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May 15, 2015


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Volume IV, Edition 5


Richard Chess editor in chief

Last Tuesday, May 12, members of the Mercer Island Educators Association voted in support of a walkout on May 19, resulting in the cancellation of all MISD classes. The walkout comes in response to recent demands from teachers statewide to satisfy the Washington state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, which requires the Legislature to raise the number of educational staff and to increase funding to transportation, maintenance, and full-day kindergarten by 2018. Furthermore, teachers are demanding the appropriation of sufficient funds to fulfill a voter-passed maximum class size law. As a result of the walkout, all five Mercer Island schools will be closed on May 19. “Missing a scheduled day of school is never ideal, particularly in May,� said MISD Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano in a statement. At MIHS, the eleventh grade Smarter Balanced exam, which was previously scheduled to be taken on May 18-21, will now be administered on May 18, 20, 21, and 26. Furthermore, a make-up school day has been scheduled for Friday, June 19. Thousands of teachers statewide have struck or intend to strike. Unlike a typical labor strike that confronts laborers

against their employers, these limits on public school class teacher walkouts are demon- sizes. While the initiative did strations directed to Washing- not provide any stipulation for ton State Legislature. Both raising funds, Governor Jay Inhouses are interested in providing a cost-oflivingadjustment in teacher salaries for the following two years, b u t teachers expect more. “ I t ’ s Teachers strike in Olympia on the steps of the Capitol Building on April 25. not a pay raise. It’s to account for slee proposed a 2015-17 budget inflation over the next two that includes a new tax on capiyears,� said MIHS mathemat- tal gains and an increase in eduics teacher Mark Shafer. “It cation funding. Though Inslee doesn’t account for the fact that ran on a “no new taxes� camwe haven’t gotten our voter-ap- paign pledge, the budget would proved cost of living allowances raise an additional $1.4 billion for the last six years, and teach- in new revenues over two years, ers have lost the purchasing increase education spending by power of about 13 percent.� Cur- $2.3 billion, and result in a net rent negotiations in the House $2.4 billion shortage. and Senate indicate that the “They don’t have the backbone COLA will be between 3 and 4.8 to say ‘We need to tax people,’� percent for the two years. said Shafer. “The Senate, specifiLast November, voters ap- cally, is not moving. They believe proved Initiative 1351, placing they are doing the best for the

voters, which I strongly disagree with because they are doing the best for their constituents, which are the ones that would be possibly taxed.� Opponents still believe that the budget is a weak attempt to fix a serious issue. W a l k ing out on a day of Smarter Balanced testing also indicates the teachers’ disapPhoto courtesy of King 5 News proval of the state’s format and execution of SBAC. “We’re sitting here losing almost three days of instruction for our students so you guys can take a test that will be meaningless,� said Shafer. “Somehow the state thinks this test is what is going to help you ---not funding, but the test.� Teachers on Mercer Island will be peacefully protesting in Downtown Seattle on Tuesday. They intend to wave signs with Seattle School District teachers to increase awareness.

people to leave the island, which is very limiting. Also it’s terrible for your fuel economy which I guess adults worry about.� said senior Naomi Moore. This development is actually the third and final stage of

Island have little choice but to brave the stop-and-go stream of cars every other weekend. “The I-90 was backed up from the 5 going east, and we just got off. It just looked ridiculous,� said commuter Maureen Reggie. The contractors are doing their best to minimize traffic by avoiding scheduling closures on weekends with sports events or festivals. “It’s always impossible to avoid conflict with every single one of them but we do our best to minimize those impacts,� said Annie Johnson from the state Department of Transportation. This project was mostly financed through Sound Transit and the Federal Transit Administration, receiving around $124.8 million from the two combined. Other sources include the 2005 Gas Tax/Partnership funding ($31.7 million), 2003 Gas Tax/Nickel funding ($15.8 million), the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ($7.6 million), and miscellaneous ($7.7 million), for a total budget of $187.6 million. The ultimate goal of these plans is to ease the transition as Sound Transit extends the Light Rail across the bridge. The East Link light rail will extend from Seattle to Redmond through the center roadway and aims to be in service by 2023.

