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February 28, 2017


Volume VI, Edition 4

Cheering like it’s 1998: lessons from the original Snail Pound coach and teacher Gavin Cree, an MIHS sophomore at the time. “It was something new, something more spirited, something goofier.� The group was hard to miss on game day. Tuttle explained how Snail Pound would arrive early to get front row seats in the gym, which would soon become

Tuttle, the relationship got off to Jane Gormley a rocky start. Editor in Chief “They hated us at first,� Tuttle said. “We were trying to borrow Ryan Eakes and Alex Tuttle the gym at night to work on our were your average, overschedskits, and that wasn’t sanctioned uled, Mercer Island High School at all.� students. Both were athletes, “We were just so new,� Eakes sports fans, and members of stuadded. “But at the end of the day, dent government, a combination everyone enjoyed the presence that would lead to a tradition that and participation.� has lasted much longer than The school’s acceptance either of them would have of Snail Pound was largely imagined. derived from the group’s atAmong the trees and watitude. Both in and out of the terfalls of Camp Cispus, a stands, Snail Pound members leadership retreat in Ranwere engaged and thoughtful dall, Washington, the idea students. They understood of Snail Pound was born. they had come to embody Eakes and Tuttle returned to spirit at MIHS and were the high school their senior therefore representing the year of 1997 to 1998 and, school each time they put on with around 20 other senior their bowling shirts. guys and one junior girl, “There was a sense of rechanged the face of spirit at sponsibility to be a kind stuMIHS. dent if you were going to par“It was based on creatPhoto courtesy Alex Tuttle ticipate,� Eakes said. “You ing school spirit around were representing the Snail the sports teams,� Eakes “We got these cheap button-up shirts that were supposed to look like bowling shirts but they really didn’t,� Tuttle said. said as he described the origi- standing-room only, to better di- embarrassing yourself in front of Pound and the school. If someone did something that would nal purpose of Snail Pound. “It rect the crowd. They were fash- the school. In two assemblies that year, negatively impact the group, was sportsmanship too,� Tuttle ionably unfashionable, clad in added. “Mercer Island fans had crazy accessories and what has Snail Pound gathered drill then the group wouldn’t exist been mentioned in the papers become the iconic Snail Pound sweaters, drill skirts, and a few anymore.� Both students and staff apfor making snobby comments uniform - a maroon bowling wigs to put on a highly choreographed routine for the school as plauded this focus on kindness and chants. I remember always shirt. “The bowling shirts were the “Thrill Team.� and respectfulness. being embarrassed by that critimostly ironic at the time,� Tuttle “One of our performances “It was good. It was posicism.� It did not take long for the said. “They were out of style. was legitimately really good,� tive,� said history teacher Dino Annest, a relatively new staff group to begin changing the We wanted something Kramer Tuttle said. would wear in Seinfeld.� By the end of the year, Snail member at the time. “It was very school’s reputation. However, Eakes explained Pound and its antics were re- inclusive and you had a lot of “Even from the previous season, it was something different,� that being in Pound was more spected by the administration. different kids in it.� But, according to Eakes and (continued on page 3) said current head basketball than just looking the part.

Free press at MIHS Grady Short staff writer

Ever since a 1988 Supreme Court decision, school administrations have effectively wielded absolute power over what gets printed in school newspapers. In response, 10 states have passed bills that essentially counteract this ruling. Washington state might be the next to join them. Senate Bill number 5064, introduced this January and sponsored by a bipartisan contingent of legislators, would limit the degree to which school administrators can censor content in school newspapers. The landmark 1988 Supreme Court ruling, Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, set a precedent for free speech in school newspapers. In a 5-3 decision, the

court ruled that public school newspapers were subject to restrictions on their First Amendment rights. Since then, a high-school newspaper in Washington state needs administrative approval to print or publish content. At a recent, well-publicized hearing in Olympia, a student editor from Puyallup High School vented his grievances in support of the Bill 5064, telling horror stories about oppressive principals and overbearing superintendents suppressing his peers’ writing. At MIHS, little to no oppression of this kind has occurred with the Islander student newspaper. After student editors and advisor Chris Twombley review (continued on page 2)

“We kept it mostly seniors with the idea that the people who wanted to be in the group had to be really willing to participate and not just want to be in the group to be in the group.� For both Eakes and Tuttle, participating in Snail Pound meant not only actively engaging in the game “from tip off to finish,� but

SAM showcases Migration Series Sophie Poole staff writer

Sixty small paintings line the room in simple wooden frames. Jacob Lawrence’s signature primary colors stand in stark contrast to the whiteness of the walls. Through clear images and abstract depictions of the human struggle for freedom, it is easy to become immersed in Lawrence’s world. One hundred years after his birth, this exhibit serves as a commemoration to Lawrence’s life and his dedication to facilitating the arts in the greater Seattle community. Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series at the Seattle Art Museum is a collection of paintings working together to narrate the mass movement in the early twentieth century of millions of African-Americans from the



