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polarization, Social Media and Divide

mark new era of politics Gen Z students experience unique political awakening RICK LYTLE



lmost 80% of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden supporters say they have just a few or no friends who support the other candidate. Most Americans recognize that this division is happening; 71% of Americans say that conflict between Republicans and Democrats is “very strong,” and a majority of Americans say that one or both political parties are “too extreme” in their positions. Mary Ann Ahern, a journalist who has been covering politics for NBC Chicago since 2006, described this current political climate as “much more aggressive [and] much more divided.” AP Government and Politics teacher Tim Beisher has similar comments and noted how this climate has affected how current high school students have been introduced to politics. “It’s a hyper-partisan kind of nasty at times, level of rhetoric in politics,” Beisher said. “I’m not saying it’s always been nice conversations back and forth, but [current high school students] have had a political awakening that’s sort of been at a different place.” A large part of the political awakening for current high school students has involved what Beisher described as “the biggest [political] change in my lifetime”: social media. According to Beisher, social media has had a significant impact on politics—one key aspect being the platform it gives to political figures to speak directly to voters. Trump, for example, has tweeted and retweeted as many as 200 times in a day during his presidency. According to Beisher, social media has also allowed more political outsiders to clear the “huge hurdles of name identification for new candidates” and has allowed for more candidate-centered campaigns. Once again, Trump is an example of this new phenomenon. “The Republican Party wanted nothing to do with Donald Trump during the [2016 Republican] primaries, and now that has totally changed. He is the standard bearer of the party, and people have come in line with him,” Beisher said. “That was possible for him because of his social media … so this [phenomenon] leads to more successful first time candidates.” Trump himself agrees with this analysis. “I doubt I would be here if it weren’t for social media, to be honest with you,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News. While social media has changed the way candidates campaign, gerrymandering is a serious problem that Beisher believes is at the root of much political division today. Due to gerrymandering, many congressional seats today are considered “safe seats,” meaning that either the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate are almost guaranteed to win that election. Because of this, the real, competitive election is the primaries, so candidates only have to appeal to members of their own party. “I think that the lack of electoral motivation to compromise, or to appear open-minded, is largely gone from congressional politics because of gerrymandered maps,” Beisher said.

Beisher said that oftentimes when candidates are running for these seats, the ability to compromise with the other party is actually seen as a failure or a loss for the party instead of an attractive quality in a candidate. Madeleine Doubek, the Executive Director for Change Illinois and a former longtime political writer for the Daily Herald, believes that gerrymandering in Illinois has gotten much worse in the last decade or so. She also agrees with Beisher that it pushes elected officials to appeal to the fringes of their party instead of encouraging candidates to appeal to a wide range of voters. While both AP U.S. History teacher Qiana Drye and Beisher agree political polarization is a problem, they also both agree that the problem shouldn’t be overstated beyond reality. “People say it’s the most polarized time in American history, [but] I like to draw their attention to the Civil War,” Beisher said. Drye similarly noted one instance from today that displays many parallels to the past: calls for “court-packing.” Due to the nature of some recent Supreme Court appointments by the Republican Party, especially the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, there have been calls from some Democrats to add justices to the Supreme Court if the Democrats win control of both the Senate and the presidency. While many believe that this shows the extreme nature of our political climate, Drye points out that this isn’t the first time that people in power have wanted to add justices to the Supreme Court to benefit their policies. “Franklin D. Roosevelt and the executive branch asked Congress, the legislative branch, which was controlled by his party— the Democrats—to [add Supreme Court justices], and they decided ‘No, we are not going to increase the number of people on the Supreme Court,’” Drye said. “They basically asserted their power as a separate branch, showing checks and balances.” Drye also believes an example from as early as 1800 shows that American politics have not always been amiable, which is able to put our current polarization and division in context. In the election of 1800, former President Thomas Jefferson, who had been the Vice President under former President John Adams, went behind Adams’s back, campaigned against him and ended up winning the presidency. Drye believes that this contentious political moment very early in American history shows that the era we are living in isn’t unprecedented, but she also adds that it may be difficult to gauge the significance of our current historical moment while it is happening. “I always say you don’t realize you’re in a reform movement when you’re in the reform movement,” Drye said. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated some of the trends seen in politics over the last few years. According to Ahern, candidates less frequently seek

out one-on-one interviews with reporters because they often feel like they can push their message out through other platforms like social media. Ahern believes this is a worrying trend, and the pandemic has given candidates more of an “out.” “If all you’re hearing is their campaign message, you’re not getting what the real questions are and what’s going on,” Ahern said, who covered the 1988, 2008, 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. “There’s no spontaneity. You get to know a lot about a person when you see how they respond outside of prepared remarks.” According to Ahern, this is applicable on a state and local level as well, with many press conferences using a “pool reporter” because of coronavirus restrictions. With a pool reporter, one reporter goes and asks all the questions and relays that information back to the other reporters, which inevitably means less pressure on the politician giving the press conference. From a historical perspective, Drye says that throughout U.S. history, the American public has reacted differently to different crises. “A crisis creates stress, and sometimes it can bring people together, but sometimes that can lead to people blaming others,” Drye said. “People feel really, really anxious about things, and that affects the way people react to others, and not always in the best way.” There are a variety of solutions to political polarization. Doubek and her organization have been a proponent of the Fair Maps Amendment, which looks to reform how districts are drawn in Illinois to combat gerrymandering. Other ideas, such as rankedchoice voting (see page 3 for our staff editorial on ranked-choice voting), have gained momentum. According to Doubek, ranked-choice voting leads to “more compromising, moderating kinds of candi-

dates.” While Ahern didn’t endorse any specific reforms, it is clear that she would like to see a significant change in the political climate that current high school students experience. “I was so excited about politics because it was about hope, it was about change … That’s why people were attracted to get involved in a campaign; they could make a difference,” Ahern said. “Today I feel it’s much more of ‘my way or the highway.’” This climate described by Ahern can be changed. According to Beisher, voting is “the minimum,” and there are a number of other ways for people to get involved with candidates and policies they support, such as phone banking and canvassing. “Voting is easy,” Beisher said. “If you’re upset, the answer is not to be afraid of what’s going to happen, [the answer is] to become energized [and] to advocate for change.”

JOE Biden Closes in on 270 electoral votes Joe Biden

253 217

Donald Trump

Remaining undecided States (And their electoral votes) Arizona (11) Georgia (16) Nevada (6) North Carolina (15) Pennsylvania (20) Pictured is the scene outside Arlington Heights Village Hall on Oct. 27. Village Hall was an early voting site in Arlington Heights. (photo by Mara Nicolaie)



NOVEMBER 6, 2020

Hybrid pleases, challenges teachers ALYSSA SCHULZ Copy Editor


nglish teacher Jill Corr waited apprehensively for her students, who she had never met in person before, to come to her classroom. Corr was nervous, but she was also excited to meet and form relationships with her students: something she felt could only happen in person. Oct. 15 was the first day that students came back to Prospect for their in-person learning since March 13. Although Corr and many other teachers were beyond excited to meet their students, they still face many challenges when it comes to hybrid learning. Throughout online learning, Corr taught her classes from home Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and taught from Prospect Tuesdays and Thursdays in order to accommodate her kids’ school schedules. Now that she teaches from school every day, Corr has to pay $250 every other Friday when her three kids have a day off of school. However, Corr believes that it is more than worth it as she gets to engage with some of her students in person. “When kids started showing up on the 15th, it was just so fun to have some in-person interaction with my students,” Corr said. “I missed it. I know all of [the teachers] did.” Social science teacher Jonathan Kaminsky was also excited to finally meet some of his students; to him, it is “the fun part of teaching.” However, before starting hy-

brid learning, he had his reservations. “There wasn’t a fear that it was going to be an absolute catastrophe and [that] kids would throw stuff at me,” Kaminsky said, “But I was still a little bit worried about how I could be most effective as a teacher.” Associate Principal Iris Dominguez certainly noticed the anticipation coming from the teachers on the days leading up to students coming in for in-person learning. “The main concern going into hybrid learning was the anxiety that the anticipation created,” Dominguez said. “Everybody was on pins and needles because this is all foreign to everyone.” However, Corr, Kaminsky and Dominguez all agree that hybrid learning has gone a lot smoother than they expected. According to Corr, after the hard transition over summer where teachers had to learn how to effectively teach over Zoom and had to change to block scheduling, hybrid learning was easy in comparison. Junior Claire Graver, who is one of Corr’s students, attended in-person learning because she wanted to meet her teachers and come into the building again. “I was super excited to get out of my room and to not sit on a computer for six hours a day,” Graver said. Going into in-person learning, Kaminsky and Graver did have some concern as far as safety because of the coronavirus. But after the first day, they felt safer than they expected to because of the small number of students in the

A SPLIT AUDIENCE: English teacher Jill Corr stands at the front of her classroom where only one student is attending in person, Corr was excited for students to return this fall and feels that in-person learning allows her to connect with her students better than online learning. (photo by Alyssa Schulz) building — which allowed for easy social distancing. Because of in-person learning, Corr feels that she was able to get to know her students better. “It is definitely easier to talk to kids and look at what they are working on in person; on the Zoom,

it’s hard to jump between breakout rooms because there is such a lag,” Corr said. “I feel like I never get to as many kids as I want to in the Zoom, but in the class I can talk to everyone multiple times.” Overall, Graver, Dominguez, Kaminsky and Corr all think that

it is worth it for students to come to in-person learning as long as they feel comfortable doing so. “You just have to realize that it isn’t going to be back to normal anytime soon,” Graver said. “You just have to make the best of it.”

New makerspace opens opportunities for community CHARLIE DAHLGREN Executive News Editor The Arlington Heights Memorial Library (AHML) is in the design phase of their brand new makerspace which will replace the current Arlington Heights Teen Center, adjacent to Recreation Park, with a high-tech workspace. A makerspace is a designated place for entrepreneurs, small businesses, hobbyists and students to collaborate, build and learn with hands-on experience. It houses shared equipment suited for different art forms and technologies as well as provides public spaces where professionals can give classes and presentations. The AHML Makerspace includes new, state-of-the-art equipment that will be completely free to use. Among the new equipment is 3D printers, laser cutters, quilting, embroidery and sewing machines, computers for programming, educational robots and a commercial kitchen. AHML deemed these the best tools by looking at the most used equipment in other makerspaces as well as community feedback through a survey they conducted locally, according to Chris Krueger, the makerspace branch assistant manager at AHML. “The community response has been great,” Krueger said. “It’s really exciting to see people with all these unique talents reaching out to us to get involved, and I think we’re going to be able to have some really cool partnerships and classes in the space once we’re open.” Krueger is a self-described maker (a general term used to describe those with a passion for building or creating) and has worked at AHML for almost two decades. As a maker, he is experienced in laser cutting, 3D printer construction and do-it-yourself electronics. Krueger first started to connect with the maker community in 2010 when he started blogging about his experiences with building 3D printers online. His attachment only grew when he started to attend makerspaces and join their communities. One of the makerspaces Krueger attended was Pumping Station: One (PS1) in Evanston which is Chicagoland’s oldest and largest makerspace. Aushra Abouzeid, a member

MAKING THE MAKERSPACE: The Arlington Heights Memorial Library Makerspace will be found here at the corner of Belmiont Avenue and Miner once construction is completed early next year. Planners are excited about the space’s potential to strengthen its surrounding communities and businesses. (photo by Charlie Dahlgren) and former president of PS1, understands that the sense of community Krueger felt is the most integral part of a makerspace. “If you talk to any long term members, they will tell you that we are a community first and a space full of tools second,” Abouzeid said. “It’s about having friendships with people in the space who you can then bounce ideas off of, ask for advice and get inspired by. Community is absolutely crucial.” Both Abouzeid and Krueger have witnessed the positive effects a makerspace can have on a community because of the opportunities they bring to its citizens. Makerspaces can be incredibly useful because they offer resources that are scarce for many like equipment and the space to construct a personal workspace. Community is easily attainable around the makerspace since it is surrounded by eight large-scale apartment complexes within a mile. “There was a nationwide maker movement where people from around the world started to get together and pool resources to be able to have tools and equipment that could be shared,” Abouzeid said. “[This enabled people] to make things at a scale that would have been difficult or completely unaffordable for any individual. That’s really what the makerspaces are about.”

