va nston i an
January 31, 2020
Evanston Township High School
Vol. 103, Issue 5
How student political involvement will flip the script in 2020
On Jan. 17, 45 ETHS students traveled to Iowa to experience first-hand political activity. With the Iowa caucuses approaching on Feb. 3, many Democratic presidential candidates focus their attention on the state. “I went to a teacher training two summers ago and I met a lot of teachers who have taken their students to the Iowa caucus. It seemed like a cool idea, so I brought it up around the department and other people agreed, so we decided to try and make it happen,” history teacher Andrew Ginsberg said. Teachers involved in the planning process met almost
weekly for about three months to plan the trip. “The overarching goal was to show kids how the Iowa caucus works and how the political process works for a presidential campaign,” history teacher Amanda Slefo explained. In Iowa City, students were split up into groups to campaign for Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang. Students volunteered with local campaign offices to door knock and phonebank.
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2 - news Letter from your Student Reps Hi ETHS! We are Echo Allen, your Student Representative to the School Board, and Isaac Slevin, your Vice Student Representative. This column is an update on Student Union, the School Board and administration, as well as upcoming ways that you can engage! Who we are and what we do
As a non-voting member of the School Board, the Student Rep has the ability to comment on Board proposals and decisions, voice student concerns directly to board members and orchestrate student-led policy proposals. The second key role of the Student Reps is leading Student Union, a group of student activists and advocates that meet every Thursday in W311. We work on policy solutions to school issues.
This week, Student Union finished reading all of the thoughts, experiences and ideas you shared with us at the Witherbell Forum last month. At the Forum, students were encouraged to engage with ETHS administrators about what they see in school and what they want to change in regards to honors curriculum, LGBTQIA+ issues and race, among other topics. Now, we’ll begin the process of turning these comments and ideas into a report that could be shown to teachers, students, the school board and the administration about what changes you— ETHS students—want to see most.
All ETHS students and families were asked to take the 5Essentials survey. ETHS is mandated by the ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) to take the survey created in partnership with UChicago Impact, an education nonprofit. According to ISBE, the survey is an attempt to identify the “five indicators that lead to improved outcomes for all students, including improved attendance and larger test score gains.” The five indicators are “effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environments and ambitious instruction.” Every year, the data collected by the survey is evaluated by ISBE standards and presented to the District 202 Board of Education. When the D202 Board reviews the survey results, they are aware of the limitations of collecting the information through this survey. The D202 Board also takes into consideration the myriad things that the survey ignores. 5Essentials is only one of the many ways ETHS evaluates the student experience. At the end of the day, it is always important to know why you are taking a survey and what it’s used for. The Sustainability Committee is taking some exciting steps forward! As the combined efforts of at least a half dozen school and community groups, the official administrative committee works to make ETHS more sustainable by addressing issues such as energy usage, recycling and climate change curriculum. The Committee will make its first annual presentation to the school board on Feb. 10. There, members will talk about early successes in the work to create a more sustainable ETHS and look to move forward with more ideas and more projects. If you have more ideas on how to reduce waste or energy usage, reach out to us. We always value your input!
Until next time…
Stay cool. We are excited to positively impact our school with you all!
Louise Bond Sari Oppenheimer Staff Writers Jan. 31, 2020
Shifted finals schedule prompts student and staff response A monumental change. For the first time in recent history, ETHS held its first semester finals before winter break, a move intended to improve student well-being The school board voted to approve this schedule change during the 2017-2018 school year, and staff were notified that June via email, then again at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year so they had the whole year to prepare. “We cut two weeks of semester one and moved them to semester two, which ended up being the last unit of the semester,” math teacher Jodi Alperstein said. “We also had to change the final exams accordingly with the move of that unit. The main rationale for the schedule change on the administrative level was to allow all teachers and students to have their winter break without the stress of upcoming exams. “We, [the Board], felt that everybody needed a break,” Assistant Superintendent and Principal Marcus Campbell said. “People were working over winter break, and we figured if we moved exams before the break and gave teachers an opportunity to grade before and after break… then everybody would have a clean two weeks to just not have to do any work. So it was really along the lines of well-being.” Many students felt that having exams before break made more sense and achieved the administration’s goal of minimizing stress and workload over break. “I think having finals before break makes winter break an actual break where students and teachers can relax,” junior Naiyah Bryant said. “Also, coming back from break and knowing that it is the second semester and getting into new electives you might have or new lunch periods feels right and helped me and many of my friends get situated into the second academic semester.” In fact, according to The Evanstonian survey, 90.3% of students preferred finals before break. The reasons students preferred finals before break ranged from having a less stressful winter break to the transition from winter break to second semester feeling smoother. “It felt really nice coming back from winter break without stressing about finals. It seemed like a definite end to the semester,” senior Tommy Tang said. The Calendar Committee is in charge of creating the District 202 calendar for each school year. They hold meetings that are open to all students, teachers, community members and faculty where they consider state regulations while designing future
Finals After Break 9.7 %
91.3 % Finals Before Break
Figure 1: Which final schedule do Evanston students prefer? Data from The Evanstonian survey of 308 students.
year’s calendars, then recommends it to the Board. Associate Principal of Educational Services and chair of the committee Keith Robinson described how he perceived how the schedule shift went. “That’s healthy to detach from this space and refuel. And we found that even that first week back, at least from observation of the hallways and looking at the culture and climate of the building, it’s been a really smooth start,” Robinson said. This also provided teachers with ample time to take a break, as they were also given a chance to grade before winter break and the week coming back from break with grades not being due until Thursday, Jan. 9—meaning they didn’t need to work over break either. On Jan. 13, administrators emailed a survey to teachers to gather feedback about how the first year of this exam schedule shift went, and they are also working on a student survey to send out before the end of this school year. When the schedule change was first announced to students in the 2018-2019 school year, there were varying reactions from the student body. “Initially, I was surprised,” senior Olivia Levitas said. “I did not like that my class would be the guinea pigs again for something new the school was doing.” Some students felt that the end of the
second quarter felt very rushed, and the week leading up to exams was not utilized for review. “I felt that I was still doing projects that were part of the quarter up until the day of my finals,” Levitas said. “I did not feel that we really had the time to study during the school week like we have had in the past.” This schedule change had some unintended consequences as well. One significant consequence was the difference in length of each semester. While the first semester was 80 school days, the second will be 96. Especially for one semester classes, this was a challenging adjustment. “I felt that my first semester students did not receive the full wellness education experience due to  fewer days,” wellness teacher Montell Wilburn said. “My students’ preparation time for their ‘edutaining presentations’ was cut short which affected the overall quality of their performances. I wish there were an equal amount of days both semesters.” With the District 202 calendar already set and approved for the 2020-2021 school year, first semester exams are planned again for before winter break. There will be 13 fewer days in first semester than second, a smaller difference than this school year.
Read the above excerpt carefully. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze the writers’ rhetorical choices.
spotlight - 3
college students together to learn side by side,” Vossoughi said. In addition to that, the fact that this program is shared by both ETHS and Northwestern students allows for a more symbiotic relationship between the two institutions where both sets of students are benefitting from the others’ experiences and narratives. Vossoughi says a primary goal of the program is to provide “a chance for high school students to experience an imaginative space within college” as well as to provide a space “for college students who are interested in education and working with young people.” Woods believes that this program can change that by addressing themes of equity and justice in education. “What I hope [the students] walk away with is a sense of community, a sense of love, a sense of self, a sense of seeing themselves as whole beings that are fully capable of causing a shift in this very corrupt and traumatizing system that exists,” Woods said.
By Avi Shapira, Sofia Williams Staff Writers For the last couple of Mondays, when the final bell rings early at 2:09 p.m., while the rest of ETHS is dismissed from school, 26 ETHS students wait for their 3:30 pm bus. The bus that they board will be headed east towards Northwestern University, where they will participate in a newly-founded program called Community Based Research and Educational Justice, a joint class between ETHS students and Northwestern undergraduates. This program, spearheaded by ETHS teachers Corey Winchester and TaRhonda Woods as well as Northwestern professors Megan Bang and Shirin Vossoughi, focuses on the idea of educational equity—the idea that any individual can pursue a just and fair education regardless of personal or social circumstances such as race or gender. Additionally, the program seeks to facilitate a different look at education, one that champions critical thinking, educational justice and individual expression among other things. According to Bang, the primary goal of the program is to “introduce young people to think critically about what is the purpose of education and what educational justice would be” as well as “to understand why education continues to be a source of deep inequality but also a source of potential justness and equity.” For Woods, this class is a necessity in understanding new ways to transform education in our contemporary era. “When you start to think about the differences between education, school and learning, we have kind of combined them as one,” said Woods. “To expose what is actually happening in the education system, in a way where it’s being used to catalyze this transformative process of...giving voice to students who normally don’t have space in the education system...I think it’s very important to break outside of institutional barriers, and create a space that drops seeds to grow these gardens of change.” The program, which incorporates a foundation of inclusion and equity, encourages healthy student engagement and participation. “Everyone is so ready to be in this space and engage with the content,” said junior Dalia Davidson. One of the program’s most remarkable aspects is that it doesn’t function like a standard
course would in an average school setting. Instead of putting an emphasis on knowledge and memorization, there is a greater emphasis on being aware of one’s own thoughts and ideas as well as understanding how to implement these ideas into everyday life. “We’re challenging the ideology of our current sysrems and how education should be approached,” sophomore Nimkii Curley said. Additionally, the program, which only meets on Mondays after school, doesn’t follow a prescribed order and curriculum for each session. “The primary activities and goals of each setting is relationship and community building with each other,” says Vossoughi, “We’re trying to offer an extensive experience of reading and writing for everybody.” An example of this can be seen in an activity led by Winchester called “Knee to Knee.” During this activity, students sit across from each other, knees touching, and practice deep listening exercises, exercises with the intention of enhancing the understanding of the texts they read. This relates directly to another facet of the program which comes in the form of think pieces, a way for students to reflect on texts or conversations that occurred during the session.
Activities like these serve to assert the purpose of the program as a whole, specifically as it relates to educational justice and reform. This look at education attempts to find a just academic experience for students of all backgrounds and identities through various mediums of self reflection. “[We’re] trying to humanize the practice and have young people feel what it’s like to be their authentic self in a learning environment,” Bang says. According to Winchester, this program is one step towards creating an educational space that is more authentic to how students learn. “If you think about our family structures, we learn from our elders, we learn from our cousins, we learn from all different people in our families to help us understand the world, and we want to move toward that,” said Winchester. Notably, several of the program’s facilitators are using this program as a pilot to fostering stronger relationships between ETHS and Northwestern’s educational spaces. “We are trying to learn from this pilot about what works well for bringing high school and
“School is the only system that all of the nation’s kids have to go through...how can we create a space where students see themselves as pillars, and engaging in and transforming learning for themselves and those to come?” Curley has similar hopes for the future of the class, specifically in regards to how the program aims to create a positive academic space. “I want to have a deeper understanding about education and what it means to be in an effective and positive learning environment,” Curley said.