South to the North. The 60 panels are not commonly shown together; the odd numbers belong to the Phillips Collection in Washington and the even numbers are shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The unique reunion of the entire series, right here in downtown Seattle, should not be missed. Their full impact as a complete collection and story serves as an important reminder of the power of social justice through artistic mediums. Growing up in Harlem, Lawrence cultivated his art as a young adult through his studies at the Harlem Art Workshop and attending the Harlem Community Art Center. Lawrence reached the pinnacle of his career at 23-years-old when his Migration Series gained recognition and he became the first (continued on page 7)

Inside The role of team dynamics in an individual sport. Features > Page 2

Climate change and its influence on the ski season. Sports > Page 3

Secret admirers declare their love through these messages. Spread > Page 4/5

The benefits of an international university experience. Opinions > Page 6

Student review of the Seattle Art Museum’s latest exhibit. A & E > Page 7

Make sure to check out our website at mihsislander.org!




Senate bill could change nature of reporting at MIHS Over the past several years, only two significant incidents have occurred in which the Islander published an article which was frowned upon by school administration. Two years ago, a staff writer wrote an article about students using the drug Adderall to stay awake during finals week,

view. Principal Vicki Puckett, however, had a different view. staff writer “We’re talking about a (continued from page 1) student newspaper,” Puckeach article, potentially conett said. “How are kids gotroversial or inflammatory ing to write better if they pieces are sent to Principal don’t practice doing it and Vicki Puckett. The district make some mistakes?” office may also request copShe tentatively supports the ies of prospective articles. new Senate bill, but pointed In an email out a few interview, State issues she Senator Joe has with it. Fain, the pri“I’m okay mary sponsor with conof bill 5064, troversial explained that issues going he wrote the out in the bill after meetpaper,” she ing with stusaid. “What dent journalI’m not ists at Auburn okay with, High School and this and learned is someabout the linthing [for] Photo by Grady Short gering effects which I will of Kuhlmeier The Islander newspaper published a controversial article revealing Adderall use among high school students. carefully on local public schools. Ac- which did not provide ade- screen, is if there is anything cording to Fain, the legislation quate statistics or context on that is promoting illegal ache has introduced is modeled the problem. The District crit- tivity [or] unsafe behavior.” on an existing North Dakota icized the newspaper for not The bill addresses this state law. However, legisla- running it by its offices before concern by including a caretors in support of similar bills going to press. Much of the fully written clause which in other states are, “ultimately school and district administra- allows administration to overall trying to address the same tion criticized the article and ride student decisions when underlying issue of protect- said that the paper should not harmful speech is involved. ing free speech for students.” have printed it without prior reA particularly strange examGrady Short

ple of harmful speech at MIHS came in the October 2009 issue of the Islander. A group of students had become notorious for holding naked drum circles in a local park. On the front page, a small blurb about this wacky ritual showed male and female students who appeared to be nude, strategically covering themselves with various musical instruments. The article caused an absolute uproar and is today the gold standard for what not to do in journalism class. In another example of harmful speech, Puckett recalled an experience from one of the previous schools she worked at in which the newspaper printed gossip about a female student, who ended up having to leave the school because of the backlash. The impact of this bill on MIHS, were it to pass, would depend on how diligent the student editors and writers are at screening articles for potential problems. When administration has no control over what gets printed, and a parent sues over an article, is the student who wrote it at fault? Or the editors and advisors who let it through?

What about the school administration? One could make the case that they might be at fault for not recognizing harmful

I’m okay with con“ troversial issues going in

the paper. What I’m not okay with, and this is something for which I will carefully screen, is if there is anything that is promoting illegal activity or unsafe behavior. Vicki Puckett speech. The bill fails to address the potential liability problem. Bill 5064 would mainly affect school employees, parents, and about two dozen journalism students. Yet, it would also influence the student body as a whole in terms of the type of news it receives. Ultimately, senate bill number 5064 makes high school journalism students more responsible for their work and the content they produce. If it passes, these students will have a bigger responsibility, but also a greater learning opportunity.

Bouldering: an individual sport with a team dynamic Ellie Gottesman staff writer

Looking up, a climber sees a destination and ponders a way to reach it. Looking down, a climber sees her team, cheering and smiling. While many students invest their time outside of school in football, baseball, basketball, and other extracurricular activities, members of the Seattle Bouldering Project have found passion in an unsung sport. Despite popular miscon-

climbing “is anCompetition absolute mind game.