Many private makerspaces fund their operations by charging attendees a membership fee to use the space as they please. These fees pay for things like the rent and new equipment for the space. Abouzeid’s PS1, for example, charges members either $40 or $70 a month based on what plan they choose. The AHML Makerspace, however, will be free to use for everybody. The only thing guests will have to pay for is raw materials they may use like vinyl, wood or steel, which will be sold on site at cost according to Krueger. It’s also important to note that visitors are free to bring their own materials if they wish. “A lot of people walk into makerspaces completely new to any kind of physical construction process,” Abouzeid said. “That’s what’s so exciting about places like PS1 and other makerspaces. For a very nominal investment, which we keep very affordable, you have this whole world of possibilities opening up to you.” The building hosting the new makerspace has a rich history in Arlington Heights. Built in 1952, the red brick building standing at Belmont Avenue and Miner was the village’s first standalone library. Due to the increasing population in Arlington Heights,

a new library was built in 1968 with the old building being converted into a teen center. 50 years later, the village no longer had a real use for the space. Now, library officials feel the building is ready for its next big contribution to the community. The Village of Arlington Heights was able to transfer the property to AHML, and the library plans to use the space to its full potential. “There’s a lot of really cool history involved too,” Krueger said. “It is really cool to be able to see that space go from a historic location to moving our library to the future” AHML knew they had to find an external building for this space in order to preserve a peaceful environment inside the library. Often, makerspaces are loud, with the equipment running and people collaborating on projects. In addition, AHML administrators feared equipment like the kitchen, 3D printers and laser cutters could cause some unwanted smells to disrupt the library. This new building is ideal for the makerspace. It spans 8,000 square feet over two levels and is located only a few blocks away from the main library building. The makerspace will not interfere with any services AHML already provides. The project is currently undergoing its design phase through the Williams Architects of Itasca, and the construction project is now out to bid. AHML is funding this project with help from a $100,000 State of Illinois Capital Infrastructure Improvement Plan grant as well as a $50,000 Live and Learn Construction Grant. All things considered, the AHML is planning to have the makerspace completed by the first quarter of 2021, and those involved are excited to see what new projects the space fosters to residents of Arlington Heights and anyone who may utilize the AHML makerspace. “When you first walk into a makerspace … the possibilities that are there can be really exciting and intoxicating,” Abouzeid said. “Since you have access to a variant of tools and techniques, there is great potential for cross fertilization and taking the techniques and ideas from one area and combining them with things from another area to create stuff that is even more creative than you might be able to do in a space that is dedicated to just one process.”

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staff EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Elizabeth Keane Rick Lytle ASSOCIATE EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Brendan Burke Mara Nicolaie COPY EDITORS Alyssa Schulz Olivia Kim NEWS EDITORS Charlie Dahlgren Marina Makropoulos OPINION EDITOR Genevieve Karutz FEATURES EDITORS Rachel Zurbuch Kailie Foley ENTERTAINMENT EDITORS Joey Delahunty Kevin Lynch SPORTS EDITOR Cameron Sullivan ONLINE SPORTS EDITOR Aidan Murray SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR Abby McKenna VISUALS EDITORS Alexis Esparza Grace He ADVISER Jason Block MISSION STATEMENT The primary purpose of the Prospect High School Prospector is to report news and explain its meaning and significance to our readers and the community. We, The Prospector, hope to inform, entertain and provide an unrestricted exchange of ideas and opinions. The Prospector is published by students in Journalistic Writing courses. Some material is courtesy of MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service. ADVERTISING For ad rates, call (847) 718 5376 (ask for Jason Block), email or write the Prospector, 801 West Kensington Rd., Mount Prospect, IL, 60056, prospectornow@gmail. com.


NOVEMBER 6, 2020

Electoral reform needed amid partisanship T Staff Editorial

he 2020 Democratic primary is far behind us, but the message that was displayed is still one that must be discussed during this election, the next one and the one after that. This message has are moderate Democrats represented by the been prevalent in our politics for many years Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden now. This message is that our elections are and progressive Democrats represented by many times based on conceding our votes Warren and Sanders. to a candidate that we barely agree with. Because of this disunity within each parThe fact that #settleforbiden was one of the ty, many moderate Republicans were forced trending hashtags on Twitter shows that our to settle for Trump, and many progressive politics are not working properly. Democrats were forced to settle for Biden. We mention this year’s Democratic priSome feel that because of this, they should mary because the issue of compromising start supporting third party candidates, but political beliefs for a candidate who barely all that does is waste votes supports what those bebecause our elections are liefs are is one that was only built for two parties. put on full display in 2020. While it may appear that The primary election inthere is no logical solution cluded typical Democrats to this issue, ranked-choice such as Sens. Elizabeth voting (RCV) is emerging Warren, Kamala Harris as the new reform necesand Amy Klobuchar, but it sary to the primary sysalso included former New tem. York City Mayor Michael According to BallotBloomberg — a centrist Pedia, an encyclopedia of and former Republican — Voting results of The American politics, RCV and democratic socialist is an electoral system in Prospector staff in Sen. Bernie Sanders. which voters rank canWithin one political regards to this editorial. didates by preference on party, the dead center and their ballots. It continues by saying that “if a the far left of the political spectrum were candidate wins a majority of first-preference fighting to secure a nomination to represent votes, he or she is declared the winner.” In one group. Because of the way our two party the event that no candidate wins a majority political system is designed, we are constantafter the first vote count, the RCV system ly forced to condense our political beliefs takes place (see “A new way to vote”). and are forced to stick to two traditional parCurrently, the only state that uses RCV ty platforms: Democrats and Republicans. statewide is Maine. Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Anyone viewing politics now can see a Wyoming and Kansas were the only states clear schism of ideas within the two-party to use this system in the 2020 presidential system. On the right, there are President primaries. In the 2020 election, many in MasDonald Trump supporting and non-Trump sachusetts are pushing the “Vote Yes on 2” supporting Republicans. On the left, there movement to have voters vote on Question 2





of their ballot to bring RCV statewide there as well. The reason that this new system has started to gain more and more popularity in recent time is due to the fact that statewide campaigns that are decided with a RCV system force the political candidates to run friendlier campaigns. The reason this is true is because since primary fields are typically large, the chances of one candidate winning on the first vote count are minimal. Since the politicians are going to rely on being many voters’ second choice, they need to run campaigns showing unity with their fellow competitors and need to limit attack ads. We want politicians who serve us and get things done. Many of us were in elementary school when the Sandy Hook massacre took place, and thanks to a Washington filibuster that cares more about political games rather than the well-being of its young citizens, no change has occurred. This phenomenon is not restricted to gun reform, and it is up to our generation to make necessary changes in order to return civility and actual hard work to our politics. We, The Prospector, endorse the use of the RCV system to be used at all voting levels because as we wrote in our Issue #4 staff editorial from 2019, American politics needs to be reformed in a way that limits partisanship and increases civility. By implementing this new electoral process nationwide, it will force the politicians who serve us to respect one another, it will allow for a wider range of ideas to be present when selecting a candidate that Americans support and it will force our country to break away from a two-party system that has limited the acceptance of diverse political ideologies.

A new way to vote Round #1 Round #2 Round #3 In the first round, voters rank their choices for the election rather than choosing one candidate.

= Candidate A = Candidate B = Candidate C

40% 35% 25%

In the second round, the candidate with the least amount of votes is eliminated and the second choice candidates on the ballots cast for the failed candidate are awarded to the remaining nominees.

The second round voting process continues until one candidate is awarded the majority of the votes. They then win the election.




W i n n e r

10% 35%




NOVEMBER 6, 2020

Blazing trails, Breaking glass

Misogyny, toxic masculinity plague society; vilified feminism is unjust

“Feminine” feminism

Do you consider yourself to be a strong feminist, a feminist, not a feminist, or an anti-feminist?


have always said that it is only natural for each person to have a moment in their life that puts the world in a whole new perspective. It can happen in the beginning of a person’s life, on their deathbed or anywhere in between, but everyone will eventually have at least one moment of awakening. For me, it happened during my sophomore year Honors World Literature and Composition class when we were instructed to write speeches based around a famous humanitarian or humanitarian organization. Yes, it seems BRENDAN crazy that I am able BURKE to say with total confidence that my Associate awakening moment Editor-in-Chief was at 15 years old, but the event that occurred after I delivered my speech truly gave me a vision of society’s present standing. To clarify, I decided not to speak about a humanitarian off of the list provided by my teacher because there was only one person that I wanted to talk about: Eleanor Roosevelt. The minute my teacher assigned the project, Roosevelt was the first figure to pop into my head due to the admiration I have gained for her within the past few years. Considering that former President Franklin Roosevelt is one of my favorite historical figures, Eleanor’s presence in the decisions Franklin made and the changes she made for women began my immense fascination with her. As a staunch advocate for total equality regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or wealth status, Eleanor’s life caught my attention immediately. As my classmates spoke about people such as Bono and organizations such as the American Red Cross, I spoke about Eleanor to paint the picture of how her activism has allowed for women all over the world to enter the political arena. At the end of the speech, I discussed how her actions in the mid-1900s have forever changed how women are treated in society today. I was beyond thrilled to deliver this speech. I love public speaking, I had the speech completely memorized so I did not need speaker notes and I was speaking about a subject that I am passionate to my core about. The word “nervous” never even crossed my mind because I gave that speech for one clear reason; I wanted the male students in my class to understand that nothing is feminine about feminism. Even though this all may sound great, a male student in my class was unable to harness the message of my speech and displayed that being a feminist is against his toxic masculine mindset. In fact he even said to me after class, “Are you gay? I’m only wondering because no normal guy is a feminist.” I was appalled. I had no idea what to respond to first. He implied that gay men were not normal; he said that I must be gay since I am a feminist, and biggest of all, he claimed that men cannot and should not be feminists. I tried not to dwell on the one comment considering that I was told by my classmates that I gave the best speech, and my teacher told me that I brought her to tears, but the fact that a man in my class thought this way forced me to push back. For those who are curious, I responded with, “No, I’m not gay, and even if I was, it wouldn’t make me any less normal, and the reason that I am a feminist is because I’m

