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You Should See A Show At

HANCHER BY ZOE SCOTT

From dancing pastries to world class Irish folk musicians, there’s something for everyone at Hancher Auditorium. Hancher Auditorium, one of the University of Iowa’s newest buildings, built in 2016, is a magnificent place to go see a production. Everything they host is off the beaten path. Whether you know what to expect or not, I strongly suggest picking up some tickets and spending an evening at Hancher. The University of Iowa attracts all kinds of performers. Hancher’s schedule is diverse, unique, and has something for everybody. No matter what you usually enjoy, going to Hancher is a great opportunity to see something new and experience something amazing. Recently, I went to see the Chieftains, a world-renowned Irish folk band. I didn’t know what to expect but was blown away by how much I enjoyed their performance. Hancher’s performances have a wide range of costs, so many shows are very affordable. Some performances, such as the upcoming show by Alvin Ailey, which is around $75, are more expensive than others. Another upcoming show, “Beautiful,” the Carol King Musical, has tickets that cost up to $90. However, some shows are as little as $10. The price of tickets mostly depends on the show, but there’s an option for every budget.

You can also go grab a coffee at the Stanley Café located inside Hancher. It is known for its fantastic appetizers and drinks. Hancher Showcase, Hancher’s gift shop, features local artists and their unique creations. If you’re looking for a thoughtful gift, Hancher Showcase is the place to go.

members. For musicians, in particular, there will sometimes be a break in performance for local groups to play. This program is a great way for locals to experience playing alongside professionals, and get their name out there. Hancher is an architectural work of art. Even if it doesn’t work with your schedule to go to a show, the building is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hancher has a lot of stunning artwork, as well as a balcony that looks out over the Iowa River.

Many performances incorporate community

$175 MILLION 4

OPINION MAR 23, 2020

Hancher also hosts an annual outdoor concert that features food and picnics on their grand front lawn. This event is free for all community members. It’s a fun event to spend time with friends and family, chat, eat delicious food, and enjoy great music. The Hancher Guild Youth Art Show gives local elementary students a chance for their artwork to be shown. This exhibit is displayed all around the building from Feb. 20 to March 28. It is very interesting to see a wide variety of beautiful artwork. At Hancher, every seat is a good seat. Wherever you sit in the auditorium, there is a good view of the stage. The sound system reaches every seat, so you’ll be able to hear well, too.

BY THE NUMBERS Is how much it cost to build Hancher Auditorium.

Hancher has a tradition of community outreach programs. The uniforms that Hancher’s student ushers wear were designed through a partnership between students at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. Hancher also reached out to inmates at Mitchellville prison, who sewed the uniforms. Both of the each programs enrich Iowa City’s culture and help our citizens connect.

8398

People attended Joffrey Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker”, which concluded 2016, Hancher’s first year of performances

All of the shows I have seen at Hancher exceeded my expectations, and I found that going to a variety of productions has opened my eyes to many forms of great artwork and talent from around the world.

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Seats are located in Hencher Auditorium.


“Know My Name”: An Exposé After being raped on Stanford’s campus, writer Chanel Miller shows the thought process behind going to trial and how this affected her in this explorative memoir. BY MELISSA UC

A

s a woman being eased into the relms of society I have both expirenced and heard about other people’s experiences when it comes to sexual harassment and assault. It could be a remark from a classmate, vulgar jokes, or a comment on an Instagram post or story. Reports of people in esteemed positions sexually assaulting women are more and more common thanks to movements like #MeToo and less stigma surrounding reporting sexual assault. “Know My Name: A Memoir” by Chanel Miller shows the behind the scenes of a young woman who decided to take her experience to court. Rape culture is a huge problem in the United States and this book reaffirms a lot of women’s concerns with coming forward about their sexual assult. Miller illustrates the aftermath of Chanel Miller being raped by Stanford student Brock Turner. In one instance Miller describes the reporting on her case. In a local newspaper, when Miller’s rape was reported on (first refered to as Emily Doe) the publication included the perpetrators swim time, this was a justification of Turner’s actions and put out onto the media that because he was a good athlete it was okay. By releasing this book Miller not only showed how she stood up for herself but also how she stood up for all women by publishing a book that analyzes how the American justice system is prejudiced against the victim. While reading this book I felt like someone else had known how it feels to be catcalled and objectified; talking to a friend about something that someone else at your school says about you is

really hard and even though Miller did not know a lot of the people that would call to her, it created a deep relationship with the reader. Because Chanel Miller was unconscious during the incident, Brock Turner and his defense team re-wrote the entire narrative and painted Chanel Miller as careless, promiscuous, and consenting. His defense called friends from high school and parents depicted him to be an olympic bound swimmer that wouldn’t hurt a fly. I would recommend this book for people of all ages, genders, and positions in the world as long as they are emotionally mature enough as some details can be upsetting at times. It

started to get the judge ousted from his position. She created a wonderful forum for women to voice their own concerns about gender based issues. Miller has a degree in literature and this can be seen throughout her writing. She portrays vivid imagery while also concisely describing her emotions in this process. Within this

COMPILED BY MELISSA UC

BY THE NUMBERS is the number of people who signed a petition of judge Persky to be ousted

100,000+

368

3

is the number of pages in Know My Name: A Memior

is the number of months Brock Turner ended up serving

is becoming increasingly important that we hear what kind of impact that these cases can have on people and others around them. “Know My Name: A Memoir” does not hold back in showing the most grueling parts of this journey for Miller but also does not hold back in how unfair America still is for women. For example, in this case, Judge Persky only ended up sentencing Turner to six months in jail, this sparked outrage and a petition was

M I LLE R NOT ON LY SHOWE D HOW SH E STOOD U P FOR H E RSE LF BUT ALSO HOW SH E STOOD U P

FOR ALL WOM E N BY PU BLISH I NG A BOOK THAT ANALYZES HOW TH E AM E R ICAN J USTICE SYSTE M IS PR EJ U DICE D AGAI NST TH E VICTI M .

- M E LI SSA UC

however, the only criticism I have for this book. While the amount of detail in some places was placed well to help convey to the reader just how wrong this was, sometimes the detail seemed unnecessary, almost repetitive. In other places it helped to understand motivations for the defendant from his family dynamic, her appreciation for those around her, and how in every aspect; victim shaming is wrong and ignorant. REVIEW MARCH 23, 2020

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SLEEP OR SCHOOL

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Rosemary Timmer-Hackert ’23 explores why many high school students aren’t getting enough sleep, and what we can do about it.

Getting enough sleep is essential for everyone, but especially for students. The symptoms that come with sleep deprivation, difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness, are not exactly helpful when you’re trying to ace an exam. Everyone knows that they’re supposed to get at least eight hours a night, but many studies show that for teenagers this number is actually closer to nine. Knowing this, you can imagine my surprise when upon complaining about my seven and a half hours of sleep to my friends, I was told that I was lucky to get even that much. My friends seem to get about seven hours of sleep a night, a whole two hours under the recommended nine hours teenagers are supposed to receive. Why aren’t we getting enough sleep? There are 24 hours in a day. We can start by subtracting eight hours for school and the commute to and from it, and we are left with 16 hours. This seems like plenty of free time. Next let’s take away the hour it takes for us to go through our morning routines. Now, we are left with

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MARCH 23, 2020

“ HOW DO TH ESE 12 HOU RS OF POTE NTIAL SLE E P TU R N I NTO SEVE N HOU RS OF ACTUAL SLE E P? ” - ROSE MA RY TI M M E R- HACKE RT ‘23

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By Rosemary Timmer-Hackert

OPINION

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15 hours. Another hour disappears when you factor in the school sports or clubs we participate in, and you can’t forget about the hour and half of homework (30 minutes of math, 30 minutes of notes for social studies, and 30 minutes of miscellaneous assignments from other classes). We are now down to twelve and half hours, twelve once you subtract dinner. This means, theoretically we should be getting plenty of sleep, so how do these twelve hours of potential sleep turn into seven hours of actual sleep? My first theory is procrastination, something that I seem to be an expert on as I am writing this at 9:00 the night before it’s due. With the temptation of our phones always within arms reach, it is easy for our homework to be postponed for an hour or two as we fall down a random YouTube rabbit hole. We’ve all been there. You reach for your phone for a quick break, or sometimes right before you even start for what you assume will be a five minute relaxation session. Instead you wind up spending 30 minutes doing

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who knows what, and feeling guilty about it the entire time. Procrastination is a terrible habit that too many teens indulge in, but not even I, the self-dubbed queen of procrastination, am capable of wasting five hours avoiding homework. I’d say that procrastination robs most teens of an hour a day. Which leaves our total of time left over to be eleven hours. So far my calculations have only included the essential stuff and time spent procrastinating. What they haven’t included is the hour or so teens need to relax. While you could argue that this is the procrastination time period, procrastinating is not relaxing. Trust me, I would know. It is impossible to relax while you’re experiencing the guilt and stress that come along with putting off work. People can relax in different ways, through hobbies, hanging out with friends, or just perusing the internet, but it is important that everyone has time to let go of their work and worries, which brings our total down to ten hours. Ten hours may seem like plenty of time, but it only leaves one hour of leeway if a teen wants to get the recommended nine hours of sleep. I generalized the amount of time spent on extra curriculars to one hour a day in my calculations, but for many teens including myself this number can be much higher. There are some days of the week where I spend four hours in the dance studio after school, and track meets can last for a ridiculously long amount of time. Anyone who plays an instrument has to spend extra hours practicing, and as any student knows time spent on homework and studying for tests varies wildly from night to night. Teachers tend to keep their assignments under thirty minutes, but I’ve had a few nights where I’ve had assignments in six out of seven classes, which results in three hours worth of homework. A poll of the student body here at West showed that most students believe that homework is the number one reason why they don’t get enough sleep. Many of them feel like they are forced to choose between doing well in school or getting a full night of sleep, which is outrageous. As a freshman I should have a relatively light load, but even I have had nights where I’ve been

forced to stay up to one in the morning doing homework. Certainly a part of this is our tendency to procrastinate, but it can’t all be explained away by procrastination. I want to be clear when I say that I don’t think we should reduce the amount of homework given. I do think, though, that everyone needs to reduce their expectations, especially colleges. Colleges expect students to be involved in their schools, which requires a lot of extracurriculars. They expect you to get good grades, which requires a lot of time spent studying and doing homework. You are supposed to volunteer in your community and take up leadership positions, so there’s more extracurriculars. And like it wasn’t enough already, you’re expected to have a rigorous academic course load, which means, you guessed it, more homework. It’s no wonder so many teens feel like they have to sacrifice their sleep for a good education. As you can see teenagers run a pretty full schedule that often leaves them without room to fit in those nine hours of sleep that they need. But will they even

“ MANY TE E N S FE E L LI KE TH EY HAVE TO SACR I FICE SLE E P FOR A GOOD E DUCATION ” - ROSE MA RY TI M M E R- HACKE RT ‘23

use all nine hours on those rare nights they can afford it? I speak from experience when I say that the answer is no. Our bodies are working against us in this case. Our internal clocks are changing, which causes us to naturally lean towards staying up later and waking up later. Unfortunately, due to school, the waking up later part isn’t possible. Besides, sleeping is like a habit. People tend to fall asleep at the same time every night. Even when I get the chance to sleep at ten or eleven, I stay up till twelve. Mostly just because twelve is when I’m used to going to bed. Our constantly changing schedules makes it impossible to get to bed at a reasonable time every night, which is something we desperately need to do. I’m beginning to suspect that part of our reputation as moody and irritable comes from the majority of us not getting enough sleep. By now I hope to have convinced you that the universe is conspiring to create a bunch of sleep-deprived, zombie teenagers. The next question is, how can we prevent this? I have two suggestions. The first one is to institute a screen time limit on your phone that kicks you off when you try to use your phone past your bedtime. This has really helped me change my bedtime from 1:00 a.m. to 12:00 am, and I am so thankful to Apple for putting in the downtime feature. (For all you Android users reading this, Digital Wellbeing is the Android equivalent to downtime). Another technology tip is to turn on night shift on Apple, or night mode on Android, to reduce the amount of blue light your phone gives off at night. This is helpful because blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that tells your body to go to sleep, and thus decreases the quantity and quality of your sleep. The second way you can get more sleep is to involve your parents. My mother was extremely surprised when she learned how late I stayed up at night, and I’m guessing many of your parents will be too if you tell them. Parents have the unique ability to make you feel guilty about staying up late or procrastinating homework. They will nag you about both of these things, which will, of course, be extremely annoying. But it’s all worth it for the extra hour or two of sleep you will get.

COMPILED BY ROSEMARY TMERR-HACKERT

BY THE NUMBERS

2.25 6.5

average hours of extra curriculars a West High student attends a day.

average hours a student at West High sleeps a night (75 responses).

88%

of students believe they need more sleep.

OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020

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Out of the Locker room

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MARCH 23, 2020


I

owa City, the “liberal bubble” of Iowa and West is at its center. With Iowa City, scoring a 100/100 on the Municipal Equality Index. It would seem that the people at West are really accepting when it comes to minorities and the rights of others, but within the little cracks and corners of this school, there is still discrimination and degradation. The murmurs and comments that lie in the locker room walls pose challenges for LGBTQ+ athletes. The words “no homo” are common among random straight guy’s, but the actions and words that follow cut deeper than a knife. The locker room, a place meant solely for getting ready, becomes a threatening environment. Hearing the words “no homo” or “that’s gay” hurt. It makes it seem like society doesn’t want to accept you. It’s almost like you lose a part of yourself when phrases like these are said. Pieces of yourself are lost when everyone else in the locker room makes you out to be the bad guy, and all for valida-

tion of being straight. These things are never said to your face but the locker room walls are not soundproof. Never have I ever felt more embarrassed to be in the LGBTQ+ minority group than when hearing things like “no homo man I’m just changing” or “no looking guys I’m taking a shower cus that’s gay you know” from across the locker room. The words become hurtful as false accusations rise for things that you would have never even thought about doing. I was so shocked that people would actually say things such as these. Now I feel that I have to leave the locker room as fast as possible after hearing these things. The ways these phrases are thrown around with no care truly affect athletes and others who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. These hurtful words are told off as “jokes”— I always thought jokes were supposed to be funny. These words remain with me and others throughout practice and can’t be shrugged off. They reside under your skin throughout the days that follow

At a glance, during games, matches and meets it seems that all the players work well together and are interconnected. But you don’t see their piercing looks of judgment of the field and in the locker room. I feel their eyes on me, waiting for me to make a wrong move. I feel I have to prove myself because of my sexuality. Every rep has to be spot on so they cannot find a flaw, and it all is because of the gender that I am at-

focus on the good. So instead of focusing on a comment that was made in the locker room, I focus on the excitement I have to go out and practice my passion. It can be hard to get past the comments but as you build your mental arsenal it gets easier. Another thing that makes it easier is knowing that if you care about others and respect them it will come back around. Respect is hard to get from some people and those

“ I HAVE TO PROVE MYSE LF BECAUSE OF MY SEXUALITY ” -CLAYTON B. ‘22 tracted to. Even if a person is not homophobic, the use of these phrases discriminates against LGBTQ+ minorities. With all the comments and hurtful words that are said it gets hard to see past them sometimes. As your mind is your greatest weapon, I have found that it takes a lot of mental strength to get past all of it. I handle this by trying to look past the bad and

people tend to be homophobic, sexist, racist, and xenophobic.

OPINION MARCH 23,2020

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Journalism in the media

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OPINION

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Why is the world turning on Journalists? BY: CAMILLE GRETTER

A

journalist’s job is to provide information for the public to see. Whether it’s about the coronavirus or the Super Bowl, there’s a news source that has it covered. In fact, according to a study made by Statista in 2018, there are 1,279 daily newspapers in the U.S. Journalists as a whole are very much under-appreciated. I mean, if we weren’t here, who would do the job? It’s a difficult thing to do, especially considering the amount of hate that a writer can receive. Yet, people still find ways to attack reporters. Granted, sometimes people aren’t in the wrong when they get frustrated with a newspaper article and decide to retaliate. However, this does not give anyone the right to give a bad rep to journalists, especially one that isn’t deserved. Many Iowans, especially ones that live near the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, are familiar with Carson King. A simple sign that pleaded for money to buy beer turned into an almost $3 million donation to the Stead Family Children’s Hospital located in Iowa City. This event was very memorable, and certainly a very heartwarming one as well. That is, until then-employed Des Moines Register reporter, Aaron Calvin, uncovered some racy tweets from King during his teenage years. I cannot even begin to count how many celebrities have had controversial Twitter posts. Even the current president, Donald Trump, has many. However, they were still offensive tweets, ones that King has since then deleted. For a while, King seemed like the bad guy in that situation. Until his faithful supporters dove deep and found that Aaron Calvin also had his fair share of tweets that came from his adolescent years. Obviously, citizens of America, especially Iowa, are going to lash out at this reporter. Which could also be seen as something he deserved. You know what they say “don’t throw rocks if you live in a glass house”. Calvin threw the rock, and he suffered the consequences, including online hate and dismissal from his job. There are parts of his decisions that I don’t agree with, and parts I do. Calvin wrote an article for the Columbia Journalism Review in November, explaining his

side. He mentioned that an editor at the Des Moines Register actually requested he do a background check, and then asked him to further investigate by having King comment on his racist tweets. Calvin was hypocritical in the sense that he was scrutinizing King for controversial tweets that Calvin also had, but Calvin was simply doing what he was instructed to do. Another time journalists have been bashed, and this time for just exercising their rights, was in November of 2019 when college students studying at the Northwestern Medill School of Journalism covered a speech led by Jeff Sessions. Some students from Northwestern were protesting his beliefs, and a student journalist for the school’s newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, was simply covering the event. At first glance, the article is normal. At second glance, I realized the article was not only normal, but actually written very well. The only “problem” was the photos. What was the problem with the photos? Apparently, it is not right for a journalist to photograph a public protest. Any professional journalist, and even young journalists would look at this and laugh. By law, it is legal for a reporter to cover a public event. I get it if the protestors were maybe embarrassed that they were being displayed in that way. However, they don't really get a choice. It was a public event, therefore it’s allowed to be publicly reported on.

“ BY LAW, IT IS LEGAL FOR A R EPORTER TO COVER A PU BLIC EVENT.”

tion: What are we doing wrong? Do people not want event coverage anymore? Instead, should we start relying completely on false information being presented on social media? Is there a limit to what we should be allowed to cover? The last question is one I’ve been asking since before I started writing. No one is truly satisfied with an article. Ever. There will always be at least one person that’s uncomfortable, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A good writer knows how to make something debatable, while also being able to support their claim. People have been learning that since middle school. However, if something is even the slightest bit too debatable, it becomes controversial. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is allowed to have their own point of view. The thing that turns into something that is considered unfair to journalists is when people start attacking them for just doing their job. Journalists have a very important role in America. Getting everything right, and making sure the facts are accurate is a long process. The publicity that writers get is mostly negative, and is turning people against them. It’s not fair, and it needs to change. So next time you read an article you don’t agree with, steer away from Twitter and other social media. Most publications allow readers to submit “letters to the editor” where you can express your concerns without causing a social media riot. Or, if you’re able to, join a newspaper publication and try to make a change yourself.

