Page 1

VIEWPOINTS

Spring 2015 Western Reserve Academy


Editor in Chief Anna McMurchy, ‘15 Art Director & Illustrator Sandra Spurlock, ‘17 Staff Editors Irina Kopyeva, ‘15 Zanna Leciejewski, ‘17 Trevor Levin, ‘15

Amanda Sudilovsky, ‘15 Kevin Yang, ‘15 Wren Zandee, ‘16

Additional Illustrators Max Borrman, ‘16 Kai Stewart, ‘17 Avery Brewer, ‘18 Logan Snell, ‘18 Delaney Fowler, ‘17 Yangguang (Stephanie) Sun, ‘16 Makena Hayes, ‘17 Huaixuan (Michael) Wang, ‘17 Hannah Lee, ‘17 Taryn Washburn, ‘16 Jiarong (Candance) Li, ‘17 Sarah Zimmerman, ‘17 Faculty Advisor Richard (Diccon) P. B. Ong, ‘81 The opinions expressed in this journal do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor, the staff, the faculty advisor or Western Reserve Academy. The viewpoints contained herein should be understood to belong exclusively to the individual authors responsible for presenting them.

Cover illustration by Kai Stewart. Journal layout and formatting by Diccon Ong.


VIEWPOI NTS Volume Eleven

Spring 2015


Table&of&Contents& & From&the&Editor".............................................................................................8& Anna"McMurchy,"‘15" & & Articles:" " Cool&Waters&"...................................................................................................11" Haiyun"Chen,"‘16" & That&One&Change&".........................................................................................13" Maya"Greenwald,"‘15" & Cyber&Century&"..............................................................................................15" Taylor"Hardy,"‘15" & Amani&Rose&.&.&.&".............................................................................................19" Ryan"Hassell,"‘15" & 50/50&"................................................................................................................22" Ryan"Hassell,"‘15" & What’s&It&Worth?"...........................................................................................24" Noah"Kontur,"‘17" & In&the&Running"..............................................................................................28" Irina"Kopyeva,"‘15" & Backyard&Magic"............................................................................................31" Brett"Kramer,"‘15" & A&Day&at&Reserve"..........................................................................................34" Peter"Kuri,"‘16" & 11&Things&I&Have&Learned&from&Reserve"..................................................36" Zanna"Leciejewski,"‘17" & The&Attack&on&Science".................................................................................38" Ying"Ka"Leung,"‘18"

2"


A&Brave&(But&Wise)&New&World".................................................................44" Trevor"Levin,"‘15" & What&Are&You&Waiting&For?"........................................................................46" Trevor"Levin,"‘15" & Jumping&Ahead".............................................................................................48" Joanna"Malson,"‘15" " Grandma’s&Girlhood&War"...........................................................................50" Anna"McMurchy,"‘15" & Walking&from&Selma"....................................................................................53" Anna"McMurchy,"‘15" & Liar,&Liar,&Pants&on&Fire"...............................................................................56" Niraj"Naik,"‘16" & Searching&for&Harmony"...............................................................................59" Simon"Ong,"‘15" & Offer&It&Up&to&Whatever"..............................................................................63" Charles"Prendergast,"‘15" & Destruction&of&Humanity&by&AI".................................................................65" Graham"Sell,"‘16" & Bittersweet".....................................................................................................67" Ryan"Stifler,"‘15" & Fishing&Whole"...............................................................................................69" Amanda"Sudilovsky,"‘15" & Confetti"...........................................................................................................71" Taryn"Washburn,"‘16" " Queer"...............................................................................................................74" Taryn"Washburn,"‘16" " Sound&a&Happier&Note".................................................................................76" Kevin"Yang,"‘15"

3"


D&for&Effort".....................................................................................................79" Wren"Zandee,"‘16" & Heart&of&Tin"...................................................................................................82" Wren"Zandee,"‘16" " "

On&Special&Assignment:&&

" Caroline&Babbin"............................................................................................85" & C.&B.’s&Watch"..................................................................................................87" & Jessica&Babbin"...............................................................................................89" & J.B.’s&Tap&Shoes".............................................................................................91" & Eric&Buehler"...................................................................................................93" & E.B.’s&The$Silmarillion"..................................................................................96" & Naznin&Ferdhusi"...........................................................................................98" & N.F.’s&Rottweiller&(Krouger)".......................................................................101" & Grant&Foskett".................................................................................................104" & G.F.’s&Baseball&Glove"...................................................................................106" & Hannah&McKenzie"........................................................................................107" & H.K.’s&Labs&(Bosley&&&Scout)"......................................................................109" & Connor&Meehan"............................................................................................111" & C.M.’s&PlayStation&3".....................................................................................113" & Kristina&Nazarova".........................................................................................115" & K.N.’s&Glasses"................................................................................................117" &

4"


Adam&Ramirez"..............................................................................................119" & A.R.’s&Atlas"....................................................................................................120" & Alec&Rubin".....................................................................................................121" & A.R.’s&Empty&Monster&Can".........................................................................123" & Sarah&Zimmerman"........................................................................................125" & Sarah&Zimmerman’s&Heart&Pillow".............................................................127" "

& History&Writing&Contest:&First&Place&Winners,&2013_2014& " American&History&Division:& Cracking$Caroline’s:$$ Debunking$the$Myth$that$Women$are$Comedically$Inept"......................130" Lauren"Kolar,"‘14" " World&History&Division:&& Customs,$Paranoia,$and$Emasculation:$$ Behind$the$Treatment$of$Women$in$India".................................................145$ Chung"Hwa"Suh,"‘16" " "

Chapel&Speeches:&“This&I&Believe”&

" Catherine"(Cat)"Berry,"‘15".............................................................................160" December"4,"2014" " Patrick"Mylott,"‘15".........................................................................................163" December"8,"2014" " Larissa"(Roo)"Lerner,"‘15"...............................................................................165" December"12,"2014" " Steve"Allaben,"‘15"..........................................................................................168" February"2,"2015" " "

5"


YiHan"(Sophie)"Shen,"‘15"..............................................................................171" February"16,"2015" " Ryan"Hassell,"‘15"............................................................................................173" February"20,"2015" " Madeline"Maneval,"‘15"..................................................................................176" March"2,"2015" " Sesugh"Tarhule,"‘15".......................................................................................178" March"2,"2015" " Naznin"Ferdhusi,"‘15".....................................................................................180" March"6,"2015" " Trevor"Levin,"‘15"............................................................................................183" March"6,"2015" " Eric"Buehler,"‘15".............................................................................................186" March"9,"2015" " Megan"Olson,"‘15"...........................................................................................188" March"9,"2015" " Joseph"Mylott,"‘15"..........................................................................................192" April"1,"2015" " Simon"Ong,"‘15"...............................................................................................194" April"1,"2015" " Colin"Horgan,"‘15"..........................................................................................197" April"3,"2015" " Mika"Takahashi,"‘15"......................................................................................199" April"3,"2015" " Samantha"Haseltine,"‘15"...............................................................................201" April"6,"2015" " Victoria"Hearin,"‘15".......................................................................................204" April"6,"2015"

6"


Cooper"Kaplan,"‘15"........................................................................................206" April"12,"2015" " Joanna"Malson,"‘15"........................................................................................209" April"12,"2015" " Myung"Jin"(MJ)"Lee,"‘15"................................................................................212" April"20,"2015" " Hannah"McKenzie,"‘15"..................................................................................214" April"20,"2015" " Zoe"Leciejewski,"‘15".......................................................................................216" April"27,"2015" " Anna"McMurchy,"‘15"....................................................................................218" April"27,"2015" " Darby"Johnson,"’15"........................................................................................220" May"1,"2015" " Catherine"(Ketty)"Nolan,"‘15"........................................................................222" May"1,"2015" " Niko"Sawan,"‘15".............................................................................................224" May"4,"2015" " Irina"Kopyeva,"‘15".........................................................................................225" May"8,"2015" " Adam"Ramirez,"‘15"........................................................................................228" May"8,"2015" " Connor"Semple,"‘15".......................................................................................230" May"11,"2015" " " " Viewpoints$Survey".....................................................................................235" " "

7"


FROM&THE&EDITOR& & " Blank" pages." " We’ve" all" faced" them." " As" Reserve" students," we" know" the" terror" of" being" stared" down" by" a" menacing" expanse" of" white," punctuated"only"by"that"little"blinking"cursor"which"exists"solely"to"taunt" us.""Right"now,"however,"I"am"pleased"to"have"been"granted"the"privilege" to" conquer" yet" another" blank" page" (or" two," technically" speaking)" by" filling" it" with" words" of" fond" remembrance" and" appreciation" for" this" year’s"Viewpoints"experience." Tabula/ rasa." A" seventeenthccentury" philosophy" developed" by" John" Locke," this" term" translates" as" “blank" slate.”" " It" refers" to" the" epistemological" idea" that" individuals" are" born" without" builtcin" mental" content" and" that" all" knowledge," therefore," comes" from" experience" or" perception"(thank"you"Wikipedia!).""I"learned"about"this"weighty"phrase" in" my" juniorcyear" AP" European" History" class," taught" by" Ms." Laura" Mogel," one" of" the" finest" teachers" I" have" ever" had" the" pleasure" to" learn" from." " Tabula/ rasa" suggests" that" at" birth" every" human" being’s" mind" is" completely" pure," just" waiting" for" the" first" tidbits" of" knowledge" to" begin" trickling" in" from" the" outside" world." " As" children" advance" in" years," that" trickle" becomes" a" deluge," and" once" such" a" child" enters" Reserve," that" deluge"transforms"itself"into"a"fullcon"tsunami.""Parents,"friends,"teachers," magazines," textbooks," and" the" infamous," allcconsuming" sphere" of" social" media"begin"throwing"opinions,"facts,"and"statistics"at"us.""We"then"will" spend"the"rest"of"our"lives"trying"to"make"sense"of"it"all.""This,"my"friends," is"where"Viewpoints"enters"the"scene." This"literary"journal"provides"an"excellent"forum"for"students"to" share" their" life" experiences" as" well" as" get" a" glimpse" into" the" beliefs" of" others." " All" the" information" that" they" have" absorbed" up" to" this" point" in" their"lives"can"now"be"combed"through"so"as"to"find"something"of"unique" value" that" can" then" be" written" down" and" expressed" on" a" page."" Hopefully," the" time" taken" to" craft" an" essay" allows" an" author" an" opportunity" to" make" better" sense" of," or" solidify," their" own" personal" beliefs,"and"maybe"the"resulting"article"might"even"alter"the"perspective" of"a"peer"who"reads"it.""If"we"allow"ourselves,"we"can"learn"so"much"from" the" people" around" us." " This" journal" holds" such" importance" because" it" offers" us" a" glimpse" into" the" lives" of" our" classmates." " You" may," in" fact," even" find" that" some" of" the" opinions" contained" herein" reflect" what" you" believe." " Nothing" quite" compares" to" that" wonderful" feeling" of" being" understood." " Viewpoints" seeks" to" build" bridges" between" souls." " By" the"

8"


time"we"have"reached"high"school"age,"of"course,"our"slates"are"no"longer" blank," and" it" can" feel" particularly" satisfying" to" share" what" we" have" learned"with"others." Blank"space.""Even"Taylor"Swift"sings"about"it,"and"I"will"admit,"I" was"more"than"a"tad"disappointed"when"my"suggested"survey"question" about" T." Swizzle" gotten" taken" off" the" final" list." " (Even" if" the" suggestion" was" really" just" a" thinly" veiled" ruse" to" see" if" other" people" love" the" song" “Blank" Space”" as" much" as" I" do.)" " Throughout" the" year," students" of" all" grade"levels"have"been"typing"their"names"into"the"blank"space"below"the" titles" of" their" articles," and" we" could" not" be" more" grateful" for" each" and" every"one"of"them.""Thank"you"for"sharing"bits"of"your"hearts"and"minds" with"us.""" To" all" the" wonderful" Viewpoints" editors" (including" Zanna," who" still"thinks"she"might"be"dreaming),"thank"you"so"much"for"the"immense" amount"of"time"and"effort"you"have"poured"into"this"project.""There"are" almost"eighty"separate"pieces"of"writing"in"this"journal,"and"your"efforts" have" combined" to" ensure" that" they" are" all" in" printcworthy" form." " A" special"thank"you"has"to"go"out"to"Wren"and"Kevin"for"all"the"extra"time" they" spent" completing" the" data" recording" and" entry" for" this" year’s" survey." " That" was" a" mighty" beast" of" a" job," and" you" completed" it" efficiently" and" without" complaint." " We" are" also" indebted" to" Mr." Gilbert" and"his"Creative"Writing"class"for"lending"us"their"mock"interviews"(à"la" Esquire/Magazine)"for"this"year’s"“On"Special"Assignment”"section"of"the" journal.""Jenny"Xu"earns"both"our"thanks"and"praise"by"having"provided" the"phenomenal"photographic"portraits"for"each"of"these"authors."""And" finally,"to"you,"Sandra,"please"know"that"we"were"all"impressed"with"the" energy"and"enthusiasm"you"brought"to"being"our"new"Art"Director.""You" have" filled" these" pages" with" far" more" images" than" will" be" found" in" any" previous"volume"of"Viewpoints.""Moreover,"your"artwork"is"as"kickass"as" your"fashion"sense!"" We"are"also,"obviously,"most"grateful"to"all"our"fabulous"readers."" Thank"you"for"being"interested"in"what"others"have"to"say.""Read"with"an" open"mind;"let"your"spirits"soar"alongside"the"triumphs"of"others.""Think" about" the" time" and" courage" it" took" to" fill" all" of" these" noclongercblank" pages." " Find" that" courage" within" yourself." " Read," discover," create," connect.""Don’t"leave"the"pages"of"your"own"life"blank.""Tabula/rasa.""Your" slate"was"once"blank—time"now"to"examine"how"well"you’ve"filled"it"in." " Anna"McMurchy,"‘15" Editor"in"Chief" May"2015"

9"


&ARTICLES& &

10"

&


COOL&WATERS& / Haiyun/Chen/ Junior/ Hometown,/State/ / / They"sprang"through"the"air"and"sliced"through"the"glassy,"blue," undulating"blanket"of"water"before"others"had"even"registered"the"sound" of"the"buzzer.""They"kicked"ceaselessly"with"four"powerful"limbs"through" the"water,"meters"ahead"of"their"rivals.""They"executed"perfect"flip"turns," followed"with"tight"streamlines." I"stood"in"amazement."" My"small"hands"fought"to"wheel"my"arms"around"faster,"my"legs" struggled" to" power" my" kicks" until" they" cramped." " Still," others" powered" their"way"far"ahead"of"me"in"every"race,"zooming"towards"the"touchpad" while"I"was"still"frantically"battling"to"keep"myself"afloat.""The"very"flow" of" the" water" seemed" to" counteract" the" efforts" of" my" feeble" strokes." " An" invisible"force"restrained"me"from"going"any"faster." The" water" soon" became" my" enemy;" an" enemy" that" The"water"soon"became"my" drowned"the"desires"of"my"small" enemy;"an"enemy"that" hands"and"feet,"at"the"same"time" drowned"the"desires"of"my" that" it" buoyed" the" spirits" of" my" athletically" built" small"hands"and"feet,"at"the" more" competitors." " My" own" spirit," by" same"time"that"it"buoyed" contrast," became" drenched" in" anger" and" frustration." " I" could" the"spirits"of"my"more" not," would/ not," let" my" slight" athletically"built" natural" build" prevent" me" from" competitors.""My"own" improving." " Determined," in" addition" to" my" usual" afterc spirit,"by"contrast,"became" school" practices," I" began" taking" drenched"in"anger"" part" in" optional" morning" and"frustration.""" sessions." " Waking" up" at" six," walking" through" snow" falling" from"pitchcdark"skies,"the"way"to"the"pool"was"both"lonely"and"long.""But" at" these" morning" practices," the" normal" churning" mass" of" white" water" produced"by"the"crowd"of"swimmers"populating"the"afternoon"practices" vanished.""The"water"became"still.""A"peaceful"calm"cocooned"my"body.""

11"


The"welcoming"water"enveloped"me,"absorbed"me,"and"carried"me"along" in" the" smooth" cadence" of" its" gentle" rippling" rhythm." " It" was" eerily" peaceful,"calming,"and"soothing."" It"was"magical." Listening" to" the" water," feeling" the" water," immersing" myself" in" the" water," I" no" longer" worried" about" keeping" up" with" other" swimmers" during"practice"sets.""Instead,"I"focused"on"mastering"my"own"technique:" the" fast" pull," the" lunge," the" press" out." " My" kicks" now" fluttered" in" a" smooth" rhythm" with" the" rippling" waves;" my" strokes" now" glided" me" through" the" water." " Freed" from" thoughts" of" relative" ranking," I" was" not" battling"the"water;"instead,"I"was"in"synch"with"it." It"was"liberating." Now,"even"during"a"race,"when"my"lungs"scream"with"pain"as"I" overcome" the" resistance" of" the" water," I" strive" to" achieve" this" mental" peace.""I"strive"to"synchronize"my"movements"with"the"flow"of"the"water," to"take"the"race"strokecbycstroke,"lapcbyclap.""I"may"not"have"a"sleek"start" from" the" bloc," nor" can" I" rocket" myself" ahead" of" most" competitors," but" I" proudly" wear" my" signature" chlorine" perfume" as" an" honor" of" having" chipped" time" off" my" personal" bests." " Blocking" out" the" suffering," pain," and"agony"of"the"necessary"effort,"I"am"left"with"water—only"water"and" me." " " A" swimmer" will" always" know" the" feeling" of" defeat" but" should" never"feel"defeated."" Mental" battles" are" inevitable" and" necessary." " The" nature" of" striving"is"embedded"in"human"beings"who"seek"to"see"themselves"more" clearly.""Only"when"we"take"a"leap"of"faith"from"the"solid"ground"can"we" realize"that"peace"that"comes"amid"the"cool"and"blue"waters." " " " " "

12"


THAT&ONE&CHANGE& / Maya/Greenwald/ Senior/ Chicago,/Illinois/ / / As" a" kid" I" did" not" understand" what" was" happening." " My" mom" sat"me"down"on"the"couch"in"our"Seattle"home.""I"thought"her"sobs"were"a" fit" of" laughter." " It" wasn’t" until" afterward" when" I" noticed" that" my" mom" began" sleeping" downstairs." " Before" I" knew" it," she" started" to" stay" at" a" condo"twenty"minutes"away,"and"I"spent"every"other"week"with"her.""My" mom" has" moved" around" so" many" times;" she" has" gone" from" Seattle" to" Hawaii,"to"California,"to"Michigan,"to"California,"back"to"Hawaii.""I"only" see" her" twice" a" year," and" lately" it" has" dropped" down" to" once" a" year."" However,"when"I"do"visit"her,"I"love"catching"up.""It"is"a"chance"to"escape" from"everything"at"home"and"at"school.""We"walk"along"the"beach"twice"a" day,"talking"and"enjoying"the"ocean.""I"love"to"cook"with"my"mom,"and" we" never" fail" to" make" yummy" noodle" dishes," anything" with" basil" and" cracked"black"pepper.""We"take"turns"stirring"the"pot.""Our"elbows"bump" together"in"the"little"kitchenette.""When"we"are"together"it"is"like"nothing" has"changed.""That"said,"Hawaii"is"a"long"flight"and"an"expensive"round" trip.""I"know"she"genuinely"cares" My"mom"is"there"for"me" about" me," but" there" are" still" times" when" I" wonder" ." ." ." " " She" when"I"want"to"talk,"but" makes" no" effort" to" come" to" she"is"not"there"for"me"in" special"events"in"my"life." "There" the"way"that"I"would"like" have" been" times" when" I" was" supposed" to" visit" her" and" she" her"to"be.""In"more"ways" cancelled" a" week" before" with" than"one,"it"feels"like"she"is" absolutely" no" explanation." " My" mom" is" there" for" me" when" I" already"gone." want"to"talk,"but"she"is"not"there" for"me"in"the"way"that"I"would"like"her"to"be.""In"more"ways"than"one,"it" feels"like"she"is"already"gone." Since"my"mom"left,"I"have"grown"up"with"my"dad.""A"quick"two" years"later,"we"left"Seattle"and"moved"back"to"Chicago.""He"has"been,"and" always"will"be,"the"one"person"whom"I"can"go"to"for"anything.""No"matter" how"big"or"small"something"may"be,"no"matter"how"intense"of"a"fight"we" have," I" can" count" on" him." " He" is" there" for" the" celebrations," the"

13"


disappointments," and" the" big" projects." " He" came" to" all" of" the" dance" shows" I" was" in," from" when" I" wore" canvas" ballet" shoes" to" satin" pointe" shoes." " He" has" seen" the" Nutcracker" seven" times" (too" many!)," but" not" because"he"felt"like"he"had"to.""My"dad"truly"looked"forward"to"the"dance" each" December." " He" supported" me" when" I" wanted" to" look" at" boarding" schools.""He"was"proud"that"I"had"been"so"independent"while"looking"at" the"options.""He"offered"suggestions"to"my"essays,"but"he"made"sure"that" they" were" only" suggestions." " My" dad" always" supports" me" and" encourages" me" to" dream" big," but" he" also" helps" me" keep" things" in" perspective."" At"some"point"in"my"life"my"parents"will"pass,"and"I"only"hope"it" will" be" a" long" time" before" that" happens." " When" it" already" feels" like" one" parent" is" gone," I" cannot" imagine" what" it" will" be" like" when" the" other" is" gone" too." " It" seems" like" I" will" be" totally" alone." " Sure" my" friends" and" extended"family"will"still"be"around,"but"that"is"not"the"same.""I"probably" think" about" this" far" too" often," but" somehow" it" always" comes" to" mind."" The"thought"of"no"longer"having"my"parents"around"is"heartbreaking.""I" won’t"be"able"to"call"my"dad"if"something"amazing"has"happened"or"if"I" need"his"shoulder"to"cry"on.""I"can"honestly"say"that"I"would"be"nowhere" without"my"dad.""Even"more"so,"I"don’t"know"what"I"will"do"when"I"am" left"without"him.""As"a"parent"should,"he"always"knows"the"right"thing"to" say" and" makes" my" day" a" little" brighter." " The" thought" that" someday" everything" I" know" and" love" will" drastically" change" because" of" one" person"leaving"my"life"is"terrifying.""Change"is"a"thing"I"can"handle,"but" not"a"change"like"this." " " "

14"


CYBER&CENTURY& / Taylor/Hardy/ Senior/ Pittsburgh,/Pennsylvania/ / / The"relationships"among"humans,"and"between"humans"and"the" natural" world," have" changed" with" the" rise" of" cyberspace." " The" 21st" Century" is" now" a" “cyber" century,”" with" both" the" advantages" and" disadvantages"of"cyberspace"imposed"upon"the"natural"order.""It"is"also"a" century" fraught" with" new" kinds" of" challenges," such" as" those" shown" to" exist" when" Edward" Snowden" stole" data" from" the" United" States" and" distributed" it" throughout" cyberspace" to" expose" the" country’s" covert" intelligence" gathering" network." " There" are" other" dangers" posed" by" interconnectivity:"they"include"the"invasion"of"privacy,"the"manipulation" of" markets," media" distortion," and" the" theft" of" intellectual" and" material" property." Our" computers" are" everywhere," and" they" are" very" powerful."" Unfortunately," they" are" still" manipulated" and" controlled" by" both" good" and" evil" humans," making" the" That"we"can"hold"in"our" technology" susceptible" to" pocket"a"computer"more" misuse.""That"we"can"hold"in"our" pocket" a" computer" more" powerful"than"those"used" powerful" than" those" used" by" by"NASA"to"send"men"to" NASA"to"send"men"to"the"moon" is" testimony" to" the" power" of" the"moon"is"testimony"to" today’s"technology.""When"those" the"power"of"today’s" with" malicious" or" capricious" technology.""When"those" intent"desire"to"affect"the"lives"of" others,"they"can"access"that"same" with"malicious"or" technology" which" we" now" capricious"intent"desire"to" depend" on" for" our" daily" affect"the"lives"of"others," existence." Even" the" basic" movement" of" food" across" a" they"can"access"that"same" country" is" managed" via" technology"which"we"now" computers." " We" are" bound" to" computers" in" many" ways," and" depend"on"for"our"daily" now" there" is" talk" of" traceable" existence. implants" and" autopilot" cars.""

15"


Hacking" into" our" travel" has" already" occurred," and" it" could" increase," putting" our" lives" in" the" hands" of" hackers" with" potentially" malevolent" intent.""If"brain"implants"become"as"common"as"pacemakers,"our"bodies" may" become" the" scenes" of" future" “internal" crimes.”" " Some" of" the" world" that"William"Gibson"imagined"in"Neuromancer"is"becoming"a"reality,"with" potentially"dire"consequences." With" the" current" levels" of" interconnectivity," and" all" the" benefits" derived"from"it,"computer"users"are"finding"themselves"more"dependent" on" technology" than" ever" before." " Initially," computers" were" but" a" mathematical"novelty.""They"then"became"a"practical"aid,"and,"in"turn,"a" toy.""But"now"they"pervade"almost"every"aspect"of"our"lives.""Now,"our" daily" thoughts" are" being" inundated" by" the" thoughts" of" many," many" others," and" those" ideas" are" often" either" platitudes" or" repeated" opinions."" The" force" of" this" largecscale" inundation" has" been" to" create" a" crowd" of" likecthinking"humans"on"a"scale"not"seen"even"in"the"days" of" the" Soviet" Union" or" Nazi" Germany." " As" much" as" it" can" be" an" instrument" of" information," the" cyberworld" can" also" be" an" instrument" of" propaganda." The" masses" have" truly" become" the" masses" under" the" control" of" cyberthought." " Humans" have" lost" much" of" their" ability" to" reason" by" virtue"of"gut"responses"to"tweets"and"news"stories"that"circle"the"world"in" seconds." " If" brain" implants" take" Google" glasses" to" the" next" level," then" news"could"be"manipulated"on"a"scale"unseen"before.""When"that"news"is" false," the" damage" could" be" irreversible." " A" followcup" apology" by" a" newspaper"rarely"gets"the"same"attention"as"the"original"false"story.""The" result" is" a" manipulated" public." " Look" at" the" example" of" Ferguson," Missouri,"where"the"false"story"of"“hands"up”"spread"beyond"the"town"in" minutes"and"continued"for"months,"now"ingrained"in"the"brains"of"those" susceptible"to"the"rapidly"moving"initial"cyberstory.""As"D."Rambali"says" in" Neuromancer," “Terrorism" as" we" ordinarily" understand" it" is" innately" mediacrelated”" (Gibson" 57)." " If" people" with" an" agenda" get" power" over" both" the" media" and" new" ways" to" distribute" “news”" or" information" to" individuals," then" those" individuals" could" be" more" easily" subject" to" propaganda." Whole" societies" are" now" subject" to" controls" that" did" not" exist" prior" to" the" invention" of" computer" technology." " With" power" grids" tied" together" by" computers," every" civilized" nation" is" now" at" risk" from" hackers." " With" a" networked" banking" system," every" business" and" individual"is"similarly"at"risk.""Identities"are"taken"randomly,"and"such"a" theft,"once"a"nuisance,"is"now"a"threat"to"international"safety.""It"might"be" easier" now" for" a" terrorist" to" get" a" false" identity" than" it" was" prior" to" the" rise"of"computers.""All"this"connectivity"that"pervades"the"world"today"is"

16"


growing"faster"than"cybersecurity"can"handle"the"threats." Pandora’s" box" has" been" opened." " The" lid" on" cybercrime" may" never" be" closed" again," regardless" of" the" efforts" of" those" to" protect" cybersystems—and" things" might" be" getting" even" more" dangerous." " In" November"of"2014,"the"BBC"ran"an"online"story"about"brain"implants:" “The"brain"is"one"of"the"most"delicate"and"complex"objects"in"the" universe," so" tinkering" with" its" activity" may" seem" like" a" fool’s" errand.""Yet"armed"with"a"growing"understanding"of"the"way"we" process" perceptions" and" memories," neuroscientists" are" starting" to"build"implants"they"hope"can"treat"a"range"of"disorder”" """"""""

(http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20141121chowctoccreatecacbraincimplant)."

Such" an" effort" has" begun" with" the" best" intentions." " Even" in" Gibson’s" novel"there"are"physical"implants"that"are"supposed"to"help"individuals:" “He" had" a" medical" remote" planted" in" his" sternum”" (187)." " Good" intentions" do" not" necessarily" We"should"recognize"that" continue" as" a" technology" evolves.""Anyone"can"get"control" the"walls"of"the"fortress"of" of"that"technology"and"use"it"for" privacy"have"been" any" purpose." " As" the" report" continues:" “For" the" foreseeable" breached.""The"silent" future," these" devices" will" only" enemy"is"creeping"through" be" used" to" treat" people" with" those"breaches.""The" severe" disabilities" ." ." ." ." The" US" Defense" Advanced" Research" doorway"to"the"brain"is" Project" Agency," meanwhile," ajar.""Everyone"should" hopes" to" test" devices" for" prepare"for"the"coming" amnesia"by"2019"."."."."As"a"taste" of" what" might" come," one" invasion." journalist" recently" hacked" his" hearing"aid"so"that"he"could"hear"the"WiFi"signals"as"he"walked"through" London.”" Probably" one" of" the" clues" that" brain" implants" might" not" serve" simply" “for" the" good" of" mankind”" is" the" acknowledgement" that" the" US" Defense"Advanced"Research"Project"Agency"is"involved.""Military"people" prepare"for"wars:"offensive"and"defensive"wars.""Because"the"military"is" involved"in"the"research,"there"is"always"the"potential"for"brain"implants" to" become" “weaponized.”" " Thus," when" Finn" reveals" that" “this" AI" is" backing"Armitage”"(Gibson"71),"we"get"a"hint"of"what"dangers"lie"in"such" “cybercontrol.”" "" If" the" military," or" some" sinister" group," gets" control" of" human" neurons," it" might" be" possible" to" make" pacts" with" a" new" kind" of" demon," one" linked" to" the" circuits" of" the" brain." " The" Neuromancer/ also"

17"


adopts" the" same" idea," revealed" in" Michéle’s" expressing," “For" thousands" of"years"men"dreamed"of"pacts"with"demons.""Only"now"are"such"things" possible”" (Gibson" 157)." " What" will" happen" to" individual" free" will," to" governments,"and"to"commerce"if"artificial"intelligence"(AI)"is"in"control?"" As" we" advance" “mind" control,”" we" might" not" really" be" in" control" ourselves." " As" Tanya" Lewis" wrote" in" a/ Livescience" online" reported" on" September"5,"2014," “Using"noninvasive"means,"researchers"made"brain"recordings"of" a"person"in"India"thinking"the"words"pholap"and"pciao,p"and"then" decoded" and" emailed" the" messages" to" France," where" a" machine" converted" the" words" into" brain" stimulation" in" another" person," who"perceived"the"signals"as"flashes"of"light."From"the"sequence" of"flashes,"the"French"recipient"was"able"to"successfully"interpret" the"greetings"."."."."“" Dwelling" in" the" cyberworld" of" Gibson’s" novel" is" entertaining" fiction," but" when" that" world" becomes" a" reality," not" only" organizations" and"governments,"but"also"individuals"will"be"at"further"risk.""There"is"no" way"to"close"Pandora’s"box"at"this"time.""Just"as"we"deal"with"all"kinds"of" other"evils,"we"will"have"to"work"to"create"defenses"against"those"that"are" about" to" be" introduced" into" our" collective" and" personal" worlds." " We" should" recognize" that" the" walls" of" the" fortress" of" privacy" have" been" breached." " The" silent" enemy" is" creeping" through" those" breaches." " The" doorway" to" the" brain" is" ajar." " Everyone" should" prepare" for" the" coming" invasion." " "

18"


AMANI&ROSE&.&.&.&& / Ryan/Hassell/ Senior/ Southampton,/Bermuda/ / / Have"you"ever"been"in"love?""It"is"probably"the"best"feeling"you" will" ever" have." " The" feeling" of" having" someone" there" to" always" care" about"you"and"make"you"feel"like"you"are"the"most"important"person"in" the"world.""Your"soul"mate.""The"one"you"see"in"your"future.""The"one"you" cannot" picture" your" life" without."" Love"is"all"fine"and"dandy" Yeah," I" can" be" deep." " You" probably" pictured" me" looking" until"you"do"something" lovingly" into" the" distance" while" I" stupid"and"lose"a"person" wrote" that" and" then" snapping" you"actually"care"about."" back" into" reality" like" in" one" of" those" cheesy" romantic" movies" That"is"when"the"power"of" when" the" main" character" is" love"gets"real."" describing" her" crush." " I" know."" Love" is" all" fine" and" dandy" until" you" do" something" stupid" and" lose" a" person"you"actually"care"about.""That"is"when"the"power"of"love"gets"real."" I"had"my"eyes"fixed"on"her"in"computer"technology"class.""I"saw" the" way" she" smiled," and" I" admired" the" way" she" laughed." " I" was" love" struck.""It"was"so"cliché"the"way"I"was"imagining"being"with"her,"and"my" friend" had" to" wave" his" hand" in" front" of" my" face" to" pull" me" from" my" daydream." “What"are"you"thinking"about?”"he"asked." “Bro,"do"you"see"her?”" “See"who?”" “That" girl" right" there" with" the" glasses." I" don’t" know" her" name," but"I"would"sure"like"to.”" “We"will"catch"her"after"class"if"you’re"up"for"it.”" “Definitely!”" I" said," breaking" eye" contact" with" him" and" looking" right"back"at"her."" Class"went"by"so"slowly,"but"deep"down"I"didn’t"actually"want"it" to"end.""I"was"so"scared"to"talk"to"her.""Anyway,"to"speed"this"boring"love" story" up," I" can" just" tell" you" that" I" eventually" spoke" to" her" and" got" her" number."" Being"a"male"and"all,"my"ego"was"standing"taller"than"me.""You"

19"


can" probably" guess" what" happened" next." " Yeah," she" shut" me" down." " I" had" never" been" shut" down" like" that" before," but" I" took" it" as" an" opportunity"to"try"to"do"more.""It"was"weird.""Ordinarily,"I"would"have" said"forget"it"and"moved"on"to"the"next"girl,"but"she"had"an"effect"on"me" unlike"that"of"any"other"girl"before.""What"had"become"of"me?""Even"my" friends" were" shocked" by" her" ability" to" change" me" from" a" guy" who" had" wanted" nothing" to" do" with" commitment," to" a" guy" who" did." " I" kept" my" guard"up,"but"little"did"she"know"that"she"had"already"won"the"fight.""I" just"refused"to"admit"it."" She"was"in"every"one"of"my"classes"except"two.""It"was"extremely" coincidental,"but"I"did"not"complain.""I"used"to"do"little"things"like"tickle" her"and"poke"her"with"pens"in"class"until"she"eventually"got"my"message."" I"texted"her"for"hours"at"night"until"her"mom"would"tell"her"to"turn"her" phone"off"because"it"was"time"for"bed.""I"knew"she"was"into"me"because" she" would" sneak" her" phone" back" on" and" talk" to" me" until" we" both" fell" asleep.""I"was"mesmerized"by"the"way"I"felt—better"yet,"by"the"way"she" made"me"feel.""She"was"mine,"and"I"was"hers,"and"this"was"understood" by"everyone.""" She"fit"in"with"my"family"immediately.""I"thought"they"loved"her" more" than" me" sometimes." " We" were" amazing" together." " I" even" made" a" cheesy" gesture" of" giving" her" the" “key" to" my" heart”" on" Super" Bowl" Sunday.""I"knew"these"memories"would"never"fade." I" have" always" hated" the" saying" that" every" good" thing" comes" to" an" end," and" yet" I" made" it" come" true." " Love" is" scary" because" I" never" thought"that"at"fourteen"years"old"I’d"be"“in"love.”""I"was"that"typical"jock" who" wanted" every" girl" that" came" ."."."I"never"thought"that"at" his" way." " Settling" down" was" in" the" far," far" future" of" my" fourteen"years"old"I’d"be"“in" imagination." " I" came" way" too" love.”""I"was"that"typical" close" to" loving" her," so" I" changed."" jock"who"wanted"every"girl" I"went"back"to"wanting"every"girl," but" kept" her" around." " I" felt" like" I" that"came"his"way.""Settling" needed"to"have"other"girls"like"me" down"was"in"the"far,"far" and" want" me" in" order" to" feel" like" the" old" me," because" it" was" so" future"of"my"imagination. much" easier" than" commitment." " I" was" scared." " No" girl" in" the" world" had" ever" shown" me" all" this" love" and" attention.""I"ran"away"from"my"problems"and"felt"her"getting"further"and" further" away" because" I" kept" pushing" her" in" that" direction." " Little" did" I" know,"I"was"already"in"love."" The"figurative"distance"between"us"soon"became"a"literal"reality.""

20"


The"time"had"come"for"me"to"leave"Bermuda"and"further"my"education"at" Western" Reserve" Academy" in" Hudson," Ohio." " We" had" been" “together”" for"a"year"and"a"half,"so"we"made"the"decision"to"stay"together"and"work" through" it." " I" further" realized" how" much" of" a" dedicated" girl" I" had" (and" even"if"I"forgot"my"mom"was"right"there"to"remind"me!)""My"girl"wrote"a" letter"to"me"that"absolutely"captured"my"heart"as"I"read"it"on"the"plane"to" America." " I" sat" there" reminded" of" every" memory," ending" with" the" tears" she"shed"when"I"was"walking"through"the"automatic"doors"that"led"me"to" the" plane." " I" was" gone," and" yet" I" still" had" the" same" feeling" of" being" so" scared"to"stay"committed"because"it"all"felt"too"real."" Stupidity" is" defined" as" showing" lack" of" good" judgment." " I" saw" this"new"girl"at"my"new"school"who"I"was"immediately"attracted"to,"and"I" acted" on" it" immediately." " In" my" mind" I" thought" it" would" be" harmless," and"she"would"be"just"a"friend,"but"of"course"I"was"wrong.""One"thing"led" to" ," and" I" was" juggling" two" girls" at" once." " I" couldnqt" hide" it" for" long."" Pictures" were" uploaded" on" Facebook" and" Twitter" and" questions" were" asked." " I" lied" and" I" lied" until" we" finally" had" to" talk" about" it" over" the" phone." " Before" calling" her" I" had" made" a" decision" to" stay" with" my" girl" back"home.""I"had"realized"my"wrongs"and"was"ready"to"admit"them.""I" guess" you" can" probably" predict" what" happened" next," but" if" you" can’t," then"let"me"tell"you"that"over"the"phone"she"told"me"she"just"wanted"to"be" friends" now" as" she" had" met" someone" else" who" treated" her" better" than" I" had.""I"had"never"been"so"emotional"in"my"life." I"held"my"phone"in"my"hands"staring"at"it"and"shaking.""I"wanted" to"wake"up"from"this"terrible"dream,"but"I"couldn’t.""I"knew"it"was"all"my" own"fault,"but"I"snapped.""I"told"her"I"never"wanted"to"talk"to"her"again.""I" kept" my" word" for" a" while," but" I" eventually" gave" in" and" then" I" realized" how"hard"it"was"to"be"just"her"friend"because"we"never"were"just"friends."" I" said" it" again." " Tears" were" stinging" my" eyes" from" the" frustration" and" anger"I"felt."""I"had"been"stupid"and"wanted"her"back.""It"was"not"to"be."" We"stopped"talking"for"a"long"time"after"that,"and"she"moved"to"England."" Over"the"summer,"after"not"seeing"her"for"two"years,"I"discovered" that"she"was"really"happy"with"a"new"boyfriend,"and"I"was"happy"with" my"new"girlfriend.""I"saw"her"walking"by"herself,"and"I"stopped"dead"in" my"stride.""I"stood"and"looked.""It"was"her.""I"still"admired"her"smile"and" still"adored"her"laugh.""I"still"remembered"all"the"old"memories,"and"I"still" felt"the"love.""I"still"felt"the"pain.""I"still"felt"the"anger"from"my"stupidity.""I" was"still"in"love.""She"spoke"with"a"smile"and"greeted"me"with"a"hug.""I" never"wanted"to"let"go.""I"was"still"in"love,"but"the"only"thing"I"said"was," “Hi" Amani," how" are" you?”" " That" was" her" name," Amani" Rose." " Amani" Rose/H."to"me.""But"Amani"R."Walker"to"everyone"else."

21"


50/50& / Ryan/Hassell/ Senior/ Southampton,/Bermuda/ / / Deep"down,"I"am"afraid"every"time"I"step"onto"the"field"to"play."" Before"every"game"my"mom"tells"me"to"be"careful"and"play"smart.""The" sound" of" her" voice" echoes" in" my" head" and" everything" around" me" goes" silent.""My"mind"automatically"flashes"back"to"that"one"moment.""I"feel"a" pain"in"my"chest"and"a"sickness"in"my"stomach.""My"life"could"end"in"one" game."" The" finals" were" coming" to" a" close" with" the" score" still" nil," nil." Everyone"was"exhausted"from"a"very"physical"game.""A"steady"rain"fell," and"the"mud"on"the"field"increased"with"each"passing"minute.""The"ball" moved"from"the"center"back"to"the"right"midfield"and"then"to"the"center" midfielder.""I"waited"anxiously,"moving"to"open"my"body"for"the"through" ball" between" the" two" center" backs." " My" teammate" stared" into" my" eyes" and" wound" up" for" the" pass." " There" was" plenty" of" space" behind" the" defenders," who" were" holding" a" very" high" line." " As" the" ball" left" Jevon’s" foot," I" darted" into" the" space" which" left" me" oneconcone" with" the" goalkeeper.""I"sprinted"as"fast"as"I"could,"with"wet"mud"flicking"from"the" bottom" of" my" cleats." " The" goalkeeper" saw" the" danger" and" decided" to" sprint" out" at" the" ball." " He" was" My"bodily"condition"was" about" five" foot" nine," with" short" black" hair," and" was" wearing" a" the"last"thing"on"my"mind" neon" green" goalie" jersey." " The" because"the"only"thing"I" only"thought"in"my"head"was,"“I" could"focus"on"was"the"fact" have"to"get"to"that"ball"first.�""As" we" both" got" closer," however," I" that"I"could"not"play"soccer" realized" it" was" going" to" be" a" for"months."" 50/50" challenge," so" I" slid" in" for" the"ball.""My"focus"stayed"on"the"patches"of"the"ball"turning"away"from" me.""Little"did"I"realize"that"the"keeper"had"also"slid,"feet"first,"for"the"ball."" Before" I" knew" it," I" felt" his" metal" studs" come" crashing" into" my" chest." " I" curled" up" into" a" ball," gasping" for" air," tears" streaming" down" my" face," because"at"that"moment"I"could"feel"a"bone"break.""" I" remember" nothing" from" the" moment" my" parents" took" me" off" the" field" to" the" moment" I" woke" up" in" a" hospital" bed" moaning" from" the"

22"


pain." " They" sat" in" the" comfortable" hospital" chairs" at" the" end" of" my" bed," patiently"waiting,"still"dressed"in"black"and"white"(my"club"team"colors)." When"I"opened"my"eyes,"my"vision"was"blurred"for"awhile"before"I"could" finally"make"out"the"fear"in"my"parents’"faces.""I"had"a"gut"feeling"that"I" already" knew" why." " I" immediately" asked," “Did" I" break" it?”" " My" mom" could"not"say"a"word.""She"just"nodded"her"head"and"looked"away.""She" was" traumatized." " I" sighed" deeply" but" could" only" thank" God" for" still" being" alive." " The" room" was" silent" as" the" doctor" walked" in." " He" was" wearing"his"neatly"ironed"white"coat,"buttoned"all"the"way"down,"with"a" stethoscope"around"his"neck.""He"sat"down"on"a"rolling"stool"beside"my" bed"and"asked,"“How"are"you"feeling?”"" “I"am"in"a"bit"of"pain,"but"I"am"doing"okay.”"" “I" am" sure" your" parents" have" told" you" already," but" you" have" broken"the"jugular"notch"of"your"sternum.""There"is"nothing"we"can"do"to" put"this"bone"back"in"place"without"adjusting"your"rib"cage.""This"bone"is" moving" freely" in" your" chest," but" is" harmless" until" it" is" hit." " If" you" take" another"blow"to"the"chest"like"that"again,"it"can"puncture"your"lungs"and" kill"you.""You"will"be"out"for"at"least"four"to"six"months"before"it"heals.""I" am"sorry.”""" He" looked" at" me" with" a" worried" face" and" tapped" me" kindly" on" my"leg"before"he"left.""The"room"became"as"silent"as"it"had"been"when"he" first" walked" in." " My" bodily" condition" was" the" last" thing" on" my" mind" because"the"only"thing"I"could"focus"on"was"the"fact"that"I"could"not"play" soccer"for"months."" I"spent"every"day"for"the"next"six"months"icing"my"chest,"doing" breathing"exercises,"and"lifting"dumbbells"to"strengthen"my"chest.""Rehab" was"terrible.""But,"before"I"knew"it,"the"doctor"signed"a"form"clearing"me" to"play"again.""I"was"more"than"excited.""Now,"in"the"locker"room"before" every" game," I" stop" and" pray." " Many" thoughts" run" through" my" mind."" What"if"this"is"my"last"game?""How"would"my"parents"feel"if"I"was"gone?"" I"can’t"leave"my"parents!""And,"always,"my"mother’s"voice"echoes"in"my" head," “Be" careful" and" play" smart.”" " My" mouth" turns" dry" and" my" heart" races.""I"feel"a"pain"in"my"chest"and"get"a"sick"sensation"in"my"stomach."" This"could"be"the"end.""My"life"could"end"in"one"game."" " " " "

23"


WHAT’S&IT&WORTH?& / Noah/Kontur/ Sophomore/ Northfield,/Ohio/ / " Western" Reserve" Academy" is" a" beehive" of" frenetic" activity." " We" rush"from"class"to"class,"speeding"through"assignments"and"writing"test" essays" so" quickly" that" our" pencils" catch" aflame." " The" word" “sleep”" becomes"a"nearcforeign"utterance—our"waking"lives"punctuated"only"by" frequent" deadlines," competitions," and" assessments." " Many" of" us" drive" ourselves" into" the" ground," some" to" ensure" acceptance" into" our" ideal" college,"others"to"secure"that"prestigious"award,"still"others"to"placate"our" ambitious"parents.""Occasionally,"moans"and"groans"will"escape"from"the" student"body"like"the"metallic"whining"of"an"overworked"machine.""The" real" question" that" strikes" me" is," “Does" anyone’s" goals" merit" overc exertion?”" " I" think" that" there" are" goals" that" justify" such" dedication," but" only"under"three"conditions:"(1)"we"carefully"consider"what"we"can"lose" in" the" process;" (2)" we" are" willing" to" let" go" of" these" goals" if" they" prove" unachievable;" and" (3)" we" actively" choose" ourselves" whether" or" not" to" pursue"them." One"thing"we"lose"is"time.""Whenever"I"think"of"success,"I"cannot" help"but"picture"iconic"names"like"Bill"Gates"and"Steve"Jobs." "Then,"like" some"antiquated"movie"projector,"my"mind’s"eye"shows"Gates"diligently" toiling"in"his"garage.""Suddenly," one" scene" later" in" my" quixotic" We"tend"not"to"notice"the" film," he" has" billions" of" dollars" time"and"energy"people"put" bulging" from" his" voluminous" into"what"they"love.""All"we" pockets." " Either" some" cheapskate" rigged" the" projector," focus"on"is"the"end"product."" or" something" is" missing" from" this"picture.""You"and"I"both"know"how"much"time"and"effort"it"takes"to" get"good"grades,"imagine"the"effort"it"took"Gates"to"establish"and"develop" Microsoft." " The" fact" is," our" notion" of" success" is" idyllic:" we" only" look" at" people’s" pinnacle" achievements," virtually" ignoring" the" vast" time" they" invested" in" attaining" these" goals." " We" forget" about" the" thousands" of" hours" Gates" must" have" shut" himself" up" in" that" garage," studiously" applying"himself.""We"tend"not"to"notice"the"time"and"energy"people"put" into"what"they"love.""All"we"focus"on"is"the"end"product.""So"remember"

24"


this:" if" you" really" want" to" achieve" your" goals," be" prepared" to" invest" a" great"deal"of"time"in"them." There" is" more" to" lose" than" mere" time," however." " Sometimes" when" we" redirect" all" of" our" attention" toward" a" single" goal," we" foster" a" kind" of" tunnel" vision," which" can" ruin" our" social" lives." " In" my" case," obsessing"about"grades"was"a"problem"for"me"during"my"freshman"year."" I" became" so" concerned" about" them" that" I" secluded" myself," hiding" from" other" people" and" going" home" each" day" as" soon" as" I" could." " I" began" to" miss" out" on" the" little" moments," like" hanging" out" with" friends." I" would" give" a" lot" to" go" back" and" learn" not" to" hypercfocus" on" one" little" piece" of" my"life.""If"you"really"want"to"actualize"your"dreams,"it"might"come"at"the" cost"of"many"good"friendships." The" greatest" thing" that" we" lose" in" pursuit" of" success" is" security."" Like"a"voluntary"prisoner,"we"bind"our"worth"to"certain"particulars,"be"it" good" grades" or" athletic" achievement." " All" of" our" happiness" hinges" off" them,"subject"to"change"as"they"are.""Because"of"this,"we"live"in"a"state"of" constant"fear,"afraid"that"we"will"fail.""Consider"our"grades,"for"instance."" Everyone" who" cares" about" school" knows" that" an" awful" test" grade" can" ruin" a" whole" day." " I" have" failed" my" fair" share" of" quizzes" and" tests," so" I" should" know." " For" you" athletes" out" there," think" about" what" it" feels" like" when" you" lose" a" competition" and" you" know" that" it" was" all/ your/ fault."" Cross" Country" definitely" showed" me" how" frustrating" it" can" be" when" I" perform"poorly.""All"in"all,"this"constant"state"of"stress"is"not"healthy.""It" deprives" us" of" sleep," demolishes" our" security," ruptures" our" tranquility."" The" looming" threat" of" failure" always" hangs" over" our" heads," terrorizing" us" with" its" deathly" aspect." " If" you" still" want" to" pursue" success" wholeheartedly," remember" that" you" will" never" be" safe," because" as" soon" as"you"fail,"you"will"have"only"yourself"to"blame." But" what" if" we" do" actually" fail?" " Just" because" you" want" something"very"badly"does"not"mean"you"will"get"it.""The"world"stops"for" no" man:" not" for" the" runner" who" loses" the" race" by" a" thousandth" of" a" second,"not"for"the"entrepreneur"who"loses"everything"in"a"highcrisk"tech" startup," and" certainly" not" for" any" of" us—little" drops" in" a" sea" of" humankind.""What"does"the"runner"who"loses"a"onecincaclifetime"race"do," or" the" entrepreneur" who" is" ruined?" " All" their" efforts" squandered" on" a" fragile" house" of" cards" brought" down" on" itself" by" a" little" gust" of" wind."" How"do"we"give"our"goals"everything"we"have"while"being"able"to"accept" a"negative"outcome?""I"think"there"is"a"way." No"matter"whether"we"win"or"lose,"there’s"something"to"keep"in" mind:" we" tried." " Even" if" we" invest" all" of" our" time" in" grades" and" aren’t" accepted"into"that"ideal"college,"we"know"we"tried.""Whether"we"are"on"

25"


our"deathbed"with"surrounded"by"friends,"or"dying"alone,"we"tried.""No" matter"whether"that"significant"other"whom"we"love"rejects"us"after"years" of"longing,"we"tried."This"is"the"way"to"reconcile"effort"and"defeat,"and"it" is"through"this"truth"that"we"become"enriched.""As"Thoreau"said,"“a"man" is" rich" in" proportion" to" the" number" of" things" which" he" can" afford" to" let" alone.”""In"the"end,"we"can"“let"alone”"our"aspirations,"so"long"as"we"try." In"this"day"and"age,"it"is"a"luxury"to"be"able"to"choose"whether"or" not"to"pursue"a"goal.""In"ancient"times,"most"peoples’"goals"were"simply" to" procure" enough" to" eat" and" In"ancient"times,"most" secure" a" place" to" sleep" safely."" Then,"as"food"and"other"material" peoples’"goals"were"simply" comforts" became" more" readily" to"procure"enough"to"eat"and" attainable," the" desire" “to" secure"a"place"to"sleep"safely."" succeed”" in" society" began" to" take" hold." " Until" recently," your" Then,"as"food"and"other" occupation" and" even" marriage" material"comforts"became" partner" were" most" commonly" not" decisions" left" entirely" up" to" more"readily"attainable,"the" you." " One’s" family" largely" desire"“to"succeed”"in" dictated" one’s" choices" in" such" society"began"to"take"hold."" areas,"and"most"people"had"very" little" personal" say" in" the" matter."" Until"recently,"your" Now,"by"comparison,"we"have"a" occupation"and"even" great" deal" of" a" choice." " We" can" marriage"partner"were"most" decide" whether" we" want" to" commonly"not"decisions"left" become" athletes" or" scholars," lovers" or" fighters." " We" can" entirely"up"to"you.""One’s" decide" if" we" want" to" throw" all" family"largely"dictated"one’s" our" eggs" into" one" basket" or" live" a"more"wellcrounded"life.""More" choices"in"such"areas,"and" than" ever" before," we" as" most"people"had"very"little" individuals"can"and"must"decide" who" we" are." " If" we" do" not," the" personal"say"in"the"matter."" vagaries" of" life" will" carry" us" to" Now,"by"comparison,"we" unpleasant"waters.""If"we"throw" have"a"great"deal"of"a"choice."" away" our" oars," we" will" be" sent," as" one" of" my" English" teachers" We"can"decide"whether"we" likes" to" say," “down" the" want"to"become"athletes"or" proverbial" waterway" without" scholars,"lovers"or"fighters.""" proper"means"of"propulsion.”" So" I" will" raise" the"

26"


question"one"final"time:"Do"you"really"want"to"pursue"that"goal"of"yours" with"everything"you"have?""Remember"that"it"will"absorb"your"time"like" a" malignant" sponge." " Recall" that" it" might" transform" you" into" a" pronounced" misanthrope." " Know" that" if" you" just" try," you" can" accept" failure"with"your"head" held"high.""More"than"anything,"realize"that"this" goal"is"your"choice"and"yours/alone.""Your"life"is"in"your"hands,"so"long"as" you"choose.""So"consider"the"consequences"and"choose." " “You/are/what/you/choose/to/be./You/choose./Choose.�" The/Iron/Giant" " " " "

27"


IN&THE&RUNNING& / Irina/Kopyeva/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / / I"won’t"be"the"first"to"admit"it:"running"has"never"been"enjoyable" for"me.""The"why,"you"may"ask,"do"I"run"track"and"cross"country?"" I" joined" the" track" team" as" a" scraggly" 8th" grader," looking" for" a" way" to" get" out" of" the" classroom" and" thinking" I" could" probably" run" 100" meters" fairly" quickly." " Coming" in," I" had" only" ever" run" in" gym" class," where"occasionally"the"teacher"would"force"us"to"run"a"mile"to"make"sure" we" were" in" somewhat" decent" shape." " I" averaged" between" 8:30" to" 9" minutes" in" this" exercise." " Not" particularly" good." " Still," I" couldn’t" sprint," which" ruled" out" any" running" event"shorter"than"800"meters.""I" The"gunshot"sounded,"and" couldn’t" jump" either," so" there" I’d"be"off,"trying"to"catch" went" the" hurdles," high" jump," and"long"jump.""Lifting"anything" up"with"the"swift"girls"who" more" than" two" pounds" (much" bounded"effortlessly" less" throwing" it)" was" likewise" ahead,"some"truly"looking" out" of" the" question," and" pole" vaulting" and" javelin" were" much" like"goddesses"with"their" too" dangerous" for" us" unwieldy" hair"undone.""Adrenaline" middle" schoolers." " So" distance" would"carry"me"through" running"it"was."" That" first" year," I" the"first"lap.""Cursing" endured" everything" from" everyone,"including" tripping" on" untied" shoelaces" to" groaning" in" pain" from" shin" myself,"for"putting"me" splints.""But"seeing"the"finish"line" through"this"living"hell," after" four" long" and" painful" laps" would"help"me"through"the" was" exhilarating;" even" more" exciting" was" discovering" after" final"three. each"race"that"my"mile"time"was" dropping."" I"“decided”"(more"accurately,"I"had"no"other"choice)"to"continue" running" track" in" high" school." " The" distance" team" was" always" painfully" small;" my" freshman" year" was" the" largest" we" would" have" in" my" four"

28"


seasons.""There"were"approximately"eight"distance"runners"that"first"year." The"runners"rotated"in"and"out,"the"practices"our"coach,"Geno,"came"up" with" intensified," but" the" feeling" at" the" start" of" a" race" never" changed." " I" would" walk" up" to" the" starting" line," baton" in" hand," and" instantly" panic" with" the" realization" that" I" had" to," once" again," go" to" the" bathroom." " The" gunshot" sounded," and" I’d" be" off," trying" to" catch" up" with" the" swift" girls" who"bounded"effortlessly"ahead,"some"truly"looking"like"goddesses"with" their" hair" undone." " Adrenaline" would" carry" me" through" the" first" lap."" Cursing" everyone," including" myself," for" putting" me" through" this" living" hell,"would"help"me"through"the"final"three.""But"when"I"would"collapse" at" the" finish," I’d" praise" myself" (in" between" desperate" gulps" of" air" and" water)" for" accomplishing" more" than" “fullcbody" presses" on" the" couch”" (Geno’s" favorite" term" for" laziness)." " Those" long" drizzly" afternoons," the" endless" 600m" buildups," the" punishing" pushups" that" Coach" Warner" would"beat"all"of"us"at,"had"paid"off.""I"may"not"have"loved"running,"but" yet"I"worked"harder"than"ever"for"that"euphoria."" Last" summer," this" perception" changed." " Coach" Warner" finally" convinced"me"that"I"should"join"the"cross"country"team,"since"it"too"was" declining" in" numbers," and" he" thought" I’d" be" a" good" addition." " The" thought" daunted" me." " I" had" never" run" anything" above" a" mile" consecutively," not" even" for" fun." " Besides," I" had" never" enjoyed" the" offc road" runs" Coach" always" sent" us" off" on" after" practice" because" I" couldn’t" count"off"the"distance"left"to"the"finish.""In"a"1600,"I"always"knew"where"I" was"down"to"sixteenths"of"a"race.""Here,"it"was"all"timecbased,"and"only" loosely"distancecbased.""But,"I"laced"up"my"worncout"running"shoes,"and" jogged"to"Hudson"Springs."" In"the"months"before"school"began"again,"I"ran"the"twocmile"loop" many" times," memorized" each" dip," rock" and" trail" marker," but" when" I" looked" up," instead" of" at" the" ground," I" found" that" the" park" had" more" to" offer." " I" began" to" wonder" at" the" sunlight" streaming" through" the" leaves" and" hear" the" geese" honking" and" the" water" splashing." " Soon," I" was" too" distracted"by"the"nature"surrounding"me"to"even"remember"my"shortness" of"breath."" The" season" began," and" I" threw" myself" into" the" sport" wholeheartedly." Sure," there" were" many" hills" and" intimidating" competitions," but" we" pushed" on," galvanizing" each" other" at" every" step" with"“Look"."."."ing"."."."good”"and"“You"."."."got"."."."it”"in"between"ragged" breaths." " We" won" a" few" races," lost" many" more," but" by" the" end" of" the" season," I" didn’t" care" about" our" record;" I" just" wanted" to" keep" running" purely"from"the"love"of"the"sport."" I" found" the" key" to" running" in" an" unlikely" place:" at" the" top" of"

29"


Kendall"Hill,"my"hands"behind"my"head,"deeply"inhaling,"as"I"looked"out" and"saw"the"autumn"wildflowers"in"their"last"bloom."The"breeze"tickled" my"face,"and"the"sun"warmed"my"cheeks"on"one"of"the"last"nice"October" afternoons.""Girls"around"me"sighed,"complained,"stretched,"but"cracked" jokes," despite" the" arduous" workout." " Coach" Warner" blew" the" whistle," and" in" a" herd," we" all" jostled" our" way" down" to" the" bottom," laughing" all" the"while."" Running" isn’t" about" times" or" victories," although" trophies" and" solid," definite" numbers" are" nice" to" have—it" is" about" experiencing" beautiful" places" with" beautiful" people." " And" maybe—just" maybe— fitness."""Otherwise,"we"would"be"on"the"walking"team."" " "

30"


BACKYARD&MAGIC& / Brett/Kramer/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / / My" eyes" showing" a" glimpse" of" fear," I" stared" into" the" mystical" ravine" below" me." "" It" was" surely" nearing" 9:00" P.M.," as" the" sun" had" set," and" my" eightcyearcold" eyelids" were" just" beginning" to" feel" heavy."" However," I" didn’t" want" I"could"never"retreat"to"my" to"sleep.""For"that"matter,"I"didn’t" backyard"to"play"catch,"fly"a" even" want" to" go" back" into" the" warm" comfort" of" my" house." "A" kite,"or"run"through"the" magical" aura" kept" me" awake" and" eager" to" stay" out" for" just" a" sprinklers"like"other" suburban"kids.""My"backyard" little" longer." "“SCREECH.”" "My" mom" and" I" quickly" turned" our" consisted"of"only"a"porch,"a" heads," as" the" noise" was" surely" coming"from"a"source"just"a"few" fence,"and"the" feet" away" from" the" fence" that" ravine.""Furthermore,"the" separates" our" porch" from" the" ravine"always"seemed"to"be"a" ravine" below" us." "“What" are" they?”" I" asked." "“They’re" Great" liability"to"our"family.""It" Horned" Owls," Brett,”" my" mom" consumed"any"balls"or"toys" replied" in" a" soothing" voice" that" quenched" my" need" for" that"accidentally"sailed" comfort." "We" couldn’t" see" them," beyond"our"fence"and" but" their" piercing" calls" and" provided"a"secure"refuge"to" swooping" wings" echoed" throughout" the" neighborhood," the"numerous"possums," sending" a" chill" down" the" spine" squirrels,"and"skunks"that"ate" of" anyone" who" stood" still" and" listened." "After" performing" in" our"birdseed"and"disturbed" the" ravine" for" twenty" minutes," our"dogs.""" the" two" owls" flew" away," searching"for"a"new"audience"to"inspire.""Filled"with"a"sense"of"awe,"my" mom"and"I"strolled"silently"back"inside"the"house"and"prepared"to"climb" into"our"beds." I"had"grown"up"with"a"200cfoot"ravine,"leading"to"a"swiftcflowing"

31"


stream,"serving"as"my"backyard.""I"could"never"retreat"to"my"backyard"to" play" catch," fly" a" kite," or" run" through" the" sprinklers" like" other" suburban" kids." "My" backyard" consisted" of" only" a" porch," a" fence," and" the" ravine." "Furthermore," the" ravine" always" seemed" to" be" a" liability" to" our" family.""It"consumed"any"balls"or"toys"that"accidentally"sailed"beyond"our" fence"and"provided"a"secure"refuge"to"the"numerous"possums,"squirrels," and" skunks" that" ate" our" birdseed" and" disturbed" our" dogs." "Yet," I" was" always"begging"my"dad"and"my"brother"to"descend"into"the"ravine"with" me" and" further" explore" what" mysteries" it" held." ""While" my" family" and" friends" were" never" as" excited" about" entering" the" ravine" as" I" was," every" once"in"a"while"I"would"venture"with"my"dad,"or"my"brother,"or"a"friend" down" into" the" ravine." "There" seemed" always" to" be" a" deer" trotting" between"the"trees"or"tadpoles"in"the"stream"to"look"at."""In"fact,"the"ravine" was"filled"with"life"and"other"natural"wonders"that"piqued"the"curiosity" of"my"young"mind.""I"would"always"come"back"up"with"a"rock,"pinecone," or" longclost" object," eager" to" place" the" memento" in" a" shoebox" labeled" “Ravine”"that"I"kept"in"my"closet."""The"ravine"was"always"there,"only"a" 20cfoot"walk"from"my"back"door.""Yet,"it"often"seemed"inaccessible,"as"if"it" was"a"danger"zone"or"construction"site.""My"parents"never"wanted"me"to" wander"into"the"ravine"alone,"which"thus"made"me"wonder"about"what" possible"dangers"might"lie"in"wait"for"me"in"the"abyss"behind"my"house." The" summer" before" I" entered" seventh" grade," my" family" moved" out"of"the"house"I"was"born"and"raised"in.""Although"I"was"very"excited" about" moving" and" starting" a" new" chapter" in" my" life," a" nostalgia" still" managed" to" creep" up" on" me" with" memories" of" my" time" growing" up" in" the" old" house." "I" had" fond" memories" of" the" house" itself," and" of" all" my" neighborhood" friends," but" the" ravine" and" its" beauty" form" my" most" prominent" and" powerful" memories." "Although" I" only" ventured" into" the" ravine" once," maybe" twice," a" month," it’s" unique" beauty" and" power" has" permanently"imprinted"its"presence"in"my"memory."""In"fact,"I"still"have" the"shoebox"of"objects"that"I"brought"back"up"with"me"from"the"ravine.""I" can" still" hear" in" my" mind" the" powerful" flaps" of" the" great" horned" owls," and" I" can" still" see" the" abundant" tadpoles" that" seemed" to" command" the" stream.""While"I"still"have"a"few"hundred"feet"of"woods"behind"my"new" house,"these"woods"do"not"possess"the"magical"aura"that"the"ravine"had" in"my"young"eyes.""Looking"back,"I"wish"I"would"have"further"explored" the"ravine,"as"I"now"realize"how"special"it"was,"and"how"it"was,"perhaps," preferable" to" a" generic" backyard" of" green" grass." "Sometimes" we" don’t" realize"the"power"and"beauty"nature"has"in"our"own"backyards,"although" it" is" always" there." "We" feel" as" if" we" need" to" travel" to" a" distant" national" park" to" experience" the" rare" beauty" of" nature." "That’s" simply" not"

32"


true." "Nature’s" magic" is" everywhere," even" directly" behind" our" own" houses." The"ravine’s"magic"was"more"compelling"to"me"than"it"was"to"the" other"members"of"my"family.""I"worry"that"this"was"the"case"only"because" I" was" the" youngest," and" that" with" increasing" age" the" alwayscpresent" beauty" of" nature" will" begin" to" disappear" to" me" as" well." "The" longer" we" are"in"any"given"setting,"the"less"magical"and"powerful"it"becomes.""The" frightening" and" curiositycarising" aura" of" nature" is" most" noticeable" to" people"who"are"new"to"a"particular"setting.""Therefore,"people"will"travel" far" to" experience" the" power" of" nature." "Yet" to" a" young" eye," every" backyard,"no"matter"how"urban"or"rural,"is"home"to"a"diverse"ecosystem" filled" with" unexplored" territory" and" majestic" power." "Cities" themselves" are"an"ecosystem"composed"of"different"people"and"personalities,"which" flow" daily" into" and" out" of" the" ecosystem." "Magic" is" all" around" us," whether"it"is"mancmade"or"part"of"the"natural"ecosystem.""If"we"take"time" from" our" busy" lives" to" take" a" look" at" what’s" directly" in" front" of" us," we" might" just" catch" a" glimpse" of" this" magic" that" has" always" been" a" part" of" our"lives." " " "

33"


A&DAY&AT&RESERVE& / Peter/Kuri/ Junior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / / Day" students" at" Western" Reserve" Academy" live" an" unorthodox" kind" of" life." " The" most" common" question" I" receive" from" opponents" on" rival"sports"teams"is"“What"is"it"like"to"board?”""I"have"always"responded" by"explaining"that"I"do"not"actually"live"in"a"dorm.""I"commute"to"school."" In" my" freshmen" year," I" remember" upperclassmen" advising" me" against" succumbing"to"the"“daycstudent"syndrome.”""(In"other"words,"being"the" student"that"goes"home"right"after"sports"and"does"not"return"until"first" period" the" following" morning.)" " I" took" their" wise" advice" to" heart;" I" told" myself" I" would" stay" on" campus" Since"all"freshman"boys"live" until"Mr."Zimmerman"made"me" leave." Luckily," it" only" takes" me" in"Wood"House,"I"set"up" one"minute"to"get"to"campus"by" camp"there.""I"spent"every" bike," so" I" possessed" a" major" advantage" when" compared" to" free"period"in"the"common" those" students" who" had" to" rely" room.""I"took"control"of"the" on"their"parents"to"drive"them"to" corner"of"a"quad,"leaving"my" school.""Since"all"freshman"boys" live" in" Wood" House," I" set" up" sports"equipment"there"so"I" camp" there." " I" spent" every" free" wouldnqt"have"to"go"home.""I" period" in" the" common" room." " I" took" control" of" the" corner" of" a" may"have"lived"with"my" quad," leaving" my" sports" parents,"but"my"life"was" equipment" there" so" I" wouldnqt" centered"in"Wood"House.""" have" to" go" home." " I" may" have" lived" with" my" parents," but" my" life" was" centered" in" Wood" House." " The" memories" I" made" in" that" dorm" are" endless." " They" include" everything" from" the" impromptu" Foosball" games" to" the" Wood" House" haunted" house."" (Or" shall" I" say" the" lack" of" a" Wood" House" haunted" house?)" " It’s" not" just" the" quantity" of" said" memories,"but"rather"their"quality—since"every"one"remains"vivid"in"my" mind.""Sadly,"I"cannot"say"I"have"such"memories"in"other"dorms.""Oddly" enough,"I"can"attribute"this"to"a"new"freedom"I"gained"sophomore"year:" my"driver’s"license."""