Strong feminist Feminist




Not a feminist Anti-feminist

23% 30%

50% 2% 5% *information courtesy of The Washington Post

moral.” He proceeded to shrug and walk away. By definition, feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. Nowhere in this definition does it state that only women can be feminists, but that societal assumption is why there are still barriers between the sexes. My support of feminism should not be odd. Feminism is for everyone — a pin on my backpack says so. Do not take my words out of context and assume that I am “mansplaining”; I am merely sharing how my experience as a male feminist has opened my eyes to the misogyny and sexism that is so prevalent in everyday society — and why everyone, not just women, should be standing up for equality of the sexes. I have walked through life with immense privilege. I come from a working middle class family, and although I am far from being wealthy, being a white man has put me into a culturally elite position; a fact that so many people ignore. Because of my race, I do not need to fear what will happen to me when I walk down the street. Because of my sex, I am not asked if it is “my time of the month” when I get emotional or angry about a topic. On top of this, I can safely walk alone around my neighborhood during the night without the fear of being catcalled, followed or worse. I have witnessed firsthand my female peers facing this misogyny from other students; whether that be my male classmates openly mocking a female student because she was on her period or for insisting the wage gap is fake, it all must stop. It is time for everyone to wake up — sexism is everywhere. I am so proud of being a feminist because not only does my moral compass push for equality, I have personal connections to this sort of oppression. On multiple occasions, I have watched my mother and two

sisters be verbally attacked by some of my male relatives in a way that no human being should be spoken to when an effective discussion is attempting to be had. I have heard my sisters be called stupid, ignorant and morons by members of our own extended family because they dared to share their opinions during conversations at parties. It always bothered me that my sisters received this backlash, but when I spoke up about the subject, the men suddenly started to see our viewpoints. Yes, a PhD Candidate from the University of Chicago and a woman who has been consistently promoted to positions in the business world as the youngest person and many times only woman in the room are “ignorant” to some in my extended family. However, my sisters are fighters who stand their ground and speak their minds — a quality they taught me to have at a young age. This quality has won me awards in debate tournaments and praise for that speech I gave on Eleanor, but when my sisters harness the same quality, they are cast typed as “emotional.” Not only do these comments of women being emotional anger me to my very core, I find them hypocritical considering that nearly all noted conflicts in human history have been started by men. This nauseating dominance has led to the immense prevalence of toxic masculinity and a widespread disrespect for women everywhere. Even as a man, I have experienced toxic masculinity firsthand. I have been called a femboy — a man who presents himself in a feminine manner — by friends because I am a feminist and have heard them refer to women as “dishwashers” because they find this term funny. They constantly call women emotional and refer to any situations involving drama as “women moments.” Every time they see our female peers empower other women via social media, they sit back and criticize by saying that women are equal and the double standards they face do not exist. Just this week, one of them sent a message into our group chat that read, “Feminists are brain dead sometimes.”

If any of my female colleagues on The Prospector were to write this column, they would be seen as radical, bra-burning feminists, and the fact that they are women would make the argument seem weaker. This is the problem we face.”

I do not care when they make fun of me because they do not mean anything by it, but when I hear them spew misogynistic bile from their mouths and pretend sexism is gone, I am infuriated immensely. Unfortunately, this sort of language has only become more common after the election of President Donald Trump because this “leader” uses sexist rhetoric constantly; he brags about grabbing women without their consent, and he insists the 26 counts of unwanted sexual conduct against him are all falsehoods crafted by “nasty women.” Sitting by and hearing these comments angers me, but the thing that angers me most is that these same people will turn around and call themselves respectable men — not feminists, but “respectable men.” Nothing is respectable about demeaning women — especially women who are speaking up for themselves. Women are society’s equals, and they should be treated that way. Strong women — like strong men — should be admired. Smart women — like smart men — should be admired. Brave women — like brave men — should be admired. Recognize the qualities and talents of a person — not their sex. I want every reader to take my words to heart and understand the purpose of this opinion piece. I am not here to try and give the idea that I need to speak up because women cannot speak for themselves — they can, and they do it splendidly. I am here to show the effect that this argument has when it is delivered by a man and why that effect is awful. My editors on The Prospector staff, my family members and many of my friends have praised me for taking on this story because they find the argument to be ethical and admirable. Just think, if any of my female colleagues on The Prospector were to write this column, they would be seen as radical, bra-burning feminists, and the fact that they are women would make the argument seem weaker. This is the problem we face. Men are constantly admired throughout history and the modern day when they stand their ground, yet somehow women are vilified for doing the same exact thing. So to all the misogynistic men, notice your privilege and realize that the days of demeaning women are over. I know women intimidate you because of your “masculine pride,” but understand that they are strong, they are powerful and they are here to stay. Rather than sit back and criticize, join the unstoppable movement of equality. Breaking the glass ceiling is vital for men and women because as the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said, “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.” Women are done being trapped in the corner, they are ready for the spotlight. We will persist.


NOVEMBER 6, 2020


Class levels contribute to academic gap OLIVIA KIM Copy Editor

SPLIT BETWEEN THE TRACKS: Two children are being led down different paths based on their academic ability. This system is called the tracking system and is used in a majority of school districts across the nation. It aims to allow students a chance to be challenged while learning at a suitable pace. However, some students feel troubled that there are inequalities embedded in the system. (cartoon by Grace He)


unior Anika Knipple has had a love for learning for as long as she could remember, but it wasn’t until she was moved up to the accelerated math and English classes at Lincoln Middle School that she began to see the benefits of being placed on that advanced track. “I wouldn’t have the same love for math as I do today if I wasn’t put into the accelerated math class in middle school,” Knipple said. However, she worries that not every student is afforded the same opportunity. The method for separating students based on academic achievement is called the “tracking system.” It aims to challenge students but also provides more individualized attention. The tracking system has been debated for decades in the public education system. What was initially introduced in the 1960s to account for a dramatically increasing population of immigrant students entering the curriculum at a slower pace, the tracking system has resulted in a divide based on race and economic status. At Prospect, students from Friendship Middle School and Lincoln are disproportionately represented in honors and AP classes compared also with South Middle School students (see What Middle School Are Students in Honors/AP Classes From?). Because of this inequality, some school districts are attempting to remove this system like in Maryland, as reported by the Washington Post. The National Council of Teachers even encouraged districts to do away with middle school tracking in math. Knipple was placed into the accelerated math and English classes in third grade at Lions Elementary School due to her prior academic success within the subject and her Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test scores. Knipple moved up a level in math again in sixth grade after her MAP score from fifth grade made her eligible for that placement opportunity. Friendship, Lincoln and South are all in separate districts with their own tracking policies, but they are generally similar and follow MAP scores to assess their academic ability levels for placement in classes. “The goal is to continue to challenge students and [understand] when they’re ready to move forward in their education,” South Principal Jim Morrison said. “We expect our students to achieve, and we challenge all of our students to achieve,” Friendship Principal Robert Murphy said. One drawback of tracking, however, is that it can be difficult to decide where to draw the line between who gets

What Middle school are prospect students from?




accelerated and who doesn’t, as well as how many accelerated classes to offer, according to Murphy. To avoid this, both Murphy and Morrison encourage teachers to observe students closely when recommending them for an accelerated track, so the decision to move a student up is based on more than solely a test score. Knipple feels that being on this track in elementary and middle school made it easier for her to perform well in honors and AP classes in high school because she was used to the fast-paced environment. “I think [the biggest difference between the tracks] is mentality and preparing you for the rest of your life,” Knipple said. “If you’re in the advanced classes, which go faster, they maybe encourage you to think more critically about questions ... I mean it’s definitely benefiting those who manage to make it into honors classes when they’re young, but I think it’s definitely a detriment to those who are in regular classes [when they try to move up a track].” Knipple noted that, despite the advantages she experiences and the opportunities she had on the advanced track growing up, it is harder to move up a track later in life as opposed to being accelerated at a young age. Not only does adjusting to a new set of expectations and environment change when transitioning from a regular level course to an advanced one, but in some subjects, that change is a lot more challenging later in one’s academic career. “It may get pretty difficult [to enter accelerated courses], especially for math [later in life],” Morrison said. “You have to have a certain foundation before you can go into [a certain] math [course]. And so, you can’t necessarily skip a year because there’s a whole block of foundation that you may miss.” Junior Adrian Pyrdol hadn’t been accelerated in his time at Friendship Middle School and feels that among his regular classes, especially in elementary and middle school, his peers weren’t that serious about academic performance. However, Pyrdol made it a goal to push himself to move up in courses because many of his friends

[The tracking system]’s definitely benefiting those who manage to make it into honors classes when they’re young, but I think it’s definitely a detriment to those who are in regular classes [when they try to move up a track].”

What middle school are students in Honors/AP classes from? 8.3%

how many students from each middle school are in honors/ap classes?

78.2% 73.2% 51.6%

were on that track. put into the accelerated track is mostly due He decided to move up to honors English to the student’s parents. Pyrdol thinks that, and math and AP social science classes in more so in elementary school, that students high school. This year he also enrolled in AP aren’t really focused on education and aren’t Physics, which is his first time not taking a as driven to perform well academically, so regular-track science class. Even though he the most likely contributor for a student to considers this transition a “push,” he has move up is parental pressures. been able to adjust. Knipple never felt pressure from her While Pyrdol was surrounded by many parents to be competitive in school, but she people that were motivated and successful in does attribute most of her academic success academics, which encouraged him to do the to them. The fact that both parents have same, he understands that many college degrees and have other students may not have given her a life in a wealthier that opportunity. neighborhood has allowed “I feel grateful her access to resources from because my friends such a young age, something would always try to she doesn’t think help me if I needed everyone has the help with something opportunity to have. [for school],” Pyrdol “I am a good said. “And for student, but if I those who don’t wasn’t exposed to all have those types of these opportunities friends, I think it’s from a young age going to be hard for [I wouldn’t be them [to improve where I am now],” academically].” Knipple said. “Both Pyrdol’s eighth my parents ... love grade English learning and love teacher noticed school. They place his efforts and was a lot of importance the reason he was on [me to be] liking recommended to learning — not take honors English learning just to get and AP social science good grades or to go courses. Pyrdol to college.” believes that just A study being placed on that from Iowa State track has helped him U n i v e r s i t y immensely now that concluded that he is in high school. the level of parent “I think if the education had a -Anika Knipple, junior positive, teachers see you direct trying and take strong initiative, they’ll correlation to their children’s academic put you up [a level],” Pyrdol said. “Some achievements. kids indicate that ‘I don’t really want to Because of this fact, Knipple can see an participate’ … or ‘I don’t really care.’ I got inequality in the tracking system. However, that opportunity [to move up] because I she and Pyrdol think that it is important tried.” to allow for an opportunity to pursue their According to Knipple and Pyrdol, academic goals in a fast-paced environment, environment plays a big part of academic which leads Knipple to think that it would success. To them, being placed in regular be beneficial to start tracking at a later age. classes can possibly have “I definitely think that starting tracking an impact on self-esteem. later on would be helpful because it would Before the tracking started, allow everybody more time to settle out Knipple didn’t notice any before they just pluck these kids out of comparisons occurring nowhere,” Kinpple said. “It would allow between students at least more kids to have time to find their love of on an academic level. a subject.” When third grade rolled While Morrison and Murphy see taking around and she got moved up, challenging classes is a good thing, Morrison she noticed a confidence points out the fact that he never took any boost in the fact that her accelerated courses or AP classes, but he teachers had recognized was still able to pursue his academic goals of her for her academic getting four college degrees and his doctorate. success; however, now He emphasized that not being placed in more it was apparent that rigorous classes does not necessarily mean sometimes she was that you won’t be successful. comparing herself to The priority of the tracking system is others based on this to help students succeed; however, it is system. emphasized by Morrison and Murphy that it Knipple and is important not to pressure students to be Pyrdol both feel that overwhelmed and pushed too far in subjects whether a student is that they do not feel comfortable in. The goal is to help students improve their abilities and find a balance in doing so. = Lincoln “[It’s important] that teachers and parents are working ... to find ways for [students] to excel,” Morrison said. = South “Everyone’s gifted but all in different ways ... We just need to find their talents, and then = Friendship help them develop.”