Mercer Island Shore Club undergoes renovation Features > Page 2

Mark Zmuda interviewed about new athletic code Sports > Page 3

What you think you’ll do this summer vs. what you’ll actually do this summer Spread > Page 4/5

I-90 Floating Bridge causing inconveniences for commuters

lanes with needing to cross any others in order to enter or exit features editor the highway. Stages One Mercer Island residents have and Two were completed in 2008 recently experienced inconand 2012 respectively. Only mivenience as the I-90 Floating nor additions and modifications Bridge is reduced down to one were made in these two stages, lane on certhus neither of them tain weekends. required closures or As the Washcaused the same deington State gree of congestion as Department this final phase. Stage of TransportaThree is expected to be tion and Sound completed mid-2017. Transit plan to In addition to the new add a high ocramps, Stage Three cupancy vehiwill add an HOV lane cle lane to both in each direction of directions, the outer roadway bedrivers can extween Mercer Island pect around 30 and Seattle, improve weekends over the pavement in both the next 2.5 directions, and upyears of bumgrade the I-90 tunPhoto by Kris Brackmann per-to-bumper As a part of a 2.5 year project, the I-90 Floating Bridge has frequently closed on weekends. nels’ fire and life safetraffic. ty systems in Mercer Residents of Mercer Island a plan to ease congestion that Island and Seattle. There is a are hardest hit by these reno- results from carpools, vanpools, small environmental benefit as vations as they rely heavily on and buses merging across the well, as the construction intends the bridge for transportation to highway to exit. New direct-ac- on adding to the existing drainother cities. cess ramps will be built to allow age and storm water treatment “It has been really inconve- these vehicles to enter and exit systems to clean roadway runnient for planning my weekends. HOV lanes while avoiding the off. Oftentimes I have appointments other lanes of traffic, making On the weekends of construcin Seattle or am going to see the freeway safer and smoother tion, contractors close off all but family or friends up North on the for everyone. As well as being one lane to allow for the road weekends when I have the time, safer, bus systems will be able work. This funneling movement but it is really hard to plan your to operate more efficiently and is the main culprit of the slow time efficiently without knowing reliably as the need for merg- moving traffic. While commuters how much time it will take to get ing decreases. Buses will remain are encouraged to take alternaplaces. I feel like it [discourages] almost exclusively in the HOV tive routes, residents of Mercer by

Helena Shield

A look at modern feminism Opinions > Page 6

A review of Sweeney Todd A&E > Page 7

After you’ve finished enjoying this paper, please recycle it!



Electrical vehicle parking explained by

Jane Gormley

online editor From 2008 to 2014, about 260,000 electric vehicles were sold in the United States. In environment-conscious Seattle, electric or gas-electric hybrid vehicle have gained popularity as feasible options for transportation. This year, following this upward trend in electric vehicle use, Mercer Island School District decided to install two electric vehicle charging stations in the new high school parking lot. However, policies regarding the use of these new spots remain a mystery. Electric vehicle reserved spots are intended for charging only. When the spots are in high demand, as they often are at the Administration building, the district expects the cars to be moved after being fully charged. A full charge at one of these stations would only take about two to four hours. However, that said, if no one is waiting to use the spot, it would be acceptable for the car to remain there for an extra couple of hours. While these guidelines may appear unclear, the district believes that vehicle owners will use common sense and not abuse the spots. Dean Mack, MISD Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer commented that, “owners of electric vehicles are well aware of etiquette.” Currently, the vehicle owner is not charged for the amount of time in the spot, but for how long their car is charging. However, if people begin using the spots as day-long parking spaces, “[the district] will start charging the rate for every minute they’re

hooked up whether they’re charging or not,” said Mack. The charging stations are open and available to everyone with an electric vehicle. While the intended demographic are teachers, school visitors, and students, the stations are also open to the general public. “[The spots] are meant to serve the school district, but someone can pull up here and charge at nighttime, obviously paying the charge fee, and that would be fine,” said Mack. Students are allowed to use these spots, even without a parking pass, as long as their vehicle is moved to another spot after charging. The school district made the decision to install the charging stations in the new high school parking lot because they saw an upward trend in the use of electric vehicles. “Any time you do a construction project you try to be aware of current technology, current community needs, so that you’re not building something that’s an antique before you even finish it,” said Mack. “You want something that is useful going into the future, so right now, with the way the world is moving towards electric vehicles, you would cost yourself dearly in the future to have to come back and retrofit [the spots] when you already know you’re going to have to do it.” As the installation of these stations is at its cheapest when a whole new facility is being built, residents can expect to see charging stations at both the new elementary school and at the remodeled middle school. The school acknowledges that, as of now, the charging stations

College scholarships by

Jessica Waller staff writer

With the extraordinary efforts required to complete the ACT or SAT, earn respectable grades, and complete lengthy college applications, all while enjoying extracurricular activities and friends, the possibility of earning college scholarships is often ignored until deadlines have passed. Yet a generous scholarship may help defray some of the cost of college. Since many scholarships have autumn deadlines, summer is the perfect time to complete an application or two and research opportunities that match your resume and intended pursuits. For nearly every interest, there is a scholarship. Some examples: For avid readers, the Ayn Rand Institute offers scholarships of up to $20,000. For artists, the Mercer Island Visual Arts offers several scholarships.