How student political involvement will flip the script in 2020 By Zachary Bahar, Rebecca Lustig News Editor, Staff Writer [Continued from Front Page] “I’ve door-knocked for my mom before because she’s an alderman, so I knew how to do it, but it was a bigger scale,” junior Genevieve Fleming explained. “It felt like we were helping out a lot.” Students campaigning for Yang and Klobuchar helped them set up for town halls where they met the candidates. At the University of Iowa, those on the ETHS Iowa trip engaged with College Democrats and Republicans. “One of the things that blew me away the most was when we got to interview the University of Iowa Republicans…. The kids asked these poignant, researched, beautifully worded questions time after time after time… and they all went up afterwards and thanked them,” Slefo said. Another main activity was participating in a Mikva Challenge student caucus in Des Moines. Instead of advocating for candidates, hundreds of high school students from across the country advocated for issues they were passionate about such as climate change, local corruption and healthcare. Organized like an actual presidential caucus, students tried to convince each other their cause was the most important and gather the most supporters. “My group did local corruption… we
wanted to express how corruption plays a role in every single factor and doesn’t allow any other things like healthcare or climate change to actually be changed,” senior Ulo Freitas explained. Traveling to Iowa provided an opportunity for ETHS students to engage with many people about critical issues and learn from hands-on experience in a more memorable way. “You shouldn’t think you’re too young to voice your opinion or work for the things you’re passionate about. We had kids who were 15 who went out in the snow and ice and talked to strangers in Iowa and enjoyed it. I think it just shows you can do it if you really want to,” Ginsberg said. The Iowa trip is just one way that ETHS has encouraged student political involvement, something of vital importance in an election year; however, it is far from the only way that students can get involved. “The first way to be involved civically is always to vote,” AP U.S. Government and Politics teacher David Feeley said. “With [students] who are going to be 18 before November, we tell them to get registered to vote for the primary and for the general or midterm election.” Voting, as Feeley said, is the most practical way for students to get involved, and as such, groups throughout the school have always encouraged students to register as soon as possible. One of these groups is the Community Service Club’s Civic Engage-
ment Committee. “In elections in the past, we’ve seen that the youth vote isn’t as high as other age groups, and there’s a lot of confusion about when you have to register by because it varies by state… so it’s important to make sure that people know that they can vote,” senior and committee leader Jessica Rogers said. To combat this at a state-wide level, Governor Pritzker recently passed a law that allows students to miss up to two hours of school to vote, a bill proposed by students. At ETHS, the Civic Engagement Committee is staffing voter registration booths around the school community, first at a series of basketball games on Jan. 10 and 17 and, upcoming, between Feb. 10 and 14. Rogers also hopes to lead a program discussing the remaining primary candidates as the March 17 date approaches. “We really want to do an event later in February when we’re getting closer to the primaries about the different candidates who are still left and just to provide information about what they’re advocating for and what they’ve done,” Rogers said. Ensuring that students understand what platforms candidates are running on is vital since it allows students, many of whom are very issue focused, to elect people who care about the same issues as them. “A lot of students are very issue focused, but don’t understand the connection between issue advocacy and getting the right people elected…. If you elect representatives who
share your values, that really helps with your issue advocacy,” Emilie Hogan, the executive director of the Democratic Party of Evanston (DPoE), said. Groups such as the DPoE have a plethora of opportunities for student engagement, such as phone banking and marketing. “We have a lot of great ways for students to get involved…. [but our] main political activity that we’re doing is phone banking,” Hogan said. Beyond phone banking, youth involvement with the DPoE can range from marketing and graphic design to organizing educational events and running social media accounts. The mission, for all of these groups, is to ensure that students understand their ability to take action and influence the nation that they live in using the mechanisms of power that define what makes our nation a democracy. “Getting youth more engaged with politics is really important because obviously it can feel far when you have these old, white men; it feels very disconnected to a lot of students who feel unrepresented, so the least that the school can be doing is informing who’s running and what they’re running for,” Rogers said. Regardless of how students get involved with political activities, Feeley believes they walk away with a “passion for [civic involvement]:” an experience that will remain with them for years to come.
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opinion - 5
Illustration by Saskia Teterycz
“New year, new me” creates unrealistic expections
By Maddie Coyle Assistant Opinion Editor 2020, a new year, a new decade. Long forgotten are the pitfalls of 2019 and here we are, ready to welcome the new beginnings that 2020 may bring. Resolutions are a key aspect of the New Year. We use them to help better ourselves. While the historic conceptions of New Year’s resolutions have ties to ancient Babylon, according to The Economist, the mentality of setting new goals at the onset of the new year is ubiquitous. Yet, many people who make New Year’s resolutions, roughly 80 percent, usually end up dropping them before the end of February, according to U.S. News & World Report. “No [I didn’t keep up with my New Year’s resolution], but I didn’t expect to. It makes me feel a little disappointed, but I know I’m not the only one who didn’t keep their resolution. Everyone says they’ll do something and never ends up doing it,” sophomore Isabel McDermott says. Ultimately, New Year’s is simply to cel-
ebrate our survival of the previous year and working to welcome a new one, but often we welcome this New Year by trying to change ourselves, living by the phrase: “new year, new me.” People try to use this phrase to motivate them to accomplish their goals. If you were unhappy in 2019, you can change because it’s 2020. For some people, rather than being a motivator, it becomes a stressor. “I’ve only heard the term ‘new year, new me’ a couple of times, but I can definitely see why it might be harmful to a person’s idea of their own self-worth. In most cases, ‘new year, new me’ is probably meant to help people start over,” sophomore Erin Elliott says, who did not make a New Year’s resolution. “But if they needed to start completely over and develop a whole new personality, then they might start seeing flaws about themselves that don’t exist or flaws that you would have to look impossibly close to see because they need to ‘fix’ themselves for the new year.” By changing ourselves, we aren’t celebrating what New Year’s is intended for. New Year’s is about the culmination of the previous year and the celebration of a new one. It’s all about the survival of the previous year, but if all we are focusing on is our imperfections and how we didn’t change, that impactful message gets lost. By constantly trying to change our lives, we won’t ever be able to truly love ourselves. We will be more concerned about our imperfections. Many of these resolutions are about health
or body image. According to Parade, the top New Year’s resolutions are about losing weight, exercising or eating healthier, all of which can put some people in a problematic mindset if they are pursuing these goals superficially and not caring for their overall emotional and physical well-being. There’s a big difference between setting realistic resolutions for yourself and big sweeping ideas like “new year, new me.” By setting realistic resolutions for yourself, you can grow as a person through reflection. However, overarching ideas like “new year, new me” are generalizations that can harm people because if they are taken to the extreme, people will only be focusing on changing themselves instead of focusing on accepting and loving themselves. For students like McDermott, setting New Year’s resolutions can be an opportunity to work on one’s well-being. “I made it because I needed to change the way I took care of myself. I didn’t like the way I was eating so I wanted to start eating healthier and exercising more,” McDermott says. As humans, we all want to grow. We want to say we have changed for the better, which could be a part of the coining of the phrase “new year, new me.” And yet sometimes, we fail to recognize that we don’t need to constantly be trying to improve. It’s okay to stay the same because if we feel happy and secure, that’s all that matters. We need to learn to accept and love all aspects of ourselves. We hear about body positivity, but it’s also
important we experience mental and self positivity. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves, but rather than trying to change that, there comes a time where acceptance is the only road to allowing ourselves to be our best, and our happiest. According to Psychology Today, “positive self-talk is about recognizing the truth in situations and in yourself. When negative events happen, positive self-talk seeks to bring the positive out of the negative to help you keep moving forward. The practice of positive self-talk is often the process that allows you to discover the obscured optimism in any given situation.” Positive self-talk and overall mental positivity are powerful. We all make mistakes and rather than always expecting perfection out of ourselves, if we try to be realistic, then we can allow ourselves to be happier. “Sometimes you can’t always get positive feedback from the people you need it from, so if you can get that positive self talk, I think it’s very useful in achieving things,” says freshman Heath Grossman, who also did not make a New Year’s resolution. This new year, let’s try to actually practice loving ourselves. Take time out of your day to journal and write about what you’re grateful for to show yourself what you have in life. There are so many ways to change and revitalize ourselves. If we don’t worry about forcing ourselves to dramatically change, we can have a fun and healthy New Year. We can make the New Year what we want it to be, not how we expect it to be.
6 - opinion
50 years later — Youth led anti-war activism persists
Designed by Saskia Teterycz
Photos courtesy of Getty Images and the New York Parks Department
By Saskia Teterycz Assistant Opinion Editor When President Donald Trump dissolved the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran in May 2018, a sense of nervousness arose in particular progressive states around the country. Following the missile strikes against U.S. troops stationed in Iraq, American panic shot up significantly. Throughout this panic, our young generation has different ways of coping with fear. Hundreds gathered in Times Square just days after New Year’s holding “No War with Iran” posters, and demonstrations all around the country projected the same message. As a community with dozens of student activists, it will come as no surprise when the nearing anti-war movement reachs Evanston. “One thing that I find really interesting is how youth activism movements parallel movements from decades earlier,” says junior Anna Grant-Bolton. “I think we have a lot to owe to the generations before us that fought for civil rights, gender equality, environmentalism and anti-war movements.” For decades, young people have used their voices in anti-war movements, and it is essential we continue to encourage this message.
About 50 years ago, similar anti-war movements against Vietnam were taking place in America. The late 1960s and ’70s embodied young American opposition to the war with Vietnam. With the overwhelming sense of anti-Communism in the country at the time, many thought it was their duty to wipe out any potentially Communist country as a jab at the Soviet Union. Our invasion of this part of Southeast Asia, along with the draft of young men (who mostly opposed our involvement in the first place), caused an uproar among young Americans. What was so fascinating about the young people in the anti-Vietnam protests was their resilience. The fact that they were willing to face lifetime imprisonment and even exile for their refusal to participate in combat shows just how committed to the protests they were. This determination was part of the reason that pushed Congress to end the war. Most Vietnam opposition and protests came from student organized groups, such as Students for a Democratic Society. Jeff Rice, a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at Northwestern University, teaches a class called “Student Protest and Free Speech.” When Rice was entering Northwestern as a freshman in the late ‘60s, he’d already helped co-create a student led anti-war organization called Greater Boston High School Student Radical Action Project—HSRAP. The group had accomplished many successful protests against Vietnam in the late ‘60s around Boston. “As a junior in high school, I was absorbing an anti-war, pro-civil rights ethos,” Rice says. “We were just flying by the seat of our pants, but we organized the first anti-war demonstrations in Boston.” Rice’s nose for anti-war activism led him to college at Northwestern. “When I got to college, it took me just
over 24-hours to find the student movement on campus, and we ran protest politics on this campus for several years,” he says. Now in his teaching role, Rice says that “all I can do in my classes is provoke. I just raise questions, and that makes students think.” He finds the dynamic between the protests in Iran and Vietnam almost identical, with a key difference—as our generation now protests against a war with Iran, we don’t have to fear possibly losing our careers as a result. Protesting Vietnam meant risking your entire adult life. Now, protesting risks arrest at the most, but the fact that we are risking less by speaking out more encourages radical action and pushes the limits of resistance. Rice observes that students, such as the ones here in Evanston “are so much farther advanced than...when we were in school,” he concludes. “You guys have read so much more, you have better teachers and you’re smarter.” There is an extraordinary curiosity that encourages students to spend time on issues when related to war. “Today, dozens of colleges and universities offer courses—and some offer majors— in peace studies,” Linton Weeks writes in The New York Times. In the midst of climate action, gun reform action and civil rights action across racial and gender lines, an anti-war movement with Iran will only heighten our generation of activism more. Grant-Bolton is involved in activism and service groups throughout the school and the community. Some of her most noticeable acts include her involvement in racial justice with Emerge—creating a junior advocacy board to reduce the racial achievement gap in early education. Grant-Bolton has also become increasingly passionate about education surrounding sexual assault and aware-
ness, causing her to become a student leader of Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention Education (SHAPE). As an invested student activist, GrantBolton clearly sees the necessities of youth activism in our generation. “I think as young people we have a responsibility more than anyone to speak up and make change,” Grant-Bolton says. As the conflict with Iran approaches us, it’s only natural for activism-driven students and other young people to take notice. “To me, the conflict with Iran epitomizes why youth activism is so important,” GrantBolton states. “With escalation and division coming from the White House, students advocating for peace and diplomacy are more important than ever.” Just as Rice experienced activism as a high school student growing up in Boston, GrantBolton also recognizes the parallels between our activist generation and his. “In the past, anti-war efforts had defined activism, as war and violence permeates all causes,” Grant-Bolton says. “With a new threat of war, I would hope and expect that not only does our generation step up and speak out, but that we emphasize the intersectionality of war with other social justice issues.” Rice continues to have high hopes for the coming generation of activism. His admirations of young people’s work in the system translates similarly to Grant-Bolton’s projections for future activists: “Our ability to lift each other up through speaking on injustice is paramount to creating an equal world for the next generation,” Rice says. To continue the pattern of powerful student voices, we must teach and encourage students to continue to speak out in activism related conflicts—especially in terms of war.