of South students


of Lincoln students

of Friendship students

*information courtesy of a Prospector survey of 260 students



NOVEMBER 6, 2020


Students strive for balance in schedule RACHEL ZURBUCH Executive Features Editor


hen senior Elissa Lov entered high school she, like many other freshmen, didn’t know what she wanted to do as a career. There were many options, and Lov was unsure of which direction to go. However, her sophomore year she decided she wanted to explore her opportunities, so Lov decided to take the class Introduction to Computer Programming. While she liked the opportunity of Introduction to Computer Programming, she wasn’t sure if it fit as a career for her, so the following year when she was a junior she took Project Lead The Way Introduction to Engineering and Design. She still wanted to try something different, so for her senior year, she decided to take human physiology and medical terminology to pursue her interest in the pharmaceutical field. Lov liked all the options she had throughout her high school career to be able to take career pathway classes. However, it wasn’t without cost. Lov had to drop orchestra in order to make room in her TIPPING THE SCALE: A student tries to balance her Common Core curriculum classes and career pathway classes.While schedule for career pathway classes and her Common Core curriculum is focused upon in the U.S., the rise for career-related classes has led to D214 starting a career pathforeign language. ways program. (photo illustration by Abby Mckenna and Rachel Zurbuch) “I was kind of disappointed that I had Megan Knight, Director of Academic focus on some of their current interests realize the opportunities available at first to [drop] orchestra during my sophomore early.” which makes them more concerned or year,” Lov said, “but, also, I’m still really Programs for D214, said that D214 started doing a career pathway focus around a Social science teacher Jay Heilman is confused. She, for example, scheduled time appreciative and grateful that I got to take decade ago. It originated from Wheeling proud of all that D214 has done to increase with college and career counselor Diane Computer Programming.” High School and then transitioned to others. career readiness for students. Currently, he Bourn and went to D214’s career nights. In the U.S., the general education system Knight explains that the premise of the teaches Criminal and Civil Law; he has also She sees how it could be challenging to fit focuses on a Common Core curriculum. program is to create a guide for students taught Law and the Individual in previous career classes in schedules. This year, she However, in the past few years, the push as they focus on high school and their years. These classes fall under the law has even decided to take a third elective –– for career pathways and classes has risen meaning she does not have a lunch period –– among school districts, including District postsecondary plans. She emphasizes that pathway that students can pursue. Heilman, like Knight and Franklin, so she can take more of a variety of classes. 214. Maintaining the balance between the program is built so that students can change their mind if needed, and explore the advises students to try career pathways Lov mostly likes the variety of education Common Core and career classes proves to fields. Then, eventually, they can hopefully even if they don’t end up pursuing that field. that the U.S. and D214 offers. Heilman be a struggle for some high school students. get a good idea of their specific field. There In his classes, he believes that students get believes that the U.S. places a focus on a wellThe Common Core curriculum are now 16 career clusters. something out of the research and current rounded education because of the American emphasizes teaching students English Counselor Timothy Franklin feels events discussed no matter their future path. mentality. Language and Arts, mathematics, social similarly about the program. He notices “A lot of times when you’re a freshman “America has always been the land of studies and science. It focuses on providing his students often change their and you take some of those career opportunity,” Heilman said. “We kind of students with clear learning mind on what career they may inventories, you don’t know what you want,” pride ourselves as Americans to be able to do goals to prepare students want to pursue throughout Heilman said. “ … I think it’s stressful for a whatever you want to do, dream however big for college, career and high school. high school student to know, ‘Am I taking we want to dream, and I think our education life. “We want you to explore the right classes?’ ‘Am I making the right system has adopted that same mentality of F r o m now so you can decision?’ ‘Do I like this?’” opportunity.” kindergarten to 12th affirm your This is why Heilman encourages Though Heilman sees the benefits of a grade, students have career choice students to take classes based on their more specialized education system, he is a set of standards before you leave interests. Junior Katherine Doyle agrees hesitant of that approach because he thinks each year that is our doors,” that students should explore their interests that it’s hard for people to identify what they defined by many Knight said. but does have some concerns. While she want to do, even at a younger age. factors, including “ ... We know does appreciate holistic education, she still That’s why he likes the career pathway college expectations, there’s this wishes sometimes that there would be more model D214 does; it allows students to higher thinking skills postsecondary opportunities for students earlier on. explore their interests. and success in the global world beyond “I’m taking human physiology this year Heilman encourages students to be vocal economy and society. high school, because I have interest [in] going into the when they want curriculum or classes - Jay Heilman, social The reasoning behind and by science or medical field,” Doyle said. “But to change so the D214 knows their needs. Common Core is to science teacher affirming this is the only class I’ve been able to take Knight explains that though there is still a generalize education throughout the U.S. so far because I’ve been so busy trying to be big importance of a well-rounded, Common and to make a basis of learning requirements your career pathway as a student, you are Core based education, the career pathways so that all students can learn through similar setting yourself up to move on … and to do that well-rounded student.” that in an efficient manner.” She mostly wishes for more guidance, take high school education a step further. ideals. Both Knight and Franklin agree that especially during sophomore year. She “It’s a huge stepping stone to what comes While Lov sees how the Common Core believes that junior year is the year that next for them,” Knight said. “The whole principles may be outdated in some ways, the purpose of career pathways is to avoid “you need to know now” what you want to idea behind the career pathways model is to she appreciated how they allowed her to confusion in college. “For teenagers, that’s the most pivotal do, and going in she felt a bit unprepared, move away from the traditional mentality of figure out which subjects she wanted to time where you enter into self-discovery, which is why she wishes there was more high school. That it’s, these four years, and pursue further in high school. we’re going to give you a great four years, For example, throughout elementary and and you’re still trying to figure things out,” guidance given sophomore year on careers, Franklin said. “ ... I think in order to reduce classes and opportunities. and then off you go. We are really owning middle school Lov enjoyed math and decided some of the time and money college students Lov believes that students have pretty our secondary success in a way that is very she wanted to further explore the STEM good opportunities in high school, but different than perhaps what the traditional field. Therefore, in high school this led to are spending in college … the high school level is trying to get students to gain their believes that sometimes students don’t model of school has looked like.” career pathway classes in STEM.

It’s a stressful time for a high school student to know, ‘Am I taking the right classes? Am I making the right decision? Do I like this? ‘“


Watch a broadcast of how COVID-19 has impacted Halloween in Arlington Heights.

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Learn about how Prospect students counter the unsustainable practices of the fast fashion industry.


Watch a broadcast about the classic game “Plants vs. Zombies” and why everyone should play.



NOVEMBER 6, 2020

Brej proves passion for learning, adventure ELLA MITCHELL Staff Writer



pring of 1991, the lights dimmed, and the movie “What About Bob” began to echo around the theater. The sticky scent of movie candy mixed with popcorn wafted through the air. Everyone settled into their seats, laughing along to the movie. Once the movie ended, a frantic set of parents couldn’t locate their eldest daughter. Assuming the worst — that she had been kidnapped — they rushed out of the theater in search of their daughter. Instead, they found young Kathleen Brej calmly sitting in the lobby. After getting bored during the first 30 minutes of the movie, she wandered outside, protesting the fact that her parents forced her to come along. “As a kid, I didn’t get it,” Brej said. “My parents made me go to the movie, and I was like, ‘I don’t understand. I don’t understand why this is funny.’ As an adult, it is hilarious.” Other than “What About Bob,” Brej has always been a fan of movies. But as she aged, Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray wore her down, and now she is a proud owner of the DVD. However, “What About Bob” is not the only DVD of Brej’s. While she prefers the cool chairs and snacks of the theater experience, she has an extensive home collection featuring hundreds of movies. She originally started her collection back in junior high school with VHS tapes. Countless evenings were spent watching movies because it was a fun activity that didn’t require a parent’s driving. Her collection was a known commodity among her peers at Washington University in St. Louis. So many people asked to borrow the tapes that Brej implemented her very own library system. After browsing the hundreds of options that were stored in an oversized filing cabinet, Brej would pencil in their choice and lend it out to them. The classic “Jurassic Park” is the most prized movie in her collection. After a mild obsession that involved watching it seven times, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. Brej remembers the effects at the time being revolutionary and specifically remembers the scene where the T-Rex’s pounding footsteps cause the glass of water to shake. That, along with the Jeep scene, led the movie to being one of her favorite movies of all time. She likes the reboots as well but still prefers the nostalgia of the originals. Brej doesn’t limit herself to one genre. Horror, thrillers and science fiction are among her favorites, but she is pretty open to most movies. There is one exception — romantic comedies — because she “can’t stomach them.” Brej doesn’t just love adventures on the big screen, but she also enjoys them in real life. Traveling has taken Brej to so many places that she has lost count. Every couple of years as a science teacher, Brej takes students along on a trip using an organization called Education First Tours, or EF for short. In past years, they have ventured to places like Iceland and the Galapagos Islands. Along with fellow science teacher Michelle Tantillo, a friend to Brej for about a decade, and other team members, they took on Iceland. Exposing students to new cultures and the unique topography of the land was among the highlights of the trip. According to Tantillo, Brej was able to reflect her love of traveling by encouraging students to just live in the moment by putting their cell phones down and enjoying everything around them. Brej’s passion for science and nature practically oozes out in waves of excitement that is contagious to everyone on the trip. But Brej’s efforts do not begin in Iceland; the commitment to a special experience began before anyone even set foot on a plane. According to her, preparation begins almost a year in advance. As soon as one trip has concluded, the next one is already in the works. With the dedication to advertising and pulling in students who might benefit, Tantillo said that Brej is truly committed to the students.

o Wh ws o n

WHAT ABOUT BREJ: Science teacher Kathleen Brej writes a lesson on the white board. Brej, having a very curious personality, has had unique experiences that allow her to provide her students with a deeper learning experience. She loves to see her students grow and possess that same curiosity for science. (photo by Alexis Esparza) Being able to experience new ways of life is what draws Brej to travel in general — that, and never wanting to be bored. Being able to immerse yourself in someone else’s life and culture is a valuable experience that Brej would highly recommend. Among another favorite of Brej’s travels was her trip to Tanzania. There for a month, she spent time volunteering at an orphanage and hospital. She said that the trip was very eye-opening to how people live across the world. While in Tanzania, Brej spent a weekend with the Maasai tribe. During the stay, Brej’s group was able to stay in the village and witness how the tribe raided, hunted, herded and lived in general. One of the most memorable moments was when the Maasai tribe sacrificed a goat and made goat bracelets. After leaving, she had a newfound appreciation for clean water. It was a shock when she got back home to see how differently people lived. Trivial things to Brej were lifesavers

FILM FANATIC A list of science teacher Kathleen Brej’s top five favorite movie genres:

1.Thriller 2.Horror 3.Mystery 4.Action 5.Science Fiction

Junior Owen Walter The Boyfriend

Junior Emily Skoog The Sub Subject ject


Y et to u er?