For Eagle Scouts, the Mable & Lawrence S. Cooke Scholarship awards scholarships ranging from $6,000 to $48,000.

For MIHS Football players, apply for the Dick Nicholl Scholarship.

For seniors who recognize that the Mercer Island Schools Foundation has made a difference in their lives, the PTA offers a $1,500 scholarship.

For women dedicated to global service and empowering other women, the Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship offers a $5,000 scholarship.

For seniors with extraordinary community involvement and a remarkable spirit, the family and friends of Krishna D. Vara (MIHS 1998) would like to recognize your quiet influence with a $2,000 scholarship.

For those interested in veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars’s Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition awards $30,000 to the first place winner of its writing and film competition.

This list is a mere sampling of the hundreds of scholarship opportunities that are available for every kind of student. A quick internet search or a glance at the scholarship page on the Naviance website is all it takes to find many scholarships you can apply to. And summer is the perfect time to get a head start on the application process.

at the high school do not seem to be getting much use. Vicki Puckett, MIHS Principal, has said that there may be a small chance of, very temporarily, assigning one of the charging stations to a teacher with a non-electric vehicle as a way to free up a parking spot somewhere else. “We’ve gotten some feedback from students asking how come you have these extra spots, they’re not getting used and they could be one extra spot that’s for whatever,” said Puckett. “Our response back has been that it’s a goal of our district to be green and to encourage people to go green; to think about their footprint in terms of emissions and consumption. But we’re not going to just ignore [the complaints]; we’re going to say, do we still need to think about two or can we go with one?” That being said, it is very unlikely that any changes will happen this year. It is also important to keep in mind that such changes would be short-term adjustments: “If we did it, it would be very temporary. As demand goes up and people start buying more and more of those kinds of cars, we’re going to be back up and running again.” The district strongly believes in its goals to encourage green behavior. They see the use of electric vehicles on the rise and therefore, even though the spots do not get much use, Mack still considers the installation a success when focusing on the long-term benefits. “Especially in a year or two, I think you’ll see a lot more electric vehicles and you’ll see [the spots] in use all the time.”

Solar energy: the new trend by

Mithril Hugunin staff writer

Since the 2014 Solarize campaign to help turn the island into a solar community, residents and a local business have signed 47 contracts within the city of Mercer Island to install solar panels at a discount. These panels allow for a capacity of 320 kilowatts in ideal conditions, according to the Mercer Island City Government website; that is, creating enough electricity to power approximately 3200 standard light bulbs, although this excludes nighttime when solar panels cannot produce current. With local authority promoting increased solar usage, many citizens are accepting the trend and installing panels. However, solar panels are not entirely beneficial, and pose some environmental hazards that must be factored into their equation. Despite overall improvements, solar panels still utilize toxic heavy metals like arsenic, or potent greenhouse gasses like sulfur hexafluoride. These substances endanger workers at solar plants as well, through trace metals or explosive gasses. In addition, the data used is self-reported from companies that may need to cover up its emissions and lack of recycling. Solar panels have been technologically improving recently. Solar panels cost 20 percent of what they were in 2000, evidence that mass production and scientific advancements have made them feasible for an increased number of people. Even ignoring Mercer Island’s incen-

tive of 15 percent off, solar energy is cheaper than standard Puget Sound Energy prices. The cost reduction is related to the number of expensive heavy metals used, so the environmental impact is trailing off as well. Even if solar energy is globally beneficial, Mercer Island may not be the best place for it. North Washington has sunny moments, but in general, days are dark and damp. However, research suggests that there is no noticeable negative effect from having solar energy in the Pacific Northwest. Patricia Weston, a MIHS science teacher, had solar panels installed for the environmental benefits. She is directly tied into the grid, which removes the self-sufficiency factor, but also means that Weston can probably pay off the original installation cost by selling back to the company. Solar panels may have contaminates, but the environmental damages from other sources like oil or oil are a greater issue. Online sources are inconclusive on whether homeowners installing solar panels helps the environment, but putting panels up should pay off economically given a decade or two with the tax breaks; they are a good deal for you and the world. And, in the case of a zombie apocalypse, they provide an off -the-grid option to maintain iPad games and electric fences.