Eva n s t o n i a n Executive Editors
Callie Grober, Sofie Kennedy, Sophia Weglarz
News Editor Zachary Bahar
Assistant Opinion Editors Maddie Coyle, Saskia Teterycz
Feature Editor Eden Drajpuch
Feature Facilitators Meredith Herrick, Eli Marshall
In-Depth Editor Caroline Jacobs
Assistant In-Depth Editor Lauren Dain
Arts and Entertainment Editor Nora Miller
Sports Editors Michael Barthelemy, Eli Cohen
Assistant Sports Editors
Hailey Fine, Sophia McCandlish
Photo and Arts & Layout Editor Grayson Charlton
Assistant Photo and Arts Editor Madison McGuire
Copy Editor Zachary Bahar
Public Relations Editors Eli Cohen, Rebecca Lustig, Caroline Jacobs
Writers, Artists, Photographers, Graphics:
Peter Barbato, Sabrina Barnes, Everneesa Beech, Kayla Black, Nakaiya Bias, Louise Bond, Evan Burns, Catie Bryant, Martha Castellini, Adrian Cyrus, Cheyenne Edwards, Benji Fervoy, William Fogue-Wambo, Angie Gomez, Sophie Gomez, Tamara Guy, Chloe Haack, Ava Hadley, Ingrid Halverson, Mathilda Hallstrom, Kaila Holland, Jude Hollenbeck, Quinn Hughes, Jake Kaufman, Noah Kayaian, Clare Kennedy, Sophie Lammers, Valerie Larsen, Sally Levine, Ellie Lind, Mira Littman, Aldric Martinez-Olson, Linnea Mayo, Madison McGuire, Zach Myers, Sari Oppenheimer, Najiah OsborneFrancellno, Sarah Parisien, Gabriel Peters, Phoebe Porter, Taryn Robinson, Maia Roothan, Sloane Rosenthal, Litzy Segura, Lia Sheahan, Jessica Sehgal, Sadie Sims, Maeve Smith, Olivia Stitely, Sydney Ter Molen, Gwen Tucker, Jared Tucker, Adam Weiss, Jojo Wertheimer, Sofia Williams, Sophie Yang
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“No one was listening”: District 65 community fights for transgender, non-binary inclusive policies in response to harassment, inaction By Callie Grober, Eden Drajpuch, Jude Hollenbeck Executive Editor, Feature Editor, Staff Writer Special education teacher Ren Heckathorne started working at the District 65 (D65) Park School in 2014. Having grown up in Evanston and participated in the PALS program as a middle schooler (a non-profit which helps young adults with Down Syndrome), it was always Heckathorne’s “dream to end up back there.” Two years later, Heckathorne, who identifies as trans non-binary, decided they could no longer “supress this authentic piece of [themselves] at work” and made a plan of how to explain their identity to staff and students. In attempting to work with the district, Heckathorne realized that “no one [within D65] really knew what they were doing” because they had never worked with a transgender employee coming out. According to Heckathorne, the principal of Park School had never even met a transgender person before. Without any district policies or procedures to follow, Heckathorne made their own announcement asking staff and students to use their correct pronouns (they/them), along with a Q&A sheet about gender identity. “Some people really want to be supportive, and they’re just so afraid of using the language wrong or asking a question that they think is dumb. So I wanted to show that I was available to [have that] conversation,” Heckathorne explains. Soon after their announcement, a staff member working with Heckathorne expressed that “she was very troubled and had concerns about working with me.” As this harassment continued, Heckathorne realized that because there wasn’t any policy for administrators to reference that ensured safety for transgender/non-binary staff members, “there weren’t strong ways to enforce what I was asking for.” Heckathorne continued to express their concerns to administrators: “I cannot keep working in a space like this. You need to do something,” Heckathorne would tell them. “I kept asking, and I felt like no one was listening. Or they heard me, but they didn’t care,” Heckathorne explains. After continued inaction from D65, Heckathorne, along with other members of the Gender and Sexuality Educators Alliance (GSEA), a group created to advocate for LGBTQIA+ employee rights, crafted a week -long LGBTQ+ equity curriculum in the summer of 2019. This curriculum consisted of activities about LGBTQ+ identities that were appropriate for all grade levels. During a conversation with D65 administrators, the GSEA emphasized that they carefully crafted this curriculum as a mandatory experience for all. However, after receiving both verbal and written backlash from parents and educators, D65 administrators decided to allow parents to opt their children out of the curriculum, going against what Heckathorne believed to be an agreement between the GSEA and D65. According to an article published in the Chicago Tribune in October 2019, an Evanston parent group sent a letter to the D65 school board and administration prior to LGBTQ+ equity week to express their concerns and complaints. One part of the letter read, “To be clear, we stand with District 65 in affirming that all students should feel safe at school, without fear or threat of disrespect or bullying. We disagree that ‘encouraging our students to feel safe and feel seen [and to] feel valued and capable of growth,’ requires a week-long
mandatory LGBTQ+ celebration via lessons that fail to account for the perspectives of all stakeholders.” Heckathorne was disappointed by the negative reactions of families and D65’s subsequent response. “We were so optimistic about [the curriculum] that we were really slapped in the face by some pretty intense negative feedback we got about it,” Heckathorne says. “And then [administrators] started to get pushback from families, and then all of a sudden they sort of changed their tune, which we have called them out on.” Finally, earlier this year, Heckathorne decided to take a leave of absence because of D65’s inaction. “I let the administration know that it wasn’t safe for me to be at work and that I needed something to change in order for me to come back. I knew that I couldn’t show up and be the teacher [my students] deserved teaching in the environment that I was in,” Heckathorne says. While taking their leave of absence in September 2019, Heckathorne decided that other people needed to know what was going on, “Not just for my sake, but for other queer people to know that this isn’t acceptable.” “[The] administration was doing a really good job of keeping this a secret,” Heckathorne explains. “I needed other voices to join me in saying that something has to change and that this district has to do better.” In order to accomplish this, Heckathorne and a group of D65 parents and teachers rallied at the Sept. 23, 2019, board meeting and demanded a more supportive policy to protect transgender/non-binary identifying staff. “We thought that [the board meeting] would be a really powerful space to make this known to the public. It was really, really scary, but I needed the story to be out,” Heckathorne says. Heckathorne was accompanied at the board meeting by Evanston community members and other members of the GSEA. At the Sept. 23, 2019, meeting, members of the GSEA took turns speaking to the board about the importance of inclusion for transgender and non-binary identifying staff and students. The first speaker, Ren’s mother Jennifer Heckathorne, began her statement by giving her name and pronouns before not being able to continue reading her statement. “[Ren Heckathorne’s harasser] was bringing religion into the workplace, telling the trans individual they should be going to hell. They openly prayed in the classroom, including with the students to ‘save’ this teacher,” the person reading for Jennifer said. Lisa Levine, a member of the GSEA and parent of a non-binary child, was not present at the meeting, but wrote a letter to the board showing her solidarity. This letter, which was read by another ally at the meeting, emphasized the importance of updated, inclusive D65 policies regarding gender. Referencing the harassment Ren Heckathorne faced, Levine wrote that “the district has had ample opportunity to remedy the situation and has failed to do so to the point that this talented and highly specialized educator no longer feels safe to return to work.” On Oct. 1, 2019, Heckathorne returned to Park School, after one of their main harassers was moved from the school. However, “there’s a long way to go,” Heckathorne notes. “I returned, but really because my students needed me. I had to be there for them.” D65 Response Since Heckathorne’s coming out as trans non-binary in 2016, there have been ongoing conversations between Heckathorne and
Illustration by Sabrina Barnes
D65 regarding the harassment they faced and broader policy changes. In October 2019, a clause was added to D65’s board policy ensuring safety to LGBTQIA+ identifying staff members. Currently, D65’s board policy section 5:10 states in part that, “The School District shall provide equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity whether or not traditionally associated with the person’s designated sex at birth; gender-related identity or expression....” Additionally, D65 recently expanded their gender support plans to specifically include employees. According to D65 Director of Equity and Family/Community Engagement Joaquin Stephenson, a D65 committee is currently working on these plans as a continuation of the current plan dedicated to supporting gender-expansive students. Throughout the course of the 2019-2020 school year, Lurie Children’s Hospital will provide training for D65 staff regarding support for gender-expansive students and staff. “The objectives of the training will be: provide an overview of key terms and concepts related to gender and sexuality, [and] discuss how to talk about gender and sexual diversity with students, parents, and the school community,” stated a letter provided to D65 staff members by Lurie Children’s Hospital, describing the student-focused training. Levine believes D65 is beginning to move in the right direction with some policies and practices, such as the Lurie training. “I received the training they’re providing from Lurie Children’s Hospital prior to the [LGBTQ+ Equity] week, so I felt super informed,” says Levine. Later this year, D65 staff members will also receive training from Lurie Children’s Hospital regarding how to support gender-expansive colleagues. Implications for District 202 At ETHS, distinct supports exist for transgender students, such as all-gender restrooms and locker rooms, and the ability to change one’s pronouns and name in the school system with parental consent. “There’s different things that the district does to try to honor and recognize and affirm a student’s identity,” sponsor of ETHS’ GSA and biology teacher Bill Farmer says. “[District 202] has tried to be really responsive in terms of making sure that teachers have had some training and communication on issues related to gender identity.” Senior Grey Miller, who uses they/them pronouns, says that ETHS has created more support systems for transgender students than most places, but that “it’s a pretty low bar.” However, unlike D65, D202 has had an ad-
minstrative procedure that prohibits discrimination and provides protection to gender expansive district employees since August 2017. Currently, District 202’s administrative policy 7:10-AP states that, “Employees who transition on the job can expect the support of management and human resources staff. HR will work with each transitioning employee individually to help ensure the employee’s career, social, and emotional success. Discrimination and harassment of employees on the basis of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression is prohibited within Evanston Township High School District 202.” Despite this policy, some students still notice a lack of teachers who identify as transgender/nonbinary. Miller explains this by the idea that “school was meant to replicate the current society.” “I don’t think institutions necessarily want teachers that are trans and non-binary,” Miller says. “That would imply that trans and non-binary people are people that have agency and have power to teach others.” Moving forward Currently, Heckathorne and other allies continue to fight for more concrete policies within D65 to combat workplace harassment. Heckathorne is joined by Levine, among others, who feel that the actions of D65 are not sufficient and do not ensure long term safety to LGBTQIA+ identifying staff and students. “The one thing that still rests so uncomfortably to me is [that] one of the offenders [who harassed Heckathorne] just got moved buildings and got moved to a middle school where kids are in the midst of figuring their identity out,” says Levine. “To me, that just seems so dangerous.” For Heckathorne, their narrative is individual, yet is also indicative of larger problems in the American education system. Heckathorne discusses “long-running traditions” regarding binary spaces that schools should be questioning, such as dividing students into “boys and girls.” They also emphasize the importance of teachers as the “leaders of the classroom” normalizing pronoun use and queer protagonists in books to make the classroom more inclusive for all students. “I think we need to be a lot more reflective in practice and not let the answer of ‘well, this is always how we’ve done it’ stop us from sitting and thinking that it doesn’t have to be this way anymore,” Heckathorne says. The Evanstonian reached out to D65 Superintendents and did not receive a response.
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I got it!