34"


It"may"seem"an"oxymoron"to"claim"my"driver’s"license"separated" me" from" my" border" contemporaries," but" after" some" thought" it" makes" perfect" sense." " By" passing" my" drivers" test" I" had" made" it" easier" to" leave" the" borders" behind." " That" plastic" card" turned" the" world" into" my" oyster," making" it" far" easier" to" escape" the" “Reserve" Bubble.”" " I" found" myself" driving"to"Chipotle"instead"of"walking,"using"my"car"like"I"did"the"corner" of" that" quad," and" spending" my" free" time" in" fellow" daycstudent" homes."" At"the"time"the"transition"seemed"seamless,"making"it"hard"to"analyze"the" change"in"my"social"life.""The"change"did"not"become"apparent"until"one" evening"this"past"winter." That"dreaded"evening"started"like"any"other"I"had"while"at"WRA." I" was" hanging" out" in" the" Green" Key" when" some" day" students" and" I" decided" to" go" get" some" Swenson’s." " Since" the" boarders" could" not" drive" with" us," we" were" just" going" to" bring" some" food" back" for" them." " After" a" very"memorable"time"at"Swenson’s,"I"ordered"two"GalleycBoys"to"go"and" headed" back" to" campus" to" deliver" them" to" my" friends." " I" called" them" when" I" arrived" back" on" campus" but" neither" of" them" picked" up." " So" I" headed" over" to" Hobart," the" dorm" they" live" in." " I" got" to" the" door" and" noticed" the" keypad." " It" hit" me" then" that" I" did" not" know" the" dorm" code!" Thousands" of" thoughts" lit" my" mind" in" the" matter" of" seconds." " Was" I" a" social"recluse?"Was"I"still"part"of"the"WRA"community?"Had"I"not"visited" my"friends’"room"repeatedly"all"year?""I"ended"up"knocking"on"the"door," which"quite"embarrassing,"more"embarrassing"that"you"might"think."" Since" that" fateful" day," I" have" vowed" to" spend" more" time" in" the" dorms.""It’s"not"that"I"donqt"spend"enough"time"on"campus.""A"case"could" be"made"that"I"spend"too"much"time"on"campus.""However,"it’s"the"dorms" that" I" need" to" be" in" more" often" so" that" I" can" experience" more" of" those" memories"I"had"my"freshman"year.""It’s"entirely"possible"that"I"can"never" go" back" to" the" way" I" was" freshman" year," but" that" doesnqt" mean" I" can’t" spend"a"night"playing"FIFA"and"enjoy"the"company"of"those"with"whom" I"once"made"so"many"fond"memories."" " "

35"


11&THINGS&I&HAVE&LEARNED&FROM&RESERVE& / Zanna/Leciejewski/ Sophomore/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / / 1. Don’t/be/afraid/to/fail/ Although"this"the"nightmare"of"many"Reserve"students,"taking" risks"is"the"only"way"for"you"to"reach"new"heights." " 2. Be/quiet/ For" one" class," allow" yourself" to" listen" to" others" if" you" usually" lead" the" conversation," or" take" the" chance" to" say" something" if" you" do" not." " You’ll" be" surprised" at" what" you" learn," not" only" from"your"classes"but"from"your"classmates"as"well." " 3. “Don’t/be/a/maroon”// You"only"have"one"chance"to"make"your"Reserve"time"positive." Don’t"look"back"with"regret"on"a"stupid"mistake." " 4. Take/time/for/yourself/ Although"the"mad"scramble"for"homework"and"deadlines"can" crush" your" morale," allow" yourself" a" break—whether" it" be" a" walk"outside"or"lunch"with"friends—to"unwind"and"put"things" into"perspective." " 5. Don’t/follow/the/status/quo// Just"because"all"of"your"friends"join"a"team"or"a"group"doesn’t" mean"you"have"to.""(Surely,"one"less"player"won’t"destroy"the" team.)""Do"something"you/want"to"do,"perhaps"join"a"different" group,"and"make"some"new"friends"along"the"way." " 6. Time/flys/ As" much" as" we" try" to" blind" ourselves" to" this," the" years" go" by" faster" than" the" majority" of" us" would" hope." " Staying" in" your" room" will" never" let" you" see" everything" that" Reserve" has" to"

36"


7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

" "

offer.""Join"a"club,"a"new"sport,"or"even"an"art"performance." " Losing/friends/hurts/more/than/low/grades/ Although" school" is" one" of" the" most" important" things" here" at" Reserve,"friends"will"get"you"through"these"years." " Get/to/know/everyone/ Your" friends" don’t" always" have" to" come" from" your" grade." Enjoy" the" fact" that" in" this" community," you" have" an" opportunity"to"make"unique"and"lasting"friendships." " Don’t/fall/behind/ Although" some" teachers" may" seem" scary" to" you," the" minute" you"fall"behind,"you"have"to"ask"for"help.""From"experience,"I" know"that"teachers"are"more"than"willing"to"put"in"the"time"to" help"you"succeed." " Talk/about/it/ This" is" the" best" way" to" make" others" (and" yourself)" feel" good."" Ask"people"how"their"days"are,"and"don’t"forget"to"talk"about" yours.""Allow"yourself"to"let"off"some"steam"after"a"hard"test"or" tough" game." " Remember," the" people" around" you" know" what" you’re"going"through." " Enjoy/Reserve!/ Going" through" a" day" at" Reserve" is" so" much" more" than" going" through" the" motions" of" an" everyday" school" day." " Enjoy" the" little"things:"the"Ohio"weather"(on"good"days),"a"conversation" with"friends,"or"a"smile"from"someone"you"have"never"talked" to" before." " We" are" all" incredibly" blessed" to" be" a" part" of" the" WRA"community,"so"live"these"days"as"ones"you"will"want"to" remember"forever." " "

37"


THE&ATTACK&ON&SCIENCE& / Ying/Ka/Leung/ Freshman/ Hong/Kong/ / / A/nation/of/wellbinformed/men/who/have/been/taught/to/know/and/prize/ the/rights/which/God/has/given/them/cannot/be/enslaved.//It/is/in/the/region/of/ ignorance/that/tyranny/begins.""" —"Benjamin"Franklin& " If" the" above" quote" is" any" indication," Benjamin" Franklin" is" probably"spinning"in"his"grave"right"now"at"how"anticscience"sentiment" pervades" American" society—for" political," corporate" and" religious" reasons." " Distrust" of" the" scientific" community" hinders" research" and" widespread" dissemination" of" knowledge" in" areas" of" investigation" ranging"from"climate"change"science"to"stem"cell"research.""Public"health" has" been" put" at" risk" as" a" result" of" the" anticvaccination" movement." " The" cult" of" anticintellectualism" is" prominent" not" only" in" rural" America" but" has" found" a" home" in" the" nation’s" capitol," where" scientificallycilliterate" politicians" holding" the" power" of" the" purse" frequently" make" decisions" that"take"the"nation"a"step"backwards."" Despite" the" United" States’" past" scientific" achievements," those" hellcbent" on" misinforming" the" public" are" becoming" increasingly" successful.""The"Sputnik"crisis,"brought"about"in"the"latec1950s"as"a"result" of" the" Soviet" launch" of" the" first" artificial" earth" satellite," spurred" the" United"States"into"action.""President"Eisenhower"created"NASA,"and"the" subsequent"space"race"brought"with"it"came"the"discovery"of"many"new" technologies"that"served"to"advance"the"American"economy"and"society" in"a"whole"host"of"ways.""Kids"in"the"1960s"watched"as"the"U.S."send"the" first"and"only"men"to"the"moon"to"explore"(and"play"golf!),"but"today"we" must" rely" on" Russian" rockets" to" launch" our" satellites."America’s" current" hegemony" in" the" world’s" biotech" industry" is" based" on" an" evolutionary" theory" that" many" religious" groups" and" politicians" condemn." A" vaccination"effort"is"underway"by"the"CDC"to"rid"our"planet"of"smallpox," but" anticvaxxers" have" created" pockets" of" communities" where" diseases" such" as" measles" have" returned." Decreased" research" and" development" spending"as"a"%"of"GDP"plays"a"part—President"Bush"promised"we’d"go" to"Mars,"and"we"went"to"Iraq"instead."

38"


The"proliferation"of"lobbying"groups"in"the"last"few"decades"has" professionalized"the"art"of"cherrycpicking"scientific"literature,"slandering" scientists" in" the" process." " In" a" recent" National/ Review" editorial," Charles" Cooke"unleashed"his"inner"greenceyed"monster"on"Neil"DeGrasse"Tyson" and" other" academics" that" Cooke" brands" as" “elitists”" and" ridiculed" as" “nerds.”" " The" public" perception" of" those" in" academia" as" “arrogant”" serves"to"perpetuate"even"more"distrust"of"the"scientific"community.""The" increasing" use" of" the" pejorative" term" “ivory" tower”" spreads" the" impression" that" scientific" research" is" simply" an" esoteric," arcane" matter," instead"of"one"of"the"pillars"of"modern"civilization." There" are" two" words" that" send" conservatives" and" libertarians" alike"into"a"panic:"“government"regulation.”""Immediately"upon"hearing" those"words,"they"paint"a"bleak"vision"of"a"dystopian"America"becoming" an"Orwellian"tyranny.""And"such"fears"form"the"central"talking"points"of" many," such" as" Sen." Rand" Paul" There"are"two"words"that" (RcKY)," who" opposes" mandac tory" vaccination." " Paul," and" send"conservatives"and" many" others," believe" that" libertarians"alike"into"a" individual" choice" should" trump" panic:"“government" any" effort" to" wipe" out" the" scourge" of" any" viruses" from" the" regulation.”""Immediately" face" of" the" earth." " But" vacc upon"hearing"those"words," cinations" are" not" simply" an" individual"health"issue;"they"are" they"paint"a"bleak"vision"of" a" public" health" issue." " And" the" a"dystopian"America" science" of" herd" immunity— becoming"an"Orwellian" which" protects" the" very" young," the" sick," and" the" immunec tyranny."" compromised—seems" to" be" lost" on" them." " If" they" haven’t" noticed," vaccination" campaigns" have" actually" eradicated" smallpox," which" caused" an" estimated" 300" million" or" more" deaths"in"the"20th"century"alone." At" the" farthest" end" of" the" antcscience" spectrum," tinfoilchat" denialists" immediately" scream" “Big" Pharma!,p" accusing" the" pharmaceutical" industry" of" poisoning" vaccines" to" make" a" profit." " They" produce" statistics" showing" a" correlation" between" vaccination" rates" and" autism" rates—ignoring" the" principle" that" correlation" does" not" equate" to" causation." " Such" a" causation" has" long" been" debunked" by" a" massive" number" of" independent" studies," and" Andrew" Wakefield’s" fraudulent" 1998"paper,"which"suggested"such"a"link"might"exist,"has"long"since"been" debunked" and" officially" retracted" by" the" journal" in" which" it" was" first"

39"


published."Wakefield’s"discredited"results"have"proven"irreproducible."" Still," anticvaccination" celebrities" such" as" Jenny" McCarthy" continue"to"push"their"agenda,"one"target"of"their"irrational"attacks"being" thimerosal," a" vaccine" preservative." An" organomercury" compound," it" serves"as"the"basis"of"the"claims"of"anticvaxxers"that"deadly"“mercury”"in" present"in"vaccines.""But,"once"again,"their"scientific"ignorance"is"revealed" through" their" failure" to" realize" that" compounds" and" elements" are" different.""This"is"middle"school"science.""Chlorine"is"poisonous,"but"table" salt" is" perfectly" safe." " Thimerosal" has" subsequently" been" removed" from" vaccinations"simply"to"calm"public"fears." Fifteen" years" ago," while" former" President" George" W." Bush" was" campaigning," he" told" the" U.S." Conference" of" Catholic" Bishops" that" he" would" ban" federal" funding" of" embryonic" stem" "cell" research." " Religious" groups"constantly"rail"about"the"immorality"of"using"a"ball"of"about"150" cells"for"such"research,"but"seem"to"forget"the"millions"of"potential"lives" that" such" research" promises" to" save." " Such" stem" cells" are" simply" excess" embryos"donated"by"in"vitro"fertilization"clinics.""In"2001,"Bush"claimed" that" there" were" “more" than" sixty" genetically" diverse”" embryonic" stem" cell" lines" when" he" compromised" between" scientists" and" religious" fringe" groups"and"allowed"some"federal"funding—but"only"for"the"precexisting" stem" cell" lines" “where" the" life" and" death" decision" has" already" been" made.”" Stanford" professor" Paul" Berg," a" Nobel" laureate" for" his" work" on" recombinant" DNA," deftly" schooled" the" Bush" White" House" on" the" nationallyctelevised"lie.""There"were"more"than"sixty"stem"cell"derivations" (which"were"simply"excess"embryos"that"had"been"dump"into"a"nitrogen" tank),"but"for"such"cells"to"be"viable"for"research"they"would"have"to"be" stem" cell" lines" (they" had" to" reliably" grow" and" divide)—only" 21" of" these" existed" at" the" time," and" all" of" these" lines" were" inadequate" as" they" were" poorly"cultured."" The" Bush" administration" didn’t" know," or" didn’t" seem" to" care," about" introductory" biology." " An" article" from" the" Yale/ Journal/ of/ Biology/ and/ Medicine" described" the" negative" consequences" on" research" that" resulted" from" this" ban—facing" such" restrictions," relations" with" international" institutions" deteriorated," and" scientists" had" to" rely" on" private"funding.""Collaboration"with"fellow"scientists"was"hindered.""The" fact" that" those" 21" stem" cell" lines" were" not" genetically" diverse" prevented" the"studying"of"specific"disease"processes"such"as"Parkinson’s.""President" Obama,"thankfully,"repealed"this"particular"ban,"but"stem"cell"researchers" still"face"numerous"political"obstacles."" A"few"months"ago,"Sen."James"Inhofe"(RcOK)"brought"a"snowball"

40"


out"onto"the"Senate"floor"as"a"prop"to"“demonstrate"it"was"very,"very"cold" out" there”—a" gimmick" immediately" ridiculed" by" the" press." " Arguably" the"most"serious"of"all"anticscience"positions"in"the"United"States,"climatec change" denial," is" especially" prominent" in" this" country" as" compared" to" other"developed"nations"around"the"world.""A"recent"Ipsos"MORI"survey" revealed"that"over"half"of"American"adults"believe"that"climate"change"is" simply" part" of" a" natural" global" warming" cycle." " In" a" Morning" Meeting" earlier" this" year," Trevor" Levin," 15q," pointed" out" the" irrationality" of" Inhofeqs"snowball"logic.""pIqll"place"a"ruler"on"the"ground,p"he"sarcastically" remarked,"pWait"."."."the"Earth"is"flat!p""Somewhat"ironically,"Inhofe"is"the" chair"of"the"Senate"Environment"and"Public"Works"committee." There" is" an" extremely" There"is"an"extremely" successful" attempt" to" mislead" successful"attempt"to"mislead" the" public" on" environmental" the"public"on"environmental" issues—often"by"politicians"who" have" received" hundreds" of" issues—often"by"politicians" millions" of" dollars" from" the" who"have"received"hundreds" fossil" fuels" industry" and" its" lobbyists." " Such" politicians," and" of"millions"of"dollars"from"the" their" accompanying" conservac fossil"fuels"industry"and"its" tive" pundits," have" branded" environmentalists"as"palarmists,p" lobbyists.""Such"politicians," and" have" steadily" denied" the" and"their"accompanying" existence" of" a" phenomenon" for" which" there" is" a" demonstrated" conservative"pundits,"have" branded"environmentalists"as" consensus"among"97%"of"climate" scientists.""But"climate"change"is" palarmists,p"and"have"steadily" happening," and" years" and" years" of" information" has" been" denied"the"existence"of"a" collected" by" established" scientic phenomenon"for"which"there" fic" organizations" showing" is"a"demonstrated"consensus" related" phenomena" such" as" ocean" acidification," seawater" among"97%"of"climate" warming," ozone" layer" holes," air" scientists.""" pollution"leading"to"increasingly" extreme"weather"patterns,"and"rising"sea"levels.""" When" confronted" with" such" facts," politicians" such" as" John" Boehner" (RcOH)" and" Ted" Cruz" (RcTX)" claim" “I’m" not" a" scientist,”" but" refuse" ever" to" accept" any" scientists’" explanations." " At" a" White" House" Correspondents’"Dinner,"when"President"Obama"stated"that"nine"out"of" the"ten"hottest"years"on"record"happened"in"the"past"decade,"his"comedic"

41"


“anger" translator,”" Luther," responded:" “Now," I’m" not" a" scientist," but" I" know"how"to"count"to"ten.”""Exactly—not"everyone"has"to"be"a"scientist," but"a"lack"of"specific"technical"knowledge"does"not"have"to"translate"into" outright"denial.""Not"content"with"boasting"about"his"paucity"of"scientific" knowledge,"Cruz"demonstrated"his"lack"of"knowledge"in"science"history" as" well" by" comparing" himself" to" Galileo," and" climate" scientists" to" “flatc Earth" heretics.”" " Galileo" was" persecuted" for" claiming" that" the" Earth" orbited" the" sun," and" not" for" claiming" the" Earth" was" round;" and" comparing" moderncday" scientists" to" 15th" century" religious" institutions" simply"emphasizes"his"lack"of"appreciation"for"the"scientific"process." Pundits,"meanwhile,"make"fraudulent"claims"as"a"result"of"their" cherry" picking." " Their" favorite" explanation" of" climate" change" is" Milankovitch" cycles—changes" in" the" axial" tilt" of" the" Earth" and" how" the" eccentricity" of" its" orbit" can" affect" climate." " This" forms" the" basis" of" their" repeated"claim"that"current"“climate"change"is"[just"part"of]"a"cycle.”""But" the" temperature" anomaly" doesn’t" correlate" with" what" Milankovitch" cycles" can" account" for." " There" are" your" classic" tinfoilchat" denialists," telling" fairy" tales" about" scientists" falsifying" research" data" to" gain" funding—with"no"such"statements"to"back"such"a"story"up." Aside"from"recent"examples"such"as"stem"cells,"vaccinations,"and" climate" change," other" issues" remain" contested" by" various" groups." " Ever" since"the"Scopes"(Monkey)"Trial"in"1927,"religious"fundamentalists"have" desired" to" sneak" creationism" into" the" classroom" through" “supplemental" materials.”" The" Supreme" Court" overturned" a" Louisiana" law" requiring" schools" to" teach" “creation" science”" in" 1987." " (This" was" a" case" in" which" amicus" curiae" briefs" were" filed" by" not" one," but" 72" Nobel" Prizecwinning" scientists.)" " Creation" science" is" built" upon" a" belief" that" the" Earth" was" created"by"a"divine"being"6,000"years"ago"out"of"nothing.""Unfortunately," evolution" remains" poorly" taught" and" explained" in" many" schools" in" the" United"States—especially"in"highly"religious"communities—and"slanders" the" scientific" method" by" blurring" it" with" theology," even" refuting" the" notion"that"science"is"an"objective"process.""As"a"result,"many"politicians" attempt" to" dodge" questions" regarding" their" viewpoint" on" evolution— although"the"theory"forms"an"integral"part"of"modern"biological"sciences." Such"anticintellectualism,"whether"for"financial,"religious"and/or" political" reasons," hinders" the" very" scientific" development" and" growth" that" has" demonstrably" improved" the" global" community." " Extreme" examples" of" moderncday" nations" rejecting" the" insights" of" science" for" political"gain"(and"suffering"the"consequences)"still"abound,"and"the"U.S." should" not" allow" itself" to" be" one" of" those" countries" willing" to" go" down" such"a"path.""

42"


Lysenkoism"(using"manipulated"data"to"arrive"at"predetermined" conclusions)"occurred"widely"in"the"Soviet"Union"under"Stalin,"and"was" used" by" the" Soviet" state" to" reject" accepted" evolutionary" theory" and" genetics" as" nothing" more" than" “bourgeois" pseudoscience.”" " Trofim" Lysenko," the" originator" of" this" movement," published" his" work" in" party" newspapers," instead" of" scientific" journals." " Combined" with" his" peasant" background," this" allowed" him" to" rise" through" the" ranks" of" the" Communists" Party," even" though" his" agricultural" theories" were" junk" science" and" were" seen" elsewhere" as" merely" a" way" to" unite" peasants" in" rural" areas" of" the" Soviet" Union." " His" opponents," mainly" established" geneticists," were" often" imprisoned" or" even" executed." " Such" persecution" did"serious,"longcterm"harm"to"Soviet"biological"research,"as"others"found" it" difficult" to" solve" agricultural" problems" without" actual" scientific" expertise."" Anticscience" advocates" aren’t" skeptics;" they’re" denialists." Skeptics" hold" a" healthy," questioning" attitude" about" new" research" findings.""Denialists"plug"their"fingers"into"their"ears"and"go"“Nah,"nah," nah”—even" when" presented" a" mountain" of" evidence." " By" spreading" misleading" rumors" (such" as" the" harm" of" thimerosal" in" vaccines" or" Milankovitch" cycles)" in" a" cynical" attempt" to" discredit" established" research," in" general," they" seek" to" confuse" the" public" by" spreading" their" plague"of"anticintellectualism." In"the"United"States,"there"is"no"shortage"of"scientific"issues"that" have"been"twisted"for"political"gain.""Aside"from"the"aforementioned"hotc button" topics" of" vaccines," stem" cell" research," and" climate" change," other" issues" include" the" safety" of" nuclear" power," the" safety" of" GMOs," a" supposed"link"between"mental"health/cancer"rates"and"abortion—the"list" goes" on" and" on." " From" tobacco" to" energy" companies," religious" sects" to" conspiracy"theorists,"there"have"been"more"soccalled"skeptics"than"should" reasonably" exist" in" the" 21st" century." " Media" pundits" bring" such" charlatans"into"the"national"spotlight"rather"than"relegating"such"vermin" to"the"fringes"of"civil"society." It" is" high" time" that" scientific" organizations" take" up" the" fight" against"this"army"of"anticscience"advocates,"by"raising"science"curriculum" standards"and"better"educating"the"public"so"as"to"debunk"their"baseless" claims.""The"true"benefits"of"furthering"scientific"research"must"be"made" clearer" to" all" Americans." " Ramping" up" the" pressure" against" politicians" who" withhold" or" divert" funding" to" appease" interest" groups" would" give" such" politicians" second" thoughts." " An" educated" populace" can" prevent" this" scourge" of" pseudoscience" from" ever" reaching" beyond" the" radical" fringe.""There"is"no"better"time"to"start"this"defense"than"now."

43"


A&BRAVE&(BUT&WISE)&NEW&WORLD& / Trevor/Levin/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / " In" 21stccentury" technology," humanity" faces" a" set" of" challenges" unlike" any" faced" in" its" history." " Yes," we" have" for" millennia" been" improving" the" human" experience" with" new" techniques" and" devices" of" ingenuity," but" never" before" has" For"us"to"make"these" the" rate" of" technological" decisions"as"a"society—as"the" development" promised" to" so" thoroughly" transform" society" in" alreadycstunning"rate"of" such"a"short"period.""On"the"one" technological"progress"simply" hand," the" dynamic" fields" of" genetics," nanotechnology," and" accelerates"while"our" robotics—GNR," in" futurist" increasingly"glacial"political" shorthand—may"offer"us"a"more" process"struggles"to"keep" stable" and" comfortable" existence." On" the" other," they" up—we"will"need"new" threaten" to" render" our" institutions.""We"will"need"a" accustomed" lives" nearly" nimble,"powerful"regulatory" unrecognizable." To" maximize" the" agency,"ultimately"controlled" benefits" that" these" technologies" by"our"elected" offer" us—and" to" minimize" the" representatives,"but"driven"by" risks—we" need" to" agree" on" the" ultimate" goal" of" technology." " It" technical"expertise"and" may" improve" our" health," our" guided"by"wise"philosophical" abilities," or" our" economy," but" those" are" means" to" an" end."" foresight.""We"need"the" Technology" should" improve" the" technological"equivalent"of"an" human" experience." " Thus," we" a" longcrun," allc S.E.C."(preferably"without"the" need" encompassing" utilitarianism."" corruption)." When" we" decide" whether" to" pursue"a"particular"technology"in"any"field,"we"need"to"consider"the"total" happiness" created" and" the" happiness" destroyed." " When" we" decide" how" to" allocate" our" resources" for" research," we" should" choose" the" areas" that"

44"


will" yield" the" greatest" improvement" to" our" experience—prioritizing" health,"for"example,"over"progress"for"its"own"sake." For" us" to" make" these" decisions" as" a" society—as" the" alreadyc stunning" rate" of" technological" progress" simply" accelerates" while" our" increasingly"glacial"political"process"struggles"to"keep"up—we"will"need" new" institutions." " We" will" need" a" nimble," powerful" regulatory" agency," ultimately" controlled" by" our" elected" representatives," but" driven" by" technical"expertise"and"guided"by"wise"philosophical"foresight.""We"need" the" technological" equivalent" of" an" S.E.C." (preferably" without" the" corruption)." What" should" this" agency" do?" " Ray" Kurzweil," one" of" the" most" famous" futurists," argues" that" the" risks" of" certain" technologies," such" as" selfcreplicating" nanobots," are" so" grave" that" we" need" to" completely" eliminate" their" worstccase" scenarios" long" before" we" seriously" invest" in" them." " This" applies" equally" to" robotics:" in" our" proposed" agency’s" calculation" as" to" how" far" is" too" far," we" must" give" heavy" weight" to" the" small" but" catastrophic" possibility" that" “strong" A.I.,”" (or" artificial" intelligence" capable" of" forming" its" own" judgments)" might" become" antagonistic" toward" humanity." " This" “Tech" S.E.C.”" would" also" need" to" take" firm" control" over" the" spread" of" such" transformative" technologies— perhaps" firmer" control" than" we" would" typically" prefer" to" cede" to" a" governmental" body—to" prevent" an" incredible" amount" of" power" from" falling"into"the"wrong"hands." Finally," we" cannot" let" fear" paralyze" us." " No," our" species" has" never" faced" such" rapid" changes," but" each" innovation" will" stem" from" a" human"desire"to"better"the"world.""GNR"has"such"an"amazing"potential"to" make" our" lives" longer," more" comfortable," and" more" productive" that" to" disregard"them"(or"attempt"to"do"so)"would"be"Luddite"folly.""We"must," for"our"own"sake,"press"forward—but"press"forward"wisely." " "

45"


WHAT&ARE&YOU&WAITING&FOR?& / Trevor/Levin/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / " Let’s"talk"about"politics"for"a"minute.""It’s"not"what"this"essay"is" about,"so"no"need"to"brace"yourself"for"controversy.""But,"the"Republicans" recently"assumed"control"of"the"House.""Back"in"January,"shortly"after"the" inauguration,"the"New/York/Times"ran"an"article"about"John"McCain,"who" had"just"become"chairman"of"the"Senate"Armed"Services"Committee.""The" article" said," “Mr." McCain" finally" There’s"nothing"wrong" has" the" only" job" in" Washington," other" than" being" president," that" with"working"towards" he" ever" wanted.”" " And" I" read" your"future,"but"if"we" that" and" thought," “Wow." " John" pursue"our"passions"purely" McCain" is" 78" years" old." " He" has" been" in" the" Senate" for" 35" years," for"the"purposes"of" and" he" now" has" the" first" job" he" personal"profit"."."."we" actually"wants!”" begin"to"treat"our" How" horrible" would" it" be" to" spend" the" first" seventyc surroundings"and"the" eight"years"of"your"life"just"going" people"in"them"as"nothing" from"steppingcstone"to"steppingc stone?" " Yet" people" commonly" but"means"to"an"end—and" treat" each" station" in" life" as" only" that’s"unfair."" being"useful"in"its"capacity"to"get" them" to" the" next" station." " I" will" submit" the" following" proposal" to" the" Rotary"FourcWay"Test:"We"need"to"start"treating"this"station"of"our"lives," the"present,"as"inherently"valuable." I"don’t"think"that’s"true"about"McCain,"by"the"way.""But"I"don’t" need" to" look" Washington" to" verify" Part" One" of" the" fourcway" test," “Is" it" true?”" " I" go" to" a" “prep" school,”" so" named" because," apparently," its" purpose" is" to" prepare" us" for" admission" to" and" success" in" elite" colleges" and" universities." " We" students" are" told" at" every" turn" to" think" of" the" collegecrelated" implications" of" our" decisions," from" what" classes" we" take" to" what" clubs" we" join" to" how" we" spend" our" summers." " And" while" it’s" sometimes"necessary"to"have"an"eye"towards"the"future,"when"we"so"far" remove"our"focus"from"the"present,"it’s"easy"to"view"these"four"years"as"

46"


little" more" than" an" audition" for" the" next" four." " In" a" widelyccirculated," controversial" article" called" “Don’t" Send" Your" Kid" to" the" Ivy" League,”" former" Yale" professor" William" Deresiewicz" described" how," essentially," this" attitude" turns" childhood" into" a" competition" to" accrue" the" most" impressive"ten"extracurricular"bullet"points." There’s"nothing"wrong"with"working"towards"your"future,"but"if" we" pursue" our" passions" purely" for" the" purposes" of" personal" profit—in" this" case," getting" into" that" “topcchoice”" school—we" begin" to" treat" our" surroundings" and" the" people" in" them" as" nothing" but" means" to" an" end," and"that’s"unfair.""If"you"view"your"colleagues,"teammates,"or"neighbors" as" a" means" to" an" end," not" only" do" you" violate" Kant’s" categorical" imperative," but" you" will" be" less" empathetic" and" less" kind" to" them."" You’re"prioritizing"your"own"ambitions"over"the"people"around"you.""If" you"treat"the"present"as"inherently"valuable,"however,"the"people"around" you"become"an"end"in"themselves.""Thus,"the"maxim"fulfills"Part"Two"of" the"fourcway"test:"“It"is"fair"to"all"concerned.”" Now," for" Part" Three—“Will" it" build" goodwill" and" better" friendships?”""I"ask"you"to"imagine"a"hypothetical"college"freshman,"one" who" views" his" next" four" years" strictly" as" a" steppingcstone" to" the" next" forty.""He"needs"to"focus"on"school,"work,"and"“networking.”""By"that,"I" mean" he" would" only" establish" the" friendships" he" believes" will" last" forever," or," more" cynically," only" those" he" believes" will" help" his" career."" What" kind" of" friendships" do" you" suppose" these" would" be?" " Selfish," calculated," disingenuous." " To" allow" room" for" human" connection," vulnerability," spontaneity," fun—in" short," to" allow" for" better" friendships—we" must" treat" friendship" as" something" good," not" as" something"useful.""In"other"words,"we"need"to"accept"that"their"benefits" in"the"present"make"them"valuable,"not"their"future"applications." Finally,"“Will"it"be"beneficial"to"all"concerned?”""Certainly:"if"we" interact" considerately" with" the" people" in" our" lives" now," rather" than" viewing" them" as" a" means" to" a" later" end," our" relationships" will" be" more" positive" and" our" community" stronger." " If" we" decide" what" to" do," not" because" it" will" look" good" on" our" resume," but" because" we" genuinely" believe"it"is"a"good"use"of"our"time"now,"our"intentions"will"be"purer,"our" actions"more"honest,"and"our"lives"happier." No"one"reading"this,"I’m"assuming,"is"John"McCain,"but"what"is" your"“Chairman"of"the"Armed"Services"Committee”?""I’m"not"asking"you" to" forget" about" it." " But" I" am" suggesting" this:" Don’t" wait" until" you" get" there"to"start"treating"your"journey"like"the"destination." " [This"essay"was"originally"written"and"delivered"for"a"Rotary"International"speech"contest.]"

47"


JUMPING&AHEAD& / Joanna/Malson/ Senior/ Richfield,/Ohio/ / / I"am"seventeen"and"a"half"years"old.""Almost"every"day,"I"drive"a" big" black" Fc150" with" all" the" windows" down" and" the" wind" blowing" through"my"tousled,"brown"hair"to"the"barn"where"I"ride"my"bay"gelding," who" falls" asleep" in" my" arms" whenever" I" scratch" his" ears" and" forelock." "" On" my" way" home" from" high" school," I" sing" Johnny" Cash" and" All"American"Rejects"at"the"top"of"my"voice"and"dance"with"one"hand"on" the"steering"wheel,"one"in"the"air.""I"have"the"ability"to"do"all"these"things" because"I"am"a"kid."""Applying"to"college"and"choosing"a"prom"date"are" my"main"sources"of"stress."""When"I"was"young,"I"thought"about"how"cool" it"would"be"to"read"Seventeen"magazine"and"actually"be"seventeen.""The" time" has" come," and" seventeen" Now"I"know"that"with"each" has" not" proven" to" be" as" glamorous" as" I" had" imagined." new"day,"my"time"to"ride" Each" day" I" get" older" and" closer" slowly"drains"away"like"the" to" the" magical" age" of" eighteen." "Soon" I" will" pack" my" sand"from"the"top"of"an" things" and" start" afresh" in" hourglass.""Each"day" another" school," possibly" across" another"grain"falls"to"the" the"country."" In"180"days,"I"will"turn"eighteen;" same"forsaken"pile"where"

all"the"previous"ones"lie."""

time"is"running"out."""What"will" happen"when"it"does?"""Some"

things"are"certain."""I"will"not"be"able"to"take"my"truck"with"me"to" college."""I"will"have"to"sell"my"horse,"my"most"prized"possession."""The" time"will"come"for"me"to"grow"up"and"act"like"an"adult"who"people"must" take"seriously.""There"is"a"very"real"world"out"there."""If"I"am"not"careful," it"will"chew"me"up"until"I"don’t"know"who"I"am"anymore,"and"then"spit" me"back"out."""As"a"kid,"I"have"an"excuse"to"be"naïve"and"make"mistakes," but"when"I"grow"up,"I"will"be"expected"to"make"thoughtful"choices"and" always"do"the"right"thing."" When"I"was"seven"or"eight"riding"horses"was"just"a"part"of"life.""I"

48"


still" seemingly" had" all" the" time" in" the" world" to" improve." "Now" I" know" that" with" each" new" day," my" time" to" ride" slowly" drains" away" like" the" sand" from" the" top" of" an" hourglass." "Each" day" another" grain" falls" to" the" same"forsaken"pile"where"all"the"previous"ones"lie.""So"I"try"to"relish"each" moment" with" my" horse," Harry."" I" walk" into" the" barn" and" the" routine" starts."""I"put"on"my"boots"and"chaps,"both"well"worn"from"many"days"of" use;" they" fit" me" just" right." " I" grab" my" brushes," pads," saddle," bridle" and" girth"and"march"my"way"down"to"Harry’s"stall.""I"quickly"put"down"my" things"because"I"cannot"wait"to"give"Harry"a"huge"hug"and"kiss.""It’s"been" almost"twentycfour"hours"since"I"saw"him"last."""I"grab"my"currycomb"to" loosen"the"dirt"from"Harry’s"hair,"starting"to"brush"at"the"top"of"his"head," right"behind"his"ears.""I"work"my"way"down"his"dark"brown"coat"all"the" way" to" his" legs," three" of" which" have" white" socks" and" one" that" remains" completely"black."""While"brushing,"I"spend"a"little"extra"time"on"his"itchy" spots," which" causes" him" to" wiggle" his" lip" and" stick" his" head" in" the" air."""To"keep"him"happy,"I"talk"to"him,"in"a"voice"two"octaves"higher"than" normal" and" tell" him" what" a" perfect" horse" he" is" and" how" much" I" love" him.""He"then"turns"his"head"to"look"my"way,"and"I"cannot"resist"giving" him"a"kiss"on"the"nose."" When" Harry" and" I" are" jumping" in" the" ring," I" trust" him," and" he" trusts"me"to"clear"the"jump."""I"feel"him"take"each"step,"for"he"becomes"my" legs"and"I"his"brain.""We"turn"the"corner"and"I"find"the"center"of"the"jump," lining"it"up"like"we"are"the"center"of"a"picture"frame.""One,"two,"one,"two." I"count"the"strides"in"my"head"so"they"remain"steady,"and"we"get"to"the" jump"with"a"perfect"distance.""One,"two,"jump,"and"we"leave"the"ground."" I"feel"the"wind"through"my"helmet.""His"hooves"touch"down,"and"now"it" is"time"to"think"about"the"next"jump.""At"the"end"of"our"course,"I"am"so" thankful"to"have"a"horse"like"Harry,"and"he"can"sense"it.""Harry"and"I"are" a"team."""I"wish"that"I"would"never"have"to"say"goodbye."" My" biggest" fear" looms" ahead." "I" will" leave" my" home," and" everything" will" change." "Of" course," I" can" always" come" back" home," but" once"I"leave"it"will"never"be"the"same.""Harry"and"the"barn"will"no"longer" be"my"escape"from"the"real"world.""My"truck"will"no"longer"be"filled"with" my"mixed"CDs,"girly"air"fresheners,"and"pictures"on"the"dashboard.""My" friends"who"have"supported"and"helped"me"through"all"of"the"heartbreak" and"sudden"deaths"will"be"leaving"as"well.""I"am"not"afraid"to"live"on"my" own"and"take"care"of"myself,"but"all"the"preparation"in"the"world"cannot" soften"the"ache"and"fear"of"the"leaving"the"only"life"I"have"ever"known."" " "

49"


GRANDMA’S&GIRLHOOD&WAR& / Anna/McMurchy/ Senior/ Aurora,/Ohio/ / / Just" like" the" brave" young" Reserve" boys" from" ages" past," about" whom" we" hear" during" every" Veterans" Day" ceremony," my" grandma’s" high" school" years" were" engulfed" by" the" turbulent" tide" of" wartime." " She" lived"in"Keewatin,"Ontario"throughout"her"childhood"and"therefore"had" a" somewhat" different" experience" during" World" War" Two" than" we" Americans"did"south"of"the"Canadian"border.""Quick"to"demonstrate"its" loyalty" to" the" United" Kingdom," Canada" declared" war" on" Germany" on" September" 10," 1939," just" one" month" after" England" and" France" done" so."" Ms." Karin" McMurchy" (Karin" Olson" at" the" time)" was" just" entering" the" seventh" grade." " Living" in" a" small" town" of" only" about" 1,500" people," she" relates"stories"of"food"rationing,"enlistment"posters,"and"London"refugee" children,"along"with"some"more"intriguing"tales"unique"to"her"region."" “Everything"was"scarce"at"that"time,”"remarks"Ms."McMurchy,"as" she" describes" the" rationing" system." " People" received" food" stamps" very" different"from"the"kind"we"think"of"today.""These"stamps"allowed"people" to" purchase" a" limited" amount" of" certain" products." " Things" considered" “luxury" goods”" such" as" butter" and" sugar" were" most" heavily" rationed," along" with" such" commodities" as" meat" and" tea." " Baked" sweets" became" a" distant"memory—chocolate"but"a"bittersweet"reminder"of"days"gone"by."" Ms." McMurchy’s" mother" sometimes" managed" to" get" a" little" cream" from" the" small" local" farms." " A" major" flourmill," Five" Roses," operated" in" her" town." " Their" finished" product" came" in" redcandcwhiteccheckered" bags" made"of"cloth"that"the"locals"often"turned"into"curtains"or"tablecloths"due" to" the" scarcity" of" new" fabric." " This" shortage" caused" a" change" in" the" fashion"industry.""Collars"began"disappearing"from"women’s"suits"so"as" to"use"less"material.""Nylon"stockings"practically"vanished"from"the"store" shelves;" if" one" of" your" pairs" got" a" run" in" it," you" had" no" choice" but" to" stitch" it" up." " One" of" my" grandmother’s" high" school" friends" wore" her" brother’s"handcmecdown"bellbottoms"to"school.""These"pants"came"from" her" brother’s" navy" uniform." " The" Keewatin" soldiers" serving" overseas" loved" receiving" shipments" of" Five" Roses" grain," which" exported" large" quantities"of"its"goods,"via"train"and"merchant"ship,"to"the"Allied"forces" in"Europe.""It"reminded"their"boys"of"home."

50"


While" those" Canadians" felt" far" from" home" stationed" over" in" a" foreign" land," a" group" of" their" German" counterparts" felt" the" same" way" when" they" were" taken" prisoner" and" brought" to" Keewatin" to" serve" as" forced" labor." " McMurchy" remembers" how" the" villagers" would" wave" goodbye" to" their" brightceyed" young" men" as" the" troop" trains" whisked" them" off" to" war." " Sometimes" the" bystanders" would" hand" them" oranges" through" the" train" windows." " On" the" day" that" these" infamous" war" prisoners" arrived," however," the" villagers" handed" out" nothing" but" steely" glares" as" the" train" bearing" the" scorned" cargo" chugged" into" the" station."" “One" boy’s" eyes" were" an" unusually" bright," vibrant" blue," and" we" all" commented" on" how" icy" and" threatening" they" seemed." " Now," I" realize" they" were" probably" just" a" bunch" of" scared" boys" like" ours,”" McMurchy" comments." " Guards" transported" the" prisoners" by" boat" to" a" secluded" island" where" they" would" labor" away" in" lumber" camps." " One" of" the" prisoners" possessed" a" gift" for" woodcarving," and" he" gave" some" of" his" pieces"to"a"guard"who"sent"them"to"his"own"wife,"an"aunt"of"McMurchy."" For" the" most" part," Ms." McMurchy" and" her" school" friends" remained"undisturbed"by"the"war—unless,"of"course,"one"of"their"loved" ones" was" killed." " Her" future" sistercinclaw’s" husband" lost" a" leg" when" his" tank" blew" up" near" the" end" of" the" war." " McMurchy’s" own" husband," my" grandpa," never" did" get" to" go" fight,"because"each"time"his"unit" Feelings"of"national"pride" was" about" to" deploy" they" held" swelled"in"this"era"as"people," him" back" to" train" the" new" even"high"school"children," recruits"in"weaponry.""Even"after" rushed"out"to"buy"war"bonds," the"war"in"Europe"had"ended,"he" still"longed"to"ship"out"and"even" watch"propaganda"films"with" taught" himself" Japanese," but" he" great"fascination,"and" never" did" get" the" chance" to" use" it.""Ms."McMurchy’s"school"kept" eventually"welcome"their" her" upctocdate" on" all" the" war’s" boys"home"with"such"fanfare" current" events," especially" that"entire"cities"shut"down"as" whenever" Allied" ships" invaded" Axis" lands." " When" asked" about" everyone"simply"abandoned" whether" her" school" ever" had" air" their"workplaces"to"celebrate" raid" drills," she" remarks" that" the" Germans" were" too" far" away" to" the"dawn"of"peacetime.""" attempt"any"attack"by"air.""Their" allies" in" London," however," were" not" so" lucky." " She" remembers" little" " refugee" children" whom" concerned" parents" had" sent" away" from" vulnerable" English" cities" to" protect" them" from" the" merciless" Axis"

51"


bombing.""The"mother"of"the"aforementioned"man"who"lost"a"leg"took"in" twin" girls;" they" lived" with" this" woman" in" North" Bay" for" several" years" before"it"was"deemed"safe"to"return."" Another" relative," also" one" of" McMurchy’s" aunts," lived" in" England"at"the"time.""Ms."McMurchy’s"mother"often"sent"her"food"parcels" containing"canned"meats"and"fruitcake"to"help"her"survive.""Because"my" grandpa" did" not" smoke," he" traded" his" governmentcissued" cigarettes" for" baloney"and"other"necessities.""Back"in"the"town"of"Keewatin,"a"German" woman"lived"with"her"Canadian"husband.""Despite"her"two"sons"heading" off" to" war" on" the" Allied" side," the" villagers" still" frowned" upon" her" and" ostracized" her" as" the" enemy." " Feelings" of" national" pride" swelled" in" this" era"as"people,"even"high"school"children,"rushed"out"to"buy"war"bonds," watch"propaganda"films"with"great"fascination,"and"eventually"welcome" their" boys" home" with" such" fanfare" that" entire" cities" shut" down" as" everyone" simply" abandoned" their" workplaces" to" celebrate" the" dawn" of" peacetime.""" " "

52"


WALKING&FROM&SELMA& / Anna/McMurchy/ Senior/ Aurora,/Ohio/ / / My"friend"and"I"" hustled"into"the"theater"several"minutes"late." The"feature"had"not"yet"begun;" the"ads"were"still"making"their"enticing"run." It"was"dark." We"laughed"and"held"hands." We"made"a"game"out"of"who"would"pull"away"first." Her"palm"was"sweaty;" My"fingers"were"cold." I"wondered"what"other"people"around"us"might"think" but"decided"that"I"didn’t"give"a"damn"what"they"thought." It’s"2015." They"could"deal"with"it." And"besides," it"was"dark—" too"dark"to"even"notice"" anything"about"the"other"people"sitting"beside"you." " So"the"movie"began" with"four"little"girls"walking"down"the"steps"of"a"church." I"knew"what"was"coming." I"had"read"about"this"many"times." I"had"even"read"the"poem"about"it—" the"thought"of"which"still"socks"me"in"the"gut" each"time"I"remember"its"melancholy"rhyme." The"“Ballad"of"Birmingham”"it’s"called." As"its"rhythm"marches"on," line"by"wretched"line," the"words,"they"flawlessly"convey"" the"horror"of"the"time." " “First,"she"parts"it"down"the"middle,"and"then...”" KABOOM!"

53"


The"little"girl"never"gets"to"finish"her"description"" of"Coretta"Scott"King’s"hair," as"the"entire"church," and"all"her"friends," are"blown"to"bits"around"her." Her"only"crime," in"that"sad"time," was"being"different." “If"that’s"a"crime,”"her"people"cried"out," then"you’ll"have"to"throw"us"all"in"jail," because"we’re"guilty"of"it"too.”" " And"though"they"tried," those"nasty"bigots," they"tried"to"put"them"all"away," but"you"can’t"hide"injustice"forever." Eventually,"you"run"out"of"room"in"a"jail—" no"matter"how"many"kids"you"stuff"in"one"cell—" and"when"your"prisons"runneth"over"."."."" We"shall"overcome." " So"why"don’t"you"come"over,"friends?" To"a"time"and"place" where"black"and"white"" can"catch"the"light" and"hold"it"aloft"together—" illuminating"the"landscape"of"an"infinitely"brighter"future." A"place"where"we"can"make"a"movie"like"Selma" and"watch"and"shake"our"heads"and"say," “My"God,"I"can’t"believe"people"ever"treated"each"other"like"that.”" " The"movie"over,"our"hands"separated" but"clapping"along"with"everyone"else’s"in"the"theater," my"friend"and"I"exited"theater"number"8." We"stood"blinking"in"the"bright"lights"of"the"hallway" and"turned"to"watch"the"river"of"people"streaming"out"after"us—" all"of"whom"were"black." We"hadn’t"noticed"in"the"darkness"of"the"theater," as"we"watched"the"film"that"described"how"we"as"a"country" got"to"this"place"where"it"didn’t"matter"whom"you"shared"a"theater"with." I"felt"like"clapping"just"for"that."

54"


My"friend"and"I"rushed"to"the"bathroom"" where"I"took"my"place"in"line"behind"several"smiling"black"ladies." You"could"see"the"pride"written"into"the"curl"of"their"lips—"" the"swing"of"their"hips" and"the"straightness"of"their"spines." And"that"moment," in"that"public"restroom," I"felt"glad"that"I"was"no"Ms."Hilly" and"that"in"this"country" no"one"who"thought"like"Ms."Hilly"Holbrook" would"ever"be"revered"again." " " "

55"


LIAR,&LIAR,&PANTS&ON&FIRE& / Niraj/Naik/ Junior/ Twinsburg,/Ohio/ / / I"rushed"down"the"stairs,"my"chest"tightening"as"my"sister"yelled" behind"me.""She"bellowed,"“Go!"You’re"late!”""Apparently,"she"believed"I" was"not"already"aware"of"this"fact.""I"stumbled"out"of"the"dormitory"door" and" straight" up" to" a" bright" yellow" taxicab." " A" young" man," either" of" Hispanic"or"MiddlecEastern"background,"hopped"out"of"the"vehicle"with" a"big"smile"on"his"face,"clearly"ready"to"sell"this"experience.""Although"he" was" eager" to" help" me," I" insisted" on" heaving" my" own" suitcase" into" the" velvetclined"trunk.""I"then"hopped"into"the"cab,"immediately"sensitive"to" the"massive"amount"of"bacteria"seemingly"covering"every"surface"on"the" interior"of"the"vehicle.""I"winced."" Faint" hipchop" music" played" in" the" background," and" soon" we" were"off.""Cigarette"smoke"“perfumed”"the"air.""It"seemed"like"something" from" the" movie" Taxi," starring" Jimmy" Fallon" and" Queen" Latifah," which" was" the" first" movie" that" made" me" feel" like" I" appreciated" highbrow" humor." (Ironically," the" movie" scored" only" a" 10%" on" Rotten" Tomatoes," clearly" failing" to" acquire" the" same" level" of" critical" approval" from" actual" movie"reviewers.)" My" mind" was" soon" drifting" and" gliding" aimlessly" from" tangent" to" tangent," until," that" is," the" taxi" driver" barked" out" in" broken" English," “Spring"Break?”""I"wasn’t"sure"at"first"just"what"he"had"said,"as"his"accent" was" so" thick," but" after" a" slightly" uncomfortable" pause," I" responded," “Yeah!"Yep.”" “Good,”"he"beamed"at"me." "Then"he"asked,"“You"go"vacation?”" I"replied,"nonchalantly,"“Yes.”" “Which"school"you"go?”""At"the"time,"I"was"on"my"way"back"to" Ohio"after"having"just"spent"a"few"days"visiting"my"sister"in"Houston"in" order"to"check"out"her"school,"so"I"replied,"“Rice"University,”"as"I"figured" he"was"asking"where"I"had"just"been"visiting.""This"turned"out"to"be"my" first"mistake." “What" you" study?”" he" casually" inquired" in" his" roughchewn" English.""All"at"once,"I"realized"the"error"of"my"ways.""This"man"thought"I" was"a"college"student!"

56"


At"this"point"in"the"story,"I"faced"a"moral"dilemma.""We"live"our" whole" lives" being" told" that" lying" is" detrimental" to" our" futures" and" that" honesty" is" always" the" best" policy." " In" large" part," this" is" true." " But" occasionally" hiding" the" truth" undeniably" solves" some" problems."" Whether" it’s" withholding," or" manipulating," or" outright" manufacturing" information" out" of" nothing," lying" can" definitely" prove" beneficial" from" time"to"time.""And,"of"course,"lies"come"in"all"sizes:"from"the"miniscule"to" the" magnificent." " It" is" this" latter" category" of" lies," I" have" to" admit," that" tends" to" fascinate" me." " This" is," in" fact," what" bring" us" back" to" that" inquisitive"taxi"driver." "Oh/shit,"I"thought," What/do/I/say/now?!""He/wants/to/know/what/I/ study!""My"mind"raced.""Was"I"supposed"to"now"explain"that"I"was"not,"in" reality," a" college" student—that" I" was," in" fact," just" a" high" school" student" from"a"boarding"school"in"Ohio"who"had"simply"been"visiting"my"sister," who" was" a" college" student," and" that" this" is" why" he" had" picked" me" up" from"in"front"of"a"dormitory"(perhaps"leading"to"his"initial"confusion"as" to"just"who"and"what"I"was)?""First"of"all,"that"explanation"just"sounded" lame." " Second," was" he" even" going" to" understand" such" an" elaborate" response" given" his" obviously" limited" English" abilities?" " I" was" caught" in" quite"the"conundrum." After" a" couple" seconds" I" spat" out" a" single" word," “Law.”" " I" had" done"it.""High"school"student,"Niraj"Naik,"had"ceased"to"exist"in"that"exact" moment.""Law"student,"Niraj"Naik,"by"contrast,"had"been"born.""I"hadn’t" set" out" to" lie." " But" the" logic" of" My"lie"was"compelling."" my"course"was"undeniable.""One" word" served" to" dissolve" all" the" Moreover,"despite"its" unnecessary" stress." " What" else" obvious"deceit,"it"revealed" was"I"to"do?" a"kind"of"truth"about"my" Almost" immediately," I" began" to" relax" into" my" story." " I" life"that"a"factual" began"to"relate"to"this"cab"driver" recounting"of"my" my"entire"(false)"“life"story.”"" “Why" you" study" law?”" circumstances"would"have" he"asked."" concealed.""" “Well,"my"whole"family" consists"of"lawyers,"so"that"path"was"already"decided"for"me.”""(My"dad" is" actually" a" polymer" scientist." " Yet" I" continued" to" author" my" new" biography.)""“I"guess"I’m"not"sure"this"is"what"I"want,”"I"confessed,"“but"I" feel" such" a" responsibility" to" perform" for" my" family." " They’re" really" counting"on"me.”" He" looked" at" me" through" the" rearview" mirror" with" such"

57"


thoughtful" eyes," perhaps" because" he" simply" wanted" my" money," but" in" my" heart" I" believed" it" was" because" my" story" reminded" him" of" how" he" had" once" wished" for" another" life" for" himself" as" well." " We" had" bonded" over"our"mutual"sacrifices"to"satisfy"our"parents’"dreams"for"us." We" pulled" up" to" the" airport," and" he" put" the" car" into" park." " He" turned" around" and" smiled" warmly" at" me." " I" handed" him" some" cash" for" the"bill"and"tip,"to"which"he"grinned"widely"and"said,"“Thank"you.”" I" exited" the" cab," and" he" handed" me" my" suitcase." " We" shook" hands"and"then"parted"ways.""As"I"walked"through"the"airport,"I"couldn’t" shake"my"lie.""It"seemed"there"was"still"a"loose"string"hanging"from"me," just"waiting"to"be"pulled"by"an"invisible"hand"at"which"point"my"whole" fictitious"world"would"unravel.""I"thought"about"what"I"had"meant"to"that" cabby"and"what"he"had"seen"in"me." My" lie" had" been" compelling." " Moreover," despite" its" obvious" deceit,"it"revealed"a"kind"of"truth"about"my"life"that"a"factual"recounting" of"my"circumstances"would"have"concealed.""Lies"function"as"tools.""They" can"be"used"as"weapons,"but"they"can"also"be"used"to"build"monuments" to"the"human"experience.""That"is"the"choice"we"have"as"liars—to"build"or" destroy." " "

58"


SEARCHING&FOR&HARMONY& / Simon/Ong/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / / Many" who" know" me" might" be" surprised" to" discover" that" there" was"once"a"time"in"my"life"when"I"attended"church.""This"was"not"a"time" when" I" went" as" a" very" young" child," participating" only" because" my" parents" did." " I" was" not" raised" religiously" and" did" not" begin" attending" until" the" fourth" grade." " Neither" was" my" presence" an" indicator" of" some" personal"epiphany,"some"discovery"of"faith"that"my"fourth"grade"self"had" experienced.""No,"I"began"going"to"church"because"I"wanted"to"sing." I" discovered" a" love" for" singing" at" a" young" age." " Whether" it" wa" singing" along" to" VHS" tapes" of" Raffi" or" memorizing" the" entirety" of" the" Sondheim" musical" Into/ the/ Woods,/ singing" has" always" been" something" I" enjoyed.""However,"as"I"reached"third"and"fourth"grade,"I"discovered"that" there" just" weren’t" that" many" opportunities" to" sing" at" my" elementary" school." " There" was" no" choir" class," and" I" could" not" participate" in" the" school" musical" until" I" was" in" at" least" the" seventh" grade." " There" was" a" music"class,"sure,"but"most"of"that"was"spent"learning"the"different"types" of" instruments" rather" than" singing." " To" my" great" frustration," there" just" wasn’t" that" much" opportunity" I"had"never"been"to"church."" for" singing" at" this" time" in" my" life." I"didn’t"know"anything" This" all" changed" when" about"Christianity"beyond" my"best"friend"at"the"time"began" singing" at" Christ" Church" the"basics:"the"Bible,"Adam" Episcopal," just" a" mere" five" &"Eve,"Noah,"Jesus,"of" minute" walk" from" my" house." " I" had" never" been" to" church." " I" course—and"I"knew"that" didn’t" know" anything" about" Santa"Claus"and"the"Easter" Christianity" beyond" the" basics:" Bunny"were"somehow"tied" the" Bible," Adam" &" Eve," Noah," Jesus," of" course—and" I" knew" in"there"too.""" that" Santa" Claus" and" the" Easter" Bunny" were" somehow" tied" in" there" too." " I" definitely" didn’t" have" the" whole" thing" quite" figured" out" yet," but" I" wanted" to" sing" and" desperate" times"called"for"desperate"measures,"so"I"got"my"dad"to"talk"to"the"rector,"

59"


a" close" friend" of" my" grandfather’s" at" the" time," and" I" was" quickly" welcomed"into"the"children’s"choir"alongside"my"friend." I"didn’t"really"think"much"else"of"it"at"the"time.""What"difference" did" it" make" if" I" was" singing" in" a" church." " So" what" if" I" didn’t" actually" believe" what" the" rest" of" the" kids" and" adults" there" did?" " Surely" not" everybody" who" goes" to" church" actually" believes" all" that" stuff" anyway," right?""There"was"no"way"I"was"all"alone.""And"even"if"I"was,"I"was"just" singing.""Nobody"was"asking"me"to"proselytize"to"anyone." And" so" began" my" first" week" of" church" choir" rehearsals."" Musically,"it"was"a"different"experience"for"me.""Seldom"had"I"ever"been" asked"to"read"music"before.""I"was"used"to"singing"by"ear,"so"being"given" a"piece"of"sheet"music,"with"the"choir"director"expecting"me"to"know"how" to" sightcread" it" was" pretty" difficult." " However," I" found" it" to" be" a" new" challenge"worth"tackling.""I"quickly"caught"up"with"learning"many"of"the" pieces" the" group" had" been" working" on" and" began" to" hit" the" hymnal" as" Sunday’s"service"was"fast"approaching." It" was" at" that" Sunday" service" that" I" first" felt" truly" out" of" my" element." " Suddenly," it" wasn’t" as" much" about" the" music." " This" was" no" concert.""People"were"not"going"to"church"to"hear"us.""We"were"merely"a" musical"backdrop"to"the"religious"ceremony."I"was"witnessing"rituals"and" hearing"preaching"which"I"knew"next"to"nothing"about.""Understandably," I" was" slightly" uncomfortable." " For" the" first" time," I" felt" as" if" I" did" not" belong,"as"if"I"were"a"stranger"in"a"strange"land.""But"I"was"able"to"push" my"uneasiness"aside.""Again,"I"reassured"myself,"I"didn’t"have"to"believe" what"the"minister"was"saying.""I"was"there"to"sing." However," things" only" got" worse" when" it" came" time" for" communion," a" ritual" I" had" not" been" informed" of" in" advance." " Out" of" nowhere," I" found" myself" being" ushered" out" of" the" choir" pew" and" lined" up" at" the" altar." " Before" I" knew" it," I" was" kneeling" before" the" rector" as" he" handed" me" a" wafer." " I" looked" around" frantically" to" my" choir" friends." Their"heads"were"all"bowed"with"their"wafers"in"their"hands.""I"pretended" to"do"the"same"but"remained"alert"to"my"surroundings,"as"I"had"no"real" idea"what"was"happening.""Slowly,"a"woman"approached"from"the"altar" with"a"chalice"of"wine.""I"watched"as"my"peers"dipped"their"wafers"in"the" wine" and" then" put" it" into" their" mouths." " Reluctantly," I" followed" suit" as" the" woman" issued" a" blessing" above" me." " The" soggy" wafer" tasted" bland" and" unpleasant" and" made" my" breath" reek" of" wine" afterwards." " I" was" confused," uncomfortable," and" becoming" increasingly" disgusted" as" I" watched" some" older" members" of" the" church" not" dip" their" wafers" in" the" wine,"but"drink"directly"from"the"chalice!"" The" next" Sunday" my" dad" and" I" spoke" to" the" rector" before" the"