May 15, 2015


Teacher feature: Larry Bencivengo and Marie Barton Jane Gormley

ter some time rowing for Mount lake and watching the sunrise, I like challenging myself, and Baker, BarStudent athletes get a lot of ton moved Lake press at MIHS, but for good to reason. The high school is filled S a m m a with extremely talented and mish, a club hardworking students who have with less of found a way to balance their a commute. schoolwork as well as compete “ R o w i n g Lake in high-level athletics. However, on students are not the only people W a s h i n g at the high school trying to find ton is one of the right balance between their the things really love of competition and their I love of learning. French teacher miss about at Marie Barton and science teach- rowing Photo courtesy of Marie Barton er Larry Bencivengo are just two Mount Bak- French teacher Marie Barton rows (2nd from the right). When of the many teacher athletes at er. your coach isn’t yelling at you, I love working out really hard. MIHS. Barton, who had been an you can watch all the planes And of course, I also really enjoy landing at Sea- my teammates and my coach.” avid athlete all Bencivengo started playing ulTac.” While through high Barton’s sched- timate Frisbee in an intramural school, startule of rowing league at college and joined an ed rowing in and training adult recreational league when college just beevery weekday he first moved to Seattle. “I’m cause all the before school the kind of person that just likes people on her already seems to be active,” said Bencivengo, floor in her rigorous, she “although I do love coaching and dorm were dothinks the kids I certainly sit in front of my TV ing it. Her dewho row are and watch sports, I really prefer but on the Sedoing what she to be doing.” When Bencivengo attle crew scene does but way first entered the league, it was began one day more intensely. fairly small, with only 13 teams; when she and “When I was most players, including Bill Nye her husband younger they the Science Guy, knew each othsaw some boats would just say er. Today, the league has grown from Mount row and I’d to over 50 teams, and while Baker Crew on row but now, Bencivengo says it is difficult to Lake WashingPhoto courtesy of MISD everything is know everyone, the community ton. “My husMIHS science teacher Larry Bencivengo so scientific.” remains tight-knit. “In ultimate, band and I met while rowing in college, and This changing nature of the there’s a big thing called ‘spirit so when we were here in Seat- sport has not turned the French of the game.’ There aren’t usutle and were driving across I-90, teacher away; in fact, the mod- ally referees, so you’re supposed and we saw these people row- ernization of the techniques and to kind of work it out between ing, I was like, ‘do you remem- equipment has only excited her yourselves on the field. I really ber when we used to do that?’ even more. “I like everything firmly believe in that. It’s one and he said ‘do you want to try [about crew]. I like getting up of the things I really love about it’ and so I was like ‘okay!’” Af- in the morning and being on the ultimate, just that idea you can

play really really hard and give it 100 percent effort and then if the other guy beats you, you can congratulate them.” Every summer, Bencivengo plays in a tournament called Potlatch, one of the biggest co-ed tournaments in the world. “I’ve been going to that tournament for a long time,” said Bencivengo, “I actually think longevity in ultimate is my biggest accomplishment.” Besides being proud of his long history with the sport, he also takes pride in what he has given back to it. “I’m proud

to have our sports be successful. for athletes and how it causes Corinne: What have you cramping in students legs and learned through your experi- so we are trying to get a lot of ence this year as Athletic Direc- our kids to drink water. I see a tor that you wish to carry over lot of kids do drink water but we and apply in would also like the upcoming to talk about year? eating better, Mark Zmubecause we do da: Well, I have some conhave learned trol over that, that all MIHS so definitely students are getting some under great guest speakamounts of ers to come pressure, and in and talk to are very instudents, as volved with well as maybe other things. I having some hope to talk a bridges lessons little bit about to talk about mental toughour athletes. ness, at least Corinne: Is Photo courtesy of Mark Zmuda to the athletes Associate Principal Mark Zmuda there anything of the different y o u would teams. I also hope to speak to like to say to the student body students about their nutrition regarding this year’s athletic in order to keep a sound mind performance? and body. We just had a guest Mark Zmuda: Just great job speaker come and talk to the and keep up the good work, I faculty about how bad coffee is have been very lucky to be a part

of a lot of different sports teams by going out and being supportive and being a supervisor at some of the different games and I just hope our teams here at MIHS continue to be successful. Corinne: What are the actual rules regarding what seniors can and cannot do for senior night? Mark Zmuda: Again, not trying to encroach on anyone’s traditions, but the administration really just wants everything to be respectful. Some of the underclassmen have issued some concern that they do not like walking around for example wearing signs that say things like, “bow down to the seniors,” and those type of things. Also some parents have expressed concerns about that too, so we are just trying to come up with some new creative ways to recognize the senior class for senior night. A lot of teams do things like flowers and balloons, speeches, a photo of them and their family, and other ways of honoring our seniors, which is very important. It’s the senior


online editor


of giving back to the community. I’m coaching ultimate this year, and both of my kids play, and that makes me really proud. Not that that’s an accomplishment of mine, but just that they’ve grown to love the game and have chosen to play.” Barton and Bencivengo, along with numerous other teachers at MIHS who continue to participate in a wide range of sports, stand as examples for students of how a love of staying active, being healthy, and competing does not end with school.