Images courtesy of Pawo, Last.FM, Tumblr, Flipboard, Pinterest, Artnet News, The New York Times, YES! Magazine, Artsy
Part III: Riot In G Major By Quinn Hughes Staff Writer “In the interest of imagining what exists, there is an image of Michael Brown we must refuse in favor of another image we don’t have. One is a lie, the other unavailable. If we refuse to show the image of a lonely body, of the outline of the space that body simultaneously took and left, we do so in order to imagine jurisgenerative Black social life walking down the middle of the street—for a minute, but only for a minute, unpoliced, another city gathers, dancing. We know it’s there, and here, and real; we know what we can’t have happens all the time.” - Fred Moten, Stefano Harney Michael Brown (emphasis mine) In an interview following the debut of one of his films Love is the Message, the Message is Death, artist and filmmaker Arthur Jafa begs the question, “If Kind of Blue was a house, what would it look like?” This question, I believe, is the only question to ask during the end of the world. What would it mean to explore a physical representation of the terror and the beauty of anti-Black violence? What if we could build another world out of the never ending abjection of the Black flesh? How can we search through the destruction of the physical world and build a new one out of its wreckage? Would all of the houses be blue? The radical question posed by Jafa falls within a long tradition of Black world making and world breaking. These moments of imagining and demanding a new world made within the wreckage of this one serve Black communities with the possibility of forgetting the physical earth and the violence that it necessitates. Contemporary neo-liberal discourse surrounding the environment becomes uncomfortably silent when presented with the image of Laquan McDonald’s broken body found at the end of the dash-cam footage taken from the squad car. . This silence is a product of the necessity of the broken body, as both a function and technology of worldliness. By this I mean, the mutilated Black flesh that concluded that footage is a product of a horrid transaction that constructs the world -- which is specifically why desires of protecting, sustaining and perpetuating the world, area blood stained praxis. I remember visiting my grandparents’ home in Michigan when I was younger. I remember their rose bushes colored a deep red in the July sun. I also remember their kitchen and their basement and sweet smells of love and butter that would follow me around the house. I also remember their neighbors and the long summer evenings that would be spent on the back of a yard swing or back yard. I remember returning to their home recently to find that they weren’t there, and neither was their porch swing, or their neighbors or the sweet smell that I had remembered. And I hated the world that took all of that from us, and I hated the sun, and I hated the moon, and hated the stars and I love my grandparents and I still loved their home and
maybe, I thought, maybe it would be better to put an end to this world in favor of one that we cannot have, but it happens all the time. I wonder if Harriett Jacobs hated the world during the seven years in which she lived above her grandmother’s cottage on her escape from slavery. I wonder if Mamie Till hated the world after the death of her son, or if Kanye hated the world after the death of his mother. I wonder about the politics that are a product of the hate of the world. Speaking at an anti-nuclear weapons conference in 1982, Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, writes of the violence of our planet: “Let the earth marinate in poisons. Let the bombs cover the ground like rain. For nothing short of total destruction will ever teach them anything. And it would be good, perhaps, to put an end to the species in any case, rather than let the white man continue to subjugate it, and continue to let their lust dominate, exploit and despoil not just our planet, but the rest of the universe, which is their clear and oft-stated intention, leaving their arrogance and litter not just on the moon, but on everything they can reach.” What if, just for a moment, there was no carbon tax. There was no elimination of fossil fuel subsidies. There were no more green new deals. Instead, all of the ice melted, and all of the greenhouse gas emissions rose and all the oceans had an inappropriate amount of dissolved oxygen. And gone were all of the polar bears and all the people with them. And gone were the oceans. And gone were the trees. And gone were all the salamanders. And gone was the moon. And gone were the stars. And gone were the planets... We know what we can’t have happens all the time. We know white environmentalism (which is saying the ability for white people to protect the environment) is an impossibility just as we know that the saving of the world demands the end of white possibility. As we know that the freedom of the plants, the animals, the oceans and the people rely on the end of the earth shattering force of the possibility of an I. Just as we know that magic is real and animals talk, and streets can sing an impossible song, just as we know that what we can’t have happens all the time. In the song “As,” Stevie Wonder calls to the end of the world and the end of the world calls back. (‘Cause I’ll be loving you always) Until the day the earth starts turning right to left Always Until the earth just for the sun denies itself I’ll be loving you forever Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through Always Until the day that you are me and I am you Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky Always
Do you think that after the earth just for the sun denies itself, Black people will no longer get shot by the police? Will Flint have clean water? Will I see Emmett Till at the grocery store? Or Fred Hampton at the YMCA? Sometimes being of the world gets tiring. Walker continues: Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it. *** I would like to revisit an idea that I discussed in the essay immediately preceding this one in the series. When discussing the ability for Black artists to illustrate the Black social life that exists beyond the images demanding social death, I wrote the following: “The screams, sobbs, laughter and moans oozing beyond the image, become the elements of Blackness that emerge past historiography and beyond the single depiction, representing their own narratives, ones of refusal, imagining and world making, a fugitive break beyond the pavement, the forest or the chapel.” What would it mean for us to build life love and praxis out of all that the image refuses to bear? What would it mean to forget the image? Can we? Should we? What would it mean to lose this world in favor of the one we have (been) refused? What if Kind of Blue was a house? What would it look like? Alice Walker writes again about leaving the world in favor of another in her essay “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self.” This time, it is in an essay about her life before and after she was shot in the eye with a BB gun, when she was eight. The essay concluded with an exchange she has with her infant daughter. Describing herself after the interaction, Walker writes: That night I dream I am dancing to Stevie Wonder’s song “Always” (the name of the song is really “As,” but I hear it as “Always”). As I dance, whirling and joyous, happier than I’ve ever been in my life, another bright-faced dancer joins me. We dance and kiss each other and hold each other through the night. The other dancer has obviously come through all right, as I have done. She is beautiful, whole, and free. And she is also me. Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue opens with one of the most famous songs in jazz, “So What.” The song begins with a now iconic opening chord progression, the bass dancing back and forth with the trumpet/ saxophone harmony, all kept in line by Bill Evans’ piano. The song is seemingly simple-the quick baseline and the active rhythm section keep the song in line as Davis and the rest of the ensemble take turns playing with the rhythm and chord progressions through the song. But it is all that happens beyond the sound, all that is spilling outside of the music, that brings the song to life. The shouts, cries and laughter of the late 1950s that filled the pre civil rights era of Black life. The celebration of Black artistic freedom. The sorrow and pain that clings to every note of song. What if Kind of Blue was a house?
What immediately grabs me about Jafa’s interrogation is the possibility of it. The possibility of physically manifesting all of the Blackness that spills out of the frame. To build space in the world, out of all that has been forced out of it. The possibility of a new relationship to materiality and the physical made solely out of the materiality of non-being. What if Kind of Blue was a house? Would it be too much for the house to bear? Would it be too much for the world to bear? We know what we can’t have happens all the time. When thinking through these questions, my mind immediately returns to an inquiry that is frequently posed to me, and that I frequently pose to myself. What now? Which is to say, what if Blackness is truly fixed in the position of non-being, all that is forced outside of the frame, what is to be done? What now? To which I consider, what if there is nothing? Which is to say, what if the current position of Black subjectivity is all that Black Being has the capacity to become? What now? The brilliance of Jafa’s interrogation is that it gets at the heart of this question. What if kind of blue was a house? What if, out of this zone of non-being, out of the demand for the entrapment of Blackness, Black people were able to build materially out of the frame. What if one were to build a house out of the circle of fifths? What if one were to build a house out of the moans and screams and laughter of the hold? What now? When Black communities insist on a politics that necessitates the end of the world, we are demanding for a new relationship to materiality. Blackness is always already occupying the end of the world. The end of the world is a refusal of the materiality of the physical world in favor of building a materiality from all that has been forced out of the frame. Jafa’s question forces us to interrogate a new epistemic principle that refuses static notions of the self as distinct from the object as distinct from the other. This new relationship to the material grants Black people with the possibility of imagining the end of this world and creating the physical space for the next. I left my grandparents’ house last spring, for what very well could be the very last time, and I thought about what it meant to leave this world, or what it means to dance in the margins of being. In this move beyond the world, Blackness is forced to bear with it all that the frame refuses to hold, which happens to be all that Blackness has been forced to bear across space and time. It is here that I realized that the end of the world is not built from a new ontological register, but rather it emerges from saturating the world with all that the photograph has rejected. It is an all Black everything. The end of the world is not built out of a new materiality, or physical substance, but rather it is built from all that we always already had, the matter of the subject refused a body, the screams, the moans, the laughter, the Blackness, we got it.
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Social media decade: shaping the 2010s in our memories
Illustration by Kaila Holland
By Eli Marshall Feature Facilitator After 3,652 days, 120 months and 10 years, the 2010s decade is in the books. So much time, and so many memories that all of us who lived through the decade have experienced. Even if at the surface it’s just a slight digit change on our calendars, the end of the decade often begins a time of cultural self reflection. We ask ourselves what we accomplished this decade as a society, but perhaps more specifically, how we’ll remember those accomplishments in the years to come. Since World War II ended and the modern world evolved into what it is today, each subsequent decade has had many labels with a certain cultural sentiment attached to it. There was the booming and stable ‘50s, the rebellious and progressive ‘60s, the continued activism and economic downturn of the ‘70s, the innovative, conservative and “aesthetic” ‘80s, the alternative and prosperous ‘90s. As we increasingly search for an identity of the most recent past decade, the 2000s, most would call it the decade of the rise of the internet, with most pop culture beginning to transition to the digital world. Now, all of those are massive generalizations. A decade can’t accurately be described with just two words, but we generalize time periods so often that it doesn’t seem out of place. These generalizations are also not reflective of the decade itself, but fall closer to how we romanticize it in the present day. And that brings us back to our current decade. Now that it’s over, how do we identify it on that list, even if we’re generalizing? Specifically for Generation Z, the spin being put on this by many is that the end of the decade represents the end of “our childhoods” for those of us currently in high school, who would’ve spent a significant portion of our childhood living in the decade. Intertwining certain events and social developments with the decades they occurred in, and subsequently identifying the decade as a whole with them, is something that has been going on for many centuries, but since the Second Industrial Revolution and the rise of consumerism, it’s been much easier to associate decade identity with the more consumer aspects of the decade, which often means pop culture. The 1920s are perhaps the first good example of this. “The Roaring Twenties” is such a common term associated with the decade that it’s been brought back into the common lexicon now that we’re in the 2020s. It generally describes the era’s booming economy in the U.S. at least, which combined with the birth of mass culture and consumerism, can be attributed to everything else the decade is known for today. Perhaps the most significant political development
of the decade was women’s empowerment, starting with the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote in 1920, to the the eventual image of the flapper, “liberated” young women who drank, wore short skirts, and bobbed their hair. Even if flapper culture didn’t affect everyone, the image of flappers certainly existed, as the rise of mediums such as radio, film and nationally distributed magazines throughout the decade allowed it to get into the minds of people during the time. The popularity of jazz music is another commonly accepted feature of the 1920s zeitgeist. These ideas made the 1920s probably the first decade where the identity had to do with pop culture, especially seeing as the first two defining characteristics of the era are fashion and music, respectively. This image didn’t last throughout the entirety of the 1920s, as the cultural end of the decade as seen as the start of the Great Depression. While the Great Depression began during the 1920s, August 1929 to be exact, the last few months of 1929 may as well have been part of the 1930s the way we remember anything that happened then. This represents what often would be seen in future decades. A point of divergence between the calendar and the actual events we associate with the decade. It can’t be avoided, as history doesn’t happen in a linear fashion, but more extreme examples of this would occur as the 20th century progressed to the point at which one part of a decade might be completely unrecognizable culturally from another. The 1930s and 1940s are kind of an afterthought when thinking about the cultural definitions of decades. Looking at the major global events we associate with each, the Great Depression and World War II, more important things were going on, to say the least. The idea of cultural decade identities resurfaces, however, looking at the end of World War II. “My attitude is when we’re talking about the ‘50s, mostly what we’re talking about is the era after World War II, which begins in 1945-46. It isn’t really a decade, but the idea of prosperity, safety, white flight and the civil rights movement, we kind of collectively think of as the ‘50s,” history teacher Jay Stanek says. The ‘60s have perhaps an even more skewed image when comparing the full scope of the decade to how it’s remembered, with most of what comes to mind when thinking of the identity of the ‘60s occurring in the later part of the decade. As Stanek adds, “I think when we think about the ‘60s, what we’re really thinking about is the late ‘60s. We think Woodstock, and hippies, and Vietnam protests. That’s really 1966-70 or so.” Events in the early part of the decade, like the assassination of John F. Kennedy, can
often dim in comparison to the activism-centered latter half. This does at least provide us with a solid example of a decade where youth culture is primarily what we remember. “I feel like youth culture, kind of always, but especially in the late 20th century, was about rebellion, and still is. The first thing that came to mind was in the ‘60s, with the Vietnam War, youth culture revolved so much around protests and riots,” says senior Ananya Visweswaran. The ‘70s are less well defined than some of the decades before them, perhaps because some of the major events returned to being less social and more political, with events like Watergate being among the first to come to mind. On the zeitgeist of the times, Stanek adds, “The stereotype I think with the ‘70s, when I was born, is that this is the ‘me’ generation, that all this ‘trying to fix the world’ stuff failed, and now we’re inward looking and self absorbed.” Moving on to the ‘80s, it was another particularly important decade politically, but with the economy turning back up, pop culture was strong again and it’s easy now to remember the decade’s pop culture contributions, from MTV to blockbuster films. “[With the ‘80s] the stereotype [was] more self absorption, but a more ‘world-affirming’ one. Of course, it’s the era of Reaganomics, focusing on the needs of business and things like that,” Stanek says. The ‘90s continued the trend of decade identities associated with strong pop culture from a good economy, albeit with its political drama most would remember such as Bill Clinton’s impeachment. “Most people think of the ‘90s as a relatively prosperous time. It’s just the economy, all of this money that we were spending fighting the Soviet Union, we didn’t have to spend that money on defense anymore, so the money could go to other places,” Stanek explains. The 2000s could be seen as an end to that prosperity, with the major global events we’ll remember for decades to come including 9/11 towards the beginning of the decade, which dramatically shifted the mindset of prosperity of the last couple decades to that of fear and the War on Terror, and then the Great Recession towards the end of the decade. Culturally speaking, the 2000s began the slow rise of the internet from a development some had been familiar with and used, to the necessity of modern life we see it as now. “The internet was a thing, I knew about it. I don’t know if it was changing my life dramatically in the 2000s. Fast forward to 2010, in this last chunk of time, I think social media has just transformed the way we interact, the way we think, and it’s hard to sort of measure in real time the impact of all this,” Stanek adds.