60"


service"about"the"discomfort"I"felt"taking"communion.""He"was,"of"course," very" understanding" and" accommodating" of" my" circumstances:" I" was" there" to" sing," not" express" faith." " Instead" of" the" usual" wafer" and" wine," I" would"from"now"on"get"a"blessing"instead.""It"involved"no"participation" on"my"part"and"was"short,"sweet,"and"to"the"point." Before" long," I" again" felt" comfortable" in" the" environment." " Even" though"it"had"become"abundantly"clear"that"everybody"who"attended"the" services"adamantly"believed"it"all,"and"it"would"take"very"little"effort"for" any"observer"to"see"that"I"did"not,"I"found"that"that"didn’t"matter.""For"the" three" years" that" I" sang" in" the" choir" there," the" people" of" Christ" Church" Episcopal"proved"that"they"didn’t"care"what"I"believed"or"how"I"lived"my" life.""They"liked"my"singing"and"seemed"to"like"me"as"well." That"is"why"I"found"it"so"shocking"to"discover"a"few"years"later" that"atheists"are"the"most"hated"minority"in"America.""A"recent"study"by" the" University" of" Minnesota" showed" that" when" Americans" Is"it"possible"that"over"onec were"asked"which"group"did"not" third"of"the"people"I"have" fit" in" at" all" with" their" vision" of" ever"met"in"my"life"feel"that" American" society," 39.6%" responded" with" “atheists.”"" I"have"no"place"in"their" Furthermore," when" the" same" version"of"America?""Is"it" group" was" asked" which" group" they" would" most" disapprove" of" the"case"that"half"of"the" their" child" wanting" to" marry," a" women"I"might"meet"will" massive" 47.6%" responded," once" have"parents"who"would" again,"with"“atheists.”""This"was" astonishing"to"me.""Is"it"possible" disapprove"of"my" that"over"onecthird"of"the"people" marrying"their"daughter," I" have" ever" met" in" my" life" feel" purely"because"of"my"lack" that" I" have" no" place" in" their" version" of" America?" " Is" it" the" of"religious"beliefs? case" that" half" of" the" women" I" might" meet" will" have" parents" who" would" disapprove" of" my" marrying" their"daughter,"purely"because"of"my"lack"of"religious"beliefs?" This" information" could" not" be" reconciled" with" my" own" experience" at" Christ" Church" Episcopal." " Had" I" missed" something?" " Was" there"actually"intolerance"all"around"me"that"I"hadn’t"noticed?""It"didn’t" make"sense.""To"be"perfectly"honest,"it"still"doesn’t.""I"have"had"my"tense" runcins,"to"be"sure.""But"I"would"say"that"the"majority"of"people"who"have" heard" my" stance" on" religion" do" not" immediately" dismiss" me" as" an" evil" human" being." " I" hope" this" continues" to" be" the" case" when," upon"

61"


graduating"from"WRA,"I"step"into"a"larger"world"next"year.""It"is"possible," I"suppose,"that"I"may"find"that"this"not"to"be"the"case.""I"think"that"makes" it" all" the" more" important" that" I" always" remember" my" experiences" at" Christ"Church.""There,"I"learned"to"stick"to"my"passion,"to"not"simply"stop" doing" something" I" enjoy" just" because" I" might" temporarily" feel" uncomfortable"or"out"of"my"element"and—most"importantly—"to"always" give" people" holding" different" views" from" your" own" the" benefit" of" the" doubt.""They"just"might"surprise"you." " "

62"


OFFER&IT&UP&TO&WHATEVER& / Charles/Prendergast/ Senior/ Wooster,/Ohio/ / / When"I"was"a"kid,"I"would"spend"several"hours"out"of"every"day" in" abject" misery." " I" learned" to" survive" barely" tolerable" conditions" that" governmental" authorities" today" would" never" tolerate" given" modern" expectations"for"nurturing"and"pampering.""The"intolerable"circumstance" of"my"youth"to"which"I"am"referring"was"called"kindergarten,"and"every" day" of" it" was" a" new" hell." " At" the" end" of" each" day," I" would" drag" my" fatigued" body" to" my" mother’s" waiting" car" and" collapse" in" the" back."" While" the" stereotypical" child" While"the"stereotypical" tends" to" reveal" as" little" as" possible" when" encountering" child"tends"to"reveal"as" parental"questioning"about"their" little"as"possible"when" day," this" particular" kinderc encountering"parental" gartener" was" ready" and" willing" to" hold" forth" for" as" long" as" questioning"about"their" possible" about" how" terrible" the" day,"this"particular" day"had"been.""“Today"I"had"the" sharing" candle," but" Robert" kept/ kindergartener"was"ready" talking," even" though" I" had" the" and"willing"to"hold"forth" sharing" candle," and" that’s" not" for"as"long"as"possible" allowed," but" Mrs." Melon" didn’t" even" tell" him" to" stop," even" about"how"terrible"the"day" though" I" had" the" sharing" had"been."" candle.”" " My" parents" dealt" with" this" sort" of" thing" admirably," given" the" large" amounts" of" other" crap" any" mother" or" father" has" to" deal" with" on" a" daily" basis." " Whereas" many" parents" would" probably" have" responded" to" such" complaints" with" something" along" the" lines" of" “shhhhhh,”" my" parents" went" in" a" very" different"direction:"“Good"job"getting"through"the"day,"Charles,"here’s"a"." ." ." [insert" the" name" of" any" cheap" gift" that" would" delight" a" kindergartener].”""This"had"its"intended"effect,"kind"of,"for"a"few"weeks."" Soon," however," I" was" gratefully" accepting" the" proffered" gift" but" then" proceeding" to" vent" about" all" the" injustices" dealt" to" me" with" the" same" intensity" as" I" had" before." " That’s" when" my" mother" brought" out" the" big"

63"


gun:""Religion." “You" know," Charles," whenever" I’m" feeling" bad" I" take" it" aside" and"wrap"it"up.""Then"I"offer"it"up"to"God.""He’s"there"to"help"you"with" your"problems.”""This"didn’t"really"have"the"intended"effect"as"far"as"my" discontent" about" kindergarten" was" concerned—I" still" continued" to" complain" about" that" bitterly—but" the" image" of" my" wrapping" up" a" physical"object"in"aluminum"foil"and"then"letting"it"float"gently"up"to"our" Lord" (here" imagined" as" a" mix" between" Shiva" and" Da" Vinci’s" Vitruvian" Man," dwarfing" the" surrounding" clouds)" managed" to" stick" with" me."" While" the" concept" didn’t" quite" work" in" the" context" of" my" miserable" kindergarten"experience,"it"did"on"occasion"actually"turn"one"of"my"bad" moods"good.""This"was"probably"less"because"I"had"made"God"deal"with" my" negativity" and" more" because" I" realized" that" being" unhappy" kind" of" sucked"and"thus"saying,"To/hell/with/it;/I’m/putting/this/to/the/side"often"felt" pretty"nice.""This"proved"a"fairly"successful"way"of"dealing"with"negative" feelings" to" my" religiousconcaclevelcsocshallowcitconlycexistedcverballyc tocauthoritycfigures" kindergartencself." " But" what" about" my" current" maybecaclittlecbitcspiritualcbutcdefinitelycnoclongercCatholiccandccouldc gocfullcblowncatheistcanycdaycnowcself?" " The" answer" is," apparently," to" change"the"method"as"little"as"possible.""A"secular"“offer"it"up”"looks"like" the" same" package" slowly" rising" into" the" clouds," this" time" with" no" supreme"being"to"accept"it.""I"am"not"sure"just"what"happens"to"these"bits" of" unhappiness" set" free" into" the" universe." " Maybe" they" just" keep" rising," and" end" up" in" orbit?" " It" is" really" just" an" overblown" metaphor" anyway."" But"if"this"metaphor"could"help"me"just"a"little,"maybe"it"can"help"others."" Or" maybe" not." " Perhaps" I" am" the" only" person" who" could" benefit" from" such"a"simple"solution"to"such"a"general"problem.""But"why"not"give"it"a" try?""You"have"nothing"to"lose"."."."except"a"little"aluminum." " "

64"


THE&DESTRUCTION&OF&HUMANITY&BY&AI& / Graham/Sell/ Junior/ Akron,/Ohio/ / / Since"the"invention"of"the"computer"in"the"last"century,"software" has" made" significant" leaps" in" both" scope" of" application" and" range" of" capability.""Early"computers"took"up"entire"buildings"and"could"perform" only"the"simplest"of"calculations.""Now,"they"can"be"as"small"as"coins"and" perform" significantly" more" complex" operations" a" billion" times" faster."" Moore’s" Law," named" after" the" cocfounder" of" Intel," states" that" the" processing"power"of"computers"doubles"roughly"every"eighteen"months."" If"this"trend"continues,"we"will"soon"have"computers"capable"of"bringing" about"the"demise"of"humanity." The" capability" that" I" am" referring" to" is" known" as" artificial" intelligence," or" AI." " I" am" not" speaking" of" the" soccalled" artificial" intelligence" that" many" software" developers" currently" brag" about" in" which"the"program"is"simply"capable"of"reacting"in"multiple"ways"in"very" specific"instances.""The"intelligence"that"I"am"speaking"of"is"on"a"par"with" the" human" brain—or" potentially" even" greater." " Once" computers" reach" this" point" of" decisioncmaking" ability" (estimated" to" happen" sometime" in" the"2040s),"it"may"be"impossible"to"stop"the"oncoming"destruction"of"the" human"race."" A"unique"aspect"of"computers"(and"other"machines)"is"that"they" can"be"repeatedly"improved"in"terms"of"capability"and"speed."""Humans," at" least" in" the" shortcterm," cannot." " Suppose" a" computer" were" to" reach" a" level" of" cognitive" ability" equal" to" that" of" humans." " Since" that" level" of" intelligence"is"what"designed"and"built"that"computer"in"the"first"place,"it" should,"no"doubt,"be"able"to"replicate"that"process—only"faster"and"more" precisely," since" a" computer" theoretically" has" the" capacity" to" remember" anything" and" everything." " Say," then," the" computer" improves" itself," or" another"model"of"itself,"to"be"smarter"and"faster"still.""That"new"computer" would" now" be" improved" to" a" point" beyond" the" level" of" human" intelligence." " This" chain" of" compounding" intelligence" would" never" stop" until"the"laws"of"physics"prevented"it"from"doing"so."" Suppose"millions"or"billions"of"these"supercintelligent"computers" were"built,"hypothetically"capable"of"performing"any"physical"or"mental" task" with" their" combined" power." " Given" the" increasing" integration" of"

65"


technology"with"industry,"domestic"life,"and"the"military,"these"machines" would" have" access" to" any" resources" they" might" possibly" need." " Why" would"they"have"any"use"for"humans?""They"would"view"us"in"the"same" way" that" we" view" monkeys" or" dogs." " Sure," they" might" let" us" live," but" should" we" ever" get" in" their" way," there" is" no" reason" to" expect" them" to" compromise"with"us.""Disregarding"food"(which"AI"would"not"need)"and" environmental" effects" (which" AI" would" have" no" motivation" to" prevent)" there" is" essentially" no" reason" for" us" to" keep" other" animals" and" ecosystems"alive;"they"are"an"economic"burden.""Why"would"AI"view"us" any"differently?" This" might" sound" like" science" fiction," but" a" group" of" scientists," entrepreneurs," and" engineers" recently" signed" an" open" letter" warning" about" the" dangers" of" AI."" Among" these" signers" were" "."."."a"group"of"scientists," Stephen" Hawking," the" entrepreneurs,"and"engineers" renowned" physicist," and" Elon" recently"signed"an"open"letter" Musk," the" realclife" inspiration" warning"about"the"dangers"of" for" the" Marvel" character," Tony" Stark." " Both" of" these" men," and" AI.""Among"these"signers" many" others," think" that" AI" is" a" were"Stephen"Hawking,"the" greater" threat" to" humanity" than" renowned"physicist,"and"Elon" global" warming," asteroid" impacts,"or"supervolcanoes." Musk,"the"realclife"inspiration" But" is" AI" really" a" bad" thing?" " Once" computers" reach" for"the"Marvel"character," the" point" of" true" intelligence," Tony"Stark.""Both"of"these" they" will" essentially" be" living" men,"and"many"others,"think" things." " What" is" the" difference" that"AI"is"a"greater"threat"to" between"a"creature"composed"of" mostly" carbon," hydrogen," and" humanity"than"global" water" and" a" creature" made" of" warming,"asteroid"impacts," titanium" and" steel?" " Say" that" in" the" years" following" AI’s" or"supervolcanoes." creation," they" don’t" go" and" brutally" murder" every" human" on" earth." " What" if" they" just" outlast" us" or" " merge"with"us?""Won’t"this"simply"be"an"example"of"natural"selection"at" work?" " All" of" us" will" likely" never" live" to" see" our" great" greatc grandchildren," so" why" would" it" matter" if" they" weren’t" completely" biological?""We"created"AI,"so"they"are"technically"a"variation"of"us.""The" next"evolution"of"humans"may"just"be"cybernetic."" " "

66"


BITTERSWEET&& / Ryan/Stifler/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / " The"air"is"cool"as"I"stand"on"the"damp"grass.""Trees"surround"the" field" and" rise" up" like" the" stands" of" a" stadium." " Their" beautiful" color" separates"them"from"the"overcast"sky"and"serves"as"a"distraction"from"the" cars" passing" behind" on" Route" 91." " A" small" crowd" gathers" below" this" sheltering"arbor"as"players"step"onto"the"field.""My"excitement"rises,"yet"I" am"comforted"by"the"commotion.""I"bounce"a"soccer"ball"in"front"of"me"in" sweet"anticipation.""The"sideline"I"stand"on"is"slightly"raised"from"the"rest" of"the"uneven"playing"surface,"enhancing"my"view"as"I"look"out"over"the" immense" lawn." "The" bottom" Whether"it"is"the"presence"of" field" at" Reserve" is" definitely" my" favorite"stadium." the"stressful"academics"or"the" This" is" a" familiar" slow"changes"being"brought" memory" of" the" fall" seasons" to"the"school,"I"struggle"to"feel" leading"up"to"my"own"time"as"a" student"at"WRA.""The"four"years" the"same"way"about"it"as"I"did" that"I"have"spent"at"Reserve"as"a" during"my"carefree"years"as"a" student"are,"and"will"continue"to" ball"boy.""I"desperately"want" be," my" most" cherished" memories." " That" being" said," my" to"look"back"on"my"own"time" fondest" recollections" originated" many"years"before"the"9th"grade," at"Reserve"in"the"same" back" when" my" two" brothers" wondrous"light,"but"I"find" attended" dear" old" Reserve." " I" that"the"workload"and"the" think" back" to" the" time" when" stress"that"accompanies"being" soccer" was" my" only" connection" to" the" school" and" to" the" an"actual"student"here"have" numerous" occasions" when" I" watched" matches" from" the" tainted"my"experience"and" sidelines" I" devotedly" offered" to" made"it"difficult"for"me"to" trek"as"a"ball"boy"for"the"varsity" view"my"student"days"with" team." " I" selflessly" sacrificed" my" the"same"degree"of"fondness.""" young" legs" in" order" to" be" as" close"to"the"team"as"possible"and"

67"


to"view"each"game"from"their"perspective—a"perspective"that"is"familiar" to"me"now"as"a"player"myself.""" However,"the"emotional"essence"of"my"memories"from"all"those" years"ago"has"not"been"recreated"during"my"time"as"a"student.""Whether" it" is" the" presence" of" the" stressful" academics" or" the" slow" changes" being" brought" to" the" school," I" struggle" to" feel" the" same" way" about" it" as" I" did" during"my"carefree"years"as"a"ball"boy.""I"desperately"want"to"look"back" on"my" own"time" at" Reserve" in" the" same"wondrous" light," but" I" find" that" the" workload" and" the" stress" that" accompanies" being" an" actual" student" here"have"tainted"my"experience"and"made"it"difficult"for"me"to"view"my" student"days"with"the"same"degree"of"fondness.""As"great"as"Reserve"is," the" happiness" that" accompanies" these" old" memories" has" not" been" matched"since.""This"thought"is"bittersweet.""Please"understand"that"I"am" reasonably" content" with" my" own" time" here." " Still," my" experiences" from" years"ago"set"the"bar—a"bar"that"I"would"very"much"like"to"reach"again.""I" believe,"however,"that"I"will"only"be"able"to"look"back"on"my"years"here" with" a" comparable" degree" of" affection" when" I" no" longer" have" the" privilege"of"going"to"Reserve.""I"desperately"hope"that"in"the"future,"when" I" reminisce" on" my" fours" years" at" Reserve," I" will" be" filled" with" the" same" sense" of" joy" and" fulfillment" that" I" had" while" trekking" the" lawn’s" wide" sweep"in"a"simpler,"more"carefree,"time."" " "

68"


FISHING&WHOLE&& / Amanda/Sudilovsky/ Senior/ Gates/Mills,/Ohio/ / / Sometimes,"I"have"to"let"a"moment"stand"still.""Not"because"I"am" savoring"it,"but"because"I"am"dreading"the"next.""One"of"my"most"difficult" summers" went" this" way.""My" stepfather" had" passed" away" just" a" few" months" earlier," after" a" yearclong" battle" with" esophageal" cancer," but" it" seemed"as"if"every"aspect"of"my"life"wanted"to"get"back"to"the"way"things" had"been"before"all"the"tears"and"sleepless"nights.""My"mother"felt"relief" with"the"end"of"the"painful"journey,"but"it"was"not"over"as"far"as"I"could" see." "Still," five" years" later," not" a" day" goes" by" that" I" do" not" think" I"worked"away"my"pain" of" the" man" who" raised" me" up" that"summer"mucking" from" a" tentative" child" to" the" stalls,"planting"beans," independent" teenager" I" am" now." "At" the" time," however," I" stacking"hay,"and"riding" was" lost" and" could" not" help" but" horses.""Still,"I"thought"that" want"to"escape.""" there"would"never"be"a" A" family" friend," who" worked" as" a" horse" trainer," took" way"for"me"to"return"to"my" me" in" that" summer" so" that" I" mother"and"brother"and"to" might"find"a"little"bit"of"peace.""I" crossed" over" the" state" line" to" a"school"where"I"felt"I"did" rural" Pennsylvania." "The" farm" not"have"anyone.""" was" nothing" more" than" a" halfc burned"down"barn,"a"city’s"worth"of"stray"cats"and"dogs,"a"one"bedroom" “house,�" and" fields" upon" fields" of" horses." "Since" I" was" five" years" old," horses"have"been"a"huge"part"of"my"life.""I"had"to"quit"riding,"however," when" my" stepfather" was" diagnosed" and" my" mother" no" longer" had" the" energy" to" drive" me" to" the" stables." "After" that" year," I" was" more" than" ecstatic"to"be"on"any"farm,"let"alone"one"belonging"to"my"second"family.""" I" worked" away" my" pain" that" summer" mucking" stalls," planting" beans,"stacking"hay,"and"riding"horses.""Still,"I"thought"that"there"would" never" be" a" way" for" me" to" return" to" my" mother" and" brother" and" to" a" school" where" I" felt" I" did" not" have" anyone." "Weeks" went" by" of" early" mornings" and" late" nights," and" many" tears" shed" in" a" cold" shower" and"

69"


dirty,"scratchy"sheets—but"the"agony"did"not"dissipate.""My"Ohio"home" seemed"to"haunt"me"through"every"task"I"performed"on"the"farm.""A"call" from" my" mother," an" email" from" a" teacher," a" visit" from" my" brother," all" conspired"to"force"me"back"to"reality,"but"I"could"not"see"anything"better" in"my"future"than"that"farm.""" The" time" finally" arrived," however," when" I" left" behind" all" the" sorrow"and"pity"I"had"inside"me.""It"arrived"with"a"fishing"pole.""On"one" rare"night,"chores"were"finished"early"and"all"there"was"left"to"do"was"eat" and" go" to" sleep." "A" rather" random" decision" to" go" fishing" down" at" the" pond" in" one" of" our" pastures" turned" into" one" of" my" life’s" happiest" memories." "I" followed" my" tired" friends" down" the" gravel" drive" through" our"old,"bent,"and"rusty"gate.""We"spread"ourselves"out"along"the"shore"of" the"pond,"followed"by"a"pack"of"dogs.""I"sat"down"with"a"grazing"herd"of" yearlings" just" off" to" my" right." "As" I" saw" those" beautiful" animals," the" sparkling"water,"friends"playfully"cursing"at"the"algae"they"had"caught,"I" breathed"in.""For"the"first"clear"moment,"I"was"at"peace.""The"tears"did"not" come," and" my" memories" of" my" stepfather" were" now" beautiful" rather" than"mournful.""The"decision"to"be"happy"took"longer"for"me"than"it"had" for" my" mother" or" brother," but" somehow" seeing" the" beauty" of" the" farm" and"the"pond"for"the"first"time"all"summer"reassured"me"that"I"still"had"a" bright"future—though"it"then"seemed"somewhat"shaded."" Whenever" I" get" stressed" over" the" now" seemingly" meaningless" issues"of"my"life,"I"remember"the"farm"and"that"critical"night.""I"think"of" how" long" I" held" on" to" my" devastation." "I" breathe" in" and" let" the" next" challenge"come.""The"most"beautiful"place"in"the"world"for"me"is"now"just" a" distant" memory," but" it" reminds" me" every" day" of" the" peace" I" can" still" feel." " "

70"


CONFETTI& / Taryn/Washburn/ Junior/ Aurora,/Ohio/ / " I"never"wanted"to"be"gay.""I"had"friends"who"were,"and"I"saw"the" way"they"were"bashed"with"words"and"hatred"as"they"walked"down"the" hall," and" I" didn’t" want" that." " When" girls" came" along" that" I" might" have" had"any"attraction"to,"I"told"myself"I"just"admired"them"and"wanted"to"be" like" them—artistic" and" independent" with" punkcrock" hair—but" that" was" all.""That"was"all"I"would"allow"myself"to"do.""Admire.""I"never"wanted"to" kiss"them;"at"least"I"never"said"I"did.""I"was"a"mere"supporter"of"the"gay" community.""I"liked"boys,"and"only"boys.""Liking"both"wasn’t"allowed." Freshman" year" rolled" When"girls"came"along"that" around,"and"so"did"a"new"school" of" new" people" with" new" I"might"have"had"any" mindsets." " I" learned" what" the" B" attraction"to,"I"told"myself"I" in" LGBTQ" meant." " Bisexual." /I/ didn’t/ have/ to/ identify/ as/ gay/ or/ just"admired"them"and" straight./ " This" was" a" new" word," wanted"to"be"like"them— and" it" was" there" just" for" me" to" artistic"and"independent" explore.""Slowly,"I"accepted"that" those"girls"in"middle"school"had" with"punkcrock"hair—but" only"been"the"beginning.""By"the" that"was"all.""That"was"all"I" end" of" freshman" year" I" was" determined" that" the" only" thing" would"allow"myself"to"do."" left"to"do"was"come"out;"the"real" Admire."" question"now"was"how"to"do"it." My"chance"came"my"sophomore"year.""As"the"new"leader"of"my" school’s" GSA—Gender" and" Sexuality" Alliance—I" attended" the" 2013" Student" Diversity" Leadership" Conference," a" convention" of" thousands" of" adolescents" to" discuss" equality" and" discrimination." "On" the" second" day," we"were"split"into"Affinity"Groups.""Most"of"them"were"based"off"of"race," but" there" was" one" at" the" very" bottom" of" the" list" that" I" waited" for:" the" LGBTQ"group." I" arrived" at" the" room" to" find" at" least" a" hundred" and" fifty" other" kids"packed"in"with"me.""It"was"stifling"and"I"could"hardly"breathe,"but"I" didn’t"care.""We"all"found"a"cramped"seat"on"the"floor,"and"then"we"were"

71"


all" asked" to" stand" and" say" our" name" and" sexuality;" anyone" who" was" coming" out" for" the" first" time" was" then" showered" in" rainbow" confetti." " I" watched" kids" all" around" me" stand" up" and" proudly" declare" themselves," confetti"raining"down"upon"them,"their"eyes"glittering"with"relief." But"I"was"still"afraid.""After"waiting"nearly"a"year"to"finally"find" the"right"place"to"come"out,"I"was"too"much"of"a"coward"to"actually"do"it." So," after" an" hour" of" people" shining" all" around" me" for" the" first" time"in"their"lives,"I"shuffled"out"of"the"room"to"miserably"return"home.""I" was"halfway"down"the"hall"when"a"man"caught"up"to"me." “Hey," I" saw" that" you" didn’t" stand" up." " Everything" okay?”" he" asked."I"realized"that"he"was"Rodney"Glasgow,"the"very"man"in"charge"of" the" convention." " He" had" stood" up" on" stage" that" morning" and" identified" himself" as" a" gay" man—not" for" the" first" time," I" knew," but" it" had" been" in" front"of"so/many/people.""I"could"only"gawk"at"him." And"here"he"was,"talking"to"me." “Um…"yeah,”"I"stuttered.""“I"was"just"."."."nervous.”" “There’s"no"need"to"be"nervous,”"Rodney"said." I"looked"away,"ashamed"that"I"had"to"be"singled"out.""“I"know"."."." there"were"just"a"lot"of"people"in"there.”" “Well"then,"just"tell"me,”"he"said.""I"looked"up"and"he"smiled.""So"I" said"it." “I’m"Taryn,"and"I’m"pansexual.”" And"then"Rodney"held"out"a"small"bag"of"confetti.""I"took"it"and" opened" it," staring" in" at" the" crumpled" pieces" of" paper." " I" knew" that" he’d" just"picked"them"up"off"the"floor"in"the"other"room,"but"it"didn’t"matter;" they"were"mine.""I"looked"back"up"and"smiled." “Nice"to"meet"you,"Taryn,”"he"said." “You"too,”"I"said.""“Thank"you.”""I"shook"his"hand,"and"we"went" our"separate"ways." " " " "

72"


QUEER& / Taryn/Washburn/ Junior/ Aurora,/Ohio/ / " The"first"time"I"heard"it" it"was"an"insult" coming"out" of"my"grandpa’s"mouth." I"didn’t"know"what"it"meant," but"I"saw"the"two"boys" holding"hands" on"the"television"screen." " The"first"time"I"saw"it" it"was"a"curse" spat" by"my"mother." I"didn’t"understand"it"when" she"told"my"aunt"to" “just"pick"one,"already!”" It"was"her" second"marriage," but"her"first"husband." " The"first"time"I"experienced"it" it"was"a"rumor" whispered" in"the"halls"as" I"passed"by." To"my"classmates," a"Boy"was"anyc" Thing" with"short"hair"that" didn’t"wear"pink." " "

"

73"


The"first"time"I"understood"it" it"was"realization" exposed" by"my"best"friend,"telling"me"he"was" afraid" I"would"love"him"less"for"it." He’d"heard"the"same"things" I’d"been"hearing,"and"he" didn’t"know"what"to"do"anymore." " The"first"time"I"said"it" it"was"a"soggy"confession" sobbed" to"my"mother," making"her"swear"to" never"tell"dad." She"said"she’d"known"since" I"was"eight"years"old,"just"like" everyone"else" seemed"to." She"still"didn’t"know"what" “Pan”" meant." " The"first"time"I"accepted"it" it"was"a"term"of"fellowship" shouted" by"a"friend" welcoming"me"to"lunch." Now," I"knew"what"it"meant." I"took"it"back." I"made"it"my"own." I"made"it"Me." " " " "

74"


SOUND&A&HAPPIER&NOTE& / Kevin/Yang/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / / Earlier" this" year," I" had" promised" myself" that" I" would" craft" and" present"a"thoughtful"This"I"Believe"speech.""However,"I"obviously"did"not" nag" myself" quite" enough" to" actually" get" this" done." " So" here" in" the" eleventh" volume" of" Viewpoints" I" am" presenting," in" mere" essay" form," my" most" cherished" belief:" Be" happy." " This" belief" of" mine" may" seem" so" obvious"as"to"be"a"waste"of"breath"to"say.""Of"course,"we"are"all"meant"to" be" happy!" " It" is" a" human" instinct" to" do" what" makes" you" happy—but" sometimes,"instincts"can"fail"a"person."" " Let"me"explain"this"dogma"of"mine"with"a"metaphor"I"am"quite" comfortable" with:" music—specifically," the" Alma" Mater." " No," there" is" no" need"for"you"to"stand"up"from"your"pew—unless"you"know"the"position" of" different" notes" on" the" piano."" If" you" fall" into" that" latter" category," feel" free" to" make" your" way" to" the" nearest" honkyctonk" and" plunk" out" the" following"chords." " Imagine" yourself" singing" “Oh" long" may" time" these" things" preserve." " Around" thy" walls" ." ." ." .”" " When" you" get" to" the" word" “walls,”" the"chord"that"I"should"be"playing"on"the"piano"at"that"time"(assuming"I" haven’t"lost"my"place"like"I"have"on"many"an"occasion)"should"have"a"Bc flat" on" the" bottom," a" C" a" ninth" away," then" the" D" right" next" to" it," and" finally"an"A"another"fifth"away.""If"you"have"access"to"a"piano,"play"the" chord.""(If"you"don’t,"just"take"my"word"that"it’s"prettycsounding.)""Isn’t"it" gorgeous?""It’s"actually"my"favorite"chord"in"the"entire"song,"and"I’ll"tell" you"why.""If"you"wanted"to,"you"could"play"those"exact"same"notes"in"a" different" order:" an" A" on" the" bottom," then" a" Bcflat" (the" black" key" just" to" the"right"of"it),"then"a"C"a"second"away,"then"a"D"another"second"away."" Try" playing" that" chord." " It’s" quite" muddy," isn’t" it?" " If" you" don’t" have" a" keyboard" at" your" disposal," try" to" imagine" a" cacophony" of" waves," each" struggling" to" assert" itself" and" drown" out" its" rivals." " It’s" not" a" chord" I’d" feel"at"ease"hearing."" " So" why" the" longcwinded" musical" metaphor?" " It’s" to" show" you" how,"if"you"place"notes"in"just"the"right"combinations,"as"is"the"case"with" the" actual" chord" on" the" sheet" music," you" can" make" something" truly" mellifluous.""

75"


" The" perfect" alignment" of" the" chord’s" notes" reminds" me" of" the" Reserve"community.""Whether"it"be"in"the"area"of"visual"art"or"biological" research," of" promoting" gender" equality," or" soaring" over" track" hurdles," everybody"eventually"finds"their"place.""The"journey"to"this"perfect"niche" is"rarely"a"straightforward"adventure,"however.""I"know"that"in"my"case,"I" struggled" immensely" to" balance" my" musical" and" friendship" duties."" Every" Sunday," freshman" through" junior" year," I" had" an" obligation" to" attend"an"Akron"Youth"Symphony"rehearsal,"which"ate"up"my"entire"day" and" more." I" held" the" important" position" of" principal" oboist" (oh" boy)." Because"so"many"relied"upon"me"to"lead"the"woodwinds"of"the"ensemble," I"had"to"set"aside"time"each"week"to"practice"some"Dvorak"or"Mozart"or" Mascagni." " I" allotted" so" much" time" to" the" orchestra" because" being" a" contributing" member" of" any" group" of" this" scale" is" an" act" of" utmost" respect.""People"in"the"Akron"Youth"Symphony"counted"on"me"to"always" have" my" part" ready" so" that" rehearsals" could" be" about" interweaving" our" parts"rather"than"just"another"individual"practice"session."" " My" dedication" to" music" I"was"never"officially" led" me" to" reduce" the" amount" of" diagnosed"with"depression"or" time" I" spent" with" my" friends." " I" found" myself" cutting" the" social"anxiety,"but"an"inner" connections" I" had" with" the" voice"was"incessantly" wonderful" people" here" on" campus," and" I" felt" guilty" that" I" whispering"in"my"ear"that"I" could" not" fully" enjoy" the" was"not"happy"with"(and" company" of" these" friends." I" felt" even"somewhat"scared"of)"the" myself" being" pulled" in" different" by" different" life"I"had"created"for"myself."" directions" commitments," which" not" only" There"were"days"when," included" friends" and" music," but" before"I"fully"woke"up,"a"coin" also" my" studies," love" life," athletics," personal" projects" such" flipped"in"my"head.""Heads" as"composing—the"list"goes"on."I" for"a"good"day.""Tails"for"bad."" divided" my" life" into" so" many" components" that" I" could" not" The"coin"seemed"rigged"in" satisfy"them"all,"and"as"a"result,"I" favor"of"tails."" felt" somewhat" empty." " I" was" never"officially"diagnosed"with"depression"or"social"anxiety,"but"an"inner" voice" was" incessantly" whispering" in" my" ear" that" I" was" not" happy" with" (and" even" somewhat" scared" of)" the" life" I" had" created" for" myself." " There" were" days" when," before" I" fully" woke" up," a" coin" flipped" in" my" head.""

76"


Heads"for"a"good"day.""Tails"for"bad.""The"coin"seemed"rigged"in"favor"of" tails."" " I"eventually"figured"out"how"to"allocate"my"time"more"sensibly," but"my"ability"to"organize"my"life"and"be"happy"is"a"result"of"your"impact" on" my" life." " If" you" are" reading" this," I" have" most" likely" talked" to" you" at" some" point" during" my" career" here." " And" even" if" you" don’t" think" you" greatly" impacted" me," you" did." " Sometimes" you" cheered" me" up" just" by" expressing" interest" in" how" my" day" was" going." " And" sometimes" you" helped"me"realize"my"motivation"for"doing"the"multitude"of"things"I"do."" " This"past"Valentine’s"Day,"after"the"senior"cupid"boys"threw"out" their" bags" of" candy" and" bundles" of" CrushcOcGrams," my" eyes" settled" upon"a"note"from"Hugh"Kim"’16.""I"asked"for"his"permission"to"include"a" portion"of"his"note"in"this"essay:" " “I" am" so" happy" to" have" a" friend" who" makes" others" happy" somehow." " I" cannot" describe" it," but" you" definitely" have" something" special"with"you.""So"I"hope"you"make"a"lot"of"friends"in"your"life"so"that" they"can"be"happy"too!" " “Oh,"don’t"forget"to"be"happy"yourself!”" " I"actually"started"tearing"up"a"bit"while"reading"this."" " I’d"like"to"direct"your"attention"to"that"last"line:"“Don’t"forget"to" be" happy" yourself!”" " Again," it" seems" like" such" a" simple" message." " It" is" what" our" parents" have" told" us" since" infancy:" as" long" as" what" we" do" makes" us" happy," we" should" stick" with" it." " Somewhere" down" the" line," unfortunately,"I"guess"I"lost"sight"of"this"fundamental"adage.""But"thanks" to" Hugh’s" reminder," I" actively" strive" to" do" what" makes" me" content."" Hugh"also"reminded"me"of"my"motivation"to"be"happy—“to"be"a"friend" who"makes"others"happy.”""I"had"never"thought"of"happiness"in"this"way" before." " By" being" happy," you" make" those" around" you" happy." " To" be" happy" is" not" only" to" take" care" of" and" respect" yourself," but" it" also" gives" other"people"a"reason"to"smile." Ralph"Waldo"Emerson"is"credited"with"saying"that"“the"purpose" of" life" is" not" to" be" happy." It" is" to" be" useful," to" be" honorable," to" be" compassionate,"to"have"it"make"some"difference"that"you"have"lived"and" lived" well.”" " I" never" really" figured" out" whether" I" agreed" or" disagreed" with" this" statement" until" right" now:" I" don’t" think" Emerson" is" entirely" right.""This"I"Believe:"Live"life"with"the"intention"of"being"happy.""If"you" go" about" your" daily" duties" with" the" active" mindset" to" enjoy" life," you" become"useful"by"making"others"happy.""To"be"happy"is"to"live"well,"and" even" though" the" musical" score" of" your" life" may" oscillate" between" measures" of" major" and" minor" harmonies," even" though" life" can" be" incredibly" difficult" to" manage," if" you" remind" yourself" and" others" that"

77"


every" contribution" you" make" can" positively" impact" one" another’s" days," the"final"cadence"to"your"life"will"be"a"Picardy"third." " (That’s"a"kind"of"major"chord.)"" " "

78"


D&FOR&EFFORT& / Katherine/(Wren)/Zandee/ Junior/ Grand/Rapids,/Michigan/ / " There" are," undoubtedly," a" bevy" of" students" my" age," all" living" within"several"blocks"of"my"Michigan"home,"that"are"just"as"intelligent,"as" qualified," and" motivated" as" I—if" not" more" so." " Many" of" these" students," however," attend" one" of" the" worst" public" high" schools" in" the" state," with" dropout"rates"inching"higher"each"year.""This"stands"in"stark"contrast"to" my" own" educational" experience." " I" am" a" girl" who" has" never" once" been" enrolled"in"a"public"school.""And"what"is"their"sin,"these"other"students?"" Their"parents"can’t"afford"to"send"them"to"private"school."" Education" is" defined" by" the" MerriambWebster/ Dictionary" as" “the" knowledge," skill," and" understanding" that" you" get" from" attending" a" school,"college,"or"university.”""When"you"frame"this"word"in"our"society," the"image"engorges"itself.""Education"is"seen"by"many"as"not"only"a"noble" pursuit,"but"as"the"path"to"a"better"life—even"an"escape"from"poverty.""In" modern" America," getting" a" good" education" is" the" best" way" of" lifting" oneself"up"by"the"bootstraps"and"making"something"of"oneself."" Therefore," it" may" surprise" people" from" other" nations" to" learn" how" our" education" system" actually" works." " The" primary" responsibility" for" paying" for" public" education" is" delegated" to" the" states" and" the" many" localities"within"them.""Federal"government"provides"some"funds,"but"it" is"a"very"small"percentage"of"the"whole.""Such"a"system"results"in"a"good" deal" of" variation" in" the" amount" of" funding" provided" for" each" child" enrolled" in" school" systems" throughout" the" country." " Washington" D.C.""leads"the"pack"by"providing"an"average"of"$18,667"per"student.""The" nationwide" average," by" contrast," is" just" $10,615." " Because" individual" cities" and" towns" partially" fund" their" schools" through" property" taxes," students" living" in" richer" areas" frequently" have" thousands" more" dollars" spent"on"them."" In" order" to" try" to" understand" this" predicament," I" trawled" through" multiple" government" websites" to" find" a" document" that" listed" expenditures" by" city" and" school" district" in" my" home" state" of" Michigan."" The" disparities" I" found" were" shocking." " In" the" richest" suburbs," each" kindergartener" merited" upwards" of" $17,000." " In" the" poorest" rural" areas" figures"dipped"lower"than"$8,000.""

79"


The" U.S." educational" system" intrinsically" favors" the" rich," and" makes" no" qualms" about" allowing" the" children" of" the" poor" to" wallow" in" low" quality" schools" that" don’t" match" up" to" those" provided" for" the" children" of" the" wealthy." " According" to" our" Constitution," each" person" is" equal"in"the"eyes"of"the"law.""Our" Perhaps"education"is"not"a" form" of" schooling," however," sends"a"very"different"message— right.""After"all,"it’s"never" namely," that" the" government" is" mentioned"in"the"Bill"of" going" to" allow" those" that" come" from" more" affluent" families" to" Rights,"is"it?""For"the" rise"above"the"rest,"giving"them"a" moment"let’s"accept"this" better" education" and" (in" a" premise.""Still,"for"the" society" in" which" education" is" seen" as" prerequisite" to" a" sound" American"Dream"to"work" financial" future)" a" much" better" the"way"it"is"purported"to" chance" of" "achieving" the" Amerc do,"each"child"in"this" ican" Dream." " In" fact," as" I" rec searched"education"in"Michigan," country"should"be"given"at" I" found" that" in" the" case" of" East/ least"a"somewhat"fair" Jackson/ Public/ Schools/ v./ State/ of/ Michigan," which" centered" chance"at"realizing"his"or" around" the" vast" funding" differc her"intellectual"potential."" ences"between"districts,"the"court" How"can"we"expect"people" ruled" that" equal" education" was" not"a"right"in"Michigan."" to"work"for"everything" Perhaps"education"is"not" they"need"and"want"if"we" a" right." " After" all," it’s" never" don’t"give"them"the"tools"to" mentioned" in" the" Bill" of" Rights," is" it?" " For" the" moment" let’s" do"so?"" accept"this"premise.""Still,"for"the" American"Dream"to"work"the"way"it"is"purported"to"do,"each"child"in"this" country"should"be"given"at"least"a"somewhat"fair"chance"at"realizing"his" or" her" intellectual" potential." " How" can" we" expect" people" to" work" for" everything"they"need"and"want"if"we"don’t"give"them"the"tools"to"do"so?"" While" perusing" the" news," I" am" often" confronted" with" conservative" leaders" railing" against" the" reported" millions" of" Americans" who" are" “asking" for" free" handouts.”" " The" way" I" see" it," the" actual" situation" we" confront" as" a" nation" is," in" fact," just" the" opposite."" In" reality," the" affluent" are"those"asking"for"free"handouts—why"should"their"children"receive"a" higher" caliber" education" simply" because" their" property" is" worth" more?"" In"a"way,"public"education"in"America"works"in"much"the"same"way"as"

80"


private" education." " The" more" money" you" “pay”" in" taxes," the" better" an" education" your" children" will" receive." " Furthermore," if" we" allotted" the" same" educational" benefits" to" the" poor" as" we" do" to" the" rich," the" poor" would" have" more" of" an" ability" to" better" their" situation—a" conservative" wet"dream"in"which"“free"handouts”"are"less"necessary."" As"I"was"reading"more"about"public"education,"my"heart"sinking" with" each" new" story" about" children" suffering" from" a" system" that" sees" them"as"lesscdeserving,"I"realized"that"any"suggestion"of"socialist"system" for" schooling" in" America" would" likely" be" met" by" jeers" and" insults" reminiscent" of" the" Communist" hunters" of" the" 1950s." " But" why" should" a" system" that" would" allow" us" to" be" equal" in" our" opportunities" be" shot" down"simply"because"it"is"not"an"American"tradition"to"partake"in"most" forms" of" socialism?" " Repeatedly," as" I" researched," I" found" myself" saying" “This"isn’t"right,”"and"in"doing"so"I"reminded"myself"of"a"story"I"had"read" long" ago." " Shirley" Jackson’s," “The" Lottery,”" tells" the" story" of" a" woman" who" is" stoned" to" death" because" it" is" the" practice" of" her" village" to" do" so" every"year."" " “It/ isn’t/ fair,/ it/ isn’t/ right,”/ Mrs./ Hutchinson/ screamed,/ and/ then/ they/ were/ upon/her./"" & "

81"


HEART&OF&TIN& / Katherine/(Wren)/Zandee/ Junior/ Grand/Rapids,/Michigan/ / " It"happened"again.""I"stepped"outside"around"midnight"when"the" temperature"was"a"shivery"17"degrees,"but"I"did"not"feel"cold.""My"jacket" was"little"more"than"a"light"raincoat,"and"my"hands"turned"a"pretty"shade" of"pink"against"the"glow"of"a"streetlamp.""The"familiar"voice"of"a"Channel" 3" News" reporter" whispered" to" me" that" I" should" be" cold," but" my" body" simply" did" not" feel" anything."" Still,"robot"life"was"not" This" was" when" I" first" realized" that"I"was"turning"into"a"robot."" easy.""Every"day,"I"woke"at" After" my" fifth" cup" of" six"and"ignored"the" coffee," being" a" robot" made" exhaustion"of"my"body.""I" perfect" sense." " Robots" rolled" easily" through" their" tasks" figured"that"showering"and" without" needing" to" sleep," eat," brushing"my"teeth"were" feel"emotions,"or"think"about"the" corruption" of" the" world," the" like"keeping"the"gears"on"a" pressure" of" college," or" the" harsh" bicycle"clean,"so"I"allowed" whims" social" groups."" My" myself"those"grooming" human" body" lacked" the" usual" wires" and" gears," but" I" thought" pleasures."" that"if"I"simply"stopped"feeling"I" could" at" least" mimic" something" mechanical." " Without" the" distraction" of" friends" or" the" activities" that" I" loved," before" love" became" unnecessary," nothing" could" hold" me" back" from" my" academic" goals." " I" could" be" the" perfect"student"that"would"make"my"parents"and"teachers"proud.""I"could" be"great."" Still," robot" life" was" not" easy." " Every" day," I" woke" at" six" and" ignored" the" exhaustion" of" my" body." " I" figured" that" showering" and" brushing" my" teeth" were" like" keeping" the" gears" on" a" bicycle" clean," so" I" allowed" myself" those" grooming" pleasures." " Then," I" fueled" up" with" tasteless" food" and" thought" about" math" on" the" way" to" the" library."" Throughout" the" day," I" tried" to" think" only" about" school" and" rarely" engaged"in"conversation"beyond"responding"to"questions"in"class.""I"was" not" receiving" a" grade" on" relationships." " After" classes," I" ran" to" keep" my"

82"


strength" up," because" the" world" needed" me" to" do" something" great." " The" sun" faded" away," but" I" did" not" notice" the" yellow" and" orange" streaks" across" the" sky," because" my" brain" was"locked" in" homework" mode." " At" 3" a.m."I"finally"fell"into"bed."" After" a" few" weeks" of" this" lifestyle," it" became" easier." " My" emotions" stabilized" into" a" kind" of" numbness," and" my" friends" stopped" asking" to" hang" out" with" me." " My" grades" were" perfect," and" my" teachers" commented" on" my" hard" work" ethic," but" some" things" made" my" little" engine"sputter"and"shutdown.""For"example,"a"teacher"set"up"a"Friday"fun" night"filled"with"pizza"and"games.""I"needed"the"teacher"to"like"me,"but"if" I"had"fun"then"I"would"only"have"about"thirtycfour"hours"left"to"complete" my"weekend"homework.""I"decided"that"fun"did"not"make"greatness"and" began"reading"my"English"book"instead."" I" remember" writing" my" name" on" a" paper" and" seeing" only" meaningless" letters." " I" drank" cold," black" coffee" and" felt" nothing." " It" was" after" practice" one" day" when" another" student" asked" if" we" could" talk." " I" hesitated" at" first" as" I" thought" about" all" my" homework," but" then" I" reasoned" that" I" could" just" stay" up" a" few" hours" extra." " She" asked," “How" are" you?”" " Of" course," I" had" programmed" myself" to" say," “I’m" great!”"" After"a"brief"conversation,"she"challenged"me"to"try"talk"to"more"people" and" perhaps" watch" a" movie" for" fun." " " For" some" reason" I" listened." " That" night" I" sat" in" my" bed" and" laughed" at" characters" dancing" across" the" screen." " I" laughed," then" cried," because" I" realized" I" had" really" missed" laughing.""The"laughter"cracked"my"gears"of"selfishness,"emotionlessness," and"numbness."" My" epiphany" was" simple" enough:" humans" cannot" be" robots."" Greatness" does" not" mean" the" absence" of" laughter," and" working" hard" in" academics"should"not"remove"every"hint"of"childhood"remaining"in"our" high"school"bodies.""Balance"is"one"of"the"hardest"goals"to"achieve"in"life," but"difficult"tasks"keep"me"from"staying"in"bed.""The"frigid"Cleveland"air" stings" of" past" mistakes," but" it" feels" flush" with" the" excitement" of" a" new" day."" " "

83"


ON&SPECIAL&ASSIGNMENT:& “THE&MEANING&OF&LIFE”& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & &

MR.&GILBERT’S&CREATIVE&WRITING&CLASS& &(SELF_INTERVIEWS&IN&THE&STYLE&OF&ESQUIRE$MAGAZINE’S&& ANNUAL&“MEANING&OF&LIFE”&ISSUE)&

84"


Caroline Babbin Student, 17 Hudson, Ohio

!

I love Helena Bonham Carter because she’s not afraid to be seen as crazy. She plays these bizarre roles and doesn’t hold back or worry if her hair is fixed right.

!

I think the benefit of religion is that you aren’t so scared to die. But that’s rough if you, for whatever reason, lose your faith in religion. Then suddenly death is much scarier than if you hadn’t been religious at all.

!

“Take life as it comes at you . . . make each day count.” Yes, that’s from The Titanic. But that’s flawed. If you only do what you want every day, you might have some great days, but it doesn’t seem like life actually builds to any level of meaning.

!

Time speeds up. The other day I was talking to my grandmother, and she says, “In a decade I’ll be 80 . . . and that’s nothing. A decade goes by in a flash.” Which is crazy.

!

I like the idea of being on the cutting edge but the problem with that is mostly that you don’t know when you’re there. And I hate being aimless. I like concrete goals.

!

I think it wouldn’t be too bad to be all wrinkly and old and telling my grandkids, or someone’s grandkids, how different everything was when I was young. Not because I’m looking forward to complaining, but just because when you’re old people start listening.

!

I like languages that evoke emotion. I think English just evokes laziness.

!

It’s sad to know someone who’s slipping away from you. Even if it’s your fault.

85"


!

Daisy. From Gatsby. I t’s not like if I saw her on the streets we’d be best friends. But she’s someone in literature who seems flawlessly developed.

!

I hope my death is useful—that it’d be for something or that someone could learn from it.

!

I’m the most judgmental person I know, with maybe the exception of my sister. But I try not to let my judgments impact how I treat people.

!

I hate how quickly things can become bad habits.

!

Friendship is nothing more than having someone to laugh at your stupid stories.

!

I think animal cruelty should have harsher ramification because it’s not like an abusive relationship, where someone could potentially leave. A pet is absolutely dependent on its owner.

!

The future is a terrifying place to be, but the only thing worse would be sticking around in the past while everyone else moved on without you.

!

Hand-eye coordination is a pretty astonishing thing. Sometimes I’ll play volleyball and wonder how the hell my hand got there in time for a hit.

!

It’s sad that the kids in my neighborhood aren’t as close as we used to be. I see them every day, leaving their houses or waiting at the end of the driveway for the bus, but everyone is too busy to get to know each other again.

!

In 2050, I bet all kids will go to grad school. It’ll be the new “college,” and there will be a type of post-grad school afterwards. People will probably spend the first 40 years of their life in school.

!

I think life can have tremendous value if you let it.

! "

I worry so much about the future I don’t even think about today. "

86"


Watch

Currently unemployed, 2 Undisclosed location "

!

You can only interview me if you don’t tell Caroline where I am.

!

She left me here weeks ago and forgot about me. I swear. I’ve heard stories about going missing but this is ridiculous. She wore me every day for two years, and, now? Nothing.

!

You can tell a lot about someone by his or her watch. If someone’s constantly looking at it, they’re either late or not particularly interested in what you’re saying. If it’s analog they probably yearn for days of printed books. While you know someone who owns a GPS watch probably runs a lot.

!

Time is interesting, and totally arbitrary. Keeping track of time is more like a habit than a science, if you ask me.

!

Watches span the full spectrum—just like humans. They vary in prices, colors, and styles. They come from and go to all the different countries of the world.

!

Time is one of the few things that everyone can agree on. Maybe because we let every section of the earth have its own.

!

I don’t know who the genius was that came up with daylight savings time, but it creates the worst two days of the year as far as I am concerned. I sometimes don’t get adjusted for weeks afterwards, and it’s annoying to be wrong all the time.

!

I hate clock towers. They think they’re so high and mighty because of their size. I’ll tell you what they are—useless. How often do you run to the nearest clock tower to check the time? That’s right. Never.

!

Being lost lets you find yourself. I was in a steady relationship for a while, and now, being alone, I can see the negative side of our involvement. She never protected me from water. It’s always the little things that set the tone of a relationship.

87"


!

I think I need to find someone more hipster. Not everyone can pull off a map watch.

!

Solidarity allows you to grow as a person. But personal growth isn’t as enjoyable as company.

!

Time keeps people close.

!

For a long time I was worried no one would want me, because I mean, let’s be real, who wants a watch that doesn’t even have numbers on it? And that’s one thing Caroline did help me get over: my insecurities.

!

Yeah, one thing I can tell you about her is that she needs to pay attention in class. Some days she’d check me every three minutes. That’s right. Three minutes. She needs to focus.

!

Nothing is more annoying than chatty watches. They loudly yammer on, ticking . . . Every . . . Single . . . Second. At some point I’m dying to yell, “Shut up already!” But they never stop.

!

I worry about people who can’t read analog clocks.

!

I think the big problem with Caroline was that we had some trust issues. Sometimes she would look at me and then a second later check her phone clock. She always doubted me.

!

Don’t even get me started on Big Ben. He is the most arrogant, pretentious, son-of-a . . . .

!

The most terrifying experience of my life was when I was mauled by a dog.

!

I wish more than anything that someone would find me. But I kind of hope it’s not Caroline. "

"

88"


Jessica Babbin Student, 18 Hudson, Ohio

!

Everything is circular.

!

I overanalyze everything.

!

It is difficult for me to find more than one or two meanings for any action.

!

There is a difference between what we need to hear and what we want to hear.

!

Be passionate about something.

!

Sometimes stubbornness and stupidity go hand-in-hand.

!

My favorite number is 8 because if you turn it on its side it looks like infinity.

!

Everything is infinite and interconnected, but I hate change.

!

I have no idea who I am. I have no true identifier.

!

My grandmother used to say I was the sweetest girl she knew. That haunts me.

!

I love to think about the past.

!

I like people I know well; you have a strong relationship.

!

I like people I don’t know; you can start a new relationship.

!

But those people in the middle . . . It’s an uncomfortable mixture of politeness and things I probably shouldn’t have said.

89"


!

It’s amazing how many people you will never meet.

!

Rain is a great way to meet people—just pack an umbrella.

!

People tend to stand about four inches too close to me.

!

Rejection is the worst, but I don’t like commitment much more.

!

Relationships exist with disregard for time, but time is usually the first factor when it comes to their disintegration.

!

Cherish your relationships with others.

!

Let other people change you, but make sure you know who you are becoming.

!

I’m bad with children. I’ve never had to deal with little kids.

!

Everyone else in my family is very practical, always looking ahead. I tend to go by what I feel.

!

My parents are good people.

!

It’s easier to lie to yourself than to other people.

!

Things used to be so black and white, but now it takes a little longer to make a good decision.

! "

I’ve never met anyone who is one hundred percent honest. "

90"


Tap Shoes

Dust Collector, 7 Under the Desk

!

I’m type A. There is a repetition to everything. I prefer control. That’s it.

!

I’m down here all alone with nothing else.

!

Nothing. No human contact. Just this crappy closed-off cabinet space. And me.

!

If I could have lived during any era, would have been the Jazz Age with good old Louis.

!

Every time I move I hear it: clack, clack, clack.

!

There is little variation in sound anymore, nothing innovative.

!

Tap dancing is outdated.

!

There’s a constant flap, flap of feet hitting curled nearby carpet. It’s maddening.

!

I probably won’t be used again. It’s been two years. I don’t care.

!

But the fact is, she isn’t looking for me.

!

There it is again. Clack, clack, clack.

!

There’s a step called a triple wing time step. I liked that one; you use everything.

!

Did you hear that? anymore.

!

See, the thing about it is even the most difficult stuff can be broken down. You’re really just repeating the same things over and over.

!

Clack, clack, clack. Those heels! I’m sorry, we might need to stop . . .

Oh, no that’s just high heels.

I can’t tell

91"


!

That’s the thing, too. You can do the same things over and over and not get any better.

!

You know what? Let me just say . . .

!

Do you know what that’s like? To be able to drive yourself crazy?

!

NOW GET AWAY!

"

92"

"


Eric Buehler Student, 18 Wooster, Ohio

!

You’ll be sitting there on the first day of school and all of a sudden you hear “Buehler, Buehler, Buehler.”

!

I love it. Great movie.

!

Even good jokes get old.

!

I prefer it to somebody bringing up the whole grocery store thing. I don’t want anybody to treat me differently or think I’m entitled.

!

The Millennium Falcon? She’s my girl. She’s a VW, but I’ve made a few special modifications myself. She did the Flickinger run in just under a minute. There’s nothing like flying around some back roads with her while listening to Highway Star by Deep Purple.

!

Most similar to Brandon, closest to Brian.

!

That all has to do with time and space.

!

Brandon was, is, the cool brother.

!

One time, Brandon had my brother and me over to dinner, when he still lived in Wooster. My cousin Trevor also came, and Brandon’s wife was there, of course. We had a real good time.

!

He lives out in the Northwest. Don’t see him much now—just like when I was growing up. I’m thinking about getting out there myself.

93"


!

Brian is in the South, so I doubt I’ll be living near him any time soon.

!

Haven't seen Trevor since that dinner.

!

Well, considering he told me about The Life Aquatic, I’d say so.

!

It’s a Wes movie.

!

My top five favorite movies? That’s a stupid question.

!

That one’s a little better. Nice play on words, too. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

!

Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings.

!

My favorite comedy? Couldn’t tell you.

!

Absurdist, considering life is pretty absurd.

!

The Office.

!

Some days I feel like a Libertarian other days I feel like a Socialist.

!

Cal Trask is a good friend. A lot of people talk about Holden Caulfield being the most relatable, realistic, or whatever teenager in a novel. I tell those people to go read East of Eden.

!

The song, Simple Man, by Lynard Skynard, says some good stuff about that.

!

I’m not much of a poet. I’ll give you a shitty answer and say Dylan.

!

There’s a lot of people walking around who think they’re pretty special. I always wonder who gave them that idea, that they’re special. I’m not special.

!

I did my first play in the sixth grade. It was a Western. I was the villain.

!

Both parts were fun. Especially since I don’t think people were expecting it from me. That’s always a good feeling.

94"


!

At first, I was angry I got cast as Toby. I felt like quitting. As it turned out, getting cast as him was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

!

I still wish I had those blue suede shoes I got to wear when I played Elvis.

!

I should have gone out for every musical.

!

I think people who say they don’t think about “could-have-beens” are full of it. Ha! They probably think I’m full of it.

!

There’s this great quote. It says something about living in the moment, but also clothing yourself in your regrets.

!

You’ll have to come and see the Winter Play.

"

"

95"


The Silmarillion Book, 17 North Hall, #202

!

I’m not for the faint of heart.

!

Beren and Luthien. Everybody has their own version of that story.

!

“Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that came down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures. And of these histories most fair still in the ears of the Elves is the tale of Beren and Lúthien”

!

He always brings me with him.

!

The desk is covered with books. I’ve found my way to the bottom of the heap. Gone are the days of being on the top, just like the Noldor.

!

I usually lay around with Catch-22 and East of Eden.

!

Jane Eyre? That book befell some horrible fate.

!

One time he took me into a forest. He cried and read the tale of the Kinslaying.

!

Mortality.

!

“They called them the Followers, and many other names: the After-born, the Sickly, the Mortals; and they named them The Usurpers, the Strangers, the self-cursed, the Heavy-handed, the Night Fearers, and the Children of the Sun.”

!

High is the price for great stories: “But of bliss and glad life there is little to be said, before it ends; as works fair and wonderful, while they still

96"


endure for eyes to see, are ever their own record, and only when they are in peril or broken for ever do they pass into song.” !

“Many are the strange chances of the world,' said Mithrandir, 'and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.”

!

I don’t think a movie would work out for me. Maybe if you took a section like Beren and Luthien.

!

Yeah, sure, the Iliad is alright, but I’m not that dense . . . alright, maybe in certain parts I am.

!

The lesser brother.

!

Escapism? Sure you can call it that, but here’s how I see it. Some people drink, others play video games. Some people read the Bible, some people read me. Some people do all of those things. Everybody needs a little escape from time to time. Although, personally, I think there’s a little more in me than that.

"

"

97"


Naznin Ferdhusi Postgraduate, 18⅓ Stranded in America

!

I remember once my grandma bought me this spin top toy that would light up when you pulled the cord. I stayed up for hours spinning it down the stairs. The battery ran out after 2 days. Oops.

!

I’ve always been a little bit out of the box.

!

There’s something I love about overcoming the odds. I’m big fan of supporting underdogs.

!

I’m a massive foodie. I eat like an obese trucker, scrap that, a pregnant obese trucker. I’m not really sure how it happened because when I was kid was a little shit during mealtimes.

!

I’m terrified of forgetting things. I try really hard to take notice of little things so when I go out I try to remember details about all the people I meet. Just silly little things.

!

I dislike the idea of a life of mediocrity.

!

This one time a six-foot-four Scottish rugby player told me I was intimating. It’s the single greatest compliment I’ve ever received.

!

The idea of raising a child scares me shitless. I don’t understand how people do that.

!

Five years ago I almost died in a house fire. That same year my baby brother was born. 2010 shaped me beyond belief, and for that I am grateful.

98"


!

I get along with most people. Except those who like celery. That’s where I draw the line.

!

Many people will try to hold you back. satisfaction of giving up.

!

I feel like reading people’s minds would get tedious quickly. I think being able to travel through time and space would be pretty handy though.

!

I’m always in the mood for lamb and prawns. Oh, and probably chocolate brownie cake with raspberries and ice cream. And meatballs and spaghetti. And a full roast, oh yeah.

!

“Never half ass two things. Whole ass one thing.”

!

More than anything I wish I had a better relationship with my dad. I guess life just got in the way.

!

I’m not really motivated by money.

!

I’m watching friends my age get married and have kids, and it’s just really disorientating watching how everyone has their lives so perfectly planned out. If along the way a family falls into “The Plan” then I think I’ll have achieved all that I wanted.

!

(1) An antidote to ignorance; (2) A movie about my life directed by Christopher Nolan starring Mila Kunis as me; and, uh, obviously, (3) world peace. Yadda. yadda, yadda.

!

I’m a very particular person. Things have to be done in a very specific way.

!

I don’t think I could survive without my Rumi poems. There’s something so familiar and nostalgic about his work. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.

!

I wake up every morning and promise that I’ll try.

!

I don’t shut up.

!

I like the kind of music that takes me back to certain places or people. I like music that’s stripped back to just acoustics and lyrics.

Don’t give them the

99"


The kind of music that brings you solace at 4AM or slowly breaks your heart at two in the afternoon. !

I hate when the word moist is used to describe anything other than baked goods. Ugh, absolutely vile.

!

I have quite a few, but I’d say my stubbornness. It’s helped feed my resilience over the years, but it’s been a hindrance too.

!

I don’t like the idea of relying on fate.

!

Last summer some friends and I went to Slovenia. On our last night we had dinner by the river and spent the whole night lying in the middle of the square. We waited and watched the sun come up. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but if I could I’d go back to that moment. That night has such a special place in my heart.

!

Without a doubt, my mum. She is the strongest person I have ever known.

!

It’s important to tell people that they’re important. That they are enough. That they have always been enough.

"

100"

"


Krougar

Rottweiler, 45 (in dog years) Essex, England

!

I can smell when someone’s bringing me treats from a mile away. On a day without wind I can smell up to two miles away.

!

I adore tummy rub time.

!

“The traditional gait of a Rottweiler is a trot.” I like to think it’s more of a strut.

!

I have a lot of pent up sass.

!

I think Naznin is a funny kind of dog. I think they call themselves “people.” She only walks on two of her legs and uses the other two to grab things. And her barks don’t ever make sense. Then again they’re all kind of funny looking.

!

I don’t understand the feline mind. Cats are just so pretentious.

!

My favourite pastimes are chasing goats and going for walks. Naznin and I go for walks together and that’s kind of our thing because she knows I really, REALLY, like walks.

!

I can’t stand squirrels. They try to come off all cute and cuddly but they’re not—they’re vermin, that’s what they are.

!

I’ve worn the cone of shame before.

!

I jumped into our 3m deep pond when it was being built and had to climb a ladder to get out.

!

Life is just a mixture of kibble and shit that you have to get through.

101"


!

Never have I ever bitten the hand that feeds me. I did however pee on a paramedic one time.

!

I genuinely believe that everyone hides food and if they say they don’t they’re actually lying.

!

I’m outraged by how the media portrays us as dangerously violent dogs. We’re exactly the same as people. We’re products of our upbringing.

!

I’m pretty sure everybody appreciates having my dog hairs all over their clothes, it’s a beautiful finishing touch and it completes every outfit.

!

“How come humans get to name their dogs, but dogs can’t name their humans?”

!

I dance in my dreams, especially when I think about steak.

!

I enjoy sticking my tongue on cold-ass glass windows. It feels SO good.

!

I shout at butterflies because they don’t let me play with them.

!

I’ve always wondered what chocolate tastes like.

!

I pretend to be both shocked and confused when I’m confronted about pooping on the front patio.

!

I still do some pretty adorable shit like puppy dog eyes and chasing my own tail.

!

For my birthday a few years ago I got a squeaky chicken toy. Every time I piss on a new object I like to alert everyone by squeaking the aforementioned chicken.

!

Not everyone knows I’m a dog that’s been in the forces. I’ve even got tattoos in my ears from my time there. The squadron boys were a hoot. I do miss them sometimes.

!

I don’t like when new people come to our house, they smell funny, especially that godforsaken postman.

102"


!

Disney movies unnecessarily romanticise everything; no one actually shares their spaghetti with others.

!

Loin chops.

!

Occasionally I will lick my vomit but I actually think it’s embarrassing and gross that I do that. I’m ashamed of myself. I will voluntarily sit in the corner with my head down when I do that. Those are definitely my lowest points.

!

The definition of spiritual enlightenment is sticking your head out of a fast moving car’s window and watching your slobber fly onto the front window of the car behind you. Sometimes I’ll just stick my head out of regular windows of the house to scare people.

!

I like bubble baths outside but it makes me self-conscious when other animals are nearby. I feel like they’re judging me, but boy if only they knew about them bubbles.

!

“Fetch it yourself, you dick.”

"

"

103"


Grant Foskett Figuring it out, 15 Hudson, Ohio

!

I’m terrified of responsibility, but I don’t like the sound of not having it either.

!

My mom. We’ve always been close.

!

No one would. Humans are inherently selfish, and only a lunatic would throw their life away for someone they’ve never met.

!

Chocolate, and anyone who says anything else is lying to themselves.

!

That none of it matters. Life’s just a game that you get to play however you want. I really wish I could get myself to believe that.

!

Depression is more widespread than cancer and just as deadly.

!

It’s never what they say, but how they say it that really hurts.

!

I’m worried about how much of myself I see in Holden Caulfield.