Being in front of tons of people with only four minutes to climb a route you’ve never seen before, not knowing how far anybody else has gotten on it; it’s intimidating! Maya Rudd

ceptions, rock climbing and bouldering are separate sports. “Rock climbing and bouldering are actually very different because the distance

is much shorter in bouldering and there is no harness,” freshman Sophia Kershaw said. “People usually start the sport because they think it will be fun and continue on with it because of the team dynamic and enjoyable competitions.” Planning skills, strength, and quick thinking are essential for a climber. “Competition climbing is an absolute mind game,” senior climber and team captain Maya Rudd said. “Being in front of tons of people with only four minutes to climb a route you’ve never seen before, not knowing how far anybody else has gotten on it; it’s intimidating! You have to learn to trust yourself.” According to the Seattle Bouldering Project website, “The physical and mental obstacles of competitive climbing provide opportunities for leadership development, problem solving, positive self-motivation and the progression of climbing skills.” Climbers have multiple opportunities to compete for regional and national status. For example, sophomore Keathley Brown got a chance to com-

pete at the 2016 USA bouldering championship in Georgia. The Seattle Bouldering Project invites students ages 9 to 18 to join the Seattle Climbing Team. The project, which welcomes students of all skill levels, is typically around 40 climbers. Team members must be willing to put in the hard work for the four two-hour practices every week. Bouldering competitions are all about

routes at all before they climb, so they have to go into what is called isolation, where you wait to be called up for

competition together,” Rudd said. “Climbing may be scored individually for the most part, but it is still a very social and team sport.” The diversity among the members of the team fosters a family-like dynamic. “It draws a lot of people who really aren’t afraid of doing their own thing, since climbing isn’t the regular thing to do,” Rudd said. “That makes for a Photo courtesy Maya Rudd very inviting Senior Maya Rudd scales a wall at Northwest Boulderfest, a local USA climbing competition at the Seattle Bouldering Project. and accepting routes, the different climbing your turn to climb and warm community of really interpaths on a wall. There are two up for two to three hours.” esting and unique people.” major types of competition: red Eventually, during onsight While the team is invested in point and onsight. The more competitions, climbers take to winning, it is more concerned popular is red point, where the wall and have four minutes with empowering each climber. a climber completes a route to attempt each route. A climb“The ultimate goal of the to earn points for the team. er receives the most points if team is to improve each per“Onsight is used more for he or she is highest on the son’s individual skill sets by championship events and wall despite how many times coming together and workworld cups,” Rudd said. he or she has to reattempt. ing hard,” Kershaw said. “Climbers cannot see the “The team does training for

February 28, 2017


Cheering like it’s 1998 (cont.) Jane Gormley Editor in Chief

(continued from page 1) “I definitely looked up to those guys as people and leaders within the school,” Cree said. “They created a really good vibe and a real sense of school pride that year.” While members maintained this respectful attitude outside of the gym, the distinction of “Snail Pound member” was not meant to leave the stands. “As soon as the game was over we would take the shirts off,” Tuttle said. “Nobody wanted to keep wearing them. Snail Pound was just getting together at the games. It wasn’t for outside of school.” To many, however, the Snail Pound has evolved into something else and in doing so, lost some of what made it so special that first year. “It’s taken on a life outside the games,” Cree said. “It’s become more like a social group from the perspective of a teacher.” When Eakes and Tuttle graduated in 1998, they thought Snail Pound was leaving with them. Instead, after laying low for a few years, the group reemerged in the early 2000s. However, this new Snail Pound was different. “It never was able to reach the level it did that first year,” Cree said of the group in ‘99 and ‘00, “in terms of members, spirit, and intentional organization.” Although Eakes said there were some people “who’d look at a group of people wearing the same shirts and not like

it,” students and staff generally believed Snail Pound had no intentions of being overly exclusive. That perception shifted when the group reemerged. “The problem was, when it got big, it changed,” Annest said. “It became more exclusive.” Snail Pound had become less organized, less committed, and less school-focused. Although the current group is starting to return to the initial goals Eakes and Tuttle highlighted, this shift in focus is one of the reasons school spirit has changed so much since 1998. Eakes, who attended a boys basketball game this year, was disappointed with the fan turnout. “It was shocking to me that there was somewhere better to be than at the Friday night home basketball game,” he said. Back in 1998, Tuttle said the

was, when “it gotThebig,problem it changed. It became more exclusive. Dino Annest

games were always, “extremely, strongly attended,” and that Snail Pound just added “organization” and a “focus on positive sportsmanship.” Each of the around 20 members in the original Snail Pound committed to attending every home and away basketball game. Today, not only does the student section lack this large number of loud, committed leaders, it lacks excited students to follow them. Cree attributes the lower turnout to how overscheduled stu-

dents are today and the reality that “school spirit everywhere has dwindled.” “We always knew that we had the most spirit and we wanted to prove that,” he said of his time as a student at MIHS. “We blew people away in terms of crowd size and activity. Now, we’re as spirited as any other school in our league,” he continued. “But, back then, it was at another level. It’d be nice to see us become unique again in our spirit.” One major difference Cree has noticed in the student section is the level of engagement. “Sometimes kids today come to the game and they’re just on their phone,” he said. “It’s a social experience and they want to be there, but they don’t necessarily want to get involved in the game.” He described the original Snail Pound as providing a much different energy. “It was clear that they were paying attention and wanted to see their team be successful. They were a key component to the team’s success.” However, Cree added that this year, he sees school spirit on the rise. “I was really impressed with the students being there and being involved at the end of our season,” he said. “There’s more to do, but it’s the seniors this year that did a really awesome job of propping up the team.” Another welcome source of increased spirit is the Maroon Lotus. The group, started last year by then-senior Artemis Zafari and Flag Dude Ezekiel Larson, plans school-wide events, organizes rides to games, and keeps students updated on all things MIHS.