-CAMILLE GRETTER ‘23 The Daily Northwestern, along with reporter Eva Herscowitz, received lots of angry feedback. Later, editors for the newspaper published a formal apology. The public obviously has a problem with journalists. So that brings me to my ques-

OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020

11


Drawing The Line By Sachiko Goto


We need to talk about the emotional toll it takes on a human being to be helping others cope with depression and suicidal thoughts. *the gender-neutral pseudonym Skyler and pronouns they, them, theirs are used to protect the identity of the person mentioned in this piece. I am one of the many survivors of depression and suicidal thoughts. It is one of my strongest beliefs that if a person is depressed or suicidal, they deserve to get all the help they need. After all, every human needs help at some point, and no one deserves to die because their life sucks at the moment, right? But we often forget what it is like to be the one giving help to a depressed or suicidal person. While it is a great thing to be giving help to those who really need it, we have to understand that helping others can sometimes cause ourselves unnecessary pain. According to the American Psychological Association, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and suicide rates have been increasing in the country since 1999. Many resources, including anonymous chatrooms and national hotlines, have been created to help those in need in the wake of these alarming statistics. Thankfully, many of those resources offer help and advice that is life-saving for many. But there is one piece of advice that I have seen often that hasn’t been talked about enough: if you are depressed or suicidal, talk to a friend or a trusted person. This advice is great when taken in the right way. I opened up to a friend about being suicidal, and I will never be able to thank her enough for being one of the reasons why I am still alive today. But it also becomes a dangerous piece of advice when someone uses it as an excuse to not seek professional help. This scenario is not talked about enough, but needs to be a part of the ongoing conversation on suicide. I first found out that a person I knew, Skyler, was suicidal over text. Skyler started making alarming comments about wanting to disappear or wishing they weren’t alive. When I asked what was going on, they told me they were suicidal, and had recently been thinking about ways to kill themself. My initial reaction was “Wait, what?? No. No way.” But that feeling quickly turned into “I need to help them right now.” After all, I could understand the pain they were going through. I couldn’t forgive myself if I let them suffer when I knew I could help. Once I knew that Skyler was suicidal, I started texting them for hours and hours every day, checking if they were okay, see-

ing if they were still alive, etc. Soon enough, they started to text me like their life depended on it. All of the texting made me feel like it was my responsibility to look after Skyler, and that their life was in my hands. I didn’t talk to a counselor because they said that it would make things worse, which is the one thing that I feared the most. I found myself skipping homework and even extracurriculars to check if they were still alive. Within a few weeks of doing this, my mind started going numb. I had trouble feeling any positive emotions, and I felt tired all the time even though I didn’t do much. Headaches soon became normal for me. I had to put on a fake smile to even pretend that I was feeling something other than “I’m not worth anything.” Do these symptoms sound familiar? They are the symptoms of depression. I was confused at first. I mean, it doesn’t make sense for me to be depressed when I’m helping someone. Isn’t helping someone supposed to be good? The answer to that question is both yes and no. Helping someone is the morally right thing to do, and it can be life-saving. But long-term exposure to people who are suffering or traumatized can cause the caregiver to suffer as well. This is called compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue happens when a person spends so much time around traumatized or suffering people that they themselves become traumatized. Because you spend time caring for another human being, your brain becomes tired and starts to lose its ability to care about anything. Symptoms include sleep disturbance, decrease in cognitive activities, PTSD, or in my case, depression. It is a common mental health condition among nurses and oncologists, but can happen to teenagers who are helping those around them cope with tough situations. I had to walk away from Skyler in order to save myself from compassion fatigue. I realized that me suffering to try to give help I couldn’t give wasn’t going to make someone else’s problems better. That is why I eventually went to talk to the counselor about the situation, a month later than I should’ve. I opened up about everything, from how it started, who is doing this to me, the way I felt responsible for their life,

and everything in between. It felt liberating. To this day, I am still traumatized from the experience. Every time I see Skyler in the hallway, I feel uneasy, and sometimes even dizzy. I am no longer able to look at them in the eyes without feeling like I am going to throw up. But I do not regret talking to the counselor. I do not regret making the decision to walk away. Because I made that decision, I was able to seek help for myself and finally start the process of recovering

WE M UST R E M E M BE R THAT EVE RYBODY, I NCLU DI NG OU RSE LVES, HAS A LI M IT TO HOW M UCH TH EY CAN TAKE .” -SACH I KO GOTO ‘23

from the trauma I went through. I had to draw the line between giving necessary help, and sacrificing too much to give help. As human beings, we must always remember that everybody, including ourselves, has a limit to how much they can take. My hope is that by telling my story, I can help others draw the same line that I did. If you or someone you know is currently dealing with depression or suicide, seek help by talking to a parent, counselor, therapist, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), text HELLO to 741741, or go to https://www.imalive.org.

OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020

13


A IS IS TO TO SUPERIOR, SUPERIOR, AS AS C C IS IS TO TO INFERIOR INFERIOR A The conspicuous competition between students here at West is one which stems from a toxic stigma—having higher grades makes you better of a human than those who don’t. Resulting in inflated egos, and diminished confidence. By Lydia Shin

E

very school day is just another day of overhearing subtle, yet striking, criticisms and gloats. “How do you not have an A in that class?” “Imagine being dumb enough to get a B.” “Oh, you got a 90 on the final? I thought it was really easy. I got a 100.” Constantly hearing comments like these throughout West leaves me feeling annoyed and discomforted at the fact that people think it’s okay to discredit the intelligence and hard work of others based on something so simple as a test score. Students are always either trying to display their academic success in an attempt to get recognized for their superiority, or hide their academic struggle because they’ve been shamed into thinking that it makes them inferior. To both the recognition seekers and the selfdeemed failures, despite popular belief, you are both equally as human as each other. This also goes for everyone in between the two extremes, and those who know what it’s like to be both. Although I have nothing against straight A’s and perfect scores, I do have a lot against those who use their academic success to put others down and elevate their own egos. I once overheard a classmate (let’s call her Jane) ask her friend what her GPA was. Jane’s friend (we shall call her Jill) responded with “4.0”. To that, Jane immediately replied, “That’s only because you take easy classes, so your GPA doesn’t really count.” Notice how Jane’s response so easily discredited Jill’s hard work while also managing to imply that Jane’s GPA was more valid because she took “hard” classes? This is exactly the kind of subtle insult that I am already so tired of hearing. I used to think exactly like Jane until I realized how toxic I was being (to myself, and to my peers). Constantly comparing myself to my classmates. Searching for people who did even worse than me on tests to make me feel better about my own performance. When my sister told me about all the A’s that she ended the first trimester of eighth grade with, I was quick to remind her, “Eighth

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OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020

grade is so easy, that’s nothing to be proud of.” I jumped to that conclusion so fast, not even considering how it would hurt my sister. Even now, I’m always needing to remind myself that having and meeting higher academic standards doesn’t make me any better of a human than anyone else. When I catch myself thinking like that, I just ask myself, “so what?” So what if I have a 99 compared to someone else’s 95? Why does it even matter? The thing is, it doesn’t. I am in no way suggesting that you

“ I MAG I N E BE I NG DU M B E NOUG H TO G ET A B” should never feel proud of an A+. Of course you should be proud of your hard work. Unless your pride is from “surpassing” other people, and “beating” them in a non-existent rivalry. Believe it or not, school is not a competition to see who has the most A’s and the highest GPA. Even if it was, the prize would be nothing more than the sweet taste of finally getting the recognition you deserve for your superiority as a human. (Yes, that was sarcasm). In a final note to all you Janes and Jills, A is to human, as C is to equally as human.

What do teachers think? How often do you see students launching such criticisms at each other? Byron Butler (science): Fairly often. I don’t see a lot of like direct bullying or something about that. But, you know, someone gets a hundred on a test they’ll definitely gloat about it. Jon Bach (math): “It may be possible that there is competition between students for grades….. The real competition is to try and get as high a grade as possible.” Karen Meyer (math): I don’t see it so much... I think kids hide that kind of thing more from teachers. But if I ever do hear it, I am on it immediately.” Jamie Sandhu (spanish): I don’t know that I necessarily hear the criticisms, but what I do hear is a lotta comparing of grades. A lot of ‘What’d you get on this?’, ‘What’d you miss?”’. I hear a lot of that. How do they make you feel? Butler: I think competition generally is a good thing... If someone is able to, you know, be successful and get a hundred on something or have really great grades... Screw everyone else, you know? But I’m just kinda kidding, but I’m kinda not. Sandhu: I think that it’s also important to compare yourself to yourself, and improve on your own score each time... There’s much nmore definition of success than just the highest grade on the test. Meyer: We’ve become a very joking society. And so somebody might say to you, Oh I got a 98 and you only got a 96. Well, there’s nothing funny about that.


SLEEP VS. HOMEWORK Students are not getting enough sleep due to the excessive amount of school work Leah Moenning they are obtaining.

Y

ou stayed up all night last night doing your homework only to wake up to go to another dreadfully long, eight hour school day. You are exhausted and end up being late to your first period class because of the need to stop and get coffee to help you stay awake. Students are not getting enough sleep because of the heavy amounts of school work they are obtaining. Students should have time to relax and do things they enjoy after school without being stressed. Students should only get a certain amount of homework each night. This might help improve their mental and physical health. I have experienced sleep deprivation due to the immense amount of school work I have had, and I’m not alone. It can affect my ability to learn and focus the next day. We need to lower the amount of schoolwork teenagers are obtaining to help improve the amount of sleep they get each night. According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, teenagers should average around nine hours of sleep each night to function at their best and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, teenagers only sleep around seven hours each night. I probably only average around six to seven hours of sleep, but then I try to make it up on the weekends. That isn’t really healthy for me though. Teenagers normally have irregular sleep patterns throughout the week.

They stay up late on the weekends and sleep in, which affects their ability to fall asleep on school nights and can hurt their quality of sleep according to the Sleep Foundation. Depending on their financial needs they might have jobs, and many students are in extracurricular activities such as clubs and athletics. These activities take up a lot of their time. Not getting enough sleep can affect your ability to learn, concentrate on solving problems, and can affect your listening skills. It might cause you to forget important information like names, numbers, and items on your to-do list according to the Sleep Foundation. It may also cause you to gain weight by eating unhealthy foods, or eating too much. You are more prone to acne and skin problems if you are not getting the right amount of sleep. Lack of sleep leads to more aggressive and inappropriate behavior and it could even affect your driving skills. More than 100,000 car accidents a year are caused by falling asleep at the wheel. Even though homework helps improve students’ learning skills and it teaches students to work independently, it also gives students huge amounts of stress and can often make students feel like less of a person if they do not complete the assignment to the expected standard. We need to take action and help improve students’ quality of sleep.

A solution to the amount of school work teenagers are getting could be to make it mandatory to have at least two days to complete an assignment. That will give students more time to manage their workload and still have time to do things they enjoy. Teachers could also stick to only giving around 15- 20 minutes of homework each night. Or, we could have certain days for different classes homework. Monday could be only math homework, Tuesday social studies homework, Wednesday science.. etc. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule could also help improve the amount of sleep teenagers are getting. Everyday, teenagers should wake up and go to bed around the same time. That includes keeping their alarm on during the weekend to avoid oversleeping. Before going to sleep, teenagers should turn off any electronics such as phones, television screens, and computers. This would improve their quality and ability to fall asleep. A short 15-20 minute nap during school could be beneficial and help energize teenagers for the rest of their day. This could be during a boring class, otherwise it would be more useful if there was a structured nap time. Remember, all you need to know you learn in kindergarten, including nap time, and you didn’t have a lot of homework.

OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020

15


HEIDI SCHMIDT-RUNDELL

16

OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020


WHEN TWITTER TRUMPS THE GOVERNMENT In today’s digital age, social media is the primary forum of free speech. Heidi Du ‘23 questions whether social media companies are really promoting the true free speech that is what upholds our democracy. The First Amendment states that the government can never oppress a citizen’s speech based on content. It gives citizens the right to speak their truths, no matter how controversial or unpopular, freely and without oppression. However, this aspect of the Constitution is facing new challenges in today’s digital age. The staggering majority of our speech takes place online. Each day, media platforms continue to grow as the primary forum of free speech where principal political figures and the public alike express their views on topics ranging from major world issues, to memes. The three and a half billion people that use social media depend on it for communication and information concerning anything and everything. Digital sites and apps are what connect the very core of our world. Without social media, one’s voice is silenced. Social media companies such as Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook, have complete control over what is allowed on their sites. They can censor or remove any content that they disagree with, have caused too much uproar, or they just plain dislike. The First Amendment only mentions the government, not media entities that operate as private companies who are unaffiliated to the government. Essentially, social media companies have more power in the world of free speech than our government itself.

This is especially concerning in the sense that a handful of mostly white, mostly male, mostly atrociously wealthy CEOs are sitting back in their black leather seats in Silicon Valley, making exceptionally important decisions for us, not to mention half the world, while capitalizing off the hundreds of millions of users that are slaves to their power while becoming increasingly dependent on that one app for the bulk of their freedom of speech. Why aren’t these companies being held accountable? Have we become so blind, so used to the concept of free speech that we’ve forgotten how much of a true, free necessity it is in our democracy? The decisions that these companies make, leave tremendous impacts in the real world. Consider the Democratic/Republican, liberal/conservative di-

“ SOCIAL M E DIA COM PAN I ES HAVE MOR E POWE R I N TH E WOR LD OF FR E E SPE ECH THAN OU R GOVE R N M E NT ITSE LF.” - HEIDI DU ‘23

By Heidi Du

vide. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, one of a vast majority of company leaders distinctly politically left, concluded due to the “sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today,” Facebook should favor content that is “broadly trusted.” Yet Facebook itself is fueling the polarization by skewing its definition of trustworthy news to favor liberal sites over conservative ones. This exacerbates the polarization by preventing Democratic users from viewing conservative content, vice versa, and further sealing off the mind of the user to continue living in their perfect, closed bubble of particular news. With power comes responsibility. The amount of power that media platforms hold over free speech in the U.S. is more than significant. This power makes them, just as the government is, socially and morally responsible for our rights. You would assume that these companies would have clear rules regarding such an important aspect that shapes a democracy such as ours. However, the policies that companies possess on this topic are about as clear as mud. The chief executive of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, said of his company’s rules regarding free speech, “I do believe that a lot of people come to Twitter with the expectation of a public square, and freedom of expression is certainly one of those expectations. But what we’re seeing is people weaponize that to shut others’ right to that down. And that is what we’re trying to protect, ultimately.” What we see here is a complete contradiction of the entire concept of Twitter’s largely undisputed ability to remove what they flippantly deem unworthy content, revealing Twitter to be the very weaponizing force that Mr. Dorsey himself is apparently trying to protect. How could a company that regularly deletes content they simply dislike, be protecting our right to free speech in a supposed public square? As the public, we cannot let our freedom of speech, much less our trust, rest in the hands of exceedingly capitalistic, question-dodging company executives. This is our right. This is our speech. Social media companies should not and cannot be the sole dictators of what is allowed to be said and what isn’t. The words of the First Amendment, written in 1791 when digital news sites were far from even a concept, need a monumental upgrade. The notion of free speech has been turned upside down, and it’s time that we set it back to where it should be.

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OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020


2020 EDITION :

THE MISSING VOTERS Following the upsetting 2016 election results, the Democratic party has struggled to promote unity within its smaller groups. Divisions in the party will hinder success this year, but the ultimate cause for failure, however, is the lack of young voters at the polls. That is the real reason that the Democrats will lose the election ... again.

Art by Caroline Mascardo ’22

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OPINION

MARCH 13, 2020


My three moms

By: Emma McPearce

Emma McPearce ‘23 discusses the struggles of growing up with three mothers. “So do your parents rape you every night? You know, ‘cause they’re gay?” “So does breastfeeding make you gay?” “Do you know they’re not getting into heaven?” “Do you watch porn with your parents?” I have a feeling most people don’t get asked these questions, but my siblings and I have lesbian parents. There’s been a lot of progress in the past eleven years or so for the LGBTQ+ community, and for members of the community that are parents. But there’s so much that still needs to be done that most people don’t even realize. The biggest thing is the normalcy of having samesex parents. There is pretty much none. It’s this “big thing” about my parents’ sexuality apparently. But over time I’ve learned to avoid talking to people about my parents unless I know them well. I don’t like to let them know that I have three moms, because I’m so scared of their reactions. I have to “come out” to people about my parents’ sexuality, which is terrifying, trying to gauge who will have an okay reaction and who won’t. If people could just understand that it’s normal and not wrong to have gay parents, then there wouldn’t be this big reaction about my moms. COMPILED BY EMMA MCPEARCE

BY THE NUMBERS

114,000 86,000 28,000

same-sex couples are raising children in the United States. are female couples.

are male couples

Besides just the social side of society, there is still the government part that is so unequal. Putting aside the fact that both of my moms were not allowed to be put on my birth certificate, doctors and forms in general, are my worst nightmare. I have crossed out so many father boxes and had to replace it with mother that I can’t even count them. When going to the doctor I spend a significant amount of time explaining why there are two women in the room.

DO YOU KNOW TH EY ’ R E GOI NG TO H E LL? ”

them. Whenever I answer it, it creates this idea in people’s heads that I’m more related to my biological mother, and if I mention her it’s this idea “oh that’s her real mom”. It hurts that people create this black and white world in their heads where I can only truly have one mom since I’m only biologically related to her. Overall there’s this big heterosexual privilege that many don’t realize they have. Not reThere’s this issue where many people garding the fact that my moms don’t realize how invalidating it can be experience structural and social to constantly have to rearrange school, homophobia, but the fact that I do doctor, and legal forms all the time. It too for their sexuality. Consciousgets exhausting to have to explain my ness is key. family situation all the time. But then there is my favorite question a person can ask: “so who’s your real mom?” One that I’ve learned I always have to answer or they won’t stop asking. The ironic part is that both of my parents were together before they had If people were able to realize that me, and are both legally my parents. it is not structurally set for me to So I’ll say they’re both my real parents be able to have two moms, or the and people always say, “but who gave fact that my little brother is getbirth to you?” This is the worst ques- ting bullied for my mothers, then tion I am ever asked. Whoever my bi- change could happen. But when ological mother is does not invalidate people don’t realize that they have who my adoptive mother is and I have this privilege, they go on thinking the same relationship to both of that it’s completely equal. But it’s OPINION not.

SO WHO’S YOU R R EAL MOM? ”

MARCH 23, 2020

25


Wedon’t want you here It’s corona

Whereis the bat inyour soups?

Stay away fromAsians

time

I don’t want your virus inmy country

Don’t youdare Leaveour country look at me Stay away from

Chinese

Get away fromme

20

OPINION MAR. 13, 2020

Goback toyour country


THERACIST

EPI DEMI C

T

GraceHuang‘22writesonthetopicof racismandshowshowit hasgrownwiththe spreadof thecoronavirus.

BYGRACEHUANG

he fact that I am Asian does not mean I have the coronavirus. Recently, I’ve read articles after articles about racist coronavirus attacks taking place in non-Asian countries. Way too many people are taking the disease as an excuse to be racist towards Asians, and that is just not okay. Sure, the outbreak started in China, but that doesn’t mean that all Asians have it or that only Asians can get it. Anybody in the world can get infected by it, so why is it that random people are saying “You’re the coronavirus” to Asians who are just casually strolling along sidewalks? Did they do something wrong? Did they actually seem sick? In case you haven’t been super up to date with the current news, here’s a quick rundown of the virus to get you caught up: In late December 2019, a widespread infectious disease started in the central city of Wuhan, China. It is said to have started through a live animal market where strange animals were being sold for human consumption. The sickness quickly diffused all over the world with people traveling during the holidays. In just a few months, over 100,000 cases were confirmed. Out of those cases, 3,000

numbers continue to grow, more and more people start to express racism against Asians. Examples of this can be seen all over the news. In San Francisco, a Lyft driver refused to unlock the car door for a Chinese woman until her non-Asian friend arrived. In London, a group of men yelled at Jonathon Mok, an Asian university student, “I don’t want your coronavirus in my country!” Afterward, the group punched him in the face several times and even kicked him once. Mok posted photos of his bruised face on Facebook and wrote, “Racism is not stupidity - racism is hate. Racists constantly find excuses to expound their hatred - and in this current backdrop of the coronavirus, they’ve found yet another excuse.” He emphasized an extremely strong point through this caption - one that I completely agree with. A racist isn’t stupid. They know exactly what they’re projecting to other races, and that is hatred. The only thing that is needed to get them going is an excuse. Another example of this can be seen in New York City. A man riding the subway was found arguing and spraying air freshener at an Asian-American

CONFIRMEDCORONAVIRUSCASESAROUNDTHEWORLD

people died, but over 50,000 actually recovered. Since then, news of the COVID-19 disease has been everywhere, and as the

passenger. Similarly, in Los Angeles, a man riding the subway claimed that Chinese people are filthy and, therefore, responsible for all

“R ACISM IS NOT S TUPIDIT Y - R ACISM IS HATE. R ACIS TS CONSTANTLY FIND E XCUSES TO E XPOUND THEIR HATRED.” - JONATHON MOK diseases ever developed. He was also recorded and was heard to have said that Chinese people are simply disgusting, which is just going too far. The one thing that’s spreading faster than the virus itself is the racism directed toward Asians. Innocent people are getting discriminated against and humiliated in public for being something they can’t change. People assume that because they’re Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, or any type of Asian in general, they must be carrying the virus, but that is completely untrue. Like I mentioned earlier, anybody can get infected by it, regardless of whether they’re Asian or not. It’s just like any other disease ever encountered. So, next time you see someone with an Asian background, don’t be afraid of them, and especially don’t call them out or connect the virus to them. Even if you just want to bring up the topic as a joke, don’t do it. Doing so will only inflict dangerous stereotypes that will do more harm to the world in the future. OPINION MAR. 13, 2020

21


Where do grades come from? A lot of teachers say that they care more about your learning than your grades. We've always been told that its the effort that matters more, but if that were the truth, wouldn't grades be