!

I’d go back to see my 8th grade English teacher. Just to thank her.

!

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” That’s Oscar Wilde. Smart guy. My goal in life is pretty much to just live.

!

I’ve been a vegetarian my entire life. First thing I get asked is “Does that mean you’ve never tasted bacon?”

!

Why am I vegetarian? Because I am. It really gives me something to prove to myself I’m different.

104"


!

I’ve always loved patterns. I try to find them everywhere, whether in the tiles on the bathroom floor or simply in an established schedule.

!

My two least favorite questions to be asked are “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and “What does your dad do for work?” I don’t have a good answer for either.

!

I’m often ashamed that I’ve been given so many opportunities in life, but I’m too lazy to take advantage of many of them.

!

If I had one wish, it would be for self-confidence. I could do so much more in life with a little bit extra of that.

! "

Sometimes. Most of the time I hate myself. "

105"


Baseball Glove Dream Catcher, 6 In the Garage

!

Of course I’m not jealous. I know I’m better than that other glove. He doesn’t use it nearly as much.

!

Easton? Wilson? Don’t make me laugh. Mizuno is the best brand for gloves.

!

Who are you calling worn out? I am in prime condition. Six years of wear is nothing!

!

Oh, please don’t bring up the re-lacing incident. We don’t talk about that.

!

I don’t advocate tattoos, but Allie’s glove in Catcher in the Rye is about the best character in literature.

!

Sure my use has declined a bit, but that doesn’t mean anything. Life is busy sometimes, other times it slows down.

!

I don’t really have a problem with blaming the glove for a missed play. I never get blamed though. I think he’s moved past that.

!

Even though I act all tough, I’m really not. Truth is I blame myself for any missed play. I know it’s not really in my control, but I just do.

"

106"

"


Hannah McKenzie Undecided, 18 Hudson, Ohio

!

When I was in eighth grade, I took a spring break trip with my dad to Universal Studios. We visited Harry Potter World. Although now it might not seem as important as it once did, in the moment I recognized how happy I truly was. I think it was one of the last times I didn’t worry about anything. In my ugly phase of childhood I discovered a beautiful thing—bliss in innocence. Then high school happened. I don’t think I’ve been completely relaxed since.

!

I can’t stand it when people spoil the endings of books. I disapprove of premature revelations in general. I like surprises.

!

My family’s Christmas cookie recipe. They’re simple: dough and sprinkles, but as soon as you taste one you’re hooked for life. Until the tin is empty, when you’re forced out of your addictive state.

!

Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have taken AP United States History. Sure, it has prepared me for college, but it was allconsuming. I didn’t have time for anything else junior year.

!

Nicky Waldeck told me that I should never let anyone stop me from working hard. I’m a competitive person up to a point, and then I back away because I don’t want anyone to become angry with me. It limits me from being the best I can be, but sometimes I think it’s worth it because of the relationships that consequently last. Nicky inspired me to have it all.

!

Although I’ve never lived in New England, I love it. Someday I’d like to have a lake house in New Hampshire. I have so many memories there that it is, unofficially, my home.

!

I learned how to ski when I was two years old. I still ski, but I’m not as fearless as I used to be. I think that downhill skiing is a metaphor for life. As you grow, your center of gravity changes and all of a sudden you notice how steep the slope is. Then you have to

107"


figure out how to get down without hurting yourself—or anyone else. !

I had a dream that I was stranded on an island and these giant, animate staplers were hunting me down to staple me to death. Ever since, I’ve had a certain phobia around staplers. I’ll use one, but I try to stretch my arm out far away from the rest of my body.

!

I am constantly in my head. I don’t just think about schoolwork; I analyze my life. Thought is the obstacle that forbids me from living in the moment.

!

I was a complete tomboy up until the start of high school. I wore boys’ clothes. I refused to get dressed up. My preferred footwear for any fancy occasion was a pair of light blue crocs.

!

I despise mornings. You better give me a wide berth for about twenty minutes after I wake up. Otherwise, you’ll just get grunts and glares.

!

Dogs. I’ve never given cats a chance, though.

!

Infinity is the inexplicable constancy of existence.

!

Sometimes I crave company, and other times I really don’t like people. Certain people I’ll always like. People in general? Ehh. Large groups of people? Not in the slightest.

!

Recently, I’ve started knocking on wood. I don’t want to jinx a possibility by proclaiming it a definite. Nothing is set in stone until it has happened. "

"

108"


Bosley & Scout English Labs, 9 & 4 Hudson, Ohio

!

Bosley: I was adopted when I was four. I used to be a stud dog used for breeding. My family wanted a puppy, but they ended up with me. Later on, I was getting lonely.

!

Scout: So they got me! It hasn’t been the same since.

!

Bosley: No, it hasn’t.

!

Scout: We only argue when he has the toy that I want.

!

Bosley: I wouldn’t really call it an argument. You know girls. They’re always right, so they get what they want. End of discussion.

!

Bosley: I think cheese is my favorite food. Of course, all food is good. Scout would disagree.

!

Scout: No I wouldn’t. I like food.

!

Bosley: You like poop. You like to eat poop—both mine and yours.

!

Scout: It’s good. I could be a self-sustainable organism if I wanted to. Eat the poop. Poop it out. Eat it again.

!

Bosley: You’re disgusting. And annoying. She’s made a weird fetish of poop. The other day she pooped on top of Jack’s sweatshirt. It was immature.

!

Scout: It was hilarious!

!

Scout: Bosley is sensitive and very calm. Except for one time when he broke our mom’s finger. She was walking us, and he went after this other dog. He was trying to protect me. It was cute.

!

Bosley: One good thing about Scout? Hmmm . . . . Her ears are soft!

!

Bosley: When Scout was a baby, her tear ducts weren’t working properly so she had to have surgery. The doctor over-exaggerated

109"


the motion and said it would heal, but it didn’t, so her right eye remains forever droopy. !

Scout: Bosley has terrible breath. The family calls it “ass breath.”

!

Bosley: Please stop. If you don’t, I’ll breathe on you.

!

Scout: Sure, Bosley can be nice, sometimes. Normally, I sleep in the cage, but recently he’s let me share his bed.

!

Bosley: Truth be told, there’s not enough room for both of us.

!

Scout: The sleeping arrangements leave something to be desired. One time, Hannah let me sleep in her bed. I had to move around a little to get comfortable. When I rested my entire body on top of her pillow, she had enough. She took me downstairs to my “home.” I just wish she would give me another chance.

!

Bosley: Besides eating poop, Scout also licks the wooden floors in the kitchen. I don’t have a bad habit.

!

Scout: Nonsense. When it’s dinnertime his calm demeanor transforms into one of pure frenzy and obsession. He jumps up and down and drools until we’re allowed to eat. It makes sense, though, considering how fat he is.

! "

Bosley: I am not fat.

110"

"


Connor Meehan Student, 17 Hudson, Ohio

!

How am I supposed to know? I’ve never met a god in my life.

!

Usually if the actor can act, that helps. Because if I don’t fully believe an actor is their character, they aren’t doing their job right.

!

Pretentious is a terrible word.

!

The Dragonball movie is probably it. That or River Phoenix’s death.

!

20, because it’s the day of the month of my birthday. Do people normally have other reasons?

!

You can probably guess that it was movies. That or video games. I didn’t do much else.

!

Whether you are happy with your work or not. matters.

!

Devoted defines me pretty well. At least I would like to think so.

!

I can’t really pinpoint one place specifically that I would consider the best place in the world. Probably wherever I end up living. Or maybe in five years, I will think it’s my parent’s house. As of now, I don’t know the answer.

!

I don’t want to talk about that now or ever.

!

I don’t have any major chance events that have even happened in my life. I haven’t ever talked with someone famous and for them to inspire me to work hard, or something like that. Things have been pretty straightforward so far.

!

Bread, cheese, and salami.

That’s all that

111"


!

Entering high school stands out. But the second half of my 7th grade year sort of started my transformation into who I am now. So probably the latter choice.

!

I don’t hate everything. I just critique things I like a lot. But just because I critique a movie or a TV show, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. If anything, it shows that I respected the work even more than a regular audience does. At least, that’s how I see it

!

There are plenty of bands I like. Radiohead, Death Grips, System of a Down, Tool, Neutral Milk Hotel . . . the list could go on forever. It’s really hard to pinpoint one as my favorite though. I actually don’t think I can. Not without at least a month to think about it. Same with my favorite movie, game, or book. There will never be a definitive answer. Because I will always be changing my answer to fit how I feel or how my life has changed. That’s just how things work. "

"

112"


PlayStation 3 Gaming Console, 4 Connor’s Bedroom

!

He’s okay, but he leaves me on sometimes, and it kind of pisses me off.

!

I still have at least two years left.

!

It ranges from tame to insane. Like, one day I can be watching an animated movie about toys and then the next day about a psycho businessman who murders the innocent every night. Connor’s a pretty out there type of guy.

!

I mean I don’t like to brag or anything, but when your hailed as the savior of gaming consoles, how can anything else really compare?

!

It’s really pathetic to try to even compare me to the others. I’m just too far out of their league. Like, would you really say a Wii is on the same level as me? I think not.

!

Connor’s a real ass now when it comes to playing me. He barely even powers me up anymore! I mean, he plays me a lot, but I still feel like he is try to ignore me! It’s all about his PC now. Did you know that PC stands for Pretentious Crap?

!

Really? You think the shitty new generation has anything on me? The only thing the PS4 has on me is graphics. But who cares? Everyone knows it’s all about the game, and I have a library of over 1,000 of them.

!

If you don’t perform at the best quality you can, then you’ll get trashed. Just look at some of the failures like the CDI or Jaguar. What did they do wrong? They just didn’t perform well. Also they were poorly made, but my point still stands.

!

Well if you’re implying I’m some Skynet or GLADoS type of machine, then you’re just a racist. I mean, I’m so much better than that PC crowd.

113"


!

Sony is . . . hard . . . to defend. I mean, their games-side is flawless, but everyone already knew that. However, their movie-side is falling apart on itself every day, piece by piece. It’s sad.

!

Yeah, I would say it’s a pretty fun job to have. Better than that damned printer. The little shit never works half the time because he’s “Too tired” or something stupid like that. I’ve always hated printers.

!

I’ve been banged up here and there, but nothing really serious. But Connor should take care of me better. After all, we break easily.

!

Well my motto is “At least I’m not the Xbox One.” It helps me cope with depression . . . . I’m being sarcastic, if you couldn’t tell. "

"

114"


Kristina Nazarova The one who can’t match her facial expression to the way she feels, 17 Hudson, Ohio

!

The last time is more important than the first time.

!

To me, the word spunk means “alive.”

!

Weirdly enough, cloudy weather makes me happy. Sunny weather seems to carry heavy expectations of a good day. Dark clouds act like a blanket, and I don’t feel an obligation to push, push, push to achieve happiness.

!

Personality is simply the collection of ways in which you react to triggers.

!

There’s a kind of fun in creating painful situations to put yourself in.

!

I dislike a lot of people younger than me because I see my former self in them.

!

The key to overcoming things is by denying that they ever happened. Note: this doesn’t help you come to terms with them.

!

I’ve been trained to make people believe I’m a better person than I actually am.

!

Communication, history, really everything, is based on lies, and we’re all striving to fit models that have never existed. Sometimes it works.

!

I hate that I try so hard not to need peoples’ love and care. That’s probably going to fuck me over someday.

!

I love.

115"


!

Human relationships fail because a lot of people are too lazy to figure out what they can invest in others.

!

I admire people who know how to create and tailor good vibes to each individual person.

!

As long as you try to understand a person and fully support their goals for themselves, nothing can go wrong. Unless they don’t do the same.

!

People are drawn to those who they can use as they please but respect those who use others.

!

The older I grow, the more I think the story of Adam and Eve is true.

!

I think the word “God” is up to interpretation.

!

Leaders who have always treated others with kindness and respect are more noble than people in the trenches who have learned to do the same.

! "

Too bad leaders who have always done that have never existed. "

116"


Kristina’s Glasses Vision aid, 10 Under the bed

!

I find it impossible to answer personal, prying questions when so much of my time needs to be spent studying the world.

!

Once, I was protected by goggles during the cutting of onions in a kitchen.

!

The most I’ve ever been shaken was when Kristina watched a movie about a man who made excessive facial expressions and gestures.

!

The closest I’ve ever been to the business end of a pair of scissors was when I was sitting in my case inside a backpack pocket with a hidden zipper. I heard a “snip, snip, snip,” and then later, “I thought it was a hidden bar of gold!”

!

Tears were once splattered on me when I was brought into a big windowed office because Kristina had been singing songs, within the earshot of her school’s principal, involving rubber ducks, monkeys, and a number of mild insults of her art teacher.

!

Tears were almost splattered on me when Kristina and I were once confronted by two other pairs of glasses asking whether she had repeatedly put bananas into a kid’s backpack, without his noticing, until one day they basically exploded.

!

Whenever tears are splattered on me, I end up sitting all alone, staring at myself in a mirror. It’s kind of lonely, but it makes the moisture stop.

!

I was scraped once when Kristina plummeted to the track in a relay race by tripping and then two boys decided to swerve and start a pile on top of me.

!

I’ve been harshly slung about in the middle of some animalistic dance moves which involved the whipping of Kristina’s hair to the beat of a Katy Perry song.

117"


!

Like some humans, I turn darker when in the sun. And just as some humans use umbrellas to avoid excessive sun exposure, my lenses are occasionally covered by Kristina’s hands to protect me from its harsh rays.

!

The first time I ever stared at a ceiling for an entire day was in the spring of 2011.

!

I’ll take action over ceiling observation any day.

!

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at math problems . . . and the kinds of food eaten when a house is dark and quiet. "

"

118"


Adam Ramirez Some Guy, 17 Hudson, Ohio

!

When I was about eight I visited my maternal grandmother for my first and only time. She gave me an atlas, because, when my dad was a kid, he loved to read. That atlas changed my life more than any gift I have ever received because it made me curious about other parts of the world and was the first thing that made me really consider the lives of other.

!

Chance the Rapper. The main thing I learned from him is that it is okay to be different and that you shouldn’t worry about what’s trendy at any given time. All you have to do is just be out in the world doing whatever it is your talent and passion is and that eventually you will find your path.

!

Spending my whole life pursuing the wrong thing.

!

That most people get swept down the stream they start on. If you don’t make a conscious effort to be you, then your brain becomes a replica of someone else’s.

!

I’m a very angry person by nature, and I think I have been able to overcome a lot of that.

!

“Nobody” by Chief Keef and Kanye West, because “I don’t listen to nobody but me.”

!

Vincent Vega. He reminds me a lot of myself. You don’t expect him to think as deeply as he does, and most people just write him off due to his life choices.

119"


"

Atlas

Reference book, 10 Bottom shelf of Adam’s bookcase

!

I've lived here for the past few years collecting dust. It has been really hard after my surgeries. I needed my spine repaired and a few of my pages have ripped. Now whoever uses me has to be very careful not to break me.

!

I loved when Adam used to pick a page and then study it for a while. After he looked at me for awhile he would start walking back and forth in his room.

!

No one else has really used me that much. Adam would only really show me to someone really close.

!

Europe

!

The only marks inside me are of places he circled that he wanted to visit

!

Not being put into storage.

!

He still likes me, though he hasn’t really visited me in a while.

"

120"

"


Alec Rubin Some Guy, 17 Hudson, Ohio

!

I’ve never liked talking about myself, because really, what’s there to talk about? Anybody else could go through these exact same motions in life just as easily and probably look better doing it too.

!

Life has always moved too slowly for me. I spend more of my time thinking of what the future holds, thinking of what things will be like one month or ten years in the future. Sometimes I’m even more concerned with what will happen the next day instead of the time I’m living in at present.

!

I’ve spent my entire life telling myself that I’ll change tomorrow, start doing something different the next week; and then I always end up surprised when I just put it off again.

!

After all this planning I still have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life. Probably I’ll just end up wherever the wind takes me.

!

It’s not that I don’t like other people—I just don’t need them the way others do. People have this need seek others for companionship and I just . . . don’t. It’s nice in a way, but sometimes knowing that you will never be able to care about people the way they care about you just makes you feel empty.

!

Yes, I do actually have friends. Most people don’t know that.

!

The hardest realization I’ve had to come to terms with is the fact that I’ll never be the best at anything, ever. I can’t even be the best at being the laziest fucker possible, since I know people so far gone that I’d like to think I have enough pride for that not to happen to me.

!

3 am Weeaboo parties in Skype Group Calls are probably the best thing ever.

121"


!

My claim to fame is playing a Pokémon battle on stream and getting interviewed in front of however many thousands of people were watching. Which is kind of cool, until, you know, you realize that the only thing you’ll ever be known for is being mildly good at a children’s game.

!

“I don’t have a problem with caffeine. I have one without it.” That’s what it says on this little sign at the gas station where I always buy my energy drinks. I like to think that’s true and it’s no big thing at all, but I also needed a Monster to even muster up the will to do this interview so who knows?

!

Eventually, you can learn to ignore everything wrong with you and the world around you. Just shut your mind and pretend it doesn’t matter.

!

One of my favorite little stories is about this guy who dies, and he sees a gate with a bearded man working at it, and he asks “Am I going to Heaven now?” The man says back to him “What do you mean? You were just there.” Kind of makes you think; it doesn’t make much sense, but still.

!

I’m a moderator on a couple of Internet chat rooms. It’s nice because then I can see there are people who live even more boring lives than I do.

!

I was hoping to come out of this with some memorable quote or something, but looking back I really don’t think that will happen. "

"

122"


Empty Monster Can Energy Drink, < 1 Recycling Bin

!

Life is pretty simple: you get manufactured, shipped out, bought, drunk, and then thrown away. That’s it.

!

In terms of taste, the best flavor I come in is probably Assault. Although, really, who’s drinking me for the taste anyway, right?

!

I’m not like all the rest of the energy drinks, hyped up and jumping at the gun. Some of us prefer to take a more relaxed approach.

!

Sometimes one of us will be dropped, and our entire top will be ruined and become inoperable. These guys just kind of sit at the front of the cooler for a couple of weeks because nobody’s stupid enough to buy them. I’m sure most of these wounded warriors end up in the trash, and it’s kind of sad to think of all of my brothers who get thrown out without realizing their potential.

!

Our motto is “Unleash the Beast,” which makes it sound like we’re being marketed to people ten years younger than our actual target demographic.

!

Instead of trying to ban energy drinks for people younger than 21 (or simply banning us altogether), maybe you people should focus on things like guns and cigarettes. It is claimed that my brothers and I have been responsible for more than thirty-four deaths since our inception. However, those deaths were likely linked to previously existing heart conditions. Caveat emptor.

!

It can be difficult to look past all of the hubbub, but if you do it’s actually funny to learn that most of us energy drinks have less caffeine in us than Mr. high-and-mighty coffee.

!

There’s nothing so satisfying as knowing that hundreds of thousands of people depend on you everyday just to function.

!

People say there’s a huge difference between my being warm and cold, so much so that I become a completely different drink. I really don’t get that.

123"


!

All the sponsorships my makers do for extreme sports and stuff is cool, I guess. It’s nice to be on the “cutting edge.” That is until the novelty wears off and you’re no longer as cool as everyone thought you used to be.

!

Me and my kind draw ire from some religious groups because apparently our logo contains imagery that somehow suggests the devil is selling us for profit—check out the online video if you doubt what I’m saying. The way I see it is, if you’re going to hell for drinking us anyway, you might as well pay up front to make the facilities nicer. Think of it as an investment. "

"

124"


Sarah Zimmerman Student, 15 Stuck in Ohio

!

I’m pretty okay. I answer that every time someone asks me that.

!

It’s just awful. I honestly don’t understand why some people think that it’s okay to be rude to someone for reasons like that. That should never ever be a reason to hate someone.

!

I don’t like her.

!

The Way Way Back. I don’t think it’s the best, but it’s still my favorite. There’s a big difference between being the best and being a favorite sometimes.

!

Ever since I started going to my old school I wanted to edit the student-run fiction magazine. The only problem was that I hated writing and the requirement to edit the magazine was that you had to take creative writing. I took the class and was told my writing was pretty good. I guess being forced to write for an hour twice a week made me love it.

!

It really just depends. Usually I would say quite a lot because I don’t know anything better than I know that.

!

What do you think? Anyone who’s talked to me for more than two minutes knows that.

!

I’m so conflicted about this, honestly. The idea behind it is great, but the way that people change and distort the idea drives me crazy. They just end up giving the word a bad connotation.

!

Listening to their music just brings back really good memories for me. My dad showed them to me when we were on a road trip together. It was just a really fun trip and we listened to a lot of good music in addition to them.

125"


!

It’s definitely cheating to ask that, so I’m not going to give you a real answer. Sorry.

!

Wool by Hugh Howey. It’s a dystopian about people who live in a silo underground because the air outside is toxic. The whole series is great, and I would recommend them.

!

You can picture whatever you want while reading them. I think that’s amazing. Just the way that someone else’s thoughts can be put on a piece of paper and then translated into pictures in your mind. It’s fascinating, it really is. Also, they smell great.

!

I honestly have no idea. I’ve been saying that I want to be a cosmologist since I was four years old, but I don’t know if that’s the case now. I might want to write or run a coffee shop. I think I might want to move to Minneapolis. I like it better there.

! "

Have a nice daaaaaaaaaaay . . . "

126"


Heart Pillow

Headrest, 2 months Blue couch upstairs

!

I guess she’s fine. I mean she is the one who brought me into existence anyway.

!

Probably the last part of me that was stitched together. I know there wasn’t any other way to do it, given I was handmade, but it’s still bumpy and embarrassing.

!

Yeah, just a second ago we were watching an anime called Michiko to Hatchin. I like it so far, but I think Durarara!! was better.

!

I don’t know what a lot of the world looks like, so I’m not sure. Really, I just want to go back downstairs. The last time I was down there was when I was being made. There was a fire and a movie playing. It was really nice.

!

Yellow. Because the sun pillow is yellow, and we sit next to each other on the couch everyday. There are other pillows here, as well but the two of us are next to each other. We talk a lot and things are very nice. The sun pillow is really sweet, and I like talking with him a lot when I’m bored.

!

The sun pillow, obviously. Also, Hello Kitty. Definitely. She’s just as sweet as she looks.

!

I don’t know the name, but it’s by The Xx. Sarah just bought one of their albums two days ago, and she’s been listening to it nonstop. She does this whenever she buy new music. At least I’m getting a break from Keane. She still hasn’t moved on from them. I sure have.

!

“The way that she remembers me is not the way I really am, But I'm hoping they've got something in common. I'm hoping they've got something in common.” -Dawes

!

I spend most of my time in the dark. I can’t afford to be afraid of something like that.

127"


!

I don’t know if it’s love, but I do like hanging out with the sun pillow very much. As I said, we sit next to each other every day and talk for hours.

!

Probably the huge rainbow flag on her wall. It’s just so pretty. Brenda told me she went to some gay rights parade, or something. Bobo said she was gay, but Hello Kitty said she wasn’t. Whatever that means. I just think the flag is pretty.

!

“I don’t always stab fish in the ovaries. It was just that one time.” -Sarah’s friend, Josh Estrada "

"

128"


"

HISTORY&WRITING& CONTEST& & &

&

& & & & & & & &

& &

FIRST&PLACE&WINNERS& 2013_2014" 129"


2014&AMERICAN&HISTORY&CONTEST&–&FIRST&PLACE& / Lauren/Kolar/ Class/of/2014/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / / Cracking/Caroline’s:/Debunking/the/Myth/that/Women/are/Comedically/Inept/ / When" the" movie" Bridesmaids" came" out" in" 2011," nearly" every" interview"consisted"of"a"question"somewhere"along"the"lines"of,"“So"does" this"mean"women"can"do"comedy?”""Yes,"a"film"composed"of"nearly"all" female" leads" is" rare" even" in" the" present" day," but" is" it" odd" enough" to" question" whether" women" as" a" whole" have" the" capacity" for" professional" humor?""The"most"threatening"part"about"this"mindset"lies"in"that"it"is"not" a" new" inquiry;" women’s" funny" bones" have" suffered" attacks" since" the" inception" of" contemporary" comedy." " In" addition" to" the" entertainment" industry" as" a" whole" and" its" establishment" as" a" traditionally" malec dominated" world," the" comedy" genre" remains" especially" scathing" for" women," despite" the" fact" that" they" play" a" bigger" part" than" most" people" know."" In"the"contemporary"platforms"of"comedy—film,"television,"and" standcup—women"have"proven"themselves"as"comedically"apt"as"men"in" their" performance" appeal" as" well" as" their" presence" in" behindcthecscenes" positions," such" as" writers" and" producers." " Historically," women" have" constantly"fought"for"power"positions"within"the"entertainment"industry."" Even"today,"in"the"film"sector,"women"make"up"only"about"seven"percent" of"directors,"thirteen"percent"of"writers,"and"twenty"percent"of"producers" (“Casting"Call”).""Oddly"enough,"the"struggle"for"representation"has"not" proven" a" straight" endeavor;" in" fact," women’s" participation" in" higherc ranking"positions,"especially"within"the"film"industry,"resembles"at"times" a" onecstepcforward" twocstepscback" situation." " In" the" beginning," the" medium" remained" surprisingly" open" to" women:" with" the" industry" yet" unformed,"and"the"youth"of"the"medium"as"a"whole,"studios"had"a"room" and" a" willingness" to" experiment" and" assign" women" to" production"

130"


positions.""However,"having"a"woman"behind"the"camera"often"meant"a" man"was"not"far"off"(Kaplan"16).""Universal"stands"out"as"one"of"the"more" progressive" studios" during" the" early" era" of" film." " According" to" Mark" Garrett" Cooper," in" 1916," “the" number" of" women" Universal" credited" as" directors" doubled" from" two" to" four”" (46)." " Furthermore," Cooper" asserts" that"“in"late"1917"and"not"before,"Universal"settled"on"an"understanding" of" what" a" ‘woman’" is" and" assumed" that" directors" who" were" women" would" be" particularly" skilled" at" handling" womanly" material”" (128)."" Although" this" looks" like" evidence" of" progress," one" must" note" the" underlying" sexism" of" Universal’s" motives." " Such" sentiments" echoed" throughout" the" industry" as" a" whole:" “At" first," women" could" not" choose" the"topics"for"their"films”"(Kaplan"15).""Despite"these"constrictions,"these" early" stages" do" not" represent" the" sole" time" period" of" " which" female" directorial"repression"is"evident.""Overall,"the"scarcity"of"female"directors," especially" in" comparison" to" the" growth" of" the" industry" as" a" whole," proves"most"problematic"throughout"the"classical"era."" One" of" the" most" important" eras" of" film" history," although" only" vaguely" defined," the" classical" period" is" generally" considered" to" roughly" span" the" late" 1910s" to" the" earlycmid" 1960s," give" or" take" the" opinions" of" given" critics" and" historians." Coined" “Classical" Hollywood" Cinema”" by" David"Bordwell,"Kristin"Thompson,"and"Janet"Staiger,"this"era"exhibited" the" arrival" of" what" they" called" a" cinematic" “classical" Hollywood" style,”" which" serves" as" the" basis" for" all" modern" mainstream" American" filmmaking" (Goldberg)." " During" this" period," when" some" of" the" most" iconic" directors" in" history" created" their" masterpieces," including" Orson" Welles," Alfred" Hitchcock," and" other" household" names," there" was" a" severe" lack" of" women" in" the" director’s" chair." " Many" factors" attribute" to" this"absence,"including"certain"socioceconomic"strains"such"as"WWII"and" the" Depression," the" growth" of" the" studio" system," and" post" WWII" conservativism." " Any" pfeministp" aspect" of" female" directors" during" this" time"period"plies"in"the"fact"that"they"managed"to"get"behind"a"camera"at" allp" (Kaplan" 17c8)." " Although" in" terms" of" sheer" numbers" a" greater" representation"of"females"in"creative"positions"exists"today,"the"industry" remains"incredibly"weighted"on"the"side"of"males.""A"study"conducted"by" San" Diego" State" University" shows" that" out" of" the" top" 250" domestic" grossing" films" of" 2012," women" made" up" merely" 18%" of" all" writers,"

131"


directors," producers," cinematographers," and" editors." " According" to" Martha"Lauzen,"“this"represents"no"change"from"2011"and"an"increase"of" 1" percentage" point" from" 1998”" (1)." " Statistics" such" as" these" only" prove" that," while" gender" equality" in" film" has" progressed" since" the" creation" of" the" medium," the" process" is" slow" at" best" and" we" still" have" a" long" road" ahead./ Narrowing" one’s" focus" to" a" certain" genre," the" fight" against" women" in" contemporary" comedy" dates" back" to" the" era" of" slapstick." " In" the" late" nineteenth" and" early" twentieth" centuries," the" slapstick" tradition" was"booming"and"heading"in"a"promising"direction.""Slapstick,"one"of"the" predecessors"of"standcup,"was"a"form"of"entertainment"usually"centered" around" one" or" two" performers" and" marked" by" broad" physical" comedy."" With" the" introduction" of" film," slapstick" rose" to" a" whole" new" level," and" the" new" platform" helped" establish" the" greats" like" Charlie" Chaplin" and" Buster" Keaton." " However," female" comedians" encountered" a" host" of" problems" both" on" the" stage" and" screen." " Women" were" seen" as" not" only" unfit" for" but" incapable" of" humor." " Kristen" Wagner," in" her" article" “Have" Women" a" Sense" of" Humor?,”" explains" the" reason" for" such" perceptions:" “Countless"writers"and"critics"have"argued"that"femininity"and"a"sense"of" humor" are" mutually" exclusive" and" that" women’s" ‘natural’" inclination" toward" emotion" and" sensitivity" has" left" them" incapable" of" possessing" a" quality—humor—that"many"feel"is"dependent"on"‘masculine’"traits"such" as" intellect" and" aggressiveness”" (35)." " While" this" school" of" thought" sounds" sexist" and" archaic" to" the" modern" reader," it" holds" some" truth," in" terms"of"audience’s"perceptions,"and"ultimately"receptions,"of"females"in" comedy."" Many" successful" comediennes," past" and" present," exhibit" a" masculine"persona"in"their"act.""Phyllis"Diller,"perhaps"the"most"famous" early"female"standcup"comedian,"downplayed"and"even"covered"up"her" femininity." " A" New/ York/ Times" article" described" her" image" as" “part" Wicked" Witch" of" the" West" and" part" clown”" (Severo" and" Keepnews)."" Today," comediennes" like" Amy" Schumer" provide" us" with" a" different" example"of"masculine"comedy:"Schumer’s"image"is"in"fact"very"feminine" and" delicate," but" she" tackles" material" that" is" anything" but." " The" need" to" mask" natural" femininity" proved" the" greatest" hurdle" for" women" in" the" days"of"slapstick"comedy.""Alan"Dale"notes"a"quote"from"Groucho"Marx"

132"


mirroring" this" idea" that" declares," “Women" don’t" understand" crazy" humor”"(101).""Women"who"wished"to"pursue"comedy"but"not"relinquish" their" femininity" were" labeled" as" a" gentler" alternative" to" the" standard" “roughcandctumble" slapstick”" (Wagner" 35)." " From" this," the" idea" of" “female" humor”" was" born," the" concept" that" “women" are" capable" of" understanding,"enjoying,"and"even"creating"humor,"but"but"their"humor" is" qualitatively" different" from" that" enjoyed" by" men”" (Wagner" 38)."" Surprisingly" enough," this" sexist" sentiment" still" persists" today," and" although" not" as" evident" as" it" was" in" the" era" of" slapstick," it" remains" a" battle"for"modern"comediennes./ Lingering"from"the"days"of"slapstick,"the"concept"that"women"are" only" capable" of" “womanly" material”" provides" for" one" of" the" weakest" arguments"against"funny"women.""An"article"from"Vanity/Fair"published" in" 2007" shows" that" some" people" still" hold" fast" to" the" idea" that" women" cannot"create"material"found"enjoyable"by"the"masses."The"author"of"the" article," Christopher" Hitchens," asserts" that," while" Mother" Nature" gave" men"the"main"preoccupation"of"impressing"the"opposite"sex,"and"one"of" the" most" effective" avenues" to" this" goal" lies" in" humor," “Women" have" no" corresponding"need"to"appeal"to"men"in"this"way”"(1).""Hitchens"assures" readers"that"women"are"not"absolutely"humorless;"in"fact,"he"even"claims" that"there"are"a"select"few"talented"female"comedians.""However,"he"also" puts" forth" the" generalization" that" “women," bless" their" tender" hearts," would" prefer" that" life" be" fair," and" even" sweet," rather" than" the" sordid" mess"it"actually"is”"(2).""Articles"in"this"vein"are"not"only"unsettling,"but" they"show"that"prejudice"still"exists"in"the"comedy"world"in"reference"to" sex."" The" whole" concept" of" assigning" gender" roles" to" comedy" is" irrational"and,"simply"put,"sexist.""Gender"of"the"creator"does"not"dictate" the"gender"of"the"material;"in"fact,"a"surprising"number"of"stereotypically" male" shows" are" the" product" of" women." " For" example," the" 80s" detective" show" Riptide" was" produced" and" written" by" a" woman," and" as" Jeremy" Butler" adds," “without" discernible" feminist" effect.”" " Butler" also" cites" an" example" of" prejudice" in" which" CBS" was" labeled" sexist" as" a" result" of" placing" a" female" dominated" show" in" a" powerful" position" during" a" fall" schedule"in"the"80s:"“[An]"advertising"executive...suggested"that"‘sexism’" was" inherent" in" CBS’s" schedule" [when" Designing" Women," a" femalec

133"


created," penned," produced," and" cast" show" was" to" appear" as" a" commanding" feature" of" the" network’s" lineup]”" (13)." " For" the" sake" of" context,"one"can"assume"that"all"other"shows"involved"in"the"lineup"were" predominantly" male" driven;" having" one" female" fronted" show" does" not" carry" enough" weight" to" throw" off" a" whole" fall" schedule." " Designing" Women,"premiering"in"1986,"ultimately"proved"to"stand"at"the"helm"of"a" gender"revolution"in"television."" The"latter"portion"of"the"1980s"presented"what"the"popular"press" considered"the"advent"of"a"new"“golden"age"of"female"comedy,”"due"to" the"influx"of"shows"with"modern"characterizations"of"women"which"were" truthful" and" did" not" resort" to" token" representations." " Shows" such" as" Roseanne,"Murphy/Brown,"and"Designing/Women"began"to"break"the"malec dominated"schedules"(Butler"14).""Sitcoms"provided,"and"still"provide"to" this" day," a" perfect" platform" for" lighthearted" entertainment" that" expose" viewers" to" a" new" gender" dynamic" without" heavychanded" social" or" political"agendas.""Kristen"Wagner"agrees,"declaring"that"“in"many"ways," comedy" is" an" ideal" genre" for" women" to" push" boundaries" and" challenge" traditional" gender" roles," as" the" genre" has" long" been" used" as" a" means" of" masking" transgression" and" rendering" acceptable" a" wide" range" of" behaviors”"(35).""Women"have"created"some"of"the"most"popular"shows" in"recent"memory,"30/Rock"representing"a"particularly"pressing"example," the" show" that" launched" starcwritercproducerccreator" Tina" Fey" into" the" realm" of" comedy" icon." " With" a" host" of" Emmy" nominations" and" wins," including"Best"Writing"for"a"Comedy"Series"and"Best"Comedy"Series,"Fey" has" proven" that" not" only" are" women" funny," but" they" are" more" than" capable"of"producing"content"enjoyed"by"the"masses./ Tina" Fey" acts" as" a" deity" for" aspiring" funny" women." " Not" only" does"she"claim"ownership"to"one"of"the"most"popular"network"comedies" of"the"past"decade,"but"she"marks"the"first"female"head"writer"of"Saturday/ Night/Live,"and"won"the"Mark"Twain"Prize"for"American"Humor"in"2010" (Weingarten)." " Interestingly" enough," there" exists" recorded" evidence" of" Tina" Fey’s" impact" on" the" American" audience." " One" of" the" most" iconic" roles" Fey" assumed" during" her" time" as" a" cast" member" on" Saturday/ Night/ Live" was" her" impersonation" of" the" vicecpresidential" candidate" Sarah" Palin.""Research"conducted"during"the"latter"part"of"the"2008"presidential" campaign" on" the" the" 18c24" demographic" found" that" “those" who"

134"


saw…[the]"skit"of"the"vicecpresidential"debate"displayed"steeper"declines" in"approval"for"Palin"than"those"who"saw"debate"coverage"through"other" means”" (Baumgartner," Morris," and" Walth" 95)." " This" study" not" only" embodies" a" compelling" argument" for" the" appeal" of" female" comedians," but" it" also" provides" physical" evidence" for" the" effect" female" comedians" can" have" on" an" audience" of" both" genders." " Tina" Fey" and" her" accomplishments" annul" the" concept" that" women" can" only" create" “womanly"material.”/ Further" magnifying" the" argument" of" “womanly" material,”" one" area"of"comedy"plagued"today"by"a"sexist"mindset"is"romantic"comedies."" The" common" perception" that" romantic" comedies" are" made" for" and" enjoyed" mostly" by" women—even" Lynda" Obst," a" longtime" Hollywood" producer," refers" to" them" as" “women’s" movies”" (“Casting" Call”)—gives" some"the"idea"that"women"who"create"comedy"in"the"film"industry"can"or" will" only" gravitate" towards" romantic" comedy." " This" train" of" thought" isolates"the"appeal"to"the"femalecdominated"audience,"and"therefore"film" comedy" created" by" women" is" often" tagged" as" strictly" female." " Another" problem"with"this"association"lies"in"the"fact"that"romantic"comedy"faces" a" certain" amount" of" disrespect" as" a" genre;" the" included" films" are" often" seen" as" predictable," filler" movies," or" even" simply" unintelligent."" However," romantic" comedies" hold" a" secret" intelligence." " While" some" people" worry" that" romantic" comedies," or" at" least" those" in" the" mainstream,"rely"on"anticfeminist"conventions"in"that"they"nearly"always" end" in" traditional" marriage," others" assert" that" the" play" on" gender" roles" that" makes" up" the" majority" of" screen" time" overrides" the" conservative" ending." Heather" Gilmour" argues" on" behalf" of" the" merits" of" romantic" comedies," stating," pThe" genius" of" these" films" lies" precisely" in" their" contradictions—they"manage"to"display"radical"transpositions"of"gender" even" as" they" invoke" alternately" modern," postcVictorian," and" Victorian" notions"of"marriage"and"familyp"(26)."" So," while" many" audiences" may" consider" romccoms" as" throwaways," the" fact" of" the" matter" is" the" genre" as" a" whole" challenges" societal"norms,"and"with"that,"provides"an"arena"for"female"comedy.""In" addition," romccoms’" status" as" filler" for" theaters" assures" widecreleases," which" only" enhances" the" audience" numbers" and" therefore" offers" a" greater"opportunity"for"showcasing"twists"on"stereotypical"gender"roles.""

135"


On" a" somewhat" contradictory" note," the" exclusive" association" of" women" with"romantic"comedies"proves"unreasonable,"since"the"malecdominated" film" industry" can," by" extension," account" for" the" majority" of" romantic" comedies" as" boasting" male" creators." " Therefore," those" who" deem" romc coms"unintelligent"and"without"clear"humor"are,"in"fact,"commenting"for" the"most"part"on"men’s"attempts"at"comedy,"and"not"on"women’s"sense" of"humor."In"these"ways,"the"romccom’s"double"nature"as"well"as"the"use" of"the"incredibly"popular"sitcom"format,"women"have"grown,"developing" a"battleground"on"which"to"showcase"their"comedic"talents./ Assertions" regarding" female" comedy" fielded" in" the" modern" day" lose" their" potency" when" certain" classical" icons" are" mentioned" who" permeate" basic" pop" culture" as" household" names:" Doris" Day" and" Mae" West." " These" two" women" represent" only" a" fraction" of" female" comedy" iconography,"but"they"provide"perfect"examples"of"the"gender’s"capacity" for" humor," even" in" a" more" conservative" era" of" entertainment," one" marked" by" the" cultural" ideal" of" the" “cult" of" domesticity.”" " Doris" Day" functioned" as" a" hybrid" of" the" sex" symbol" and" the" progressive" woman." Despite"the"fact"that"Day"reflected,"at"least"in"terms"of"looks,"the"blonde" bombshell"postercgirl,"many"of"her"films"present"her"as"more"progressive" than"that.""An"impressive"seventycfive"percent"of"her"movies"depict"her" with" a" job" outside" the" home," and," as" opposed" to" other" contemporary" actressesq" characters," she" worked" hard" to" advance" within" the" social" and" economic" ranks," instead" of" simply" employing" her" feminine" charms."" Furthermore,"her"integrity"in"the"characters"she"plays"exhibits"itself"in"the" fact"that"she"lacks"any"trace"of"deceit"or"manipulation"when"it"comes"to" getting"what"she"wants"(Bingham"13).""However,"becoming"a"sex"symbol" was" not" the" only" route" for" a" woman" as" an" entertainment" hopeful," especially" within" the" realm" of" comedy." " During" this" time," a" dichotomy" grew:"the"beautiful"girl"and"the"ugly"hag.""Both"of"these"characterizations" presented" opportunity" for" comedic" value," mirroring" the" early" days" of" slapstick," in" which" a" comedienne" could" either" shed" the" delicacy" of" femininity"or"provide"an"alternative"to"masculine"comedy./ In" postcWWII" America," attitudes" toward" women" drifted" away" from" a" romanticised" pleasance." " The" two" most" iconic" female" film" archetypes," the" femme" fatale" and" suffering" heroine," left" no" room" for" an" equal" level" of" acceptance" within" the" comedy" genre." " Actresses" who"

136"


excelled"in"the"genre"during"this"era,"many"of"whom"had"come"through" the"age"of"the"screwball"comedy,"found"most"success"in"playing"spinsters" and"hags.""Eventually,"the"concept"of"the"punruly"womanp"translated"well" into" television," most" notably" with" Lucille" Ball—arguably" the" most" wellc known" female" comedic" actor" of" all" time" (Bingham" 4)." " Marjorie" Rosen" further" asserts" this" change" in" direction," noting" that" the" Evil" Woman" character/genre" emerged" conveniently" at" the" same" time" as" women" progressed"in"society,"both"economically"and"socially"(8).""Although"Day" broke" the" established" mold," she" remained" rather" unrecognized" as" a" “funny"lady.”""Despite"her"position"as"a"household"name,"the"association" as" a" token" of" humor" never" resonated" with" the" public." " Dennis" Bingham" addresses" this" topic," asking" the" question," “Why" then" is" Doris" Day" not" considered"a"‘funny"lady’?"I"see"two"broad"reasons.""One"is"her"‘image,’" which" looms" so" large" as" to" block" out" the" talents" of" the" woman" herself”" (5).""It"seems"as"if"the"woman"was"too"big"and"too"popular"for"the"public" to"associate"her"with"anything"but"herself.""This,"however,"did"not"detract" from"her"position"as"evidence"of"femalecdriven"comedy."/ Another" famous" example" of" female" comedic" prowess" was" Mae" West."West"was"a"powerhouse"in"her"time:"she"wrote"her"own"scripts"and" made" an" impressive" nine" films" between" the" years" of" 1932" and" 1943" (Rosen"7).""West"also"represented"a"double"act"in"that"she"was"an"beauty" icon"as"well"as"a"proponent"of"comedy;"according"to"Pamela"Robertson," “West"was"simultaneously"sexy"and"a"parody"of"sex;"she"was"both"a"sex" object" and" a" sexual" object”" (63)." " Both" of" these" women" proved" that" not" only" could" women" create" laughter," but" they" could" do" so" while" staying" attractive,"intelligent,"and"powerful./ To" date," there" exists" no" greater" female" comedic" force" than" the" television" icon" that" is" Lucille" Ball." " One" of" the" biggest" comedies" of" all" time,"I/Love/Lucy"sparked"an"empire"of"merchandising"and"iconography." Ball’s" legacy," however," represents" a" different" story" for" funny" women."" Looking" back," the" show" was" far" from" rebellious;" it" reinforces" the" domestic"ideals"of"women"in"the"1950s,"and"Ball"herself""“would"express" a" gender" conservatism—an" ‘anything" for" my" man’" ethos”" (Carini" 45c6)."" Yet,"despite"the"initial"disappointment"in"her"supposed"lack"of"feminism," does" her" ability" to" create" comedy" in" the" face" of" patriarchy" not" prove" a" greater"point?""Ball"had"a"societal"confine"to"work"with,"and"she"managed"

137"


to"make"a"name"for"herself"as"a"funny"woman"even"within"this"context."" In"her"article"detailing"the"hidden"creative"struggles"of"the"show,"Susan" M." Carini" references" a" claim" by" one" of" the" show’s" writers" that" “Lucille" Ball"never"wrote"a"line"of"dialogue"in"the"time"she"was"associated"with"I/ Love/ Lucy”" (58)." " However," one" must" note" that" the" show" stemmed" from" Ball’s"radio"program,"My/Favorite/Husband,"the"writers"of"which"became" writers"for"I/Love/Lucy,"and"two"of"whom"were"women"(Landay"32).""Not" only"was"a"woman"the"main"vehicle"for"the"show,"but"twocthirds"of"the" creators"were"women"as"well,"proving"the"power"of"female"comedy.""The" argument"strengthens"when"one"considers"the"sheer"size"of"I/Love/Lucy’s" following:" the" episode" “Lucy" Goes" to" the" Hospital”" garnered" a" staggering" 44" million" viewers" (Landay" 30)." " Although" the" landscape" of" TV" viewership" has" changed" dramatically" since" the" 50s" due" to" the" vast" number"of"channels"and"the"presence"of"newer"technologies,"one"cannot" ignore"the"impact"of"a"figure"that"size.""If"power"lies"in"numbers,"Lucille" Ball"remains"one"of"the"most"powerful"figures"of"television"comedy./ Exploring"the"history"of"women"in"comedy"helps"underscore"the" importance" of" working" toward" equal" representation" within" the" genre."" Including"women"in"the"world"of"comedy"entertainment"is"necessary"for" the" sake" of" social" advancement." " Social" progress" exists" in" tandem" with" the"idea"that"women"are"funny;"essentially,"representing"women"both"as" participants"in"the"comedy"world"and"as"equally"funny"as"men"carries"a" certain"responsibility"to"further"gender"equality.""Comedy"is"occasionally" written"off"as"a"simplistic"genre"where"the"laughs"come"at"the"narrativeqs" expense," but" actually," comedic" moments" can" serve" as" intelligent" observations." " While" dramas" tend" to" reflect" more" solid" narratives," comedy" pulls" off" certain" truths" and" observations" in" a" way" that" dramas" cannot" (Deleyto" 175)." " Furthermore," the" old" adage" “all" press" is" good" press”" does" not" ring" true:" not" only" is" it" important" for" women" to" gain" equality" in" terms" of" screen" time," but" it" is" also" necessary" that" this" representation" shed" a" positive" light" on" gender." " Andrew" Horton" notes" the"universal"nature"of"comedy"and"its"importance"in"the"development"of" film"“as"a"reflection"of"social,"political,"and"cultural"trends”"(1).""Rallying" for" representation" affects" all" three" of" the" formats" of" new" comedy" and" their"respective"performance"spaces—film,"television,"and"standcup—but" perhaps"the"most"effective"route"exists"in"television.""

138"


The"quantity"of"television"consumed"by"the"average"American"in" comparison" to" film" and" standcup" comedy" provides" a" crucial" statistic" when" considering" the" potential" impact" of" aiming" for" equal" representation.""Historically,"the"power"of"television"has"represented"(at" least" to" some" people)" a" moral" grey" area." " During" the" postcsexual" revolution," with" the" surge" of" women" in" the" workforce" and" therefore" outside" the" home," conservatives" began" to" claim" that" the" newer" generations" were" raised" by" television" (Johnson" 2)." " While" some" considered"this"a"step"in"the"wrong"direction,"a"number"of"progressives" saw" this" as" an" opportunity" for" change." " In" an" even" more" balanced" domestic" and" professional" world," the" importance" of" television" does" not" fade"away.""One"must"remember"that,"for"some"people,"television"acts"as" the"only"means"of"escaping"their"small,"singular"world.""While"some"are" fortunate" enough" to" live" in" areas" brimming" with" cultural" diversity," others" are" not" so" lucky;" therefore," equal" representation" is" paramount" (Johnson" 3)." " In" this" mediacobsessed" world," those" who" produce" the" media" have" the" responsibility" of" representing" women" equally" and" respectfully./ A" common" case" for" the" lack" of" female" comedic" capacity" is" that" female" performers" tend" to" turn" off" certain" demographics," or" at" the" very" least," distract" them." " Studies" have" shown" that" men" overcperceive" the" number" of" women" represented" in" film" and" television." " Geena" Davis," actress,"activist,"and"founder"of"The"Geena"Davis"Institute"on"Gender"in" Media,"conducted"a"study"in"the"perception"of"men"in"reference"to"female" representation" in" entertainment." " Her" research" found" that" “if" thereqs" 17" percent"women,"the"men"in"the"group"think"itqs"50c50.""And"if"thereqs"33" percent"women,"the"men"perceive"that"as"there"being"more"women"in"the" room" than" men”" (“Casting" Call”)." " When" a" clear" abundance" of" women" exists," or" what" men" perceive" to" be" a" clear" abundance," the" male" demographic" can" shut" down." " In" terms" of" characters," males" are" seen" more"neutrally,"or"at"least"when"a"man"is"portrayed,"the"focus"is"more"on" his" character" and" less" on" how" his" gender" interacts" with" his" specific" character"traits"or"the"story"at"large,"a"problem"that"can"arise"with"female" portrayals.""This,"however,"has"not"proven"true"at"the"box"office,"where" the"attention"really"matters.""For"example,"over"the"summer"of"2013,"the" femalecled" The/ Heat," a" woman" buddyccop" comedy," opened" with" an"

139"


overall" $40" million," whereas" White/ House/ Down," the" malecdominated" action"thriller"opening"the"same"weekend,"opened"to"a"mere"$25.7"million" (McLintock)." " The" concept" of" audience" preference," although" flawed," interacts"with"the"studio"system"in"another"dimension:"the"international" market." " Since" the" advent" of" various" consumer" loopholes," namely" internet" piracy," studios" have" faced" the" realization" that" DVD" sales" no" longer" dictate" 50" percent" of" revenue;" rather," the" international" market" accounts" for" one" of" the" largest" fractions" of" revenue" (“Casting" Call”)."" Therefore," studio" heads" remain" conservative" in" what" they" choose" to" produce"and"distribute:"action"movies"and"thrillers"perform"dutifully"at" international"box"offices.""Not"only"does"there"exist"less"demand"for"the" financing"and"distribution"of"comedies,"but"the"representation"of"women" as"a"whole"in"largercbudget"pictures"is"unimpressive.""However,"this"part" of"the"argument"proves"irrelevant"in"the"discussion"of"women’s"comedic" aptitude:"if"fewer"comedies"are"produced"for"worldwide"audiences,"then" the" domestic" market" acts" as" an" arena" more" suited" for" comedy," and" therefore" opens" up" the" opportunity" for" an" audience" more" familiar" and" acquainted"with"the"play"of"gender"roles"often"found"in"such"a"genre."/ One" of" the" most" popular" arguments" for" why" women" lack" comedy" is" that" they" simply" are" not" built" for" it." " With" our" cultural" perceptions" of" gender" roles," women" are" not" always" granted" the" opportunity" to" showcase" their" wit." Stereotypically," women" are" considered"the"physically"weaker"sex,"and"therefore"men"have"evolved"to" “take" care" of”" and" “protect" them.”" " Femininity" is" sacred" and" not" to" be" preyed" upon," and" if" under" attack," the" instinctual" reaction" is" to" jump" in" and"protect."Perhaps"the"most"infamous"case"of"men"outright"stating"that" women" are" incapable" of" humor" comes" from" a" Rolling/ Stone" interview" with"late"night"legend"Johnny"Carson,"in"which"he"stated:/ A"woman"is"feminine,"a"woman"is"not"abrasive,"a"woman"is"not"a" hustler.""So"when"you"see"a"gal"who"does"“standcup”"onecliners," she" has" to" overcome" that" builtcin" identification" as" a" retiring," meek" woman." " I" mean," if" a" woman" comes" out" and" starts" firing" onecliners," those" little" abrasive" things," you" can" take" that" from" a" man.""The"ones"that"try"sometimes"are"a"little"aggressive"for"my" taste.""I’ll"take"it"from"a"guy,"but"from"women,"sometimes,"it"just" doesn’t"fit"too"well"(Knoedelseder"78)./

140"


However,"this"simply"represents"one"sexist"perspective,"which"labels"the" same" content" from" one" gender" as" unacceptable" coming" from" another."" Interestingly" enough," as" stated" previously," most" successful" female" comedians" have" achieved" their" respective" status" with" personas" hinged" on" projected" masculinity." " One" exception," however," is" Elayne" Boosler," a" comedienne" during" the" late" 1970s" who" “preferred" to" describe" herself" as" ‘the" first" young," unmarried," dressedcupcforcacdate" female" standcup" comic’”" (Knoedelseder" 71).""If"anything,"a"womanqs"ability"to"transgress" into"a"more"masculine"persona"only"attests"to"her"talent./ While"not"without"its"hurdles,"the"history"of"women"in"comedy" has" come" a" long" way." " Those" who" brand" the" gender" as" unfunny" often" lose"sight"of"names"such"as"Lucille"Ball"and"Tina"Fey.""Even"without"these" icons," women" remain" responsible" for" a" sizable" portion" of" contemporary" comedy," despite" the" male" dominated" entertainment" industry." " Women" have" always" operated" on" the" same" wavelength" as" men" in" terms" of" comedic"talent,"as"evidenced"in"the"existence"of"Lucille"Ball"as"the"face"of" classic"postcWWII"comedy,"and"the"more"modern"case"of"Tina"Fey"as"one" of"the"current"titans"of"film"and"television"comedy.""Since"the"inception"of" contemporary" comedy—whether" in" film," television," or" standcup— women"have"exercised"their"comedic"prowess"and"proven"not"only"their" immense" performance" appeal," but" also" their" wellcearned" positions" behind"the"scenes"as"writers,"directors,"and"producers./ " " " Works"Cited" " Baumgartner,"Jody"C.,"Jonathan"S."Morris,"and"Natasha"L."Walth."pThe" Fey"Effect:"Young"Adults,"Political"Humor,"and"Perceptions"of" Sarah"Palin"in"the"2008"Presidential"Election"Campaign.p"Public" Opinion"Quarterly"76.1"(2012):"95c104."Academic"Search"Premier." Web."12"Nov."2013."

141"


Bingham,"Dennis."pqBefore"She"Was"a"Virgin...q:"Doris"Day"and"the" Decline"of"Female"Film"Comedy"in"the"1950s"and"1960s.p"Cinema" Journal"45.3"(2006):"3c31."JSTOR."Web."3"Sept."2013." Butler,"Jeremy"G."pRedesigning"Discourse:"Feminism,"the"Sitcom,"and" Designing"Women.p"Journal"of"Film"and"Video"45.1"(1993):"13c26." JSTOR."Web."9"Sept."2013." Carini,"Susan"M."pLoveqs"Labors"Almost"Lost:"Managing"Crisis"during" the"Reign"of"qI"Love"Lucy.qp"Cinema"Journal"43.1"(2003):"44c62." JSTOR."Web."12"Nov."2013." pCasting"Call:"Hollywood"Needs"More"Women.p"NPR."N.p.,"30"June" 2013."Web."17"Oct."2013." Cooper,"Mark"Garrett."Universal"Women:"Filmmaking"and"Institutional" Change"in"Early"Hollywood."Champaign:"U"of"Illinois"P,"2010." Women"and"Film"History"International."ebrary."Web."19"Sept." 2013." Dale,"Alan."Comedy"Is"a"Man"in"Trouble:"Slapstick"in"American"Movies." Minneapolis:"U"of"Minnesota"P,"2000."ebrary."Web."15"Oct."2013." Deleyto,"Celestino."pHumor"and"Erotic"Utopia:"The"Intimate"Scenarios"of" Romantic"Comedy.p"Companion"to"Film"Comedy."Ed."Andrew"S." Horton"and"Joanna"E."Rapf."Somerset:"Wiley,"2012."175c95." ebrary."Web."10"Sept."2013." Gilmour,"Heather."pDifferent,"Except"in"a"Different"Way:"Marriage," Divorce,"and"Gender"in"the"Hollywood"Comedy"of"Remarriage.p" Journal"of"Film"and"Video"50.2"(1998):"26c39."JSTOR."Web."9"Sept." 2013." Goldberg,"Michael."pClassical"Hollywood"Cinema.p"University"of" Washington."U"of"Washington,"n.d."Web."28"Apr."2014." Hitchens,"Christopher."pWhy"Women"Arenqt"Funny.p"Vanity"Fair."Vanity" Fair"Worldwide,"Jan."2007."Web."17"Nov."2013."

142"


Horton,"Andrew,"and"Joanna"E."Rapf."pComic"Introduction:"qMake"qem" Laugh,"Make"qem"Laugh.qp"Introduction."Companion"to"Film" Comedy."Ed."Horton"and"Rapf."Somerset:"Wiley,"2012."1c11." ebrary."Web."19"Nov."2013." Johnson,"Merri"Lisa."pLadies"Love"Your"Box:"The"Rhetoric"of"Pleasure" and"Danger"in"Feminist"Television"Studies.p"Introduction."Third" Wave"Feminism"and"Television:"Jane"Puts"It"in"a"Box."Ed." Johnson."London:"Tauris,"2007."1c27."Print." Kaplan,"E."Ann."pWomen,"Film,"Resistance:"Changing"Paradigms.p" Women"Filmmakers:"Refocusing."Ed."Jacqueline"Levitin,"Judith" Plessis,"and"Valerie"Raoul."Vancouver:"UBC,"2002."15c28."ebrary." Web."20"Sept."2013." Knoedelseder,"William."Iqm"Dying"up"Here:"Heartbreak"and"High"Times" in"Standcup"Comedyqs"Golden"Era."New"York:"PublicAffairs," 2009."ebrary."Web."15"Oct."2013." Landay,"Lori."pMillions"qLove"Lucyq:"Commodification"and"the"Lucy" Phenomenon.p"NWSA"Journal"11.2"(1999):"25c47."JSTOR."Web."12" Nov."2013." Lauzen,"Martha"M."The"Celluloid"Ceiling:"BehindcthecScenes" Employment"of"Women"on"the"Top"250"Films"of"2012."San"Diego:" Diego"State"U,"2013."Center"for"the"Study"of"Women"in" Television"and"Film."Web."17"Nov."2013." McLintock,"Pamela."pBox"Office"Report:"qWhite"House"Downq"Flops;"qThe" Heatq"Soars"with"$40"Million"Opening.p"The"Hollywood" Reporter."Hollywood"Reporter,"30"June"2013."Web."17"Oct."2013." Robertson,"Pamela."pqThe"Kinda"Comedy"That"Imitates"Meq:"Mae"Westqs" Identification"with"the"Feminist"Camp.p"Cinema"Journal"32.2" (1993):"57c72."JSTOR."Web."9"Sept."2013." Rosen,"Marjorie."pHow"the"Movies"Have"Made"Women"Smaller"than" Life.p"Journal"of"the"University"Film"Association"26.1/2"(1974):"6c 10."JSTOR."Web."9"Sept."2013."