“The main idea of Lotus is that Mercer Island is kind of the dream,” said senior Sam Rosenstein, one of 20 students on the Lotus Council, which runs the group, and current Snail Pound member. “It’s so seldom you have a high school and a community like this where all these sports, all these drama events, the band is amazing. People take it for granted.” Just as Eakes and Tuttle did,

Back then, it was at an“other level. t’d be nice to

see us become unique again in our spirit. Gavin Cree

senior and council-member Kayla Varney recognizes the power of organized spirit. “Lotus is the Mercer Island school spirit,” she said. “When you put a face to something, it makes it easier to get people on board.” Playing off MIHS’ rich traditions and changing culture, the Maroon Lotus hopes to re-establish the special school spirit that marks Eakes’, Tuttle’s, and Cree’s times at MIHS while broadening its scope to include lesser-attended games, the arts programs, and students for whom spirit does not come naturally. Rosenstein described Lotus as something of a “middle ground” that anyone can be a part of. “You don’t have to be identified with Pound and you don’t have to be the president of your class,” he said, “but you can still have a big role in spirit and what goes on in our school.” “There’s always going to be spirited juniors and seniors,”


Varney added. “We want underclassman to understand what they’re a part of early on.” Upperclassman have had two years to witness how all MIHS students are a part of a unique school culture steeped in rich traditions. The story of spirit and spirit groups at MIHS comes down to those ideas. The student body’s love and adherence to them is what makes Mercer Island spirit special. Those original Kramer-inspired bowling shirts were not intentionally passed on to a new generation of Snail Pound. Yet, the idea survived and continues to identify one of the high school’s most visible and talked about traditions. In its prime, Snail Pound was a group of free-spirited and committed leaders who knew how to manage a crowd. They understood and respected the power their bowling shirts developed that year, and they were known for their intense spirit above anything else. If MIHS truly values its traditions, all of its spirit groups, not just Pound, must look back at and take notes on the success of the 1998 Snail Pound. Change in school culture is inevitable, but the high school’s current leaders in spirit can learn from the organization, dedication, and well-intentioned goofiness that made that original group something that people still talk fondly of today. Spirit at MIHS exists, but it is wavering. The school’s spirit groups must maintain the upward momentum that has been evident in recent years. However, to do this, they need the student body to continue showing up, dressing up, and start cheering like it’s 1998.

A warming climate’s effect on snow sports at home and abroad 100-day-long season until the 2040s, even with snowmaking. staff writer In Australia, the ski season is Climate change is near-imexpected to last only possible to notice without about 70 percent of looking at actual scientifits current average ic data. Here in the Pacific length by the time the Northwest, a 1-degree increase 2040s roll around. in the average temperature Here in Washingmeans nothing more ton state, than a slightly hotter popular summer in Seattle, or areas like a snowstorm which Crystal fails to materialize and Mountain turns to rain instead. and SnoThere is one commuqualmie nity, however, where Pass took a big blow climate change is makfrom the Winter of ing its impact known: 2015, when the forthe skiing and snowmer received only half courtesy Business Insider boarding community. Skiers near California's Lake Tahoe navigate barePhoto of its average annual patches during a bad snow year. Any sport which snowfall and had to relies on consistently cold, up for decreasing snowfall. close off many of its facilities. wet weather obviousOverseas, European reOne of the problems with ly has a great deal to lose sorts in Austria and Italy are monitoring the extent of climate from a warming climate. only projected to maintain a change is that overall trends are Grady Short

Ski areas in the US are opening later and closing earlier on average than they were 20 years ago. In places like California and the East Coast, which are particularly prone to boomor-bust weather, resorts have had to increase their artificial snowmaking capacity to make

lost in the noise of yearly, or even weekly, weather events. Last year was a great snow

year for local ski resorts, and this year California skiers rejoiced at a whopping 10 feet of snowfall which accumulated in less than a week in the Sierra Nevada this January. As the world gets warmer, we should not expect a sudden decrease in snowfall, but rather a gradual decrease in

the amount of big snow years, coupled with an increase in the number of bad snow years. We also may start to see more erratic and inconsistent weather in our area such as windstorms, droughts, and floods will start to crop up a little more f r e q u e n t l y. Skiers are a relatively insignificant subset of people who will be directly affected by global warming in the coming years. Winter sports enthusiasts will likely be some of the first people to notice the effects of climate change, and some of the first people to see their lifestyles threatened because of it.