Junior Ava Weber The Best Friend




in Tanzania. “Seeing people tossing bottles of water away … broke my spirit,” Brej said. “These people are walking miles and miles and miles and spending most of their income to get clean water.” When Brej isn’t traveling the world, she loves exposing students to worldly experiences in the classroom. Brej’s passion for science and teaching started young. Her mom saved projects from middle school that said she either wanted to be a doctor or a teacher. For Brej, teaching was always on the radar. When the family went on hikes or to the forest preserve, Brej was fascinated with everything. With a curious personality, she always wanted to know more. For a while, she considered being a pediatrician but opted not to because of the mental toll it could take on a person. It was after dissecting a cat in high school when Brej “completely hooked” on teaching science. In Biology, she loves teaching the human body unit, especially dissection and diseases. She feels that it is even more interesting because it is a topic that relates to everyone. Brej sometimes brings in animal skeletons to show off bone structure in a real-life setting. Among her discoveries include a deer skull and parts of a deer skeleton. Most recently, Brej discovered a dead raccoon outside her lake house. Only its feet, spinal cord, vertebrae and ribs were left behind. The raccoon still had flesh and hair. Brej is currently in the process of decaying it so she can use the bones to show scale in class. While her search history might be highly questionable with searches like, “How do you strip flesh?” or “How to decay a body,” her intentions lie firmly in the honest and academic territory. She is excited to use the bones in the more practical application of the class because she wants her students to be able to see something tangible in front of them rather than looking at a graphic. Brej hopes that the demonstration will be exciting and help things click. That moment of sudden clarity along with helping students grow is one of her favorite things about teaching in general. “[I like] getting [students] excited or seeing the light bulb for certain topics,” Brej said. “Like even for photosynthesis and cellular respiration, which is such a hard thing. In the end to watch you do amazing on it and get the stickers back … It is so awesome just to see the growth.”

Vanilla iced coffee with Basketball almond milk

P Coffee Order?



Favorite sport?

Favorite ice cream flavor? Brownie batter

Favorite restaurant?

Favorite class?



Vanilla iced coffee with Basketball almond milk


Iced mocha latte



Brownie batter



Brownie batter






NOVEMBER 6, 2020


Body image issues arise in teen athletes MARINA MAKROPOULOS News Editor


n his second year of wrestling as an eighth grader at Lincoln Middle School, sophomore Ivan Liu drank as much water as he could the night before a meet to be able to urinate it all out the next day. He also refrained from eating or drinking anything the next day because he was two pounds overweight for the weight class he planned to compete in. Due to self-induced pressures to reach his goal weight, he struggled in class, unable to focus on an empty stomach. All he could think about was his breakfast and lunch he had packed to be eaten after he successfully weighed-in at the meet; Liu ended up making weight by 2 ounces that day. “It just sucked in general because during lunch, I sat there and watched everybody else eat,” Liu said. Teen athletes not eating enough has become a prominent issue, according to STACK magazine; if teen athletes don’t get enough nutrients, they face the danger of their bodies breaking down, growth problems or an increased risk for injury. By age 17, 89% of girls have dieted, according to Polaris Teen Center. Audra Wilson, a clinical dietitian who specializes in bariatrics at Northwestern Medicine, does not think that this number is surprising because many girls take part in figure-related sports that have weight considerations. Wilson says that dance, cross country, track, cheerleading and ice skating are among the many sports whose culture has a theme of staying slim interwoven within it. Pressure from peers, coaches and family may add extra burdens onto these athletes’ backs. “The way your body looks while performing these different sports is a consideration and sometimes in judgement of your skills,” Wilson said. For a sport like wrestling that heavily depends on what weight class an athlete competes in, athletes tend to put pressure on themselves to have an ideal body. Because of this, athletes can end up with poor mental and physical performance, and in serious cases, unconsciousness or even death. A former wrestler talked about his experiences in an article for Bleacher Report and how wrestling wrecked his body. He would continuously run for over four hours a day and sometimes go a whole day without eating. Similarly, Liu struggles with body image as an athlete, being both a football player and a wrestler. He says that throughout most of his teenage life, his friends have seen him as a muscular kid. He goes to the gym five to eight times a week and knows that if he eats poorly, it’ll affect his appearance. “It feels like I can’t keep up with everybody else’s expectations,” Liu said. “Even though I know I shouldn’t listen to what other people want from me, sometimes you can’t help but think about what other people think of you.” Liu is never complacent on the way his body looks and always knows there’s more that can be done; however, he doesn’t think it is healthy for him to see his body in a bad way.

Sophomore Sara Maggio, who runs cross country and does cheerleading, says that everyone sees flaws in themselves, even if they are seen as ideal by others, which is something especially common in sports like cheer and dance. “With our uniform sizes [in cheerleading], a [size] large is not what you would think is a large in regular clothes,” Maggio said. “People will just see the professionals, and they’re all super small and thin but also toned ... There’s a lot of pressure if you don’t fit that criteria.” As a flyer, who’s seen as the smallest in a stunt group, Maggio said those pressures that she has put on herself have sometimes made her feel insecure. “I’ve thought that I was too heavy to be a flyer and [that] people will judge me for that,” Maggio said. “Once when I was cheering a while ago, one of my bases said I was really heavy. Even though it was a joke, I took it to heart, and it made me feel like I shouldn’t be a flyer.” Not only as a cheerleader, but also as a runner, Maggio says people imagine runners as being very thin. However, not all fit that image, which is what can be the cause for many to fall into the habit of having to look like the ideal runner and develop eating disorders. As head girls’ cross country and track coach, Pete Wintermute has seen some runners who have dealt with the issues of not properly fueling their bodies because of an eating disorder. “It’s probably some of the hardest things that I’ve dealt with in terms of trying to help the parents [and] help the athlete try to get back on the right track before it grows into a bigger issue,” Wintermute said. The Female Athlete Triad Syndrome is another name for this condition that is caused by not eating enough food. This disorder can irreparably damage the health of teenage girls, and can come with or without disordered eating. It includes symptoms like irregular menstruation, low energy and low bone density. Affected girls can experience health problems stemming from the syndrome for the rest of their lives, a report for NPR said. “These athletes can come in any shape, form or weight. It’s not just that typical ballerina physique that we’re looking out for anymore,” Dr. Elizabeth Matzkin told NPR. If teen athletes don’t eat enough, their bodies are less likely to achieve peak performance and may even break down rather than build up muscles. Athletes who don’t take in enough calories every day won’t be as fast and as strong as they could be and may not be able to maintain their weight. “You know, when I first came into coaching, one of the biggest things I started realizing is that there was so much more beyond training a runner or training an athlete than just running,” Wintermute said. Growing up as an athlete, Wintermute says that all that he did was work out, and there wasn’t a whole lot of discussion about the recovery process or the preparation that plays such a vital component in performance outcomes. As athletes move from being a preteen into a teenager and then soon into college where they are responsible for making nutritional choices on their own, it’s important that they



make sure to become more educated on the impacts and the needs that the body has in terms of food and nutrition. Because teen athletes are growing, and on top of that are putting stress on their bodies with frequent practices, extra lifting outside of practices and competitions, they have increased nutritional needs. A lack of proper nutrition is something that can affect both young male and female athletes differently, but regardless, they all have nutritional needs that need to be met. “Not everything you’re eating is just for what you’re doing immediately; you also have to consider the increased needs for all nutrition when you’re growing,” Wilson said. Young males have the highest caloric needs that they’ll have their entire lives, according to Wilson. Because of such high calorie needs, it’s important they pay attention to what, how much and when they’re eating. In young female athletes, the presence of low energy availability (LEA), defined as insufficient energy availability in the body, is becoming increasingly widespread with little awareness, according to NutraIngredients. Research conducted shows that the reported prevalence of LEA varies from 2% to 77%, mostly seen among professional ballet dancers. Wilson believes that the main reason for athletes experiencing these things is a lack of knowledge on the subject. “Those habits, whether you’re male or female, are things that you’re going to carry with you into adulthood. So, it’s a good time to think about it now because you’re just not gonna get as far as you wanna get if you’re not fueling yourself appropriately.” Wilson said. Maggio and Liu both believe that nutrition is an important part of being an athlete, having been on both ends of the nutrition spectrum. They do their best to balance their nutritional needs and their cravings, wanting to get better habits to carry with them in the future. In doing so, they make sure to incorporate protein into their diet and hydrate enough. Wintermute talks a lot about the importance of stretching, sleep, healthy choices, hydration and nutrition to his runners. “My main thing on nutrition is that you are what you eat. When you eat healthy, you tend to feel better,” Wintermute said. He also talks about having unhealthy foods in moderation, rather than completely cutting them out. However, while making sure they provide their body with the proper nutrients from healthy foods, teen athletes must also make sure they are eating enough food to fuel them for the things they do. “Sometimes people feel like if they have a lower weight, they’ll perform better in sports which is really not necessarily the case,” Wilson said. Boys’ athletic director Dan DeBoeuf had a fridge put in the weight room at the beginning of second semester last year. Inside the fridge, there are both protein shakes and bars that cost $1 each. DeBoeuf had the fridge put in place because he noticed a big problem with the amount of people who were working out and then not eating breakfast after in addition to those who were working out and then having to take a big break before their lunch. He wanted to be able to provide them with a quick nutrition piece that could help out with recovery and putting on muscle mass. “I think a big piece that’s often overlooked is just the mental clarity piece,” DeBoeuf said. “If you’re properly fueled, you’re going to be able to focus, it’s going to help you not only in athletics but during the school day, too.”

with sports dietitian Audra Wilson

Q: What should a healthy day of eating look like for a teen athlete? A: “Each meal should contain a balance of all of the macronutrients: carbs, protein and fat. It is important to remember that carbs are our energy source for aerobic activity, so including them in every meal throughout the day is important for fueling.”


Q: Why is it important for teen athletes to eat breakfast? A: “Breakfast sets you up for a healthy day and literally breaks the fast your body is on overnight. Remember, you need to feed your muscles to keep them. Teen athletes have high calorie needs at baseline, and if you aren’t getting enough nutrition — especially protein — from foods, your body will begin to cannibalize your muscles. This is the last thing you need when you are working so hard to build and maintain muscle!” For the rest of the Q&A, click here.



NOVEMBER 6, 2020

Breaking away from social media’s toxic diet culture I have always enjoyed watching “What I Eat in a Day” videos on YouTube. For as long as I can remember, I was looking up phrases like “vegan what I eat in a week” — even though I’m not vegan — or “healthy meal prep for dancers.” Looking back now, I can’t quite pinpoint what my fascination with them was. Was I punishing myself for eating less healthy than the person in the video, or was I truly looking for healthy meal inspiration? I had an epiphany on the day that Brittani Lancaster’s TikTok first showed up on my For You page. Not all “What I Eat in a Day” videos had to be low-carb, low-calorie and low-enjoyment. Lancaster, who openly talks about her process of recovery from two eating disorders, follows intuitive eating — making food choices without experiencing guilt, honoring hunger, respecting fullness and enjoying the pleasure ELIZABETH of eating. For the first time, watching one KEANE of these videos didn’t make me feel Editor-in-Chief upset with myself. It made me want to eat food that would energize me and make me happy. This meant reframing my thoughts to prioritize what would genuinely fuel my body throughout the day versus what was a craving. As we’ve all heard a million times before, it’s all about balance. If you’re anything like me, that is something that is extremely difficult to achieve in life. Balancing academics, friends, a relationship, food, exercise and more can all be extremely overwhelming. Sometimes, I’m the girl who goes to the gym every single day and feels amazing while my grades start to slip. Other times, my friends won’t hear from me for a few days as I silently drown in schoolwork. I digress. It is not a secret that high school is a balancing act, at least for someone as anxious as myself, and that not every day will be a positive one. So why not fill social media with positive attitudes and people who want the best for themselves and for you? There is no obligation to follow people who promote toxic diet cul-