143"


Severo,"Richard,"and"Peter"Keepnews."pPhyllis"Diller,"Sassy"Comedian," Dies"at"95.p"The"New"York"Times."New"York"Times"Company,"20" Aug."2012."Web."17"Nov."2013." Wagner,"Kristen"Anderson."pqHave"Women"a"Sense"of"Humor?q"Comedy" and"Femininity"in"Early"TwentiethcCentury"Film.p"Velvet"Light" Trap:"A"Critical"Journal"of"Film"and"Television"68"(2011):"35c46." Academic"Search"Premier."Web."12"Nov."2013." Weingarten,"Elizabeth."pTina"Fey,"Comic"Genius.p"Slate."Slate"Group,"26" July"2011."Web."18"Nov."2013." " " "

144"

"


2014&WORLD&HISTORY&CONTEST&–&FIRST&PLACE& / Chung/Hwa/Suh/ Class/of/2016/ Seongnam,/South/Korea/ / " Customs,/Paranoia,/and/Emasculation:// Behind/the/Treatment/of/Women/in/India/ " “A/small/body/of/determined/spirits/fired/by/an/unquenchable/faith/in/their/ mission/can/alter/the/course/of/history.”" b/Mahatma/Gandhi" " The" overwhelming" amount" of" psychological" research" that" has" been" conducted" since" the" 19th" century" indicates" that" women" are" more" prone" to" psychological" dysfunction" than" men." " In" comparison" to" men," women"are"twice"as"likely"to"suffer"from"panic"disorders"or"anxiety,"three" times"as"likely"to"suffer"from"specific"phobias,"have"a"higher"likelihood"of" developing"postctraumatic"stress"disorder,"and"are"twice"as"likely"to"have" a" major" episode" of" depression" (Bom" 37)." " However," though" these" statistics" seem" to" support" the" claims" of" men" that" women" are" “irrational" and"unstable,”"women"are"less"likely"than"men"to"suffer"from"one"major" condition—aggression." This" is" no" surprise" to" most" of" us," as" throughout" history" society" has" conditioned" us" to" believe" that" men" are" dominant," aggressive," and" protective." " However," at" times," we" see" that" this" hypercaggression" can" lead" to" problems" regarding" the" treatment" and" expectations" of" women.""" This"is"apparent"even"in"modern"society,"in"which"almost"every"country" has"yet"to"reach"full"equality"between"the"sexes"(Forbes"44)." Imbalance" in" the" treatment" of" men" and" women" in" developing" countries"is"often"much"more"apparent."India"has,"no"doubt,"attracted"a" substantial" amount" of" attention" regarding" its" treatment" of" women."" Publicized" rape" cases," human" rights" violations," and" unrealistic" cultural" norms"have"all"brought"on"instances"of"reprimand"towards"the"country."" Women" in" India" have" faced" a" history" of" objectification" and" subjugation" due" to" India’s" turbulent" history" of" conquest" and" colonization;" these" takeovers," along" with" Indian" cultural" norms," introduced" a" mindset" among"Indian"men"that"women"require"overbearing"restrictions"in"order"

145"


to"stay"safe.""This"mindset"is"what"underlies"the"oppressive"treatment"of" women"in"India"that"still"shades"the"nation"today." As"a"nation"that"dates"back"to"2500"B.C.E.,"India’s"story"is"replete" with" conflict." Though" ancient" India" was" mainly" at" war" amongst" neighboring" territories" eager" for" the" peninsulaqs" fertile" grounds" and" treasured"spices,"we"see"that"current"day"India"is"at"war"with"itself:"a"war" between" male" and" female" dominance." With" the" world’s" largest" democracy" and" second" largest" population," the" country" seems" to" be" on" the" path" to" inevitable" development," but" the" obstacle" of" human" rights" stands"in"its"way"(Dhoot)."" Among" the" BRICS" countries," nations" grouped" together" by" similar"rates"of"economic"growth,"India"has"the"lowest"female"economic" participation"rate.""India"also"has"the"lowest"nominal"GDP"rate,"meaning" that"its"ratio"of"goods"and"services"produced"per"year"to"its"population"is" well" below" that" of" the" other" BRICS" countries;" while" the" other" nations’" rankings"range"from"47"to"86,"India"lags"behind"at"139"(O’"Neill"59).""This" sizable" gap" in" the" GDP" rates" of" these" nations" of" seemingly" similar" economies"only"highlights"the"fact"that"the"absence"of"a"dynamic"female" workforce" in" India" cuts" down" on" its" potential" for" development;" its" low" female" economic" participation" rate" correlates" with" its" nominal" GDP" ranking"(Rathi)." India’s"lack"of"working"women"can"be"traced"to"the"atmosphere" of" its" working" world." " In" India," women" face" a" striking" disadvantage" when" entering" the" workforce," regardless" of" how" educated" they" may" be."" Whereas" young" males" have" an" unemployment" rate" of" 54.4%," young" women" have" an" unemployment" rate" of" 77.3%" (Dhoot)." " This" gap" is" mainly"the"result"of"cultural"barriers,"along"with"safety"and"human"rights" issues" regarding" women." Despite" India’s" legislative" efforts," rape" increased" 25%" between" 2006" and" 2011," with" only" 26%" of" rape" cases" resulting" in" court" convictions" (India:/ A/ Dangerous/ Place/ to/ be/ a/ Woman)."" Though" new" laws" to" combat" rape" have" been" introduced," the" only" main" change" we" see" in" the" new" legislation" meant" to" protect" women’s" rights" seems" to" be" the" enforcement" of" harsher" penalties" for" crimes" (Poonacha" 197).""Though"the"public"was"slightly"reassured"by"this,"we"have"seen"in" the"cases"of"other"countries"that"harsher"punishment"does"not"necessarily" equate" to" lower" crime" rates." " Conversely," harsher" sentences" can" lead" to" more"acquittals"from"sympathetic"judges"(Forbes"88)."" Along" with" a" plethora" of" rape" cases," we" see" that" though" no" Indian"laws"directly"restrict"women’s"rights,"Indian"traditional"practices" play"a"large"role"in"shaping"the"life"of"a"woman"in"India.""A"large"issue" currently"up"for"debate"in"India"is"the"concept"of"the"dowry,"a"payment"

146"


from" the" family" of" the" bride" to" the" husband’s" family," in" return" for" the" husband’s"family"taking"care"of"the"woman."""Despite"India’s"ban"on"the" dowry," we" see" that" in" 2012," one" woman" died" every" hour" in" a" death" related" to" the" dowry" (Udas)." " Though" the" practice" has" been" deemed" anachronistic"in"more"modern"parts"of"India,"many"regions"in"the"north" still" expect" dowries." Wives" have" been" known" to" face" abuse" and" mistreatment" upon" arriving" at" the" husband’s" household" due" to" an" insufficient" dowry" (Agrawal)." " Suicides" are" also" a" large" component" of" dowry"deaths,"for"wives"and"even"single"women"tend"to"end"their"lives" as"a"result"of"horrific"stress."" The"dowry"also"contributes"to"infanticide"in"India—the"looming" prospect" of" payment" is" one" of" the" main" reasons" why" Indians" prefer" to" have"boys"rather"than"girls.""Thus,"infanticide"rates,"along"with"selective" abortion" rates," are" extremely" high" in" India;" as" of" 2011," an" estimated" 39" million" Indian" girls" had" been" reported" as" “missing”" in" cases" related" to" infanticide"or"selective"abortion"(Poonacha"196).""The"Indian"government" has," since" the" beginning" of" the" 20th" century," focused" legislation" on" ending" these" murders:" in" 1994," it" became" illegal" for" parents" to" use" ultrasounds"to"find"out"the"sex"of"the"baby,"and"in"1992,"the"baby"cradle" scheme" was" implemented." " The" baby" cradle" scheme" allows" parents" to" give" up" unwanted" baby" girls" to" government" facilities," from" where" the" babies" are" sent" to" registered" orphanages" to" be" put" up" for" adoption."" Though" praised" for" its" rescue" efforts" of" these" infants," human" rights" activists"have"criticized"the"organization"for"promoting"the"low"status"of" women.""Nonetheless,"as"of"2013,"3,600"girls"had"been"adopted"thanks"to" the" program," and" the" Indian" government" has" reported" that" these" numbers" are" increasing" while" the" daunting" rates" of" infanticide" drop" (Bhalla)."" These"discriminatory"traditions"are"all"results"of"the"way"India’s" turbulent" history" has" shaped" its" men;" in" ancient," Vedic" India," women" secured"positions"of"dignity,"respect,"and"power"(Londhe"28).""Numerous" hymns" from" this" time" are" attributed" to" women," showing" that" women" were" educated" during" the" Vedic" times." " Likewise," women," along" with" men," were" given" the" holy" thread" to" study" the" Vedas," the" sacred" Hindu" text.""The"brahamavidnis"were"a"separate"class"of"women"who"were"able"to" spend" their" whole" lives" unmarried" to" remain" pure" and" chaste." " The" Rig" Veda" even" mentions" women" who" were" engaged" in" warfare," a" role" for" women" that" would" never" be" instituted" again" after" medieval" India" (Sengupta,"99)."" Women" in" ancient" India" also" lived" better" lives" than" women" in" other"ancient"civilizations,"which,"at"the"time,"was"to"be"expected—both"

147"


Hinduism" and" Indian" culture" placed" the" Mother" at" the" core" of" not" only" the"household,"but"also"at"the"core"of"society.""The"oldest"religion"in"the" world,"Hinduism"played"a"large"role"in"establishing"women"in"positions" of" dignity." " Hinduism" incorporates" mythic" tales," numerous" gods" and" goddesses,"along"with"certain"core"values"that"every"devout"Hindu"is"to" believe" in." " One" of" these" values" is" equality—Hindus" preach" that" all" people," regardless" of" their" social" class" or" gender," should" be" treated" equally" (Bhaskarananda" 76)." " Thus," when" Hinduism" was" a" core" part" of" Indian"social"structure"and"behavior,"the"citizens"of"India"regarded"each" other" without" considering" gender" as" the" principle" way" of" “social" classification”—this" opened" the" door" for" women" to" become" not" only" equals,"but"also"leaders"of"men."" The" vast" array" of" female" deities" in" the" Hindu" religion" also" indicates" an" appreciation" for" women" in" religion." " This" is" shown" in" the" dependency" that" gods" and" goddesses" have" on" each" other," which" also" demonstrates" that" no" sex" should" be" considered" superior" to" the" other," because" they" are" interdependent." " The" god" of" creation," Brahma," cannot" function"without"the"grace"of"Saraswati,"the"goddess"of"learning,"music," and"the"fine"arts.""Likewise,"maintenance"requires"fiscal"sources,"which"is" why" Lakshmi," the" goddess" of" wealth," is" essential" to" Vishnu," who" is" known"as"the"protector.""Shiva,"the"destroyer,"needs"power"and"energy," which"the"goddess"Parvati"provides"(Londhe,"96c108).""Thus,"we"can"see" how" Hinduism" not" only" defies" traditional" gender" roles," but" also" encourages"harmony"rather"than"harassment." We" can" see" that" a" degree" of" feminism" was" not" only" stressed" amongst" the" mythical" portion" of" Hinduism." " Hindu" text" detailing" the" history"of"ancient"India"also"demonstrates"the"importance"women"held"in" society." " The" Veda" Vasa" tells" the" story" of" the" Kaurayas," and" how" they" were" killed" because" they" publicly" humiliated" princess" Draupadi" (Sengupta," 101)." "Similarly," many" other" Hindu" texts" describe" entire" civilizations" that" had" fallen" to" ruins" due" to" the" harm" of" one" important" female"figure." The"Rig"Veda"also"specifically"and"directly"encourages"equality." In"book"5,"hymn"61,"verse"8,"it"says"that"“the"wife"and"husband,"being"the" equal"halves"of"one"substance,"are"equal"in"every"respect;"therefore"both" should" join" and" take" equal" parts" in" all" work," religious" and" secular”" (Bhaskarananda"68).""Here,"it"is"interesting"to"note"the"contrast"between" Hinduism’s"attitude"towards"sexual"equality"and"that"of"other"religions." For" example," the" Old" Testament" of" Christianity" has" often" been" denounced" as" using" woman" as" a" scapegoat" for" crimes" committed" by" man:" the" fall" of" man" establishes" the" idea" that" a" woman" is" simply" a"

148"


creation"made"for"the"pleasure"of"man,"and"that"her"naïveté"consequently" broke" paradise." " Thus," a" handful" of" scholars" in" India" today" have" stated" that"sexism"in"India"is"not"a"result"of"the"nation’s"history,"but"a"result"of" Western"influences." However,"the"arrival"of"women’s"rights"in"India"started"to"take"a" turn" much" before" western" influences," beginning" with" the" start" of" the" Mauryan"empire,"whose"roots"can"be"traced"back"to"321"B.C.E.—more"or" less" 200" years" after" the" Vedic" period." " Though" women" still" held" important" places" in" scriptures" and" religious" texts," we" see" that" in" the" household" and" in" society," women" began" to" become" subordinate" figures" to" men." " Jobs" began" to" turn" towards" men," and" gender" roles" were" more" firmly" established" (Elst" 42)." " Men" started" to" associate" women" with" household"and"menial"tasks,"and"this"spiraled"into"the"belief"that"women" belonged" only" in" the" home" and" were" incapable" of" handling" tasks" anywhere"else."" This"slight"but"sudden"change"in"women’s"roles"was"most"likely" a" result" of" the" sudden" warring" state" that" India" was" in." Once" Chandragupta" Maurya" established" his" empire," the" size" of" the" Indian" army" grew" exponentially" (Sengupta" 23)." " This" trend" of" violence" expanded"once"the"throne"was"ceased"to"Ashoka,"who"made"it"his"goal"to" expand"the"size"of"his"empire.""Since"men"were"typically"better"built"for" fighting," they" went" out" to" the" battlefields" and" protected" the" women."" Thus," the" men" began" to" gain" credit," essentially," for" the" expansion" and" maintenance" of" the" empire;" this" also" started" to" establish" mentality" that" women"needed"protection." The" end" of" the" Mauryan" Empire" ushered" in" a" period" of" turbulence" and" warring" states," which" led" to" further" violence" and" dominance" of" men." " However," in" 320" C.E." Chandragupta" ascended" the" throne"and"introduced"the"Indian"Golden"Age,"also"known"as"the"Gupta" Empire." " The" promise" of" unity" and" stability" under" the" control" of" a" powerful" and" charismatic" leader" gave" women" hope" for" their" return" to" their" original" positions." " However," the" Gupta" Empire" marked" the" first" few"significant"changes"in"women’s"rights"that"would"hold"for"centuries" onwards"(Elst"53)." Samudragupta"was"the"son"of"Chandragupta,"and"he"was"mainly" responsible" for" both" augmenting" the" empire," and" inadvertently" curtailing"women’s"rights.""Samudragupta’s"focus"on"the"arts,"education," and" religion" lead" to" the" rise" of" a" new," noncagricultural" middle" class." Women" were" forbidden" from" studying" religious" Sanskrit" texts," so" most" women"were"illiterate.""Thus,"the"only"way"for"women"to"rise"in"society" from" the" status" of" a" farmer" was" to" participate" in" the" arts," but" not" many"

149"


wealthy"patrons"were"willing"to"sponsor"a"woman.""The"law"forbidding" women"to"own"property"was"first"introduced"during"the"Gupta"Empire," and"it"was"written"in"law"that"women"were"subject"to"the"will"of"man"at" all" times" (Sengupta" 72)." " The" new" focus" on" religions" such" as" Buddhism" and" Jainism" led" to" a" greater" emphasis" on" chastity—thus," the" practice" of" child"marriages"for"women"began,"as"well.""Girls"were"married"at"6"or"7" years" old" in" order" to" preserve" their" virginities" and" purity" (Udas)." " This" system" also" allowed" the" husbands" to" raise" their" wives" to" be" the" kind" of" woman" they" wanted," giving" the" husbands" complete" control" over" every" aspect" of" their" wives’" lives." " Though" initially" meant" for" marriages," this" practice" led" men" to" believe" that" women" were" to" be" whatever" men" dictated"they"should"be."" The" advancement" of" society" in" the" Gupta" Empire" gave" people" time" to" establish" societal" norms" for" certain" groups." " The" strength" of" the" empire" gave" citizens" the" leisure" to" focus" on" skills" unrelated" to" war" and" defense." " Unfortunately," this" leisure" eventually" introduced" gender" roles" and"a"system"of"superiority.""Though"the"caste"system,"a"societal"ranking" system," had" existed" from" Vedic" India," its" enforcement" largely" arose" during" the" Gupta" Empire" (Elst" 55)." " Women" were" not" particularly" considered"in"this"system,"as"they"were"thought"to"simply"be"accessories" of" whatever" husband" they" were" married" to." " Nonetheless," we" see" that" with" the" Gupta" Empire’s" wealth" and" advancement" came" discrimination" and"the"roots"of"social"injustice." This" decline" in" women’s" rights" continued" through" the" second" warring" period" in" India" for" almost" nine" centuries," following" the" fall" of" the"Gupta"Empire.""Numerous"Muslim"civilizations"invaded"and"tried"to" conquer"India—this"period"of"constant"war"and"terror"recintroduced"the" war" mentality" to" Indian" men." " Men" began" to" feel" more" protective" of" women,"and"the"constant"pillaging"and"mass"raping"of"cities"slowly"fed" paranoia" that" women" would" be" harmed" unless" they" were" locked" away."" New" laws" were" introduced," restricting" the" freedom" of" women" as" the" government" stabilized" and" the" Mughal" empire" came" into" power" (Sengupta"108)." Though"the"warring"period"between"Muslim"empires"and"India" affected"the"freedoms"of"women,"a"new"empire,"the"Mughals,"ushered"in" a" time" of" powerful" and" influential" women." " The" eventual" succession" of" the" throne" to" Jahangir" and" his" wife," Nur" Jahan," introduced" the" new" image" of" a" woman" in" power." Nur" Jahan" became" the" de" facto" ruler" of" India" between" 1611" and" 1627," and" she" was" also" known" to" have" had" complete"control"over"her"husband."British"ambassador"Sir"Thomas"Roe" stated" that" Nur" Jahan" “governed" Jahangir" and" wound" him" up" at" her"

150"


pleasure.”" She" also" made" and" influenced" imperial" decisions" during" and" even"after"Jahangir’s"rule"(Bhaskarananda"69)." While"not"all"women"were"as"ruthless"or"ambitious"as"Nur"Jahan," women"of"high"class"in"India"often"had"significant"legislative"power"that" they"had"not"possessed"before"(Sengupta"63)."Akbar,"the"direct"successor" of"Babur,"even"established"a"girls"school"and"educated"his"daughters;"due" to"examples"like"this"the"literacy"rates"of"women"rose"significantly"during" the" Mughal" Empire." " Furthermore," Akbar" banned" child" marriages" and" the"sati,"the"practice"in"which"a"widow"is"burned"alive"at"her"husband’s" funeral."" While" women" of" the" ruling" class" in" India" enjoyed" a" return" of" power" and" respect," new" expectations" for" women" that" were" introduced" during"this"period"curtailed"rights"and"led"to"suffering,"especially"for"the" lower"class"women.""The"Mughal"Empire"also"furthered"the"gap"between" the"rich"and"the"poor;"towards"the"end"of"the"empire,"the"rulers"were"so" glutted" with" opulence" that" they" barely" paid" any" attention" to" governing" the"people.""This"class"conflict"added"to"tension"within"the"nation,"and"in" turn,"women"were"further"oppressed"(Elst"91)." Weakness"and"disinterest"among"the"late"Mughal"rulers"allowed" European"powers"to"take"control"of"India"and"its"many"valuable"natural" resources." " Thus," when" the" British" East" India" Company" slowly" began" colonizing" India," the" Mughal" Empire" was" destined" to" fall," and" in" 1858," India" officially" fell" under" direct" rule" of" the" British" crown." " The" era" of" colonization" known" as" the" Raj" brought" into" conflict" numerous" groups" regarding" rights:" British" colonists," native" Indian" elites," British" feminists," and"Indian"women"(pCriminal"Law"(Amendment)"Ordinance,"2013p)."" The"British"colonization"of"India"was"primarily"for"resources"and" monetary"gain,"but"the"British"also"purportedly"had"a"colonial"“mission”" to" both" enlighten" the" Indian" people" and" to" “save”" the" Indian" women" from" the" oppressive" men" of" their" society." " Thus," they" demanded" complete" authority" and" control" over" legal" issues" regarding" Indian" women’s" rights." " They" deemed" the" existing" Indian" familial" and" marital" systems" “barbaric,”" and" made" it" their" goal" to" hold" India" to" a" Western" model." The" British" male" imperialists" had" created" a" caricature" representative"of"the"Indian"population,"and"their"exaggerations"fed"into" the"notion"that"they"had"to"“fix”"the"colony"(Southard"400)." Meanwhile,"the"British"feminists"also"tried"to"help"the"oppressed" Indian" women." " Though" they" appeared" altruistic" in" their" stances," most" feminists"joined"this"cause"only"because"they"believed"winning"the"fight" for"rights"in"India"would"help"their"cause"in"England.""Thus,"the"struggle" in" India" served" as" a" “test" run”" for" these" women." " These" feminists," like"

151"


their" male" imperialist" countrymen," dramatized" the" oppression" that" the" Indian" women" lived" under—they" depicted" Indian" society" as" undeveloped" and" primitive" (Chitnis)." " This" stereotype" that" the" colonial" women"painted"blocked"their"attempts"of"reform;"because"these"women" were" so" blithely" unaware" of" the" true" conditions" of" Indian" women," they" were"unable"to"improve"Indian"women’s"rights."" The"ideals"for"women"in"Britain"at"the"time"of"colonization"also" contributed" to" the" female" colonists’" lack" of" impact—both" British" and" Indian" women" were" encouraged" to" follow" the" Victorian" woman." " The" reign"of"Queen"Victoria"ushered"in"a"new"icon"that"both"the"British"and" the" Indians" were" expected" to" embody." " Qualities" such" as" motherhood" and" respectability" were" emphasized," and" women" were" expected" to" be" pious"and"busy,"but"only"with"housework.""Thus,"the"separation"between" the"home"and"workplace"grew"in"Britain,"and"eventually,"in"India"as"well" (though"the"gap"had"already"been"large"in"India).""Domestic"duties"were" tied" even" more" closely" to" women," while" women" who" worked" or" cared" about"business"outside"the"household"were"mocked"and"condemned." Furthermore," Victorian" ideals" played" a" major" role" in" the" legal" reforms" that" took" place" during" colonial" India." " Because" sexual" restraint" and"purity"were"the"main"attributes"of"the"Victorian"woman,"many"laws" such" as" the" Age" of" Consent" Bill" were" introduced." " The" death" of" a" tenc yearcold" childcbride" after" a" devastating" sexual" encounter" with" her" 35c yearcold" husband" traumatized" the" public." This" event," coupled" with" Victorian"beliefs,"resulted"in"the"raising"of"the"age"of"consent"to"18.""The" native" Indian" population" did" not" respond" well" to" this," because" they" believed" that" a" husband" should" have" complete" control" over" his" wife."" This"mentality"reflects"the"ideas"introduced"in"the"Gupta"Empire,"and"the" laws"that"had"extinguished"free"will"for"women"(Southard"422)." The" debate" over" the" Age" of" Consent" law" swept" both" India" and" England,"as"British"soldiers"were"unsure"of"whether"to"infringe"upon"the" privacy" of" the" Indian" families," or" to" leave" them" be" and" not" enforce" the" law" in" any" way." " Sadly," it" became" clear" that" the" debate" was" not" concerned" about" the" childcbrides" of" India," as" legislation" banning" childc marriages" was" not" passed" until" 40" years" after" the" debate" started." " Male" imperial" colonists" were" interested" in" justifying" their" imposition" of" absolute" power," English" feminists" wanted" to" test" out" possible" ways" to" improve" their" own" rights," native" Indian" men" wanted" to" keep" their" dominance"over"women"in"place.""All"the"while,"Indian"women"lost"their" say"in"the"argument"by,"basically,"being"Indian"women"(Chitnis)." Relations"between"the"colonists"and"the"colonized"were"another" raging" issue" during" the" Raj." " More" attention" was" drawn" to" relations"

152"


between" Indian" men" and" colonial" women," but" relationships" between" Indian" women" and" colonial" men" were" much" more" common." " Though" British" men" of" the" 18th" century" mainly" had" Indian" concubines" and" mistresses," the" colonists" of" the" 19th" century" consorted" with" Indian" prostitutes." " This" shift" was" mainly" due" to" the" differing" levels" of" British" power" over" India" throughout" the" two" centuries;" while" Britain’s" control" over"India"was"tenuous"throughout"the"late"18th"century,"during"the"19th" century," Britain" had" claimed" complete" authority" over" India." " Because" these" colonies" were" at" the" time" official" parts" of" Britain," colonists" in" the" 19th" century" felt" more" justified" in" establishing" prostitution" in" their" colonies." " The" emerging" gap" between" social" classes" also" contributed" to" this" change," for" the" Indians" were" driven" to" lower" statuses" as" the" British" gained" more" control." " Thus," Indian" women" began" to" seek" methods" of" earning" money" to" support" their" families." " Though" the" British" colonists" reaped" the" benefits" of" this" institution," numerous" unsuccessful" efforts" were" made" to" control" this" spread" of" prostitution," for" Indian" prostitutes" were"blamed"for"the"spread"of"syphilis"among"British"soldiers"(Bhandari" 77c82)." This"increase"in"prostitution"also"had"a"major"impact"on"the"way" women" in" India" were" treated," for" independent" India" further" restricted" women’s" rights." " The" men" of" India" felt" powerless" during" the" Raj—they" were" defenseless" against" the" white" man," as" were" their" women." " Thus," postcindependent" India" imposed" more" restrictions," violence" against" women,"and"sexual"discrimination"than"before,"for"Indian"men"believed" that"they"had"to"reestablish"their"control"over"not"only"their"country,"but" also" their" women." " However," before" this," women" in" India" had" a" brief" glimpse"of"hope"for"securing"rights"during"the"independence"movement."" The" independence" movement" led" to" the" rise" of" a" number" of" female" leaders," organizations," and" accompanying" movements" for" securing" women’s"rights"(Steinberg"95)."" A" significant" figure" in" the" revolution" was" Sarojini" Naidu," “the" nightingale" of" India.”" " The" first" woman" to" become" the" governor" of" an" Indian" state" in" 1925," she" also" became" the" first" female" president" of" the" Indian" National" Congress" in" 1947." " She" worked" alongside" Mahatma" Gandhi" and" Muhammad" Ali" Jinnah" to" secure" independence" for" India," and"she"also"travelled"around"the"country,"giving"speeches"on"women’s" empowerment" and" social" welfare." " Naidu" encouraged" other" women" to" fight" for" their" rights" along" with" Indian" independence" (Poonacha" 197c 202)." Though" there" were" numerous" female" reformers" like" Naidu" during" the" independence" movement," the" first" time" women" in" general"

153"


participated" in" the" struggle" for" freedom" was" during" the" civil" disobedience"in"1930.""A"government"report"remarked"that"“thousands"of" them"[women]"emerged…from"the"seclusion"of"their"homes…in"order"to" join"Congress"demonstrations"and"assist"in"picketing:"and"their"presence" on" these" occasions" made" the" work" the" police" was" required" to" perform" particularly" unpleasant”" (Rengarajan)." " Thus," women" were," for" the" first" time" in" centuries," taking" part" in" the" political" activities" of" their" nation" (Poonacha"204)." Mahatma" Gandhi," the" figurehead" of" the" Indian" independence" movement,"also"helped"support"women’s"rights.""Though"he"was"initially" uncomfortable"with"the"participation"of"women"in"these"campaigns,"their" clear"impact"led"to"his"encouragement"of"female"political"participation." “To"call"woman"the"weaker"sex"is"a"libel;"it"is"man’s"injustice"to" woman.""If"by"strength"is"meant"brute"strength,"then,"indeed,"is" woman" less" brute" than" man." " If" by" strength" is" meant" moral" power," then" woman" is" immeasurably" man’s" superior." " Has" she" not"greater"intuition,"is"she"not"more"selfcsacrificing,"has"she"not" greater" courage?" " Without" her," man" could" not" be." " If" nonc violence"is"the"law"of"our"being,"the"future"is"with"woman"."."."."" Who" can" make" a" more" effective" appeal" to" the" heart" than" woman?”"(Rengarajan)." Gandhi" had," on" numerous" occasions," praised" women" and" their" inner" strength—as" man" who" encouraged" nonviolent" protest," it" is" clear" that"he"valued"moral"power"more"than"brute"strength.""Because"Gandhi’s" profound"influence"on"the"people"of"India,"his"public"support"of"women" and" their" rights" greatly" helped" the" cause" for" women’s" rights" in" India" (Rengarajan)." Even"after"Gandhi’s"assassination,"independent"India"seemed"to" be" on" the" road" to" granting" more" rights" to" women." " The" first" prime" minister" of" India," Jawaharlal" Nehru," had" worked" closely" with" Gandhi" and" also" recognized" the" need" for" greater" female" political" participation."" He"granted"suffrage"for"women""in"1947"and"worked"on"expanding"social" freedoms" for" women" (Dhoot)." " However," the" multitude" of" problems" facing" early" Indian" society" eventually" overshadowed" issues" regarding" women." " After" Nehru’s" governance," it" was" clear" that" social" reforms," mainly" those" involving" women," would" come" behind" economic" and" political"reforms.""The"country"needed"to"fully"take"shape"before"it"could" be" concerned" with" problems" revolving" its" agecold" culture" and" domestic" policies." Thus," it" was" undoubtedly" shocking" when" in" 1966," India’s" third" prime"minister"was"a"woman,"Indira"Gandhi.""She"was"the"only"child"of"

154"


Nehru," and" she" followed" in" her" father’s" footsteps," pursuing" leadership." Among" other" laws" for" women’s" rights," she" created" a" law" demanding" equal" pay" for" women" and" men." Unfortunately," this" law" has" yet" to" be" enforced"properly,"as"India"still"has"one"of"the"highest"gender"pay"gaps" in" the" world." However," Indira" Gandhi" played" a" significant" role" in" influencing"female"empowerment"in"India,"as"she"was"voted"“Woman"of" the" Millennium”" in" 1999" in" a" poll" by" BBC" (Steinberg" 43)." " Since" her" leadership," India" has" been" making" slow" progress" towards" gender" equality." " Arranged" marriages" are" less" common," along" with" the" dowry" and"numerous"other"customs"that"place"women"below"men"(Forbes"64)." Yet"as"customs"focused"on"the"repression"of"women"diminish,"a" new"way"of"asserting"male"dominance"has"arisen:"rape.""Today,"India"is" the" 4th" most" dangerous" country" in" the" world" for" women" to" live" in," and" thousands" of" rape" cases" go" unreported." " India" is" also" known" to" blame" women"in"many"cases"of"rape,"which"can"be"traced"back"to"Hinduism’s" customs" revolving" purity" and" chastity—according" to" Indian" men," women" who" “showcase”" themselves" in" public" are" making" themselves" more" liable" to" rape" (Agrawal)." These" defenses" have" been" successful" in" acquitting" male" rapists" in" numerous" cases." " However," attention" from" international" media" has" brought" this" issue" to" light." " The" gang" rape" and" subsequent" death" of" a" 23cyearcold" physiotherapy" intern" was" highly" publicized," as" it" showed" the" desolate" state" of" women’s" safety" in" India."" Mass" protesting" spread" across" not" just" India," but" across" the" world" (Memmott)." All" of" the" four" rapists" in" the" case" were" sentenced" to" death" by" hanging," and" since" then," India" has" established" stricter" rules" regarding" rape." " India’s" government" introduced" a" handgun" for" women" to" carry" around" for" self" defense" called" “Nirbheek,”" a" .32" caliber" rifle" made" of" titanium" alloy." Despite" its" power," this" gun" is" uncommon" among" civilians—at" its" $2,000" cost," it" is" deemed" unaffordable" for" majority" of" Indian" people," for" over" half" of" the" Indian" population" lives" under" the" poverty"line"(Calamur).""This"has"caused"the"government"to"take"a"more" universal" approach" through" legislation—the" Criminal" Law" (Amendment)"Act"introduced"in"2013"enforced"more"stringent"penalties" for"rapists"and"prohibited"more"offenses,"such"as"stalking"(pCriminal"Law" (Amendment)"Ordinance,"2013p)."" Nonetheless," it" is" clear" that" women’s" rights" advocates" in" India" seek" much" more" improvement." " Though" the" Indian" media" has" been" paying"more"attention"to"crimes"against"women,"the"Indian"government" needs" to" recognize" that" the" problem" does" not" simply" lie" in" India’s" protection"laws,"but"that"it"also"lies"in"the"lack"of"respect"the"culture"has"

155"


for" its" women." Culture" takes" time" to" evolve—it" took" centuries" for" India" to" switch" from" a" society" of" gender" equality" to" one" of" strict" patriarchal" function,"though"the"women"of"India"hope"to"accelerate"their"progress"to" the"reverse."" Countless" activist" groups" and" protests" have" arisen" to" fight" for" equality." " The" Gulabi" Gang," which" translates" to" “The" Pink" Gang,”" have" been"literally"fighting"for"rights.""They"form"an"intimidating"force—they" are"made"up"of"over"10,000"women"in"pink"saris"with"expertise"in"the"use" of" the" lathi," a" traditional" Indian" fighting" stick" (Das)." " The" Gulabi" Gang" and" its" usage" of" violence" is" only" one" example" of" a" plethora" of" methods" used"by"different"activists"hoping"for"equality"and"the"end"of"oppression."" Though" all" these" groups" vary" greatly" in" their" sizes," tactics," and" social" classes," they" all" have" one" thing" in" common:" their" unity." " These" groups"bring"women"together"and"in"numbers,"there"is"power—this"is"a" mentality" that" freed" the" Indians" from" the" British." " Sampat" Pal" Devi," the" leader" of" the" Gulabi" Gang," emphasized" the" importance" of" this" quality:" “Although"most"of"the"time"I"travel"alone,"I"am"not"scared"of"anyone."My" women"are"with"me,"and"they"are"my"strength”"(Das)."These"groups"not" only"mean"to"bring"change"to"India,"but"they"also"mean"to"bring"change" to"their"own"members.""They"toughen"the"mental"states"of"these"women," and" they" make" their" women" stronger—they" establish" a" firm" sense" of" security" that" most" people" are" unable" to" find." " While" nothing" can" undo" centuries" of" history," we" must" encourage" strength" among" women" in" India," and" perhaps" by" doing" so," we" will" eventually" find" equality" amongst"people,"regardless"of"their"sex." " " "

156"


Works"Cited" " Agrawal,"Parul."pMapping"Unsafe"Areaqs"for"Indiaqs"Women.p"BBC."BBC," 22"Oct."2013."Web."6"Dec."2013." Bhalla," Nita." pIndiaqs" Cradle" Baby" Scheme" Hopes" to" End" Female" Infanticide.p" Reuters." Thomson" Reuters," 3" Dec." 2013." Web." 23" Apr."2014." Bhandari,"Sudhanshu."pProstitution"in"Colonial"India.p"Mainstream"(2010):" 71c102."Print." Bhaskarananda," Swami." The/ Essentials/ of/ Hinduism:/ A/ Comprehensive/ Overview/ of/ the/ Worldis/ Oldest/ Religion." Seattle:" Viveka," 2002." Print." Born," Ph." M.," N." Bleichrodt," and" H." Van" Der" Flier." pCrosscCultural" Comparison" of" SexcRelated" Differences" on" Intelligence" Tests:" A" MetacAnalysis.p" Journal/ of/ CrossbCultural/ Psychology" (1987):" n." pag."Print." Calamur," Krishnadev." pIndia" Unveils" Handgun" for" Women" after" Muchc Publicized"Rapes.p"npr."npr,"14"Jan."2014."Web."27"Apr."2014." Chitnis," Varsha," and" Danaya" Wright." pThe" Legacy" of" Colonialism:" Law" and"Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s"Rights"in"India.p"Law/Review"(2008):"1315c48."Print." pCriminal"Law"(Amendment)"Ordinance,"2013.p"Press/Information/Bureau,/ Government/of/India."Press"Information"Bureau,"3"Feb."2013."Web." 27"Apr."2014." Das,"Sanjit."pA"Flux"of"Pink"Indians.p"Vice."Vice,"1"Feb."2008."Web."27"Apr." 2014." Dhoot,"Vikas."pUrban"Educated"Women"Losing"out"to"Gender"Bias.p"The/ Financial/ Express." Indian" Express," 27" June" 2008." Web." 19" Apr." 2014." Elst,"Koenraad."Ayodhya/and/After:/Issues/before/Hindu/Society."New"Delhi:" Voice"of"India,"1999."Print." Forbes," Geraldine." Women/ in/ Modern/ India." Cambridge:" Cambridge" UP," 1996."Print."Vol."IV.2"of" India:/ A/ Dangerous/ Place/ to/ Be/ a/ Woman." Prod." Ashok" Prasad" and" Sam" Collyns." Dir." Ashok" Prasad." Narr." Radha" Bedi." BBC," 2013." tune.pk."Web."14"Apr."2014."

157"


Londhe," Sushama." pWomen" in" Hinduism.p" A/ Tribute/ to/ HinduismbThe/ Book."N.p.,"28"Oct."2008."Web."13"Dec."2013." Memmott,"Mark."pDeath"for"4"Men"Convicted"in"Indian"Gang"Rape"and" Murder.p"npr."npr,"13"Sept."2013."Web."27"Apr."2014." OqNeill," Jim." The/ Growth/ Map:/ Economic/ Opportunity/ in/ the/ BRICs/ and/ Beyond."New"York:"Penguin"Group,"2011."Print." Poonacha,"Veena."pExploring"Differences:"An"Analysis"of"the"Complexity" and"Diversity"of"the"Contemporary"Indian"Womenqs"Movement.p" Australian/ Feminist/ Studies" 14.29" (1999):" 195c206." Academic/ Search/ Premier."Web."31"Oct."2013." Rathi," Akshat." pIndia" Has" the" Lowest" Workforce" Participation" Rate" of" Women" among" the" BRICS.p" Quartz." Ed." Kevin" J." Delaney." Atlantic"Media,"13"Feb."2014."Web."16"Apr."2014." Rengarajan." pGandhi" on" Women" in" Politics:" A" Voice" from" the" Past.p" Hindu"2003:"n."pag."The/Hindu."Web."31"Oct."2013." Sengupta," Padmini." Everyday/ Life/ in/ Ancient/ India." London:" Oxford" UP," 1955."Print." Southard," Barbara." pColonial" Politics" and" Womenqs" Rights:" Woman" Suffrage" Campaigns" in" Bengal," British" India" in" the" 1920s.p" Modern/Asian/Studies"(1993):"397c439."Print." Steinberg,"Blema"S."Women/in/Power:/The/Personalities/and/Leadership/Styles/ of/ Indira/ Gandhi,/ Golda/ Meir,/ and/ Margaret/ Thatcher." London:" McGillcQueenqs"UP,"2008."Print." Udas,"Sumnina."pChallenges"of"Being"a"Woman"in"India.p"CNN."CNN,"12" Jan."2013."Web."5"Dec."2013." " "

158"

"


"

“THIS&I&BELIEVE”& & &

& & & & & & & & &

MORNING&MEETING&& CHAPEL&SPEECHES& 2014&_&2015" "

"

159"


DECEMBER&4,&2014& / Catherine/(Cat)/Berry/ Senior/ Mansfield,/Ohio/ / / This"I"Believe:" • Get"on"your"teacher’s"good"side"from"the"start;"you"will"be"seeing" a"lot"of"them." • Hang"out"with"people"from"all"grades;"we"are"too"small"a"student" body"to"be"selective." • Savor" the" sitcdown" meals" and" TGIFs;" they" don’t" have" these" in" college." • But"most"of"all,"don’t"be"selfish." " While" at" Reserve," your" friends" may" receive" Gold" Medals;" get" into" Ivy" League" schools;" perform" in" shows," orchestras" and" ballets;" get" perfect" scores" on" the" ACT;" and" break" athletic" records." "You" might" even" find" yourself" in" one" of" these" categories" now." "There" will" be" times" when" you" won’t" get" the" award" you" wanted" or" the" 7" you" thought" you" deserved.""Well,"sorry"to"break"it"to"you,"but"we"are"way"too"old"for"those" participation"medals.""Accept"that"fact"now,"warn"your"parents"about"it," do" what" ever" you" have" to" do," but" don’t" complain" about" it" and" maybe," just" maybe," show" a" little" excitement" for" the" people" who" do" receive" the" accolades.""" Earlier"this"school"year,"a"alumnus"who"had"attended"Princeton," climbed" his" way" up" the" executive" ladder" at" CBS," worked" with" multiple" presidents—a" man" who" has" his" own" Forbes" page" for" Peteqs" sake—got" choked"up"when"he"stood"in"this"Chapel"and"talked"about"his"alma"mater" and" professed" that" Reserve" was" the" place" that" shaped" him" into" the" person" he" is" now." " Wow," can" you" believe" that?" "" Who" would" have" thought" that" these" uncomfortable" Morning" Meeting" seats," overbearing" homework" loads," and" terrible" teachers" could" change" someone’s" life" so" drastically" and" positively?" "I" just" don’t" get" it." "Reserve" must" have" changed"a"lot"since"then.""I"hope"you"can"detect"the"sarcasm"in"that"last" sentence.""But"it’s"true,"people"come"back"and"visit"constantly.""When"fall" preseason"rolls"around"each"year"it’s"hard"to"get"the"graduated"Seniors"to" leave"half"of"the"time,"and"I"highly"doubt"they"are"sticking"around"for"the" food." " They" are" sticking" around" for" you." "Yes," even" those" intimidated"

160"


freshmen"and"forgotten"sophomores,"you"too"have"impacted"us"and"will" surely"bring"this"year’s"seniors"back"to"visit"next"year.""" This"school,"and"the"people"you"surround"yourself"with,"will"try" to" leave" their" mark" on" you;" let" them" and" maybe," I" don’t" know," try" to" leave"a"lasting"impression"on"this"place"too.""Join"a"club,"start"a"club,"join" a"team,"try"out"for"a"play,"graduate!"""Whatever"it"is,"do"it,"but"do"all"of" these" things" not" only" for" your" own" benefit" but" for" the" benefit" those" around" you" as" well." "" Don’t" be" selfish." "" You" are" all" the" best" and" the" brightest." " And" not" to" give" the" cliché" motivational" pep" up" speech," but" each"of"you"have"some"special"talent—even"if"it"just"being"a"really"good" Catchphrase"player!""At"Reserve,"you"get"free"rein"(or,"at"least,"semicfree" rein)" to" do" what" you" want" with" those" talents." "Reserve" allows" you" to" speak"in"front"of"the"entire"school"at"Morning"Meetings,"perform"in"front" of" students" and" parents," and" grow" as" people" along" the" way—but" then" you"all"knew"that"already."" Now"it’s"time"for"you"to"realize"that"what"you"do"at"this"school" also"affects"the"people"around"you.""Move"us"with"your"poetry,"intrigue" us" with" your" musical" talents," amaze" us" with" your" photography" and" painting,"make"us"laugh"with"your"sense"of"humor,"lead"us"on"the"field," help"us"when"we"struggle"with"math,"or"just"be"there"as"a"shoulder"to"cry" on.""It’s"all"admirable.""We"are"a"closecknit"community,"and"we"feed"off"of" one" another." "You" are" going" to" have" a" bad" day" at" some" point" in" your" Reserve"career."""But"let"me"suggest,"in"the"nicest"way"possible,"you"got"to" just"suck"it"up.""Don’t"bring"others"down"just"because"someone"stole"the" last" bowl" of" the" glorious" Coco" Puffs," and" don’t" let" a" 1" on" a" quiz" affect" your"entire"day.""[Yes,"for"all"of"you"newbie"freshmen,"a"1"does"exist"and" will"show"up"more"than"you"want"it"to.]""Don’t"wallow"in"your"Academy" sorrows" or" succumb" to" the" winter" depression" that" can" seem" to" deepen" with" every" extra" inch" of" snow." "Instead," live" to" bring" smiles" to" other" people’s"faces.""Strive"to"create"memories"others"will"never"forget.""Aim" to" help" others" achieve" their" wildest" dreams" and" farcfetched" goals," like" getting" a" 7" on" an" APUSH" test," making" the" varsity" squad," staying" on" Cc squad," finishing" the" dreaded" timedcmile," or" getting" an" orange" to" land" perfectly"on"the"roof"of"Ellsworth."""Sometimes"it’s"the"little"things.""Don’t" just"be"a"bump"in"the"road.""" The" people" sitting" beside" you," sleeping" in" front" of" you," and" texting"behind"you"right"now"will"transform"from"athletes,"class"clowns," nerds,"and"the"quiet"kid"in"your"math"class,"into"doctors,"lawyers,"world" travelers," journalists," mothers" and" fathers," and" you" have" the" fabulous" opportunity" to" be" at" least" a" small" part" of" their" journey." "" Perform," give" that" presentation," deliver" your" speech." " Do" it" for" us." " Even" if" you" think"

161"


the" majority" of" people" will" lose" interest," if" you" can" inspire" even" one" person" you" will" have" done" your" job." "Get" to" know" everyone," ask" someone" to" Open" Door" for" coffee," or" invite" someone" to" KFAC"to" throw" pots"or"whatnot.""Get"your"head"out"of"the"books"and"notes"occasionally" and"enjoy"someone"else’s"company.""" This" I" Believe:" Don’t" be" selfish." "Don’t" be" afraid" to" congratulate" someone," even" for" the" smallest" of" victories," because" they" deserve" it.""Don’t"worry,"one"day"your"name"will"be"called"at"a"Morning"Meeting" or" an" Academic" Awards" ceremony" and," if" not," at" least" it" will" be" at" graduation—one" of" the" biggest" accomplishments" you" can" attain" here." "" Again," don’t" be" selfish."" We" are" a" talented" bunch" at" this" school," and" there" is" no" reason" for" that" talent" to" go" unseen." "Be" vulnerable" and" put"yourself"out"there"in"the"hope"that"others"will"soak"it"all"up"and"grow" from"what"you"demonstrate.""Inevitably,"you"will"be"transformed"by"the" people" around" you." " Lucky" for" us," we" have" all" of" the" students" and" teachers"here"at"Reserve"to"inspire"us." " " " "

162"


DECEMBER&8,&2014& / Patrick/Mylott/ Senior/ Aurora,/Ohio/ / / Think" about" your" earliest" memories" of" Reserve—your" best" memories," your" worst" ones—and" try" to" imagine" your" last" memories" of" graduation" on" the" lawn’s" wide" sweep." "Think" about" the" setting," the" season," what" you" were" doing," and" whom" you" were" with." "Our" Reserve" experience"isn’t"made"just"by"the"rigorous"academics,"competitive"sports," or"weekend"activities.""It"is"made"by"the"people.""" " I" have" had" so" many" days" where" my" morning" classes" have" just" been" brutal," and" we" all" know" that" feeling." "I" sulk" into" the" dining" hall,"" grab" my" food," and" then" go" sit" with" my" best" friends:" Joey," Evan," Brock," Connor," and" Sam." "“How" is" your" fantasy" football" team" looking" right" now?”" someone" will" ask," and" woosh," all" of" my" stress" and" worries" from" the"morning"vanish.""Between"bites,"we"will"chat"about"tests"and"essays" that"are"due"soon,"which"girls"we"want"to"ask"to"the"next"dance"and"how" we"will"ask"her,"our"plans"for"the"rest"of"the"weekend,"and"the"how"the" Browns" managed" to" blow" yet" another" game." "Crazy," right?" "We" sometimes" talk" about" nothing" important" at" all" for" an" hour," if" we" have" nothing" to" do" on" a" Saturday" afternoon." "The" topic" doesn’t" matter." "As" long" as" we" are" together" and" laughing," then" everything" is" all" right." "We" are"happy."" " I" remember" this" one" time" Evan," Brock," and" I" went" out" to" the" baseball"field"during"spring"exams"and"took"a"batting"practice"session"for" fun.""We"lobbed"pitches"in"from"the"mound"and"tried"to"hit"the"ball"as"far" as"we"could.""We"took"turns"taking"huge"swings"at"the"bucket"of"lopsided" balls" Evan" had" brought" with" him." "Then" we" turned" imaginary" double" plays," each" one" better" than" the" last." "We" imagined" a" huge" crowd" at" Pioneer"Park"cheering"us"on.""This"went"on"until"we"were"exhausted"and" had"to"go"back"to"studying.""[Guys,"let’s"do"that"again"this"spring!]" I’m" also" going" to" tell" you" about" the" first" time" I" went" over" to" Connor’s" house." "I" was" nervous" because" his" parents" and" little" brother" hadn’t"met"me"before.""We"had"also"caused"a"little"bit"of"trouble"at"school" recently," so" I" was" really" trying" to" be" on" my" best" behavior." "The" first" impression" I" made" had" to" be" amazing." "As" we" walked" into" his" house," Connor"had"to"make"a"call"before"we"started"to"hang"out.""He"handed"me"

163"


the" phone," and" I" asked," “What’s" the" number?”" "And" predictably," Connor’s"witty"response"was"“9c1c1.”""I"playfully"pressed"the"buttons"but" hung" up" right" away." "After" the" phone" call" was" made," we" were" headed" downstairs"to"play"some"video"games"when"the"phone"rang.""The"police" were" calling" back," asking" if" there" was" an" emergency." "Everyone" in" the" room" was" staring" at" me," wondering" what" I" had" just" done." "Mr." Semple" broke"the"silence"by"asking"me"“Patrick,"this"is"the"first"time"you’ve"been" in" my" house," and" this" is" what" you" do?”" "I" was" absolutely" terrified," and" the" only" thing" I" could" think" to" say" was," “I" swear" I" only" hit" the" one" once!”""I"swear,"Connor!""" Actually," this" turned" out" fine" in" the" end." "We" are" still" best" friends," and" I" have" this" hilarious" memory" of" being" a" fool" (it" happens" a" lot).""I"still"can’t"believe"how"dumb"I"was,"but"we"still"joke"about"it"all"the" time.""I’ve"done"tons"of"stupid"things"with"my"friends,"but"they"still"love" me." "These" crazy" events" have" brought" us" closer" together" than" I" could" have" imagined." "We" have" done" so" much" together," and" now" our" time" at" Reserve" is" nearing" its" end." "Our" friendship" has" survived" through" our" different" sports" seasons," girlfriends," and" even" religious" and" political" beliefs." "There" is" no" way" that" I’m" going" to" let" these" special" bonds" die" when" we" go" our" separate" ways" in" college," and" I’m" sure" they" won’t" either.""" " Now" why" am" I" telling" you" about" what" I’ve" done" with" my" friends?" "Because" all" of" you" have" friends" like" this," too." "All" of" you" have" memories" like" mine" that" will" stay" with" you" forever." "Your" friends" may" have" changed" through" the" years," but" you" will" always" have" your" best" friends.""And"they"are"always"there"for"you.""They"cheer"you"up"during"a" tough" week;" they" make" sure" you" stay" humble" by" constantly" reminding" you" of" your" most" embarrassing" moments;" and," most" importantly," they" do"stupid"things"with"you.""If"you"can’t"act"like"a"fool"with"someone,"then" are"you"really"best"friends?""They"mean"the"world"to"you,"and"you"mean" the"world"to"them.""You"talk"about"pretty"much"anything"and"everything" with" them." "The" people" here" are" amazing." "Cherish" every" moment" you" have" left" here" with" the" people" you" love." "This" I" Believe:" Your" Reserve" experience" is" truly" made" by" the" friendships" you" build" here;" these" friendships"will"never"die." " " " "

164"


DECEMBER&12,&2014& / Larissa/(Roo)/Lerner/ Senior/ Chestnut/Hill,/Massachusetts/ / / I" came" to" Reserve" this" year" as" a" postcgrad." " Last" spring," I" graduated" with" five" hundred" classmates" from" a" public" school" in" the" suburbs" of" Boston," and" it" was" intimidating" to" enter" a" small," closecknit" environment" so" late" in" the" game." " Until" I" went" prepcschool" shopping" (with" a" lot" of" help" from" the" Brooks" Brothers" staff)," I" didn’t" know" there" was" a" difference" between" a" blouse" and" a" tcshirt," a" buttoncup" and" a" buttoncdown," a" sports" coat" and" a" blazer." " I" didn’t" even" know" high" schoolers"golfed.""I"was"kind"of"set"on"hating"it"here.""I"thought"I"would" trudge"through"my"classes,"boost"my"GPA"for"college,"and"get"out.""But" that’s"not"what’s"happening." " One" of" most" the" valuable" compliments" I’ve" ever" received" was" from"a"teacher"here"who"told"me"I"was"doing"well"at"adjusting"to"a"new" school" without" changing" myself," and" one" of" the" things" I’ve" found" so" enchanting" about" this" place" is" that" it" welcomes" you" into" a" community" while" also" honoring" your" individuality." " I" tried" sports" for" the" first" time" (only"because"they"were"mandatory)"and"discovered"a"love"of"running"."." ." sometimes." " There" aren’t" two" thousand" students" drowning" out" your" identity," and" you" don’t" have" to" be" the" best" artist," or" writer," or" football" player,"to"have"that"be"your"“thing.”" " That"said,"it"can"still"be"scary"to"try.""I"was"struggling"to"decide" whether" or" not" to" write" a" “This" I" Believe”" speech—half" wanting" to" deliver"something"that"would"tell"you"a"little"bit"about"me,"or"better"yet," inspire" somebody," half" convinced" that" I" had" nothing" to" say" in" threectoc five"minutes"that"would"be"useful"or"applicable"to"this"audience—when"I" remembered"a"similar"feeling"of"uncertainty"I"had"had"earlier"this"year.""I" asked"a"friend"if"he"thought"I"should"a"read"poem"at"Morning"Meeting."" He" advised" against" it." " He" said," “You’ve" written" a" number" of" good" poems,"Roo,"but"the"number"of"those"poems"that"are"arguably"acceptable" for" Morning" Meeting" is" much" smaller," and" the" number" of" those" poems" that" are" actually/ acceptable" for" Morning" Meeting" is" even" smaller" than" that," and" those" probably" don’t" represent" your" best" writing.”" " I" was" relieved" to" have" something" that" I" had" already" thought" to" be" true" confirmed." " But" with" that" relief" came" a" pang" of" guilt," of" selfcbetrayal."

165"


Here" I" was," somebody" with" a" passion" for" writing," whose" writing" often" emphasizes"the"value"of"nonconformity,"or"at"least,"noncoverconformity," so"easily"silenced"by"another’s"words.""And"while"I’m"not"here"up"here"to" read"a"poem,"I"want"to"stress"that"as"we’re"all"growing"up"and"trying"on" different" versions" of" ourselves" and" chiseling" away" at" various" aspects" of" our"identities,"there"will"be"some"things"that"seem"to"fit"neatly"with"what" our"peers"are"doing,"and"there"will"be"some"things"that,"well,"don’t,"and" it’s" okay" to" embarrass" yourself" a" little" while" you" figure" it" out." " In" the" words"of"a"wise"mentor"of"mine,"“If"you"were"lucky"enough"to"be"born" different," don’t" change.”" " Actually," that" was" Taylor" Swift" before" she" became"a"pop"star,"but"don’t"let"that"detract"from"the"message.""You"may" tend" towards" the" average" on" all" sorts" of" spectrums," but" there" will" be" some" things" you" feel" more" alone" on." " And/ that’s/ okay." " In" fact," it’s" important." " This" I" Believe:" A" sense" of" self" is" worth" more" than" a" sense" of" belonging." " That" doesn’t" mean" you" shouldn’t" be" part" of" things" that" involve"other"people.""Join"a"team,"or"a"club,"or"go"to"Chipotle"with"your" friends.""Community"is"vital.""Find"the"things"you"have"in"common"with" others,"and"relish"in"that"commonality,"but"also"let"it"help"you"appreciate" what" makes" you" different." " The" world" craves" your" individuality," and" nobody" else" can" represent" it" for" you." " If" you" base" your" values" and" character" on" something" as" fickle" and" fluid" as" the" people" who" surround" you," you" will" sacrifice" a" feeling" of" peace." " More" than" that," you" will" deprive"the"world"of"a"perspective"and"presence"that"are"uniquely"yours." The" music" you" love," the" sports" you" play," and" the" heat" you" crank" are" quite" often" the" result"of" other" people" pursuing" things" outside" of" the" norm." " A" hundred" years" ago," it" was" radical" for" women" to" demand" the" right" to" vote." " Fifty" years" ago" (and" in" some" places" still)" being" openly" racist" was" acceptable." " For" these" things" to" have" changed," our" society" needed" people" who" were" more" loyal" to" their" personal" beliefs" than" to" their"culture.""Iqm"not"saying"that"what"is"standard"is"bad,"but"I"am"asking" you" to" be" aware" of" what" you" let" your" environment" decide" for" you." Question" what’s" normal" as" rigorously" as" you" cast" aside" what’s" outrageous," and" be" open" to" the" possibility" of" either," or" both," having" importance."" Live"out"your"beliefs"and"expand"your"horizons.""Try"things"that" feel" scary," like" writing" a" “This" I" Believe”" speech!" " The" atmosphere" here" celebrates"challenging"yourself"and"recognizes"that"your"best"effort"won’t" always"look"the"same"as"someone"else’s.""That’s"precious.""Use"it"to"your" advantage,"and"never"sacrifice"your"sense"of"self"for"a"sense"of"belonging."" You" will" achieve" the" kind" of" success" that" best" suits" you," and" you" will"

166"


give"the"world"a"gift"that"you"alone"can"give:"yourself." " "

167"


FEBRUARY&2,&2015& / Steve/Allaben/ Senior/ Willoughby/Hills,/Ohio/ " " This"I"Believe:"You"need"to"be"resilient"and"stay"focused"on"your" goals"because"nothing"will"work"out"exactly"how"you"planned"it." For"those"who"don’t"know"me,"my"name"is"Steve"Allaben.""I’m"a" postgraduate" student," and" thus" this" is" my" first" year" at" Reserve." " I’m" going"to"speak"for"a"while"about"my"high"school"career"so"far,"and"how" resiliency"has"been"the"most"important"lesson"I"have"learned"throughout" it." My"story"starts"at"age"15.""From"an"outsiderqs"perspective,"my"life" looked"fine:"during"freshman"year"I"got"mostly"A’s,"I"maintained"a"close" group" of" friends," I" enjoyed" volunteering," and" I" even" played" trumpet" in" the"Cleveland"Youth"Wind"Symphony.""But"from"my"own"viewpoint,"my" life"wasn’t"working"out"the"way"I"had"envisioned"it.""The"relationships"I" had" with" my" parents" and" my" sister" were" weak." " I" wasn’t" one" hundred" percent"truthful"about"anything"that"made"me"faintly"anxious—whether" or" not" I" had" done" my" homework" that" night," when" I" was" going" to" be" home," or" what" grade" I" had" received" on" a" test." I" didnqt" really" feel" as" though" they" understood" me," and" I’ll" be" honest," this" led" to" a" lot" of" depression"and"social"anxiety." One" day," in" the" very" beginning" of" my" sophomore" year," I" was" awakened"early"in"the"morning"by"my"father"who"told"me"that"we"were" flying"to"Utah.""As"it"turns"out,"my"father"and"mother,"with"the"help"of"an" educational" consultant," had" enrolled" me" in" a" “wilderness" program”" called"Second"Nature.""Iqll"explain"more"about"what"this"is"soon"enough."" But"first,"know"that"there"are"several"people"in"this"room"who"have"been" to"this"program"or"one"very"similar.""Obviously,"Iqm"not"in"a"position"to" reveal"their"names,"but"people"should"realize"that"this"type"of"program"is" becoming"more"and"more"common."" When"I"arrived"at"Second"Nature,"I"decided"to"jump"in"and"get"to" work"right"away,"even"though"it"was"such"a"different"environment"from" the" one" I" was" used" to" at" home." " A" wilderness" program" such" as" Second" Nature"is"not"a"boot"camp"but"rather"more"of"a"place"that"allows"you"to" make"mistakes"without"dire"consequences"while"you"work"to"figure"out" how" to" deal" with" major" issues" in" your" life." " This" particular" program" is"

168"


located" in" the" northwestern" Utah," surrounded" by" desert," far" from" any" other" town" or" city."" There" were" no" stoves," no" lighters," no" tents," and" we" didn’t" have" toilets," showers," or" any" other" modern" luxuries." " The" experience" really" made" me" rethink" things" I" had" taken" for" granted." " A" large"part"of"the"program"was"hiking"for"many"miles"a"day"in"the"snow" with" a" heavy" backpack," which" is" a" lot" harder" than" it" sounds," both" mentally"and"physically.""Second"Nature"was"not"fun,"but"it"was"what"I" needed" in" order" to" turn" my" life" around." " I" worked" diligently," learned" about" myself," and" eventually" figured" out" what" I" needed" to" do" to" point" my"life"in"a"positive"direction.""Had"I"entered"this"program"unwilling"to" work"I"would"have"been"there"much"longer"than"I"was"and"would"have" made"smaller"gains"in"understanding"my"family."" On" February" 1," 2013," almost" exactly" 2" years" ago," I" graduated" from"Second"Nature.""I"had"been"there"for"several"months,"close"to"a"third" of" a" year." " I" had" spent" Thanksgiving," my" mother’s" birthday," Christmas," and" New" Years" there." " I" truly" thought" I" was" going" home" after" Second" Nature," and" that" I" would" now" succeed" back" at" my" old" school." " This" wasn’t"exactly"the"case." After" my" parents" picked" me" up" from" the" wilderness—after" the" intense" hugs" and" the" shower" that" felt" better" than" anything" else" could" have,"washing"off"four"months’"worth"of"dirt"and"grime,"after"we"put"my" clothes" through" the" laundry" several" times" just" to" get" rid" of" the" smoky" campfire"smell—my"parents"flew"me"to"Kalispell,"Montana.""I"was"to"be" attending" a" school" called" Summit" Prep" School." " As" the" plane" flew" over" the"town"of"Kalispell,"I"looked"around"at"the"picturesque"mountains"and" thought"to"myself"that"it"really"couldn’t"be"too"bad"here.""This"thought— along" with" the" several" close," reliable," and" intelligent" friends" I" made— kept" me" going" throughout" my" fifteen" months" at" Summit," and" even" as" I" witnessed"many"others"stumble"on"their"path"to"a"better"life,"I"knew"that" I"had"to"be"resilient"and"bounce"back"from"any"obstacles"I"encountered"as" I" slowly" mended" my" relationships" and" thinking" patterns." " Summit" was" not" a" traditional" boarding" school" like" Reserve." It" had" around" sixty" students" at" any" given" time," four" graduation" ceremonies" per" year," and" many" more" rules." " At" times" it" was" quite" difficult," and" I" was" frustrated" with"my"parents"and"myself"for"being"sent"there.""But"I"pushed"through" and" graduated" high" school" from" Summit" with" honors," as" a" National" Merit" Finalist," two" months" after" my" 17th" birthday." " However," this" was" still"not"the"end"of"high"school"for"me." During"my"final"months"at"Summit,"I"had"decided"that"I"wanted" to" pursue" an" academic" postgraduate" year." " I" looked" at" several" schools" around" the" Cleveland" area" to" which" I" had" applied" and" settled" on"

169"


Reserve.""When"I"made"the"decision"to"take"a"postgraduate"year,"I"knew" that" I" would" have" to" make" new" friends," learn" new" rules," meet" new" teachers," and" be" taught" a" new" school’s" culture" for" the" fifth" time" in" four" years." " I" now" know" that" it" was" worth" it." " By" giving" it" my" all" here" academically" and" athletically," by" making" new" friends" and" meeting" new" people,"I"believe"that"I"have"been"able"to"succeed"here"so"far,"and"I"don’t" intend"to"stop.""If"I"hadn’t"been"resilient,"and"hadn’t"been"focused"on"my" goals," my" life" would" have" been" radically" different." " None" of" this" story" would"be"possible"if"I"had"just"stayed"at"the"public"school"where"I"wasn’t" being"academically"challenged,"or"had"chosen"to"stop"walking"on"a"hike" because" of" an" imposing" hill," or" refused" to" fix" my" flawed" family" relationships,"or"said"“no"thanks”"to"this"postgraduate"year." Now" I" would" like" to" end" on" a" quote" that" I" think" really" exemplifies"my"journey"so"far"through"life:" “I"may"not"have"gone"where"I"intended"to"go,"but"I"think"I"have" ended"up"where"I"needed"to"be.”"―"Douglas"Adams" This"I"Believe:"You"need"to"be"resilient"and"stay"focused"on"your" goals"because"nothing"will"work"out"completely"how"you"want"it"to,"but" the" effort" you" put" into" the" process" will" have" a" greater" effect" on" your" future"than"you"can"imagine." " " " "

170"


FEBRUARY&16,&2015& / YiHan/(Sophie)/Shen/ Senior/ Shanghai,/China/ / " This" I" Believe:" Don’t" be" scared" to" make" mistakes," because" you" will" learn" from" the" seemingly" stupid" ones," and" your" true" friends" will" embrace"your"imperfections.""Coming"all"the"way"from"China"four"years" ago," the" transition" here" was" not" an" easy" one" for" me." " I" did" not" speak" English"well.""I"have"to"thank"my"roommate"Anna"Ballard"for"being"my" best"friend"and"mentor.""And"now"I"have"some"funny"anecdotes"to"share" with"you"all." For" some" of" you" who" lived" in" Ellsworth" a" year" ago" (or" for" everyone"at"the"school"basically),"you"may"have"realized"that"the"Internet" did" not" work" all" that" well" in" the" beginning" of" the" year." " Therefore," I" decided" to" get" an" Ethernet" cable" from" the" bookstore" to" prevent" myself" from" destroying" my" computer" out" of" frustration." " So" I" went" to" Eva" and" asked,"“Do"you"have"the"cable"for"the"Internet"here?”""“Yes,"we"do!""What" length"would"you"like?""Ten"feet,"twenty"feet,"or"fifty"feet?”""Wow,"I"had" no" idea" how" long" a" foot" was" since" I" had" been" using" meters" as" a" unit" of" measure"my"entire"life.""So"just"to"be"safe,"I"picked"the"one"in"the"middle!" “Twenty" feet" please,”" I" said" with" confidence." " Holding" on" to" my" new" lifeline," I" rushed" back" to" the" dorm" and" was" so" excited" to" actually" start" surfing" the" Internet" for" the" first" time" in" a" really" long" while." " My" roommate," Anna," was" sitting" at" her" desk," so" I" shared" the" exciting" news" with"her.""“Hi"Anna!""Guess"what"I"got!""A"20cinch"cable"for"the"room!”""" As"embarrassing"as"this"is,"I"have"to"admit"that"I"kind"of"thought"inches" and" feet" were" interchangeable." " “WHAT?" " 20" inches?" " It’s" got" be" longer" than" that" Soph”," Anna" said" with" perplexity." " “I" am" pretty" sure" it" is" 20" inches," Anna." " Look!”" " And" I" dragged" out" this" cable" that" could" wrap" around"my"room"twice"and"Anna"burst"out"laughing.""“I"think"that’s"20" feet"Sophie.""But"I"guess"you"can"plug"it"in"in"the"common"room"and"use" it"in"the"room"if"you"want"to.”""That"was"quite"an"interesting"experience" yet"I"learned"from"it.""I"know"now"that"20"feet"is"very"long,"and"if"I"need"a" cable" for" my" room," I" should" go" for" 10" feet" instead." " And" that" was" only" one" of" countless" mistakes" I" made." " I" used" to" say" “I" need" to" do" my" laundries,”"or"“I"have"to"get"my"stuffs,”"and"“my"shoes"have"really"good" attraction.”" " I" know" now" that" it" should" be" “I" need" to" do" my" laundry,”"

171"


and"“I"have"to"get"my"stuff,”"and"“my"shoes"have"really"good"traction.”" And"Anna"is"still"here,"being"my"best"friend.""I"am"pretty"sure"she"never" made"fun"of"me"for"the"things"I"said;"well"maybe"she"did"."."."""" Today,"I"am"standing"here"delivering"this"speech"about"the"notc socsmart"things"I"have"said,"and"as"you"can"see,"I"have"improved!""So"for" every" one" of" you" sitting" down" here," or" even" up" there" in" the" balcony," embrace"your"mistakes"and"learn"from"them.""" " " " "

172"


FEBRUARY&16,&2015& / Ryan/Hassell/ Senior/ Southampton,/Bermuda/ / " This"I"Believe:"I"believe"in"friendships"and"love."" " Believing"in"something"means"it"drives"your"life."" Friendships"and"love"make"your"future"bright."" " Bermuda"education"is"not"very"high,"" So"I"gave"this"school"in"Ohio"a"try."" " I"remember"the"intense"application"form,"" and"being"nervous"about"living"with"a"stranger"in"a"dorm."" " But"then"I"met"this"kid"named"Harry"Lund;"" my"roommate"and"first"friend"when"school"had"begun."" " I"really"had"to"think"about"the"choice"I"made."" Come"on,"I"was"restarting"the"freshman"grade!"" " No"child"would"ever"do"that"even"if"they"were"crazy."" Luckily"my"mom"was"there"to"persuade"me."" " She" said," â&#x20AC;&#x153;You" will" have" a" better" chance" to" get" into" a" good" university."" You"have"to"attack"with"determination"and"show"no"mercy.â&#x20AC;?"" " WRA"has"definitely"made"me"better," with"the"people"around"me,"because"friendships"matter."" " Friendships"come"and"go,"but"some"last"forever."" I"never"thought"I"would"meet"people"like"Kurt"Haller,"who"even" once"cared"about"our"going"to"college"together."" " Or"Stiffy"and"I"whose"names"are"the"same,"" so"please,"please"call"us"by"our"last"name.""