Belated Valentine’s Day Messages Sup Shawty. Luke Boksem you’ve been lookin’ fly since day one. I’ll never forget the day I switched the numbers in your phone. Epic. Text me let’s hang! ;D -Arjen Robben is bad

Hey Ad a to let yo m, I just wante d uk have pe now I think yo rfe u for a ma ctly-sized hand n of you s office. Th r political -Not Ni anks. kita M : )

Dear Evan Doty, I’ve been eyeing you for some time. Every day in Radow’s class, I secretly stare at you the whole period. Your Subaru is the car of my dreams. I heard you’re good at golf, I dig that. We should talk some time. ;) -Yao Ming

You guys know who you are if you recognize my nickname. But I wanted to say that I can’t thank y’all enough for your support throughout this 10/10 high school life B^). I know it’s been a rocky year in raging dumpster fire land, but I love y’all to bits and always will. -Peppercorn

Although Valentine’s Day has gone, the spread of love still carries on! Here is a compilation of anonymous letters written by Islanders to their loved ones.

Dear Ma beautifu deline G, you are l and I’m really sad that see each w e can oth class this er everyday in sc not ienc yea selfies of r. I miss your sec e ret me. I kn ow that know th y ou at I love you. But I thi nk that y ou love me too. -D.C.

g. You everythin . The y m e r a u ss Jenna. Yo he darkne t g n o m a e rose ht are my lig ld of dandelions. Th er. a fie t the wint u o h flower in g u o r es th You that surviv partner in crime. y You are m to me right now. are next ousside Cash me dah. how bow -Han Solo

Hey sexy, yeah I’m looking at you in room 310. I just go wild when I pledge to you. The stripes you wear make you look so hot, and that’s why I’m writing to you this Valentine’s day. Not because you’re white, and sometimes red when I’m flirting with you, but because I’m feeling pretty blue and I think we could be united very well. -Patriot_1776

Dea r enti Elizabe ne’ th on y s Day! I Warren Cor ou eve ’ve had , Happ r y etta Scot since y a huge Valc you o t wou King le u read rush th ld t and stoo not be ter. The at da wa sil was gainst r enced y a s -Ber o sexy. cism nin’ you for .

ve ur lo o y g u n readi t thank yo p s r d fo n’ anks eart. I ca et to spen w h t , l e o h Dani r my big e time I g abs. I kn e d th k har ke staring all ov h for all c o r r g i e enou and you ing you l feet. I lov u h , yt er yo with e than an tiful danc long neck mor wo beau nsanely ead. t ri eh at my ng at you assive for i look d your m a KG an -Ann

Dear 4.0 GPA, I have been watching you from afar since I was a freshman. You always seemed so unobtainable. My friends tell me you’re out of my league, and I’ll never be able to get or keep you. I don’t care. Maybe we could get together in college? I would correct my freshman mistakes when we were almost a thing. -The 3.7 GPA Loner

Dear Kate Miller, you are the best looking girl at the school and someone I have always found to be amazing. You probably don’t know me but that’s okay. One day you and I will be together. True love doesn’t keep people like us apart and I’m confident you will see me too :)! -KatesLover

Dear people who pre-ordered Girl Scout cookies, Thank you so much for your support of Girl Scouts. I am so happy to know each and every one of you guys. Even though the price raised this year, you still ordered cookies and that means a lot. Thank you for being so generous. -Cookie Dealer

st it r , fi e t k A r Bla g time. became a e D it on th r a l ut then ime wi o f ou ,b et ed y friend nd mor ith our I’ve k i l D l I’ve ust as a to spe rther w r love iked yo ear Ava j t u e f u , you was . I wan l as go o matt r pe for a lo e y n l r o e r o u ar n s m u as w onship it is. e ab onality g time i e t p yo a s :) l y a o re tt insid lutely g nd I th I wha va U. ink org ea -A -Bla nd out. eous, ke D .

Dear Blake Daquila, You are the stars to my moon, the rays to my sun. You are as sweet as a plum, you are my hun. I cant wait to go to Red Robin with you. Much like Red Robin: you are yuuuuuuuuum. -Panida Pita Girl

Dea r lion Leon, y ou ! On coun bad are on upsi t on yo days, I e in a m u to can de d ilhats own. F turn m always rom y fr to mov your ic your s own o ty es, y ou b nic dan lish ce rin to -Pai my life. g joy ntbr ush <3

Dear Thomas Mehdi, I have always loved you ever since the day we said hey. You make me laugh you make me cry and I’m so upset you’re taken I could die. Be my Valentine you are so fine. -Z money