Athletic code: follow up interview with Associate Principal Mark Zmuda by

Corinne Wheeler staff writer

Corinne: What did you start out the year wanting to achieve as Mercer Island High School’s Athletic Director? Mark Zmuda: I wanted to continue the traditions here at Mercer Island High School, I wanted to learn more about those traditions, I wanted to have a successful sports program, and I wanted to enhance all our of our athletes to have a great, positive environment to play sports competitively. Corinne: Did you accomplish all that you had hoped to? Mark Zmuda: I think so, again I am a rule-follower, but at the same time I want our kids to have a wonderful experience. This year we have about 22 students playing their sport in college next year, so to have that many kids continue on to the next level is pretty fantastic, I am just really excited for all of those kids and to continue to grow our tradition and continue

To all those brilliant minds and fantastic bodies, we bequeath you the chance to send The Islander your senior wills! Submit them to our website at

night traditions that seem more like fraternity and sorority types of situations that we would like to change to promote a more comfortable and safe environment. Again, not trying to take any traditions away, but just change them a little to recognize the entire senior class while at the same time not making the underclassmen group feel like they are bowing down or slaves to the upperclassmen. It can be embarrassing and derogatory and that’s the kind of behavior we are trying to stay away from. But, if there is something like a shirt that recognizes the senior class names or signs in the hallway with senior photos saying “Good luck to the seniors” or “Goodbye seniors, we will miss you” those types of things, we want to come up with some creative ways. Just some fun, positive ways to reinforce the seniors and to not make others feel inferior. Honoring our seniors is one of the cornerstones of MIHS, and in no way do we want to take this tradition away.

You think you’ll hang out with all of your friends . . .

But really you isolate yourself from society

What you think you


You thought you’d get a summer job . . .

what you a

Compiled by Corinne Wheel

When in reality you’re broke the whole summer

You bought a bunch of new summer clothes . . .

You plan on working out during the summer . . .

But actually you just eat a bunch of food everyday

u do in the summer


You think you’ll be outside everyday . . .

actually do

ler and Samantha Philipp

When truthfully you’ll wear the same outfit everyday

But really you sit inside and binge watch Netflix everyday



The F word: Feminism by

Lily Clugson staff writer

Last month, when a dinner conversation veered towards the topic of feminism, a friend of mine whispered, “Don’t answer! It’s a trap” across the table to the one beside me, which instantly filled me with indignation. “Why is he saying that it’s a trap? What’s so bad about talking about feminism?” I thought to myself. However, not wanting to begin the argument that seemingly always accompanies any discussion regarding women’s rights, I buried my exasperation, forced a smile, and changed the subject. Looking back, I realized that instead of just ignoring others’ irrational fear towards talking about feminism, I should instead speak up and explain exactly why there is no reason to fear the topic. Society desperately needs to talk about gender equality, but to do so, we must clear up the many misconceptions surrounding feminism. People need to understand what the feminist movement actually is as well as urge society to recognize that gender equality is the guarantee of human rights still sought after by females. According to Merriam-Webster, feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” The concept is fairly simple and straightforward. Basically, feminists think that gender inequality is terribly obnoxious and are baffled at how society continues to live in a culture that supports the unfair treatment of people based on gender when clearly both men and women are just the same. Feminists want to change this problem. So why are people still wary of the movement? The answer is that radical feminism gave feminism a bad reputation. Misguided radicals want people to believe that females are victims of perverted, bullying, and misogynistic men, the large majority of males are nice and respectable people. Extremist radical groups are so much more severe, dark and uncalled for compared to the original concept. Despite possible good intentions, these radicals have set this terrible basis for that negative reputation that feminists are forever

angry, men-hating, uptight, and harsh individuals. Feminism is not about lesbians cutting their hair short and wearing flannel. They can be girly girls who love pink too. Feminism is not, never has been, and never will be the equivalent to the hating of men. In fact, many men are feminists, such as the Dalai Lama, and they do not hate themselves. It makes no sense to despise and slander half the world’s population because of their gender. While women have no place using feminism as an excuse to tack various, vicious accusations onto men, there is no earthly reason why a male should feel the need to make feminism about themselves, such as seeing advocacy for women’s rights as a personal attack. The movement is only about the advocacy of women’s rights, not men’s, based off of the sound logic that women just do not have as many equal opportunities as men do. I could throw in the statistics about how women still make less than men, yet somehow women health care products are always much more expensive, but I am sure all of us have already heard it all before. Therefore, it does not make sense why groups exist to advocate “meninism”. Why do they feel the need to fight for rights they already have? It is just a blatant fact that men have way more opportunities and are under significantly less public scrutiny than women. Men never have to deal with the judgment that communities force onto women concerning abortion, the length of their skirts, being too sexy, or not being sexy enough. Women have to somehow meet all of these crazy, ridiculous double standards that never apply to males. Then there are the misogynistic people who wholly believe in the upkeep of traditional gender roles and that the sole reason why females exist is to work in the kitchen, serve them, and bear children. The concept of traditional gender roles needs to change, and society needs to learn how to break out of the conformity of them. These same roles are the reason why men are expected to never show a speck of emotion and, heaven forbid cry. Coincidentally, the

