to be a bore. In 2002, MLB’s All-Star game hit the first major snag of the twenty-first century. After 11 innings, both teams exhausted their reserves, and fans in Milwaukee threw bottles onto the field in protest. The subsequent year, Commissioner Bud Selig and the teams decided that the All-Star game would finally have some stakes—it would decide home-field advantage for the World Series. Despite this incentive, which was recently removed, the ratings for the game have yet to improve, and the game’s powers-that-be continue to search for answers.

No matter the timing or format of All-Star games, leagues just can’t get people to watch. One facet of MLB’s All-Star weekend that seems to work is the Home Run Derby, which reliably draws viewers as more of a spectacle than the game itself. Similarly, the NBA runs their All-Star Saturday Night events, including the Three-Point Contest, the Slam Dunk Contest, and the Skills Challenge, with more success than the game itself. However, the Dunk Contest has run into similar problems in recent years due to its lack of competition. The history of the Dunk Contest exists as a good reference point nonetheless, from when it was a great draw with legends such as Vince Carter and Michael Jordan participating. Now, with the likes of LeBron James not likely to ever accept an invite, the contest must be reformed just as the games themselves. In the NBA, the All-Star games have run into a different host of problems, with the same lack of interest from the fans. While many fans lament 30

the lack of meaning among regular season games, there is no doubt that tuning into the final quarter of a close game will invariably provide entertainment. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the All-Star game. The average All-Star contest is nothing more than a glorified shootaround, with combined final scores reaching the 300’s. Currently, the only real purpose of the All-Star game is to provide some rest for the majority of non-participating players. This year, the NBA tried to spice up the proceedings by having two captains (the leading vote-getters in each conference) select players from the starters and reserves to form teams. While this did create some buzz initially, most of that excitement was quelled when the NBA announced it had no intention to televise the selection process, and wouldn’t even publicize a draft order. If the NBA is too afraid to take a risk at the expense of possibly hurting some All-Star’s feelings, they will never have a successful All-Star game. These problems, coupled with too many to mention from the NFL and NHL, spell a dark future for All-Star games. In the recent past, no attempt to reform the games by any league has been successful, as ratings continue to show a lack of real improvement. Two possible solutions stick out. Leagues could either stick with the Home Run Derby or Three Point Contest ideas and add a few more side events, replacing the All-Star games entirely, or the games should be canceled entirely. These games have become pointless, and must not continue for the sanity of sports fans everywhere.


Literary

IMAGE FROM UNSPLASH

THE INTANGIBLE CLOCKWORK OF AMBITION By Magdalena Smith

A

mbition dripped like thick molasses through the clear, crystal air, practically palpable to the palate and tangible to the touch. Every student inhabiting the fastidiously constructed, architecturally flawless lecture hall was a pupil of Ambition, and had sculpted themselves with Ambition’s aid to earn a seat in the grand hall and to construct their identities. Ambition wafted ever closer yet ever more elusive. Pacing through the hall, extending her students’ hands perpendicular to the domed ceiling when posed a question, Ambition lingered upon the shoulders of her pupils and peered into their pasts, presents, and futures. Ambition paced the pathways between aisles, invisible yet felt by all. Ambition paused at the seat of one of her pupils as the student scribbled incessantly, aiming to emulate the edicts of economic scholars who existed now in the ether, evasive and ethereal.

The summer-scented breeze carried Ambition’s tacit voice to the pen of one writer. This voice traveled through the writer’s marble arm into the grey clockwork of her mind, infusing her with newfound confidence. Golden, silver, and bronze wheels turned in rapid succession, activating new mental chambers, illuminating unentered rooms, connecting bifurcated ideas. Ambition’s clockwork procession spiraled, seared, and journeyed down the student’s arm to the ballpoint pen blazing luminescent between her fingers. A vessel of argumentation, the pen shivered along its page, seemingly animate, exploring new visions of society. The inky aquatic blue of Ambition’s blood wafted from the page, smelling of tradition, innovation, ancient wisdom, and radically new conceptions, each aligned in the pages of the lecture hall.