Dear Ava Rosenberg, I’ve had my eyes set on you ever since you started your YouTube career. Your videos are inspirational and help keep me going. I hope one day I raise the courage to talk to you! Please stay true to yourself & keep up the good work. Also I like cats as well! We’d be purrfect together #meow -Catlover101




The advantages of an international university experience Emma Gottlieb staff writer

As every upperclassman knows, the first step of the college process is to create a list of schools that best suit one’s needs. Students at MIHS often do this with the help of Naviance’s “SuperMatch College Search” tool, introduced to them by counselors who visit their classrooms junior year. The tool uses an overwhelming amount of categories to narrow the search for a student’s “best­ fit” college, the first being “location.” The glaring flaw with the “location” category, however, is the sheer lack of options. Students can only choose from regions in the United States, United States territories, or Canada, barring them from considering schools in any of the other 194 countries in the world. School counselors are also guilty of excluding international schools in their college presentations. Only requirements for American universities are discussed, and only steps for using the Common Application are taught. Not even a nod is given to the possibility of international applications and the different requirements students may need to be aware of if they want to apply these schools. As with studying anywhere,

attending a foreign university California is $69,711 per year. universities. However, for does have downsides. In contrast, the yearly cost of students who are sure of the Samantha Philipp, an MIHS attendance for the University degree path they wish to alum and current freshman at of Oxford in England can be as follow, foreign universities the University of St. Andrews, low as $20,450 for American can provide the benefit of notes that “you have to apply students, according to each streamlining and fast­ tracking for a visa which is a whole school’s websites. their education. complicated process. The eight Additionally, many bachelor Today, the importance of hour time having a global difference mindset is between St. e v e r­g r o w i n g . Andrews Students who and Mercer i m m e r s e Island can themselves in be pretty new cultures gain rough, and broader global the 12­-hour perspectives plane ride t h r o u g h can be a bit interactions of a pain.” with their H o w e v e r, foreign peers; Phillip says connections she in no which can way regrets often break her decision down harmful Photo by Emma Gottlieb to study in stereotypes and University of St. Andrews in Scotland, a popular choice for American students looking to go abroad for university Scotland, boundaries. Jane and that “it’s completely worth degree programs at foreign Gallup, the mother of MIHS it to study abroad because universities are only three alumn and University College [she’s] never had this much years long, further reducing the Dublin freshman Jacqueline fun in [her] life.” cost. Shorter degree programs Gallup, noticed that when the Attending university in a are a result of applicants being two reunited during winter foreign country can prove to required to apply directly to a break her daughter’s personal be incredibly beneficial for major of their choice, knowing growth seemed “higher than American students. Firstly, they will most likely not be those who stayed in the states, the tuition for most foreign able to change it. If a student in the sense of understanding universities is jaw­ droppingly is unsure of what they want politics and education and lower than that of those in to major in, an international maturity.” Grateful for her the U.S. For a Mercer Island university experience may daughter’s cultural growth, student, the cost of attending not be the best option for Mrs. Gallup now actively the University of Washington them, as they will not be able encourages other current high is currently $25,948 per year, to explore different majors school students to consider a and the cost of attending through general studies classes similar experience. the University of Southern as required by American Students improve upon

their their independence at any university, but attending a foreign university intensifies the challenge of not relying on one’s parents for assistance. Of course, if a student does not feel comfortable living so far away from home, then a international education may not be right for her. However, the issue of distance should not necessarily bar foreign universities from consideration, as it can turn out to be much less of a problem than it may seem at first. Ms. Gallup has found that, thanks to FaceTime, dealing with her daughter living so far away has actually been quite easy: “It’s just a plane ride away,” Mrs. Gallup said. “You have to have that perception.” Students should be exposed to the possibility of studying at a foreign university and the benefits it could have on their college experience. The earlier the exposure to the option of an international education, the better; the process of choosing a school, preparing for testing, figuring out different application processes, and convincing parents can be stressful if crammed down into a few short weeks. While studying in a distant country is, of course, not for everyone, students should nevertheless be encouraged by the school counselors to explore it as an option. They may find the experience to be a life changing one.