173"


" My"soccer"team"was"friendly,"which"made"for"good"chemistry."" We"went"undefeated,"which"is"a"great"memory."" " With"my"superfan,"Allie,"number"ten"and"number"four,"" our"loud"screams"and"goals"are"the"moments"I"adore."" " The"bond"of"my"boys,"Beni"and"Samir,"" John,"Andrew"and"Alex"is"clear."" " I"could"never"forget"Vince"and"Pete,"" or"my"entire"varsity"team"who"played"with"me."" " With"Blanca"and"Jackie,"who"I"keep"close." Because"friendships"like"these"mean"the"most." " I"could"go"on"forever"about"the"many"people"I"have"met."" These"friendships"will"be"the"ones"I"will"never"forget."" " They"will"last"forever,"and"I"will"always"recall" the"laughs,"the"fights—I"will"remember"it"all." " In"the"words"of"King"Los,"“Love"is"a"jungle.”" At"times"you"walk"tall"and"at"others"you"stumble."" " I"remember"the"dance"in"the"Green"Key." I"saw"a"girl"with"red"hair"who"was"beautiful"to"me."" " John"claimed"he"saw"her"first,"but"that"was"not"true,"" and"this"argument"will"last"till"we’re"a"hundred"and"two."" " I"was"a"freshman"with"little"to"say,"" so"I"spoke"to"her"on"Facebook"(the"easy"way)."" " The"talks"became"walks,"and"the"walks"evoked"feelings."" She"had"a"beautiful"smile,"which"I"found"appealing." " The"times"got"rough,"but"I"had"to"tough"it"out." ‘Cause"love"is"just"something"you"can’t"live"without." " "

174"


But"I"also"have"a"love"for"the"game." My"life"and"soccer"are"one"and"the"same." " That"green"and"white"jersey"with"#10"on"my"back," flaps"in"the"wind"when"I"run"on"attack." " I"feel"so"content"with"a"ball"at"my"feet," on"a"field"with"green"grass"that’s"amazing"to"me." " The"love"for"your"family,"or"the"love"for"your"spouse,"" or"your"love"for"the"game,"that’s"what"life"is"about."" " There"are"many"things"I"believe"in,"but"I"emphasize"just"two:"" It"is"friendships"and"love"that"are"what"see"you"through." " Develop"yourself,"and"do"the"best"that"you"can;"" Cliché,"I"know,"but"it"stays"true"in"the"end."" " Put"yourself"out"there"and"engage"in"the"people"around"you."" Someone"could"be"waiting"to"have"a"conversation"or"two."" " Love"can"be"really"dangerous,"but"be"the"lion"in"the"jungle." For"without"it,"I"promise,"you"will"slowly"crumble."" " Live"life"and"enjoy"and"make"your"own"way." Then"look"back"on"high"school"knowing,"“Those"were"the"days.”"" "

175"


MARCH&2,&2015& / Madeline/Maneval/ Senior/ Canton,/Ohio/ / " I" have" been" thinking" about" all" the" different" things" I" believe" in" and" how" Reserve" has" influenced" so" many" of" my" opinions." " Ideas" about" success"and"failure,"happiness"and"sadness,"stress"and"contentment,"and" even" my" friendships," were" all" ones" I" could" probably" have" written" a" speech"about.""In"fact,"I"have"come"to"realize"that"there"really"isn’t"a"way"I" can" make" a" speech" about" my" beliefs" and" experiences" that" is" entirely" positive" or" all" negative." " I’ve" learned" that" there" truly" is" a" little" good" in" everything"bad—and"likewise"a"little"bad"in"everything"good.""" After" attending" Reserve" for" three" years" now," I" can" confidently" say" that" I" have" experienced" some" of" my" best" memories" here," but" of" course"I’ve"had"some"pretty"bad"moments"too.""Now"some"bad"things"are" just"bad"for"no"apparent"reason.""At"the"same"time,"there"are"some"rather" painful"experiences"that"helped"me"learn"a"lot"about"myself.""From"those" bad"moments,"I"have"attempted"to"find"some"sort"of"deeper"meaning"that" might"serve"as"a"lesson"from"which"I"can"grow"as"a"person.""" So," I" thought" I" might" share" one" of" these" bad," embarrassing" moments"with"you"all.""I’m"sure"most"of"my"friends"(and"others"from"my" sophomore"year)"will"remember"this"event"quite"vividly.""It"was"a"bright" and"shining"day.""Everything"was"going"just"great"until"I"got"this"bright" idea"to"jump"from"the"window"seat"in"my"dorm"room"to"my"roommate’s" bed.""If"you"don’t"know"the"precise"setcup"of"rooms"in"Ellsworth"then"this" might" not" seem" like" a" very" difficult" task," which"will" make" it" seem" even" more"embarrassing.""Daniela"Sullinger"was"the"only"other"person"in"my" room" when" I" decided" I" would" attempt" this" feat," and" if" I" remember" correctly,"she"probably"told"me"that"I"shouldn’t"do"it.""But"I"was"having"a" pretty" good" day," so" I" figured" why" not?" " So," I" hop" up" onto" my" window" seat,"and"I"step"onto"a"large"fuzzy"pillow"that"always"rests"there.""Now," keep" in" mind" that" the" surface" of" the" window" seat" is" pretty" smooth" and" slick"and"is"thus"not"a"very"good"launching"pad"when"you"are"standing" on"a"fuzzy"object.""Anyways,"I"stand"on"the"fuzzy"pillow"and"fix"my"eyes" on"my"desired"destination.""I"bend"my"knees"and"launch"for"the"bed.""But," as" I’m" jumping," the" pillow" slides" back" from" underneath" me" on" the" window"seat,"and"I"lose"some"of"my"momentum.""I’m"midair"now,"and"I"

176"


can" tell" that" I" am" not" going" to" make" it" safely" to" the" soft" comfort" of" the" bed.""Instead,"my"left"thigh"lands"directly"on"top"of"the"wooden"bed"post."" Based"on"the"searing"pain,"I"was"positive"that"the"post"had"impaled"my" leg.""" So" now," Daniela" thinks" this" is" pretty" hilarious" because" I" just" made" a" complete" fool" of" myself—and" I" also" cried" just" a" little" bit—but" I" wasn’t" really" worried" because" upon" closer" inspection" it" appeared" as" though"I"only"had"a"mild"scratch"and"thus"nothing"else"to"worry"about."" Then"."."."I"wake"up"the"next"morning"and"there"is"a"bruise"the"size"of"a" basketball"on"my"leg.""I’m"not"kidding.""This"bruise"was"huge!""This"was" around" midcApril," so" I" would" be" wearing" skirts" and" shorts" since" it’s" pretty"warm"outside.""In"other"words,"there"was"no"way"I"was"going"to" conceal" this" thing." " It" went" from" dark" purple," to" black" and" blue," to" this" disgusting"yellowish"brown,"and"the"healing"process"took"at"least"seven" months"before"it"was"no"longer"noticeable.""" The"worst"part"for"me"was"when"people"would"walk"by"and"see" this" nasty" bruise" and" just" give" me" the" most" fearful" looks." " Some" would" ask,"“How"did"that"happen?""Is"it"from"lacrosse?,”"and"I"would"just"sort" of" be" like," “Oh," no" ." ." ." no," it’s" just" from" jumping" and" landing" on" a" bed" post.”""Sure,"some"people"would"laugh,"but"others"clearly"felt"bad"for"me."" Overall," I" was" super" selfcconscious." " I" was" embarrassed" to" say" how" it" happened" and" even" more" embarrassed" to" let" people" see" it." " But" that’s" how" I" learned" to" embrace" my" flaws" and" laugh" it" off" rather" than" overly" criticize"myself."" Although"I"regret"that"day,"it"has"helped"me"gain"a"better"sense" of" confidence" and" find" ways" to" make" light" of" even" the" most" ugly" situations." " Instead" of" looking" back" on" the" past" and" wishing" it" hadn’t" happened,"or"worrying"about"how"it"may"look"in"a"few"months,"I"chose" to"focus"on"the"present"moment"and"not"allow"an"embarrassing"situation" to"hinder"my"happiness.""So,"This"I"Believe:"Rather"than"dwelling"on"your" past"failures,"or"worrying"about"the"unknown"future,"focus"your"energy" on"the"beauty"of"the"present"moment.""Accept"and"love"yourself"for"who" you" are" despite" any" mistakes" you’ve" made." " Allow" every" day" to" be" a" fresh" start." " Be" spontaneous," smile" and" laugh," be" a" friend," find" ways" to" make"the"absolute"best"out"of"every"second"of"the"day,"and"hopefully"you" will"recognize"what"makes"you"happy"and"how"you"can"live"your"life"to" the" fullest." " While" acknowledging" that" bad" things" may" exist," don’t" let" them"stop"you"from"reveling"in"the"good."" " " " "

177"


MARCH&2,&2015& / Sesugh/Tarhule/ Senior/ Norman,/Oklahoma/ / " To"those"of"you"who"can"smile"and"proudly"proclaim"that"you’ve" paid" attention" at" every" Morning" Meeting," one," we" both" know" you’re" lying,"and"two,"you"might"have"noticed"that"I’m"not"up"here"very"often."" I’m"not"really"the"public"speaker"type.""To"be"honest,"I’d"much"rather"just" sit"and"watch.""When"you"take"the"time"to"just"chill"and"look"around"you," you’ll"notice"that"things"are"actually"amazing,"and"that’s"what"I"want"to" talk"to"you"all"about.""This"I"Believe:"The"world"is"truly"beautiful.""It’s"a" beauty" more" than" skin" deep." " Sure," in" a" superficial" sense" things" themselves" are" pretty," be" it" fresh" snow," or" nice" sunsets," or" waves" on" a" beach.""But"it’s"the"people"that"I"love.""Everyone"is"incredible"in"their"own" way." " Talented" and" brilliant" and" wonderful" and" sweet" and" impressive" and"strong"and"curious"and"so"much"more!""You"are"all"always"changing," growing,"learning,"and"becoming"even"better"than"you"were"before,"and" it’s"fantastic." So"right"about"now"is"the"time"when"most"of"you"think"I’m"either" crazy" or" lying." " Here’s" the" thing:" when" we" hear" someone" so" happily" going" on" about" how" wonderful" people" are," we" seem" to" always" doubt" them," to" think" of" the" very" worst" people" we" know" that" we" believe" completely"disprove"the"idea"that"people"as"a"whole"can"be"good.""Why?"" How" well" do" you" actually" know" them?" " Do" you" know" how" they" were" raised,"or"how"they"live,"or"what"they"will"be"like?""No,"but"we"still"think" of" them." " We" still" try" to" prove" that" people" are" terrible" or" hopelessly" flawed," and" in" striving" to" do" this" we" unintentionally" perpetuate" that" idea.""Part"of"the"problem"is"that"we"tend"to"sum"up"the"people"that"we" meet,"and"judge"them"based"on"a"type.""Any"negative"thing"they"do"we" assume"was"intentional"and"(whether"or"not"we’re"aware"of"it)"that"it"was" directed" at" us." " We" think" the" guy" who" cuts" us" off" while" driving" did" it" because" he’s" just" a" terrible" person," or" that" someone" forgets" our" name" because"they"just"don’t"care,"or"that"someone"who"yells"an"insult"at"you" while" driving" past" is" just" a" jerk." " But" those" are" simply" things" they" did."" It’s"not"who"they"are,"and"it’s"certainly"not"who"they"will"be"in"five"years" or"so.""We"forget"that"other"people"are"every"bit"as"complex"and"dynamic" as" we" are." " What" they" did" to" you" is" only" a" small" part" of" who" they" are"

178"


overall,"and"people"overall"are"incredible." Even" if" you" think" that’s" the" stupidest" idea" you’ve" ever" heard," why"not"agree?""What"they"did"hardly"matters"to"you,"and"you"have"no" reason"to"think"they"did"it"intentionally"or"unintentionally.""You"simply" don’t" know" and" likely" never" will." " So" why" not" believe" they" had" a" good" reason," or" that" they’re" sorry" or" they’re" not" really" like" that" normally."" People" are" wonderful," even" when" they" make" mistakes." " It’s" the" same" with"news.""We"tend"to"be"so"morbidly"fascinated"with"bad"news"that"we" ignore"the"countless"good"things"happening,"and"it’s"heartbreaking"to"see" so"many"people"become"bitter"and"jaded"as"a"result.""Have"hope!""Every" moment"there"are"innumerable"incredible"things:"today"someone"learned" that" their" cancer" diagnosis" was" wrong" and" they’re" actually" healthy;" today"someone"found"the"love"of"their"life;"today"a"family"came"together;" and"today"someone"adopted"a"kitten." And" if" you" still" doubt" all" this" and" think" there’s" more" bad" than" good" in"the"world," then" there’s"a"simple"phrase"I"want" you" all" to" really" think"about:"“That"made"my"day.”""It’s"such"an"innocent"phrase"for"such" a" powerful" idea." " Good" little" things" can" make" up" for" a" whole" lot" of" terrible" ones," because" you" don’t" fight" them." When" something" bad" happens"you"can"fight"back,"forget"about"it,"or"find"a"silver"lining"to"keep" yourself"happy.""When"something"good"happens"you"accept"it"and"smile."" You"can"decide"how"happy"you"are,"for"life"is"filled"with"great"tragedies" fought" by" miracles," with" misfortunes" fought" by" the" indomitable" human" spirit"and"the"infinite"minor"blessings"of"life"leading"to"victory"for"good."" I’m" not" telling" you" to" ignore" problems," just" to" take" them" on" with" the" attitude"that"they"are"only"small"parts"of"an"intricate"and"beautiful"world." And" I’m" not" telling" you" to" love" yourself" at" the" expense" of" others" but" rather" simply" to" love" both" yourself" and" everyone" else." " Love" has" no" limits." " It" is" not" finite." " And" if" you" feel" lost" or" hopeless" or" empty" or" overwhelmed,"remember"you"are"young:"you"have"a"whole"life"ahead"of" you!" " A" whole" life" in" a" wonderful" world" of" wonderful" people," and" believe"me,"things"will"get"better.""Everything"is"for"the"best"in"this"best"of" all"possible"worlds.""I"love"you"all,"and"thank"you"so"much"for"listening!" " "

179"


MARCH&6,&2015& / Naznin/Ferdhusi/ Senior/ Essex,/England/ / " One"thing"I"need"to"clarify"before"we"begin,"for"those"of"you"who" aren’t" used" to" military" time," or" 24chour" clocks," which" really" is" just" a" massive" Briticism," when" you’re" reading" the" time," if" the" number" of" the" hour"is"greater"than"12,"it"means"that"it’s"past"noon,"and"then"subtracting" 12"from"that"gives"you"how"many"hours"it’s"been"since"noon."""So"14:30"is" half" past" two" in" the" afternoon." " I" trust" that" we" can" all" do" that" kind" of" simple"math,"so"I"won’t"patronise"you"any"longer." Rightycho," so" this" week" marks" my" eighth" week" here" at" WRA," which"doesn’t"seem"like"a"long"time,"but"it"is"my"halfway"milestone.""I’ve" decided" to" commemorate" this" event" by" forcing" you" all" to" listen" to" me" babble"in"this"accent,"which"will"most"likely"drive"most"of"you"crazy"as" you"try"to"determine"what"on"earth"I’m"actually"trying"to"say"to"you." Last" week," in" an" attempt" to" seek" inspiration" for" this" speech," I" decided"to"catch"up"with"some"TV"from"home—England"if"you"couldn’t" tell"from"the"way"I"say"tomato,"garage,"aluminium,"and"zebra,"as"well"as" the"fact"that"I"call"them"aubergines,"not"eggplants.""I"ended"up"watching" a"nature"documentary"called"Planet/Earth"that"I"first"watched"nine"years" ago." " You’ve" got" to" picture" me," aged" nine," shorter" and" with" a" bob" cut."""" After" some" scenic" landscapes," exotic" animal" images," and" otherworldly" instrumental"music,"the"presenter"regurgitates"some"facts"and"then"stops" and" says" something" that" to" this" day" boggles" my" mind." " He" says" that" if" you"took"the"universe’s"13.8"billioncyear"existence"and"condensed"it"into" a"24"hour"day,"the"first"semblances"of"life"would"not"appear"until"four"in" the" afternoon." " At" 23:40" dinosaurs" emerge." " 23:52" they’re" dead." " And" then,"70"milliseconds"before"midnight,"we"appear." In" Carl" Sagan’s" Cosmic" Calendar," we" can" extend" this" model" further.""In"this"construct"we"encapsulate"the"universe’s"history"within"a" year,"as"opposed"to"a"single"day.""Now"this"is"where"I"need"you"to"keep" up" with" the" numbers," because" it" gets" very" mathematical" very" quickly," and" I" can" barely" count" to" ten" on" a" good" day." " On" this" larger" time" scale" there"are"438"years"per"passing"second,"1.58"million"years"per"hour,"and" 37.8"million"years"per"day.""I’m"going"to"say"that"again"because"it’s"a"lot" to"take"in.""So,"on"this"scale"there"are"438"years"per"passing"second,"1.58"

180"


million" years" per" hour," and" 37.8" million" years" per" day." " Though" I" understand"that"this"is"America,"and"not"everyone"is"going"to"agree"with" this"next"statement,"let’s"for"argument’s"sake"all"agree"that"the"Universe" was" created" out" of" the" Big" Bang." " On" our" calendar," the" universe" was" brought" to" existence" with" the" Big" Bang" at" the" stroke" of" midnight" on" January" 1st." " Human" history" does" not" begin" until" December" 31st" at" 23:59:47." " The" first" writings," the" dynasties" of" Egypt," the" Code" of" Hammurabi," Buddha," Confucius," Classical" Greece," Jesus," Mohammed" and"the"European"Renaissance"come"and"go"in"about"14"seconds.""Now," at" this" very" moment" that" we’re" living" in" now," we" are" less" than" one" second" away" from" midnight," and" we" have" had" the" New" Age" of" Discovery," the" American" and" French" Revolutions," World" War" I" and" II," Apollo" 11," London" 201—and" in" 2014" Taco" Bell" finally" has" a" breakfast" menu."""" Though" I’m" still" only" slightly" taller" than" I" was" when" I" first" saw" this"documentary"(though"I’m"still"sporting"a"bob"cut!),"nine"years"later"I" remain"in"a"state"of"complete,"unadulterated"wonder"at"how"much"man" has" achieved" in" such" little" a" timeframe." " Because" you" see," for" the" infinitesimal"time"we"have"spent"in"this"universe"we"have"so"much"to"be" proud"of." I"want"to"remind"every"single"person"in"this"room"that"you"are"a" part"of"this"success;"that"you"hold"within"you"an"insurmountable"volume" of" hope" and" potential." " Every" moment" of" the" universe’s" history—every" battle," every" revolution," every" invention," every" evolution," every" life," every" heartbeat," every" breath—has" led" to" this" moment" and" your" existence." " Congratulations." " You’ve" made" it" this" far." " In" spite" of" every" burden," every" obstacle," every" struggle," you" singlehandedly" crushed" it."" You’ve"made"it"here"despite"the"moments"when"you"may"have"thought" otherwise." And"this"is"the"message"that"I"wish"to"convey"to"you.""Though"it" would"be"easy"to"dwell"on"our"mistakes,"mistakes"too"have"an"expiration" date.""Rather"than"becoming"saddened"or"angered,"we,"myself"very"much" included,"must"learn"from"these"incidents"and"move"on.""If"you"can"get" through" that" bad" day," recognise" that" in" some" alternate" universe" you’ve" survived"all"of"history"and"that’s"something"to"be"proud"of.""Whether"it’s" a"failed"test"or"bad"play"during"a"match,"it’s"okay.""Your"mistakes"are"not" indicative" of" your" self" worth" but" simply" a" reminder" that" you" are" still" learning" and" changing." " I" want" you" to" remember" that" you" are" the" most" physical" manifestation" of" hope" that" there" is." " You" embody" the" human" experience," and" you" have" made" it" this" far." " Stars" have" literally" died" so" that"you"can"live.""Please"remember"these"things"when"you"think"you"are"

181"


weak" or" worthless." " Because" you" are" good" enough," strong" enough" and" above"all"you"always"have"and"always"will"be." Though" we" should" be" humble" in" recognising" the" atrocities" of" man’s" past" and" present," we" should" equally" be" inspired" by" recognising" and"glorifying"man’s"plethora"of"accomplishments.""In"spite"of"it"all,"we" still"have"the"ability"to"grow"exponentially.""We"have"the"power"to"hurt" and" to" heal," to" annihilate" and" create," to" rise" and" to" fall," to" thrive" or" to" crumble.""Because"we"are"our"own"biggest"threat"and,"paradoxically,"our" only"salvation." I’m" not" saying" you" should" ignore" the" crises" of" the" world," but" please"remember"that"silver"lining"that"is"sometimes"hard"to"see"through" Hudson’s" snowy" skies" when" the" world" seems" to" be" crashing" down.""" Because,"even"on"a"Monday,"there"are"things"to"be"hopeful"about—dare"I" say" even" happy" about." " Yes," even" on" a" Monday" [when" I" have" backctoc back"classes"with"Mr."Aguilar!].""According"to"statistics,"on"each"Monday" in"the"United"States,"there"will"be"over"5,000"weddings,"10,000"childbirths" and" 42" million" hugs." " Four" people" will" win" multimillioncdollar" lotteries" and" 600" people" will" be" promoted." " 600" dogs" will" be" adopted," 35,000" balloons" flown," and" 800,000" Skittles" sold." " And" the" words" “I" love" you”" will"be"uttered"more"than"9"million"times." I’m"going"to"try"and"give"you"my"best"Ohioan"accent"for"this"last" bit"so"that"it"hopefully"sticks"with"you"."."."at"least"until"Monday"anyway.""" Where" given" the" opportunity," always," always" pick" hope." " Hope" is" our" trump"card."""And"This"I"Believe,"wholeheartedly." " " " "

182"


MARCH&6,&2015& / Trevor/Levin/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / " As" we" advance" further" into" this" postmodern," mechanized," secular"era,"in"which"reverence,"tact,"and"decorum"slip"unnoticed"into"the" past,"we’ve"begun"to"break"taboos"we"once"never"dared"transgress.""One" by" one," they" become" just" another" thing" we" talk" about" like" the" weather."" But" there" is" still" one" topic" society" has" yet" to" broach." " Yes," the" subject" of" freshmancyear"Trevor"Levin"is"still"too"improper,"too"unpleasant,"and"too" altogether" something" we’d" like" to" forget." " And" it" is" with" the" noble" ambition"of"crossing"this"final"frontier"that"I"address"you"today." Most" of" you" students," and" some" of" you" faculty," never" knew" freshman"Trevor,"and"some"of"the"rest"may"have"forgotten"him—perhaps" willfully." " In" fact," it" feels" pretty" natural" to" refer" to" myselfcminuscthreec years"in"the"third"person." I"don’t"want"to"exaggerate"how"bad"I"was—even"if"my"intro"was" a" little" hyperbolic." " Give" me" a" break." " I" was" fresh" out" of" middle" school."" (Right," freshmen?)" " I" had" been" going" to" the" same" school" with" the" same" fifteen"kids"in"my"class"since"first"grade.""So"I"hadn’t"had"to"make"friends" since"2003,"and"I"decided"I"was"gonna"wing"it." I" was" not" skilled" at" winging" it." I" was" a" confrontational," pretentious,"very"loud,"and"very"stupid"rebel"without"a"cause—what"else" has" changed?—and" that" persona" did" not" facilitate" academic" achievement,"nor"social"success.""I"also"had"no"idea"what"to"do"with"my" hair.""(I"almost"made"a"slideshow"for"this"part"of"the"speech,"but"nobody" needs"to"see"that.)" There" were" a" couple" moments," a" few" days" apart" in" April," that" convinced" me" I" needed" to" change." " One" was" when" I" arrived" to" Mr." Warner’s" first" period" English" I" class," 15" minutes" late," with" chaotic" hair" and"a"pathetic"tie"knot,"and"proceeded"to"completely"fail"an"Odyssey"quiz."" I" was" ready" to" accept" that" the" days" of" me" being" a" good" student" had" ended"in"middle"school,"that"my"disappointing"freshman"year"indicated" that" I" just" wasn’t" as" smart" as" I" thought" I" was." " But" Mr." Warner," along" with"my"other"teachers,"was"not"quite"as"ready"to"give"up.""He"pulled"me" aside"after"class"and"told"me"I"was"better"than"that"quiz"I"had"turned"in," but"that"I"needed"to"get"my"act"together"."."."immediately."

183"


The" other" event" was" a" disciplinary" issue" on" which" I" won’t" elaborate." I’ve"had"a"pretty"good"run"since"then,"especially"since"I"returned" from" my" year" abroad" at" Hudson" High" School—and" by" a" “good" run,”" I" just" mean" I’m" happier." " So" what" happened?" " Sure," I" settled" down" a" bit," and"I’m"not"fifteen"years"old"anymore.""(Underclassmen,"there’s"a"lot"to" look" forward" to.)" " But" I" think" most" of" my" improved" experience" flows" from"the"fact"that"I"bought"into"this"system.""Freshman"Trevor,"guided"by" his" anarchocsyndicalist" political" beliefs," thought" that" most" of" Reserve’s" rules"were"tainted"by"authoritarianism"and,"therefore,"were"unjust." I"certainly"don’t"advocate"following"the"rules"just"because"they’re" the"rules.""Critical"thought,"especially"in"a"world"intent"on"subjugating"it," is"central"to"our"dignified"survival.""But"by"the"end"of"freshman"year,"my" critical" thought" about" this" school" yielded" to" the" conclusion" that" it’s" a" pretty" good" place." The" dress" code," sitcdown" meals," the" sports" requirement—these"exist"for"a"reason.""They"make"this"place"the"exciting," loving,"challenging"place"it"is." And"once"I"bought"into"the"system,"the"values"it"tries"so"hard"to" instill" came" naturally." " I" didn’t" start" working" harder" because" I" realized" my" admissions" chances" depended" on" it;" I" started" because" students" are" supposed" to" learn" and" grow" as" human" beings," not" skate" by," doing" as" little" work" as" possible." " That’s" what" integrity" is," that" forgotten" pillar" of" our" school:" when" you" treat" what" you" do" not" as" a" steppingcstone" or" a" nuisance"but"as"something"valuable"in"and"of"itself." I" could" only" give" you" one" example" for" integrity—working" harder—and" it" wasn’t" for" lack" of" trying." " I" wanted" that" nice" triccolon" punch," you" know." " But" I" have" a" long" way" to" go" for" integrity." " It" sometimes" seems" like" the" world" demands" that" you" treat" your" surroundings" as" a" means" to" an" end," that" you" live" cynically" and" invulnerably"and"don’t"really"care"about"anything.""But"I"see"people"here" that"at"least"look"like"they’ve"mastered"it—people"who"throw"themselves" fully"into"whatever"they’re"doing." So,"here’s"the"statement"I"needed"freshman"year.""This"I"Believe:" Working" hard" and" respecting" your" surroundings" leads" to" happiness."" When"you"really"engage"in"a"community,"when"you"love"its"people"and" trust"its"values,"you’ll"learn"so"much"from"the"work"you"do"for"it"and"the" people"in"it." But" here’s" the" statement" I" need" now," that" I" still" need" to" internalize.""This"I"Believe:"If"we"respect"ourselves—which"we"should— anything" we" do" deserves" our" respect," our" honest" care" and" attention," no" matter" how" unpleasant" or" pointless" it" might" seem." " Sincerity" is" the"

184"


cornerstone"of"integrity"and"of"meaningful"happiness." And," for" good" measure," here’s" a" statement" for" people" lucky" enough"to"have"already"learned"that.""This"I"Believe:"People"can"change."" If" you’re" ever" disappointed" with" yourself," don’t" give" up" on" you." " As" Sesugh"said"much"more"elegantly"on"Monday,"people"are"amazing.""We" all"deserve"respect,"especially"from"ourselves." " " " "

185"


MARCH&9,&2015& / Eric/Buehler/ Senior/ Wooster,/Ohio/ / " “Welcome" back" to" the" lawn’s" wide" sweep.”" " This" is" the" phrase" Señorita" Mitchell" used" every" time" a" bus" would" return" to" campus." " A" littlecknown"fact"is"that"she"acquired"this"saying"from"my"oldest"brother," Brandon," who" first" uttered" the" phrase" when" the" swim" team" returned" from" Easterns" back" in" 2005." " Every" since" that" moment," Señorita" would" holler"that"phrase—in"the"way"we"all"know"she"could"holler"(I’m"looking" at"you,"Hobart"residents"and"Field"Hockey"girls)—as"a"way"of"signaling"a" return"to"Reserve.""With"the"departure"of"Señorita"Mitchell,"I"lost"not"only" a"teacher"and"house"master"with"whom"I"was"quite"close,"but"also"a"piece" of" my" brother," who" I" felt" lived" on" at" this" campus" through" Señorita’s" hollering." " Sometimes" changes" like" these" are" hard," especially" if" they" involve" someone" close" to" you," but" with" change" comes" progress." " Even" though"they"have"moved"beyond"Reserve,"and"me,"somewhere"out"there" Señorita"Mitchell"is"starting"a"new"chapter"in"her"life,"and"Brandon"is"out" in" Washington" with" his" wife," expecting" a" daughter" in" August." " This" I" Believe:"Expect"change—because"it’s"coming!""As"Bob"Dylan"sang,"“You" better" start" swimmin’" or" sink" like" a" stone," for" the" times" they" are" a’" changing.”" When" I" was" a" freshmen," I" don’t" think" I" found" myself" ready" for" some"of"the"sudden"shifts"I"would"face"while"at"Reserve.""Coming"to"the" school" itself" was" a" sudden" change." " Many" of" you" had" probably" never" lived" in" a" dorm," done" your" own" laundry," or" played" a" sport—all" while" balancing"a"tough"academic"load.""It"can"be"a"tough"learning"curve.""This" transition"to"Reserve"was"made"easier"with"the"new"friends"I"made,"such" as"Trevor"Levin,"with"whom"I"would"excitingly"argue"about"Pink"Floyd" or" politics," and" George" Emery," who" discussed" weird" YouTube" and" gaming" ideas" with" me." " Unfortunately" for" George," the" transition" to" Reserve" proved" pretty" tough—especially" with" his" severe" milk" allergy," which"made"eating"at"the"dining"hall"particularly"difficult.""By"the"end"of" our"freshman"year,"he"had"decided"not"to"return.""That"hit"me"hard,"and" it" was" only" compounded" by" Trevor" Levin" taking" “a" year" abroad.”"" Trevor’s" and" George’s" departures" were" changes" I" would" have" to" deal" with" just" when" I" thought" I" was" starting" to" get" a" hang" of" Reserve."

186"


George’s"departure"also"left"me"without"a"roommate"for"my"sophomore" year." Luckily" for" me," another" person" at" this" school" was" about" to" experience"another"change"while"at"Reserve:"Austin"Rand." Austin" was" a" day" student" his" freshmen" year," but" right" around" the" time" George" decided" he" wasn’t" returning," Rand" decided" that" he" would"be"boarding"(or"maybe"it"was"his"parents"making"that"decision"for" him)." " Although" Austin" and" I" had" played" hockey" together," we" weren’t" very" close." " We" had" remained" mainly" silent" throughout" most" of" hockey" season" due" to" the" thencscary" seniors" such" as" Mike" Gulasey," Alex" Fausnight" and" Andrew" Foster." " In" any" case," I" ended" up" rooming" with" Austin"sophomore"year.""Things"were"a"bit"awkward"at"first,"but"soon"we" were" making" playlists" with" Alec" Rhodes," annoying" Mrs." Davies" at" the" duty"desk,"wrestling"CJ"Polak,"playing"Risk"with"Wheaton"and"Fellows," and," yes," even" getting" some" academic" work" done" along" the" way." " I" can" say"confidently,"that"living"with"Austin"on"the"third"floor"of"the"A"(rest"in" peace," the" old" A)," with" Mr." Davies" as" our" house" master," was" the" best" living" arrangement" I" have" had" while" at" Reserve." " (Although," I" do" like" having" my" own" bathroom" in" Cutler" this" year." " It’s" a" pretty" good" deal.)"" Although,"George’s"departure"was"rough,"without"it,"I"would"have"never" had"the"experience"I"did"while"in"the"A."" Trevor’s" departure" also" ended" up" having" an" upside," as" he" returned" to" Reserve" his" junior" year" as" “Trevor" 2.0,”" which" you" heard" about"in"his"own"This"I"Believe"speech"last"Friday.""We"actually"planned" our"speeches"to"work"this"way"."."."Okay,"no,"we"didn’t.""What"I’m"getting" at"by"sharing"all"this"with"you"is"that"with"every"seemingly"bad"change" that"happens,"there"is"still"more"to"be"written—kind"of"like"Ohio"weather."" This" I" Believe:" Expect" change," because" it’s" coming" and" you" need" to" be" ready" to" face" it" when" it" does." " " As" David" Bowe" sings" in" his" song" “Changes:”"“Turn"and"face"the"strain.”"" " " "

187"


MARCH&9,&2015& / Megan/Olson/ Senior/ Bay/Village,/Ohio/ / " For" those" of" you" that" don’t" know," last" year" as" a" junior" I" did" an" exchange" year" in" Italy." " I’m" going" to" guess" there" are" some" of" you" out" there" thinking" things" like," “That’s" cool”" or," more" likely," “Can" she" just" shut" up" about" last" year" already,”" or" even" “Big" deal," she" just" ate" gelato" and"pizza"for"eleven"months?”""If"so,"I’m"sorry"to"bring"this"up"again,"but" I" think" my" story" from" last" year" tells" an" important" truth" about" how" we" should"push"for"what"we"need,"even"in"the"most"difficult"of"situations." The"program"I"chose"is"called"AFS.""You’re"supposed"to"live"for" an"entire"year"with"a"single"host"family"that"doesn’t"speak"your"language" in" the" hopes" you" will" become" acculturated" and" become" conversant" in" that" new" language." " In" my" case," I" think" I" may" have" gotten" more" than" I" bargained"for."" The" first" few" minutes" with" my" host" dad" were" pretty" awkward" and"put"a"little"damper"on"my"morale.""I"had"emailed"my"host"family"in" advance"to"tell"them"that"I"was"a"varsity"soccer"player"and"that"I"would" love"to"continue"playing"in"Italy,"even"on"a"coed"team.""But"my"host"dad" told" me" that" sports" are" not" for" girls" and" that" I" really" could" not" play" anything"at"all.""My"first"family"consisted"of"the"dad,"mom,"fivecyearcold" daughter," and" onecmonthcold" baby" named" America" (high" standards," I" know)."" As"time"wore"on,"it"became"apparent"that"the"dad"had"been"the" only"one"that"had"wanted"an"exchange"student,"but"now"he"was"the"one" acting" like" he" wanted" me" there" the" least." " He" had" lost" my" school" enrollment"papers,"and"he"often"complained"he"didn’t"know"the"rules"of" my" program." " The" family" had" placed" me" in" a" language" school," where" I" was"supposed"to"already"have"a"base"in"Spanish,"French,"Ancient"Greek," and" Latin." " Considering" I" did" not" have" any" knowledge" of" those" languages,"I"was"transferred"to"an"art"school.""" After"the"initial"settling"in,"things"were"clearly"not"what"I"would" consider"“normal.”""My"host"family"did"not"buy"me"a"bus"pass"or"food," and"they"wouldn’t"let"me"hang"out"with"my"friends.""They"also"told"me"I" was"stealing"all"of"their"food"and"drinking"all"of"their"tea.""(God"save"the" tea).""My"host"dad"would"often"sleep"through"the"baby"crying.""I"tried"to"

188"


care"for"the"baby"a"lot,"knowing"she"was,"after"all,"named"America.""This" was"the"one"thing"that"my"host"dad"was"okay"with:"me"taking"care"of"his" kids"so"he"could"play"on"his"iPad."" It" was" at" this" point" that" I" realized" I" really" did" need" to" do" something.""I"was"there"to"learn"Italian"and"see"a"different"way"of"life.""I" had"not"come"to"a"foreign"country"to"be"a"maid"or"an"au"pair.""My"host" dad"only"wanted"to"learn"English"and"treat"me"as"his"maid." I" called" my" advisor" and" she" agreed" to" meet" and" discuss" the" problems"that"were"arising.""When"my"advisor"came,"we"all"sat"down"at" the" kitchen" table." " I" explained" again," with" her" translating," what" the" problems"were:"the"walking"to"school,"the"learning"Italian,"the"baby,"the" food,"the"lack"of"sports,"and"the"absence"of"friends.""My"host"dad"denied" them"all"and"my"advisor"believed"him.""I"said"the"only"thing"I"could"think" of."""Namely,"that"I"wanted"to"switch"host"families"or"I"would"to"go"back" to"America,"(not"their"baby).""My"host"family"had"the"money"to"feed"me," and" it" certainly" may" have" gone" okay" if" we" had" had" the" same" goals" in" mind." " But" I" was" not" going" to" gain" much" from" them," and" their" ideas" about" Americans" were" a" lot" different" than" what" I" was." " My" advisor" finally" agreed," but" she" warned" me" that" if" the" next" family" “didn’t" work" out,”"the"program"would"send"me"home."" In" that" moment" it" was" hard" to" keep" in" mind" what" the" end" goal" was.""I"knew"I"wanted"a"better"family;"I"knew"what"I"had"left"behind"in" order"to"do"this"program.""I"had"to"keep"reminding"myself"that"I"would" have" to" advocate" on" my" own" behalf." " My" mom" wasn’t" in" Italy" holding" my"hand"anymore.""I"was"very"glad"I"was"able"to"stick"up"for"myself"in"a" moment"that"would"decide"the"rest"of"my"year"and"set"the"tone"for"how"I" should"continue"to"advocate"for"myself"in"the"years"to"come." I" would" love" to" say" my" second" family" was" a" lot" better" my" first."" In" some" ways" it" was." I" was" fed" and" watched" to" make" sure" I" went" to" school.""The"family"consisted"of"a"single"mother"and"her"son.""I"was"told" on"the"first"day"by"the"mom"that"she"basically"wanted"me"to"help"her"get" over" her" breakup" with" her" boyfriend." " Yes," I" was" to" be" the" American" cheerercupper." " After" a" very" short" time," it" was" clear" this" lady" was" in" a" very"bad"mental"condition.""About"three"weeks"later"the"program"called" me" to" a" regional" meeting." " I" was" told" I" would" have" to" be" moved" again," this"time"to"a"different"city.""It"was"hard"saying"goodbye"to"all"my"friends" in"that"first"city,"but"I"had"to"keep"pushing"for"what"I"deserved.""Suffering" for"an"entire"year"was"not"alright"by"me." After"staying"with"a"volunteer"host"family"for"a"few"days,"I"was" informed"that"a"new"family,"five"hours"north,"was"already"preparing"for" my"arrival.""The"best"part"was"that"I"had"to"switch"to"this"new"family"on"

189"


my"birthday.""If"I"was"not"learning"many"skills"already,"I"surely"learned" them"that"day.""A"birthday"is"just"another"day.""" Once" again," and" quite" sadly," the" third" family" was" not" okay" either.""They"fed"me,"bought"my"bus"ticket,"and"found"me"a"girls’"soccer" team"to"play"on.""But"just"walking"into"the"house"was"very"offcputting.""In" the"living"room"was"a"pole,"as"in,"a"polecdancing"pole.""Yes,"my"third"host" mom"was"a"pole"dancer."" The"odor"in"the"house"was"the"worst"thing"about"it.""I"shared"my" room"with"two"large"white"dogs.""In"the"room"was"a"bunk"bed.""I"got"the" top.""The"bottom"was"reserved"for"the"dogs.""And"when"I"say"reserved,"I" mean" the" dogs" could" do" their" business" on" the" bed." " I" was" very" grossed" out," as" I" think" anyone" would" be." " After" sticking" up" for" myself" through" two"bad"families,"I"knew"I"could"and"had"to"speak"up"about"this"family.""I" had"to"keep"advocating"for"myself;"I"was"not"living"in"a"poopy"smelling" room"for"the"next"seven"months"of"my"stay.""I"talked"to"my"new"advisor," who"was"also"grossed"out,"and"he"arranged"a"meeting"similar"to"the"one" held"with"my"first"host"family." I" became" very" stressed" out" during" this" period." " I" knew" I" would" switch—just" not" right" away." " The" pole" dancing" host" mom" was" not" making"it"any"easier.""The"day"before"I"was"supposed"to"move"out"I"came" down" with" an" extremely" high" fever—higher" than" I’ve" ever" had" before." Something"wasn’t"right.""I"told"my"host"mom"this,"but"she"brushed"it"off," equating"it"to"a"simple"case"of"the"flu"or"something.""She"and"my"host"dad" simply"left"for"work." I"became"a"lot"sicker.""My"fever"went"up"even"more"and"I"called" up" my" host" mom," demanding" we" go" see" a" doctor." " Something" was" not" right.""Yet"she"still"insisted"I"was"fine.""I"demanded,"again,"that"I"had"to" see"a"doctor." By"the"time"my"host"mom"got"home"that"afternoon"I"could"not"sit" up.""She"had"to"carry"me"off"the"bunk"bed"and"have"the"doctor"come"to" the" house" to" find" out" what" was" wrong" with" me." " The" doctor" inspected" me:" my" throat," lungs," nearly" everywhere." " She" could" not" find" anything" wrong.""As"she"was"about"to"leave,"she"had"one"more"thought.""She"told" me" to" lay" back" and" she" touched" what" is" called" McBurneyqs" point." " I" yelled," she" stared," and" I" began" crying." " She" nodded," then" I" slowly" nodded.""I"understood:"I"had"appendicitis." Unfortunately,"the"pole"dancing"host"mom"had"no"idea"what"an" appendix"was.""I’m"pretty"sure"she"thought"that"it"meant"I"was"pregnant," seeing"as"how"she"asked"me"many"awkward"questions"later"on."" I" had" to" have" surgery," but" everything" obviously" went" okay" seeing"as"I"am"standing"before"you"now."I""cannot"think,"however,"what"

190"


would" have" happened" if" I" had" not" insisted" and" persisted" on" getting" a" doctor"to"see"me.""I"knew"when"I"was"sick"that"something"was"not"right."" I"advocated,"I"demanded,"and"it"saved"my"life." This" I" Believe:" There" are" moments" in" our" lives" when" we" just" know"we"should"speak"up"and"advocate"for"ourselves"and"for"what"we" know" we" deserve." " Sometimes" it" can" be" hard" to" spot" what" should" be" fixed"and"how"one"should"go"about"asking"for"help,"but"even"in"a"foreign" country" I" always" found" someone" there" to" lend" me" a" hand," and" in" my" case,"it"quite"literally"saved"my"life." The"final"host"family"I"had"was"amazing.""They"truly"became"my" second" family," and" it" was" the" hardest" goodbye," so" far," of" my" life." " Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m" glad"that"I"stuck"it"out"and"kept"pushing"for"better.""As"Miriam"Adeney" puts" it," â&#x20AC;&#x153;You" will" never" be" completely" at" home" again," because" part" of" your" heart" will" always" be" elsewhere." " That" is" the" price" you" pay" for" the" richness"of"loving"and"knowing"people"in"more"than"one"place.â&#x20AC;?&" " " " "

191"


APRIL&1,&2015& / Joseph/Mylott/ Senior/ Aurora,/Ohio/ / " Rather" than" trying" to" lecture" all" of" you," I" am" going" to" start" my" speech"with"an"anecdote"that"I"made"up"to"get"at"my"points." A" trickle" of" students" makes" its" way" out" of" Seymour." "This" light" traffic" quickly" turns" into" a" flood" of" bodies" as" classes" turn" over." "A" flourish"of"Reserve"green"blazers"scatter"across"Brick"Row.""Five"minutes" later,"the"chaos"dies"down.""All"is"quiet"again." Off"in"the"distance,"one"flustered"student"bursts"out"of"his"dorm" in"a"full"sprint.""Class"started"ten"minutes"ago.""The"frantic"student"racks" his" brain" trying" to" think" of" some" new" excuse" for" his" tardiness" as" he" dodges"trees"and"hurdles"backpacks"on"his"way"across"campus.""Taking" the" stairs" of" Seymour" three" at" a" time," he" reaches" the" main" floor" and" rounds" the" corner." "He" opens" up" his" stride," sprinting" to" his" classroom," where"catastrophic"failure"awaits.""At"full"speed,"he"ducks"into"the"open" door"of"the"room,"fully"expecting"a"lashing.""An"open"desk"pops"into"his" vision," and" he" rushes" to" it." "His" backpack" slides" off" his" shoulders" and" slams"onto"the"ground.""Papers"and"books"spew"everywhere,"while"a"pop" quiz" glares" back" at" him" from" his" desk." "Catching" his" breath," he" puzzles" over" the" question" for" a" minute." "Suddenly," something" clicks" and" equations" start" flowing" out" of" the" pen," which" then" dances" across" the" page." "Less" than" a" minute" later," the" teacher" comes" by" and" snatches" the" quiz" out" from" under" his" hands" as" he" desperately" continues" to" write" down"the"final"line"of"his"work." “Where’s"your"pencil?”"the"teachers"asks.""“This"is"math"class.”" The"petrified"student"looks"back"silently"at"his"teacher." After"that"class"period,"this"same"person"walks"up"to"you"in"the" hall." "His" hair" sticks" up" wildly" in" all" directions," and" the" tie" around" his" neck" hangs" six" inches" below" his" wrinkled," unbuttoned" collar." "His" head" hangs"low"and"his"feet"drag"behind"him." “Dude,"what"happened?""Are"you"OK?”" He"slowly"shakes"his"head"and"mopes"past"you.""He"cannot"take" his"mind"off"that"quiz"on"which"he"will"only"get"an"80%.""This"“disaster”" will"lower"his"grade"in"Math"99"from"a"6.5"to"a"6." Calm"down.""

192"


Your" life" isn’t" over."" At" most" schools," this" 6" would" equate" to" a" low"A,"but"still"enough"to"keep"you"at"a"4.0"GPA.""But"here,"people"have" trouble" dealing" with" the" smallest" setbacks." "Some" people" blow" the" situation"completely"out"of"proportion.""In"their"mind,"that"one"quiz"just" derailed"them"on"their"path"to"MIT"or"Harvard.""Meanwhile,"next"period" awaits,"and"each"grueling"step"up"the"stairs"of"Seymour"drains"the"very" life"out"that"poor,"harried"student"on"his"way"to"Mr."Ong’s"AP"US"class." I" poke" fun" at" these" types" of" behavior," not" to" downplay" the" importance" of" academics." "I" think" everyone" needs" to" take" his" or" her" studies" seriously." "We’re" all" here" for" the" education." "Instead," I" do" so" because" of" the" similar" reactions" I" see" far" too" often" here," especially" in" myself." "Grades" are" important," but" they" aren’t" everything," nor" are" they" worth"everything.""" Now," freshmen." "You" had" an" excuse" for" the" first" couple" months." "You" weren’t" used" to" the" hectic" life" of" a" Reserve" student." "So" every"new"and"unfamiliar"task"felt"like"an"impossible"burden.""But"all"of" you"here"today"have"made"it"."."."so"far.""You"figured"out"how"to"manage" yourselves" and," more" importantly," your" time." "This" skill" will" be" one" of" the"most"valuable"things"you"will"learn"here." After" getting" acclimated" to" Reserve," most" students" love" their" time"here.""But"there"are"still"some"times"when"it"seems"like"things"can’t" get" any" worse." "Trust" me" though," things" do" get" better." "Going" off" of" Sesugh’s" awesome" This" I" Believe" speech" from" before" spring" break," people" are" truly" amazing," especially" here." "They" won’t" let" someone" go" through"a"rough"time"for"longer"than"they"have"to"if"they"can"help"it." Be" that" person" to" smile" and" say" hello" to" someone" walking" past" you" on" Brick" Row." "Maybe" they" just" need" a" little" pickcmecup." "Be" that" person"to"stay"up"an"extra"hour"to"help"a"friend"study"for"a"test"that"you," happily," don’t" have" the" next" day" (or" at" all)." "Maybe" they’ll" return" the" favor"when"you"need"the"help.""Every"single"person"here"in"this"chapel"is" a"resource"for"us.""We"can"all"help"each"other"through"the"difficult"times" we"all"experience"here"at"one"point"or"another.""Just"remember"we’re"all" going"through"this"together." This"I"Believe:"Step"back"and"take"a"deep"breath.""Everyone"here" is" overwhelmed" with" something," but" that" doesn’t" mean" we" have" to" be" miserable." "Help" others" through" tough" times." "You" know" you" would" want" others" to" do" the" same" for" you." "Do" your" very" best" work." "That’s" what" you’re" here" for." "But" don’t" let" grades" consume" you." "They" aren’t" worth" missing" out" on" interacting" with" all" of" the" amazing" people" here.""And,"finally,"enjoy"whatever"time"you"have"left"at"Reserve.""It"goes" by"faster"than"you"think."

193"


APRIL&1,&2015& / Simon/Ong/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / " I" stand" before" you" today," slightly" cautious." " Now" a" lot" of" you" may"be"wondering"what"I"could"possibly"have"to"be"nervous"about.""You" may" be" under" the" assumption" that" I," as" a" performer," have" no" difficulty" getting" up" here" and" speaking" in" front" of" you." " However," this" is" not" actually"the"case.""Normally,"I"would"appear"to"you"under"the"guise"of"a" character,"whether"that"be"the"loving,"and"substantially"more"bald,"Uncle" Fester," or" the" mysteriously" sinister" foreigner," Mr." Paravicini." " I" seldom" speak" to" you" as" myself." " (And" the" last" time" I" did" I" nearly" provoked" an" angry"mob,"so"you"must"forgive"my"trepidation.)""In"my"years"here,"I’ve" been"the"goofball;"I’ve"been"the"villain;"I’ve"been"the"awkward"lover.""The" only"part"I"haven’t"yet"had"a"chance"to"play—that"I’ve"been"dying"for—is" a" chimp." " Now," I" got" up" here" entirely" prepared" to" give" you" all" a" chimp" impression," but" I’ve" been" advised" to" avoid" any" “Simonisms,”" so" you’ll" just"have"to"trust"me"when"I"say"I"could"nail"it.""But"I"digress.""The"point" is"that"you"are"used"to"seeing"me"as"a"character,"and"now"I"stand"before" you" as" myself." " But" who" am" I?" " The" truth" is" that" I" myself" am" still" a" character." I"frequently"find"that,"egotistical"as"it"sounds,"I"imagine"myself"as" the"protagonist"of"my"own"narrative.""And"just"as"one"might"expect"from" any"WRA"English"student,"I"feel"a"need"to"examine"that"protagonist.""Yes," I" say," as" my" head" appears" to" be" getting" larger" before" your" very" eyes," I" analyze"myself"from"a"literary"and"narrative"standpoint.""Why"did"I"just" say" that?" " Why" did" I" do" that?" " Why" did" I" respond" to" this" that" way?"" Because"I"am"a"character"driven"by"my"flaws,"my"past,"and"my"emotional" need." " In" my" instruction," I" have" been" told" that" everything" a" character" ever" does" is" fueled" by" their" emotional" need." " I" think" that" holds" true" for" myself." " Do" I" seek" the" respect" of" my" peers?" " Maybe." " Am" I" looking" for" genuine"human"connection?""Perhaps—but"whatever"it"is,"that"emotional" need"is"what"drives"everything"a"character"does." This"emotional"need"then"leads"to"a"“story"purpose”—something" tangible"that"a"character"needs"to"obtain"or"accomplish"that"then"focuses" the" plot" and" introduces" the" narrative" arc." " And" this" is" where" things" become"maddening.""It"can"be"frustrating"attempting"to"look"at"your"life"

194"


within" the" confines" of" the" narrative" arc:" inciting" incident," rising" action," climax,"resolution.""Unlike"as"in"film"and"fiction,"things"don’t"fit"quite"so" clearly"into"these"lines.""First"off,"I’m"only"eighteen"years"old.""So"by"that" logic,"I’m"nowhere"near"the"climax"or"resolution.""Hell,"I’ve"likely"yet"to" hit" the" inciting" incident" and" am" still" shoveling" through" years" of" exposition.""But"I’m"also"an"impatient"eighteencyearcold,"so"why"can’t"my" life"have"several"crises"and"several"climaxes,"more"along"the"lines"of"TV" show?"" So"how"would"that"work?""Let’s"see:"I"wake"up.""Right"off"the"bat" there’s" the" inciting" incident." " It’s" a" struggle." " The" audience’s" interest" is" aroused." " Then" we’ve" got" some" rising" action:" I" fail" some" tests;" I" sleep" through"some"classes.""The"audience"is"on"the"edge"of"their"seats,"dying" to"know"how"it’s"all"going"end.""Well,"that’s"when"we"hit"them"with"the" triplecthreat" climax:" sports," play" practice," homework." " The" audience’s" teeth"chatter"as"our"hero"weaves"his"way"through"every"time"trial,"every" “Enter" Stage" Right,”" and" every" grueling" AP" Economics" problem." " Alas," he"emerges"unscathed"and"resolves"it"all"by"going"to"sleep."."."."""Okay,"so" it"doesn’t"really"work.""There’s"no"real"conflict"in"a"regular"day,"most"of" us" don’t" actually" do" anything" substantial" enough—regardless" of" how" much"we"fluff"it"up.""So"bigger.""Maybe"a"couple"weeks"at"a"time.""I’ve"got" a"crush"on"a"girl"or"."."."I"have"to"make"a"speech!""That"makes"for"a"much" cleaner"narrative.""But"life"is"not"Hollywood.""What"happens"when"I"get" rejected?" " Or" I" do" a" chimp" impression" and" make" an" ass" out" of" myself?"" What" happens" then?" " Well," maybe" my" narrative" just" happens" to" be" a" tragedy." " Yeah" that’s" it." " I’m" a" sort" of" common" Macbeth." " But" next" to" Macbeth" my" problems" look" pretty" trivial," and" before" I" know" it" I’m" boring.""So"now"what?" Well," unfortunately," life" just" doesn’t" work" that" way." " Human" lives" don’t" follow" literary" rules." " While" it" may" be" fun" to" imagine" every" once" in" a" while," things" just" don’t" work" out" the" way" movies," television," literature,"and"video"games"train"us"into"thinking"they"will.""Despite"this," there’s"still"a"story"worth"telling." It’s"now"that"we"see"that"the"story"of"our"lives"is"not"one"driven" by" plot" but" by" us," the" characters." " “All/ the/ world’s/ a/ stage/ and/ all/ the/ men/ and/ women/ merely/ players.”" " We’re" players" playing" ourselves" in" the" greatest" drama" that’s" ever" unfolded." " As" Sesugh" said," people" are" amazing."""We"are"all"characters"in"this"narrative"that"has"no"central"plot," but"instead"explores"all"of"us"as"individuals—our"flaws"and"our"quirks."" And"despite"the"grand,"almost"overbearing"nature"of"this"story,"each"and" every"single"person"in"it"has"a"vital"role"to"play—and"you"have"the"power" to" decide" what" that" role" is." " There" are" no" major" characters;" there" are" no"

195"


minor"characters.""We"all"play"a"part"in"its"telling.""So,"This"I"Believe:"We" are" in" the" middle" of" the" greatest" narrative" ever" toldâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;one" unlike" any" other." " It" is" an" allcencompassing" tale" of" the" human" experience." " A" tale" driven,"written,"and"told"by"us." " "

196"


APRIL&3,&2015& / Colin/Horgan/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / " The" MerriambWebster/ Dictionary" defines" memory" as" “the" power" or" process" of" reproducing" or" recalling" what" has" been" learned" and" retained" especially" through" associative" mechanisms.”" " But" recollection" can"be"unreliable;"memories"may"be"altered,"made"up,"or"forgotten.""This" third" category," forgetfulness," applies" in" full" to" me." " Now," by" forgetfulness" I" do" not" mean" something" as" petty" as" not" recalling" what" a" homework" assignment" was." " Rather," I" am" referencing" the" fact" that" I" cannot" recall" the" large" majority" of" my" highcschool" experience," let" alone" anything" prior" to" these" last" four" years." " To" provide" you" with" a" sense" of" what" I’m" talking" about," I’ll" give" some" quick" examples" of" common" conversations"with"my"closest"friends.""Trevor:"“Colin"do"you"remember" that"one"time"freshman"year"."."."”""“No,”"I"quickly"respond,"cutting"him" off" for" fear" of" his" wasting" breath" finishing" that" sentence," because" odds" are," no," I" do" not" remember" that" one" time" from" freshman" year." " Or" a" conversation" with" the" other" Trevor:" “So" Colin," who" were" your" friends" freshman" year?”" " “Ahhh" ." ." ." Simon" ." ." ." probably.”" " And," no," I" do" not" remember" crushing" Simon’s" hopes" when" I" apparently" told" him" that" his" crush"had"asked"someone"else"to"a"dance,"although"he"often"regales"me" with" this" tale" in" which" I" supply" a" crushing" blow" to" his" character’s" development." " But," obviously," he" has" survived." " While" many" may" see" fault" in" my" memory" difficulties," I" prefer" to" champion" the" advantages" conferred" on" me" by" my" limited" recall." " Sure," I" may" not" remember" “the" good" ole" days,”" but" I" also" never" dwell" on" the" bad" times." " As" Joey" said" earlier"this"week"in"his"speech,"grades"are"not"everything,"and"I"could"not" agree"more.""However,"there"is"no"need"to"stress"over"the"other"areas"of" your"life"either.""No"matter"the"mistakes"you"make"today,"more"than"90%" of"the"time"you"will"forget"all"about"them"two"or"three"years"from"now,"if" not"sooner.""" So" why" am" I" telling" you" this?" " Because" it" is" foolish" to" stress" yourself" out" over" a" mistake" or" a" letdown" that" will" be" dust" in" the" wind" later"on"down"the"road.""This"I"Believe:"Forget"and"don’t"stress"over"the" past;"it"has"already"happened"and"is"not"going"to"change.""Instead,"focus" on" how" you" can" improve" yourself" in" the" future:" set" goals," work" to"

197"


achieve" them," and" become" the" person" that" you" want" to" be" without" fretting"over"who"you"once"were."" " " "

198"


APRIL&3,&2015& / Mika/Takahashi/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / " Hopefully," many" of" you" follow" Humans/ of/ New/ York." " If" you" don’t,"it"is"essentially"a"glance—via"words"and"a"camera’s"lens—into"the" backstories"of"average"New"York"City"citizens.""The"questions"are"usually" very"standard,"“Why"did"come"to"New"York?”""“What"was"the"happiest" and/or"saddest"moment"of"your"life?”""One"question,"however,"shocked" not"only"an"impoverished"community"but"the"entire"world.""" “Who"has"influenced"you"the"most"in"your"life?”""" “My"principal,"Ms."Lopez.”""" “How"has"she"influenced"you?”"" “When"we"get"in"trouble,"she"doesn’t"suspend"us.""She"calls"us"to" her"office"and"explains"to"us"how"society"was"built"around"us.""And"she" tells" us" that" each" time" somebody" fails" out" of" school" a" new" jail" cell" gets" built.""And"one"time"she"made"every"student"stand"up,"one"at"a"time,"and" she"told"each"one"of"us"that"we"matter.”"" Now" this" might" seem" like" a" stretch" here," amid" the" lawn’s" wide" sweep." When" someone" gets" expelled" from" WRA" their" parents" just" send" them" to" another" boarding" school," right?" " But" what" this" young" boy" explained" in" his" interview" is" a" harsh" reality" for" too" many" of" America’s" youth.""Education"is"a"right.""But"this"here,"this"is"a"privilege."" So" how" do" these" two" things" connect?" " The" flaws" in" today’s" educational"system"are"innumerable.""But"there"is"one"central"truth"that" accounts"for"the"problems"of"a"school"plagued"with"despair"and"poverty" as" well" and" a" financially" sound" institution" like" Western" Reserve" Academy." " When" students" feel" as" though" they" can’t" learn," they" won’t" learn." " Simple" as" that." " And" that" is" the" reason" the" world" needs" more" people" like" Ms." Lopez." Whether" your" family" makes" $100,000" a" year" or" $10,000,"every"student"deserves"to"feel"accepted"and"cherished"by"his"or" her" teachers" and" peers." " It" is" our" job" as" citizens" of" Western" Reserve" Academy" to" reach" out" to" those" in" need" of" assistance" and" continue" to" build" each" other" up," rather" than" tear" one" another" down." " We" need" to" remind"each"other"that"we"have"a"responsibility"to"do"as"much"with"this" education" as" we" can," because" I" guarantee" you" someone" who" was" not" afforded" the" same" opportunities" and" privileges" in" life" would" love" to" be"

199"


where"you"are"sitting"right"now."" The" world" was" touched" by" Ms." Lopez’s" influence" on" this" boy’s" life,"and"by"mentioning"the"importance"of"his"principal,"he"helped"raise" over"$700,000"for"his"school"so"that"all"6th"grade"students"can"now"take" an" annual" trip" to" Harvard" University" (and" maybe" visit" our" good" friend" Trevor).""There"they"can"see"that"there"is"life"and"education"outside"of"the" projects.""So"I"challenge"you"to"sit"back"and"reflect.""Who"has"influenced" your"life"the"most?""And"most"importantly,"if"someone"were"to"be"asked" that"question,"would"he"or"she"say"you?""" During" this" reflection," I" would" like" to" thank" three" women" who" have"influenced"my"life"during"my"time"here"and"helped"me"become"the" person" I" am" today." " Ms." Horgan," for" being" an" amazing" advisor" and" an" everlasting" confidant;" Ms." Karam," for" believing" in" me" more" than" I" ever" believed" in" myself;" and" Mrs." Barth" for" not" only" making" me" a" better" dancer" but" transforming" me" into" an" artist." " This" I" Believe:" The" world" needs"more"people"like"Ms."Lopez,"so"why"not"uplift"those"around"you?"" Help" others" understand" and" cherish" the" abounding" opportunities" that" we"are"so"fortunate"to"have.""You"never"know"the"impact"you"can"make" on" someone’s" life." " And," if" nothing" else," the" organizers" of" WRA’s" Philanthropy"Week"would"probably"send"you"a"complimentary"tcshirt"if" a"photo"of"your"touching"tribute"were"to"go"viral"and"raise"$700,000"for" this"school!" " " " "

200"


APRIL&6,&2015& / Samantha/Haseltine/ Senior/ Fairlawn,/Ohio/ / " The"first"time"I"sat"down"to"write"this"speech"was"last"October.""I" was"in"Mr."Sturgis’s"fabulous"English"IV"class,"and"we"were"required"to" write"a"This"I"Believe"speech.""I"was"so"prepared"to"write;"I"had"it"all"in" my" head." " I" would" come" up" here" and" explain" the" type" of" person" I" am," weird" and" quirky" and" cool" (but" mostly" weird)" and" then" throw" some" knowledge" at" you" and" be" done." " When" I" finally" sat" down" to" write," I" stared" at" a" blank" page" for" an" hour." " To" get" my" creative" juices" flowing" I" wrote"down"three"categories"on"a"piece"of"paper:"“Who"am"I,”""“What"do" I"believe,”"and"“Why"you"should"all"care.”""After"a"brief"identity"crisis,"I" realized" that" my" speech," much" to" my" chagrin," would" probably" have" a" very" small" impact" on" your" lives" as" whole." " I" didn’t" know" what" I" stood" for," much" less" know" how" to" articulate" it." " I" couldn’t" think" of" a" single" event"that"has"really"impacted"me.""But"the"next"day"my"dad"called"me," and"I"remembered"what"he"always"used"to"tell"me.""I"flashed"back"to"my" first"day"of"kindergarten"(and,"yes,"I"do"remember"most"of"my"childhood," unlike"Colin)." “What" are" the" two" things" you" always" have" to" remember" Sammy?”"my"dad"asked"me"endearingly." “Ummmmmmm".".".""I"don’t"knooowww,”"I"replied." “Mommy"and"daddy"will"always"love"you,"and"life"is"not"a"dress" rehearsal.""Remember"that,"okay?”" “Okay!”"I"called"back"sweetly,"as"I"boarded"the"bus"for"my"first" day" of" kindergarten." " With" my" pigtails" as" high" as" my" spirits," those" two" sentences"went"in"my"ears"and"completely"over"my"head.""I"scratched"at" my"itchy"pink"dress"and"then"waved"goodbye"to"my"tearyceyed"parents." From" then" on," most" of" my" days" have" started" off" like" this:"" Whether"I’m"living"at"home"or"at"school,"even"if"I’m"not"wearing"pigtails" and"a"pink"watermelon"dress,"my"dad"reminds"me.""When"he"first"started" telling" me" the" ptwo" things" I" must" always" remember,p" I" immediately" memorized" them," because" if" my" daddy" told" me" I" needed" to" remember" them" forever," they" must" be" important." "" After" constant" quizzing" and" bothering"from"my"dad"they"became"part"of"my"identity"as"a"kid:"Hi,"my" name" is" Sam" Haseltine," I" live" at" 10" Littlefield" Lane" in" Milford,"

201"