Now arriving at the 2010s, as we search for the identity of the decade that has only been over for a month, it’s hard to think of another cultural development as monumental as the development of a fundamental communication game changer like social media over the course of the decade. “I would probably say the way that social media changes the way that we connect, or that we don’t connect. As long as we’re friends on the Internet, we don’t have to actually speak to each other, and we just find ourselves scrolling,” Stanek says. Social media is not a development that was born in the 2010s, but it is one that grew rapidly and grew much more important culturally within the decade. Facebook, the first real social media platform, had about 350 million active users in early 2010, and surged remarkably in popularity since its 2004 launch, which pales in comparison to the nearly 2.5 billion active users it has today. Facebook’s user influx over the course of the decade parallels that of social media as a whole; while it was around at the start of the decade, the last 10 years have allowed social media to truly define its place in our society. “I’m not sure how I would define [the 2010s], but [it is] this idea of being in contact with the rest of the world, having the world at your fingertips, the internet becoming extremely accessible, especially to American kids,” says Visweswaran. Facebook went from a relatively widespread, still immensely successful platform in certain demographics, to much more of a global phenomenon, and social media has seen a similar rise. As social media evolved and came to be a massive part of the zeitgeist of the 2010s, along with it came a class of people that could gain a following. Celebrities who have become famous via means outside of social media, such as singers and actors, still are among the most followed people on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, but their leverage on these platforms is often widely understated compared to that of the influencer. An influencer is typically defined as an individual that has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience. “[The idea of celebrities] might have expanded so it’s not just a few people in the spotlight, like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, now there’s so many different products out there that have all these different people associated with them,” Visweswaran says. [Continued on Evanstonian.net]
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MUNCHIN’ with Michael By Micheal Barthelemy Sports Editor
This feels like a clash of the titans. Chicken is my favorite food, and chicken wings are an exceptional product. Evanston alone boasts numerous options for wings, all fantastic in the eyes of the crowd. With the Super Bowl just around the corner, a time where millions of wings are bought for parties across the country, this is the perfect time to help guide you through the world of wings. For this review, I chose to visit three of Evanston’s most popular restaurants, all specializing in their wings: 10q Chicken, Buffalo Joe’s and Chicken Shack. I also decided to get classic barbeque wings rather than opt for another sauce such as buffalo due to its popularity, and let’s be honest, not everyone can handle spice, but everyone can handle barbeque. Anyways enough talk, let’s get to munchin’.
The breading, while not standing out as elite, is still of high enough quality to not act as a negative. It brings a crispy texture that contrasts the tender chicken well. The problem was in the sauce. It featured a more sour flavor rather than a traditional tangy barbeque. The pungent flavor was peculiar, and I found myself confused about the style of barbeque. Besides moisture of the chicken, the sauce is the most important aspect of a chicken wing, so having to question my liking towards the sauce was a red flag. While the sauce was not bad, it certainly wasn’t great, which holds back the overall score for the dish.
10q is fairly new onto the Evanston scene, established just over a year ago in late 2018. But in that short time, the Korean-barbeque spot has quickly grown in popularity among Evanstonians for their chicken sandwiches and bowls, and their wings aren’t half-bad either. The chicken was cooked extremely well. The tenderness of it made the bite easy. While it may not have had the same moisture as Chicken Shack, they made up for it by drenching the chicken in a thinner sauce, which rehydrated the chicken. The breading is where this dish stands out. There is a thick layer that is fried to a perfect crisp. The crunch is difficult to match and el-
In terms of value, no place can compete with Chicken Shack. While the price of $7.40 for seven boneless wings may not seem impressive, the size of the wings themselves are enough to feed more than one person. Chicken Shack is not just a value pick; they know how to cook some delicious chicken. In the first bite, the meat is what demands your attention. It is cooked perfectly: tender, moist and easy to sink your teeth into. Needing razor sharp teeth or a powerful jaw just to break into dry chicken is anyone’s worst nightmare. Chicken Shack shows clear dedication in their craft, avoiding the rubbery-nature of poorly cooked chicken.
evates the wings in a major way. 10q does not have a “traditional” barbeque sauce, so I opted for their Kangnam Style wings. The sauce is unlike any other on this list, which was expected because it is Korean-barbeque. The sauce was, as mentioned previously, thinner than any other sauce, but that does not mean diluted flavor. To combat having a thinner sauce, 10q simply offers more of it, dousing the wings while having them rest in a layer of sauce underneath. As for the taste, I had mixed emotions. In the first few bites, I was growing to be a fan of the unique tangy flavor. As I went on, I began to alter my feelings and find it to be a bit too strong. I enjoyed the flavor, but in small portions. Score: 3.8/5
Buffalo Joe’s, often referred to simply as “Buff Joe’s,” is what you expect when you think of barbeque wings. They are crispy, on the bone and drenched in a thick sauce. While to many this may seem too basic, there is a reason this is the standard for wings. The chicken is cooked the best of the three, which says a lot considering both 10q and Chicken Shack did a near-perfect job. The meat falls off the bone easily, is cooked to be tender and the moisture ensures it isn’t tough to swallow. The breading was a thin yet crisp layer at
was just enough to make sure the wing stays together. While it was subtle, this breading made a tremendous impact in adding texture while still keeping the spotlight on the chicken. As for the sauce, it was the clear star of the dish. The main component that made it stand out over others was its sweetness, which had me going back in for more. Despite the abnormal sweetness, Buff Joe’s was still able to stick to the roots of barbeque. The classic tang was still prevalent and overall, I couldn’t get enough of this thirst-quenching dressing. Overall, I would say Buff Joe’s is the standard for what barbeque wings should be. Going in and ordering should be celebrated, and hey, their cheese chips aren’t too bad either. Score: 4.7/5
TUN NG IN
What are you listening to?
“Senior Skip Day”
Behind the screens at the Oscars By Madison McGuire Assistant Photo & Arts Editor Best Visual Effects is awarded to movies that have shown breakthroughs in visual arts technology and cutting-edge displays on the big screen. The greater the innovation behind the technical aspects, the better a movie’s chances of winning an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. For example, according to IndieWire, The Lion King’s Rob Legato“entertainingly touted the breakthrough virtual production along with its stunning, faux live-action aesthetic,” giving The Lion King a cutting edge and unique take to visual effects. Visual effects capture the audience and are able to transform the world of a movie into something astounding for the viewer. Movies in the past that have displayed such innovation include First Man and Blade Runner.
Whether or not you are following film awards this year, we are hoping to shed light on components behind the screen...
Best Costume Design is an award that goes beyond the clothes a character wears. “[Costumes] can make movies magical. It can be the difference between a mediocre film and a really good one,” says junior Shira Baker. Costumes are fundamental to transforming sets to reality and giving characters life on screen. Costumes are a part of the immersion of an audience into a different world simply through wardrobe choice. Previous winners include Black Panther and The Phantom Thread, their outstanding innovations in costume design to compliment the portrayal of characters in films.
Best Original Screenplay goes to the writers behind the scenes. Before a director even gets to the piece, Best Original Screenplay is for the words and the thought behind the stunning pictures. Screenplay winners are those who have an idea and can turn it into a story that compels any audience, and the people that create the framework for the artistic vision’s of directors and producers. Different from Best Adapted Screenplay, these writers are awarded for complete originality. Previous winners of Best Original Screenplay are Green Book by Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga, and Get Out by Jordan Peele. Frontrunners for the 2020 Oscars, according to IndieWire, are Marriage Story and Parasite.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling is awarded to the film which best portrayed the theme and characters of the movie through artistic expression. The ability to transform an actor or actress into a character simply from the way they look on screen is what sets this award apart from the others. Last year’s winner, Vice, won for its notable achievement in makeup because of the artists’ abilities to change actors into political figures, completely uncrecognizable from their original appearance. It is these achievements in transformation and visual character development that win a film Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
Best Original Score is awarded to a film that has created outstanding and original compositions of music for the movie. Black Panther, The Shape of Water, and La La Land are some of the previous winners of the Best Score Academy Award.
Illustration by Ellie Lind
Best Original Song is for exclusively one song in a film. Previously, “Let it Go” from Frozen, “City of Stars,” from La La Land and “Shallow,” from A Star is Born have all won Best Original Song awards.
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a&e - 11
The Academy Awards: same strife, different decade By Nora Miller A&E Editor Producers, directors, actors and even the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are seemingly taking steps forward to widen the perspective of how awards are given. Following the #OscarsSoWhite critiques in 2014, the Academy made attempts to diversify its membership, particularly expanding its mission to include more women and people of color, as reported by NPR. This year’s nominations embrace the lives of prominent race car drivers, war heros and even a tag team of 1970s actors. While the performances are nuanced, and the editing, writing and visual components are breathtaking, almost all of them happen to focus on the trials and tribulations of white, cis-gender men. Even though Hollywood has been perpetuating this dilemma for decades, I was hopeful for this year’s nominations considering this year’s award season thus far. As I viewed the nominations in mid January, the divide between films spotlighting underrepresented perspectives and films centering what has been the “norm” since the birth of the awards, is clear. Having been nominated at the Golden Globes, Hollywood Critics Association and the Critics Choice Awards, Lulu Wang’s The Farewell should have been nominated for an Oscar as well, yet is not being considered for any category at the Academy Awards. Similarly, Jay Roach’s Bombshell culminate in dynamic and dramatic actors and storylines and follow similar patterns visually, yet are not nominated for the Best Picture award. Don’t get me wrong, I was attracted to Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishmen who, along with a number of their competitors, focus on pivotal, historic moments with fictional takes, yet there are only two films up for nomination that do not concentrate heavily on the white male perspective: Little Women and Parasite. With Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit including the white male narrative and different points of view, these two movies happen to be my favorite of the bunch, particularly because of their explicit themes considering what it means to hold an identity historically “othered.” In contrast to their contested Best Picture nominations, the academy has made moves to include films considering youth outlook. This year’s nominations also gather youth voices in films about divorce, war and poverty, such as in Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, 1917 and Parasite. The Academy of Arts & Sciences has shaken things up by introducing the “Most Popular Film” category, but is not including this award this year. Critics argued this award lacked depth, and is too similar to how People’s Choice Awards are given. Ultimately, how the Oscars is introducing influential societal events depends on which movies are given the most attention, and which films ultimately win largest film accolade of the year, Best Picture. Did they show a broad range of perspectives? Maybe not, but the diversity within the judges allows for me to argue that these may have been the most well made movies of the year. Intentions might be there but there is significant work to be done for the Academy to truly diversify how it examines film.