G

rades. The bane of my existence. Every day, I wake up in the morning and immediately, the first thing on my mind is a list of all the assignments that I have to get through, and how each of them will affect my grades. Most days I’m going over an assignment or watching a crash course video while eating my cereal. Walking into school, I’m not thinking about seeing my friends or how much I will (not) learn that day, instead, I’m usually thinking about how much homework I will have to do that day and how many things I’m going to have to skip so I can get all of my work done. But I’m not the only student that gets anxious or stressed about school. A study done by the pew research center shows that around 70% of teenagers say that anxiety and depression are major problems for people their age. And sure, problems at home or relationship problems can lead to anxiety and depression, but the leading cause for the recently elevated teenage stress and anxiety levels is schoolwork*. Whether it be homework, tests, or projects...school freaks kids out. But how? Everyone says that school causes stress, but no one ever says how. Let me explain: Grades are important,

24

OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020

they’re a way for students to compare themselves to others and to measure their own intelligence. So what? Well, because students use grades to compare themselves to their peers, they develop a need to be perfect, to get everything right, to have straight As, to be the person everyone is jealous of. Except there’s only one teeny tiny little problem with that. The entire system is a mess. Students get graded on how much they know, not how much they tried. So basically you can be a very smart student and not work very hard, yet get straight As, but another student who tries a lot harder, but is not as bright, will struggle with their grades and only hope to get straight Bs or even Cs. COMPILED BY RAZAN BABIKIR

BY THE NUMBERS

81% 67%

56%

of students say teachers have told them that their effort and hard work matter more than their grade Think that grades should be based on effort instead of memorization Say that their grades do not accuretly represent their effort in class


In my opinion, teachers should base grades on effort instead of how much the student has memorized. Because grades are based on how many things a student knows and how many questions a student gets right, students are just memorizing things instead of learning them. As a result, a study found that high school students forget about 60% of what they learned in high school before they even start college. And I’m not the only student that thinks grades should be based on effort. More than 60% of the students that responded to my survey said that grades should be based on effort. With a broad spectrum of reasons given by the students, the only thing they could all agree on was that it was not fair. One of those reasons was given by sophomore Zoe Guo, “ The school system currently can be super draining mentally and physically to students because they expect all students to perform at the same ability for all subjects, which isn't possible. Students should be able to work at their own pace based on

their abilities and feel good about how much they improve, rather than thinking they're a failure because they can't meet the standards that the school sets for them.” Others had more personal reasons behind their answers. “My little brother is in sixth grade. He struggles with reading, he is not at the same level as kids his age. He works really hard to learn to read, he even goes to a reading tutor and he is still behind. While he doesn't have grades because he is in elementary school he will get grades eventually, and his ability to read will probably affect it. He tries so hard and has made a lot of progress, he just isn't at the same spot as other kids his age.” said Heidi Schmidt-Rundell 21’ Not everyone learns at the same pace, and if our grading system doesn’t change, a lot of students will feel like they’re less than the people around them. I guess what I’m trying to say is that instead of telling people what they got wrong, grades should reflect on what they learned. Take the Iowa Assessments for example. When you look at

the score you were given, you are either below expectation, average, or above expectation. If we did things my way, your score should reflect on how much you’ve improved from last year. It should compare your results from last year to your results from this year because school is about learning not about memorizing. Telling students how smart they are based on a certain benchmark established by people who don't know the

“ Students should be able

to work at their own pace based on their abilities and feel good about how much they improve, rather than thinking they’re a failure because they can’t meet the standards that the school sets for them.”

-ZOE GUO ‘22 students or how they learn, is just wrong. It makes students feel like they’re less than their peers and that they should try harder, even if they had given it their best shot and had studied their hardest. In conclusion, teachers should assign grades based on effort and progress instead of memorization. OPINION MARCH 23, 2020

25


About The Author

Sarah Janet (J.) Maas was born in New York in 1986. She is an American author known for her science fiction and fantasy novels for teenage readers. She was raised in New York and went on to study creative writing and religious studies at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, graduating in 2008. She has three series out currently and will be working on her next book soon. Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series, as well as a USA Today and international bestselling author. Sarah wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in thirty-five languages. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. -sarahjmaas.com

26

OPINION OCT. 3, 2019


BOOK TALK: CRESCENT CITY Willow Oleson ‘23 reviews the book “Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood” by Sarah J. Maas. Success doesn’t come without hard work, this is no different for Sarah J. Maas. Maas is one of my favorite authors. She has two other series out currently “Throne of Glass” and “A Court of Thorns and Roses” along with writing “Catwoman: Soulstealer” in the DC Icons series. She recently came out with her newest book “Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood”. Since I love her other books I knew I’d fall in love with this one too. It starts with Bryce Quinlan, a young woman living what she thinks is her best life with her friends when tragedy strikes. She struggles with issues that are common today and fights through the pains of loss to go back through her trauma to solve a murder. She then begins to realize this case is much bigger than she thought. After betrayal after betrayal and having to actually find the truth even though it made her realize who her friend really was, she finally realized it. There were more twists and turns until finally, she survives it all, and can put herself back together piece by piece. What I especially like about the book is how I can recognize common themes from her other books in this one. Like territorial males protecting what they see as theirs, having mates be their true love, and strong women leaders getting through their past and fighting for what they believe in. I feel like I can better understand parts of the book more because of her other series mentioning similar things. I recognize how similar her books are but are special with character development and how she chooses to make characters react to situations. This way, I think, you can make up you mind on what you feel is best for the book and what you think about the situations inside. Maas has a way of persuading you to think one way but the opposite happens, and that is what helps make her books that much better. As you reread you can see how she tries to persuade you to see something one way, and it is fun to see where she decides to plant that seed in your brain of “ooh, we don’t like them” but at the end you realize that you do. I’ve seen many in her other two series and it is always fun to find them and think of what was going through your head when you first read it. There are multiple moments like these in “Crescent City” and I am looking forward to rereading more carefully to try and catch these moments.

I also like how fast-paced the book is and how you just want to keep reading. Right within the first couple of chapters, something big happened. And it never really got boring. It is the type of book where when I pick it up I don’t wanna put it back down. Something is always going on that I want to pay attention to and that can sometimes be a bad thing, but in this case, it was really good. Maas is really good at including modern issues in her writing too with mental health, family issues, and finding yourself. This is how people love them so much, because of how the reader can connect to at least one of the characters and watch them grow. With all that happened in the book I felt so many emotions hitting me at once. I loved how I could watch how much characters have grown. Even in just one book. With “Crescent City” I got to see more growth then I was expecting and had a lot of fun seeing how the choices the characters made impacted the rest of the characters or certain situations. I always like to think about what can happen in the next book and what work Maas will publish next. I knew I would love her newest book and she did not disappoint.

Main Points: • • • • • • • • •

“TH E R E WAS ON LY SI LE NCE H E R E . SI LE NCE AN D M I ST. WAS TH I S DEATH? ” -SARAH J. MAAS “CRESCENT CITY: HOUSE OF EARTH AN D BLOOD AN D EARTH ”

OVER ALL OPINION

Friendship I think that “Crescent City” is a great book Dealing with loss that mentions a lot of things people curMental Health rently struggle with, like losing someone Honesty you really care about, mental health, and having issues with family. It is fast-paced Family Issues and a pretty easy read but is big so it might Love take a little bit to read it. I really like how Protecting Others she has a lot of twists and turns and I never Saving People know what is going to happen. It is another Healing After Major Events In Life great opportunity for an amazing read and seeing how much Sarah J Maas has improved with her work over the years.

OPINION OCT. 3, 2019

27


28

ENTERTAINMENT

OCT. 3, 2019


SPORTS OCT. 3, 2019

29


PARENTS, ARE THEY REALLY THE

BEST

TEACHERS? BY JASMINE ORTEGA

There is a common used phrase that says parents are their childrens best teacher. Although this has been said for many years, often teens believe that their parents are against them and that they want them to fail. Jasmine Ortega 22’ discusses her opinion on the commonly used expression.


P

arents all around the world make sacrifices for their children so they can have the best life, even if the kids don’t know it at the time. They have known their child for the longest of anyone else so why shouldn’t they be considered the best teachers? I mean they taught their child how to walk and talk didn’t they? They taught them the basics of life and how to interact with others. When it comes to the subject of parents everyone has a different connection with theirs. Some may have learned everything they know from their parents while others learned what not to do. There are many teens that fall in between with parents who are good teachers but fall short in many areas. There are really two broad measures of knowledge. Being school smart and being street smart. The skills which your parents teach you the most are those of the latter. Although your parents may have taught you how to count or helped you learn to read which are mental skills, a majority of their teaching covered the social and physical aspects of life. Parents play the role of a friend and a mentor guiding you through life problems or showing you what to do to be successful. My parents have taught me manners and what is considered right and wrong in society. Most of my morals come from them and what I have heard and seen them do as I grew up. From them I know that I should be nice to others, and other basic lessons we all learned as kids, like sharing is caring. As I grew up I saw my parents exhibiting these traits and adapted them for myself. Without them in my life it would have been much harder for me to learn the social traits. Of course just as anyone does, my parents have flaws. There are things they do or maybe even did when they were my age that show me what I should not do. For example my dad did not go to college for a couple years after finishing scool. In the end he went to college and it worked out for him, but it was much harder for him to succeed. I can take lessons from what went wrong for them and apply it to my life in hopes that I do not make the same mistakes.

“TH E R E I S ALSO A

STIG MA THAT COM ES FROM MANY TE E N S ABOUT TH E ABI LITI ES OF TH E I R PAR E NTS.”

Although parents can teach these social and physical skills just through natural guiding, parents are not the best teachers for the first kind of knowledge I mentioned, school smarts. For example, my dad is from Guatemala, a fluent Spanish speaker and for years as I grew up he tried to teach me how to speak Spanish, but because he was a natural speaker he was never the best at conveying the information, and it wasn’t working out for either of us. Neither of us we able to communicate and the lessons always ended with the both of us giving up. Now that I am in high school I take Spanish, and I am able to learn it much easier.

Are your Parents your best teachers?

53% 47%

to feel like their parents aren’t their best teacher. I asked various students at West what their stance on this topic was and the results were very split. The ones that said their parents were not the best teachers said that their parents are too impatient, don’t listen, and seem biased on certain subjects regarding how their children live their life. I understand all of these cases. My parents seem to be impatient to me as well, especially when we do not seem to be working together well. This is a large part of what a teacher should be and it is very understandable how this could be an issue for many teens. In discussions between my parents and I many times I feel as if they aren’t hearing my pinot of view. Although this can be very annoying I find that the same thing is possible with teachers when talking to them about grades.

Yes

NO

Part of the learning block may be because the children and their parents are too similar. This is the situation between my dad and I. We are very similar people in personality, with both of us being strong-minded. When people have similar traits to another person they often butt heads with each other, because this happens between my dad and I it results in nothing getting done. Since we do not work well together, there is nothing that I can learn, school wise, from him just as well as I can learn it from an actual teacher. There is also a stigma that comes from many students about the abilities of their parents. Kids don’t want to accept that their parents know it all especially when they feel as if they have been treated unfairly, even if that’s not the case. This is why many teens say that their parents are not their best teachers. There are many legitimate reasons for a teen

The last of these arguments is the one I would agree with the most. My parents seem biased on some subjects, and I thinl thats just gonna happen. For example when they were younger they didn’t have as much technology as we have now which causes them to dislike me technology use. There is a difference in our generations which causes this divide. I think their bias can be good though, because everyone, even our generation has biases, and we can learn from their point of view to apply to our lives. Although not always the case for every parent most are a huge influence on our lives, and the way we grow up. While they might not be our best teacher for some subjects such as math and science, in other subjects such as our manners they are the best teacher we could ever ask for, and they deserve to be appreciated for their efforts. OPINION MARCH 23, 2020

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MORE THAN A REMAKE

Helen Zhang ’22 defends Disney’s upcoming “Mulan” remake and discusses what it could bring for the future of Asian representation. BY HELEN ZHANG The story of Disney’s 1998 animated film “Mulan” is one many are familiar with: a young woman, disguised as a man, takes her father’s place in the Chinese military, with the accompaniment of her talking dragon, Mushu, and an iconic sowundtrack. “Mulan” made cinematic history, featuring the first East Asian Disney princess and is known for how it breaks gender roles and promotes female independence. With there being so many elements of the original movie that fans know and love, there has been a noticeably negative response toward the upcoming live-action remake of “Mulan,” set to come out in the U.S. on March 27. Fans are upset especially due to the fact that this new adaptation will not include the character of Mushu or musical numbers, and some are even saying they will boycott the film. These reactions are understandable, but this new movie could actually be a step in the right direction for Disney in terms of accurately representing minorities. In an interview with CinemaBlend, Niki Caro, the director of the new “Mulan,” said, “We don’t tend to break into song when we go to war,” when explaining the choice to not make her film a musical. As the new movie will be live-action rather than animated, much of it will be more realistic, and this includes the way war and violence will be portrayed. The remake will even be rated PG-13 due to its “sequences of violence,” according to CNET. Singing would detract from the realism and serious tone of the movie. Having Mushu the dragon (who didn’t exist in the original “Ballad of Mulan” that Disney based their film off of) would also make the movie much less serious and isn’t worth using CGI to recreate. Additionally, according to the Baltimore Sun, some Chinese viewers of the original 1998 film found Mushu to be “too American” in terms of staying traditional to Chinese mythology. Another change from the remake will be that Mulan will not be cutting off her hair as part of her male disguise, because historically, male warriors in China did not have close-cut hair, according to IGN. This makes the movie more accurate and culturally aware.

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One may ask: “So why do we need a remake, anyway? Even if a few things are changed, it’s nothing new, right?” Well, it’s no secret that Hollywood is seriously lacking in Asian rep-

resentation. According to a 2018 New York Times article, a study by the University of Southern California showed only one percent of Hollywood’s leading roles were Asian American. “Parasite” also recently made history as the first foreign-language and South Korean film to win Best Picture at the Oscars in February. When looking at Disney specifically, most of their main characters are white-- though in recent years, movies such as “Moana” and “Coco” featuring non-white protagonists have been highly successful. Still, there’s a difference between seeing an animated character that is representative of a minority group and seeing a real person on the screen. Letting Asians (or any minority group) in the entertainment industry be not only heard (like they were in the animated “Mulan”) but seen is hugely important, and the live-action “Mulan” can provide that with cast members such as Chinese-American lead actress Liu Yifei and Macanese-New Zealander actor Yoson An (playing a new character meant to replace Li Shang). You might argue that Disney shouldn’t be marketing something as a remake if it’s going to be so different than the original. Several Disney remakes, such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King” have been

criticized for failing to live up to the beloved movies they are trying to retell. Some fans see such movies as unimaginative and nothing but a money-grab by a company that can no longer come up with new stories. The live-action “Mulan”, on the other hand, will be a new experience for fans who already love the story but want a twist. If it had the exact same plot, characters and music, it would be a movie less worth seeing. Disney’s live-action “Mulan” adaptation is a fresh take on a story that doesn’t need to be retold in the same way again. It will aim for a new tone and remove the culturally inaccurate elements, with clear Asian representation. Audiences will have the chance to see a “real” (AKA not animated) character that does not fit the usual Disney standard and realize that change, though disappointing at first, can make an impact that they didn’t know was needed.

Fun Facts One of the earliest adaptations of the Hua Mulan legend was a 1917 Chinese-language play.

Disney's first "Mulan" film took 700 animators, artists, and technicians to complete.

There is a crater on Venus named Hua Mulan. The antagonistic Hun army from Disney's original Mulan will be replaced in the remake with a Rouran army, led by a  new villain named Bori Khan, which is supposed to better reflect the original ballad. "Mùlán" in "magnolia".

Chinese

means Source: Bustle, Useless Daily, Wikipedia


Stuck being short Although it might not feel the greatest to be among the shortest people in your friend group and in West High’s hallways, there are some benefits that can come with this characteristic. BY ZOEY GUO Imagine that you are going to a concert, starring your favorite idol or someone that you look up to. You go take your seat with your significant other, friends, or parents, and you feel the anticipation building as you wait to see them appear on stage. After several minutes of waiting, you hear the crowd roar as the performer makes their first appearance. When whipping your head towards the stage, you quickly realize something: you can’t see anything. The shirts and jackets of the people in front of you blind your vision from seeing your idols, even when you swerve your head to get a better look, and you can’t just stand up from your seat because that’s violating the unwritten rules of human decency. Dread slowly starts to set in when you finally realize you’ve spent tens or hundreds of dollars just to see absolutely nothing worth your time. This is just one of the many problems that short people can relate to, such as myself. As a female sophomore standing at around four feet and 11 inches, I’ve gotten really used to short jokes. There are the usual one-liners, such as being asked how the weather is down here (and, mind you, it’s pretty nice), and the casual “Hey, I can’t hear you from down there, can you speak a bit louder?” Frankly, I have lost count of the times people have assumed that I’m weak because of my height and the amount of times I have been compared to an ant or any other small insect. Although I see these jokes as being pretty harmless, there are some that can go a bit too far and be insulting. Because of my height, several times I have been told that I’m less likely to be successful or my opinion doesn’t matter, and needless to say these “jokes” can be a lot more painful and insensitive than most presume. However, besides the unintentional insults, there are several advantages that come with being short. In terms of health-related advantages, according to WebMD, shorter men and women are less likely to develop blood clots, with females also being less likely to develop breast cancer. In addition, it has been proven that people with below-average height are more likely to live a longer life. Besides these health benefits, short people are also better at games such as hide and seek as they can hide in unbelievably small places, and are really good at limbo since they’re already closer to the ground than most. They don’t even have to worry about bumping their head into ceiling walls and having their feet hang off of the bed. Even though I willingly make fun of myself because of my very small

stature, there are so many things I’m genuinely grateful for because of it. Since we live in an imperfect and judgmental society, it’s not surprising that hurtful comments about height are common around the world. However, besides height, both men and women are constricted by several beauty stereotypes and are heavily criticized if they don’t hold up to them. Women are constantly told that they have to look pretty, which is a very subjective term, and to be more on the skinny side. On the other hand, men must succumb to the stereotype that they must be strong both mentally and physically, or else they may experience embarrassment for being “more like a girl.” In addition to these beauty stereotypes, being taller has commonly been associated with being more attractive. No matter which stereotypes each gender is confined to, both can suffer a serious loss of self-esteem and feel hopeless when they don’t fit into them: a feeling that most of us are all too familiar with. Although I do feel more comfortable with how I physically am currently, height has always been one of my traits that I have been self-conscious about. When meeting new people at school or at events, the first characteristic many people would notice about me or point out first was how short I was. But, now when I look back at the shy, overthinking, and anxious girl I was then, I wish I had realized to accept myself for who I was much earlier. For around 10 years of my life I had judged myself for something I couldn’t even completely control,

“ FOR AROU N D 10 YEARS OF MY LI FE , I HAD J U DG E D MYSE LF FOR SOM ETH I NG THAT I COU LDN ’T COM PLETE LY CONTROL .” and brought myself so much unnecessary stress. For all of the people who are in the same boat as me, believe me when I say this: you aren’t less significant or less of a person, and you deserve the same treatment as everyone else. It’s finally time for us to unite and rise up to defeat these social obstacles, and always remember to stand short with pride and never surrender.

AVERAGE HEIGHTS BY GENDER IN THE UNITED STATES

5’ 5”

Statistics according to World Population Review

5’ 9”

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Staying Safe by:Maddie Gallo

I had always been afraid to go on runs by myself and I would love to learn how to defend myself, but I had no ideas on where to start. Here are some tips and some styles of self-defense to keep you safe.

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I

nstead of writing a hook, what about throwing one? A woman who fights back gains an 86% chance of avoiding the rape according to Kleck and Styles.But not all women are as gifted as the girl who has been studying martial arts for 10 years. It is not always a necessity to use violence to defend yourself, some situations allow you to use words in order to get out of the situation safely. Another 800 Model Mugging graduates, who were threatened with assault, stopped their assailant with just their voices and body language (80% success when attacked without resorting to violence)The options of styles of self-defense are plentiful, but what do you really need to know? How can you stay safe? It is extremely important that women know how to defend themselves, but everybody thinks, “Oh, that’s not going to happen to me, I will be fine.” A woman who fights back gains an 86% chance of avoiding the rape according to Kleck and Styles. The fact is one out of five women have been sexually assaulted, that means you most likely know someone who has been assaulted. My mom has been pushing for me to take a self-defense class for years, before I got into high school I had that same train of thought. Why do I need to do that? I know what to do if I get attacked, I will be just fine. A year later one of my friends almost got kidnapped walking home from school, and I started to think about what would actually happen if someone were to attack me. I would be defenseless. Many women say there simply

isn’t enough time in the day to attend a one to five hour class on the weekend. Another common response to why they do not participate in self-defense classes is that they are too expensive. Yet another reason why women choose not to take self-defense classes, is they say my boyfriend/husband will protect me. What if they aren’t there to be able to protect you? What are you going to do then? Women also have a load of self doubt, many including me. I think I’m not strong enough to do that, or there is no way I could ever learn how to do an incredibly complex form of martial arts such as Crau Maga. While they are a little pricey, time-consuming, and have plenty of reasons not to participate in a self defense class, would you rather be safe or a little broke? I would hope that you are at least considering taking a class in self defense. Incidents reported back to COMPILED BY: MADDIE GALLO

BY THE NUMBERS

95%

Every 46 seconds a women will be raped in America. of reported domestic assaults the female is the victim and the male is the perpetrator.