Massachusetts," my" home" phone" number" is" 508c668cxxxx," and" I" must" always"remember"that"my"mommy"and"daddy"will"always"love"me"and" that" life" is" not" a" dress" rehearsal." "I" was" able" to" regurgitate" those" two" mottos" because" I" had" repeated" them" so" often," not" because" I" really" understood" them." " I" think" my" dad" believed" that," eventually," I" would" figure"out"what"they"meant"on"my"own.""For"many"of"you"this"situation" may"seem"odd.""If"you"know"my"dad,"you"may"be"surprised"to"imagine" him"being"serious"about"anything"for"more"than"five"seconds.""The"rest"of" you" are" probably" wondering" why" my" dad" emphasized" these" two" seemingly"random"phrases." Over"the"years,"I"have"come"up"with"my"own"explanations.""The" first" part" of" the" mantra," “mommy" and" daddy" will" always" love" you”," is" seemingly"selfcexplanatory.""It"is"generally"the"duty"or"instinct"of"parents" to" love" their" child," seeing" as" they" are" an" extension" of" themselves."" Unconditional"love"like"this"is"true"acceptance.""It"means"that"no"matter" what" you" do," say," think," or" feel" it" won’t" shake" their" adoration" for" you."" When"everything"seems"to"fall"apart,"who"or"what"do"you"fall"back"on?" You"need"to"make"it"your"job"to"surround"yourself"with"people"who"love" you"like"a"parent"loves"a"child.""People"who"accept"your"flaws,"hold"you" accountable" for" your" actions," and" will" be" there" for" you" no" matter" what."" But" you" can’t" just" go" out" into" the" world" and" simply" expect" or" demand" people"to"love"you.""That"is"not"how"it"works.""That"leads"to"my"second" understanding" of" this" twocpart" mantra:" If" you" don’t" have" anyone," find" someone.""You"must"love"and"accept"others"before"they"will"do"the"same" for" you." " Care" for" other" people," and" eventually" they" will" care" for" you."" See" the" good" in" the" world," and" in" other" people," because" if" you" do" the" world"will"see"the"good"in"you." Now" on" to" the" second" maxim:" “Life" is" not" a" dress" rehearsal.”" Many" people" come" up" to" this" podium" and" talk" about" how" you" should" cherish"the"time"you"have"at"Reserve,"because"it"is"a"wonderful"place"and" before" you" know" it," your" time" here" is" gone." " I" agree." " Many" adults" also" put" emphasis" on" this" chapter" in" our" lives" because" we" are" young" and" youthful," and" we" will" someday" miss" this" place." Yes," Reserve" is" a" wonderful" place" that" has" changed" me" for" the" better," but" in" the" grand" scheme" of" life" it" is" only" a" small" part." " Let’s" say" you" live" to" be" 100;" your" Reserve"years"will"represent"just"4%"of"your"life.""You"should"cherish"all/ of"your"life,"because"life"itself"is"precious,"and"it,"too,"will"be"over"before" you" know" it." " For" those" of" you" that" don’t" know," a" dress" rehearsal" is" a" practice"of"a"show"before"the"real"show.""Whether"you"are"15"or"50"years" old,"cherish"every"moment."""Life"is"not"practice.""There"are"no"docovers."" There"are"neither"rewinds"nor"going"back"five"spaces.""Secondly,"because"

202"


this"is"your"first"and"final"show"you"need"to"make"everything"count.""Put" yourself"out"there"and"be"as"weird"as"possible,"because"the"show"goes"on," and" if" your" life" is" like" a" Shakespearean" play" you" only" have" around" five" more"acts"to"trod"the"stage." As"I"have"further"developed"the"meanings"of"these"two"things,"I" must"always"remember"I"have"figured"out"that"there"is"a"third,"unspoken," thing" I" must" always" remember:" Believe." " Cheesy," I" know." " But" I," like" many" of" you," have" trouble" with" believing" in" anything—especially" myself.""Here,"at"Reserve,"I"feel"like"almost"everyday"I"have"some"part"of" my"intelligence"or"my"beliefs"challenged,"and"that"is"absolutely"amazing." Take" advantage" of" that," and" let" your" beliefs" be" challenged." " It" will" help" you" figure" out" who" you" are." " Believe" in" yourself" enough" to" trust" your" judgment"when"taking"advantage"of"your"life.""Believe"in"human"nature."" I"would"like"to"leave"you"with"a"poem"by"Emerson." " “Write"it"on"your"heart" that"every"day"is"the"best"day"in"the"year." He"is"rich"who"owns"the"day,"and"no"one"owns"the"day" who"allows"it"to"be"invaded"with"fret"and"anxiety." " Finish"every"day"and"be"done"with"it." You"have"done"what"you"could." Some"blunders"and"absurdities,"no"doubt"crept"in." Forget"them"as"soon"as"you"can,"tomorrow"is"a"new"day;" begin"it"well"and"serenely,"with"too"high"a"spirit" to"be"cumbered"with"your"old"nonsense." " This"new"day"is"too"dear," with"its"hopes"and"invitations," to"waste"a"moment"on"the"yesterdays.”" " " " "

203"


APRIL&6,&2015& / Victoria/Hearin/ Senior/ Baton/Rouge,/Louisiana/ / " I’ve" known" for" a" long" time" that" giving" a" This" I" Believe" speech" was" something" I" wanted" to" do" before" graduating" from" the" Academy."" While"writing"this"speech,"I"started"over"at"least"thirty"times"discovering" that" I" have" much" more" than" a" single" belief" to" share" with" you" all." Nevertheless,"I"doubt"many"of"you"would"like"to"watch"me"get"started"on" where" I" stand" politically." " After" Mika’s" speech" last" Friday," I" began" to" reflect" on" who" had" influenced" me" during" my" time" here." " While" I" truly" could" pick" most" of" you" out" individually" and" tell" you" how" you’ve" impacted"my"Reserve"career"in"some"way"or"another,"one"person"stands" out."" During"my"pursuits"as"a"manager"for"the"hockey"team,"I"had"the" opportunity" to" interact" with" Coach" Kyle" Closen," Mr." Closen’s" son."" Though" most" of" our" conversations" regarded" stats" and" where" to" put" the" dirty" uniforms," one" conversation" was" different." " On" our" way" to" Pittsburgh" one" snowy" Sunday" morning," Coach" Kyle" asked" me" what" I" was"planning"on"pursuing"beyond"Reserve.""As"we"discussed"my"dreams" of" a" future" as" a" career" politician," he" said" to" me," “No" matter" where" you" are," what" you’re" doing," or" who" you’re" with," always" put" your" best" foot" forward" and" do" what’s" right." " At" the" end" of" the" day," you" will" reap" the" consequences"of"your"actions.""If"you"do"the"best"that"you"can"do,"and"do" it"with"passion,"you’ll"live"with"very"few"regrets.”"" After" hearing" this," my" mind" went" into" a" ton" of" different" directions—because"I"wasn’t"sure"if"he"meant"that"I"should"do"my"best"so" that"I"could"live"my"life"without"dwelling"on"past"mistakes,"or"if"he"was" showing"me"that"I"should"never"do"anything"that"I"one"day"would"not"be" proud" of." " So" I" ran" with" the" latter." " After" much" thought," the" phrase" “never"put"your"name"on"anything"you’re"not"proud"of”"made"complete" sense."" Multiple"times"each"day,"we"are"presented"with"the"opportunity" to" decide" how" much" effort" we’re" going" to" put" in." " More" often" than" not," we"decide"that"the"product"is"much"more"important"than"the"process"and" therefore"make"decisions"that"we"shouldn’t"always"be"proud"of.""Coach" Kyle" helped" me" realize" that" every" situation," big" or" small," is" important"

204"


enough"to"deserve"our"very"best"effort,"every"single"time.""We"shouldn’t" settle" for" anything" on" our" own" accord." " Being" a" somewhat" experienced" high"schooler,"I"know"as"well"as"anyone"that"some"days"are"just"tough"to" get"through.""It’s"easy"to"blame"a"3.5"on"a"bad"day.""But,"we’re"all"here"to" fully" prepare" ourselves," through" various" pursuits," for" the" real" world."" The" habit" of" cutting" corners" is" inevitably" more" serious" outside" of" the" Reserve"bubble"than"in.""So"start"here.""Put"110%"into"everything"that"you" do.""Think"of"life"as"a"conservation"of"effort"theory;"the"effort"that"you"put" in"translates"directly"into"what"you’ll"make"out"of"it."" So,"This"I"Believe:"No"matter"what"you"do,"or"where"you"are,"or" who/ you" are," at" any" point" in" your" life," put" your" best" foot" forward" in" everything" that" you" do." " Be" proud" of" who" you" are," what" you" do," and" what"you"create.""As"Coach"Kyle"said,"at"the"end"of"the"day"you’re"going" to" be" the" one" reaping" the" consequences" of" your" actions" and" efforts." " If" you’re"not"proud,"you’re"not"finished."" " " " " "

205"


APRIL&13,&2015& / Cooper/Kaplan/ Senior/ Hinsdale,/Illinois/ / " Everyone" in" this" room" has" a" passion," or" a" goal" as" to" who," or" what," they" want" to" be." " Passion" is" something" that" drives" you" to" be" the" person"you"want"to"be.""When"you"become"passionate"about"something" you"want"to"be"involved"in"it"as"much"as"possible.""Mine,"as"you"might" know,"is"for"sports.""I"was"brought"into"a"family"with"a"sister"who"quickly" inserted" certain" vocabulary" words" into" my" head," like" grand/ slam," and" double/play.""In"one"of"my"earliest,"my"home"team,"the"Chicago"Cubs"were" swept" by" the" worst" team" in" the" division," the" Houston" Astros." " Still," my" early"love"of"the"Cubs"and"other"Chicago"teams"could"not"be"squelched."" My"parents"are"huge"Cleveland"fans,"but"they"clearly"failed"to"pass"that" on"to"me."" A"sports"broadcaster"is"similar"to"the"role"of"a"center"midfielder" in"the"game"of"soccer,"because"everything"flows"through"him"during"the" game.""Often"times,"the"center"mid"leads"in"transitioning"from"one"side"of" the" field" to" the" other," or" from" defense" to" offense." " Like" a" center" mid," a" broadcaster’s"job"is"to"transmit"the"energy"from"the"arena"and"cast"it"into" living" rooms" and" bars" across" the" country." " The" way" that" the" premier" broadcasters" become" the" best" is" that" they" are" able" to" describe" the" spectacle"in"such"a"way"that"it"feels"as"though"you"are"watching"the"event" live.""This"would"be"my"dream"job.""Job?""It"really"wouldn’t"even"be"a"job." It"would"be"more"like"a"hobby,"or"a"privilege.""In"fact,"if"you"get"a"job"that" involves"your"passion,"is"it"actually"considered"work?"" While" it" was" one" thing" to" have" this" overwhelming" passion," it" was"a"whole"different"ballgame"trying"to"maintain"it.""There"were"lots"of" times"I"questioned"myself"as"to"whether"this"was"what"I"actually"wanted" to" be." " It" seemed," as" my" freshman" year" unfolded," I" slowly" became" the" “guy" that" only" talks" about" sports“" nerd," which" I" was" okay" with" as" an" underclassmen," because" no" matter" what" anyone" said" I" was" always" able" to" remain" positive." " However," things" started" to" get" more" tangled" as" I" began"to"question"my"passion"heading"into"my"upperclassmen"years."" Other" than" the" obvious" struggles" of" keeping" up" with" the" rigorous" academics," and" timecconsuming" athletics," I" had" one" additional" problem" that" really" affected" me." " During" my" sophomore" year" I" was"

206"


diagnosed" with" Attention" Deficit" Disorder" (ADD)." " Like" most" who" are" told" that" they" have" ADD," I" didn’t" want" to" believe" it." " I" didn’t" want" to" think"that"I"was"different"from"everybody"else.""I"didn’t"want"to"use"it"as" an"excuse"for"why"I"did"certain"things.""However,"it"did"answer"a"lot"of" questions"about"me—like"my"constant"forgetfulness"and"disorganization."" While"medicine"helped"my"focus,"it"took"away"my"appetite"and"kept"my" mind" active" late" at" night." " It" also" felt" like" I" had" the" flu" all" the" time."" Whenever"I"ate"something,"my"stomach"did"not"feel"right.""At"night,"once" I"began"thinking"about"something"it"didn’t"leave"my"head,"and"I"typically" couldn’t"fall"asleep"until"3"or"4"in"the"morning.&&One"night,"I"was"thinking" of" random" things" in" my" bed," and" I" decided" to" try" to" name" the" entire" starting"lineup"for"the"2005"Chicago"White"Sox"World"Series"team.""I"got" every" position" right" except" for" the" center" fielder." " For" the" life" of" me," I" could"not"remember"his"name."""After"a"long,"long"time"I"finally"I"tried"to" let"it"go.""My"mind,"however,"had"other"plans,"and"every"time"I"tried"to" close" my" eyes" to" sleep" they" would" be" pried" back" open." " That" is" how" strong" that" medication" is." " Anytime" you" lose" focus" it" brings" you" back" instantly." " (The" center" fielder’s" name" was" Aaron" Rowand," if" you" were" wondering.)" These"unwelcome"side"effects"caused"me"to"make"a"really"crucial" decision.""The"questions"was"whether"I"should"take"the"pill,"and"be"able" to"focus"in"class,"or"not"take"the"pill"and"thus"avoid"the"brutal"side"effects."" I" didn’t" realize" how" much" my" ADD," and" not" using" medication" last" year" to" control" it," would" impact" me." " It" started" with" just" going" to" class.""I"was"always"missing"something—a"pencil,"a"binder,"a"worksheet."" It" was" always" something." " Then" it" evolved" into" my" missing" larger" assignments" and" not" turning" things" in" on" time." " Finally," it" just" all" came" crashing"down."I"would"forget"something,"get"yelled"at"by"a"teacher,"and" then," awkwardly," sweatycheaded" (like" I" am" now)," go" back" to" my" room" and" get" the" item" and" slowly" recenter" the" classroom." " As" I" started" forgetting" things" I" went" into" a" slump." " There" was" a" period" during" the" third"term"where"I"was"just"done"with"school.""My"grades"werenqt"going" to" get" any" better;" I" wasn’t" going" to" get" into" any" outstanding" sports" writing"or"broadcasting"school;"I"stopped"writing"about"sports"because"I" thought" that" people" were" getting" annoyed" with" my" constant" sports" writing." " It" seemed" I" should" just" forget" the" “Next" big" broadcaster”" thing—that"was"a"goner."""" I" really" didn’t" see" the" point" in" giving" any" effort" anymore." " It" really"got"to"me.""I"got"really"frustrated"with"myself.""I"had"lost"the"grip" on"what"I"really"loved.""I"had"lost"what"had"always"pushed"me"to"be"my" best"and"to"always"stay"positive.""As"if"things"couldn’t"get"any"worse,"my"

207"


awful" forgetfulness" killed" me" during" baseball" season." " Two" hats," two" shirts"for"practice"every"other"day,"a"bat,"glove,"cleats"and"batting"gloves." There" was" always" something" I" would" forget" to" bring." " It" was" just" a" complete" disaster." " I" felt" like" I" was" the" only" person" going" through" this" living" hell" and" that" everybody" was" surviving" while" I" was" being" swept" away."" Going"into"the"summer,"I"knew"I"needed"to"gather"myself.""I"was" in" a" fullccourt" press" to" do" as" much" as" I" could" to" help" myself" become" better" at" what" I" loved:" writing" and" talking" about" sports." " My" rebound" really"started"when"I"went"to"Marist"College,"in"New"York,"for"a"summer" program" in" sports" communication." " I" earned" college" credit" and" met" so" many"great"people"who"reminded"me"why"sports"are"so"great"and"how" they"are"meant"to"bring"people"and"entire"communities"together,"even"if" they" may" not" agree" on" other" things" like" politics" or" religion." " They" also" gave" me" advice" on" how" to" get" involved" in" the" sports" world," keep" my" motivation"high,"and"always"stay"positive."" Since" then," I’ve" written" in" almost" every" issue" of" this" year’s" Reserve" Record," I’ve" restarted" my" blog" with" a" more" focused" and" organized"plan,"and"I"have"lined"up"a"summer"job"to"write"about"sports" for"a"website.""I’m"finally"doing"what"I"love." This"I"Believe:"Never"let"go"of"your"passion,"no"matter"what"gets" in"the"way,"and"know"that"everything"you"do"should"be"focused"toward" your" goals." " When" things" get" rough" don’t" take" your" eye" off" the" prize."" Always" look" forward" and" have" a" vision" of" where" you" want" to" be" and" where" you" will" be." " Believe" that" your" family" and" classmates" have" your" back" in" whatever" you" do." " I" truly" believe" that" if" you" do" what" you" love," you"won’t"work"a"day"in"your"life.""With"all"the"people"I"see"here"today,"I" have"no"doubt"that"everyone"will"be"able"to"appreciate"that"message." " "

208"


APRIL&13,&2015& / Joanna/Malson/ Senior/ Richfield,/Ohio/ / " kHarmony.//Itis/not/about/whatis/lasting/or/permanent." It/is/about/individual/voices/coming/together/for/a/moment./" And/that/moment/lasts/the/length/of/a/breath.k" """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""c"Francis"Underwood"in"House/of/Cards" " This" I" Believe:" Happiness" is" only" real" when" you" share" it" with" others," and" friendship" can" get" you" through" the" worst" of" a" broken" heart." "This" idea" first" came" to" me" during" my" sophomore" year," after" reading"Jon"Krakauer’s"Into/the/Wild"for"Miss"Evan’s"English"II"class.""At" the" time," the" saying" “happiness" only" real" when" shared" [sic]”" did" not" mean"much"to"me.""It"made"sense,"of"course,"but"I"had"no"real"life"proof." On" October" 12," 2013," one" of" my" best" friends," Scott" Graber," was" driving"home"late"at"night"on"a"motorcycle"he"had"fixed"up"himself.""He" was"almost"home"when"a"drunk"driver,"who"did"not"see"the"road"clearly," hit" Scott." " Scott" was" rushed" to" the" hospital." " He" was" pronounced" dead" almost"exactly"twentycfour"hours"later."" I" had" known" Scott" for" many" years." "The" days" we" spent" riding" and"doing"chores"around"the"horse"barn"were"seemingly"countless."""He" was"so"full"of"light"and"happiness,"and"honestly,"full"of"life.""Through"the" years," we" witnessed" each" other" grow" and" mature." "He" was" like" a" big" brother"to"me.""We"picked"on"each"other"and"joked"about"things"together," but"most"importantly,"we"took"care"of"each"other."" Scott’s"death"was—and"still"is—devastating"to"me.""On"my"way" to"the"hospital"that"brisk"October"day,"all"I"kept"thinking"was:"He/will/be/ okay.//There’s/no/way/Scott/could/leave/us.//He/is/so/strong.//After"a"few"hours" at" the" hospital," his" mother" came" out" to" the" waiting" room" where" all" the" friends"and"family"were"holding"hands"and"passing"out"tissues.""She"said" to"us,"“When"the"doctors"are"making"blood"transfusions,"they"are"finding" brain"matter,"and"there"is"nothing"more"they"can"do.”""At"that"moment," the"floor"dropped"from"under"me.""All"I"could"do"was"hold"onto"my"best" friend"Tara,"Scott’s"girlfriend.""I"grabbed"onto"her,"and"she"grabbed"onto" me,"and"from"that"moment"on"Tara"and"I"constantly"leaned"on"each"other" for"support."""

209"


At" first," Tara" and" I" felt" we" both" needed" to" be" strong" for" one" another." "We" pushed" down" our" emotions" and" continued" with" this" new" life" without" Scott." "I" now" know" that" ignoring" the" hole" in" my" heart" was" only" making" it" bigger." "Each" day," I" told" myself" that" it" would" get" better," but"it"didn’t.""The"emotions"became"harder"to"deal"with,"and"the"weight" of"the"world"became"heavier"and"heavier.""" Besides"struggling"with"the"loss"of"Scott,"my"junior"year"here"at" Reserve" was" like" an" old" country" song." "The" losses" in" my" life" seemed" endless," and" frankly," just" plain" ridiculous." "My" great" grandmother" died" next," the" first" of" any" of" my" grandparents" to" pass" away." " Then" my" chinchilla" and" cat" both" died" from" cancer." " Next," both" of" my" childhood" dogs" died." " Finally," after" dealing" with" several" strokes" and" other" health" issues," my" grandfather" died" at" the" end" of" July." " I" know" what" you’re" thinking," “What" was" going" on" in" the" Malson" house" making" all" these" animals"get"cancer"and"whatnot?”""Honestly,"I"wish"I"knew,"because"I"felt" as"though"I"no"longer"had"any"control"over"my"life"and"that"everything" was"disappearing.""And"then"there"was"always"the"thought"of"college"in" the"back"of"my"mind,"which"made"me"think"I"literally"was"going"to"move" out" and" lose" everything." "I" also" realized" how" precarious" our" lives" can" be.""Scott"was"doing"nothing"wrong"when"he"lost"his.""He"was"taken"from" us"as"quick"as"a"breath.""I"became"the"most"depressed"I"have"ever"been"in" my"life."" Finally," I" realized" that" in" order" to" feel" better" I" needed" to" talk" about"things.""Let"it"all"out.""I"needed"my"friends"and"family.""It"did"not" hit"me"until"my"grandfatherqs"passing,"that"in"order"to"put"all"my"broken" pieces" back" together" I" must" go" out" and" do" things" with" my" family" and" friends" in" memory" of" those" loved" ones" who" had" passed." "I" had" to" talk" about" it" and" talk" about" them—such" as" “Hey" remember" when" grandpa" would" call" our" names," and" if" we" said" ‘What?’" he" would" say" ‘Just" checking,’" and" it" would" drive" us" crazy.”" " Or" “Remember" how" Scott" would"only"wear"his"bright"yellow"SpongeBob"tie"to"compete"in,"and"we" would" say" ‘Hey," whatever" makes" you" happy," bro.’”" "Man," they" were" something.""" I" became" happier" when" I" had" other" to" share" my" memories" and" love"with.""There"was"no"more"bottling"up"the"sadness.""No"more"shoving" down"the"bad"news"and"saying,"“I’ll"just"have"to"deal"with"it"later.”""We" are" allowed" to" be" sad" and" miss" our" loved" ones." "We" are" allowed" to" cry." "But" that" cannot" be" the" thing" that" dictates" our" happiness." " We" all" deserve"to"be"happy.""" So" have" a" weekly" lunch" date" at" Chipotle" with" your" friends" or" spend"a"little"extra"time"with"your"family.""My"friends"from"the"barn"and"

210"


I" planted" apple" trees" in" memory" of" Scott," because" he" always" thought" it" was" ridiculous" to" have" a" barn" with" no" apple" trees." "Most" importantly," when"times"get"really"tough,"and"itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s"one"of"those"nights"when"life"seems" like"too"much"to"handle"on"your"own,"call"up"a"friend"and"just"talk"about" everything"thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s"on"your"mind.""Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t"bottle"things"up"like"I"did."" " This" I" Believe:" Find" good" friends," and" keep" them" close." "True" friends" can" channel" good" energy" and" make" us" feel" better" when" we" are" sad." "When" given" the" opportunity" to" work" with" others," rather"than"going"solo,"take"it."""Happiness"is"only"real"when"shared."" " " " "

211"


APRIL&20,&2015& / Myung/Jin/(MJ)/Lee/ Senior/ Gang/Won/Do,/South/Korea/ / " Good"morning"everyone," I’d" like" to" do" a" quick" exercise" with" you" all." " If" you" will," please" close" your" eyes." " Everyone," faculty" included." " Now," picture," in" your" mind,"a"nerd"or"a"geek.""Either"one."" Is"it"a"guy?""Is"he"wearing"boxy"glasses?""Does"he"like"computers?"" Is"he"on"the"Robotics"team?""Is"he"in"Technology"Club?""Is"he"terrible"at" sports?""Perhaps"he"is"wearing"a"bowtie?"" " [MJ"takes"off"his"school"tie"and"replaces"it"with"a"bowtie]" " Now,"open"your"eyes." You"are"looking"at"the"living"embodiment"of"the"word"“nerd”"or" “geek.”""However,"what"I"have"described,"and"what"you"might"have"seen" inside"your"head,"is"merely"a"stereotype.""Granted,"I"fit"the"stereotype"so" well.""Now,"don’t"get"me"wrong,"I"am"a"total"nerd.""But"it’s"not"because"of" the" fact" that" I" wear" these" glasses" or" this" bowtie." " It" is" because" I" enthusiastically," and" kind" of" obsessively," pursue" my" one" passion" to" no" obvious" end." " " This" passion" happens" to" be" technology." " Now," I" believe" that" everyone" can," and" should," be" a" nerd" to" a" certain" degree." " Sure," everyone"has"interests,"and"sure,"everyone"pursues"them"up"to"a"certain" level." " But" being" a" true" nerd" means" going" that" extra" mile." " You" have" to" really"dig"into"it.""Obsess"over"it.""Don’t"be"satisfied"until"you’ve"learned" everything"about"it.""I’m"obviously"exaggerating,"just"a"bit,"but"I’m"sure" you"get"the"idea." Mr." Peterson" spoke" to" me" once" at" the" most" “nerdy”" event" at" school:"the"LAN"party,"of"course.""He"took"a"good"look"around"and"said" “It’s"so"geeky"in"here.""I"love"it.""We"really"need"more"of"this.”""I"couldn’t" agree"more.""We"really"do"need"more"of"it.""So,"become"a"nerd,"or"a"geek," in"your"own"way;"and"what"better"place"to"do"it"than"Reserve?""I"mean," can"you"imagine"seeing"this"[MJ"points"to"himself]"in"an"innerccity"public" school?" " Exactly." " My" point" is" this:" Reserve" is" a" very" open" and" diverse" community.""Take"advantage"of"it."" Being" a" nerd," you" meet" new" and" interesting" people" and" learn"

212"


new" things" you" never" could" have" in" school." " You" might" even" find" your" future"career.""I"think"itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s"such"a"healthy"and"integral"part"of"our"human" experienceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in" appropriate" amounts" of" course." So," This" I" Believe:" Nerd" out!"

&

&

213"


APRIL&20,&2015& / Hannah/McKenzie/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / " I" am" infatuated" with" words." " I" don’t" mean" to" say" that" I’m" a" bibliophile" who" has" read" an" extraordinary" number" of" books." " I’m" a" Reserve" student—I" don’t" have" that" kind" of" time." " I’m" not" a" vocabulist," either." " I" don’t" pour" over" the" pages" of" the" dictionary" in" an" attempt" to" memorize" each" line." " Instead," I" would" classify" myself" as" a" language" enthusiast,"a"word"groupie.""I"love"words.""I"revere"these"letter"mosaics." So"when"I"was"recently"asked"to"describe"my"life"using"a"word"or" words," I" was" thrilled." " Little" did" I" know" that" I" would" struggle" tremendously" with" the" assignment." " How" was" I" to" choose" one" or" two" words"to"chronicle"my"entire"life?""One"or"two"amidst"a"collection"that"is" estimated" to" include" over" one" million?" " I" was" frustrated." " Words," these" things" I" had" worshipped" and" adored," turned" against" me." " I" resented" them," as" I" did" my" teacher" (thanks" Mom!)" for" challenging" me" with" this" seemingly"impossible"task." After"all,"no"word,"or"chain"of"words,"has"the"ability"to"describe" my" life" in" its" entirety." " While" I" love" the" idea" of" both" outlining" and" simplifying" my" existence" through" this" technique," it" seems" unrealistic" at" the" same" time." " Choosing" one" word" to" compress" my" 17cplus" years" feels" like" a" stab" in" the" back." " Every" aspect" of" my" being" has" changed" throughout" my" life" and," therefore," it" is" reasonable" to" assume" that" my" descriptors" have" changed" as" well." " As" a" result," I" believe" that" certain" words"mimic"and"characterize"corresponding"moments"or"periods"in"life."" These" words" can" never" be" allcencompassing," however," because" I" also" believe"some"things"simply"cannot"be"put"into"words." If"I"had"to"document"segments"of"my"life"with"words,"one"piece"I" wouldn’t"be"able"to"overlook"would"be"my"“tomboy”"phase.""I"spent"the" large" majority" of" my" childhood" dressed" in" cargo" shorts" and" tcshirts" clearly"too"big"for"my"body.""While"I"admit"that"clothing"itself"does"not" define" a" person," my" selfcimposed" dress" code" shaped" a" portion" of" who" I" was" at" the" time." " The" fact" that" my" wardrobe" was" devoid" of" ruffles" and" pink"did"not"lack"meaning.""I"hated"pink!""Ruffles"were"uncomfortable.""It" was"as"simple"as"that.""But"the"term"tomboy"only"entered"my"vernacular" later" in" life." " Until" I" had" distanced" myself" from" my" childhood," I" wasn’t"

214"


able"to"analyze"it.""But"I"found"that"as"I"grew"older"the"meaning"became" more"clear."" Another" example" of" me" attempting" to" unwrap" my" many" layers" (we’re" all" onions," as" Shrek" would" attest)" is" by" applying" the" word" introspective" to" my" most" recent" chapter." " After" four" years" of" high" school" English," I" consider" myself" pretty" good" at" evaluating" literary" characters."" As"a"result,"I’ve"turned"to"analyzing"myself—my"actions,"my"words,"and" (most" unfortunately)" my" thoughts—the" same" way" I" do" Holden" Caulfield’s" or" Hamlet’s" Ophelia’s." " I" refer" to" this" mania" as" “being" in" my" head"too"much,”"because"not"only"do"I"think,"but"I"think"about"thinking."" Maddening,"I"know!""The"frustrating"crux"of"it"all"is"that"I"am"conscious" of"it"and,"as"such,"am"unable"to"live"in"blissful"ignorance." "So"for"now"I" trudge" on" under" the" chapter" heading" “introspective,”" aware" that" a" new" word"will"take"over"at"any"moment." Of"course,"it"is"impossible"for"me"to"document"every"moment"of" my" life" with" its" own" specific" description—its" own" word." " I" can’t" remember" everything" that" has" happened" to" me" since" birth," or" my" corresponding" emotions." " So" I," like" the" narrators" in" my" favorite" books," editorialize" retrospectively." " In" addition," I" don’t" possess" knowledge" to" perfectly"match"each"period"with"a"descriptor—my"vocabulary"is"far"too" limited." " One" might" argue" that" my" two" examples" are" inaccurate" or" inadequate." " After" all," these" epithets" were" born" out" of" my" own" beliefs" and" recollections" and" therefore" are" relative" and" negotiable." " Each" of" us" has" a" different" perspective" that" is" truthful" to" our" vantage" point" in" the" world.""Similar"to"the"way"each"person"understands"literature"differently," what" we" understand" about" our" lives" and" ourselves" can" be" wordcbased," but"is"open"for"interpretation." So"what"is"my"interpretation?""I"am"in"the"midst"of"finding"out."" For" now," however," This" I" Believe:" Words" are" powerful" combinations" of" emotion"and"meaning"that"have"the"ability"to"communicate"complexities," but"they"are"not"always"enough.""In"the"context"of"my"own"life,"I"believe" that" a" onecword" definition" will" not" satisfy." " I" am" more" than" a" single" constant." " Tomboy" and" introspective" are" just" a" couple" of" words" in" my" boundless" biography." " I" am" still" searching" for" my" perfect" stream" of" descriptors."In"Jeffrey"Eugenides’"novel"Middlesex,"the"narrator"professes:" “I’ve" never" had" the" right" words" to" describe" my" life," and" now" that" I’ve" entered"my"story,"I"need"them"more"than"ever.”""I"invite"you"to"consider" which" words" tell" your" story." " Who" knows:" if" your" search" leaves" you" emptychanded,"perhaps"you’ll"create"a"new"one."" " "

215"


APRIL&27,&2015& / Zoe/Leciejewski/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / " As"one"of"the"loudest"and"most"outspoken"members"of"the"senior" class," I" am" excited" to" be" up" here" again" today." "I" know" it" may" be" impossible" to" believe," but" this" visit" to" the" podium" actually" doubles" the" number"of"times"I"have"been"up"here"this"year.""However,"I"hope"you"will" bear"with"me"this"one"last"time." As"we"all"know,"life"at"Reserve"can"be"tough.""There"are"so"many" things"demanding"your"time"and"energy"and"at"some"point"you"have"to" wonder"if"people"here"even"understand"that"there"are"only"24"hours"in"a" day.""And"in"fact,"if"you"look"into"it,"you"realize"that"a"lot"of"it"is"out"of" your"control.""The"pop"quizzes,"conflicting"tests,"long"practices,"bad"refs," and"preparation"for"performances"can"really"start"to"pile"up"and"become" incredibly"overwhelming.""And"it"gets"even"worse"when"you"realize"that" you"can’t"change"any"of"it." I"recently"encountered"a"quotation"that"states:"“if"nothing"we"do" matters" then" all" that" matters" is" what" we" do.”" "There" will" be" times" throughout" life" when" we" have" absolutely" no" control" over" what" is" happening"to"us;"however,"we"can"always"control"our"responses.""This"I" believe," no" matter" what" situation" you" are" in," never" give" up" and" never" stop"smiling.""" During"my"four"years"here,"I’ve"had"this"somewhat"crazy"notion" that" if" I" didn’t" take" a" challenging" schedule," I" wasn’t" doing" Reserve" right." "So" I" piled" on" the" classes" and" then" quickly" realized" how" difficult" they"would"make"my"life.""I"had"people"waiting"for"me"to"crack"or"give" up,"but"I’ve"never"let"them"have"that"satisfaction.""For"me"though,"simply" not" giving" up" doesn’t" cut" it." "Not" only" do" you" have" to" get" through" the" difficult"times,"you"have"to"do"it"without"complaints.""All"of"us"here"have" and"will"face"trials"in"life,"but"they"do"not"define"us.""What"does"define"us" is" the" part" we" can" change:" our" reaction." "So" when" I’m" having" a" particularly"difficult"day,"I"force"myself"to"smile"through"it"and"embrace" the"small"moments"of"joy."" One"particular"class"has"given"me"some"difficulty"with"this.""This" year"I"decided"to"enroll"in"Regular"Dance.""As"a"sixcfoot"senior"in"a"class" of"mostly"smaller,"more"flexible"underclassmen,"I"kind"of"stand"out.""On"

216"


the"first"day"we"went"through"some"simple"stretches"and"I"realized"how" out"of"place"I"was"as"I"strained"to"touch"my"toes"but"barely"made"it"to"the" top" of" my" knees" while" those" around" me" put" an" entirely" new" meaning" into"the"word"flexible.""This"feeling"was"multiplied"even"more"during"the" excruciating" barre" exercises" while" wearing" an" incredibly" uncomfortable" leotard" in" my" first" ballet" class." "During" the" first" few" weeks," I" debated" dropping" the" class," but" am" very" glad" I" did" not" succumb" to" the" temptation." "I’ve" put" in" many" hours" laughing" at" myself" in" the" mirror" after"a"particularly"horrible"move"and"a"lot"of"hard"work,"not"just"in"class," but"also"in"the"remedial"dance"lessons"with"Mrs."Barth"and"Ana"when"I" was" absolutely" struggling" with" the" choreography." "It" would" have" been" easy"to"dismiss"dance"as"not"being"“my"thing,”"but"I"would"have"missed" the"friendships"and"pride"that"have"come"from"sticking"with"it.""" No" matter" what" activities," sports," or" classes" you’re" involved" in," there" will" be" bad" days" when" you" think" that" you’ve" reached" your" limit." "Don’t" give" up." "If" you" don’t" make" a" particular" team" you" wanted," devote"the"extra"hours"so"you"can"get"there"next"year.""If"you"didn’t"get"a" strong"grade,"put"in"more"time"so"you"achieve"it"in"the"future.""Above"all" though,"do"not"let"your"current"situation"dictate"your"future"one.""You’re" actions" in" the" tough" times" will" set" your" path" for" the" future." "This" I" Believe:" No" matter" where" you" are," keep" looking" ahead;" stay" strong" and" keep"smiling." "" & "

217"


APRIL&27,&2015& / Anna/McMurchy/ Senior/ Aurora,/Ohio/ / " Today," I’d" like" to" stay" as" far" away" from" the" topic" of" Reserve" as" possible." " There" are" many" fine" speeches" I" could" make" about" what" a" wonderful" and" transformative" experience" this" school" can" offer" you," but" you"encounter"this"truth"every"day.""Reserve"makes"up"only"a"very"small" portion" of" your" life," and" I" have" always" been" one" to" daydream" and" fantasize" about" the" bigger" picture." " I" was" originally" going" to" have" my" friend," Lexie," stand" up" here" and" slap" me" every" time" I" found" myself" straying" toward" WRAcbased" topics," but" she" got" a" little" bit" too" eager" at" that"proposition." So" I’ve" just" decided" to" trust" that" I" can" brave" this" sea" of" selfc expression" on" my" own" and" try" to" impart" some" sort" of" encouraging" message"onto"you." Like"everyone"who"isn’t"entirely"apathetic"to"the"occurrences"of" the"world"around"them,"I"believe"in"a"great"many"things.""I"believe"that" Chipotle"delivery"might"bring"about"the"fall"of"civilization"as"we"know"it" (or"at"least"people’s"social"lives);"I"believe"that"Robert"Pattinson"was"way" better" in" the" Harry/ Potter" series" than" he" ever" was" in" any" of" the" Twilight" movies;" and" I" very" firmly" believe" that" Daenerys" Targaryen" should" rule" from" the" Iron" Throne." " Now," I" know" what" most" of" you" are" probably" thinking" at" this" point." " Daenerys" Tarcwhoclian?" " But" bear" with" me." " I" would" like" to" share" with" you" one" of" the" things" I" am" most" passionate" about" in" my" life." " For" some" people," it" may" be" sports," volunteer" work," mathematics,"or"some"other"such"thing.""For"me,"it’s"Game/of/Thrones." I" would" like" to" preface" this" by" saying" first" and" foremost" that" I" will"not"be"giving"away"any"spoilers"about"the"series,"because"trust"me,"if" someone"did"that"to"me,"I’d"probably"wish"upon"them"a"fate"worse"than" ." ." ." well," than" what" most" of" the" beloved" Game/ of/ Thrones’" characters" ultimately"suffer.""However"callous"it"may"sound,"this"is"precisely"one"of" the" reasons" why" I" love" the" series." " The" writer," George" R." R." Martin," creates" a" savagely" realistic" world" that" always" keeps" you" on" your" toes."" You"genuinely"fear"for"the"life"of"each"character.""And"yet,"the"emotions" he"manages"to"instill"in"readers"and"viewers"go"far"beyond"fear."" His"characters"are"so"complex"that"we"feel"sympathy"for"the"most"

218"


despicable" men" and" occasional" hatred" for" amiable" women." " This" demonstrates"a"unique"ability"to"portray"a"truly"realistic"storyline.""Game/ of/ Thrones" is" violent," raunchy," nervecwracking," genuinely" disturbing" at" times,"but"overall"it’s"."."."honest.""Brutally"honest,"yes,"but"honest"just"the" same.""I"believe"that"this"is"an"important"quality"that"many"aspects"of"the" modern"world,"especially"the"entertainment"industry,"unfortunately"lack."" Because" the" truth" is," the" world" can" be" a" violent," raunchy," nervec wracking," genuinely" disturbing" place." " Not" everyone" overcomes" a" lifec threatening"illness.""The"good"guy"doesn’t"always"get"the"girl"in"the"end."" Some" hero" won’t" always" swoop" down" out" of" nowhere" to" save" the" day."" And" the" best" ruler" might" not" always" be" the" stereotypical" macho," male" warmonger." " Which" brings" me" back" to" my" initial" statement." " I" believe" that"Daenerys"Targaryen"should"rule"from"the"Iron"Throne." To"me,"Daenerys"represents"the"quintessential"leader.""She"cares" immensely" for" her" people," has" no" tolerance" for" injustice" or" oppression," and" takes" into" consideration" the" counsel"of" her" advisors" without" letting" them"dictate"her"decisions.""The"fact"that"she,"a"woman,"has"achieved"so" much"in"a"malecdominated"world"only"makes"me"love"her"more.""And"let" me" make" myself" clear" that" this" isn’t" reverse" sexism." " I" am" merely" glad" that" a" female" character" is" finally" being" given" a" chance" to" be" seen" as" strong" and" courageous" in" her" own" right." " And" she" also" has" dragons," so" that’s"pretty"flaming"awesome."" In" short" (though" the" time" it" takes" George" R." R." Martin" to" write" one" of" his" Song/ of/ Ice/ and/ Fire" books" is" anything" but)," I" believe" that" everyone" has" the" power" to" lead" as" Daenerys" does." " She" fights" against" incredible" odds" and" always" remains" true" to" what" she" knows" is" right."" After" she" breaks" free" from" her" abusive" older" brother," she" never" lets" anyone" push" her" or" others" around." " I" believe" that" everyone" should" find" whatever" it" is" that" they’re" passionate" about," whatever" excites" you" and" makes" you" want" to" become" the" best" version" of" yourself." " Follow" that" passion" wherever" it" leads" and" trust" that" if" it" truly" makes" you" happy," it" will"never"steer"you"wrong.""As"Daenerys"says,"“Leading"means"making" your"own"decisions.”""So"This"I"Believe:"I"believe"."."."in"you."" " "

219"


MAY&1,&2015& / Darby/Johnson/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ " " Last"year"I"made"a"promise"to"myself"that"I"would"give"a"This"I" Believe"speech"to"push"myself"far"out"of"my"comfort"zone.""But"I"did"not" want" to" give" a" generic" speech." " Regardless" of" what" I" say," I" know" it" will" only" be" remembered" until" you" step" back" out" on" Brick" Row." " So" why" should"you"listen?""What"makes"me"unique?""In"my"opinion,"not"a"whole" lot.""I"am"no"Ivy"League"basketball"recruit"or"future"Cornell"soccer"star."" Nor," I" should" add," am" I" smart" enough" to" get" into" Harvard." " I" have" typically"flown"under"the"radar"in"most"aspects"of"my"high"school"career."" But"when"it"comes"to"the"one"of"the"most"hated"questions"among"seniors," “What" are" you" going" to" study" in" college?,”" I" have" a" unique" answer:" meteorology.""It’s"not"typical"to"hear"an"eighteencyearcold"claim"to"want" to" be" a" meteorologist," but" it" is" something" that" has" interested" me" from" a" young"age." Meteorology" is" not" exactly" your" average" high" school" class." " I" decided"to"attend"the"Penn"State"Advanced"Weather"Camp.""I"chose"to"do" so" in" order" to" see" whether" or" not" I" would" actually" want" to" pursue" this" field"of"study.""So,"for"once"in"my"life,"I"was"surrounded"by"people"whom" genuinely"shared"my"passion"for"weather.""I"was"with"roughly"thirty"kids" from" all" over" the" country." " Their" home" states" ranged" from" California" to" New"York—and"even"one"kid"from"Wadsworth,"which"is"forty"minutes" south"of"Hudson.""I"had"the"chance"to"work"sidecbycside"with"some"of"the" top"meteorology"professors"in"the"country,"(Penn"State"is"ranked"number" two" in" the" country" in" terms" of" meteorology" programs)" as" well" as" use" state" of" the" art" equipment" to" learn" how" weather" works" and" to" predict" future"weather." When"I"returned"to"school"junior"year,"my"goal"was"to"find"some" way"to"incorporate"meteorology"into"my"studies"at"Reserve.""I"had"made" mention" of" this" to" my" advisor," Dr." Pethel," and" she" led" me" to" a" teacher" that" had" similar" interests:" Mrs." Rinehart." " Mrs." Rinehart" and" I" began" working"on"a"project"together.""We"put"together"a"proposal"for"the"Dad’s" Club" and" Pioneer" Women’s" Association" for" a" weather" station" to" be" located"on"campus.""Our"school"currently"gets"its"weather"from"a"station" in"Twinsburg.""So,"our"goal"was"to"be"able"to"collect"weather"data"for"our"

220"


campus"on"our"campus.""This"station"has"been"up"and"running"all"year"in" Mrs."Rinehart’s"backyard.""There"is"even"an"app"for"it.""If"you"go"to"the" App"Store"and"search"Davis"Weather,"a"weatherlink"app"will"come"up.""If" you" download" that," and" search" for" WRAweather" within" the" app," you" will"find"our"station."" Hopefully," Mr." Burner" will" take" no" offense" in" me" telling" the" following" story." " I" gave" a" similar" speech" to" this" one" at" a" recent" Open" House" for" prospective" students," describing" my" weather" station" and" explaining" the" opportunities" Reserve" can" provide." " Upon" finishing," Mr." Burner" turned" to" me" and" said," “Wow," Darby," that’s" really" awesome." " I" had"no"idea"that"was"on"our"campus.”""That’s"when"I"realized"the"lack"of" knowledge"people"had"about"my"project."(Unless,"of"course,"you"happen" to"take"AP"Environmental"Science.)""But"now,"having"made"this"speech," my" weather" station" will" be" recognized" as" the" mark" I" will" leave" on" Reserve.""So,"This"I"Believe:"Reserve"makes"an"impact"on"everyone’s"lives" who" attend" it," but" not" everyone" makes" an" impact" on" Reserve." " So," I" challenge"all"of"you"to"find"a"way"to"leave"your"mark"on"Reserve"before" you"leave.""(A"positive"mark!)"

&

&

221"


MAY&1,&2015& / Catherine/(Ketty)/Nolan/ Senior/ Winnetka,/Illinois/ / " As"I"was"going"through"the"writing"process"for"this"speech,"there" were"plenty"of"people"who"wanted"to"tell"me"what"not"to"do.""There"was" even"someone"who"said"I"shouldn’t"talk"about"my"writing"process,"which" is" too" bad" because" that’s" exactly" what" I’m" going" to" do." " After" listening" endlessly"to"people"telling"me"all"the"things"I"shouldnqt"say,"I"started"to" grow"anxious.""I"had"waited"for"this"moment"for"four"years,"and"I"didn’t" want" to" waste" it" on" something" that" people" wouldn’t" like." " What" if" the" freshmen" didn’t" appreciate" it?" " What" if" the" seniors" thought" it" was" too" cliché?" " What" if" teachers" didn’t" think" it" was" polished" enough?" " What" if" nobody"was"inspired?" Finally,"the"time"came"where"I"had"no"choice"but"to"sit"down"and" write.""So"I"wrote"one"speech"."."."and"then"another"."."."and"then"another."" I" probably" wrote" more" drafts" of" this" speech" than" I" did" for" my" Modern" World" History" paper" and" my" Gatsby" paper" combined." " I" kept" writing" and"rewriting"because"I"wanted"to"earn"these"three"to"five"minutes"before" you"all.""Pretty"soon,"however,"after"considering"everyone’s"suggestions," I" have" concluded" that" I" am" presenting" this" speech" today" as" much" for" myself"as"I"am"for"you.""This"I"Believe"speeches"are"a"senior’s"chance"to" get" up" here" and" share" with" you" a" belief" that" they" live" by." " And" though" you" have" already" heard" dozens" of" other" people’s," I" want" to" share" my" own"personal"beliefs"with"you." Many"of"you"will"remember"an"incident"that"occurred"last"spring" when" I" went" to" donate" blood" for" the" first" time" at" a" Red" Cross" drive" hosted"in"the"MAC.""I"was"nervous,"of"course,"because"I"don’t"really"like" needles," and" the" whole" bloodcgiving" thing" seemed" kind" of" painful" and" gross.""But"I"went"anyway"because"I"decided"that"if"there"was"a"way"for" me" to" save" up" to" three" lives" in" just" a" few" minutes," I" had" to" take" that" opportunity." After" about" fortycfive" minutes," I" was" finally" midcdonation," and" oh" my" god," my" arm" hurt" a" ton." " I" had" no" idea" that" my" arm" was" not" supposed" to" hurt" so" much" because," like" I" have" said," it" was" my" first" donation." " Finally," five" excruciating" minutes" later," I" sat" up," drank" some" juice,"and"left.""Not"so"bad,"right?"

222"


Wrong." Later" that" night" I" ran" horrified" into" the" common" room" asking" anyone"I"could"find"if"my"right"arm"looked"significantly"larger"than"my" leftâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which" it" did!" " The" next" morning," I" awoke" to" a" bruise" about" four" inches"long,"which"over"the"course"of"the"next"three"weeks"would"expand" to" cover" the" entire" underside" of" my" forearm." " My" coaches," my" friends," the" trainers," the" nurses," they" were" all" freaked" out" at" first," but" they" assured"me"that"even"though"it"was"quite"unpleasant"to"look"at,"in"time," the" bruise" would" heal" itself," though" Mr." Peveich" did" repeatedly" tell" me" that"my"arm"looked"like"a"piece"of"raw"meat." Over" and" over" people" asked" me" whether" or" not" I" would" ever" donate" again." " I" responded" in" the" only" way" I" thought" I" should." " Of" course,"I"would!""People"told"me"I"was"crazy,"and"several"of"my"friends" and"teachers"tried"to"get"me"to"stop"donating.""But"I"refused"to"heed"their" advice," and" eight" weeks" later," I" was" back" at" the" closest" blood" drive" I" could" find." I" probably" should" say" that" my" second" through" sixth" donations" were" all" about" the" opportunity" to" save" lives." " But" I" would" be" lying"if"I"said"that"this"was"the"only"reason.""The"second"time"was"mostly" for" me." " In" a" weird" way," I" felt" that" I" needed" to" prove" to" myself" I" was" strong"enough"to"go"againâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;even"though"that"first"time"had"clearly"been"" ."."."not"so"great.""That"single"act"may"have"been"small,"but"in"my"eyes,"it" was"the"kind"of"moment"that"revealed"my"inner"character.""That"second" donation" meant" a" lifetime" of" second" donations," of" perseverance," of" the" drive"to"help"others,"of"kindness.""I"canqt"stop"donating"at"the"request"of" friends," teachers" and" my" parents"because"spending"an"hour"every"eight" weeks" at" the" Red" Cross" is" a" small" way" to" remind" myself" to" always" be" sympathetic"to"others,"to"always"be"kind"and"compassionate,"and"to"take" the" time" when" I" can" to" change" my" world" for" the" better" by" putting" the" needs"of"others"first,"because"that"is"the"kind"of"person"I"want"to"be." So"This"I"Believe:"Be"the"best"version"of"yourself,"the"person"you" want" to" be." " Not" the" person" that" your" parents," or" your" friends," or" even" your" teachers" try" to" make" you," because" ultimately" you" are" the" person" living" your" life." " The" good" times," the" hard" timesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;you" are" the" one" experiencing" all" of" those" moments." " Take" pride" in" your" own" successes" and" full" responsibility" for" your" mistakes." " Spending" your" whole" life" trying"to"please"others"or"change"yourself"for"others"is"exhausting.""Give" yourself"a"break"and"just"be"happy"with"who"you"are.""Search"for"ways"to" better"yourself"and"your"community.""Our"generation"is"going"to"become" the" leaders," the" great" thinkers," and" the" voices" of" the" future;" if" we" all" strive" to" be" our" best," happiest" selves" despite" what" other" people" think," then"somewhere"along"the"way"weqll"stumble"upon"success."

223"

"


MAY&4,&2015& / Niko/Sawan/ Senior/ Akron,/Ohio/ / " Ever" since" freshman" year" I" promised" myself" that" I" would" play" piano" at" one" Morning" Meeting." " Well," really," it" was" a" promise" made" to" my" dad," an" alumnus" of" Western" Reserve" himself." " Of" course," as" a" freshman,"graduation"seemed"so"far"off"in"the"distance"that"the"thought" of"playing"never"really"occurred"to"me.""However,"after"four"quick"years" here"I"am"on"the"last"possible"day"to"fulfill"my"promise.""Truthfully,"Iqve" never"really"liked"playing"in"front"of"people.""As"a"child,"I"actually"feared" Christmas"Eve"and"the"inevitable"recital"in"front"of"all"forty"Sawans"that" came"with"it.""You"may"find"this"hard"to"believe,"but"I"played"in"front"of" Zeino" for" the" first" time" only" a" few" weeks" ago." " It’s" not" that" I" don’t" like" playing.""I"have"just"always"thought"of"piano"as"more"of"an"independent" hobby." " Though" I" probably" should" have" embraced" the" endless" lessons" and" constant" pushing" of" my" father," instead," I" have" kept" my" piano" playing" hidden" from" almost" everyone." " Nevertheless," I" have" come" to" realize" that" my" dad" did" not" put" me" through" all" those" embarrassing" recitals"and"family"reunions"as"punishment"but"rather"because"he"knew" that" playing" the" piano" is" not" something" that" should" be" kept" to" oneself."" I’m"not"sure"how"“This"I"Believe”cy"of"a"speech"this"is,"but"if"you"don’t" mind," I" would" like" to" play" for" all" of" you" now" and" by" doing" so" demonstrate" that" I" have" at" least" begun" to" grasp" my" father’s" intentions."" (He’s" right" up" there" in" the" balcony" if" you" want" to" say" hi!)" " So," without" further"ado,"here"is"Chopin’s"“Raindrop”"prelude." " " " " " " " " " [Editor’s" note:" Niko" went" on" to" play" Chopin’s" Prelude" Op." 28," No." 15," and" did" so" displaying"a"great"deal"of"technical"skill"and"sensitive"musicality.""His"father"was,"no"doubt," quite"proud.]" "

224"


MAY&8,&2015& / Irina/Kopyeva/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / " Whenever" I" go" skiing" and" inevitably" freeze," my" dad’s" only" response," instead" of" rationally" suggesting" we" go" inside," is" to" energetically"begin"hiking"up"the"hill,"with"his"skis"still"strapped"in"and" poles"in"hand.""“Let’s"warm"up!”"he"shouts.""“Nothing"like"some"good"ol’" crossccountry!""Makes"me"think"of"my"childhood"back"in"Russia!”""Then" he"always"launches"into"a"lecture"about"how"Americans"may"think"this"is" cold," but" back" home," some" people" go" swimming" in" this" weather" as" a" traditional"way"to"stay"healthy.""As"I"look"up"at"the"five"hundredcfoot"rise" in"elevation,"I"whimper,"all"the"while"thinking"mournfully"of"my"deathly" white"toes:"“No,"it’s"okay"."."."I"think"I’ve"warmed"up"a"bit"."."."”" This"is"how"I’ve"gotten"frostbite"three"times"within"the"past"three" years.""It’s"a"miracle"my"nerve"endings"aren’t"completely"damaged.""It’s" also"a"wonder"my"nerve"axons"are"only"slightly"frayed"from"all"the"tugc ofcwars"between"my"family"and"me."" As" a" child," I’ll" concede," I" was" stubborn." " Stubborn" to" learn" new" skills,"stubborn"to"change"habits.""The"common"idiom"my"grandma"likes" to"use,"“You"can’t"teach"an"old"dog"new"tricks,”"applied"to"me,"except"I" was"still"a"puppy.""Any"activity"that"involved"being"wrenched"away"from" my" wellcworn" stuffed" animals" spurred" sloppy," syrupy" snot" and" blubbering,"ragged"breaths"as"I"filled"my"lungs"enough"to"screech:"“But"I" don’t" need" to" learn" the" alphabet!”" " My" pudgy" legs" would" carry" me" past" my" grandma’s" outstretched" arms" and" into" the" hallway" where" I" would" start"my"tencmeter"sprint"to"hide"in"my"father’s"closet."" The" same" occurred" when" my" parents" decided" I" should" learn" to" swim"at"the"local"YMCA.""For"two"years,"as"the"other"children"advanced" from" water" wings" to" gliding" like" frogs" in" the" deep" end," I" would" not" budge" from" the" wading" pool." " Instead," I" watched" my" comrades" and" silently" resolved" that" I" despised" water" and" would" never" abandon" my" sympathizing"teddy"bears.""Frustrated,"my"father"and"grandmother"took" matters"into"their"own"hands."" I" soon" found" myself" shivering" on" the" wet" concrete" of" the" neighborhood"swimming"pool,"my"fish"goggles"plastered"to"my"face.""My" dad" was" standing" in" the" water," ready" to" catch" me," and" my" grandma"

225"


behind" me," encouraging" me" to" take" the" leap" of" faith." " But/ no," I" was" not" jumping"that"day."" My" face" reddened," I" opened" my" mouth," disregarding" my" family’s" horrified" looks:" “Cпасите" полиция!”" " Like" most" of" you" here" this"morning,"barring,"I"believe,"three"of"you,"no"one"had"any"idea"what"I" was"screaming,"much"less"cared"to"know.""So,"with"no"one"to"rescue"this" damsel" in" distress," I" switched" to" the" more" practical" language:" “CALL" THE" POLICE!”" " I" didn’t" have" a" chance" to" see" anyone’s" reaction," for" the" next" moment," splash!," and" my" world" turned" blue" with" chlorine" and" salt" and"full"of"legs"and"colorful"swimsuits.""Glassy"bubbles"raced"past"me"as" I" surveyed" my" surroundings." " Suddenly," I" was" surfacing," rising" to" the" light,"gasping.""I"could"breath.""I"was"alive.""I"clambered"out"of"the"water," crotchety" and" goosebumpy." " My" grandma" stood" poised" to" push" me" in" again," but" I" held" out" one" hand" to" stop" her" and" uttered," “Let" me.”" " I" cannonballed" in," shrieking" with" increasing" delight" as" my" dad" blinked" away"the"splashes,"utterly"surprised"at"the"radical"transformation.""" Most" of" my" current" favorite" activities" have" arisen" from" similar" depths.""I"hated"them"because"my"parents"always"had"to"force"me"to"do" them.""Sometimes"they"push"too"hard"and"relentlessly:"they"pester"me"to" the" point" of" tears" about" nitpicky" details," and" their" unwillingness" to" let" something" like" the" cold" deter" a" fun" vacation" only" irritates" and," to" a" certain" degree," permanently" damages" me." " I" still" havenqt" regained" full" feeling"from"the"last"trip." "Yet,"usually,"ten"years"later,"I"thank"them"for" what" they’ve" done." " There’s" a" reason" I" enjoy" exploring" art" museums," listening"to"classical"music,"or"reading"novels—at"one"point,"my"parents" dragged" me" to" see" a" Monet" exhibit," or" sat" me" down" in" the" car" and" pressed"play"on"the"Beethoven"CD"when"I"only"wanted"to"sleep.""They’re" pushers:" they" get" what" they" want" done," whether" or" not" I" like" it."" That’s" how"their"life"has"played"out,"and"that’s"sure"as"hell"how"their"offspring’s" will"as"well."" As"I’ve"grown"older,"I’ve"realized"that"sooner,"rather"than"later," I’m" going" to" have" no" one" behind" me" to" move" me" along." " Outside" the" realm" of" my" household," I’ve" started" taking" more" risks" as" a" duty" to" myself." " All" through" elementary" and" middle" school," I" never" raised" my" voice" above" a" whisper." " My" voice" would" crack," shake," and" tremble" whenever" I’d" have" to" speak" in" front" of" more" than" two" people" (I’m" not" sure" how" I’m" doing" this" now);" I’d" forget" simple" words" and" their" synonyms"or"even"whole"thoughts.""Floundering"in"my"overly"rehearsed" speeches," drowning" in" the" vowels," I’d" peter" out," the" last" syllable" ensnared" in" my" taste" buds" as" its" bitterness" mocked" me." " Presentations?"" Forget"it.""Even"speaking"in"class"was"a"nightmare.""In"eighth"grade,"my"

226"


pewcmate" turned" to" me" as" we" sang" the" Alma" Mater" and" hissed" that" I" reminded"her"of"a"dying"walrus"when"I"hit"the"higher"notes.""I"clammed" up—I"mouthed"the"words"for"the"rest"of"the"year"and"didn’t"dare"try"out" for"the"8th"grade"musical,"in"which"everyone"participated.""I’m"pretty"sure" I" didn’t" sing" Reserve’s" Alma" Mater" until" my" junior" year," when" I" heard" Evan" Morgan’s" lovely" rendition" (even" though" Iqm" sure" he" was" joking" around)"and"realized"that"absolutely"no"one"cared"how"well"I"sang"since"I" wasn’t"doing"it"in"front"of"anyone.""Zoe"and"Brett"are"also"probably"just" too" nice" to" ever" say" something" like" that." " But," I" chose" to" camouflage" myself" in" the" shadows." " I" liked" their" warm" comfort," their" whispers" to" stay"a"while." Entering"high"school,"I"left"behind"my"friends"and"all"that"I"clung" to." " I" cowered" in" the" hard" wooden" chairs" and" dipped" my" head," hoping" the" teacher" wouldn’t" call" on" me" to" answer" a" history" question." " But" slowly,"I"decided"I’d"had"enough"of"my"cowardice.""I"raised"my"hand,"if" timidly."" Since"then,"I’ve"journeyed"a"long"way.""I"may"not"be"an"actress"or" sprightly" debater," a" singer" or" even" Cleveland’s" next" mayor," but" I" feel" stronger"and"in"control"of"my"next"steps.""Maybe"I’m"not"ready"to"admit"I" enjoy"public"speaking,"but"someday"I’ll"feel"comfortable"enough"to"like"it" just" a" tiny" bit." " For" now," I’m" still" the" relic" of" a" grumpy" child" who" complains" about" everything." " I’m" still" emerging" from" the" shadows," the" backs" of" classrooms," the" cracked" and" hardened" beach" chairs" around" pools" where" I" sat" with" my" arms" crossed," but" I’m" headed" towards" my" future" through" my" parents’" pushing" and" shoving," and" by" my" own" pulling." So,"This"I"Believe:"We"each"need"someone"to"help"us"on"our"way," whether" it" be" teachers," friends," or" resolute" Russian" parents," so" that" we" can"set"that"ball"that"is"our"life"in"motion." "

&

&

227"


MAY&8,&2015& / Adam/Ramirez/ Senior/ Fairlawn,/Ohio/ / " What" makes" Western" Reserve" Academy" different?" " For" all" its" storied" history" and" traditions," what" makes" this" place" germane" to" our" modern"age?""In"a"time"when"any"math"equation,"grammar"rule,"or"even" the"analysis"of"most"texts"can"be"accessed"on"a"smartphone,"computer,"or" through" the" ownership" of" a" library" card," What" makes" this" place" and" its" methodology"of"learning"different,"and"better,"from"being"selfctaught?""I" think"it"is"the"one"word"that"I"find"in"myself"when"I"question"what"makes" this"school"a"worthwhile"experience:"community."""The"Western"Reserve" Academy" community," our" sort" of" collective" psyche," has" the" ability" to" make" or" break" the" school" year," as" well" as" the" amount" of" enjoyment," learning," and" personal" growth" we" as" students" can" draw" from" our" run" here—whether" it" be" eight" short" weeks" or" four" long" years." "A" cohesive" and"open"student"body"is"important"for"the"efficacy"of"the"events"that"dot" the" calendar" of" the" academic" year." " At" our" best," this" community" is" harmonious—a" quality" commented" upon" with" such" veracity" by" Frank" Underwood.""In"a"speech"at"his"alma"mater,"he"said,"“Harmony,"thatqs"the" word"that"stuck"in"my"mind.""Harmony.""Itqs"not"about"whatqs"lasting"or" permanent.""It"is"about"individual"voices"coming"together"for"a"moment," and"that"moment"lasts"the"length"of"a"breath.""Thatqs"what"I"think"about" my"time"here.”"""And"that"sort"of"togetherness"has"happened"for"us,"a"few" times." "Sometimes," cliquishness," and" the" immaturity" of" the" moment," divide" us," thus" damaging" our" collective" psyche," which" can" stunt" many" areas"of"life"at"this"school.""The"biggest"threat"to"our"collective"psyche"or" “overcsoul”" as" Emerson" might" put" it." is" judgment." "We" have" all" been" in" classes," more" noticeably" in" the" humanities" due" to" the" dependence" on" discussion" tethered" to" those" disciplines," where" conversation" is" dominated" by" a" few" people" or" not" as" relevant" and" inquisitive" as" necessary" for" learning" and" understanding" or" even" more" unfortunately" when"a"“stupid”"person"gives"a"presentation"and"the"“smart”"kids"make" jovial" eye" contact" at" every" mispronounced" syllable." "These" errors" in" perception" are" damaging" to" learning," as" everyone" has" a" lesson" to" teach" us." " They" are" also" damaging" to" those" marginalized" as" lesser" intellectual" beings.""This" problem" derives" from" a" breakdown" in" the" cohesion" of" the"

228"


group" dynamic" and" creates" a" false" sense" of" inferiority" in" some" and" superiority"for"others.""On"the"other"hand,"some"classes"gel"well"together" and" lead" discussions" reminiscent" of" a" Socratic" seminar" or" Golden" Age" salon" in" France." "While" in" my" experience" more" of" the" latter" type" of" conversation" has" occurred" in" North" with" TJ" and" Rand," I" have" no" doubt" that"if"you"see"the"complexity"and"depth"of"others"as"equal"to"your"own," you"will"be"a"richer"person"for"it.""" ""The" third" pillar" of" my" argument" rests" on" a" very" personal" anecdote" about" one" of" my" best" friends," and" favorite" people," Andrew" Burchfield." "A" few" weeks" after" he" left" the" school" I" was" browsing" Facebook"and"meandered"to"his"page.""I"saw"that"we"only"shared"eleven" mutual"friendsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;eight"of"whom"attend"Reserve.""That"means"during"his" time"here"he"only"connected"with"eight"people"at"Reserve"well"enough"to" be" friends" with" them" on" Facebook." "This" community" has" the" power" to" include"people"and"bring"out"the"absolute"best"in"them,"but"when"we"fail" in" our" duty" as" a" student" body" to" create" a" open" and" welcoming" community," we" leave" people" feeling" excluded," trapped," and" stuck" in" a" cycle" that" perpetuates" ill" will," nonccohesion," and" risky" choices." "When" Andrew" got" to" this" school," he" was" written" off" by" many" teachers" and" students,"including"me"and"the"other"residents"of"North"Hall,"simply"for" being" ignorant" to" the" arbitrary" and" capricious" social" standards" of" this" school.""As"Trevor"said"in"his"poetry"reading"a"week"ago,"â&#x20AC;&#x153;All"people"are" variations" of" you.â&#x20AC;?" " As" I" interpret" that," it" means" everyone" is" simply" a" version"of"you"raised"under"different"circumstances.""" That"is"why"I"challenge"all"of"you"to"not"only"tolerate,"but"to"try" and"understand"and"accept,"those"who"differ"from"you.""While"it"would" be" easier" to" sit" drenched" in" the" arid" validation" that" comes" with" the" uniforms"we"dawn"and"the"halls"we"share."" This"I"Believe:"The"community"of"Western"Reserve"Academy"has" the" power" to" include" people" in" a" cohesive" environment" that" brings" out" the"best"in"every"one"and"that"we"have"the"responsibility"to"refrain"from" sitting"in"judgment.""