The inky aquatic blue of Ambition’s blood wafted from the page. 31


Literary

FAITH

By Zachary Foley

Faith fills the room.

The faithful followers gather to worship. Rich colors combine to create an alternate world, as soft sunlight enters through the stained glass. The warm brown of the momentarily empty wooden pews reflects some of the light. A common interest, a common goal, the creation of another world. Elderly friends casually chatter as the room begins to fill. The music plays, creating an otherworldly ambiance. The building becomes a place of peace, easing any external unease. For these few hours on the day of rest, hope is renewed. Old, young, daughter, son—in this place they all act as one. Faith unites them as it has their forefathers. What is happening outside is of no concern. For now, everyone is focused on the optimism inside this building. Almost as soon as it starts, it ends. A feeling of new hope fills the crowd as they exit. This new hope is faith.

IMAGE FROM UNSPLASH

32


Literary

IMAGE FROM UNSPLASH

11/9

By Magdalena Smith

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injutice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

—​Elie Wiesel

T

he fluorescent light of a phone screen pierces the dark room for three, four, five seconds before fading. I glimpse the ceiling I have been watching blankly for the past two hours, lying on my back in our bed, flitting in and out of uneasy sleep. The phone’s light reminds me of hospital lights, prison lights, torture chambers. Unyielding and dehumanizing. Your arms tighten around me. I wonder if you’ve slept at all or been rapt with apprehension ever since we got into bed, since we have made a silent social contract not to find out until it’s over. I feel you trembling against me despite the warm temperature of our room. This bed is now serving as a torture device, a waiting and not knowing that constitutes agony, the type of pain that addicts the mind with its game-show anxiety. We decided together to exempt ourselves from the election coverage, the ceaseless barrage of sensationalized reporting on matters of life and death for the underrepresented, the disenfranchised, people battling to decolonize themselves from legacies of oppression. News coverage blurred into a sea of white faces, repeating the same information, greedily prolonging each element of the spectacle in a fight for ratings. I don’t want to look; I don’t want to know. Let me stay in the old world for a little longer. Don’t rip me from my exquisite torment. Ignorance is bliss when we are only bystanders. I find your hand and hold it, seeking reassurance from my own fear of learning the verdict. You reach out with one hand and turn on the bedside lamp. I look at you and see my racing thoughts reflected in your eyes. I ruffle your hair and try to

smile, asking myself if the answer will destroy our right to marriage and allow my friends and loved ones to be fired, invalidated, and stripped of our rights. I don’t know if people like us will be sent to conversion camps for loving who we love, for being brave enough to live as who we are. Will you, my love, be forced to use the wrong bathroom for the next four years, living every minute in fear of state-endorsed violence, humiliation, invalidation, assault? What will happen to the hormones that have lifted you out of depression, dysphoria, and suicidal thoughts? Will we go back to living in shame and silence, as abominations? Which world will the two of us in this room enter when we look at that glowing phone screen? “It’s going to be fine,” I hear you saying from very far away. “Just think: this could be the day we enter a country in which a woman can be president, where human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.” Despite these words I can feel your hand getting clammier and colder within mine. “I love you,” I say. It isn’t enough, but it’s what I can say without choking on my rage tears. “I’ll fight for you and support you in every way I can.” You laugh shakily, breaking our eye contact. I lean in closer to you, wishing to transform my body and its cisgenderism into armor; perhaps it can become an iron breastplate that can replace your daily indignity of needing to wear a binder. “You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies,” you whisper softly to me, quoting Maya Angelou. “You may tread me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise,” I whisper back. The screen lights up again. This time we will read its message. 33


Penultimate

IT’S ALMOST SPRINGTIME! By Sophie Wray

It's Almost Springtime!!! 1

3

5

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8

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12

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Across 1. March 20th is the first day of this season 3. icky brown substance caused by all the rain and sludge

Down 2. A tiny little pool of water, the most fun to jump 11 in 4. Everyone! Remember to grab an ______ before leaving the house. In spring, you never know when it will come in handy. 5. Type of flower (usually purple or white) that pops up out of the ground when springtime is right around the corner 6. March 17, St. ______ Day 7. Another type of perennial springtime flower. Lots of the time they’re yellow Down 9. Spring ______, fall back 2. a tiny little pool of water, the most fun to jump in 11. When these animals start chirping you know 4. everyone! Remember to grab an _____ before leaving the house, in spring you never know when it's gonna startit’s about to be spring