46

4

Every 46 seconds a women will be raped in America.

us a total of 221 graduates who were involved in a physical attack since taking the program on an average of 2 ½ years after graduating. Of those reported 221 assaults, 214 (97%) graduates successfully fought off their attacker. If you choose not to take a self defense class I have you covered! Here are some tips to stay safe, know your surroundings, if you are aware of your surroundings its more likely that you can notice something out of the ordinary. Don’t be distracted, keep your cell phone or any other device in your pockets, this includes headphones. Use what you have to attack, if you can use your keys it might give you an advantage. Don’t show fear, even though it is hard to show you are not scared of the attacker. Think about if you are in a situation where you have to be violent, are you prepared for that? Even though it may not happen to you, you are two times less likely to be sexually assaulted if you know some sort of self defense. A woman who fights back gains an 86% chance of avoiding the rape according to Kleck and Styles. Are you ready to join the strong embodied women who have taken their safety in their hands and protected themselves through self defense?

Women are killed everyday by an abusive partner.

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TWO years after How life has changed two years after the Parkland Shooting in 2018 and West High’s needs for safety

Photo by Caroline Barker ‘22

Students Maia DeGrazia ‘20 and Sumner Wallace ‘20 at a protest against gun violence after the Parkland Shooting in 2018 OPINION

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Feb. 14 marked the two year anniversary of the Parkland School Shooting. And ever since then, students at West High have had many concerns about whether it could or could not happen to us. Specifically at West High, there seems to be a low level of safety, other than the new lock features on main doors, and what’s dangerous about that is that some fail to work, with their locks not working, which leaves the school easier to get into for intruders. There’s little talk of how to stay safe and improve safety at West High. Through interviews and polls, many will answer how to change this. It’s obvious we need to talk about safety in regards to school shootings here at West High more often, because of the fact that we don’t already. In a poll I took on Instagram asking “Do you think schools should talk more about school shootings and how to stay safe?”, 90% of people answered “yes”. That means 173 out of the 193 people who answered think teachers should talk more about school shootings and safety. Over the last decade, we’ve had over 180 school shootings, which means the number of those injured and killed is extremely high. So what can we do, and why haven’t we done it? Our students don’t get to experience the talk of safety and don’t understand how to help if a dangerous situation occurred. Alyssa Skala ‘21 has strong feelings about this subject. “Our school doesn’t take as many security precautions as other schools have, we need to be taking more because with recent things that are happening all around the world, we need to be more prepared.” Coming from a student’s perspective, schools in the ICCSD including West High could do more to prevent shootings to occur like the major one at

Parkland. I also asked a question on Instagram, “What do you think schools could do to improve safety?” The answers range widely, from “Observing students more”, to “Walkthrough metal detectors when people walk in schools”, but in general, it has remained unclear to students why West High hasn’t done more to improve safety, which I also wonder about. West has even had a student bring in a bb gun into school, which scares people even more and worries those about what could happen, but they still don’t do much to ensure safety. Even considering what’s happened in the past. Currently, we only have locks at the front doors that you can open with a key fob or by pressing a button, for the main office to then unlock from the inside. The students simply show their ID to the camera on the button, and it’s then unlocked. This is the only safety “precaution” West High has done. The one thing that is clear though, is that students remain to feel unsafe. Gabrielle Burns ‘23 is one of the many students at West High that continues to feel somewhat safe, but also unsafe. For her, it changes. “I feel safe at school most of the time, I don’t though when I’m in choir and in the temps because those feel really

accessible to a possible shooter. I feel like kids need to know how to protect themselves with classroom objects, and take drills and practices seriously.” Just two years ago, the Parkland Shooting in Florida occurred. Sam Nester ‘21 is a student that does feel safe at school but strongly feels that West High should take more steps for safety. Ever since the Parkland Shooting in 2018, Sam has felt, “as if schools weren’t as safe as they used to be and it scared me a bit.” This seems to be the way all students feel, they’re scared because it was fairly recent, but since they’ve had time to get used to this worry it seems to go away. What comes with these school shootings and danger is fear. That tends to be a lot of what students feel. They fear the outcomes, they fear having low security because they worry about what can happen. West High lacks safety that we could possibly have. So the question is, why don’t we have it? That seems to be the most confusing aspect of these situations. Students have done walk-outs and done protests on their own time, but why doesn’t West High do more to add safety? We need change, not just for the safety of the students, but for all the staff members as well. Other schools around the world have installed mechanisms like metal “ I FE E L LI KE KI DS N E E D safety detectors already. By adding small things like a hall monitor or even TO KNOW HOW TO adding safety drills we could easily PROTECT TH E M SE LVES, make West High safer. Adding similar things like this could help ease our way up to a higher level AN D TAKE DR I LLS of safety at West High. We can’t have yet another shooting happen SE R IOUSLY ” in the world, especially if it’s here GABREI LLE BU RNS ‘23 at school.

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Just Come Home Negative views on police have become more and more common in the past few years, especially by minorities. As the daughter of a Iowa City sergeant, I want everyone to understand that police are people too. HAILEY FRANK

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T

here are many sides to every story. Everyone is convinced that they are right and never think about how they affect other people. One of the biggest issues of our time is racism, and police forces are a huge factor in this argument. For me, this issue hits close to home. My dad is a sergeant at the Iowa City Police Department, so growing up, I never feared officers. I would come home to my dad’s gun out of its case for cleaning and barely react. However, throughout my life, I have met many people, especially people of color, who would rather leave than be in a room with any sort of cop. There are two main issues causing this controversy: school resource officers and police brutality. First off, a school resource officer’s job is to maintain a safe environment on school grounds. Many students, however, would feel less safe with an officer stationed at West High. Many students of color recall having rough situations with the police, whether it was them personally or a person close to them. One student anonymously responded to a survey that asked about these experiences by saying “I have heard multiple reports of the Iowa City police force being biased against minorities… sometimes arresting people in majority-minority neighborhoods for having small incidents.”

The school shouldn’t have an officer stationed in school, but maybe one who is responsible for West in case they are needed. An in-school officer would build up the feeling of school being like a prison, and we don’t need that. An officer responsible for the school could stay at the station, but be the first one to be contacted if West High needed an officer. They could still get to a situation quickly without making as many people feel unsafe.

“ I WOU LD COM E HOM E TO MY DAD’S GU N OUT OF ITS CASE FOR CLEAN I NG AN D BAR E LY R EACT.” - HAI LEY FRAN K Second is the issue of police brutality. This issue is a harder one to talk about for me. I know my dad will make the right choices, but not everyone else knows that. At the end of the day, I just want him to come home safely, as well

as anyone else involved in whatever the situation he encountered that day. One case that comes to my mind when talking about police brutality is the case of Eric Garner. On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner, was killed by an officer of the NYPD who put him in a choke hold for 15 seconds. Police suspected that he was selling unlicensed cigarettes, and decided to take action, but took things way too far. Video of Garner’s death is all over the internet and the officer who killed him was fired. This only made things worse for police everywhere. People’s views on their local departments continued to become more and more negative. I still trust our police, but we all know that one bad apple can spoil the bunch. That officer made everyone fear the police in a way that can be consequential to all other policemen. Supporting movements like Humanize My Hoodie and other groups who work through racial issues with their local police forces are amazing ways to show support for both sides of the issue. Also, we need to connect with our officers more. Even just talking about these topics more in class would make a big impact, we just have to remember to talk about both sides. Just know that officers have families just like you, who love them more than the world itself. I just want to be sure that my dad will come home each day.

OUT OF STUDENTS SURVEYED ANONYMOUSLY...

24% 47% ...want a SRo.

...think it would make some uncomfortable.

12% 17% ...never want a SRO!

...don’t really know.

want a SRO. think it would be okay, but make some uncomfortable. would never trust a SRO! are unsure... OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020

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TikTok Cooking

Hayate Mustefa ’23 reviews some of the most popular cooking life hacks found on TikTok.

T

he internet has served as a great tool in the kitchen. But who would think that of all places, TikTok, an app created for the entertainment of teenagers, would serve as an epicenter for the exchange of family recipes? Of the one million videos made each day, many revolve around food and share cooking life hacks. Other social media platforms such as YouTube have indulged in experimenting with and reviewing these cooking life hacks, so I took it upon myself to find and review the most popular ones:

Christmas Crack How to: Line a baking sheet with foil that has been buttered. Cover the entire surface with saltine crackers. Then, boil 1 C. brown sugar and 1 C. butter on a stove for three minutes and pour it over the crackers on the baking sheet. Sprinkle chocolate chips across the caramel mixture and spread it as it melts. Top with nuts/seeds of your liking and freeze for one hour.

Review: Initially, I thought the saltine crackers would make this treat unbearably salty. However, to my dismay, it actually enhanced the sweetness. The sugar-butter base became a nice thick layer of sweetness and the salt of the saltine crackers emphasized this. This relationship between the salt and sugar reminded me of vanilla and chocolate. They can be said to be the opposite of one another, however, vanilla is added to many chocolates because it brings out its flavor. Similarly, the salt did this to the sugar in this dessert which made its flavors much more intense, however, so much so that it was like a battlefield of salt against sugar in my mouth. Happily, the sweetness was more overpowering, so the dessert was not that salty. If you are fond of intense flavors, then this is sweet for you. But, if you would like a more delicate sweet in your mouth, then know that this is not for you. Moreover, the crunchiness of the raw walnuts and roasted pumpkin seeds that I added gave this sweet something extra and the sugar-butter base had a very light and smooth texture, so everything nearly melted in my mouth.

Oreo Mug Cake How to: Place four Oreos into a microwavable mug and pour milk until the Oreos are nearly covered. Crush the Oreos resting in the milk and then microwave for 40 seconds.

Review:

Roaring of heat as I took it out of the microwave, I realized that the prescribed 40 seconds was not enough to cook the cake entirely. This may depend on the wattage of each individual microwave, but I put the cake back in for another 20 seconds so as not to burn it. The center was undercooked compared to the rest of the cake, however, this turned out to be a good factor as it turned this Oreo cake into an Oreo lava cake. The texture was perfect as it was very smooth and there were no chunks. It wasn’t fluffy like a traditional cake would be, rather it was very condensed and moist which I had no problem with. The only negative thing is that much of the flavor was lost in the heating process. The cake tasted like Oreos dipped into milk, but like the Taki Sticks, it was very faint. To add more flavor I added whipped cream (unpictured), however, good old ice cream should do the trick as well. And, I would probably add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract in the future as well to emphasize the taste of the Oreo’s vanilla filling.

BY HAYATE MUSTEFA


Taki Sticks How to: Crush or blend Takis in a spice grinder. Prepare an egg wash and double coat cheese sticks with the crushed Takis and egg wash. Freeze for one hour to let it set, then enjoy after frying.

Review: Crunchy. Cheesy. Spicy. These are all adjectives that I was expecting, however, the finished product was nearly the opposite. The Takis provided a layer that wasn’t too thick so happily, the cheese was able to melt rather well, but this resulted in there being less of a crunch and not much flavor to be tasted. Don’t get me wrong, you could still taste the Takis, however, it was rather faint. For more crunchiness, I would triple layer the coating and add half a tablespoon of breading or flour to the dry Taki mixture. I would also alter the recipe to make it more spicy by adding some paprika to the dry mixture as well. This would ensure that any spice lost in the original Takis would have a replacement. I also would consider another type of spicy chips with more air in it, such as Hot Cheetos which some normally use in place of the Takis.

Peanut Butter Fudge How to: Microwave 1 C. of peanut butter and 1 C. of butter until melted. Then, mix 2 C. of powdered sugar into the mixture and place it into the freezer for two hours.

Review:

As someone who isn’t fond of peanut butter, I actually enjoyed eating this. The square pieces melted in my mouth and were of an extremely smooth texture. This probably is because this recipe was mostly sugar. To not have to consume as much sugar, though, I actually cut the recipe down to 1 c. peanut butter, 1 c. butter, and 1 c. powdered sugar. This recipe was very light, but one may argue too light as you can barely taste the peanut butter (that may be why I like it so much). I personally liked the lightness of the peanut butter, but I would suggest that those who are hoping for more of an intense flavor brown the butter on a stovetop instead of microwaving it with the peanut butter. This would give the base a much stronger caramelized flavor. I would also recommend adding less sugar and more peanut butter if you like a more chewy texture rather than a smooth and meltable one.


Young adults experience influence and pressure of their parents when it comes to choosing their career. By: Eva Jordan My mom is an investigative reporter and my dad is a librarian. My dad’s mother was a bookkeeper. I guess you could say I was born into a family of words. Since the beginning, media of all kinds have been thrust upon me and for the most part, I welcome it with open arms. If you were to ask me what jobs I’ve been interested in the past, I have a feeling you wouldn’t be surprised. Author, blogger, journalist, software developer… Yes, it was an ambitious phase. My point is, your career choices can be largely impacted by your parents’ careers for good or for worse.

YOU ’ R E BE I NG I N FLU E NCE D BY YOU R PAR E NTS’ CAR E E RS WH ETH E R YOU LI KE IT OR NOT” - EVA JO RDAN ‘23

According to General Social Survey data from between 1994 and 2016, sons of working fathers are 2.7 times as likely to have the same job as their father, and that’s referring to the specific job. Even if you’re not the heir

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to your family business, hearing tidbits from your parents about their work can increase your interest simply because of exposure. You’re being influenced by your parents’ jobs whether you like it or not. While I love my parents and what they do, I sometimes wonder how my life would change if, say, one of them were a doctor. The medical field has never appealed to me, but would that be different if I had a parent in the profession? I think it would. I have multiple friends with one or more doctor-parents, and they have all considered jobs similar to them. Not only do the adults in your life influence your future job, but also the steps before you start your career. Kids with two parents who went to college see it as the only option, and the natural next step after high school. While this seems like a good thing, it works the opposite way too. Kids with parents who didn’t go to college or didn’t finish high school might not have the parental encouragement that many of their peers are getting. After all, their parents turned out okay right? Yes and no. Though college is not financially viable for everyone, the median yearly income gap between college and high school graduates is about $17,500, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Sometimes students are not only affected by their parents and their careers, but can feel immense pressure to live up to their standards. Many young adults start feeling symptoms of

burnout and regret about their major during their college experience and later in life. Over 30% of college students change their major at least once before they graduate, according to the U.S. Department of Education. This could be due to feelings of obligation when it comes to picking your major. Balancing the desire to please your parents as well as make yourself happy can be very difficult, and sometimes you must choose your own happiness over all else. When it comes down to it, you have the final say on what path you decide to pursue, and that could very well be entirely different from your parents’. You are your own person, so live your life! Try new things and take your parents’ words with a grain of salt. Venture to new areas of thought, explore the world around you, and most importantly, write your own story. Oh, and don’t be afraid to steal words out of your parents’ stories. COMPILED BY EVA JORDAN

BY THE NUMBERS

$17,500

30%

2.7

is the yearly income gap between college and high school graduates

is the percent of college students that change their major at least once

times more likely is the amount that men will have the same job as their father


JUST HOLD THE DOOR... Holding the door for others who are close behind should and must be a part of everyday life. It might just make the other person’s day. BY RUBA AHMED

It’s winter. You’re cold, and the wind is

chilling your soul. All you want--all you wish for, is to get to the other side of the door and into the artificial warmth inside the building. But just when you’re two seconds away from the door, SLAM, and the door closes shut in your face. You stand there sobbing and let your angry tears turn into ice. If only the person in front of you had held the door for a couple more seconds, you wouldn’t have been stranded in the cold taking your hands out to reach the chilled metal of the door knob. People need to pay attention to the little things that could make them seem impolite or rude to others. Although they are little, they can make the other person’s life much easier. Door-holding is no exception. If a person were to open a door and see that someone was close behind, then it is only logical to hold the door open until the other is able to pass through. According to Psychology Today, everyone would have had the door opened for them as many times as they’ve held the door for someone else. That is only if everyone always holds the door for the people behind them. There are so many advantages that come when you do such simple acts of kindness. Take for example, stress. There are so many high school and college students who complain about being stressed and overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to do. When you help other people with their own problems or obstacles, you forget about yourself

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for a minute and make someone else’s day better. This doesn’t have to mean writing someone else’s essay instead of your own. It starts with simply keeping the door open for them and seeing their face light up with a “thanks”. But it’s not just stress. It’s also heart disease, blood pressure, migraine, and anxiety. Those with anxiety continuously feel nervous or panicked because of the low amounts of positive affect. The easiest way to increase positive affect is to impact others’ lives in a good way, and it doesn’t even have to be something big. Just thanking a person that holds a door open for you, or walking faster when someone chooses to take from their time and lessen the amount of work you have to do to open a door is beneficial. People should think about how much brain power is put into a math problem. If the question is not a simple “one plus one”, then it is likely that great amounts of concentration and effort is put in to solve the question. However, if an answer was provided, then the energy could instead be used to efficiently solve the problem and be able to check it quickly. The same is with opening a door. Although it may seem like a daunting task, there are many solutions in which the situation could be made much easier. Leaving the door open at all times would not be an ideal solution as it alters the wanted temperature indoors. Therefore, the most convenient and efficient way to make door life easier is to just

hold on to it for the next person (if they’re close!). Holding the door for others is not only a sign of being respectful, but it also involves reducing the amount of physical effort for one other person or, in some instances, a group of people.

When someone holds the door for another person, and that person forms a fairly consistent pattern of etiquette, the level of social cooperation in the area can be easily identified. The belonging of all community members together and closely will often be shown in kindness such as making an effort of increasing a person’s walking speed when another is holding the door for them. Even though people might like to think that holding the door is such a small thing to have an effect at all, and only results in time being wasted, we must continue to spread kindness. Seventy percent of people choose to walk through an open door, according to a study done by Professor Trinkaus in 1990. It is now 2020, so people have only grown more lazy. And because of that, everyone must take only moments to hold the door for who could be a struggling person behind them. Had someone not done that for me, I would’ve for sure dropped my ninth grade symposium poster and container of cookies!


7 REASONS WHY THE SCHOOL SYSTEM IN FINLAND IS BETTER THAN THE US The Finland school system is said to be the best in the world, and I think the US could learn a few things from them.

Complaining about school isn’t an uncommon thing coming from the average American teenager's mouth. A common response is “you’re just being dramatic,” and “it can't be that bad.” It isn’t just being at school that feels like a prison for American teens, it is also all the homework, lack of sleep, and the endless cycle of the same days over and over. You may think there is no way to fix this problem and it is what it is. But what if I told you there was a way, and it has been done? The school system in Finland is the best in the world and this is why I think that.

1 The ranking

Finland has been ranked the top school system in the world since 2000. Some things they use to rank are quality of basic and higher education, teacher to student ratio, and the number of passing students in primary and secondary schools. I don’t know about you, but there have been countless times when I’ve heard students complaining about how big the classes are. Come to think of it, I have even heard teachers say the same thing. In Finland, that isn’t a problem and teachers are able to teach each student to better fit their needs.

2 No standardized testing

In Finland, there aren’t any standardized tests apart from the National Matriculation exam. The National Matriculation Exam is

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similar to the American ACT test that one would take to get into college. In the US teachers teach so then students can cram for a test and then forget it all.

3 Just relax

Finnish schools have multiple times in the day where you can get up, stretch, get a snack, and socialize with peers. This creates a much more relaxed and happy environment. Being able to have a break between classes is important for students so then they can relax their minds before the next class.

TEAHCE RS I N FI N LAN D AR E H E LD TO TH E SAM E STAN DAR D AS DOCTO RS. TO BE A TEACH E R YOU N E E D AT LEAST A BACH E LO R ’S DEG R E E

4 Less homework

Once the school day is over Finnish students are able to go hang out with friends or go to their activities and not think about school till the next day. Schools in Finland focus is learning and growing to be good people rather than memorizing vocab and studying for standardized tests. Finnish students on average have 15 to 30 minutes On average the typical American Student will spend and hour to an hour and a half on homework everynight while Finnish students only spend about 15 to 30 minutes a night on homework.

of homework a night, while American student has about an hour to an hour and a half of homework a night.

5 Teachers can choose their curriculum

Teachers get to choose their own curriculum so they can teach students the best way possible for them and their students. Some teachers are best at talking and making interesting lectures, while others may be more into hands-on projects and labs. Teachers are able to teach what they want and what is important for their students to know.