12 - a&e
All-female cast stars in The Wolves By Sydney Ter Molen, Sophie Yang Staff Writers
ETHS theater’s February production is a show unlike any done before; The Wolves features nine exclusively female actors, collaborates with the athletic department and tackles complex issues. The contemporary play, written by Sarah DeLappe, focuses on the conflicts, relationships and complicated lives of a high school girls soccer team. “The Wolves is about nine girls who all have very different personalities. It focuses on the truth behind how teenage girls behave, and clashes typical stereotypes from other plays about teenagers,” sophomore actress Teague Sieja says. Unlike most productions, the characters don’t have assigned names, and are differentiated by their jersey numbers.
Theater teacher and director Timothy Herbert talks about the intrigue of having three-dimensional characters, which led him into picking The Wolves as the winter play. “You get to know [the characters] in really kind of subtle and weird ways. It’s structured unlike any play that I’ve ever seen before,” Herbert says. As each character struggles through different events in their personal lives, the audience pieces together the plot. Some struggle with finding themselves and defining their identity, sexuality and religion, while others are caught up in relationships with other teammates, friends and family. The actors reveal snippets of information throughout their dialogue. “You don’t really know a lot about each character when the play starts, and you have to figure it out as the play goes on,” senior Mia Rehwaldt says. The play shows multiple conversations at once, having the audience listening in on certain parts. Rehwaldt, cast as Number Eleven, shares the challenges of playing a complex role. “I usually know exactly what kind of per-
son I’m portraying, but with this role I have to make up a lot of the character,” Rehwaldt says. Herbert also notes that part of the play’s appeal was the age appropriate cast that came with having a team of all high school students. The Wolves consists of ten characters, with the cast ranging from freshmen to seniors. “I never did sports much, so I was never on a team, but getting to play as if I was on an all girls soccer team really gives me a community aspect, ” Rehwaldt says. Every scene takes place as the team warms up for an indoor soccer game. The constant repetition of setting provides simplicity, despite the complicated nature of each character. Sophomore Shania Wright finds similarities between herself and her role of player number eight. “I can relate a lot, because my character is very goofy, childish and has lots of energy, which is just like me,” Wright explains. As the cast works on decrypting their characters, they
are also focusing on the athletic aspect of the play. Due to the athletic setting, the actors had to train and figure out how to incorporate soccer skills. To help with the athletic aspect, Hebert enlisted soccer coach Franz Calixte’s assistance. The actors mastered passing drills and dribbling on-stage. “I don’t play soccer, so it is challenging, but it’s cool to get a soccer player’s perspective by doing drills like a normal soccer player would,” Sieja explains. After months of hard work and rehearsals six days a week, The Wolves premieres Feb. 13. Join the cast and crew and watch the performance on Feb. 13, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Upstairs Theatre. Tickets can be bought on ethstheatre.com for $6 for students and seniors and $8 for adults.
Actresses Eloise Lushina, Noam Hasak-Lowy, Shania Wright and Teague Sieja rehearse.
Photos by Michael Barthelemy
arts & entertainment Band students qualify for Peoria performance By Clare Kennedy Staff Writer On Jan. 29, nine ETHS students traveled to Peoria for a Band and Orchestra All-State event made up of qualifying students from across Illinois. These musicians qualified through ILMEA, the Illinois Music Educators Association. Six students auditioned in the fall, earned seats in the district organization, and then were selected through another blind audition to play their respective instruments in Peoria, Illinois. Three of the nine students are going to Peoria for their own composition pieces and qualified by submitting their pieces for judging. “We help our students prepare for their audition to gain entry into these experiences, and then the best students in our district then go down and are selected for the state conference,” ETHS Band Director Matthew Bufis says. ETHS has been attending this conference annually for many years. Each year, the best musicians in the district are sent to Peoria for All-State. “The number of students that are accepted every year fluctuates quite a bit so this is an up year; we have nine students going. In other years we’ve had anywhere between two or three students going, so it just depends on our internal talent level,” Bufis says. Senior Ryan Tharayil is going to Peoria this year as a composer and has attended previously. He is a saxophone player who has written compositions that were performed in YAMO. “So for the composition people, we go
to a bunch of workshops and they have different guest artists that they bring in to talk about composition. Everyday is a different workshop, and you get some time to get feedback on your stuff and learn some new techniques,” Tharayil explains. The six instrumentalists attending the conference had a different experience than composers who qualified. Instead of attending workshops, they spent their time in Peoria rehearsing for performances that will take place today and Saturday. “For the rest of the instruments, once you make it past your district, if you’re at the top of your district, you get to go to state, and then you have to do another audition there for your place,” Tharayil says. It is an honor and meaningful experience for musicians to attend All-State. “One of the most valuable materials that this experience has [is] getting feedback, [which] is what helps you improve and think about things that you may not have thought about,” Tharayil says. “I think it’s a really cool experience to be able to make something that other people enjoy.”
Photo by Michael Barthelemy
Jazz music festival
By Kelsey Blickenstaff, Tate Lucas Staff Writers
The 17th Annual Evanston High School Jazz Festival is finally here, and the school is gearing up for another lively event. The performance will begin with a Jazz Ensemble from middle and high school students in the region, followed by a special guest appearance from the Chicago State University Community Jazz Band. Students will participate in an all-day immersive experience with lessons and technique clinics for different instruments in the band provided by the Chicago State Community Jazz Band, such as Pete Mills and Tom Garling. This event will be beneficial to many students from local Illinois schools taking part, as they are taught new techniques to better advance their musical skills. They will be learning the perspective of what it’s like to be a jazz musician. During the day time, there is a clinic run by professional jazz musicians that will instruct, show, teach and critique the jazz students who are participating in the fest. There are noontime concerts as well, featuring the Bryant Gephart group, which is free for all attendees. The clinics and concerts are followed by a student performance at night. The students integrate the skills they learned from the professionals into their performance at 7 p.m. the nighttime show. ETHS is hosting the event which consists of 90 students annually. “Behind the scenes, we are planning a really big event, the clinic and the show at night, because we welcome all of these different groups from all over the state. We are working on advertising, building a program book and working with guest artists, as well as working with WDCB, doing announcements,
designing the program and advertising for the festival,” Band Director Matthew Bufis said. Feb. 15 is meant to teach jazz students about the professional field and the lifestyle of a professional jazz musician. This is a different experience for the students joining the program because they get to learn from the experts and learn the ways of jazz as a collective community. The jazz festival’s goal is to encourage students to advance in their skills. It hopes to bring elements of jazz to light and inspire students to follow the pathway of jazz in their musical careers. The students are encouraged to participate in the clinics and performances in the performance at night after all the hard work they are doing to prepare for this festival during the school day, and they get a chance to show their talent to the public as well. “We get to do our [pieces], get feedback and do a clinic. Then we watch the other groups play,” freshman Luke Van Leer adds, describing the festivities. Parents, students, friends and anyone interested can attend-- this event is open to the public. With over 50 middle and high schools participating from the region, the ETHS Jazz Festival is an experience that many patrons are sure to enjoy. There will be two concerts, each featuring a different artist, along with the middle and high school students. The noontime production will star the Brian Gephart Group, a jazz sextet, and the 7 p.m. performance will spotlight the Rajiv Halim Quintet. The performance will take place tomorrow, Feb. 15, and will be located in the ETHS auditorium.
sports - 13
SHOWDOWN By Eli Cohen Sports Editor
Evanston (20-1) vs. Sussex-Hamilton, WI (11-1) 6:30 p.m. tip-off.
How are the Kits looking?
The Kits are rolling after an 81-79 win over fifth ranked Bloom last Saturday. The victory improved Evanston’s record to 20-1 and was the second top 10 team ETHS has defeated. “I think our guys have done a solid job of answering the challenges that are on our schedule,” coach Michael Ellis said. Despite playing one of the best games of the season on Saturday, just one day earlier, the Kits narrowly defeated New Trier in a game where they looked average at best. “Our guys have found ways to win games even on nights we weren’t at our best,” Ellis explained. “The thing that’s most pleasing to me is that they love one another; you can tell that it’s genuine. They’re tough, they fight, they enjoy the battle of competing.” Games like the one against New Trier have been uncommon for the Kits, but still something to be concerned about. However, that’s a part of basketball. From a broader lense, it’s clear that Evanston is legit.
How does Hamilton look?
There’s no such thing as a one man team— after all, basketball is a five-man sport. However, the Hamilton Chargers are as close as it gets with Patrick Baldwin Jr., a Haven graduate who is ranked as the third best recruit in the country amongst juniors, carrying the team. “When I played with Patrick at Haven, I always knew he’d be special because I knew he had potential. However, nobody ever expected him to be a top recruit in the nation,” Baldwin’s former teammate, Evanston junior Isaiah Holden said. Baldwin is a gamechanger and a large reason why Hamilton is 11-1 and ranked first in Wisconsin. He is a 6’9” point-forward who can run a team’s offense, and possesses the ability to score from all three levels. It is almost unheard of for a player of his size to have the point-guard skill set in the body of a big man on top of his smooth shooting stroke.
What does the game have in store?
There are plenty of reasons why this game will be a special one; not only are the Kits playing at Northwestern’s Welsh-Ryan Arena, but Baldwin is making his return on the court where his dad played and coached at, and where his mom played volleyball. Finding a way to stop Patrick Baldwin will be the first priority for the Kits, and the most obvious one. “He’s definitely going to be the focal point of our scouting reporting. It’s going to be a challenge, especially with those guys knowing Patrick growing up in Evanston, having played in our feeder program. Patrick is very familiar with our players, and ours are familiar with him,” Ellis said. “It’s going to be hard for us to try and get experience against that, or a gameplan against that. He’s so good. He’s going to find the holes, and try to pick you apart.” Executing a gameplan to stop Baldwin won’t be easy, but the Kits should have confidence in themselves. In the past two seasons, Evanston has made it downstate despite being very undersized, in large part due to their stellar defense. While credit must be given to the players, it also should be given to Ellis, who is able to turn five-guard lineups into top defensive teams in Illinois. In addition to impeccable defense, ETHS must be on their A-game offensively. The difference between Evanston’s best and worst basketball is gigantic. If the Kits are playing their best, fans will be in for a treat— if not, the Kits still have a chance, but it won’t be pretty. “Going against Hamilton, we just have got to come in with the same mindset we did against Bloom. If we just play together like we did against Bloom, I feel like we have a great chance at winning,” Holden explained. “A lot of games that we play are going to be tough, but as long as we just stick together and play with poise, we can win any game.”
ey Fin y Hail
Evanston (19-2) vs. Benet (21-2) 8 p.m. tip-off.
How are the Kits looking?
The game against Benet will be the fourth consecutive matchup where the Kits play a team ranked in Maxpreps’ top 20 Illinois teams. Even though the Kits’ record shows two losses, both came from imperfect circumstances. Their first loss came in a game against Simeon, where they ended up having five more points than the Wolverines, but had to forfeit the win due to eligibility issues. Their second loss was against LaGrange, the top ranked team in Louisiana, who Evanston lost to by 10 points where multiple ETHS starters weren’t suited up. Even though they fell short to LaGrange, missing players isn’t something new for the Kits, as seniors Kaylen Hall and Tyler Mayne were sidelined for extended periods of time. “It feels great being back out there, and even though I have to get used to playing in games instead of just practicing, my teammates and coaches make that transition so much smoother and comfortable for m e , ” Mayne said. Even with the absence of senior stars, the Kits have thrived thus far which is in large part due to their versatility of skill-sets. “I feel like this season when we’ve been in trouble, we’ve been able to be a different team every single time we’ve needed it. Whether that’s ‘we need defensive stops,’ or ‘we need to hit threes,’or ‘we need to get the ball inside,’ we’ve been able to do that,” coach Brittanny Johnson said. “I feel like that versatility is obviously what makes this team special, but it also makes this team really hard to guard, figure out and prepare for.”