10 PRINCIPLES OF INTUITIVE EATING 1. Reject the diet mentality 2. Honor your hunger 3. Make peace with food 4. Challenge the food policing thoughts in your head 5. Discover the satisfaction factor 6. Feel your fullness 7. Cope with your emotions with kindness 8. Respect your body 9. Feel the difference in movement 10. Honor your health with gentle nutrition *information courtesy of intuitiveeating.org

ture or who make you feel unhappy with the way you look. There are a multitude of influencers who you can go to for some positive content, but my favorite are Lancaster and Lizzo. Lizzo has received a lot of criticism for her body since she first became popular after releasing the song “Truth Hurts.” Unfortunately, the media was not prepared to see a confident plus-size woman in the spotlight. To this day, she still receives hateful comments on her TikTok and from other public figures such as Jillian Michaels. “Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren’t we celebrating her music?” Michaels said during an appearance on BuzzFeed News’s morning show, “AM to DM.” “‘Cause it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes.” Criticisms continue on Lizzo’s TikTok where she posts her own “What I Eat in a Day” videos. On one particular video, a comment read, “In the middle of these meals u know she is lined up outside McDonalds,” and another read, “You’re not fooling anyone we know you don’t eat salads except for this video.” Suddenly, when a woman who exceeds a size two shows the media herself consuming food, everyone in the comments becomes a nutritionist. If Lizzo’s doctor was concerned about her developing diabetes, I think they would let her know. Senior Caroline Ayala enjoys watching Lizzo on TikTok as well. She loves the message that she spreads of being comfortable in your own body, no matter the size. “[Lizzo emphasizes that] maybe the point of your journey isn’t to lose weight, but it’s to have a good relationship with food and work out because you like it, not because you want to be skinny,” Ayala said. Other TikTokers with the “ideal” body type, such as Charli D’Amelio or Addison Rae, do not get criticized when they show themselves drinking sugary iced coffee or eating fast food every day. Don’t get me wrong; they do not deserve any sort of hate on their food habits, but we have to keep in mind that a person’s size does not correlate directly with their level of health. “I think what [Lizzo is] doing is really positive,” Ayala said. “There’s nothing I’ve seen that’s promoting ‘fat culture,’ she’s just showing that you should be comfortable with who you are.” Michaels was trying to be “body neutral” rather than body positive; she was trying to say that Lizzo’s size does not have anything to do with her music. However, she completely missed the reason why Lizzo is such an important figure to so many women: representation.

Fairly recently, a 16-year-old girl named Sienna Gomez gained instant popularity on TikTok with a video she posted of her happily showing her stomach rolls. Gomez has received a lot of love from women who are my size — about a size medium — and it was refreshing to see someone who looked like me owning her body. It was even more impressive to me that she is able to achieve this level of public self-acceptance at such a young age. Of course, people have problems with Gomez as well. Some comments will say, “She’s not even fat.” That’s not the point; any woman who is publicly showing off what society has deemed as “flaws” is a brave one. Body positivity is not confined to only one body type, either. Ayala feels that Gomez is making a positive impact on the media because she is normalizing bodies that are often underrepresented. She also acknowledged that Gomez helps show a different perspective; people with any body type can have insecurities. Conventionally attractive people can still struggle with finding confidence in their weight or body shape. Ayala and I agree that the media has recently gotten a lot more inclusive in terms of representation of different body types, but there will always be hateful people who take time out of their day to bring down another person for their body. These aforementioned influencers consistently spread positivity and self-love, and in the media today, that is sometimes hard to come by. You don’t need to follow the celebrities who advertise waist trainers or appetite-suppressants simply because they’re popular. For example, I used to be a huge fan and follower of Adrienne Bailon; you may know her as Chanel from The Cheetah Girls or, more recently, as a talk-show host on The Real. One day, I was watching a YouTube video of hers where she was talking about what she likes to eat on a typical work day. When it came around to about 4 p.m., a fairly important time for snacking, her advice was to chug a huge bottle of water to curb your appetite until dinner. I had to rewind the video a few times because I was in such disbelief that she would say that. “The greatest way of showing yourself self-love is self-discipline,” Bailon said. Immediately after that, seeing Bailon put a sour taste in my mouth. Having a snack in between meals does not correlate with lacking discipline or love for yourself; it means that you are listening to your body. I decided to remove watching her videos from my daily routine and instead seek out influencers who encouraged me to eat when I feel hungry. Social media can be very toxic, but you have a choice over who you follow and what sort of message they send to their followers.

Having a snack in between meals does not correlate with lacking discipline or love for yourself; it means that you are listening to your body.”

MEALTIME TENSIONS: People of different shapes and sizes sit at a table, eating a variety of food. A person’s athletic background, mental health or pressures from outside influences may have an effect on what and how much food they consume. (cartoon by Grace He)


NOVEMBER 6, 2020


Performers value complex jazz history KAILIE FOLEY

ferent people’s hearts and souls and minds enslaved people brought over culture and have been in that space.” sent messages to communicate through song Kimpel often finds himself touched by and storytelling. Features Editor the history within each venue he performs Kimpel believes that a performer at considering so many different jazz musimust glean a song’s history in ors professional blues musician Larcians before him stood on the same ground der to perform it, and that it has ry “Bear” Kimpel started to play where he now rests his feet. His eyes often to rub off on the musician in the jazz ballad “The Gift” on tour travel to observe the architecture that has some way. Without underwith Larry Carlton in Japan, each emotionstood the test of time in each area he perstanding the race and culal note traveling through the instruments forms at. ture of the music, Kimpel in the room reached his heart. The thought “There’s a reverence … and an honor to believes that it is only of Kimpel’s aunt, who had raised him and be able to play in these places,” Kimpel said. performed halfway. It is passed away during the tour, brought tears The Chicago Theatre, Saenger Theatre, important to Kimpel to to his eyes as he took in the music’s sound. Fox Theatre and Apollo Theater are a few look at how the past re“Even today when I hear the song, it just venues he holds sincerely close to his heart lates to what is happentakes me back to that place,” Kimpel said in due to the echoing history of music that has ing now in music, and an interview with The Prospector. “I’m relasted the test of time. he thinks that teaching minded of that moment.” Kimpel not only plays on jazz records more about jazz histoKimpel has toured extensively throughhimself still to this day, but he also listens ry in schools “certainly out the world with various musicians into jazz music. Louis Armstrong, Weather Recouldn’t hurt.” cluding George Duke, Alanis Morissette and port, Yellowjackets, The Manhattan Trans2020 graduate Nikolina Steve Perry from Journey during his career fer, Take 6 and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross Nava, who was a part of vocal as a professional singer, songwriter, producare all jazz musicians and bands that Kimpel jazz group, believes, along with er and bass player. believes tell a story through their music. Kimpel, that it is important to recogJazz music became a backdrop to KimKimpel believes storytelling and history nize that the racial divide in 19th pel’s life at four years old when he heard the are very important to the genre of jazz; the century New Orleans existed in LOUIS song that introduced him to jazz: “The ‘In’ remembrance of the oppression that came many different aspects but was truCrowd” by The Ramsey Lewis Trio. along with the upbringing of jazz troubles ly apparent within music. Kimpel began recording on records at him deeply. He recognizes there were many Nava was in fifth grade the first time 17 years old when his band director George oppressive unnecessary rules made she looked into jazz music and all of Hunter at Hirsch High School in Chicago to keep Black men and women the sub-genres it had to offer. brought him to recording studios after recdown in the music industry. In her choir class, she was ognizing his talent. From his eyes, it is terrible assigned a jazz legend “There’s very few days that I go through that, at times, Black muto do a project on and what I do for a living and not think about sicians could perform received Ella Fitzger[Hunter],” Kimpel said. in a club but couldn’t ald — an American While recording in the R&B realm, Kimcome through the jazz singer often pel was also performing walking-based jazz front door or sit in recognized for with Hunter’s big band at the time. His tranthe audience. Adher ageless voice, sition was quick from being a high school ditionally, Black wide range and student to becoming a professional musipeople could not ability to scat. cian. buy tickets to see Nava resonated “I think really I always had the music Black performwith Fitzgerald bug, quote-on-quote, in my head and my ers. so much that she heart,” Kimpel said. “I am still ... still remains NaJazz was the way that Kimpel made his disappointed that va’s favorite jazz name in music primarily before he started that’s how we had musician to this performing the Blues. Kimpel lived in Los to come up in this date. Angeles for 25 years and played on different country with being so The first jazz song records by contemporary jazz artists. He oppressed, you know, and she truly felt an emotionmostly played with smooth jazz musicians maligned for the color of our al connection to was “La Vie but also performed with traditional jazz skin,” Kimpel said. “They En Rose” sung by Armstrong musicians like Branford Marsalis and Tom ELLA FITZGERALD who is often referred to as wanted our talent, but they Scott. didn’t want us to sit next to “The First Great Jazz Soloist” Kimpel continues to love the creativthem.” due to being an American trumpeter, comity of jazz and thinks that it is “one of the Kimpel wishes he could tell musicians poser and vocalist whose career spanned most organic art forms.” He compares jazz who lived before him to “please hang in five decades from the ‘20s to the ‘60s. to a sculptor making an image they have in there” and to “fight the good fight.” He is “When I heard that [song], I was like, ‘I their mind for themselves and hoping other glad that Black musicians are now recogneed this type of music in my life always and people will like it. Kimpel loves that nized for their accomplishments forever,’” Nava said. musicians are able to create even though there are still Nava will always remember seeing a live what they want inside of a steps to take regarding jazz band at Preservation Hall when she musical structure when racial oppression in traveled to New Orleans for the first time. performing jazz and America. As the sound of the cello, saxophone, sometimes even have Kimpel believes drum kit, piano and trumpet came over no structure at all. that some jazz Nava, she immediately felt as if she was beKimpel besongs reflect the ing transported through time. With each uplieves jazz music depth of the hisbeat or somber tune, a new mood blanketed will be around for tory going on as the room and pulled Nava in further. a long time due to jazz was formed Being a part of Prospect’s vocal jazz it constantly rein Black comgroup gave Nava the opportunity to perform inventing itself; munities of New with a room full of people who all were interhe describes the Orleans. “Strange ested in learning and performing jazz. fast-paced experiFruit”, “Giant “I wish I had come [to vocal jazz group] ence as one which Steps” and “Scrapearlier because I would have loved doing “keeps you on your ple From The Apple” that forever,” Nava said. toes” and causes you are a few of the songs Each time the voices in the room matched to “keep your appointthat Kimpel believes reup to create the perfect tone, Nava observed ment book.” flect a true identity of what that every person in the room was equally While still keeping his each writer was going through as excited, which was something she truly apown sound as a performer, Kimpel history was being made and preciated. According to Nava, jazz is so enenjoys adjusting into each difDEXTER GORDON joyable to sing because it poses a constant ferent musical group and artist (photo illustrations by Mara Nicolaie) provide a “time snapshot” for the listener. challenge for the performer. with whom he plays. In Kimpel’s eyes, a song that truly re“[A jazz song] is literally like a canvas Even when he performed the same songs flects emotion will stand the test of time. for the artist to do whatever they want on with the same group a year later, arrangeJazz tells a story of emotion and even has it,” Nava said. “And the ones that are really ments of songs had completely changed. roots in blues, a genre which emerged when good will make it a beautiful piece of art, and Kimpel thinks this happens because “dif-