6 No private schools

In Finland there are nearly no private schools and if there are they can't have tuition and they have to let everyone in. This system works because parents that would normally pay for their kids go to private school will instead put that money into public schools so they are able to have nice facilities for their children. In comparison to the American School system, the Finnish system includes aspects of education that may seem out of the norm to some. American school systems should put some of the same features into their schools to improve schooling for everyone.

Percent of highschool graduates

93%

84%

Is the amount of students graduating highschool in Finlaand

Is the amount of students in the US graduating highschool


The two weeks before....

ART BY: PAIGE ALBRIGHT

OPINION MAR. 23, 2020

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How to Make a Popp’n Playlist

It’s getting to be that time when students from all over are getting excited about the three month break from school, widely known as summer. Summer’s a time to spend time with family, hangout with your friends and listen to your favorite music. Although the new pop music now is catchy, there is nothing better than rolling the windows down and cruising in your car jamming to the classics. Here are five classic Throwback Thursday songs that you need in your summer playlist. By Lexi Nash “Break the Rules” By Charli XCX (2014) A song written about the fantasies of not giving one care in the world to things like school, work, and responsibilities. “Break the Rules” is a very highly recommended song for the rebels out there that just want to have a little bit more fun than the average person. While most people associate Charli XCX with her usual punk genre, she decided to take a turn in a new direction by her creation of a more upbeat pop song. Her music video was also inspired by the films “Carrie” (1976), “The Craft” (1996) and “Jawbreaker” (1999). A well needed 2000’s pop song for good vibes and some music to jam out to. “Basket Case” By Green Day (1994) Green Day expresses the reality of anxiety and the feeling of just falling over the edge. Even the name of the song refers to being an emotionally unstable or completely useless person. The song hit twenty-seven on the Airplay chart in 1994, as well as becoming one of the most catchy and well known songs in the 90’s. Even with it’s difficult and slightly disturbing origin, it definitely will have you nodding your head and screaming out the lyrics with all of your friends. “I’m Still Standing” By Elton John (1983) Ranked #12 on Us Billboard Hot 100 and propelled by MTV for being so relatable to a younger audience. The lyrics are explaining the aftermath of a previous significant other, and a statement of resilience. So if you get your heart broken before summer even starts then this song is for showing your ex and yourself that you are still standing!

“Rappers Delight” By Sugarhill Gang (1979) Being the first rap song to enter the US Billboard Hot 100 making “Rappers Delight” iconic in America. Although the original song is distastefully long, the beat is funky and the words are clever. If there is one song you must have at a summer party, or get together with your friends this soundtrack has to be the one.

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” By Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons (1967) Charted #2 in America in 1967, reeked of success everywhere it was listened to. It is also a contender for one of the top most covered songs of all time, which is astronomically impressive. The song includes hints of rock, pop and middle of the road and was also a very difficult song to write even with Frank Valli’s immense amount of musical talent.

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16

ADVERTISEMENTS FEB. 21, 2020


PINK TAX A look into the gender-discrimantion of pink tax By: Galilea Flores Feminine products, razors, body wash, and clothing are all examples of products we may use in our everyday lives. The problem is that women are having to pay more for these products than men. Pink tax is a gender-based price discrimination, meaning an extra amount of money women are having to pay for their everyday needs. Although many will argue that the price difference isn’t very vast, overtime the small differences will add up. According to an article by Good Housekeeping, the average women's products cost 7% more than mens products. The discrimination against women and their purchases is unethical. Women of all ages should not have to pay an extra amount of money for personal care products, toys, clothing, basically everything. Not only does the pink tax revolve around feminine products, it also is a problem in childrens ‘clothing and toys. According to a Gender Pricing study in New York City, a red scooter may cost $24.99 and a girls pink scooter will cost $49.99. Being the exact same scooter but assigned to a specific gender, the children's scooters have a large price gap. The real question is why does the pink tax exist? The pink tax comes from retailers who feel women will pay more for products. Another way people see pink tax is the absurd fee women are having to pay for personal hygiene products, such as the tampon tax. The price difference women are having to pay for their everyday needs is unfair.

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PI N K TA X (NOU N) TH E EXTR A AMOU NT

Many states in the U.S are working on abolishing the tampon tax. In order to eliminate this gender discrimniation against women, the public needs to be informed, specifically womwen who are unaware of the extra amount they are paying. By informing the public, we can educate retailers and help abolish the pink tax in companies. Women should not have to pay more for their basic necessities than men. Pink tax is a discriminating and unequal pay for women of all ages.

TH E AVE R AG E WOM E N I S CHARG E D FO R BASIC PRODUCTS AN D SE RVICES... J UST FO R BE I NG A WOM E N $1,351 EVE RY YEAR .

PERCENTAGE COST OF PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS

7% 56%

Men Women


UNMASKED In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, people worldwide are scrambling to buy masks with the intention of protecting themselves from the virus. Kevy Huynh ’23 uncovers the truth about this prevention method. BY KEVY HUYNH I was sitting on the city bus, and as we reached downtown I saw a sight that shocked me, yet seemed so familiar at the same time. A young woman was preparing to cross the street, her scarf flapping around in the wind teasing her jacket. What stood out to me was the accessory that covered everything below her eyes: a surgical mask. Of course, I wouldn’t know what the mask was really for, and perhaps her reason for wearing it had nothing to do with the coronavirus. But in today’s world and the climbing panic over the new virus, it wouldn’t be uncommon for one to assume that this young woman’s motive was to protect herself from contracting it. I watched as she passed by in the bus window, and it left only one question in my mind: Does she know how well the mask will realy protect her? The Centers for Disease Control specifically recommend that healthy people do not wear face masks to try and prevent against COVID-19. While surgical masks can prevent inhaling large particles in the air, they cannot prevent the wearer from inhaling small particles, like those of COVID-19. The CDC recommends that only people who already show coronavirus symptoms to wear masks, as it can prevent spreading the virus by trapping particles from a sneeze or cough. Caregivers of people infected with the virus are also recommended to wear the masks. N95 respirators are tight-fitting and designed to filter out 95% of particles from the air, but the CDC only recommends these masks for health care workers. On Feb. 29, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams tweeted, “Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!” During an interview with Fox & Friends, Adams even said “Folks who don’t know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of the coronavirus.” In case you didn’t pick up, the big message here is to do everyone a favor and stop buying masks. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to wash your hands. Wash. Your. Hands.

STATS 475% increase in household face mask sales from Feb. 23 to Feb. 29

313% increase in hand sanitizer sales from Feb. 23 to Feb. 29

42 million surgical face masks and medical-grade N95 masks that the Strategic National Stockpile currently holds

80%

of COVID-19 patients recover without the need for specialist treament, according to WHO

219,077 people have been infected. As of Mar. 13, 2020, 142,783 cases are still active, 5,374 cases resulted in death, and 70,920 people completely recovered

The CDC says that only 65 percent of women and 31 percent of men wash their hands after using the bathroom.

STOP BUYI NG

MASKS! TH EY AR E NOT E FFECTIVE I N PR EVE NTI NG G E N E R AL PU BLIC FROM CATCH I NG #CO RONAVI R US.”

- DR. J EROM E ADAMS, U.S. SU RGEON GEN ERAL To the ones that don’t fit into those percentages, that’s just nasty. In fact, washing your hands is a recommended way to keep yourself healthy by the CDC, along with avoiding touching your face, staying home when you are sick, and covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and immediately disposing of it in the trash. I don’t see “buy and wear a mask” anywhere in that list, do you? Due to the push to buy masks to prevent against COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the sudden change in the global supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) is putting lives at risk from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. PPE is needed by healthcare workers to protect themselves and their patients from infection and infecting others. Shortages are leaving healthcare workers too poorly equipped to care for COVID-19 patients. WHO estimated that industry must increase manufacturing by 40 percent to meet the steadily rising worldwide demand. Buying face masks and wearing them for your own protection when you’re currently healthy is doing more harm than good.

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MARCH 13, 2020

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“ I J UST TH I N K ON E OF TH E BEST WAYS TO I M PROVE I S J UST TO HAVE BETTE R AWAR E N ESS.” -GRETA KRASKE ‘23

Greta Kraske ‘23 holds her cardboard binder and her “Rocketbook,” which allows you to take notes, automatially save them to your drive, and clean the surface to reduce waste.

“ I TH I N K THAT WE AR E AT TH E POI NT WH E R E WE N E E D TO BE MAKI NG R ADICAL CHANG ES TO SAVE TH E PLAN ET.” , - EM MA GRACE SHOPPA ‘20 Emma Grace Shoppa ‘20 holds her bulk cooking ingredients which means it comes without plastic sealing in it, instead you put it in your own containerand weigh it

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Green New Deal: The Greenest Option

Katherine Shoppa ‘23 explains what the Green New Deal is and why it should be passed.

S

ince the 1880s, the global climate has risen 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit, and Earth is warming faster than it ever has before. In October 2018, the United Nations released a report that found the effects of climate change could become irreversible by 2030 unless we act now. Despite all these studies, it feels like nothing is being done. In fact, we’re losing progress. Just recently, the U.S backed out of the Paris Agreement, a global agreement on how we will combat climate change. So why isn’t anyone fighting back?

“ EVE N TH E SOLUTION S THAT WE HAVE CON SI DE R E D BIG AN D BOLD AR E NOWH E R E N EAR TH E SCALE OF TH E ACTUAL PROBLE M .” - ALEXAN DRIA OCASIO -CO RTEZ

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a Green New Deal a major part of her campaign in 2018. The Green New Deal aims to do many things to help the climate; the main goals are to switch 100% of national power to renewable sources, decarbonize infrastructure, fight injustices against communities impacted by climate change, and fund more projects to capture carbon dioxide. However, on March 26, 2019, the Senate voted against it, with many fearing

it would cost too much money and take away their transportation rights. Even compared to the most ambitious solutions to climate change, the costs of deaths from extreme weather and diseases, as well as the economic falls of mass extinctions and habitat loss will add up to more than any proposals. The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change warming models projected that investors will lose about $4.2 trillion in assets by the end of the century from resources being used and destroyed. According to a 2018 report, sustainable investments could add an economic gain of $26 trillion through 2030. The Green New Deal also lays outlines for having renewable and clean energy sources, which is one of the big factors in stopping our amount of contributions to climate change. The goal would be to have 100% of our energy powered by clean sources and using things like solar energy and wind energy. A 6.6kw solar system would save 10.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. These clean energy sources will not only help with climate change, but they will also help to create more jobs, another goal of the Green New Deal. All of the work of quickly installing these solar rooftops to businesses will create a need for more workers. Programs like Solar For All are already making training programs for people to get ready for installing solar energy into buildings, including those who previously worked in fossil fuel dominated industries. Many fossil fuel workers will lose their jobs, but with these kind of programs and changing the energy sources, many more job options will open up for them. Switching our energy sources would cause an industry-wide transition for the best. The Green New Deal also provides an outline for decarbonizing infrastructure, or building infrastructure that isn’t run by carbon, especially transportation. In China, national policy has supported a shift to “new energy” vehicles. The growing industry proves that the Green New Deal will not only help with climate change but also help with growth of jobs. Many are concerned with the costs of battery-run cars, but the batteries have fallen in

cost by 85% since 2010. It’s also predicted that the cost of owning a battery operated car will be as cheap as a gas or diesel car by 2022. The transportation aspect of the New Green Deal will also make cars require less maintenance since electric cars have fewer parts. Not only is having electric cars part of the deal, but even smaller improvements such as making more bike lanes to subways or other important places can help encourage more green traveling. It also can allow people to travel more places by bike. COMPILED BY KATHERINE SHOPPA

BY THE NUMBERS

2,000 750 270

kilograms of carbon dioxide per 400 km of traveling by boat.

kilograms of carbon dioxide per 6,500 km of traveling by airplane.

kilograms of carbon dioxide per 880 km of traveling by car.

Many say it’s too big of an action, but the stakes couldn’t be bigger. We need a major switch and if we don’t try this, it could lead to the destruction of the earth’s species, including us. We’ve damaged polar bears’ habitats as well as many tree frogs’ habitats through deforestation. It creates jobs for people, will help the economy by creating more jobs and industries, and could help save our world. The Green New Deal is a framework and a rallying cry, centered around the end goals, but how we get there is up to us. Vox states it best, “Without concerted global action — and with a few bad breaks on climate sensitivity, population, and fossil fuel projections — the worstcase scenarios include civilization-threatening consequences that will be utterly disastrous for most of the planet’s species.”

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MARCH 23, 2020

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AZN NATION Maya Chu ‘23 discusses the pitfalls of affirmative action and how they impact Asian American applicants. BY MAYA CHU In the race that is college admissions, students frantically study to get their ACT scores just two points higher or to hit that magic GPA that their dream schools seem to want. The finish line, however, is still far from tangible. The application process presents many more difficult hurdles to jump, with the question of race still lingering in the air. Affirmative Action has been adopted by many schools across the country to bridge inequality and assist minorities in the admissions process. This policy is meant to level the playing field for those who are historically disadvantaged, specifically black and Hispanic students. But where does Affirmative Action leave Asian American applicants? Being America’s “model minority,” Asians are held to higher standards than other applicants when being considered for college. This is especially prevalent in selective schools such as those in the Ivy League, where high-achieving students (including Asians) tend to apply. This higher bar means that we, as a group, are put at a disadvantage and often have to work harder to be admitted. According to Thomas Espenshade and Alexandra Radford’s “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal,” an Asian student that scores 1450 on their SATs would have an equal chance of acceptance as a white student that scores 1310, a Hispanic student that scores 1130, and a black student that scores 1000. This data displays such a substantial difference between races, and it’s upsetting and discouraging to see that I have to work harder and score higher than my non-Asian peers to have the same shot at admission. It’s also important to note that not all Asians fit the academically overachieving stereotype that’s placed on us, and this policy proves a severe obstacle to such students. The “model minority” term that’s used to describe us implies that all Asian Americans are smart, hard-working, and come from high-income families, making it all the more difficult for students who don’t directly fit these charac-

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teristics. My family is well off now, but my parents were by no means rich growing up. Why should children of hard-working immigrants like them be put at a disadvantage? Although it’s true that Asians are very well represented at elite universities, the problem is that admittance rates (the rate at which students are accepted compared to the rate at which they applied) for Asians are often lower than those of any other racial group. According to the Harvard Crimson, only 5.6% of Asian applicants were admitted in 2017, compared to 6.1% of Latinos, 6.8% of African Americans, and 7% of white applicants. This increases the already apparent competitiveness among Asian students while squashing any hope that more average students have at admissions. There’s an unspoken and informal quota on Asian enrollment, and we’ve been dealt a bad hand in that regard. Rather than evaluating high performing Asian students relative to the rest of the applicant pool, college admissions officers throw us in a bullpen

SAT SCORES

1450 1310

1130

1000

FOR ASIAN STUDENTS FOR WHITE STUDENTS FOR HISPANIC STUDENTS

FOR BLACK STUDENTS

for the same shot at admission

and pit us against each other in the race to the top. Not only are Asian applicants assessed on a higher scale academically, but we are often rated lower in terms of personality. A 2019 analysis conducted in the midst of the Harvard lawsuit found that the university consistently rated Asian American applicants lower on vague measures of personality such as “likability” and “kindness,” even when an in-person meeting had never occurred. In comparison, alumni interviewers who actually met with these students often rated them as having good personalities. According to The New York Times, Harvard documents refer to these students as “busy and bright” and “standard strong,” which imply that they lacked more meaningful qualities that should warrant acceptance, even if they were academically qualified. It’s disappointing to see highly regarded institutions like Harvard labeling us as one-dimensional or lacking personal skills, even when there isn’t solid evidence to back up their claims. I’m often told that my academics alone cannot possibly get me into a top school. Although this undoubtedly applies to all races, it seems like Asians have to be more passionate or better leaders to be seen as admission-worthy. It’s not like simple extracurriculars will help that much, either. Piano and tennis can’t possibly carry us out of the hole that

RIGHT”

DB “BUSY AN

“STAND ARD STRON G”


ADMITTANCE RATES BY RACE colleges have dug us into. Our good grades and high test scores often hold less significance since there are so many Asians at the top of their class, and Affirmative Action does nothing to help this. With all this being said, diversity, especially in schools, is very important. It promotes exposure to different cultures and prepares students for the increasingly globalized world. But discrimination in the name of diversity is unacceptable, and measures should be taken to ensure that the system is fairer. Black and Hispanic students getting a “leg up” is valid considering the structural discrimination they’ve faced in this country, but

5.6% of ASIANS 6.1% of LATINOS 6.8% of AFRICAN AMERICANS 7% of WHITES

“ WE SHOU LDN ’T

BE PE NALIZE D FO R TH E LONGSTAN DI NG E FFECTS OF SLAVE RY, POVE RTY, AN D OTH E R FACTO RS WH ICH HAVE R ESU LTE D I N TH E I N EQ UALITY THAT TR IG E R E D TH E N E E D FO R AFFI R MATIVE ACTION .”

- MAYA CH U ‘23

that doesn’t justify the discrepancies that Asian applicants now face. We shouldn’t be penalized for the longstanding effects of slavery, poverty and other factors which have resulted in the inequality that triggered the need for Affirmative Action. The “model minority” stereotype acts as a confining box that Asian Americans can be conveniently shoved into. The idea that we aren’t creative and are lacking in social ability is grossly inaccurate, and I do not care to be categorized as such. With the way Affirmative Action policies work today, it’s hard for Asians not to question the validity of the higher education system. They see peers packing up for four years on the coast and silently wonder if their race was the difference between acceptance and rejection. But one thing we can learn without a great college education is this: what is seen as a noble method of inclusion can also be a powerful method of exclusion.

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The Pressures of Homework There are many pressurous aspects of life as a high schooler. One of those being the amount of homework assigned each night. In this story, reproter Audrey Parrish ‘23 talks about homework pressures and how they affect student’s involvements in extracurriualr activities.

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I

n the first weeks of school, I remember teachers telling me to be as involved as possible around the school. I thought that was possible, at first. Now when I am two thirds through the school year and I am re-thinking the whole idea. How possible are extracurriculars when you get assigned 4 pieces of homework every night? The schedules of students are and have been taken over by our huge amounts of homework for a long time, so why should we feel pressured to do more for the school? These are questions that I have often asked myself in the late hours of the night when I am finishing up my spanish packet assignment after my two hour long session at set that day. The way that many students compensate for their after school schedule is staying up late. That isn’t healthy and doesn’t produce good work. In the US News article “The Importance of Sleep for Teen Mental Health” Heather Monroe states that “surveys show that less than 9 percent of teens get enough sleep” and that many things affect teen sleep, including “technology use, caffeine intake, heavy homework loads, extracurricular activities and schools with early start times.” It is better to have a lesser amount of well done work turned in and a healthy student than the regular amount of work that was rushed through at 12 at night. But the thing is that that is the kind of work that students turn in when they have extracurriculars. The time is short and so students rush their work. If the school expects us to be as involved as we possibly can and still expect us to take challenging classes, they

need to make it more possible and healthy for students to access. Many students feel that the homework load is too heavy and not possible to keep up with extracurricular activities. The stress and sleep deprivation that comes with homework and extracurriculars is just not healthy for high schoolers to be dealing with. Staying up late and getting up early is a recipe for disaster. For example, when I stay up past midnight doing homework the next day(or that day, I should say) I have a painful headache. This makes it hard to focus during classes and isn’t healthy in general. Many people are forced to choose between homework and extracurriculars. Some of the people I know either don’t do anything after school or don’t do their homework. Neither is ideal. We need to be able to find a good place in the middle so that everyone can do the extracurriculars that they want and still do their homework on time.

BY THE NUMBERS

67.6%

Of students surveyed think that too much homework gets assigned to them each day.

56.8%

Of students surveyed feel that they can’t participate in extracurricular activities because of their homework load.

91.9%

Of students surveyed would deacrease the amount of homework teachers give out everyday.

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By Sila Duran

Fullham

I’m so happy you’re coming home same imy


Corona virus Corona virus!

Why are you doing this?

Ha, ha!

This comic illustrates the experience of one of many Asian Americans after the COVID-19 outbreak. Pawat Silawattakun, was robbed and assulted while traveling home to west London. While in the end he was able to get to the hospital and safely recover, this encouter still brings to light the mass hysteria around the corona virus and how it can ultamiately lead to forms of xenophobia. For more read the article that inspired this comic, “‘They yelled Coronavirus’-- East Asian attack victim speaks of fear.”