What does Benet look like?
Senior Ariel Logan plays defense.
Photo by Hailey Fine
Benet is ranked as the top team in Illinois and for good reason, as the Redwings are sporting a 21-2 record fresh off of a state semi-final appearance last year. From one look at Benet’s team, their size jumps out. 5’11” guard Kendall Holmes as well as 6’1” forwards Lindsey Rogers and Brooke Schramek are all DI commits. While teams with elite size aren’t typically the teams that are lethal from beyond the arc, this isn’t the case with Benet.
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“I think one of the reasons why Benet is so tough is that they have, at pretty much all times, five girls that can shoot,” Johnson explained. “That’s really difficult to defend. They have great spacing, they’re well coached and they have a lot of experience.” Because of their unique combination of shooting and size, they’ve established themselves as a strong threat. However, they are a team that the Kits are familiar with. “We’ve played Benet every year at Montini, and I just feel like everywhere we go shootout wise, they’ve been there too. So, they’ve been a team we’ve seen all year,” Johnson said.
What does the game have in store?
Next Saturday’s game looks to be one of the most exciting games of the year. With the top two teams facing off in Illinois, there will be no shortage of star power. “I think it’ll be a really fun game because both teams will have a ton of offensive firepower, so I feel like the team that defends better will win,” Johnson said. Like Evanston, Benet is fearless with a full court press. Because of this, the game looks to be a rapid-fire, uptempo one. Another area that the Kits and Redwings have in common is their schedule. The Kits were preparing to face Benet in the Montini Holiday Tournament, but ended up playing Lake Forest after Benet’s 45-44 semifinal loss. In the championship game, Evanston defeated Lake Forest 55-37. Another common opponent amongst the two teams is Simeon, who Benet defeated by three points, and Evanston outscored by five. While Benet may be ranked higher, the Kits have a slight edge based on their common opponents. Regardless, it won’t be easy for Evanston. Due to the game setting up to be an enthralling shootout, the Kits’ guards, Kayla Henning, Tyler Mayne and Zee Olatunbosun will be relied upon heavily. The guards will be the ones having to beat Benet’s press, the defenders who will have to lock down the perimeter to prevent threes, and the playmakers who will have to find a mismatch on offense. “I’m looking forward to Benet,” Mayne said. “We’ll definitely need to stick together as a team because when we play team ball, we’re unstoppable. Talking, defense and playing smart will help us with this game.”
Next Saturday, Feb. 8, the E-Town Showdown will be held at Northwestern’s Welsh-Ryan Arena. 5 p.m.: #23 Loyola vs. #14 Stevenson (boys) 6:30 p.m.: #7 ETHS vs. Sussex-Hamilton, WI (boys) 8 p.m.: #2 ETHS vs. #1 Benet (girls) Tickets are $10 in advance, or $12 at the door.
14 - sports Girls Gymnastics @GBS Today 6:00 PM
Boys Swimming @ New Trier Today 5:30 PM
Girls Basketball @Home Today 7:00 PM
*All records as of Jan. 26
By Michael Barthelemy, Jake Kaufman
Sports Editor, Contributor Dynasties are difficult to maintain, especially for high school programs. Regardless, ETHS has found a way to send out an elite-level basketball team every year. This year is no exception—the Kits are 20-1. ETHS commonly takes advantage of players’ speed in the open court during games. Lacking a traditional big man, the Kits compensate by playing fast, so teams do not have time to get set on defense. “We’ve done a great job of trying to speed the game up, a lot of play in transition and not staying in the half-court,” head coach Mike Ellis explained. “A lot of it has been matchups, but also a lot of it is us being able to force the issue and put teams in situations where our guards can be bigger factors in the game than their bigs.” As for outside of the team’s gameplan, the camaraderie that exists on and off the court is hard to find in many opponents. Even with the addition of Elijah Bull and Daeshawn Hemphill, the five-guard junior lineup has found a way to seamlessly integrate them in games. “I’ve been playing with [Daeshawn and Elijah] since second grade, so playing alongside them was easy to adjust to because I know exactly how they play,” junior Isaiah “Itchy” Holden said. “When they joined the team, I didn’t have a doubt in my mind that they would fill their roles and be starters on the team.” The Kits hope to head back to Peoria for the third straight year. They will face Oak Park River Forest tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in Beardsley Gym.
Wrestling @ Home Today 6:00 PM
Boys Basketball @ Home Feb. 1 6:00 PM
By Michael Barthelemy, JJ Chehab Sports Editor, Contributor Boys bowling rolls into new year with higher expectations than ever before. With a season defined by junior Aidan Cella and senior Zev Grodzin qualifying for sectional competition, and Grodzin qualifying for state, expectations are quickly rising. Headlined by a strong senior duo in the regular season in Grodzin and captain Joe Leibforth, the team was able to overcome opponents who had consistently caused issues for the Kits in the past. This year the team was able to pull out a win against usual powerhouse team GBN and beat archrival New Trier for the first time in program history. The team ended the conference tournament placing second and third overall in conference, the best result in Evanston’s history. What separates the good teams from great often times lies in leadership, with this team being no exception. “This year’s senior class is one of the best classes for the simple fact that they were here when we had one of our best teams and sent someone down to state,” head coach Harold Bailey said. “They were just underclassmen and they were learning how to lead.” Because of the immense trust Bailey has in Leibforth, he can focus on developing other players while still ensuring the top tier players remain on track. “I feel like a big part of [leading] is keeping the boys in the game. A big part of it is pre-game speeches and walking around making sure that everybody is okay.” Grodzin will look to end his historic season on a high note tomorrow at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon.
@ Lincoln Way West
Feb. 1 12:00 PM
@ St. Clair Bowl
Feb. 1 TBA
By Hailey Fine Assistant Sports Editor
After placing sixth in the CSL conference tournament, the cheerleaders look to gain success in the upcoming IHSA sectionals. “Our coach and other coaches from other teams said that our performance was the best we’ve ever done,” senior Mia Testa said. “We were super clean, hit all our stunts and had a lot more tumblers.” The Kits take these competitions very seriously considering there are only two during their season. Due to this, every practice is essential. “This year we started working on skills and choreography a lot earlier in the season, so we were a lot more prepared than in the past,” senior Zoe Woitinnek said. Moving forward, the girls strive to
Girls Bowling @ Bowlero Feb. 1 9:00 AM
Cheer @ Niles West Feb. 1 4:30 PM
strengthen their look in order to create a more unified performance. “We need to work on projecting our words during cheers and tighter stunts in order to look more together,” senior Zoe Woitinnek said. Along with improving cheers, the girls are looking to add onto their performance by adding more for the next competition. “We had to take out a few stunts for this last one, because we didn’t have enough time but now we are going to add those back in,” Testa said. “We also have a few technical changes to fix.” By making these changes, the girls are hoping that it will heighten their chances of placing well in the upcoming competition and going to state. The team is cheering at tonight’s boys basketball game in Beardsley Gym at 7 p.m.
By Hailey Fine Assistant Sports Editor
By Peter Barbato Staff Writer
With a 19-2 record, the girls basketball team confidently anticipates going down state to win the championship. “Our team has so much potential to win state, and we’re all on the same page with that goal,” senior Tyler Mayne said. Mayne started playing for the team halfway through the season due to an absence, and the wait only made her more motivated to kill it on the court. “It feels great being back out there. Even though I have to get used to playing in games instead of just practicing, my teammates and coaches make the transition so much smoother and comfortable for me,” Mayne said. Along with supporting Mayne, the team is very supportive of one another. The girls are unified, and it shows on the court—a key strength for preparing for state. “To prepare for state, we are constantly pushing each other in practice; we stay on each other to do everything we need to do,” senior Ambrea Gentle said. The teamwork seen on the court during the games doesn’t just come from anywhere. The girls have been working very hard to create a cohesive team every practice this season. “We are definitely trying to push each other to become better players and teammates,” Mayne said. “When we see someone getting down on themselves, it’s our job to help that person find their confidence again and brush that mistake off.” The Kits will face Glenbrook South tonight at 7 p.m. in Beardsley Gym.
With the postseason right around the corner, girls bowling will spare no effort in preparing for conference after rolling through the MLK invite. “This year, our goal is to win conference and also advance as a team to sectionals, which we did last year,” senior captain Anne Porter said. “Winning the MLK invite was definitely a good momentum boost for the team heading into next week.” The team, made up of two juniors and six seniors, has started on varsity since their freshman years. The bond they’ve built over the past three years shows in matches. “Having good team chemistry is very important in bowling,” Porter said. “If one bowler is doing well, she motivates her teammates to match a spare covered or a strike. When the team has good energy, we all bowl well, but that starts with one person.” Although they’ve found success with their experienced, tight-knit team, the Kits have needed younger players to step up when starters dealt with injuries. “We’ve struggled with keeping our starters healthy this season. In the weeks coming, we’re working to find a schedule that works for each bowler so that everyone is fresh when it matters,” Porter said. Coming off a strong week of competition against GBN and Vernon Hills, the Kits will hopefully have the momentum boost they need heading into the conference match on Feb.1 at Bowlero Mt. Prospect at 9 AM.
Junior Clay Linder and junior Colton Lane swim freestyle.
Photo by Michael Barthelemy
sports - 15 Girls Gymnastics @ GBN Feb. 3 6:00 PM
Girls Basketball @ Fenwick Feb. 4 7:00 PM
Boys Baketball @ Home Feb. 7 7:00 PM
Boys Swimming @ Home Feb. 7 5:00 PM
Feb. 8 6:30 PM
Feb. 8 8:00 PM
Feb. 8 9:15 AM
Feb. 8 TBA
@ Northwestern @ Northwestern @ Habetler Bowl @ Mt. Prospect
By Chloe Haack Staff Writer
By Gordon Redfeild-Gale Staff Writer
After placing first against Niles West and North Shore Country Day, the gymnastics team will use this momentous finish to aim high in the postseason. Senior captain Jamie Otwell led the pack with a first place finish in balance beam, floor exercise, uneven bars and vault. Otwell’s performance earned her 34.2 points and an all-around individual first-place finish. Junior Lizzie Budde placed third and freshman Stella Morton placed fifth overall. “[It] was a great start to the end of season, because it proved to us that we are a stronger team than in previous years when they beat us,” Budde said. Before the Niles West meet, things were rocky for the team. They placed fourth in the Homewood-Flossmoor and Winter Wonderland Invites and lost against Deerfield and New Trier. These weren’t true losses, because each gymnast showed a bit of improvement in every competition. Sophomore Ava Axelrood finished third overall in the Winter Wonderland Invite with 8.4 points on uneven bars and 8.4 points on balance beam. In gymnastics, injuries have a great impact on performance. Gymnastics is a physically taxing sport and, oftentimes, athletes are likely to get injured a few times a season. “To get through these [injuries], we all have to be flexible and willing to step in where people are needed, even if it is not our best event,” Budde explained. Finishing the season off stronger than it started is a huge goal for the team. Otwell hopes that with all of the work they have put in, something positive will result. “We will continue to work on perfecting our skills and routines to prepare for the qualifying meets,” Otwell said. Their next meet is the CSL Conference Tournament tonight at GBN at 6 p.m.