Trump’s worst mistake yet: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos her family all attended private communities under terms of a basis. DeVos has even used her schools with exorbitant tuition charter agreed upon by the gov- money and political influence staff writer fees, proving to provide families with For better or for worse,​ that she may “vouchers” Trump’s presidency has gar- not have faith to pay for nered a lot of attention; it is in the public their chilno secret that his acts as pres- school system dren’s charter ident have been the subject of she is preparschool educamuch controversy over the past ing to lead. her tion- vouchcouple of months. There is one Given ers which, particular decision, however, lack of experiincidentally, that out-trumps all of his others ence, it looks are paid for in its foolishness: his choice of as though Deusing taxBetsy DeVos for Secretary of Vos received the nominapayer monEducation. ey. Despite Secretary DeVos says, if con- tion for Secgenerous firmed, she plans to increase retary of Edustate fundthe availability of alternative cation simply because her ing, Michischooling opportunities such as gan’s charter charter, home, online, and reli- family is said schools are gious schools. However, while to have do$200 some of the she seems passionate about ed- nated Photo courtesy MSNBC worst in the ucation and does not believe million to the in a one-size-fits-all learning R e p u b l i c a n Betsy Devos, Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, is a staunch advocator of charter schools and has neither attended nation. Acnor taught public school cording to model, D ​ eVos has very little Party. A Michigan native, DeVos ernment. Michigan has more BBC Politico, the state’s charter ​ actual experience in the field of has always been a staunch ad- charter schools than most other school system ranked “near the public education. Neither DeVos nor any of her vocator for charter schools- states in the country, with the bottom” for fourth and eighth for-profit state allocating nearly $1 bil- grade math as well as fourth children have ever attended or publicly-funded, taught public school. She and schools created by teachers or lion to such schools on a yearly grade reading on a standardJake D’Souza

ized, nationally representative test. Furthermore, in many cases, it is unclear how the for-profit schools with which DeVos collaborates spend the allocated money. Therefore, it is hard to know whether the owners of the schools are working for the good of the community, or simply for personal gain. It is clear that Betsy DeVos is a poor choice for Secretary of Education; neither she nor her family have any experience whatsoever working with or attending public schools. Despite maintaining a large influence on Michigan schools through various financial means, the state’s public schools are some of the worst in the country. Even so, it seems as though Devos’ complete lack of relevant credentials, as well as some unfavorable ones, will not stop her from becoming the new Secretary of Education and doing great damage to students’ lives.


February 28, 2017


A day at the SAM with Jacob Lawrence’s iconic Migration Series

rence had on it. her openness to share stories, the SAM’s mission of encourMcDade grew up in Loustories that reflected her exten- aging diverse artists within the staff writer isiana, and could find many sive and unique life, was beau- community. “The SAM has a connections from her life to tiful to witness. number of programs that help (continued from page 1) Lawrence’s paintings. The Lawrence’s impact on Mc- increase diversity. They look African American artist to 57th panel features a for talented artists from have work showcased in major women working as a diverse backgrounds, commercial galleries. Lawlaundress, and Mcspecifically to be fearence married Gwendolyn Dade recalled that tured in [the Jacob LawKnight, a fellow artist, and they her own mother had rence Gallery]. The Galmoved to Seattle, Washington been a wash woman. lery is specifically meant after he was offered a job at the She recounted the to increase the diversity University of Washington as a memory of white of the art that we show professor in the art department. women dropping off here. The SAM also I walked through the Gwentheir laundry at her reaches out to schools dolyn Knight and Jacob Lawhouse for her mothrence gallery at the Seattle Art Photo by Sophie Poole and communities that The exhibit’s final panel completes the story of the migration. er to wash in their are particularly interestMuseum and marveled at the backyard. Dade is a living testament to ed in diverse art exhibitions,” scope of the story displayed McDade, like the migrants his influence in the commu- said J.K. Jaganathan, a docent upon the four walls. Reading pictured in the series, trav- nity, during his life and post- leading a tour of Lawrence’s about the Great Migration in eled to Seattle and earned her humously. His legacy has Migration Series. my history textbook could not doctorate at the Uni- continued through the GwenThe relevancy of the concept compare to the tragicalversity of Washington. dolyn Knight and Jacob Law- of migration in the current poly beautiful paintings McDade became the rence Foundation, founded by litical climate in America albefore my eyes, the first black woman to him and his wife. The SAM’s lows Lawrence’s work to conexhibit allowed me feel earn a Ph.D. in English Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob tinue to spark conversations an emotional connecfrom the UW, and also Lawrence prize, which is ma- decades after this series was tion to a time in history founded the African jorly funded by their founda- finished. that words on a page American Writers Al- tion, is awarded biannually to “This [exhibit] is happening could never evoke. liance. She has taught emerging young black artists. at a time with all these policies Paintings depictPhoto by Sophie Poole at numerous universi- Winners receive $10,000 and [in America] about migration ed the hopefulness of Panel 58 depicting educational opportunity in the north ties and colleges, and their exhibit featured in the and immigration,” Jaganathan crowds boarding trains to Northern cities to escape the I was enthralled by the art- written collections of poetry, Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob said. “I think the history that Lawrence gallery at the SAM, we learn here provides a lot of systematic oppression and rac- work, I could not stop won- essays, and stories. Returning to her connection a room that stands as a testa- lessons for us in terms of why ism of the South. Other panels dering about a woman on the showcased the discrimination tour. She sat, looking through a to the exhibit, McDade told me ment to the artistic and cultural migration happens and what about meeting Jacob Lawrence life of black artists. In January we have to do if we are going African Americans continued book and writing furiously. I later learned this woman during his tenure as a professor 2017, Sondra Perry, a young to treat people fairly,” to experience in the North. I Jacob Lawrence’s Migration learned about race riots in the was Georgia McDade, an ac- at UW. His influence clearly New York artist, was awarded North and of expansion of ed- complished writer and teacher still affected McDade. She sat this prize and her video art will Series runs from January 21st ucation. I saw a painting de- in the black artistic community amidst his art and wrote po- be featured in the fall of this to April 23rd. Students ages picting the efforts of Southern in Seattle. She told me of her etry inspired by the emotions year in the Jacob Lawrence 13-19 may purchase $5 tickets through Teen Tix. law enforcers to detain African fascinating life, but also of the evoked from his paintings. gallery. McDade exuded wisdom and profound impact that LawLawrence’s ideals embody Americans and stood in disbeSophie Poole