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MARCH 23 2020

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How Much Do We Use Our Phones? Vivian Polgreen ‘23 exlaines her expierience with phones here at West High, and how we all might spend a little too much time on them

F

rom the lunchroom to the bathroom to under students’ desks in the middle of a lecture, even in the middle of a fire drill, I see people using their phones almost everywhere at West High. I find it a common occurrence to see students watching Youtube, Tik Toks, attempting to beat 2048, scrolling through Instagram, or trying to maneuver through the hallway without colliding into other people. No matter what is happening, students tend to be more interested in whatever is on their phone other than what is happening in the real world. Although I have seen this numerous times, I have never quite understood this phenomenon. I know as well as anyone that there are more exciting things to do than listen

“ON AVE R AG E , PEOPLE I N TH E U N ITE D STATES CH ECK TH E I R PHON ES 46 TI M ES PE R DAY ” -TI M E to geometry for an hour, but being distracted during class often results in the students not understanding the lesson. If you do not understand the lesson, attempting homework and tests become exponentially more difficult. Even outside of school I find that the time spent on your phone could be used to do something much more entertaining and useful. I personally enjoy playing the piano and cello, reading books, crafts, sports,

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socializing with my friends, and playing card games with my sister, and I feel like I get more out of these activities than most things I do online. Not to mention that staring at too many screens can also strain your eyes. This can result in having headaches and blurred vision, according to Wellmark. Screens also produce a lot of blue light. This can disrupt your sleep cycle, especially if you are looking at screens right before bed and may even go as far as to cause insomnia. This is especially unfortunate because sleep is very important to mental health, and most teenagers are not getting enough sleep as it is. U.S. News reports that only 9% of teenagers get the full nine hours of sleep that they are recommended, partly due to the amount of time spent on electronic devices. According to ABC News, teenagers spend around 7 hours and 22 minutes on screens daily for entertainment alone. However, a study by Common Sense Media says that teens spend as much as 9 hours a day on their phones. This adds up to 114 to 137 days out of a year dedicated to staying on your phone. If there were 114 more days in a year, imagine what could be accomplished in that time if you were not scrolling through social media or watching videos. There are many apps and programs in place, available on IOS, Android, and even desktop computers in order to help you track and reduce the time that you spend on electronics. Additionally, I find that it is helpful to set timers before I start scrolling through social media or playing a game. You can also set timers in the settings of your phone to limit how much time you can spend on certain apps each day. That way, you can determine how much time you will spend on it beforehand and can stop yourself from losing track of time. Despite this, there are positives that come with having a phone. We live in a world that is more connected than ever, and many people use their phones and social media to keep in contact with friends or other people. Like my brother, who downloaded Ins-

tagram so that his track coach could contact him, social media is great for communication, especially when people are unable to see each other if they are separated or live in different areas. Though sometimes it works in the opposite direction, like when I try to talk to someone at my lunch table, they are all staring at their phones, or are listening to music.

“TH I S ADDS U P TO 114 TO 137 DAYS OUT OF A YEAR DE DICATE D TO STAYI NG ON YOU R PHON E .” People spend a great deal of time on the internet, especially social media. Phones can be very helpful, to keep in contact with people, or relax and have a chance to not worry about what is happening in your life. However, I believe that we spend too much time online. When I spend time staring at my phone, I usually put it down and then forget whatever it was that I read or watched, and I often feel like that time was wasted. There are a lot of things that I would like to accomplish. Going to Allstate for cello, not failing Geometry, and keeping my room clean (despite my little sister leaving her socks all over the floor) are things that will not be accomplished through my phone.


Obesity in America

The rising trend of obesity in America is related to family incomes and unhealthy school lunches. BY MARA CAYLOR

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ou have $5 to spend on lunch. You can either get a Wendy’s 4 for $4 which includes chicken nuggets, a drink, fries, a hamburger and you would still have $1 leftover. If that doesn’t sound good, you can afford a small-sized chicken salad at Wendy’s for $4.69 and that would be all you get. Which one gets you more for your money? The 4 for $4. And that’s why one of the main reasons Americans are so obese is because of the price of food in America. These prices of food in America are getting higher each year as the quality is getting lower. Some families have low income and can only purchase cheap and unhealthy food. According to USDA, in 2018, the lowest-income families would only spend about $4,109 on food in a year for a full family while the average is $7,203. If you only have $4,109 to spend on food, you’re probably going to get the most for your money not worrying about your health, and that’s another reason why fresh and organic food should be cheaper and more available to lower income individuals. In 2010, Michelle Obama changed school lunch regulations to have more healthy options for lunches in school. These improvements included reducing the amount of fat in the foods they offer, giving the options of fruits and vegetables every day and offering only low fat or fat-free milk. The plan worked well. Now, the USDA’s deputy undersecretary Bradon Lipps is trying to have fewer rules about what fruits and vegetables you have to eat. He said he wants to make changes to these rules because

he wants to make school lunches “more exciting”. The changes he wants to make are dumb. The purpose of school lunches isn’t to ‘be exciting,’ it’s to keep kids healthy and give them the nutrients they need. This change could cause Americans to become even more obese, so it would not make sense to have this change happen. American school lunches should be more like school lunches in Greece. According to Olive-Tomato, school lunches in Greece have a main course of vegetables with a side of bread and cheese. The vegetables are usually dipped in olive oil to make them taste better. And the price? Only $2.50. That is very cheap for the amount of vegetables you are getting. Only 17.5% of their 10.74 million people are overweight. COMPILED BY MARA CAYLOR-=

BY THE NUMBERS

43%

25%

8.2%

of families with an average income of $21,756 are obese. of families with an average income of $32,679 are obese of families with an average income of $56,259 are obese

Compared to Greece, the American government should be having more restrictions on food that they can control. If low-income families can only afford unhealthy food at home, the schools should be pushing as hard as they can to have these healthy homes to bal-

ance out the foods they eat at home. This way, the nutritious value can even out. Even having access to fruits and vegetables at school, even if you don’t eat them, would still be a good rule that way students have the option to eat healthily if they can’t eat healthy at home. If people aren’t being careful enough about what they eat, this could lead to health problems. According to NBC News, about a third of Americans are overweight and another 35% are obese. An average of 112,00 in the United States die from obesity per year. Being obese can be can not only kill you but also can lead to other health problems such as cardiac disease, cancer, diabetes and have a higher chance of having strokes or heart attacks. This relates to before about why eating healthy is so important. Not only is it good for you for that day to keep you awake and feeling ok, but so it also doesn’t lead to problems like these. Since not all can afford these healthy kinds of foods, healthier foods should be cheaper. Also to decrease the amount of obesity in the United States, school lunches should not be changed to the rule of having them be “more exciting” for kids to eat. They should provide for the right amount of nutrients so they can balance it out with what they eat at home. If some of these problems aren’t fixed it can lead to major health problems in the United States. It will make the United States seem underdeveloped and set a bad example for other de- OPINION veloping countries. MAR. 23 2020

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CREDIT REEL

Krisha Kapoor ‘23 takes a moment to appreciate the people behind the scenes. BY KRISHA KAPOOR

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fter every great movie, there is a credit reel for all the people behind the scenes. Almost always you’ll find yourself getting up and leaving before the screen gets past the actors. Do you ever actually wonder who wrote that song, or who made that sound effect? As humans, we are busy and tend to get caught up in our own lives. We rarely ever take a step back to appreciate the small things that people are doing to make our community a better place. If West High were a movie we would have our phenomenal athletes to star students. Although overlooked, behind these scenes of success is a whole crew of people that deserve credits. One of which is LaShaun Lacy. One gloomy morning, I was walking into school and just felt a little more tired than usual. As I was about to walk in, I heard an outburst of laughter and happiness. I turned around and to my luck, I got to see the bright smile of LaShaun Lacy, bus driver for special needs students at West. Little did I know, behind that smile is years of resilience and hard work. LaShaun works days and nights to support his family, all while putting a smile on students’ faces. To me, he embodies what the culture of West should be — a place of happiness, love, and hard work. At a very young age, LaShaun learned not to take things for granted and to enjoy the people he surrounded himself with. He was born on the south side of Chicago to his mother and father. At the age of five, his parents had split and by eighth grade, he had lost his sister. LaShaun’s childhood did not slow itself down, but by the age of 17, he had his first child, and married at 18. This mixture of love and pain associated with his family is what motivates

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LaShaun today. “My family motivates me, I do everything to give my family what my mother couldn’t give me.” LaShaun supports his family by working two jobs. His day starts at 8 a.m. when he runs his bus route, then he sleeps from around 9:30 to 1:30. From there he wakes up and runs his afternoon bus routes until 5 p.m. Then LaShaun gets home to cook for his family and he is soon off to his night job. LaShaun works as a correctional officer at the prison from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m., and then the cycle continues. Running on minimal sleep, it amazes me to see how positive LaShaun remains and motivated to do work every day. Sleep deprivation redefined, am I right? Although these jobs might seem like polar opposites, LaShaun enjoys both and has learned a lot from his experience. Through all the sleepless nights he has learned to become open to learning about people and creating connections with those who care. LaShaun enjoys being a bus driver because he gets to make kids smile and laugh

everyday. He takes well-deserved pride in his ability to make one of the worst parts of school, the best. On the other hand, being a correctional officer provides its own challenges. LaShaun has had to accept the fact that officers can be wrong and poorly judge individuals. He has learned that there are some good people in prison that did things to provide for their family and just made bad decisions. He feels like he has developed a new sense of maturity and boldness. LaShaun’s work ethic and open mindset goes to show that you can learn something from any situation. Almost every day since that morning I wave at LaShaun and receive a wave back. I constantly see the kids on his bus leaving with joy on their faces. He spreads his light no matter where he goes. By taking a dive into LaShaun’s life and learning about his perspective I realized that so many people have stories to tell and everyone’s life is different. Sometimes we just have to take the time to look at the credits.


Grape Flavoring: the Enemy? Alaina Greenlee ‘23 shares her thoughts on the ever controvesial, grape flavoring. BY ALAINA GREENLEE

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ou open up a fresh new bag of Jolly Ranchers, and you’re overwhelmed by all the dazzling colors and delicious flavors. Which flavor do you pick first? Blue raspberry? Cherry? Perhaps grape, if you think the sky is green and you don’t eat tacos on Tuesday. Grape flavoring is either hit or miss. The flavor may taste like the artificial cough medicine you have to mentally prepare to swallow, or like any other delicious fruity flavor. However, grape flavoring is commonly the former. Many people don’t actively pick grape, unless it’s the only flavor left. Grape consistently places last in blog rankings of people’s favorite Jolly Rancher flavor. Grape is even ranked under Cinnamon Fire, which “Thrillist” says is for people, “who live for that self-inflicted, certainly angry, fiery burn.” Jolly Ranchers aren’t the only product with a poor grape flavor. I don’t remember the last time I ate a grape Welch’s Fruit Snack, ever considered drinking a Fierce Grape Gatorade, or not given away a grape Tootsie Pop. Which, by the way, takes on average 252 licks to get to the center of according to a study from Purdue University. The only grapes I tolerate are the natural and sweet grapes themselves. But instead of generalizing, I took a survey of 40 West High students to see what others thought of grape flavoring. In this survey, 43.6% of participants thought grape flavoring was “nasty,” “disgusting,” and that it “tastes like chemicals and death.” 28.2% said it depended on many different factors, like what it is used in or how much is used. Small portions are enjoyable, but too much is bitter and overpowering. Grape candies are either delectable or plain and artificial. Grape soda was a very popular grape product among the participants, but other than that, a consensus was reached that grape is a very risky flavor. On the other hand, there are those who enjoy grape flavoring in all products. Like any other beloved flavor, grape appeals to that special demographic. Think back to

when you were a kid, playing outside for hours on end, and your mom calls you inside for one of those bulk pack sleeve popsicles. What do you grab? This is one of the instances it was acceptable to grab a grape popsicle. Maybe a grape Laffy Taffy here and there, or the grape SweetTarts due to their subtle taste. Case in point, not all grape products are completely repulsive, but always seem to carry a hint of that lingering PTSD from cough medicine.

deeper than if it’s good or not. People are going to like what they like and there’s no changing that, but one is definitely more correct. So if you are a grape fanatic, go forth, eat those left over Jolly Ranchers sitting at the bottom of the bag. But just know they aren’t “the el fuego” like Cinnamon Fire Jolly Ranchers.

“G R APE I S EVE N R AN KE D U N DE R CI N NAMON FI R E , WH ICH ‘TH R I LLI ST’ SAYS I S FO R PEOPLE , ‘ WHO LIVE FO R THAT SE LF- I N FLICTE D, CE RTAI N LY ANG RY, FI R EY BU R N .’”

- ALAI NA G RE E N LE E ‘23 So you may be wondering, “If so many people dislike grape flavoring, why do companies still use it in their products?” Put simply, to make the other flavors pop. Perhaps a psychological sales tactic? A control is needed to compare products, in this case, flavors. If there is one flavor that lacks, the other flavors automatically taste much better. So maybe grape products are thrown into a mix of flavors to make others stand out. Maybe all the flavors are bad, but when all compared, one reigns superior. This unanswered question of whether grape flavoring is good or not is so controversial, I had many people reach out to me while writing this and voice their very strong opinions. However, it goes OPINION MAR. 13, 2020

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MARCH 23, 2020


With COVID-19 rapidly spreading throughout the world, the International Olympic Committee has a tough decision, whether or not to cancel the Olympics. BY: ANNIE SCHWARTZ*

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he Olympics have been the staple of sports since 1896 when the first games were held. Throughout the 124 years, they have only been canceled three times, 1916, 1940, and 1944, all three for the world wars. However, due to the coronavirus or COVID-19, many people are calling for cancelation or postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This is a tough decision. On one hand, the safety and health of both athletes and spectators could be at risk with all the traveling and interaction. On the other hand, athletes have been working for this their entire lives, and may not get another chance. It would cost the International Olympic Committee (IOC) a lot of money. The IOC and Tokyo Olympic leaders have been tasked with this decision, move it, postpone it, cancel it or figure something else out. COVID-19 has been all over the internet and the news, but what do we really know about it? This particular coronavirus, or COVID-19, originated in Wuhan, China and has spread to 108 countries as of March 11, 2020, including the United States and even Johnson County. The virus’s case fatality rate is estimated to be around the same, or even higher than that of the seasonal flu, which is also going around right now. According to The New York Times, many cases of the virus may be undiagnosed as the symptoms could be mild, and each person with the virus seems to pass it to around 2.2 others. If this is the case, the Olympic Games could provide the perfect opportunity to spread the disease amongst huge crowds packed into tight areas. On the other hand, canceling the Olympics will cause a ripple effect, leading to many losing great sums of money. According to The New York Times, billions of dollars have already been invested in the Olympics, and straight-up canceling it would mean all of that money and labor for nothing. Again, if we draw closer to the opening ceremony, and the virus is no better, decisions have to be made concerning health and safety. Not money or profit. The coronavirus has also already caused the cancellation of many big sporting events, including the World Indoor Track and Field Championships, which shows how bad it currently is. Canceling the games is not the way

to go, at least not right now. With the Olympics still over 4 months away, it’s too early to make a final decision. We have yet to see if it’s seasonal, or if the virus will get worse. Canceling the games would be very hard to go back from, and seems far too extreme. Athletes are also a crucial part of this decision. Aaron Mallett is a professional runner for Nike and the 60-meter indoor hurdle national champion who is trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, assuming they happen. He says, “If I qualified for the Olympics, I’d do as much research and ask as many questions as I could to ensure that I was taking the safest precautions.” He also says that he thinks we have enough time to get on top of the virus before the start of the games. With over 11,000 other athletes set to be competing, not including the nearly 4,500 Paralympians, many other countries and athletes around the world will have to make the decision to go or not if they qualify. Many countries may not even have Olympic qualifying meets out of fear for the virus, which would make qualifying a problem. The IOC should hold off on a decision until it gets closer to the games and

“ IT WOU LD BE A

DEVASTATI NG BLOW I F IT [TH E OLYM PICS] WE R E CANCE LE D”

-AARON MALLETT we know more about the virus. Canceling the games too early will be irreversible and the wrong choice. Not to mention, it would waste billions of dollars and deprive athletes of what they’ve worked their whole lives for. As Mallett put it, “Making the Olympic team, especially in the US [which is] arguably the hardest team to make, it would be a dream come true and a devastating blow if it [the Olympics] wer canceled.” If the time does arise where the games cannot go on. Postponing the games, one maybe two years until we get the virus under control, is the right decision both for the IOC, the athletes and spectators.

*Disclaimer: new facts have been coming out about the virus at a rapid pace and some of these statistics may not be entirely accurate in the future. All of this information is from March 6, 2020, unless otherwise stated. OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020

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Hidden Gem?

A review of the album “Believe: Exciting Songs About Shockingly Mysterious Stuff”

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BY LAURA NELSON

he year 2011 saw the release of many albums: “Take Care” by Drake, “21” by Adele, and “Believe: Exciting Songs About Shockingly Mysterious Stuff ” by The Paranormal Song Warrior. “Believe: Exciting Songs About Shockingly Mysterious Stuff ” is the Paranormal Song Warrior’s debut (and only album). It has 66 songs, including “Believe in the Power of the Mothman”, “(Watch Out For) the Shadow People” and “Area 51”. This album has a very early 2010s YouTuwbe feel, kind of like all the songs were recorded in his basement. It seems like the Paranormal Song Warrior really enjoyed writing and recording these songs, and that comes through in the songs. The instrumentals sound like the default background tracks on an electric keyboard, but not in a bad way The lyrics don’t show a lot of depth, but because the album has a fun, light feel, that adds instead of taking away from the album overall. The Paranormal Song Warrior doesn’t take himself too seriously, and his songs are the same. “Believe: Exciting Songs About Shockingly Mysterious Stuff ” can get repetitive after

a while; many songs are formulaic, with the lyrics and music being almost the same but with small details (and the topics) changed. This album could definitely have been a lot shorter. But among these more repetitive songs, other songs like “It’s Raining Frogs” stand out. “It’s Raining Frogs” is more upbeat and is very catchy. One upside of having so much material in the album is that there is something for everyone. While it is not the most polished album or globally revered, “Believe: Exciting Songs About Shockingly Mysterious Stuff ” by the Paranormal Song Warrior is captivating in its own way and worth a listen.

Reactions to the album taken from YouTube:

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FEB 13, 2020

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23


Stressing the Resoruces

KEEPING UP WITH POSITIVITY

By:Zoe McLaskey

I am stressed. Stress defines me when I look for a word that can describe my emotion for that day. Stress defines me because I always feel that anxiety over my head of you aren’t gonna do well on this test you are a horrible student. I spend a night to around 5-6 hours on homework with a dinner break in between those long hours of school work, with this homework span I feel trapped. This is the harsh reality that I experience everyday over and over. Stress is something we all encounter in our everyday lives. Not only does it affect how we contribute to society but stress can form unique shapes in every person. No stress is the same stress, the person sitting next to you currently may experience and interact differently with a stressor that is given to people like you and me. Stress can also range from big to small situations, an example of how drastic the difference can be is small stress may be forgetting my homework while a big stress could be not knowing where dinner will be coming from. But wait... You said that everyone stressors can be different sizes for different people... and you’re right. Two drastic situations may be the exact opposite, meaning the big stress is forgetting homework and the small is where food is coming from for a person. It all matters on the perspective of each individual tress affects many students all around the globe, according to LoudCouldHealth around 45% of kids that attend a public school have experienced problems with holding down a class due to stress causing behaviors.

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ADVICE OCT. 3,

With spring break just around the coner, the poping up of tests or projects is no surprise due to the week of doing nothing but chilling at home or at the beach. The constant testing throughout the week and studying can be hard and stressful for any student. To help relieve some of the stress here are three ways that you can help reduce that stomach feeling of worriness that I use to help with my stress.

It’s important to do everyday is to stay positive. Staying positive can help boost your confidence by getting through the day even when everything has gone completely down the drain. Even when things are really rough there is one thing you can do for yourself which is telling your brain things that will help calm you down and bring you back to earth. Some sayings I would use to help myself if in a stressful situation that may help you; ¨I got this, its 5th period, only two more to go and then i’m out of this PLACE¨ ¨I am definitely going to go get a slushy after school because I deserve it¨

“Th e G r e at e s t w e a p o n aga i n s t str ess i s out a b i l i t y to c h o o s e o n e t h o u g h t ov e r a n ot h e r .”

-W i l l i a m J a m e s

¨So.. this test is going to be hard but all I need to do is try my best, and if I do bad, I go to my resources and fix my mistakes ¨ ¨ What is happening right now will pass, what I need to do is focus on the good outcomes and not overthink the situations, let’s do this ¨ ¨Instead of keeping it in, let me text a friend to get some advice with these math problems ¨ All of these help me and could help you. Find little helping words of encouragement and use them to set some light in a dark situation. Being kind to yourself is the best medicine that is free and controlled by you. So please treat yourself to a few phrases that will help you make it through the day. All of these help me and could help you. Find little helping words of encouragement and use them to set some light in a dark situation. Being kind to yourself is the best medicine that is free and controlled by you. So please treat yourself to a few phrases that will help you make it through the day.