The promotion of coach Hannah Bergom and the fiery spirit of a young group has propelled the girls hockey team into a culture change that promises a bright future. Evanston has never been a powerhouse in the Metro Girls League, with schools like New Trier and Loyola fielding squads loaded with division one talent, but this year’s team has set themselves apart with their resilience. “We’ve played in some games that would have some athletes ready to walk away from the sport altogether,” Bergom explained. “Even through those tough games, they just keep fighting.” Although they’ve gone through some brutal losses, they’ve found themselves defeating opponents that were a real challenge only a few years ago. Some of this newfound success can be attributed to the knowledge and experience of coach Bergom, who grew up playing hockey in Minnesota and eventually starred for the Loyola University team. “I think [Coach Bergom] has a lot to do with the success we’ve been having over the last two years,” senior captain Olivia DiPadova said. “She has taught us how to bring the team together both on and off the ice.” However, a coach can only do so much, and some credit must go to the talented team. DiPadova, fellow senior Zoe Durston and junior Jenny McGuire led a young team that managed to exceed expectations with their tremendous camaraderie. “During practice, we get pretty physical and actually go pretty hard against each other,” freshman Emma Barker said. “We had expectations to grow as a team and improve as a team.” This all-for-one attitude produced solid results this season, and they will carry it on for years to come. The squad takes on Lake Forest Academy at the new Robert Crown
By Kevin Thomas Staff Writer
Skating into a new year and new arena, the ETHS boys hockey team has some lofty goals and their eyes on a championship. “We are individually playing really well, but we should be working as a team and staying on the same page,” senior Shane Riefke said. “We should also play more consistently, because sometimes we lose to teams that we should beat then beat teams that are better than the team we lost to.” The team has confidence in one another to reach their goals, as they’re eyeing a deep playoff run and a potential state final appearance. They are willing to take the extra step to succeed and do their best in the ice rink. “Every player on this team is skilled enough to go out there and succeed. We have a certain grit that not a lot of the other teams have; we are willing to play fast and tough,” junior Owen Destefano said. “Games are won by preparing and working hard, and I feel like we do a good job at coming to practice ready to work and get better.” Each team member contributes their fair share of the workload during games and steps up when necessary by coming to practice and working hard. They are committed to the success of the team with the playoffs in range. “As a team, we have already clinched a playoff spot so in the upcoming weeks, our goal is to do our best,” junior Campbell Wagener said. “When it comes to preparing for the playoffs, we have a great chance of winning our division and hopefully going deep in the state playoffs.” Come support the hockey team Feb.1 at 8:20 p.m. in their new ice rink at Robert Crown.
Girls Basketball @ Home Feb. 11 7:00 PM
this Sunday at 6:05 p.m.
By William Wambo Staff Writer
It’s the middle of the winter season, and the Pomkits are heating up. The dominance of the boys and girls basketball teams has added fuel to their flame, as none of their performances have been short of spectacular. “I think [the Pomkits] all have their own confidence, and that’s what brings so much pizazz to the dance floor. We need to work more on chemistry, so that together with their confidence, they can shine on the dance floor,” coach Priscilla Ruiz said. With the influence of Coach Ruiz, this winter season has many great things in store. “[I want more] chemistry, to grow and to get the aspect of what a team looks like,” Ruiz stated. “[As a coach], all I can do is enforce all the discipline and hold them all accountable for everything.” Seniors on the team take on leadership roles to help the Poms to achieve their goals. “I lead by example, so if I think something should be done, I do it and encourage others to take part. When choreographing, I get the younger people on the team to choreograph with me,” senior Ashley Blackwood said. As the season moves along, the seniors time as Pomkits minimize. One thing about these senior Pomkits is that they leave everything on the dance floor, because this is the last time they’ll be sporting orange and blue. “I have really cherished the Pomkits experience. It has given me friends, life lessons, and it is really fun to be a part of. I have learned so much about dance and about myself,” Blackwood said. The Pomkits are set to perform again at 7 p.m. tonight at Beardsley Gym.
Pomkits Erin Oakley, Grace Bernhardt and Mosco Flint perform at halftime.
Photo by Hailey Fine
By Lena Papa Staff Writer
By Sophia McCandlish, Jared Tucker
The boys swim team hopes to carry their dominance from the first half of the season into the remaining meets leading up to postseason. The team lost two state divers this year, Trevor Nelson and Henry Goodman, making success seem unlikely. However, the Kits have performed exceptionally well in competitions this season. The mentality going into the new year is to put the team first and focus on individual heats as they approach. Additionally, senior swimmers have started preparing underclassmen for next year’s team. “I’m going to be done swimming in three months, so I’m honestly less focused on my own swimming and more focused on getting the rest of the guys on the team ready to perform,” senior captain Kyle Rubovits said. Younger swimmers feel the senior leadership in and out of the water. “[The seniors] led me through these past few years and have helped me become a better person and swimmer,” junior Patrick Huges said. The team mentality is paying off in competition; the Kits have a 3-1 record in dual meets paired with multiple wins and top three finishes in group meets. This impressive record was created not only by skill, but also by a winning strategy. “We’ve done really well in meets by putting different people in different events. We’ve spaced it out so that people can swim hard and do better in their events. If we condense, it can be very tiring,” Rubovits said. By using this strategy, they have been able to conserve energy so that the swimmers aren’t too tired when they get to their third or fourth race. The Kits hope these tactics will continue to pay off in upcoming meets in order to get back down to the state competition. Catch the Kits at their next crossover meet on Feb. 7 at home at 5 p.m.
As the season slowly nears to an end, the wrestling team begins to consider their postseason plans without key graduates, Ramin Abraham and Rafael Salinas. “It’s been a learning year mostly, and we miss those guys from last year, but I think we have a young, talented team right now, so there’s definitely a bright future for the team,” junior Ricardo Salinas explained. Even without Rafael or Abraham, Salinas is very optimistic about the team making postseason. “Everyone’s made a lot of progress from the start of the season, and we’re starting to put things together at just the right time,” Salinas said. “There’s a lot of potential on the team and the biggest thing right now is getting people’s confidence up, so they can start wrestling to their potential.” On the contrary, senior Anjual Joyner doesn’t hold the same level of positivity as Salinas. “I’m sort of confident that we can make it post conference,” Joyner said. “I know there’s going to be a couple of wrestlers that will stand out from the rest.” Because there’s only eight days before the regional match, the team is continuing to refine their skills in order to perform their best. According to Joyner, seriousness has been lacking during practices. “Everyone’s held accountable for their own actions,” Joyner said. “We need to work hard when no one’s watching, when the coaches aren’t watching. Those little things add up, and they present themselves in matches. I feel like the best thing to do to prepare is going hard in practice.” Watch the wrestling team at their last meet before regionals tonight at 6 p.m. in the Fieldhouse.
Assistant Sports Editor, Staff Writer
sports - 16
Learning to lead: a spotlight on ETHS basketball’s student managers and as a person. “I was a bright mind, but I wasn’t a great student in any regard. Having coaches in my ear telling me, ‘You gotta do this and you gotta do this,’ really kept me on track,” Johnson said. “I got the same support the student athletes got and had so many people
self independent, so for them to come out and volunteer to help us is amazing,” Henning said. Holden goes into further detail, explaining that in certain cases, the managers take the responsibility of a coach in order to make sure players are focused. Keeping an entire team on track throughout practice is difficult to say the least, but the managers have proven to be up for the task. Aside from convincing the team to work, managers have a lot on their plate. They often pick up the slack and do smaller jobs that the coaches cannot always put emphasis on. “A lot of the times, the negative things that happen on the court are an effect of things that are off of the court. The student managers we have help eliminate a lot of that,” Henning explained.
“Our managers are the real MVPs.” - Head boys basketball coach Mike Ellis.
In the shadows they lie. Keeping away from the spotlight of center court, they roam the sidelines looking to help in any way they can. They don’t do it for the glitz or the glamour; they do it because they are passionate. They care about their work and know that even if those in the stands don’t take notice, they’re making a difference. They are the key gear in a well-oiled machine--essential to an operation even if it doesn’t appear that way to the naked eye. They are the ETHS student managers, and they are the secret heroes of Evanston athletics. With the consistent run of success for Wildkit basketball this season, many are quick to push all the responsibility towards players and coaches. After all, they are the ones putting up stats, calling plays and yelling from the sidelines. Dylan Casey, Jack Hart, Antonio Garcia and However, the ones ensuring that Avi Shapiro help with warm ups. players can focus on their games and coaches on their schemes are the student managers, taking care of the tasks many forget about. “Our managers are the real MVPs,” head boys basketball coach Mike Ellis explained. “I don’t know if it gets anymore unselfish and as a coach, that’s one of the traits we want our players to exhibit, looking at others before yourself.” The responsibilities of managers vary by sport, but in terms of basketball, they mainly are the ones to keep practices and locker rooms organized and track stats during practices and games. Aside from keeping the team sharp, a main aspect of their responsibilities is to keep Erin Walker and Luci Lobin enjoy the game. track of opposing teams. Getting film from opponents helps the managers create scouting profiles on their supportive of me.” competitors to determine which players or Johnson started managing his sophomore plays are vital to look out for. The managers year and began in a small role, mainly passalso create scouting reports for Evanston to ing out waters and doing other small tasks. help players watch their own film and learn But as he grew older, he quickly gained more from it. The managers create portfolios of inresponsibility before finally transitioning to a dividual stats for players and share that with coaching role his senior season. the team when requested. Despite early doubts by many about his “We all have different jobs,” junior Dylan decision, Johnson knew that sticking with Casey, a student manager since his freshman managing could provide him with a bright year, said. “Me personally, I help with [orgafuture. nizing] shooting shirts, water, keeping every“At first, my friends were questioning me, thing good on the bench and sometimes film but then later on they realized how beneficial if someone misses.” it was,” Johnson explained. “I had to learn Many managers choose to begin their cahow beneficial it could be for me too. Going reer due to an interest in coaching. For Danfrom passing out waters one day then going tea Johnson (class of 2018), his path from to taking pictures with Tom Izzo shows that student manager at ETHS to his current job there are benefits to it.” working for Loyola University’s basketball Because of his work at ETHS, Johnson team started from his cousin, assistant coach had the opportunity to continue managing Necus Mayne, suggesting he work as a manin college, visiting with legendary college ager for basketball rather than take part in basketball coaches such as Mark Few, Izzo wrestling or track. and Rick Pitino, before joining Bob Huggins The act of becoming a student manager at West Virginia and ultimately landing at taught Johnson the ins and outs of the game Loyola. while also helping him develop as a student Once he came back to the Evanston area,
it was a no-brainer to return back to the place that got his career started. “That’s why I come back and that’s why I’m invested, because
an tea J
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Even w i t h on-court performance, Henning recalls a time in which the managers were able to help Dantea Johnson gives a thumbs up. her improve. “I remember one year, my free throw percentage was horrible. Everyday after practice, student managers helped rebound free throws for me, and that was one of the reasons my percentage went up,” Henning said. Student managers know their work isn’t always noticed by the naked eye, but they know it’s necessary to the team [beand can lead to success ing a further down the line. student “I’m one of the few who manager] found managing, and underhas done a stood that that was a door that Dantea Johnson observes the game. lot for me. If could be opened,” junior Luci I can help beLobin explained. “It’s the perfect cause I have the time, I’m going to help and skill-based place for kids, especially freshmake sure I can help us remain a top-tier pro- men who are trying to figure out their place.” gram and that we get back to state,” Johnson A student manager role will help not only explained. develop one’s understanding of the sport, but Managers don’t often receive the recog- improve one’s ability to coach and lead. nition they deserve from fans, but that does “You have to realize what you’re doing is not mean their actions aren’t vital. Players bigger than you,” Johnson said. “You’re gonand coaches, including junior Isaiah Holden, na get something out of it.” show high gratitude towards their managers. “I think that the managers are one of the Boys basketball managers: Juniors Dylan main reasons we’re doing so well,” Holden Casey, Antonio Garcia, Jack Hart, George said. “Without them, I don’t know where we Pareti, Avi Shapira, Kamran Stringer would be.” Girls basketball managers: Juniors Kamille Like Holden, star girls basketball senior Kennedy, Luci Lobin and senior Erin Walker Kayla Henning doesn’t take this selfless dedication for granted. *Spotlight on student managers of other “We’re in high school and everyone is athletic teams in future issues. Ph oto
By Michael Barthelemy, Sophia McCandlish Sports Editor, Assistant Sports Editor
Evanston Township High School