lief at the cruelty and injustice. I learned about the terrible working conditions of industrial factories, and also occasionally came across hopeful paintings of the potential for upward social mobility for African Americans in the North. Reaching the final painting, I read the caption: “And the migrants kept coming.” Lawrence’s final quote left an open end to his story of the Great Migration. The lack of finality left a feeling of curiosity in me. I wanted to know more. The others in the gallery were completely enraptured by the rare series of paintings, taking in the epic visual narration before their eyes. Though

Take me to La La Land: a review Emma Gottlieb staff writer

About five weeks ago, I read Vogue’s cover story on Emma Stone and her role in the film La La Land. The article painted the movie as a wondrous, awe-inspiring masterpiece by director Damien Chazelle that evokes memories of classic films such as Singing In the Rain. I felt myself melt as I read the article, letting out a big sigh as I daydreamed of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling dancing and singing, creating the perfect combination of old and new Hollywood. Visions of tap dancing in the streets of Los Angeles, romantic moonlit walks along the pier, and dramatic auditions raced through my mind. Walking into the theatre, I felt myself smile in anticipation of the magic I was expecting to witness. My smile never faded. La La Land creates a renewing sense of hope and ambition amongst viewers. Emma Stone plays Mia, an aspiring actress with a full heart and

lovable, goofy charm. Ryan Gosling plays Sebastian, an unwaveringly passionate, down-on-his-luck jazz pianist. While struggling to obtain steady careers in wild Los Angeles, the two find each other. Their simple and beautiful love story is unfolded through a variety of musical numbers, ranging from loud toe-tappers to feel-good melodies. Mia and Sebastian are perfect compliments, her unique positivity pulls him down to Earth, while his go-getter attitude pushes Mia to her big break. The two quickly prove to be a couple one can’t help but root for. Now, I would be lying if I said I was overjoyed with the ending, as it was not what I had hoped for. But even so, it was as well-produced as the rest of the movie, and serves as a reminder that even if life does not work out how one might expect, true love never fades. Overall, La La Land soars past all expectations, and is fully deserving of every one of its fourteen Oscar nominations.

Lonely students unite! Spread the love, send a song, and make Valentine’s Day happy again orphan. So to the unloved, unwantstaff writer ed, lame, or otherwise sinValentine’s Day. A day gle students of Mercer Island filled with love. A day in High School, I say, “Let us which a boy sweeps a girl unite!” Either we stand firm off her feet. Alas, not for against the scourge of Singme. ing Valentine’s or we embrace Like many of you, I them and plan a coup d’etat for spend more time dating next year. I vote for the latter. books than actual I am going to send people. I admit it, a Singing Valentine the closest I have to some of my best come to true love friends (a.k.a. those is filling out the who I am competing Bachelor Fantafiercely against in sy League Draft. Bachelor Fantasy). I once thought If there is a lonely someone was looking soul in one staring my way of your classes, send in math, but it him or her a blast turned out he had Photo by Ellie Gottesman from the Jazz Choir Members of the jazz choir performing “One Call Away” to a lucky student. a neck kink. that he or she will So the geniusThe students that get Singing- never forget. es at Mercer Island High O-Grams already have all the In all the immortal words School have figured out the affection they need. You typi- of the late Malvina Reynolds, perfect way to take my lack cally do not send a Sing Val- “Love is something if you of a love life to new levels entine to someone you dislike. give it away, give it away, give of despair: Singing Valen- I am as likely to get a Singing it away. Love is something if tine’s. Valentine as I am to star as An- you give it away. You end up Let me just state for the nie on Broadway, and I am no having more.” Ellie Gottesman

record that I have nothing against the Jazz Choir. I am sure they are nice people with angelic singing voices. But please do not interrupt my learning process with sweet tunes directed at those who are already enjoying the tongs of love. Let me restate the problem:

If you had one superpower...

The power of invisibility - Jared Ong, senior

Mindfulness -Jamling Sherpa, sophomore


The ability to induce peer pressure

... a magic staff, which can be used to shoot beams of light at foes and create force fields. - Eva Halsne, junior



Jane Gormley

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The Islander February Issue 2017  

The Islander February Issue 2017