the ones that are still trying to learn jazz just get to experiment.” Junior Nick Gavin, who plays the tenor saxophone for jazz band, recognizes along with Nava that with so much room for creative expression, challenges and difficulties often arise. “[I wish p e o p l e tried] to understand how difficult it is [to play jazz music] and the artistry behind it so that they can just kind of have a better appreciation for it,” Gavin said. ARMSTRONG Nava agrees with Gavin because she believes that people do not often give jazz a chance considering how experimental it can sound. However, the experimental aspect of jazz led to the history of music being changed forever. Nava has noticed that minority groups are less well-known in the jazz genre, and she thinks that learning about the history of jazz is necessary so that individuals can “understand who to respect and who not to neglect.” “I know people in our age group who ... love Frank Sinatra, which I do too, but there’s so many other artists who are lesser known because they’re women,” Nava said. Gavin believes that if the racial history behind jazz is not truly recognized, it feels wrong to be involved with the music. “[Blues music is] derived from a bunch of pain,“ Gavin said. “I just feel like it’s important to recognize where that’s coming from so that you can really appreciate what you’re trying to play.” Gavin has taken time to understand the songs he plays with Prospect’s jazz band. He has found room to express himself through music ever since his freshman year. “Of course you want it to sound good to other people, too, but as long as it sounds good to you and you like what you’re playing, that’s all that really matters,” Gavin said. Gavin loves playing under pressure to see how he does as a performer in the moment. He is inspired by the tenor saxophone player Dexter Gordon who has a very melodic soloing style. “Anything that [Gordon] plays off the top of his head could be any melody to … an actual song,” Gavin said. Gavin and Nava are always open to expanding their knowledge of the history of jazz. Gavin often studies about the background of his music each year in class before he performs it and was recently assigned to watch a movie about jazz history for homework. Nava was taught about the history and meaning behind each song she performed in vocal jazz group. Although some teaching of jazz history is done, Nava thinks that jazz history is not taught in schools enough, but that it is truly essential to American history. “It is good that [jazz] is spreading [into different cultures] because it’s a great genre of music, and it’s for everyone I think,” Nava said. “But like so many other things in America, I think that it is important that we recognize the origin and importance of the Black culture that is woven [within] it.”

Click each musician’s picture to listen to a jazz song performed by them

Sarah Vaughan (photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Chet Baker

Billie Holiday

Angelo Debarre


NOVEMBER 6, 2020


Artists face new struggles in lockdown JOEY DELAHUNTY Executive Entertainment Editor


ince the beginning of quarantine, many people have had a hard time staying motivated to do much of anything at all. For some people that’s homework; for others it’s exercise. For artists like senior Giahan Tran, it comes in the form of lacking creative force or powerful inspiration. In Tran’s case, artistic ideas generally come from the world around her, so when the world begins to feel like an endless loop, sources of ideas begin to thin. “Overall, with this quarantine and COVID[-19] going around, you feel less motivated to do things,” Tran said. Tran usually finds inspiration by going out to public places like parks and cafés to observe what people are doing or by hanging out with friends. Since quarantine started these opportunities have become a lot more scarce. According to art teacher Li Christoffersen, the best way to get past a lack of inspiration is to try to focus on something else. By not actively thinking about finding a subject, an artist can stop feeling pressure to work and get ideas from their everyday lives. She recommended doing simple sketches that aren’t stressful to work on. Christoffersen also says that it’s not necessarily a problem if someone can’t always be productive. “You, as a human being, have the right to relax and turn off all the responsibilities that you have,” Christoffersen said. “I think we’re all struggling with that — whether you’re a student or an adult — because we just don’t have the distraction of our everyday lives.” Even so, Christoffersen acknowledges the difficulty of escaping responsibilities, especially since most students’ homes and classrooms are now one. Without that separation, Christoffersen worries that it’s not possible for artists to remove themselves from stress. “Having the space to escape our work and school lives has disappeared,” Christoffersen said. “I see a lot of kids [where] their room has been turned into this little office, and

QUARANTINE CREATIONS: A digital painting — titled “Oblivion” — made during quarantine by senior Giahan Tran. Since lockdown, artists like Tran have had new artistic struggles, but have also found new inspiration. (cartoon courtesy of Giahan Tran) yet, at the end of the day, that’s also where you sleep, and you’re surrounded by the reminders of everything you have to do.” Tran, on the other hand, has been able to use the lockdown to create more art than usual. Despite all the obvious negativity of the pandemic, it has made her think in new ways. “When you’re forced into a situation that you’re not used to, you kind of have to take

a step back and go back down to the basics,” Tran said. “[During] this pandemic ... I have lost a lot of creativity and motivation, but that’s also, in a way, pushed [me] to think of things in ways that I’d probably never thought of if this pandemic hadn’t happened.” The lockdown has also given Tran quite an excess of free time which she’s been able to use to work on larger pieces such as a

short animated film. “So far, I’ve been taking [the pandemic] as a window to ... push myself and see how much work I can get done,” Tran said. “With all this free time, I’ve been able to not only make more artwork, but [also to be] able to do projects that I’ve been pushing away, or projects that I couldn’t do because of time.” However, there is the issue of materials. Tran does have materials at her home, but they are different and more limited than what she would have access to at the school. Because of this, Tran has been trying to use what she does have in new ways. “I’ve taken advantage of tools that I can use. Instead of just leaning down and just grabbing a brush, I’m thinking ‘Hey, I have these supplies at home that I never use ... Can I use this for my new painting?’” Tran said. Some artists, though, might not have their needed supplies at home. Students in 3D Art classes, for example, need some materials that are almost always inaccessible to them. For the first few weeks, Christoffersen had them mainly working with paper and scissors, but that wasn’t enough for the whole year. As a solution to this problem, Christoffersen began creating art packets, she estimates around 140, full of necessary supplies for students. Every art student has received one of these packets with specific materials for each class. For pieces that need to be fired, such as clay pottery, they are baked at the school and then returned to students. Inspiration has been difficult to come by, and without other artists to bounce ideas off of, Christoffersen says she has also been finding creating art much harder. Christoffersen is doing her best to adapt during the pandemic, both personally and academically. But while she does that, she tries to remind herself that this situation is, despite how it feels, temporary. “I think that ... [we should be] concentrating on the good things, concentrating on what you enjoy about what you’re doing ... to really just think about the end goal, to think about the future,” Christoffersen said, “Think about how we’re going to get through this.”



NOVEMBER 6, 2020

New consoles breed uncertainty, FOMO KEVIN LYNCH Entertainment Editor


hen senior Chaewon Park first received an iPhone 5s in fifth grade, she was impressed, as she hadn’t owned much advanced technology before that point. Soon, it became an integral part of her life, and she was on it constantly. However, after getting an iPhone 6s one year later, she didn’t receive another iPhone for five years. Park now plans to purchase the recently-announced iPhone 12 in the spring for her birthday as an upgrade. She never gave much thought to switching before recently, but her iPhone 6s, while still functional, had begun to slowly deteriorate in quality over the years. “Whenever there’s always a system update, it just always kind of gets worse functionally,” Park said. “But, the thing is, if you don’t update the system, it also just is crap, so it’s a real lose-lose situation.” The obvious solution to the problem is to simply buy a new phone, but for someone like Park who rarely upgrades, this is not a feasible option. On the opposite end of the spectrum are people who buy new iPhones every time one releases. They often cite the new features and conveniences as the reason for their purchase, but Park’s experience challenges this idea. New models of technology are released NEXT-GEN NECESSITY? A person inserts money into their PlayStation 4. With the launches of the Xbox within a couple years of its predecessor, and manufacturers often struggle to convince Series X and PlayStation 5 approaching this November, some question whether the upgrade is worthwhile, people that the latest edition is worth the as similar games, a steep price tag and a minor graphical jump all serve to dissuade some from buying until price. With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series a new game release or price drop occurs years later. (photo by Alexis Esparza) X releasing this November, excitement for the next-generation systems is higher than people is that they are simply just fans of for them on current hardware. Both old you really particularly want, you know, if ever. As exceptions to the annual rule, these the company and the games it produces and and new consoles feature games in several there’s like a killer app like [“Spider-Man: consoles are eagerly anticipated by fans want to take part in history by owning the of their company’s flagship series. These Miles Morales”] … and that’s what you rearound the world. Despite this, as more de- console at launch. Though this group makes include “Ratchet and Clank,” “Halo,” “Resi- ally want to play, go for it. But [when] the tails about the systems’ hardware and soft- up a large percentage of early adopters, dent Evil” and “Spider-Man,” to name a few. console’s coming out, I don’t think you need ware are released, the similarities between trends in technology in recent years could “Let someone else be the early adopter,” to spend $500 just to spend $500.” the newer and older consoles have become provide other motives. Meyers said. “Unless there’s something more apparent. Owning a new iPhone is often seen as At first, the upgrade to a a symbol of status, according to new console seems like a Gizmodo. Researchers in no-brainer. After all, a study by NBER had a it’s the only way to 69% chance of correctly play next-generation identifying a person as games. But as games’ Xbox Series X/S “high income” if they lifespans increase owned an iPhone. Price: $499/$299 in length, the old It can often lead Graphics/Specs: 4k, systems retain to people becoming 120fps their value for far impoverished or in longer than beReleases: Nov. 10, 2020 debt due to these fore. habits, which is Launch Titles According to called poor man’s HowLongtoBeat, syndrome. 8 of the 10 longest While new games of all time features are often were released in cited as the reason the last decade. In behind these conaddition to taking longer to complete, many stant purchases, others don’t see them in the games include alternate routes or extra same light. quests to give dedicated players extra con“Sometimes [upgrades are] necessary, tent. but most of them are just really unnecessary For example, 2019’s “Fire Emblem: Three … They’re bonuses; they’re not … importHouses” takes about 50 hours to complete by ant,” Park said. choosing one of the game’s factions, or housMost mobile providers like T-Mobile ofes, and completing the story, but the player fer deals so that people can trade in their old can get roughly 200 hours by playing again phone for a discount on the newest model. with all of the different houses and complet- While this does save money, it still means ing extra tasks. spending several hundred dollars. In addition, games with large online comThe steadily increasing price for each munities can last for years if players are new model is ridiculous, Park argues, and is dedicated. “Team Fora similarity shared by tress 2,” which was iPhones and consoles. released in 2007, While a new console, PlayStation 5/PS5 Digital still has over 70,000 depending on the active players per Price: $449/$399 version, can be day on Steam, acbought for about Graphics/ Specs: 4k, 120 fps cording to Whatthe same original Releases: Nov. 12, 2020 Culture. listed price of the Launch titles Video game old, the price of club sponsor next generation John Meyers games has insaid that he creased to $70, has only played $10 higher than about 20 games the 15-year stanon his current dard. PlayStation 4 and Also, similar- ly to the iPhone, some Xbox One, which he’s had since their launchhave noticed decreasingly useful upgrades es in 2013 and 2014, respectively. He’s played each console cycle. Past consoles boasted most of the games from this small group for some large innovation for its selling point, countless hours. He also said that there are such as the N64’s ability to display 3D graphmany games he’s missed out on that he wishics or the PlayStation 2’s HD visuals, to enes he got the chance to play. tice consumers. Current visual and techni“If tomorrow there [are] no new video cal upgrades, while still significant, aren’t games, [I would be able to spend] probably as noticeable. the rest of my life … with what’s available Though a multitude of games have been already,” Meyers said. announced for both systems, the consoles’ 50 S. Arlington Heights Rd. (Arlington Town Square) Despite people on the internet expressing current lineups of games have many series similar feelings, some still feel the urge to available on the previous generation, meanbuy a new console automatically every time ing someone simply looking for a certain one is released. type of game would likely find something An easy explanation for some of these

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NOVEMBER 6, 2020

Baseball changes through technology AIDAN MURRAY Executive Online Sports Editor


or the first time in 32 years, the Los Angeles Dodgers were crowned MLB champions on Oct. 25. The last time they won the World Series in 1988, the Dodgers hit just 99 home runs in 161 regular season games. This year, during an already shortened 60-game season, the Dodgers hit 118 home runs. The long ball didn’t just magically appear for the Dodgers this year, or any team in the MLB for that matter, it is one of just many new trends that has changed baseball over the years. In 2019, the MLB combined for a new record of 6,776 home runs, surpassing

the old record of 6,105 set in 2017. A century before that, in 1919, the league had only 447 total home runs. “It’s about bringing excitement to the game,” varsity boys’ baseball coach Ross Giusti said, “and nothing brings more excitement to the game than a home run.” While there have been many home runs to thrill fans, there have also been a plethora of strikeouts in the Major Leagues recently. In the 2019 year alone, there were 42,823 strikeouts. In comparison, in 1950 there were only 9,554 strikeouts across the league. Another change in recent years is the absence of situational hitting, according to boys’ JV baseball coach Dominic Cannon. Situational hitting is a strategy that teams use to get runners on base throughout the inning to eventually score runs. Not only have strategies in hitting changed, but also those in

IN FULL SWING: White Sox player Tim Anderson throws his bat in victory after he hit a home run against the Royals on April 17, 2019. Over the years, the number of home runs hit by MLB players has increased drastically. (photo illustration by Grace He)

Currently on Knight TV...