LET’S GET A MOVE ON

LIMITING THE ADDICTION

Another way to help destress is exercising. Exercising? Really I am stressing over a project and you want me to go run and get all gross.. Heck no. Well exercising does not mean running, the amazing thing about the word exercising that it can define so many different activities that can help some relax or get it off of their mind. Yoga, running, going on a walk, swimming, or even weight lifting can take stress off of someone’s mind because everyone reacts to stressful problems differently. Doing any of those activities often releases a mood-boosting chemical called endorphins according to the Harvard Medical School. Not only does doing these activities help distract your mind, you could also make them a fun activity. Adding friends to a walk or yoga seccion is also a great idea because it can all help bind and build up from the stress from schools or parents. Playing games such as eye spy or describing an object with only 3 words that start with the letter B. These simple actions can enhance your behavior, so next time you are feeling stressed grab a buddy and do some tree poses together.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO? Taking a nice warm bath or shower to help clean off all of those worries Listening to your favorite song or artist can always help improve your mood from a stressful situations, maybe add in a little dancing with your stuff animal then BAM stress gone Making doodles on a notepad and coloring them in

Buying your favorite snacks and putting on a movie

Unplugging from technology can also play a key role in helping get away from drama that may happen on the phone screen 33% because teens feel the need to be perfect like they see celebrities lives, the constant needs stresses them out that may not be good enough for the body they have. Unplugging can be helpful because it allows you to experience life to the fullest and see the wonders. Like late car drives with friends. Listening to that music playing while driving safely on a highway lets you see there is more to life than school. Or going on a hike and experiencing how many birds you can hear in a minute or what color leaves are on the trees. It helps you be more aware and gets your mind off of homework. Everyone can have stress, good or bad, big or small everyone deserves to be able to release it in any shape or form because holding it in can cause other problems. Raising more awareness that people need a break is more important, when people finally get that break it’s important that people can give them resources to reach out to. I still struggle with stress still but with these types of resources can really benefit your own mental health. I know how hard it is to manage but being strong is the most important. You got this

Sleeping with a loved pet always does the trick Even spending time with friends can all help someone destress. Laughter can help!!

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ADIVCE OCT. 3,


Impossible Whopper, whats the hype?

It was missing what to me would “ TH E I MPOSSIBLE be the most important part of eating a burger, the juiciness. The W HOPPER M AY BE dryness of the burger made it less tasty; less meaty and savory. The BET TER FOR TH E burger was still very tasty and savory, just not as good and juicy as EN V IRONM EN T, BU T the regular Burger King whopper. IT IS NOT H EA LTHIER Overall, the impossible burger is a good meat alternative for TH A N TH E R EGU L A R the Burger King whopper, it is a very fast and efficient way to get Photo credit: Burger King W HOPPER .” vegetarian fast food. A reason - H ELELIA ‘23 why I would consider getting the I tried one of the most popular fast impossible burger again would be food options for vegetarians in Iowa because it is fast to get and very City, The Impossible Whopper. The affordable by only costing $5.59. I Impossible whopper is a plant based wouldn’t would recommend this meatless burger sold at Burger King burger for people who are lookand made from Impossible Foods, a ing for healthy alternatives to the company that makes plant based meat regular whopper because it’s not alternatives. healthier. Both the regular whopPhoto credit: Burger King As a meat lover and the daughter of a per and the impossible whopper vegetarian, I thought I would be the At first glance, the burger looked idenhave roughly the same number of perfect person to see how the burger tical to the regular Burger King Whopper, it was well constructed. It looked calories and similar amounts of fat compares to the real Whopper. and protein. However, the imposjust like the picture, the ingredients Unlike many vegetarian foods, I sible Whopper is better for the ordered the impossible burger at a were in clean sections and looked very environment as it used 96% less drive-through, I did not have to wait appetizing . As I started taking a closer look, I noticed differences in the patties.land, 87% less water and 89% less in a restaurant for a long period of greenhouse gas emissions. time. I found it very easy and fast to The Impossible Burger’s patty looked The Impossible Whopper may be order the burger which can be very a lot more structured and almost like a perfect circle unlike a regular whopper better for the environment, but it helpful for students; workers and is not healthier than the regular burger patty which has some rough people who don’t have much time edges. Other than the differences in whopper. during lunch breaks. patties, visually, the burger looked like Ordering the burger, I had an option to add cheese on my burger but a normal Burger King whopper. As I took my first bite into the burger, preferred not to, instead I got their fries, which are vegan. Although the I could instantly taste the difference purpose of the burger is to be a meat in the impossible burger. The biggest alternative,the options on the packag- difference between the regular whopper ing included bacon. The burger had and the impossible to me was the patty. The impossible beef patty was drier a very colorful packaging in ocean green and gray, written on the burger, than the regular whopper. vory. The ¨the impossible burger, flame grilled burger was still very tasty and savory, just not as good and juicy as the regular to perfection.” Burger King whopper. OPINION

MAR. 23, 2020

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WHAT IF I TOLD YOU A JOKE? Zachary Barton

What is a joke? In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a joke is defined as “something said or done to provoke laughter especially: a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist”. By that definition, a joke could be something as random as someone saying ‘BEANS’. My definition of a joke would be a statement that pokes fun at a subject regardless of one’s opinion on it in an effort to make people laugh. Despite the differences in people’s opinions, most people would agree that jokes are intended to make people laugh. But the problem with telling jokes is that not everyone will laugh at your joke because there will often be one or more people who are offended by the joke you tell. No joke is totally politically correct anymore, and that is because people are too easily offended nowadays. There are times where people are justified in being offended. A Christian could take offense to me saying ‘Jesus doesn’t exist’, or if I told a joke about an offensive subject in front of a person who might have gone through a harrowing experience. These would be examples of times where it would make sense to be offended. But what I cannot

stand is when people take offense to me having a mark of pen on my finger and pretending that it is a mustache. You might not see how someone could take offense to this, but when someone tells you “Stop pretending to be Hitler! That is so rude to us Jewish people!” you begin to realize that people could take offense to anything, even if you are just having a bit of childish fun. There is no reason to be this overly sensitive to the point where someone having a pretend mustache makes you think that they are imitating Hitler in a direct personal attack on you and your religion. It is just stupid. There are so many people that think like this, it’s crazy. No one has the freedom of expression anymore because of the case “But what if it offends someone?” People were built to withstand things and a little joke is not going to be a life-threatening incident in someone’s life. It seems like some people have never heard the phrase sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Who Takes Offense

8/11 8/8

People have taken offense to a joke

People who have been offended by a joke think that they were in the right to be offended

Just because I make fun of something does not mean I am a Nazi or a KKK sympathizer or a rapist. It means that I understand humor and that it often has its roots in very, very dark subject matter. Now I am not saying that I am the expert on humor and that I know everything there is

to know about it, but what I am saying is that I recognize that humor is often stemming from really dark and awful subjects. Another person who can sum it up better than me is a YouTuber called The Amazing Atheist who has a video on his channel called Tumbler Feminists. I am by no means saying that this video is totally politically correct in this day and age as it was uploaded around seven years ago, so if you watch it, be warned that it is not for people who are easily offended by things, because it deals with some offensive subject matter. If you do decide to watch it, I do not recommend watching the full video, as it has some crude things at the beginning. Start the video at 10:25 and watch until the time of 11:07. This is the clip that I use as a reference when I try and explain humor to people. I do not agree with all of it, but I think that he does a great job of explaining what humor is and why we use it on a day to day basis. If you want to see an example of his explanation, go back to the video and watch through 11:51. Again, this is not a lighthearted example, as it takes an offensive joke and breaks it down to explain its roots. Most if not all jokes will be funny to at least someone. But when people get offended at jokes, it gets messy for the joke teller to try snd defend themselves, especially if the joke is not intended to be offensive. Sometimes, the person who is offended ends up caling the police, and then it turns into a whole scene. Nobody wants that, so when you hear a joke, if you aren’t totally sure if it is meant to be offensive, maybe wait and hear out the context around it before you jump to a conclusion. OPINION OCT. 3, 2019

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Behind Bars A look at the United States criminal justice system

Why care?

Sentencing

The United States criminal justice system is a topic that is hotly discussed in today’s world. While it may not impact you directly, it’s important to be well-informed. Not only could knowing about the CJS potentially help you in the future, but it’s important to understand and acknowledge the injustice embedded in our society. Knowing about the more suppressed and problematic parts of our communities is the first step to change and improve conditions. In our justice system today, inmates face mountains of injustice. Things like our biased convictions, drawn out processing, and extreme sentencing lead to real problems that eventually impact us too, even if we never directly come in touch with the criminal justice system. Addressing root problems in the CJS is a key way to improve standards and conditions across the board.

Small crimes such as selling $10 worth of marijuana or stealing a wallet have earned at least 200,000 people life sentences or other extreme punishments. This contributes to overcrowding, weaker sentences on violent crimes, slowed down court processing times… (etc). The Trump administration passed a “first step act” that is aimed to alleviate some mandatory minimums but is unlikely to actually create bigger change. The issue with the first step act is that it ignores prosecutors. The act now allows them to pick and choose who gets the mandatory minimum and who doesn’t without a neutral third party such as the courts. One expert, Rachel Barkow, even says that more and longer punishments ultimately lead to larger amounts of crime. Her reason for this is that while prisons are meant to prevent crimes, they offer little to no reform and ultimately end up sending people out in worse shape than when they arrived.

By Sofia Wells-Lu

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OPINION MAR. 12, 2020


School to Prison Conditions Pipeline The school to prison pipeline is the process in which students are pushed out of schools and into prisons. A main factor that leads to this are harsh zero-tolerance policies on campuses. A study by education scholar Henry Giroux shows that suspensions increased by nearly 51% and expulsions by over 32 times after a zero-tolerance policy was introduced to the Chicago school system. Once a student is suspended or expelled, they are less likely to graduate high school and more than twice as likely to make contact with the juvenile justice system. A reason for this is due to a theory known as “labelling theory.” This theory points out the fact that people are likely to identify with labels given to them by other people. Applying this theory to the school-to-prison pipeline suggests that being labeled as a “bad” kid by school authorities and being treated in a different way leads kids to internalize that judgment and ultimately begin to act more delinquently.

Death Sentence Debate This is one of the most famous debates over procedures in the USA CJS. The death sentence is currently legal in 30 states. While I won’t go too far into the details, a recent story has gained lots of attention. This is the case of Nathaniel Woods. Nathaniel Woods was recently killed by the state of Alabama after allegedly being involved in plotting the deaths of three officers in 2004. A large group of people had rallied behind him saying that since he didn’t pull the trigger, he shouldn’t be put to death. Not only was his court case incredibly mishandled, but the state’s method of injections has gained substantial attention. Witnesses claim that while the process is claimed to be painless, it appeared anything but. Kerry Spencer, the man who killed the officers, remains on death row and is a strong advocate of Woods’ innocence.

The USA has the highest prison population in the world, larger than most big cities. An example of the issues that this poses is Mississippi, where guards are widely outmatched, sometimes by 250 to one. As the number of inmates in the state skyrockets, more and more prison guards leave because of unsafe conditions and low pay. The state gets away with treating convicts like disposable non-humans and many people are forced to stay in jail until their trials are completed, sometimes for years on end. Alabama state prisons revealed a far darker side to conditions than you could ever expect. Prisoners in the Alabama system endured some of the highest rates of rape and homicide in the country, a pattern reflected across prisons in the USA. Gruesome details of neglect, torture, and inhumane conditions can be found in the report published by the Justice Department, but they won’t be described further due to the highly disturbing content.

“ THERE IS A TENDENC Y IN AMERIC A TO VIE W E VERY THING A S AN INDIVIDUAL DECISION: IF A PERSON COMES OUT OF PRISON AND COMMITS A CRIME, “ THAT’S ON THEM.” IT’S A LIT TLE RIDICULOUS THOUGH, BEC AUSE THROUGH INTERVENTIONS WE C AN REDUCE THE RISK THAT IT WOULD HAPPEN.”

- R ACHEL BARKLOW, PHD

OPINION

MAR. 12, 2020

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Why doing Extracurricular Activities is Good By Hana Abou ALaiwa

E

ver since I went to Northwest Junior High, I had always been intrigued by the clubs and sports they had to offer. I decided to do volleyball both years of junior high, yearbook club both years and STEM club in 8th grade while being in the junior high orchestra playing cello. Doing these extracurricular activities showed me that there is more fun in school rather than moping around just because learning sucks.

Doing activities you enjoy can increase your brain function, help you focus and manage your time better, all of which contribute to higher grades. High endurance sports, will train you to focus and build stamina in the face of intense difficulty. This gives you an advantage when it comes to studying and taking exams. Lots of studies have been conducted on the relationship between extracurricular activities and academic performance, and they all show that students who participate in them have higher grades and more positive attitudes toward school.

This year to start high school, I decided to join Speech and Debate, and FRC Robotics while continuing to play the cello. This was quite surprising when I decided to do Speech and Debate, I had never been the best at speaking well. I tend to ramble and rant a lot pretty quickly to where I stutter and mumble. Joining Speech and Debate changed that and taught me skills like how to ask questions confidently and with writing cases. I realized that with joining clubs/ sports/or other extracurricular activities we learn so much more that helps us in the real world.

#2: Explore interests and create broader perspectives

Here I have given my own opinions and 8 different reasons why doing extracurricular activities with doing some research adds to that.

#1: It has improved academic performance Now when reading this you’re probably thinking, “Extracurriculars take too much time away from schoolwork!” However, doing extracurricular activities actually can improve your grades and your outlook on school.

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When doing robotics and debate, I realized that I enjoy these activities a whole lot and I want to continue to do this in the future and teach others. When you participate in multiple different activities, you’ll get the opportunity to explore a range of interests and unlock passions you never knew you had! Plus, diversifying your interests expands your view of the world.

#3: Higher self-esteem Winning at the Tournavelt Debate Tournament in about November of last year and recently winning the Lake Superior 2020 FIRST Regional, really has given me more confidence and risen my self-esteem. The more you achieve success through activities you’re passionate about, the more your self-confidence will improve. During the process of being in an activity, you realize how fun it can be and how talented you are, which gives your confidence a massive boost. Working hard and mastering new skills in a fun, relaxed and sometimes competitive setting allows you to be successful without the pressure of getting a good grade. Additionally, once your confidence improves, you’ll be more open to taking risks in all aspects of your life, not just in that specific activity.


#4: Social Opportunities I have made lots of relationships with people by doing these activities! I’ve met seniors and juniors who tell their stories and experiences all the time, Each extracurricular you engage in provides you with another opportunity to expand your social network, which will also come in handy when you’re looking for a job. Also, if you make friends in your extracurricular activities, you’ll be more likely to get more deeply involved.

#5: Productive Breaks Extracurricular activities give you something fun to do aside from school. It also gives you the chance to explore your passions to discover things you may be interested in beyond academics. The activities could be sports, clubs, or music. At West, we have lots of choices to make because of the numerous activities we have!

#6: Essential Life Skills One of the greatest advantages extracurricular activities give you are “real world” skills. These are some of the skills you could learn in activities, but there are many more. • • • • •

Teamwork Time management Problem-solving Leadership Public speaking

If you’re passionate about debate, you might join the school’s debate team, where you’ll develop public speaking, asking questions and persuasion skills.

#7: Resumes And now we enter after schooling into getting a job. Without much previous work experience, one of the only ways hiring managers can assess your ability and work ethic is through your extracurricular activities. Looking through your extracurricular activities records and such can tell a hiring manager what is good and bad about you. Which is why taking specific activities can affect your future. Being in an engineering club makes much more of a difference rather if you were in an anime club written on your resume.

#8: And finally, university applications

In the U.S., universities love to see extracurricular activities on your application. It will give you a better chance of getting into your dream university. Extracurricular activities and leadership account for about 30% of your application! US colleges want to see very specific things from your extracurricular activities. Make sure your activities are ticking the following boxes to increase your chances of getting in: 1) Longevity: You stick with one type of activity rather than joining a new activity every week and quitting one every other week. 2) Passion: You truly care about your extracurricular activities and aren’t doing them just to get into university. 3) Leadership: You have taken the initiative to become a leader within your activities and community. So with these reasons, it shows that doing extracurricular activities is very beneficial and it shows success in student’s future careers. So what are you waiting for? Join the tennis team, try playing trumpet, or join the zombie research authority. The choice is yours and keep on moving towards a brighter future! As for me, next year I will be at the West Debate Team doing Public Forum and Iowa City Robotics FRC Team helping the new rookies learn how to build robots!

FROM ATHLE TES RUNNING L APS IN THE HALLWAYS, STUDENTS BUILDING ROBOTS FOR INTERNATIONAL COMPE TITIONS, AND MUSICIANS PR AC TICING FOR ALL-STATE. WEST HIGH HAS LOTS OF E X TR ACURRICUL AR AC TIVITIES TO OFFER .” -HANA ABOU AL AIWA ‘23 OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020

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THINK DIFFERENT As someone who has gone through school with dyslexia I believe that teachers and schools should look for signs of dyslexia. By getting extra help in school we can make dyslexia less of a problem.

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MARCH 23, 2020

BY REBEKAH LONGMIRE


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oday kids are not understanding the basic reading skills they are being taught and it is only going to get worse. If they do not know how to read then their performance in every other subject will be exactly like their reading and soon affect their outside life as they get older. In elementary school, the main focus is to get them to start reading and understanding the basics of reading so then they can expand on their reading knowledge and use it in future schooling and jobs but that is not what is happening. Elementary schools need to focus on teaching students basic reading skills. When I was in first grade I was diagnosed with dyslexia. I wasn’t reading and understanding stuff as well as everyone else in school. I was lucky enough to get tested at a young age and as soon as my family realized I was dyslexic they got me into reading programs and extra help in school. No you cannot get rid of dyslexia but you can improve your reading skills to where you can barely even notice it. Now I am at a normal reading level and doing good in school. Many kids are going undiagnosed with learning disabilities which affect the way they learn. Dyslexia is the most common reading disability 43.5 million Americans have dyslexia but only 2 million children are receiving special education services. Kids with undiagnosed dyslexia are more likely to drop out of high school, become unemployed and not know

How to read. We need to have teachers look out for signs of learning disabilities. If we learn to catch dyslexia when students are young then we can improve reading levels. When I was in elementary school I struggled with confidence in my reading and would never volunteer to read in front of the class. Another cause for low reading levels is students’ confidence. Many people are probably confused on how something like confidence can affect someone’s learning/reading but for young students, it is like an anchor holding them down. For example, say a kid is called on to read in front of the class they stubble over a few words and are slower than others then another kid is called on to read and reads every word right and is a lot faster. The first kid is going to be very self-conscious about their reading and not going to participate in front of others again. The student will continue to have low confidence and get nervous to read in front of people. Many people argue that young kids need more time to be creative and play. I agree kids need to have time to play but they also need to learn how to read. A large amount of their futures depend on reading and without basic reading skills it will be harder for them to make it as adults. Elementary schools need to focus on teaching basic reading skills. If kids do not learn basic reading skills then school is only

Going to get harder and finding a job will be even harder. Kids are not getting the education they need to set them up for a successful future. Many kids are being pushed to the curb instead schools need to pick them up and turn them into proficient readers by offering more reading programs. All the reading disabilities/problems in schools are fixable so if we can change the outcome then why are we not?

BY THE NUMBERS KIDS AND ADULTS WITH DYSLEXIA

43.5 million 15% 7080%

OF AMERICANS ARE DYSLEXIC

OF PEOPLE HAVE SOME FORM OF DYSLEXIA

OPINION

MARCH 23, 2020

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PREVIEW REVIEW


“POKÉMON MYSTERY DUNGEON: RESCUE TEAM DX” IMPROVES THE FORMULA FOR THE SERIES BY CARTER MCLAUGHLIN The “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon” (PMD) series has always been one I’ve kept in my heart. Starting with “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky”, I jumped forward and back through the entries in the franchise. With it being a remake of the original PMD games, “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team” (RRT) and “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team” (BRT), I am very excited for it. With its release on March 6 of this year, I am going to review the demo of “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX”.