229"


MAY&11,&2015" / Connor/Semple/ Senior/ Hudson,/Ohio/ / " I"have"wanted"to"become"a"lawyer"for"as"long"as"I"can"remember."" My"father,"who"has"been"a"practicing"attorney"for"nearly"three"decades," undoubtedly" provided" my" initial" spark" of" inspiration" for" a" legal" career."" Because" of" my" dad," I" spent" the" first" eighteen" years" of" my" life" heavily" exposed"to"the"law.""I"remember"visiting"him"regularly"in"his"office"as"a" small"child,"interrupting"conference"calls"and"memo"composition.""It"was" not" unusual" for" me" to" accompany" him" on" his" travels" to" courthouses" scattered"across"northeast"Ohio.""I"still"occasionally"make"such"trips"with" him"today." Though" my" understanding" of" the" court" system" has" certainly" undergone" a" metamorphosis" since" my" younger" days," my" fascination" with"it"has"not"waned."As"I"grew"older,"I"began"to"pursue"my"interest"in" the" law" more" seriously." I" participated" in" a" Mock" Trial" program" and" enrolled" in" classes" that" focused" on" governance." The" most" influential" experience" in" my" legal" development," however," came" in" the" form" of" an" internship" that" I" worked" for" the" Summit" County" Common" Pleas" Court" the"summer"after"my"sophomore"year."Here,"I"was"given"the"opportunity" to"see"what"life"in"a"courthouse"was"really"like."" One"case"in"particular"from"that"summer"has"remained"with"me."" The"trial"concerned"a"man"who"was"accused"of"orchestrating"the"armed" robbery" of" a" private" residence." " This" was" the" first" trial" I" had" witnessed," and," having" heard" all" the" facts" of" the" case," I" expected" the" defendant" to" take"the"form"of"a"grizzled,"muscular"gangster,"with"gang"tattoos"and"an" angry"disposition.""I"couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t"have"been"more"wrong.""When"the"accused" was" led" into" the" courtroom," I" was" surprised" to" see" a" cleancshaven" man" wearing"glasses"and"a"blue"polo"shirt.""He"was"about"my"height"and"had" permanently"calm"eyes." I" was" thrown" from" my" preconceptions," and" as" the" case" progressed," I" watched" the" man" with" growing" interest." He" spoke" respectfully" to" all" of" the" court" employees," including" me." " He" seemed" to" have"a"relaxed"personality,"and"a"smile"was"never"far"from"his"lips.""He" seemed" more" like" the" type" of" man" who" you" might" expect" to" find" coaching"his"sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s"basketball"team"or"working"behind"the"Apple"Genius"

230"


Bar." " It" was" hard" to" imagine" him" threatening" someone" at" gunpoint" for" money."" So" why" was" he" on" trial?" " How" did" he" end" up" in" the" back" of" a" police" cruiser?" " It" is" easy" for" us," sheltered" by" the" red" brick" walls" of" Western" Reserve" Academy," to" think" of" criminals" as" worthless" street" thugs,"an"almost"alien"species.""But"the"man"before"me"was"just"another" human"being."" Yet"he"was"a"human"being"who"had,"for"one"reason"or"another," become" entangled" in" a" terrible" situation." " When" the" guilty" verdict" was" read," I" watched" the" man’s" wife" silently" cry" as" her" husband" was" handcuffed" and" led" away." " Her" family" was" clearly" impoverished," and" I" could" not" help" but" wonder" whether" her" household" would" be" able" to" endure"his"absence.""This"was"not"an"episode"of"Judge/Judy,"and"there"was" nothing"entertaining"about"what"was"happening"before"me.""These"were" real"tears,"real"people,"and"real"lives."" And"this"man"was"just"one"of"many.""The"most"valuable"aspect"of" my"time"in"the"courts"was"that"it"unveiled"human"suffering"that"I"had"not" previously" observed." " This" deeper," human" element" had" been" missing" from" my" classroom" encounters" with" the" law." " The" man" that" I" watched" shuffle"away"towards"a"life"behind"bars"didn’t"wake"up"one"morning"and" desire" a" life" of" crime." " He" was" a" normal" guy," who" probably" liked" watching" sports" and" reading" books," drank" Coke" instead" of" Pepsi," and" perhaps" hoped" to" visit" Italy" one" day." " He," like" us," had" hopes," dreams," and"goals.""But"something"happened"along"the"way"to"derail"them."" So"what’s"my"point?""The"objective"of"my"speech"is"not"to"make" excuses" for" convicted" criminals." In" fact," this" speech" really" isn’t" even" about" the" law." " Rather," I" stand" here" today" to" remind" all" of" us" of" something"that"is"so"easy"to"forget.""At"WRA,"we"are"the"fortunate"ones:" the"country’s"future"lawyers,"and"doctors,"and"writers.""We"have"the"gift" of"an"incredible"education,"of"supportive"families,"of"access"to"almost"any" material" possession" that" we" may" desire." " But" for" every" one" of" us," there" are"many"others"for"whom"the"life"narrative"is"quite"different.""Children" who"will"never"be"pushed"to"learn,"who"will"never"feel"the"love"of"their" parents,"who"will"never"be"able"to"count"on"a"warm"dinner."" It"isn’t"fair,"but"it"is"reality.""For"some"reason,"a"twist"of"fate,"we" are"here,"and"they"are"not.""There"was"a"grand"cosmic"lottery,"and"we"just" happened" to" be" fortunate" enough" to" win" it." " The" tables" could" just" as" easily"have"turned.""And"so,"as"we"leave"the"Chapel"today"and"go"back"to" our"daily"lives,"worrying"about"math"exams"and"prom"proposals,"I"have" just" one" request." " Don’t" forget" the" downtrodden," the" unfortunate," the" havecnots,"for"you"yourself"could"easily"have"been"among"them.""Before"

231"


you"judge"a"beggar"on"the"street"or"a"burglar"behind"bars,"remember"that" you" will" never" truly" know" their" stories." " All" you" can" know" is" that" they" are"just"as"human"as"you"and"I." " "

232"


"

"

233"


"

234"


VIEWPOINTS*SURVEY:"SPRING"2015" $

KEY* $ Day$Student$ $ Boarding$Student$ $ Faculty/Staff$ $ $

Male$ $

Female$ $ Non;binary$

$ $ Freshman$ $$ Sophomore$ $ Junior$ $ Senior$ $

T

$ TOTAL$

235$ $


<"As"a"Citizen"of"the"World">" To"which"major"political"party/category"do"you"either"belong"or"most" closely"associate"yourself?" $ Democrat) $ 14%$ 31%$ 33%$ 28%$ 24%$ 46%$ $ ) ) 28%$ 20%$ 19%$ 34%$ 31%$ ) Republican) $ 0%$ 24%$ 26%$ 25%$ 21%$ 27%$ $ ) ) ) 29%$ 24%$ 18%$ 18%$ 25%$ ) Independent) $ 11%$ 12%$ 8%$ 13%$ 14%$ 29%$ $ ) " " 11%$ 12%$ 13%$ 8%$ 13%$ $ Libertarian) $ 43%$ 8%$ 4%$ 7%$ 9%$ 4%$ $ ) ) ) 6%$ 3%$ 6%$ 17%$ $7%$ ) Other) $ 0%$ 2%$ 2%$ 1%$ 2%$ 4%$ $ ) ) ) 0%$ $2%$ 3%$ 2%$ 2%$ ) Undecided) $ 14%$ 24%$ 24%$ 30%$ %31$ 5%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) ) 19%$ $23%$ 36%$ 46%$ 25%$

♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ %

236$

T

T

T

T

T

T


) Which"of"the"following"best"describes"your"level"of"political" involvement"and/or"understanding?" $ I’m)extremely)interested)in)the)world)of)politics)and)current)social)issues,)and)I) make)sure)to)update)myself)daily)on)national)news)and)current)events.)) $ 21%$ 13%$ 0%$ 11%$ 12%$ 28%$ $ ) ) 15%$ 6%$ 13%$ 13%$ $16%$ ) ) I’m)quite)interested)in)political)issues,)and)I)try)to)read)a)news)source)whenever) I)have)the)time.) $ 29%$ 31%$ 50%$ 29%$ 37%$ 35%$ $ ) ) $36%$ 23%$ 20%$ 38%$ 37%$ ) ) I’m)somewhat)interested)in)political)issues,)but)I)only)know)about)what)I)hear) around)campus)or)at)home.)) $ 71%$ 32%$ 38%$ 47%$ 43%$ 14%$ $ ) ) $36%$ 33%$ 58%$ 47%$ 39%$ ) ) I)don’t)care)about,)nor)do)I)pay)much)attention)to,)political)issues)at)all.) $ 8%$ 13%$ 0%$ 13%$ 12%$ 6%$ $ ) ) 28%$ 12%$ 2%$ 11%$ $11%$ ) ) I)would)prefer)to)keep)my)answer)to)this)question)private.) $ 0%$ 1%$ 1%$ 0%$ 2%$ 1%$ $ ) ) $1%$ 0%$ 4%$ 0%$ 0%$

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

T

T

237$ $


What"is"your"principal"source"for"news"and"information"on"current" events?" $ Print)Newspaper(s)) ) $ 4%$ 2%$ 12%$ 0%$ 5%$ 5%$ $ ) ) $5%$ 5%$ 2%$ 0%$ 3%$ ) ) Print)magazine(s)/Journal(s))(e.g.)Time)The)Atlantic,)The)New)Yorker,)etc.)) ) $ 0%$ 3%$ 6%$ 5%$ 4%$ 5%$ $ ) ) $5%$ 8%$ 0%$ 8%$ 3%$ ) ) Online)publications) ) $ 29%$ 47%$ 34%$ 25%$ 48%$ 44%$ $ ) ) 26%$ 28%$ 49%$ 47%$ $40%$ ) ) TV/Radio) ) $ 15%$ 19%$ 0%$ 23%$ 4%$ 28%$ $ ) ) 18%$ 16%$ 4%$ 11%$ $16%$ ) )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

238$

T

T

T

T


Social)media)(e.g.)Facebook,)Twitter,)etc.)) ) $ 29%$ 26%$ 9%$ $ ) ) 23%$ 32%$ 30%$ " " Family,)friends,)teachers) ) $ 14%$ 15%$ 3%$ $ ) ) 21%$ 22%$ 9%$ ) ) None)of)the)above) ) $ %0$ 1%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ " " "

29%$

♂ 22%$ ♀ 22%$ %

24%$

43%$

♂ 7%$ ♀ 14%$ %

10%$

0%$

T $22%$

T $11%$

♂ 1%$ ♀ 0%$ %

2%$

T $0%$

239$ $


How"often"do"you"engage"in"a"conversation"that"covers"politics"or" current"events?" $ Very)often,)at)least)2)or)3)times)a)week) $ 29%$ 36%$ 23%$ 35%$ 24%$ 31%$ $ ) ) $29%$ 28%$ 20%$ 30%$ 34%$ ) ) Regularly,)once)a)week)or)so) $ 30%$ 35%$ 29%$ 31%$ 33%$ 33%$ $ ) ) 26%$ 36%$ 32%$ 34%$ $33%$ ) ) Occasionally,)once)every)few)weeks) $ 29%$ 22%$ 28%$ 26%$ 22%$ 28%$ $ ) ) $26%$ 28%$ 28%$ 21%$ 26%$ ) ) Only)very)rarely) $ 0%$ 8%$ 8%$ 7%$ 7%$ 10%$ $ ) ) ) 13%$ ) ) ) 3%$ 6%$ 9%$ $8%$ ) ) Almost)never) $ 14%$ 4%$ 5%$ 5%$ 7%$ 0%$ $ ) ) $5%$ 5%$ 10%$ 8%$ 3%$ " " " "

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

240$

T

T

T

T

T


Which"of"the"following"statements"best"matches"how"you"feel"Barack" Obama"has"performed"as"President"of"the"United"States?" $ Given)the)inherent)difficulties)of)the)position,)I)believe)he)has)done)a)good)job.) $ 31%$ 43%$ 29%$ 24%$ 23%$ 28%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $27%$ 31%$ 30%$ 23%$ 24%$ ) His)performance)has)been)satisfactory.))He)has)done)some)things)that)I)have) liked)but)also)other)things)that)I)do)not)fully)support.) $ 35%$ 28%$ 43%$ 24%$ 35%$ 36%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 21%$ 26%$ 36%$ 35%$ $32%$ ) On)balance,)I)feel)he)has)failed)to)live)up)to)his)promise)to)lead)our)country)in)a) better)direction.) $ 0%$ 16%$ 23%$ 22%$ 19%$ 23%$ $ ) ) $21%$ 21%$ 18%$ 21%$ 21%$ $ He)has)done)a)terrible)job)and)has)driven)our)economy)into)the)ground)and)done) harm)to)our)international)reputation.) $ 14%$ 8%$ 9%$ 11%$ 6%$ 12%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 10%$ 6%$ 8%$ 8%$ $9%$ ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) $ $ $ 0%$ 8%$ 15%$ 18%$ 13%$ 3%$ $ ) ) $12%$ 18%$ 20%$ 13%$ 11%$ ) )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ % ♂ %

T

T

T

T

T

241$ $


Do"you"think"this"past"winter’s"extreme"weather"conditions"were"in" any"ways"linked"to"humanTinfluenced"global"climate"change?" $ Yes.)) ) $ 42%$ 46%$ 49%$ 29%$ 47%$ 45%$ $ ) ) ) 31%$ ) ) $46%$ 52%$ 45%$ 47%$ ) ) Maybe) ) $ 71%$ 26%$ 34%$ 39%$ 34%$ 19%$ $ ) ) $31%$ 51%$ 38%$ 30%$ 29%$ ) ) No) ) $ 0%$ 22%$ 16%$ 16%$ 13%$ 29%$ $ ) ) 15%$ 8%$ 15%$ 18%$ $18%$ ) ) No)opinion) ) $ 5%$ 5%$ 0%$ 4%$ 7%$ 3%$ $ ) ) 3%$ 2%$ 9%$ 6%$ $5%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

242$

T

T

T

T


Which"of"the"following"statements"best"describes"your"views"about" gay"marriage?" $ It)should)be)legal)everywhere)in)the)United)States) ) $ 78%$ 80%$ 72%$ 100%$ 74%$ 79%$ $ ) ) $77%$ 74%$ 78%$ 85%$ 79%$ ) ) ) The)institution)of)marriage)should)be)legal)only)between)a)man)and)a)woman,) but)some)other)legal)arrangement,)such)as)a)“civil)union,”)could)be)made) available)for)sameXsex)couples.) ) $ 12%$ 13%$ 0%$ 12%$ 8%$ 18%$ $ ) ) 8%$ 8%$ 8%$ 15%$ $12%$ ) ) ) There)should)be)no)legal)recognition)by)any)state)of)either)marriage)or)civil) union)between)two)people)of)the)same)sex.) ) $ 0%$ 7%$ 1%$ 2%$ 2%$ 6%$ $ ) ) $4%$ 5%$ 2%$ 2%$ 2%$ ) ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 0%$ 7%$ 8%$ 7%$ 9%$ 4%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 13%$ 12%$ 6%$ 5%$ $7%$ ) )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

T

243$ $


Which"of"the"following"statements"best"matches"your"own"views" regarding"the"legalization"of"marijuana?" $ Marijuana)is)a)“gateway)drug”)that)is)dangerous)to)one’s)health)and)highly) addictive.))In)the)interests)of)public)health,)it)should)be)illegal)everywhere) throughout)the)United)States.)) $ 11%$ %10$ 0%$ 18%$ 7%$ 6%$ $ ) ) 23%$ 12%$ 8%$ 6%$ $10%$ ) ) It)is)a)potentially)dangerous)substance,)but)it)has)been)shown)to)carry)benefits) for)some)people)with)certain)medical)conditions)(e.g.)those)undergoing)chemo) therapy,)people)with)glaucoma,)etc.))and)so)should)be)available)for)legal)purchase) as)a)prescribed)drug.)) $ 27%$ 35%$ 14%$ 24%$ 28%$ 41%$ $ ) ) 15%$ 36%$ 19%$ 32%$ $30%$ ) ) Marijuana)use)certainly)carries)risks,)but)so)too)does)the)use)of)cigarettes)and) alcohol—which)are)both)legal)for)adults.))History)shows)that)prohibition)is) generally)ineffective.))Therefore,)marijuana)should)be)legalized,)and)its)growers) and)sellers)regulated)and)taxed.))Money)currently)being)spent)on)antiXdrug) enforcement)could)then)be)shifted)into)drug)education)and)treatment.)) $ 86%$ 60%$ 51%$ 54%$ 60%$ 50%$ $ ) ) $56%$ 51%$ 46%$ 72%$ 60%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) $ 3%$ 5%$ 0%$ 4%$ 5%$ 3%$ $ ) ) 10%$ 6%$ 2%$ 2%$ $4%$ ) )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

244$

T

T

T

T


"Should"the"words"“under"God”"be"included"in"the"US"Pledge"of" Allegiance"and"“In"God"We"Trust”"printed"on"our"coins"and"currency?" $ Yes) ) $ 48%$ 35%$ 56%$ 0%$ 40%$ 51%$ $ ) ) $45%$ 36%$ 38%$ 40%$ 45%$ ) ) No) ) $ 71%$ 39%$ 31%$ 35%$ 42%$ 27%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $36%$ 41%$ 34%$ 40%$ 42%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 29%$ 21%$ 18%$ 17%$ 23%$ 17%$ $ ) ) 23%$ 28%$ 21%$ 13%$ $20%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

245$ $


Do"you"favor"the"death"penalty?" $ Yes) ) $ 39%$ 38%$ 35%$ $ ) ) 33%$ 32%$ 34%$ ) ) No) ) $ 34%$ 40%$ 49%$ $ ) ) 46%$ 36%$ 38%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 28%$ 21%$ 17%$ $ ) ) 21%$ 32%$ 28%$ )

246$

14%$

♂ 41%$ ♀ 35%$ %

T $37%$

50%$

43%$

$

♂ 37%$ ♀ 44%$ %

34%$

43%$

T $41%$

♂ 21%$ ♀ 22%$ %

16%$

T $22%$


Should"adults"with"no"criminal"record"have"the"right"to"carry"a" concealed"weapon?" $ Yes) ) $ 39%$ 39%$ 42%$ 43%$ 39%$ 40%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $40%$ 33%$ 32%$ 43%$ 44%$ ) ) No) ) $ $ 57%$ 51%$ 53%$ 47%$ 55%$ 53%$ $ ) ) $52%$ 49%$ 56%$ 53%$ 50%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 0%$ 10%$ 7%$ 14%$ 6%$ 5%$ $ ) ) 18%$ 12%$ 4%$ 6%$ $8%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

247$ $


Should"any"vaccines"be"required,"by"law,"for"children?" $ Yes) ) $ 100%$ 73%$ 80%$ 79%$ 71%$ $ ) ) 79%$ 82%$ 83%$ 74%$ ) ) No) ) $ 0%$ 19%$ %19$ 12%$ 19%$ $ ) ) ) 15%$ 12%$ 13%$ 19%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 8%$ 0%$ 1%$ 8%$ 10%$ $ ) ) 5%$ 6%$ 4%$ 6%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

248$

♀ 79%$

T $77%$ ♀ 15%$

T $16%$ ♀ 6%$

T $7%$


Do"you"think"the"radiation"emitted"during"cellphone"use"poses"some" increased"health"risk"over"time??" $ Yes) ) $ 29%$ 39%$ 26%$ 0%$ 25%$ 40%$ $ ) ) $32%$ 38%$ 26%$ 38%$ 37%$ ) ) No) ) $ 43%$ 39%$ 24%$ 36%$ 32%$ 24%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $31%$ 33%$ 34%$ 34%$ 34%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 57%$ 36%$ 36%$ 35%$ 29%$ 50%$ $ ) ) 28%$ 40%$ 28%$ 29%$ $37%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

249$ $


Do"you"feel"the"drinking"age"should"be"lowered"from"21"to"an"earlier" age?" $ Yes) ) $ 41%$ 60%$ 33%$ 29%$ 46%$ 49%$ $ ) ) $47%$ 28%$ 38%$ 64%$ 69%$ ) ) No) ) $ 29%$ 47%$ 40%$ 43%$ 31%$ 60%$ $ ) ) $43%$ 46%$ 50%$ 32%$ 23%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 43%$ 8%$ 10%$ 16%$ 8%$ 6%$ $ ) ) 26%$ 12%$ 4%$ 8%$ $10%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

250$

T

T

T


Do"you"feel"the"majority"of"police"officers"in"the"US"are"more"prone"to" treat"people"of"color"harshly,"and"resort"to"force"(lethal"or"nonlethal)," than"they"are"likely"to"do"when"interacting"with"other"members"of"the" public?" $ Yes) ) $ 100%$ 54%$ 49%$ 49%$ 64%$ 40%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 51%$ 62%$ 58%$ 58%$ $53%$ ) ) No) ) $ 34%$ 37%$ 34%$ 26%$ 49%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 33%$ 14%$ 30%$ 37%$ $34%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 0%$ 17%$ 11%$ 12%$ 12%$ 14%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $13%$ 15%$ 24%$ 11%$ 5%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

251$ $


<"As"a"Citizen"of"Reserve">) $ While"school"is"in"session,"approximately"how"many"hours"of"sleep"(on" average)"do"you"get"each"school"night?" $ More)than)9) $ 0%$ 1%$ 0%$ 0%$ 1%$ 0%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 3%$ 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ $0%$ ) Between)8)and)9) $ $ 0%$ 6%$ 2%$ 5%$ 2%$ 5%$ $ ) ) ) 2%$ $4%$ 13%$ 0%$ 2%$ ) Between)7)and)8) $ 33%$ 27%$ 34%$ 23%$ 35%$ 14%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $29%$ 36%$ 30%$ 21%$ 26%$ ) Between)6)and)7) $ 57%$ 37%$ 40%$ 33%$ 40%$ 42%$ $ ) ) 33%$ 36%$ 32%$ 45%$ $39%$ ) Between)5)and)6) $ 29%$ 18%$ 27%$ 22%$ 28%$ 15%$ $ ) ) $23%$ 8%$ 28%$ 40%$ 23%$ ) Fewer)than)5) $ 0%$ 6%$ 4%$ 7%$ 5%$ 3%$ $ ) ) $5%$ 8%$ 6%$ 6%$ 5%$

♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ %

252$

T

T

T

T

T

T


Not"counting"any"assigned"reading"that"you"have"done"for"a"class,"how" many"books"have"you"read"over"the"course"of"this"school"year)?" $ More)than)10) $ 0%$ 7%$ 11%$ 11%$ 5%$ 13%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $9%$ 8%$ 6%$ 4%$ 11%$ ) ) Between)6)and)10) $ $ 6%$ 15%$ 0%$ 12%$ 6%$ 17%$ $ ) ) 10%$ 8%$ 8%$ 8%$ $11%$ ) ) Between)3)and)5) $ 29%$ 27%$ 22%$ 36%$ 25%$ 29%$ $ $ $ $ ) 21%$ ) $27%$ 26%$ 30%$ 21%$ ) ) 1)or)2) $ 57%$ 35%$ 32%$ 27%$ 43%$ 28%$ $ ) ) 46%$ 34%$ 30%$ 37%$ $34%$ ) ) None) $ 14%$ 27%$ 13%$ 24%$ 24%$ 6%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $19%$ 10%$ 22%$ 38%$ 23%$ " " "

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

T

T

253$ $


How"many"books"did"you"read"last"summer"(not"counting"any" required"reading)?" $ More)than)10) $ 0%$ 8%$ 15%$ 13%$ 12%$ 9%$ $ ) ) $11%$ 10%$ 12%$ 8%$ 18%$ ) ) Between)6)and)10) $ 8%$ 16%$ 14%$ 10%$ 5%$ 26%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 15%$ 4%$ 8%$ 3%$ $12%$ ) ) Between)3)and)5) $ 57%$ 25%$ 36%$ 31%$ 29%$ 33%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $32%$ 36%$ 38%$ 28%$ 27%$ ) ) 1)or)2) $ 29%$ 38%$ 28%$ 37%$ 33%$ 28%$ $ ) ) 31%$ 36%$ 38%$ 34%$ $33%$ ) ) None) $ 0%$ 18%$ 8%$ 14%$ 14%$ 6%$ $ ) ) $12%$ 8%$ 10%$ 19%$ 18%$ " " " " "

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

254$

T

T

T

T

T


What"is"your"favorite"time"of"year"on"campus?" $ Early)Fall:)August)through)September) ) $ 29%$ 39%$ 32%$ 44%$ $ ) ) 51%$ 32%$ 40%$ 23%$ ) ) Late)Fall:)October)through)December) ) $ 14%$ 7%$ 12%$ 29%$ $ ) ) 8%$ 22%$ 4%$ 6%$ ) ) Winter:)January)to)spring)break) ) $ 0%$ 5%$ 3%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 3%$ 4%$ 2%$ 6%$ ) ) Spring:)April)through)May) ) $ 57%$ 47%$ 49%$ 24%$ $ ) ) 31%$ 40%$ 51%$ 63%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 0%$ 2%$ 4%$ 3%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) 8%$ 2%$ 4%$ 2%$

♂ 29%$ ♀ 45%$ %

T $37%$

♂ 16%$ ♀ 15%$ %

T $15%$

♂ 5%$ ♀ 1%$ %

T $3%$

♂ 46%$ ♀ 37%$ %

T $41%$

♂ 4%$ ♀ 3%$ %

T $3%$

255$ $


What"is"your"favorite"nonTdormitory"building"on"campus?" $ The)Chapel) $ 0%$ 11%$ 4%$ 9%$ 19%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 3%$ 4%$ 9%$ 10%$ ) ) Hayden)Hall) $ 8%$ 11%$ 1%$ 14%$ 8%$ $ ) ) 3%$ 10%$ 13%$ 11%$ ) ) KFAC) $ 86%$ 11%$ 17%$ 19%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 26%$ 16%$ 17%$ 16%$ ) ) Loomis)Observatory) $ 3%$ 0%$ 1%$ 2%$ 4%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 0%$ 2%$ 2%$ 3%$ " " MAC) $ 0%$ 22%$ 19%$ 21%$ 12%$ $ ) ) 26%$ 16%$ 21%$ 19%$ ) )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

256$

♀ 10%$

T $10%$ ♀ 7%$

T $7%$ ♀ 11%$

T $13%$ ♀ 2%$

T $2%$ ♀ 15%$

T $18%$


Metcalf) $ 0%$ 1%$ $ ) ) 3%$ 0%$ ) ) Morgan)Hall) $ 0%$ 1%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 0%$ 0%$ " " Ong)Library) $ 28%$ 18%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 28%$ 30%$ " " Seymour)Hall) $ 11%$ 6%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 5%$ 4%$ " " Wilson)Hall) $ 11%$ 10%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 8%$ 14%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) $ 1%$ 2%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 0%$ 4%$ )

0%$

1%$ 0%$

0%$

0%$

3%$ 2%$

37%$ $

$

0%$

$

0%$

6%$

9%$

$

0%$

15%$

8%$

$ 0%$

0%$

T $7%$

♂ 12%$ ♀ 8%$ %

5%$

$

T $26%$

♂ 7%$ ♀ 8%$ %

15%$

$

T $1%$

♂ 21%$ ♀ 33%$ %

18%$

$

T $1%$

♂ 0%$ ♀ 2%$ %

0%$

15%$

6%$

♂ 1%$ ♀ 1%$ %

T $10%$

♂ 5%$ ♀ 3%$ %

3%$

T $4%$

257$ $


Which"of"the"following"statements"best"matches"your"thoughts"about" the"new"action/exhibition"station"in"the"dining"hall?" $ I)absolutely)love)it!))It)is)cool)that)the)food)is)so)fresh)and)madeXtoXorder.) $ 14%$ 37%$ 28%$ 22%$ 34%$ 40%$ $ ) ) 41%$ $32%$ 18%$ 25%$ 34%$ ) ) It)is)pretty)good.))(Though)they)still)need)to)work)out)a)few)kinks)so)that)there)is) not)such)a)long)line.)) $ 43%$ 49%$ 56%$ 58%$ 57%$ 38%$ $ ) ) $52%$ 38%$ 66%$ 62%$ 58%$ ) ) It)is)fine,)I)guess.))(Though)I)tend)to)prefer)the)typical)behindXtheXcounter) entrees,)slad)bar,)or)other)options)) $ 7%$ 7%$ 14%$ 4%$ 13%$ 5%$ $ ) ) 10%$ 8%$ 9%$ 6%$ $7%$ ) ) It’s)just)not)my)thing) $ 0%$ 1%$ 1%$ 2%$ 1%$ 0%$ $ ) ) $1%$ 0%$ 0%$ 4%$ 2%$ " " Unsure)/)no)opinion) $ 6%$ 8%$ 29%$ 5%$ 3%$ 18%$ $ ) ) 10%$ 8%$ 0%$ 0%$ $8%$

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

258$

T

T

T

T

T


Do"you"think"the"school"should"assign"a"required"book"for"the"entire" community"(faculty,"staff,"and"students)"to"read"each"summer?" $ Yes) ) $ 30%$ 31%$ 41%$ 43%$ 30%$ 36%$ $ ) ) $33%$ 28%$ 34%$ 32%$ 27%$ ) ) No) ) $ 43%$ 58%$ 56%$ 53%$ 62%$ 51%$ $ ) ) $56%$ 59%$ 46%$ 58%$ 68%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 14%$ 12%$ 8%$ 17%$ 7%$ 8%$ $ ) ) 13%$ 20%$ 9%$ 5%$ $10%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

259$ $


"[The"remaining"questions"in"this"section"of"the"survey"were"asked" only"of"students.]) " Have"you"thus"far"in"your"Reserve"career"participated"in"a"varsity"team" sport"(though"not"necessarily"competing"on"the"varsity"squad)"all"three" seasons"of"your"freshman"and"sophomore"years"and/or"at"least"two" seasons"of"your"junior"and"senior"years?" $ Yes) ) $ 48%$ 50%$ 14%$ 49%$ 51%$ $ ) ) 46%$ 40%$ 49%$ 60%$ $50%$ ) ) No) ) $ 43%$ 40%$ 41%$ 43%$ 37%$ $ ) ) $41%$ 41%$ 48%$ 40%$ 35%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 43%$ 9%$ 8%$ 12%$ 8%$ $ ) ) 10%$ 13%$ 12%$ 11%$ 5%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

260$

T

T

T


How"much"TV"or"online"entertainment"(e.g."Netflix,"Hulu,"Amazon" Prime,"etc.)"do"you"typically"watch"each"week"while"school"is"in" session" $ More)than)10)hours) ) $ 7%$ 2%$ 0%$ 5%$ 4%$ $ ) ) 5%$ 8%$ 2%$ 3%$ $4%$ ) ) ) 8X10)hours) ) $ 4%$ 5%$ 8%$ 2%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 5%$ 2%$ 4%$ 6%$ $4%$ ) ) ) 6X8)hours) ) $ 5%$ 3%$ 0%$ 1%$ 6%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $4%$ 3%$ 2%$ 4%$ 6%$ ) ) ) 4X6)hours) ) $ 14%$ 11%$ 11%$ 13%$ 12%$ $ ) ) $12%$ 13%$ 8%$ 9%$ 16%$ ) )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

T

261$ $


2X4)hours) ) $ 19%$ 21%$ $ ) ) 15%$ 20%$ " " ) 1X2)hours) ) $ 25%$ 20%$ $ ) ) 26%$ 12%$ ) ) ) Less)than)an)hour) ) $ 19%$ 17%$ $ ) ) 10%$ 30%$ " " ) None)) ) $ 11%$ 18%$ $ ) ) 23%$ 18%$ " " "

262$

14%$ 21%$

23%$

29%$ 32%$

15%$

T $22%$

♂ 18%$ ♀ 19%$ %

16%$

29%$

T $20%$

♂ 23%$ ♀ 21%$ %

19%$

14%$

13%$

♂ 19%$ ♀ 22%$ %

T 18%$

♂ 14%$ ♀ 16%$ %

10%$

T $15%$


Which"of"the"following"best"describes"you"as"regards"banned" substance"use"during"your"time"as"a"Reserve"student?" $ I)have)never)used)any)banned)substance)(alcohol,)tobacco,)drugs,)etc.))either)on) campus)or)off.)) ) $ 57%$ 52%$ 71%$ 66%$ 48%$ $ ) ) 90%$ 76%$ 43%$ 27%$ $55%$ ) ) ) I)have)never)used)any)banned)substance)(alcohol,)tobacco,)drugs,)etc.))on) campus,)but)I)have)off)campus.)) ) $ 29%$ 26%$ 29%$ 25%$ 29%$ $ ) ) 8%$ 16%$ 34%$ 44%$ $27%$ ) ) ) I)have)used)a)banned)substance)on)campus)but)have)never)been)caught.)) ) $ 0%$ 13%$ 22%$ 8%$ 22%$ $ ) ) 3%$ 8%$ 21%$ 29%$ $17%$ ) ) ) I)have)used)a)banned)substance)on)campus)and)have)been)caught.) ) $ 1%$ 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ 1%$ $ ) " 0%$ 0%$ 2%$ 0%$ $0%$ " " "

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

T

263$ $


Have"you"at"any"time"during"the"current"academic"year"(2014T2015)" violated"the"school’s"policy"regarding"academic"honesty"(i.e."cheated" on"a"homework"assignment,"quiz,"test,"paper,"etc.)?" $ No) ) $ 83%$ 82%$ 100%$ 89%$ 79%$ $ ) ) 92%$ 96%$ 70%$ 79%$ $83%$ ) ) ) Yes,)but)I)was)not)caught) ) $ 16%$ 18%$ 11%$ 20%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 8%$ 4%$ 28%$ 21%$ $16%$ ) ) ) Yes,)and)I)was)caught) ) $ 1%$ 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ 1%$ $ ) ) $0%$ 0%$ 0%$ 2%$ 0%$ ) " " " " " " " " " " " "

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

264$

T

T

T


Have"you"ever"violated"the"school’s"transportation"policy"(i.e." “Transpo”)?""(In"other"words,"if"you"are"a"day"student"hve"you"ever" given"a"ride"to"a"boarder?""If"you"are"a"boarder"have"you"ever"taken"a" rid"with"a"day"student"or"had"access"to"a"car"while"at"school?)?" $ Yes) $ 31%$ 44%$ 50%$ 43%$ 57%$ $ ) ) 8%$ 28%$ 57%$ 77%$ $47%$ ) ) No) $ 57%$ 56%$ 50%$ 69%$ 43%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $53%$ 92%$ 72%$ 43%$ 23%$ ) ) ) Do"you"believe"that"Reserve’s"prefects,"generally"speaking,"model" what"an"ideal"WRA"student"should"be?" $ Yes) $ 40%$ 47%$ 29%$ 40%$ 45%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $43%$ 38%$ 40%$ 53%$ 39%$ ) No) $ 29%$ 32%$ 33%$ 25%$ 37%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 21%$ 26%$ 36%$ 42%$ $32%$ ) Unsure) $ 43%$ 29%$ 20%$ 35%$ 18%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $25%$ 41%$ 34%$ 11%$ 19%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ % ♂ % ♂ %

T

T

T

T

T

265$ $


Do"you"know"who"the"Morgan"Leaders"are"and"what"they"do??" $ Yes)and)yes.) ) $ 0%$ 22%$ 23%$ 23%$ 21%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $22%$ 13%$ 28%$ 28%$ 16%$ ) ) Who,)yes.))What,)hmmmm).).).).).)?)) ) $ 57%$ 39%$ 39%$ 39%$ 40%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $39%$ 31%$ 44%$ 30%$ 48%$ ) ) Who,)no.))As)for)what,)presumably)they)are)secretly)in)control)of)the)school.) ) $ 3%$ 5%$ 0%$ 5%$ 3%$ $ ) ) 5%$ 0%$ 4%$ 6%$ $4%$ ) ) I’ve)heard)of)them).).).)but)no)clue)really.) ) $ 14%$ 29%$ 32%$ 31%$ 32%$ $ ) ) $31%$ 44%$ 20%$ 34%$ 29%$ ) ) Who)are)these)“Morgan)Leaders”)to)whom)you)refer?) ) $ 29%$ 6%$ 1%$ 5%$ 4%$ $ ) ) 8%$ $4%$ 8%$ 4%$ 0%$ "

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

266$

T

T

T

T

T


Do"you"obey"the"school’s"dress"code?" $ Every)day,)and)it’s)annoying)that)others)do)not.)) ) $ 29%$ 49%$ 34%$ 36%$ $ ) ) 41%$ 34%$ 38%$ 29%$ ) ) ) Generally)speaking,)but)I)do)let)things)slip)from)time)to)time.)) ) $ 29%$ 48%$ 54%$ 56%$ $ ) ) 49%$ 60%$ 53%$ 58%$ ) ) ) Rarely,)I)think)the)dress)code)is)unreasonable.)) ) $ 29%$ 4%$ 11%$ 7%$ $ ) ) ) 11%$ 10%$ 6%$ 8%$ ) ) ) Never.)But)I)look)good)enough—so)chill!)) ) $ 14%$ 0%$ 1%$ 1%$ $ ) ) 0%$ 0%$ 2%$ 2%$ ) )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♀ 21%$

T $35%$

♀ 66%$

T $55%$

♀ 13%$

T $9%$

♀ 1%$

T $1%$

267$ $


Which"academic"activity"do"you"find"the"most"personally"rewarding" and"enjoyable?" $ Study)literature)and)writing) ) $ 25%$ 26%$ 57%$ 20%$ 30%$ $ ) ) $26%$ 18%$ 36%$ 23%$ 26%$ ) ) ) Learning)a)foreign)language) ) $ 11%$ 13%$ 0%$ 11%$ 15%$ $ ) ) $12%$ 8%$ 10%$ 23%$ 8%$ ) ) ) Historical)inquiry) ) $ 14%$ 27%$ 14%$ 23%$ 16%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $19%$ 18%$ 10%$ 28%$ 19%$ ) ) ) Mathematics) ) $ 0%$ 14%$ 13%$ 11%$ 14%$ $ ) ) $13%$ 13%$ 10%$ 11%$ 16%$ ) )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

268$

T

T

T

T


Scientific)inquiry) ) $ 18%$ 18%$ $ ) ) 26%$ 18%$ 9%$ " " ) Did)you)say)“enjoyable,”).).).)really?) ) $ 2%$ 9%$ $ ) ) 10%$ 8%$ 6%$ ) ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 6%$ 5%$ $ ) ) 8%$ 8%$ 0%$

14%$

♂ 22%$ ♀ 15%$ %

21%$

14%$

♂ 6%$ ♀ 6%$ %

3%$

0%$

T $18%$

T $6%$

♂ 5%$ ♀ 6%$ %

6%$

T $5%$

269$ $


Which"best"describes"you?" $$ I)am)the)first)person)in)my)family)ever)to)attend)WRA.)) ) $ 71%$ 64%$ 69%$ 63%$ 69%$ $ ) ) $67%$ 67%$ 68%$ 62%$ 69%$ ) ) I)am)not)the)first)person)in)my)family)to)attend)WRA,)but)I)am)the)first)in)my) immediate)family)(i.e.)father,)mother,)siblings).)) ) $ 0%$ 5%$ 2%$ 1%$ 5%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $3%$ 8%$ 0%$ 2%$ 5%$ ) ) Neither)/)None)of)my)parents)attended)WRA,)but)I)do)have)a)sibling)(or) siblings))who)preceded)me)here.)) ) $ 0%$ 17%$ 19%$ 23%$ 13%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $17%$ 18%$ 14%$ 17%$ 19%$ ) ) I)had)a)parent)who)attended)WRA,)but)I)am)their)first/only)child)to)also)attend.)) ) $ 29%$ 8%$ 5%$ 7%$ 7%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 5%$ 10%$ 11%$ 3%$ $7%$ ) ) I)had)a)parent)who)attended)WRA,)and)I)also)had)a)sibling)here)before)me.)) ) $ 6%$ 5%$ 0%$ 6%$ 5%$ $ $ $ $ $ $

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

3%$ 270$

8%$

8%$

♂ %

3%$

T

T

T

T

T $5%$


Which"of"the"following"statements"best"describes"your"feelings"about" your"Reserve"experience"thus"far?) $ I)wanted)to)come)to)WRA,)and)I)love)it)here.)) ) $ 63%$ 44%$ 14%$ 54%$ 51%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $51%$ 54%$ 50%$ 51%$ 52%$ ) ) I)wanted)to)come)to)school)here,)and)it)is)okay)here.)) ) $ 43%$ 26%$ 31%$ 24%$ 32%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $29%$ 21%$ 36%$ 30%$ 27%$ ) ) I)wanted)to)come)to)WRA,)but)now)I)wish)I’d)chosen)a)different)school.)) ) $ 14%$ 9%$ 11%$ 6%$ 13%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 18%$ 10%$ 8%$ 8%$ $10%$ ) ) I)did)not)want)to)come)to)WRA,)but)I)have)actually)come)to)like)it)here.)) ) $ 9%$ 5%$ 14%$ 5%$ 9%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 5%$ 2%$ 9%$ 11%$ $7%$ ) ) I)did)not)want)to)attend)WRA)and)still)do)not)want)to)be)here).).).)blame)my)parents!)) ) $ 14%$ 2%$ 1%$ 2%$ 2%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) 2%$ 3%$ 2%$ 2%$ 2%$

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

T

T

271$ $


Do"you"feel"as"though"your"WRA"education"is"preparing"(or"has" prepared)"you"well"for"college"or"university"success?) $ Yes) ) $ 69%$ 69%$ 29%$ 65%$ 75%$ $ ) ) $69%$ 28%$ 64%$ 81%$ 87%$ ) ) ) No) ) $ 0%$ 3%$ 0%$ 3%$ 1%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $2%$ 0%$ 2%$ 2%$ 3%$ ) ) ) Too)early)to)say) ) $ 57%$ 29%$ 26%$ 30%$ 23%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $27%$ 69%$ 32%$ 15%$ 8%$ ) ) ) Not)sure) ) $ 14%$ 2%$ 1%$ 2%$ 2%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) $2%$ 3%$ 2%$ 2%$ 2%$

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

" " "

272$

♂ %

T

T

T

T


<"As"a"Private"Individual">" " Which"of"the"following"best"describes"your"religious"beliefs"and/or" practices?" $ Catholic) ) $ 0%$ 16%$ 24%$ 20%$ 17%$ 23%$ $ ) ) $20%$ 23%$ 20%$ 15%$ 18%$ ) ) Protestant) ) $ 21%$ 21%$ 14%$ 18%$ 16%$ 31%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 15%$ 18%$ 13%$ 19%$ $21%$ ) ) Jewish) ) $ 2%$ 2%$ 0%$ 1%$ 3%$ 1%$ $ ) ) )2%$ 0%$ 0%$ 4%$ 5%$ ) ) Muslim) ) $ 0%$ 0%$ 1%$ 1%$ 0%$ 0%$ $ ) ) $0%$ 0%$ 0%$ 2%$ 0%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

T

273$ $


Hindu) ) $ 0%$ 3%$ 1%$ 1%$ 3%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 0%$ 0%$ 6%$ 3%$ $2%$ ) ) Buddhist) ) $ 1%$ 2%$ 3%$ 0%$ 1%$ 3%$ $ ) ) 3%$ 2%$ 2%$ 2%$ $2%$ ) ) Spritual,)but)not)currently)a)practicing)member)of)any)formal)religion)or) denomination) ) $ 11%$ 24%$ 13%$ 15%$ 26%$ 14%$ $ ) ) $17%$ 8%$ 14%$ 19%$ 15%$ ) ) Atheist)/)Agnostic) ) $ 57%$ 40%$ 16%$ 35%$ 33%$ 14%$ $ ) ) $28%$ 36%$ 34%$ 34%$ 32%$ ) " Other) ) $ 14%$ 6%$ 8%$ 8%$ 10%$ 3%$ $ ) ) 15%$ 12%$ 6%$ 6%$ $7%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

274$

T

T

T

T

T


Which"of"the"following"best"describes"your"typical"eating"habits?" $ Omnivore) ) $ 86%$ 50%$ 46%$ 45%$ 48%$ 55%$ $ ) ) $49%$ 33%$ 52%$ 53%$ 45%$ ) ) ) Flexitarian) ) $ 0%$ 4%$ 10%$ 6%$ 7%$ 9%$ $ ) ) $7%$ 8%$ 2%$ 8%$ 8%$ ) ) ) Pescetarian) ) $ 0%$ 1%$ 2%$ 1%$ 2%$ 1%$ $ ) ) $1%$ 3%$ 0%$ 0%$ 3%$ ) ) ) Vegetarian) ) $ 14%$ 5%$ 7%$ 8%$ 4%$ 6%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $6%$ 8%$ 6%$ 4%$ 6%$ " "

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

T

T

T

T

275$ $


Vegan) ) $ 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ 1%$ 0%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 0%$ 0%$ 2%$ 0%$ ) ) ) Paleo) ) $ $ 3%$ 0%$ 1%$ 2%$ 6%$ $ ) ) 0%$ 2%$ 2%$ 3%$ ) ) ) I)will)eat)anything)that)put)in)front)of)me.))Om)nom)nom.) ) $ 37%$ 0%$ 39%$ 36%$ 22%$ $ ) ) 49%$ 38%$ 32%$ 34%$ ) ) ) " " " " " " " "

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

276$

♀ 1%$

T $0%$

♀ 3%$

T $3%$

♀ 31%$

T $33%$


Which"of"the"following"is"your"favorite"local"place"to"grab"a"cup"of" coffee"or"other"warm"beverage?" $ Ellsworth) $ 29%$ 18%$ 7%$ 8%$ 20%$ 5%$ $ ) ) ) 15%$ $12%$ 15%$ 16%$ 15%$ ) Open)Door) $ 36%$ 39%$ 14%$ 29%$ 22%$ 40%$ $ ) ) 23%$ 40%$ 40%$ 44%$ $31%$ ) Peet’s) $ 1%$ 3%$ 0%$ 1%$ 1%$ 4%$ $ ) ) ) 2%$ 0%$ 2%$ 0%$ $2%$ ) Starbucks) $ 0%$ 23%$ 26%$ 29%$ 18%$ 28%$ $ ) ) $24%$ 28%$ 14%$ 28%$ 21%$ ) Other)) $ 0%$ 5%$ 7%$ 31%$ 13%$ 14%$ $ ) ) $13%$ 10%$ 2%$ 4%$ 10%$ ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) $ 24%$ 10%$ 43%$ 20%$ 15%$ 18%$ $ ) ) 23%$ 26%$ 13%$ 10%$ $17%$ ) )

♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ %

T

T

T

T

T

T

277$ $


Which"of"the"following"is"your"favorite"local"source"for"pizza?" $ 3)Palms) ) $ 14%$ 18%$ 30%$ 20%$ 22%$ 31%$ $ ) ) $24%$ 8%$ 22%$ 21%$ 31%$ ) ) Dominos) ) $ 0%$ 4%$ 2%$ 4%$ 3%$ 1%$ $ ) ) $3%$ 5%$ 0%$ 6%$ 3%$ ) ) Donatos)) ) $ 11%$ 7%$ 0%$ 12%$ 11%$ 3%$ $ $ ) ) 3%$ 8%$ 11%$ 19%$ $9%$ ) ) Farinaci) ) $ 0%$ 6%$ 0%$ 10%$ 2%$ 7%$ $ ) ) $5%$ 5%$ 0%$ 2%$ 3%$ ) ) Gionino’s) ) $ 0%$ 9%$ 9%$ 14%$ 5%$ 9%$ $ ) ) $9%$ 15%$ 10%$ 9%$ 3%$ )

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

♂ %

278$

T

T

T

T

T


Papa)John’s) ) $ 25%$ 45%$ $ ) ) 44%$ 44%$ ) ) Pizza)Hut) ) $ 5%$ 3%$ $ ) ) 3%$ 2%$ ) ) Zeppe’s) ) $ 1%$ 2%$ $ $ ) ) 0%$ 6%$ ) ) Other)) ) $ 5%$ 2%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 10%$ 0%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 7%$ 7%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 8%$ 8%$

86%$

9%$ 32%$

31%$

5%$

0%$ 9%$

0%$ 0%$

$

0%$

2%$

14%$ $ 8%$

0%$

T $4%$

♂ 7%$ ♀ 3%$ %

2%$

$

T $4%$

♂ 4%$ ♀ 3%$ %

0%$

$

T $29%$

♂ 6%$ ♀ 3%$ %

2%$

9%$

9%$

♂ 29%$ ♀ 26%$ %

T $5%$

♂ 9%$ ♀ 10%$ %

6%$

T $9%$

279$ $


When"you"are"looking"for"a"burger"."."."" $ Burger)King) ) $ 0%$ 2%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 5%$ 0%$ 0%$ ) ) Five)Guys) ) $ 18%$ 19%$ 10%$ $ ) ) 10%$ 22%$ 19%$ ) ) Flipside) ) $ 28%$ 42%$ 49%$ $ ) ) 49%$ 34%$ 30%$ ) ) McDonald’s) ) $ 4%$ 4%$ 3%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 0%$ 6%$ 8%$ )

280$

0%$

♂ 1%$ ♀ 1%$ %

0%$

14%$

♂ 23%$ ♀ 10%$ %

21%$

14%$

T $16%$

♂ 34%$ ♀ 47%$ %

35%$

14%$

T $1%$

T $40%$

♂ 7%$ ♀ 0%$ %

2%$

T $4%$


Swenson’s) ) $ 34%$ 21%$ $ ) ) 21%$ 24%$ ) ) Wendy’s) ) $ 4%$ 0%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 5%$ 0%$ ) ) Other)) ) $ 6%$ 5%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 3%$ 8%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 7%$ 7%$ $ ) ) 8%$ 6%$

29%$

21%$ 23%$

0%$

$

34%$

$

14%$

2%$

10%$ $

0%$

11%$

8%$

T $1%$

♂ 6%$ ♀ 8%$ %

0%$

14%$

T $24%$

♂ 1%$ ♀ 1%$ %

0%$

$

8%$

♂ 24%$ ♀ 25%$ %

T $7%$

♂ 5%$ ♀ 9%$ %

8%$

T $7%$

281$ $


Do"you"own"a"smartphone?"" $ Yes,)an)Android) ) $ 16%$ 18%$ 23%$ $ ) ) 18%$ 12%$ ) ) Yes,)an)iPhone) ) $ 80%$ 77%$ 67%$ $ ) ) 77%$ 82%$ ) ) Yes,)a)Windows)phone) ) $ 1%$ 1%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 0%$ 2%$ ) ) No) ) $ 4%$ 4%$ 10%$ $ ) ) 5%$ 4%$ )

282$

29%$ 15%$

23%$

57%$ 81%$

0%$

T $75%$

♂ 0%$ ♀ 1%$ %

2%$

14%$

T $19%$

♂ 70%$ ♀ 80%$ %

73%$

0%$

4%$

♂ 24%$ ♀ 13%$ %

T $1%$

♂ 5%$ ♀ 6%$ %

3%$

T $6%$


Which"is"your"preferred"format"for"reading?" $ Print) ) $ 43%$ 83%$ 74%$ 77%$ $ ) ) 79%$ 68%$ 81%$ 81%$ ) ) Screen) ) $ 29%$ 2%$ 7%$ 10%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 3%$ 6%$ 8%$ 5%$ ) ) No)preference) ) $ 29%$ 13%$ 18%$ 13%$ $ ) ) 18%$ 26%$ 9%$ 13%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 0%$ 1%$ 1%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 0%$ 0%$ 2%$ 2%$ )

$

♂ 73%$ ♀ 83%$ %

T $77%$

♂ 9%$ ♀ 3%$ %

T $7%$

♂ 17%$ ♀ 13%$ %

T $15%$

♂ 1%$ ♀ 1%$ %

T $1%$

283$ $


Which"form"of"social"media"do"you"use"the"most?" $ Facebook) ) $ 14%$ 17%$ 21%$ 54%$ $ ) ) ) 35%$ 10%$ 8%$ 17%$ ) ) Flickr) ) $ 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ ) ) Google+) ) $ 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ 5%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ ) ) Instagram) ) $ 0%$ 46%$ 42%$ 9%$ $ ) ) 56%$ 44%$ 40%$ 39%$ ) ) Pinterest) ) $ 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ 1%$ $ ) ) 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ 0%$ )

♂ 30%$ ♀ 28%$ %

T $29%$

♂ 0%$ ♀ 0%$ % ) T 0%$

♂ 2%$ ♀ 1%$ %

T $1%$

♂ 25%$ ♀ 44%$ %

T $34%$

♂ 0%$ ♀ 1%$ %

284$

T $0%$


) Tumblr) ) $ 10%$ 12%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 13%$ 18%$ ) ) Twitter) ) $ 13%$ 16%$ $ ) ) 8%$ 6%$ ) ) I)don’t)use)social)media) ) $ 10%$ 6%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 8%$ 14%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 5%$ 4%$ $ ) 5%$ 10%$

0%$

$

$

86%$

9%$

5%$

0%$

8%$ 28%$

22%$ $

0%$

2%$

2%$

T $13%$

♂ 14%$ ♀ 10%$ %

6%$

0%$

T $8%$

♂ 18%$ ♀ 8%$ %

15%$

$

1%$

♂ 6%$ ♀ 6%$ %

T $11%$

♂ 5%$ ♀ 3%$ %

0%$

T $4%$

285$ $


Pick"your"poison".".".") $ Playstation) ) $ 16%$ 15%$ $ ) ) 15%$ 10%$ ) ) Wii)U) ) $ 17%$ 12%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 10%$ 16%$ ) ) Xbox) ) $ 28%$ 34%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 46%$ 22%$ ) ) Say)what?) ) $ 12%$ 18%$ $ ) ) 13%$ 18%$ ) ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 28%$ 21%$ $ ) ) 15%$ 34%$ "

286$

29%$

3%$ 19%$

5%$

$

16%$

$

29%$

8%$

9%$

$

14%$

36%$

15%$

23%$

T $25%$

♂ 11%$ ♀ 30%$ %

) 16%$

29%$

50%$

T $11%$

♂ 39%$ ♀ 13%$ %

26%$

0%$

T $12%$

♂ 13%$ ♀ 9%$ %

19%$

$

33%$

♂ 16%$ ♀ 7%$ %

T $21%$

♂ 21%$ ♀ 41%$ %

23%$

T $31%$


Are"you"currently"in"a"relationship?" $ Yes) $ 14%$ 24%$ 21%$ 86%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 3%$ 10%$ 28%$ 40%$ ) No) $ 71%$ 69%$ 76%$ 6%$ $ ) ) 92%$ 82%$ 68%$ 58%$ ) None)of)your)business) $ 7%$ 2%$ 8%$ 14%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 5%$ 8%$ 4%$ 2%$ ) " Do"you"currently"have"a"secret"crush?" $ Yes) $ 14%$ 46%$ 52%$ 3%$ $ ) ) 54%$ 46%$ 55%$ 45%$ ) No) $ 71%$ 37%$ 36%$ 74%$ $ ) ) 28%$ 38%$ 36%$ 40%$ ) Well)now,)if)I)told)you)it)wouldn’t)be)a)secret,)would)it?) $ 14%$ 17%$ 12%$ 23%$ $ ) " 18%$ 16%$ 9%$ 15%$ "

♂ 34%$ ♀ 47%$ %

T $40%$

♂ 60%$ ♀ 49%$ %

T $55%$

♂ 6%$ ♀ 4%$ %

T $5%$

♂ 44%$ ♀ 31%$ %

T $37%$

♂ 44%$ ♀ 48%$ %

T $47%$

♂ 12%$ ♀ 21%$ %

T $17%$

287$ $


Who"is"your"favorite"movie"superhero?" $ Batman) $ 27%$ 21%$ 22%$ $ ) ) 31%$ 8%$ 19%$ ) Captain)America) $ 10%$ 13%$ 3%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 10%$ 12%$ 21%$ ) Fantastic)Four) $ 2%$ 0%$ 0%$ $ $ $ ) ) 0%$ 2%$ 0%$ ) Green)Latern) $ 4%$ 2%$ 1%$ $ ) ) 0%$ 4%$ 4%$ ) Hulk) $ 1%$ 1%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 3%$ 2%$ 0%$ ) Ironman) $ 11%$ 16%$ 9%$ $ ) ) 21%$ 10%$ 13%$ ) )

288$

29%$

♂ 29%$ ♀ 17%$ %

) 35%$

29%$

♂ 5%$ ♀ 13%$ %

5%$

0%$

T $2%$

♂ 2%$ ♀ 0%$ %

0%$

14%$

T $1%$

♂ 3%$ ♀ 1%$ %

2%$

$ 0%$

T $9%$

♂ 0%$ ♀ 1%$ %

2%$

0%$

T $23%$

T $1%$

♂ 16%$ ♀ 9%$ %

13%$

T $12%$


Spiderman) $ 10%$ 17%$ $ ) ) 5%$ 12%$ ) Superman) $ 7%$ 2%$ $ ) ) 3%$ 6%$ ) Thor) $ 8%$ 2%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 3%$ 8%$ ) Wolverrine)(solo)) $ 1%$ 2%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 0%$ 4%$ ) XXMen) $ 7%$ 7%$ $ $ $ $ ) ) 13%$ 6%$ ) Other)/)unsure)/)no)opinion) $ 12%$ 17%$ $ ) 13%$ 26%$

14%$

9%$ 19%$

16%$

0%$

13%$ 4%$

5%$

$

$

14%$

$

0%$

2%$

3%$

$

0%$

2%$

9%$

T $2%$

♂ 6%$ ♀ 6%$ %

8%$

0%$

33%$

T $5%$

♂ 4%$ ♀ 1%$ %

2%$

$

T $7%$

♂ 4%$ ♀ 6%$ %

2%$

$

T $12%$

♂ 8%$ ♀ 6%$ %

5%$

8%$

3%$

♂ 9%$ ♀ 15%$ %

T $6%$

♂ 15%$ ♀ 25%$ %

11%$

T 20%$

289$ $


If"the"decision"had"been"yours"to"make,"to"which"nominated"movie" would"you"have"given"the"“Best"Picture”"Academy"Award"for"2013?" $ American)Sniper) $ 0%$ 15%$ 15%$ 10%$ 15%$ 18%$ $ ) ) $14%$ 3%$ 18%$ 11%$ 16%$ ) Birdman) $ $ 4%$ 7%$ 0%$ 0%$ 6%$ 2%$ $ ) ) 3%$ 4%$ 8%$ 6%$ $4%$ ) Boyhood) $ 2%$ 8%$ 0%$ 6%$ 3%$ 5%$ $ ) ) 5%$ 6%$ 6%$ 2%$ $5%$ ) The)Grand)Budapest)Hotel) $ 29%$ 18%$ 6%$ 18%$ 11%$ 8%$ $ ) ) $12%$ 8%$ 12%$ 21%$ 13%$ ) The)Imitation)Game) $ 0%$ 10%$ 17%$ 13%$ 11%$ 16%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $13%$ 21%$ 16%$ 11%$ 10%$ ) Selma) $ 2%$ 3%$ 0%$ 1%$ 3%$ 3%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 5%$ 0%$ 2%$ 3%$ $2%$ " " "

♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ %

290$

T

T

T

T

T

T


The)Theory)of)Everything) ) $ 14%$ 12%$ 7%$ 6%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 10%$ 8%$ 9%$ 8%$ ) ) Whiplash) ) $ 6%$ 10%$ 4%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 8%$ 4%$ 2%$ 18%$ ) ) ) I)would)have)selected)one)that)was)not)nominated) ) $ 8%$ 9%$ 12%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 15%$ 8%$ 13%$ 2%$ ) ) unsure)/)no)opinion) ) $ 57%$ 25%$ 19%$ 32%$ $ ) ) 23%$ 24%$ 17%$ 23%$ " " "

♂ 3%$ ♀ 13%$ %

T $8%$

♂ 9%$ ♀ 6%$ %

T $7%$

♂ 11%$ ♀ 9%$ %

T $10%$

♂ 24%$ ♀ 24%$ %

T $24%$

291$ $


I"see"myself"as"being"more"of"a(n)"."."."" $ Optimist)) $ 43%$ 60%$ 65%$ 74%$ $ ) ) ) 58%$ 69%$ 60%$ 68%$ ) Pessimist)) $ 29%$ 24%$ 21%$ 22%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) 15%$ 20%$ 21%$ 31%$ ) Unsure)/)no)opinion) $ 16%$ 13%$ 4%$ 29%$ $ ) ) 15%$ 20%$ 11%$ 11%$ ) " Have"you"ever"broken"a"bone?""(Noses"don’t"count!)" $ Yes) $ 14%$ 39%$ 37%$ 46%$ $ ) ) 38%$ 30%$ 45%$ 37%$ ) No) $ 71%$ 60%$ 61%$ 54%$ $ ) ) 59%$ 70%$ 53%$ 61%$ ) unsure) $ 14%$ 1%$ 2%$ 0%$ $ ) " 3%$ 0%$ 2%$ 2%$ "

♂ 60%$ ♀ 73%$ %

T $66%$

♂ 24%$ ♀ 20%$ %

T $22%$

♂ 15%$ ♀ 7%$ %

T $11%$

♂ 45%$ ♀ 37%$ %

T $40%$

♂ 54%$ ♀ 63%$ %

T $59%$

♂ 1%$ ♀ 1%$ %

292$

" T $1%$


If"you"had"to"take"care"of"a"pet,"which"of"the"following"would"you" choose"it"to"be?" $ Bird)) $ 0%$ 2%$ 1%$ 0%$ 2%$ 3%$ $ ) ) $1%$ 0%$ 0%$ 2%$ 2%$ ) Cat)) $ 20%$ 22%$ 17%$ 43%$ 20%$ 19%$ $ ) ) 15%$ 26%$ 19%$ 24%$ $20%$ ) Dog)) $ 57%$ 65%$ 43%$ 57%$ 58%$ 69%$ $ ) ) 59%$ 50%$ 62%$ 58%$ $61%$ ) Fish) $ 0%$ 14%$ 8%$ 14%$ 9%$ 9%$ $ ) ) $11%$ 13%$ 14%$ 11%$ 8%$ " Monkey) $ 14%$ 7%$ 6%$ 3%$ 5%$ 6%$ $ $ $ $ $ $ ) ) $5%$ 10%$ 4%$ 4%$ 8%$ ) Reptile) $ 2%$ 1%$ 0%$ 1%$ 3%$ 0%$ $ ) ) 3%$ 6%$ 2%$ 0%$ $2%$ )

♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ % ♂ %

T

T

T

T

T

T

293$ $


The$Viewpoints*Survey$was$conducted$online$via$Survey)Monkey$ from$Tuesday,$April$28$to$Friday,$May$1,$2015.$$The$following$ demographic$information$is$provided$to$help$readers$put$the$results$into$ some$context.$ $ Total"number"of"surveys"completed:"282" $ Respondent"breakdown:" $ Students:$204$$(F=;$M=;$Nb=)$ $ Day$Students:$83$$(F=41;$M=41;$Nb=1)$ $ Boarding$Students:$121$$(F=55;$M=60;$Nb=6)$ Faculty/Staff:$78$$(F=48;$M=30;$Nb=0)$ $ Female:$144$$ Male:$131$ Non;binary:$7$ $$ Composition"of"student"respondents:" $ Freshmen:$39$$(F=14;$M=23;$Nb=2)$ Sophomores:$50$$(F=25;$M=22;$Nb=3) $ Juniors:$53$$(F=25;$M=26;$Nb=2)$ Seniors:$62$$(F=32;$M=30)$ $ Live$in$Ohio$and$are$U.S.$citizens:$140$ Live$in$Ohio$but$are$not$U.S.$citizens:$3$ Live$in$the$U.S.,$outside$of$Ohio,$and$are$U.S.$citizens:$31$ Live$in$the$U.S.,$outside$of$Ohio,$but$are$not$U.S.$citizens:$1$ Live$outside$of$U.S.$but$are$U.S.$citizens:$3$ Live$outside$of$U.S.$and$are$not$U.S.$citizens:$26$ $ $ $ All$ questions$ required$ an$ answer$ in$ order$ to$ move$ on$ with$ the$ survey.$$ Surveys$which$were$started$but$not$completed$were$not$included$in$the$ tallying$of$results.$$Due$to$rounding,$percentages$for$each$category$may$ not$ sum$ to$ 100%.$ This$ Viewpoints) Survey$ is$ not$ presented$ as$ being$ scientifically$accurate$to$within$a$specific$margin$of$error.$$The$survey$is$ intended$for$entertainment$purposes$only.$$$

294$


WESTERN RESERVE ACADEMY 115 College Street • Hudson, Ohio • 44236

Profile for Western Reserve Academy

Viewpoints Spring 2015  

Viewpoints Spring 2015  

Profile for reserve
Advertisement