lack of emotion and feeling weak and “feminine” can lead to a significant other’s to assert power over females, which leads to domestic violence. There are also people who argue that if all feminists want is equality, why not just say you want equalism or humanism? While we do want equality, equalism and humanism is not the same thing as feminism. Feminism focuses primarily on the equality of the sexes, whereas equalism and humanism focus more broadly on all human rights. You can be both a humanist or equalist and a feminist. The problem is that if people continue to say, “I’m not a feminist” or, as Taylor Swift would say before her feminist days, “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls,” then feminism will gradually be de-prioritized when it needs to be emphasized. Lena Dunham actually sat Swift down and explained the same points I am trying to explain. Now enlightened, Swift now believes that, “So many girls out there say, ‘I’m not a feminist,’ because they think it means something angry… It is not that at all. It simply means you believe women an men should have equal rights and opportunities.” Feminism requests that society give women the same amount of pay for the same work for the same job as a male receives. The movement demands that women should not be subjected to harsh judgments about their beauty or bodies or clothing and calls for the discontinuation of sexual harassment and discrimination. They want rape culture, which normalizes rape due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality, to be abolished. Feminists also advocate for things like paid maternity leave instead of just a measly job security assurance. Above all, feminists demand that society finally treats women the same as men because there is no such thing as lesser and greater beings, just human beings. Next time feminism comes up during a conversation, I invite you to not shy away from the topic and call it “a trap,” but instead actively enlighten the world about such a misunderstood movement.

professionally made videos that more efficiently and accurately convey content. While many of these sites are oriented toward college, Khan Academy and a handful of other quality institutions have free lessons and practice problems. Teachers will not need public speaking ability, all they have to do is be able to answer questions and facilitate students as they work through applications of their knowledge and discuss. A school near Detroit called Clintondale High School has adopted the model and had positive results. The teacher support in class allows for instant feedback for students to revisit anything they found confusing, and it led to homework being less stressful. In this case, the flip led to a 66 percent decrease in failing math, and roughly the same re-

duction for discipline cases over the semester. French teacher Deana Wiatr uses flipped grammar lessons for French 2 classes at MIHS. She has linked content to videos on her website, and assigns them for homework along with standard notes. This generally saves twenty minutes of class time, and Madame Wiatr has short socrative quizzes at the start of class to identify the handful of students that failed to do or understand the assigned video. These students can be taught in class, and the others move on to packet work, which can often be finished in a class period. If they do not understand, they can discuss it in class or with Madame Wiatr. She has had overwhelmingly positive feedback from students, which led her to continue flipping classes.

Teaching in flipped classrooms by

Mithril Hugunin staff writer

A flipped classroom is where students learn content at home, and demonstrate and improve their comprehension in the classroom. Teachers can allow for students to be more engaged with and have deeper understanding of a topic by flipping the classroom. This can be an improvement for foreign language, science, and math classrooms, as it is already practiced in language arts and social studies by having assigned textbook readings. It also gives students more control over the time they spend on studying the material for a course, if they understand the content it is possible to skip over videos or readings rather than sitting through an entire lecture. In addition, teachers can use

Hillary & the boys

Hillary Clinton Clinton’s focus on taking a more liberal position on cultural and foreign aspects is good, she needs to focus more on economical issues. If she takes a cue from Sanders, she will have an even stronger and more appealing campaign. She still faces the issues of various controversies surrounding her. Such as the recent email scandal, and the gender barrier. She is also fond of the current and not-so-popular forging policy and may find trouble appealing to those wanting a totally new nominee free from America’s political past. Ted Cruz Cruz is easily one of

the most conservative of all the Republican candidates. He has expressed the desire to defund the healthcare law, Obamacare, that has already been established, which would be a huge step backwards. Currently, America’s healthcare system is not the greatest and while Obamacare has improved it significantly, we need to continue work on it instead of abolishing it altogether. Rand Paul Paul is a more di-