GAMEPLAY

The PMD series has always had the same basic controls. Being a remake, this game uses features from more recent games in the series. For example, the move level up system, which increase the strength and accuracy of moves as you use them more from “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity” (GtI) is a feature in the game. DX has abilities that normally had to be unlocked as features players have access to at the beginning of the game as well as new features exclusive to it so far. Normally, you have to unlock the abilities to see items and foes on the field, but DX allows you to see that from the start. This partially ruins the effect of monster houses since they’re supposed to surprise the player. Taken mainly from “Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon”, the two Pokémon you start the game with have much more useful moves at the start of the game. Early entries gave the Pokémon only two moves that aren’t useful enough to keep throughout the game. They also introduce Auto Mode, which allows the game to play itself. Although not required, I personally don’t like or understand why it has an inclusion. I feel like the game playing itself doesn’t add much enjoyment or anything to the experience if all you get is the story Comparing DX to its originals, the menus are much simpler to go through. Rather than having to go through several menus and text popping up, the most necessary menus are easy to access and take less effort and time. Besides Auto Mode, I enjoy most of the changes to gameplay DX adds. The addition to see items and enemies makes the game a bit easier, but I think it adds more to the strategy. Being able to predict which rooms are monster houses is something I’m on edge with. I think it ruins the surprise, but having a monster room happen sometimes ruins the mood itself. Having more moves also helps make other starter Pokémon more useful throughout the story. This also makes the game easier, and having a less clear “best” team in the game is nice.

hearted and quirky and is overall relaxing. All the NPC Pokémon as well as your partner have their own personalities that make them fun to talk to. Helping the Pokémon around you and them thanking you for the help makes me feel positive about the deeds. However, I feel like the demo could’ve added something else. The demo of GtI had the ability to play a side mode known as “Discover a Magnagate”, which is where you use the 3DS’s camera to view a circular object that would generate a dungeon with preselected Pokémon. Although the mode doesn’t relate to the story, it’s something players could use before the game was released. DX doesn’t have anything like that, and you can only explore the town. It’s understandable the developers only gave you a small part of the story since you’re allowed to carry your save data, but then there’s nothing else available.

PRESENTATION

The art style of DX is drastically different from the other games in the series. DX looks more like the game came from a storybook, where the other games were more pixelated being on handheld consoles. At first, I was a little thrown off by the huge change, but I grew to like it. The power of the Nintendo Switch allows for much higher quality animations for each Pokémon and gives the game more life to it all. Along with visuals, the music is all redone from the original and it sounds incredible. The soundtrack sounds more up to date and is a step up from the original pieces. I found the demo enjoyable even though it only lasts around an hour. Although the story is lacking right now, it’s only the very beginning of the story. The gameplay is a lot easier compared to other games, but I enjoy some of that for the most part. The features available make it a more fun experience. If the demo has one big strength, it’s definitely the visuals and how beautiful it looks whether you’re in handheld mode or the dock mode for the Nintendo Switch. Although I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone, DX is a good way to be introduced to the rest of the series if one is interested. For people already familiar with the series, I would say it depends on how willing you are with the price. A $60 game is a steep price, but I would buy it when given the chance.

STORY

The story is taken directly from the original games, with only some dialogue being changed or removed. Not much new dialogue was added and it was only added for new editions to DX like the shortcut to the post office. The game starts like the other games in the series, with the player as a human who transforms into a Pokémon and is taken to the Pokémon world for unknown reasons. You run into another Pokémon you choose to be as your partner throughout the game and you have to save a Pokémon that fell into a cavern because of recent natural disasters. The demo doesn’t have much to offer, only having you enter 4 dungeons total before the demo ends and no major boss appearing. I would say this is the weakest part of the demo. The story isn’t terrible though. For the story it gives players, it’s light-

OPINION MAR. 23, 2020

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STOPPING AN EPIDEMIC BY AMELIA STEVENS

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With COVID-19 spreading through the USA, the goverment needs to take more drastic and desisive in order to prevent an epidemic in the USA.

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ince January, COVID-19, or the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread rapidly across the world reaching the U.S., and now our state. However, the CDC has done poorly handling the outbreak. The ability to identify those with COVID-19 through testing remains severely limited while other countries have not been so hampered. The CDC has struggled developing their own testing, ignoring the World Health Organization’s recommended protocol. Additionally because of their test’s complexity, the CDC had to run all of the testing themselves. However as the coronavirus spread rapidly from China, this was no longer a viable option. In mid-February, the CDC handed out test kits to each states’ public health departments, while still keeping some tests for confirmatory testing. A problem was soon identified. The tests given to the states were faulty because their negative-control was not working correctly. Only three states were unaffected which limited the ability of state public health departments to test for the coronavirus and contain the infection. Moreover the limited supply may have led to overly restrictive testing guidelines to the point where hospitalized patients who had symptoms were denied testing. The guidelines required the need for symptoms, a travel history to China, or a contact history with someone ill with the coronavirus. Properly working tests were sent out in early March and the CDC eventually changed their guidelines. The FDA also simplified the requirements for test development. The state public health departments, private research facilities, and commercial laboratories could now develop their own coronavirus tests. However, according to an Atlantic investigation on March 6, there remain wide disparities between each state’s testing capabilities, leaving some with the ability to test four to five people each day and some able to test 1,000 people per day. The lack of testing continues to severely hamper the U.S.’s ability to contain the virus. As a result in Washington state, containment is no longer possible and efforts to mitigate the community spread of COVID-19 are the only option. The CDC should have used the WHO protocol from the start instead of trying to develop an overly complicated test. They should have allowed both commercial laboratories and private research facilities to develop their own tests. They should also have adopted less strict testing guidelines to allow for more widespread testing as has been done successfully in other countries like in South Korea or the UK.

However, the CDC did do some things well. In early February restrictions were put on travel from China and later in the month travel from Iran was restricted as well. This helped contain the spread of the coronavirus to the USA for a while, buying time. Currently, we need to focus on increasing testing capacity so that we can contain the coronavirus while we still can. On March 8, three confirmed cases were found in Johnson County. Since then the number of cases in Johnson County has started to rise. That begs the question what is there to be done and what’s going to happen at West High School? The CDC recently posted guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at schools. It consist mainly of four categories: good hygiene, preventing/ rearranging large gatherings, handling food carefully, and staying home if sick. Is this enough? It’s hard to say, but if there starts to be community spread, then the answer is no.

“ WE CAN NOT WAIT FOR I N FECTION TO BECOM E AN E PI DE M IC I N OU R COM M M U N ITY.” -AM ELIA STEVENS

School is already a giant cesspool of germs, and getting a bunch of teenagers to wash their hands after every period is not going to happen. Additionally, a lot of teenagers don’t take the coronavirus seriously as most of them won’t die from it. It’s also not likely that teenagers are going to stay home if they have a cold or if someone in their family is sick. What teenager can survive incarceration at home during the 14 day quarantine period? Even though the CDC loosened their guidelines allowing each state to determine how they would test, Iowa has chosen to keep the same testing guidelines. To be tested in Iowa, you have to be symptomatic, and either traveled to a country with a severe COVID-19 outbreak or be in direct contact with someone with COVID-19. If Iowa wants to stop the spread of COVID-19, then the health department should encourage testing and make it more accessible. Iowa has to

have looser guidelines so that we can start to identify cases and quarantine them as soon as possible. If COVID-19 cannot be identified because of lack of testing then early mitigation measures and social distancing may be the only options to prevent an epidemic comparable to Italy. As far as what ICCSD should do, I think there are several courses of actions they could take. With all of the travel and social intimacy associated with spring break, more COVID-19 infections are bound to find their way back to our town. ICCSD should move school online for at least two weeks after spring break and encourage social distancing to try to stop further spread of the virus. Additionally, they should cancel all extra-curricular activities and start testing kids at school who show symptoms. If a student or faculty member does test positive, the school district should be shut down again for disinfection and more testing of students should be encouraged. If we’re serious about stopping the spread of COVID-19 we have to take decisive actions now and stop limiting our testing. We cannot wait for infection to become an epidemic in our community. The time to stop an epidemic is drawing to a close. COMPILED BY AMELIA STEVENS

BY THE NUMBERS

137.4K 113

cases globally

countries have cases of COVID-19

46

states with COVID-19 cases

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My clothing should not tell my gender

In our day and age people are changing what the y think should be what they are aloud to wear. This is my story on how I feel about gender roles in clothing By:Sidney Nash

My clothing should not defind who I am in this world so go out and be who you are in what you want to wear in this world -Emma Westgard 2020

My clothing makes me who Iam no matter what I wear -Sidney Nash 2020

Jeans and a sweatshirt don’t make me a boy -Razan Babikir2020


Our whole lives we are told that times I just don’t know who I am. It’s some clothes are for boys and some still hard sometimes to shop with other are for girls. But as time goes I don’t people because I don’t know what area to shop in when going out.  My clothes like that my clothes should tell me what gender I am. From a young age, have really pulled me back from being who I am.There are lots of things that I used to love wearing dresses and I want to wear but have not worn due shirts but as I got older i didn’t like to how I think people will look at me having to wear a dress and look pretty for wearing it. I don’t like the fact that I while doing. By the time I got to am scared to wear things because about middle school I started to wear more how people will see me for wearing it. leggings and sweatshirts.I remember Gender roles on clothing are so drilled homecoming this year I told my date into kids heads that some don’t get to that if I had the choice I would have wear what they want until they leave worn pants to homecoming.There is their parents house. I think that in schools and in stores clothing should this all idea that girls need to wear pretty dress but I don’t always want to.be more wear what you want to wear. Because in the end clothing is a way for Don’t get me wrong there are times people to show themselves. Clothing I love getting dressed up in pretty is a way for people to feel comfortdresses but then there’s times i want toable.Your clothing shows who you are grab my big sweatshirts. and nobody can change that. People A lot has changed over time for need to be more open minded when it clothing people are understanding comes to what people wear. If you want ,People have been able to see that you to wear a skirt and your a guy well go can wear whatever you want. But not ahead. When I was writing this story I wanted to find other people who feel everyone sees this the same way. I remember a time where I was shop- the same way I do about clothes.The ping with my grandma and my dad, beauty blogger who runs She’s a Gent, likes to wear a suit she said in an interwe walked into a store and I looked view with the new york times,“We’re at the women’s section and didn’t see in an era when men and women wear anything so I went to the men’s. My everything. It doesn’t matter if you’re grandma commented, “oh I didn’t gay or straight. For us, it’s really know you shopped in the men’s area.” about showing young women that My dad knows that I wear guy and they can wear whatever they want.” girls things so we just like to shop in Which is a strong message because both. It’s just hard sometimes to have people feel like they can’t be who your clothes tell you who to be, some-

they want to be with there clothes In the end it’s all about wearing what is conformable for you.We live in a world that’s changing and people have more choice of what they wear.So everyone reading this it’s time for us to wear what we want no matter our gender. My finally message to everyone out there who feels like me you need to get out there and wear what you want because we don’t have much time on this earth so we need to spend it wearing what we want to wear in this world.


What’s the deal with divorce? Telling divorce like it is, with someone who lives it every day As a child coming from divorce, I have experience with step parents and step siblings. With about 40-50 percent of marriages in America, my story is a common one. When I was about four, my parents split, my dad moved to West Virginia, and my mom to Jefferson City, Missouri. Divorce for me has impacted my life in many ways. I have been flying alone since I was 6. I live in Texas with my dad half the year. I have 2 birthdays, 2 christmases, 2 thanksgivings, and 2 lives. When my parents first divorced, I did not understand why it happened or what the idea of divorce was. As a kid, you see your parents as these divine figures, who couldn’t possibly not love each other. I did not really understand why my dad was just gone and where he went. The idea was very abstract to me. However, when my mom explained that sometimes “daddy and mommy don’t love each other and it’s not your fault it’s just a fact of life”, I started to get that I was normal, even if my family didn’t look like others. Time went on, my mom met my step dad, my dad met my step mom, and it led to the life I live today. My relationship with my step dad is something I still have trouble navigating. I respect him, I am thankful for him, but I do not say

I love him. It really is bizarre. I have lived with this man who has accepted me as his son, spent more time with me than my dad has, cares for and protects my mom, but I still cannot say I love him. As with my step mom, she is one of my biggest role models, I only see her on breaks from school when I see my dad, and has little to no say in my everyday life and yet, I still say I love her.


“Uncut Gems” is a cinematic feat for the Safdie brothers With their first major film, the Safdie brothers present an anxiety-filled film with an eccentric jeweler. Uncut Gems was directed by Josh and Benny Safdie, with Adam Sandler as an irregular jeweler named Howard Ratner. Howard comes across an uncut gem, and over a few awful days in his life, he loses this gem, and goes out searching for it. When searching, he endangers his money and family. This film is the result of Adam Sandler taking on a serious role, with the right material to work with. This might be his best work, and he is interminable in this film. The Safdie brothers are trying to take your nerves and mess with them. An example of this is the continuous sounds you hear in the film. Throughout the film people are constantly yelling over the other person, and this creates an authentic feel, almost as if it wasn’t scripted. Many of the characters are always trying to raise their point, and you get an abnormal jeweler who is always under pressure to give another business partner or customer an item or money. When Howard’s life begins to fall apart, it is mostly caused by him pushing things and demanding money. This makes you wonder how he is going to survive, and how he is going to get out of the terrible situations he is in with people. At the beginning of the movie, it is clear to an audience member that he owes money to a lot of powerful people. Despite all of the pressure Howard is under, he tries to find a way to gamble the money, to ultimately make more money for his own gain. In general, this film is frustrating, because you know he’s screwing himself over. However, there is something incredibly intriguing about this character. The cast chosen in this film is perfect. Because Adam Sandler is chosen to play Howard, it makes the character much more likeable. On paper, this character is incredibly frustrating, but because of the casting of Adam Sandler, there is a charm factor that wouldn’t have existed with another actor. Even though he continues to make choices that dig himself a grave, you don’t react as if this guy is an idiot, you react as if it were a relative who made a terrible mistake. You care about this character, and want him to succeed.

When the film ends, it almost feels as if a weight has been lifted from you. You experience a tense anxiety for nearly two hours with Howard. Uncut Gems was fantastic, with interesting and riveting elements to it. I would give this

film an A.


Foreign Language Problems in America From the limited languages offered by AP, to the relatively miniscule amount of bilinguals in the US, there are many problems with our foreign language learning programs Language is a beautiful thing. It’s how we communicate and pass down information. It’s one of the many things that distinguishes us from other animal species. It’s how your mom’s able to yell at you for not doing the laundry yet. But one of the coolest things about language is that there are thousands of them. In fact, there are more than 6,500 languages around the world that are spoken every single day. So this brings us to the question… “What foreign language should I learn?”. Well, if we consider the languages offered by the AP program, then Latin would be on our list of languages to think about. That’s right, Latin, a language spoken by exactly zero people as a first language, is offered by AP. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking, “If AP is able to offer Latin, a dead language, then they must offer tons of other languages”. Unfortunately, this is far from reality. AP only administers Chinese, Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, French (and yes, Latin) tests. So are these truly the best and most useful languages for us to learn? The simple answer is it depends on your motivation for learning a language and how you will eventually use the language in your life. Career wise, the languages given by AP are very applicable to many jobs, especially management and international diplomacy jobs. But if a language’s importance is dependent on the number of people who speak it, then there are plenty of extremely important languages that are being neglected by the AP program. Some of the vital languag-

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es that are being ignored by AP are Hindustani, Arabic, Portugese, Korean and Russian. Hindustani, an agglomeration of mutually intelligible languages such as Urdu and Hindi, is spoken by over 530 million people, and Arabic is spoken by 420 million people in 25 countries. While Italian, a language offered by AP, is spoken by only 63 million people. Of course, learning a language isn’t just about how many people speak it. You also have to take into account how many speakers of the language you want to learn speak English as a lingua franca. Infact, of the 1.5 billion English speakers, 1.1 billion learned it as a second language. In Germany, for example, 56% of people speak English, and this percentage is much higher in urban centers. Obviously this doesn’t discredit the vitality of learning German, but you should be aware that you will be able to communicate with many people you encounter in Germany without knowing German. In India, however, only 10% of the population speaks English, so knowing Hindustani will enable you to communicate with a much greater percentage of the population. Unfortunately, the general American mentality towards these

non-European languages is, “when will I ever use these?”. This is really disrespectful, as it gives off the impression to the rest of the world that we, as Americans, don’t care about them. Infact, America is the least bilingual country when compared to the other developed nations. More than 50% of the world population is bilingual, while only 20% of Americans speak a second language, most of these being immigrants. I believe that this phenomenon comes from the widely held competitive aspect of our schools. We treat foreign language like it’s just a grade, something to be forgotten instantly after learning it. In reality, it may be the most applicable and crucial thing we learn in school. We are, after all, social creatures, and being able to communicate with others is essential, regardless of what language they speak.

“ LEAR N I NG ANOTH E R LANGUAG E I S LI KE BECOM I NG A N EW PE RSON ” - HARU KI M U RAKAM I


Why Everyone is CRAVING the Netflix Show ’YOU’

Photo credit: Netflix

Photo credit: Express

the moment can bring us closer to the people we will soon come to love. It also warns us about the danger of social media when Joe starts to follow Beck after finding out where she lives and what her daily schedule is. After seeing this, I knew that this was starting to become more than a crush, but no matter how bad Joe’s actions are, this show makes me want the best for him because he is always very sweet and understanding. Although he may have his bad moments, the way he cares for people and makes them feel welcomed makes him seem like a better, sweeter person.

or ‘Annabelle’, but still gives off a suspenseful vibe. Also, if you like romance then this is a great show to watch. Throughout the show you can see how Beck and Joe’s relationship goes through many ups and downs that resembles relationships in real life. In reality, couples may go through many bumps in their relationship just like Beck and Joe. Everytime I watch an episode I am always surprised by the end, and the show always leaves me with my gaw to the ground. I think this show portrays the good and bad side of Joe very well. One moment he may be a sweet, loving guy and the next he is a vicious, killer, but no matter what, the show will always make the watchers choose Joe over anyone else. Overall, ‘YOU’ is by far the best Netflix show I have ever seen. With a mix of thriller, crime fiction, and romance, this show depicts the inside of a stalker’s mind, and leaves you wondering if you should put a password of your phone.

One thing I really like about this show is how it shows what goes inIf you haven’t seen the endless Instagram meside a Joe’s head. The narration gives mes based off the Netflix show, ‘YOU’, then us an insight of what he is feeling you are definitely missing out. This show may and thinking. When you think about seem like a soft, cute, romantic show when it, all Joe wants is for Beck to be safe. you first see it, but in reality, it has a very I think it is interesting to see how Joe dark and tragic twist. doesn’t fully realize that what he is doing is actually causing more harm In the first episode, we are introduced to than good. All he thinks is that he is the main character, Joe Goldberg. Joe works protecting her. as a bookstore manager. He is a handsome, book-loving, mindful person who is just a Now I have had my fair share of few customers away from finding his true boring, old shows that make you love. Or so he thought. wait years until something interesting actually happens. Fortunately, Guieneve Beck is who we meet next. Beck ‘YOU’ is not one of those shows. and Joe meet at the bookstore when Beck At the end of each episode it ends decides to stop by to get a book. Beck apwith a cliffhanger which makes the preciates how Joe isn’t so caught up in the watchers very eager to click on the internet and enjoys reading an old fashion next episode. This show’s genre isn’t book. Even from their first conversation you horror so you can still watch it withcan definitely tell that there is a connection out being scared out of your mind, between them. unlike the movies ‘The Conjuring’ This thrilling show captivates how living in Photo credits: Netflix


The Colors Of My Mind By Zoe Vanatter

It is very common for people Des Moines airport in early Lands where you can watch the

to be motivated by a form of October. I was listening to a wild horse herds run past and artistry at some point during song by the artist Agnes Oble envy or bask in the thrall of their lives, whether it be; called “Smoke And Mirrors.” Itheir spirited nature. I proMusic, literature, writing, saw a hand coming through theduced a vision of a woman in drawing, or performance. beautifully scattered clouds, her mid-twenties standing on a For me, the music assumes it was holding the clouds in cliff edge in the Rocky Mounthat position to a degree its palm. A waterfall spilled tains, eagles flying around her. unmatched by anything else out from the gap between its The liberation my viin my life. I possess the thumb and palm. Except the sions gift me, is one of the uncanny ability to see colors, waterfall had become the sky most precious things in my life. people, even create full-blown itself, I soon wrote a short I insist you all discover your in detail stories derived excerpt in my journal retaining source of liberation, free yourfrom the sounds a song may that experience. self and.... provide. This ability isn’t Music is as much a unheard of though, in fact, subjective liberator to me as it is quite popular but not it is my internal screenplay exactly common. Synesthesia director. Another instance of is a psychological phenomenon this happening occurred once where an individual’s sensory again in the back of my parcortex is so stimulated by ent’s cars on a drive to Colmusic that they may see or orado. I listened to the song even taste colors. “Hero,” by Chad Kroeger and I remember sitting in Josey Scott, while passing the the back of my parent’s car barbed wire fences that laced while we were driving to the what I call the wild-lands.

“Run with the colors.”

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