Coming through swinging Number of MLB home runs over the years


*information courtesy of Baseball Alminac






pitching have seen adjustments. According to an article from Sports Illustrated, between 2010 and 2015, the fastball was thrown 56.8% to 57.8% of the time. At the beginning of the season in 2020, the fastball was thrown 49.7% of the time. While many hitters are trying to adjust to the starting pitchers style, they are most likely to be met with a new pitcher early in the game as the average length a starter went in a game in the 2019 season was 5.2 innings. The bullpen has become a new weapon used by many managers to prevent certain casualties such as injury to starting pitchers. There were only 15 complete games thrown in 2019, which is only half of the complete games that former Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees pitcher Catfish Hunter threw in 1975 alone. “Now they are getting guys coming out of the bullpen throwing 96 to 98 miles per hour coming out of the bullpens at full strength,” Giusti said. “You don’t have guys like … Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver [and Bob] Gibson. These guys that threw in the 70s and 60s threw 150 pitches a game.” One major aspect of the game that has strongly developed both offense and defense in baseball is the idea of stats.




In 2015, Statcast was released to the world of baseball. Statcast is a device that is able analyze player performance at high speeds. It can determine things such as arm angles for pitchers, bat speed for hitters, and it can even produce a stat of hard hit balls by a player. However, Cannon doesn’t think that the use of Statcast is the only aspect of coaching to help players improve their skills. “I’ll use stats as a tool,” Cannon said, “but, you also have to have a feel for your players and have a feel for the game. On April 17, 2019 Tim Anderson boosted a campaign that still today is being demonstrated known as the “Let the Kids Play” movement when he spiked his bat after launching a two run-homer to left field. Later that game, he was hit by the Kansas City Royals pitcher Brad Keller, who he had shown up previously with that bat flip. This led to an exchange of words and eventual ejection of Tim Anderson and Brad Keller. This moment sparked a movement of players celebrating by doing animations around the bases after home runs, or bat flips after a home run. “If you are a player and you drive the ball out of the park like that, and you do the massive bat flip and make a big scene out of it, what happens,” Giusti said. “Social media grabs onto it and they get more clicks and sound bites. All in all, the game has shown obvious change through widespread statistics which has resulted in more interest of the fans and players themselves.

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IHSA executive Matt Troha discusses what the 2020 basketball season could possibly look like

Students struggle due to high stress and constant changes.

Girls’ cross country team’ season-long winning streak continues throughout the championship season

Restaurant in Arlington Alfresco adapts to restrictions on indoor seating and the effects of the pandemic

Prospect trainers and athletes discuss the impacts of injuries during the shorted fall season


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Want to learn more about Prospect alumnus Alex Palczewski? Click on the photo to read a water break done about Palczewski from his senior year of high school. (photo courtesy of Alex Palczewski)


‘It’s later’: the Alex Palczewski story CAMERON SULLIVAN Executive Sports Editor

Your season’s over.” The three words no athlete ever wants to hear. Unfortunately for Prospect alumnus Alex Palczewski, this is what he heard after suffering a fractured vertebrae in his neck while playing football during his junior year of high school. This put an end to the offensive lineman’s football season. “I was in the hospital, [which was] obviously the worst time ever,” Palczewski said. “I was working my way to being a starter, and I was sad I got robbed [of that].” While Palczewski’s high school football career came to a screeching halt, he did not let that stop him. Palczewski had to wear a neck brace for six to eight weeks, and he had to do numerous sessions of physical therapy as well as lot of lifting in order to come back for his senior season at Prospect. Palczewski’s former coach, Tim Beishir, helped him throughout the process. When Palczewski was in the hospital, Beishir sent him a message talking about how he was going to come back stronger and ended it with “heal now, shine later.” About a year later, it was time for Palczewski’s senior season, and he sent the screenshot of Beishir’s text with one message back to Beishir: “It’s later.” “[When Palczewski sent that text] I was like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re going to win,’” Beishir said. “We still exchange that message occasionally, ‘It’s later,’ because he’s been shining ever since.” After a successful senior season, Palczewski committed to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to play offensive line. After arriving there, Palczewski made a huge impact from the start. He has been a starter since his freshman year and has only missed one game at the University of Illinois, which was his first game, due to an ankle injury. He also received the honor of third team All-Big 10 his junior year on top of being a captain that year. “[Palczewski] is a really, really good player,” University of Illinois offensive line coach Bob McClain said. “[Palczewski] is a great person … He’s a great leader for our entire football program. He’s the type of player that you love and want on your team because he’s very consistent. And you know he’s going to come to work every day with a great attitude, and he’s going to come to work with a purpose of getting better.” However, Palczewski wasn’t always so certain he was going to have the opportunity to play at the University of Illinois because of how shaky his recruitment started during high school. He wasn’t on many teams’ radars, so Beishir took initiative and called as many coaches as possible trying to get Palczewski some offers. According to Pal-

IN THE TRENCHES: University of Illinois senior and Prospect alumnus Alex Palczewski (#63) gets ready to block a Northwestern defensive lineman. After only playing varsity football his senior year, Palczewski got offers from Syracuse, Vanderbilt and the University of Illinois where he would eventually end up playing. (photo courtesy of the University of Illinois Athletics) czewski, without Beishir doing this, there’s a chance he would not have been able to play Division I football. “I heard so many different stories about high school coaches who were just terrible with [recruiting] and don’t really help their players,” Palczewski said. “I trusted [Beishir]; he went above and beyond. I could never repay him for what he did because he truly changed my life, and I love him for that.” Palczewski also received offers from Vanderbilt and Syracuse, but he chose the University of Illinois because it was much closer to home which allowed him to still spend time with family and friends. “I was pretty confident [that he’d take his talents to the next level],” Beishir said. “It took a minute to convince someone to watch the film [of Palczewski] because these Big 10 departments believe, ‘Coach, it’s after his senior year; we would’ve known about somebody if they were real.’ Eventually, I got someone to watch it, then the wildfire took off.” During Palczewski’s time at Prospect, his

Bigger, Faster, Stronger Comparing Alex Palczewski’s measurables from his senior year of high school to his senior year of college


High School:






260 pounds

315 pounds


215 pounds

315 pounds


315 pounds

500 pounds

(photo courtesy of the University of Illinois Athletics)

parents didn’t think playing football would take him anywhere — especially after he got injured. They thought he should stop playing and focus on school. They were certainly wrong. “I still bring it up to my dad [to] this day,” Palczewski said. “It was awesome [joining University of Illinois football], but the biggest thing is taking the financial burden off of [my parents by getting an athletic scholarship].” Throughout high school, Palczewski worked a lot on technique and skill. Beishir helped him develop his abilities as an athlete greatly over his high school career. When Palczewski first started playing, he called himself “garbage.” Over the course of his high school career, he continued to improve and became a much better player. According to Beishir, what made him exceptional was his flexibility and ability to move. Beishir said that is what a lot of big offensive lineman lack. Palczewski also said he really had to find respect for himself in order to start improving. “Whenever someone says the name ‘Alex Palczewski,’ they always have an immediate [negative] connotation,” Palczewski said. “I knew I didn’t want to be known as the ‘guy who skips things — who doesn’t really care,’ so I decided I was going to work this hard.” Since he’s been at the University of Illinois, he’s developed tremendously. The most valuable improvement for him was getting bigger. When he arrived at University of Illinois, he was about 6’6” and 260 pounds, but he now weighs roughly 315 pounds. He put on most of this weight with assistance from the University of Illinois’ weight and nutrition program. “His physical development from being a 17-year-old and like a 21-year-old is enormous,” Beishir said. “They’ve got a Big 10 strength and conditioning program, and they’ve done a great job.” In Palczewski’s senior year of high school, he was able to bench press 215 pounds and squat 315 pounds. Now, he can squat 500 pounds and bench 375 pounds. McClain has seen him develop in other ways since coming to the University of Illinois in addition to getting stronger and putting on weight. “He’s a perfectionist. His big thing is he’s always been a tough guy, [a] hard worker; his biggest thing is wanting to improve his fundamentals, technique — taking that to the next level,” McClain said. “… I’ve seen [Palczewski] progress rapidly with that. He’s the type of guy that’ll come up to me after

practice when you don’t have to do extra and say, ‘Hey coach, can you work on this with me or work on that with me?’ He wants to be different.” Since Beishir had always been a big help to Palczewski throughout high school, they have stayed in touch throughout the years after his graduation. They exchange text messages, and Beishir has attended a few of his games. Beishir says he tries to watch all of his games on TV, too. “I get nervous for [Palczewski] — more nervous than when I played [football],” Beishir said. “It’s a big thrill to watch him play.” Palczewski has also kept in touch with some of his former Prospect teammates, as some of them also play sports at University of Illinois, too. One of his former teammates is Prospect alumnus Bill Matzek, who was the center of the football team and now participates in the throwing events for the Track and Field team at the University of Illinois. “We always come home from breaks … and [have] to catch up with other people,” Matzek said. “But it’s nice because I don’t have to catch up with [Palczewski] because we’re still really good friends. You always lose contact with people [after leaving for college], and you sometimes have to lose friendships throughout college, but it’s nice because we maintained that [friendship] – even with his crazy football schedule.” Matzek and Palczewski have been close all of their lives. Even now, they have been able to go to each other’s meets and games and spend time with each other in college. They have a closer connection due to the fact that they were former teammates; Matzek knows the roles in football, and Palczewski participated in track and field in high school, so they understand each other. College football, and more specifically Big 10 football, is back in season. While there was some uncertainty about whether or not the season would happen, it was announced on Sept. 15 that the Big 10 would have an eight-game season with games that started the weekend of Oct. 24, and the conference championship would be played on Dec. 19. This is good news for the University of Illinois football team, as many of the starters have been starting since their freshman year including Palcezewski. “The biggest thing is how far we’ve come,” Palczewski said. “ … Just seeing how much work we’ve put in, how much we’ve grown; I just know this year’s going to be really special.”

Profile for Jason Block

Issue 3 2020  

Issue 3 2020