verse candidate who can appeal to many parts of his party because he considers himself not “beholden to any party.” He has expressed criticisms for both parties since he has believed that both parties’ efforts combined have led to America’s detriment and a worse state for future generations. He also has expressed disapproval of the NSA’s actions. However, he has expressed an interest in totally abolishing foreign aid unlike the other candidates, which is not a very good idea. Retreating back to a more isolationist policy will be more detrimental to the United States than beneficial. He is trying to be too many things to too many people, which seems wishy-washy. Marco Rubio The youngest candidate at 42 years, Rubio can easily appeal to the younger masses as a fresh, young candidate. He sells himself as the candidate who will help unite the Republican Party and wants to persuade Republicans to trust the younger generation with future political plans. He wants to focus primarily on developing different economical policies and work on the issue of rising college tuition and debts like Sanders. However, he does not have a very strong support base, which will make it harder for him to raise money for his campaign.

Compiled by Lily Clugston Photos courtesy of NBC News, The Washington Post,, and


April 1, 2015

MIHS Spring Musical: Sweeney Todd Jane Gormley

school cast would handle his unconventional melodies and strange rhythms. From the first time the ensemble opened their mouths, I was absolutely blown away. The ensemble sounded very well-balanced, a powerful effect that set the tone of the show. Solo and duet numbers made up the bulk of the music in the show and overall, I thought

at times gruesome, story, I still by found myself laughing much online editor more than I initially thought I would have. I was also definiteThe Mercer Island High ly not alone in finding the show School Drama Department rehumorous as the entire theater cently presented its rendition was often laughing even harder of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon than I was. Barber of Fleet Street” for its The set design of the producspring musical. This dark tale, tion was yet another aspect that set in Victorian London, tells truly impressed me. I would like the story of a broken barber reto applaud the play’s set deturning home to seek revenge on signer, John Parkthe man who ruer, as well as his ined his life. The crew, for creating show closed on May such an amazing 10, and if you did effect. Going in to not get the chance the show already to go see it, then you knowing the plot, I truly missed some knew there would amazing theater. have to be some The show beinteresting behindgins with the main the-scenes work incharacter, Benjavolved in building min Barker, played Todd’s chair. This by Jason McRucontraption drops er, returning to barber’s vicLondon under the Photo courtesy of Maeve O’Briant the Sweeney Todd cast performing a scene from the musical tims down a slide alias of Sweeney down into the baseTodd. The corrupt Judge Turpin, played by Danny they were fantastic. The song, ment where Mrs. Lovett bakes Col-Spector, had sentenced the “Pretty Women,” a duet between the pies. When the chair and this naïve barber to a life of impris- Todd and Judge Turpin, was slide system used in onment to take advantage of one of the most captivating and production was first d e m o n his wife. Upon returning to Lon- beautiful numbers. The intense strated with a stack of books, I don, Todd partners with an old duet was so memorable not only was astonished by its the speed friend, Mrs. Lovett, played by because of the way the lyrics and ingenuity. The act of Todd’s Hannah Conradt. The pair be- connected these two characters victims actually sliding down, gins a gruesome joint business in an almost ironic manner, but out of their chair into the bake venture where Todd kills the because of the beautiful way house, was very convincing and shop patrons and Mrs. Lovett McRuer and Col-Spector’s voices really added to the strangeness of the show’s underlying dark then turns them into meat pies blended together. Many of my favorite mo- tone. to sell to unsuspecting London“Sweeney Todd” is one of my ers. However, looking past the ments from this musical came play’s various side plots, at its from the interactions between favorite musicals. Going into the heart, “Sweeney Todd” follows the two main characters. Mrs. show, I had high expectations the barber’s plot to kill the Lovett was by far my favorite; that I was not sure could be met. Judge, a journey that ends even Conradt’s portrayal of the pie However, this show, under the maker was equal parts hilari- careful direction of Daniela Melmore tragically than it began. I must admit, I was initially ous and dramatic. Her eccen- gar, has proven to be my favorite worried coming into the show tric tendencies and outgoing production by MIHS Drama. Afabout the music. Composer, personality played against the ter seeing the caliber of perforStephen Sondheim, is widely stoic nature of McRuer’s Todd mance demonstrated at the two famous for incredibly difficult in a way that resulted in wildly shows I attended, I greatly look pieces; I was therefore very in- entertaining interactions. While forward to future endeavors of terested to see how this high “Sweeney Todd” is a tragic, and the MIHS Drama Department.