8. big tall flowy form of water that freezes in winter and thaws in spring

raining and when this will come in handy

10. sitting in a field searching for four leaf _____, most likely not gonna find any

5. type of flower (usually purple or white) that pops up out of the ground when springtime is right around the corner

SURREALIO

11. now that there's no ice on the ground you can cycle through town on this without fear of slippin' n dyin'

By Ethan Carlson

6. March 17th, St. _____ day 7. another type of springtime perennial flower, lots of the time they're yellow

12. once _____ is over there will be no more hat hair or freezing fingers

9. spring _____, fall back

13. when it's 50 _____ outside and you feel like wearing shorts and sandals

11. when these animals start chirping you know it's boutta be spring

34

Across 1. March 20 is the first day of this season 3. Icky brown substance caused by all the rain and sludge 8. Big, tall, flowy form of water that freezes in winter and thaws in spring 10. Sitting in a field searching for a four-leaf ______; most likely not going to find any 11. Now that there’s no ice on the ground, you can cycle through town on this without fear of slippin’ and dyin’ 12. Once ______ is over, there will be no more hat hair or freezing fingers 13. When it’s 50 ______ outside and you feel like wearing shorts and sandals


LATE WINTER

Penultimate

By Gus Kuckes

TOP LEFT: “A QUIET PLACE” BOTTOM LEFT: “CABIN FEVER” RIGHT: “DAOIST DAYDREAMS”

SU D OK U 1

2

2 7 6

9 7

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1

8

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3

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1

2 7

5 2

9 4 4

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1

8 3 7

FEBRUARY SOLUTION

9

6 3 8 5

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The Signs and Their Feelings of Desperation in Anticipation of Spring’s Arrival By Sophie Wray

Pisces (Feb 19 - Mar 20)

Cancer (Jun 21 - Jul 22)

Aries (Mar 21 - Apr 19)

Leo (Jul 23 - Aug 22)

Wishing you were swimming in the lake, but not really digging the whole “Polar Plunge” idea. Being absolutely crushed when Punxsutawney Phil says six more weeks of winter.

Taurus (Apr 20 - May 20)

Feeling strangely sad to see the snow go, but at the same time feeling incredibly excited.

Gemini (May 21 - Jun 20)

Being super-duper not okay with the slush that the snow leaves behind at the start of spring, only adding to the gross muddy situation.

Wanting nothing more than to wear a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and some flip flops, and to feel the actual sun on your skin. Staring at all of your winter clothes and starting to hate them all and then staring at all of your spring and summer clothes and wishing you could be wearing those instead.

Virgo (Aug 23 - Sep 22)

The Coolness Spectrum COOL

Being super annoyed when one day it’s 55 degrees out and the next it’s 30. It’s like fall all over again; you don’t even know how to dress for the weather.

Teens advocating for gun control Springtime is soon Shamrock Shakes March Madness Snowstorms/snow days in March Ithaca’s unpredictable weather Spring break being so early this year March 10th SAT

Libra (Sep 23 - Oct 22)

Getting really sick of always wearing socks and boots when all you really want to do is let your toes breathe!

Scorpio (Oct 23 - Nov 21)

Feeling extremely uncomfortable in 50 degree weather, because it’s a little too hot to wear a coat but a li’l too cold to not wear one. :/

Sagittarius (Nov 22 - Dec 21)

Becoming very very antsy because you can just feel that spring is close, but it’s still not here yet.

Arming teachers with concealed weapons

Capricorn (Dec 22 - Jan 19)

Reminiscing on the days when you could sit outside in the sunshine during your free periods and wishing for spring to come soon so you can do that again!

Aquarius (Jan 20 - Feb 18)

Not minding all of the rain during the springtime, because that means that summer and warmth are soon to come!

UNCOOL

March 2018 final  
March 2018 final  
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