MOHAI: Prohibition Exhibit ‘20s, which includes a re-created speakeasy, a place where staff writer people would go to illegally drink alcohol. Visitors can The movement to legalize learn the lingo of the Roaring marijuana in the US often cites Twenties, listen to the ragby the failure of Prohibition as suptime music, and see the risqué port for removing restrictions on knee-revealing dresses women marijuana throughout the Unitwore to dance the Charleston. ed States. The newest exhibit, Also at the exhibit is a “Rum “American Spirits: The Rise Running” video game and and Fall of Prohibition” opportunity to have a at Seattle’s Museum “line-up” photo alongof History and Indusside Al Capone all of try (MOHAI) ties into which keep the exhibit Washington’s progresfrom becoming monotsive decision to legalonous. MOHAI plans ize marijuana. This to launch a companion exhibit allows visitors exhibit on June 6, 2015, to step back in time to entitled “21st Century the Prohibition Era, Speakeasy,” and will with its flappers, bootdemonstrate the parleggers, speakeasy’s, allels between mariand gangsters. juana legalization and Photo courtesy of National Edowment for the Humanities The prohibition the Prohibition Era. exhibit showcases Se- Protestors demanding alcohol during the Prohibition Whether you’re seeking attle’s very own Al Caa fun distraction or an pone, a police lieutenant named nology of wiretapping. His infa- educational opportunity, be Roy Olmstead, who transported mous phone is featured in the sure to catch the “American whiskey from Canada to Seattle exhibit, allowing contemplation Spirits: The Rise and Fall of through the Strait of Juan de of another relevant issue today: Prohibition” exhibit. The MOFuca by boat. Olmstead is facitizen’s right to privacy with HAI museum is located in Semous for broadcasting a radio phone calls, texts, and email. attle and the exhibit is availshow from his home while his This exhibit allows visitors able until Aug. 23 for only $14. wife read stories over the air to relive the lively period of the

Jessica Walker

filled with secret codes telling rumrunners where to pick-up alcohol. With Olmstead’s influence, Seattle became the “rumrunning center of the entire West Coast. Leonard Garfield, Executive Director at MOHAI said, “So if you wanted to get illegal hooch in the ‘20s, you came to Seattle.” The police arrested Olmstead by using the new tech-

Age of Ultron


an issue, and the combat scenes definitely made up for that disby staff writer crepancy. The dialogue was witty and kept me laughing even in The Marvel franchise has been the violent parts. Many exploproducing movies based on their sions and powers were scattered comic books for decades. On May through the film which added 1 the company premiered “Age to the fantastic special effects. of Ultron”, the second of the These effects were produced by Avengers movies, in 3D. While ten unique visual effects studios there were a few flaws, the film such as the well known compawas entertaining and lived up to nies Luma Pictures and Double its prequel! Negative. The 3D effect was “Age of Ultron” employs the completely unnecessary, but familiar cast of the cinematic still done well for what it was. heroes inI experienced cluding Iron no nausea Man, Thor, or bad jump Hulk, Capscares, and tain Amerwatching ica, Black “Age of UlW i d o w , tron” was a Hawkeye, relaxing and and quite a hilarious few more. experience Have trourather that ble keepnerve-wracking track ing. of all the The mecharacters dia had an and their extremely backstories? mixed recepMarvel has tion to the movies for movie. Some that too. die-hard fans “Age of Ulwere antron” asnoyed by the sumes that Photo courtesy of Wikipedia differences the viewer Movie poster for “Age of Ultron” between the is already movie and familiar with the characters, the comic books. However, beskipping the repetitive intro- cause of the flawed parallelism ductions that burden other films of the Marvel Omniverse it is such as “The Hunger Game”. entirely consistent to have a In terms of themes, the “good cinematic multiverse that only guys” created Ultron, the antag- loosely follows the plot of the onist. Some of the “bad guys” books. Another issue is that were merely acting out of a de- the only female Avenger, Black sire to protect the world. The Widow, now has a romantic inmovie has an engaging balance, terest. This could be legitimatewith individuals that wandered ly sexist- if one were to discount around the line of moral am- that by the end of the movie biguity and actions that were every one of the main Avengers clearly right and wrong. Having conflicted people and polar ac- had a significant other. Despite its flaws, overall I entions makes for a realistic and emotional flow. The heroes re- joyed the film and highly recomgret their mistakes and the vil- mend the movie if you are interlains are completely logical, but ested in exciting action. “Age of Ultron” was an amazing movie misguided. The plot has some thin points. that all die-hard Marvel fans However, the ambiguity was not should see!

Mithril Hugunin



Kelsey Cochran

Sharon Verschueren

Lori Emery

Tracy Mintz

Susan McKay

Compiled by Jessica Waller

Gavin Cree

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Islander Edition IV Issue 5  

Islander Edition IV Issue 5  

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